What Happened to Colorado? And Can It Happen To Your State Too? (Hint: YES)
Aug27

What Happened to Colorado? And Can It Happen To Your State Too? (Hint: YES)

shock

You may not live in Colorado, but what I’m going to write here should shake you to your core. If you live in Colorado, let this be a very clear depiction of what is happening, and why it’s happening. But before we get to that, let’s look at recent history in Colorado. Specifically as it relates to conservatism  and more specifically as it relates to the 2nd Amendment.

One part of the Colorado attack on the 2nd Amendment that Americans are finding so puzzling is the pre-conceived notion that Colorado was part of the “wild west,” even in modern times. As a former Nevadan (I lived in Nevada for 15 years) I relate to the vibe we have come to know and relate to in terms of states like Montana, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. These states have, in recent times, held an independent spirit. “Leave us alone and we won’t bother each other” has always been the mindset.

In fact, even now Colorado’s gun laws (for the time being) are more friendly to the 2nd Amendment than my own state of Virginia (until the new laws take hold). See Colorado’s existing laws vs Virginia’s existing laws, for example.

This makes sense because traditionally speaking, Colorado has been governed fairly conservatively through the end of the 20th century. Like Virginia (and many, many other “conservative” states) Colorado residents previously probably didn’t think they would ever see the day when a big government, regulation hungry legislature would come after their guns. Indeed, Colorado’s state legislature was traditionally dominated by conservative Republicans and Democrats. Or, at the very least, Republicans and Democrats who had no intention of creating barriers to the 2nd Amendment.

But as the 21st century began, something happened. Everything changed. What was it? How did Colorado begin a slippery slope towards more spending, higher taxes, more unemployment, more government regulation, more gun control and less liberty?

The answer to this question was revealed back in 2008. Unfortunately, most who support the ideas of liberty didn’t read the signs and the infrastructure that would aim Colorado towards a land of few to no rights took control. Fred Barnes documented this monster as it was born. He called it “The Colorado Model.”

You really need to take the time to read the entire column. Go ahead and click here to read The Colorado Model. We’ll look at chunks of the column below. Let’s start with confirmation of everything I’ve already said. Now remember, this was written in 2008.

The Democratic surge in Colorado reflects the national trend, but it involves a great deal more. There’s something unique going on in Colorado that, if copied in other states, has the potential to produce sweeping Democratic gains nationwide. That something is the “Colorado Model,” and it’s certain to be a major topic of discussion when Democrats convene in Denver in the last week of August for their national convention.

In the paragraph before this one Barnes talks about how, in the two previous cycles, Republicans began to lose control of the House, Senate and state constitutional offices. There are lot of reasons for this and we’ll circle back to that later on in the post. Keep it in mind, though, because it’s very important to always understand the events that created the opening required for The Colorado Model.

Again, this was written in 2008.

Last January, a “confidential” memo from a Democratic political consultant outlined an ambitious scheme for spending $11.7 million in Colorado this year to crush Republicans. The money would come from rich liberal donors in the state and would be spent primarily on defeating Senate candidate Bob Schaffer ($5.1 million) and Representative Marilyn Musgrave ($2.6 million), who are loathed by liberals for sponsoring a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. The overarching aim: Lock in Democratic control of Colorado for years to come.

Amazingly, much of their model followed a model designed by libertarian minded political genius Eric O’Keefe. Now, for the record, I worked for Sam Adams Alliance and Eric O’Keefe in 2007-2008, so I’m very familiar with this design.

That was only the beginning of the buildup. Eric O’Keefe, chairman of the conservative Sam Adams Alliance in Chicago, says there are seven “capacities” that are required to drive a successful political strategy and keep it on offense: the capacity to generate intellectual ammunition, to pursue investigations, to mobilize for elections, to fight media bias, to pursue strategic litigation, to train new leaders, and to sustain a presence in the new media. Colorado liberals have now created institutions that possess all seven capacities. By working together, they generate political noise and attract press coverage. Explains Caldara, “Build an echo chamber and the media laps it up.”

