postheadericon Election 2014: Adams County Clerk, Treasurer and Assessor

Adams County, Colorado logoThree seemingly unassuming positions within Adams County government have become a hotbed for political activity this year.  The race for County Clerk and Recorder, Treasurer and Assessor afford voters an opportunity to continue in the right direction with one office and correct significant issues with two others.

County Clerk and Recorder

This race has been surprisingly contentious but not without good reason.  The Clerk and Recorder’s office is one that has historically struggled to be efficient at its core duties – witness the 200+ duplicate ballots and 100 incorrect ballots mailed out to voters or the ridiculous inability to return timely election returns.  Clearly some changes are in need here.  Voters need to decide who is best to do that – Stan Martin or Cynthia Martinez.

Stan Martin is a Brighton native and small businessman.  He is someone who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and has proven to be an exemplary manager.  Managing people, balancing budgets, and running projects are second nature to him.

Then we come to the very problematic Cynthia Martinez.  Martinez has come under a cloud of questions about her residency.  She claims her primary residence is with her mother in Brighton while she owns a home that her husband and children live in in Boulder County.  Does that pass the smell test?  I don’t think so.  The last thing Adams County needs is to install yet another elected official with questionable ethics.  Martinez needs to be sent packing to wherever her home is for the day.

Vote for Stan Martin.

County Treasurer

This is another race with candidates that have stark contrasts and makes for an easy decision on the ballot.

Brigitte Grimm is the incumbent having been voted into office four years ago with a mandate from the voters to clean up the treasurer’s office.  Since then she has been entirely successful.  She holds an MBA in Accounting and Finance and before becoming treasurer had extensive experience in private industry finance.  With that experience, internal reforms have improved efficiency and residents now have far greater insight into the county’s spending.  Unlike most other county offices, credibility to of the treasurer has been restored.

The other candidate in the race, Steve Douglas, is a partisan with zero – zip – nadda – experience to support his candidacy to run an office in charge of managing the county’s money.  He is a union activist that has said his major goal is to “win the seat back for our party.”  What about the rest of the people of Adams County?  Where do they figure into that equation?  Campaign finance filings indicate trouble ahead as Douglas spent $425.02 of his campaign’s money for tires on his truck “to install signs.”  Someone who has so little regard for other people’s money is clearly not the one to be in charge of the county’s finances and our money.

Vote wholeheartedly for Brigitte Grimm.

County Assessor

The fact that we have two new candidates vying for this office is cause for celebration.  Gil Reyes, the current occupant of the seat, is on his way out the door and after 12 years of his criminal and unethical behavior, we get to start fresh.

Patsy Melonakis is a longtime resident campaigning hard on the premise that a new face is needed to clean up the assessor’s office.  That is undoubtedly true.  With a background in property management and real estate, Melonakis’ background isn’t entirely foreign to the job of assessor.

Current deputy assessor, John Schaul would appear to have a resume well-suited to the job.  His ties to Reyes and the current regime in the assessor office however are problematic.  As scandal after scandal erupted, where was Schaul?  He didn’t sound an alarm over the illegal and unethical actions of Reyes and appears to have sat silently while it was going on.

Vote for Patsy Melonakis.

postheadericon Election 2014: Adams County Sheriff and Coroner Races

Adams County, Colorado logoTwo races in Adams County with no good choices in either of them.  Sheriff Doug Darr is finally on his way out and voters are left picking between the lesser of two evils.  In the coroner’s race, it is a rematch of the election four years ago with both candidates assured jobs with the county no matter who wins.

County Sheriff

This has been a nasty, nasty race and one in which residents don’t really have a good choice.

Mike McIntosh is the hand-picked successor to current sheriff Doug Darr.  I spoke extensively to McIntosh before the primaries and after hanging up the phone it was clear he sees little wrong in the sheriff’s office and is going to continue down the same road Darr set the department on.  Unfortunately that road is the wrong one.  Like Darr, McIntosh blames the jail issues on judges and the cities which means that municipalities will continue to be restricted on sending criminals to the jail that their citizens paid for.  Actions during the election by McIntosh’s proxies within the department are troubling with charges of intimidation and coercion.  Perhaps most troubling is that the majority of the rank and file within the department simply do not support him.

