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Archive for February, 2012

As you probably already know, on February 10th, the controversial regulation that forces almost all employers to provide health insurance coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization, without a co-pay, that began last August, came to a head.

As Mike Brownfield with The Heritage Foundation said, “individuals and leaders from various faith backgrounds, including Roman Catholic, Jewish, evangelical, and Protestant traditions spoke out, prompting President Obama to announce an “accommodation” in response.”

What you probably didn’t know is that “the so-called accommodation turned out to be nothing more than a smokescreen. The Obama Administration ultimately finalized the August version of the rule, without any changes. The same rule that had caused the controversy in the first place, was the rule that was finalized, within hours of holding the press conference about the accommodation.”

Is there any lie that our President won’t say?

The following video speaks about the dangerous flaws at the root of Obamacare. In the video, George Weigel, says that Obamacare puts our society’s core in jeopardy:

“What is at stake here ultimately is whether civil society will survive, and whether voluntary institutions or voluntary associations ranging from the traditional family to multimillion member organizations like the Catholic Church to small businesses will be allowed to function only if they imitate the government, only if they imitate the state.”

Also in the video, Matthew Spalding, vice president of American Studies at The Heritage Foundation, says that:

“What is happening has little to do with health care or even public policy and everything to do with the role of government in the most immediate and intimate matters of our lives. All is subject to government control, regulatory dictate, and administrative whim. Nothing will be allowed outside of the new regulatory scheme: no independent state programs, no individuals or businesses permitted not to participate, no true private market alternatives.”

This is chilling stuff.

As many have said, Obamacare has nothing to do with healthcare, and everything to do with government control.

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If you want to know what’s killing entreprenuership in America, check out John Stossel’s recent piece that referenced the War on Lemonade Stands.  He outlines what is necessary to comply with health laws and business licensing in New York City to open a lemonade stand.

In 2011, three protestors were arrested on the Capitol Mall for selling lemonade as part of Lemonade National Freedom Day.    Apparently this led some five-year olds to believe that selling lemonade should not be a crime:

Silly kids.  Freedomfor little girls is not a priority in America.  In fact, some folks think the freedom to run a lemonade stand might send the wrong message.  See if you can review this page of tips and find the lurking danger to the public.  No?   That’s why we need another Lemonade National Freedom Day in 2012.

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The Republican primary race for the Second Congressional District began in earnest this weekend at a meeting of the Estes Park Tea Party Patriots in Larimer County.  State Senator Kevin Lundberg and businessman Eric Weissmann both addressed the monthly meeting of the tea party group in Estes Park.  Senator Lundberg mentioned that it was the first time the two candidates have met on the campaign trail.

The event was specifically not formatted as a debate.  Both candidates largely focused their comments on Representative Jared Polis.

Having served as their legislator since 2003, Kevin Lundberg is well known in Estes Park.  Lundberg opened his remarks by discussing the concept of natural rights–our rights are given to us by a higher power, not by government.  Senator Lundberg responded to a number of questions about the current state legislative session.  Senator Lundberg introduced a bill to set two criteria for licensing of children day care centers.  First, health and safety and second an affordability criteria.

Sen. Lundberg at Estes Park Meeting

Lundberg has been a vocal critic of new state regulations for day care centers that contain numerous specific mandates for regulatory compliance.  For example, the regulations specify the number of crayons provided to each child and that a certain number of displays at each day care must include “realistic” depictions of nature.  “I’m not opposed to any particular displays,” said Lundberg, but he believes the state has no business focusing on such details of how a day care operates.  Lundberg contends that witnesses who testified in favor of the detailed regulations based their appeal on a conflicting idea.  “They say ‘we can’t trust day care center operators to know what’s best for children,” said Lundberg.  At the same time, state witnesses told the panel that the legislature needs to “trust us [the regulators].”

Lundberg also questioned Polis’ opposition to the Pioneer Act amendment, a provision that would require leasing of federal lands for oil shale development.  Altough the technology does not yet exist to extract oil shale for production, Lundberg wants the federal government to recognize its great potential.  Lundberg said that the U.S. has a 1 trillion potential reser

Eric Weissmann recognizes question

Eric Weissmann is a political newcomer.  Weissman contended that Polis “didn’t learn anything” from his private sector experience, based upon his voting record.  “Polis thinks he’s smarter than you, me, or any of us.  We need to be able to make our own decisions,” said Weissmann, instead of Washington making all sorts of decisions for us.  Weissmann provided a lengthy list of harmful Polis votes, including Polis’ votes for the stimulus bill, cap & trade energy, and the Dodd-Frank bill, and his recent opposition to the Kestone pipeline.  “Polis votes 89% of the time with Nancy Pelosi, 2% of the time with the GOP, and 9% of the time he did not show up,”  Weissmann asserted.

