Monday, February 19, 2018

Koch Brothers Exposed [2014] Robert Greenwald documentary

Here's a look at what the Koch Brothers were up to until about 2014, their investment seems to be paying off handsomely.  These are not "libertarian" defenders, they are predators and taking over our government is their goal.  At least that's what all the evidence consistently points to.  |  55 minutes  |  Robert Greenwald
Koch Brothers Exposed - 2014 Edition - challenges David and Charles Koch's abuse of money in politics. Robert Greenwald's updated film has new stories on corporate greed, environmental abuse and the buying of elections.  ______________________________________________________________________

Sunday, February 18, 2018

¶ SaveLaPlataCounty's "Facts" Tainted by Koch's DarkMoney Tentacles

Examining the fundamental deception being foisted on us by “SaveLaPlataCounty” and the 
Koch DarkMoney funded web they are a part of.  

(click on image for clearer view)

To begin with, isn’t their summary title a bit hysterical? 

La Plata County doesn’t need saving.  Look around at our country, we are amongst the luckiest people in America, in the world.  What La Plata needs saving from is a ruthless, contrived campaign intent on injecting misunderstanding and divisiveness into local politics.

Second, they repeat idealistic sounding phrases, but show little concern for accurately representing facts, their own, or their opponent’s actual position.  Their narrative breaths contempt for environmental problems and safety regulations that benefit all of us, along with all who are concerned with those issues.  

Third, there’s nothing homespun or grassroots about or their recall effort.  It is part of a national strategy to make end runs around “liberal” bastions of our country, and eject us from what they feel entitled to.  “All of it!”

Please consider the four references "" provides for supporting evidence of their claims.  Look at them.  None contain specific evidence or charges.  Instead they are agenda driven ‘news’ articles of carefully crafted word-salad.  Full of insinuations, attitude, but nothing solid except for links to Koch’s DarkMoney octopus and a distain for environmental safety standards. 

1, 3)  Western Wire Reports

Facing Recall, New Questions Emerge For Lachelt Ahead Of COGCC Hearing”
  -  By Michael Sandoval, February 12, 2018
Ethics Questions Continue To Swirl Around La Plata County Commissioner
  -  By Michael Sandoval, July 17, 2017

Western Wire is a project of Western Energy Alliance, a non-profit regional oil and natural gas association based in Denver, Colo., and active across 13 states. (

Michael J. Sandoval is a contract Energy Policy Associate Analyst for the Independence Institute.  Before that an investigative reporter for The Heritage Foundation and he is a 2013 graduate of the Koch Associate Program.   (

Speaking of transparency, do you know who Western Energy Alliance is?

“Western Energy Alliance: The Voice of the Industry in the West - focuses on federal legislative, regulatory, environmental, public lands and other policy issues. We represent the voice of the Western oil and natural gas industry in a variety of ways.” 

The Coors-funded Independence Institute is a free-market, libertarian think tank based in Denver, Colorado. The non-profit is a member of the State Policy Network

2)  Free Range Report Depicts Lachelt’s Lobbying Activities

The author Marjorie Haun has written for American Thinker, the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal,, and Colorado Peak Politics…

watchdog org
Watchdogorg is a project of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, a non-profit organization dedicated to the principles of transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility.  (As part of our 501(c)3, non-profit mission, which is where the DarkMoney is)

Franklin Center Top Donor Is Right-
Joe Strupp   |   February 22, 2013

Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity  -  Background

3)  Colorado Peak Politics Article

“RECALL! Environmental Whacko Faces the Ax By Voters”
February 9, 2018   |  Colorado’s Conservative Bully Pulpit

poor job performance  -  A LIE !  -

double-dipping  -  A LIE !  - 
“No substance to the Lachelt recall effort”

repeatedly leveraged our public office for her private gain  -  A LIE !  -
“Recall effort: Blaming unpopularity of land use code on Gwen Lachelt alone is misguided”

That article is pure biased angry inflammatory bullying.  Venom filled words, but in the end very little substance and what there was of that was misrepresented.  This is precisely the kind of emotional vitriol that destroys the democratic civility we depend on to keep our society functioning.  Exactly what the oligarchs want, this cynical recall attempt is doing their bidding.        

Gwen has been working for her constituents !  I copied this from 

Gwen Lachelt’s Work as La Plata County Commissioner, So Far:

Re-ignited the Comprehensive Plan conversation and pursuit with the Planning Commission
I supported the creation of the La Plata County Water Advisory Commission to aide the county both in planning for, and protecting, our waters.
I sponsored the Public Lands Resolution, which passed unanimously, calling for maintaining federal ownership of our public lands.
I advocated strongly in DC for passage of the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act, critical to our tourism industry.
I supported convening a Fiscal Sustainability Steering Committee to help the commissioners plan for the county’s financial future.
I led the county in developing strong state air quality standards and the nation’s first rule controlling methane emissions from oil and gas operations.
I testified in Washington DC in support of the BLM’s Venting and Flaring Rule to reduce emissions and protect the US Treasury.
I served as co-chair of Hickenlooper’s Oil & Gas Task Force and fought hard to maintain the authority of local governments to regulate O&G operations.
I have been serving on the boards of San Juan Basin Health and Housing Solutions for the Southwest.
I advocate daily for diversifying our economy so we are not so dependent on any single industry.
I’ve worked with residents and local businesses to strengthen our local foods economy, support community garden projects, and promote sound food policy by creating the Herbicide Carryover Working Group to educate growers and the community about the risks certain herbicides pose to gardens and farms in our region.
I promoted the first community solar garden development on the Boys & Girls Club rooftop.

