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From the Editors Securing the Blessings of Liberty for Tomorrow
William T. Gillin Editor-in-Chief
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“April is the cruelest month.” When T. S. Eliot wrote these words, I’m sure that income taxes were not even remotely on his mind. The annual April ritual for most Americans is a dreaded chore. We grind our way through the complicated IRS forms. If we make a mistake, we hope we can get off as easily as Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner did! And don’t forget Charlie Rangel (D-NY), who wrote the tax laws as head of the House Ways and Means Committee, yet cheated on his taxes. But for most of us, we just pay up. For many of our fellow citizens, filling out the tax return is simply a matter of getting a refund, and they are happy to have it. They don’t give much thought to how much was withheld and where their tax money goes. Most Americans don’t mind paying taxes for legitimate services by the government, such as national defense and roads. However, if we consider how much of our hard-earned income is confiscated for wasteful spending, pork-barrel projects, and massive bureaucracies, we have
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a lot to be steamed about. Add Social Security withholding, which is spent immediately and likely won’t be there when we retire. Our Medicaid taxes won’t help us when we need it, due to the healthcare bill that just passed. How can we expect benefits from it when millions of people are added to the program, while $500 billion is being cut? Income taxes are a huge burden financially on the middle and upper-middle classes, but that is only part of the equation. The only way the IRS can collect income taxes is by invading our privacy and looking into every aspect of our finances and businesses. With the power to tax comes the power to regulate and control our lives. Big government feeds on our tax dollars and dictates what we can and cannot do. Our founding fathers rallied to “No taxation without representation!” Someone has said that taxation WITH representation isn’t so great either! In this election year, it is time for a real change. If we want our children and grandchildren to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities we have had, we need to elect representatives who are dedicated to limited government, responsible spending and lower taxes. What will you do to make it happen?
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Julie Ayers Managing Editor The definition of a hero varies based on personal perspective. To me a hero is someone who sacrifices selflessly for the betterment and well being of others. I believe the ultimate heroes are our veterans who have risked their lives for the sake of our country and our constitutional rights. As the great niece of five valiant men who fought in World War II, I deeply admire and respect our combat veterans. My great uncles were proud to defend our nation, and never for one second complained or regretted the sacrifices they made. One of my great uncles was a Navy diver. He was sent to Pearl Harbor just after the attack where he was given the gruesome task of recovering bodies from the water. While diving near the wreckage he could hear men trapped inside the ships banging SOS messages on the pipes. Eventually, they were silent. My uncle was tormented for the rest of his life by nightmares of those he could not save. Another great uncle was a Navy aviation radioman. On Dec. 28, 1943 his plane crashed in England when returning from a mission. The whole crew perished. He is buried at Cambridge American Cemetery in England. None of his family, to include his wife, son, parents, 6 brothers and 3 sisters, were able to visit his grave. In 2001, I was on a trip to England and made a point of going to his gravesite. I never knew him but I was there on behalf of my grandmother, his sister. I could not believe how deeply it affected me to see the final resting place of someone I never knew but had heard many stories about. Four of my five great uncles are deceased but they will always be my heroes. Colorado Springs is blessed to have hundreds of veteran-heroes. I am honored and privileged to meet some of them, and share their stories with our readers. It’s imperative that we capture their accounts so that current and future generations will understand and appreciate the sacrifices these heroic people made to ensure our liberty and constitutional rights. We should never take their sacrifices for granted.
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A Word from the Publisher Lana Fore-Warkocz
As I sit here on the day that will go down in history, all I can think about is those who came before us, laying out the blueprints for this great country. Those who fought for her, those who died for her and now those who absolutely want to hurt her deliberately. I never thought I would see the day that my beautiful country would turn into a socialist, government-controlled land that she has become. This administration, this congress and those people have readily made her unrecognizable. We must stop them, we must work tirelessly to make sure that our children and grandchildren are not subjected to their relentless ways. We must step out of our comfort-zone and GET INVOLVED! (See our list on pg. 9.) I’m not asking, I’m simply pleading to all Americans to get informed, understand the visions of this great land and to help us in this fight to repeal the monstrosities that lie ahead in the coming months.
I will make a solemn vow to all of you-I will not stop, I will not give-up and most importantly I will not waiver in this movement. Please help us win this battle, the battle for freedom and liberty and help us restore our values and principles which made our America great. Vote those out that have made politics their “sole purpose” in life. The career politician’s that continue to trample on our beloved Constitution, together WE THE PEOPLE can and will make a difference. In order to vote and participate in the up-coming primaries on August 10, I’m begging all of you to get affiliated with a party by July 9. Believe me, I know and understand that some of you are upset and have given up on the Republican Party, but we can fix it. We can work through it and restore the values and principles it once had. Let’s fight together…let’s win our America back! Join me and ALL Americans on April 15 at 11am, as we launch the voice of the people at our El Paso County Tea Party at Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs.
The Constitutionalist Today provides a voice for freedom-loving Americans who share many common values, yet have differing opinions on certain subjects. This paper’s staff and writers possess worldviews ranging from Biblical to secular, conservative to libertarian, and everything in-between. Our founding fathers were a diverse group. Some, such as John Adams and Patrick Henry, were devout Christians. Others, like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, were more secular even as they acknowledged that our rights are given by our Creator. While they had their differences, all those who established the greatest free nation on earth were united in their love of liberty and resistance to tyranny. Likewise, we are united in our love of America’s founding ideals, our love of freedom and our distrust of big intrusive government. Our aim is to educate our fellow citizens about our nation’s founding principles and documents, to inform about current events, and to motivate Americans to action. That said, the opinions of the writers are not necessarily those of the staff of The Constitutionalist Today.
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Editor, The Constitutionalist Today 1115 Elkton Drive, Suite 300 Colorado Springs, CO 80907 -ORP.O. Box 25155 Colorado Springs, CO 80936 -ORletters@theconstitutionalisttoday.com Letters 300 words or shorter in length will be considered for print. Thank you for this breath of fresh air at a time when it’s getting really hard to come by. I will do my best to spend my hard earned money with anyone who advertises in your publication. Keep up the good work. —Randy Pierce, Colorado Springs I recently picked up your rag at an [sic] coffee shop and I was wondering if you could improve it for me. The size of this rag works well lining a bird cage but I need it bigger to line a puppies [sic] kennel. It does work well wrapping fish or cat box liner [sic]. I am also glad to see all those Colorado Springs business [sic] paying for ads. The next time I pass thru the Springs I won’t spend one dime in this community. Have a tin hat kinda of [sic] a day and pray for me! —G. Wiley Ed. reply: It’s easy to use our papers for your “puppies [sic] kennel.” Simply overlap the papers until they fill the space! How hard is that? And we will pray for you, that your eyes might be opened. I’m new to this. I’ve never written to a paper before. I just heard about your paper on the news the other night, so I thought I’d send you a question that I’ve been asking myself for awhile now. The question is: How long do you think it will take the Republicans to adopt the true conservative stand? Michael Steele seems to be reluctant to publicly, move to the conservative stand. Anyway, keep up the good work. I look forward to reading your paper. —Charles R. Glaze, Trinidad Congratulations! I am so impressed with your paper, the articles and your attitude! I read the ads too! There is a tremendous ‘buzz’ around this town about your paper. I picked up your first issue at the Pikes Peak Economic Club and your second edition last night at Amanda’s Fonda Mexican Restaurant on West Colorado Avenue. This could be a good year for conservatives and you are going to be a big part of that. “Together we stand!” —John Dunker, Colorado Springs What a pleasure it is to see a publication that prints and shares my values. We, everyone within our country’s border, are truly blessed to have the prosperity which has graced generations before us. But a big whoa to everything now. How a socialist can obtain the highest office in this country has eluded my reasoning. If the conservatives had a clue in the last election my children might have had a future in this great country called the U.S.A. I am a small business owner. We survived the Clinton actions, but we have not been able to withstand or prosper during this first year of debauchery that is taking place now. I can now enter my name on a long list of casualties caused by the current administration. I fear a lot more casualties are in the future. I also fear for my son’s future. Thanks again for believing in this great country called the U.S.A. —Mark Heine Mr. Holler’s article (The Constitution Made Easy, Seven Deadly Myths, March 2010) provides the standard critique of the idea of
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a living Constitution. The Constitution was drafted when we were a tiny population of independent farmers and shop owners. It was on the other side of the industrial revolution, the Louisiana Purchase, and modern medicine & science…The issue is how changes should happen: through the formal amendment process or through unilateral judicial and executive actions. Conservatives claim to demand a strict application of the original meaning of the text. Under a strict reading of the Constitution, the Iraq War was unconstitutional. There was no declaration of war by Congress. But who were among the war’s biggest supporters? “Conservatives.” While I tend to oppose judicial and executive activism as much as the next conservative, there have been times where [it was] needed. Brown v. Board of Education was wrongly decided—on strict legal grounds. Blacks had fought bravely in World War II only to come home to legally sanctioned discrimination. Thankfully, the Supreme Court did something about it. —Rich Wood, Colorado Springs Mike Holler responds: The writer does not address the central thesis of my column which is that the people who say they want The Constitution to be living really want it dead so they can have a big central government. I am against unconstitutional wars. I would have favored an amendment to stop discrimination, and the Constitution would still be intact. The rule of law would still be in effect. Technology and industry do not change an agreement, or the nature of a distributed government. The principle that man will try to dominate his fellow man has been unchanged throughout history. The Constitution was written as a barrier to that domination. It’s no surprise that we are in a bad recession. Here is the drastic action I suggest we take: U.S. Senators and Representatives have a base pay of $174,000 plus expenses and perks. Senator Mark Udall’s office said other government employees got a 2% pay raise in 2009, so nearly everybody is impacted by the recession except federal employees. I recommend giving a 10% reduction in salary to every federal employee, including Senators, Representatives and the president but excluding everyone in the military. The reduction should be in effect until the war and recession are over. In addition to the pay cuts, there should be a cessation of any pork spending (earmarks). Legislators like to justify them by saying their little million dollar earmark won’t really hurt. But last year one of the appropriation bills had thousands of them in it. Earmarks have been totaling about $30 billion a year. That is outrageous waste, and stupid! Most Americans live our lives very frugally, but when people get elected to Congress, frugality goes out the window. Government will have to cut spending at every opportunity, including small expenditures that aren’t absolutely necessary, to prevent the U.S. from going bankrupt. The only alternative is to continue printing excessive money which would cause runaway inflation. —Earl Asbury, Colorado Springs The March 18 edition of the Gazette ran a piece by Tom Roeder entitled “Bennet, McInnis High on Wish Lists” discussing the “results” of the caucus straw polls. Unfortunately the article failed to tell readers that only voters registered as Democrats and Republicans as of January 19, 2010 could take part in the caucuses. I was particularly puzzled by comments attributed to El Paso County Commissioner Sallie LETTERS on page 4
Seven Deadly Myths, #2 of 7
The Constitution Made Easy
Mike Holler, Featured Writer
Good intentions will always be pleaded for any assumption of power. The Constitution was made to safeguard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters. —Daniel Webster
A second deadly myth destroying liberty in America is the naïve notion that government is good, and that the people in power can be trusted. Not one of our founders believed this, and they were informed by compelling evidence from history and human nature. The wisdom of the ages was theirs. Our first President said that government is essentially force, and “Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Our second President added, “There is danger from all men… trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” And this from the third President, “even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have… perverted it into tyranny.” And from the fourth, “The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.” In fact, the quotes of the founders to the effect that power corrupts, and that governments all become tyrannical, would fill not just this column, but many more pages. The number of times they suggested that power was easily managed, and that people should simply trust their
elected officials to do the right thing are exactly zero. Benjamin Franklin gave an inspiring speech at the close of the Constitutional Convention. He urged the delegates to “act heartily and unanimously in recommending this Constitution…” and urged every member to put his name to it. Seldom noted is his prediction earlier in the same speech, “that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.” So here we are, face to face in this very moment with the good doctor’s prophecy: a majority of Americans may have actually become incapable of anything better. By “corrupt” Mr. Franklin meant the opposite of virtuous, something closer in our vocabulary to “lazy” or “dependent.” Our current predicament surely has as much to do with the laziness with which we have approached our understanding of history, human nature and civics as anything done to us by the selfish opportunists we have elected. When Jay Leno goes “Jay-walking” he gets big hoots by asking people on the street to name the home country of the Panama Canal or the Great Wall of China. We laugh until our sides hurt when they
can’t name the first President, or guess that freedom of speech is one of the Ten Commandments. We are amused because we think he searched long and hard to find his victims. Sadly, his job is easier than we thought. Just under half of the 1,000 adults surveyed in 2008 by Intercollegiate Studies Institute could name the three branches of the government that they want to let run their lives. And the situation is worse than the numbers indicate: it was a multiple choice test! …and the right answer was “A!” Fifty-one per cent shot past the right answer to find a wrong one. An anonymous blogger addressing the present crisis said it would “be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to an electorate willing to have such a man for their president.” Not surprisingly, the same people who cannot name the Vice-President want bigger government. Citizens who cannot perform simple math think that the government creates wealth and permits us to share in it. How would such an electorate ever see through the “fuzzy math” being presented to them by the trillions? Only 21% of those surveyed know that the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people” comes from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, but 56% knew
The number of times [the founders] suggested that power was easily managed, and that people should simply trust their elected officials to do the right thing are exactly zero.
that Paula Abdul was a judge on American Idol. Even fewer, one might conclude, would consider the preservation of freedom as their highest duty, or know the meaning or purpose of vigilance. Freedom lovers have their work cut out for them. The good news is that the more people learn about history and civics, the less gullible they become. The same organization that conducted the survey on civic knowledge also found that civic literacy can be taught, and that the higher people scored on the civic literacy test, the more likely they would believe in the importance of our founding documents, the value of having free markets, and the danger of big government. Our founders were great advocates of education. Some of the universities they proposed or founded still stand today. But they believed that the highest purpose of education was to prepare future leaders who understood the virtues upon which liberty and our founding are based. If the corrosive effect of great power is the problem, an informed and militant citizenry may be the answer. If we are to save this country as a land of freedom and opportunity for the next generation, education is the best and least disruptive solution and we must give it our all. Reading and then sharing the United States Constitution is where I suggest beginning. Mike Holler writes and speaks about freedom and the United States Constitution, is a frequent guest on talk radio, and travels with the Tea Party Express. Next month he will continue this series, “Seven Deadly Myths.” Contact Mike or view his recent book at: TheConstitutionMadeEasy.com
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LETTERS continued from page 2 Clark who, per the article is campaigning for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Scott McInnis. She was attributed as saying the turnout of Republicans energized by the conservative tea-party and 9-12 movements Uh, hello, Ms. Clark! Most of us in the grassroots conservative movements are not card-carrying Republicans able to take part in the caucuses! We are disenfranchised Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and disenfranchised Republicans who left the party and became unaffiliated because we are sick and tired of the oldline, entrenched parties’ power bases and business as usual approach to governing. We became convinced that Sallie and her ilk do not get it and are totally out of touch with us. We are for real change like Dan Maes offers, not just the same old song and dance with a new face and name! —Chuck Graybill, Colorado Springs I found your wonderful paper at the company where I buy feed for my pets just outside of Eaton, CO. Thank you for having the intestinal fortitude to publish it. I have for years tried to educate people about our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers and the Founding Fathers: John Jay, first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Alexander Hamilton, first secretary of the treasury, and James Madison, fourth president of the United States. Why, you may ask, did I choose these three men, aside from their positions in the history of this great republic? Because these are also the three men who wrote the Federalist Papers and James Madison is the acknowledged father of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Madison was also the chairman of the committee that put the Bill of Rights into the basic concept that we today know, with some stylistic changes by the Senate. God bless the United States of America! —C. W. Bryant, Cheyenne, WY “The really lucky people are the ones who lived full productive lives and then died five years ago. They didn’t have to watch the country they built, lived in, and loved be torn apart by their own government.” “We handed our kids the best of all possible worlds and they are throwing it all away.” These two quotes have kept me awake at night here recently. They grab me right in the gut and won’t let loose. A good feeling about them is that they have let me see I am not the only one thinking these thoughts. I thought maybe this kind of thinking came from the age related paranoia of my 77 years but apparently they are not just that. I was among the many volunteers at GOP headquarters helping take in and organize the results of the recent caucuses. Another of the volunteers, a lady not nearly as old as I am but one who hasn’t been in a youth group for awhile made the first statement during a lull in our efforts. The second quote came from a lifelong friend a few years ago. I’m glad its not just me but sad that anyone has to have such thoughts. Equally sad was the low turnout at the caucuses. Are only us older people able to see that our country is in the direst danger it has been in since World War II? Please prepare yourselves to vote in the coming elections to stop this madness. We elders can’t do it alone. —Gerald Kachel Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinners are typically a venue in which all Republicans can gather and fellowship together as a united party. I can say that without a doubt,
the keynote speaker for this year’s dinner, Josh Penry, made no attempt to bring Republicans together. Although his message was that we must all gather and fight for Republican conservative principles to take back control of our republic and state; Josh sacrificed his political future by stating right at the start that he was supporting Scott McInnis for governor. I’m not sure why Penry would not follow protocol and respect all Republicans in attendance, other than he was upset at his own ill advised decision to get out of the governor’s race. Dan Maes, the only true contender to McInnis, pulled 40% of the straw poll at the caucuses and was in attendance having to tolerate Penry’s disrespect in front of a captive audience. Penry went on to answer a question from a member of the dinner guests as to whom he was supporting for U.S. Senate. Again, Josh could have easily followed protocol and chosen not to answer the question to the whole group. But he made another poor decision and said he supported Jane Norton. After Penry’s speech, Bob Balink managed to acknowledge Maes as being a great candidate even though the damage was done and the room full of Republicans was visibly trying to understand why Penry was so disrespectful. The true question is why did the El Paso County Republican Party leadership select Penry to be the keynote speaker knowing that he had stepped out of the race and was supporting McInnis? There is no shortage of excellent speakers who could have delivered an inspiring speech and been respectful to all of the candidates and their supporters. I can only gather that the Republican Party remains a house divided. —David L. Kelly, Colorado Springs It’s that time of the year again; April 15 is fast approaching. As I sit here wading through my shoebox of receipts, W-2s, lottery winnings, mortgage interest statements, W-9s, savings interest statements and every other source of income for the year, I wonder, is there a better way? The American tax code consists of over 67,000 pages of unreadable babble and every year we have to try to conform to it. Have you ever tried to call the IRS with a question? Don’t worry if you don’t understand or don’t like the answer. Just call them again the next day. You’ll most likely get a different answer. Not even the IRS can keep track of the income tax code monstrosity. For over 12 years a better code has been sitting in the dusty shelves of Congress. It is called the Fair Tax Act. The Fair Tax is a consumption (sales) tax that replaces the current tax system. Please note I said replaces, not adds to. The Fair Tax Act removes all forms of income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, pay roll tax, and others. With the Fair Tax, we would no longer need to fill out mountains of paper work each year. We would pay our taxes when we purchase new goods or services. Imagine being able to take home all of your paycheck! And the cost of goods and services would remain pretty much the same. I encourage everyone to get informed about the Fair Tax. The best way is to go to www.fairtax.org. Two books I’ve found helpful: The FairTax Book and FairTax: The Truth. You can find them at both bn.com and amazon.com. As you sit down and pour through your financial life this year, think what it would be like if April 15 was just another spring day. —Shawn Mullen
Corrections & Clarifications In our Premier Edition (Feb. 2010), the article “Gun Rights Hang in the Balance” incorrectly stated that Supreme Court Justice David Souter voted with the majority favoring individual rights to own guns in the District of Columbia v. Heller case. Instead, Souter dissented from the majority opinion.
