Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin endorsed Tom Tancredo for governor at a fundraiser at a gun club in Colorado Springs Saturday night.

His campaign sent a press release about the endorsement, but it did not notify Colorado Politics about the event in advance.

“Tom and I go back 15 years and I have long identified as a Tom Tancredo supporter,” Malkin, who lives in Manitou Springs, is quoted as saying. “Tom is exactly what Colorado needs.”

The campaign said about 100 people “packed” into the Whistling Pines Gun Club-West for the event.

Tancredo is making his third run for governor, his second as a Republican, courting the party’s alt-right base. He decided to run for governor after the political organization VDARE was forced to cancel a conference in Colorado Springs next April, after the venue, Cheyenne Mountain Resort, pulled its contract under public pressure.

The organization has direct ties to the organizer of the Charlottesville, Va., rally over the removal of Confederate statue that turned deadly last August.

Tancredo was to be a featured guest at the Cheyenne Mountain resort event.

In the governor’s race Tancredo faces fellow Republicans Walker Stapleton, Doug Robinson, Victor Mitchell, Steve Barlock, Lew Gaiter, Greg Lopez, Cynthia Coffman and Jim Rundberg.

In 2010, Tancredo was the American Constitution Party candidate, where he finished second by Democrat John Hickenlooper, but beat the Republican nominee, Dan Maes. In 2014 he lost out in the Republican to Bob Beauprez.

What natural disaster kills more Americans than hurricanes? Given how much news coverage hurricanes get, you’d think this more lethal disaster must get even more, making this a very easy question.

Well, according to the National Weather Service, it’s lightning — yes, lightning — and by a factor of many.

Lightning kills on average about 40 Americans a year and injures about 400. Interestingly, 80 percent of those deaths and injuries happen to men, thus Sen. Elizabeth Warren is working on legislation to close the Lightning Gap.

So why doesn’t CNN go to wall-to-wall coverage at the scene of a massive lightning strike, showing the video of Trump tossing paper towels to lightning victims? For the same reason there’s no national coverage of a car fatality, even though some 37,000 people died in car crashes last year. Compare that to “only” 3,000 who died on 9/11, or the 555 soldiers a year who’ve died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars since 2001.

There is no media sizzle in the deaths of one or two people at a time. Therefore, it holds little space in our collective conversation.

If only all 37,000 people could die in car crashes on the same day, there’d be monuments built, fast action in Congress to address the crisis, and a Lee Greenwood song.

There’s no better example of the media’s ability to emotionally bait an issue out of all mathematical proportion than that of “assault rifles.”

First let’s clarify again what most reporters don’t, likely since it runs counter to their anti-gun bias. Very, very few people own assault rifles. They are nearly impossible to get due to the limited supply and regulatory burden to get one. An assault weapon is capable of firing several rounds of ammunition with one pull of the trigger.

What is falsely reported as an assault rifle is just an average semi-automatic rifle, where only one round is fired with every trigger pull. What makes it confusing is that a so-called assault rifle cosmetically can look like a real assault rifle. It has a pistol-grip, more durable polymer stocks and, like virtually all semi-automatics, a detachable magazine.

I can’t blame people who aren’t into guns if they don’t know this. Sadly, the blurring of the lines between real assault rifles and modern sporting rifles by the use of a “bump stock” in Las Vegas has done more to educate people about the difference than the media ever did.

Years ago, I showed my girlfriend a rifle I owned with a nice wood stock. She dutifully acted interested but hardly excited. Then, without her seeing, I removed the wood stock, put on a polymer folding stock with a pistol grip, and a 30-round magazine and again showed her. “Oh my,” she said, this time much more animated, “is that an Israeli assault weapon?” No! It was the exact same gun!

People are freaking out over what a gun looks like, not how it works. Gun-racism.

But it’s the numbers that shine light on this phenomenon. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, last year there were 11,004 homicides by firearm, but only 374 were done with a rifle. Keep in mind so-called assault rifles make up only a fraction of that whole “rifle” category.

So, the national anger is over a weapon that is used in a fraction of one-third of 1 percent of all murders. No wonder the 10-year assault weapon ban signed into law by President Bill Clinton had no impact at all.

