Home > Colorado Politics > Tracking Jared Polis in media

Tracking Jared Polis in media

Weekly Clips for December 15, 2011 to December 29, 2011

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-CO-2; CO State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-CO-15; Eric Weissmann

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-CO-2

Cut Taxes for the Middle Class and End the Partisanship

YouTube: JaredPolis31275: Videos: December 21: Congressman Jared Polis took to the floor this morning to urge the House to pass middle class payroll tax relief and end the partisanship that might lead to increased taxes on families. Watch…

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Polis Fights to Protect CU, CSU from Costs of Policing the Internet

December 15: Jared Polis-U.S. Rep.: Press Releases: Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) today offered an amendment during the House Judiciary Committee’s consideration of an Internet piracy bill that would have protected colleges, universities and non-profit research institutions from compliance costs related to policing copyright protect content. The legislation—the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA)—would hold colleges and universities responsible for preventing access to copyrighted material on their networks or schools could face legal action by the Justice Department. The Polis amendment would have ensured legal responsibility remained with individuals who violate copyright law and not colleges and universities. The amendment failed by a vote of 9-23 although it had bipartisan support.

“We need a balanced approach to Internet piracy but SOPA would take money out of the classrooms and labs of CU and CSU and direct it toward the technical requirements of complying with the law or the legal cost of defending schools in court,” said Polis. “With schools already facing tough times, tuition on the rise, and other challenges to higher education, we shouldn’t be passing laws that slap new unfunded mandates on our colleges and universities.” More…

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Sugar Loaf Fire District Bill Passes House 

December 16: Jared Polis-U.S. Rep.: Press Releases: To support the needs of local firefighters and protect area residents and property, the House today passed the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District Land Exchange Act, which was authored by Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill will help the Sugar Loaf Fire District maintain and upgrade the two fire stations serving Sugar Loaf and the other nearby growing communities by exchanging two parcels of land on the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest between the U.S. Forest Service and the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District.

“Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District volunteers are key first responders to both wild-land and residential fires as well as car accidents and health emergencies within the communities and public lands they serve,” said Polis. “This legislation will ensure that these volunteers can continue to protect the lives and property of area residents and provide the Fire District with land that’s better suited to the scenic and recreational needs of the local public lands. I’m proud that we were able to work with Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate to get the job done. Apparently, it takes an act of Congress to build a bathroom for our heroic volunteer firefighters.” More… Watch…

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Medical Marijuana: Is A Federal Crackdown, Similar To That In California, Coming To Colorado?

Huffington Post: December 15: Could a large scale medical marijuana crackdown be coming to Colorado like the one seen in California? That’s exactly what a law enforcement official told The Associated Press is being considered for Colorado next year. The official did not want to be identified and did not provide specific details because the the matter is still under review.

CBS4 discovered that warning letters — similar to those that were sent out in California — will go out to dispensaries and grow facilities near schools (within 1,000 feet) and would be given 45 days to shut down or move their place of operations or face prosecution by U.S. Attorney in Colorado John Walsh. However,CBS4 also reported that it’s unclear when that process would begin and Walsh has not released a statement on the matter since it was first reported.

The reasoning behind the 1,000 foot boundary stems from federal law which uses that measurement as a factor in drug crime sentencing. There are many dispensaries in Colorado that are within 1,000 feet of schools, according to High Times, because they were approved by local laws to do so. However, the federal law would trump the state law if and when a federal crackdown would begin.

All of this comes just days after a new poll was released by Public Policy Polling that a large group of Coloradans believe that marijuana should not just be legal medically, but fully legalized. From the Public Policy report:

Coloradans are even more strongly in favor of legalizing marijuana, and they overwhelmingly believe it at least should be available for medical purposes. 49% think marijuana use should generally be legal, and 40% illegal. But explicitly for medical use, that rises to a 68-25 spread. Just five years ago, a referendum to legalize simple possession by people over 21 failed by 20 points. On the medical question, Democratic support rises from 64% for general use to 78%; Republicans rise from 30% to 50%, and independents from 54% to 75%.

