hey, don't forget Al Loma...fired from every board he served on...just too extreme.
The Resolution passed by City Council some weeks ago, which affirmed that citizens will be allowed to vote on any City funds used to finance the stadium, sounds reassuring, but the Resolution's purpose is to deceive, to lull the public into complacency while City Leaders bustle about, like rats in the cellar, formulating their stadium plans. There will be no vote of the citizens because of TIF - it's devious mechanism explained by Liberty. It is this method of tax diversion that makes it possible for the mayor to say, as he said in the Gazette's City Chat, reported in a front page article Thursday, "Before there's any city financial commitment to this, the voters would have a chance to weigh in."
This same Gazette article said, "But the sponsor, now the City, must obtain state approval for the project, develop a business plan, furnish required documents to the URA, and ensure that the project is fully completed and placed in service by deadline. The sponsor also must provide written consent before the URA can issue bonds for the project." It is clear to even those not paying close attention that City Leaders are aggressively moving forward.
Gazette articles during the past 2 years make it appear that the stadium is being paid for mostly by the State, with little cost to the City. And just how much is the State going to pay? Less than 10%. 90% of the cost - $200M - will be paid by the citizens of COS. Do the citizens even want a downtown stadium? City Leaders don't care what the citizens want. To City Leaders, the citizenry is just a source of funding and any trickery required to get the recalcitrant citizens to squander $200M is OK with them.
The more details that come out about this tax proposal the more it is starting to sound like a shady deal. Instead of being a sustainable funding method for municipal road maintenance it is just another diversion of public funds to private profits.
The mayor was very careful in his "denial" interview with the Gazette to choose the right words: "If there will be any financial commitment of the City on a stadium, citizens will get a vote." He is a lawyer by trade and he knows that TIF (tax increment financing) revenues diverted from City sales and property tax collections and used to issue debt through the Urban Renewal Authority is not legally a "City financial commitment." Legalese aside...those dollars come from City taxes that would have otherwise gone to the general fund to pay for things like roads and stormwater. Neither Mayor Suthers nor Council intend to go to voters for these funds. It would take only a majority vote of City Council.
When asked whether the City should pay for the millions in infrastructure to support a stadium, Suthers responded that if a private entity paid for the stadium and all we had to do is build some infrastructure--that would be great deal for the City. We can all see where this is headed. The C4C application to the state had the City paying $129 million for infrastructure to support C4C.
He also said that a "private" entity such as the Colorado Springs Sports Corp would fund the "studies" that will likely tell citizens they'd be crazy not to build a stadium. The only problem is that the Sports Corp is funded in part by the Colorado Springs Conventions and Visitors Bureau (CVB). The CVB gets about $3 million per year in locally collected lodgers and rental car taxes (LART). The agreement between Sports Corp and the CVB allows the mayor to unilaterally alter how much of those CVB funds go to the Sports Corp. All the words like "private entities" sound good on their face, but with knowledge of the back story...show that public dollars will continue to be dumped into C4C.
The Sports Corp is also the entity through which City for Champions funds from the City, County and the Anschutz Corporation and El Pomar got all mingled up and untrackable and paid for things like the luxury buses that brought hundreds of proponents to the hearing in Denver and paid for the $23,000 C4C video produced using City firefighters and police stating "I'm a champion" and has been used as a propaganda tool.
Agree with Liberty. The mayor is promoting raising the sales tax to appease citizen outrage over potholes. But at the same time he and other City Leaders intend to build a downtown stadium using $200M of future sales tax revenue. This is $200M that won't be available for any of the other urgent needs of the city. And the County, also a heavy promoter of the stadium proposal, has more calls on its available funds than there are funds available. The Gazette, yet another stadium promoter, reported in a front page article 2 days ago that the State will no longer guarantee giving the county disaster recovery funds. There are presently a swarm of legitimate govt uses for taxpayer dollars, but building a no purpose $200M stadium downtown is not one of them.