A Letter to Congress
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Troy Kimble, Guest Writer
I am a father, husband, converted Catholic and a veteran of the United States Navy. I am concerned about the direction our country is taking. You took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, not a political party. The federal government has a role that is set out in the Constitution that you swore to defend. The most valuable assets we have are the Constitution and the values of America. We have the God-given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not the responsibility of the government to manage all aspects of our lives from birth until death. It is the responsibility of the people to protect a civil society from an over reaching government. We are a free, resourceful and intelligent people. When the government steps out of the way the people of America will amaze the world. We deserve to prosper for ourselves and to provide for our families. We have the right to personal property. It is our money, not the government’s. Taxes are necessary to provide for our government that: • Is limited in scope. (As set forth in our Constitution) • Preserves and guarantees the rights of the states and the American people (As stated in the Constitution) • Believes that the free market and capitalism are our heritage and our future • Trusts free markets to always make better policy than the government • Realizes and accepts we are a nation under God and a nation of faith • Has at its core a respect for natural law and the American citizen • Provides for our national defense • Remembers that the Constitution is not a “living” document
• Recognizes that America is exceptional and that Americans have given their lives to preserve our great nation • Stands up and defends our national interests • Respects human life How can people keep the freedom that comes to us from God if the only reason that elected officials are in office is to stay there? If our elected officials do not serve our freedom or the Constitution and the preservation of our rights, they are tyrants that do not deserve to serve us and should never be reelected. Have an honest debate, say what you mean and mean what you say. Do not lie to the American people. We deserve the truth from our leaders. The American people are tolerant and not easy to rouse but once we are awake we will not stand to see our country continue to commit to a path that can only end in the same tyranny that it escaped at its founding. We will hold our politicians accountable. You are entrusted with the future of our society and our great country. Do not betray what you have sworn to defend and uphold. I demand that you REJECT anything that increases the reach of government. STOP the increase in spending and regulation. STOP the special interests that corrupt our government. REDUCE the size of government and return it to its rightful scope and power. STOP the profane waste of our hard-earned money. RETURN the future to our children and do not make them pay for the out-of-control spending that we have today. Return our founding principles to their rightful place. Restore the rights that are given to us from God back to where they belong, into our capable hands.
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Preachin’ Hate Michelle Morin, Featured Writer
I had the privilege of serving as a panelist and speaker at the March 9 Candidate Debate 2010 in Colorado Springs where Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate, Colorado governor, and state treasurer met for a spirited contest. Colorado Springs’ KVOR 740am talk show host Richard Randall was also one of the ten debate panelists. Local liberal “Steve” is a regular caller into Randall’s daily conservative show. On air, Randall invited Steve to attend the debate, offering him a paid ticket at the door. The next morning, Steve called into Randall’s show to share his insights on the debate. He had some interesting feedback, specifically about my speech. Here’s some of what Steve said: “…her speech reminded me of Sinclair Lewis’s book ‘It Can’t Happen Here’…and it talked about how fascism takes over America because during her speech she continually said that the left was the evil part of America. And that the left hates America, and that only the right loves the Constitution or freedom. That is very dangerous…Fortunately the rest of the thing was not even close to as hateful as her speech, and all the candidates were fairly moderate…But it was not good for America the type of thing she was saying…what she said is that the left does not love the Constitution; the left does not love freedom.” So my words were, “hateful…very dangerous…not good for America.” Hmmm…think Steve felt a bit uneasy? To his credit, I sincerely applaud and thank Steve for attending. I think I understand his anxiety. As a liberal, he willingly entered a sold-out, standing-room only, conservative event. It was packed full of 1,200 energized, passionate, freedom-loving Americans ready to take effective action. For the record, this was not an event funded or coordinated by an established organization. It was organized completely by the people (and only a handful at that), of the people, and for the people. In my speech, I pointed out that there are some who continually try to find a center of gravity for the force empowering the room that evening. They want to box and label it in hopes of managing, controlling, or even destroying it. But the profound truth is that no center of gravity exists. This is a movement of ordinary (or should I say extraordinary?) Americans, driven and fueled by that inner spark of freedom and liberty burning within every human heart. I posed the question, “Can freedom be boxed?” Answer that and you have an understanding of this movement. The
real center of gravity is the United States Constitution, and the principles held by our Founding Fathers that shaped it. If the spirit that went into our nation’s founding can’t be smothered or boxed, then neither can the momentum propelling today’s freedom revival. I stated the goal clearly: Coloradans are starting an avalanche for freedom that will wipe out the liberal agenda, both in our state and nationwide. I made it clear we won’t let anyone or anything get in our way. My main call to action: keep our eyes on the ball, and win the prize for freedom. Based on the crowd’s response, my words echoed their sentiments. It was clear that conservatives are on the offensive. Just as a football team must play tenaciously and stay focused on the ball to win, conservatives must stay a team whose vision is focused on the prize for freedom. This season’s winning team will determine freedom’s destiny in America. Once lost, freedom may never again be found. That was the gist of my speech, now back to Steve. He experienced something historical firsthand,—the likes of which I haven’t seen in my lifetime. It was definitely a powerful testimony to what ordinary, freedom-loving Americans can achieve. Steve put himself in the midst of something that can’t be grasped, boxed or stopped. The event was a huge success, and it was powerful! No wonder Steve was uneasy. His reaction is understandable. Without a proper understanding of what it really took to birth this nation, and to someone who holds a “progressive” view of the world, it’s easy to imagine why Steve perceived his experience as dangerous. He and his progressive friends can no longer hack freedom on the chopping block, sight unseen. The spirit of America is awake, energized, and mobilized to defend her. Steve, my “dangerous” words should threaten your progressive vision of America. They are simply a reflection of the momentum you experienced in the room that evening. I’m glad you attended the debate, and I personally welcome you to future freedom-loving events. I would like to believe that you are open to “see the light” as you meet more Americans in this movement. Now you know you can’t stop the avalanche called freedom. To see both the transcript of Randall’s on-air conversation with Steve and a video of my entire speech online, go to www. Mom4Freedom.com and click on the entry “Hateful…Dangerous…Not Good for America.”
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Lynda Jones, Senior Staff Writer Council Wrestles PILT Discrepancies Amidst confusion about procedures the Colorado Springs City Council considered a general fund write-off of $3,935,333 and agreed to write off $794,262 of that amount. The issue of how to handle the other $3,141,071 remained unsolved at the end of the March 9 meeting. The nearly $4 million figure is the result of a discrepancy in how Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) and the city auditor calculated CSU’s 2008 and 2009 Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT). The discrepancy was not brought to the city council’s attention until last June. The city auditor’s findings were completed in December. The city auditor reported then that the volumetric rate used by CSU and included in its rates should have been adjusted along with base rates, in accordance with Resolution 205-00. If CSU had made payments with the adjusted rates, they would have paid $27,704,554 in 2009 and $26,551,768 in 2008. Instead, CSU paid $24,563,483 in PILT to the city’s general fund in 2009 (subject to final audit adjustments) and $25,757,505 in 2008. Council members agreed to write off the 2008 discrepancy, but not the 2009 discrepancy. Vice Mayor Larry Small said both parties (CSU and City of Colorado Springs) are the city, and the matter at most would be an inter-department transfer in the private sector. “This isn’t our problem as a council. This is not a policy problem. This is a management problem,” Small said, “I’d just as soon management fix their own problems.” CSU officials said if the city council requires CSU to pay the disputed PILT amounts, they would ultimately have to raise electric and gas rates. Mayor Lionel Rivera stated CSU would need to reduce their operating costs, not raise residential rates. Councilmember Jan Martin expressed frustration that the CEO for CSU and the city manager did not bring this to the council sooner. She said the situation exemplifies the problem of city council also serving as board members for CSU. The resolution to write off the 2009 PILT discrepancy failed with a 4-5 vote. Council Members Martin, Purvis, Herpin and Paige voted for the measure. Mayor Rivera, Vice Mayor Small, and Council Members Glenn, Gallagher and Hente voted against the measure. The city manager was absent from this meeting.
Tight Purse Strings Threaten CSFD Morale It was a narrow miss, but no firefighters lost their jobs to the 2010 Colorado Springs budget cuts. However, the Colorado Springs Fire Department has not hired any new firefighters in the past three years. The 2011 city budget process is an alarm Chief Steven Cox and his team hear loud and clear. Cox prepared 22 firefighters to be laid off. That scenario did not come to fruition, but now there is a lot of fear among the ranks. Cox and Deputy Chief Rich Brown are both quick to describe CSFD firefighters as committed and dedicated. Still, Cox expresses concern about morale, emotional stamina, and stress among the firefighters. He worries about firefighters and the community being at risk in the future. “For 2010, no personnel or program reductions were made. A fund balance draw should permit keeping all PSST (Public Safety Sales Tax) funded personnel through 2010. However, in 2011, it is
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anticipated that budget reductions could result in the elimination of positions and a reduction in operating expenses,” Cox said. Since Jan. 1, 2008, 19 vacant firefighter positions and 11 vacant promoted uniformed positions were eliminated. Eight vacant paramedic positions were reclassified to firefighter and two vacant uniformed investigator positions were eliminated. Seven civilian positions were eliminated. Overtime costs were reduced by $200,000 and operating costs were reduced by $12,318. Regarding equipment, Cox said, “Right now we’re in good shape. We have excellent staff and maintenance.” Long before the city’s current budget crunch, the CSFD implemented a conservation program for its trucks. A new fire truck currently costs about $350,000. Cox explained that if the department spends $160,000 to rebuild an old truck, the old truck gains another 10 years of usable life. The CSFD currently has 20 fire stations, and that number is not expected to change in the foreseeable future. A reduction of $829,000 in the CSFD PSST budget was required after Jan. 1, 2009, according to figures supplied by Cox. The funds removed had been allocated to payments on Certificates of Participation (COPs) to build Fire Station 21 and rebuild Fire Station 1. Fire station 21 would serve the area developing east of Powers Boulevard and north of Stetson Hill Boulevard. “Effectively, these projects have been eliminated unless another funding source is found,” Cox reported. Original plans to remodel Fire Station 1 to improve air quality and make the building functional for today’s demands were scrapped. The age of the building made the remodel impractical. Now there are plans to incorporate the old building into the design of a new structure. However, current market conditions and the decline in PSST revenues has resulted in postponement of issuing COPs and constructing the station. The project is on hold until PSST revenues recover or another funding source is found.
City Council Codifies Issue 300 It was with a 6-3 vote that the Colorado Springs City Council passed an ordinance codifying Issue 300 in late February. The issue’s author, Douglas Bruce, argued against the ordinance. Council Members Sean Paige, Tom Gallagher, and Darryl Webb voted against the measure. Issue 300 was approved by voters last November. The issue consists of two sentences: “Excluding sales and use taxes forwarded from enterprise customers, all enterprise payments by the city shall phase out in eight or fewer equal yearly steps starting in January 2010, with all yearly savings passed on as reductions to each customer bill in dollar amounts as equal as possible. Hereafter, all loans, gifts, and subsidies between an enterprise and the city or another enterprise are prohibited.” A six and a half page ordinance emerged from the city attorney’s office. Ordinance 10 of chapter 14 of the city code is deemed essential to implementing the voter-mandated Issue 300 in a manner consistent with the city code, according to the city attorneys. Due to the complex nature of the matter, the City of Colorado Springs retained the legal counsel of Mark Grueskin, a Denver attorney who served as lead Colorado counsel for Obama’s campaign. Grueskin predicted the courts will find “this (Ordinance 10) is an appropriate way to breathe life into Issue 300.” CITY on page 8
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CITY continued from page 7 Bruce accused the city council of violating chapter 12-10d of the city code which says the council can’t repeal or amend any voter-approved ordinance without voter approval. Bruce promised he will go to court to obtain documents he requested but did not receive from the city attorney. Bruce said he is pleased that the city is taking steps to eliminate PILTs (payment in lieu of taxes). He also acknowledged that the city is eliminating the Stormwater Enterprise fees. Council Member Bernie Herpin said it makes common sense in these tight economic times for agencies and enterprises to share resources. Council Member Sean Paige opposes Ordinance 10, saying the interpretation from the city attorney’s office is more convoluted than the language of Issue 300. Paige said he believes the city should live with the language on the ballot of Issue 300 as it was approved by voters and work out the kinks along the way. Council Member Tom Gallagher said the city should adopt Issue 300. He agreed that the language of Issue 300 is not crystal clear. “But the fact of the matter is,” Gallagher said, “under our form of government, citizens have the right to petition government, and when citizens successfully petition government, they win, debate stops. The people have spoken.” Mayor Lionel Rivera supported passage of Ordinance 10 which codifies Issue 300, “The city attorney’s office has done their best to provide an interpretation of 300 that allows (us) to implement those parts that are initiated ordinances that we can, but at the same time protect the charter.”
Mayor Encourages Innovative Approaches While Facing Realities of Economic Times The most significant change Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera has seen in the city since his first election to the city council in 1997 is “the dramatic drop in revenue on a per capita basis.” This reduction of revenue has resulted in a cut-back of city services, the mayor said during an interview about the city’s financial condition. When asked what the biggest challenge faced by the city today is Rivera said, “We have to right-size the government to
fit the budget.” He said there are city services that are nice to have, such as parks and recreation, and there are services that are necessary for public safety, such as police and fire protection and roads. “We have to balance the two,” Rivera said. When asked how he believes the city council should approach this challenge, Rivera said, “The way we’re doing it.” The mayor thinks it is important to provide a different way of funding, such as forming partnerships with community non-profit and faith-based groups. One such group Rivera cited is the Friends of the Pioneers Museum. Rivera said by the end of the year, the Pioneers Museum should be selfsufficient. Concerning across-the-board pay cuts for city employees, the mayor said, “I think we have to look at it a little bit smarter than that.” Rivera is looking at police and firefighter pension plans, which would be a form of pay cut. About $6 million dollars would be saved if the police and fire departments move into the statemanaged Public Employees Retirement Account (PERA), Rivera said. Pension plans for the police and fire departments are expensive, the mayor said. The employer contribution for police officers is up to 21 percent of their salaries and the contribution for members of the fire department is slightly more than 13 percent. “My preference (instead of across the board pay cuts) would be to fix that,” said Rivera. Rivera explained that City of Colorado Springs employees, except the police officers and firefighters, already receive retirement benefits through PERA. Employers generally contribute a smaller percentage of employee wages to PERA than what Colorado Springs contributes to police and firefighter pension accounts. With regards to the city’s hefty investment in the Olympic Training Center, while the city is laying people off and making other budget cuts, the mayor believes the investment is necessary to protect the economic future of Colorado Springs. He said economic studies indicate $3.4 million per year in sales taxes should be generated by the OTC. Rivera said that without the OTC, he believes the city budget would take a much bigger hit. What direction does the mayor think the city should take toward privatizing certain enterprises, such as the cemeteries and golf courses? “It really would not CITY on page 10
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Are You Being Heard? Compiled by Mary Coran, Contributing Writer
Question: Do you think you pay enough taxes? Is our tax money to the federal government going to good use? If the rich pay more taxes, will that help everyone? Kim Barker: We absolutely pay too much. Not all of the
federal government’s use of our tax money is necessarily poorly allocated, but we shouldn’t be funding abortion or anything that is against constitutional law. If it’s for good causes that would promote life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then that’s the way it should be. Our taxes should not be sent to the National Endowment of the Arts or other waste like the Bridge to Nowhere and other pork projects. If the rich pay more in taxes, that wouldn’t help anyone. Everyone should abide by the same percentage of taxing, not punish people making more money. The rich pay more taxes than everyone else already. They shouldn’t have to support the people who don’t. David Deheve: I think I pay more than enough, and
I do not think our money is managed properly. Right now, our tax money is not being put to good use. The federal government is using our tax money to infringe on the sovereign rights of the states by meddling in affairs they shouldn’t. The number one thing the federal government should be doing is keeping our land safe. Taxing the rich won’t help everyone. It removes the incentive for people to work harder and better themselves. You create a “why bother?” attitude when you penalize people for making more money. Thank God people are standing up forming Tea Parties. They’re called radical but they’re getting the truth out. Becky Sarpy: Yeah, I’m sure we pay more than we
should pay in taxes. No, our tax money is not being put to good use at this moment. Everyone has their little pork projects that they slip in. Unfortunately, it’s out of control. I’m glad some people are getting help, but here we are, hardworking people having to pay for everything. Mike Keiley: In general, yes, we do pay enough taxes.
Tax money supports a lot of public functions. Some things you cannot do without. Just look at Copenhagen. $4,400 a night to send one congressman, and we sent 160? Spending $200 a night is reasonable, but $4,400 is way too much. There are good uses but there are abuses as well. I’m not against taxes, and I’m not against government. There needs to be an upper limit to close the gap between what the rich pay and what the poor pay. Donald Grubbs: I think we pay too much in taxes.
What’s been strange for me over the years is that as soon as our kids were gone out of the house, we haven’t gotten a tax refund since. We’re being taxed to death. I’m retired and still paying taxes! I think some of our tax money goes to good use like our military but there’s a lot of waste. I’ve seen it when I worked for the government. They can cut in a lot more places. Instead of looking at taxes, get the waste under control. Stop penalizing the wealthy. When we tax the wealthy, it just spreads their money around. They worked hard and earned it. They chose to make a living for themselves, others did not. Mike and Christine Carbajal: Yes, we
definitely pay enough taxes. No, we don’t buy into the [line] that our tax money to the federal government going to good use. We shouldn’t have to support people that don’t want to do anything. We would really like the taxes to go where they are most needed, and that’s the school system. I work in the school system and they cut our budget by over three million! There is so much waste with our tax money. Less for special interests and more for the education system.