The Colorado Independent reports that the Public Policy Polling data “flies in the face of statements made by a number of legislators over the past year that if voters knew what they were in for, they would never have approved medical marijuana in the first place.” Art Way, Colorado manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, went even further telling the Independent that, “decision-makers and elected officials really just don’t have the pulse of the people they represent. The average person considers the federal position that marijuana has ‘no medical value’ to be a joke.”

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) echoed a similar sentiment when he told HuffPost, “There are more pressing issues facing federal law enforcement so it makes no sense for them to waste time and taxpayer money interfering with state-legal businesses that voters have approved, that are well-regulated, and that generate jobs and economic activity. Colorado has the nation’s strictest regulatory system, which means our dispensaries operate transparently and legitimately. I should hope that the federal government would focus its resources on keeping Americans safe from crime rather than interfering with a legal business that benefits Colorado’s economy.” More…

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The nightmarish SOPA hearings

Washington Post: ComPost: Alexandra Petri: December 15: When Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) proposed an amendment to exempt colleges and not-for-profit institutions from the unfunded mandate of having to shut off access to certain sites — like freedom, Internet censorship isn’t free — it was shot down 23 to 9. When he proposed another amendment to target the restrictions not at IP addresses (which, as he noted, can be dynamic and assigned to toasters) but at domain names, it fell just as easily.

This afternoon, the hearings markups continue, with even more amendments. But at the rate it’s going, it looks likely that SOPA will make it to the floor.

I just want the nightmare to be over. More…

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‘Internet is for Porn’ pops up during House SOPA debate

CNET: December 16: Declan McCullagh: A two-day debate in the House Judiciary committee–which has been postponed until at least next Wednesday and perhaps until 2012–was interrupted by the appearance of the popular meme “The Internet is for Porn.”

Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat who presumably knows his way around the Internet better than any other member of Congress (he founded BlueMountainArts.com), was the committee member who decided to bring up the prevalence of online porn. (See CNET’s Q&A with Polis earlier this week.)

A “high percentage” of the Internet’s use is for porn, Polis said. It’s “a pornographer’s wet dream!”

Polis then offered an amendment that would stop the Justice Department from using SOPA’s vast powers to aid adult industry businesses who happen to hold valid copyrights. “Pornography should not be the focus of the attorney general’s protection,” he said. More…

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Altering how the Internet works but not understanding it

The Hill: Congress Blog: Ed Black, Computer & Communications Industry Association: December 21: Those who understand how the Internet works watched in horror last week as those who don’t debated how to regulate it at a mark up of the Stop Online Piracy Act. The House Judiciary committee is now poised to approve H.R. 3261.

Under SOPA, the U.S. Government could demand that ISPs and thousands of other Internet services block and redirect web traffic away from sites that allegedly contain copyright infringing materials.

A simplistic explanation of DNS blocking would be tearing a page out of a phone book to stop calls from reaching an alleged criminal.

DNS redirection is like changing bad guys’ numbers entirely. At the hearing, Rep. Polis, D-Colo., who used to run a company that provided Internet access, likened it to changing all the street signs in a neighborhood so people can’t find their way to the crackhouse, acknowledging legitimate neighbors and those visiting them will be impacted.

One problem is that redirecting web traffic is what cybercriminals do, for example, creating phony sites to resemble those of banks. To combat this, leading Internet engineers have spent years designing and implementing a new security system known as Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), to patch security holes that permit this dangerous type of cyber attack. Using the new security system requires security “handshakes” to ensure traffic really goes from point A to point B — without being intercepted and sent to C.

Unfortunately, leading engineers have said that implementing SOPA would prevent this improved system from working.

Beyond the cyber security issue, Rep. Polis explained that other collateral damage would harm the Internet because of the impact of litigation remedies — not just what a court would order tech companies to do to combat piracy. He said without more reasonable rules on copyright liability, SOPA would incentivize ISPs and tech companies to censor sweepingly all their activities to decrease their own legal liabilities.  More…

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Colorado wins $18 million Race to the Top consolation prize

KDVR: December 23: Democrats who have supported the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program, which has incentivized and spurred education reforms across the country that might otherwise have taken decades to occur, celebrated the award, along with some Republicans.

“Finally, Colorado will be receiving Race to the Top funds, and it’s just in time for us to continue Colorado’s groundbreaking work for families, teachers, and school districts,” said Congressman Jared Polis, D-Boulder.

