Fighting for Our Freedoms

Here is a sampling of the many times I spoke up in defence of our freedoms. These are just a few examples that are taken from the hundreds of times in the past 25 years I have stood in defence of life, TABOR, marriage, the Second Amendment, national security, medical freedom, lower taxes, school choice, the Constitution, and the list could go on and on…

To take a deep dive into my record as a fighter for our freedoms spend some time on my website. It is a transparent record of all I have fought for over this past quarter century. To the best of my ability I have consistently taken on the tough issues, and will do no less as chairman for the Colorado Republican Party.

September 12, 2001

My Letter to the Reporter-Herald on the 9-11 Terrorist Attacks

The recent terrorist attacks are senseless acts of cruelty which demand a swift and decisive response. I applaud the president for his calm courage and determination to cure this great wrong with appropriate justice. Yet despite all the best efforts to defend this great land and its free people, we should never be confident in our own strength.

As I helplessly watched this catastrophe unfold on my television it reminded me how fragile life is and how vulnerable we all are in today’s uncertain world. Many similar scenarios of destruction can be imagined and we all know there are far too many people who would willingly be the agents of such despicable acts. On September 11 we saw that chilling reality. These shocking events underscore the very significant spiritual dimension to all of life, including that which concerns our country as a whole and its public policies. At this time we should reaffirm our hope and confidence in the Creator of all, because it is only through God’s protective grace that life is even possible.

Let us pray as a country. Pray for those directly impacted by this tragedy. Pray for peace in our land. Trusting alone in our human systems and security measures will always prove to be a false hope. We must be diligently doing what we can, from our human perspective, but also we must intentionally seek God’s forgiveness for past failures and His mercy and protection for the future. Only then can we build that strong foundation of which president Bush spoke. Only then can we as a nation truly be prosperous for our children and grandchildren in this challenging world of the twenty first century.

October 9, 2002

Fighting for Election Integrity

Four ballot issues contain the prospect of drastically changing our election process. They are all touted as bringing more fairness to the voter, but I believe they will do just the opposite.

Today Colorado citizens have a great deal of access to the election process through the caucus system. Advance registration requirements help insure the integrity of voter registration lists. You have the option of voting in your local precinct in the presence of election judges, and mail ballots are also available to all who request them. Candidates must report all contributions and expenditures in a timely fashion, and are allowed to collect contributions within reasonable donor limitations.

If these ballot issues all pass there will be no more opportunity to nominate a candidate through the caucus, last minute registrations and bulk mailing of ballots will compromise the integrity of every election. Stringent finance rules will remove much of the control candidates have over their own campaigns.

All of these changes will empower heavily funded special interests at the expense of grassroots involvement from citizens like you and I. It will increase the potential for abuse and fraud.

We will lose if these issues pass. This year, just say no!

Fall of 2006

Fighting for the Defence of Marriage

This will be a pivotal year for Colorado’s laws concerning marriage and the family.

The fall election will determine what direction we will take as a state for many years to come.

We have had a defense of marriage act in our statutes for several years which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, but the legislature is now trying to radically change that.

HB 1344 will put on the ballot the question of establishing same-sex civil unions in Colorado. We will probably also have a basic marriage amendment on the ballot, defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, but it is silent on the subject of civil unions.

I have, therefore, began the effort to put on the ballot, through a citizen’s initiative, the question of constitutionally preventing civil unions from being recognized in Colorado.

This is a serious question that the people of Colorado will decide this fall. Please become an active part of this debate and decision.

March 24, 2007

Fighting for Colorado’s Energy Sector

HB 1341 is concerning the mission and membership of the Oil and Gas Commission. The House passed this bill by essentially a party-line vote on Friday.

This bill is, as the proponents said at the mic, an historic change in Colorado’s oil and gas policy. The bill changes the composition of the commission, shifting the commission membership from those who understand the industry toward those who, at best do not know the industry or, at worst, are special interests who oppose oil and gas development. This might even open the door for environmental extremists to run our oil and gas policies.

