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Colorado News Miner 102

Journalistic responsibilities, Republicans on abortion and DUIs, allegations in Ouray, small-business regs, marijuana rescheduling, murder by fire, and more.

Copyright © 2024 by Ari Armstrong
January 23, 2024

A Journalist's Responsibility: Joe Arney summarizes the position of Mike McDevitt, a CU journalism professor: "[T]heir responsibility [is] to defend democracy against a rising tide of authoritarian thought. Oftentimes, the media inadvertently contributed to the normalization of extremism, by misreading their audiences or erring in how they balance their coverage of candidates." This is right. Journalism is not value-free or value-neutral. Journalism proper exists only in a society that respects and protects freedom of speech, which authoritarianism threatens.

Holtorf on Abortion: 9News: "Republican State Rep. Richard Holtorf, a candidate for Colorado's 4th Congressional District, disclosed Friday that he financed an abortion for one of two girlfriends he impregnated, saying it helped her 'live her best life.' Holtorf, who represents the Eastern Plains, made the comment while discussing a resolution by Democrats marking the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that established the right to an abortion." Holtorf previously called people who support abortion rights "godless heathens," 9News reports. Kyle Clark updates: "GOP Rep Richard Holtorf is walking back his public remarks about his girlfriend's abortion. He now says the abortion happened over his objections and that the money he provided 'to help her through her important, critical time' was not for the abortion itself."

Alleged Rape in Ouray: A woman alleges that three people, two men and a male almost 18, raped her earlier this year, when she was 17. This incident occurred at the home of the Ouray police chief, and one of the accused men is the stepson of the chief. The men claim the woman is lying and sex was consensual. The story was reported by the Ouray County Plaindealer, copies of which someone stole from around the area, as the Denver Post, 9News, and CBS report. The case was referred to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The Plaindealer issued a statement about the theft of the papers via its digital newsletter. The paper's leaders stated, "Whoever did this does not understand that stealing newspapers doesn't stop a story. We're not going to stop doing our job, which is to shine light on important issues in our community and keep you informed. This person is not going to shut down the freedom of the press by stealing a few hundred newspapers. Our community won't stand for it and we won't, either." Kyle Clark reports, via the Ouray County Sheriff's Office, that "a suspect in the newspaper thefts . . . was not a member or relative of law enforcement. A local business owner called 9NEWS last night [January 18] and confessed." The Plaindealer issued a follow-up statement about the thefts.

Denver Housing Bureaucracy: Kyle Harris: "Denver Auditor Timothy O'Brien's team released a scathing 62-page report detailing much of what's been going wrong with Community Planning and Development's residential permitting process in recent years. . . . [D]evelopers and construction companies have blamed the agency for slowdowns and excessive avoidable costs. But the department has also been scrambling for fixes and has had some success speeding up permitting."

Lynch: Jesse Paul: "The top Republican in the Colorado House of Representatives, as he was sitting in the back of a police vehicle two years ago, asked a state trooper not to disclose his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol to the media." Lynch remains minority leader.

Pinching Small Businesses: I don't know what do think of this story by Shaun Boyd: "A new federal law requires almost every business entity in Colorado to register with the Treasury Department's Federal Crimes Enforcement Network or face steep penalties. The Corporate Transparency Act is meant to catch money launderers, but it applies to LLCs, DBAs, and corporations no matter how small they are. Under the law, everyone who has at least a 25% ownership in a company—or who manages a company—has to file a Beneficial Ownership Information report at the U.S. Treasury of Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or face fines of $500 per day up to $10,000 and up to two years in prison." Could that be right?

Weiser Supports Marijuana Rescheduling: Tiney Ricciardi: "A group of a dozen U.S. attorneys general, led by Colorado's Phil Weiser, are calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration to reschedule cannabis. In a letter sent to the DEA . . . the attorneys general said they support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' recommendation to reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III, citing public safety and advocating for legal businesses."

Homelessness: Tatiana Flowers: "Of the 9,085 people who shared previous address information in the homeless management information system since 2015, 88% reported a last permanent address in Colorado, according to the [Metro Denver Homeless Initiative] report." Useful context.

Murder by Fire: AP: "One of three teens charged with starting a house fire in suburban Denver that killed five people—apparently out of revenge for a stolen cellphone that was mistakenly traced to the residence—pleaded guilty Friday to one count of second-degree murder." This illustrates two of the problems with vigilante "justice"—misidentifying the perpetrators, and actions spinning wildly out of control. A horrible case.

Bag Ban: Different cities are taking different approaches to enforcement.

Hillman vs. Boebert: Former state senator Mark Hillman writes: "I'm not a frequent Boebert critic, but this decision [of hers to run in the Fourth Congressional] reveals an irresponsibly self-centered approach to a serious job. Too many politicians of both parties now confuse serving in Congress with starring in a reality TV show. . . . If she's squandered the GOP advantage in CD3, why would CD4 Republicans want to import her baggage?"

Rep. Whiner: Lauren Sforza: "Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) is blaming Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Barbra Streisand as part of the reason why she decided to switch districts. Boebert accused Hollywood stars of 'trying to buy' her current congressional district by donating to her Democrat opponent, Adam Frisch, in an interview on Steve Bannon's 'War Room' podcast Saturday." Anyone who would appear on Bannon's show, by that fact, is undeserving of a seat in Congress.

Trump on the Ballot: Get More Smarter Podcast (December 22): "The Colorado Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prevents the Secretary of State from placing Donald Trump on the Presidential ballot in Colorado, setting up a constitutional showdown with national implications. Mario Nicolais, one of the attorneys for the six electors who brought the case to the State Supreme Court, walks us through how it all went down and what he expects might happen next."

SMART Act: John Frank: "Under the SMART Act, legislative committees start each session with presentations from the administration to review the performance of key agencies and take public comment." Offhand seems like a good idea.

Ugh: 9News: "The Mesa County Sheriff's Office confirmed on Thursday that human remains found at a recently sold house in the Grand Junction area are a human head and hands." Hopefully authorities get to the bottom of the apparent crime.

Rufo: What sort of "conservative" talks about "laying siege to institutions?" Chris Rufo does. For what it's worth, I agree with some of the things Rufo says about the left's obsession with race, although I find Rufo to be a despicable and dishonest person.

Transparency: Jason Van Tatenhove interviewed Jeff Roberts about government transparency.

Raw Milk: Jennifer Brown: There's a bill that would allow sales of "raw milk at farms, farmers markets and roadside stands but not grocery stores."

Race and DPS: Supposedly (the source is questionable) there's a Denver Public Schools memo insisting that "whiteness" is the problem and everyone is a racist. Maybe rather than obsessing about race Denver teachers should focus on teaching all students how to read, write, and do math?

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