Saturday, April 30, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The wheels of justice grind slooooooooowly…
Approaching the one-year anniversary of the initial “Colorado Ethics Watch” (CEW, pronounced “sue” - it’s what they do) attack on Clear The Bench Colorado via filing a campaign finance complaint (a complaint which was later held to be “frivolous, groundless, and vexatious” - in other words, completely lacking legal merit - in court, although CEW tried again and got a judge to buy their argument a couple of months later), a final resolution on the many issues surrounding the case(s) - including the court’s award of legal fees payable by CEW to Clear The Bench Colorado, which they’ve so far refused to pay, despite owing us since July - drags on.
Several news articles last week picked up the story again when the Colorado Secretary of State - continuing his predecessor’s position that Clear The Bench Colorado rightfully relied on guidance to file as an Issue Committee, not a Political Committee as CEW alleged CTBC should have done instead, despite guidance to the contrary - filed an amicus brief in support of the appeal entered before the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Naturally, CEW cried foul - whining about the intervention and attempting to spin the story (with the aid of the Colorado not-so Independent media mouthpiece) to try to make Secretary of State Scott Gessler look bad. However, even the left-wing spin machine Colorado Pols admitted not only that “Buescher’s staffers advised Clear the Bench to register as an issue committee” but also that
- The Secretary of State’s office has an obligation to provide public interpretations of the campaign finance laws to the public, candidates, and committees. Here, the previous Secretary, Bernie Buescher, told Clear the Bench to register as an issues committee. The ALJ said he wasn’t bound by Secretary Buescher’s opinion, which the ALJ believed was wrong. The brief addresses only one issue, which is whether or not the ALJ was bound by the Secretary’s interpretation of the campaign finance laws.
- Bernie Buescher is the supervisor of the attorney who filed the brief. That attorney is without a doubt the best and most ethical attorney in the State of Colorado. If you can find anyone who has ever been involved in a case with Maurie who disagrees, I will eat my laptop. That’s easy to say, because you won’t find anyone.
- It’s common for an administrative agency or officer to file a brief defending the power and prerogative of that agency or officer. I don’t remember any cases where the officer previously represented the party that would benefit from the decision if the court decides the way the officer argued, though.
- If Clear the Bench came before Secretary Gessler and Gessler participated in a decision involving CtB, then I would be all over that in a heartbeat. That would be a clear conflict of interest. That’s not what’s going on here, though. This is just a brief telling the Court of Appeals that the ALJ should have done what the previous Secretary said.
All spin aside, it is clear that “Colorado Ethics Watch” (CEW, pronounced “sue” - it’s what they do) is desperately on the defensive in all aspects of this case - losing the judgment on the issue of attorneys’ fees, losing the attorney who successfully argued CEW’s round 2 complaint (working pro bono for CEW, Aaron Goldhamer of Sherman & Howard, LLC - as he dropped CEW as a client), and now likely to lose even that transitory “win” on appeal. The organization has been discredited not only for transparently partisan bias, but for their lack of effectiveness in arguing cases (the former acceptable to their financial backers, but the latter - litigative and legal incompetence - the one inexcusable sin).
Clear The Bench Colorado will, with your support, continue to promote transparency and accountability in the Colorado judiciary, informing the public to increase awareness of the substantial public policy implications of an unrestrained activism and political agendas in the courts. We will continue to work with legislators and others interested in reforming the systemic shortcomings of Colorado’s so-called “merit selection & retention” system to increase transparency and accountability to the public, and to provide useful evaluations of judicial performance.
Ultimately, though - it’s worth the effort.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
photos by y_yamaden
Monday, April 11, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Could the magic be gone? The RNC’s parody ad of Obama’s 2012 re-election bid has absolutely crushed the number of people who watched the actual Obama 2012 ad. Below is the RNC’s ad with about 668,000 views. Below that is the official Obama ad with about 201,000 views. And yes, the RNC ad has been out since Friday, and the Obama ad was released on Monday, but those numbers don’t lie. I like what Ben Smith at Politico said: “the numbers suggest that — energy-wise — we’re in 2010, not 2008.” Indeed.
Hat tip: Political Wire
Monday, April 4, 2011
Ahh... the pastoral birds are chirping and the brooks are a-bubble with freshly thawed dihydrogen monoxide, signaling that it will soon be time once again to pay homage to Mother Nature, The Ultimate MILF® !
Yes friends (in case you had not already marked your calendar), 2011 Earth Week is officially slated to take place April 17-23. And, for the 6th straight year, I will be opening this space for our annual Earth Week Virtual Cruise-In, where Iowahawk readers around our fragile planet gather, share, and celebrate nature's greatest miracle: the internal combustion vehicle. Over the years I have been proud to feature some amazing carbonating machinery, be it land-, water-, or airborne (see, for example, last year's entries).
And now's your chance to participate! But be forewarned - best bring your 'A' game, because there ain't no half-steppin' in CO2 City. If you've got an eye-popping car / truck / motorcycle / motorboat / airplane / intergalactic Vespa Death Star, send a pic and a pithy description via the email link on the left sidebar (please add 'Earth Week Cruise' in the subject line). Starting April 17th I'll start unveiling the entries for the delight of your fellow Earth-lovers. If all goes to plan, there will be a special added Earth Week bonus this year (details soon)!
As for me, I got an early start on Earth Week activism last weekend with my annual sojourn to Austin, Texas for the 10th annual Lone Star Round Up hot rod & kustom festival. Hope these fresh pictures provide some additional eco-inspiration. Excelsior!