The other choice, Rick Reigenborn, comes into the race with some trouble of his own.  Personal scandals seem to have plagued him in the past, many of which have surfaced again as the election draws nearer.  I don’t deal in tabloid he said / she said drama on my website however what I have seen does give me pause.  Certainly he is not one of the chosen few in Doug Darr’s regime and that isn’t a bad thing.

Who to vote for?  Plug your nose and pick one of the two or do as I am going to do and leave it blank.  I am not convinced either is worthy of the ink used to color in the bubble on the ballot.

County Coroner

This is a re-run of the last election for the seat once again pitting Mike Arnall against incumbent Monica Broncucia-Jordan.

Like most county offices, the coroner has not been immune to scandal although most of the drama occurred prior to Broncucia-Jordan taking office in 2010.  Since then however, there have been cases of unprofessional conduct and mismanaged autopsies.

This is a race where you can just pretty much pick one or the other and the end result likely won’t be all that different.  The two have a long-standing quid pro quo agreement where the winner will simply hire the other as a contractor to perform autopsies.

I am less than thrilled with either Arnall or Broncucia-Jordan so will be leaving this one blank.

postheadericon Election 2014: Adams County Commissioner Races

Election DayThis year is arguably one of the most critical elections at virtually every level of government we have seen in a very long time.  At the county level, an expansion of the Board of County Commissioners and the occupants of those new seats are going to be critical to the county’s future.  Residents need to ensure the people they vote for will continue the much-needed reforms that have been started.

County Commissioner District 3

Incumbent Erik Hansen was first elected four years ago and came in with a plan to clean up the corruption that had permeated county government.  That plan has shined a light on the dark corners of the government center in Brighton and resulted in increased accountability, streamlined and improved services, and help put the county back on the path of credibility.  His has often been the lone voice of reason on the board as he fights an uphill battle against the other two members.  The Aurora Sentinel said Hansen is, “the best thing to happen to the Adams County commission in decades.”  That is high praise coming from a left-leaning paper and it recognizes Hansen’s good stewardship of the county.

On the other side you have Manny Solano, local lawyer, and far left activist.  Solano is the husband of former state representative and current state senate candidate Judy Solano.  Both are well-known for their support of causes and candidates outside the mainstream.  Manny acted as the defense attorney for Heath Russo, a man charged with 33 felony counts for his role in the Quality Paving scandal.  Clearly, as Adams County tries to get itself back on the right path, the last thing we need is someone who apparently thinks those who ripped off taxpayers for millions of dollars did nothing wrong.  Solano has virtually no support from anyone of note and for good reason.  A vote for him would be a tremendous step back and essentially hand a seat back to those who spent decades fleecing and damaging the county.

If ever there was a no brainer when it comes to making a choice in an election, this is it.  Vote for Erik Hansen.

County Commissioner District 4

One of two new seats on the board that was created when voters agreed to expand the number of members to five, Joseph Domenico faces off against Steve O’Dorisio.

O’Dorisio worked as a prosecutor in the Adams County DA’s office, one of the many county offices that has seen more than its fair share of troubles.  With strong ties to the old Adams Family that brought many of the scandals that have embarrassed the county, it is hard to see how this is a man that would work toward restoring the public trust.

The name Domenico is one you may recognize as there is a good chance your family has enjoyed food on your table provided by his family run farm.  If ever there was a salt-of-the-earth candidate in Adams County, Joseph Domenico is it.  He knows what it takes to run a successful small business and more importantly he sees all that is wrong in the county.  The county needs reform-minded candidates like Domenico.

Vote for Joe Domenico.

County Commissioner District 5

Jan Pawlowski  and Wilma Rose are vying to take this second new seat on the board of commissioners.  Both are names that many residents will like recognize.

Rose is a longtime resident and served on Brighton City Council until this past January.  Rose’s campaign manager penned a letter leading up to the primary saying she was a “lifelong Democrat and loyal Adams County Democrat who will work hard to contact as many Democrats in Adams County.”  Clearly a partisan message and one that seems to leave the remaining 65% of Adams County voters out in the cold.  Maybe she should try to be loyal to Adams County and all of its residents.