It is outrageous that the mayor and City Leaders snicker at the taxpayers while they forge ahead with their stadium plans. Until the mayor announces that the stadium will NOT be built, or that the citizens will vote on approving (or not approving) the diversion of sales tax via the odious TIF scheme, then I'm voting NO on raising the sales tax rate.
Being that the City is unable to spend what is currently budgeted for roads through the City Public Works roads budget and the PPRTA maintenance budget every year, how will this new money fix the problem? According to both the 2013 and the 2014 "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report," the City underspent the road budget by over $1 million per year. More than $5 million of PPRTA maintenance budget available per year to the City was not spent in those same years. Was the City making a concerted effort to allow the condition of roads to reach a point that they would serve as a great advertisement for a 31% City sales tax increase? Or...was there just incompetence withing the government to get contracts out the door?
The City's existing tax rate for the general fund (that doesn't go to PPRTA, TOPS and PSST) would be raised .62 cents or 31% above the current levels. That's a BIG increase. Where are the accountability provisions? More promises, but no accountability is written into the measure. This is free money into the hands of the politicians with no real-time oversight. How much will be used to build new roads supporting C4C and other developer boondoggles? The answer is: as much as the mayor wants--the mayor who was elected with ~$500 k of developer donations. You decide.
These are the same politicians who just last week were absolutely fine having the City take on the role as the "sponsor" of a new downtown stadium we don't need or have money for and the same politicians and bureaucrats who are unable to spend the dollars they already receive from taxpayers on roads.
Who designed the restaurant?
It isn't enough! Needed $900M/$50M per year= 18 years to do one cycle of road and bridge repairs. The ballot measure only covers 5 years or $250M worth of work. Road life 10-12 years? Ooops!
Throw in storm water ($534M) and repairing 1335 water main breaks over a 10 year period (2004-2013), the only possible solutions are to raise property taxes 2X or 3X the current take of city property tax and water rates or issue bonds puting the city in some serious debt.
Relying on a city sales tax won't do the trick. The days of low taxes for Colorado Springs reached their expiration date decades ago. A lot of ground needs to be made up.
DO WE REALLY NEED TO REPEAT OUR GOP / CONSERVATIVE PAST?
Rocking the boat: Dobson threatens to jump ship for a third party
At a recent meeting of the Council on National Policy (CNP), a highly influential and secretive group of Christian-right leaders, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson fired a warning shot across the bow of the Republican party. Citing Republican leaders’ failure to aggressively further a socially conservative agenda, Dobson threatened to abandon the Republican Party and "do everything I can to take as many people with me as possible." Dobson later told C-SPAN, "I don’t want to split the party ... but if Republicans do not keep their promises to those who put them in power, I think that is a possibility."
Apparently, Dobson has already acted in part on this threat. In his speech, he admitted to voting for the Taxpayers Party in the 1996 presidential elections. The Taxpayers Party agenda includes support for citizen militias, gun rights, dismantling the IRS, anti-abortion, and anti-immigration stands.
While Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson has not threatened to desert the Republican party, he also has strongly criticized Republicans for failing to push a more conservative social agenda. Recently, Robertson devoted an entire fundraising letter to his frustrations, charging that the GOP had "abandoned the biblical values you and I elected them to support." In response, Robertson told Coalition lieutenants at a closed-door strategy session in Atlanta last September, it’s time to start setting the agenda for Republicans in Congress.
A revolution from within: While Dobson grabs the party’s attention by threatening to desert it, another group is working diligently to change it from within. Frustrated with Pat Robertson’s failed 1988 presidential campaign, a group of Californians devised a plan to take over the California Republican Party in order to control the party’s nomination process. After ten years of packing party elections and ousting moderates, their plan has finally paid off. Christian-right activists now control the California Republican Assembly, the top 13 elected spots in the state GOP’s leadership, and twothirds of the members who decide party elections.
They are now looking to implement their strategy across the country with the newly formed National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA). NFRA membership consists of patriot/anti-government activists, social ultra-conservatives, and former members of the Christian Coalition who defected in reaction to the organization’s moves to reach more mainstream Republicans, such as its endorsement of "moderate" Bob Dole.
