Tag Archives: Politics

Colorado Female Basketball Coach Faces Felony Charges For Sex With 17-1/2 Year Old Male “Child” – Basalt High Teacher Lauren Redfern Charged by Eagle DA Mark Hurlbert

Basalt High's Lauren Redfern Coaching Her Girls Basketball Team - Aspen Times

In a bizarre story of legislative ineptitude, sure to invoke the ire of Fox’s Bill O’Reilly for all the wrong reasons, Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has charged the hot, athletic, 25-year old Lauren Redfern with several acts of consensual sex with a male “child” who was also a student at Colorado’s Basalt High where Ms. Redfern taught him a P.E. class.  I kid you not, Ms. Redfern faces 16 long years in prison for this joke of a charge that at most should be a misdemeanor.

The Aspen Dailey News shares some details, as does the Aspen Times.  The Swift-owned Times explains the “nuances” of Colorado laws on young adults having sex with relatively old minors:

Colorado law has some nuances when it comes to sexual relations between people in their late teens and adults. An 18-year-old can have a consensual sexual relationship with an older adult, even a teacher, without a crime being committed, McWilliam said. That would violate policies of most schools, but it isn’t a crime because an 18-year-old is considered an adult.

A 17-year-old can have sexual relations with an adult of any age as long as it’s not a person in a position of trust — such as a teacher, according to McWilliam.

Sorry, but the hot adults a late teen is likely to meet are these “people of trust.”  Late teens generally can’t go to bars and meet untrustworthy adults there.  (I’ll be blogging later about how head District Attorneys in positions of trust are rewarded instead of punished for far worse sexual transgressions in Colorado’s 18th Judicial District as we follow the re-election bid of DA Elizabeth Oldham (RINO – Grand County).  Here’s a couple blog posts of mine from 2010 about DA Oldham and her transgressions.)

Back to the hot action at Basalt High.  How were these sexual encounters discovered?  Apparently the gossip mill was running at full-tilt in Basalt and school officials discovered the relationship while collecting their union paychecks.

Man-child “X”, the alleged victim,  is now 18, and did not seek to have charges pressed, nor did his family.  But according to nanny-state enabler Eagle County Undersheriff Mike McWilliam, this doesn’t matter one little bit.  “It’s really not in their hands,” McWilliam said of alleged victims in these heinous cases.  These are cases where we, “The People of the State of Colorado” are the aggrieved party.

Meanwhile, plenty of real dangerous criminals run free in Colorado and even down here in Los Cabos, Mexico, where real victims want real charges filed.  But they aren’t.

ExPat ExLawyer herself is one such victim here in Mexico.  Right now, I’m blogging from the left – not politically speaking -no, never.  Literally speaking.  My right arm was shattered in an unprovoked attack and I just had surgery involving six screws and one titanium plate.  The assailant meanwhile is still running around loose.  I’ll be blogging about my experience with the Mexican criminal justice system soon.

‘Mad Men’s’ Don Draper Reacts To Colorado Election Results

Seems as if  mystery ad man,  Mad Men’s Don Draper, was about as stunned as I was by all the young Dems robotically marking their Ds last Tuesday.

Fox News Poll: Tom Tancredo Now Within 3 of John Hickenlooper For Colo. Governor

Tom Tancredo has edged within 3 points of  Denver Democratic Mayor John Hickenlooper in the latest Fox News Poll.  Hickenlooper now takes 47 percent of the vote to Tancredo’s 44 percent.  Maes drew just 6 percent support, down from 10 percent two weeks ago.  Seventy three percent of Republicans backed Tancredo over their party’s nominee.  Tancredo told crowds this past weekend  he needs 80 percent GOP support to win.

The poll of 1,000 likely voters was conducted for Fox News by Pulse Opinion Research on October 30.  The poll has a 3 point margin of error, making the race a toss-up.  Full demographic cross-tabs are here, and the complete questionnaire is here.  The Fox News article also has the polls for  key races in other battleground states.

