Category Archives: Nanny state

DA Mark Hurlbert Charges Two Top Women Mountain Bike Racers with Felony Criminal Impersonation for Using False Racer Number in Leadville Competition: Snowball DA Strikes Again – UPDATED

DA Mark Hurlbert filed felony criminal-impersonation charges against two veteran Vail, Colorado,  mountain bike racers, Wendy Lyall and Katie Brazelton,  after an injured Brazelton, 40, gave her registration materials and entry number  to her friend, Lyall, 36, so she could race

Wendy Lyall Faces Felony for "1383" on Bike in Leadville 100 (Photo Courtesy Rob O'Dea, who holds and reserves all copyrights)

in the 2009 Leadville  Mountain Trail 100 .   This meant that Lyall  finished second in the women’s age 40-49 class, despite being 36.  As the Denver Post explains, spaces are highly coveted for the grueling race, and there are more masochists than slots for the competition, which elevated in prestige last year as Lance Armstrong entered and won the event.

The soaring popularity has converted the race’s entry lottery into a gone-in-minutes clamor for bib numbers. Entries are not refundable or transferable, which is reiterated at every pre-race briefing, [race organizer] Chlouber said.

Just before last August’s race, Chlouber said he received a call from a local bike-shop owner pleading for an entry number for Brazelton, who did not win a slot in the lottery. Chlouber granted the request.

“This truly is really sad for us,” he said. “We try to do the right thing, and then people cheat.”

Certainly some athletes cheat, but I naïvely thought that these sports rules violations were usually handled within the sport rather than being prosecuted as felonies by local DAs.  But then again, Hurlbert himself spends lots of time on the men’s 40-49 cross-country skiing circuit , so this “crime”  probably hit him close to home.  I wouldn’t want to be some 36-year old guy caught skating past him across the finish line in the Frisco Gold Rush nordic race, that’s for sure.

But it looked like the event organizers did take care of the problem from within:

When contacted by Chlouber and, later, by Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte, the women confessed to the deception. They returned the coveted belt buckle, pendant and necklace that came with second place and sent Chlouber a letter admitting their wrongdoing and offering “to do anything to rectify the situation.”

“But the situation cannot be rectified,” Chlouber said. “You can’t go back in time and give those ladies who should have podiumed their time in the sun. That’s gone.”

Well, not exactly.   The women who should have been on the podium, will be there this year in a special ceremony at the August event.  And, both Lyall and Brazelton are banned for life from the competition and may receive other intra-sport sanctions.   If organizers want more action taken, that’s what private civil lawsuits are for.  [Update 5-10: Sheriff Ed Holte told me he did not contact either of the women or take a confession from them and had no contact with them whatsoever.  He simply took Chlouber’s complaint and passed it along to the DA.   It seems clear, then, that this was primarily a Hurlbert transaction].

Hurlbert says, “after talking with people in the race, this is something very serious.”  Very serious to whom?  The plaintiff in the case,  The People of the State of Colorado?  Do we the people really need to have our  money spent in a recession to protect us from the growing scourge of entry swapping at endurance sports events?   Real criminal filings are down, Hurlbert’s budgets and salary are up, and I guess this is what happens when government has too much of our money to play with.  Good thing he’s not the Denver DA or we might see “illegal receiver” at a Bronco’s game take on a whole new meaning.

[Updated 5-10: More details about how this race is run and what may really have happened with the registrations of the racers, are commented on  by some Eagle County mountain biking bloggers, who point to a $265.00 non-refundable and non-transferable fee, which Chlouber allegedly resells to other racers.   The latest is from Eric Rubottom.  The comments section to this post contain more inside-mountain bike racing insight.

Race Director  Ken Chlouber is  a former House District 56 Rep.,  a  Republican who often went against the Republican party on issues he disagreed with.  He served from 1986-1996, and was a state Senator before that.  Chlouber failed in another  run for HD 56  in 2006].

I’ve  written elsewhere that Hurlbert “picks the wrong battles to fight, and the wrong ones to quit.”  Just like the infamous snowball throwing case at Copper that gained international notoriety, and left Hurlbert whining defensively after his lengthy and expensive pursuit ended in failure.  This laughingstock  is mocked in this Hitler parody video of Hurlbert.  (Like other Hitler parody producers, we are involved with a “fair use” copyright appeal,  so just click on the link on the screen after hitting play, and the video will play in its own window).