Local Groups and Organizations Get involved and BE the difference! Compiled by Lana Fore-Warkocz, Publisher
Can I make a difference? What can I do? How can I get involved? Which organization fits me best? These are the questions we hear most often from our readers, so we want to make sure it’s clearly answered online and in every issue. What follows is a partial list of liberty-loving groups and organizations in our area; a complete list is available at www.theconstitutionalisttoday.com, and www.libertyevents.org offers a calendar of upcoming events. Sign up, step up, speak up! Americans for Prosperity, Colorado Chapter firstname.lastname@example.org • www.americansforprosperity.org • 719-494-0797 Americans for Prosperity™ (AFP) is an organization of grassroots leaders committed to educating, engaging and mobilizing citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state and federal levels. The grassroots members of AFP advocate for public policies that champion the principles of entrepreneurship and fiscal and regulatory restraint. Clear the Bench Colorado email@example.com • www.clearthebenchcolorado.org Clear The Bench Colorado is a grassroots movement to hold Colorado’s Supreme Court justices accountable to the Colorado Constitution and to the people of Colorado. The four justices subject to retention by voters in the 2010 election, Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey, Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, and Nancy Rice, have repeatedly violated their oath to uphold our Constitution and the rights of the citizens of Colorado in favor of imposing their partisan politcal will. Colorado can do better—NEEDS better—and it is time for them to go. Coalition for a Conservative Majority firstname.lastname@example.org • www.ccm-cos.com • 719-351-6057 Meets the first Tuesday of every month at Cordera Community Center, 11894 Grand Lawn Cir., Colorado Springs. (As meetings are subject to change, please visit our website for the latest schedule.) The word “conservative” was purposely, and in no uncertain terms, incorporated into our organization’s name to avoid any ambiguity or uncertainty as to the values and foundation that drive us. We unapologetically espouse the nation-shaping values embodied in the Constitution and detailed by the philosophies of our Founding Fathers. 9-12 Pikes Peak Patriots email@example.com • www.freeandunited.com Meets every month on the 4th Saturday, 9am-11am at the Stetson Hills Police Station, and the 2nd Wednesday, 6:30pm at CSCS auditorium. The Colorado District 5 9-12 Project/We Surround Them group is an organization for like-minded Americans who believe in 9 principles and 12 values as they apply to our government and in our own lives. In conjunction with national, state, and local 9-12 Project groups, we provide members with the platform and resources to pursue any project or cause of their choosing: from education and discussion to community activities or action. Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition firstname.lastname@example.org • www.ppfc.org • 719-596-3921 Meets the second Thursday of each month, 7pm at VFW Post 4051, 430 E. Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs. A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. —Amendment II, US Constitution Liberty on the Rocks, Colorado Springs Chapter email@example.com • www.libertyontherocks.org • 719-237-4598 Meets the second and 4th Tuesdays of the month at The Dublin House, 1850 Dominion Way, Colorado Springs. Tavern-style politics in the tradition of our Founding Fathers! Liberty on the Rocks is a grass-roots organization whose goal is to provide a social environment to unite liberty-minded individuals not only with one another, but also with the freedom-based organizations in their local communities. This social environment provides a place for individuals to meet and network with
each other, gain and disseminate knowledge on the importance of limited government, free markets and individual rights and to learn more about what is going on in their local communities to enhance individual freedoms. El Paso Republican Headquarters firstname.lastname@example.org • www.gopelpaso.com • 719-578-0022 The Republican Party is the party of the open door, the party of liberty, the party of equality of opportunity for all and favoritism for none. It is the more socially conservative and economically libertarian of the two major parties, generally supporting lower taxes, limited government and more economic freedom. Pikes Peak Young Professional Republicans email@example.com • www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=57376722019 • 719-213-3428 Meets fourth Thursday of every month at GOP Headquarters, 205 Sutton Lane, Colorado Springs. Network with other young professionals with the same goals and aspirations. Ages 20-40, please come and join us! Sunrise Republican Women firstname.lastname@example.org • www.coloradosrw.com • 719-598-1305 Meets third Saturday of each month at Falcon police station. All ages are welcome! We promote an informed public through political education and activity, and increase the effectiveness of women for the causes of good government. We support Republican objectives and policies and work for the election of Republican nominees Colorado Springs Republican Women email@example.com • 719-260-0283 Meets the third Tuesday of each month at GOP Headquarters, 205 Sutton Lane, Colorado Springs. This group wants to educate and inform all Americans about the principles and values in which make the Republican Party what it is. Please join us as we move ahead in 2010 for liberty and freedom! Men are welcome as associate members. UCCS College Republicans 719-251-7765 Teller Tea Party firstname.lastname@example.org • www.tellerteaparty.com The Teller Tea Party is a local movement of non-partisan American patriots who uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. We are dedicated to protecting FREEDOM for all, promoting TRUTH, limiting taxes and government, and preserving our INALIENABLE RIGHTS. Southern Colorado Tea Party www.socoteaparty.com We the People of the Southern Colorado Tea Party are committed in restoring our state and our federal Constitutions to our Founders’ original intent. We will be diligent in our restoration and preservation of our freedom. We will hold our elected officials accountable to their oath of office. El Paso County Tea Party email@example.com • www.elpasocountyteaparty.com • 719-260-7776 Join us April 15th, 11am at Acacia Park, corner of Bijou and Tejon. Bring your flags, signs and neighbors. Let’s show those in Washington that WE THE PEOPLE want our freedom restored! Pikes Peak Economics Club www.pikespeakeconomicsclub.com Meets the first Tuesday of each month at the Vanguard School Library, 1605D South Corona Ave, Colorado Springs. Our mission is educational: to promote economic and civic literacy. It is our contention that you cannot have a controlled economy and maintain a free society.
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residents to take their mowers to the parks and do the maintenance themselves. Rivera clarified the situation, saying the city is mowing less frequently but still mowing. “We’re not different than any other city across the country, and I think we’re handling it (economic downturn and subsequent loss of revenue) much better,” the mayor said.
Proposed Aviation Standards May Cause Flight of Local Businesses Proposed new Minimum Standards for General Aviation at the Colorado Springs Airport (COS) may permanently ground some aviation businesses, or send them flying out of town. Ironically, John McGinley, assistant aviation director at
COS, said one goal of the proposed standards is to “create a level playing field for all aeronautical service providers.” These proposed standards go beyond general safety and insurance issues. The city proposes hours of operation, staffing requirements, and specific measurements for public waiting areas and office space. They also stipulate a minimum number of aircraft in service. Will Sanders of Colorado Vertical said he has no problem with safety and insurance compliance. However, he said other requirements in the proposed standards are business decisions for business owners, not the government. Small aviation businesses would love to have administrative personnel on duty from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., six days a week, and two full-time flight instructors available for the same
Photo by Lynda Jones
CITY continued from page 8 help,” Rivera said, “because these entities do not receive any general fund or tax subsidies.” He explained they are run independently of the city’s general fund, and, until recently, were paying only a little into the fund. Rivera described the Memorial Hospital system as an extremely valuable asset owned by the city’s citizens. There is a newly appointed 11-member commission exploring the viability of alternative ownership options for the system. Any change of ownership would require voter approval, Rivera said. The mayor also addressed $2.1 million spent in outside legal counsel last year. He said the money was not paid to one particular attorney. Attorneys with a variety of backgrounds (e.g. medical, gas) were hired according to their specialties to assist the two city attorneys as needed. Rivera confirmed that two groups of business professionals are delving into the financial books of the city. However, no staff time or financial resources are allocated for these independent investigations. One group consists of certified public accountants from the Biggs-Kofford firm (Jerry Biggs and Karl Kofford of Colorado Springs) and is funded by the Nor’wood Development Company (David Jenkins, CEO). The second group consists of chief executive officers organized by Steve Bartolin, CEO of the Broadmoor Resorts. Rivera said he and the city council are interested in learning about any inefficiency these two groups may find. A misreported change of services recently drew the attention of National Public Radio. Rivera asked an NPR representative why the station was interested in Colorado Springs. The reply was “the mowers.” According to Rivera, someone at NPR read a newspaper story that claimed the city is encouraging Colorado Springs
Proposed Minimum Standards for General Aviation has Mike Short concerned about the prospect of government interference (beyond safety and security issues) in his business. Short is director of operations for Colorado Vertical, a Colorado Springs-based business which specializes in helicopter tours and flight instruction.
Firefighters Battle Various Fires “Providing the highest quality problem solving and emergency service to our community since 1894,” is the mission statement of the Colorado Springs Fire Department. It is a mission the CSFD takes seriously. In spite of tight budget purse strings, the CSFD firefighters serve the City of Colorado Springs in a myriad of ways. Evidence of the Colorado Springs Fire Department’s impact on citizens with cardiac emergencies was apparent at the annual Celebration of Life in February (American Heart Month). Deputy Chief Rich Brown said 11 of approximately 22 cardiac arrest survivors attended the event and met the firefighters who saved their lives in the past year. The key to their survival is a system called the “Chain of Survival.”
10 | The Constitutionalist Today
times, as specified in the proposed minimum standards. However, it is just not economically feasible, he said. In addition to the sluggish economy, aviation business has been hurt by security regulations imposed after 9-11. Sanders said his company likes its current location, but is already considering a move to Meadowlake Airport. Such action, he said, “Would have an economic impact on the Jet Center (we rent and buy fuel from them) and the city revenue since it (Meadowlake) is outside the city limits,” Sanders said. “We will do all we can to stay in the Jet Center.” Local aviators questioned why the city is creating this document. As an airport that receives federal grant funds, COS must comply with certain federal conditions. One such grant COS received was $6,740,778 in Economic Recovery Funds for rehabilitation of taxiways in 2009. McGinley cited recommendations in FAA Advisory Circulars as a source. The recommendations are established to provide baseline requirements for running an airport, he said. FAA AC 150/5190-7 addresses the development of minimum standards. The FAA instructs sponsors (the city) to make practical considerations, and to avoid economic discrimination. The first draft of the COS minimum standards is posted on the city’s website. Public comment is invited until April 2. The city will incorporate comments from the initial review period into the document and post it on the COS website, www.flycos.com, for an additional period of two weeks for a final round of comments. The Minimum Standards for General Aviation is not an issue for a City Council vote. The final approval, McGinley said, will come from Director of Aviation, Mark Earle.
The Chain of Survival involves early activation of the 9-1-1 system, quick execution of bystander CPR, early defibrillation, and advanced life support (ALS) care. The advanced life support care procedures firefighters/paramedics are prepared to extend includes intubation, IVs, and cardiac drugs. The ALS equipment and trained Emergency Medical Technicians/Paramedics are why firefighters answer medical emergency calls as well as fires. One of the 2009 ALS survivors is a middle school teacher in Harrison School District 2. She experienced a sudden cardiac arrest at the YMCA. The YMCA staff acted promptly. The fire crew from CSFD Engine 1 arrived on the scene in less than four minutes from the time the dispatcher received the 9-1-1 call. The Chain of Survival was successful and the teacher is back at school. CITY on page 11
9-12 Project Fights to Re-Found America
Don Rodgers, Featured Writer
We just celebrated the first anniversary of the 9-12 Project. On March 16, 2009 millions of people from all across the nation gathered in homes, theaters, and businesses as complete strangers to hear what we could do to begin to Re-found America. In Colorado Springs, by the many hundreds, we came together in places across the community. Most of us were stunned as we had watched first hand, the near complete collapse of our nation’s values and principles. If we were honest, many of us thought there was nothing that could be done to stop it. On that day, I was in a hockey rink snack bar standing with 300 complete strangers. I watched as three men handed out Tea Party cards and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Without knowing it, we had just taken the first steps in securing America’s future. In various ways, millions of others around the country were taking those same first steps. Two weeks later on a beautiful Colorado Saturday morning, the 9-12 Project District 5 met for the first time with one hundred and twenty people packed into a local community room. Many who came were angry, wanting to fight back, but just not sure how. We knew we could lay responsibility at nobody’s feet but our own for the state our country was in. Nevertheless, many felt lost and were desperately looking for an answer. We didn’t know it, but the answer was right there in that conference room, in homes and meeting halls all across the country. The answer was in us. Recently, I sat in a living room with eight American Patriots who had come together to give thanks to God and to pray for our country. It made me see clearly
how lucky I am to be given the opportunity to be in this movement. To a stranger, there was nothing outwardly special about any of those there, but real power was on display. It made me think of every 9-12er, members of like-minded groups and individuals who have dedicated themselves to restoring freedom. These are people with real lives and real problems who have put that all aside to do what they can for each other and America. How far has the 9-12 movement come in one year? In that time, we have seen the entire Progressive agenda in America nearly grind to a halt. From exposing a health care scheme designed to control every aspect of our lives to the complete discrediting of the climate change hoax, your efforts have impacted America. While they did finally ram through health care, it had to be done with bribery and coercion that all of America saw as a corrupt process on full display. In Colorado alone, we have seen 9-12 groups grow to twelve chapters from Fort Collins to Grand Junction. We have seen the partnership of like-minded groups coming together and grow in power under the banner of freedom. We have seen The Constitutionalist Today grow from an idea to a powerful vehicle to carry the voice for conservative values to many tens of thousands. We have come very far in one year. The fight is not over and in many ways it has just begun, but we are no longer lost or wondering what we can do. We are on the offensive. America is waking up and “we the people” have made it so.
CITY continued from page 10 Brown beamed as he told how the Chain of Survival saved one of CSFD’s own, Greg Schawe. Schawe was rescued by the crew from Engine 6 in 2007. In 2009, Schawe was a link in the Chain of Survival for another Colorado Springs citizen, saving that person’s life. A few other services CSFD provides include rock rescue at Garden of the Gods and Rock Ledge Ranch, SCUBA (rescue and body search), Specialized Urban Wildfire teams, and Tactical Emergency Medical Units. Brown said the Specialized Urban Wildfire teams are important because Colorado Springs is at risk for the types of wildfires that plague California. He said one cigarette tossed out on a dry July day, with certain wind conditions, could burn everything along the Front Range on the west side of I-25 from Cheyenne Mountain to the Air Force Academy (28,000 acres, 3,200 homes). The CSFD receives matching federal funds for the Specialized Urban Wildfire program. Brown indicated the threat of such a fire is a constant worry for CSFD firefighters who want to be prepared for any emergency. The average citizen may not know about the Tactical Emergency Medical Unit. Brown explained that anytime a police SWAT unit goes into a building, the Tactical Emergency Medical Unit goes in, too. Firefighters in the Tactical Medical Unit dress in ballistic vests and gear to
provide emergency medical support for anyone who gets shot during the event. A proactive service provided by the CSFD is checking smoke alarms. Firefighters check the smoke alarms in homes where they respond to medical emergencies. If there is no smoke alarm and if the family meets certain economic criteria, the firefighters install a smoke alarm. Brown said the smoke alarms installed by the CSFD are donated for that purpose. He said several fires were reported quickly at residences where CSFD had previously installed alarms, reducing fire damage and risk to residents. The CSFD is also planning to inspect apartment complexes throughout the city for code enforcement compliance. The Fallen Firefighters’ Wall of Honor in Memorial Park serves as a reminder of the dangers firefighters face each time they board a fire truck. The Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial is funded and maintained by current and former firefighters (IAFF Local 5). Lt. Mike Smaldino organizes a memorial service that is held on the third Saturday of September each year. This year, the service will be held on Sept. 11. Cox said, “It’s the commitment of the individual employees that makes this a great organization.”
The fight is not over and in many ways it has just begun, but we are no longer lost or wondering what we can do.
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Don Rodgers is a 9/12 District 5 Organizer for the Pikes Peak Region.
To see other ways the firefighters of Colorado Springs contribute to the community, go to: www.theconstitutionalisttoday.com/ff1 and http://www.iafflocal5.com.
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Colorado Springs Debate Draws Record Crowd
Brad Kerstetter, Senior Staff Writer It was standing room only as nearly 1,000 spectators packed the room at the Candidate Debate 2010 in Colorado Springs March 9 at the Mr. Biggs Event Center. The political races heated up with the approach of the Republican caucuses and the gloves came off. The debate focused on the U.S. senatorial, Colorado gubernatorial and Colorado state treasurer races. The event kicked off with a speech from Michelle Morin, from Coalition for a Conservative Majority (CCM) Colorado. “I know, some of [the candidates] may not embrace every issue that you embrace, or they may not embrace issues the way you want them to, but I guarantee you this…every candidate here loves freedom,” she said. The panelists represented various conservative grass roots organizations and local talk show hosts. Mike Holler, author of The Constitution Made Easy, emceed the event. “From this field of candidates will emerge three champions. We will fight to get you into office, and then hold you accountable,” he said. The senatorial candidates debated first. They included Ken Buck, Jane Norton, Cleve Tidwell, Tom Wiens and Steve Barton. Question from the senatorial debate covered health care, immigration, national security, federal program cuts and earmarks. When speaking about illegal immigration, Wiens pointed out the importance of secure borders. “We cannot allow selective enforcement of law in the constitution,” he said. Buck fielded a question on cutting unconstitutional government programs. “The idea that the federal government
12 | The Constitutionalist Today
should be running health care or [Social Security] is fundamentally against what I believe, which is that the private sector runs programs like that far better,” he said. A question on national defense led Barton to point out, “National defense needs to be the number one concern of the federal government…” When the subject of earmarks came up, Norton said, “I am proud to say that I was the first candidate running for the senate that signed the no earmarks pledge. I will not seek or support any earmarks.” Candidates were also asked to differentiate themselves from the other opponents. Tidwell said, “…I am tired of watching [politicians] take away our money and send it to Washington. It is time they let us keep it and it put it in our pockets and do the things we need to do on a local basis and get government out of our lives.” No punches were held in the Colorado Treasurer’s race between J.J. Ament and Ali Hasan. Ament pointed out that he would be the first treasurer in more than 40 years to have a professional financial background. “I respect my opponent but his background is filmmaking,” Ament said. Hasan fired back, “My opponent says he has experience advising the treasury. This is the roster of the treasury as of a year ago, and his name is not on it.” The third candidate for state treasurer, Walker Stapleton, was not able to attend so he sent a surrogate. The gubernatorial debate between Dan Maes and Scott McInnis was the headliner of the evening. Maes’ plan to boost the economy was to repeal regula-
City Hall Sausage Factory
Doug Bruce, Guest Writer
German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck once joked, “Laws are like sausages; it is better not to see them being made.” That warning also applies to the Colorado Springs City Council wienies. November’s Issue 300 ended the illegal storm water tax and phased out secret utility taxes and other payments to the city. The council first claimed 300 did not apply to the storm water tax. Public uproar followed. The council offered to end the tax in 2017, despite its plain statement that enterprise gifts to the city (paying city bills and repairing city property) were “Hereafter...prohibited “ (See CityReforms.com). The council found one dictionary that defined “hereafter” as “some day.” I replied for the voters who passed it, giving 117 definitions of “hereafter,” as an adverb meaning “from now on; immediately.” I cited two legal dictionaries, 19 other dictionaries, 66 uses in state laws, six in the charter, and 24 in the state Constitution. The council retreated, saying, “How about two years and six weeks?” I again said, “No.” They finally ended the rain tax six weeks after 300 took effect (November 16). They still wrongly assert a right to collect back taxes and 2009 taxes after their repeal. So the city council kept the storm water enterprise alive. They violated the will of voters by giving $13 million in storm water funds to the city. They still use enterprise vehicles bought illegally. That money belongs to those who paid the illegal tax, because the enterprise can no longer make “gifts or subsidies” to the city. The council is slowly phasing out one illegal utility payment, as 300 requires. But they just passed an anti-Issue 300 law to cheat us out of about $10 million yearly. Their ordinance tries to override 300, though the charter says only voters may amend or repeal 300. With one specific exception, the first sentence of 300 says, “...all enterprise payments to the city shall phase out in eight or fewer equal years steps starting in January 2010...” The council says that is vague. They offer a multi-page substitute for the twosentence Issue 300. This latest evasion “inter-
prets” the phrase “all enterprise payments” to mean “some enterprise payments.” The city council’s goal is to continue to control politically operations of enterprises, defined by the charter and constitution as “government-owned businesses.” A business picks its own lawyer, auditor, and accountant, and operates like a business. Here, the city forces its puppets to fork over $10 million yearly for incompetent city “services.” The city auditor “forgot” $4 million due the city, yet an enterprise must use his services? The city attorney—the highest paid in the state (over twice the governor’s salary)— bungled the illegal $53+ million Olympics handout and debt, the illegal storm water and street light enterprises, the failed criminal prosecution of me for collecting petition signatures on 300 and enterprises. Why must we hire her for more bad advice? Colorado Springs Utilities pays $106,000 for a cop in its customer service lobby, but they can’t hire a security guard instead for $26,000? All these payments are buried in your enterprise bills. The money enters the city general fund and becomes taxes, not fees, just like the storm water “fee” and secret utility “fee.” They are taxes because they are diverted from an individual benefit, like voluntary utility consumption charges, to general benefits, like public works. Issue 300 says those payments must phase out in eight or fewer years, “with all yearly savings passed on as reductions to each customer bill.” So the council cheats us of $10 million in yearly savings on enterprise bills, like your utility bills. What can you do? Tell the council what you think of their sleazy and illegal tactics. Tell them their childish and punitive retaliation against voters will not intimidate you. Their $385 million budget can pay for park mowing, watering, and trash removal, among other visible service cuts designed to make you regret passing 300 and defeating 2-C. Douglas Bruce is a former county commissioner, state legislator, and the author of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) and Issue 300. Volunteer to help him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Paul D. deBerjeois
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tions and encourage the oil and gas industries to come back to Colorado. “Our job is to create an environment where the free-enterprise system thrives,” Maes said. McInnis explained his commitment to the Second Amendment, “Any attempt to dilute our Second Amendment rights will be vetoed…” Despite a few harsh words, the gubernatorial candidates kept the dialogue civil and shook hands at the end of their debates. Patrick Shaffner was one of the hundreds of spectators at the debates. “I thought Maes and Buck answered the
panel’s questions the most directly while other candidates skirted some of the questions, typical of most politicians,” he said. “That is really all we see now from Washington.” Another spectator, Donna Burkhead, knew before attending the debates where she stood on most of the candidates, but it gave her an opportunity to hear some of them for the first time. “I liked how Ken Buck answered the questions concisely yet thoroughly and from his heart. That is what I am looking for in a candidate,” Burkhead said.
