Adams County Republican voters: ‘We need more ethical government so choose our guy who is the same as the last’
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Politicians of every stripe have stepped to the podium to claim their disgust with recent revelations that the Veterans Administration has failed at its most basic mission: Caring for those who have fought for this nation. The truth of the matter is that as disgusting as this scandal is, it is nothing new and very few of those making speeches has any room to claim the high ground.
The Inspector General report released yesterday is maddening and infuriating to read. Some of the key phrases one reads in it include:
- “Gross mismanagement”
- “Criminal misconduct”
- “Systemic patient safety issues”
- “Possible wrongful deaths”
All of those damning conclusions are voiced in the opening paragraph. The opening paragraph!
Keep reading and you will find discussions of sexual harassment, bullying behavior, and the danger that veterans are ‘at risk of being forgotten or lost.’
Sickening would be a word to describe it and even more sickening is that this is but one review of the Phoenix HCS. It is certain that a larger, virtually VA-wide failure is in the offing as the investigation continues.
Senators, Congressmen and the President of the United States have all voiced their determination to correct the issue. Naturally most are doing it for political gain, others to try to limit political damage.
Don’t be fooled. Whether they have an R or a D after their name, none can claim the high ground. Almost all have failed.
As the IG report pointed out, since 2005 the office has been sounding the alarm about systemic failures of the VA. The majority of those in power turned a deaf ear.
I watched President Barack Obama, speaking at West Point yesterday to our future military leaders. He could not even bring himself to acknowledge the failures of the system these brave men and women are entering. It is little wonder few of the Corp of Cadets cheered him.
There was Speaker of the House John Boehner blaming President Barack Obama. Sit down, Mr. Speaker.
It was just in 2007 that the deplorable conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center were revealed. For years prior to that, patients were being neglected and living in third-world conditions.
Looking closer to home, the failure of the VA to construct a much-needed hospital here in Denver is a staple of the daily news. Oh it is being built, but not without cost overruns, contractors not being paid and incessant delays. In the meantime veterans are left waiting and suffering.
The VA is broken and that is nothing new. Sub-standard care, interminable waits, second-rate facilities, and overly burdensome requirements are all hallmarks of the failed system and have been for a very long time.
Few know this, but I hold the VA responsible for the death of my dad, an Air Force veteran. Other than high blood pressure, my dad was a very healthy and very active 70-year-old.
While in Denver visiting family just before Christmas in 2010, he was having a hard time breathing. He went to the Denver VA Medical Center and was admitted where they discovered a blood clot in his leg. With a new round of drugs in his pocket they sent him on his way.
He died less than two months later, going to sleep and simply not waking up the next morning.
What did the VA miss during his hospital stay? Did they give him an improper drug? Was the follow up care adequate?
Those are questions that have dogged me since that horrific day and ones which I will never have answers for. Since then I have talked to many other families that have experienced similar tragedies, all possibly at the hands of the VA healthcare system.
I am a six-year veteran of the United States Navy having served during the Persian Gulf War era including a tour in the Gulf. Despite a spotless service record and having served honorably, I was rejected for enrollment in the VA system two years ago.
Why? The stated reason was my income was too high and as a result I was given the absolute lowest priority rating possible by the VA.
However, the VA’s own regulations clearly state that veterans who served in the Southwest Asia theatre of operations from 1990 to 1998 as I did would be given higher priority and enrolled.
In fact, veterans who served in the Gulf during that time are supposed to be given the same priority as Vietnam vets who served in theatre and those that served in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the dropping of the atomic bomb.
Some lazy, incompetent paper pusher at the eligibility center was apparently unable to properly read my DD214 and recognize when and where I had served.
To be sure, there are good people at the VA. There are extraordinary doctors, nurses with heart, employees that care.
I don’t want to say they are the exception to the rule as that would be overly dramatic but there are clearly some deep-rooted issues within the organization and among its personnel.
The VA failed me. The VA failed Dad. Now we know the VA has failed thousands – if not tens or hundreds of thousands – of our nation’s veterans. It is absolutely infuriating.
Last night my wife and I were discussing this issue and I went into a raised voice rant as I often do when I am discussing something I am passionate about. I was furious then and I am furious now.
It brings tears to my eyes to think about my shipmates, many who have it far, far worse than me. We endured war only to have to suffer again at home.
When I see our military or veterans slighted, I oftentimes quote a passage from Rudyard Kipling:
“God and the Soldier, we adore,
In time of danger, not before.
The danger passed and all things righted,
God is forgotten and the Soldier slighted.”
Those words are sad. Even sadder is that they are true in many cases.
Those who served deserve more; much more. We stood up, took an oath and put our lives on the line for this great nation. Now that nation is failing us.
