Giving credit: Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr joins in suit to protect Coloradans Second Amendment rights
Lord knows I have not always been kind to Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr on these pages – and for good reason. However Darr’s choice to join with 54 other Colorado sheriffs in opposing the draconian gun grabbing measures passed by the state legislature is commendable.
Much of the past session of the Colorado State Legislature was devoted to gun ‘control’ as Democrats at the capitol seized on recent tragedies as justification to take away our Second Amendment rights.
In the wake of Governor John Hickenlooper signing the bills, 55 Colorado sheriffs that individually have decades of law enforcement experience and collectively over 1,000 years of knowledge have launched a lawsuit to stop the measures. All recognize they will take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens and do nothing to stop random acts of violence.
Sheriff Darr has not always been friendly to gun owners. He testified against Colorado’s conceal carry law when it was being debated and since that time, his office’s handling of applications has been frustrating to residents.
However, credit must be given when due. Not only has Darr joined in the lawsuit, he has publicly slammed the Aurora Sentinel editors for a condescending editorial they penned about these lawmen.
The Sentinel says those that opposed the measure are “gun-rights extremists” and the sheriffs “elected politicians who sport badges.”
Darr took to the offensive last week on the sheriff’s Facebook page in response. Not only did he slam the editors for their ignorance but also provided a staunch defense of the lawsuit and the reasons to stop these usurpations of our rights.
“As elected Sheriffs and the chief law enforcement officers of our respective counties, we have an obligation to challenge potentially unconstitutional laws on behalf of the citizens of the state of Colorado. The very first part of our oath of office is to support the Constitution, and it is our mission to preserve the foundation upon which this republic is built.”
“These bills do little to make Colorado a safer place to live, work, play, and raise a family. Instead, they will have the opposite effect because they greatly restrict the right of decent, law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, their families, and their homes.”
“It bothers the Sheriffs that the editorial board seems to have the opinion that we have no interest in effectively dealing with gun violence in this country and nation. Nothing could be further from the truth. We simply want new laws to be reasonably enforceable and to comply with constitutional standards. We want to see an effort to effectively deal with people who have serious mental health issues, chronic sobriety issues, and those with a history of violent behavior. We are not likely to have much success in dealing with issues of gun violence until we make a legitimate effort to keep guns out of the hands of people with those problems.”
“Honestly, we wish this lawsuit wasn’t necessary, but, we took an oath to defend the Constitution and we take that very seriously.”
I commend Darr and the other 54 sheriffs for taking a stand for Coloradans and for the Constitution of the United States. Thank you.
About ‘Giving credit’: Tony’s Rants is not a non-partisan news source. It always has and always will reflect the views of its author and I am quick to slam politicians and officials that have failed the citizenry. I will take on anyone, no matter their affiliation, but admit those on the left are usually the target of the words on this site. If we are going to recognize someone’s failures, we should also acknowledge when they get things right. That is what my ‘giving credit’ series is about – giving credit where credit is due, no matter the political colors worn by the person. Of course the cynic in me says even a broken clock is right twice a day but perhaps there is some hope for those ‘broken clocks.’
The editorial board of the Mile High City’s leftist ‘paper of record’ has rarely reflected the center of right beliefs of most Coloradans. This morning’s editorial stepped over a line in its defense of Governor John Hickenlooper and their belief that capital punishment should be abolished.
Much to the chagrin of Chickenlooper and the Post, a Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday showed that residents of Colorado have about had enough of the bleeding heart liberal policies forced upon us in recent years. The governor’s approval ratings are plummeting faster than the Post’s circulation and his non-decision on the execution of convicted murderer Nathan Dunlap seems to have opened Coloradans eyes.
When elected Hickenlooper promised Coloradans that he believed in the death penalty. That has been proven to be a lie – much like the myth that he is a ‘moderate.’
The Quinnipiac poll shows that Colorado is not happy with the Governor of Denver. Rushing to his defense is the Denver Post in an editorial that Coloradans are sure to find insulting.
The Post’s condescending editorial insinuates that the 69 percent of Coloradans are simply not as enlightened as the Post and the dear governor are. “Good reasons” for opposing the death penalty “don’t resonate with most Coloradans” the Post whines in its defense of its hero.