Pawlowski is the former mayor of Brighton and as such would certainly appear to be quite in tune with the needs of her constituents.  She recognizes the folly of the stormwater tax and says she wants to continue pushing the reforms that are needed to restore residents’ faith in county government.

I will be coloring in the bubble for Jan Pawlowski.

postheadericon State Senator Tochtrop refuses to endorse Judy Solano, leaves office with head held high

Judy Solano and her husband Manny will be attempting to re-join the Adams Family in November.  Voter beware!

Judy Solano and her husband Manny will be attempting to re-join the Adams Family in November. Voter beware!

Colorado State Senator Lois Tochtrop is preparing to ride off into the sunset after a distinguished career in the legislature.  Ever the maverick, Tochtrop said that she will not be endorsing the Democrat chosen to run for her soon-to-be-vacant seat, Judy Solano.

The fight for Senate District 24 is going to be one of the most contentious in the coming election.  The race pits Thornton City Councilmember Beth Martinez Humenik against former State Representative Judy Solano.

Martinez Humenik has served seven years on council but done little to distinguish herself (beyond lengthy, boring commentary at council meetings).  I am a Thornton resident and also reside in her ward and I can say from firsthand experience, her time in office has been disappointing.

[Hate email from Republican Party faithful begins arriving in my inbox in 5….4….3….2….1….]

Solano, well, so much could be, has been and will be said about the far left old guard representative from Adams County.  She is deeply entrenched with the Adams Family, best friend to unions and special interests, always willing to ignore the best interest of those who elected her and arguably the farthest left elected official ever in the county (and that says a lot!).

Tochtrop’s assessment of the two candidates is likely not all that different from mine.  By choosing not to endorse Solano, with one last act Tochtrop showcased her independent streak and delivered a massive slap down of the Adams County Democrats.

Adams County residents deserve a state senator that will represent them, not walk lock-step with whatever party the person is from.  Solano is not that person.

To Solano and Martinez Humenik I would paraphrase some words from an infamous vice presidential debate: “I know Lois Tochtrop.  Tochtrop is a friend of mine.  You’re no Lois Tochtrop.”

Since 1998, Tochtrop has been a voice of reason in the State House and then the State Senate.  A true champion of the people, she fought tooth and nail for what was right, even when it meant bucking her own party.

She repudiated leftists that sought to turn Colorado into a nanny state and battled the extreme right when they tried to reach too far the other way.  Her eye was always on what was best for her constituents, no matter the political cost, and for that reason, she has garnered praise – and disdain – from both sides of the aisle.

I for one have more respect for Lois Tochtrop than for any other elected official in the state.  We did not agree on every issue but the way she represented the people was worthy of admiration.

It is for those reasons that I bucked my own party (and took a lot of heat for it in the process) and wholeheartedly endorsed her for reelection in 2010.  At that time I said she was “a woman of unquestionable integrity.”  She was then, she is now.

Adams County, Colorado and this nation would be far, far better places if there were more elected officials like her.

 

postheadericon Epic fail: Gun grabbers’ latest effort portrays women as weak, helpless; makes case for gun ownership

What's a woman to do when an ex-husband tries to harm her and take her child?  Gun grabbers think screaming and calling 9-11 is the answer. (YouTube / Everytown for Gun Safety)

What’s a woman to do when an ex-husband tries to harm her and take her child? Gun grabbers think screaming and calling 9-11 is the answer. (YouTube / Everytown for Gun Safety)

It is a horrific scenario for a woman at home with only her young child.  The ex-husband beats on the door and bursts inside trying to take the kid.

What is a woman to do?

Apparently call 9-11 and hope that the police somehow transport themselves to her house in seconds to save her and her child.

At least that is what Michael Bloomberg’s gun grabbing “Everytown for Gun Safety” thinks they should do.  Their latest ad – watch below – uses such a frightening situation to push for more gun legislation.

