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Afternoon headlines April 17, 2017

Posted: April 17, 2017 at 2:53 pm by , in Headlines

A measure that some called “anti-Muslim” failed to gain enough support to clear its first committee, with one moderate Senate Republican, Don Coram of Montrose, casting the deciding vote. Coram has become a vote of moderation within the Republican caucus this session, due in part to moving from a conservative House district to a Senate district that includes more-moderate Durango.

The bill, carried by Republican Sen. Vicki Marble for Fort Collins, would have barred Colorado courts from making decisions based on foreign laws.
The word “Shariah,” which refers to a Muslim code of conduct, doesn’t appear in the bill, and the bill itself is religiously neutral. But the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, has said the measure was pushed by anti-Muslim groups targeting Shariah.
Marble didn’t address the bill’s origin and said only that the bill doesn’t have anything to do with “any religious sect.” But the origin was picked up by those who testified against it. Iman Jodeh of the Colorado Muslim Society called the bill racist and bigoted, and explained that a similar law in Oklahoma was struck down by the courts as unconstitutional.
Coram did not give a reason for his “no” vote. The bill died last week with two Democrats and Coram voting against and two Republicans, including its co-sponsor, Sen. John Cooke of Greeley, voting in favor.
Coram was also one of two critical “no” votes last week on an anti-abortion bill that died in the state Senate.

Democrats in the legislature are trying to pass a law that would make clear who is paying for certain campaign literature.

The measure would require “paid for” disclosure on campaign literature that refers to a specific candidate, goes out within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election, and costs costs more than $1,000 to produce.

Lawmakers are trying to remedy a problem that arose last year when mysterious fliers appeared in some of the hottest legislative races in last year’s elections. The fliers carried no information about who was behind them, even though they mentioned candidates in an election.
At the time, political observers called the tactic a new and troubling development in state elections— but not necessarily an illegal one.

Currently in Colorado, while individuals and groups have to disclose money they spend when trying to influence an election, they often don’t have to publish who paid for the specific fliers they print. Now, some lawmakers at the Statehouse say it time to close that loophole. The bill, which passed the House last week along party lines, heads to the Senate where a Democrat will be its sponsor.

The proposed new law faces resistance from Republicans, some of whom said anonymous speech is needed in politics to protect speakers from powerful governments or leaders. The office of Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State, Wayne Williams, who administers elections, is also fighting the bill.

About 40 Boulder County residents took to the suburban streets of Lafayette Saturday morning to knock on the door of County Commissioner Cindy Domenico and demand that she enact an outright ban on oil and gas drilling countywide.

Boulder County’s five-year ban on fracking is set to expire May 1 after a series of extensions. The last extension drew a lawsuit from state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the American Petroleum Institute. State law preempts local governments from banning the practice, and a state Supreme Court ruling last year struck down bans in Longmont and Fort Collins.

The county commissioners recently approved a set of stricter regulations meant to prohibit unsafe or environmentally destructive drilling.
Domenico, whose husband answered the door, did not come outside to speak to her constituents, so they stood on the sidewalk and read their demands aloud. Stricter regulations are not enough, they said. If the board allows any kind of drilling, protesters said, it would be “complicit in the poisoning of our families and the destruction of our environment.”
The commissioners all have previously expressed frustration with their inability to do more to keep fracking out of Boulder County.

Operator Crestone Peak has already begun the application process to drill up to 216 wells in Boulder County. The board of Commissioners will hold a meeting on April 25 to discuss further options related to the regulation of fracking.

Democrats in the legislature are trying to pass a law that would require “paid for” disclosure on campaign literature that clearly refers to a candidate, goes out within 30 days of a primary election and t60 days of a general election, and costs costs more than $1,000 to produce.

Lawmakers are trying to remedy a problem that arose last year when mysterious fliers appeared in some of the hottest legislative races in last year’s elections. The fliers carried no information about who was behind them, even though they mentioned candidates in an election.
Currently in Colorado, while individuals and groups have to disclose money they spend when trying to influence an election, they often don’t have to publish who paid for the specific fliers they print.

Now, some lawmakers at the Statehouse say that’s a loophole they should close. The bill, which passed the House last week along party lines, heads to the Senate where a Democrat will be its sponsor.

The proposed new law faces resistance from Republicans, some of whom said anonymous speech is needed in politics to protect speakers from powerful governments or leaders. The office of Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State, Wayne Williams, who administers elections, is also fighting the bill.

For more on these and other local news stories go to ColoradoIndependent.com.