Most telling to me in this bill is the way the purpose of the commission is being changed. This bill is stripping out the words “encourage and promote” from the statement that deals with the development of the oil and gas industry. When I tried to amend the words back into the bill I was told that removing “encourage and promote” is an essential part of the bill. As I see it, encourage and promote are being trumped by command and control.

No longer will state policy encourage and support the largest industry in the state that 70,000 jobs depend upon. With HB 1341 we are replacing encourage and support with a system of command and control.

Nor will we encourage and support the development of our tremendous natural resources of energy, which could make Colorado a world-class leader in energy production and the front-line for our nation’s drive for energy independence. We are replacing a policy of encouraging and promoting with a command and control policy that will trade out the bright prospects for our state’s prosperity for a dim future of economic malaise.

October 12, 2007

Fighting for TABOR

Recently governor Ritter’s blue ribbon panel on future transportation funding held a meeting in Windsor.

The only solutions under serious consideration involved extracting more money from the taxpayer: sales tax on gas, increase vehicle registration fees, tolls on roads and tunnels, “new wheels” tax, visitor tax, roadway maintenance fees, sales tax on deliveries, per-mile driven tax, weight-distance tax…

Nowhere to be found was a serious discussion of living within our current means by prioritizing highway construction over ultra-expensive mass transit programs, or limiting other state programs or even cutting out some of the waste, inefficiencies and low priority spending that currently exists in transportation funding systems.

This attitude is typical for government bureaucracies. In contrast, we the people are more realistic. We know that for every $100 the government adds in taxes and fees we will have to eliminate that much more in our personal budget.

It is the economic reality of priorities.

Yet the call for more from the taxpayer is increasing to a crescendo.

Another commission, concerning medical costs, is looking at proposals that might double or triple our income tax. Last session the legislature approved a property tax increase (without the constitutionally mandated vote of the people) and, when the real numbers came out they were double what was quoted during the legislative session. The originally quoted price tag for Referendum C was $3.2 billion. The current estimate is now $5.99 billion and counting.

The burden on the taxpayer is already too high for the robust economy of which our state is capable.

The good news is that the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) is still a part of our state constitution. All we now need is a legislature that will uphold it.

November 7, 2007

Fighting Global Warming Fanaticism

Governor Ritter’s recently announced climate action plan is supposed to protect our way of life from the dire predictions that some have made about global warming, but the actual details of his initiative are more likely to head us in the opposite direction.

Ritter’s entire argument is based on the yet-to-be-proven theory that carbon dioxide is the major source of temperature increases observed over the past 30 years (never mind the fact that temperatures were cooling in the previous 30 years). It also assumes that the carbon we can eliminate or lock up will be enough to offset the explosive growth (and carbon emissions) of China and other developing countries. Finally, it does not take into account the huge direct cost of his action plan, nor the consequent drag it will have on our state’s economy as we develop this new game of avoiding carbon emissions at virtually any price.

Let me be clear on one important point. I do believe we should be careful stewards of our land, air and water. We should aggressively move forward with renewable energy solutions for housing, transportation, government and industry. For my own family I designed, built, and we continue to live in, a house that produces its own heat and power from the sun and wind. I am convinced that the opportunities for a healthy and prosperous future do include an increasing reliance on renewable energy.

The problem I have with the governors plan is not that it encourages renewable energy, but that it forces our state to convert to renewable energy solutions before they are economically viable. In addition, because his plan has only skepticism for oil shale, nuclear and large hydro-electric solutions, and the governor has already been dragging his heels when it comes to the development of our traditional oil, gas and coal resources, his claim that this plan will increase our energy security rings hollow.

Ritter’s plan calls for dramatic reductions in carbon emissions: 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. These may be laudable goals for efficiency targets, but they will become draconian vices on our state when government mandates ratchet our lives and our industries into compliance.

Colorado has incredible prospects for a very bright future. We are rich in energy resources, both traditional and renewable. Our people are aggressive and forward looking. God has blessed us with every possibility to live prosperous and healthy lives here in Colorado. We should not be misguided into heavy handed government policies that could stifle these opportunities for our children.

January 2008

Fighting for Election Integrity

This current dilemma, driven by Federal mandates and the court order that we are now facing is causing some to call for a scraping of our system of general election voting and simply mailing out ballots to everyone weeks before the election.