Wendy and Katie (aka Vail’s Thelma and Louise) would have been much better off  if instead of committing a serious felony like cheating at mountain biking, they snowboarded drunk down the slopes of Vail and ran over an eight-year old girl in a hit and run.  That man got a few hours of community service in Hurlbert’s plea deal.  Or they could have been charged with attempted murder, and got that plead down to a misdemeanor with no jail.  Another option would be to pull a black woman by her hair across a bar room floor, tearing half of it out while screaming the c-word and the n-word at her.  They could have gotten that felony assault reduced to a misdemeanor with 60 days of work release.

I haven’t seen this criminal-impersonation law used much, but Hurlbert’s expansive application of the statute opens up some interesting possibilities.  Given Hurlbert’s lackluster campaign for state Senate District 16 and his dismal fundraising,  perhaps a  special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate whether to charge Hurlbert with felony criminal-impersonation of a Republican  Senate candidate.

Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty TV Ad, “We Know Who You Are,” Invokes “Enemy of the State” (of PA): How about just cutting spending?

I’m a fan of tax amnesty programs and their promotion.  But this ad (which I think was produced by Mad Men’s Don Draper at Sterling, Cooper), is funny in the same way the Enviro-Nazis Audi Superbowl ad was funny.  It’s parody merging with stark realism.  I just watched Enemy of the State for the first time the other night.  Now I feel like the Will Smith character.

This is a must watch 30-second video, and is starting to go viral.

Sadly, it’s another sign that government does not get the basic point:  They work for us, not the other way around.  H/T to Radley Balko, the Editor of Reason magazine, from his blog, The Agitator.  Comments from his readers are worth checking out.  For many Americans, Orwellian threats are counterproductive.  Maybe PA can sell this ad to Canada and they can repackage it for their submissive inhabitants.  Come to think of it, Don Draper wouldn’t have been this clueless.

Update: Philadelphia Inquirer reports this is a $3 Million dollar advertising campaign and is the brainchild of Governor Ed Rendell, former head of the DNC, and big pal of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.  Why am I not surprised?  Article is nauseating, and mentions a “business-privilege” tax they have in PA.  So running a business is a “privilege” granted by the monarchy?   Progressive HuffPo is even critical of ad, and 68% of their readers agree it’s too “big brother.”  9:37 a.m. 5-6. Rendell is on Fox criticising conservative bloggers and tea partiers .  Says this ad was one of five possibles and this is the “least aggressive.”  A focus group allegedly loved it.

Links of the Day: Rafting Bill Sinks; Bully State; Hill to Mexico; Dumb Brooklyn Raids ; Colo. Trooper DUI; Ali Hasan News

HB 1188 – Rafting Bill, Dubbed “Row v. Wade” by Witty Republicans, Sent Back for “Study” of  Constitutional Property Rights Issues – Lynn Bartels has the coverage this morning.  Commercial rafting guides lobbying for the bill apparently want to “spank” six Dem senators for “throwing them under the bus.”  These super-conservatives include Senate President Brandon Shaffer and YouTube star, Sen. Majority Leader, John Morse.  The vote to send the bill to a water committee was 21-14.  Jessica Fender has an update.

Looks though, like the rafting companies still have a friend in this “Republican” state Senate candidate, whose legal knowledge seems limited to misdemeanor and felony prosecutions, and not weighty constitutional matters.  This guy probably made a typo when he filled out his candidacy papers at the Secretary of State’s office and checked the “R” box instead of “D”,  as he has been a staunch ally of Dem. House Whip Christine Scanlan on the issue.

HB 1188, which has about as much constitutional justification as the other Roe v. Wade, barely made it out of committee and only then,  with no Republicans voting for it.  Kudos to these Dems for putting the constitution ahead of partisan interests for a change.

From the Nanny State to the “Bully State” – Brits on the front line – H/T to Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds for this link.

Hillary Comes to Mexico – “The War on Drugs is Doomed” so writes The Wall Street Journal’s Priceless Mary O’Grady – H/T to Radley Balko for this gem.  Radley’s own comments on the issue are on his blog, The Agitator.  Bottom line, demand creates supply, not the other way around, and the US failed war on drugs is the root of the problem, and not some innocent spillover victim.