Bonus, a couple peeks inside their master plan.

Follow the Money: Koch Brothers Back Pruitt to Head EPA  
By Elliott Negin | January 30, 2017

The two dozen nonprofit groups and Senate committee members defending Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump's nominee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, have at least two things in common.

Like Pruitt, they're climate science deniers. And, like Pruitt, most of them are funded by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who own the coal, oil and gas conglomerate Koch Industries.

Koch's Marriage with BigTobacco-1993-Citizens for a Sound Economy-Jeff Nesbit 

History is important, and its amazing how much history Koch’s Americans for Prosperity has.  Here I share some details from Jeff Nesbit who wrote: Poison Tea: How Big Oil and Big Tobacco Invented the Tea Party and Captured the GOP, which is followed by tips and links to 10 other articles about various aspects of this long running strategic campaign aimed at an ultimate hostile take-over of our United State of American’s government of the people, by the people and for the people, by a few wealthier than god oligarchs

This is a personal unaffiliated effort to educate neighbors regarding Americans for (Kochs) Prosperity

citizenschallenge at gmail

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Commissioner Lachelt Recall Is Unfair - L.T. - 2/15/18

Yesterday I read a good Letter To The Editor of the Pine River Times that nicely explains the upset that I, and many others, are feeling towards this contrived Recall Petition.  Today I called the author and she gave me permission to reprint it and include her name.  More thoughtful letters to the editors of local papers would be good.

Commissioner Lachelt recall is unfair

The majority of La Plata county voters did not vote for our current president. And we hear constantly from his supporters that we should deal with it and get over it. 

Yet it is these same people who now mount a recall against Commissioner Gwen Lachelt, duly elected in 2016 in a fair open election. Duly elected! And these people of the recall won't do what they tell everyone else to do, accept results, deal with it and get over it. 

Gwen has done what she told this community she would do. She did not misrepresent any of her positions or beliefs; and people said, this is who we want as commissioner. We want a commissioner who has worked for years to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for their impacts. We want someone who will oppose a polluting industry, and now that industry wants her gone. We want someone who will fight for clean air and public health, who will not cave to pressures to shut up and sit down like a good woman should, who will be our voice in Denver and DC. 

Gwen Lachelt is under assault and by any measure, La Plata County is under assault (see Jonathan Romeo's Jan. 30 (Durango) Herald article on Americans for Prosperity). 

It is up to the people who supported Gwen in 2016 to support her now. She has been there for you and now you need to be there for her. This recall is totally wrong and must be opposed.

Liza Tregillus

Friday, February 16, 2018

¶ SaveLaPlataCounty's Recall Petition Examined - dirty tricks in action.

Save La Plata County’s Petition Language - Take a closer look at what’s being circulated by  See if you don't agree it's a bunch of deceptive handwaving?  Please help discuss this malicious political deception aimed at robbing us of our duly elected County Commissioner!  Here I make a study out of the complete text of the Recall Petition, have not altered any words from their Recall Petition, but I do address their claims and deceptions.

      Save La Plata County (from what?)

Recall Petition

We need commissioners who represent our interests above their own, and who govern with accountability and transparency.  (Of course!  Don't we all)  Commissioner Lachelt has not done that.  (False, look at the support rallying around her. She has repeatedly leveraged our public office for her private gain by appearing before the U.S. Congress and other federal government entities to advocate and advance her and her employer’s political and policy agendas under the guise of her role as our commissioner.  (False, she has been advocating for issues that we elected her to advocate for.  Those interests include protecting this environment that is our life support system!  Whether oil interests like it or not.)  Her county commissioner meeting attendance record further demonstrates where her allegiance lies. Her 2017 attendance record was much lower than any other commissioner.  (False, 91% v 95%.) 

We can and should expect our commissioners to act ethically (We should be able to demand the same of their opponents!) and not to take actions that undermine the public’s trust in our local government.  (Lachelt has never done such a thing.  No evidence of wrong doing presented - beyond advocating for a healthy environment*, that is. Why has that become an impeachable offense?).  As a result of Commissioner Lachelt’s actions,  (Nowhere is specific misconduct presented.)  the county has been required to investigate ethics complaints filed against her and to seek out ethics advice from at least one other county.  (Malicious misrepresentation of the facts.  This same group filed and pushed that frivolous complaint which was dismissed at every level it was looked at.  Now they resurrect it yet again.  Pure dirty politics in action!)  

For all these reasons, and more, we believe Commissioner Lachelt has acted in ways that have undermined the public’s trust  

(This perspective leaves  >2/3s of crowd out of frame, taken Feb 15, 2018 at Eno, Durango.)