I share the deep concern of many others that this simplistic, one-size-fits-all solution is an even bigger problem. Shipping out all of the ballots to the last known address of all active registered voters will cast a huge cloud of uncertainty to many citizens of Colorado.

Confidence in the voting process is essential. A sweeping change to an all mail ballot election will strain that confidence too much. We should not play such a risky game.

As the legislature wrestles with the many facets of this situation I will do all I can to preserve a trustworthy voting system that includes the full range of voting options for the 2008 election.

The decisions we will make next November are too important to be compromised by inadequate voting systems in Colorado.

We must get it right.

March 23, 2008

Fighting Against Global Warming and Higher Electricity Costs

HB 1164 passed third reading on a nearly party-line vote of 43-21 (four Republicans supported the bill, no Democrats voted against the bill.) This bill directs the Public Utilities Commission to give extra preference to large solar energy systems over other ways of producing electricity. It is good to encourage the use of solar energy, but this bill assumes that the global warming issue is fully established as solid science and we need to pay for expensive renewable energy systems just because they create less carbon dioxide.

The net result will be higher electricity costs for the people of Colorado and Colorado public policy will be buying into the still unproven theory that assumes:

1. Global warming is creating catastrophic effects on our planet.

2. These catastrophic effects from global warming are created by carbon dioxide made by human activity.

3. Restricting human induced carbon dioxide can mitigate these presumed catastrophes.

4. Third world economic growth will not cancel out any effect the U. S. might create by limiting our carbon dioxide emissions.

Accommodating the notion that we must severely limit our emissions of carbon dioxide will at best hobble our economic future. A worst case scenario would have catastrophic effects itself. In any event, to base public policy decisions on the assumption that carbon dioxide emissions must be sharply curtailed is a significant lapse in sound judgment that should be strongly resisted.

December 18, 2009

Fighting More Global Warming Fanaticism

As everyone continues to jump on the “going green” bandwagon, I have been a fan of renewable energy since the 1970’s and carefully followed developments in that field for the past 35 years.

Eventually, I became more than a fan. In the mid-90’s I designed and built my own home to be as energy efficient and self-sufficient as possible. It is earth-bermed, super-insulated, heated by passive solar, and powered by photovoltaic panels and wind generators. In the decade since building my home, I have personally experienced what renewables can and cannot do to improve our world and our lives.

Believe me, the challenges are many and the cost is great. Yet, I remain devoted to the advancement of renewable energy.

That is why I am appalled by what has been proposed at the world climate conference in Copenhagen. The world leaders that met at this UN sponsored conference are flirting with economic and political disaster. They are basing policy decisions on the mistaken notion that man-made carbon dioxide is destroying the planet. Never mind the facts.

Carbon dioxide is actually not a pollutant. It is a minute part (less than one-twentieth of one percent) of the atmosphere and is essential for life on this planet. Water vapor is at least ten times as abundant, and by far the most pervasive “greenhouse gas.” Regardless of our “carbon footprint”, the planet will, in all probability, continue to go through natural cycles of warming and cooling. There is also no evidence that the computer models global warming is based on, like the ones Al Gore likes to use in his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” are capable of meaningful and accurate predictions decades into the future.

Economic calamity awaits us if energy is rationed to a fraction of today’s consumption. An incredible cost will be paid with our dearly bought freedoms when all of these mandates are enforced by not only our own government but also by self-appointed international authorities.

Reducing our “carbon footprint” through the strong arm of government will force everyone into a strict rationing program. Our standard of living will drop. It will be difficult for all, and impossible for some. By diverting our resources to this all-out effort to abandon our abundant and less expensive energy sources, we will jeopardize our way of life and threaten the very lives of those around the world who are currently living on the edge of survival.

It is also absurd to think that our faltering economy will be able to withstand the additional stress. The mandates that global warming alarmists are demanding will drive prices much higher, run whole industries out of business and destroy millions of jobs.

Promoting renewable energy and cleaner energy sources is a good thing, but only if it is a blessing to our people. Forcing us all to live on less, at a much greater expense, is not good public policy-it is the exact opposite.

