Archive for April, 2013
April 30, 2013

Colorado residents take issue with Second Amendment issue portrayed on a highway billboard.

As for Native Americans and firearms, it should be noted that the the Wounded Knee Massacreprobably would not have occurred if the Hunkpapa Sioux Indians had been allowed to keep their guns — and knives, axes and stakes.

see video here.



POSTED:   04/28/2013 12:01:00 AM MDT

By Randal O’Toole and Brian T. Schwartz

With great fanfare, RTD opened its West Rail Line for business on Friday. This light-rail line was a boondoggle when it was first planned in 1997. It’s even worse today.

Last year, RTD expected the project to cost $709 million. Surely officials will brag about being “under budget,” as the final actual cost was $707 million. But in 1997, RTD estimated a total cost of just $250 million, or about $350 million in today’s dollars. So the line actually cost more than twice the original projections.

Moreover, RTD’s predictions of how many riders the West Rail Line will carry — and therefore how much congestion it will relieve — have greatly declined. In 2003, RTD predicted 29,100 west line riders per weekday in its first year of operation. Now, it predicts just 19,300. If the train carries 19,400 riders, RTD will likely claim it exceeded expectations when it actually fell one-third short.

Even that level of ridership will be achieved because RTD is canceling six express bus routes, herding riders to the slower and more expensive train. Daily commute times for some riders will increase by 40 minutes or more, RTD board member Natalie Menten told us. “I am getting a ton of calls and e-mails complaining about elimination or reduction. One person alone sent me a scanned petition with about 50 rider signatures from just one route,” Menten said. Many riders “stated they’ll just drive instead of enduring the extra hours they face away from home or family.”

Back in 1997, RTD compared light rail with bus rapid transit (BRT) on high-occupancy vehicle lanes on U.S. Highway 6. It found the bus was 88 percent as effective at reducing congestion, and for half the cost. Notably, the only BRT line that RTD included in its 2004 FasTracks plan has had the smallest cost escalations of any FasTracks route. That means that, for about the same price as RTD thought the West Rail Line would cost, it could have added BRT on both U.S. 6 and Interstate 70, relieving almost twice as much congestion for twice as many people. BRT was much more cost-effective than rail, yet RTD chose the more expensive alternative.

With double the construction costs and only two-thirds of the riders, the West Rail Line is clearly far less cost effective at relieving congestion than originally claimed. In fact, it may not relieve congestion at all. The boondoggle of 1997 has turned into the travesty of 2013.

Every transit agency that builds new rail lines eventually hits a financial wall that forces service cuts, thereby harming the transit riders it is supposed to serve. Atlanta hit the wall in 1985. Since then, the region’s population has nearly tripled, but transit ridership has fallen 16 percent.

San Jose hit the wall in 2001, cutting service by 25 percent and losing more than a quarter of its riders. Portland’s transit district experienced the same effect last year, cutting service by 12 percent and predicting further cuts of as much as 70 percent will be needed to meet its financial obligations.

There are different reasons for hitting the wall, but one cause is that rail lines must be expensively rebuilt about every 30 years. A recent example is the Metrorail system in Washington, D.C. Lacking funds to maintain the system, its rail lines have steadily deteriorated, leading to a 2009 crash that killed nine people. In 2010, Federal Transit Administration head Peter Rogoff chastised transit agencies for planning new rail lines when they couldn’t maintain current ones.

RTD will hit its financial wall sometime in the next 10 or 12 years. When it does, the West line and other rail lines will be an even greater cost burden than they are today. Taxpayers, transit riders, and motorists will all rue the day that RTD built its first light-rail line.

Randal O’Toole is a senior fellow with the Cato Institute and director of the Independence Institute’s Transportation Policy Center. Brian T. Schwartz is a senior fellow at the Independence Institute.

Read more:Has RTD’s FasTracks been worth it? No – The Denver Post
Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content:
Follow us:@Denverpost on Twitter|Denverpost on Facebook

After a good workout, replenish your body with Rebound

After a good workout, replenish your body with Rebound

April 29, 2013


DENVER–Colorado Republicans aren’t known as fans of either high taxes or recreational drugs, but when given a choice, it turns out they hate taxes more.

House Republicans are pushing to reduce the proposed special sales tax on recreational marijuana to 10 percent, lower than the 15 percent tax rate favored by Democrats. Debate on the tax rate is expected to resume Monday after concluding early Saturday morning without a vote.

