MOFFAT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS VOTE FOR SECESSION
The Moffat County Commissioners meeting room was packed yesterday, as citizens filed in to express their opinion on seceding from the state. Commissioner John Kinkaid told the room last week that he would be drafting a resolution asking for a vote of the citizens as to whether or not the commissioner should proceed with the secession effort. The discussion was dominated by those who felt the resolution was a good idea, with a few speaking out against it. The main theme of dissenters was that the lines of communication to Denver should be opened, while supporters say those lines always been open, but with to no avail. They say Denver lawmakers have not listened to the concerns of rural Coloradans, and that the secession effort would be a good way to get their attention. When it was time for the board to speak, things got a little more heated. Commissioner Chuck Grobe opened the discussion by saying that while he agreed that the effort is a good way to get Denver’s attention, he didn’t like the way the resolution was presented. He was upset that he and Tom Mathers were left virtually out of the loop in the process. He also was concerned about possibly losing grant money from groups like the Department of Local Affairs, who may not be willing to grant money to areas that might leave the state. After a brief statement by Kinkaid, Mathers praised Kinkaid for his efforts and, with raised voice, condemned talk about money. Mathers said the matter is one of principal, and that money shouldn’t even be a part of the discussion. Voters should keep in mind that a yes vote does not automatically guarantee secession. There is still a lengthy process that involves state and federal approval that takes place after the vote. The board eventually approved the resolution 2 to 1, with Grobe being the only dissenter.
CRAIG CITY COUNCIL APPROVES POT SALES BAN
The Craig City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance banning retail pot sales in Craig last night. The board reiterated that they want to take a wait-and-see approach to retail sales, allowing other communities to work out the bugs in new state regulations. The council heard arguments from proponents regarding the tax dollars that would be lost, however they reminded the audience that the ordinance could be repealed by a future council, if it is deemed beneficial to the city.
CRAIG CHAMBER WARNS OF ADVERTISING SCAM
The Craig Chamber says area businesses are receiving calls from an Illinois-based company selling advertising in the Colorado Hunter magazine. The caller describes an ad the business legitimately placed in the magazine and asks if the business would like to renew for the 2014 publication. Businesses are asked to pay immediately using a credit card or check-by-phone. The Colorado Hunter was distributed earlier this month. All sales are handled by their advertising representatives and are not sub-contracted in any way. THIS IS NOT A LEGITIMATE ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITY. The caller identifies himself as a representative of Global Printing or from Global Publishing USA. As always the Craig Chamber of Commerce urges businesses to evaluate all advertising opportunities carefully, particularly those selling over the phone. Never give credit card or banking information over the phone and read all contracts carefully before signing.
COLORADO TO GET FULL SHARE OF MINERAL LEASE MONEY
Colorado and other states will get their full share of money from the leasing of federal lands for mining or drilling while the U.S. Interior Department reconsiders whether the current budget fight applies to that money. The Office of Natural Resources Revenue wrote to Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton on Monday and told him funds held back this year will be available in the next fiscal year. That means about $6 million from federal mineral leases will be distributed to the state and various local governments affected by the development of minerals on federal lands.
NEW YORK MAYOR PUTS MONEY INTO DEFENDING RECALLED LAWMAKER
Campaigns supporting two Colorado Democratic legislators facing recalls over new gun restrictions have raised nearly $2 million to help them. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad have each contributed large sums to Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Pueblo Senator Angela Giron. Bloomberg, who’s advocated for stricter gun laws, contributed $350,000 and Broad $250,000. Pueblo United for Angela has raised $586,000 and A Whole Lot of People for John Morse $606,000, according to fundraising filings yesterday with the secretary of state. Taxpayers for Responsible Democracy, which is supported both candidates, has raised $708,000. The filings show Morse and Giron supporters are vastly outraising opponents. The NRA has spent about $108,600 to oppose the lawmakers and they’re among the largest contributors. The election is September 10th.
SUPREME COURT PONDERING VOTING RULES FOR RECALLS
The Colorado Supreme Court is considering a question from Governor John Hickenlooper on whether voters in two legislative recalls have to vote “yes” or “no” first on the recall to have their votes for a successor validated. The court allowed interested parties to submit arguments on the matter by yesterday morning. The governor and state attorney general say the question is important because the September 10th elections could require a recount or even be invalidated if someone raises a legal challenge afterward. In a court filing Friday, Hickenlooper says officials recently learned that the state constitutional requirement saying voters must first vote on the recall before voting for a candidate may violate rights to voting and expression under the U.S. Constitution. It’s unclear when the high court will rule.
JUDGE WARNS FUNDING CUTS COULD ENDANGER PUBLIC
Colorado’s chief federal judge is warning the state’s congressional delegation that public safety could be endangered if court funding cuts are not reversed. The federal cuts went into effect on March 1st after several years of stable funding. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Marcia Krieger says the cuts have resulted in reduced court staffs, furloughs and reduced funding for probation officers.