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As your Estes Park Conservative Representatives we attended the Colorado State GOP Central Committee Meeting as voting Bonus Members yesterday with surprising results. By the end of the day the Old Guard was completely voted out and what are considered Grassroots Candidates voted in to lead the GOP forward towards 2016. Steve House former Gubernatorial Candidate was voted in as Chair. Derrick Wilburn, from the American Conservatives of Color Group was voted in as Vice Chair. This was a great VICTORY in the eyes of many. Brandi Meeks was voted in as Secretary. Bottomline in Colorado is that the Conservative Grassroots Movement has achieved a Great Victory. Now is the time to get involved in the movement, to come together as Conservative and strive for victory in 2016.

As always, thanks to our volunteers! Looks like Bob, Jay, David and Cedric are in the hunt for those WCS tickets, but there are many more weeks to go! There have been some doozies dropped very recently, but these bills below were on the calendar for this week when we began this week’s review. As you know, we look to the upcoming week’s calendar in the House and the Senate to triage which bills we’ll review. Next week’s report could be the highlight of the bi-partisan race to the bottom of free market intervention and big government. But for now, we’ll go with these…No More Snow Days – Back to Work!
HB 15-1171    State Freedom Of Conscience Protection Act    Support

This bill prohibits state and local governments in Colorado from directly or indirectly constraining the exercise of religion, except in cases involving a compelling governmental interest. State and local governments, including individual public officials in their official capacity, must use the least restrictive means of furthering any such compelling governmental interest. Individuals whose exercise of religion is burdened, or likely to be burdened, may assert a violation of the bill as a new claim or as a defense in court. This law directly mirrors federal legislation that was passed in 1993. Why, you might ask, if the law exists federally, is it being run at the state level? The courts have for reason ruled that this federal law can’t be applied to state law, so a little more than half of the states have enacted this legislation at the state level.

This legislation supports the principles of:

Individual Liberty

Limited Government

State vs. Federal Balance of Power

HB 15-1200    Highly Effective Teachers & Low-performing Schools    Oppose

This program will provide grants to local education providers to enable them to offer monetary incentives for highly effective teachers who choose to teach in low-performing elementary, middle, or junior high schools. Funding of $4,000,000 would go toward enticing “highly effective teachers” to teach at “Low-performing schools”. Does this mean that school principals are not an important part of the school success equation? We think that they are, and as a former high school teacher, I can attest to the impact of a good administrator vs. a not-so-good administrator. So while we can’t allow parents to have school choice and send their kids to high performing schools (a collection of teachers, administrators, etc.), apparently we can throw more taxpayer money at low-performing schools, potentially raiding high-performing schools of their good teachers and sending them to low-performing schools. More taxpayer expense + degraded teaching staffs in good schools + throwing good teachers into questionable teaching environments = recipe for continued lowering of product quality across the board. Here’s a crazy idea – instead of paying good teachers to abandon their good schools to go to low-performing schools, why don’t we allow parents and students to choose which schools they can attend?

This legislation opposes the principles of:

Limited Government

Fiscal Responsibility

HB 15-1201    BOCES & Centralized Operating Services Grants    Oppose

This bill creates a grant program in the Colorado Department of Education to enable Boards of Cooperative Educational Services to provide centralized operating services to rural school districts and charter schools. The grant program intends to reduce operating overhead costs for eligible school districts and charter schools that use the BOCES to deliver operating services. The fiscal note says that the cost will be $10,000,000, yet this is supposed to reduce operating costs for participating school districts. Seems like rural school districts should be able to attempt the same thing under their own local control, with the cost savings directly benefitting themselves, and without redistributing $10,000,000 of additional taxpayer funds.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

Limited Government

Fiscal Responsibility

HB 15-1226    Retail Food Establishment Fees    Oppose

This bill removes the annual license fees for these retail food establishments from statute and requires the state board of health to establish the fees by rule instead. The legislations states that the current process,“… does not allow for regular, necessary increases to address rising costs due to inflation, population growth, or growth in the retail food establishment industry.” Well now, that IS a problem – the government can’t raise taxes, er fees, whenever and however it likes? We all know that only the state can keep our food safe, and it has to be able to easily increase fees every year. Not.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

