Today: Mike Coffman wants to keep the rightie family together. The EITC helps servicemen, pulling a fast one on the Roan Plateau, and xeriscaping is about to become fashionable, whether your HOA likes it or not. Plus: the Daily DeLay, estate tax usual suspects, and John Negroponte's Nicaraguan excursion. NOTE: some news sites require free registration in order to read their stories.
COLORADO NEWS GOOD GOVERNMENT/ETHICS Lamm joins 7th District race Former state lawmaker Peggy Lamm is jumping into the 2006 race for the 7th Congressional District today, bringing the field of Democrats to three. RELATED: Peggy Lamm announces bid for Congress Treasurer says no GOP division needed (4/12/05) GOP State Treasurer Mike Coffman said Monday heâ€™s not running for governor because the Republican Party in Colorado canâ€™t afford more division in the ranks. â€œRepublicans have already lost the state House and the state Senate,â€? he said. He said he doesnâ€™t want to see the governorâ€™s seat end up in Democratsâ€™ hands, too. Republicans focus on sending message "Routt County was one of the blue counties," said Jennifer Schubert-Akin, chairwoman of the committee. Schubert-Akin was referring to the mostly Democratic victories for national and state offices within Routt County. May 3 election cost: $650,000 The city will spend $650,000 on the May 3 election in which the city's justice-center proposal headlines the ballot. Denver Election Commission officials predict a moderate turnout. HEALTH CARE/PUBLIC SAFETY Mixed vote on alcohol bills Two measures aimed at irresponsible drinking met different fates in the Senate on Tuesday, while a pair of bills to lower prescription-drug costs got a green light. Supporters of drug bills call lobbyist's ad unfair Supporters of two bills aimed at lowering prescription drug costs for the state and the uninsured are accusing the drug industry of using grass-roots advocacy groups to help them fight the legislation. RELATED: Prescription drug list, discount for low-income get initial Senate OK System woes may result in pay cuts A House member will try to amend next year's state budget to cut the salaries of officials whose decisions led to problems with the welfare benefits system. Senate corks keg-ID bill An effort to make it easier for law enforcement to track down adults who buy kegs of beer for minors died Tuesday in the Colorado Senate. RELATED: Legislators kill keg IDs Both sides claim victory in mental health suit Both sides in a lawsuit alleging mistreatment of state mental health patients claimed victory Tuesday after a federal judge dismissed parts of the lawsuit. CIVIL LIBERTIES/CRIME & PENAL REFORM Chicano activist and legend Corky Gonzales dies at 76 Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales, a boxer turned civil rights activist and a leader in the Chicano movement, died Tuesday. RELATED: Chicano activist paved the way RELATED: Corky Gonzales, leader in Chicano movement, dies Regional civil rights office may be closing The regional office of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is likely to close, bringing home to Denver the effects of budget cuts, reports of mismanagement and political sparring over claims of discrimination in the 2000 presidential election. Families seek cold-case squads The Colorado legislature should organize and fund state-level cold-case squads to solve a backlog of 1,000 homicides in the state, a spokesman for a group representing the families of victims said Tuesday. Bondsmen: We're not bailing Some residents of the Golden Triangle neighborhood once thought building a justice center would entice a dozen or so nearby bail bond houses to find new digs in someone else's back yard. EDUCATION Churchill and pals defend city employee Ward Churchill had a threat for the Longmont City Council if the city fires his friend, city employee Glenn Spagnuolo. "If they don't stand down, I might move to Longmont and they will have to deal with me every day," Churchill said. "I might start a hippie community." RELATED: Churchill defender under fire CSU board seat bill advances "I believe we also ought to have diversity on the board," Tapia said. "We ought to have people from around the state on the board, and different parties and different persuasions." Bronco tackles politics to save Upward Bound As a starting tackle for the Denver Broncos, George Foster usually plays on offense, but he came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a defensive lobbying blitz, hoping to save a 40-year-old education program from a White House cut. Education groups to list objections to No Child Left Behind standards "We had many school administrators who expressed concern about No Child Left Behind" last fall, said John Hefty, executive director of the Colorado Association of School Executives. Second look at Simpson case? Two women who say they were raped by University of Colorado football players or recruits will ask a federal judge on Thursday to reconsider his decision to dismiss their lawsuit against the school. Shepard's mother pleads for acceptance of gays Education and acceptance are the keys to changing a society that, seemingly more and more, rejects homosexuality, Judy Shepard told a crowd at Colorado State University on Tuesday night. Senate kills proposal to investigate tenure An effort to have a bipartisan commission examine tenure at Colorado's universities died in the Senate Tuesday on a party-line vote. Senate Democrats voted 18-17 to nix the proposal by Minority Leader Mark Hillman, R-Burlington, saying it was unnecessary because tenure is already under review. RELATED: Tenure panel's findings to carry weight, CU says Anti-alcohol work is lauded The American Medical Association recognized the University of Colorado and the city of Boulder on Tuesday for combating a culture of high-risk drinking. Robbing Peter ... Some Colorado schools have shortchanged school-security measures in the zeal to improve state test scores, an expert on youth violence said Tuesday. 