Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 14, 20173min885

Just to remind people how Donald Trump appears to have gotten to the White House, 15 Democratic senators the Federal Elections Commission to unmask who pays for online ads. Colorado’s Sen. Michael Bennet, you bet, is in the mix.

They cited Russian operatives who bought ads on Facebook, Twitter and Google to support Trump over Hillary Clinton last year.

The senators want the same disclosures you find on radio and TV ads.

“Over the past year, our country has come to realize the ease with which foreign actors can interfere in our elections, undermining the integrity of – and reducing public confidence in – the electoral process,” the letter states. “As part of a wide-ranging interference campaign during the 2016 election, Russian operatives used advertisements on social media platforms to sow division and discord, distorting public discourse and coarsening our political debate. The actions undertaken by Russia should not be considered an anomaly; they will be the norm in future elections if we do not take immediate action to improve the transparency and security of our election process.”

“We believe the FEC can and should take immediate and decisive action to ensure parity between ads seen on the internet and those on television and radio,” the senators continued. “The FEC must close loopholes that have allowed foreign adversaries to sow discord and misinform the American electorate…Failure to act threatens the very foundation of our democracy.”

Bennet’s office cited his past work on election transparency: “Je has urged the Government Accountability Office to investigate the Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity, introduced a constitutional amendment to fix the campaign finance system, and written a letter calling on the FEC to make campaign related spending more transparent.”

Bennet was joined by Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia, Amy Klobuchar and Al Fraken of Minnesota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Dianne Feinstein of California, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Bill Nelson of Florida, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.


Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandOctober 12, 20178min632
The increasingly polarized political dialogue in the United States is due, at least in part, to Russian manipulation of social issues, according to two national security experts who visited Denver Thursday. The panel on cybersecurity took place during a luncheon hosted by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, the state’s chamber of commerce. It […]

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Scott TiptonScott TiptonAugust 1, 20176min334
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton

The United States has stood strong for 241 years. Through our commitment to a strong national defense, we have been able to protect our interests at home and abroad. Unfortunately, as our intelligence and defense assets have advanced, so have those of our adversaries. Today, cyberattacks, efforts to meddle in our democratic process, intercontinental ballistic missile threats, and governments that continue to support terrorist activity force us to respond to numerous threats across the world. In the last few weeks, Congress has taken necessary actions to address these risks.

The House and Senate both recently passed a bill (H.R. 3364) that preserves and strengthens sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

There is no question among the intelligence community that Russia engaged in efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, and it is critical that we stand up to any country that attempts to undermine our democratic process. In addition to attempting to undermine our election process, Vladimir Putin continues to pose threats to global stability. I am glad there is bipartisan agreement in Congress that any significant changes to U.S. foreign policy concerning Russia must be approved by the legislative branch. H.R. 3364 requires the president to submit to Congress any proposed actions to terminate or waive sanctions with respect to Russia. After receiving the report, Congress would have thirty days to approve or deny the proposed actions. Russia must face consequences for its actions.

We have seen the Kim Jong Un regime in North Korea test 17 missiles since February, and we know that the country conducted its first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States. This is unacceptable, and Kim Jong Un must be stopped. H.R. 3364 cuts the flow of cash North Korea needs to support its ballistic missile program by prohibiting any entity that does business in the United States from also conducting business in North Korea.

Despite warnings from the United States, Iran continues to fund terrorist activities, strengthening our adversaries and undermining stability in the Middle East. The Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran has done little to bring more security to the world. Instead, Iran has received billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran is supporting Hezbollah, one of the most dangerous terrorist groups, and the Assad regime’s attacks on its own people in Syria. H.R. 3364 punishes anyone who contributes to Iran’s ballistic missile program and places new sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to deter further support of terrorist activities.

Recently, the House Homeland Security Committee released alarming statistics that show 39 cases where homegrown jihadists have supported the plotting or financing of terrorist attack attempts. One hundred and ninety-nine attacks have been planned against the West since 2013. These numbers show why a strong Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is so important. I am proud the House, along with my support, has passed the Department of Homeland Security Authorization ActNational Defense Authorization Act, and the Make Americans Secure Appropriations Act – a funding bill that ensures all U.S. military and security operations have the resources they need to identify and respond to threats and keep Americans safe.

Although threats continue to grow and evolve, the United States has the strongest military in the world, and Congress is committed to providing our military with resources to keep it that way. We may have different views on many topics, but we all agree that the security of our nation and safety of all Americans is a top priority.