Tempers flared after the Democratic leadership cut off state Rep. Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs) during his remarks on the marijuana-taxation bill shortly before midnight Friday. Republicans staged a walk-out, then returned briefly before the House adjourned for the weekend.

Amendment 64, the marijuana-legalization measure approved in November, calls for voters to approve a 15 percent excise tax. House Bill 1318 adds a 15 percent special sales tax to help cover costs related to marijuana regulation and enforcement.

Any tax increase must be approved by the voters, but Republicans say they worry that taxpayers may reject a proposal that essentially doubles the tax rate specified under Amendment 64. In that case, the concern is that the general fund would be forced absorb costs associated with implementing the measure.

“If we set this rate too high, the higher the rate, the higher the chance this tax does not pass,” said state Rep. Brian DelGrosso (R-Loveland). “If the tax doesn’t pass, we’re stuck with a 2.9 normal sales tax. To think that is enough to cover this entire industry, that is not reality.”

Leaders of the Amendment 64 campaign threw their support behind the 10 percent rate Friday after learning that legislators are considering a ballot measure that would repeal the amendment if the tax increase fails. No such proposal has been introduced yet.

“If legislators are concerned that a special tax rate of 15 percent will not pass, they should consider reducing it to 10 percent instead of embracing the nuclear option proposed by anti-marijuana advocates,” said Mason Tvert, who led the Amendment 64 campaign, in a statement.

Democrats attempted to find wiggle room Friday by proposing an amendment Friday night that would set the sales tax initially at 10 percent, but give the legislature the option of raising it, with a cap of 15 percent.

“We also need to make sure we do not put too low of a tax and end up having to go back to the taxpayers and say, ‘We didn’t do the right job,’” said Rep. Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont). “These caps do that because they give the legislature the authority to ratchet the caps back down.”

Given that the legislature has no history of reducing taxes, however, DelGrosso predicted that the sales tax would be jacked up to 15 percent as soon as lawmakers convene in January 2014.

“It’ll be set at 10 percent for one day, then after Jan. 1, the legislature after that one day will have the ability to raise this back up to 15,” said DelGrosso. “To think that once this is already set at 15 percent that it’s ever going to lower is basically not going to happen.”

State Rep. Jenise May (D-Aurora) insisted that Democratic legislators have the discipline to resist tax increases.

“I think this body has the ability to regulate itself, that we don’t have to spend everything we bring in,” said May. “Now I have that ability. I’m sorry if the rest of you don’t, but I do.”

State Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver) praised the amendment as a compromise aimed at giving the legislature “maximum flexibility,” but state Rep. Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch) blasted the proposal as another effort by the Democratic majority to exclude Republicans.

“This is not a compromise. A group of Democrats huddling over in the corner, coming up with language they’re going to offer, is not compromise,” said McNulty. “Well, perhaps that is a compromise. I just call that the Democratic agenda.”

The problem is that legislators are in uncharted territory when it comes to costs, given that no state has ever enacted regulations legalizing marijuana. A study released last week by Colorado State University found that the excise tax alone may not be enough to cover the costs of regulation.

The Amendment 64 campaign released a Public Policy Polling survey Friday showing that 77 percent of those polled said they would support a 10 percent sales tax to cover marijuana-regulation costs.

STOP working for a living, START living off your work!

STOP working for a living, START living off your work!

By Brittany Anas Camera Staff Writer

Posted:   04/27/2013 10:04:18 PM MDT
Updated:   04/27/2013 11:59:37 PM MDT

Liberal arts departments said to be lacking political balance

A University of Colorado regent suggests that liberal arts departments should recruit more conservative professors to strike a better political balance on the notoriously liberal Boulder campus.

Jim Geddes, R-Sedalia, will likely raise the issue at a Board of Regents meeting next week when campus chancellors for the first time ever give formal reports about intellectual diversity efforts on their campuses.

A few years ago, the board added political, intellectual and philosophical diversity to its guiding principles, which Geddes says is a directive from the regents to campuses to enhance conservative faculty in departments where they’re underrepresented.

Geddes suggests that department leaders in liberal arts disciplines should take an honest assessment of their faculty and ask whether major viewpoints are represented. If there are too few conservatives, he suggests they recruit them when positions open up. They could look to a professor’s published works to glean political leanings.

