Today: Dems get TABOR reform moving, Neo-Nazis leaflet Greeley, Adrienne Anderson vs. CU, and Littwin on legislative bickering that sounds like another world. Plus: Republicans tell Bush, "enough with the tax cuts already." NOTE: some news sites require free registration in order to read their stories.
COLORADO NEWS BUDGET AND TABOR Budget on a roll Five Republicans joined House Democrats in initially approving House Bill 1194, which would balance the budget by asking voters to let lawmakers spend money they would otherwise refund to taxpayers. It also cuts income taxes by $43 per person annually. RELATED: Dems' budget fix endures GOP hits RELATED: TABOR backers file ballot plans RELATED: 5 Republicans join Dems to force TABOR budget issue RELATED: Business leaders' ads call for cooperation on budget RELATED: Dems advance bill to give state more revenue GOOD GOVERNMENT/ETHICS Beauprez-for-governor Web site registered, not up and running A staffer from Congressman Bob Beauprez's 2004 campaign has registered the Web site www.beauprezforgovernor.com. Ousted Dem requests recount Chris Gates released a letter Wednesday in which top Colorado Democratic Party staffers say a glitch in handling proxy votes likely cost him the party chairmanship. RELIGION Faith important to left and right Colorado's TABOR amendment got a grim review Wednesday by liberal Christians during a Denver panel discussion on social justice issues anchored by Washington D.C.-based Christian activist Jim Wallis, author of the book God's Politics. JOBS AND ECONOMY Likely change in bankruptcy law stirs action The effect will be felt strongly in Colorado, where bankruptcy filings are rising rapidly. Gasoline prices top $2 mark In some Pueblo locations, gasoline prices rose as much as 12 cents a gallon Wednesday morning. HEALTH CARE/PUBLIC SAFETY Keeping tabs on security funding Coloradans would be allowed to know how the state is spending money to fight terrorism under a compromise bill that made nearly everyone happy Wednesday. Senators advance plan to ID kegs The effort to get tougher on beer sales to minors continued to flow through the Colorado legislature on Wednesday. Measure could aid Flats workers U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow Rocky Flats workers sickened on the job to qualify for aid without having to prove their exposure to radiation. RELATED: Salazar seeks aid for ill Flats workers Drug-addicted-baby bill amended Facing an increasing number of babies born addicted to methamphetamine, state lawmakers are at odds over whether to give mothers more time to fight their addiction or move the children to new homes. Decision at hand on Denver's independent police monitor Mayor John Hickenlooper this month will pick the city's first independent monitor in charge of reviewing internal Denver police investigations. CIVIL LIBERTIES/CRIME & PENAL REFORM Neo-Nazi group from East Coast distributes anti-immigration fliers throughout Greeley The National Alliance, "an organization of whites who aren't afraid to speak up for our race," scattered hundreds of fliers in clear plastic bags filled with small rocks throughout Greeley late Tuesday evening. 11 charged in prison abuses Eleven people at the privately run Brush Correctional Facility for women, including the former warden, have been charged with felonies ranging from unlawful sexual conduct to smuggling tobacco into the prison, according to court filings released Wednesday. EDUCATION Instructor files federal complaint against CU Environmental ethics instructor Adrienne Anderson has filed a federal whistleblower complaint against the University of Colorado, after she learned recently that she would be dismissed in May. RELATED: Instructor at CU files complaint Regents set search for president in motion Two days after University of Colorado President Betsy Hoffman announced her resignation, the Board of Regents said it was beginning to seek nominations to the search committee that will recommend her successor. RELATED: Co-chair in probe rips CU athletics RELATED: Resignation could hit CU fund raising Alleged harassment probed The Jefferson County School District is investigating two allegations from black students at Ken Caryl Middle School that they were racially harassed by a student and a teacher. RELATED: 3 cases go to DA after girl reports racial taunts CU firing reports conflict Mitchell, a senior instructor in the Sewall Residential Academic Program, maintains he is being forced out because of his Christian faith and conservative politics. He has drawn national media attention and stoked an already intense debate over political bias on campus since his story appeared in a newspaper column Monday. Prof rebuts accusation A professor at Colorado State University at Pueblo, accused of making defamatory comments about Mexicans and illegal immigrants during class, denied Wednesday making such remarks. RELATED: Professor pushes for colleague's firing in CSU-Pueblo probe Bible class gets a look With support from enough of the community, Diehl and others hope such a class soon will become reality in the Steamboat Springs School District. Talking racism There were at least three reported racist incidents at CU over the last few weeks, including graffiti in residence halls and an altercation in a classroom. Report: CU studies deal with Churchill The University of Colorado's governing board has instructed school attorneys to try to negotiate the resignation of controversial professor Ward Churchill, CBS News 4 reported Wednesday. RELATED: Effort to oust CU prof rejected RELATED: Churchill not worried about examination ENVIRONMENT