Monday, November 2, 2009

Sen. Dave Schultheis Announces Decision to Forgo Second Term

After considerable deliberation, I have decided to forgo running for my second and final four-year term as a Colorado State Senator representing Senate District 9. I will, however, continue to serve out my current term, which culminates at the end of 2010, concluding ten years of political service for the citizens of Colorado. This has been an extremely difficult decision for me, as I love the challenge of serving the best interests of my constituents on legislative matters, by steadfastly advocating for traditional, conservative values, which I know to be the best overall values for the citizens of Colorado and the nation.

After much prayer and discussion with family members and close friends, I have come to this decision in order to spend more time with family, including my five rapidly-growing grandsons. As is common knowledge, the responsibilities of political office are extremely demanding on one’s time and schedule --- often to the detriment of time spent with family and friends.

Having served to the very best of my ability since 2001, first in Colorado’s House of Representatives for six years and now in the Colorado State Senate, I have consistently attempted to uphold Conservative principles to the best of my ability, even when it was difficult to do so. I remain convinced that those principles are essential for a society whose citizens value freedom, liberty and personal responsibility.

The citizens of Senate 9 District deserve a strong, unwavering Conservative to be their Senator; it is an important responsibility that I have taken very seriously. While I have been honored that the voters have had faith in me over these years, it has always been my view that if there were others who could fulfill those duties with the same level of passion for Conservative principles as I, then I could direct my efforts to other areas; there is so much to do to reclaim the vision of our Founding Fathers. There are now individuals standing in the wings who can and will passionately and consistently carry that mantle.

During my years in the Legislature, I have purposely never sought a leadership position, as I believed my role was to stand firmly against every temptation to moderate my conservative views for greater acceptance by the caucus. As a result, I felt free and unencumbered, to hold high the banner of each and every conservative principle that Republicans say they believe in…and to do so without compromise.

It is with a great deal of gratitude to the citizens of Senate District 9, and a strong sense of personal accomplishment that I move forward to meet future challenges.

God bless you, the citizens of Senate District 9 and of Colorado.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Colorado Republican legislators Sen. Scott Renfroe, Sen. Kevin Lundberg, Sen. Greg Brophy, Sen. Dave Schultheis and Rep. Kent Lambert are pleased to endorse Conservative candidate, Doug Hoffman, candidate for the 23rd Congressional District of New York. A liberal Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava, is supported by the New York GOP in a contest that has not had the benefit of a primary election. Assemblywoman Scozzafava’s views do not reflect the conservative principles set forth in the Republican Platform.

The Republican establishment should stop supporting candidates that merely call themselves Republicans to get elected, and whose actions then undermine principled Republican legislation. We should represent our loyal Party members better by heeding their warnings against compromising Republican principles. Unlike Scozzafava’s views, the Republican Party Platform is pro-life, pro-capitalist, and pro-traditional marriage, and is opposed to radical leftist groups like ACORN.

Liberal Democrat issues are not in the best interest of the citizens of the United States, and therefore should be rejected by the Republican Party if we want this nation to survive and thrive as a beacon of light to the world. This is not just a local New York issue. Republicans throughout America should insist that their Party back candidates worthy of their support, not liberals supported by Democratic leaders and Barack Obama.

We are thrilled to have found that Doug Hoffman will stand firm for freedom, liberty, limited government and the other values that Republicans hold dear.

Please consider helping Doug by visiting his official website below and joining us in supporting his campaign:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Time For Parents to Rise Up and Take Back Control of the Public Education System.

The need to wrest control of our Public School System from the Unions is long overdue. It is past time that we pay strong attention to those running for School Board elections. As parents and grandparents of children in the public school system, we can no longer sit idly by as the system indoctrinates our children with liberal, Progressive ideas that run counter to the views of our Founding Fathers or fly in the face of the religious and moral values so many parents and children. We must act now to ensure that future school-board members are elected who will see to it that schools respect parents' wishes.

Tea parties, 9.12 groups, Coalitions for a Conservative Majority are just three of the more active groups taking a strong interest in restoring conservative principles to all portions of the political spectrum. I urge you to join them. Then, I urge you to set up a committee to vet out all public school-board candidates via questionnaires and public forums where candidates are invited to share their philosophy of education and what they see as their role, if elected.

Below is only a very rough start of the kinds of questions that could be asked on questionnaires and through public forums. I urge you to consider using these and adding many of your own and adding to them as you see fit.

  1. What do you see as the role of the Parents in public education? Be specific.
  2. What do you see as the role of school Administration in public education? Be specific.
  3. What do you see as the role of the school Board in the public education? Be specific.
  4. Do you see a role for parents in the review and selection of textbooks and other materials? Why? Why not?
  5. Many of today’s textbooks minimize the views of our founding documents and the reasons for the greatness and exceptionalism of the U.S. Would you take specific action to make sure this does not happen in your school district? If so, what action? If not, why not?
  6. Would you welcome or resist the establishment of a committee of parents who desire to review books, movies and other handout materials…and Why?
  7. How would you articulate your concept of "diversity" and how it should or should not be of concern to parents and children?
  8. Should the teaching of controversial issues such as abortion, homosexuality, egalitarianism, evolution, global warming, and other issues that are deemed controversial be a part of the school curriculum? If not, why not? If so, what should
  9. Most public school administrators, teachers, staff, parents and children do not understand the law with respect to Religious Freedom in public schools, thus increasingly opening up schools to lawsuits from pro-religious-freedom organizations. Would you be willing to work with organizations such as the Alliance Defense Fund, the Rutherford Institute and others to ensure that the religious beliefs of teachers, staff and students are encouraged rather than violated? Would you be willing to require the school administration to make such applicable religious freedoms known?
  10. Do you feel that educating students on issues deemed as pro-abortion, use of condoms, homosexuality is the role of the school or the role of the parents? Why or Why not?
  11. Parents often feel they are not informed as to the content or timing of the teaching of controversial subject matter to their children. Do you favor “opt-in” or “opt-out” methods as ways for the school administration to inform parents of controversial materials being taught their children?
  12. By receiving federal funds (often as little as 5% of a school’s budget) the school is required to adhere to an increasingly-large list of federal regulations. What is your stance on the taking of federal funds by a public school? Would you be in favor of refusing such funds to provide greater freedom and flexibility for the school administration?
  13. Would you favor teachers opting out of the teachers union? Would you advocate that school administrators inform their teachers of this option?
  14. Most school districts use considerable budget dollars for advertising to bring attention to their schools. Do you see this as necessary? Why or why not?
  15. Do you believe that total transparency of every item of income/expense of the school district should be available and searchable on the web?
  16. Because Colorado School Districts receive money from the State based on the number of children in attendance as of a certain date, most schools have a promotion strategy to make sure the greatest number of students is present on that “count” day. Do you believe such promotion costs are proper expenses of the school?

