<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:20:37 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Lawmakers sidestep TABOR by charging fees]]> http://gazette.com/lawmakers-sidestep-tabor-by-charging-fees/article/1611467?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/lawmakers-sidestep-tabor-by-charging-fees/article/1611467?custom_click=rss When Colorado voters enshrined the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights into the state constitution in 1992, it had a simple premise: If lawmakers want to raise taxes or issue debt, they should ask voters for permission.

In practice, lawmakers rarely ask. But that hasn’t stopped them from charging Coloradans billions more for government services and borrowing costs anyway.

Designed to impose fiscal discipline on government, the amendment known as TABOR also sets a cap on spending growth each year. But 25 years later, policymakers on both sides of the aisle say Colorado government finance has instead become an increasingly complicated exercise in sidestepping those restraints.

Can’t raise taxes without a public



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Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:44:50 -0600
<![CDATA[Trump threatens 'total destruction' of North Korea in UN speech ]]> http://gazette.com/trump-threatens-total-destruction-of-north-korea-in-un-speech/article/1611460?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-threatens-total-destruction-of-north-korea-in-un-speech/article/1611460?custom_click=rss

UNITED NATIONS — President Donald Trump, in a combative debut speech to the U.N. General Assembly, threatened the "total destruction'" of North Korea if it does not abandon its drive toward nuclear weapons.

Trump, who has ramped up his rhetoric throughout the escalating crisis with North Korea, told the murmuring crowd at the U.N. that "it is far past time for the nations of the world to confront" Kim Jong Un and said that Kim's "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons" poses a threat to "the entire world with an unthinkable loss of human life.

"Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime," Trump said about the North Korean leader. He said of the U.S.



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Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:22:00 -0600
<![CDATA[Rate of Coloradans without health insurance remains at record-low levels, signs of trouble linger]]> http://gazette.com/rate-of-coloradans-without-health-insurance-remains-at-record-low-levels-signs-of-trouble-linger/article/1611449?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/rate-of-coloradans-without-health-insurance-remains-at-record-low-levels-signs-of-trouble-linger/article/1611449?custom_click=rss

Colorado's record-low uninsured rate held strong despite uncertainty over the Affordable Care Act's future and unwieldy price spikes for shoppers, a newly released survey shows.

The rate of Coloradans without health insurance hovered at 6.5 percent this spring - virtually unchanged from the same point in 2015 and less than half its pre-Obamacare level, the 2017 Colorado Health Access Survey found.

In El Paso County, that rate was 7.5 percent - again, virtually identical to two years ago and a fraction of its rate before the health law took effect.

The results highlight the staying power of Obamacare reforms - meaning almost everyone who wants coverage, has it, said Michele Lueck, president and CEO of the Colorado Health



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Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:44:34 -0600
<![CDATA[Committee selects new El Paso County Republican chair in turbulent meeting]]> http://gazette.com/committee-selects-new-el-paso-county-republican-chair-in-turbulent-meeting/article/1611435?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/committee-selects-new-el-paso-county-republican-chair-in-turbulent-meeting/article/1611435?custom_click=rss

Jeers, hushes and profanities made up a substantial portion of the El Paso County Republican Party's executive committee meeting Monday evening as the group argued how best to fill the seat of chairman Trevor Dierdorff, who submitted his resignation this month.

Ultimately the group's vice chairman, Joshua Hosler - who previously said he had no interest in the spot - reversed himself and an overwhelming majority voted him into the chairman position. The move was met with standing applause, a dramatic change from the timbre that filled the previous two hours.

"I don't belong to an organized political party, I'm a Republican," former state Sen. Bernie Herpin said during the meeting before voting in favor of Hosler's ascent.



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Tue, 19 Sep 2017 06:55:14 -0600
<![CDATA[Trump says he wants a massive military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on July 4]]> http://gazette.com/trump-says-he-wants-a-massive-military-parade-down-pennsylvania-avenue-on-july-4/article/1611432?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-says-he-wants-a-massive-military-parade-down-pennsylvania-avenue-on-july-4/article/1611432?custom_click=rss

President Trump's trip to France for the country's Bastille Day parade in July left a big impression. So big, in fact, that he wants to replicate the experience back home.

As Trump met Monday with French President Emmanuel Macron, the commander in chief gushed about seeing France's military might on display in the streets of Paris during his visit. And he told reporters he is looking into the possibility of having a parade down the streets of Washington on Independence Day to show the United States' “military strength.”

