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Hickenlooper on "dramatic" climate change; billions for what?

"We know that climate change is occurring, right? Everyone knows that. We know it's dramatic. We know that mankind is the likely...the vast majority of it is a result of our actions. So we need to address it and move quickly. I think when you start trying to break down which part of the climate disruption is the consequence of which pollution images, or who's responsible, that's when we get into trouble. I would certainly dramatically agree that we need billions of dollars..."

So said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper in December, appearing on the show Democracy Now! during the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. [Full transcript at this link.]

[The video above is queued up to 7:40.]

Unfortunately, Hickenlooper was cut off mid-sentence by host Amy Goodman, who wanted to hear from Damon Moglen, the global warming campaign director for Greenpeace USA, about its "demands" at the conference. [Moglen had said earlier (4:46) that, "The expectation is that the U.S. will put somewhere in between half a billion and maybe a couple of billion dollars. This is pennies on the dollar of what’s needed, absolutely pennies on the dollar of what’s really needed."]

So Hickenlooper, now running for governor of Colorado, gets another chance. And we trust that he will answer these questions completely on the campaign trail: WHERE do we need billions of dollars? WHO should pay? And WHAT role should Colorado play?

We're all ears.

[Updated 2/13/10]

Hickenlooper on climate politics: the slavery analogy

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Hickenlooper on climate politics: the slavery analogy

What Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper REALLY THINKS about climate change - and more importantly, what public policies and tax schemes he might favor - is something that deserves MUCH MORE SCRUTINY beyond his recent tap dance at a mining conference in Denver.

Let's start here...

In December, a month before Hickenlooper entered the Colorado governor's race, he attended the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Stateside, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made a splash with an "endangerment finding" that carbon dioxide, methane and four other greenhouse gases "threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations."

The Wall Street Journal's opinion: "With cap and trade blown apart in the Senate, the White House has chosen to impose taxes and regulation across the entire economy under clean-air laws that were written decades ago and were never meant to apply to carbon."

In Copenhagen, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman asked Hickenlooper what he thought about the EPA's action. [Full transcript at this link.]

"I think the EPA stepping in - clearly CO2 and methane, these six gases, are pollutants, there can't be any question," he said. "So there shouldn't be a lot of discussion about whether the EPA has the jurisdiction or the authority. I think the devil will be in the details.”

So far, so bad. Hickenlooper went on to discuss whether Pres. Obama can achieve political consensus on climate change.

[The video above is queued up to 5:40.]

"It reminds me a little bit of slavery, of Lincoln having to deal...If you look at how moderate Lincoln was in 1856, 1858, 1859, even as he was getting elected [president], it's an intergenerational problem that has been, you know, intensely polarizing. I think what Obama is trying to do is thread the needle and bring the country together around this issue."



Hickenlooper on climate spending; billions for what?

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Supreme Court said "SHAZAM?" Ah, no.

It's so interesting that Dems will put words in the Court's mouth but won't actually own up to what they are doing. They won't even SAY the word tax. Here's state Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, celebrating "an historic moment in this building," THAT IS, the Democratic-controlled state legislature voting to raise taxes (though Romer calls it "the right to protect people and change tax policy") based on the state Supreme Court's 2009 ruling that undermined the 1992 Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR).

"Appropriately, our Supreme Court finally said, 'Shazam!' We're an elected body that should have the right...," said Romer during debate Wednesday on increasing business taxes.

Romer says it's a "moment," it's "historic," it's a "right," it's a "timeout" (that's my favorite)... - and all because Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, argued earlier that such action is "illegal" without a vote of the people under TABOR.

If "it" is so great - and the definition of "it" here is "RAISING TAXES" - then why not just own up to "it?"

Oh and Chris? That's not what "eviscerated" means.

Meanwhile, attorney Herb Fenster plans a lawsuit claiming that TABOR violates the U.S. Constitution.

Let's get READY TO RUMBLE...

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Hickenlooper's "mental" recession: a gaffe or a talking point?

When Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said "a recession like this really is driven by people's mental state" and then backtracked, apologists for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would like you to believe he misspoke or that it's taken out of context or that it's partly true.

More to the point, it apparently reflects the way Hickenlooper THINKS about the economy. Check out this video from a public forum in June 2009 at which Hickenlooper discusses the city budget. (h/t ColoradoPols)

Hickenlooper addresses the need for trust between citizens and their city government. And then says...

