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Colorado News Miner 106

Trump ballot suit, scapegoating Griswold, Clark on democracy, abortion in Colorado, gun policy, charter schools, Narrowgate cult, Rocky Flats, DNA fiasco, rare earth metals, paleontology, and more.

Copyright © 2024 by Ari Armstrong
March 12, 2024

Kafer on Trump Suit: Krista Kafer: "A tough dilemma demands we weigh the unintended consequences of acting and of not acting. Allowing an insurrectionist on the ballot invites future politicians to do likewise. That is the more ominous outcome. . . . While the nation can now anticipate a less complicated election, the price of expediency will come due later. With a disabled disqualification clause, there is little to bar an officeholder who incites violence in pursuit of power from running again." Mario Nicolais: "By leaving Trump on the ballot, the Supreme Court may have avoided some immediate backlash. . . . [T]hey also almost certainly invited chaos down the road."

Scapegoating Griswold: Republicans pretend they want to impeach or recall Secretary of State Jena Griswold over her tangential link to the Trump ballot case. Kyle Clark absolutely eviscerates Rep. Ryan Armagost over this issue. See also Clark on the clash between Griswold and Lauren Boebert.

Praise for Clark: Here is Corey Hutchins's review of Kyle Clark's comments on the Get More Smarter podcast: "Clark also talked about 'whether or not journalists are allowed to be pro-democracy,' and said he believes some journalists might retreat from it because they feel democracy has become a partisan issue. 'My goodness,' he said of such a take. 'What do those folks think is going to happen if America takes a turn toward authoritarianism? Do you think that there’s going to be some safe place carved out for journalists who just never challenged the rise of authoritarianism? So you can cover what? And do what? The things that the government tells you are OK to cover?'" Hutchins also notes that Jay Rosen added, "[P]rominent Denver 9NEWS anchor Kyle Clark . . . is growing a well-deserved reputation as a local journalist unafraid to call out bigotry and political extremism." (As I said last time, though, people should use more-precise terms than "extremism.")

When Abortion was Illegal: John Daley reviews the work of Alejandro Hernández on the history of illegal abortions in Colorado, when, predictably, sometimes abortions killed women.

Bottoms on Abortion: At a recent legislative hearing, Republican representative Scott Bottoms said, "Somebody who has been raped who goes to seek an abortion is still choosing to murder a baby, regardless of how that baby came into conception." And Republicans wonder why they keep getting destroyed in most Colorado elections. Sheesh.

Harassed Samaritan: Apparently Denver code enforcers prefer people to live on the streets rather than live in a badly managed hotel.

Gun Taxes: Andrew Kenney: Some legislators want to send a proposal to voters to raise taxes on "firearms, ammunition, and gun parts by 11 percent." Generally, discriminatory taxes are a bad idea. Again, I would just do away with all sales and use taxes. But, if we're going to have them, we shouldn't turn them into "sin" taxes. On top of that, excessively taxing something that is a Constitutional right is offensive. Would Democrats allow punitive taxes on abortions or books?

Gun Thefts: Various Democrats opposed a bill increasing criminal penalties for thefts of "cheap" guns, Jess Paul reports.

Gun Regulations: Colorado Democrats are increasingly confident about passing more stringent gun regulations, the Denver Post reports. Some gun regulations, such as red-flag laws, make sense (at least potentially). Many do not.

Charter Schools: Bill 1363 would substantially alter charter school law. Among the changes summarized by Marianne Goodland: "Repeals the ability of charter school applicants to seek a second decision from the state board when a local board rejects a charter school application a second time." I worry this would allow hostile districts to exclude charters.

Fire-Resistant Materials: Usually I'm in favor of letting people form and change HOA rules as they want (assuming they started from a unanimous, opt-in contract). But sometimes the rules are obviously stupid, and in some such cases I don't mind the state nullifying them. Such is the case with HOA rules against fire-resistant materials.

Narrowgate Cult: Logan Davis has out a very-long (nearly 14,000 word) article on the Narrowgate cult. Davis reports, "[T]he teachings that drew members deeper into its leader’s control were based on audio cassettes from Colorado-based pastor Andrew Wommack, who today leads a ministry which commands tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue." Here is the zinger: "Today, 27 years after Narrowgate fell apart, the group's leader lives in Colorado Springs and works as a senior lieutenant to the man whose teachings he once used to build a cult. His name is Andrew Wertz, and he is senior vice president at Andrew Wommack Ministries International (AWMI) and Charis Bible College."

Friend to Immigrants: Echter's Nursery hired immigrants, legally, and for their efforts they faced some intense hatred from racist jerks. Andrew Kenney has the story.

Rocky Flats: CBS's Michael Abeyta reports there's a "lawsuit to stop a plan by the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from building a pedestrian bridge connecting trails on the Rocky Flats Refuge and the Westminster Open Space as part of a greenway." The concern is Rocky Flats contamination. I appreciated this note of skepticism: "David Wood lives in the Candelas neighborhood just to the south of the refuge. He is a retired physicist and says people need to look at the data and that the contaminated soil on the refuge is not any more radioactive than most dirt already is."

CBI's DNA Fiasco: Tony Gorman: In a scandal involving 652 cases, "DNA scientist . . . Yvonne 'Missy' Woods omitted material facts from official criminal justice records, tampered with DNA testing results, and violated CBI's code of conduct and laboratory policies." On one hand, good for the CBI for finally discovering the problem. On the other hand, why in hell did it take so long? CBI has checked Woods's work going back to 2008 and now plans to look all the way back to 1994, Gorman reports. Maybe they should have checked in a little earlier?

Rare Earth Metals: American Rare Earths of Wyoming claims to have found "2.34 billion metric tons of rare earth minerals," particularly neodymium and praseodymium, reports Cowboy State Daily.

Chronic Wasting: KREX: Officials have "identified chronic wasting disease in 40 out of 54 of our deer herds. 17 out of 42 elk herds are also now infected."

Campos: CU legal professor Paul Campos, who used to write a column for the Rocky Mountain News, "has reached a settlement agreement" after filing "a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit in June," the Denver Post reports. Campos says he suffered "unequal pay because of his Latino ethnicity and [was] punished for taking paternity leave"; the university denies wrongdoing.

Paleontology: Among the younger paleontologists working in Colorado is Amy Atwater. Along with Meaghan Emery-Wetherell, Atwater runs the Mary Anning's Revenge web site and the Weird and Dead podcast. Both Atwater and Emery-Wetherell have appeared on the Paleo Nerds podcast.

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