As another suggestion for the growing number of conservative activist groups, it would be wise for a sub-committee of these groups to establish itself as a watchdog group within each Public School District. This sub-committee would attend all meetings of the School Board, review individual school and district policies, and reviews all educational materials used by each school. This group would then report back to the “parent” group to establish action items to correct whatever problem was observed.

When the public school system takes on responsibility to educate children, it must take that responsibility seriously and realize that it is responsible first and foremost to the parents of those children who have entrusted them with that responsibility. Parents, not the teachers union (NEA) make the important educational decisions for their children. It is time we took back our schools and made them parent-centric, not union-centric. If you agree, please begin to take action now. The destiny of our country and the future of the children weighs in the balance.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Letter to Govenor Ritter Challenging Him To Take Up Meaningful Spending Reductions

With the current state income shrinking precipitously, and observing Governor Ritter's "tweak-around-the-edges approach, I felt compelled to write a letter to him challenging his approach. You will find that letter here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Cautionary Look at Colorado's Financial Jeff Wright

The recent budget review released by the Colorado Legislative Council is sobering. More so, it seems, because the CLC is still fully bought into the mainstream scenario of a slow-moving recovery through 2010 and then a return to "normal," rather than the classic "dead-cat bounce" we are actually experiencing. That scenario will prove to be deadly to the budget process in the next two legislative sessions. The top-to-bottom restructuring of state and local government should begin immediately, not continue to engage in fiscal and financial chicanery and gimmicks. It should have started last session, but the Democrats and the Governor snuck through the session with a ton left undone, a hope and a prayer.

In order to understand what needs to happen in the state, it is important to understand the larger picture. Last September, when I first forecast a $1 billion shortfall, the CLC opened with $300 million which they escalated in December to $600 million, then $800+ million in the next report. They didn't get to $1 billion until the final numbers came in June 20, 2009. Meanwhile the Governor's office was so far off the mark as to be completely laughable and reflects the fairy-tale, 'Alice-in-Wonderland' environment in that office.

The shortfalls will most likely continue for the next two quarters, maybe less, then look to be in recovery in the late spring and summer of 2010 before falling off the cliff again. That will occur as the-already-generated fake dollars of the stimulus, credit and monetary injections and other deficit spending programs by the federal government continue to push money into the economy for a time. That will end when there is a final cut-off by the international buyers of our debt.

The stock market bounce likely won't last that long. However, perception combined with key market players' ability to move ahead of the market, is a powerful tool on the side of the Keynesians for a period of time. They can put their money in and take it out in time to move to hard assets before the back-end inflation created really hits the masses. Key market players are actually initial beneficiaries of the coming inflation, since they get their hands on the money closest to the point of release from the government and central bank. In the flow of the defined Austrian credit cycle that behavior is expected prior to the broad inflationary effects taking over.

If inflation has set-in by then, as some forecast in mid-2010, it will make the numbers look better even while the real value of the transactions are falling, i.e., home prices, for one example. Home prices will actually begin to show a recovery and escalation again. I believe, the manipulation of the Keynesians in charge of government and central bank policy are still effective enough that a massive inflationary (20+% annually) scenario is still 18-24 months off or longer. We may not arrive at hyperinflation (100+% and then go logarithmic shortly thereafter) before there is severe global monetary readjustment and replacement of the global dollar regime with regional currency systems. With 70% of the global transaction currency afloat represented in dollars, the other nations will have no choice but to move to protect themselves as the states must move here.

One key indicator here will be a strong move away from the dollar as the oil transaction currency of choice. When the deal, to make all OPEC oil transactions priced in dollars, was sealed with Saudi Arabia in 1973 it put a 30- year prop under the dollar after President Nixon removed us from the Gold standard in 1971. That deal gave the U.S. 30+ years of open field running to receive a direct subsidy from the rest of the world. In order to buy their oil the rest of the nations of the world had to obtain dollars to do so. The Fed and federal government were more than happy to comply, multiplying the number of dollars available by orders-of-magnitude above the real growth of our productive economy through direct supply ("printing") and deficit spending. When that subsidy ends so does the dollar, money printing and deficit spending. Our trade and fiscal deficits, globalization and outsourcing movements, and the expansion of credit and subsequent crash are all sourced back to those two policies: Removal of the dollar from the gold standard in 1971 and OPECs agreement in 1973 to only price oil transactions in dollars. The sub-prime and credit crisis are symptoms, not causes, of our larger monetary and debt crises 30-plus years in the making.

Colorado must move to protect itself from the sudden explosion and then implosion of Federal spending and money printing. It will fool many people for a period of time and skew the statistics, but in the end the only states that won't go down with the Federal government and the dollar will be those that are in some way, any way, prepared. We have so little time and so much to do. After the constant propaganda spiel proffered by central bankers of the Fed, government officials and the media it should be realized that time grows even shorter. Denial and misdirection are powerful indicators of the final correction.