“If I were sending one of my children off to college, I’d tell them I want you to go to a university where you are going to hear smart intellectuals on both sides of issues so you can learn for yourself and form your own opinions,” Geddes said. “I wouldn’t be in favor of sending my child to a purely conservative university. They’ve already had that course their whole life living with me.”The regents convene for a public meeting Tuesday at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.

Regent Stephen Ludwig, D-Denver, says he doubts it would even be legal to ask job candidates about their political affiliation.

“While we need to encourage a diversity of opinion, we have to be smart about that,” he said.

Boulder campus Chancellor Phil DiStefano, in his report, will likely tell the board about the selection of Steven Hayward as the board’s first visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy, which is a donor-funded position.

Hayward will begin in the fall and has said he wants to teach a course on free market environmentalism. He’ll also teach political science courses on constitutional law and American political thought. Hayward said he would like to co-teach a lecture with a professor who has liberal leanings.

The visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy is a three-year pilot program supported by private money. More than 20 donors have raised $1 million to support the program.

Campus spokesman Bronson Hilliard said both Chancellor DiStefano and his predecessor Bud Peterson have been committed to intellectual diversity efforts on campus.

“They have both publicly declared their support for political diversity and diversity of thought as a core value for the Boulder campus,” Hilliard said. “I’m hopeful that we’ll have a good story to tell the board that will diagram the actions we’ve taken over the last several years.”CU junior Susan Sparrow, a psychology major from Greeley, said her parents lean conservative. Last fall, she voted for Democrat Barack Obama in the presidential elections and said she thinks she’s becoming more liberal in college.

Sparrow said as a psychology student, she’s trained to evaluate others’ perspectives and try to understand their ways of thinking.

She said she’s never noticed a professor’s political bias in any of her classes.

“But maybe that’s because I lean liberal,” she said.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or


By David Olinger
The Denver Post

The district attorney who asked a special prosecutor to investigate corruption allegations against former Adams County Commissioner Alice Nichol says the case was closed after 18 months without an independent probe.

Among the actions the special prosecutor, then-Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey, never took: an interview with Commissioner Nichol.

In 2011, then-Adams County District Attorney Don Quick asked Storey to take over an investigation of Nichol and her husband, Ron, a former commissioner, because he wanted to avoid a potential conflict of interest. Quick and Nichol were both elected Democrats, and Commissioner Nichol voted on the district attorney’s budget.

The investigation came in response

Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey closed the Nichol investigation in October 2012, saying his office had failed to find evidence of a crime that could be proved in court. (Hyoung Chang, Denver Post file)

toa Denver Post report that Quality Paving, the company at the center of a county corruption scandal, had done extensive work at the Nichols’ home.

The Post also reported that Quality Paving’s president had cast a deciding vote on a three-member panel that chose Nichol’s son-in-law as the county fleet director.

Storey closed the Nichol investigation in October 2012, saying his office had failed to find evidence of a crime that could be proved in court.

What happened during the previous 18 months is disputed.

Documents provided to The Post show that Quick and Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr repeatedly pressed Storey to commence an independent investigation of Nichol and her husband.

In February and March 2012, they listed 10 “prosecution decisions” they hoped Storey, a Republican, would address. The list included the Quality Paving project at the Nichol house, the hiring of Nichol’s son-in-law anda $390,000 county paymentfor Nichol’s childhood home during a street-widening project.

In August, the sheriff and district attorney sent another letter urging Storey to act.

“We are not aware of any additional investigation done by your office over the 16 months you have had the case,” they wrote. “We fully understand and accept your independence as the special prosecutor. However, after 16 months, we believe Commissioner Nichol and the citizens of Adams County deserve a decision one way or another.”

In a testy reply, Storey assured Adams officials later that “this matter is being handled professionally, competently, appropriately and as expeditiously as possible.”

When he closed the case two months later, Storey described the investigation as thorough.

“We have exercised the utmost due diligence in pursuing this investigation and attempted to take advantage of all opportunities to gather relevant information from all available sources,” he wrote.

That investigative work did not include an interview of Commissioner Nichol or her husband.

“When Scott Storey got the information, I was never interviewed anymore. Nobody interviewed us for anything,” Nichol said.

She described her long wait for a decision without hearing from the special prosecutor as “a nightmare for me and my family to be in the dark.”