“I was your guest at Bastille Day, and it was one of the greatest parades I've ever seen,” Trump told Macron, who sat next to him.



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Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:51:40 -0600
<![CDATA[Ken Salazar, others feted by Congressional Medal of Honor Society]]> http://gazette.com/ken-salazar-others-feted-by-congressional-medal-of-honor-society/article/1611404?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/ken-salazar-others-feted-by-congressional-medal-of-honor-society/article/1611404?custom_click=rss

Former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar received the Patriot Award this weekend at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's annual convention in Pueblo.

Also honored Saturday at the Pueblo Convention Center were New York Times best-selling author Jeff Shaara, who received the Bob Hope Excellence in Entertainment Award; Fox News host and President George W. Bush-era White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, who received the "Tex" McCray Excellence in Journalism Award; and El Pomar Foundation CEO and Chairman William Hybl, a former U.S. congressman, who received the Distinguished Citizen Award.

The society is comprised of Medal of Honor recipients and "is perhaps the most exclusive organization in our country," according to



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Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:16:40 -0600
<![CDATA[Senate backs bill to pump $700 billion into military ]]> http://gazette.com/senate-backs-bill-to-pump-700-billion-into-military/article/1611427?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/senate-backs-bill-to-pump-700-billion-into-military/article/1611427?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a sweeping defense policy bill that would pump $700 billion into the military, putting the U.S. armed forces on track for a budget greater than at any time during the decade-plus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Senators passed the legislation by an 89-8 vote Monday. The measure authorizes $700 billion in military spending for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, expands U.S. missile defenses in response to North Korea's growing hostility and refuses to allow excess military bases to be closed.

The 1,215-page measure defies a number of White House objections, but President Donald Trump hasn't threatened to veto the measure.



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Mon, 18 Sep 2017 18:41:52 -0600
<![CDATA[Some El Paso County Republicans up in arms over proposal to replace county chair tonight]]> http://gazette.com/some-el-paso-county-republicans-up-in-arms-over-proposal-to-replace-county-chair-tonight/article/1611415?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/some-el-paso-county-republicans-up-in-arms-over-proposal-to-replace-county-chair-tonight/article/1611415?custom_click=rss

Some members of the El Paso County Republican Party's executive committee are crying foul over a proposal to name a new county chair at a meeting tonight rather than throw the selection to the much larger central committee at a later date.

County GOP chairman Trevor Dierdorff, who was elected to the post this spring, announced weeks ago he would step down at the end of tonight's scheduled meeting of the party's executive committee - several dozen party officers, elected officials and Republicans elected to the panel - and is supporting a complicated plan to allow the executive committee to pick his replacement.



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Mon, 18 Sep 2017 18:39:03 -0600
<![CDATA[Interior chief urges shrinking 4 national monuments in West ]]> http://gazette.com/interior-chief-urges-shrinking-4-national-monuments-in-west/article/1611416?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/interior-chief-urges-shrinking-4-national-monuments-in-west/article/1611416?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that four large national monuments in the West be reduced in size, potentially opening up hundreds of thousands of acres of land revered for natural beauty and historical significance to mining, logging and other development.

Zinke's recommendation, revealed in a leaked memo submitted to the White House, prompted an outcry from environmental groups who promised to take the Trump administration to court to block the moves.

The Interior secretary's plan would scale back two huge Utah monuments — Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante — along with Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou. The monuments encompass more than 3.



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Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:42:35 -0600
<![CDATA[Sen. Bennet calls for investigation of Trump's election integrity panel]]> http://gazette.com/sen.-bennet-calls-for-investigation-of-trumps-election-integrity-panel/article/1611405?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/sen.-bennet-calls-for-investigation-of-trumps-election-integrity-panel/article/1611405?custom_click=rss

Democratic Senators Michael Bennet of Colorado and Cory Booker of New Jersey introduced legislation Friday to require a government audit of the White House commission on election fraud, calling the controversial panel a "sham" and charging it was wasting taxpayer money.

"There is simply no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the United States," Bennet said in a statement. "The commission is wasting taxpayer money investigating the president's invented claims about voter fraud, while serious threats like Russian interference in our elections go unaddressed.