9 suspended boys return to class today Nine boys will return to Adams City High School today, two months after getting kicked out of school for a year for watching an off-campus fight. RELATED: 5 students to be expelled for involvement in fight Alone among hundreds (4/12/05) The teenage years can be tough on anyone, but some national studies show that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youngsters are far more likely to succumb to life-threatening despair during that crucial formative age. GUNS/MILITARY Tax-credit cut would hit GIs The Earned Income Tax Credit, which provides a financial boost to the nation's working poor, including many military families, is facing cuts as Congress grapples with the rising budget deficit, researchers said Tuesday. Pentagon still plans to study shipping Pueblo munitions to Tooele Despite opposition from two states' congressional delegations, Pentagon officials say they will continue to consider shipping chemical weapons from Pueblo, Colo., to Utah for disposal. ENVIRONMENT Fraser River in jeopardy Colorado's scenic Fraser River in Grand County has been listed as one of the country's 10 most endangered streams, largely because diversions to the Front Range are threatening its ability to sustain itself. Law may decide Roan debate Jamie Connell, manager of the Glenwood Springs Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, said she believes federal law leaves the agency no choice but to lease for at least some oil and gas development on top of the plateau. Connell said the transfer language clearly calls for Naval Oil Shale Reserves 1 and 3 to be leased. NOSR 1 generally encompasses the plateau top. RELATED: Final comments in on Roan Plateau (4/12/05) Park closes areas to get wildlife data The closures' purpose is to enable wildlife managers to gather information and ensure that raptors can nest undisturbed. All closures will continue through April 30. Bill embraces landscaping options A bill headed to the governor, House Bill 1070, would force homeowners associations, or HOAs, to accept the drought-tolerant landscapes. County denies Xcel's proposal A proposal to run a railroad through the Carpenter Ranch and other properties to deliver coal to the Hayden Power Station is off the table. Open space plan approved The Boulder City Council ended a six-year saga when its members approved a final version of the Visitor Master Plan on Tuesday night. Industry assails runoff permits for small oil, gas drilling sites State water quality officials enacted new regulations Tuesday to regulate polluted storm- water runoff from small oil and gas drilling sites. Salazar pushes for A-LP funds (4/12/05) After poking some fun at the high-society etiquette that comes with life in Washington D.C., Salazar stressed his mission to keep rural America on the federal agenda. Among his fights is one for increased funding of the Animas-La Plata Project. Colo. River users at odds over flow The seven states that share the Colorado River are unlikely to agree on how much to refill Lake Powell this year, leaving the decision to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Colorado's top water planner said Tuesday. RELATED: Penry purposes tightening downstream flow of Colorado River (4/12/05) OPINION Spencer: Health care goes south: Look to north Ask investigative journalist Jim Steele if he is a scorned prophet because he claims the American health care system is terminally ill, and he says two words: Canadian drugs. Diversity requires open talks as UNC students need surety that campus will be inclusive That message was clumsily supported but clear. UNC should be careful to listen. Smoking ban would save lives It would save lives, and the idea has been proven to boost business in the hospitality industry in other states. So why is the Colorado Indoor Clean Air Act in trouble in the Colorado legislature? Politics. NATIONAL NEWS GOOD GOVERNMENT/ETHICS Republicans May Hasten Showdown on Judicial-Nomination Filibusters As the fight over the federal judiciary spread across Capitol Hill, Senate Republicans said Tuesday that they might quicken their push to prevent Democratic filibusters of judicial nominees. RELATED: 6 Votes of Separation Over Filibuster RELATED: Judicial Nominee Under Scrutiny DeLay Seeks GOP Senators' Support House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) implored Republican senators yesterday to stick with him while he addresses questions about his travel and his dealings with lobbyists, as House Democrats unveiled plans to try to make ethics a defining issue for the year. Erosion of Estate Tax Is a Lesson in Politics Today, the House is expected to vote to permanently repeal the estate tax, moving the Mars candy, Gallo wine and Campbell soup fortunes one step closer to a goal that once seemed quixotic at best: ending all taxation on inheritances. RELATED: Senate Talks May Lead to Compromise on Estate Tax Florida Ban on Voting by Ex-Cons Is Upheld A federal appeals court in Atlanta on Tuesday upheld Florida's 160-year-old law enforcing a lifetime ban on voting rights for convicted felons. Al Sharpton Denies Financial Wrongdoing Al Sharpton said Tuesday that he complied with