Rachael WrightRachael WrightJune 22, 20178min324

Twenty Years Ago This Week in The Colorado Statesman: Little old Colorado was plunged into the deep end of international politics when Denver hosted eight world leaders from the Group of Seven. Denver rolled out the carpet for national leaders from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia and the United Kingdom, and on the agenda for discussion were a host of heavy-weight issues including


Peter MarcusPeter MarcusJune 16, 20176min378

There was bipartisan applause this week after the U.S. Senate placed new sanctions on Iran and Russia.

Colorado U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, and Cory Gardner, a Republican, backed the sanctions to punish Iran for recently testing ballistic missiles, as well as human rights abuses, and to signal to Russia that the United States will not tolerate interference in elections, as well as its actions in Syria.

The bill imposes sanctions on anyone involved with Iran’s ballistic missile program and those who do business with them. It also applies sanctions to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and enforces an arms embargo in an effort to combat terrorism.

For Russia, the legislation strengthens existing sanctions against areas of its economy and imposes new sanction on anyone engaged in cyber attacks on behalf of the Russian government.

New sanctions against Russia also were put in place over human rights abuses and anyone who supplied weapons to Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad.

The measure prohibits the White House from lifting sanctions against Russia without congressional approval. It faces an uncertain future in the U.S. House, and it sets up a collision course with President Trump, who is trying to improve relations with Moscow.

“While it will likely not get the attention and coverage it deserves, Republicans and Democrats took action together today against Russia,” Gardner said in a statement. “This bipartisan legislation is a strong message to Vladimir Putin: The United States will not stand idly by as you undermine democracy and human rights around the globe.”

While the bill passed with bipartisan support, Gardner still took a crack at President Obama for pushing the Iran nuclear deal, which sought to ease economic sanctions on Iran if the country reduced nuclear material production.

“One of President Obama’s biggest foreign policy blunders was the nuclear agreement with Iran, which emboldened Tehran (the capital of Iran) to ramp up its nefarious activities, including ballistic missile tests, support for terrorism, and human rights abuses,” Gardner said. “These bipartisan sanctions are a firm response to this grave threat to U.S. national security.”

Bennet applauded the passage of the new bipartisan sanctions as well. But in doing so, he took a jab at President Trump.

“By providing an opportunity for congressional review, we can ensure that the administration can’t roll back sanctions without justification or for inappropriate reasons,” Bennet said in a statement. “Russia continues to deploy a wide range of tools aimed at harming the United States, and it is clear that, if left unchecked, Russia will continue to undermine our democratic institutions.

“The Russia sanctions are critical to countering the Kremlin’s continued threats to our interests and those of our allies. The House should pass this bill quickly, and the president should sign it into law.  This will send a strong message that there are consequences for Russia’s interference in our democracy.”

Gardner and Bennet also worked on an amendment to the bill that aims at protecting the aerospace industry, which has a large presence in Colorado. Original language in the bill would have sanctioned U.S. civil and commercial aerospace activities. It was an unintended consequence of the legislation’s original language, which did not mean to impose sanctions on the industry.

The amendment allows NASA to move forward with planned missions, which often benefits aerospace companies based in Colorado. Without passage of the amendment, Bennet and Gardner said NASA would have had to close up to seven space missions.

“American leadership in space is vital to our national security and position in the world,” Bennet said. “Colorado’s robust aerospace community plays an essential role in maintaining that leadership. This bipartisan amendment ensures NASA and commercial space missions can move forward as planned and continues efforts to reduce our reliance on Russia in the long term.”

“I offered a bipartisan amendment to the Iran sanctions bill today for one simple reason: It will ensure NASA and our commercial space industry will continue to be the world’s leader in aerospace,” Gardner added. “Without today’s amendment, U.S. astronauts would be forced to continue to rely on Russia for access to space for even longer.

“I’m proud Colorado is a leader in aerospace and I will continue to support my home state’s efforts as they play a critical role in space exploration. I’m thankful the Senate came together today to approve this amendment and reaffirm America’s leadership in space.”


Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayJune 15, 20178min428

In the aftermath of the terrorist atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush drew a line in the sand. “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make,” he announced. “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” Since then, disappointingly if not surprisingly, more than a few nations have straddled that line, providing support to America and America’s enemies alike. Is that because they sympathize with the goals of the terrorists or because they’re afraid of the terrorists or is there some other explanation? It’s not clear. What is: No nation has hedged its bets more egregiously than Qatar.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningJune 15, 201720min421

Near the end of the town hall in Frisco last Friday, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat in his ninth year in the Senate, invoked the famous answer Benjamin Franklin gave when asked what the framers of the Constitution had created. “He was asked, ‘What kind of government are you forming, a republic or a monarchy?’ and his answer was, ‘A republic, if you can keep it.’”