Nichol suspected investigators were waiting for one of the county defendants to implicate her in a plea agreement. “I really do feel like I was a scapegoat,” she said. “You know, it’s all behind me now. I’m trying to just put it to rest.”

Storey concluded that there was insufficient evidence to file charges despite an affidavit from Adams County’s lead detective, Jeremy Whytock, that Alice and Ron Nichol received at least $16,199 worth of work at their home for a $10,000 check Ron Nichol wrote to Quality Paving. That work was done while Alice Nichol voted on contracts awarded to Quality Paving, also one of her campaign contributors.

Quick disappointedIn Adams County, six public works employees and Quality Paving officials have been convicted of bilking taxpayers of at least $1.8 million. Four defendants, including county Public Works director Lee Asay, have been sentenced to prison.

Storey and Quick were term-limited as district attorneys at the end of 2012 and left the positions.

Quick, who now manages the Broomfield branch of the Adams district attorney’s office, expressed his disappointment with Storey’s performance as special prosecutor.

In 18 months, “I don’t know of any additional investigation that they did. But you’d have to ask Jeffco,” he said.

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office has declined to release any records of its investigation or discuss that investigation in detail.

In a letter to The Post, Storey wrote that his office worked with Detective Whytock, reviewed the Adams case file and followed the Quality Paving trials.

His investigation found “there appeared to be ethical violations, but the conduct did not constitute criminal offenses that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”

“I reiterate, our investigation was thorough and conducted in a professional manner. Because no criminal charges resulted from this investigation, I am unable to discuss the investigation,” he wrote.

Darr said that during the 18-month investigation, Detective Whytock “was there for as much as they needed him. Jeremy, as far as I know, wasn’t asked to do much of anything.”

“Scott Storey is a decent, good man,” Darr said. “I don’t know the reasons he made the decisions he did.”

Dave Young, who prosecuted the Quality Paving cases and succeeded Quick as district attorney in the Adams district, said he doesn’t remember seeing a Jefferson County prosecutor in attendance during the trials.

But Young also said judicial districts in the Denver area depend on each other as special prosecutors whenever a case conflict arises, and they respect the independence of a special prosecutor who decides whether criminal conduct can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Young said he accepts Storey’s decision to close the Nichol investigation.

“If new evidence comes in,” he added, “obviously we’ll take a look.”

David Olinger: 303-954-1498, or

Read more:DA: Case closed without independent probe of corruption allegations – The Denver Post
Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content:
Follow us:@Denverpost on Twitter|Denverpost on Facebook


By Scott Whitlock | April 29, 2013 | 11:22

Forty two days ago, on March 18, 2013, abortionist Kermit Gosnell went on trial, charged with the grisly murder of multiple babies and a patient. Yet, in the seven weeks that followed, ABC News has permitted no coverage, discussion or mention of the case, not even a single utterance of Dr. Gosnell’s name.

But that’s not due to lack of interest in shocking criminal cases. Over the same 42 days, the Media Research Center found that ABC’s Good Morning America has aired 41 stories — about one per day — on other sensational criminal cases, including the Amanda Knox re-trial and the Jodi Arias case, totaling 109 minutes of coverage.

So it would seem that ABC doesn’t have a problem delivering the gruesome details of murder cases to morning show viewers, suggesting that the networks’ blackout of the Gosnell case has more to do with the negative light it shines on the abortion industry.

Over six weeks of weekday and weekend coverage, GMA featured the Arias case 22 times. Arias is accused of stabbing and slitting the throat of Travis Alexander, her ex-boyfriend. Clearly, the producers and hosts of the morning show aren’t worried about discussing stomach-churning details. The Associated Press recounted the graphic accusations against Gosnell, including testimony by some of the abortion clinic’s workers that they “‘snipped’ babies’ necks after they were born alive to make sure they died.”

Both the Gosnell case and the Amanda Knox retrial deal with brutal murder. Yet, while ABC ignored the wrenching details of dead babies, Ms. Knox’s story received nine segments on GMA. (The remaining ten cases included the Michael Jackson wrongful death suit, a murder trial in Georgia, the murder of a University of Virginia lacrosse player and updates on the case against spree killer James Holmes.)

It’s not as though ABC can claim the Boston bombing as a reason to ignore the Gosnell case. The abortionist’s trial had been ongoing for a full month before the April 15 terrorist attack. Additionally, on the April 17 Good Morning America, as the manhunt for the perpetrators went on, the program featured a full report on the Arias murder.