According to Paul Clark, chairman of the Coalition for Local Sovereignty, a Patriot group, the NFRA has "sprung to the forefront of efforts to remake the GOP along traditional Christian and constitutionalist lines." Far from the "big tent" philosophy advocated by moderate Republican leadership, NFRA president Steve Frank explains, "We do not want a seat at the table, we want the table."
Cleansing the party Frank and the NFRA are pushing for a return to what they see as traditional biblical values. "Those who do not hold these views have no place in the tent," says Clark. "We’re not afraid to come out against a Republican who is a Republican in Democrat’s clothing," says Utah Republican Assembly president and co-founder Don Ruzicka, whose wife is president of the Utah Eagle Forum, Phyllis Schlafly’s conservative Christian women’s organization which formed to oppose the Equal Rights Amendment.
Most ultra-conservative groups tied with the Republican party share Ruzicka’s philosophy. The underlying message is that Republicans must take a hard-line socially conservative stance, or face fierce opposition from within their own party.
And how could I ever forget our most famous GOP yet, Klingenschmitt:
Religious Lunatic May Win Seat In Colorado House.....He's Seriously Nuts
UPDATE: THIS ASSHOLE WON AND IS IN OFFICE.
Local voters have elected a paranoid delusional to the state Senate, a county commissioner who referenced "normal white Americans" on national TV, and a city councilman whose city-issued computer would eventually be found full of porn. Charlie Duke, Betty Beedy and Charles Wingate, respectively, are just three reasons the Springs has become infamous. But does it want to perpetuate that image?
That's one question asked by El Paso County Democratic Party executive Christy Le Lait in the wake of recent comments by Gordon Klingenschmitt, the Republican candidate in House District 15. Here's another:
"Can you imagine if this guy gets elected?"
It's not hard to imagine. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the district more than 2 to 1.
Klingenschmitt, a 46-year-old retired Navy chaplain, recently drew barbs even from some in his own party for suggesting that Congressman Jared Polis of Boulder wants to behead Christians.
Some of state House candidate Klingenschmitt's beliefs:
Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former army chaplain and all around right wing religious nutbag who once included FOX News among "the left-wing major media," has such an active mouth that the progressive organization running rightwingwatch.org boasts 26 pages of stories tagged with his name, dating back to September 2006. Here's a smattering of what can only be identified as
• November 2008: "There is a day coming in the end times when the military will be forced to be atheistic because, in order for ... the Anti-Christ ... to come to power and to stamp out Christianity around the globe, he's going to need a good strong atheist military." (rightwingwatch.org)
• January 2011: "What [LGBT soldiers] need is an exorcism, honestly." (rightwingwatch.org)
• February 2012: "The Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves, since all of them believed sodomy was a crime, and certainly not a Constitutional right." (rightwingwatch.org)
• October 2013: "Friends, their version of tolerance now requires bankrupting Christian employers, or any public restaurant or retail store that refuses men full access to women's
• January 2014: "What is the big controversy about drilling for American oil? ... Here's a scripture where I think God gives us permission to use fuel. 'God has commanded the people to bring you pure beaten oil for the light so that a lamp may be regularly set up to burn.'" (prayinjesusname.org)
• February 2014: "The truth is, even for the first time, if you're a first-time user of marijuana it can be deadly. ... There's a spirit of enticement and lust for a high, for pleasure." (prayinjesusname.org)
• July 2014: "If the atheist complainer is so uncomfortable when they walk into a church. ... I have a solution. Let's do an exorcism and cast the Devil out of them, and then they'll feel comfortable when they walk into church." (prayinjesusname.org)
The bible says everyone should be armed with guns to defend themselves against the left wing and Japan: Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=055_1409858…
LMAO- Former Rep. Douglas Bruce said this in 2008, defending himself after he kicked a Rocky Mountain News photographer who was taking his picture during a prayer on the opening day of the Colorado Legislature. He did not apologize. He also characterized the kick as a “nudge.”