Yes, it goes without saying 374 lives lost to any type of rifle is tragic and we must work to end it. But shouldn’t there be over four times the media coverage on the 1,604 people killed with knives last year? Some 472 were killed with blunt instruments like clubs and hammers, some of which had polymer, not wood, handles. And nearly twice as many people were killed with hands, fists and feet.

I know math was no reporter’s favorite subject, but just a little of it might melt away a lot of panic and focus our outrage. Who knows, maybe it’ll save some lives?

Jon Caldara, a Denver Post columnist, is president of the Independence Institute, a libertarian-conservative think tank in Denver, and host of “Devil’s Advocate” on Colorado Public Television.

Clean-energy projects will gain access to tax incentives currently reserved for fossil-fuel industries if a bipartisan bill makes it through Congress.

Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., collaborated to introduce the Master Limited Partnership Parity Act last week, saying the bill will 'level' the playing field for the renewable-energy industry.

“It is time we update our tax code to reflect our changing economy and commitment to the health and future of our planet,” Bennet said in a statement.

Rather than create new tax structures, the bill extends incentives already available to fossil-fuel industries. The senators both said the change should not disrupt existing businesses, and would only increase the viability of companies not receiving the same breaks as the rest of the energy industry.

Gardner, also in a statement, said the bill will help strengthen America’s energy independence, aid the emerging industry, and create jobs in Colorado and the rest of the country.

A congressional staff member in Bennet’s office, who asked not to be named, said Master Limited Partnerships helped create incentives to build oil and gas pipelines in Colorado, and could do the same for solar, wind and carbon-capture businesses. Unlike previous bills, this bill would also make the tax structure permanent, the staffer said.

Christi Zeller, executive director of La Plata County Energy Council, said in an email to The Durango Herald that expanding the definitions for the tax credits seemed fair, but cautioned investors to make sure they are well-versed on the details of these partnerships, should they choose to explore renewable opportunities.

“The incentive structure is designed to benefit the manager, sponsor or general partner, so investors need to be educated,” Zeller wrote. “Investors in MLPs may have less protection than investors in corporations.”

The bill is being introduced in tandem with one from the House side being put forward by Republican Ted Poe of Texas.

Samuel Northrop is a reporting intern for The Durango Herald in Washington, D.C., and a student at American University.


Are Blouder’s housing policies 'accidentally' racist?
If whites move into town, it’s called gentrification, and that’s racist. If whites move out of town, that’s called white flight, and well, that’s racist, too. But what if it African-Americans move out? Well, that would just be called Blouder.

As my colleague Randal O’Toole pointed out this month, U.S. Census data shows that between 2010 and 2016 the population of Boulder grew by over 10,000. At the same time the black population of Boulder dropped by 30 percent. Gotta love progressive policies, like growth control, that victimize the very people progressives spend all day yapping their sympathy for.

Boulderites use limits on new construction, growth boundaries and open space to stifle growth in order to enrich themselves — I mean, preserve Boulder’s charming and unique character.

By some small miracle my wife at the time and I were able to scrape together enough for a down payment for a shoebox house in 1992 for $120,000. Thanks to Boulder’s elitist policies it’s now worth at least $750,000. (Don’t worry, after a very expensive, yet amicable divorce, my share of that appreciation isn’t that much.) Point being, this forced market scarcity makes Boulderites asset-rich with a stroke of the pen. And isn’t that how wealth should be created?

But white privilege isn’t without its charity. Boulder has developed ways to give working poor people the illusion that they too own piece of the rock, while keeping them asset-poor and creating a permanent under-class.

Boulder requires those few developers who can get a building permit to sell 25 percent of their units as “permanently affordable,” far under market value. They make up the loss by jacking up prices on the remaining 75 percent of the units, making them even more untouchable for working people late to the game.

But how can a home be “permanently” affordable? My house was barely affordable when I bought it, but now it’s worth something I could never touch if I didn’t already own it. Well, when the poor schmuck who “buys” one of the these permanently affordable units (via a non-profit organization), he agrees that when he sells it he can only sell it for the original price plus inflation.

The house I bought in 1992 I now rent out. It’s my one and only investment property. I’m even thinking about going all Trump and slapping my name on it in gold letters. My hope is one day that income can help my handicapped son when he grows up. By contrast, the owner of a permanently affordable home is basically forbidden to rent out his place. I guess his income should always come from his labor, not investments. Hope his kid isn’t handicapped.