On the net:
- Pete Hegseth, Concerned Veterans for America: Vets died. VA lied. Heads must roll. Congress must act
Video: Montel Williams rips on President Obama, Congress and the VA
The Adams County Sheriff’s office is saying they are doing nothing wrong by using the county’s emergency notification system for other purposes. Their response is an attempt to quell citizen outrage following an investigation by CBS4 that uncovered the misuse of the system.
Throwing in the hashtag ‘mediainaccurate’, the department posted a response on Facebook saying using the system to notify citizens about community meetings is perfectly fine. The fact that these calls and meetings started about the time Division Chief Mike McIntosh announced his campaign for sheriff is purely coincidental they say.
- CBS4 Follow Up: Adams County Sheriff Plans To Continue Use Of Emergency Alert System For Community Meetings
The response is interesting but not particularly accurate as the facts get in the way of the argument Sheriff Doug Darr tries to present.
I would say the appropriate hashtags would be #SheriffFullOfBS, #EndangeringTheCommunity or #PoliticalShenanigans.
As the original story from Brian Maass showed, and the write-up I did on the topic expanded on, the FirstCall is intended to be strictly used to notify citizens in the event of an emergency.
There is not one location online or on any document from the county that says otherwise. All, without fail, explain the system is a public safety system.
Indeed, I have been provided a copy of the contract between ADCOM and FirstCall (below) and even it clearly states it is for emergency use.
“Annual service contract for emergency telephone notification system and services” the line item on the invoice reads. An “Emergency Phone System Notification System Agreement” goes on to explain it is for a “phone emergency notification system.”
I don’t think anyone disputes that the community meetings are a great outreach program. They absolutely are. The question is whether or not the use of a system designed to notify residents of emergencies is proper.
Would it be okay for broadcasters to use the Emergency Alert System that we are all familiar with on radio and TV for advertisements?
Would it be okay for the President of the United States to use the new Wireless Emergency Alerts that cell phones receive for a political speech?
Would it be okay for the sheriff to have his deputies pull you over on the road, flashing lights and all, to notify you about these community meetings?
Those cases would be no different and are of course improper.
The bigger issue than the fact that the system is clearly not intended to be used as the sheriff is doing is the reality that improper use actually endangers citizens. Repeated use of the system causes people to become desensitized to it and more likely to ignore calls, a dangerous outcome in a real emergency situation.
As the Denver Post penned in an editorial titled, “Crying wolf in Adams County,” as the county’s top law enforcement official, the sheriff should simply know better.
“We shudder to think what could happen if Adams residents ignored a serious notice after receiving one too many about an upcoming meeting,” the editors wrote.
As Maass’ story pointed out, not one law enforcement or public safety official believes this is a wise use of the system. While attendance at community meetings may be boosted, in the long run it puts people at risk and that alone is clearly reason enough to discontinue this abuse of the system.
Reverse 911 is a critical, life-saving system meant to notify residents about emergency situations that threaten life and property. In Adams County however, it appears politics may play a big role in how the sheriff uses the system.
CBS4 investigator Brian Maass reported last night that the Adams County Sheriff’s Office is using the emergency system to call citizens about community meetings. The meetings feature Sheriff Doug Darr and the man he has hand-chosen as the one he would like to succeed him in 2014, Division Chief Mike McIntosh.
- Watch: Video of the CBS4 report below
- Read: Online story from CBS4 with much more information than the video
Adams County uses a system called FirstCall to notify citizens when an emergency situation arises. Various county documents, websites and social media postings state the system is for ‘emergency notifications’ and tout that it is to be used for Amber Alerts, evacuations, HAZMAT situations, natural disasters, hostage situations, etc.
The county has said it was for “situations that may be harmful to life, health or property.” Even the website where citizens go to sign up for the service clearly states, “FirstCall will only be activated in an emergency situation where there is a risk of significant harm, an urgent threat….”
So why then is the sheriff using it for non-emergency purposes, something that is, as Maass reported, completely contrary to its stated purpose and out of line with practices used by other law enforcement agencies?
The improper use of the system began, perhaps not so coincidentally, in 2013 at the same time McIntosh announced his campaign to replace Darr. Since then, it has been used 17 times for non-emergency relate purposes.
Darr kicks off these community meetings but McIntosh soon takes over and is in full campaign mode.
This is a pattern seen over the past 18 months with McIntosh, Darr’s hand-chosen successor, taking on a far more public role than what is normally seen. Browsing the sheriff’s various social media outlets is telling.
There is McIntosh at the Flatrock Training Facility. There is McIntosh at a community meeting. There is McIntosh at Operation Free Bird. There is McIntosh at the Westminster Elks. There is McIntosh presenting a grant to Rampart Search and Rescue.
Geez. When does this guy have time to do his real job? He gets more face time than the actual head of the sheriff’s office.