Dry spell may hurt recovery A late-winter dry spell on the Front Range is wiping out hopes for a big drought recovery this year, water officials said Wednesday, even as southwestern parts of the state revel in deep snow. Colorado leads 5-state region in number of active gas wells More oil and gas rigs were operating in Colorado this week than any other Rocky Mountain state, according to state regulators. Gas bill vote set for Monday A bill designed to protect landowners from natural gas development will get its first big test Monday in a vote by a committee in the Colorado House of Representatives. RELATED: Curry: Industry arguments misinformed Rifle City Council still undecided on Roan Plateau Management Plan As far as the Roan Plateau Management Plan goes, the Rifle City Council is on both sides of the fence while trying to determine its official stance, which its expects to give to the Bureau of Land Management within the next month. Antero to drill in new, unusual area The Denver-based company has seven drilling permits for an area southwest of Silt on the south side of the Colorado River. During the current natural gas boom, there has not been any drilling activity that close to the river. Opposition focused on losing public lands Public land should remain public regardless of its size, shape or location. That was the view of several landowners who attended an open house in Hayden on Wednesday about the proposed Emerald Mountain land exchange. GAO begins review of Rocky Flats Cleanup Environmental activists have been critical of the cleanup, saying it did not take into account some contaminants that were dumped illegally. The Department of Energy and the cleanup contractor, Kaiser Hill Inc., have insisted the work is sound. OPINION Littwin: In parallel universe, Owens rips tax cut But here's how you know you're there: In the budget debate on the House floor Wednesday, one Republican after another marched to the microphone to say Colorado can't afford a tax cut. Progress in benefits system is illusory Two state agencies overseeing the defective Colorado Benefits Management System submitted some pretty cheerful statistics to a judge this week, but there's really nothing cheerful at all about the ongoing damage to the state's public assistance programs. Fox is pick for U.N. henhouse For many in diplomatic circles he is a confounding choice for the U.N. at a time that the secretary of state and the president have been fence-mending their way around the world. Don't anoint Hillary yet For once, some political insiders are trying to put the fix in for a woman for president. But a smoke-filled room of political power brokers handpicking a female presidential nominee is no more appealing than one that selects one of the boys. Changing CU marijuana policy would inhibit 'culture of alcohol' Five Colorado college students died during the Fall 2004 semester as the unintentional result of alcohol consumption. There has never been an instance of fatal marijuana overdose, or any other death as the direct result of marijuana use. NATIONAL NEWS GOOD GOVERNMENT/ETHICS G.O.P. Senators Balk at Tax Cuts in Bush's Budget President Bush's plan to extend his tax cuts over the next five years ran into resistance in the Senate on Wednesday as Republican leaders offered a budget for 2006 that would undo more than a fourth of the cuts that Mr. Bush has requested. RELATED: GOP Lawmakers Present Tax-Cutting Budgets RELATED: House Panel OKs 2006 Spending Plan Republicans Weigh Voter Response to Retirement Plan President Bush's Social Security plan has prompted widespread and persistent anxiety and skepticism among retirees and near-retirees, who could cast a third or more of the vote in next year's midterm elections. Despite Mr. Bush's efforts to neutralize those voters, by promising to leave their benefits untouched, Republicans fear - and Democrats hope - that Republicans could be at risk. RELATED: Seniors' Fears Slow Push for Bush Plan RELATED: House Begins Work On Social Security RELATED: No 'Immediate Crisis' in Social Security, GAO Chief Testifies RELATED: Party line drawn in sand on Social Security RELATED: GAO issues warning on personal accounts GOP Forms Panel to Draw More Blacks Into Tent Looking to further expand their party's political advantage, Republican officials will announce today a committee of African American leaders and experts on minority voting to develop a strategy to attract more blacks to the GOP. DeLay Says He Was Aware of Fund-Raising Methods Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, said Wednesday that he was aware of how accounts for corporate donations had been set up at a political action committee that is under criminal investigation by a Texas grand jury and that the committee's lawyers closely monitored all fund-raising activities. RELATED: S. Korean Group Sponsored DeLay Trip Thompson Joins Firms, But Not to Lobby This probably will result in some of what they call "synergy" in the law and lobby biz. McLean noted that Akin Gump and Deloitte have had a long working relationship. HEALTH CARE/PUBLIC SAFETY U.S. blocks drugs sent from Canada The Bush administration has begun selectively seizing prescription drugs imported under a program created by [Illinois] Gov. Rod Blagojevich, ratcheting up pressure to stop a practice that the governor says will save money for consumers but regulators contend is unsafe and illegal. Florida Agency, Lawmakers Seek to Intervene in Schiavo Case Florida's social services agency and Republican state lawmakers acted on two fronts Wednesday to block the March 18 removal of a feeding tube for a woman at the