Weissmann contended he entered the race in part to provide coattails to state legislative and local races.  “I know how to build and organization with resources,” said Weissmann.  Weissmann doesn’t like talking about process, but “process is important” to success.

During a series of audience questions, Weissmann explained that Jared Polis’ opposition to school reform convinced him he needed to run against Polis.  Weissmann called Polis the night before a vote on school choice for the District of Columbia,  one of America’s worst urban school districts.  Polis opposed the bill.  The Heritage Foundation has multiple posts about teacher union opposition to the SOAR Act.  The bill’s sponsors were House Speaker John Boehner and (drummed out of the Democratic Party for being too) independent Senator Joe Lieberman.  Polis stuck with the unions rather than disadvantaged children in the District of Columbia.

President Obama’s latest budget again eliminated funding for DC School Choice— schools the President won’t allow his own children to attend.   Both Polis and the President are opposing a reform effort that has produced substantially higher graduation rates at a lower cost to taxpayers.   School choice for DC residents began in 2003.  If Polis and the President have their way, it will end this year.

Weissmann has been involved in multiple organizations committed to school reform, including the Alliance for Choice in Education (school choice scholarships to assist low-income parents), Colorado Uplift (a mentoring program to empower urban youth to lead successful lives)  and the Wellness Initiative (wellness program for low income K-12 students).  In other words, Weissmann is working to ensure that all Colorado children, regardless of race, ethnicity or income, have educational opportunity.

Polis contended as recently as Sunday that he is a staunch supporter of education.  Perhaps he meant to say unions that fund Democratic Party candidates.

In the meantime, Rep. Jared Polis claimed to kick off his re-election campaign in Fort Collins on Sunday.  That claim raises more questions about whether Polis violated House ethic rules by conducting official business in Loveland–which is not yet in his district.  Lovelandpolitics.com and this blog have raised the questions.  In responding to a question, State Senator Kevin Lundberg noted that a Polis staffer also attended a Loveland School District meeting and spoke in her official capacity.  Since Loveland is not yet in Polis’ district, that would appear–if true–to be a clear violation of House ethics rules.  The traditional media have thus far declined to investigate these stories, nor has the Denver Post written any follow-up to allegations concerning allegations of Jared Polis’ insider trading based on legislative knowledge.

Polis even called Sunday for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Polis is thus taking his cuts from another Boulder County resident–U.S. Senator Mark Udall.  As the Republican campaigns get underway, Polis will begin sounding more moderate by the day.  Conservatives face the need to choose a standard bearer who can prevail in November.

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The Estes Park Tea Party Patriots will be meeting this Saturday, February 18 from 1 to 3 pm at the Estes Valley Library in the Hondius room.  Two candidates for Colorado’s Second Congressional District, State Senator Kevin Lundberg and businessman Eric Weissmann, will both speak.  Lundberg and Weissmann are competing for the Republican nomination to challenge Representative Jared Polis (D-Boulder).

Kevin Lundberg

State Senator Kevin Lundberg represents Estes Park and much of Larimer County in the Colorado legislature.  Lundberg was first elected as a state Representative in 2002, was appointed to the state Senate to succeed County Commissioner Steve Johnson in 2009, and elected to a full four-year senate term in 2010.  Lundberg has received numerous awards from the Colorado Union of Taxpayers as a Taxpayer Champion and a Taxpayer Guardian.

Lundberg sees taxes, spending and the national debt placing America on a bad trajectory. Lundberg contends that federal mandates and subsidies have to give way to consistent and predictable federal policies to enable the private sector to get back to the job of building America.

Eric Weissmann of Boulder is an entrepreneur who founded the software company Decisioneering at the age of 21.  He started his first business at the age of 15.  Weissman earned an external program undergraduate degree from the University of the State of New York, and an MBA from the University of Colorado.  In the year 2000, turned over leadership of Decisioneering to others and began investing in other businesses.

Eric Weissmann

Weissman has been a board member or advisor to numerous organizations, including The Wellness Initiative, Colorado Uplift and the Colorado State Treasurer’s Investment Advisory Council.  Weissman and his wife Jennifer have three children.

Weissmann says he is concerned this might be the first generation in America to break its promise to the next generation of greater freedom and a better future for Americans.  Weissmann is focused on issues that include ending deficit spending, promoting a limited federal government and promoting private sector job growth.
Saturday’s meeting is a unique opportunity for Estes Park residents to hear from both candidates seeking the Republican nomination to the newly redistricted Second Congressional District in Colorado.

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Unlike El Paso County, Larimer  County Republicans have dodged a divisive primary.  State Representative B.J. Nikkel announced that she will not seek reelection in 2012.

