Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirFebruary 21, 20183min3850

Just the other day Hot Sheet took note of an impending lawsuit by Pueblo County — in conjunction with other government entities nationwide — against the pharmaceutical industry that manufacturers much of the opioids being abused across Middle America. The legal premise: The way the industry makes and markets the prescription drugs, though federally regulated, makes it too easy for them to fall into the wrong hands.

We likened the legal foray to the lawsuits by state governments against Big Tobacco back in the ’90s; the states had contended they wanted compensation for the cost to Medicaid and other programs of treating tobacco’s ill-effects.

Now, state and local governments are eyeing another industry — fossil fuels — as they seek to affix blame for climate change. And it looks like Boulder’s about to get on board.

Reports Michael Sandoval of the oil-and-gas-industry-funded Western Wire:

The City of Boulder is considering “potential costs and risk” associated with launching a lawsuit against oil and gas companies, according to documents obtained through a Colorado Open Records Act request.

Boulder’s Mayor, Suzanne Jones, asked the City Attorney’s Office for advice on a possible climate change lawsuit against unnamed energy producers.

That advice is now pending while staff researches the idea. Its inspiration comes from that favorite whipping boy of the political right, the Left Coast, writes Sandoval:

In discussions at the November 14 meeting, City Attorney Tom Carr told the council that the lawsuit would be brought by the unnamed law firm on Boulder’s behalf, pro bono, with other Colorado local governments potentially joining as named parties.

Carr outlined a California model.

“That is, suing under a nuisance or negligence theory in state court, which is what they’ve done in California. Not federal court,” Carr said in video of the council meeting.

What are the odds of success? Where there’s a will there’s a way, and in post-modern America, it seems, that way is through the courts.


Simon LomaxSimon LomaxJanuary 31, 201812min8760

Tom Steyer is back in Colorado politics. Well, actually, he never really left. Anyone who follows politics in our state should know Steyer well. He’s the environmental activist and California hedge-fund billionaire who spent more than $7 million on a failed campaign against U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R) in 2014. He poured at least $2 million more into Colorado politics in 2016, spending big on the presidential election and another failed campaign to seize control of the Colorado state legislature. 

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMay 19, 20173min1940

…And Horace Greeley himself, were he still with the living, no doubt would be on board. Gardner’s Washington office in fact sent us media types a press release today identifying those stakeholders (Greeley wasn’t included). All of which probably belongs in our “Cory Gardner” file’s not-surprising-but-still-noteworthy subfolder.

As has been widely reported, the Republican junior senator from Colorado and 3rd Congressional District Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, have introduced legislation to move the federal Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters to the western United States. Gardner was quoted in a press statement from his office explaining the strategy earlier this month :

“Moving BLM’s headquarters West is a common sense solution that Coloradans from across the political spectrum support. … Ninety-nine percent of the nearly 250 million acres of land managed by BLM is West of the Mississippi River, and having the decision-makers present in the communities they impact will lead to better policy. Coloradans want more Colorado common sense from Washington and this proposal accomplishes that goal.”

Gardner is touting Colorado’s own Grand Junction as the potential new HQ, but under the legislation, the agency could move to any of the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming. Obviously, the fact that two Colorado lawmakers introduced the bill can’t hurt our state’s prospects.

Today’s press release from Gardner’s people touts the breadth and depth of Coloradans in favor of the idea; the press release includes snippets of their supportive comments, taken from letters (also posted by Gardner’s office) they wrote endorsing the BLM move.

The list of supporters includes the influential West Slope group Club 20, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Farm Bureau as well as the editorial boards of several of the state’s daily newspapers — and even a casual endorsement from Gov. John Hickenlooper, captured on video in March by the blog Western Wire.

Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 2, 20173min168
This is an interesting take: The Republican who chose not to run for U.S. Senate is guessing what the Democrat who won it, Michael Bennet, might do to help or hurt the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch of Denver. George Brauchler, the south metro Denver district attorney who opted not to run for Senate […]

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