Buck Leads Bennet 50-46 In Latest Fox News Poll

Republican tea party challenger Ken Buck now leads appointed Democratic Senator Michael Bennet 50-46 in the latest Fox News Poll in the race for the U.S. Senate in Colorado.    Pulse Opinion  Research conducted the  survey of 1,000 likely voters on Oct. 30, which carries a  margin of error of only 3 points.   The poll reflects a 4-point increase for Buck over the previous survey conducted two weeks earlier.

Full cross-tabs for the poll are here, and the complete questionnaire is here.  The article on the poll includes analysis of all the other battleground races.

Ritter Would Pick Replacements Of Any Judges Voted Out In November Election

As confirmed to me by the judicial branch almost three months ago, current Colorado Democratic governor Bill Ritter would name any replacements of judges not retained in Tuesday’s election.  (See, Article VI, Section 20 of the state constitution).  Now that Lawweek ran a story on it today, I finally felt comfortable blogging on it, as so many Republicans told me otherwise despite my having done a thorough email cross-examination of Judicial Branch Public Information Officer, Rob McCallum.

Here’s his reply to my intense questioning back on August 5:

All judges standing for retention are in the midst of a term that expires on Jan. 11, 2011.  If a judge is not retained and sits through the end of the term (which is historically the case) the nominating commission will convene following the November election and go through the process to send nominees to the Governor who will then appoint the new judge to the bench beginning on, or after, Jan 11, 2011.

If a judge is not retained by the voters and decides to immediately resign (to my knowledge this has never happened) then the nominating commission would begin its process and would have names to the Governor within 30 days of the judges departure.  The Governor would then make the appointment.

In both scenarios it would be Governor Ritter’s appointment.  [Ed:  Ritter's term similarly expires on January 11, 2011]

So much for the debate on the importance of the next governor for the current judiciary, right?.   Or is it?  Sure Ritter is going to appoint some legal losers.  He was a terrible DA and loves other terrible DAs for trial court judgeships (but so did Republican Bill Owens), and of course he will try to appoint Dems or legal establishment insiders who might as well be Dems to the Colorado Supreme Court.  But voting the bums out now  means the replacements only get a provisional two-year term, and are up for retention again then.

As  Clear the Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold frequently pointed out when it looked like Hickenlooper was a sure bet, the judicial branch ain’t easy to change, and it’s best to take it one step at a time.  After all, it’s better to get these legal losers out now (Justices Martinez, Bender and Rice ) and have a go at the replacement in two instead of the devils-we-know in 10 years.

And while we’re at it, look carefully at your own judges.  If you look at the performance reviews read between the lines, don’t just look at the recommendation or the summary – over 99 percent receive “RETAIN” recommendations.   Under the guise of operating a merit system, the Commission on Judicial Performance operates more like the teachers unions – they get a 99 percent “retain” too.  So if your local judges sound sketchy in the least, there’s a good chance they’re legal losers too.

We need a reform that grades on a curve.  If it’s really about merit, then let’s reform the law to require the Commission give no-retain recommendations to say the bottom 10 percent.  This will force the judges out of the world of communist-like equality into a world of at least modest competition .  Besides, if the locals love their legal losers so much they are free to vote to retain those bottom-ranked judges.

We also need to make the entire evaluation process more open and transparent. We need a lot of reform, and I’ll go into more about the specifics after the election, but contrary to the straw man arguments brought up by the legal establishment, this reform can easily come within Colorado’s so-called Missouri System of appointment and retention.  No one involved in the forefront of the reform movement is advocating straight elections.

Meanwhile, vote down the three Supreme Court justices on the ballot, and urge everyone you know in Larimer County to vote out corrupt, evidence manufacturing district court judges Jolene Blair and Terry Gilmore.  Since January, I’ve been all over this pair of legal refuse that caused an innocent man, Tim Masters,  to sit in prison for murder for 10 years  because of exonerating evidence they withheld,  for which they were disciplined, and for which the county and city paid out a total of $10 million to Masters.  I’m thrilled  that it looks like the voters will spit on the “RETAIN” recommendations cynically handed out by the Commission on Judicial Performance.

