Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling)... persona non grata

Well, it's like this...If you thought the Texas & Florida legislatures cornered the market on skeevy tactics, you'd be wrong. Some of our very own Colorado Repo's are giving bottom feeders in all other 49 states a run for their money.
This is what I've got my nightie in a knot about right now...SB11-258, the "Local Foods" bill will die today, because Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Jerry Sonnenberg, (R-Sterling) refused to hold a committee meeting, until it is too late.
In spite of pleadings from Ag Committee member Randy Fischer, (D-Ft. Collins) and the fact that Colorado residents traveled from all over the state in order to testify before the committee in support of the bill, Rep. Sonnenberg 'flatly refused' to hold the committee meeting until Wednesday, guaranteeing the bill will die, as there is a legislative rule requiring 24 hours between a bill's second and final readings.
Well, isn't that special. It's not all bad news, though, because we're getting a crystal clear picture of who stands up for us,and who refuses to. These Reps have your back: Ed Vigil, (D-San Luis) and Don Coram (R-Montrose), who were co-sponsors of the bill, Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass Village) introduced the bill, and is a big advocate for the 'cottage industry food' movement. Randy Fischer, the good guy from Dist. 53 showed us what he's made of, and that he'll go to bat for the people of Colorado. All the people of Colorado, not just big Ag business. He fought a good fight. Hats off to you, Rep. Fischer! He also took the time to reply to email messages, and there were many sent.
If any of this pisses you off, make a call or send an email...this is the only way we'll ever get anyone's attention. Let them know you're watching and listening.
A footnote on this; while researching the members of the House Ag Committee, I found a couple of really frightening things, for instance: Jerry Sonnenberg is one of the six Republicans who voted against Civil Unions, (how proud will he be when history tells this story?)  and J.Paul Brown (R-Ignacio) Dist. 59, is a climate change denier, and was the lone vote against House Bill 1079, a non-controversial bill which passed 64 -1. It streamlined providing services to homeless youth. We're not sure why Brown voted against it, but it deserves an explanation. Good voting records, dudes!
Here's a list of email addresses and phone numbers for members of the House Ag Committee Members.  Remember, if you don't pay attention, who will?

Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling) District 65;  303-866-3706
Marsha Looper (R-Calhan) District 19; 303-866-2946
Randy Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulphur Springs) District 57, 303-866-2949
Matt Jones (D-Longmont) District 12, 303-866-2920
Roger Wilson (D-Glenwood Spgs) District 61, 303-866-2398
Don Coram (R-Montrose) District 58, 303-866-2955
J.Paul Brown (R-Ignacio) District 59, 303-866-2914
Glenn Vaad (R-Mead) District 48, 303-866-2943
Ray Scott (R-GJ) District 54, 303-866-3068
Wes McKinley (D-Walsh) District 64, 303-866-2398
Su Ryden (D-Aurora) District 36, 303-866-2942
Edward Vigil (D-San Luis) District 62, 303-866-2916
Randy Fischer (D-Ft. Collins) District 53, 303-866-2917

All politics is local, right?

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