Hometown Heroes WWII POW
Julie Ayers, Managing Editor
In 1936 James Fore was an 11-year-old “When we got there I couldn’t believe carefree boy flying solo over his parent’s my eyes! It was a slave labor camp where farm in Arkansas. He never could have people were being worked and starved imagined that in eight years he would be to death,” Fore said. “They made us strip flying bombing missions in World War II naked, shaved all the hair off our bodies and would become a German POW. and sprayed us with DDT to kill the lice. Fore was always We had to sleep outintrigued with airside and were fed one planes and flying. In bowl of watery soup 1942, at the tender a day. The ‘Beast of age of 17, he quit high Buchenwald’ (camp school and left his commandant’s wife) family farm near Little had dogs she would Rock to join the Army let loose on the prisAir Corps. By age 19 oners. I couldn’t beFore had his pilot’s wings. He was sent lieve what I saw there! I wanted to resign to England in April, 1944 to join the 91st from the human race.” Bomb Group, 1st Wing, 1st Division as a One day a Luftwaffe officer came to B17 bomber pilot. the camp and asked Fore if he was an AlDisaster struck Fore’s crew on their lied airman to which Fore replied, “Yes, 28th mission, July 8, 1944 over Dreux, sir.” The officer told Fore he didn’t belong France. “The Allies were there. Fore said, “No stuck and we were tryone belongs here.” ing to knock out about The airmen were 23,000 German tanks,” moved to a POW camp Fore said. “All of a sudat Stalag Luft 3. “The den another pilot radiLuftwaffe treated us oed me and said I had wonderful. The POW a hole in my left wing. camp was like being at My plane was on fire! a resort compared to We were fatally hit,” he Buchenwald. We were said. Fore told his crew able to shower, shave to bail out. He pulled and brush our teeth for out of formation then the first time in four abandoned the burnmonths.” ing plane. He landed in In January 1945 a field where a French just after Fore celebratfarmer was working ed his 20th birthday, nearby. The farmer sigthe POWs could hear James Fore with his pilot wings naled for him to run to the Russian guns nearat age 19 in 1944. the woods. He brought by. “The Russians were civilian clothes to Fore and hid him at his getting close so they had to move us. On mother’s house. The next day the Maquis January 27 they marched all 15,000 of us (French underto Nuremberg. It ground) collected was a two-week Fore and drove trip. We went him to their headpart of the way by quarters in Paris. train,” Fore said. “Twenty-six AlA few months lied airmen were later as the there in civilian American forces clothes waiting to approached the go back to England. I had a premonition POWs’ hopes rose. “On April 29, 1945 that something bad was going to hapGeneral Patton came riding into our pen,” he said. camp standing in a Jeep,” Fore said. “He On July 11 Fore’s premonition shook our hands. We were free!” came true. The men were loaded into James Fore, a true American patrucks and taken to Gestapo headquartriot, has published his memoirs in a ters where they were beaten and interbook called Tragedy and Triumph: A rogated. Fore was Pilot’s Life Through the youngest of all War and Peace. In the POWs, just 19 the summary Fore years old. He spent wrote, “The expefour weeks in soliriences of my life tary confinement. include growing up “I could hear them in the Great Deshooting people at pression and near all hours of the day. starvation in the I knew they were the Holocaust. …I reones who had tried member the povto help us,” he said. erty of my youth When the Aland wonder about lies advanced on the future of my Paris the Germans grandchildren. packed the men into We’ve bankrupted cattle car trains with our country with standing room only excessive spendand a bucket for a ing…” Fore goes toilet. “It was hot on to quote Senator and the stench was Fullbright, “In a deterrible! So many mocracy, dissent is James Fore, today, age 85 men were still sufan act of faith and fering from wounds. We spent five days to criticize one’s country is to do it a serand five nights on that train. It was a trip vice. Criticism, in short, is more than a of horror!” Fore said. The train stopped right, it’s an act of patriotism…My quesat the infamous Buchenwald concention is whether America can overcome tration camp near Weimar, Germany. the fatal arrogance of power.”
“… another pilot radioed me and said I had a hole in my left wing. My plane was on fire. We were fatally hit.”
“…I remember the poverty of my youth and wonder about the future of my grandchildren. We’ve bankrupted our country with excessive spending…”
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Entrepreneurs Succeed Despite Difficult Economy
Painting Done Right! The Difference is in the Details!
Chuck Graybill, Contributing Writer You might be thinking so what if small businesses fail? It doesn’t affect me. Wrong! Directly, or indirectly, small businesses affect employment. Small businesses arguably employ up to 70% of working Americans. Since America’s recovery from the Great Depression, the engine of our economy and capitalism is small business. Small businesses support your big business with purchases or sales, or support your government unit with tax dollars. How many of you have been downsized or laid off from one job or more? What to do? Should you file unemployment and use up your severance package while wandering aimlessly or searching with pinpoint accuracy for a new job? Should you use your unique skills to start your own business? Yes, you can become an entrepreneur and be your own boss. No, that option is not disappearing with your ability to get a conventional loan. In the previous issue I explained that experienced operators can’t get a loan. What makes you think you will get one without a proven track record? Even if experienced small business operators could get loans, most with whom I have spoken would not take on any more debt because they think city, state and federal political environments are too unstable and uncertain. So, if they won’t commit to expansion or even major program maintenance, they will continue to cut costs and jobs to the bare bones as they hunker down and shift into survival mode. They don’t want to do that but they cannot afford to do otherwise without customers. They cannot afford to look out for anyone other than their minimum key employees and themselves given all the current political uncertainty and lack of sales. Small businesses used much of their reserved capital in 2009 just to keep staff employed. Mother Hubbard’s cupboard is bare and so are your pockets. Again, you may be saying, but President Obama plans to stimulate small businesses with tax credits and incentives. He has tax credits ready to go and superfluous, lame gimmicks to convince you he
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understands and cares about small businesses but he doesn’t and his proposed stimulus tactics prove it. Small businesses need the equivalent of “butts in seats and dollars in their tills.” Tax credits and accelerated purchase write-offs are irrelevant if there are no profits. With no profit they have no capital. With no capital they cannot buy equipment and inventory, cannot advertise, cannot entertain prospective clients or to reward staff, and cannot offer benefits or match investments. But, they will still cut wages and employee hours out of necessity, trim insurance coverages, slice product lines and offerings and eliminate discretionary spending wherever possible. As they cut their offerings to try to stay alive they cut your options and ability to have products now. Even if you only shop at Wal-Mart you know you have fewer options than in previous years when they carried more and wider product lines. Yes, small businesses out of necessity will take part in a self-fulfilling prophecy. They will offer less because they must and you will get upset and shop elsewhere. So, as they cut to stay in business they cut themselves out of business and you out of choices. Eventually, as the quality and quantity of their offerings and your choices diminish, prices will inevitably rise and with less custom work, craftsman will disappear as products homogenize. As small businesses shrink themselves out of business, tax dollars plummet. Did you know that small businesses are the second largest contributors of tax dollars behind individuals? Big businesses pay very few taxes so taxes, fees, duties, tariffs or whatever the government calls their method of taking your money and making it theirs will have to rise. Yes, government is growing with Obama initiatives to grow jobs. Small business tax payments are falling faster than my hair in the shower. So, who do you think will have to pick up the tax paying slack? YOU! It will not be big business because their tax people are better than the government’s and there are far too many loopholes for them to hide behind.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. —Thomas Jefferson
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Army Vet Turns Entrepreneur
Julie Ayers, Managing Editor
Nic Gray was born to be an entrepreneur. At age 10 he started his own lawn mowing business complete with cards that read, “Be there in the nic of time!” Today, Gray has traded in his lawn mower for a global company that helps veterans, and others, become entrepreneurs. In March 2008 after serving four years in the Army and one tour in Iraq, Gray left military life behind and started NG Enterprises, a franchise brokerage firm. Gray said the transition to the civilian world was difficult because there’s very little help for veterans who want to start a business. “I had the idea for a program to assist them,” Gray said. His brainchild is Operation Warrior Entrepreneur (OWE), a branch of NG Enterprises formed in October 2009 that focuses on helping veterans become business owners through franchises. Veterans can get a 10-30% discount off the initial franchise fee through OWE if they qualify and meet all the criteria. “They have to be a good fit for a franchise,” Gray said. “We look at their skills, goals, finances, and hours they want to work then we determine what they are best qualified to do.” Gray said some veterans come to them with ideas for a business. “We ask them why they want to do that and make sure it matches their goals and interests. We bounce ideas then introduce them to a franchisor, educate them on the [franchise] process and help them with funding,” he said. Gray’s company works with 350 franchises in 45 different industries.
Over 1,000 veterans worldwide have approached OWE for assistance. “Our goal is to help everyone, not just vets, but my passion is veterans,” Gray said. Three veterans are starting franchises in Colorado Springs: Knockouts (hair cuts for men), Maui Wowi (Hawaiian coffee), and a senior home health care business. At a time when many small businesses are failing due to the economy Gray encourages people to become entrepreneurs and not rely on the government for help. “Our motto is ‘Recession is a choice. What do you choose?’ We need to get America back on track. America was built on entrepreneurship. We have declared a war on socialism, in a sense. We welcome the fight, the challenge!” NG Enterprises is also branching out into other areas, locally and globally. “We are opening an office in China, developing a software company and starting a business college that will be headquartered here and compete with University of Phoenix and DeVry Institute,” Gray said. Gray and his partners, Dan Stepel, Darrell Williams and Rick Robinson, have high aspirations for the future. “Our ultimate goal is to be a Fortune 500 company and be on all major continents with an office in every major city,” he said. “We’ll do that by empowering American citizens with entrepreneurship.”
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Colorado Caucus 2010 A Chance to Catalyze Change Courtney Stuard, Contributing Writer On Colorado caucus night, March 16, registered voters reported to their respective venues across the state. I visited eight precincts in Colorado Springs to determine the trend. The results: low turnout. Colorado citizens have a chance to participate in caucuses, an opportunity few other U. S. citizens receive. The caucus provides a chance to directly contribute to the delegation of individuals who will represent the voice of the people. Overall, in precincts across Colorado voters did show up, but the demographic demonstrated the same trend: males over 50 years. According to Colorado State University student, Jamal Kamandy, in the college town of Fort Collins more than 50 voters attended, but only one young voter came to the caucus held closest to the CSU campus. As a young, ideological college student, I envision the caucus as a patriotic demonstration of the elements of government that make the United States of America unique. The citizens in attendance predominantly represented a generation three to four decades older than me. I saw one person within a decade of my age group. Why do so few registered voters participate in this form of democracy and where are the young people? The Republican headquarters of El Paso County anticipated a high turnout based on the number of calls received during the day. However, Lisa Czelatdko, precinct chairperson district 219,
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expressed disappointment in the low attendance. Perhaps relocation of precincts caused low turnouts. Attorney General John Suthers says, “In politics, like anything else, the world belongs to those who show up.” Suthers advocates the importance of attendance to elect delegates to represent the voice of their precinct for the county and state assembly. The caucus forecasts which candidate owns voter support. The results of caucus 2010 straw polls show Scott McInnis leading the race for nomination as the Republican candidate for Colorado governor with over 60 percent of the votes. According to the GOP of Colorado, Republican candidate Ken Buck leads Jane Norton by a mere 0.12 percent. Denver mayor, John Hickenlooper, leads uncontested as the Democratic nomination for Colorado governor. Andrew Romanoff leads the Democratic polls with over 50 percent of the votes for Senate candidate over incumbent Michael Bennet. If “we the people” want to catalyze change and determine our government’s future, we must make the effort to participate in opportunities like the caucus. Young people of Colorado, attend and be heard! I am a Colorado State University journalism and political science student seeking to motivate young citizens to participate in government.
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16 | The Constitutionalist Today
Just ask Randall & Rego!
The Dirty Dozen Tax Bills
Compiled by Cindy Lyons, Senior Staff Writer The effects of the Dirty Dozen Tax Bills are already being felt. Amazon will stop financial incentives to affiliates that sell its products in Colorado due to the method used to collect taxes on online sales. Rep. Amy Stephens said, ““When you pursue tax policy that punishes, this is an outcome of it.” TCT: Recently the Colorado state legislature passed what is called the “Dirty Dozen Tax Bills” aimed at increasing taxes on the poor and small business. What do you think will be the effect on small business? Richard: Well, first of all you called them tax increases. We’re not creating a tax, we are repealing the exemptions. The public says, “I had this money and now I don’t have this money.” If every time when we got a real paycheck we had to fill out a check to the federal or state governments, people would be livid about taxes in short order. I want taxes to be as small on every level as they can be and still provide enough funding to provide essential services such as national security or local safety. Jarred: When you talk about the “Dirty Dozen,” you’re talking about the “sin” taxes that seem to hurt the ones they are supposed to be helping. Taxing candy will not make the public stop eating candy. Democrats don’t actually want consumption to stop; they just want to be able to get the revenue from it. They don’t say, “We’re increasing taxes because we want more money.” They play games when they say, “Oh, it’s for the public good or we care so much we just want you to live healthier.” Why not be honest and say, “We’re hard up for cash and we’re raising taxes on goods.” Democrats know people don’t like taxes and calling it something different is so dishonest. Richard: It’s all so simple. You don’t need to increase taxes if you would cut back on spending. Jarred: Democrats use taxation as a net to protect their free spending. They actually generate less revenue than if they just cut taxes. The government generated more revenue under Ronald Reagan than Jimmy Carter. The economy rebounded; supply-side economics brought more revenue than from just raising taxes. If you cut taxes you generally cut them across the
board. Democrats don’t raise taxes across the board which is why they don’t generate revenue. They know it is unpopular so they do it piece meal. TCT: Politicians often threaten to cut essential services like police and firefighters in order to raise taxes. Could there be a separate fund so their pay is never in question? Richard: Yes, it could be a line item on a budget that would never be negotiable. But they want to be able to scare us and say that we are going to lose a particular service so they hold public safety over our heads. Jarred: The idea that you have something you can’t touch − like entitlement spending at the state or the federal level which is the ‘third rail,’ meaning if you touch it you will be zapped, i.e. Social Security or Medicaid—is absurd. You’re exactly right, Richard. They want it as political leverage. Richard: Democrats focus more on public welfare and they feel they can score more political points with that. You don’t get to any of these other arguments such as abortion, social issues, guns, jobs, etc., if you don’t have a free and well-defended country. Jarred: The biggest problem people have with taxes is that when they open their pay stub they see what went to Social Security or Medicaid. But when you look at FICA it’s like a general fund that you have no idea where the money went. What irritates people most is not having control over where their money goes. Richard: Government does a very poor job of explaining where the money goes and they are terrible on being accountable at every level in terms of how the money is spent. Jarred: I view it as an accountability issue not a spending issue. Look what happened a few months ago to the Ref C issue [in Colorado Springs] when they said, “Oh look we found four million dollars!” Richard: If you lost four million dollars, you would have a credibility issue. When it comes to taxes and ballot initiatives the public doesn’t trust government and we expect to be able to trust them. The Richard Randall show airs weekdays in Colorado Springs from 8:30am to 10:00am on KVOR radio, 740 AM. The Jarred Rego show airs Sundays in Colorado Springs from 9:00pm to 11:00pm on KVOR radio, 740 AM.
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Hours: M-F 8 am to 5 pm
to advertise your restaurant here, please call: 719.260.7776 tHe aIrPlane restaurant Our centerpiece is a Boeing KC-97 where passengers can eat. Our menu features burgers, pastas, salads, fresh fish and steaks. We also have a full bar. Located near the intersection of Fountain Blvd. and Powers Blvd. Just look for the plane! 570-7656
Gertrude’s Featuring nightly seafood & steak or game specials, Colorado rack of lamb, pastas, salads, homemade soups and much more! Fine dining at a reasonable price. Keep us in mind for your private party needs! 2625 West Colorado Ave, 471-0887
aunt nellIe’s Aunt Nellie’s uses the finest ingredients to create delicious products. We use real butter, pure vanilla, quality chocolate and natural ingredients like nuts and dried fruit. 5901 Delmonico Dr., 531-5170, www. auntnellie.com.
Heart of Jerusalem Authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Homemade Falafel, fresh lamb, chicken and beef Gyro & Baklava. Two locations: 718 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, 685-1325; 4587 Austin Bluffs, 685-9554, www. heartofjerusalem.com.
blaCk bear dIner Our founders’ concept sprang from a desire to bring home-style cooking and personal service back to the dining experience. Our entire menu is available to go, 314-3616. Located on the SE corner of Academy and Galley, 975-A N. Academy Blvd.
Jake and telly’s We offer an array of traditional and family recipes such as lamb dishes, casseroles and mezzedakias (appetizers) and world-class wines. Located in Old Colorado City, in 26th block of Colorado Ave. Hours: 11am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
blaCk forest bIson Direct from the ranch sales. All natural/organic, 100% grass fed bison meat, “Gourmet to Go” heat and eat bison dinners, award winning bison jerky, farm fresh eggs & local raw honey. 1234 E. Woodmen Rd., 488-3898, www.BlackForestBison.com
Joey’s PIZZa From pizza by the slice, specialty pizzas, calzones, stromboli, subs, salads and more, there will be a taste of New York in every bite. 1829 Briargate Blvd (Across from Chapel Hills Mall), 265-6922 lanna tHaI All dishes prepared with the fresh ingredients. Try the famous Pad Thai or Pa-nang curry. Best Thai beer selection in town. Located at 8810 N. Union in the Albertson’s Shopping Center in Briargate. Open Mon – Sat. Call for hours, 282-0474.
blaCkJaCk PIZZa PIZZA IS OUR PASSION! Four locations in Colorado Springs: Academy & Hancock; Centennial & Garden of the Gods; Kelly Johnson & Academy; Unitah & 19th. Visit our website www.blackjackpizza.com for coupons and hours. brook’s Custom Cakes I have over 10 years baking experience. I can help you celebrate something so simple yet so important like a birthday or something extravagant like a wedding! Call me at 533-0990 and let me help make your special occasion wonderful.
R E S TA U R A N T A N D P U B
tHe mason Jar American comfort food served in a casual Colorado lodge atmosphere with full service bar. Two locations: 2925 West Colorado Ave, 632-4820; 5905 Corporate Dr. and I-25 (Exit 148). Call for hours, 260-6555.
buffalo wIld wInGs Award-winning wings, 14 signature sauces, full bar, 39 HDTVs to watch your favorite sports, free wi-fi. Hours: Mon-Thur, 11am-1am; Fri & Sat, 11am- 2am; Sunday 11am- 12am, 7425 N. Academy Blvd., 594-WING
mCCabe’s taVern Traditional Irish pub with some of the best Irish fare in town. We broadcast soccer games from the MLS to the English Premier League on our big screen TVs, 520 South Tejon. Call for hours, 633-3300.