O’Keefe was and is correct about the Seven Capacities. So why hasn’t it worked for the right the way it did for the left? Well, and we’re getting a bit sidetracked here but this is important… the “left” is fully funded and completely astroturf. Billionaires make sure that each and every aspect of what their “non-profits” do is over-funded and direct return on investment is not really relevant. Additionally, through unions and tax dollar fueled corporate socialism, there are powerful special interests groups that only succeed financially if the entire network of capacities succeed. There for, it is in the best interest of each individual organization, each activist, each information portal and each “player” to promote and market the effort of others. They share an agenda and mass promotion of the over all effort, regardless of who is in charge, is part of the ultimate goal.

On the “right,” however, non-profits scrape for dollars and cannot afford to promote/market the efforts of “competing” non-profits. Heck, conservative organizations go out of their way to take credit for work they didn’t do. This is because they must be able to show their donors accomplishments in order to continue getting funded. The “right” has no unions and special interests groups funded by tax dollars through corporate socialism. We tackle much of the seven capacities outside of the non-profit world, but we have to do so through the free-market prism. Meaning, there is ROI to be concerned with. Results matter and the system must be self-sustaining.

Imagine running a business that didn’t need to make money. Imagine having an army of bloggers who could attack liberals and progressive movements full time, with no need to make money from it. That’s exactly what they have.

First, there are the think tanks such as Bighorn and Bell and supposedly nonpartisan political advocacy groups like the Colorado clone of MoveOn.org called ProgressNowAction.org, founded in 2005. Another clone, this one a local version of Media Matters known as Colorado Media Matters, was created two years ago to harass journalists and editorial writers who don’t push the liberal line.

There’s a “public interest” law firm, Colorado Ethics Watch, established in 2006, plus an online newspaper, the Colorado Independent, with a team of reporters to ferret out wrongdoing by Republicans, also begun in 2006. And there’s a school to train new liberal leaders, the Center for Progressive Leadership Colorado, as well as new media outlets with bloggers and online news and gossip, including ColoradoPols.com and SquareState.net. That covers all seven capacities. Count them.

It’s unclear exactly who is funding these outfits, since they don’t have to disclose their donors. But the band of rich liberals are assumed to be the biggest contributors. And that’s part of the problem for conservatives and Republicans. They don’t have a cadre of what Caldara calls “super spenders” to tap for money, and Republicans have lacked the gumption and foresight to build a comparable conservative infrastructure.

The Colorado Independent played a critical role in what happened from 2006 to 2010. The state wide “news” site was set up for the sole purpose of putting Republicans on defense in terms of media strategy. The Colorado Independent would attack candidates, often times using a shallow or completely false premise, for the simple purpose of making the candidate operate from defense. By the time a candidate was able to get past an accusation, a new one would arrive on the campaign door step.

Barnes explains.

To their distress, Republicans have discovered how skillful the liberal collective is at bedeviling them. It works quite simply. The investigative arm uncovers some alleged wrongdoing by a Republican candidate or official or plays up what someone else has claimed. Then Ethics Watch steps in and demands an official investigation, and ProgressNowAction.org jumps on the story. This is synergy at work. It spurs political chatter. Finally, the mainstream media are forced to report on it.

Republican secretary of state Mike Coffman was hounded for months by Colorado Confidential, now the Colorado Independent, for allowing a state employee to run a side business and not reporting a supposed conflict of interest too microscopic to be worth explaining. The mainstream media eventually picked up the story, and Colorado Ethics Watch filed a formal complaint. Later, an official audit found no wrongdoing, but only after Coffman had been publicly pilloried. The episode didn’t help his current campaign for a U.S. House seat.

So we know what infrastructure was set up and how it was used. Now let’s get back to the window created for the model to work.