We should reject the plans laid out by the UN climate conference in Copenhagen. This conference bet everything on the single, unproven theory that man-made carbon dioxide is the sole determining factor for global warming and cooling.

I agree with the thousands of scientists that have signed on to the Global Warming Petition Project, which states publicly their misgivings about current global warming theories. At the very best, man-made global warming is an unproven scientific theory that has yet to be demonstrated as true.

The talks that took place in Copenhagen are not a step forward for the people of our great nation or renewable energy technologies; they are alarmist and a grandiose attempt to grab raw political power by those who hold extreme and dangerous political opinions.

If we embrace renewable energy technologies and use them wisely, our economy will be strengthened, and we will no doubt find new opportunities. But don’t just take my word for it, or Al Gore’s. Study this critical issue yourself and then hold your elected representatives accountable for their actions on this significant issue.

August 17, 2016

Fighting Colorado Public Radio’s Global Warming Fanaticism

A few days ago I was listening to Colorado Public Radio (CPR) and they were discussing climate change, which they have been doing on a daily basis for several weeks. Their unspoken presumption in every story is that global warming is a real and imminent threat, and they are always angling toward “fixing” the “problem.” At the end of their story, they invited listeners to share their personal observations of climate change in Colorado. I decided to take them up on their offer.

Here is what I submitted to CPR:

“I have three observations, which tell a very different story than what is usually presented on ‘climate change.’

“I have been a backyard gardener on the Front Range since I was a young child sixty years ago. Back then, in Denver we considered May 15 to be a reliable first day to put out delicate plants that could not survive a frost. Today May 15 is still considered the beginning of the frost free growing season. If the climate has been significantly warming the frost free date would be getting earlier. Serious gardeners (and farmers) know better.

“Secondly, the date winter wheat is ripe for harvest in Northern Colorado has not changed in my lifetime. My father was a custom harvester from 1959 to 1981. I joined him in the harvest from about 1965 to 1978. Back then the winter wheat was almost always ready for harvest in Northern Colorado during the last two weeks of July (sometimes, in a dry year, a little earlier). For the past 20 years I have lived on a farm outside of Berthoud, and I have noticed that the wheat fields are still ready for harvest during the same weeks in July as they were 50 years ago. Again, if we had been seeing any significant change in the climate here in Colorado, winter wheat–which is planted in the previous fall, so it does not ripen according to its planting date, but is completely dependent on when the spring season begins–should be ready for harvest at an earlier date than the pattern of 50 years ago.

“Finally, in 1979 I was a part of a team of five young men who backpacked along the entire Continental Divide in Colorado (about 700 miles of trails). We spent 80 days living with the land in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Whenever we can, we are back on those very trails we first lived on 37 years ago. The plants, the weather, the snowpack, and the available water points have not changed. The only big differences on the trails I have observed over these decades are the people. There are more people on the roads and more crowds in the most accessible campsites. There are fewer people in the back country areas, fewer backpackers over all, and more extreme sport enthusiasts. The ecosystems in the Colorado mountains have not changed, but the people and their patterns have changed a great deal.

“I submit that that is like much of the climate change discussion. The climate is not changing any more than it has always been changing through the centuries, but what people think about those changes in the climate has been undergoing a radical transformation, which is not based on real world facts as much as it is based on perceptions and far too often spin by those who report on climate change.”

It will be interesting to see if they give my report any attention at all.

note: CPR did allow me to go on their show, but not without recruiting two global warming advocates from CSU to try to debunk the first-person examples I submitted for their consideration. Their arguments did not alter in any way the observations I had recounted in my original correspondence.

Spring of 2016

Fighting Amendment 69, an Attempt to Socialize Medicine in Colorado

Here is a PDF I prepared, the Amendment 69 brochure.

The State Single Payer System (SSPS)

The SSPS starts with a $25 billion tax increase each year.

But it gets worse…

This 10% tax is on all gross income, business income, capital gains, and rental income. It is 10% on ALL income.

But it gets worse

This is Obamacare on steroids.

But it gets worse…

The SSPS creates a new super-subdivision of government in Colorado that is accountable to no one.