Limited Government

Fiscal Responsibility

HB 15-1227    Tax Credit For Employers That Pay Student Loans    Oppose

This is arguably the worst bill of the bunch this week. The bill creates an income tax credit for employers doing business in Colorado who hire and retain new employees for a 12-month period and during that period make direct payments to pay off the employee’s student loan. This is called “cost-shifting”, and it is shifting the costs of someone’s student loan repayments from THEM (you know, the person who took out the loan, promising to repay it) to YOU (dear taxpayer, because you can afford it!) through the tax code. The people who run these bills continue to call themselves “small businessmen”, etc. No, they are “wealth redistributionists” and “big government corporate cronies”.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

Personal Responsibility

Free Markets

Limited Government

Fiscal Responsibility

HB 15-1233    Respite Care Study Task Force    Oppose

The bill creates the respite care task force to study the dynamics of supply and demand with regard to respite care services in Colorado. The bill intends to authorize a study to determine the current state of respite care in Colorado, including access to care and funding of respite care services, and to increase the availability of affordable respite care throughout Colorado. Because the government can provide every solution to everyone at no cost to anyone and that’s its job, right?

This legislation opposes the principles of:

Personal Responsibility

Limited Government

Fiscal Responsibility

HB 15-1234    Income Tax Deduction For Leasing Out Ag Asset    Oppose

This bill creates an income tax deduction for leasing an agricultural asset to a beginning farmer or rancher that satisfies certain qualifications. Because the role of government is to try to help guide the markets by incentivizing selected activities, right? Goodness knows these things can’t be left to the free market, now can they, who would build the roads, er, farm the land?

This legislation opposes the principles of:

Free Markets

Limited Government

Fiscal Responsibility

HB 15-1237    Prepay Postage For Mail Ballots    Oppose

This bill requires that postage prepaid return envelopes be sent to eligible electors for any mail ballot election, including independent mail ballot elections held by a local government and municipal mail ballot elections. Not only should people not have the inconvenience of having to go to a polling place to vote, but they shouldn’t have to pay the price of a stamp to mail it in either, because that’s voter suppression!

This legislation opposes the principles of:

Personal Responsibility

Fiscal Responsibility

HB 15-1238    Tax Credit Preceptors     Oppose

This bill grants a tax credit of $1,000 – $1,500 to a “preceptor”, a doctor, dentist, PT, nurse, PA, or pharmacist who provides a one month long period of mentoring, oversight, training or instruction to a grad student. This bill states that this is an “initial step” and that the legislature hopes to “… expand the scope of this section in future years…” This is more government intervention into the markets in an attempt to create a socio-political outcome, and they tell us in the bill that this is just a start. Part of the problem with health care today is that there is no free market, only government intervention, regulation, mandates, etc.

This legislation opposes the principles of:

Free Markets

Limited Government

HB 15-1240    Reduce Student Contacts With Law Enforcement    Oppose

This bill would “encourage” all school districts to negotiate and enter into a memorandum of understanding with each municipal law enforcement agency and each sheriff’s department to minimize students’ contacts with law enforcement agencies and courts as disciplinary responses to school incidents. I suppose that school districts, which are constitutionally empowered to oversee education locally, need the state legislature to provide proper encouragement, or else whatever would they do if left to their own devices?

This legislation opposes the principles of:

Limited Government

HB 15-1242    Patient Caregiver Designation Hospital Requirement    Support

This bill requires hospitals to give patients or their legal guardian the opportunity to designate a caregiver. A caregiver is defined as a person designated by a patient to provide aftercare to them once they’ve checked out of the hospital and are back at home. The bill allows the hospital to consult with the patient regarding the capabilities and limitations of the caregiver, provide a discharge plan to the patient, and provide the caregiver with instructions and training concerning the aftercare of the patient. This appears to empower patient choice and control with respect to his/her own care.