Despite their efforts, the group’s latest ad makes a strong case for gun ownership and vividly portrays how when properly wielded, lives could be saved.

The woman tells the 9-11 operator that there is a restraining order against the man.  Yet clearly, the law and the piece of paper are helpless to save the woman.

If the restraining order isn’t going to keep the man away, what good will another gun law do?  Is someone that disregards one law going to abide by another?  Not likely.

The anti-gun video highlights exactly how citizens can protect themselves and their loved ones.  Had this fictional woman sought training and obtained a firearm, she could have saved herself and her child.

Despite the Bloomberg scenario, the woman does not have to be helpless.  No woman needs to be helpless.

Yes, guns should be kept out of the hands of domestic abusers, however that is not the real point behind Everytown.  Their goal is the complete and total elimination of private gun ownership in the United States.

Unable to accomplish that in one fell swoop, they chip away at the Second Amendment piece by piece.  It would appear they are perfectly willing to use women as pawns in their game.

A far better model for women to follow would be in a dramatic but amusing ad by Glock featuring the Gunny.  Watch it below the gun grabber ad.

postheadericon No real winners in outcome of Ventura versus Kyle

The case pitting Chris Kyle and Jesse Ventura against each other had no real winners.

The case pitting Chris Kyle and Jesse Ventura against each other had no real winners.

Like many veterans, I was watching with great interest the court case that pitted former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura against famed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s estate.  Ventura won the case yesterday but in my opinion, both men’s images came out as the losers.

It is a pretty tough call on how to evaluate the entire situation – it is sad that it came to the court at all.

I lean a bit more sympathetically toward Ventura than most. By most accounts, the story Kyle told was not true; or at least did not happen as it came to be known.

I suspect it was much as Ventura said in an interview on CBS this morning (below) – it was a sea story that became “truth.” The unassuming Kyle, probably not prepared for the bright spotlight and fame that followed the release of his book, American Sniper, let the story take on a life of its own.

I cringe at the implication that Ventura was going after a war hero’s widow. While it is tragic that Kyle was not here to defend himself through the entire court battle, the lawsuit was filed before Kyle died.

Did Ventura really suffer $1.8 million worth of economic losses and loss of credibility? Not likely as I can’t imagine an old WWE wrestler / retired politician / two-bit actor is worth much.

One thing in the interview does stand out… While Ventura claims in this interview to be a SEAL, he was not. That is a fact. He was a member of UDT but did not complete SEAL training. By trying to say he is a SEAL, Ventura diminishes himself.

Ventura did serve his country admirably, albeit not in combat.

Kyle is nothing short of a true American hero and I salute him and cry for the loss of a great man.

The whole episode though is unfortunate as neither man comes out looking particularly good.

postheadericon Adams County Republican voters: ‘We need more ethical government so choose our guy who is the same as the last’

While storms were brewing in the sky, local Republican voters made a poor choice, hurting the citizens of the county in the process. (Tony's Takes)

While storms were brewing in the sky, local Republican voters made a poor choice, hurting the citizens of the county in the process. (Tony’s Takes)

It seems that lately I have a penchant for making members of my own party as mad at me as those on the left so why stop now?  In the wake of last night’s primary election it has become abundantly clear why the Adams County GOP struggles to gain ground.  At the local level, Republican voters are our own worst enemy.

Case in point, the race for Adams County Sheriff.

Adams County citizens have had it with the current occupant of the office. The scandals, questionable ethics, lack of leadership, zero accountability, and policies that put citizens at risk (i.e. the jail) have caused very real harm to the county.

So what did the majority of Adams County Republican voters do last night?

You chose a candidate who is the hand-picked successor of the same sheriff you dislike so strongly; someone who has outright promised to continue the very same failed and harmful policies.

You did so apparently only because the new guy ran around yelling ‘conservative’ at every opportunity despite having never shown any interest in conservative politics until it was politically expedient to do so. The majority of you cast your ballots for this guy that has more question marks surrounding him than the Riddler.

We are the party of principles (at least we used to be) and yet you throw yours away when it comes time to go to the ballot box. Reprehensible and sad.

The guy you chose probably has a good chance to win in November, if only because his opponent is the only other one out there with even more issues.