In 2005, Republicans split over Referendum C, designed to waive the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (known as TABOR) for five years. Passed in 1992, TABOR limited spending hikes to inflation and population growth, required any surplus to be refunded to taxpayers, and mandated a referendum to raise taxes. Conservatives fervently opposed suspending TABOR. But Owens and a handful of Republican leaders joined with Democrats to pass the referendum in order to fund education and transportation initiatives.

Allow me to repeat that last line… “a handful of Republican leaders joined with Democrats to pass the referendum in order to fund education and transportation initiatives.”

Republicans showed Colorado taxpayers they would no longer be their champion. Taxpayers no longer had proper representation. The Colorado model stepped in and took advantage.

Here we are in 2013, scratching our heads and wondering how a state like Colorado could be so malicious towards the 2nd Amendment. Truth is, the state legislature is the result of this… from a paragraph quoted at the beginning of this story.

Last January, a “confidential” memo from a Democratic political consultant outlined an ambitious scheme for spending $11.7 million in Colorado this year to crush Republicans. The money would come from rich liberal donors in the state and would be spent primarily on defeating Senate candidate Bob Schaffer ($5.1 million) and Representative Marilyn Musgrave ($2.6 million), who are loathed by liberals for sponsoring a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. The overarching aim: Lock in Democratic control of Colorado for years to come.

They locked in Democrat control. But these are not the old Democrats of Colorado’s recent history. These are a new breed of Democrats. They’re out to poison the well and in a permanent manner. And they want to poison the well in every state.

The Colorado lawmakers who are now seeking to destroy the 2nd Amendment in their state are the result of what began in 2006. It began with regressive, special interest millionaires funding big government candidates immediately following tax hikes by failed Republicans. It’s ending with bans on guns. Essentially, the outlaw of liberty.

States like Virginia are now just as weak as Colorado was back in 2006. Governor Bob McDonnell and Republican leaders in the state legislature just passed the biggest tax hike in the history of Virginia (The Governor hasn’t signed it yet, but he pushed for it). Do taxpayers have a champion in Virginia? Taxpayers might have new candidates making new promises, but those same promises were made just a few years ago.

Will The Colorado Model become the Virginia Model? The Florida Model? The Arizona Model?

It’s already been tested and proven successful. They’ve said they want to replicate it. Why would we not believe them?

Think about this, folks. Know your enemy. Know their methods and their goals.

Next week we’ll look at the players/funders behind all of this.

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Illinois Must Allow Citizens To Carry Guns. Illinois Responds With Proposals To Ban Guns.
Jan03

Illinois Must Allow Citizens To Carry Guns. Illinois Responds With Proposals To Ban Guns.

So we first heard that a court agreed with the U.S. Constitution and informed Illinois that it could not prohibit law abiding citizens from carrying a firearm.

The state of Illinois would have to allow ordinary citizens to carry weapons under a federal appeals court ruling issued today, but the judges also gave lawmakers 180 days to put their own version of the law in place.

In a 2-1 decision that is a major victory for the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said the state’s ban on carrying a weapon in public is unconstitutional.

This was great news for the Constitution, for the rights of the American people, and for law-abiding residents of Illinois. We all know that Chicago, possibly one of the most violent cities in the nation, has extremely strict gun control laws. The problem, of course, is the laws only keep law-abiding citizens from being able to protect themselves. The laws do nothing to keep criminals from illegally obtaining firearms.

As it turns out, the state legislature in Illinois feels it would like to follow the Chicago model state wide. Democrats are now pushing two bills to ban 75% of handguns and 50% of long guns.

Illinois Senate Democrats advanced legislation late Wednesday to restrict semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, pressing forward with new gun control measures in the waning days of the session over the objections of firearms groups. 

Amid the developments, the Illinois State Rifle Association issued an “urgent alert” to its members warning them that Democratic legislators were trying to push through last-minute anti-gun legislation.

“There would be no exemptions and no grandfathering,” the group stated in its alert. “You would have a very short window to turn in your guns to the state police and avoid prosecution.”

I don’t quite understand the open disdain for self-protection via a firearm. Especially when the Chicago model clearly shows such a violation of the Constitution makes matters worse.

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