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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,961

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Gardner Regional Director Goes Burqa Bonkers!

At the top of Cathy Garcia, Sen. Cory Gardner’s Pueblo Regional Director’s Facebook page now:
(Note: since deleted)

Not much additional commentary needed here! When it comes to religious freedom, not all “People of the Book” need apply. The only real question is, will Sen. Cory Gardner, jet-setting member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “like and share?”

He’s obliged to do something.

(brief article)

Payday Loan Reform Measure Makes Ballot

A press release from Coloradans to Stop Predatory Payday Loans announces their success reaching the ballot this year with Proposition 111, a measure to cap interest rates on so-called “payday loans” that have been the source of much vexation in Colorado politics in recent years:

The Secretary of State today confirmed that the Campaign to Stop Predatory Payday Lending will be on the November ballot as Proposition 111. This initiative is supported by Coloradans from all walks of life, ranging from military veterans to people working day in and day out address poverty in our communities. If passed, the initiative would reduce the cost from payday loans which carry 200% annual interest.

“We are grateful to people across the state who worked so hard to help provide some relief from financial strain to Colorado working families,” said Meghan Carrier from Together Colorado. “We’ve seen many families fall prey to this never ending debt trap due to unscrupulous fee and ridiculously high interest rates and believe they deserve a better chance to rise out of financial pitfalls and live a dignified life.”

…Payday lenders strip $50 million per year in interest and fees from financially-strapped Coloradans. The average loan lasts 97 days, and some customers need additional loans to cover the interest, spending more than half the year in high-cost debt. The average loan of $392 costs customers an $119 in interest and fees to borrow money for 97 days. With a default rate of 23 percent — almost 1 in 4 loans — many customers face insufficient funds and overdraft fees from lenders’ automatic withdrawl from a customers account without notice, collection efforts, and even bankruptcy for a loan that was supposed to help them through a shortfall.

“Payday lenders have preyed on some of Colorado’s most vulnerable families and they should follow the same usury laws that everyone else plays by,” said Corrine Rivera Fowler. “Colorado consumers now have the chance to protect themselves and loved ones from the debt traps established by payday lenders when they charge 200% in interest rates and take money directly from a customer’s bank account without notice.”

Read more: https://www.coloradopols.com/diary/111829/payday-loan-reform-measure-makes-ballot

New Ad Smacks Stapleton for Not Doing His Job

A new television ad is up on the air today from a group called “Good Jobs Colorado” targeting Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton over his persistent refusal to actually do his job as State Treasurer:

Stapleton’s lax attendance record at PERA Board meetings has been well-documented for several years now. Stapleton’s general indifference about the job he was elected to do (twice) came up repeatedly in the Republican gubernatorial primary last spring, and it was a certainty that this narrative would resurface in the General Election.

Stapleton also had to fend off accusations about his light work schedule during his bid for re-election as State Treasurer in 2014. Apparently he did not learn much from that experience; it’s hard to convince voters that you are the right guy for the top job in the state when you barely showed up for work at your last gig.

(brief article)

Denver International Airport Workers Will Ask Voters for a $15 Minimum Wage

Teresita Felix works at Denver International Airport in a catering kitchen run by United Airlines, but she earns so little, she says, that she's forced to live in a house in Aurora with twenty of her relatives, including seven children.

“I cannot afford to live on my own in Denver,” Felix says.

But Felix hopes her financial prospects will change with a new effort to raise airport workers' minimum wage to $15 an hour. Today, August 23, Felix was among dozens of airport employees who gathered in front of the Denver City and County Building to announce a signature-gathering effort that, if successful, would put the Denver Airport Minimum Wage initiative on the May 2019 citywide ballot. The ballot measure would raise the minimum wage of airport workers to $15 dollars by 2021.

Organizers and supporters of the ballot initiative — including UNITE HERE Local 23, the Denver Area Labor Federation, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition and Together Colorado — point out how DIA is thriving and will benefit from billions in additional investments during the coming years, while workers employed by some companies operating at the airport make just over $10 an hour.

“DIA is the biggest economic driver in the state...and it's more successful than ever,” UNITE HERE's chapter president, Kevin Abels, announced from a podium at the City and County Building this morning. “Unfortunately, that's not the case for workers. We're here to say Denver and DIA can and must do better.”

Read more: https://www.westword.com/news/workers-at-the-denver-international-airport-push-for-15-minimum-wage-ballot-initiative-in-may-2019-10699059

Meet Dianne Primavera, Jared Polis's Lieutenant Governor Pick

Dianne Primavera, who's running for lieutenant governor alongside Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jared Polis, is a former state representative whose personal experiences as a cancer survivor inspired her to become one of the state's most passionate health-care advocates.

In November, Polis and Primavera will face off against the Republican tandem of Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton and his pick for lieutenant governor, Lang Sias, a state representative for House District 27. We have made repeated requests to interview Sias to multiple members of the Stapleton campaign staff and have yet to receive a single response from any of them. If that changes, we will happily share Sias's story in this space.

During our conversation with Primavera, she outlines her unusual path toward politics — one that didn't begin developing until after she'd battled at least three forms of cancer over a span of years. She frankly discusses how the stress of this fight caused her marriage to disintegrate and made the challenge of supporting two daughters on her own even greater.

After that, Primavera talks about her first unsuccessful run for the Colorado House, during which she says she encountered the sort of sexism all too common in electoral politics, as well as subsequent wins and losses. She goes on to detail how she met and got to know Polis and what she hopes to accomplish if the pair wins at the ballot box this fall.