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Mon, 18 Sep 2017 14:41:31 -0600
<![CDATA[Trump nominates El Paso County businessman to lead the National Institute of Standards and Technology]]> http://gazette.com/trump-nominates-el-paso-county-businessman-to-lead-the-national-institute-of-standards-and-technology/article/1611362?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-nominates-el-paso-county-businessman-to-lead-the-national-institute-of-standards-and-technology/article/1611362?custom_click=rss

President Trump has tapped Walter G. Copan, an El Paso County businessman who helps entrepreneurs cash in on innovation, as undersecretary of commerce for standards and technology, the White House announced this week.

If confirmed, Copan would have the dual role as director of the Boulder-based National Institute of Standards and Technology, which promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness, as well as develops privacy and cybersecurity standards.

Copan is president and CEO of Monument-based IP Engineering Group Corp. He also is a founding board member for Rocky Mountain Innovation Partners, where he serves as director of technology transfer and innovation. RMIP works with entrepreneurs to develop innovation and



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Mon, 18 Sep 2017 07:36:58 -0600
<![CDATA[Federal posts in Colorado, surrounding states unfilled 8 months into Trump administration ]]> http://gazette.com/federal-posts-in-colorado-surrounding-states-unfilled-8-months-into-trump-administration/article/1611355?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/federal-posts-in-colorado-surrounding-states-unfilled-8-months-into-trump-administration/article/1611355?custom_click=rss

DENVER — A slow hiring pace by the Donald Trump administration in Colorado and surrounding states has produced a spate of vacant top federal jobs.

The Denver Post reports the delays affect law enforcement, the environment, housing and other policy.

Colorado Springs businessman Robert Blaha co-chaired Trump's Colorado presidential campaign and participates in the vetting process for federal appointments.

Blaha says the bottleneck stems in part from background checks and the U.S. Senate's slow work pace.

"I don't know everything that's going on inside the White House, but I will tell you that I think it's time to pick up the pace," Blaha said.



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Mon, 18 Sep 2017 07:29:33 -0600
<![CDATA[Interior secretary recommends shrinking 6 national monuments]]> http://gazette.com/interior-secretary-recommends-shrinking-6-national-monuments/article/1611382?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/interior-secretary-recommends-shrinking-6-national-monuments/article/1611382?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that six of 27 national monuments under review by the Trump administration be reduced in size, with changes to several others proposed.

A leaked memo from Zinke to President Donald Trump recommends that two Utah monuments - Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante — be reduced, along with Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou.

Two marine monuments in the Pacific Ocean also would be reduced under Zinke's memo, which has not been officially released. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the memo, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Trump ordered the review earlier this year after complaining about improper "land



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Mon, 18 Sep 2017 07:01:51 -0600
<![CDATA[Trump, in new dig, mocks North Korea leader as 'Rocket Man' ]]> http://gazette.com/trump-in-new-dig-mocks-north-korea-leader-as-rocket-man/article/1611357?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-in-new-dig-mocks-north-korea-leader-as-rocket-man/article/1611357?custom_click=rss

SOMERSET, N.J. — President Donald Trump on Sunday mocked the leader of nuclear-armed North Korea as "Rocket Man" while White House advisers said the isolated nation would face destruction unless it shelves its weapons programs and bellicose threats.

The warnings came a day after Kim Jong Un pledged to continue those programs, saying North Korea is nearing its goal of "equilibrium" in military force with the United States.

North Korea will be high on the agenda for world leaders this coming week at the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, Trump's biggest moment on the world stage since his inauguration in January.

Trump is scheduled to address the world body, which he has criticized as weak and



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Sun, 17 Sep 2017 12:40:05 -0600
<![CDATA[Trump officially donates $1 million to Harvey relief efforts]]> http://gazette.com/trump-officially-donates-1-million-to-harvey-relief-efforts/article/1611354?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-officially-donates-1-million-to-harvey-relief-efforts/article/1611354?custom_click=rss

President Trump made good on his promise to donate $1 million to Harvey relief efforts, according to a report Saturday.

The president sent 12 checks to various organizations helping Texas and Louisiana recover after last month's disastrous storm, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed to The Hill.

Directly following the hurricane, Sanders announced Trump would be making the generous donation to aid relief.

The Salvation Army and American Red Cross received the most notable donations — $300,000 each.



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Sun, 17 Sep 2017 11:22:19 -0600