CIVICS – The Role of the Three Branches of Government- by Ben Sasse, Senator from Nebraska

This should be played in every classroom, every year. Ben Sasse, Republican Senator from Nebraska, explains. Watch now.

A wonderful lesson on how our 3 branches of government are supposed to work and the failure of our Legislative Branch to do their job, therefore ceding more authority to the Executive and Judicial.

Proposition #112: Republicans take official position against oil & gas setbacks

Colorado Politics reports Republicans take official position against oil and gas setbacks

Name of the measure: “Colorado Minimum Distance Requirements for New Oil and Gas Projects Initiative (2018)” aka Proposition #112.

Prop #112 is a Citizen Initiated State Statute proposal (not an amendment initiative) that will appear on your ballot. SOS Petition language submitted for initiative 97, The Oil and Gas setback requirement for development

A bit of FYI: An initiated state statute, also known as an initiative statute, is a new law that a state adopts via the ballot initiative process. The most common form of initiated state statute is when groups collect signatures and once those signatures are collected, election officials place the measure on the ballot for a vote. A less common form is the indirect initiated state statute. While there are important differences between an initiated state statute and an initiated constitutional amendment, they are not always clearly distinguished, and often both are referred to as simply “initiatives” or “propositions.”

Per Ballotpedia:
Read more specifically on this measure

This initiative was designed to mandate that new oil and gas development, including fracking, be a minimum distance of 2,500 feet from occupied buildings and other areas designated as vulnerable. Vulnerable areas are defined by the initiative as “playgrounds, permanent sports fields, amphitheaters, public parks, public open space, public and community drinking water sources, irrigation canals, reservoirs, lakes, rivers, perennial or intermittent streams, and creeks, and any additional vulnerable areas designated by the state or a local government.”

The current restrictions as of June 2018 specify that wells must be 500 feet from homes.

Impact Statements:

* This issue is really about VERY LARGE Fracking limits designed to essentially ban fracking due to the scale of the (nearly a square mile/ 450 acre) setback requirements.
For perspective, this 2500 foot fracking setback area is about 5 times the area of Mile High stadium and the surrounding parking area.

* There would be millions of overlapping 450-acre circles of drilling bans which really equals one giant drilling ban.

* The supporter’s goal to impose a setback of 2500 foot from a designated vulnerable area is basically a radius of 450 acres surrounding any designated “vulnerable area”. This also includes in the language any “additional (undefined) vulnerable area designated by the state or local government”. This is vague enough to essentially ban all oil and gas development in Colorado.

* Current restrictions as of June 2018 specify that wells must be 500 feet from homes.
This ban is 25X larger than the current state standard

* It would affect 85% of state and private land statewide.

* Every single Democrat and Republican candidate for governor, before the primary, came out AGAINST Prop #112.

Impact on CO economy and household budgets:

* 150,000 jobs will be lost.

* State and local government stands to lose more than a billion annually in revenue.

* Directional / horizontal drilling would be cost prohibitive since the potential wells would be too far away to reach with the drill from some possible authorized location outside of the banned area.

Talking Points for Proposition #112 (2,500-foot setbacks)


• Over the last seven years, Colorado has continuously improved the state’s oil and natural gas regulations so that they are some of the strictest regulations in the nation
• Colorado’s current tough regulations require companies to work with local governments when planning oil and natural gas development and effectively protect the environment and the health and safety of all Coloradans.
• Dedicated to the responsible and safe development of oil and natural gas, the energy industry is doing things safer and cleaner than ever before.

What Proposition #112 would do:

• Proposition #112 is so extreme that it increases setbacks to five times the distance of what is currently required, which effectively bans oil and natural gas development in the state, costing tens of thousands of jobs, hundreds of millions in tax revenue, and would ripple through all segments of the economy.
• The setback distance of 2,500 feet was chosen to eliminate oil and natural gas development altogether, not to make operations safer. This is a ban on the oil and natural gas industry and the supporters of these initiatives are hiding their true intentions
• More than 140,000 jobs and $217 billion in economic activity over the next 15 years are at risk if this measure passes, according to a study of a similar ballot initiative released in July 2016 by the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business.
• Communities across the state will lose more than $1 billion dollars annually in revenues that are critical to state and local governments, schools and special districts. In fact, oil and natural gas contributed $839 million to K-12 schools in 2015 and 2016, and over the past eight years, the industry sent $615 million in severance tax to municipalities and counties for everything from new parks and recreational centers to funding public safety of local police and fire departments, and road improvements.
• Maintaining responsible and reliable production of oil and natural gas right here at home means we rely less on unstable, hostile foreign regimes. A 2,500-foot setback would not only severely limit Colorado’s energy production, it will make our energy security harder to achieve.
• If Coloradans can’t responsibly access oil and natural gas on state land, they may be forced to rely on federal lands to meet their energy needs, further opening the door to development on some of the state’s most pristine public lands.
• This setback measure is so broad that it creates the unintended consequence of empowering the state or any local government to designate additional vulnerable areas not included in the current definition. The door for lawsuits will be left wide open due to the ambiguity of the language in this measure.
• This initiative tells private property owners what they can and cannot do with their own land. It will cause the loss of property rights, hurt communities and cripple agriculture.