"And ultimately, that trust, that belief - and I think the word 'believe' here is very powerful - is what's going to help us work our way out of the recession; the notion that we are transparent and accountable, that we are making decisions that are relevant and appropriate for each of these situations and issues.

"Without a question, this country and this world has the same capacity to make steel, to produce concrete, to build buildings and enterprises that we had a year ago, right? What we've lost is that faith, that ability to believe. I think part of our doing this is to work harder at getting closer to our citizens, hearing more clearly what they are telling us and then trying to deliver on this."

It's almost identical to what Hickenlooper said in his interview with David Sirota on AM-760 last week...
"We have no less capacity today to make concrete or steel, or to create jobs and have businesses grow than we did three years ago. What we lost was the belief in ourselves and our confidence that we, you know, could have a system that works."

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You do the math: CO Dems taxing businesses

Democratic legislators are jamming through new business taxes, heedless of the damage they'll do to the state's economy.

Republicans had proposed mitigating the hit through state payroll and budget cuts, which Senate Majority Leader John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, described as "political theater."

Bring out the hook! With pomposity so ridiculous it borders on rude, Morse sarcastically presented Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction with a Cliff's Notes primer on basic math. Maybe he thought voters wouldn't be insulted by this obvious and ineffective waste of time. Or the base tone he brought to the "debate" on the issue of government spending cuts. Maybe he thinks the voters can't do the math? They can.

Penry graciously accepted the "gift" and proceeded to take Morse on a quick tour of voter fury over government excess in Massachusetts, Virginia, New Jersey and (coming soon to a "theater" near you) Colorado.

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Colorado's Internet sales tax battle

"We know the power of social media marketing and the Internet, so let's use it to kill this bill," said Miles Baker of Fort Collins in a video for

House Bill 1193 (which narrowly passed the House and awaits Senate action) is part of a package of business-tax hikes sought by Gov. Bill Ritter and the Democratic-controlled legislature.

"We collect the sales tax for the government and firmly believe that Internet retailers should, too," wrote Christopher D. Howes, president of the Colorado Retail Council in support of HB 1193, responding to Denver Post columnist Vincent Carroll, who called it "atrocious legislation" that could results in hundreds of jobs lost.

Today, the Performance Marketing Association claimed victory, saying that the key provision of the Colorado bill affecting affiliate Internet marketers would be removed.

UPDATE: Rossputin gives his analysis of the bill as it stands and concludes, "As I told Senator Brophy, the day I get a letter from the State of Colorado saying that I owe them sales tax on something I purchased online from an out-of-state retailer is the day I decide to move out of Colorado. I guarantee I won’t be the only one."

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Greene: Hickenlooper has city "management problems"

Denver Post columnist Susan Greene today teed up gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper for saying "a recession like this really is driven by people's mental state."

And there may be more to come from Greene, particularly on Hickenlooper's governance of Denver as mayor since 2003.

"There is definitely a myth that he walks on water; he can do no wrong," said Greene on the Jan. 29 "Independent Thinking" TV show. "Has he been vetted fully the way that he'll be vetted in this race? No, I don't think so."

Asked for specifics, she cited the parks department and public safety.

"I think that he's got some management problems," she said. "And I think that will come out as this race progresses.”

[Video is cued up to host Jon Caldara's exchange with Greene at :55.]

Greene said later [at 8:45] that she would favor a primary in which five candidates compete for the Democratic nomination for governor, rather than having Hickenlooper be the presumptive nominee.

She ripped Hickenlooper in today's column for his comments on the economy a few days ago.

"It's not mental dysfunction that's causing Coloradans to cut back their spending and look skeptically at their financial future," Greene wrote. "It's reason and rationality based on watching people we know lose their livelihoods. Anyone who's not worried is either wealthy like Hickenlooper or out to lunch."

Other critiques of Hickenlooper's remarks:

John Hickenlooper On David Sirota: Recession Partly An Attitude Problem, The Huffington Post

Hickenlooper ducks tax debate, talks of "mental" recession, Fox 31 - KDVR

Hope, change and recession, Hickenlooper-style, WhoSaidYouSaid

[Updated 2/7/10 with Hickenlooper's quote.]

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