CaPtaIn d’s Come in and enjoy our delicious seasoned tilapia, flaky wild Alaskan salmon and classic 2-piece fish dinner. Sit down quality food at a price that won’t break the bank. Five locations in Southern Colorado. (See our ad on page 23.)
meadow muffIns We are famous for our hamburgers and chicken wings. The atmosphere is decorated with old movie artifacts with many items from Gone with the Wind, Superman, fans from Casablanca and many more. 2432 West Colorado Ave., 633-0583
CasPIan Café Step through the entrance of Caspian Café and be transported to an exotic land where a variety of beautifully prepared and incredibly delicious culinary creations tantalize your senses. East of I-25, south of Garden of the Gods Rd., 4375 Sinton Rd., 528-1155.
noCon’s GelatorIa Italian Gelato is a healthy treat! Our fruit flavors are gluten and lactose free and our cream based flavors are gluten free. Located at 8816 N. Union Blvd, 282-3135. Open Monday-Saturday, Noon to 8pm.
Coffee and tea Zone The best in coffee, bubble tea, pink berry frozen yogurt, smoothie’s, ice cream, free wi-fi. Try our Internet Café with 4-hi tech computers. Three locations: Rockrimmon/Delmonico (599-8841), Voyager Pkwy (488-8893) and downtown on Tejon (632-3887).
olIVer’s delICatessen This cozy neighborhood deli located in the Rockrimmon area is the place to be anytime Monday through Saturday for breakfast and lunch. 6602-A Delmonico Dr., Hours: M-F 6am-4pm and Sat., 8am-2pm, 599-9411
CoPPer Creek Coffee Your conservative coffee shop with free Wi-Fi! Home of the “Palin Mocha” and the “Butter Rumsfeld.” We serve baked muffins, smoothies, pastries, and breakfast “Breggos.” 3315 W. Carefree Cir. Hours: MonFri 7am-6pm, Sat 7am-2pm, 597-4189
ParaVICInI’s Paravicini’s Italian Bistro offers hearty Italian favorites along with Chef Franco Pisani’s creative specialties. Paravicini translates to “for the neighborhood.” Prices are reasonable, portions are large. 2802 W. Colorado Ave,.471-8200
dat’s ItalIan! Family recipe cuisine that’s been passed down four generations. You’ll enjoy delicious affordable meals with a warm and friendly atmosphere. Located at 2514 West Colorado Avenue, Old Colorado City. Call for hours, 632-3287.
Patsy’s CandIes We believe the best confections start with the best ingredients: real butter, pure chocolate, real cream, no additives, or preservatives. Most candied popcorn is made with burnt sugar. Patsy’s is made with pure butterscotch. 1540 S 21st Street, 633-7215
erIC’s monument GrIlle Our casual American menu offers flavorful food cooked to order in a timely manner at a reasonable price. Enjoy murals of Colorado while you eat. We offer an extensive kids’ menu. 1455 Cipriani Loop, Monument, 594-4300
PIZZa rustICa Authentic Neapolitan pizzeria in Old Colorado City. Superb salads, antipasti, and wood-fired pizzas with unique wines and brews. Local farm produce year-round and house-made mozzarella. 2527 West Colorado Ave, 632-8121
extreme PIZZa Handmade the way it should be: fresh cut vegetables – not canned, dough made in our store – not frozen. We deliver honestly good tasting pizza loaded with toppings. Delivery, pickup, or dine in. 7340 N. Academy Blvd. For more info: Extremepizza.com, 522-1515 faIrway GrIll & Pub Menu includes burgers and guilt-free fries, stacks, wraps, soups, salads, pizza and more! Our food is always fresh, never fried. Open 7 days a week. Sand Creek Golf Course, 6865 Galley Road. Call for hours: 597-5489. fIx-a-feast We prepare quality “Take & Bake” Meals. Just call ahead and we will have them ready for you. ALL NATURAL meats, fish & poultry, amazing DELI and CATERING for all your office/private party needs. 5901 Delmonico Drive, 531-5170. frankIe’s sPorts bar & GrIll This casual neighborhood sports tavern and grill offers delicious food, good service, big screens & pool tables. Two locations: Powers & Galley in Colorado Springs, 574-4881; Woodman & Meridian in Falcon 4958707, www.FrankiesBarGrill.com front ranGe bbQ Southern-style slow smoked BBQ & home cooked meals from scratch. Two locations: 2330 W. Colorado, 632-2596; 4935 Templeton Gap Rd., 598-8895. Visit our website for menus, catering, live music & events schedule: WWW.FRBBQ.COM
maGGIe mae’s restaurant and Pub Homemade from scratch! Biscuits and gravy, mouth-watering soups, hand-cut steaks and prime rib, hand-formed burgers, hot beef sandwiches, awesome French dips, and the best green chili this side of heaven. 2405 Pikes Peak Ave., Call for hours: 475-1623
roCCo’s ItalIan restaurant Italian restaurant with fresh pastas, home-made lasagna, mouth-watering charbroiled steaks and seafood. Full bar and banquet room. Located at 3878 Maizeland. Call for hours: 574-1426.
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soutH Jersey subs Want a real sub with only the finest deli meats, cheeses and toppings? Our subs are loaded with goodness in every bite. Your mouth will be watering and you’ll come back for more! Located at 1726 Brookwood. Call for hours, 531-5100. steaksmItH Now serving our sunset dinner menu, 4-5pm, Sun-Thurs. Up to five entrees offered, includes salad, starch, vegetable and drink. Cost $12$17. Reservations recommended. 3802 Maizeland Rd. Call or visit our website for hours: 596-9300, www.steaksmith.com tHunder and buttons Gourmet pub fare featuring elk chili, buffalo burgers, and more. Serving Colorado beers on tap. Entertainment nightly, karaoke, live bands, comedy and more! 2415 W. Colorado Ave. For hours and entertainment info: 447-9888, www.thunderandbuttons.com VIetnamese Garden We serve authentic Vietnamese cuisine made from scratch, no MSG, gluten free meals and take out available. Military discount. 3043 W. Pikes Peak Avenue. Hours are 11am-8pm Tues-Sun, closed Mondays. 520-9299, www.vietnamesegarden.net
“Made of determination, courage and principles. He’s straightforward and refreshingly honest.” -Mike May, Colorado Minority Leader “I have known Ali for many years and without a doubt he is the right conservative voice for Colorado’s Treasury.” -Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the U.S. House
State Rep. Stella Garza-Hicks of El Paso Archuleta County Commissioner John Ranson Colorado Springs Councilman Tom Gallagher Greeley City Councilwoman Maria Secrest Former Fort Collins Councilman Diggs Brown Mayor of Platteville Steve Shafer Douglas County School Board Member Meghann Silverthorn
“Ali Hasan is a fiscal conservative....Ali Hasan can articulately and effectively defend TABOR and taxpayers....Ali Hasan will speak out for TABOR when it is threatened by ongoing and proposed violations.” -Douglas Bruce, Author of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights State Rep. Victor Mitchell of Douglas Lincoln County Commissioner Ted Lyons Aurora City Councilman Bob Fitzgerald Frisco Town Councilman Larry Sawyer Mayor of Eagle Ed Woodland Former Mayor of Frisco Rick Amico Former Eagle County School Board President Scott Green____
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Colorado Car Tax: Is It an Illegal Fee?
Matt Arnold, Guest Writer
that will increase in each of the next two years. The new law also imposes a new vehicle rental fee of $2 a day—with an exemption for politically-correct vehicle sharing arrangements, such as were instituted in Boulder and other trendy spots. Both fees add up to as much or more than the vehicle registration fee portion of the increase but have been ignored in much of the reporting about the impact of the Car Tax on most citizens. Road Safety Surcharge (includes trailers and other non-motorized vehicles): • $16 Vehicles <=2,000 lbs • $23 Vehicles 2,000—5,000 lbs • $28 Vehicles 5,000—10,000 lbs • $37 Vehicles 10,000—16,000 lbs • $39 Vehicles 16,000+ lbs Bridge Fund Fee Rate Schedule (50% 1st year; 75% 2nd year; 100% 3rd year and beyond): • $13 Vehicles <=2,000 lbs • $18 Vehicles 2,000—5,000 lbs • $23 Vehicles 5,000—10,000 lbs • $29 Vehicles 10,000—16,000 lbs • $32 Vehicles 16,000+ lbs And of course there are the late fees. “A late registration penalty of $25 for each month or portion of a month that a vehicle is not registered after the one month grace period, not to exceed $100, will be charged beginning June 1, 2009. Expired temporary permit registrations are also included in the $25 penalty. There is no grace period for permits.” Late fees are now mandatory. The Car Tax bill removed existing language allowing clerks to exercise discretion: “The department or the authorized agent registering the vehicle may waive the late fee.” Adding insult to injury, the Car Tax bill also creates entirely new bureaucracies, complete with new staff,: the “Bridge Enterprise” and the “Transportation Enterprise” both of which “operate as a governmentowned business” within the Department of Transportation. These government-owned businesses not only have “exclusive authority to budget and approve the expenditure of moneys” collected by the Car Tax, but also have the authority to issue/re-issue bonds and contract for loans or grants. The enterprises were also added as entities authorized to use eminent domain to seize private property. Despite all of these revenue-generating and spending powers, the bill’s language explicitly states that both enterprises “shall not be subject to any provisions of Section 20 of Article X of the state Constitution” (i.e. TABOR). They are not constrained or accountable. All of this is necessary to preserve our crumbling transportation infrastructure, right? That was the justification cited in
passing the bill—along with claims that any and all fees collected “shall be used exclusively for the construction, maintenance, and supervision of the public highways of the state.” It says so in the legislative language (43-4-810), so it must be true. The dirty little secret of the faster bill is that many of the taxes collected don’t go toward the construction or maintenance of roads or bridges at all, but for “multimodal and demandside transportation solutions” such as the desire of certain state Senators for streetcars in Denver—justified by other language in a following section (43-4-812):
fee of $16-$39 per vehicle, a bridge fund fee of $13-$32 per vehicle (halved the first year—so it’s $6.50-$16 this year) for a total increase of $45-$110 per vehicle in the first year alone (with two more years of tax increases to come). Add on late fees of $25/month (up to $100) for all vehicles including trailers barely even worth that much. All while creating two new state bureaucracies with the power to spend, borrow, and seize private property unconstrained by the TABOR and not accountable to the people. Also it will increase mandatory spending by over $10 million per year on purposes other than roads, bridges, or other transportation infrastructure used by those paying the fees. If anything, the angry crowds at Department of Motor Vehicle offices last summer may have been a mild reaction, although the anger was misdirected at the hapless county clerks. I recommend everyone vote against the ones who actually did this to you—the legislators, the executive (well, you can’t vote out the governor, he quit first) and most importantly the four Colorado Supreme Court justices who enabled this type of sham legislation in the first place.
The dirty little secret of the faster bill is that many of the taxes collected don’t go toward the construction or maintenance of roads or bridges at all…
43-4-812. Use of user fees for transit—legislative declaration. (2) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEREBY FINDS AND DECLARES THAT THE FUNDING OF TRANSIT-RELATED PROJECTS AUTHORIZED BY SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION CONSTITUTES MAINTENANCE AND SUPERVISION OF STATE HIGHWAYS BECAUSE IT WILL HELP TO REDUCE TRAFFIC ON STATE HIGHWAYS AND THEREBY REDUCE WEAR AND TEAR ON STATE HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES AND INCREASE THEIR RELIABILITY, SAFETY, AND EXPECTED USEFUL LIFE. In fact, the bill mandates state spending of $10 million per year on “transit-related projects.” It’s an outrageous semantic shell game and a blatant violation of your constitutional rights. To sum it up, the faster car tax increase raised vehicle registration fees: $22.50-55 per vehicle, plus a road safety surcharge
Matt Arnold is the founder of Clear the Bench Colorado. You can exercise your right to vote “NO” on the Mullarkey Majority (Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights. For more information, visit clearthebenchcolo rado.org.
Reprinted with permission.
The Colorado Car Tax passed last year (SB108, the so-called “faster” bill) is quite possibly the most unpopular tax increase in Colorado history. It was all the more repugnant by how it became law—evading the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) requirement to receive prior voter approval for any new or increased taxes. The deeply unpopular Car Tax has already contributed to the demise of the political careers of the bill’s main advocates: Governor Bill Ritter, who signed the bill into law, has chosen not to seek re-election rather than suffer the fate of governors in other states. New Jersey, Virginia, and Arkansas governors (yes, Bill Clinton suffered his first big electoral defeat after passing a car tax increase his first term) passed similar taxes on vehicle registration and ownership. State Senator Dan Gibbs (D-SD16), the bill’s Senate sponsor, has likewise decided not to seek re-election. Only House sponsor Rep. Joe Rice (D-HD38) remains. He is facing a tough re-election fight in his Republican-leaning district of Littleton against challenger Kathleen Conti, who is sure to use the car tax against him. The Car Tax has also highlighted the role of the Colorado Supreme Court in aiding and abetting increases in taxes and other “fees” thanks to several rulings against the clear letter of the Colorado Constitution in recent years. Due to Article X, Section 20 (TABOR) the political careers of four of the state Supreme Court justices who ruled to enable this tax increase may also be coming to an end, as they come up for re-election this November. So why is the Car Tax (“vehicle registration fee”) increase so deeply, and deservedly unpopular? One reason is the deeply regressive nature of the “fee” increase—which hurts most those least able to afford it especially those with lower or fixed incomes, such as blue-collar workers, students, and retired or unemployed individuals. The vehicle registration fee portion of the newly increased tax—which will increase not just once, but each year through 2012—may not seem like much to the latte-sipping Prius-driving set, but makes up a significant portion of the total bill for anyone driving an older, heavier vehicle. Actually, it gets worse. The faster bill— the Colorado Car Tax—didn’t just increase the fee. It also imposed two new fees: a road safety surcharge fee and a bridge fund fee
From the Archives, 1995
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Lincoln County Fights Eminent Domain
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Brad Kerstetter, Senior Staff Writer Wrangler jeans and boots mingled with khakis and dress shoes during a meeting between Lincoln County residents and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The February 5 meeting at the county courthouse near Hugo, Colorado covered the controversial Rail Relocations for Colorado Communities (R2C2) study, which is strongly opposed by Citizens Against Railroad Relocation (CARR) that represents residents of the county and their interests. The R2C2 study was performed to look at the potential benefits of shifting some of the rail-traffic from the Front Range to the Eastern Plains of Colorado, according to the CDOT website. While the study shows there are benefits to the Front Range communities and parts of northeastern Colorado, CARR states that the relocation would cause problems for eastern plains farmers and ranchers. A graphic on the CDOT website shows they planned to include the towns and counties affected by the proposed move. Despite this, CARR Vice Chairman Scott Ravenkamp said the study was only half complete by the time Lincoln County farmers heard about it. At the meeting, CARR board members said they believed the study was flawed because the county’s farmers and ranchers had never been consulted about the impact on the community of a new rail line. Among CARR’s chief concerns were the hidden costs to the farmers and ranchers that would be near the rail line. In particular, the possibility of accidental transportation of noxious weeds to the area could cost the county money and time, said Kenny Yoder, CARR treasurer. While the county has an aggressive program for dealing with weeds, an increase in noxious plants would hurt the county financially. Land owners could lose up to $700 for every half mile of track that runs across their land, Ravenkamp explained. If the line went straight through his operation, he could lose just over seven acres of usable land because of the railroad and turn roads that would be needed to continue production. “… If you add that up over the roughly 70 to 100 miles [that the railroad] would go through Lincoln County, that gets to be a pretty substantial amount of money that the producers are going to lose,” Ravenkamp said. Ravenkamp also pointed out that the railroad crossings the study suggested were inadequate for modern farm equipment. He said the crossings need to be 30 to 40 feet wide to accommodate modern machinery, rather than the two-track crossing he saw in the study. “There were a lot of hidden costs that were not addressed,” he said. Travis Taylor, CARR chairman, said property values will suffer because of the proposed railroad and because there is no sunset clause causing the study to expire. If the owner wants to sell the property, they have to disclose that the proposed railroad might come through their land which would cause the value of the land to decrease. CARR brought up safety concerns as well. The railroad could cause problems for emergency services responding to life-threatening situations. In particular, ambulances would have to go out of their way to find railroad crossings, meaning it would take longer to respond to emergencies, Yoder said. Harry Dale, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Rail Authority, also attended
The American Stewards of Liberty (ASL) began working in local communities in 1992 to protect “the principles of liberty our nation was founded upon,” according to the ASL website. They are the product of a merging between the American Land Foundation and Stewards of the Range. According to the ASL website there are four major projects they focus on: 1. Standing Ground: A publication that covers property rights events 2. CALL America Seminars: ASL’s training program that helps participants learn how to protect their property rights, and economy by altering how federal and state regulations affect them. 3. Local Control Outreach: Experts from ASL go to different communities to train locals on how to preserve their economy and rights. 4. The Coordinating Strategy: Teaches community leaders how to coordinate changes that require federal and state agencies to value the same priorities as the community. For more information on ASL and how they can help your community, visit Stewards.us. the meeting. He advised CDOT not to act on the information that has been gathered because Colorado does not have a state rail plan yet. Dale said the Federal Railroad Administration mandates that the state create a state rail plan. “Through the Obama administration high speed rail program, $400,000 will be given to CDOT as a 50 percent grant match to complete the state rail-study. That study should start, hopefully, this summer,” he said. Dale said a state rail plan would put forth a long-term vision for Colorado’s passenger and freight rails and where they might go in the future, create an implementation plan for public investment, and outline the necessary steps to build new railroads. “It would make sense for the [state rail plan] to occur first, before we prioritize a rail relocation, or any other project,” Dale said. CDOT Executive Director Russell George gave CDOT’s reasoning for not coordinating with locals during the study. “Not including the public in the first inquiry probably made the study quicker and cheaper, but it turns out not to have been the best judgment,” George admitted. He said nothing has resulted from the study that ties the ranchers’ hands in any way. In defense of R2C2, George said the study was a preliminary look at alternative rail routes and they were not planning on acting on the data gathered anytime soon. He said that many of the questions CARR brought up could not be answered at that time because R2C2 was a brief overview study and not meant to be an in-depth examination. “Nothing would have happened in your community until all of these questions had been sorted out,” George said. Despite this, CARR and the citizens of Lincoln County fear the study could be used in the future, regardless of the flaws, as a way for CDOT to save money in the future. “Families have spent generations putting these operations together and [CDOT] can come in here with the stroke of a pen and separate it,” said County Commissioner Ted Lyons. For more information on R2C2 and CARR visit CoCARR.com and the Colorado Department of Transportation’s website.
