Category Archives: Women’s Writing Project

 GUEST COLUMN: Transportation tax a bad idea for Colorado


By: Kim Monson  April 23, 2017

The proposed 21 percent state sales tax increase, Colorado transportation House Bill (HB)17-1242, estimates tax collection of $14 billion, however, only $5 billion (if we’re generous) is required to go to roads and bridges. A big portion can be spent on subsidized multimodal projects (light rail, bullet trains, bike & walk paths, driverless cars, high occupancy vehicles, etc). Everything but a privately owned vehicle. If you like your car, you may not be able to keep your car.

HB17-1242’s proposed 21 percent state sales tax increase passed in the Colorado House of Representatives and is traveling through the Colorado Senate. If approved, HB17-1242 will appear on the Colorado ballot in November 2017. I hope that our state senators who care about hardworking individuals throughout Colorado will just say no!

A 21 percent state sales tax increase hurts Colorado families who are trying to make ends meet, save for their children’s education and dream of buying a home. Almost everything we purchase – cars, clothes and craft beer – will be more expensive, however, interestingly enough, aviation fuels used in turbo-propeller or jet engine aircraft are items exempted in HB17-1242. Curious.

Per the Colorado Chamber Capitol Report, HB17-1242 is estimated to bring in $700 million per year or $14 billion over the 20-year life of the tax increase. Fourteen billion is a lot of money and HB17-1242 is one of the most impressive “bait and switches” in recent Colorado history. Here’s the breakdown:

– $375 million per year is dedicated to pay off $3.5 billion (not to exceed $5 billion with interest) in Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANs). The $3.5 billion is to be used for Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) capital projects, implying roads and bridges, however the money can be used for multi-modal capital projects as well.

– $227.5 million per year or $4.55 billion is earmarked for counties and municipalities for transportation projects, again not restricted to roads and bridges.

– $97.5 million per year or $1.95 billion is earmarked for multimodal projects.

In adding up the numbers, that leaves $3.5 billion with no explanation of spending. And the language in HB17-1242 asks that these taxes not be subject to the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), Article X of the Colorado Constitution. If taxes collected from HB17-1242 are above projections, the transit czars, politicians and bureaucrats can keep our hard-earned dollars instead of returning the excess back to the people.

Our roads and bridges could certainly use a little love. However, politicians and bureaucrats have been shaving anywhere from 20 percent to 30 percent out of the Highway User Tax Fund for subsidized projects such as trains, bike paths and walking paths for years while neglecting our roads and bridges.

The preliminary 2018 Colorado budget calls for $26.8 billion in spending. If politicians and bureaucrats would dedicate just 1 percent of the budget for our roads and bridges, Coloradoans could enjoy less road congestion, safer highways and faster mobility without a 21 percent ding in our wallets.

Kim Monson is co-host of “The Americhicks – Molly & Kim” on Salem Media’s 1690 AM, KDMT “Denver’s Money Talk” or livestream at Monson is a former Lone Tree City Council councilwoman.

Click here for the original article.

The Law of Reason versus Sanctuary Cities

I stopped by a small deli this morning across from the Capitol in downtown Denver.  The establishment is run by refugees from Bhutan.  I had to look up where Bhutan is since my geography skills are severely lacking.  Anyway, in case you are interested, it’s located in Asia bordered by China on the north and India on the south.  It is the smallest state in Asia.  Upon entering the deli, I was surprised to see various signs that said “Refugees welcome here”.  It made me think – why would they think refugees would NOT be welcome?  I was with a colleague of mine (who is far left) and I asked her why she thought they had posted those signs.  Her response was that the people who own the business ARE refugees.  Well, I was a refugee too.  My parents had a restaurant when I was growing up and I don’t remember them ever feeling the need to advertise the fact that we were refugees or that refugees were welcome in our establishment.

The bigger problem here in Denver and around the country, is that people have the impression that refugees and immigrants are not welcome.  Denver Mayor Hancock has been very adamant and vocal about taking on the “sanctuary” title, although legalistically, Denver is not a sanctuary city.  There is not a specific legal definition of what constitutes a “Sanctuary city”, but CNN has defined it as a jurisdiction that has policies in place designed to limit cooperation with or involvement in federal immigration enforcement actions.  The goal is to protect undocumented [aka illegal] immigrants who are not otherwise engaged in criminal activity from being detained or deported.