States must begin to take effective steps to find ways to isolate themselves from the ultimate fiscal and financial degradations of the Federal government and the dollar. When this whole mess really starts to come undone, the more independent states will have the flexibility and ability to recover much better. Colorado already has some head starts on other states. However, we need to stretch our lead.

It is highly recommended for all Colorado legislators to read through the points by Ray McBerry on the link below. McBerry is a candidate for governor of Georgia who has put forth a comprehensive plan for a return to sovereignty in that state. It contains elements of the plan originally developed in Colorado during 1994 (the sequester fund to go with HJR94-1035-10th Amendment Resolution) as well as the Montana Gun bill and other ideas. Adding things such as HB09-1206 (developed by Rep. Lambert and Sen. Lundberg), for state payments made in gold and silver, makes it quite a package. Put together as a package of bills it offers a very powerful beginning to limit federal incursions in any state:

Those that follow the Austrian school of Economics do analysis based on behavior not statistical snapshot data. Watching the behavior is much more indicative of outcome than gross statistics spouted by the econometric, "scientistical" Keynesians. That's why they failed to see this coming. Austrians are much more attuned to the behavioral aspects of the capitalists, workers and consumers not the statistical output. That makes it much easier to forecast ahead of mainstream estimates for revenue drops based on the behavior rather than snapshot statistics. The process is well described in Mises, "Human Action."

Jeff Wright (a long-time, classic liberal activist living in El Paso County)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Considerations To Be Addressed Prior To Voting FOR a Bill

The following are filters I use when reviewing/developing proposed legislation:

The following questions must have "no" answers

  • Will it increase Government’s role in our lives and restrict individual liberty?
  • Will it decrease the recognition of the sanctity of life?
  • Will it be inconsistent with the clear meaning of the Bill of Rights?
  • Will it hinder the concept of Limited Government?
  • Will it erode the Rule of Law?
  • Will it undermine free markets, competition and/or commerce?
  • Will it erode personal responsibility and voluntary involvement by the average citizen?
  • Will it erode the personal empowerment of the individual citizen
  • Will it harm traditional families? Will it erode the traditional role of parents?
  • Will it increase fees or other costs to the individual citizen?
  • Will it place a damper on the spirit of “free enterprise”?
  • Will it erode the quality of K-12 education (Public, Charter, or Homeschool)
  • Will it negatively impact the spirit of private, non-coerced volunteerism
  • Will it negatively affect the faith community
  • Will it usurp its historic role of the Church as concerns the less fortunate?
  • Is this bill unnecessary at this time?
  • Does the bill fall outside the purview of the State Constitution?

All issues have their basis in morality.

One cannot separate morality from most issues. For example, when confronted with the issue of whether or not there should be legislation to cause State tax-dollars to fund a needle-exchange program, Rep. Tool, a Fort Collins Republican once stated that, “this is a health-care issue, not a morality issue”. On the contrary, I would consider this issue as dealing with BOTH, but would ask: Is it wise for the state to take action to eliminate the consequences of poor choices? It that the true role of government? I would say NO to both.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Exciting Website to Help Organize College Students to Fight Left-wing Bias on Campus

Finally...a concerted effort is now underway to counter the left-wing bias college campuses across the U.S. On Tuesday, September 15 the Leadership Institute will launch, a new social networking website for conservative student activists. Designed to help student groups promote conservative principles and fight liberal abuses at colleges and universities across the country. The website includes a unique subsite for each of the 2,376 four-year colleges and universities in the country and offers customizable pages for both student groups and individual users. And best of all...the site also features sections to review textbooks, rate professors, and report leftist abuses on campuses. There are also blogs for each campus group, four-year college, and a national blog. is open to current students, alumni, parents and members of the community. Be sure to sign up on Tuesday, September 15!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Colorado Union of Taxpayer Rankings for 2009

As citizens and voters it is important that we are informed as to how our legislators vote on issues. See the Colorado Union of Taxpayer's 2009 rankings of Colorado's legislators here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Genuine Conservative Appointed to Colorado's Joint Budget Committee

Rep. Kent Lambert, member of the Republican Study Committee of Colorado, has just been appointed to Colorado's powerful Joint Budget Committee. In addition, Rep. Lambert has just been awarded the honor as House Taxpayer Champion, receiving a 100% rating by the Colorado Union of Taxpayers for his votes during the 2009 legislative session

I have worked closely with Rep. Lambert since 2005, and know him to be a stellar legislator.

Congrats, Kent.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Obama's list of czars

For those interested in the latest list of Obama's czars, I would direct you to the following URL. Sadly we are seeing the creation of an exoskeleton around the President's cabinet and congress.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Telephone Snafu costs Colorado Taxpayers nearly $8M

As a member of the Colorado Legislature for nearly nine years, and a member of the state's Legislative Audit Committee of four years, I am aghast at the waste of taxpayer dollars I see in virtually every area of government. I have called for an Audit of this particular program of offering welfare recipients assistance in payment of phone bills. IT IS NOT A FUNCTION OF GOVERNMENT to take taxpayer money and pay for phone service for welfare recipients. Please read my Press Release Also read related article in Denver Post.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Schultheis Suggests Areas for Budget Cuts

The apparent lack of urgency being given by the Governor’s office in finding budget cuts to counter the expected 2009-2010 fiscal budget shortfall of approximately $386 million seems unconscionable. In fact there are some of us who believe the shortfall could approaching $500 million, by the September estimates.

Instead of calling a Special Session for this August or September, Governor Ritter is planning to delay creating necessary legislation until the 2010 Legislature meets. This means that the legislature will have less than five months to deal with this huge deficit; the result will be cuts that are effectively double the shortfall amount. This again illustrates what some would call the Obamenomics philosophy of “hope for change” which we legislators have become all too used to with this Administration.