Kitchen Table Politics Juicy Tid-Bits from Denver
Leah Hotchkiss, Contributing Writer The Colorado state senate agenda is off and running. With the passage of the “Dirty Dozen” tax bills and a class action lawsuit filed on PERA adjustment bills, the legislature has started off as expected. Education bills top the list with about 20 bills passed so far. Bills covering everything from $5 million to pay private conservation groups to keep up the good fight against developers (SN10-098), to adjustments in the Fire Fighter and Police Pension fund (SN10-021 to 024), bring the passed bills tally to 91 out of 180. The following are on what I like to call the Ridiculous List. SN10-008 funds a study to evaluate the feasibility of a system to determine pupil enrollment for the purpose of Public School Finance Act of 1994 based on average daily membership of pupils in a school district. The state already has a way to determine pupil enrollment and allocate money: count the kids enrolled on Oct. 1 of any given fiscal year. This bill will pay a group of people to see IF we should count pupils on a daily basis in schools and recommend IF it might be better to allocate monies according to daily totals, not yearly totals. Why not simply make sure schools, which grow throughout the year, get correct funding by taking the highest total from the previous year and base allocations on that? SN10-010 allows the Department of Human Services to contract for an outside group to conduct an independent evaluation of the Statewide Strategic Use Fund to identify if it complies with the Colorado Works program and other programs to ascertain their effectiveness. The money for this evaluation will be funded with 2 percent of the SSUF. I can tell you right now that it is a waste of at least 2 percent of the SSUF. SN10-006 prohibits charging someone for identification documents, such as drivers licenses and birth certificates, if the person obtains an appropriate note from the Department of Human Services or has been out of the Department of Corrections for less than 6 months. It also grants name changes for felons. Wait, what? SN10-028 grants unemployment compensation to employees who were not fired but have had their work hours reduced. We are now giving unemployment benefits to the employed. I could make a joke, but how can you improve on the joke that is this senate bill? SN10-009 creates a Poverty Reduction Task Force. It is not as cool as it
sounds. I checked. They will not get any battle gear. This task force will try to create a fluid model to assess the progress toward reducing poverty for the evaluation of the effectiveness of certain government programs and policies. They will then be required to report to the general assembly on the model. Note that it is not a report on a program’s effectiveness. It is a report on the creation of the model for determining effectiveness. SN10-081 creates another task force. This task force, without the aid of battle gear, will create a Farm-to-School Healthy Kids Program, and develop a program policy. Michelle Obama’s eating healthy campaign hits Colorado. SN10-068 streamlines the Colorado Works eligibility guidelines. After reading further I discovered the word “streamline” means, among other things, getting rid of guidelines that assess the tangible assets of individuals who receive assistance from the Colorado Works program. The Colorado Works program Web page can be found at www.stateboard.cdhs.state.co.us, and I will give a cookie to anyone who can navigate this horribly unorganized page and explain to me exactly what it is they do other than hand out cash. And finally, SN10-158 creates a Creative Industries Division within the Colorado Office of Economic Development. Apparently things like public art installation are now an industry. So kudos to the senate for creating new staff positions at the economic development office. Our legislature just proved that they are serious about creating jobs. So serious that they imagined a whole new division and gave it a staff. In the interest of fairness, there are a few reasonable and worthwhile bills. SN10-129 allows families with autistic dependants to obtain better support services. Money was allocated to actual school districts, for real reasons. Another bill states that collectable military vehicles that have historical value must bear a license plate. And then there’s the one that adds animals and pets to the list of “people” protected by a restraining order. It used to be that only the person who requested the order, their children, a disabled dependant relative, or an elderly parent were protected by a restraining order. Hamsters of Colorado rejoice. You have achieved equality with children, elderly parents and disabled dependants! Wait, those last two bills should have been on the Ridiculous List. Oh well, I tried.
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Delegates Determine Candidates for Primaries
Leah Hotchkiss, Contributing Writer
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Candidates running for county and state offices are placed on the August primary ballot in two ways: the caucus/assembly process or by petition. There are separate rules governing both processes. A successful candidate, in either process, will gain a place on the primary ballot. The August primary determines the Republican party candidate for each office. Precinct leaders, and delegate/alternates for county, state and 5th congressional assemblies were elected at the March 16 caucus or through their post caucus division meetings. Precinct leader is a twoyear elected position, beginning and ending at caucus. Leaders attend GOP Central Committee meetings, elect El Paso County Central Committee members, and may also hold delegate positions to any assembly. At the Central Committee meetings resolutions presented by voters at caucus will be reviewed and voted on. Each caucus is allocated a specific number of county delegates determined by the number of people who attended the previous caucus. County delegates are eligible to fill vacant positions at the state and 5th congressional assemblies. They will attend their county assemblies this month to vote for Republican primary candidates running for office. The El Paso
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County Assembly is April 10 at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Their votes determine if the candidates will be on the August primary ballot. Primaries will be August 10, 2010. All registered Republicans may vote. Open county offices this election cycle are: state Senate districts 9 and 11; state House districts 1421; county commissioner districts 1 and 5; county assessor; clerk and recorder; coroner; sheriff; surveyor; and treasurer. The 5th congressional and/or state delegates will attend their assemblies May 21-22 at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland. The delegates will vote on Republican primary candidates for: U.S. Senate, Congressional District 5, governor, attorney general, treasurer, secretary of state, CU Regent, and Colorado State Board of Education. If the candidates win enough votes at these assemblies, they will be placed on the August primary ballot. Delegate vacancies for higher assemblies are due to nonparticipation in the March 16 caucus. To be eligible to fill a vacancy a person must have been elected as a county delegate, or elected as an alternate delegate to state or 5th congressional assembly. For a list of all county and state candidates, go to www.gopelpaso.com.
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Gasoline: $7 per Gallon Very Possible
Jay Cadillac, Guest Writer
Seven bucks for a gallon of gas? It may be in our near future. Don’t think that President Obama is against the idea of Americans spending $100 to $150 to fill-up at the gas station. It’s but one of many of the dreams of the liberals who are Obama’s base. Euro-class fuel prices don’t presently rank up there with, say, Obamacare, but they clearly sit well with an administration that hopes to be as transformational as FDR’s or LBJ’s. According to a recent Harvard study, highlighted prominently in the New York Times, Obama’s newly transformed Environmental Protection Agency hopes to reach its goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions 14 percent by 2020, causing the cost of driving to skyrocket. The New York Times report on the Harvard study calls $7 a gallon for gasoline “a sobering reality.” Without a draconian fuel tax hike, the researchers concluded, people are simply not going to cut the number of miles they drive. Greenhouses gases will continue to build, the globe will continue to warm, the seas will rise and the polar bears will drown. Elite Harvard researchers tell us we must drive much less or face environmental catastrophe. But as Americans are finding out, elite Harvard researchers care a lot less about a supposedly warming planet than they do about controlling the behav-
ior of the lowly proletariat they are forced to share the continent with. It’s becoming increasingly clear—as “Climategate” and other scandals discredit the “science” of man-caused climate change—that the everambitious left has simply latched onto environmental causes to further their aspirations of control. President Obama—who is a Harvard grad and unlikely to disagree with a Harvard study—said during the campaign that he wasn’t really that worried about then $4plus gas prices, just that the price shot up a bit too quickly. He knows it would be politically risky to see prices climb right now in this ailing economy, but he’s biding his time. Liberals, you see, much more so than other forms of life, simply delight in telling others how they should live. Why does the left feel it needs to control us uppity Americans? It is indeed difficult to precisely understand why liberals want to make us drive less; why they require wasteful and harmful ethanol be added to our automotive fuel; why they order adults to buckle their seat belts; why they order kids to wear a helmet when they scooter along a sidewalk; why they mandate we buy government-controlled health insurance; and why they tell us what kind of light bulbs to buy. Conservatives instinctively seem to know that a free-market-capitalist political
Timid animals that will soon bleat appreciatively, the left believes, as we spend $7 to splash a gallon of gasoline into our cars.
and economic system, which is sometimes wild and seemingly cruelly capricious, is in the long run the greatest guarantor of human liberty ever devised by man. The freedom to choose, as economist Milton Friedman skillfully pointed out, is a freedom we must fight savagely never to lose. Human history has show time and time again that freedoms are safer and prosperity is more common when men and women are allowed to freely make choices unbothered by regulations dreamed up by bureaucrats in a distant capital. President Reagan knew this, and his policies (admittedly only partly enacted) brought America a quarter-century of nearly uninterrupted boom. FDR (and Herbert Hoover, before him) did not know this and his Obama-style policies helped to turn what was a bad recession into a decade-long depression. Even “moderates,” those gelatinous voters who sway left, then right, then left again from election to election, seem to instinctively see the virtues of a relative free market too—– sometimes. It’s the left that resolutely refuses to abandon the ancient dream of “progressives,” which holds that mankind is perfectible and that to reach Utopia we simply delegate an elite band of like-minded rulers to tell us all how to live. Hence, we may quite possibly see $7-agallon gasoline before Obama’s first term is up, even though OPEC states typically spend no more than $2 to pump a barrel of oil and even though there are vast supplies of domestic oil we could tap into but that the enviro lobby has made off-limits.
Liberals have never really been comfortable with individuals motoring across the country whenever they please and wherever they choose to go. They would prefer that the American people live in dense cities where they can ride a subway or bus, or pedal along a network of bicycle trails. It’s a puzzle, to rational minds, why exactly Obama and his allies in Congress, academia, and the media are so eager to push us in the European-socialist direction. Socialism has without exception failed, sometimes staggeringly so. (Anyone anxious to emigrate to Cuba or Venezuela today? Anyone want to travel to Canada or Britain for a major medical operation?) More than a century ago Alexis de Tocqueville warned against the kind of quiet despotism that the left is pushing us toward today. A self-governing citizenry, he wrote, could seductively be persuaded to become “nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.” Timid animals that will soon bleat appreciatively, the left believes, as we spend $7 to splash a gallon of gasoline into our cars. But is this all inevitable? No, it isn’t. Polls, recent elections, and a tempest of Tea Parties all show a newly awakened America angry at what the liberal elites are trying to do to their country. Recall that the malaise that was the Jimmy Carter administration was followed by Ronald Reagan. Don’t count America out. Not yet.
Problems Infiltrate Military Housing Privatization Helen Sabin, Contributing Writer
The Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) was established in 1996. A Department of Defense 2003 housing inventory report revealed that 60% of military housing was inadequate for troops to live in. Whether MHPI has been a failure or success is up for debate. Military retiree Phil Stuckwisch believes MHPI is far from being a success. “[MHPI] is failing our military,” he said. “The DOD isn’t following its own rules and regulations. This initiative is a joke!” Lynn Rivera, wife of Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera and community manager at Ft. Carson Housing Office, said MHPI is working well. “All 1,823 older homes at the base have been renovated, and other new building including 841 new homes were constructed for ranks from E-1 (enlisted) through O-5 (officers),” Rivera said.
Maybe Fort Carson housing is in better shape than other posts. Reports from around the country tell a different story. Dave Hemmingsen, who started a Facebook site called “Our Military Troops Deserve Better!!!! MHPI,” disagrees about MHPI being a boon to military families. “I fell to my knees and cried when I saw the horrible condition of my son-in— law’s house at Ft. Stewart (Georgia),” said Hemmingsen. Pictures and stories posted on his Facebook page show the horror that many military families face concerning housing. Balfour Beatty Construction (BBC) is a British company that manages many military housing complexes. They reported a 7% pre-tax profit in 2009 and said in an email, “…Over three million dollars went into the Ft. Bliss homes to renovate them.” According to a letter written by Major General Howard Bromberg at Ft. Bliss, Texas, “Any report of black mold is a se-
rious complaint and one we do not take lightly. … To date, we have identified one set of quarters that has a broken foundation with a serious mold issue and relocated that family.” Many families and spouses are frustrated with the issues and the response to their concerns. Melinda, a military wife who lives with the problems daily said, “BBC has offered to move some of us from one house to another with the same problems. Does that make sense?” The wife of a retired Air Force colonel who lived in similar housing at Ft. McArthur, California said such offers are palliative in nature and not meant to provide a complete and total remedy to the problem. “Where is the help for these families? Why is their commanding officer and Congress not doing an investigation into the practices of the BBC and the MHPI?” she asked. “The MHPI was supposed to help, not hurt, military families.”
“Nobody helps us,” Melinda said, “… not the general, not Governor Rick Perry’s office who says it’s not his problem, not the BBC, not Congress—[Senators] Hutchinson’s and Cornyn’s offices are ignoring information we sent … not even the CDC (Center for Disease Control)!” “All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal,” according to the CDC website. However, the CDC said in an email response that they are not the organization to help the families. “Get me in front of Congress and I will help them,” Stuckwisch said. He is asking everyone to write Congress about this matter. “This is a travesty” he said, as tears of anger welled up in his eyes. Military families who are living in housing which is detrimental to their well-being say it affects their motivation to serve in the military.
www.TheConstitutionalistToday.com | 25
E-Verify: Halts Illegal Immigrant Hiring
JM Peterson, Contributing Writer
Illegal immigration may not be in the current political spotlight, but it is still a hot-button issue. It is just what its name implies—illegal. There are legal pathways open to becoming an American citizen, and many people choose those paths every year. Illegal immigrants instead sneak into the country and many learn to live at taxpayers’ expense. The federal E-Verify program is used by participating employers to conduct a background check on prospective employees for immigration status and identity theft. Punishments are imposed for those who knowingly and repeatedly hire illegal aliens. Currently, participation is entirely voluntary. About 5,800 businesses in Colorado, and 175,000 nationwide, are enrolled in the program, which translates to about one in four new hires being processed through the system. In 2006, E-Verify participation was made mandatory in Colorado for any business involved with the state government. The current financial problems of the nation are exacerbated by illegal immigration, which is a constant drain on money resources, and time. Illegal immigrants have been able to receive welfare benefits, tax breaks and refunds and medical care from the American government for years. While no one can legally be denied emergency care, illegal immigrants tend to use emergency rooms for all medical services, tying up services that could be used treating people with real medical emergencies. Many illegal immigrants utilize identity
theft in order to file Medicare claims. Others use identity theft to collect tax refunds and to commit other crimes. A recent Rasmussen poll showed that 67 percent of voters agree that illegal immigration is a major drain on the U. S. budget. The same poll also showed that some 68 percent of Americans also prefer border control over amnesty solutions. Illegal immigration is closely correlated with criminal activity, including identity theft, drug trafficking, kidnapping, assault, and murder. In Colorado alone, a major illegal immigrant raid in Greeley in 2006 revealed that some 300 workers employed at a meat-packing plant were using stolen identities. Not only are illegal immigrants and their families harmed by such schemes, but legal immigrants must also face the backlash. And the American citizens whose identities were stolen were left to clean up the aftermath. Existing laws provide many protections for illegal aliens. For example, birthright citizenship, i.e. “anchor baby” legislation, gives American citizenship to any children born in the United States, even if their parents were here illegally. This gives many illegal immigrants an easy way to stay in the country and adds to the burden already on the healthcare system. The possibility of giving in-state college tuition, funded by taxpayers, to illegal immigrants was introduced by Democrats in the Colorado legislature. After public outcry in opposition, it appears to be “on ice.”
Looming on the horizon is a national amnesty bill that would provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S.
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Looming on the horizon is a national amnesty bill that would provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. Many liberal politicians believe that this will give them a substantial Hispanic voting bloc. This especially flies in the face of those immigrants who went through the legal channels to become American citizens. Some moderate Republicans, such as Sen. John McCain, support the measure even though his state of Arizona has the highest rate of kidnappings in the country due to drug wars along the Mexico-U.S. border. Sen. Lindsey Graham (RSC) has been helping Sen. John Kerry (DMA) write the amnesty bill in the Senate. State Senator Dave Schultheis of Colorado Springs introduced a new EVerify bill (SB33) in the Colorado Senate in January. It would have made participation mandatory for all non-governmental
businesses. However, Democrats once again relegated the bill to “postponed indefinitely” status on March 3, as they have done for the last five years. This has led to a shift in strategy for proponents, who are preparing to put the initiative to a ballot vote in order to let Colorado citizens decide for themselves. A new bill has been introduced in the U.S. Congress with 110 bi-partisan supporters. The Secure America through Verification and Enforcement Act (S.A.V.E. Act) would add teeth to the E-verify program. As reported on the Numbers USA website, it would secure the borders with 6,000 new border patrol agents and with new technology. It would also increase interior enforcement and make E-Verify mandatory for all employers. The S.A.V.E. Act will be one to watch.
Endowed by Their Creator
Dave Skiver, Guest Writer
In the A&E version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic, The Lost World, there is a dinner scene that features a heated debate over creation versus evolution. After most of the people had departed, the main character, Professor George Challenger, turned to his obstinate colleague and, even while expressing doubt in the existence of God, said something quite profound regarding the state of humanity, “I don’t know if there is a God, but I do know that man is no substitute if there isn’t.” Deep down, most Americans today also know that man is no substitute for God. Take, for instance a June 24, 2008 Washington Post article, which reported that the Pew Research Center found that 92% of the 36,000 adults polled have some belief in God. Though everyone’s view of God is not the same, this could very well explain why so many Americans have a growing uneasiness, even outright fear, of the Godusurping talk, decisions, and actions coming from Washington D.C. today. Likewise, freedom-loving Americans absolutely reject the idea that a ruling party or class is the source of their rights. We still hold to the self-evident truths proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence that people “are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.—That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” America’s founders also understood that man is no substitute for God and if left to their own devices, the ruling elites would take upon themselves power and authority reserved only to God. Benjamin Franklin rightly observed, “There is scarce a king in a hundred, who would not, if he could, follow the example of pharaoh—get first all the people’s money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants forever.” (By the way, the pharaohs considered themselves to be gods.) If Americans are to protect their Creator-endowed rights, there is only one answer, as Thomas Jefferson made clear, “... let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” Freedom-loving Americans are fearful today because elites at all levels of government are finding increasingly devious
ways to throw off the “chains of the Constitution.” Progressives love to talk about a living Constitution. After all, who doesn’t want something that is alive, especially if the alternative is something dead? But that is a false choice. The option isn’t between a living and a dead Constitution, but rather between an America that is governed by the rule of law or by the whims of man. The founders wisely understood that the Constitution would need to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, which is why we have the amendment process. But they also knew that this process must be very deliberate, open, and have overwhelming support—not something done by a few elite power brokers behind closed doors. That is why it takes two-thirds of both chambers of Congress and three-fourths of the states to amend the Constitution. For progressives seeking to remake America in their own image, this process just won’t do. Freedom-loving Americans do not buy their agenda when honestly and openly debated, so progressives bypass the amendment process. They stack the courts with activist judges who push their agenda. Colorado saw this recently when the Colorado Supreme Court circumvented taxpayers’ constitutional protections under TABOR. Regulation is another weapon in the progressives’ arsenal. For example, when the people’s representatives don’t do the progressives’ bidding by passing Cap and Trade, the usurpers turn to the EPA. Or they simply ignore the Constitution, like trying to dictate that all Americans buy health insurance under threat of fine and/ or imprisonment. If Americans are to retain the unalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator, we must again affirm the truth that man is no substitute for God. We must ardently reaffirm our commitment to the rule of law and the constitutional boundaries placed upon our elected officials. And, we must actively support and elect leaders who embrace the Constitution’s “chains.” Though it isn’t politically correct to talk about America’s spiritual heritage these days, an honest look at our history would reveal that America has been far better served by leaders who feared God than by those who would play God.
America has been far better served by leaders who feared God than by those who would play God.
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Dave Skiver is a retired AF officer, and currently a pastor, adjunct professor with Liberty University’s online Communications program, and freelance writer/editor.