campaign finance laws while he was a presidential candidate, despite reports that federal authorities had opened a criminal investigation of his fundraising. JOBS AND ECONOMY Last Month, Fed Officials Voiced Inflation Worries Policy makers at the Federal Reserve became notably more worried about inflation last month, with some warning about the potential need to raise interest rates more rapidly in the future, according to meeting notes released on Tuesday. RELATED: Inflation Didn't Worry Fed Nike to reveal names of overseas factories After years of criticism over its labor practices abroad, Nike Inc. is disclosing the names and locations of more than 700 factories that produce its sneakers, apparel and other products. White House retreats on bid to slash farm aid In the face of opposition from lawmakers in both parties, the Bush administration on Tuesday tossed in the towel on the president's proposal to slash farm payments. Demand for Oil Helped Push U.S. Trade Deficit to $61 Billion in February The United States trade deficit expanded in February for the third month in a row, reaching a record $61 billion, as the rising cost of oil and America's unrestrained appetite for foreign goods propelled imports to unprecedented heights. RELATED: House and Senate Panels Tackle Energy Measures Security Breach at LexisNexis Now Appears Larger Reed Elsevier, owner of the LexisNexis databases, said Tuesday that Social Security numbers, driver's license information and the addresses of 310,000 people may have been stolen, 10 times more than it originally reported last month. Students Targeted in Piracy Lawsuits Leaders of the Recording Industry Assn. of America and the Motion Picture Assn. of America said Tuesday that they expected to file hundreds of lawsuits today against students across the country who use a super-fast version of the Internet that connects more than 300 universities and other institutions. HEALTH CARE/PUBLIC SAFETY Panel Rejects Wider Sales of Silicone Breast Implants In yet another sign of toughening safety standards on drugs and medical devices, a federal advisory panel voted 5 to 4 on Tuesday to reject an application to sell silicone breast implants more widely. Drug prices climb sharply Drug prices climbed at least twice as much as inflation for the fifth consecutive year, an AARP study shows â€” a trend that experts say undoubtedly will increase health-insurance costs and could lead to more people not being able to afford coverage. Vermont Considers Lowering Drinking Age to 18 "The 21-year-old drinking age is bad social policy and terrible law," Mr. McCardell wrote, saying it had led to binge drinking by teenagers. "Our latter-day prohibitionists have driven drinking behind closed doors and underground." Study Cites Risk of Compound in Plastic Bottles Evidence is mounting that a chemical in plastic that is one of the world's most widely used industrial compounds may be risky in the small amounts that seep from bottles and food packaging, according to a report to be published this week in a scientific journal. Security Spending Initiates Disputes Homeland security decisions have raised some very divisive issues -- from civil liberties to the U.S. treatment of immigrants. But the fur really begins to fly when Congress considers questions such as this: Why would the fire department in tiny Plankinton, S.D., population 567, need $52,688 in homeland security money for new fire equipment? CIVIL LIBERTIES/CRIME & PENAL REFORM Specter Voices Frustration Over Briefing on Patriot Act A senior Republican lawmaker expressed frustration Tuesday with the Justice Department's failure at a closed-door briefing to provide information about its use of the sweeping antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act. In N.Y., Lawmakers Vote Not to Reinstate Capital Punishment A legislative committee tossed out a bill Tuesday aimed at reinstating the state's death penalty, which a court had suspended last year. It was an extraordinary bit of drama, not least because a top Democrat who once strongly supported capital punishment led the fight to end it. FOREIGN POLICY Frist Opposes Amendments on Immigrants Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, said on Tuesday that he was discouraging efforts to incorporate immigration and border security measures into the Senate version of a supplemental military spending bill, which would set the stage for showdowns among Congressional Republicans over immigration later this year. Nominee Vows Tighter Control of Intelligence John D. Negroponte, nominated as the first director of national intelligence, promised Tuesday to bring "fundamental change" to the broad array of agencies he would oversee, and he said the American people were right to "expect more" after recent intelligence failures. RELATED: Cables Show Central Negroponte Role in 80's Covert War Against Nicaragua Ex-Official Says Nominee Bullied Analyst on Arms A former assistant secretary of state heatedly charged Tuesday that John R. Bolton had so bullied an intelligence analyst over Cuba's suspected weapons programs that it shook the intelligence bureau and prompted the secretary of state to intervene. RELATED: Former Colleague Says Bolton Abused Power at State Dept. Sharon Asks U.S. to Pressure Iran to Give Up Its Nuclear Program Spreading photographs of Iranian nuclear sites over a lunch table at the Bush ranch in Texas on Monday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel urged President Bush to step up pressure on Iran to give up all elements of its nuclear program, according to senior American and Israeli