“These additional resources will help provide every student with an opportunity to succeed in work and life and help keep Colorado in the forefront of education reform.” More…

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Rep. Perlmutter votes the least partisan, Rep. DeGette the most among Colorado representatives

Denver Post: December 25: Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder was the second- most centrist of the Colorado delegation, voting with the Democrats 89 percent of the time.

“My background in small business gives me a real-world perspective that I think is missing in both parties,” he said. More…

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Richest and ‘poorest’ members of Congress

Washington Post: December 27: Members of Congress with the highest and lowest net worth in 2010, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics based on disclosures filed by the lawmakers.

7. Jared Polis (D-Colo.)

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) was the seventh richest member of Congress in 2010, with an average net worth of $143,218,562. Polis founded several companies including American Information Systems, bluemountain.com and ProFlowers.com. More…

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CO State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-CO-15

Colorado health exchange board gets OK to apply for federal grant

Denver Business Journal: December 15: The Legislative Health Benefit Exchange Implementation Review Committee voted 9-1 to let the state apply for the grant, which officials believe is extremely likely to be approved by February.

The only dissenter was state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, who said the $18 million that will be spent largely on planning the build-out of an IT system that will cost several hundred million dollars to construct seemed too much for a program designed to cut health insurance costs. More…

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Larimer is a swing county

Estes Park Trail Gazette: News: December 15: Larimer County has also just become part of the Second Congressional District. This week our state senator Kevin Lundberg formed an exploratory committee to consider running against Representative Jared Polis. Senator Lundberg tells me this is a true exploratory committee. He will make a decision about running before the start of the legislative session. Interested people can submit comments to him at kevinlundberg2012.com or sign up for his email list.

Rep. Polis certainly appears to be a Boulder liberal of the first order. Senator Lundberg is a committed conservative. Both candidates are more complex than their general personas. Senator Lundberg says that if he runs, his first priority will be jobs and the economy. Although he is a social conservative, the last time he sponsored any legislation on the issue of marriage was in 2004, when he sponsored a legislative resolution supporting the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

No matter who opposes him, Polis will position himself as a pro-business and pro-growth Democrat. In July 2009, Representative Polis initially opposed the Obama Care health bill because part of its funding was to be a surcharge in high income taxpayers. Polis rightly saw that as a burden on small businesses, many of which are LLCs or S Corporations. In fact, Polis contended that small businesses would pay higher effective tax rates than multinational corporations.

Unfortunately for him, President Obama is headed in a different direction. Taxing “millionaires” will apparently be a centerpiece of President Obama’s re-election campaign.

The caucus process will ultimately decide the candidates for each party. Greater participation can help ensure that party nominees reflect a commitment to turning around the economy. More…

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Lundberg looking at race against incumbent Polis

Colorado Statesman: News: December 15: In a possible match-up he acknowledges would be “kind of a David and Goliath competition,” one of the most conservative members of the Colorado Legislature announced late last week that he’s exploring a run against one of the state’s most powerful — and wealthiest — gay politicians.

Following court approval of new congressional district lines on Dec. 5, Republican state Sen. Kevin Lundberg launched an exploratory committee and website aimed at deciding whether he should challenge two-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis now that the 2nd District encompasses Lundberg’s home in Larimer County and is no longer dominated by Polis’ base in Boulder County.

Republican sources said at least two other GOP candidates could announce in coming weeks, including another wealthy Boulder investor who could give Polis a run for his money.

Lundberg told The Colorado Statesman he might be willing to step aside if a stronger Republican challenger emerges, but for now he’s weighing his options.

“I’ll back the best candidate we’ve got,” Lundberg said. “It may come down to a decision we’ll make through caucus, assembly and primary process,” he said, adding that if he winds up in a primary, he’ll offer himself as an alternative and wouldn’t “do anything on my part to weaken anybody.”

It’s important that Republicans keep their eyes on defeating Polis, Lundberg said.

“My goal is that we launch the strongest campaign we can for conservative principals, and that falls under the Republican banner,” he said. “I am quite willing to look at who else might throw their hat in the ring — especially during this exploratory time.”

Although Lundberg was the only Republican to declare his interest in the race by press time, Republican sources confirmed that Boulder-based investment manager Eric Weissmann was also looking at a possible run.