Additional News:
Democrats Divided Over Oil and Gas Setback Measure from the Western Wire
CAMRO and Property rights discussions
Anti-energy Initiative 97 threatens Colorado’s public schools – Opinion by Bob Schaffer in the Coloradoan
Looking For Supporters of Initiative 97 in Colorado? You’ll Hear Mostly Crickets from Energy in Depth
Potential oil & gas setback initiative could cost Colorado up to 100,000 jobs and billions in GDP from the Colorado Real Estate Journal

Listen to Bob Schaffer explain on the Jimmy Lakey show July 25th, 2018
Bob Schaffer comes on at minute 4:25 – He points out the significant decreased funding possibility for education with the huge loss of oil and gas revenues to the state if this passes. Listen to both segments.

Video of 3500 people stood on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol to celebrate the energy industry.

Dangers of Fracking ?:
State and federal public health and environmental regulators whose non-partisan job is to write and enforce the rules, as well as monitor public health data, (air, water…) have looked into all claims by the anti-oil and gas groups. Nothing about the facts of oil and gas development support arguments of safety claims to support this massive setback. ~ Simon Lomax, Vital for Colorado

Listen / Watch this very informative conversation on iHeart Radio’s 630KHOW with Ross Kaminsky. Ross interviews Simon Lomax from Vital for Colorado

Report: Oil and Gas Setback Proposal Would Mean ‘Staggering’ $180 Billion Loss For Colorado

Read more on the Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development website.

Additional information, for your convenience~

Sun and Wind power are Expensive – Prager University Video explains WATCH HERE

Fossil Fuel -The Greenest Energy – Prager U explains! WATCH HERE

The Origin of Identity Politics –

Speakeasy Ideas Tom Krannawitter explains in this 10 minute YouTube video, the Origin of Identity Politics.

Thomas Krannawitter, Ph.D.

Description: Cutting edge, progressive social scientists a hundred years ago rejected the idea that all human beings possess the same, equal natural rights to their own person, property, and individual freedom. Instead, progressive academics borrowed from 19th Century European philosophy and held that different groups and races of people evolve at different rates, and therefore have different kinds of rights at different points in evolutionary time, depending on the political “capacity” they had demonstrated. This is the basis of what we call “identity politics” today, the view that different groups of people deserve different kinds of rights. It is the opposite of the idea that equal laws should offer equal protection for equal rights. That is why all free people should reject all laws that divide citizens into groups and offer certain perks and benefits to some at the expense of others. ~Thomas Krannawitter, Ph.D.

Proposition #109 Fix Our Damn Roads – Authorize Bonds for Transportation Projects

#109 is a proposed Statute (not amendment) to authorize bonding for transportation funds without raising taxes to “Fix our Damn Road’s”

Read more here from the Independence Institute and Jon Caldera
This was formerly known at Initiative #167
Read the Prop #109 here

Check back often! We will update as we learn more.

Proposition #110 Transportation Funding Through a Sales Tax increase – Just VOTE NO!

Joshua Sharf nails it again. Just say “No” to increasing the state sales tax to pay for what you’re already paying for: roads and bridges.

Read this article from Complete Colorado about this Regressive, unstable funding scheme.

Kim Monson from Lone Tree shares Why We Don’t Need a Tax Hike to Fix Colorado’s Highways Read all about it in the Colorado Politics August 14th publication –

Ballot Language for Proposed Prop #110
Read the proposed ballot initiative here

VOTE NO on Proposition #110- a HUGE sales tax increase is bad for Colorado!

Check back often! This page will be updated as we learn more.

Socialized Healthcare in CO: Polis has a different plan for himself!!!

Read this article from Colorado Peak Politics. VOTE for WALKER STAPLETON

THIS WON’T HURT A BIT: Polis Owns Private Escape Hatch From Hellish Socialized Medicine Scheme

“While simultaneously trying to force Coloradans into a type of third-world socialized medicine scheme, Polis is investing in a cross-border escape hatch for rich people like him who can’t be bothered by death panels, months-long wait times for treatment, and care providers with the attitude of DMV workers.”

Jared Polis Bringing Universal Healthcare to Colorado, read the Aspen Times Article HERE

Medicaid Expansion

Who pays for all of this? … a question liberals don’t seem to ask.

Truly not what all the Obamacare supporters say its cracked up to be….

Check out these articles also:
Britain’s Inability to Handle Last Year’s Flu Season Shows Perils of Socialized Medicine from the Daily Signal.