This legislation supports the principles of:

Personal Responsibility

Free Markets

SB 15-180    Regulatory Reform Act 2015    Support

Under current law, state agencies are generally authorized by the Administrative Procedures Act to initiate an enforcement action when an individual or business violates an administrative rule. This bill creates enforcement provisions that apply to small businesses following a minor violation of a new (less than 1 year old) administrative rule. In essence, instead of hammering a small business about a rule it wasn’t even aware of, a state agency must issue a written warning for a first-time minor violation during the first year of an administrative rule. Perhaps the only thing we don’t care for is that this only applies to businesses of less than 100 people. The thinking is that small business makes up the majority of business activity in Colorado, and they don’t have teams of lawyers to keep up with the administrative rule-making of the state. We’d like to see the rule expanded for ALL businesses, but given that the bill died in committee last year on a party line vote, we’re not confident the bill will go very far. Perhaps it will at least make it out of the Senate, and who knows, maybe generate some momentum before going to the House.

This legislation supports the principles of:

Limited Government

SB 15-193    Statewide Internet Portal Authority Reports To GA    Support

The bill consolidates the 2 reports and requires the portal authority to submit one annual report to the members of the joint technology committee, the joint budget committee, and the committees of the house of representatives and the senate that oversee business affairs. A modest proposal to streamline a tiny corner of government, but we’ll take it.

This legislation supports the principles of:

Limited Government

SB 15-197    Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriptive Authority    Support

This bill reduces the requirement to achieve full prescriptive authority to 1,000 practice hours. The bill also allows the role of mentor to be filled by an advanced practice nurse with prescriptive authority and loosens some of the interaction requirements during the mentorship. The bill also allows provisional prescriptive authority upon graduation and passage of a certification examination. Overall, this bill lessons what appears to be a very heavy regulatory burden.

This legislation supports the principles of:

Limited Government

SB 15-202    Exclude Water Conditioning Appliance From Plumbing    Support

We think that Joe the Plumber would be ok with this. This bill limits plumbing regulations by excluding from the definition of “plumbing” the design, installation, and repair of water conditioning appliances that are connected to potable water systems with a pipe that is greater than 2 inches nominal diameter. The bill also clarifies that a person does not have to be registered as a plumbing contractor in order to subcontract with a plumber as long as all of the plumbing work is performed by a licensed plumber.  One small step for plumbing, one giant leap for free markets. Well, maybe not giant.

This legislation supports the principles of:

Free Markets

Limited Government

Ken Buck: Obama’s dangerous dance with Iran President Obama just made a dangerous world a lot more dangerous. His strategic bumbling in the most explosive part of the planet has set off a chain reaction. The president turned his back on America’s friends like Israel, Jordan and Egypt, and longtime partner Saudi Arabia. Desperate for help in crushing the Islamic State terrorists and diverting attention from his failures, President Obama has thrown in his lot with the Islamic Republic of Iran. America has no worse enemy. For three decades, the State Department classified Iran as a state sponsor of international terrorism. The Iranian regime supported and directed the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon, slaughtering 241 American servicemen in a single stroke. Tehran aided terrorists worldwide ever since. Reports indicate it helped al-Qaeda in the 1990s. After 9/11, the regime helped al- Qaeda even more. When the U.S. sent forces to destroy al-Qaeda’s Taliban safe havens in Afghanistan, Iran aided the Taliban. When the U.S. led the way to oust Saddam Hussein and smash jihadists in Iraq between 2003 and 2011, Iran backed terrorists and Shiite militias to maim and kill our young men and women. Iran’s notorious Revolutionary Guard designed and built countless improvised explosive devices, giving them to terrorists to butcher our people more horrifically in both Iraq and Afghanistan. President Obama never called Iran to account for its unprovoked attacks on Americans. Instead, his policies have rewarded the ayatollahs. Iran is a longtime supporter of the Syrian regime — itself a state sponsor of terrorism — run by fanatics willing to murder thousands of its own citizens with chemical weapons. Bit by bit, Iran is surrounding the great oil fields of the Arabian peninsula. It has co-opted the government of Iraq that we had put in power. Last month, it helped Houthi extremists overthrow the pro-American president of Yemen, a government that President Obama once called his counterterrorism success story. It is trying to overthrow the government of Bahrain. And then, of course, there is America’s staunchest friend in the region: Israel. The Iranian regime continues to build the capability to execute its inflammatory rhetoric to exterminate Israel and hold the world hostage to new forms of nuclear terror. The ayatollahs and their followers believe their rhetoric. Israel, they insist, must be wiped out. America, they repeat daily, is “the Great Satan.” As true believers, they demand that the Great Satan must be destroyed as well. Last December, President Obama pretended not to notice the Iranian regime celebrating the 35th anniversary of the 1979 hostage crisis by staging “Death to America” rallies. Grasping for options against the atrocities of the Islamic State, Obama has gone soft on Iran. For years, the U.S., Israel and others had been working covertly to disrupt and destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Not anymore. The president apparently believes that, for all their tough talk, the ayatollahs are reasonable men who can be trusted to strike a deal that benefits everybody. After all, no other country has more “boots on the ground” against the Sunni fanatics of the Islamic State than the Shiite fanatics of Iran. The Obama administration seems willing to accept an Iranian nuclear weapons system that is complete but not operational. Such a stance would assure Tehran that its big investment in nuclear missiles will ultimately become a reality. And President Obama could claim political success for preventing the ayatollahs’ nukes from actually being deployed. At least on his watch.