officials. Interrogator Says U.S. Approved Handling of Detainee Who Died The dispute over the Bush administration's treatment of military detainees is playing out in a North Carolina courtroom, where a CIA contractor has asserted that his rough interrogation in 2003 of an Afghan who subsequently died was indirectly authorized by deliberations in Washington at the highest ranks of the Bush administration. Bin Laden bribed to get away, German official says The head of the German intelligence agency, in an interview published Tuesday, said Osama bin Laden eluded capture after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan by paying bribes to the Afghan militias delegated the task of finding him. U.S. Asylum Sought by Cuban Tied to Terror Cases Luis Posada Carriles, a CIA-trained Cuban exile implicated in a series of terrorist incidents, applied for political asylum in the United States yesterday, prompting at least one congressman to assert that granting the request would undermine the nation's credibility in the war on terrorism. Rumsfeld Laces Talks to Iraqis With Optimism and Warnings Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld spent Tuesday in a whirlwind trip around Iraq that included "town hall" meetings with American troops outside the capital, talks with government officials in Baghdad, and a final stop here, at a Kurdish stronghold beneath snow-capped mountains where anti-Saddam Hussein forces plotted for years against the Iraqi dictator - and against other Kurds. RELATED: In Mosul, a Battle 'Beyond Ruthless' EDUCATION Study Finds Shortcoming in New Law on Education The academic growth that students experience in a given school year has apparently slowed since the passage of No Child Left Behind, the education law that was intended to achieve just the opposite, a new study has found. Conservatives to counter gay-supportive 'Day of Silence'' with 'Day of Truth'' Irked by the success of the nationwide Day of Silence, which seeks to combat anti-gay bias in schools, conservative activists are launching a counter-event this week called the Day of Truth aimed at mobilizing students who believe homosexuality is sinful. ENVIRONMENT Sierra Club Revisits Issue of Immigration A year after a bitter election for the board of the Sierra Club that focused on candidates' stands on immigration, the issue is now before the membership, this time as a ballot initiative. Wal-Mart Donates $35 Million for Conservation and Will Be Partner With Wildlife Group Barely a week after environmentalists forged a broad alliance with organized labor and community groups to attack Wal-Mart and its business practices, the company announced Tuesday that it would donate $35 million over the next decade to an ambitious new conservation effort by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Project to protect prairie dogs Conservationists have bought 46,000 acres of desert grasslands in northern Mexico in an effort to show that the black-tailed prairie dog â€” seen as a pest in much of the western United States â€” can help grazing lands thrive. OPINION Will Democrats Seize the Opening? The Republican Party, seemingly intent on squandering its 2004 election gains, is handing the Democrats a golden opportunity to restore their credentials as a governing party. To seize the moment, the Democrats must do what the Republicans have been avoiding -- which is to get serious about the nation's economic problems. Questioning Mr. Bolton The longer John Bolton's Senate hearing for the post of United Nations representative went on, the more outrageous it seemed that President Bush could have nominated a man who had made withering disdain for that world body the signature of his career in international affairs. Tempest in a C-Cup The narrow debate between silicone breast implant makers and the Food and Drug Administration over safety is all about silicone leakage, granulomas, the cushy hand-feel of silicone versus a bag of salt water, and so on. What's missing are the broader cultural questions, such as why a 17-year-old girl asks her parents for breast implants for a high school graduation gift. Repeal the Gay Ban ARMY SGT. ROBERT Stout received a Purple Heart after an exploding grenade in Iraq last May left shrapnel in his face, arm and legs. He would like to remain in the military, and he said in an interview that he would reenlist were it not for the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. But Sgt. Stout is through denying that he is gay, so he recently declared his sexual orientation to the Associated Press. Now he'll be lucky if he's allowed to serve out his tour, which ends in May, without being kicked out of the service. For under U.S. policy, even the most decorated and patriotic gay soldier is just a homosexual to be rooted out at the military's earliest convenience. Billions of Promises to Keep THIS is a make-or-break year for Sudan, Africa's biggest country. In Oslo this week, donor countries pledged $4.5 billion in aid to Sudan, but while I applaud the donors' generosity, promises alone are not enough. Closing a Credibility Gap in Congress ...in the present Congress, a number of changes have been made to the committee's rules, and we are deeply concerned that they may spell the end of a credible, effective ethics process in the House. A crucial step in putting the process back on track is to repeal these changes, and we are co-sponsoring a resolution to do so. Please send any updates, corrections or advice on these issues or other tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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