Some proposed cuts that I would recommend are as follows:

  1. Freeze all advertising by government agencies
  2. Freeze all agency promotional advertising
  3. Freeze all future salary increases
  4. Reduce the average state salaries by at least $101 million consistent with the report submitted to the State Audit Committee at its June meeting, which showed the average state employee’s salary exceeding that of a similar job within the private sector by 6%. (State government salaries should never be greater than those of the private sector.)
  5. K-12 Education: Eliminate all pre-school programs
  6. K-12 Education: Eliminate funding any advertising dollars by Public Schools
  7. Education: Higher: Allow Universities to set tuition levels (this will promote more cost-consciousness by University officials)
  8. Medicaid: Reduce program eligibility on all programs to 100% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
  9. Medicaid: Eliminate all efforts to increase the numbers of Medicaid recipients, including through advertising
  10. Medicaid: End all efforts to enroll still more uninsured in the Medicaid program or on welfare rolls. Runaway Medicaid programs must be reigned in.
  11. Medicaid: Require larger co-payments for each office call.
  12. Medicaid: Eliminate all or a number of the ten Medicaid-optional programs
  13. Appeal to all religious and private charitable organizations throughout the state to help meet the growing physical, mental and financial needs within their communities. In this vein, develop a state referral program to such organizations willing to be involved.
  14. Direct the State Patrol to get far tougher on identification of illegal aliens, since approximately $1.2 billion/yr of costs related to illegal immigration are passed on to citizens via government programs. In addition, order all government agencies to toughen their standards for screening individuals as to their legal residency status prior providing any benefits.
  15. Cease all employee furlough programs. Instead, offset these “savings” with permanent cuts in equivalent numbers of FTE.
  16. Cease consideration of ANY new “revenue enhancements” such as raising entrance fees for parks, etc. Citizens are becoming increasingly angry at government constantly demanding more and more of their hard-earned wages. Citizens should not be asked to bear the burden of government growth in times like this.
  17. Cease Colorado's portion ($6.50/mo) of telephone subsidies for welfare recipients. This is NOT a function of government. It is not a right.
  18. Cut funding for all programs and outreach efforts favoring minority groups over at the expense of the average taxpayer. Specifically, eliminate the Minority Business Office within the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). An agency that specifically deals with minorities and women is discriminatory on its face…and its actions. The time has well passed for the Governor’s office to end reverse discrimination and its “plantation mentality” when administering its programs. Such discrimination increases rather than reduces government dependence.
  19. Identify and target each and every government program that increases individual dependency on government
  20. Require that each state agency analyze its functions and determine which can be contracted out to private industry with a resulting decrease in state full-time employees
  21. Eliminate or severely reduce state support of State Fair
  22. Sell all remaining projected cash flow from the Tobacco Settlement Fund.
  23. Arrange to eliminate state control of Unclaimed Property Fund and sell the liability for management of that with restrictions to a private firm.

It is time Governor Ritter’s administration faces this shortfall head-on; the sooner the better.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cigarette Tax Exemption goes up in smoke. Colorado's Democrats extract $31 million from taxpayers for government programs

In a final legislative push to take more money from taxpayers to fund government programs, Senate Democrats passed HB09-1342 (22/13) to eliminate the exemption from state sales taxes for cigarettes. This move will funnel an estimated $31 million from taxpayers (primarily the lower income) to Colorado’s general budget. All but one Republican voted NO.

“And the beat goes on.” The hunger for more and more dollars from citizens’ hard-earned salaries and wages to fund an ever-increasing number of government programs, will NEVER end until the politicians have taken all that citizens have to give, or until the citizens finally revolt. TEA-party participants unite!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Requiring Doctors to Test All Pregnant Women for HIV/AIDS (SB09-179)

Much is being made of my comments on the floor of the Colorado Senate on Wednesday, February 25th with regard to Senate Bill 09-179 (as well as additional remarks taken out of context but printed in several media forums).

The proposed bill seeks to
require doctors to test all pregnant women for HIV/AIDS, and would allow the woman an opportunity to opt-out.

When I first heard of the bill in the Health and Human Services Committee several days earlier, I was quite moved by testimony as to how such testing could assist an unborn baby, mitigating effects of his or her mother’s HIV/AIDS condition. As a result, I voted “Yes” in supporting the bill along with the rest of the committee.

Subsequent to the committee vote, and prior to my vote of “NO” on the floor, I wrestled with a number of issues regarding the bill. I sought counsel from quite a number of people for whom I have great respect. The primary question and the one I apply whenever any issue is brought up for discussion is:
“Is this a proper role of government?”

Long-standing stigmas against out-of-wedlock sexual activity were put in place by societies to slow the spread of disease and deal with challenges of raising children without full family units. Our nation has walked away from those stigmas over the past half century…illegitimate birth rates are through the roof…some argue the true cause of poverty, criminal or substance abuse in our society can be primarily tied to the ills of out-of-wedlock births. It is a serious issue, but, as a caring nation, we try not to impose the mistakes of the parents on their children.

Related to the above, some also think society should remove long-standing stigmas against sexually-transmitted diseases regardless of the damage they inflict… However, sexually-transmitted diseases have devastated global communities for centuries. As a result, in Colorado and the rest of the United States we have set up a network of social and medical services to attempt to mitigate their spread and treat the afflicted.

Now we have HIV/AIDS. It is a very scary disease and has been since cropping up on the social scene over a quarter century ago. Its primary vector has been out-of-wedlock sexual activity. A small segment of our society has acquired the virus and suffers tremendously from it. Unfortunately, treatment of HIV/AIDS infection has been highly politicized and attempts to slow its spread with traditional community healthcare strategies have been compromised for years. I find it curious those who now seek to mandate testing
all pregnant females regardless of their potential for infection oppose testing in other circumstances where a real and actual risk exists.

But the question still remains,
“Is this a proper role of government?”

