Is That Love in the Air? Or is It Just Smog?

Happy Valentine’s Day. In the spirit of love, check out this unholy union…

Two Colorado congressional members are still pushing for blizzard disaster relief. As Peter Roper of The Pueblo Chieftain reports:

Colorado Reps. John Salazar and Marilyn Musgrave joined forces Tuesday to ask House leaders to include disaster aid for Eastern Plains farmers and ranchers in upcoming legislation.

Salazar, the 3rd Congressional District Democrat, and Musgrave, the 4th District Republican, both challenged the USDA decision earlier this month to deny crop disaster payments to Southeastern Colorado counties hit by back-to-back blizzards over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
USDA officials said the reported losses did not exceed 30 percent of production in the 10 counties that requested disaster aid.

In a letter to House Democratic and GOP leaders, the two Colorado lawmakers said Eastern Plains ranchers and farmers had suffered significant losses and are facing high recovery costs. As a result, they asked that money for assisting them be included in any disaster legislation coming through the House.


Governor Bill Ritter and Attorney General John Suthers issued a letter to all Colorado government employees yesterday asking them not to quit their jobs over concerns with Amendment 41. Colorado Confidential has a copy of the letter:

We are troubled by the recent reports of government employees leaving or contemplating leaving government service due to concerns over Amendment 41 and the restrictions that they fear it will impose on their children’s opportunity to apply and be considered for scholarships. We ask for your patience and understanding while work continues to clarify the meaning of Amendment 41.

The atmosphere of anxiety is stoked by the fact that we currently have very little guidance regarding the meaning of certain provisions of Amendment 41. We are, however, convinced that when the voters approved Amendment 41 it was not their intent to limit the opportunities of the children of government employees to compete for scholarships on equal footing with the children of non-governmental employees. We are also confident that most scholarships that contain significant ongoing performance requirements are not prohibited by the plain language of the Amendment.

Ritter and Suthers say they are confident but don’t have any answers. If you had a nickel for every time a politician said that…


Governor Ritter has repeatedly stressed his desire to make Colorado a leader in renewable energy, and yesterday the legislature took another step in that direction. As Steve Raabe of The Denver Post reports:

A bill to double Colorado’s mandatory renewable-energy standard sailed through a House committee Tuesday on a unanimous, bipartisan vote. The legislation is considered a cornerstone of Gov. Bill Ritter’s call to make Colorado a national leader in alternative energy.

Supporters said the bill protects consumers from volatile coal and natural- gas prices, cleans the air and provides jobs from new renewable-energy projects.

“This bill challenges the old idea that the environment and the economy can’t prosper at the same time,” said Will Coyne of advocacy group Environment Colorado.

Most of the renewable energy is expected to come from wind farms, with smaller portions from solar generating stations and other renewable sources. The legislation would require Colorado’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, to increase its renewable-power portfolio from 10 percent to 20 percent by 2020.

“We believe (this bill) will really be a big step in making Colorado a leader in renewable energy and the new energy economy,” said Pat Vincent, president and chief executive of Xcel Energy’s Public Service Co. of Colorado.

And you thought all politicians were just full of hot air.

Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.


If it wasn’t for Republican state Sen. Dave Schultheis, we’d have a much less interesting group of legislators – although Schultheis isn’t really interesting for a good reason. Schultheis is the same guy who wondered aloud if people killed in a car accident last year were illegal immigrants (they weren’t), and now look what he has to say on the issue of emergency contraception. As The Boulder Daily Camera reports (login required):

This page often disagrees with state Sen. David Schultheis, but it is rare that the disagreement is dwarfed by genuine astonishment. In opining about victims of sexual assault, however, Schultheis has shown stunning insensitivity.

Recently, state legislators were discussing Senate Bill 60, which would require emergency-room doctors to inform sexual-assault victims of their right to obtain emergency contraception. Schultheis, a Colorado Springs Republican, wondered how doctors “determine that a person actually did incur that sexual assault,” The Denver Post reported last week.

“Are they going to take the word of that individual?” asked Schultheis. “You could see individuals coming in that just wanted to make sure that last night`s stand didn`t result in a pregnancy and basically say that they had been a sexual assault” to get the contraceptive.

Yes, you read that correctly. Schultheis is concerned that women would fake being raped in order to get emergency contraception. There’s really nothing else I can say that would make that sound any worse.


Secretary of State Mike Coffman is hosting a meeting on electronic voting machines tomorrow from 9:00