However, while you can turn a blind eye, plug your nose, and vote for questionable candidates, I cannot and will not. In fact I will actively work to point out those I have serious doubts about whether they have an R or a D after their name.

Don’t like it? Get your own website.  I’ll stand on the right side.  I will not ‘unite’ behind a false front nor stand silently by.

Editor’s note: Just to head off the inevitable comments about ‘sore loser’ or ‘sour grapes’ (and the nasty phone calls and emails I am sure to receive from the party faithful and officers)…

This posting is anything but simply ‘sour grapes.’ It is a statement as to the sad state of affairs in our county and the failure of local Republican Party voters to provide credible candidates that can steward in a return to good governance of the people.

We are greatly outnumbered and only by providing real, ethical alternatives to the failed leadership now in Brighton can we give residents what they are demanding: a county we are proud to live in.

It just makes me sick to my stomach to see what you have wrought.

Don’t miss a rant!  Be sure to like Tony’s Rants on Facebook and follow on Twitter.  As always, if you have a news tip, you can contact me here – confidentiality assured.

postheadericon Debunked: Gun grab group’s claim of 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook proven false

Map of

Map of “school shootings” as defined by Michael Bloomberg’s ‘Everytown’ gun grabbing group.

Michael Bloomberg’s gun grab group “Everytown” released data it claims is evidence of 74 school shootings since the deadly December 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy.  While the claim was parroted by the mainstream media, one journalist has shown Everytown has once again mislead and lied in its attempt to take away our Second Amendment rights.

The list released by Everytown is indeed heart-wrenching to look at.  No one disputes that school shoots are a tragedy and there are issues that need to be addressed (mental health being the primary one).

Charles Johnson, a journalist and writer, started sorting through the list Everytown published.  He spent hours yesterday on Twitter publishing his analysis, one by one. See below for embeds of his stream.

What he found is that the group was far off base in its classification of what constitutes a “school shooting.”  Events that occurred after hours, accidental shootings, suicides, gang activity and even a shooting in self-defense somehow meet the group’s definition.

In the fine print of their report the group says, “Incidents were classified as school shootings when a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds.”

Really?  How does that criteria meet any reasonable definition of “school shooting”?  Of course they don’t outwardly tell the public that their definition is bogus and the mainstream media fails to inform its viewers and readers.

Everytown is new a gun-grabbing group brought together by the unification of Bloomberg’s “Mayors against Illegal Guns” and Shannon Watts’ “Mothers Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.”

While they publically claim to simply want sensible gun control measures, the fact of the matter is their true agenda is the complete and total disarming of United States citizens.  They will stop at nothing to achieve their agenda, even if it means lying and misleading a gullible public.

There is more to this story – Click here to read it »

postheadericon Adams County Sheriff candidate appears to break campaign finance law

Money woes, personal and political, are dogging Chaz Tedesco, candidate for Adams County Commissioner.

Campaign finance filings with the Colorado Secretary of State for the Committee To Elect Norbert “Larry” Medina show contributions from businesses, a violation of state law.

Adams County political candidates seem to break the law in some way, shape or form in just about every election.  This go around it seems Democrat candidate for sheriff, Norbert “Larry” Medina, has been illegally accepting corporate contributions including ones from a ‘gentlemen’s club’.

Campaign finance filings with the Colorado Secretary of State for the Committee To Elect Norbert “Larry” Medina show a healthy $12,573.00 in contributions. The vast majority of those however are listed as coming from corporate entities, something in clear violation of Colorado campaign finance law.

The state’s laws clearly prohibit candidates and candidate committees from accepting contributions from corporations and LLCs.

One would think that someone that wants to be the county’s top law enforcement official would know the law.  Clearly Medina does not.

His filings show he has accepted $9,420.00 from corporations or LLCs.  This means that 75% of the funds he has raised are illegal.

These improper contributions ranged from $50.00 from mom and pop shops up to thousands of dollars donated by one area car dealer.

Also interesting is the $1,000.00 his campaign accepted from The Players Club, an area strip club.  It is a bit odd to see someone running for the top law enforcement position in the county accept contributions from this type of business.