Read more: https://www.westword.com/news/meet-dianne-primavera-jared-poliss-lieutenant-governor-pick-10613896

How Hancock's Sexy Texts Apology Could Cost Taxpayers More Than $300K

As hinted at this past March, the attorney representing former City of Denver employee Wayne McDonald, who was paid $200,000 in 2016 to settle a lawsuit over his firing, has filed a notice of claim that foreshadows a potential new complaint focusing on Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver City Attorney Kristin Bronson.

Among the claim's arguments: Hancock broke the 2016 suit's non-disparagement agreement in his apology to Denver Police Department Detective Leslie Branch-Wise, a onetime member of the mayor's security team, over inappropriate, sexually themed texts dating back to 2011-2012, including one in which he asked her if she'd ever taken a pole-dancing class.

When we reached out to Hancock spokesperson Amber Miller, who was also a defendant in the 2016 suit, she offered the following comment from City Attorney Bronson: "No lawsuit has been filed, and I am confident that nothing I've said, nor anything the Mayor has said about Mr. McDonald, constitutes defamation."

The document, which is accessible below and alludes to previous Westword coverage, was obtained by KNUS talk-show host and attorney Craig Silverman, the man who broke the latest development during his August 25 radio show. He's been working on the story in conjunction with a media consortium that includes Denver7, Fox31, 9News, the Denver Post and his station.

Read more: https://www.westword.com/news/how-mayor-hancocks-sexy-texts-apology-could-cost-denver-taxpayers-more-than-300000-10711407

After years of drought, Colorado water bosses face uncertainty

On June 1, a spark near the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gage Railroad ignited a flame in the Animas River gorge north of Durango. The fire would burn for weeks, torching more than 55,000 acres and filling the air with smoke.

Then came the rain.

“Mother Nature is the one that really helped out,” Bruce Whitehead, executive director of the Southwestern Water Conservation District told a group of water experts and planners at the Colorado Water Congress in Vail this week.

But Mother Nature also wreaked havoc. As the rainwater hit the burn scar and flowed along the dry surface into the Animas and its tributaries, the ash and debris it brought down with it suffocated fish and clogged irrigation ditches, Whitehead said. It also forced the Durango water utility to shut off its water intake due to high turbidity for several days and instead draw from nearby reservoirs.

The fallout of the 416 Fire is an example of how hotter, drier conditions due to climate change are making it tougher to plan water supplies in Colorado. And it is just one example of how the impacts of drought – and the broader effects of “aridification” – are being felt across the state.

Read more: https://www.coloradoindependent.com/2018/08/24/drought-aridification-colorado-river-water-plan-polis-stapleton/

All Confederate markers gone from Interstate 10, New Mexico says

Officials of the state Department of Transportation now believe they have removed the last remaining memorials to Confederate President Jefferson Davis from Interstate 10 rest areas in New Mexico.

The New Mexican reported earlier this summer that the state quietly took down several markers from the mid-20th century that named a stretch of the highway through Southern New Mexico for the Virginia-born rebel leader.

But readers noted that Jefferson Davis Highway markers remained in place at rest areas in Gage and Anthony.

The state confirmed last week it had removed those markers, too.

Read more:

The New Mexico welcome center in Lordsburg once held a marker dubbing Interstate 10 the Jefferson Davis Highway. The state Department of Transportation says all such markers have been removed. Alyson Hurt via Flickr

Whistleblower lawsuit against Las Cruces District Attorney moves forward

LAS CRUCES - A whistleblower lawsuit against Doña Ana County District Attorney Mark D'Antonio will move forward after a district judge rejected a move by the defendant to dismiss the case.

Marylou Bonacci, a former office manager at the Third Judicial District Attorney's office, alleges she was terminated in retribution for reporting sexual harassment by an office supervisor, sex discrimination against a female attorney, and for providing information and testimony to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for what she alleges was an investigation into D'Antonio's conduct.

Bonacci's lawsuit was filed in 2017 and amended in January of this year. The suit names the state of New Mexico along with D'Antonio. The case is being heard in Third District Court with Sixth District Judge Jarod Hofacket presiding.

Bonacci claims that while employed by the office from 2013 to 2015, she confronted D'Antonio about meeting with criminal defendants without attorneys present, and seeking a loan in at least one case from the family of a defendant in a drug possession case, offering to dismiss criminal charges in exchange.

Read more: https://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/2018/08/25/whistleblower-lawsuit-against-district-attorney-mark-dantonio-las-cruces-proceeds-marylou-bonacci/1086901002/

History gives Democrat edge in governor race

SANTA FE – If recent New Mexico political history is any indication, Michelle Lujan Grisham and other Democrats could have the wind at their backs in this year’s general election.

That’s because the state’s last seven gubernatorial elections – stretching back to 1990 – have been won by a candidate from the opposite major political party of the sitting president.

Brian Sanderoff, a longtime New Mexico political observer, said there’s a reason for that, as voters often tend to punish the president’s political party in midterm elections, which happen to be when New Mexico gubernatorial elections take place.

“It’s more than a coincidence that for seven consecutive gubernatorial races the winning candidate was from the opposite party of the president,” said Sanderoff, who’s also the president of Albuquerque-based Research & Polling Inc. “The mood of the nation influences gubernatorial races and state legislative races.”

Read more: https://www.abqjournal.com/1214029/history-gives-democrat-edge-in-governor-race.html
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