UK’s Universal Healthcare is imploding – read more here From Forbes


The Declaration of Independence: Tom Krannawitter takes us on a deep dive into understanding this incredible document!

Would you like to learn more about our founding documents?

Dr. Krannawitter is now President of Speakeasy Ideas, combining a deep knowledge of political and economic history, an insatiable appetite for learning, and an extraordinary gift for teaching the great ideas that have fueled human progress.

Watch this 48 minute educational video SIA 101.1: Declaration of Independence Pt I
This is part 1 of 9 in the Speak Easy lecture series on the Political Science of the American Founding.

PRINT this handout to go along with the video for part 1.

You can find the additional 8 videos in the series on the Speak Easy Ideas website


Watch this 1 hour and 16 minute lesson from the CATO Institute-
CATO University 2016: Why the Declaration of Independence Was Right

How Does Your Precinct Lean? Detailed Voter Map of the 2016 Presidential Election

Check out this Interactive Voter Map from the New York Times!

You can view as large as the entire country, or by county, or as detailed as the total number of votes in the precinct for each Presidential Candidate in 2016.

We have work to do!
We have voters to reach!
We have Republican candidates to promote!

Reach out to Tanne Blackburn, Douglas County GOP chairperson, to learn how you can help.

Civics – Funding Government

Discretionary spending

Discretionary spending is debated through the annual budget and appropriations process and funds programs such as education, veterans, infrastructure and defense. Discretionary programs equal only 27% of all federal dollars allocated each year when Congress sets the funding priorities. In 2016, close to 16% of the federal budget went to fund the National Defense, so other discretionary spending was only approximately 11% of the$3.85 trillion budget.

Congressman Thomas Massie, from Kentucky, on Government Shutdowns

How does a small faction of Congress take government spending hostage and demand legislation unrelated to the funding bill?

Is this how the funding process is supposed to work?

How do we avoid this in the future?

Why is it important to pass separate appropriation bills for the various portions of the government?

Congressman Thomas Massie answers those questions and more in this short video! (Created, January 22, 2018)

*Congressional Budget Act is 12 separate appropriation bills to determine how to budget the DISCRETIONARY spending from the federal budget.
*Omnibus is one vote on all of them at once, AKA Continuing Resolution (CR)

Automatic Spending

The rest of the federal budget is ‘automatic spending’, meaning deducted from the federal budget through scheduled payments because the government is legally required to do so. Federal “automatic” payments in 2016 constituted approximately 73% of the budget.

Some examples of “automatic” spending are:

Social Security
Obamacare (Affordable Care Act)
Income security programs (e.g. SNAP, TANF, Earned Income Tax Credit)
Interest on the national debt

In the chart below, you’ll see the percentage of the budget broken down by each government program that is deemed ‘automatic’.

~ from the Entitlements brief on the Policy Circle website

Amendment #73 – Douglas County Likely Most Affected

Education Funding at the expense of the few.

Curious which counties will likely be hit the hardest if amendment 73 passes? #1 Douglas, #2 Elbert, #3 Broomfield, #4 Eagle and #5 Pitkin. Here’s a chart from showing Household Income greater than $100k by County as a percent of their total population.

Education Funding at the expense of the few.

The additional Colorado tax brackets added under amendment 73 are not annually adjusted for inflation. This means that over time, more and more taxpayers will pay this tax.

This Initiative, would become Colorado’s version of the former federal alternative minimum tax (or AMT) trap.

Amendment 73 is full of unintended consequences. Fixing the residential assessment rate for education will come at the expense of fire, library, irrigation and water districts; just to name a few.

Amendment 73 undermines the state’s limits on government spending.

By permanently exempting education – the largest program in the state budget – from the state’s voter approved spending caps, 73 is a backdoor scheme to allow big-spending politicians to cost-shift and spend unlimited amounts of tax money on other programs.

Small businesses will be hit hard under Amendment 73. From the Common Sense Policy Roundtable Report.

Under Amendment 73, Colorado’s corporate income tax rate would jump from 43rd to 31st.
From the Fiscal Policy Center:

“If Amendment 73 passes, Colorado will no longer have equal state income tax rates for all. Instead, it will have a progressive state income tax with a top marginal rate of 8.25 percent, the 9th highest in the country. Corporate tax rates will increase from 4.63 percent to 6 percent.

Amendment 73 effectively ends protections against continuous increases in residential property taxes. It increases the state residential property tax assessment rate for school districts. Commercial property will enjoy reduced rates.

Amendment 73 requires spending on “early childhood” through grade 12 education that is limited only by the additional taxes collected.

Amendment 73 reduces legislative oversight by locking increased spending into the state constitution.

There is no guarantee that more spending will increase educational opportunities for existing students.

Amendment 73. A 29.6% increase for incomes $200-300k. A 51.2% increase for incomes between $300 and $500k!!!!