When Hickenlooper issued the reprieve last month, it was purely based on his personal lack of conviction and uneasiness in doing the job.
“It has forced me to think of the issue in a personal way because it is on my conscience the decision will weigh,” he said.
As I wrote on Tony’s Rants’ Facebook page that day, “YOUR conscience? YOUR decision? Nathan Dunlap showed just how little conscience he had when he gunned down five people in cold blood. The men and women on a jury of his peers made the decision he should die for these crimes, as has been affirmed by numerous courts since then. Governor Hickenlooper, I could not give a rat’s a$$ about YOUR conscience. Rather than take a stand, a stand on the side of justice, you chickened out.”
Clearly more Coloradans believe in my sentiments than those of Governor Hickenlooper or the Denver Post.
Hickenlooper pulled the wool over many people’s eyes on this issue and others. No more – the veil has been lifted.
On the net:
Removing someone from a position of power is never easy and oftentimes in the case of politicians they get to be quite comfortable in those seats; too comfortable in fact. Despite the fact that Coloradans have overwhelmingly decided term limits were needed to jettison the flotsam, Thornton City Council appears on track to try to do away with them.
During the June 4, 2013 planning session, council discussed lengthening or eliminating the two-term limit placed on city councilmembers and the mayor. If approved, the issue would be placed on the November 2013 ballot for voters to decide.
The idea apparently has strong support from a majority of council. That of course isn’t surprising as those in the seat of power rarely willingly give it up.
When straightforward language on term limit changes is used, as it was last year with the district attorney, voters have overwhelmingly said ‘no’ to the yahoos trying to cling to power.
In 2005 a previous city council tried the same thing with relatively plain English language and more than three quarters of Thornton residents shot the measure down. We have spoken quite clearly on our wish to limit the length of time our representatives stay in their seats and we have said two terms is enough.
Not only is it troubling to see council take this action less than 10 years after being resoundingly told no, the way it is being framed this time is disingenuous.
Four years ago the Adams County Board of Commissioners placed a similar issue on the ballot. The language used was entirely deceptive and resulted in voters unwittingly approving the elimination of the two term limit.
Rightfully so there was a very public outcry but Brighton and the Adams Family had gotten their way. Now their friends are trying the same shenanigans in Thornton and one of the proposed options for the ballot uses the same, word twisting language.
In yesterday’s Northglenn-Thornton Sentinel, Mayor Heidi Williams indicated there are councilmembers wanting to model Thornton after Adams County. “[Some on council] want to be sure the city is aligned with the county and is able to make decisions for long-term planning,” she said.
Williams is said though to personally oppose the term limit increase.
Since when does Thornton want to do anything like Adams County? Sure many of the elected officials at city hall are of the same political ilk (the ones with Ds after their name that are always in the news). However as the state’s sixth largest city Thornton should forge its own path – not try to duplicate the corrupt governance of those who have embarrassed residents for decades.
Further, the idea that having politicians in office longer helps the city over the long term is laughable. Anyone familiar with the form of city government that Thornton has well knows that the real one running the show is the city manager.
In Thornton’s case we have been honored to have Jack Ethredge at the helm for quite a while and under his steerage, the city has flourished. It has done so in spite of the many yahoos that have sat on the council dais, virtually all of whom we were glad to see go when the time came.
I have no doubt that despite what the citizens have said before and say now, council will put this measure on the ballot. You can be sure a great deal will be said about it if they do, particularly if they choose to use deceptive language.
Either way it is clear that we have another case of our local politicians acting out of self-preservation rather than the interest of the city’s citizens.
Challenge to Thornton City Council: You of course will tell your constituents this measure is for the good of the city and that you aren’t doing it for yourselves. Prove it! If the idea behind the measure is wholly honorable, then change any ballot language you choose to including wording that exempts any currently sitting councilmember from enjoying a third term if it is approved. That way, as citizens, we can be assured that this is truly for the ‘good of the city’ and not for your own self-serving interests.
For the second year in a row Colorado appears to be headed toward a disastrous wildfire season. The opportunity to get a jump on battling these deadly disasters was presented in the Colorado legislature this past season but thanks to two Adams County senators, real action will be further delayed.