Remember the date: June 12th, 2015, Lincoln Day Dinner – LCRP, Kris “Tanto” Paronto, speaking. Lory Student Center, CSU. Find out what a difference it could have made.

Our meeting on February 28 2015 at Cheesy Lees Restaurant to hear Sheriff Justin Smith speak on “Threats to American Homeland” went extremely well. The Sheriff talked for about 35 minutes and then answered questions for another 50 minutes. He did a great job and was thanked by all those attending. The weather cooperated with sunshine and a few clouds. Cold but no snow! We want to thank all of you that came. By best count, we had 136 people. And as you can see the usual suspect returned to the scene.Feburary 20 2015 2 Feburary 28 2015 1 Feburary 28 2015

Does the Republican Party really belong to its grassroots activists, the so-called rank and file, or does it belong to political machines, party lawyers, crony capitalists, and Washington D.C. consultants? That is the question facing the Colorado Republican Party Central Committee on March 14, 2015 when the Committee convenes to elect its next Chairman and party officers for two year terms.

The question keeps rearing its ugly head and did so again in a very small, poor, southern Colorado county that only has 300-400 Republicans in the entire county. Also involved is a retired, 69 year-old woman named Carole Naro who dared to step on the royal toes of the current Colorado Republican Party Chairman, Ryan Call. [For another story of the state party machine crushing the grassroots see the story of Dan Green]

You see the Costilla County Republican Party (CCRP) was essentially a dead party organization with all of its officers having previously resigned in 2013, with Naro herself as treasurer, resigning in February 2014 because of an apparent lack of interest by anyone in the county to continue operations. As a former New Yorker with a strong sense of perseverance, however, Naro on her own initiative decided to revive her county’s Republican Party and directly notified over 60 registered Republicans, whose names were maintained in the CCRP files, as well as placing 6 public notices in the county that she was going to conduct a regular county party organizational meeting within the timeframe set by state law for all county parties to hold such meetings. The purpose of the organizational meeting was to elect their officers and take care of any other party business. Significantly, county party officers each have a vote at the upcoming March 14 Central Committee meeting.

Prior to Naro’s meeting, no one, including the state party or its Chairman, felt the need to conduct any formal vacancy meetings or get involved in any meaningful way in rebuilding the Costilla County Republican Party.

So on February 11, 2015, Naro held her organizational meeting and only three individuals showed up. Naro and the others voted themselves officers, completed the required forms, and notified the state party office of their actions, as all county parties are required to do.

Significantly, no one from Costilla County objected to Naro’s meeting, yet strangely, upon receiving notice of the results of this election, Chairman Call decided unilaterally and without consulting anyone in Costilla County that he was going to hold his own Costilla County organizational meeting—despite the fact that Naro had just claimed to run an organizational meeting and elected officers.

Naro registered an objection with the state executive committee to holding this new organizational meeting and asked the Chairman and the committee to recognize the results of her meeting and cancel the second, organizational meeting. After refusing to allow Naro to personally tell her side of the story and give her version of the facts, and after Chairman Call laid out his version of the facts and stating what he says the law requires, the executive committee concluded that Naro was not authorized to call any such meeting, and that only Ryan Call could now reorganize Costilla County under the state party bylaws.