While the left is working very hard at portraying Trump as a big old mean white guy who hates immigrants and refugees, they are missing the point and the facts about what is really happening in this country.  The truth is, laws are being broken and crimes are being committed and the people supporting sanctuary status are in essence enablers of these crimes.  Furthermore, they are putting their feelings and emotions above the law.  They are choosing illegal aliens over citizens.  A prime example is Kate Steinle, who was gunned down in San Francisco and murdered by an illegal alien who was a felon and was deported five times prior.  The City refused to turn him over to Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE) because of the city’s “sanctuary law”.  The Steinle family filed a lawsuit against the City of San Francisco, the Sheriff Department, ICE, and the Bureau of Land Management, who apparently owned the gun that killed Kate Steinle.  Unfortunately the case was dismissed and unfortunately, there was no justice for this senseless crime that would have never happened if the City did not defy federal immigration laws.

Closer to home, we have recently experienced a similar case with Ever Valles, a Mexican illegal who was described by ICE as a “known gang member”.  He was released last December after Denver jail officials gave ICE a 26 minute notification via fax.  Obviously ICE was not able to be there to receive Valles before he was released.  Two short months later, Valles was formally charged with the shooting death of an innocent 32-year old man named Tim Cruz.

The term sanctuary is defined in the dictionary as a “place of refuge or safety”.  What about the safety of legal citizens, like Kate Steinle or Tim Cruz, who never broke the law?  Where was their refuge or safety?  This is the problem with the policy and those who support it as they go all out to blindly protect and defend outsiders.  Aristotle once said “the law is reason, free from passion”.  I believe we need to apply this to the concept of “sanctuary cities” because then it is clear that regardless of one’s feelings and emotions, the law should still be followed.  This includes and is especially directed towards the local government officials who are working for us.

The media outlets try to paint a picture of President Trump and his supporters as racist, anti-immigrant, back-country, toothless white folks (although my husband is white and was toothless for a short period of time…and what constitutes white anyway?).  However, we are regular, hard working, law abiding citizens from all backgrounds and nationalities.  I am proud to be part of this group and I hope to be a voice of reason.  Maybe that deli owner from Bhutan will one day understand that it is a given that law abiding, legal immigrants and refugees are welcome in this country, so posting signs stating the obvious will not be necessary.

Blog by Thuy Patton

Why I Am Voting For Trump

This election year has been anything but typical.  These past 8 years have been anything but peaceful and prosperous for our country.  Just when I thought our nation had finally reached a point where people in this country were truly accepting and even embracing our differences, this wishful thinking was crushed soon after President Obama took office.  I really believed that electing a Black President would surely take this nation to a whole new level of integration and representation around the world how truly united we are.  Unfortunately and ironically, the exact opposite has occurred – our nation has never been more divided.

Everyone can have an opinion on this matter, but I have a unique perspective on this because I am a minority and I have had personal experience with racism and prejudice during my 4 decades living in this country.  I remember growing up in a rural Midwest town, where our family and several other Vietnamese refugees, were the only Asians in that entire northeast part of Minnesota.  You can bet that there were folks who didn’t know what to make of us.  The food we ate smelled weird, we looked different, sounded different, and our culture and way of life was completely foreign to those around us who were trying to help us assimilate.  Additionally, some of these people lost loved ones in the Vietnam War.   I know it wasn’t easy for my parents.  My dad spoke a few broken words of English and my mom – not at all.  But with hard work and perseverance, we slowly gained the trust and respect of our neighbors, teachers, and the community.  Eventually my parents introduced our food to the community and the community was receptive and thus began our family’s venture into the food and restaurant business.  I was 10 years old and I remember people in that town seeing eggrolls for the first time. We’ve come a long way since then, and along the way we experienced a lot of harsh comments and dealt with racially prejudiced and judgmental people.  Sometimes, no most times it’s tough when you are the first to do something, to be a pioneer.  Our family was the first Asians in town, we were foreigners and people were unfamiliar with us.  I can’t blame the people who didn’t always have kind words – they may have been ignorant, uneducated, or feared the unknown.  I am sure my parents encountered many more confrontations than they let on, but they never gave up and they never expected any form of government control to come in and rescue us.  You see, we escaped Vietnam because of the communist government regime in that country.  In America, we have our freedom, and that is why I must vote for Donald Trump – because he represents the party that stands for what I believe in.  A vote for the Democrat party only leads us closer to a government that my family escaped forty years ago.   As for those people who were not sure of us and our cuisine, they eventually came around and a few of those folks became regulars at our family restaurant.