If you believe it is right and fitting to require testing for any particular health situation, should we then require it for other conditions or issues? Assuming we should test in all circumstances for HIV/AIDS, perhaps one could argue the legislature should require testing by physicians of any patient for any other variety of issues. How about residual cocaine use? Marijuana? Alcohol? I’m certain some could argue such testing would achieve lofty and compelling societal objectives, enabling doctors, health care providers, and others to know when to prescribe or direct intervention efforts. Should we then share those required test results with Children’s Protective Services? With law enforcement? Insurance companies? Our banks and credit unions? How about requiring testing for other conditions? Pregnancy for any female regardless of age? For cholesterol problems? High blood pressure? DNA testing to create a database to clear any person of alleged crime, or identify perpetrators? Should we use the results of any test to deny health care to patients deemed undeserving under any proposed national health care scheme where rationing takes place because of resource limits?

I find it interesting those who argue endlessly about a right-to-privacy are the first to demagogue on the issue, and seek intrusive testing. Unfortunately, as we have seen in the last election cycle, many think it is a government bureaucrat's role to make all decisions for us. This desire to intrude into our private personal spheres has become increasingly commonplace among lawmakers. Perhaps they think it shows they care about a particular issue more than we.

The conclusion I came to after hours of discussion and contemplation was that
requiring testing was indeed an improper role of government.

So SB 179 was the catalyst for an important discussion. For those who take the concept of personal responsibility seriously, and oppose an intrusive government, this issue is important. Unfortunately, I made a comment to a reporter in haste that misspoke my position on this issue. That happens. It’s a risk for all those who work in the public eye.

Some now try to characterize my comments as “I don’t care” what happens to the baby. Nothing could be further from the truth. I want to only pass laws that are within a proper role for government. Nothing more. These tests can be performed now without another government edict. That decision should be made by the mother and her doctor. I would hope doctors offer it to pregnant mothers under their care. Again, this can be done without any need for the passage of SB 179.

Let’s be very clear…
no doctor is prevented from administering the HIV/AIDS test today, and no mother is being prevented from the benefit of these tests. The issue here is not the availability or advisability of such a test. Rather, should State Statutes require ALL doctors attempt to administer this test to ALL pregnant mothers in Colorado, especially when the incidence of such HIV/AIDS is extremely low?

As to my comments on the Senate Floor, they were as follows:

Thank you, Madam President. You know, this was a difficult bill for me. I voted "yes" in committee on it, because of discussions surrounding the fact that - well, let me just basically say this - basically it modifies the communicable disease control laws, and it requires that health care providers to test pregnant women for HIV, unless they opt out. That's the main part of this bill. I voted “yes” on it. I was a little bit troubled with my vote, and I was just wondering, what was bothering me. I woke up the next morning - Thursday morning - at 5 a.m., and I wrestled with this bill for another hour, from 5 to 6a.m.. And I finally came to the conclusion that I'm going to be a "no" vote on this. And I'm trying to think to, what the role of government is here. And I am not convinced that part of the role of government should not be to protect individuals from negative consequences of their actions. Sexual promiscuity as we know causes a lot of problems in our state, one of which obviously is the contraction of HIV. And we have other programs that deal with the negative consequences: we put up part of our high schools where we allow students maybe 13 years old to put their child in a small daycare center there. We do seem continually to remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior - and unacceptable behavior, quite frankly. And I don't think that's the role of this body, and as a result of that I finally came to the conclusion that I have to be a "no" vote. Because this stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part, and I can't vote on this bill, and I wanted to explain to the body why I'm going to be a "no" vote.

The above comments express my beliefs.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Black History Month Celebrates American Values

Each February we pause to reflect upon the achievements and accomplishments of Black men and women. In 1926 Carter G. Woodson founded this tradition to recognize the contributions Black people have made to humanity. As an historian, author, educator, and in 1912, the second Black man to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard, Woodson himself is a wonderful example of what one person--devoted to an idea and dedicated to a task--can accomplish and contribute to the lives of many. The Black American legacy and heritage has bequeathed to generations of Americans a panorama of men and women, who have personified perseverance, determination, resilience, courage, faith, forgiveness, and hope.

Black history is not simply “Black” history; it is American history. The experience of Black Americans serves as inspiration to us all that when the struggles are grueling and the odds are against us, we don’t give up. We stand together. There is nothing more truly American than this collective determination to lift up what has been cast down, to right wrongs, to find solutions for shared problems, and to create a new and better hour.

In 1945 a young baseball player was summoned to the office of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ general manager. Branch Rickey told Jackie Robinson that he was looking for a ballplayer “with the guts not to fight back,” a phrase that is now legendary and which arose from the faith that was shared by Rickey and Robinson.

Years before Robinson had earned the reputation of a “mad brawler, always ready to smash in the teeth of any white man who insulted him.” Later on during his years at UCLA, he was influenced by Black preacher, Karl Downs, who taught Robinson that Christianity was not a synonym for racial submission. By 1945 Jackie was firmly convicted that God had a purpose for his life, and Branch Rickey’s challenge to Robinson was based on their shared faith and the words of Jesus, “Resist not evil: but whosoever shall strike you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also." Through all the frustrations that lay ahead, Jackie Robinson’s Christian faith sustained him. The rest of Robinson’s life story is well-known sports history. . .Black history— and American history.

On July 4, 1812, John Jasper was born—the 24th child of Philip and Tina Jasper. A slave and a lay minister, Philip died a few months before John's birth. Tina prayed that God would make her son a preacher as his father had been, but John had no interest in spiritual things. He married a young slave girl on a neighboring plantation, but on the day of their wedding, a slave uprising caused the two plantation owners to separate the young couple. They never saw one another again, and John’s inconsolable grief and bitterness led him down an angry and malevolent road.

In 1839 while working in a factory, however, Jasper was suddenly convicted of the ruination that resentment and rancor had wrought upon his life and in that moment he asked God to save him. Thirty days after his baptism in 1840, he was licensed to preach by the Old African Baptist Church, and he didn't stop for more than sixty years!