Government is not reason, it is not eloquent—it is force! Like a fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. —George Washington
www.TheConstitutionalistToday.com | 27
New EPA Regs to Cost Homeowners Ryan Unseth, Contributing Writer The cost of home improvements for many El Paso County homeowners are about to increase. On April 22, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (RRP) is set to take effect. The RRP regulations will require all contractors who receive compensation for their services to perform lead paint tests on all homes, apartments, childcare facilities, and schools built prior to 1978. If lead paint is found to be present, certified contractors will have to follow the stringent new regulations. Homeowners who perform their own renovations and contractors who are disturbing less than 6 square feet of painted surface per interior room or less than 20 square feet of painted surface on exterior renovations are not required to follow the new regulations. The basis of the new regulations is centered around health concerns for workers and residents, especially children 6 years old and younger. Inhalation and ingestion of lead paint dust and paint chips has been shown to be toxic and may lead to brain damage and behavioral problems in certain instances. The side effects of the RRP regulations will be significant, both to the contractor and the homeowners. If a dwelling is found to have lead paint, in order for a contractor to perform any renovation, repair, or painting under the EPA guidelines, the property will have to be cordoned off with signs at entry points to the property warning people of the type of work being conducted and to remain outside the work area. Contractors will be required to staff the project with certified workers who will be outfitted with safety suits and special respirators during the entire project. Perimeters will need to be fully covered by plastic to catch dust and debris, and interior projects will require complete removal or wrapping of all furniture, all flooring covered, and each interior room being worked in will have to be encapsulated with plastic sheeting at all entry points. Upon completion of all work, the cleanup process is intense and requires certified tests to determine whether any lead compounds remain in the area. Most professional contractors are aware of the new regulations and are in the process of receiving their RRP certifications. The costs can be excessive for many contractors, especially in this slower economy. Firm certification is priced at $300 and certification classes cost around $200 per employee desig-
nated to work on these projects. Also, the additional material and labor costs to follow the regulations can be substantial. As a result, these additional costs will no doubt be added to all quotes and be passed on to the homeowner. For contractors who are caught skirting the regulations, the ramifications will be large fines by the EPA. If you ask most reputable contractors about lead paint, they will tell you they have been aware of the purported dangers of lead poisoning and have handled these instances in the past with care. Many feel the new regulations are not only heavy handed, but will put another burden on an already struggling industry. With the state of the economy, many contractors have had a difficult time competing and finding work, and the cost burden for the companies who follow the new regulations will put them at a competitive disadvantage when bidding against the sketchy contractors who have no plans on following the RRP rule. And what about the homeowners of pre-1978 homes with lead paint? The cost of most home improvements will be increasing substantially, possibly creating a situation in which some homeowners will be unable to pay for their homes to be improved. Many will be forced to tackle the projects in their home themselves, re-work budgets to offset the price increases, or not complete the improvements altogether. Property value of these homes may be decreased as well. Will potential home buyers want to purchase a home which has lead paint when they understand that most home improvements will cost more than the home up the street which does not have lead paint? The new EPA regulations have quickly become a hot issue within the contracting community. Most homeowners are not yet familiar with the new law and the ramifications it may have on their home values and budgets. As with many governmental regulations such as the RRP rule, the lines are sometimes blurred and answers are not always black and white. However, all owners of homes built prior to 1978 should research and become acquainted with the new law. This is definitely an issue which will affect contractors and homeowners alike.
A Navy SEAL’s Fate Eli Thomas, Contributing Writer
It’s an interesting puzzle with three major pieces. Part one: In March 2004, Scott Helvenston, Wesley Batalona, Jerry Zovko and Michael Teague were ambushed and killed by terrorists in Fallujah, Iraq. They were U.S. citizens working for security firm Blackwater. After their deaths their bodies were burned, horrible mutilated, dragged through the streets and two were hung from a bridge. The brutal image is seared into the collective memory of Americans. Part Two: In 2006 an Al Qaeda terrorist training manual was captured in Manchester, England. The revealing document tells detained terrorists to accuse their captors of abuse and torture. Part Three: In September 2009, U.S. Navy SEALs captured Ahmed Hashim Abed, the accused mastermind of the grisly Fallujah attack. Shortly after he was handed over to Iraqi forces he accused the Americans of punching him in the stomach and giving him a bloody lip during his capture. We could stop telling the story right here and most people would be able to put the puzzle together. However, the story doesn’t end here. The careers and reputations of three American heroes are on the line. Once they were in American custody the allegation of abuse was passed up the chain of command. Naval Petty Officers Matthew McCabe, Julio Huertas and Jonathan O’Keefe, all members of an elite Navy SEAL team, were brought up on charges for a Navy non-judicial punishment called “Admiral’s Mast” because of the alleged abuse. The three SEALs refused the nonjudicial punishment and have demanded trial by court martial. The court martial of Huertas and O’Keefe will take place in Iraq in April.
Defense attorneys requested that the two SEALs be allowed to face their accuser and their trial was moved from Virginia to Iraq costing thousands of dollars to transport witnesses to Baghdad. McCabe will be tried in Virginia in May. Several congressmen are appealing to the military to have all charges against the SEALs dropped. So let’s assume for just a minute that the essential charges of the case are true. Let’s assume that during the operation to capture the man responsible for the brutal murder of four U.S. citizens that he got roughed up a little bit, got a bloody lip and was punched in the stomach…SO WHAT? This was a combat operation carried out by lethal warriors, not a police action by a police force. It seems that the military has become so gun-shy after Abu Ghraib that it’s willing to hang out to dry three American heroes. Mind you, Abed isn’t claiming that he was water-boarded; he’s not claiming that he was humiliated; he’s not claiming that he was starved and deprived of sleep; he’s not claiming he was tortured in any way whatsoever. Abed is claiming he got punched in the stomach and received a bloody lip. Political correctness is running rampant in the war on terror. Restrictive rules of engagement put our soldiers in harm’s way in Afghanistan; panty bombers are given and then read their rights and lawyer up; the justice department is attempting to bring self-proclaimed terror masterminds such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed into a civilian court at great expense rather than using the military tribunals appropriate for the case. It’s time for common sense to take over in the war on terror.
Political correctness is running rampant in the war on terror. Restrictive rules of engagement put our soldiers in harm’s way…
For more info, contact Ryan at 719-5500445 or www.safeobjectives.com. Ryan Unseth is co-owner of Greg Unseth Painting & Windows.
I see creeping fascism in America, just as in Germany, a drip at a time: a law here, a law there, all supposedly passed to protect the public. The German people really believed that only hoodlums owned such (unregistered) guns. What fools we were. It truly frightens me to see how the government, media, and some police groups in America are pushing for the same mindset. 28 | The Constitutionalist Today
—Theodore Haas, survivor of Dachau and the Holocaust
Second Amendment Perspective ACLU Gets Blown Away in Gun Rights Debate Bruce Nozolino, Contributing Writer I occasionally encounter a conservative friend reading a liberal book. When I enquire why they reading it, the normal response is that there are advantages in learning how the other side thinks. I had the opportunity to learn how the other side thinks at a Second Amendment Forum conducted at the Penrose Library. The speakers at the forum were Bill Derwin, Paul Paradise, and Bill Hoffman. Derwin is a local attorney and ACLU board member. Paradise is a former president of the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition and has a list of other pro-Second Amendment credentials. Hoffman is a retired Colorado College professor who discussed the societal implications of firearms. Derwin’s presentation outlined the history of the Second Amendment. One of his opening comments related back to 1966 when he was in the Virginia state legislature. He introduced legislation that would prohibit children, felons, and mentally ill persons from possessing firearms. He said the legislation did not pass. In his opinion, if it would have passed, it would have prevented the Virginia Tech massacre. Derwin said that no such prohibitions exist to this
day in Virginia. (Federal law currently addresses these issues in all 50 states.) Derwin reviewed a paper he had written titled, “The Original Meaning, Context, and Current Interpretation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” In the paper Derwin argued that the Second Amendment has always been a collective right until the recent Heller case. The landmark U.S. Supreme Court Heller decision ruled the Second Amendment is an individual right. Derwin says this decision redefined the Second Amendment from a collective right to an individual right. However, Derwin argues, no right is absolute, as the entire Bill of Rights is subject to regulation. Paradise pointed out that even though the Heller case was technically a victory for the pro-gun community, it’s split 5—4 decision was too close to call it an absolute victory. Paradise said there are constitutional scholars who argue that the Second Amendment was an individual right even before the Heller decision. However, he acknowledged that no right is absolute, citing the classic argument that the First Amendment does not give one the right to shout “fire” in a crowded theater. He predicted that future
rulings will inevitably result in some restrictions on firearms for gun owners. Paradise gave insights from his personal work in the public defenders office. He cited that one-third of the shootings he sees are from accidental shootings. Another third are self defense cases and the last third are the result of truly bad folks doing harm to others. Paradise concluded that it is the good people with guns that stop these bad people. Hoffman, who self-described himself as a “liberal bleeding heart professor,” began by proudly displaying his personal civil war musket. Hoffman, WW II veteran, became a defender of life when returned from the war. In his opinion, every day killings in a country awash with guns during peace time is a tragedy. Hoffman then cited statistic after statistic about the proliferation of guns and the resulting deaths caused by those guns. He talked about the costs incurred by society because of guns. I found it extremely interesting that there was never any distinction between good and bad uses of a gun. A death by a gun was a death by a gun, even if it was for the protection of innocent victims. Hoffman was quick to attack the NRA and other pro-gun groups for supporting
firearms use beyond the normal self-defense, sport, and hunting purposes. He cited the rapid firing semi-auto firearms that are readily available today, as well as bullets capable of piercing body armor. Paradise told Hoffman that any deer hunting rifle would easily pierce body armor designed for police use. Hoffman brought up the “gun show loophole” whereby individuals can sell their guns at gun shows without a background check, and “straw” (third party) purchases that allow guns to be obtained by persons who would not be able to pass a firearms background check. Again, Paradise pointed out that Colorado law addresses both these issues. I found it ironic that Hoffman later quoted the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre in talking about “damn lies and statistics” by gun control groups. It was clear that Hoffman was not very well versed in his arguments and statistics for gun control, and was merely repeating information from other sources. Bruce Nozolino is a retired engineer. He spends his time focused on hunting and shooting sports, charity events, Toastmasters, and politics.
The End of the Tea Party A Perspective from the Young Republicans Eli Bremer, Contributing Writer
Last summer, the liberal leadership and the “mainstream” media tried to pawn off the Tea Party movement as a few opportunistic and disenchanted Republicans trying to make noise. Now that the 2010 election is in full swing, politicians and the media are acknowledging that the Tea Party movement will likely have a major impact on the upcoming election. Some opportunistic leaders in the movement openly question if this is the start of a new party. Some suggest it will be the end of the Republican Party. But what will be the legacy of this movement? I predict the Tea Party as we know it will have its impact and then come to an end on November 2, 2010. Here is why. Picture a travel company selling the ultimate vacation package to a group of vacationers. Few details are given, just that it will be a fantastic trip. With breathless anticipation, the vacationers wait for a grand experience as their imaginations run wild with possibilities. Finally the day
comes, and they are dropped off at a small motel in the middle of Kansas. Bewildered at first and wondering if they missed something, the vacationers quickly become disgruntled. The group bands together around their newfound hatred of the travel company. They hire a lawyer, sue the travel company, and are awarded a group vacation anywhere in the world. After much rejoicing, the group meets to discuss where they will go; but talks quickly break down. Some want to go to Alaska, some Hawaii, some Europe. The unity enjoyed while fighting the common enemy, turns into infighting. Barack Obama promised us the ultimate vacation package in the 2008 election. His would be a post-partisan presidency with jobs magically appearing and the world suddenly falling in love with America. Then he and the Democratic leadership dropped us all off at the proverbial motel in the middle of Kansas. Now Americans are unifying around a singular
While the Tea Party will have a large impact on the upcoming election, it would be a mistake to believe it is a long-term political force.
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idea: we don’t like where this administration has taken us and we want our day in court (the 2010 elections). This is the core of the Tea Party movement, but unfortunately, the story does not end there. My wife and I recently attended a political function where I was accosted by an angry woman. She jabbed her finger in my chest and exclaimed “You are not a true conservative!” This was the first time in my life anyone has ever said that about me, so I was fairly taken aback. Either out of shear morbid curiosity or my innate love to debate politics, I asked her to expand on her premise. It turns out that this woman is adamantly opposed to free trade and believes the government should heavily regulate big business to prevent them from taking over America. Because I am pro-free trade and antisubstantial government regulation, to her I was not a real conservative or patriot. This was an eye opening experience for me. As I reflected on it afterward, I began to understand the phenomenon of the Tea Party movement and its likely life cycle. The Tea Party has become a big tent composed of individuals who are against abortion, gay rights, taxation, isolationism, government regulation, the gold
standard… and the list goes on and on. While the Tea Party will have a large impact on the upcoming election, it would be a mistake to believe it is a long-term political force. The movement is a coalition of individuals who do not agree on much but have banded together to fight a common enemy: the explosive growth of government. Two hundred years ago, the Boston Tea Party also served to rally Americans against a common enemy. It was a spark that ignited the flame of freedom in the colonies. But after coalescing around a common cause, the colonies fought against each other on a myriad of issues. Much like the Boston Tea Party, the Tea Party has reincarnated to unite Americans against the common enemy of big government. It is a worthwhile cause that we all should fight for; but as with the Boston Tea Party, its day will come and go. Eli Bremer was a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic modern pentathlon team and is Chair of the Pikes Peak Young Professional Republicans.
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www.TheConstitutionalistToday.com | 29
Community Organizers, Alinksky-style The second in a series on Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals An American Patriot, Contributing Writer In 2008 America elected a “community organizer” to the presidency. Most voters had no idea what that really meant. When I was a kid, community organizers improved the community—a new baseball diamond for the youth leagues; a city beautification project; etc. Organizers, Alinsky style, aren’t devoted to improving the community—or America. Before the election, conservative voices tried to point out the real implications of being a community organizer. Whenever they raised concerns about Obama’s connections to Chicago-area radicals, ACORN, and other far-left organizations, the mainstream media provided covering fire, ridiculing any critics. Now regular Americans are stuck with the costs and consequences of the media not doing its job and of an ill-informed electorate buying the packaging without understanding the contents. To understand Obama as a commuReceive one FREE bottle nity organizer, one of carpet shampoo with any Any vacuum or any one item needs to learn about a in the store, $10 minimum purchase. premier Chicago radical and his teachings that have shaped Coupon cannot be combined with any Coupon cannot be combined with any the present-day left in America. From other offer. Expires April 30th, 2010 other offer. Expires April 30th, 2010 extensive information available on the internet, I concluded that Saul Alinsky was a smart, dedicated Marxist organizer. He recognized that Americans would have to be seduced, not forced, into socialism. In the 1930s he started among destitute neighborhoods near the stockA g r e e g yards. His battle strategy was to organize a t place g loun to mee friends Smokin creen TV t the Have Nots so they could take power and a h ig s ave a great s with a b d leather from the Haves. moke! ffe Watch overstu s, and fo r o u Think Change! Think income redisrG Openin chair g Celeb rand kers! c lo e t tribution, taking from those who earned r ation! priva it and giving to those who want it. He evolved to setting national goals Colorado Springs, CO 80904 • 719-477-1010 • www.peakcigars.com and needing better organizers to combine many single-issue groups into mass organizations. Alinsky set up training and rules for organizers/agitators to work within the system and to target the larger white middle class where he concluded the real power was. Think of organizing educators, meWhen you bring in or mention this ad. dia, lawyers and other groups far reCannot be combined with any other offer. See store for details. Expires 4/30/10 moved from the Have Nots. These people over the years would make socialism Enjoy Ten of your Homemadesound more reasonable for America despite socialism’s failures worldwide. Favorites at a slightly smaller size Ea rly aBe ar Specials!smaller price. What did Alinsky look for in good and considerably candidates for community organizers? 4:00PM - 6:00PM Daily Once you understand, ask yourself why Enjoy ten of your homem trained successors to Alinsky believed ade favorites at a slightly sm Obama would be such a good fit. aller size Some traits Alinsky sought are comand a considerably small er price— Fish Fry Friday Night All-You-Can-Eat Only mon in good leaders: imagination, sense Saturday Night All-You-Can–Eat Ribs $9.99 Open 6am - 10pm Daily. of humor, curiosity, and an organized personality. Nothing sinister there, but AlinBreakfast served all day! Join us for Breakfast, Lunch, orskyDinner. wants organizers to use these charac(Open 6am—10pm. Breakfastteristics all day.) to undermine civil society and As always, military members receive 10% off their meal! 975 A. N. Academy Blvd. C.S. CO 80909 provide an opening for more socialism. 314-3616 Imagination helps the organizer : ts identify with theypeople being organized. Friday Nigh ar Academy Blvd , s y a Milit Fry!
[W]hen you elect an Alinsky-ite community organizer, you don’t get someone just looking to level the playing field. Instead of promoting the American sense of fair play, the Alinsky model tries to tilt the playing field forever to gain advantages that can’t be reversed.
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Sounds like empathy. But Alinsky wants an imagination that can “... anticipate the probable reactions of the enemy,” because the organizer works to provoke reactions that can be used against the “enemy.” Sense of humor? I think immediately of Reagan and how effectively he used wit to illustrate the folly of opponents. Alinsky valued humor in an organizer because he recognized ridicule and satire as being such potent weapons. He labeled ridicule as “man’s most potent weapon.” Mix that with Alinsky’s key tenet that for the organizer, truth is relative and changing, and you see where many of the false attacks on conservatives begin. Irreverence doesn’t characterize leaders I have admired. Alinsky promoted irreverence in community organizers so they would be “challenging, insulting, agitating, discrediting.” Here we gain insight into the lack of civility of the Alinsky method—and of Alinsky-ites trained in such incivility during recent decades. Alinsky valued ego, which he stressed is strong confidence as opposed to egotism. Supreme confidence lets an organizer keep pressing on despite opposition his/her actions generate. This helps explain why Obama keeps ignoring warnings about the damage his push for the power grab of Obamacare is doing to the Democrat Party and will do to America. An Alinsky organizer can be most effective if capable of completely polarizing an issue—the organizer’s position is 100% right and the opposition is 100% “on the side of the devil.” That’s why there is no truth or substance in Obama’s frequent calls for bipartisanship. So when you elect an Alinsky-ite community organizer, you don’t get someone just looking to level the playing field. Instead of promoting the American sense of fair play, the Alinsky model tries to tilt the playing field forever to gain advantages that can’t be reversed. Think ACORN’s massive voter-registration fraud attempts. Think hundreds of billions of unaccountable “stimulus” dollars that produced no real jobs. Instead it became a slush fund to convert your tax money into payoffs for Alinskyite supporters such as unions, ACORN, and other far-left organizations—and will bankroll election payoffs in 2010. Nevertheless, Alinsky-ites aren’t infallible. We must continue the fight by learning their rules of the game and turning those rules in our favor. Think Tea Parties, 9-12, Constitutionalists, The Heritage Foundation, etc., and millions of regular American citizens on the counterattack with the 2010 elections the next big target.
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We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration. —Hillary Clinton, during the Bush Administration
The Sky is Falling! The Earth is Warming!
Mistakes Imperil Americans Jimmie H. Butler, Colonel, USAF, Retired, Contributing Writer
At Last, Here is the Real Science Behind Global Climate Change in an Easy-to-Understand Format! Dave Doll, Guest Contributor We must understand the actual science behind climate change to defend ourselves from loss of liberty and wealth that will be forced upon us by the global warming advocates. Anyone who comes into contact with our visible geology in Colorado understands intuitively that dramatic climate changes have occurred ever since the earth had enough atmosphere to create a climate. Many people have suggested one
cause or another for climate change. This is the first presentation to bring together all of the causes for global climate change and show how they work together to produce the world we experience. David Doll has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He became interested in the climate change debate several years ago and began his own investigation on the subject.
What follows is the beginning of a Powerpoint presentation in the style of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The remaining twelve slides may be viewed on our website at www.theconstitutionalisttoday.com/sky.
THE “HOCKEY STICK” TOLD US WE ARE DESTROYING THE PLANET
GLOBAL TEMPERATURES AND CO2 LEVELS
Temperature Anomaly C
THE RISE WAS ASSOCIATED WITH MAN-MADE CARBON DIOXIDE
POLITICIANS TELL US THAT TO SAVE THE PLANET WE MUST GIVE AWAY OUR PROSPERITY AND STRICTLY LIMIT OUR LIVES.
THE INFAMOUS “HOCKEY STICK” SHOWED EARTH’S TEMPERATURE WAS RISING QUICKLY
Year Source: NOAA Paleoclimatology Program
THE DATA WAS FUDGED
100 YEARS OF DATA ISN’T LONG ENOUGH TO PREDICT ANYTHING
LET’S STEP BACK AND TAKE THE LONG VIEW OF GLOBAL CLIMATE THE CLIMATE HAS BEEN CHANGING FOREVER !
