January 19, 2010
Given the need to objectively render legal opinions, uphold the laws of the State of Colorado, defend the state and enforce a host of consumer protections, should the Attorney General position be a partisan or non-partisan one?
On January 19, 2009, the Denver Post's Lynn Bartels reported Attorney General John Suthers talking to a GOP club indicating he would not vote for retention for any of the Colorado Supreme Court Justices who were originally appointed by a Democrat.
The proper measure for retention of a judge is their judicial performance — not political party. The Judicial Performance Commission makes these reports available on non-partisan criteria pertaining the experience of lawyers, parties and public with the Judges.
For the states highest law enforcement officer to call for a partisan purge and partisan stacking of the bench raises serious questions.
We need to protect the importance of this office to ensure that it does not get subverted to a partisan agenda on either side and to ensure adequate protections that campaign contributions to this office don't come from people the office is supposed to watch dog.
January 22, 2009
If we revile un-democratic countries who detain people without charges or trial or who torture their own citizens, then it has never made sense to "become more like them". We have hurt the moral authority of our cause by violating our core American values in order to pursue an enemy who does likewise.
Guantanamo has become synonymous with human, civil and constitutional rights violations that will be a stain on this period of American history.
The strength of America has always been our ability to defend ourselves and our principles without violating the very principles for which we fight.
I am delighted to hear about these executive orders which bring us a long way closer to the rule of law and to the restoration of our Constitutional values of human decency and basic human rights.
January 18, 2009
Every year in the legislature we have done a resolution to pay tribute to the life, accomplishments and principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We are reminded that he inspired all of us for several generations. He pursued justice for ALL people and equal rights for ALL. He was ridiculed, jailed and ultimately murdered for his courageous pursuits to better human-kind.
We have inherited key concepts like, "justice delayed is justice denied" or "justice denied anywhere is justice denied everywhere".
He was born Jan. 15, 1929, just 6 months after my father, and at a time where our nation would be entering The Great Depression, at a time where opportunities where increasingly limited for all Americans, but dismal for African-Americans.
Dr. King described his vision of an ennobled world of human justice and equality despite being surrounded by Jim Crowe laws, segretation, actual and threatened violence, lynchings, dogs, firehoses, inability to vote, get equal access to education, jobs or any other right or part of the American Dream. He was stabbed (almost fatally) for raising the plight of the poor and addressing the need for jobs.
In 1968, he delivered his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech in solidarity with the sanitation workers and concluded with words we may never forget…
"Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."
Even in 1968 it is unlikely that Dr. King would have envisioned that by 2008 the United States of America would have elected our first African-American president, our first non-white president, and not because of the color of his skin but because "of the content of his character."
Barack Obama will be sworn in to take the oath of office immediately following Martin Luther King day this year on Tuesday January 20, 2009 at 11:30 AM EST or 9:30 AM MST. There can hardly be a greater tribute to Dr. King's birthday this year than the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Regardless of who you voted for, there is no denying that history will be made on Tuesday that taps into the original civil rights struggle of Dr. KIng and to the vision of freedom courageously pursued by President Abraham Lincoln. This is a time of tremendous hope and healing for our nation — even as our hardest challenges may yet be ahead.
September 24, 2008
Amendment 46 is a constitutional amendment that would preclude affirmative action and equal opportunity programs in Colorado.
A few of the measures on this ballot this year are not what they appear to be and this is one of them. It is a measure that erroneously titles itself as ending discrimination when what it does is enable discrimination.
If you want to add a new section to our state constitution to ban nearly all equal opportunity programs in Colorado, you would vote "yes".
If you don't want to add a new section to our state constitution to ban nearly all equal opportunity programs in Colorado, you would vote "no".
I, personally will be voting "NO" on Amendment 46.
1. Constitution v. Statute: Our state constitution is too cluttered and the statutes are generally the better place to put most policy items. This measure is adding a NEW section to our state constitution that has traditionally been in statutes, making it nearly impossible to amend, correct or repeal this measure in the future.
2. Policy: I believe, if this passes, it would hurt our economy and hurt the causes of equality and justice we have been working to achieve since the inception of this country.
What does this impact?
- access to higher education, student loans
- minority & women owned businesses
- ability to make diversity a direct goal
- our economy
What is worse is that it would eliminate the very programs that have been remedial and essential to address equality and discrimination and it undermines civil rights and equality in the name of promoting it.
This measure would be a decisive move backwards from gains made following the real civil rights movement.
Efforts to end or eliminate discrimination would become artificially defined in law as examples of discrimination and would be punishable under law.
Signature gatherers used deceptive means to gain signatures on the ballot by asking people who "wanted to end discrimination" to sign and promoting it as a pro civil rights measure — when the exact opposite is true.
This measure would make it essentially illegal to ever try to address discrimination in Colorado in the future or to close achievement or opportunity gaps in our society.
As for those who think we have already achieved equality, see below.