Jasper’s passionate messages drew huge crowds, black and white, and in 1867, he founded the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church in Richmond. The church began with nine members and at Jasper’s death in 1901 numbered nearly 2,000. John Jasper was just one of the many Black American preachers, who over the centuries, have helped to establish the centrality of faith, righteousness, and hope in the heart of Black history. . . and American history.

Thirty years ago, Star Parker was a single mother living on welfare. Her history included four abortions, drug abuse, promiscuity, and burglary. Today Star Parker, author and committed Christian, is the president and founder of the nonprofit Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education. Parker recalls the day that turned her life around. Having gone to church at the invitation of some Christian friends, she heard the pastor challenge his congregation with these words: "What are you doing living on welfare? The government is not your source!"

Parker was stunned by what she heard because government welfare was her source! In the twinkling of an eye, Star grasped the truth of her worldview. It had chained her to a life of spiritual and economic poverty. Parker often testifies that she was comfortable in the company of those who were rebellious, lazy, and unwilling to work when they could get welfare checks for nothing. When she committed the remainder of her life to God, all that entitlement thinking changed.

In Parker’s most recent book, Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do about It, she writes about the dangerous dependency that emerges among those who see government as their salvation and that long-term dependence on welfare leaves its recipients in emotional and spiritual poverty. Star’s conclusion, and I quote, is that "In our attempt to blame poverty on prejudice, we have taught the poor to be prejudiced against the basic values necessary to sustain a free and civil society . . . We've taught them there are no real absolutes to the human condition, except perhaps that the highest value in life is to acquire things."

Star Parker is making Black history. . .American history. . .and she joins a long line of human beings of all ethnicities, who have loved freedom. Parker shares the company of those in ages past who understood that if we are to preserve the traditions that define us and ensure that the precious rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are passed on to our descendants, then it requires from each generation of Americans certain attributes of character: accountability, resolve, initiative, responsibility for one’s own choices and actions, dignity, respect, the courage—and, yes, the freedom--to fail and then to rise up and try again.

Let me close with the words of Benjamin Banneker to Thomas Jefferson in a letter, written in August 1791. Born in 1731, Banneker was a self-educated Black American mathematician, astronomer, and surveyor. The portrait of this honorable and remarkable man is one of the most worthy to hang in the halls of Black History.

“Sir, Suffer me to recall to your mind that time in which the Arms and tyranny of the British Crown were exerted with every powerful effort, in order to reduce you to a State of Servitude... This, Sir, was a time in which you clearly saw into the injustice of a State of Slavery, and in which you had Just apprehensions of the horrors of its condition, it was now Sir, that your abhorrence thereof was so excited, that you publicly held forth this true and invaluable doctrine, which is worthy to be recorded and remembered in all Succeeding ages. 'We hold these truths to be Self evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that amongst these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'"

Friday, February 13, 2009

In-State Tuition Bill for Illegal Immigrants Skirts Intent of Law

State Senator Chris Romer has proposed a bill, SB09-170, that would grant post-secondary in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. Sen. Romer reasons that it is unfair to punish children for the decisions of adults (their parents) who chose to enter America in direct violation of our immigration laws. The Romer bill is deeply flawed on multiple levels.

For starters, neither is it the fault of the children of tax-paying American citizens that native Mexican adults along with their children have crossed our sovereign borders and taken up illegal residence in the United States. American children are already being negatively impacted (‘punished,’ if you will) by the drain of dollars away from their K-12 education and into the massive accommodations being made for the children of illegals. It now appears that Sen. Romer also wishes to grant to illegal immigrants in-state college tuition benefits that are denied to out-of-state American students.

Public schools from kindergarten through high school are already required by federal law to educate all children, regardless of their immigration status. Higher education, on the other hand, while coveted by some, is not a prerequisite for making a success of oneself in America, although the Higher Education elites such an education as "fact." In fact, many citizens hold only high school degrees or GED’s are business owners or are gainfully employed in essential occupations. Additionally, with colleges and universities placing limits on their enrollments, citizens, who do wish to pursue advanced degrees, will under this bill, have to compete with non-citizens for fewer available slots.

Ten other states have passed similar legislation, and currently find themselves embroiled in lawsuits filed against their respective state governments by citizens, who have every reasonable right to expect that government will work on their behalf. Citizens also have a reasonable right to expect that government will work against any requirement to provide what is tantamount to taxpayer-financed college educations for the grown children of people who illegally crossed U. S. borders.

Handing out in-state tuition to illegal immigrants is a slap in the faces of both legal immigrants and American citizens! For example, in California the average household must contribute at least $1,200 each year to subsidize the deficit between what illegal immigrants cost in services and what they pay in taxes.

Even if a good argument could be made for such poor policy, these ten states are announcing far and wide that illegal immigration is now an American institution replete with numerous benefits! These states have brazenly cast aside the constraints imposed by Congress and the U.S. Constitution, and inevitably, American citizens are challenging state governments over this inequitable law. The result will continue to be extensive and expensive litigation, and of course, taxpayers always foot the bill for court costs.

Should Sen. Romer’s bill pass through the Legislature, Coloradans will also contest bad policy. Additionally, out-of-state U.S. citizens and legal immigrants will rightfully request the same low in-state tuition benefits that are proposed for illegals. Financial resources that are much-needed for state infrastructure will be frittered away inside Colorado court rooms.