Medina’s questionable campaign finance accounting isn’t unusual among candidates in Adams County.

A few months ago it was revealed that one of his potential opponents in November, Mike McIntosh, was funneling campaign contributions from his family through a shadowy donor committee.  That group has used the money to launch an inflammatory, misleading attack against another opponent.

Current Adams County Commissioner Chaz Tedesco, no stranger to legal woes, found himself on the wrong side of campaign finance law two years ago.  Those errors resulted in heavy duty fines against him and his campaign.

Don’t miss a rant!  Be sure to like Tony’s Rants on Facebook and follow on Twitter.  As always, if you have a news tip, you can contact me here – confidentiality assured.

 

Committee To Elect Norbert "Larry" Medina campaign contributions

postheadericon Terrorists for traitor? Questions abound about trade for Bowe Bergdahl

President Barack Obama embraces Bob Bergdahl, father of Bowe Bergdahl, an apparent Army deserter for whom the president traded five terrorists for with the Taliban. (White House video screen capture)

President Barack Obama embraces Bob Bergdahl, father of Bowe Bergdahl, an apparent Army deserter for whom the president traded five terrorists for with the Taliban. (White House video screen capture)

On the surface the story of the repatriation of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Taliban captivity seems like a good one.  Delving further however shows not only President Barack Obama’s violation of the law but also the very real likelihood that the U.S. is releasing five dangerous terrorists to recover a deserter.

By all accounts, Bowe Bergdahl simply laid down his arms in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009 and walked off into the desert.  Up until Saturday, he was the nation’s last POW of the war.

The military set off on a dogged effort to recover the soldier and save him from captivity.  As many as six soldiers were killed in various recovery efforts.

In 2010, the Pentagon came to the conclusion that Sergeant Bergdahl had walked away from his post and as such the military chose “not to exert extraordinary efforts to rescue him.”  Soldiers aware of the details of his apparent desertion were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements.

Fast forward to a few days ago when Obama appeared with the sergeant’s parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, hailing the release of the man.

In exchange, the U.S. agreed to release five high-value terrorists from Guantanamo Bay.  Among them are one that had direct links to Osama bin Laden, two responsible for mass killings of Shia Muslims, and two directly involved in attacks against U.S. and coalition forces.

The release of the prisoners was in clear violation of the law, something which this president and his administration have a habit of flouting.  Further, it is completely counter to U.S. policy of never negotiating with terrorists and will likely embolden these types of people to work that much harder to take captives.

Of course we have the reassurance that these five will be held in Qatar for at least one year.  Just ignore the fact that Qatar is a state sponsor of terrorism and is considered by the State Department to be the worst in the region in combatting terrorism.

Then of course we have to circle back to Bowe Bergdahl and his family.

“I am ashamed to be an american. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools.”

“I am sorry for everything. The horror that is america is disgusting.”

June 27, 2009 email from Bowe Bergdahl to his parents

Bob Bergdahl has been somewhat active on Twitter advocating for the release of terrorists held at Guantanamo.  Just this past week he sent out a tweet saying, “I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners.  God will replay the death of every Afghan child, ameen!”  He subsequently deleted that message.

As for Sergeant Bergdahl, his fellow soldiers appear to have nothing but contempt for him.

Josh Korder served with Bergdahl and told CNN today, “He’s, at best, a deserter an at worst, a traitor.”

The parents of Lt Darryn Andrews, killed in September 2009 while aiding the search for Bergdahl held the man in similar contempt.  Andy Andrews said, “I think people need to be aware that the guy was not a hero and American lives have been lost trying to save this deserter.

At the current time it is hard to find justification for the release of five known terrorists to recover a man who appears to have willingly left his post.

If he did indeed do as the Pentagon investigation showed, Sergeant Bergdahl should face charges under Article 85 of the Universal Code of Military Justice.  Should a jury find him guilty, the man should be incarcerated for a period of time and then given a dishonorable discharge.

Bergdahl certainly does not appear to be a hero and in fact should likely be held in contempt by all of those serving and those who have served.

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