A certified “Defender of Capitalism” via the conservative Leadership Program of the Rockies, Weissmann works as managing director of the Boulder-based investment firm Kachi Partners. He told The Statesman he was traveling outside the country this week with only intermittent access to email but would have a comment “soon.” More…

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Proposed Immigration Rules Promote Family Unity, Safety 

January 6: Jared Polis-U.S. Rep.: Press Releases: Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) today applauded a new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposal that would promote family unity and public safety by allowing immigrants with U.S. citizen spouses to submit a waiver of inadmissibility before returning to their country to attend their immigrant visa interview. Currently, spouses of U.S. citizens must leave the country to apply and are often barred from returning to their families for as long as 10 years.

“This policy will save the lives of American citizens,” said Polis. “Jake Reyes Neal would be alive today if this had been in place. It’s past time that we reformed our immigration system so that families aren’t torn apart or sent off to dangerous cities like Juarez, Mexico as they wait to have their cases processed. Congress still must pass comprehensive immigration reform but this proposal is a welcome change over an unfair process that splits apart families and sends husbands, wives and children off to some of the most perilous parts of the world while their cases are heard.” More…

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Polis, Quigley Call for Investigation of Immigrant Detention Abuse 

January 9: Jared Polis-U.S. Rep.: Press Releases: Following repeated reports of sexual abuse in the immigration detention system by the Heartland Alliance, Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) and Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigate and offer possible remedies to improve conditions at Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities and those with which they contract. According to government documents, nearly 200 allegations of abuse from detainees in detention facilities across the nation have been reported to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since 2007. Many of these incidents have involved LGBT immigrants.

“The continued reports of sexual abuse against immigrants in ICE detention facilities are appalling,” said Polis. “Here we have people who are at their most vulnerable—many without access to any legal assistance—who are being preyed upon and assaulted. LGBT immigrants appear to be special targets for abuse in ICE facilities. I expect that GAO will conduct a thorough investigation and offer up solutions that will end this intolerable situation.” More…

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Ten in ’12: What to Watch For in 2012

Times Call: January 1: A busy November ballot

With term limits, redistricting and reapportionment changing Colorado’s political landscape, voters will have plenty of decisions to make in 2012.

Boulder County Commissioner Ben Pearlman, who was prevented by term limits from running again in November, resigns his District 2 commissioner’s seat today to become the county attorney. A vacancy committee will appoint his replacement, who then would have to stand for election in November to keep the job. Also up: term-limited Commissioner Will Toor’s seat.

Following the 2010 census, state legislators had to redraw boundaries for Colorado’s seven congressional districts. Although Longmont remains in the 4th CD — where state Senate President Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont, is challenging Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma — 2nd CD Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, picked up Larimer County but lost southwest Weld County to the 4th CD.

New boundaries for the state Legislature took north Boulder out of the Longmont-based House District 11 but added Lyons and Niwot. House District 12 covers most of eastern Longmont west of County Line Road, as well as Lafayette and Louisville. Besides House 11 and 12, legislative districts representing parts of Boulder and southwest Weld counties that will be up for election this year include: Senate districts 17, 18 and 23; and House Districts 10, 13, 33 and 63.

Also up for election in 2012: Boulder County District Attorney; an at-large seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents; the 2nd Congressional District seat on the State Board of Education; and eastern Boulder County’s District I seat on the Regional Transportation District’s board of directors. More…

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The show may not go on: Congress takes on exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses

American Independent: January 3: Elephants dancing in skirts, bears riding tricycles and lions leaping through flaming hoops could become distant memories if a bill U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., is co-sponsoring gains traction in Washington.

The Boulder-based congressman and 12 other representatives are pushing legislation that would effectively end the use — and documented abuse — of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses.

“Congressman Polis is a strong supporter of animal rights and is concerned about the treatment of animals in circuses,” Polis spokesman Chris Fitzgerald told The Colorado Independent. More…

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Shaffer: I’ll stay as Senate president

Denver Post: The Spot: Lynn Bartels: January 4:  In the Senate, Republican Kevin Lundberg is exploring whether to take on Polis. More…

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Tea Party House Members Even Wealthier Than Other GOP Lawmakers

Open Secrets: Seth Cline: January 4: Their politics may differ. But both the Tea Party and the Occupy movement have laid claim to representing the interests of the middle class, whose economic frustrations helped spur the groups’ establishment and growth.