Let’s look at some realities:

  • Over the past three decades every “compassionate” gesture, designed to help immigrants assimilate—bilingual education, ever-expanding and new state welfare programs, the affirmation of a hyphenated identity, and the radical historical revisionism of southwestern American history—has actually proven to be harmful to the processes of assimilation and economic improvement for large portions of the Mexican-American community.
  • After 20 years in the country, even legal Mexican immigrants have double the welfare rates of American citizens. The high school dropout rates of Mexican-Americans (both second and third generation) are two and a half times that of other natives. By age 17 Mexican immigrants are 50 percent more likely to identify themselves as Mexicans, as opposed to Mexican-Americans. By the same token, many Mexicans, who are living in “apartheid” communities across the nation romanticize Mexico—a country which gave them nothing and prompted them to flee—and deprecate the United States, which provided them with sanctuary.
  • In Colorado approximately 57 percent of U.S. resident students of Hispanic heritage do not graduate from high school, despite the fact that every child in America, regardless of immigrant status, is guaranteed by law a K-12 education at taxpayer expense. Adding benefit upon benefit appears to have done little, if anything, to assist U.S. residents of Hispanic heritage to assimilate and advance their own cause.
  • Neither is it a foregone conclusion that providing in-state tuition benefits to illegal immigrants would result in a revenue advantage for the American economy. Expatriates enrich Mexico’s coffers with the U. S. dollars they earn in America. One study estimated that an approximate $13.3 billion goes south across the U. S.-Mexican border every year. It stands to reason then that much of taxpayers’ investment in higher education for illegals might very well flow into Mexican banks if graduates are able to obtain gainful employment.
  • Reputable employers will not violate the law by hiring an illegal alien either with or without a college degree. Of course there are those employers who will place profits above patriotism.
Apologists for such bills contend that illegal immigrants "do the work Americans won’t do." On the other hand, these same supporters of in-state tuition benefits declare it unfair that illegal immigrants are forced to work as unskilled laborers because they lack education. Which is it going to be?

Not only are the premises of this proposed bill contradictory to one another, but the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Section 505, provides that: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any post secondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident.”

Sen. Romer has craftily worded SB090-170 in such a way that one, if pressed, could argue that his bill can also be applied to citizens in high schools across the U.S. In truth, however, the wording of the bill, requiring a student to attend a Colorado high-school for at least three years, is cleverly designed to make available taxpayer-funded college educations primarily to students, who are illegally residing in Colorado. Romer’s bill is a deliberate evasion of the intent of current law. Legislators, who purposely attempt to sidestep the law, are doing a real disservice to the constituents whom they serve. I would strongly suggest that legislators, who are willing to play fast and loose with the principle of an existing law, reassess their motivations for remaining in office.

Ultimately, giving to illegal immigrants a benefit to which even all American citizens are not entitled, signifies a breach of trust by government--a government that is, first and foremost, duty-bound to extend compassion towards American children and to protect and defend all of her citizens. Weighing down the parents of American children with ever-increasing tax burdens, in order to provide benefits for illegal immigrants, sends a loud and clear message to citizens. Lamentably, that message is neither one of fair play nor compassion.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Why I couldn't vote for "Civility"

Last Friday, I found myself the ONLY Senator who voted against HJR09-1004, the Civility Resolution., a Resolution that has been run annually since 2006. The House voted on this earlier in the session, February 3rd. I was the only one in either the House or Senate who refused to vote for what I considered a senseless Joint Resolution.
Before the Senate vote, I rose and spoke (the only Republican as I recall). Several Democrats gushed over how wonderful it was.
My reasons:
While I mentioned that my perception has been that over the past several decades I have observed that society has become more harsh and less tolerant of one another, yet in my nine years in the legislature (six in the House and three in the Senate, I have not noticed any pervasive or growing lack of civility in either of those bodies. Yes...while there has been an occasional outburst by one member or another, it has usually been followed promptly by an apology at the mic.
During my brief comments made at the Well, I mentioned that in all my nine sessions in the legislature, I have been witness to very few occasions of lack of civility...certainly not enough to require a Resolution to bring this to our attention. I mentioned that in the current legislature, I was
  • perhaps the only person who has been screamed at on the floor of the House by the Speaker of his own party, primarily because I wasn't a "team player on a particular bill."
  • perhaps the only legislator who has been cussed at, "you gd s.o.b. racist" by a black member of the opposite party who falsely interpreted my views on illegal immigration as being racist.
Yet...while I don't condone such outbursts and lack of civility and respect, I do forgive those legislators who occasionally "lose it." because the pressures sometimes become so great that emotions can temporarily overcome reason and decorum.
Since, it is my belief that man is basically sinful, (an idea held by our founding fathers, but often disparaged today) I realize that there are times one will occasionally "go off." Hopefully, my religious underpinnings will not allow me to respond in kind.
That said...such Resolutions have virtually no real value except to make one feel good.

Comments on E-verify Bill

Last week, I presented SB09-023 to Colorado's Senate State and Military Affairs Committee. The purpose of the bill is to require all non-government employers (the government is already required to do so) to utilize the federal government's E-verify system to verify the legal work-status of all newly-hired employees. The bill will require all non-government employers, but phases adherence over couple years, beginning with large employers of 200+ employees.

There was compelling non-partisan testimony. One of those testifying delivered one of the most comprehensive testimonies I've heard over the prior two years in which I have introduced this bill. It was so well-articulated that I post it below for your information.

Dear Senators,
Thank you for introducing SB09-023 regarding E-verify and giving me a chance to testify. Regardless of people's opinion on what to do about illegal immigration, most agree that requiring employers to obey the law is critical. The question was asked, how reliable is it: E-verify is 99.5% accurate--coming from Hewlett-Packard's Global Software business, I can assure you this is extremely good.
A government investigation of E-Verify in 2007 found:
  • 93% of employees queried through the system were verified within 5 seconds!
  • another 1.2% were verified within 24 hours with no additional action required of either the employee or the employer
  • Most of the 5.8% who received a tentative non-confirmation requiring more time turned out to be illegal aliens
  • only 0.5% were U.S. citizens or authorized foreign workers who had to contact the Social Security Administration because of errors in the database
Of the .05% the errors were ones that the workers themselves had made, such as a woman not notifying Social Security of a change in last name after a marriage. And even if the error was the government's fault, going through E-Verify was a positive experience for most because they needed to know the error existed so they could clean it up before it caused problems down the line. There are 100,000 companies using this currently and there hasn't been one person who was legally able to work in the US that has been let go due to E-verify.