Elderly Brooklyn Couple Raided by Cops with Wrong Address for Years – And it Only Took 50 Mistakes to finally straighten it outWonder how many “mistakes” a private citizen would get? Lawsuit? Of course not.  It was a “computer glitch” (translation:  IQ glitch). Without a pervasive pattern involving others like this couple,  cops and other government wrongdoers enjoy qualified immunity – a doctrine that needs to go, and soon.  H/T to Radley Balko.

Colo. Trooper Arrested for DUI While on Patrol in Castle Rock – Here’s the Denver 7 story. Kudos for the transparency provided both by the State Patrol and Douglas County Sheriff’s office for not burying this the way so many police agencies would.  Denver and Aurora come to mind.  So do Chicago, Minneapolis, Prince Georges County, MD; Commerce City, Colo. Whoops-don’t want to run out of bandwidth.  They gave the suspect’s name and lots of details, and both departments had courteous and forthcoming PIOs, both of whom I spoke to last night.  The case is now with 18th District DA Carol Chambers, and we’ll see if the case is treated appropriately.  That would be harsher sentencing for a DUI committed by a cop on duty, not the lesser sentence usually reserved for fellow taxpayer-fundees.

Ali Hasan Picks up Treasurer Endorsement from Douglas Bruce,  controversial TABOR Author- DP Political Editor Curtis Hubbard covers the announcement at The Spot; businessord’s Don Johnson analyzes and thinks it’s more of a hindrance than a help for Hasan.

New York Legislator Felix Ortiz Urges Restaurant Salt Ban and Much, Much More: Wins Nanny State Lifetime Achievement Award

New York legislator, Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn), gained national ridicule after his absurd proposal to ban all salt in New York restaurants.   I may mince garlic but I don’t mince words, and in my opinion the proud Puerto Rican-American legislator would appear to be a product of a culture that produces some of the grossest food imaginable.

Face it, there’s a good reason Mexican cuisine is  one of the most popular in the United States and why Mexico City, in a recent Forbes survey, was ranked third, only behind Paris and Rome, by international diners.  Who goes around saying, “hey, have you heard about that great new Puerto Rican restaurant in LODO”?  Besides, though I have blood pressure concerns of my own, based on personal experience, my blood pressure suffers more when I read of nanny-state meddlers like Felix Ortiz than when I add some freshly ground sea salt to my own spicy cooking

I became aware of Puerto Rican food while watching New York’s Puerto Rican Day parade last year, which featured Supreme Court Justice in waiting Sonia Sotomayor.  Basically, the alleged cuisine consists of lots of processed meats that undoubtedly not only contain a lot of salt, but nitrates and nitrites too.  To her credit, Sotomayor, who frequently brought to-go food home from her favorite ethnic haunts when a federal appeals court judge in the Big Apple, enjoys a wide variety of cuisine.

But then again, maybe I’m wrong about Felix Ortiz’ motives stemming from cuisine-impairment syndrome, as his plethora of nanny-state legislative proposals ranges far beyond matters culinary.  Anti-nanny state American hero, Radley Balko, reports in exhaustive detail about Ortiz’s aim to control every aspect of American life.  Here’s a summary, from a Forbes piece Radley wrote on this weirdo back in 2005:

In 2004 Ortiz introduced a law that would require every car sold in New York to come equipped with an ignition interlock device. Motorists would need to blow into a tube and pass an alcohol breath test before the car would start, then perform the test again every 20 to 40 minutes.

Just to be clear (to use Obama’s favorite line), this requirement would not be limited to DUI offenders, it would apply to everybody.  Felix Ortiz may not have clued in to the distracted driving dangers–one of those “unintended consequences” such a ludicrous piece of legislation would create.

In just the first four months of 2005 Ortiz has introduced laws that would ban all cell phone use while driving (including hands-free); ban pornography from newsstands; force consumers to show two forms of identification when using a credit card; test all public school children for diabetes; ban expiration dates on retail gift certificates; ban alcohol billboard advertisements within a mile of every school and day care center; require nutritional labeling on restaurant menus; measure the fat of every public school student; and impose a “fat tax,” not just on junk food but also on “videogames, commercials and movies.”

Here’s some video from Felix Ortiz’s website, where he shows anorexia, as well as obesity, to be one of his major obsessions.