center of a contentious right-to-die case. Three Researchers in NIH Controversy Are Leaving Three senior researchers at the center of a controversy at the National Institutes of Health over moonlighting for the pharmaceutical industry are leaving the government, officials said. JOBS AND ECONOMY A New Mood in Congress to Relax Corporate Scrutiny In what has seemed a daily ritual, the Senate in the last two weeks has defeated the most modest attempts by Democrats to curb bankruptcy abuses by corrupt or troubled corporations and their senior executives. RELATED: Senate Delays Action on Bankruptcy SEC Will Provide Accounting Guidance Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William H. Donaldson told lawmakers yesterday that the agency would issue guidance this month to help companies comply with new rules on accounting for stock options. Free of Quota, China Textiles Flood the U.S. In the first month after the end of all quotas on textiles and apparel around the world, imports to the United States from China jumped about 75 percent, according to trade figures released by the Chinese government. FOREIGN POLICY U.S. Says It Has Withdrawn From World Judicial Body Prompted by an international tribunal's decision last year ordering new hearings for 51 Mexicans on death rows in the United States, the State Department said yesterday that the United States had withdrawn from the protocol that gave the tribunal jurisdiction to hear such disputes. RELATED: U.S. Quits Pact Used in Capital Cases Italy's Premier Again Insists U.S. Explain Agent's Death Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday repeated his strong demand that the United States fully explain the shooting death of an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq, even as he himself categorized it as a tragic case of "friendly fire." Bulgaria Sure That U.S. Killed Soldier Bulgaria is certain that U.S. forces killed one of its soldiers last week in a "friendly fire" accident, mainly because of poor communication, army and Defense Ministry officials said Wednesday. Critics: Aid could taint U.S. image These nations--many unstable and in volatile regions--could ultimately use their American training against their own people, opponents of the aid say, and in the long run make the U.S. a symbol of oppression and hurt the war on terrorism. U.S. Called Ready to See Hezbollah in Lebanon Role After years of campaigning against Hezbollah, the radical Shiite Muslim party in Lebanon, as a terrorist pariah, the Bush administration is grudgingly going along with efforts by France and the United Nations to steer the party into the Lebanese political mainstream, administration officials say. Colombian Rebel Is Extradited to the U.S. Colombia's government on Wednesday extradited a high-ranking Marxist rebel commander, Nayibe Rojas, to the United States. Israeli report blasts officials for role in illegal outposts A government-sponsored report released Wednesday recommended the possible prosecution of Israeli officials involved in funding and building scores of unauthorized outposts established by Jewish settlers in the West Bank in recent years. New Interrogation Rules Set for Detainees in Iraq After clashing with Afghan rebels at the village of Miam Do one year ago, American soldiers detained the village's entire population for four days, and an officer beat and choked several residents while screening them and trying to identify local militants, according to a new Pentagon report that was given to Congress late Monday night. RELATED: Abuse Review Exonerates Policy RELATED: Prison abuse report clears senior leaders U.S. Addresses Iraqis' Losses With Payments The monetary handouts for deaths, injuries or damage are goodwill gestures and do not signify culpability, military officials say. Lebanese Assembly Re-elects Pro-Syria Premier Who Quit Nine days after Lebanon's pro-Syrian prime minister, Omar Karami, was forced to quit under pressure by opponents of Syria's occupation, he was voted back into the post on Wednesday by the Lebanese Parliament. RELATED: Pro-Syrian premier set for comeback U.S. Envoy to Ulster Urges the I.R.A. to Disband The United States envoy to Northern Ireland on Wednesday called on the Irish Republican Army to disband and asked its political wing, Sinn Fein, to distance itself from crimes after the I.R.A. said it was willing to shoot the killers of a Belfast man. Rice visits Fox today to pave way for summit Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will make a 14-hour visit to Mexico today to polish up the sometimes testy U.S.-Mexican relations before a summit later this month between President Bush and the leaders of Mexico and Canada. U.S. Calls Entry Point in San Diego a Possible Security Risk But environmentalists say completing the project, which they have battled for years, will devastate the protected marshland and delicate habitats of the Tijuana Estuary and endanger rare plants and animals. Bush Presses Koizumi on Japan's Beef Ban Escalating a rare conflict in U.S.