While the state party Bylaws give authority to the state party Chairman to call a meeting and appoint officers of a county central committee in the event of officer vacancies, there is nothing in the Bylaws that necessarily restricts another registered Republican from attempting to reorganize the party at a regularly scheduled organizational meeting within the statutory timeframe to elect its officers, even if there was a prior officer vacancy. Certainly any technical deficiencies could have been waived by unanimous vote or at least addressed by others in Costilla County who may have objected. Nor does state law provide direct guidance on the issue.

Some have questioned whether the Costilla County bylaws come into play. According to Chairman Call himself, because the CCRP was “dissolved”, those bylaws were no longer effective. Any failure to comply with those bylaws by Naro would not be relevant from a strictly legal perspective. Regardless, Naro notified a significant number of CCRP members on file, including those who ultimately won officer positions after the second organizational meeting. It was well within the purview of the executive committee to consider these exceptional circumstances and resolve the issue in a fair and open manner, allowing the CCRP the freedom to conduct its own business.

The reality is that the CCRP was in a unique situation where reasonable arguments could be made with respect to what the bylaws require. The bottom line is that Chairman Call and the executive committee could have simply let the Costilla County Republicans alone to run their own county organization and resolve any disputes with regard to leadership (which there were not any) by themselves. Nevertheless, with the exception of Vice-chairman Mark Baisley and Secretary Lana Fore both of whom supported Carole Naro, the committee once again deferred to the will of Chairman Call and refused to recognize the results of Naro’s meeting.

And what makes the entire situation even more questionable is that only two weeks out from the March 14, 2015 state chairman election, Chairman Call managed to find 23 people to show up to a state party-paid steak dinner in a blizzard, after he admittedly couldn’t find anyone to participate in county party governance for the prior two years. He also managed to get himself elected chairman-pro-tem to run the March 1 organizational meeting (when Ms. Naro in fact was asked and encouraged to run the meeting by the state executive committee), appointed the Democrat Clerk and Recorder to run the teller committee (after telling the executive committee that she was only there because she has to certify the results), and then succeeded in getting an individual who did not participate in county politics for two years elected Costilla County Chairman over Carole Naro by a fairly wide margin.

Rather than helping Carole Naro and giving her the benefit of the doubt, and taking the time to conduct a basic investigation into what happened in Costilla County, Naro was ignored and put on the defensive. After the Chairman and many members of the executive committee spent their meeting looking for anything and everything Carole Naro did wrong in holding her meeting, and despite the technical defects of the Chairman’s own call for an organizational meeting, Carole Naro became the bad guy—Ryan Call the hero. Chairman Call became the savior from Denver who was going to help the ignorant bumpkins of Costilla County fix the mess they created, and treat them to a nice steak dinner on top of it. See video of portions of this second organizational meeting here.

Naturally, as is often the case, Chairman Call misses the big picture. The story of Costilla County is not about technical bylaws and statutes; it is about a heavy-handed Chairman not only unwilling to help an energized grassroots activist revive an essentially dead Republican organization, but to make sure she was shut down and marginalized in order to make way for himself to come in and reorganize the county party as he saw fit. And not to mention the obvious appearance of chicanery when he calls an unnecessary meeting to elect officers that will have a vote in his own reelection bid in two weeks that could have been conducted at any point over the last year. And people wonder why the base of the Republican Party is defecting and registering as independents in droves.

It’s like the biblical story of David and Goliath, except this time Goliath won. It is time for a new Party Chairman.

Our meeting today to hear our Sheriff Justin Smith speak on Threats to American Homeland went extremely well. The Sheriff talked for about 35 minutes and then answered questions for another 50 minutes. He did a great job and was thanked by all those attending. The weather cooperated with sunshine and a few clouds. Cold but no snow! We want to thank all of you that came. By best count, we had 136 people.

Thanks, Mack, Bill, Judy, Michelle and Mike

PS–Pictures and more info will soon be posted on our web site. Please go to:
tealiberty.com or use key words Estes Park Tea Party Patriots 

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