So which side’s congressional lawmakers come closest to embodying that wide swath of the U.S. population? Or, in Occupy terms, which side is closer to the 99 percent?

Neither the members of the House Tea Party Caucus nor those of the House Progressive Caucus — whose views most closely align with the Occupy Wall Street movement — are remotely middle class, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics of congressional personal financial disclosure forms covering 2010, the most recently available data.

The members of the House Tea Party Caucus are especially wealthy, the Center’s research shows.

The least wealthy member of the House Progressive Caucus is from Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.), whose estimated average net worth puts her $383,500 in debt. At the other end of the spectrum is Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), whose estimated average net worth clocks in at $143.2 million. In all, 24 of the 73 voting members of the caucus are millionaires. More…

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The new politics of Silicon Valley: Revenge of the nerds

Denver Post: January 5: Growing opposition to SOPA forced House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) to make significant changes to the bill before a markup session last month. But that wasn’t enough for Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Ca.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Jason Chaffetz (R, Utah) and other committee members, who proposed more drastic surgery to the flawed bill during a marathon two-day session. Their amendments were voted down, but the effort kept the bill from moving out of committee for a planned floor vote. More…

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The new politics of Silicon Valley: Revenge of the nerds

CNET: January 5: It was a dangerous year for innovation. Governments around the world became increasingly aware that digital technology could disrupt the political and economic status quo.

Lawmakers and lobbyists were calling for new laws to curb innovations that challenged traditional law enforcement and old ways of doing business. But the laws would have stifled innovation far beyond their intended goals. Technology industry leaders sounded the alarm, but their voices went largely unheard in the corridors of power.

But one proposal gave birth to an organized resistance. Top government officials tried to force industry to re-engineer key technologies to dramatically expand government intervention and oversight, allowing federal law enforcement agents to manipulate core innovations central to fast-growing but still immature new products and services.

A small group of entrepreneurs, activists, writers and lawyers banded together to rally the technology community in opposition. A surprising coalition of Republican and Democratic lawmakers emerged to support the freedom fighters, many considered otherwise too liberal or too conservative to have common cause. Together, they fought back the proposal and, perhaps, saved a generation of future technological innovation. More…

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Beltway Blog — Colorado delegation tepid on Udall’s idea of date night

Denver Post: The Spot: Allison Sherry: January 5: Reaction was mixed Thursday to Democrat Sen. Mark Udall’s pitch to again sit in mixed company, Republicans and Democrats, during the Jan. 24 State of the Union address.

Udall will promote the idea spearheaded by left-leaning think tank Third Way, which sent a letter to GOP House Speaker John Boehner and Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging a 24-hour “knock it off” period before the address as well as members to pick someone from the other party to sit next to the night of the president’s speech.

“The speech is not for the folks in the hall, it’s for millions of folks watching at home,” said Sean Gibbons at Third Way. “Plenty go through their daily lives where they disagree with people, but they probably break bread with family members, neighbors who disagree with them. You’d think it would be easy for members of Congress to do it in one night.”

But Colorado’s Republicans and Democrats weren’t so sure.

Udall had one enthusiastic supporter Thursday, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, said he planned to sit next to a Republican, possibly from the Colorado delegation.

“So much of the work here isn’t and shouldn’t be partisan,” Polis said. “It’s about doing what’s best for Colorado and we need to be a strong and united delegation.” More…

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Proposed immigration rule would ease application for legal status

Washington Independent: January 6: “This policy will save the lives of American citizens,” said U.S. Rep Jared Polis, D-Colorado. “Jake Martinez would be alive today if this had been in place. It’s past time that we reformed our immigration system so that families aren’t torn apart or sent off to dangerous cities like Juarez, Mexico as they wait to have their cases processed. Congress still must pass comprehensive immigration reform but this proposal is a welcome change over an unfair process that splits apart families and sends husbands, wives and children off to some of the most perilous parts of the world while their cases are heard.” More…

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Lawmakers attuned to ambitions

Pueblo Chieftain: January 7:  The 2012 race for Congress is well under way, and Colorado House Speaker Frank McNulty worries whether it will color the General Assembly’s upcoming session, which begins next week.

McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, said he is concerned that having three — possibly four — candidates for Congress in the Legislature could lead to a polarizing, hyper-political environment.

“I hope that these congressional ambitions don’t play into the legislative session,” McNulty said. “None of us have any way to tell that now. It is something I’m concerned about, one of those external forces that could weigh in at different times and in different ways this legislative session.”

State Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, is challenging incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton of Cortez in the 3rd Congressional District. Senate President Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont, is running against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner of Yuma in the 4th district, and Rep. Joe Miklosi, D-Denver, is trying to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora. State Senator Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, has said he is considering challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis in the 2nd district.

“I’m focused 100 percent on jobs and the economy,” Shaffer said. “I don’t think (congressional candidacies) will have any impact on the upcoming session.”

Pace said that in his view, “This is creating no more of a hostile situation than there was a year and a half ago when Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton — Frank McNulty’s Republican colleagues — were running for Congress. More…

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Jared Polis takes quick tour of Loveland

Coloradoan: January 7: Rep. Jared Polis, who hopes to represent Larimer County and the rest of the newly redesigned 2nd Congressional District after November’s election, is spending time getting to know some of the county’s faces and places.

Polis took a whirlwind tour of Loveland on Friday that started with a stop at the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology, which aims to become a major jobs center for clean energy and technology in the next few years.

Polis said he plans to spend most of his time in Colorado in the next year visiting Larimer County.

With people across Colorado facing issues regarding jobs, the economy and budgets, Polis said the site is one of the highest-profile opportunities in the area for job creation and he could play a role in helping it be successful.

He told a few dozen people who participated in the tech park tour he would work with Rep. Cory Gardner, who represents Larimer County in the 4th Congressional District, and other state leaders to roll out the red carpet to prospective tenants. More…

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The anti-environment Congress

Real Aspen: January 7: U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., is among the antagonists singled out in a new report detailing the first session of what it calls “the most anti-environment House in the history of Congress.”

The report, commissioned by Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Howard Berman, D-Calif., notes that, as of Dec. 15, the Republican-led 112th Congress voted a record 191 times on legislation that would undermine environmental protections.

The House averaged more than one anti-environmental vote for every day Congress was in session during 2011, which equates to more than one out of every five of all roll call votes, the report found.

Republicans targeted the Environmental Protection Agency the most, with the House voting 114 times to weaken the agency’s purview. On 27 occasions, Congress voted against actions to address the threat of climate change and it worked to overturn scientific findings that climate change endangers human health and welfare.

Gardner was one of at least a dozen Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee who made public statements indicating that they question or reject the scientific consensus that climate change is predominantly human caused.

“Rep. Cory Gardner admitted that the climate is changing but said that he does not ‘believe humans are causing that change to the extent that’s been in the news,’” according to the report (pdf), which notes that House Republicans also voted to block the EPA from regulating carbon pollution from power plants and oil refineries, and they voted to prevent the EPA from working with the Department of Transportation and the automobile industry to develop fuel economy standards for vehicles.

The report also calls out Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., who introduced the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which seeks to overturn the EPA’s finding that climate change endangers human welfare and to upend the Supreme Court’s decision that the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The bill also prohibits the EPA from enforcing existing greenhouse gas reporting requirements to collect emissions information.

“During the floor debate about the Upton bill, the House Republicans voted against several Democratic amendments to restore [the] EPA’s authority to address climate change. Only one Republican supported an amendment offered by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., to allow the EPA Administrator to suspend the bill’s prohibitions if impacts from climate change affect public health.”More…

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Polis requests GAO study on sexual abuse of LGBT immigrants

The Hill: Floor Action Blog: January 10: Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) has asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the alleged abuse of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people trying to enter the United States as immigrants.

Polis’s letter is a reaction to reports that there were incidents of sexual violence against immigrants held by the Department of Homeland Security. Polis said the Heartland Alliance National Immigrant Justice Center filed a complaint about these reports last April, and other reports have said sexual abuse is occurring in DHS’s detention facilities.