ARE YOU KIDDING US? THIS IS THE LAST THING THIS TOWN NEEDS NOW. HAVEN'T WE HAD ENOUGHT OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS?
With under 90 days remaining to the election, how do you think you might vote: A ten second anonymous 'Quick Poll'. Thank you for participating!
Jurors dismissed, Doug Bruce tainting alleged
Accused of tainting a pool of potential jurists, Colorado Springs landlord and state Senate candidate Douglas Bruce was dismissed from jury duty this week after he distributed a stack of leaflets claiming that jurists need only follow their conscience -- and not the law -- when deciding a case.
Doug Bruce- We don't, for example, mark the day in April 2008 when Colorado state Rep. Douglas Bruce, R-Future Felon, spoke these historic words during a legislative discussion on migrant farm workers: "We don't need 5,000 more illiterate peasants in the state of Colorado."
Neighbors frustrated over Douglas Bruce's Pueblo properties
10 Republicans who've kept us in business Don't blame us -- you elected them
Betty Beedy-For four glorious years beginning in 1996, Beedy represented eastern Colorado Springs and El Paso County. During her campaign, Beedy, who had close ties to anti-government militias, funneled much of her campaign cash into her and her husband's T-shirt business, not bothering to register with the state of Colorado. Once elected, this patriot charged county taxpayers for the mileage she accumulated driving to work downtown and back home to Calhan.
But her work extravagances were nothing compared to what came out of her mouth. She referred to single mothers who date as "sluts" and stridently opposed naming a stretch of concrete highway after civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr., claiming he was nothing better than a philanderer. She boycotted a statewide gathering of politicians on moral grounds, complaining that the host mountain town of Crested Butte informally sponsors a "ski naked" day in the winter. (Beedy, notably, did not raise similar complaints when it came to traveling at taxpayer expense to the rural Hawaiian island of Kauai, notorious, among other things, for its nude beaches. The trip, Beedy explained, would enable her to learn invaluable tips that she could apply to her own rural eastern El Paso County district.)
Beedy's saucy tongue generated such controversy that she was invited to appear on a live national television show, where, composed as always, she informed her slack-jawed interviewer Starr Jones, an African-American woman, and the rest of the country, that only white people are normal.
Let me tell you about my two favorite GOPs from our area that were in politics over the past two years- Betty Beedy & Doug Bruce. I'm sure we all would love to never see their type in our local government, especially when it comes to the school board and our kids.
(Betty Beedy) Betty, the most famous resident of Calhan, was in office from 1996 to 2000. During her stint she repeatedly shocked one group of people, a group commonly referred to as "people who have a brain." She kicked off the four-year Idiot Festival by saying all single mothers who date are "sluts" who "hop" from one bed to another — like slutty, hoppy frogs or kangaroos or something.
Then Betty went on a national TV show and, while talking with African-American Star Jones, used the phrase "normal, white Americans."
(Doug Bruce) Bruce kicks photographer, takes oath- This made national news as unbelievable. Why would anyone public figure do such a thing? I am a professional photographer, and if it happened to me, I would have had him arrested and they did kick him out of office after one month in office.
why would anyone want to keep big money out of politics?...
good job bennet! we need people that are looking out for the little guy in office. the lobbyist have too much influence on policy for most congressmen. we need more people to push this issue and let the general population have a real say. Trump was hilarious in the debate last night describing exactly this point. he gives money, when he needs a favor he picks up the phone and gets what he wants. you can't say he doesn't tell it like it is...
who in their right mind thinks this is how government should work? citizens united is next!
We can be like Kansas, where all the teachers are leaving and they can't find enough candidates to even fill this upcoming school year's classes.
We certainly don't want the religious freaks controlling what happens in our schools. If the current crop of local gop'ers are any indication, the bible will be the only book needed.
the war on intelligence is alive and well in the gop around here.
All content © Copyright 2015, The Colorado Springs Independent
Website powered by Foundation