Colorado high court rejects plan for new legislative districts

The Colorado Supreme Court today rejected maps of newly drawn state House and Senate districts, saying too many counties were split by the new boundaries.  The court’s 4-2 decision sends the map back to the Colorado Reapportionment Commission, which must draw new maps and resubmit them to justices by Dec. 6.

Read the rest at Denver Post

Illegal immigrant tuition and fumbling councilmembers

Did ya catch the Feb 24th Longmont City Council meeting? Some of the more interesting and entertaining parts you might not read about in the local paper. Somebody out there is making YouTube videos (nope, it’s not me) of some of the stranger occurrences, which you are free to check out some of them at my YouTube Channel.

Check this one out, I saw some comments on the Times-Call website about this, now I know what they were talking about…

There was more, like several times asking to clarify what a YES or NO vote meant. Now, I’ve been known to join in the post-council meeting get-togethers at O’shays for a drink or two (I don’t think I’ve paid for one of my own yet though). But there was something else Councilmember Sean McCoy referred to at this meeting that got my attention:
Senate Bill 170, which you can read in its entirety at this link.

The first sentence sends off alarms for me: “Requires that a person, regardless of immigration status, who attends a Colorado high school for at least 3 years and enrolls in a Colorado institute of higher education within 5 years after either graduating from a Colorado high school or earning a general education diploma in Colorado shall be charged the same tuition rate and shall be eligible for tuition assistance under the same criteria as a person who establishes domicile in Colorado.”

So not only is that paragraph admitting that you are indeed paying (through mill levies, bond issues, property tax, etc) for the high school education of someone here illegally, you should also kick in to make their college education financially on par with a resident of the state! What a bunch of suckers.

I don’t care who endorsed it, who backs it, or what political party they’re from. I’ve got a problem with “regardless of immigration status” for what should be obvious reasons. I’m definitely all for residents of Colorado to have some advantage over out-of-state applicants, but out-of-country? Illegally at that? I don’t think so.

Lets say you have a cousin who wants to move here and go to CU or CSU, hey, that would be cool, they would at least have some family nearby. But their tuition is exorbitant being out-of-state, but not for someone here illegally. Does that seem the least bit fair? Basically we’d be subsidizing someone here illegally at the expense of U.S. citizens.

Here’s an idea: go ahead and get all of those illegal immigrants applications who want to come to these schools we help fund in one way or another. Dump them on some new school run by “educators” like Mr. McCoy who want this subsidizing (on your dime) of said illegal immigrants, and they can have a new college just for them. It won’t be CU or CSU caliber (in this case especially), but what do you want for half off while you don’t pay in to the system that’s helping to fund you?

In the meantime, their immigration status can be verified – one way or the other.

What is with this attitude of getting something for nothing? Why would Mr. McCoy (among others) want this? Without the “immigration status” part, I can understand, but with it? It’s pandering, pure and simple. It’s not about human rights or fair treatment – unless you’re here illegally of course. Remember back to one of my podcasts where I said “White guilt does not equal racial tolerance“? This is about getting votes, nothing more, nothing less. And looky here, there’s a Longmont City Council election coming up in November.

That’s alright, you may forget. I’ll make sure to remind you.

Brandon Shaffer has a problem with transparency

Colorado Senate Bill 57 would require Colorado school districts to post their spending reports online. Every type of government should do this, school districts are no different, especially in light of Longmont just approving the mill levies and bond issues for St. Vrain Valley School District.

You would think these districts would want to show they are trustworthy. Apparently Longmont’s State Senate Representative Brandon Shaffer either doesn’t think they are trustworthy, or you’re just too stupid to understand the minutia.

He, along with 7 other senators voted against SB-57. It was already diluted prior to this vote, not diluted enough? Why would they want to keep this information secret? Rubber stamping on behalf of lobbyists Mr. Shaffer?

So, all of you who voted for the mill levy and bond, and especially those that didn’t, you really have no way of knowing where or how this money is being spent if Mr. Shaffer has his way. Like I’ve said before Mr. Shaffer – those that tell you you’re doing a “great job”, don’t believe it. You’re just another political hack yes man. Anyone can do that.

Thank God for term limits.

Press Release: FasTracks: Lipstick On A Pig

Anyone who’s read my stuff over the years knows I’m no great fan of State Senator Brandon Shaffer. I’ve disagreed with him on his voting record, specifically the games he tried to play with the Electoral College, and how he basically became Ken Gordon‘s extra vote. We need someone to represent Longmont and District 17, not a puppet who pretty much tows the party line, right down the line.

The following press release was sent directly to me from candidate Katie Witt who is challenging Brandon Shaffer for this seat. – Chris

Lipstick on a Pig: Fastracks in Boulder County in Peril

August 18, 2008: Longmont, CO – Katie Witt, Republican candidate for State Senate District 17, today announced her position regarding the growing controversy surrounding the RTD FasTracks project.

“The prospect of FasTracks getting to Longmont and eastern Boulder County, on budget and on schedule, now appears to be absolutely zero,” Witt stated. “What makes the situation outrageous is that Longmont citizens have been paying for this project—one that my opponent Brandon Shaffer campaigned for in 2004— with little to show for it to date. Where has Brandon been the last four years while RTD heads straight toward fiscal implosion: the answer I fear is, “he’s been asleep at the wheel.”

“While my support of the FasTracks concept remains strong, it’s clear that this is one public works project that has spun out of control. Elected leaders and administrators need to revisit and seriously re-think the viability of the original plan.

“I fear that the worst news is yet to come. When FasTracks reaches full build-out, the operational losses from this poorly conceived project will implode the fiscal foundations of RTD, with taxpayers left holding the bag. It is time to stop the denial about the extra-ordinary fiscal risks involved with “staying the course” through keeping with the current plan. It’s time to stop trying to put lipstick on a pig.

“Fastracks to Longmont, an extension of the North Metro line tied into the Highway 287 corridor, is essential. Because of the growth along the I-25 corridor and number of people working in Denver Metro area, a line to eastern Boulder County would have the greatest impact on our transportation problems.

“If we subtract the politicians from the equation, this is the plan that makes sense for Boulder County. It will do what it was designed to do: reduce cars on the road.

“Obviously, the FasTracks proposal was driven by political considerations, not good mass transit policy. That’s why the FasTracks project is in such deep trouble financially.

“I praise RTD board member Lee Kemp and Longmont’s mayor Roger Lange, who’ve been on top of this worsening situation. What we need now is a task force led by RTD to re-examine alternatives, and legislative hearings at the Capitol to ensure far greater accountability going forward. Our current state senator is asleep at the switch on this crucial project.

“We need strong leadership and clear thinking on this crucial economic development project. Eastern Boulder County needs a FasTracks designed to support job growth and a vibrant east-county economic development effort. We need to see if we can get FasTracks to Longmont and eastern Boulder County.”