Charles Hanson

Jonathan Singer joins Colorado legislature

Jonathan Singer takes the oath of office in the Colorado House of Representatives

A major snowstorm blowing through downtown Denver this morning did not prevent standing-room only at the House chamber of the Colorado State Legislature. The event was the formal induction of Jonathan Singer into the 2012 session of the Colorado House of Representatives. Singer, a resident of Longmont, took the vacated seat of former HD11 Representative Deb Gardner, who herself had moved into a vacated seat on the Boulder County Commissioner’s Court.

Surrounded by his parents and Senate President Brandon Shaffer, Singer took the Oath of Office from Justice Nancy Rice of the Colorado Supreme Court. He then addressed the legislative assembly which he will be joining, expressing the responsibilities which legislators have in working to solve the major social and economic issues of the State of Colorado.

Jonathan Singer Colorado House Representative for HD 11. Photo by Charles Hanson.

As a freshman legislator, Singer nevertheless seems to be well-known by his peers on the Democratic side of the House chamber, so he will be quickly up-to-speed on the bills which are being considered in this second-session of the 68th General Assembly. Importantly, Singer will be assigned to the House Economics and Business Development committee.

While serving as legislator, Singer will also continue his campaign to be elected this November for the HD11 term beginning in 2013.

Another view of the mayor

Photo by Free Range Longmont

Bryan Baum: "I'm a capitalist pig"

“Since his election two years ago, Mayor Bryan Baum has worked tirelessly on behalf of the city and its residents.” This is stated in the Times-Call’s editorial on Wednesday, “Baum merits second term as mayor.”

Well, actually, something seems a bit wrong about that observation. In a recent Times-Call article, “Backers don’t want outsiders in debate” (Sept. 24), Mayor Baum publicly described himself as a “capitalist pig.” The exact quote as printed is, “I’m a free-market guy. I’m a capitalist pig.”

What that means is that the mayor has represented, tirelessly, in the past two years, only those folks in Longmont who think of themselves as capitalist pigs. That could hardly refer to the majority of residents here, nor would it seem to represent the best interests of the city.

Yes, there is an elite club in town that is delighted with the policies, remarks and voting record of the current mayor, no doubt about that. The local coalition of business and financial interests, developers, pro-growth advocates and various anti-government sectors will certainly do all they can to keep Baum in the mayor’s seat.

The rest of us may have a different view on Election Day.

Join forces for “YES” on Longmont’s Fiber Optic Referendum

Do you remember receiving any of these items in your mailbox during the Municipal elections in 2009?

Your friendly Telecommunications provider Comcast Corp. was only too happy to swamp the residents of Longmont with misleading direct-mail brochures to defeat a 2009 ballot question on the City of Longmont’s own fiber-optic network.

The group ‘No Blank Check Longmont,’ whose registered agent was local attorney Richard Lyons II, spent $245,513 on electioneering efforts (including the slick direct-mail propaganda) to defeat the ballot question. At least $224,500 of that amount was contributed by the Colorado Cable Telecommunications Association, consisting of Comcast, Optimum, Rocky Mtn. Cable and U.S. Cable.

If you are somewhat bothered, or are downright outraged, at the deceptive tactics of big-money operations like Comcast and ‘No Blank Check’ to manipulate local elections, then come to a formation meeting for an advocacy group to support passage of the measure to give control of its existing fiber-optic network back to the City of Longmont.

Mr. Vince Jordan, president of RidgeviewTel in Longmont, will give an overview, and will solicit your ideas about organizing the advocacy group. If possible, staff members from the City may be there also.

Please come and help us find a constructive way to express our pent-up anger against big-money political influence.

DATE:      Friday, Sept. 2

TIME:      4:00 pm.

PLACE:    Longmont Progressive Center 723 Main St.

Email:      progress723@q.com

Cory Gardner fights against environmental protection

Cory Gardner, anti-environment

To the delight of American industrialists and their friends in the GOP, freshman U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner (CO-District 4) appears determined to erode as much of the regulatory authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as he is able.

The EPA was born during the term of Richard Nixon, based on a 1970 memorandum of the President’s Advisory Council on Executive Organization, “Federal Organization for Environmental Protection.” If the GOP was aware of the need for federal regulations on polluting industries in 1970, how much more are those regulations necessary in our resource-depleting and waste-generating consumerist culture of 2011?

The memorandum recognized that “The economic progress which we have come to expect, or even demand, has almost invariably been at some cost to the environment.” It states that “Some means must be found by which our economic and social aspirations are balanced against the finite capacity of the environment to absorb society’s wastes.”

Before Mr. Gardner goes too far in his personal tirade against the EPA, I suggest that he, and the GOP leadership, should learn what was recognized in 1970 regarding the “finite capacity of the environment to absorb society’s wastes.” His zeal against environmental regulations is not only misguided and misinformed, it is downright dangerous.

The Private Sector should not dictate Public Policy

The following Letter to the Editor appeared in the Longmont Times-Call on July 11, 2010.

Charles Hanson makes the role of the public sector clear

We've never been the bottom line

The aristocratic and plutocratic minorities of society never tire of berating and slurring the interests of the common people, as Mr. Larison’s letter [7/7/10] proves. And no wonder. The power and the privileges of Longmont’s wealth aristocracy would be jeopardized if local progressives accomplished any sudden enlightenment of the general public.

In spite of the private sector’s pretense of concern for the welfare of the community, the private sector does not exist for the general improvement of society nor does it carry any burden for securing the well-being of the common person. The responsibility for securing and maintaining the general welfare falls only upon the public sector, and progressives are the primary supporters of a strong public sector.

Unregulated free-market activity, which the private sector endorses, always results in extremes of wealth and privilege; extremes which corrupt civility, destabilize the social order and plunder the natural environment. Therefore, local government should be progressive. That is, local government should be capable of utilizing taxation and legislation as necessary; and City Council members – as representatives of the common person – should have the mandate to prevent the private sector from dictating public policy to the community.