On April 14, the Washington Post investigated the media’s lack of interest in Gosnell. Representatives for CBS and NBC offered comments about lack of coverage and plans to cover the story in the future. ABC was silent. The Post’s Paul Farhi succinctly summarized, “An ABC News representative, Julie Townsend, declined comment.”

CBS and NBC have both offered minor coverage of the Gosnell case. What is ABC’s excuse for a total blackout? Clearly, the network is interested in criminal cases with shocking, brutal details. Forty one stories over 109 minutes and 26 seconds prove this.

The horrifying details of the Jodi Arias case, the Amanda Knox murder trial and rest are tragic stories with real victims. Their importance should not be downplayed or dismissed as purely sensational. But the lives of innocent babies, allegedly murdered in appalling circumstances, are also significant. Is it too much to ask that ABC’s hosts and producers cover a story, even if it doesn’t match the political agenda of pro-abortion liberals?

[Thanks to MRC intern Jeffrey Meyer for assistance.]

At NewsBusters, we watch the liberal media so YOU don’t have to! But ONLY YOU can equip NewsBusters with the resources needed to expose the radical media and neutralize their impact.

Read more:


STOP working for a living, START living off your work!

STOP working for a living, START living off your work!


By  and Published: April 28

An antiabortion group that mounted a six-month undercover investigation has released videos this week that raise questions about what might happen to a baby as a result of an unsuccessful abortion.

One video features a D.C. doctor, Cesare Santangelo, who said that in the unlikely event that an abortion resulted in a live birth, “we would not help it.” Santangelo was answering repeated questions from an undercover operative about what would happen, hypothetically, if she gave birth after an unsuccessful abortion.

Related stories

Obama vows to defend abortion rights

Obama vows to defend abortion rights

Juliet Eilperin APR 26

The president attacks new restrictive laws during keynote address at Planned Parenthood event.

The Gosnell case: Here’s what you need to know.

The Gosnell case: Here's what you need to know.

Sarah Kliff APR 15

The Gosnell case stretches back over decades at this point. Here’s what you need to know.

Sarah Kliff and Brady Dennis APR 5

In scathing rebuke, judge called decision to limit access “politically motivated, scientifically unjustified.”

“I mean, technically, you know, legally, we would be obligated to help it, you know, to survive, but . . . it probably wouldn’t,” Santangelo is shown telling the woman, who was 24 weeks pregnant. “It’s all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point.”

Live Action president Lila Rose said the group’s videos expose “truly gruesome, illegal and inhuman practices.” She defended the tactics, saying undercover investigations are a powerful method to expose abuses.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Santangelo said he was trying to reassure the woman, who turned out to be an undercover operative of the group, Live Action. In reality, he said, he would call 9-1-1. But he said he stands by what he said on tape.

“What I said is, basically I wouldn’t do anything extraordinary,” he said Saturday. “We would call EMS. We would call 9-1-1. But I wouldn’t do intubation or anything. . . . You let nature take its course.”

The videos do not depict Santangelo doing anything illegal. Live Action provided an advance copy of the video, and other extended footage of the D.C. clinic encounter, to The Post on the condition that it not be published before Monday. Also on the extended tape is a nurse saying unequivocally that the clinic would take any live birth to a hospital. Under D.C. law, it is generally permissible for one party to a conversation to record it without consent.

Live Action plans to release more videos as part of a campaign targeting clinics that perform abortions late in pregnancy, also known as “late-term” abortions. It claims that the videos show that abortion doctors are willing to kill babies in violation of the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, which requires them to try to save a child born during a failed abortion using the same measures used in miscarriages or preterm births at the same stage of pregnancy.

No authorities have accused Santangelo of violating the law. His attorney, Alfred F. Belcuore, said the doctor practices medicine in full compliance with laws in the District of Columbia. In a statement, he criticized the recording of “a private exchange between a physician and his patient” and their release as an “outrageous intrusion upon the doctor-patient relationship.”

Another video released Sunday shows an unidentified worker in the Bronx saying the clinic would put the baby in a jar of “solution” that would cause it to stop breathing. Marjana Banzil, director of the Bronx clinic, said Friday she had not viewed the video but that any employee who would say such a thing was misinformed.


keep reading here.