Imagine seeing your next-door neighbor sell his nearly identical place for twice what he paid for it, knowing you are barred from doing the same. Imagine watching your neighbor borrow on the massive equity in his home to put his kids through college or to start a new small business, while you and yours are forbidden the same opportunity. Which of you has a shot at the American dream?

Boulder is conning people into thinking that they are homeowners, when in reality they are just renters. And we in Boulder are pretty proud of this cruelty, using well-intentioned social engineering to smugly keep people in their place.


Dense legalese, confusing, and misleading. That’s my concise summary of Denver’s ballot questions 2A – 2G.

Here’s what they want you to believe, what a brief look at the ballot questions might reveal:

  1. They won’t raise your taxes.
  2. They will build things if you give them permission.

Here’s the reality: First, they don’t need your permission to build these things. That’s not what they are asking. They already have the authority.

Second, there will be a tax increase. Before promising to build things, they tell you they won’t raise the tax rate on bond service. After getting voters excited about free projects, then they tell you about the tax increase. Taxes will go up by $70 million the first year, and add that amount again every year after. That’s a big tax increase.

Now, we could talk about these projects. There is a slew of them. We could find good ones, necessary ones, and maybe not-so-good ones. But the city already has the authority to do them. That’s not the issue. That’s not what’s important.

We could ask whether a city with a $1.4 billion dollar budget and $1.5 billion in debt should raise nearly a billion dollars in new debt. That might be important, but that’s not what is most important.

We could talk about a city, flush with cash, increasing its payroll by 25% in just six years, spending tens of millions of dollars a year to keep reserves from growing too large, and if they could do this without raising taxes. That’s also not what is most important.

We could talk about how higher property taxes increases the cost of owning a home. Landlords pass those increases on to renters, and skyrocketing rents get a turbo-boost. More people will lose their homes. That’s very important, but it’s not what is most important.

What’s most important is that if any one of these ballot questions passes, your right as a Denver resident to have a say in how much of your money the government can take will be gone. The dense legalese in each of the seven questions on your ballot ends in Denver gaining the authority to “ … collect, retain and spend all such property taxes … and other legally available funds … ”

The politicians and bureaucrats will tell you that it doesn’t mean they can raise taxes at will. But here’s the problem – they already have the power, they just don’t have the authority. Challenging that power requires a successful lawsuit, and the Colorado judiciary regularly sides with government and grants the authority.

Denver could have been transparent and honest with the wording of these ballot questions. Despite record-breaking revenues, year after year, they failed to properly prioritize and blew through your money. Now, this is their opportunity to never have to ask you again for a tax increase, and it’s disguised as seven bond issues and projects.

If you believe government must be limited, vote no on each of these ballot questions.

Brian Vande Krol is a director of the TABOR Foundation, and of the Colorado Republican Business Coalition, although he is writing on his own behalf.

Xcel energy, the power company that has a monopoly in large parts of Colorado, has plans to jack up your rates over the next four years.

Several viewers reached out to 9NEWS with concerns about the following Xcel email that announced a proposed “change in electricity prices” for Colorado customers.

Basically, Xcel Energy, the power company that has a monopoly in large parts of Colorado, has plans to increase customers’ rates over the next four years.

The word “increase,” however, is not mentioned until customers click on the “customer notification” link within the email. 

Under the “Customer Benefits” section, the document says “we are proposing gradual, moderate rate increases,” with a somewhat vague-sounding list of item Xcel plans to spend the money on, including “advanced grid initiatives, infrastructure investments, power plant improvements we’ve made, and productivity-boosting technology investments.” 

The legally-required notice goes on to detail the four-year proposed plan, which is subject to approval by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

The 9News Verify team worked directly with one customer to address confusion with Xcel about how much of an increase customers would see and specifics about where the money would go.


You wouldn’t know it from reading the notice, but Xcel says if the proposal goes into effect, residential customers can calculate their own rate hikes by adding 9.6 percent to the electric portion of this year’s bills.

That is the full amount of the proposed rate increase, which would phase in gradually each year until it reaches 9.6 percent by 2021.