The creation of the Colorado Firefighting Air Corps was one of the few reasonable and commonsense solutions proposed in the Democrat dominated capitol this past session. For a mere pittance, the state could establish its own aerial firefighting fleet rather than having to reply on the federal government’s stretched resources.
State Senator Steve King’s (R-Grand Junction) bill, SB245, passed the House and Senate and was signed by Governor John Hickenlooper.
When it came time to fund the purchase and operation of the aircraft, the Senate Appropriations committee voted down the money. Who would do such a thing? Among the ‘no’ votes were Adams County’s own Mary Hodge (D-Brighton), chair of the committee, and Jessie Ulibarri (D-Commerce City).
Governor Hickenlooper also has culpability in this outcome. For a governor who bragged he didn’t veto a single bill because he was allegedly so effective at managing the legislative process to his liking, why couldn’t he manage to get $17 million for such a critical need as planes to fight wildfires?
The 2014 budget those same senators and Governor Hickenlooper just approved was $20.5 billion. The $17 million needed to get the Firefighting Air Corps up and running would be but a pittance.
Senators Hodge and Ulibarri were more than willing to take away your guns, give in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants, allow gay marriage (sorry, civil unions), and provide sex education to the state’s kindergartners.
They were not however able to see their way clear to fund this lifesaving measure.
Would those planes have been flying in the fires burning today? No. However, thanks to these elected representatives, any help with even next year’s fires is up in the air (pun intended).
On the net:
The image we put together a few years back of the previous batch of ethically challenged Adams County politicos was a huge hit. It however was dated as a slew of new elected officials (with Ds after their names) have taken their place.
I had hoped I wouldn’t have to recreate this image, or at least not with so many new faces. All of the candidates of the past two years have promised they would restore Adams County to one of prominence. Those elected have continued to visit embarrassment and scandal on us.
So today I re-launch the Adams Family portrait. We have a couple of holdovers but many new faces. A couple of more didn’t make the cut but could have easily been included.
Among this latest batch of members:
County Commissioner Charles ‘Chaz’ Tedesco as Gomez Addams. Despite having lied to voters about his criminal background, Tedesco won a seat as commissioner in 2012. Since then he has been fined heavily by a court for campaign finance violations and has continued the same, poor governance of previous occupants of his seat.
County Commissioner Eva Henry as Morticia Addams. The liberal credentials of this former Thornton City Council member were never in question. I know Eva, have found her to be a good person, but like most who we send to Brighton, she appears to have lost her way. Her treatment of citizens being wrongly taxed by the county and the attempt to impose restrictions on the First Amendment are disappointing to see the least.
County Assessor Gil Reyes as Lurch. Reyes is of course a holdover from the previous iteration of this image. Despite his criminal conduct, he still clings to office. No politico in Adams County has had more ink spilled about themselves than Reyes. It will be a good day for citizens when he leaves office.
Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr as Pugsley. As the county’s top law enforcement officer, much is expected of Darr and he generally has not performed badly. For personal reasons, it pains me to criticize law enforcement officials as I hold them in the highest esteem. However, his handling of the jail and imposition of a cap on municipal inmates has put our communities at risk. He has lamented not having enough money for his department yet found the funds for fancy PR videos. That doesn’t cut it.
State Senator Mary Hodge of Brighton as Grandmama. Hodge has been a champion of leftist social causes during her tenure at the state capitol. As such she fit right in down there but this past session during the Democrat gun grab she publically said that veterans can’t be trusted due to ‘significant mental health problems.’ Previous actions were bad enough. That one though pushed her over the top.
State Representative Joe Salazar as Wednesday. It seems fitting to put Salazar in as the Addams’ daughter as females and children were the highlights of his voting record thus far. The union lawyer worried that women were too emotional to know when to shoot a firearm in self-defense. The insulting display should put women on notice where they stand with gun grabbing Salazar. Then, in perhaps the most reprehensible vote of the session, Salazar joined with his fellow Democrats to kill Jessica’s Law. Clearly Salazar doesn’t believe the most vulnerable deserve protection.
Activist Manny Solano as Uncle Fester. Solano’s hair style is somewhat reminiscent of Uncle Fester’s but that isn’t what puts him in this spot. Rather the lawyer and husband of former state representative Judy Solano is a string-puller for the Adams County Democrats and wannabe king maker. The former rep gave her hubby access to her Facebook account, thus exposing personal information of many Adams County citizens to someone they do not know. He also is quick to defend criminal Democrats in court, although his quality in doing so is highly questionable. Judy Solano is rumored to be seeking a return to office in the state senate so we have certainly not seen the last of either of them.