By Thuy Patton

A Few Thoughts Before The Election-From A Polish Girl

Came to this beautiful country 20 years ago and…fell in love with its people, ideas, way of life and… landscapes. Today I call it home, my home, proudly. I came legally and obtaining my US citizen status was source of pride. It was also a choice I made, I did not have to stay here for political or economic reasons-I stayed because I discovered freedom here for the first time. They thought me that FREEDOM is simply ability to choose and first time in my life I had choices, many of them!
Forgive me that I am so fascinated by politics and feel that before election -to make right choice -we shall engage, I know its very unpopular those days, I know. I am glad people express views on internet, exchange of information makes us stronger-especially in era of one sided media. I enjoy good political discussion and diffrent views, but no matter how hard I try it is very hard to me to understand people who would fallow socialistic (lefties) ideas which are beautiful at its core- but do not work (always destroy society and an individual) Bernie was great- but his ideas will never work.

Talks, arguments from both-left and right sides- hopefully let me understand WHY people choose one system or the other? Unfortunately-very often, I am not getting any answers, I see blind followers. I am getting ready for this election- I am researching, reading and watching and making my small discoveries: Hillary is not a good human being-to say very delicately, she is a unmoral lair, not a leader, obsess with power. Guess what- years ago- I considered voting for her-but did my research and what I see is simply terrifying. She is not in jail for one reason- system is corrupt on the higher level. At this point- I do not know if our votes even matter, I do not know -maybe it is all already set up by the worlds elites, I do not even know if I will vote this year. What I see- is incredible corruption, lies and diffrent standards applied to ordinary men who try to live with honesty and hard work and to our lying leaders who put money in their own pockets (with an exception of few senators) and that breaks my heart-because I remember diffrent America, very diffrent and wonder would we ever go back to its glory and freedom or will slavery continue to progress? And there is Trump, “the clown an idiot” (called by media desperately trying to shape our opinion ) ,but….a millioner. As to the Trump- the only hope is that he is NOT the part of the establishment and hopefully will repeat Reagan’s legacy in this country. My research continues and if my conclusion will be- he is- I will change my political views before November- and for the first time in my life here-will NOT vote, which again-breaks my heart, breaks me as a person, mother and an American.If you know me-you know how dear freedom and liberty is to me, and when its gone- America and its dream will be gone as well and new era of totalitarianism and government control will rise.

By: Dorie Lisowska

A Woman’s Concern for Colorado

My family moved to Colorado during the year 2000, and ever since I have always been proud to say I am from Colorado.  I find that for people from other states, Colorado has a mystique about it.  Colorado is known for its wonderful natural beauty, for its independent and rugged citizens.  However, there are many issues on the political landscape that, should they pass, have potential to change Colorado in deep and profound ways.  These changes would be devastating to the future of Colorado, especially if these issues come together in a perfect storm.

I am very concerned about many of the fracking measures that may sound good, but would really serve to end fracking around our state.  I am reminded of a time this summer when I was walking around CSU and a student came with a petition for me to sign that would help end fracking.  When I declined signing the petition, letting her know that I loved fracking, her response was to hold her hand on her heart and declare how sad that made her feel.  She quickly left after that appeal did not seem to move me.  However I would like to take a moment to say how sad it makes me feel when I contemplate the future if her petition were to pass; sad for families who will lose livelihoods and struggle to support their children, sad to see the increase in costs to all people of Colorado in filling our energy needs, sad to think of future foreign wars that may have been avoided and lives saved if we allow fracking and increase our real potential to be energy independent .  Yes those things do move me!

But what would even be worse is if these economy crushing fracking bans pass, and at the same time Amendment 69 passes, which would totally destroy the health care of Colorado.  Can you imagine the economic impact the necessary increase of taxes would be on Coloradans  to pay for such a measure.  What would a state run health care do to the availability of quality care!  First we lure people in to Colorado for legalized marijuana, but no worries, when they become homeless on the streets, we will pay for their healthcare—FREE!  But if that is not enough to destroy Colorado’s economy, there is also Amendment 70 which would raise the minimum wage from $8.31 to $12 an hour within four years.  That will surely make business want to come here, and stay here, and hire more Coloradans to work, right?!

We need to do all we can to fight for a free and prosperous Colorado, a Colorado that can continue to be a beacon to independent, hard- working Americans, a Colorado that will continue to be known for it’s beauty and mystique.

By: Tomi