“I have decided not to seek reelection in 2012,” Nikkel announced. “While I am disappointed that Democrats on the Reapportionment Commission gerrymandered Brian [DelGrosso] and me into the same district, I am very proud of what we have accomplished in the state House. This year, I look forward to continuing to serve my constituents and the people of Colorado by building a better Colorado for them.” Nikkel has kind words for Rep. Brian DelGrosso of Loveland’s House District 51.  Speaker of the House Frank McNulty and Rep. Brian DelGrosso both thanked Nikkel for her service.

DelGrosso will still face a contested election.  According to his first campaign filing, Democratic Party challenger Mark Shaffer raised $10,209 in contributions and has nearly $10,000 on-hand.  Shaffer has contributors from afar afield as Arlington, Virginia , Upper Marlboro, Maryland and Marrero, Louisiana.  Shaffer also received a contribution from attorney Rich Ball of Loveland, who unsuccessfully challenged state Senator Kevin Lundberg in the 2010 election.

Shaffer’s wife Joan is on the Loveland City Council.  Shaffer’s website features photos of a reception held for Congressman Jared Polis in Loveland.  We wrote previously about how the City of Loveland used official resources  to promote Polis’ candidacy.  (LovelandPolitics.com had more details.)   House ethics rules also severely restrict sitting Congressmen from conducting constituent services outside their districts–even when

According to campaign finance filings,  DelGrosso had over $8,700 on hand on January 25.

Rep. Nikkel is the House Republican Whip, while Delgrosso is a freshman House member.  Democrats redrew House District 51 to include Rep. Nikkel’s residence near Carter Lake into a district dominated by Loveland.

Nikkel had apparently held open the chance of running in Loveland.  On January 17,  Nikkel transferred $7,066 from her House District 49 committee to a new committee for House District 51.  She did not raise any additional monies, however.

Nikkel now has the option of contributing those funds to a party committee, a charity, or refunding monies to her contributors.  She could also retain the funds for a future potential campaign, but in some cases the ability to roll the funds into a new campaign may be limited.  As an elected official, Nikkel has even more options for using the campaign funds.  She can use the funds to defray “reasonable and necessary” expenses of serving in the legislature, or donate the funds for post-secondary scholarships.  She could also choose to spend the money on voter registration drives or issue education.

The Democratic Party’s reapportionment targeted a number of Republican incumbents.  Rep. Amy Stephens, the House Majority Leader, was redrawn into a contested primary with Rep. Marsha Looper.  Looper is already sending direct mail pieces placing a photo of Stephens next to Barack Obama.  Stephens sponsored SB 11-200 in the last session, legislation that is intended to establish a state health care exchange in Colorado.  Stephens has countered by pointing to Looper’s support for SB 08-217, the Centennial Care Choices bill, which contained a health insurance mandate and higher taxes to fund it.

Conservatives in Larimer County will benefit from avoiding another primary forced by legislative reapportionment.  Both DelGrosso and Nikkel have been strong fiscal conservatives, as demonstrated by their Colorado Union of Taxpayers ratings.

 

 

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Colorado Republicans will hold their caucuses on Tuesday, February 7 at 7 p.m.  Please arrive by 6:30 pm to register and start on time.

Pre-register: The Colorado GOP has established a statewide Preregistration Process that will verify you are eligible for caucus prior to the meeting:  http://www.caucus.cologop.org/  All you need to do is enter your address and zip code.  There are two benefits:

One, it will tell you your confirmed caucus location.

Two, you will be pre-registered.  Simply print your confirmation form and bring it with your photo i.d. to caucus.  This will save everyone time, as the precinct committee people will not need to find your name on the printed list.

Caucus Training for Republican Voters:  Estes Park Tea Party Patriots held a caucus training meeting on Saturday, January 21, 1 p.m. at the Estes Valley Library.  We reviewed information provided by the Larimer County Republican Party.  We will also discuss the resolution process, which allows caucus attendees to submit proposed resolutions that will be voted on at the higher assemblies.  This is the process that determines the state and national party platforms. The Larimer GOP sponsored two caucus training meetings.  Hopefully these pre-meeting discussions help people run meetings more efficiently than in years past.

Please attend the Republican Caucus February 7, because this meeting will decide who represents your precinct, and who will be delegates to pick local candidates for the Colorado Republican primary ballot.  Let’s ensure the Republican Party elects candidates who are committed to limited government, free enterprise and upholding the U.S. Constitution.

Democrat Caucuses:  Democrats will be holding their caucuses on Tuesday, March 6.  The Larimer County Democrats or the Colorado Democratic Party might provide more information as the date approaches.

This post will be updated as we approach caucus, so check back at this link before February 7.  Also, please e-mail and share this post on Facebook and other social media because it will help us ensure greater citizen participation.

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The Loveland Reporter-Herald states that Mitt Romney will visit RV America in Johnstown, just south of Johnson’s Corner Truck stop on the Frontage Road by I-25.  As of Friday evening, this was still described as tentative.

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