This has to be looked at in terms of trade offs. When we vaccinate our children, we don't have 100% assurance that the vaccine won't cause side affects or even death. But we go ahead because the risk of that illness is much worse. Is it worth denying hundreds of thousands of unemployed legal workers a chance at jobs because one or two may get a false negative and need to deal with Social Security to straighten it out? If we were to follow this logic of 100% accuracy, we would have to say then is it worth even one legal worker committing an act of violence because they cannot find work, even one student who now not attend college because their parents are out of work or they themselves cannot finance their college because of illegal immigration? We must move forward. The Federal government has delayed E-verify for Federal Contractors when we are about to embark in billions of dollars in construction projects--this is due to the tremendous pressure that they are receiving from cheap labor interests. Just like the incredible pressure you are receiving. How will we explain to the citizens of Colorado, that their tax money will be going to hire illegal immigrants when they themselves are out of work? How will we explain that we did not even see fit to at least debate this in the Senate?

Regarding the testimony of the paid lobbyists against using E-verify, please remember that the hotel, food service, and restaurant industry are among the industries with the highest percent of illegal workers at 25%. They made all kinds of excuses why not to use E-verify, but the truth is they do not want to give up their cheap labor. E-verify doesn't even apply to current workers only new workers. It is unconscionable to enable employers to continue to break the law. I ask that SB023 at least has a chance to be debated in the Senate--this is the least we can do for the 267,000 Colorado citizens who are out of work.

Here is my testimony of 2/4/09--most of which I did not get through due to the time limit:
  1. I am a life long Democrat and a retired Vice-President of Hewlett-Packard. I have lived 30 years in Ft. Collins and have over 30 years of human resource experience.
  2. I, along with many of my Democrat colleagues, am in favor of passing SB09-023, requiring private employers to utilize the federal government's E-verify program
  3. It is inexcusable for us to allow employers to break the law and hire people who are in this country illegally whether entering this country illegally or over staying their visas.
  4. Ensuring employers hire only legal workers is he most effective method of dealing with the issue of illegal immigration; this dries of the job magnet and people here illegally will leave on their own;
  5. The impact of allowing illegal actions by employers has done several things:
  • By having an endless supply of cheap labor, it has created a slave class of employees who receive terrible wages and over burdening state infrastructure because they cannot support themselves. Plus, in Colorado, we are spending $1.1 billion extra in education, health care, and incarceration alone in subsidizing cheap labor interests.
  • It has also reduced wages for all the workers in the industry where people are hired illegally, most particularly hurting the working poor, especially minorities. In fact, in construction before the slowdown, 17% of construction workers in the US were here illegally and the wages have fallen to 1967 wages--this is not fair nor sustainable
  • We have 267,000 unemployed Coloradans looking for jobs, while we still have at least 275,000 illegal immigrants (per Pew Hispanic Trust) in the state, taking jobs away from legal workers. In this economic environment there are no "jobs Americans won't do." Just this week's Ft. Collins Coloradoan, it reports over 1000 people lining up for 160 jobs for Loveland's Embassy Suites, paying $8-10/hour. They expect as many at the second job fair for the same 160 jobs. 
  1. As Democrats, we need to stand up for American workers in this country. We need to hold employers feet to the fire
  2.  Since retiring, I have provided HR consulting to small companies. I have worked with companies who obey the law. However, I have had several Ft. Collins employers brag to me how they hire only illegal immigrants at cheap rates; how they do not pay payroll taxes and don't pay time and a half for overtime, etc. This flagrant action w/o impunity allows them to get rich and the poor to suffer. It is inexcusable.
  3. You will hear from business lobbyists that using e-verify is too burdensome--as an expert in HR, I can tell you this is a complete fabrication to ensure their access to cheap labor. Using E-verify takes seconds; over 100,000 employers currently use it and it is 99.5% accurate. In fact many honest companies also require seeing a valid driver's license, birth certificate or passport as proof of legal residency; and many, even small firms, do back ground checks or drug tests to protect themselves. E-verify is not a burden.
  4. Just having employers use E-verify will discourage illegal immigrants from applying; this is happening in Arizona. I can speak from experience, that whenever we started drug testing at a Hewlett-Packard site, very few failed the drug test--those using drugs were deterred from applying.
  5. Ensuring all employers hire people legally ensures an even playing field. I have a friend who owns a drywall business and always hired legally; he was put out of business 2 years ago because he could not compete with the unscrupulous employers who knowingly broke the law, hiring people illegally for extremely low wages. Why are we rewarding those who disobey the law and make it impossible for those obeying the law to compete? This is inexcusable and bad for business.
  6. Another friend who does house painting also has had to get food stamps and is applying for other assistance, because he cannot compete with the wages paid by companies hiring people illegally. This was long before the building slowdown. My friend who cleans houses has had to continuously lower her fees--over the last 5 years. This has had real impact to real people.
  7. Some will say dealing with the impacts of illegal immigrations is the federal governments' responsibility--frankly, Colorado citizens cannot wait. The impact is here--with state costs, with our working men and women, especially the working poor. The burden is at the state level, not in Washington. Doing something also sends a strong message to Washington that we need to listen to our citizens and stand up for our workers.
  8. E-verify is a simple solution that enables an even playing field for businesses; allows people to compete for jobs for fair wages; will help improve our economy by putting more money in the hands of our workers and kept in the US; and reduce State spending for health care, incarceration and education by up to $1.1 billion. The time is now; Gov. Ritter said he would help businesses verify citizenship when hiring; let's be true to that promise.
Thank you to the committee for working on this critical bill and thank you for serving in the Senate for us. Please feel free to contact me if I can help you in any way.
Trudy Haines

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let me begin by highlighting three of my more favorite quotes so that you can begin to gather information as to who I am:

"When the principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then the battle is your calling, and peace has become sin. You must at the price off dearest peace lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy with all the fire of your faith." --- Abraham Kuyper

"Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions." --- Gilbert K. Chesterson

"I never give them hell. I just give them the truth, and they think it's hell" --- Harry S. Truman