Resolving the immigration problem
The recent Denver Post editorial, "Stop the Lying and Protect the Dreamers" is an example of the misplaced emotions regarding the "DACA controversy". The editorial's allegations do nothing to help rationally resolve the DACA issue. Above all, the issue of the Dreamers needs to be resolved by thoughtful debates by the public and the Congress - not under threat of federal government shutdown.
To be fair, Democrats and Republicans in Congress, have thrown a wrench in the annual federal budget process. Twice in the last five years, once over Obamacare and now over DACA, the government has been partially shut down over policy impasses.
Thankfully, both Senate leaders have agreed to a saner approach to resolving the DACA issue, by using the Senate's regular order if the budget impasse is not resolved by early February. Hopefully, such a process will include these elements in a DACA bill:
- Adequate funding for the border wall (physical or technological where needed)
- Amnesty for the estimated 690,000 illegals protected by Obama's DACA executive order (I think immigrants should be admitted legally).
- End chain migration for relatives other than spouses and minor children.
- End the diversity lottery in favor of a merit-based system.
Many people have a different immigration philosophy, and I respect others' rights to their opinion. But we need immigration policy that makes sense for 325 million Americans and addresses the roots, rather than the symptoms, of the problem.
Support the GOCO program
In 2000 I took a leap of faith by opening The Colorado Running Company. I saw this endeavor as an opportunity to make a living based on my passion for running, and since have been overwhelmed by the amount of community support. This is why we started a recycled shoes program, provide weekly social runs, and support various local races and nonprofits such as Achilles Pikes Peak. Yet today I want to give back in a different way, by encouraging our state legislators to support reauthorization of the Colorado lottery funded Great Outdoors Colorado program, aka GOCO.
This tremendously successful program has given back over $1 billion to Coloradans in all 64 counties through 5,046 projects. Locally, those funds are perhaps best known for supporting the acquisition of Cheyenne Mountain State Park. State parks funding is only through gate receipts and lottery dollars. However, GOCO has also funded projects associated with the Southern and Northern Sand Creek Trails, improvements to current trail systems, the Bear Creek Dog park, and enhancements to the Colorado Springs Youth Sports Complex.
Speaking of youths, a top-tier priority of GOCO is the Inspire Initiative, which has impacted more than 40,000 kids across the state and created more than 500 jobs. For example, 9,200 young people have found jobs and pathways to financial independence through Colorado Youth Corps Association projects where AmeriCorps scholarships can be earned that can then be used for higher education. In El Paso County, we've benefited from $52.5 million in grants for 187 local projects and our county has conserved over 8,000 acres.
We need to continue this meaningful program, and I invite you to join me in urging our legislators to reauthorize this program during the current legislative session.
Enforce the federal laws on pot
Sen. Cory Gardner has recently spoken out about the enforcement of federal marijuana laws, which Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said would be enforced at the federal level. I certainly am a strong supporter of states rights, however, must pause and think about what is right for our country overall and not just a benefit or a political gesture for a particular state or its elected officials.
Before the rush of states to legalize recreational marijuana to collect more taxes to spend and to buy liberal votes, one must really weigh the consequences to the decisions being made. Sen. Gardner, do you really want your children and your children's children to be in a culture that endorses a slide-in allowing drugs to be legal that will affect them in many ways? I understand your point that you say you're not for the legalization of marijuana, but you are, or you would not support it now, regardless of how the state voted. Just because the majority says it's right does not mean it is.
I agree with the enforcement because all states knew about the federal law, which must be enforced or changed by the country and not by a few segments of the populace. I will say that there is no way marijuana should be classified as schedule one class drug, which puts it in the same category as heroin. I do believe and have always have supported medical marijuana as it is a benefit to people on a personal level for medical reasons.
Increased oil production aids nation
I read on CNN recently that the U.S. is poised to surpass by more than 11 million barrels of daily oil production in 2018, thanks largely to the development of shale resources. This is great news and has all sorts of benefits to our nation.
What stood out to me however was the quote near the end of the piece from Nadia Martin Wiggen, Rystad's (the research firm who asserts the 11 million barrels number) vice president of markets. She said, "The fact that the U.S. produces more oil is a fantastic development in terms of security." Given the importance of our military and its presence in our community, the idea that our national security could be heightened simply by producing our resources here is welcome news indeed. As a veteran, I hope that the U.S. continues its path toward energy "dominance" throughout 2018 and beyond. This is also another vital reason why we must elect a "pro energy independence" candidate as our next governor.
Our nation and our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less!
Term limits a necessity
More than ever before, it is my view that it is obvious, regardless of anyone's political affiliation, that without term limits for any elected office, our government will always remain "Of the Politicians, By the Politicians and For the Politicians."