For this, longtime local peace activist Bill Sulzman and nuclear resister Carl Kabat were arrested by an aggressive SWAT team last weekend in northern Colorado at the Minuteman Missile Silo in Weld County.
Sulzman, 62, said he and Kabat, 66, who was dressed as a clown, peacefully assembled at the site on Aug. 6 to mark the 55-year anniversary of the atomic blast that decimated Hiroshima.
While demonstrating, the two men walked inside the federal government's 25-foot missile-site perimeter to wave their signs. Seven other protesters stayed outside the designated perimeter, waving anti-nuke signs.
Two hours after the protest began, 13 armored vehicles, accompanied by at least four dozen armed and jittery federales finally showed up for a showdown, Sulzman said. Then, the SWAT team rushed in, complete with turreted guns and squat-and-sweep maneuvers, to capture the two unarmed protesters.
Sulzman reported he was roughed up pretty bad harder than any of the other numerous times he's been arrested for protesting for peace. He was released on his own recognizance pending a Nov. 3 court date. But Kabat, who lives in Illinois and has spent 14 years in prison for his previous protest actions, is still cooling his heels in the Weld County jail.
"The spectacle that I witnessed there was far beyond anything I've experienced," Sulzman said. "We want people to take a look at the missile and realize we have armed nuclear warheads in Colorado, and remember how that plays in international nuclear disarmament."
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By contrast, let's take a look at the priorities of our own elected powerhouse Doug Dean. The lawmaker is supposed to represent District 18 in northern Colorado Springs.
But hey! Why be a man of the people when you can wallow in the pond of special interests? Dean, the onetime house painter and Focus on the Family man is now in divorce proceedings, and lives in Denver year-round courtesy of Colorado taxpayers. In addition, Dean's campaign reports show that virtually none of the money from his campaign chest has actually come from people living in the district he represents.
Instead, non-local Political Action Committees have stuffed Dean's pockets, most likely in anticipation that he could next year become the powerful Speaker of the House.
Though Dean has never had any real opponent -- Republican or Democrat -- since he first ran six years ago, as of June 1 he had accumulated a treasure chest of $16,765. It's not yet clear what he will spend that campaign cash on, since he didn't have a Republican primary opponent.
(By contrast, little-known Democrat Renee Walbert is challenging Dean in this GOP stronghold district in the November general election. So far she has raised $320.)
Last year, according to his expenditure reports, Dean used his campaign contributions to buy golf balls (over $500 worth) and for exclusive golf tournaments (some politicians might call that "mixing with the constituents").
This year, Dean didn't file his July report detailing contributions and expenditures in time for it to be posted on the Secretary of State's Web site. (Dean has also often been late filing required paperwork required by the Fair Campaign Practices Act.)
But Dean listed the following major contributors (many of them political action committees identified only by acronyms) in his June report. Here are Dean's top 10 contributors as of June 1:
The National Rifle Association PAC (Virginia-based): $1,000
HOST PAC (a Denver-based restaurant association PAC): $1,000
Will Fox (from Littleton): $625
Coca-Cola (Atlanta): $600
US West PAC (Denver): $500
Colorado Association of Meatbrokers PAC: (Denver): $500
ACA PAC (non-specified Lakewood-based): $500
AIA PAC (non-specified Washington-based): $500
Farmer's Insurance PAC (Denver): $500
TIPAC (Denver-based trucking industy PAC) $500
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Say what? Pundits haven't had so much fun since gaffe-master Dan Quayle was in office. But, compared with George W. Bush, the former veep is a small potato. In the interest of keeping the campaign interesting for politic-phobes, we'll offer in this space an actual campaign quote every week, as candidates weigh in on everything from foreign policy to themselves. The first installment from Bush comes courtesy of the L.A Weekly:
"This may sound a little West Texan to you, but I like it. When I'm talking about -- when I'm talking about myself, and when he's talking about myself, all of us are talking about me."