Sometimes we wish the Addams Family pictures we found had at least one more member, perhaps Cousin It would be a nice addition. If it did, one more Adams County Democrat would make a fine addition to the portrait. State Senator Jessie Ulibarri joined with his fellow gun grabbing Democrats to take away Coloradans Second Amendment rights. During the debate, Ulibarri made the asinine assertion that we could just use ballpoint pens to defend ourselves.
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Adams County Commissioners Eva Henry and Chaz Tedesco have been forced to step back from their unconstitutional restrictions on citizens’ right to free speech. Today the Board of County Commissioners chose to rescind their recent implementation of ‘free speech areas.’
In a laughable statement announcing the about-face, Board Chair Eva Henry is quoted as saying, “We did this for a very good reason. Today the board of commissioners rescinded a policy. We needed to clarify our original intent for adopting a free speech area policy while also celebrating free speech. To accomplish this, we held our meeting outside as a symbol of open government, transparency and the rights of citizens to communicate with their county commissioners.”
The statement goes on to say the county has a “commitment to transparency and engaging in open, honest and respectful practices of communication.”
This has hardly been the case in recent months and the attempt to silence critics highlights it.
The Friday Funny plays on the revelation yesterday that the United States government has seized the phone records for millions of Americans in a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. This of course pales in comparison to the details we are just now learning about the top secret PRISM project that gives the government direct access to major Internet companies’ networks.
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At a House Oversight Committee hearing today discussing the Internal Revenue Service’s over the top spending on conferences, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) slammed the agency for its lack of character and failure to remember who it reports to, the American people.
Gowdy’s opening statement is powerful and should be mandatory viewing. Normally I would post a transcript but I believe this needs to be seen, not just read.
Below that video, are two others worth watching. Karen Kenney of the San Fernando Valley Patriots discusses the intimidation she (and many more Americans) has suffered at the hands of our government. Becky Gerritson of the Wetumpka Tea Party in Alabama offers her views as well.
The words of these patriots should echo with all Americans. Vox populi! We will not be silenced!
If these don’t make you mad, and sad, for the state of affairs in our government, nothing will. Watch the videos below the fold.
Every day we see infringement on our unalienable rights by our government and today news breaks that the government has all but thrown out the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The National Security Agency has apparently seized phone records for millions of Americans in a blanket violation of our rights.
The Patriot Act was viewed by many as a measure granting undue and dangerous powers to the federal government. Its use had been relatively judicious and many fears were unfounded. No more, not under the Obama administration.
The Guardian revealed today that the NSA has obtained a court order forcing Verizon to turn over phone records for its customers. The order is for the government to obtain “telephony metadata” including the originating and destination telephone numbers, calling card numbers, location and time and duration of the call.
Most chilling and what truly shows this as a violation of the Fourth Amendment is that the order is for “communications between the United States and abroad or wholly within the United States.”
Where else but Adams County could a politician be proven to have rewarded campaign contributors at the expense of taxpayers and yet get away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist? That is exactly what happened with Assessor Gil Reyes’ criminal case yesterday when he received a deferred sentence for nine criminal counts against him.
Reyes, already found guilty of accepting gifts from political donors, was facing another round of charges from his lowering of property values for those who gave to his political campaigns. The scheme proved a boon for Majestic Realty Co. and others while costing taxpayers nearly $1 million in lost revenue.
Nearly two years ago the Colorado Division of Property Taxation unanimously concluded that Reyes’ actions were a clear violation of state law. The board wrote, “The clear conclusion from this analysis is that contributor properties were incorrectly valued compared to non-contributor properties.”
Last May nine charges of official misconduct were filed against Reyes, each carrying possibly a one year jail sentence and $1,000 fine.
It was rather odd that then DA Don Quick chose to file the charges in Adams County, something which gave the appearance of impropriety. Quick and Reyes are both card carrying members of the Adams County Democrat Party and both have strong ties to the Adams Family and the culture of corruption in the county.
Now we may know why this decision was made.