HOT HOUSE EARTH Dinosaurs roam the earth
Polar ice caps melt
AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE
You are here The oceans freeze over -500
SNOW BALL EARTH ICE AGES -300
Source: Adapted from N.J. Shaviv, et al, “Celestial Driver of Phanerozoic Climate”
ICE AGES OCCUR EVERY 140 MILLION YEARS
MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO
WE ARE NOW IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ICE AGE
Having spent nearly half my life in military service, I am concerned about our eroding defenses against terrorism under the current Washington leadership. The mainstream media plays down each bad decision’s potential for disaster. When grouped together, however, a pattern is obvious. Here’s my top-10 list of dangerous changes/actions since the November 2008 election. My ranking is open to debate, and other mistakes deserve consideration. Most mistakes are closely interrelated and part of broader policies that reduce our safety. See if you agree that the risk of many innocent Americans being murdered in terrorist attacks has increased. 10. Insertion of political correctness into the fight against terrorism: The new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary spoke of “man-caused disasters” instead of terrorism in her nomination hearing. Ten weeks later, DHS’s report on Rightwing Extremism warned of the potential of returning American veterans becoming part of “terrorist groups.” This is typical hypocrisy of political correctness. 9. Announced closing of Guantanamo: Sped up releases of dangerous terrorists back to the battlefields and a push to move prisoners to prisons in America. Gave them trials in civilian courts—and will likely give terrorists the same rights as American citizens. Enemy combatants are entitled to fewer rights than uniformed soldiers. 8. Fort Hood shooting: The shooter shouted “Allahu Akbar” before opening fire and murdering 13 American soldiers. The DHS secretary avoided calling the murders terrorism for 15 weeks. DHS and FBI had not raised concerns about the shooter being in contact with a radical imam connected to other terrorist attacks including 9-11. Political correctness contributed to Americans being murdered. 7. Christmas day bomber: Two days into his presidency, Obama revoked Bush’s Executive Order that put the CIA in charge of terrorist interrogations. Eleven months and three days later, the President hadn’t set up a replacement interrogation structure. Thus after 50 minutes of questioning, the suspected Christmas Day Bomber was read Miranda rights and stopped giving potentially life-saving intelligence. Ignoring reports about the suspect’s terrorist training in Yemen, the president initially responded that the suspect apparently was “an isolated extremist.” In contrast, a 12-year-old American boy whose name matched one on the Terrorist Watch List was questioned for hours. 6. Push to treat terrorist attacks as criminal offenses: The decision to hold terrorist trials in New York City was pure politics. This administration suspended
military tribunals and ignored guilty pleas of the 9-11 terrorists. The attorney general decided instead to put America and the Bush administration on trial before the world with 9-11 terrorists making the Obama administration’s case. Mr. Holder showed total indifference to increasing dangers for New York City residents. 5. Undercutting America’s ability to gain useful intelligence: Reminiscent of the Church Committee’s restrictions on the CIA in the mid-70s, AG Holder initiated a “witch hunt” to investigate lawyers who had written briefs approving interrogation tactics under President Bush. In February 2010, Democrats tried to slip language into the Patriot Act renewal ordering up to life in prison for interrogators not being nice to enemy combatants. Mix in Miranda rights on the battlefield and for terrorist bombers after less than an hour of interrogation, and we are all less safe. 4. Weakness with Iran: The administration’s naive approach has let Iran—one of the world’s primary exporters of terrorism—get much closer to having nuclear weapons. A nuclear-arms race in the midEast increases danger to everyone. 3. Hiring Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano: Holder had championed clemency for Puerto Rican FALN terrorist bombers during the Clinton administration. Holder’s obviously more concerned with courting the ACLU than keeping us safe. Napolitano was unqualified to effectively lead the DHS. Her unwillingness to call terrorism, “terrorism,” was the first clue. Saying in March 2009 that “... crossing the border is not a crime per se” suggests she is an extremely poor choice to be in charge of guarding our nation’s borders. 2. Not firing Holder and Napolitano: Holder’s decision for 9-11 terrorist trials in NYC, hiring terrorists’ defense lawyers in the DOJ, and the quick cut off of questioning of the suspected Christmas Day Bomber show Holder is too dangerous to be attorney general. Napolitano’s declaration that the system worked on Christmas Day and her weak leadership justify her firing. Holder and Napolitano are more devoted to protecting the administration’s weakened policies on terrorism than to protecting the American people from terrorism. 1. Poor presidential leadership in the war against terrorism: As commander-in-chief and head of the executive branch bureaucracy, the president sets the tone. The stakes are too high for the president to put Chicago-style power politics ahead of the national security of America and its people. I fear that will continue until the next big terrorist attack kills thousands of innocent Americans.
WHAT CAUSES THESE MASSIVE CHANGES? (HINT: IT’S NOT CARBON DIOXIDE)
WHEN COSMIC RAY INTENSITY IS HIGH, THE EARTH COOLS
GALACTIC COSMIC RAY BOMBARDMENT
HOT HOUSE EARTH
AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE
SNOW BALL EARTH
Source: Adapted from N.J. Shaviv, et al, “Celestial Driver of Phanerozoic Climate”
MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO
COSMIC RAYS CAUSE 67% OF ALL GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
www.TheConstitutionalistToday.com | 31
Al Gore’s Climate Changes Jeff Crank, Featured Writer
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A Broken Window and the Fed Bob Adelmann, Featured Writer
You go out tomorrow morning to get in your car and drive to work. You discover that during the windstorm last night a tree branch broke off and smashed your windshield so badly you can’t see. Once you’ve gotten past the exasperation, a friend kindly says to you, “Well, at least you’re going to give the windshield replacement company some business that they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. Isn’t that a good thing?” Another friend suggests that the additional business for the windshield repair company will translate into some work for the replacement tech who will replace your windshield. A third friend jumps in to say that will allow the replacement guy to take his wife to dinner tonight and the restaurant will benefit. Their dinner will translate into a tip that the waitress wouldn’t have received which allows her to enjoy a movie that she otherwise would have missed. The popcorn vendor at the theater will sell another pail of popcorn. And so on and so on. Finally, along comes a Washington economist who says, “Yes, your broken windshield will actually help our local economy, and that’s a good thing!” With apologies to Henry Hazlitt this is the broken window fallacy that suggests by looking at only part of the economics of a given transaction, incomplete and inaccurate conclusions will be drawn. The fallacy consists of looking only at the im-
mediate and visible results from having to replace your windshield and not looking at the total picture. If the replacement windshield costs you $200 (ignoring the aggravation and lost time from work) that leaves you with $200 less in your checkbook. You were planning on spending that $200 on a new iPod, but now you can’t. That’s one less iPod that won’t be purchased, one sale at Best Buy that won’t take place and one commission that won’t be paid to the salesman. Once you have a new windshield, you’re out the $200. The fallacy of the broken window is that most people can’t see, and therefore don’t take into account, the activities and economic transactions that don’t take place as a result of your smashed windshield. Prior to the beginning of the Great Recession, interest rates were held at close to zero in order to extend the benefits of home ownership to people who otherwise couldn’t afford a home. This would be good for the economy. It would provide jobs to construction workers and lumber companies, and other suppliers to the industry. Pressure was put on lending banks to loosen their lending rules. Promises were made that if the loans went bad, the U.S. taxpayer would make the bank whole again. After all, what could happen? Over time, people purchased homes they
…most people can’t see… the activities and economic transactions that don’t take place as a result of your smashed windshield.
32 | The Constitutionalist Today
In a recent issue of the New York Times (“We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change,” February 28, 2010), former-vice president and environmental celebrity Al Gore argued that the discovery of errors in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) data places no doubt on his overall conclusion that the planet is warming, man is responsible, and prompt, radical action is required to save us all from doom. It’s not clear how he comes to this conclusion. Error should lead to a healthy doubt, no matter what subject you are talking about. We should harbor even more doubt when Mr. Gore blatantly states as fact, observations which are contradicted by data. In his op-ed, Mr. Gore claims that warmer temperatures have increased evaporation and moisture in the air. Yet in a January 2010 article in Scientific American, Alan Reynolds, Senior Fellow with the Cato Institute, said “A mysterious drop in water vapor in the lower stratosphere might be slowing climate change.” Which is it, Mr. Gore? But let us grant Al Gore the benefit of the doubt which he denies us. Even if the IPCC accurately describes what is happening, the solutions provided by the environmentalists take no account of risk and economic impact. President Obama’s Cap-and-Trade legislation and the pending EPA power-grab, which would regulate carbon emissions across the country, are economic disasters. These “solutions” would also have so little effect on global temperatures as to make them incalculable. One global warming scientist infamously said it would take 30 Kyoto-style cap-and-trade programs to affect global temperatures. If the American people recoil at the first steps of this process, can you image the control over our lives that the 20th or 30th step would entail? This country cannot afford to take huge economic actions based on the idea
that climate is possibly changing and that human activity is possibly the source of the majority of that change. I take Al Gore at his word that he is afraid of a future which renders the Earth unlivable. Then why can’t he take me and millions of other Americans seriously when we say we are afraid of losing our jobs, our homes, and our incomes? Al Gore has no sense of risk or proportion. According to the Heritage Foundation, by 2035 the Cap-and-Trade bill would have raised gasoline prices by 58 percent, and raised electricity prices by 90 percent. A family of four would have seen energy costs rise by $1,241. Including taxes, a family of four would have paid an additional $4,609 per year. Job losses would have been nearly 2.5 million. Most damaging of all, the national debt could have risen by an additional $5 trillion or $12,803 per person. This is not an unintended consequence of these policies; it is the goal. Al Gore’s conceited certainty isn’t stopping with the legislative defeat of Cap-and-Trade. The EPA is on the verge of overreaching its authority and declaring greenhouse gases subject to Clean Air Act regulation. Everyone, every machine, and every process produces some amount of greenhouse gases. What the EPA has proposed is total regulatory control of the economy without recourse to our elected representatives. All because Al Gore doesn’t think error should result in doubt and because he has no sense of risk. Say what you will about President Clinton and his policies, he at least made an effort to “feel your pain.” Al Gore ignores your economic pain and your desire to not be regulated by unelected bureaucrats. Congress can still stop Gore and the EPA. Call them today and tell them to stop the EPA power grab.
couldn’t afford, obtaining mortgages that were priced too low, backed by the government in case they defaulted. Let’s look at a specific situation. In 2004, a loan for $465,000 was granted to a family in California, backed by a house that was appraised at $510,000. The homeowner took advantage of some government programs to allow him to make the down payment, and so their net investment in the home was almost zero. It was a 30-year loan. But by using an Option A loan, the homeowner was able to set his initial mortgage payment at just over $500 a month. This was less than the interest on the loan, and the negative amortization was added to the balance of the mortgage. The mortgage had a three-year period before the payment would be adjusted upwards. By that time, the family figured that the house would be worth upwards of $600,000, and refinancing or flipping the house to someone else would be a reasonable alternative. When the reset kicked in the mortgage balance had increased to almost $500,000, their payment jumped to over $1,800 a month, and the house was estimated to be worth about $350,000 (except
that there weren’t any buyers, only sellers, in his neighborhood). The family hired a furniture mover and left in the middle of the night. Who pays for that broken window? The homeowner had some costs, of course, and the default will be on his credit record for at least seven years. The bank had some costs, too, as it had to hire a contractor to refurbish the home for sale, and to hire a realtor to try to sell it. The bank would have had a “nonperforming loan” on its books, except that it sold the mortgage to Fannie Mae and at the time of this writing the home is still for sale. Is there anyone else involved here? The mortgage was packaged as part of a CDS (Collateralized Debt Security) which was sold to a pension plan in New Jersey. The pension plan has written off the loss on that investment, which reduced the value of the retirement plans of individuals investing their money with the plan. So, if a branch falls on the windshield of your car tonight, don’t think of it as good for the economy. Recognize it for what it is: a loss for you and the economy no matter what the economist from Washington tells you.
What the EPA has proposed is total regulatory control of the economy without recourse to our elected representatives.
Jeff Crank is the Colorado State Director for Americans for Prosperity and the President of the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition.
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Liberty and Tyranny A Conservative Manifesto by Mark R. Levin
Ellis in Wonderland 4 Star Rating
Reviewed by Alfred C. Maurer, Featured Writer Any book whose chapter titles begin with “On…” is a must-read for me. It reminds me, of course, of John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty as I expect it is meant to do. Throughout the book, Levin contrasts the arguments of the conservative—the classic liberal of John Locke and John Stuart Mill—with the statist position of the modern liberals. “Statists” is simply a term he uses for any and all belief systems that advocate the massive power of the government over that of the individual. It is a good term to encompass liberals, socialists, communists, national socialists, fascists, theocrats or dictators. A classic liberal in America who advocates for liberty and the rights of the individual stands against all of these. The first two chapters present opposing pairs: liberty and tyranny, prudence and progress; I think that from a philosophical perspective they’re the best chapters. They emphasize the dignity of the individual, that our rights come from God, not government, and that government governs with the consent of the governed—the essence of the social contract. Liberals claim the Constitution is outdated. Which of these principles falls into that category? The next four chapters discuss what America was meant to be about: the found-
ing, the Constitution, federalism and the free market. This is all good reading and puts you in mind of the ideal of America. The Constitution, Levin reminds us, was designed to safeguard our natural, Godgiven rights. Recognizing that people and their governments are both imperfect, federalism diffuses power between the federal government and the states and people who created it. The free market is where we exercise our constitutional rights to property, yet Levin describes how the statist seeks to take your property for its own purposes. Levin discusses the things happening currently that work against those ideals: the welfare state, enviro-statism and immigration. He shows that we’ve been going wrong for a long time. The chapter entitled “Self-Preservation” is pretty much about America’s place in the world. In fact, self-preservation is the national interest of every country in the world and it should be ours as well. The final chapter “A Conservative Manifesto” is fairly short and is actually titled “Epilogue.” Having gone this far, one has a good idea of what needs to change in order to bring America back to the path the founders put it on, but Levin summarizes ten specific areas and actions that need to be taken. It is a tall order. The book is a really good read and pretty fast for 200 pages. It was on Amazon’s best seller list for a long time and when I wrote this review it was still #8. The liberal press really doesn’t want to give to publicity—yet it has sold over 1.2 million copies. I highly recommend this book.
State of Fear by Michael Crichton
5 Star Rating
Reviewed by Helen Sabin, Contributing Writer State Of Fear, the fourteenth novel by Michael Crichton, is one of the best books he has ever written. Although it first was published in 2008, it is more relevant today than two years ago when it first came out. The book deals with a topic that is important today: global warming, or climate change. Crichton skillfully interweaves facts with a storyline that will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat. It is a thriller of a story with characters you are going to love! State of Fear is one of those books you take to the coffee shop and stay there for three hours or more reading. It is also one of those books that so angered a radical environmental group they protested its truth by burning down a housing area in Maryland the week the book made its premier! Coincidence? Crichton tears to shreds the theories about global warming, the greenhouse effect and the horror stories we hear daily about glaciers melting and islands such as Vanuatu, the lowest lying island in the Pacific being destroyed by rising sea waters. (It isn’t. I called realtors there to check!) But he does so in such an entertaining fact-filled way that you are not going to want to put the book down. With the facts published in the book, you can
36 | The Constitutionalist Today
On the Lighter Side
go online and check to see if climate change is real or not. You make up your own mind! The story begins with a number of strange events occurring in different cities around the world. They quickly come together centered on an evil radical environmentalist group called the National Environmental Resource Fund (NERF). Like many global warming groups today, they are respectable on the outside but evil on the inside – with hidden agendas. Helping them promote their evil agenda is an attorney, Peter Evans, who not only represents NERF but is also one of its major financial backers. He soon finds his environmental beliefs challenged, however, by an interesting man named John Kenner, who works for the Center for Risk Analysis. Kenner is a likeable but irritating man who has the bad habit of disputing, with facts, Evans’ opinions on global warming. Evans, being an intelligent man and an attorney, is at first bothered and really irritated by Kenner. But gradually, because he can’t dispute the facts Kenner throws at him, comes to realize that NERF IS changing and distorting global warming data for its own self serving, nefarious ends. (Sound familiar?) Evans soon finds himself aiding Kenner in his attempts to sabotage a series of man-made events which will cause a deadly catastrophe to happen! How does the book end? You have to read it. Don’t miss this great book.
Big Spending and Deep Debt—A Cock-a-Doodle-Don’t or, Big Spending and Deep Debt Nothing to Crow About by Ellis Posey, Contributing Writer White House Fowl Mouth: All you lowly representatives of the press will be glad you came today, because we have a real treat for you. Cock of the Walk has flown down from on high to grace us with his presence today. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you his Chief Roosterness, President Cock of the Walk. (Scattered applause) C. of the W.: (Looks down from his exalted perch before he focuses on his two RoosterPrompters) Thank you, thank you very much. First, I want to be perfectly clear: Bush fouled all our nests and took away everybody’s nest eggs. But that’s over now, because we won and I, His Chief Roosterness, President Cock of the Walk, am in control. Any questions? Peacock Reporter: Chicken Little says that if the Cap and Trade bill is passed and signed, it will skyrocket energy costs and make another big hole through the global warming hoax, then punch through the $14.2 Trillion debt ceiling and make the sky fall. Considering what the increased energy costs would be for families and for small egg producers, what can your administration do to assure citizens they can hope things change for the best? C. of the W.: I’m glad you asked that question. Let me be perfectly clear. When you take the number of eggs produced over ten years and divide it by the square root of the number of members in my new Debt Reduction Commission, and factor in how many Green Jobs I have proposed in Feathery Reid’s state, then multiply that by the number of eggs each hen produces over a lifetime, I think everyone will agree
that I will be out of office and taking Air Force One with me before anybody figures out that I have absolutely no notion of what I’m talking about. Next question. Eye in the Sky Reporter: The First Hen has proposed a 9 Billion egg budget to fight chick obesity. Couldn’t that money be better spent on pre-school sex education? C. of the W.: Eggzactly! (Silent pause) Hey, that was a Big Rooster in the Barnyard joke. Everybody better get to cacklin’. (Silent pause) Let me be clear, nobody wants a bunch of fuzzy bodied, tubby little chicks running around doing who-knows-what to each other without protection. We can do both. The future of our nation is at stake. Next question. Alphabet Reporter: There are reports that Tea Party organizers are gaining strength with their rallies all across the country. Do you believe they will clip the wings of congressional members of your party in the elections next November? C. of the W.: Let me be perfectly clear. You have ME now. And to paraphrase a famous pig of my acquaintance, “Who’s afraid of a Big Bad Tea Party.” Hah, Hah. That’s another joke, son. Sorry. No more questions. My RoosterPrompter tells me it’s time to go to a fund raiser for the Head Hen of the House. Everybody stay cool now. FOX Noose Reporter: That’s all the news from here. Back to you in New York, Chick.
Liberals Say the Darndest Things! (the Constitution is) an imperfect document…a document that reflects some deep flaws…(and) an enormous blind spot…The Framers had that same blind spot. —Barack Obama But we have to pass the (healthcare) bill so everyone can, uh, find out what’s in it. —Nancy Pelosi …the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama. —Rev. Al Sharpton The Tea Party is just a right-wing movement to make it look like we’re socialist. —Jesse Ventura A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. —Barack Obama I have not said that I was a single payer supporter… —Barack Obama I would probably go with a single-payer system… —Barack Obama …when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people. —Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), longest-serving member of the House …if I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than [the Democratically-controlled] Congress has created in the last six months. —Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), after announcing his retirement from office Rahm Emanuel is son of the devil’s spawn. He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. —Former Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY)
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Highway Trafﬁc Safety Administration
R.L. Polk (1), NHTSA (2), KBB (3)
For friendly assistance call 719.471.3100 or visit ToyotaofColoradoSprings.com 1323 Motor City Drive • Colorado Springs, CO