-Japanese relations, President Bush pressed Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi yesterday to lift the Japanese ban on U.S. beef imports, but Koizumi gave no assurances when they could restart, U.S. and Japanese officials said. GUNS/MILITARY Plan to Reimburse Private Costs for Combat Gear Falls Behind The Pentagon has not developed guidelines for allowing soldiers, their families and charities to be reimbursed for the cost of some combat equipment they bought for use in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite a new law that called for such a plan by February. Missile Defense Director Moves to End Test Glitches The general in charge of the Pentagon's faltering effort to develop a system for defending the United States against ballistic missile attack said yesterday that he has ordered a thorough review of all ground equipment used in testing and appointed a senior Navy officer to oversee future test preparations. CIVIL LIBERTIES/CRIME & PENAL REFORM ACLU Sues Over Mormon Lease on Land A clash over the federal government's right to lease a national historic site in Wyoming to the Mormon Church moved to court Wednesday as the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit, arguing that the government violated the constitutional bar against endorsing religion. Report cites FBI's `striking advances' The FBI is making progress transforming itself from a crime-fighting agency into the nation's main anti-terrorism organization, but it remains hobbled by computer woes that impede efforts to manage information and share data with other security and intelligence groups, according to the latest evaluation of the bureau's makeover effort. GLBT ISSUES Largest Gay Rights Group Gets New Chief Despite the HRC's record fundraising for the 2004 election cycle, virtually every candidate and issue the HRC supported lost. Jacques, a former Massachusetts legislator, had held the post for less than a year, only slightly longer than the 10 months the HRC search committee took to find her. MEDIA Signing Off, Rather's Wish for Viewers Is Still 'Courage' Dry-eyed and calm, Mr. Rather told his viewers last night that he wished courage to the mourners of Sept. 11; to soldiers, sailors and journalists in harm's way; to tsunami and other natural disaster victims; and to all those oppressed by financial burdens or failing health. But it was also Mr. Rather's way of telling the world that he left his post without remorse or regrets. RELATED: CBS Producer Sues Over Job Clinton Seeks Ratings on Children's Media Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday sharply criticized the sex and violence in video games and other entertainment directed at children, calling the prevalence of such images an epidemic. 2 Front-Runners Seen for Nomination to Lead F.C.C. Michael D. Gallagher, a senior official in the Commerce Department, and Kevin J. Martin, a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, have emerged as the top contenders to become the next chairman of the F.C.C., administration officials said on Wednesday. TRANSPORTATION Congress Paving the Way for Tolls on Interstates With traffic congestion growing worse â€” and state and federal budgets as red as the brake lights from cars backed up on a Los Angeles freeway â€” Congress is moving toward relaxing a decades-old restriction on tolls on interstate highways. ENVIRONMENT Evangelical Leaders Swing Influence Behind Effort to Combat Global Warming A core group of influential evangelical leaders has put its considerable political power behind a cause that has barely registered on the evangelical agenda, fighting global warming Bush Steps Up Pitch for Drilling in Alaska Refuge The Bush administration and Senate Republicans intensified their push yesterday to allow oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a measure that has for years been thwarted by fierce opposition. RELATED: GOP Renews Drive to Drill in Arctic Wildlife Refuge Bush Makes Renewed Push for Strategy on Energy President Bush tried on Wednesday to reinvigorate his administration's energy strategy, promising to overcome the obstacles Democrats and environmental groups have mounted to drilling in an Alaskan wildlife refuge and saying it was time to start building more nuclear power plants. RELATED: Bush-Backed Emissions Bill Fails to Reach Senate Floor RELATED: Senate Impasse Stops 'Clear Skies' Measure Fans of GM Electric Car Fight the Crusher Some 800 drivers once leased EV1s, mostly in California. After the last lease ran out in August, GM reclaimed every one of the cars, donating a few to universities and car museums but crushing many of the rest. OPINION A Defense That's Offensively Weak Republicans understand the publicity advantage of a relentless offense. They had a flashy offense in W.'s two presidential campaigns and two wars, and in their war on the press. Questionable victory in the Middle East Half a million demonstrators turned out in Beirut on Tuesday, waving flags and chanting slogans in a show of popular sentiment. But no, this was not the latest call by the Lebanese opposition for Syria to leave--this was a call for Syria to stay. And the rally was roughly seven times bigger than the latest anti-Syria protest. Maybe bringing democracy to the Arab world is going to be more complicated than we thought. Putting Last Things First ...in a world in which the United States desperately needs international cooperation on everything from curbing the trade in terrorist weaponry to presenting a united front to countries like Iran and Syria, President Bush is spending his political capital on getting John Bolton, a longtime critic of multilateralism, as representative to the United Nations. Death Penalty Doubts by Bush? As governor of Texas, George W. Bush claimed to harbor few doubts about the death penalty. Now, as president, he seems to have a few. Greenspan + Red Ink = Pink Slip (Letter) Greenspan's gobbledygook in support of income tax cuts, a consumption tax and private Social Security accounts is no more than blatant pandering to President Bush. Please send any updates, corrections or advice on these issues or other tips to email@example.com. 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