“In spite of these reports, the Department of Justice recently announced that immigration detention facilities will not be covered by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA),” Polis wrote, according to Denver’s Westword blog. “Therefore, we respectfully request that the GAO undertake a detailed audit of immigration detention facilities used by DHS to detain immigrants to investigate the incidence of sexual violence.” More…

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Boulder gets major backings for B-cycle expansion

Daily Camera: January 11: U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, also sent a letter of support.

“I am very excited about this project because of its potential to reduce auto trips, its strong connections to our transit system and the vibrant public private partnerships that support the program,” Polis wrote. “This project offers an excellent return on investment toward increasing sustainability.”

Boulder’s delegation of state lawmakers also is standing behind the proposed expansion. Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Gunbarrel, Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, and Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, all sent letters of support to LaHood.

“Since its launch in May of 2011, the community has embraced the B-cycle system and is eager for more stations,” Heath wrote in his letter. “We would very much appreciate the Federal Highway Administration’s support for expanding this system.” More…

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Feds: Colorado medical-marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of a school must close

Denver Post: January 12: Congressman Jared Polis, who has defended Colorado’s medical-marijuana laws in Washington, said a 1,000-foot buffer from schools makes sense and did not express outrage at the limited crackdown. He said dispensaries should comply with the 1,000-foot limit in state law.

“The Justice Department has repeatedly made clear that dispensaries that are in compliance with state law are not an enforcement priority,” Polis, D-Boulder, said in a statement. “Colorado’s tough system of medical marijuana regulation is the best way to keep drugs out of the hands of minors.”

The U.S. Justice Department has previously said it would not target people operating in compliance with state medical-marijuana law. It then clarified that policy over the summer to state the exemption doesn’t apply to dispensaries and their owners.

The letters sent out today are sharply worded and leave little room for confusion.

“The dispensary is operating in violation of federal law, and the Department of Justice has the authority to enforce the federal law where appropriate even when such activities may be permitted under state law,” the letter reads. “Persons and entities who operate or facilitate the operation of such dispensaries are subject to criminal prosecution and civil enforcement actions under federal law.” More…

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CO State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-CO-15

Exploratory Committee Update, 2nd Congressional District

Lundberg for Congress in 2012: Exploratory Committee: News: January 5: Tonight we surpassed 900!

We have come a long way, but still have a long way to go to reach the goal of 1500 people volunteering to help unseat Jared Polis from CD2 in 2012.

Thank you for being a part of this grass roots team. Right now, if you haven’t already, you can help by simply passing this on to others. Ask them to go to our website: www.Lundberg2012.com and join us. Send this to your friends on Facebook, email contacts, or just call up folks you know on the phone.

I originally put Friday as my deadline for this effort, but several have asked if we can extend it through the weekend, so we will make it so and continue counting through the 8th.

For Life and Liberty!

Kevin Lundberg

P.S. Arm yourself with the facts at www.Lundberg2012.com, pass this on to everyone you know, and help us make history in 2012. More…

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Colorado legislator’s bill seeks cooling-off period before getting divorce

Denver Post: January 3: A state lawmaker who wants to make it more difficult for parents to divorce said he initially had no idea that legislators a decade ago killed a similar proposal dubbed the “Dr. Laura” bill.

Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, said he believes his proposal stands a better chance because it makes exceptions, such as in cases of domestic violence or sexual abuse.

The bill would require parents who have minor children and are considering divorce to first undergo educational instruction “that tells them how this impacts their children,” he said. Then there would be a waiting period before filing for divorce.

“We have made it just too easy to bail out of a marriage,” Lundberg said.

Colorado, like all states, has a no-fault divorce system, meaning proof or allegation of wrongdoing on the part of one spouse is not required. A person can be divorced within 90 days of filing, even if the other party is opposed. More…

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“Cooling off” period proposed for divorces

Colorado Connection: January 3: A Colorado state lawmaker wants to try again to make it more difficult for parents to divorce.

Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud said he believes his proposal stands a better chance of passing because it makes exceptions, including cases of domestic violence or sexual abuse.

“This bill doesn’t stop divorces,” Lundberg said. “This bill simply requires a careful, deliberate process when children are involved in that divorce.”