Setting aside the pretty obvious political connection, citizens should be concerned that something that is supposed to be used to protect citizens is being used for something frivolous.
In his report, Maass spoke not only to other area law enforcement agencies but also national experts on public safety. Without exception, all said these types of systems should strictly be used for emergencies.
Vernon Herron, senior policy analyst with the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland, said, “Once you start to water it down with meeting notices it ceases to become what it is intended to be which is a tool to notify citizens of critical incidents and emergencies.”
Outgoing Sheriff Doug Darr apparently thinks he knows better than any other law enforcement officer or expert. This is not unlike he prevents criminals from being housed in the jail and ignores pleas from citizens, officials and law enforcement officials to fix the issue.
McIntosh, as Darr’s right-hand man, appears to embrace Darr and his policies and in fact may be using sheriff’s office resources for political advantage.
He has not once offered a solution to the problems within the department or stated how he would change course from the failed and dangerous policies of the man currently in the top seat. That is troubling. If he has answers, we should hear them.
Two weeks ago news outlets heralded the latest unemployment numbers showing a drop to 6.3 percent. What they and the president continue to fail to acknowledge is that there is a lower percentage of working age Americans with jobs now than in nearly 40 years.
The Bureau of Labor said that the economy added 288,000 jobs during the month of April. Certainly that is very good news for a quarter of a million Americans.
However, at the same time more than 800,000 working age Americans quit looking for jobs. The labor force participation rate is now a depressing 62.8 percent.
The rate has dropped virtually continually since President Barack Obama took office and began his “transformation” of the nation.
His liberal economic policies have put him right on par with a previous president in this regard. The labor force participation rate hasn’t been this low since 1978 when Jimmy Carter sat in the Oval Office. Two peas in a pod for sure, much to the chagrin of the American people.
In a story that aired Sunday night on CBS4, investigative reporter Brian Maass uncovered how the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Football Stadium District get the use of a suite at Broncos games.
The nine political appointees, one from each area county and three appointed by the governor, are part of a subdivision if the State of Colorado charged with overseeing the taxpayer-funded Sports Authority Field at Mile High. While the job doesn’t pay cash, it isn’t a very tough gig given how the group only met twice all of last year and has no meetings scheduled for 2014.
Apparently for all of their hard work, the board members share a luxury suite with tickets to all Denver Broncos home games. Each gets the suite to themselves plus six other club level tickets for one game while sharing it for playoff games.
Do you think they would share this perk with the community that is actually paying for the stadium? Why no, of course not. Instead they keep the tickets for them and their friends and family.
In Adams County, our representative to the board is Gene Ciancio. Since 1997 he has been on the board of MFSD, reappointed every four years by the Board of County Commissioners.
An average, honest and ethical public servant, when confronted with the fact that they are personally benefiting from a taxpayer funded entity, would be a bit humble and perhaps rethink their position.
Such was not the case with Ciancio. The founder of a powerful area law firm instead told Maass, in effect, “Let them eat cake,” when asked about the appearance of impropriety in the eyes of the public.
“Is it a perk? I’ll leave that for the people outside there to decide that. I don’t think it is,” Ciancio said.
Huh? I think most of “the people outside there” would have a hard time seeing it as anything but a taxpayer funded perk.
Ciancio went on to say he would not vote to change the policy. He would continue to let each board member, “who is in a public trust position allocate them [the tickets] the way he or she saw fit.”
‘Public trust’ does not even belong in that sentence as clearly this is yet another case when that trust has been violated by a local Democrat.
I have long railed against the lack of true, local news coverage in Adams County. Much to my surprise, Tony’s Rants received a mention on a local TV show during a discussion about how new age media is filling the gap that the big media outlets are ignoring.
- Watch the video below
With the Rocky Mountain News gone and the Denver Post on a major decline, the Mile High City has fewer credible news sources. Here in the north area, there was a time we could count on the Northglenn-Thornton Sentinel and other weekly print outlets but they too have degraded and lack any true, original, hard news reporting.
Last Friday on Devil’s Advocate, host Jon Caldara engaged in a discussion about “Local news in the digital age.” Providing perspective was Todd Shepherd, former KOA reporter and now the owner and operator of Complete Colorado as well as Colorado Inside Out host Dominic Dezzutti.
Shepherd heralded Tony’s Rants as an example of how local people can make a difference by informing their communities about what is going on and the issues that are a concern. “He has scooped the mainstream media on several occasions,” Shepherd said about this site.
The shout out is truly appreciated – even if I am not Italian as the banter might indicate. ;-)
I would throw in a further shout out to you, the readers of this website. Many of the leads I receive come from concerned members of the community and I appreciate your trust in me to handle those appropriately. As always, if you have a news tip, you can contact me here – confidentiality assured.