Decline to Sign the Gwen Lachelt Recall - Reject dirty tricks!

Decline to Sign!

We are all proud to call La Plata County our home. When we work together – heritage and hi tech, county and cities, old and new – we can all be a part of writing a better future for our communities. 

La Plata County has had the same Land Use Code since 1987, and it’s time for an update. But the first draft was rolled out wrong – it had a lot of errors, as the entire Board of County Commissioners agrees. They are taking seriously public concerns and comments. A second and third draft – which will also allow for our input – are forthcoming over the coming many months.

The current recall against Commissioner Gwen Lachelt was actually begun by the oil and gas industry, not landowners, over their frustration with Gwen’s 30-year career of working locally for clean air, water, and landowner rights. The recall “just happened” to be timed perfectly to dovetail with the very real concerns emerging from the first draft Land Use Code. Blaming the unpopularity of this first draft land-use code on just one County Commissioner is misguided. All three County Commissioners – and their staff – are equally guilty of not vetting the initial draft.

It is rural landowners who are most fired up about this. Their concerns are being fueled by Americans for Prosperity, a Koch Brothers group that “just happened” to have opened an office in Durango with the intent to “take an active role to influence the outcome of La Plata County’s proposed land-use codes.” (DH 1/29)

We need an open citizen conversation to write a new land use code. This is our opportunity to plan for protection of our heritage, for preserving what we all love most about our County, and to attract the types of new jobs and industries to our county that will build an economy where working people can get ahead. The recall petition is a move to alienate us from each other, and to distract from the work at hand to create a future that protect our lands, our health, and our kids. Further, if it succeeds, the actual special election that results will cost taxpayers $60,000.
the recall petition.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

¶ Scandal-Ridden Scoundrel - Charles M. Blow - 2/15/18

Easily a third of our fellow citizens seems to be okay with a totalitarian, racist, sexist regime.  That's hideous odds for a country full of overwhelmed impotent feeling voters being led by a Democratic Party of Complacency, who seem to spend more time counting their eggs before they hatch, than on doing the ground work needed to inform and engage an electorate to confront deception and dirty tricks.  America's future seriously dependents on a big, huge grassroots uprising - both to clean up and invigorate the Democratic Party with young blood -  then to energetically oppose the Republican Religious Absolutists and their hostile governmental take-over attempt.  What part in this struggle will you play?
"… We patriots and dissidents, we many, we strong, we steadfast, are the last hope the country has of returning to what remains of a pre-Trump America, where porn stars weren’t paid off, accused wife beaters weren’t valorized and our president showed more allegiance to our country than to another."  C.M.B.
Is how Charles Blow finished his commentary at the New York Times that starts with about 600 words summarizing highlights of our nightmare at the White House.  Then he gets to what needs to be shared, it adds substance to the simmer sense of terror I live with these days.  I’ve chopped out much to keep within my allotted word count, please link to the entire article, it’s worth the read.  

The bottomline is that nothing less than a truly invigorated movement of progressives and liberal minded citizens getting informed and engaged will be able to confront this Koch/trump juggernaut. {Okay, true enough, it's one thing to constantly bitch about the problems, it's another thing to actually attempt outlining issues and challenges.  I finish with one such effort: "14 observations on our dysfunctional public dialogue."}

Scandal-Ridden Scoundrel
Charles M. Blow  |  February. 15, 2018  |  The New York Times  |  Op-Ed Columnist  

But the storm is upon us; we are in it.

… This is a fight for the soul of the country.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How Democracies Die - Levitsky and Ziblatt - 2018

Recently there was an interesting interview by WHYY’s FreshAir’s Dave Davies with the Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt about their new book “How Democracies Die.”  I’m adding it to the collection because they echo my own memories and thoughts and these guys are scholars who can explain themselves with a degree of evidence and authority I couldn’t dream of.  I’m just a witness, that’s why I’m sharing.  

This is important for fully appreciating the situation we are in.  Following the FreshAir quotes, I add some highlights to a Guardian article by these authors and also two reviews of their book.

Rights aren’t given, they are taken and currently the oligarchs with an incredibly loud and smooth PR machine are taking as many rights as they can grasp.  Democracy use it or lose it.

'How Democracies Die' Authors Say Trump Is A Symptom Of 'Deeper Problems’
January 22, 2018 |  Dave Davies interviews Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

Davies… If watching President Trump and listening to American political discourse these days makes you feel something's gone wrong, our guests today will tell you it's not your imagination. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent years studying what makes democracies healthy and what leads to their collapse. And they see signs that American democracy is in trouble.

In a new book, they argue that Trump has shown authoritarian tendencies and that many players in American politics are discarding long-held norms that have kept our political rivalries in balance and prevented the kind of bitter conflict that can lead to a repressive state. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt are both professors of government at Harvard University. Levitsky's research focuses on Latin America and the developing world. Ziblatt studies Europe from the 19th century to the present. Their new book is called "How Democracies Die.” …

Koch Brothers Exposed [2014] Robert Greenwald documentary

Here's a look at what the Koch Brothers were up to until about 2014, their investment seems to be paying off handsomely.  These are not ...