Pollster Forecasts Tancredo Win For Colo. Governor, GOP Retake Of Both State House And Senate

The Businessword’s Don Johnson reports that David Flaherty, the president and CEO of  Magellan, a Republican leaning poll with excellent turnout models,  predicts Tom Tancredo will beat Denver Dem Mayor John Hickenlooper in Tuesday’s Colorado governor’s race.   Flaherty also predicts Republicans will take both the state House of Representatives and the state Senate.

Other polls show Tancredo trailing in everything from tight contests to a dubious CNN outlier that gives the hard left Hick a double-digit lead.

So why does Magellan think Tancredo will win?  According to  Don Johnson’s interview with Flaherty:

Flaherty said polls that show John Hickenlooper winning the gubernatorial race are using demographics and turnout numbers that incorrectly skew their results in favor of Democrats.

“I do believe that Tom Tancredo is going to win,” Flaherty declared. In recent polls, Tancredo has about 73% of Republican voters. Flaherty thinks Tancredo will wind up with over 80% of Republicans. It will be in the low 80s, he said.

Tancredo is benefiting from Dan Maes’ decision to stay in the race, Flaherty said. Because Maes stayed in the race, Hickenlooper and the Democrats figured that Tancredo and Maes would split the conservatives’ and unaffiliated voters’ and that they didn’t have anything to worry about. If Maes had dropped out, as Tancredo and Republican leaders asked him to, the Democrats would have attacked Tancredo, he said.

Now that Tancredo is poised to win, Flaherty said, it’s too late for the Democrats to attack Tancredo.

The excellent post at Businessword has lots more details on these races, as well as the attorney general contest.

Barack Obama Illiterate Off-Teleprompter: Dude In Chief Reveals On Jon Stewart’s Daily Show Doesn’t Know Definition Of ‘Pun’

I often laugh when I hear people refer to Barack Obama as an intellectual elitist.

Barack Obama at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He later transferred to Columbia. (Photo - Time)

He may be an elitist, but he’s no intellectual – a point made even more clear by the Dude in Chief’s (hereinafter,  DIC) appearance on Thursday’s Daily Show, with Jon Stewart.

This followed on the heel’s of the DIC’s latest in-dialect rant where he listed a laundry list of nouns, and then incapable of negotiating an agreement between subject and number, used “has” instead of “have”  – a point noted by few in the media.   Guess I’m racist,  or  at least elitist, for pointing it out. Oh well, I guess while I’m at it, I’ll note what an abysmal failure affirmative action was and how crazy it is that we know exponentially more about Dan Maes’ academic background than the president’s.

His latest blunder is now infamous:  He doesn’t know the meaning of the word “pun.”   On the Daily Show,  in a delusional attempt to brag about his accomplishments,  the DIC claimed Larry Summers did a “heckuva job.”  (No, he wasn’t using “job” as a pun, though I’m sure many viewers were).

Here’s the video of the exchange [Updated video] :

Most analysts focused on the intended part as being the blatant lie that it was, but the diction issue was troubling as well.  Granted, if forced to choose one subject for this phony to have aced, I would settle for  Econ 101 over English 101.   That Dude is a real DIC when it comes to managing the economy.  Pun intended.

‘Airplane!’ Director David Zucker Spoofs Hardworking Barbara Boxer in Video

Describing his move from a center-left Clintonite, to a center-right activist, Airplane! director David Zucker, who has worked on myriad films including the “Naked Gun” and “Scary Movie” franchises, directed the “Call Me Senator” spot for Right Change.  The orgnization is  a 527 and 501(c)4 “committed to supporting policies and candidates dedicated to fiscal responsibility and a strong national security for the United States, while upholding the principles of freedom, competitiveness and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people.”