Lundberg said his proposed Parental Divorce Restriction Act would require parents who have minor children and are considering divorce to first take about six hours of educational instruction, teaching them how divorce would impact children. Watch… More…

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Colorado GOP group organizes support for civil unions, saying they fit party’s personal-freedom philosophy

Denver Post: January 3: Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, who led the fight in the Senate against last year’s civil-unions bill, said he will fight this year’s effort too.

“It’s not just a freedom issue,” said Lundberg, who spearheaded the 2006 effort to outlaw same-sex marriage. “It’s an issue of what is the definition of marriage in Colorado. That’s absolutely the core point. Are we going to change the practice of marriage from one man, one woman to any gender at any time?” More…

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Adding Steps To The Divorce Process

KJCT 8: January 3:  If you want a divorce in Colorado, you may have to wait. A new bill is heading to the state legislature for approval and its looking to add more steps to the already complex divorce process.

State Senator Kevin Lundberg is the face of the proposal. The republican says child safety is the driving force behind the idea.

“When there are kids involved, I believe that it is in the states best interest to ensure that the couple understands and considers what impact this has on their children.” Lundberg said.

The bill would require couples to undergo a six hour training session on how children are impacted by their parents calling it quits.

Current state law dictates that parents attend a similar session, but it’s not nearly as in-depth.

Attorney Catherine Burkey says, “When a case is initiated, then the people are ordered to go and attend a parenting class.”

The primary difference – people will now have to wait after completing the course.

“There will be a period of months that they will wait before proceeding with the divorce,” Lundberg said. More…

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Lundberg pulls “Dr. Laura” divorce bill

Denver Post: The Spot: Lynn Bartels: January 6: State Sen. Kevin Lundberg said today he won’t introduce his bill requiring splitting parents to first attending counseling and wait before filing for the divorce.

Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, has decided not to introduce his bill requiring parents to attend counseling before divorcing.

“Much of what has been presented by those who disagreed with the bill with articulate and respectful dialogue has merit,” the Berthoud Republican said in a letter.

“I am still committed to looking for ways to address the significant problems associated with divorce, but it will take much more time and deliberation than the upcoming session will allow.”

The Denver Post reported this week that Lundberg planned to introduce the bill, saying “We have made it just too easy to bail out of a marriage.

The story has gone national with critics questioning how Lundberg can portray himself as a limited-government Republican while sponsoring a measure requiring mandatory counseling. The bill had presented a problem for Republicans who criticized Democrats for pushing social legislation, including a civil-unions bill to be introduced when the 2012 session opens Wednesday.

His proposal was dubbed the “Dr. Laura” bill after a measure that died a decade ago in the legislature. More…

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Lundberg to challenge Polis for Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District seat

Denver Post: January 9: Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, will run against Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat representing the 2nd Congressional District, Larimer County’s new district in 2013.

“Based on strong support from citizens of the Second Congressional District Kevin has decided to move forward with a campaign,” said Lundberg’s campaign website, www.kevinlundberg2012.com. More…

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Lundberg launches challenge

Denver Post: January 10: State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, on Monday said he will run against Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder in the state’s reconfigured 2nd Congressional District.

Lundberg waited until a counter on a website for his exploratory committee ticked past 1,500, the number of supporters he said heneeded before stepping up to run.

Other Republicans in the district — now Boulder and Larimer counties, and parts of Jefferson County — said Lundberg, among the most conservative members of the state legislature, likely will face opposition from his own party.

“I realize that it’s going to be a David-and-Goliath-type competition,” he said. “But I think there is a great deal of concern with our voters on where the country is heading.”The Reporter-Herald.

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Colorado legislators to face bevy of health-care bills

Durango Herald: January 9: Colorado lawmakers expect to consider numerous health-care issues this session, from tougher “truth in advertising” requirements for medical providers to imposing more stringent standards on food sold in public schools.

But with Colorado’s rising Medicaid costs already devouring a third of the state budget, don’t expect to see many health-care measures aimed at funding new programs or expanding services.

Instead, legislators are focused on cutting costs to meet current obligations as they gear up for the new session, which starts Wednesday.

“Everybody is asking tough questions about how we find more cost-efficiencies,” said state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud.

The “truth in advertising” bill is designed to prevent licensed medical professionals from misrepresenting their credentials or services in promotional materials. More…

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