And this rogue Oligarchy is certain to get worse


System of Governance

-Their budget is over five times bigger than what would be left of the current state general fund after the SSPS funds are removed from the general fund ($7 billion vs. $37 billion).

-Their budget would be more than twice the entire state budget, including cash funds and federal funds, after the SSPS funds were removed from the total state budget ($17 billion vs. $37 billion).

-The SSPS Board is unaccountable, it is “not subject to administrative direction or control by any state executive, department, commission, board, bureau or agency.”

o Board members are not subject to recall, they set their own salaries, create their own election districts, and can vote any board member “off the island.”

o They essentially pick their own candidates who will stand for election to the board. The election is nonpartisan and therefore the Board will determine how the candidates are selected, how the election is conducted and how the votes are counted.

o All residents above the age of 18 who have been in the state for at least 12 months may vote (including all legal and illegal aliens).

-Amendment 69 exempts the SSPS from all revenue and spending limitations in the Tax Payer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).


Medical System

-The Board will dictate what care will be approved and what care will be denied for all covered medical services

-All residents within the state are required to be a part of the SSPS, with no exceptions such as medical cost sharing (an exception even allowed in ObamaCare).

-SSPS is a secondary payer to any health insurance. If you already have coverage, that insurance will have to pay first, even though you were already taxed by SSPS.

-All providers will have to conform to the approval, pricing and billing system established by the Board.

-Cost containment will inevitably result in rationing of care and raising co-pays.

-Payment for all alternative medicine will be subject to the rulings from the Board.

-Is it possible that SSPS can be any more efficient and less bureaucratic than the DMV or the VA hospital system?


Tax System

-$25 billion is just the estimated starting point

-10% tax is on:

o All gross income

o Wages, salaries and tips

o Business income

o Farm income

o Capital gains

o Pensions, annuities and Social Security benefits, to the extent taxed by the state under current law.

-The tax is regressive, fully taxing lower incomes, providing some tax relief for higher incomes.

-Non-beneficiaries (non-residents) are still taxed on all Colorado income.

-Tax rate increases require a vote from the “members” (all residents over 18 who have been in the state 12 months), but backdoor increases (increasing co-payments) can be raised by the Board without any vote.

-Since the SSPS is exempt from TABOR, the board determines the ballot language for all tax rates increase questions. (no longer will such questions begin with the phrase: “shall taxes be raised”)


Some Other Negative Consequences

-Since all residents will be beneficiaries, Colorado will become a haven for the desperately ill from all over the country and possibly all over the world, driving the estimated costs far higher than the original estimates.

-The excessive tax system on corporations, capital gains and rent incomes will drive many businesses out of the state.

-Because the Board dictates all of their election systems, is not subject to the normal checks and balances from other jurisdictional authorities and the rights of citizens to elect their representatives is significantly compromised by giving aliens equal voting status, Amendment 69 would create a system of government in Colorado that would more resemble a Soviet style Politburo than the representative, limited system of government guaranteed in our Constitution.

-This monopoly of medical care will force everyone’s private medical records into a central database which Amendment 69 states will be used “for management and research purposes.”

-Amendment 69 assumes medical professionals will accept the SSPS and continue to work in Colorado.


Tax Examples:

A family of five (two parents and three children) with a self-employment income of $50,000 and a $15,000 income from a rental property, (using the IRS standard deductions) would have a Colorado income tax of $1,505. Adding the 10% SSPS tax their Colorado tax bill would be $8,005, 532% more than the tax without SSPS.

If that same family sold their rental property and received a $150,000 capital gain, including SSPS they could owe an additional $21,945 in Colorado taxes.

The proponents of the SSPS claim that this 10% tax is assessed like Social Security taxes, but the SSPS will tax all income sources, not just earned income, and it is applied before any individual and itemized deductions are figured.

The SSPS tax scheme is magnitudes bigger than any other tax set before Colorado voters.

-This analysis of Amendment 69 was prepared by Colorado State Senator Kevin Lundberg.-

COLORADO NATIVE   |   P.O. Box 378, Berthoud, CO 80513