Dem. Poll Shows Hickenlooper Lead Trimmed To 3%: Colo. Governor’s Race a Toss-Up

Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning polling firm, just released a poll that shows Hickenlooper’s lead over Tom Tancredo trimmed to only three points in the volatile Colorado governor’s race, 47-44.   Dan Maes proved my colleague Don Johnson’s awesome predictive powers by scraping only 5% .  PPP surveyed 818 likely Colorado voters from October 21st to 23rd. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.4%.

The PPP survey  backs up the latest Magellan poll that put Hickenlooper and Tancredo in a statistical tie at 44-43,  and casts even more doubt on the recent Denver Post/Survey USA poll, which put Hickenlooper on top by six.  Ben DeGrow has an excellent analysis here.

Given the Magellan survey may have understated Tancredo’s likely performance given that it relied on 2008 and earlier voter turnout patterns instead of the likely more conservative turnout advantage this election, there’s a good shot Tancredo is really in the lead.  PPP, which often works to spin the results favorably for the Democrat, had this encouraging outlook for Tancredo supporters:

Hickenlooper’s been unable to rise above the 47-48% mark in PPP’s polls over the last three months. When Tancredo and Maes were splitting the vote relatively evenly it looked like that would be enough to win but now Hickenlooper really appears to be at risk of losing. Given the trajectory of the race it is not inconceivable that Tancredo could pick up a good chunk of even the small amount of support Maes has remaining and 38% of the undecideds are Republicans to only 23% who are Democrats. Those two data points suggest that Tancredo still has more room to grow.

A few months ago, I and several other conservative bloggers thought Business Word’s Don Johnson had truly lost it in predicting Maes would only garner five percent.  I thought the “R” after the name Maes would in and of itself guarantee him a much higher split.  Not only is my being so badly wrong encouraging for this election, but I think it speaks to the potential strength of conservative and libertarian third-party candidates generally over party label.  I think we are seeing the same phenomenon with Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.

Then again, Maes is a unique case.  PPP’s survey revealed Maes has the lowest favorability ratings of any candidate in the country.

Maes is in a class of his own as the most unpopular candidate running for office anywhere in the country this year. A remarkable 75% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of him to only 8% who see him in a positive light. He’s pretty universally reviled by Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.

Let’s hope Tancredo keeps growing into his growing room and that Colorado is spared the train wreck that would define a Hickenlooper reign.

Legal Quote Of The Week: E.B. White On Obstruction Of Justice

OK.  The quote is from 1973 – so it’s not exactly from this week, but I just saw it.

E.B. White

Regardless, this  New York Times Op Ed from grammarian par excellence and Charlotte’s Web author E.B. White, couldn’t be more timely given what a disaster our legal system is.  The piece is titled, “Goings on in the Barnyard.”

When The Times asked me to report on what’s being said in my barnyard about Watergate, I immediately sought an audience with the goose. She is sore at me at the moment but is always willing to talk.

ME What is your feeling about Liddy?

GOOSE G. Gordon? One of the greats — a man of enormous verve, a bungler of immense promise. Liddy should be president.

ME Should Nixon resign?

GOOSE Yes. He should resign in favor of Liddy, who is one of the greats. Liddy carries a gun, which is what the Oval Room needs.

ME But Liddy is in jail.

GOOSE I know that, and the jail has been revitalized by his presence. The inmates love him.

ME Do you think justice was obstructed?

GOOSE Of course. Justice was obstructed along with everything else. The purpose of the executive branch is to obstruct. That’s why we need Liddy in there.

And how sad is it, that this distinguished man of letters, who passed away in 1985 from Alzheimer’s, didn’t get to see the fantastic film version of his delightful for all ages novel.

H/T to Scott Greenfield and his best in the U.S. criminal law blog, Simple Justice. The guy’s blog is great, because he’s a savvy constitutionalist and a believer in personal responsibility instead of  victimhood liberalism, unlike most criminal defense lawyers.