Balko notes that when he wrote about them back in 2005, these proposals justifiably seemed nutty, but finds it “scary how many of them have now either been enacted or are being given serious consideration by local, state and federal lawmakers.”

More and more reason to vote out and against candidates of both parties who either utter the cry “IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN” or “PUBLIC SAFETY” when we hear these refrains in this election cycle.

Links of the Day: Ritter and Hurlbert on MMJ; Hasan Wants Bankers Jailed; Volokh on Reason TV; Stossel

Today’s posts are late as I had to go get blood pressure checked after the false alarm this morning about Chief Justice Roberts’ impending Supreme Court resignation and the harrowing possibility that the likes of  Deval Patrick or Eric Holder might be on SCOTUS.  Also, consulted with a class action specialist about suing Radar Online for negligent infliction of emotional distress.  We’ll probably hear soon from B-HO about spikes in health care costs among Republicans.

Bill Ritter to take Medical Marijuana? – The Colorado governor suffered 5-6 broken ribs in a bicycle crash. Ouch! Lynn Bartels at The Spot speculates against it, noting his DA background and “law and order” reputation.  Too bad these “law and order” type former DAs don’t want to enforce laws like TABOR.  Click on the article to see which state Senator teased Ritter about this.  Hint, he is no supporter of  DA Mark Hurlbert “Hurlritter.”  No spoiler alert necessary because that could be one of at least eight Republicans who support opponent Tim Leonard.  Ok, one hint.  Like Ritter, he’s an avid cyclist, according to LB.

My take is that any of CO’s  three political Rittercritters should be able to intake what he feels is best for his pain and suffering–be he Bill, Hick, or Hurl.  My Rx, though, would be not to smoke anything, as breathing with injured ribs is difficult enough.  My doc would likely recommend Percocet combined with ibuprofen, which is likely what Bill was prescribed.  He should then take lots of time off to rest–broken ribs are slow to heal.  His Dem colleagues in the legislature should do the same in a show of support.

DA Mark Hurlbert, a Republican Candidate for the Colo. State Senate, and one of the aforementioned Colo. triumvirate of “Rittercritters,” apparently believes MMJ should be reserved for the “truly sick” among us.  Under current voter-prescribed law, physicians determine who qualifies as “truly sick” enough for them to prescribe MMJ . Hurlbert then states that the “Frankenstein” beast that is Obama care must go (no argument there).

The Frankenstein line struck me as something GOP boss Dick Wadhams might come up with, but Hurlbert didn’t limit his attack on government interference with the doctor-patient relationship to the feds.  To his credit, Hurlbert went on to argue Colorado shouldn’t “get involved with healthcare and other nanny-state things .”

I’m confused, though.  If government shouldn’t interfere and you’re opposed to the nanny state, then the MMJ decision should be between  the doctor and patient, and they should determine if the patient is “truly sick” enough for MMJ, right?   More later.  (Corrected and updated 3-5-10 at 6:34 a.m.)

Ali Hasan, GOP candidate for Colo. Treasurer, calls bankers crooks who should be jailed more on this from The Donald L. Johnson at businessword.com.  The lines between Hasan, Stapleton, and Ament in this three-way primary race are getting clearer, as Hasan has clearly staked out the populist position in the campaign.

Reason TV interviews First Amendment Guru Eugene Volokh-and Eugene discusses at length on video various constitutional rights, including the First.  His view of the greatest free speech threat?  Content-based speech harassment laws.

John Stossel on Keep your Laws off my Body-Just when I thought I was done for the night, Reason released this classic, which has been teased all week on Fox.  The piece starts with a maxim that has now become a part of the distant past for us baby boomers:  “It’s a free country, right”?  Wrong.  Hopefully this will change by getting conservative/libertarian Republicans elected this November.

Links of the Day-New Blog Feature

Following the example of such pre-eminent conservative/libertarian bloggers as Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit and Radley Balk0, I will finally get with the times and post short links to pieces of interest I find on political and legal issues in Colorado and the nation.

The Nation

Oral argument held today in the McDonald Gun Case-they have the full roundup over at Volokh, including links to Scotusblog, and the transcript from the oral argument.  Colorado’s Koppel just blogged at the VC here. Just go on the site and scroll.

Texas Appellate Court forces a trial even though defendant pleads guilty  to everything. This is one I think  even Mark Hurlbert and I would agree is loony.  From Simple Justice.

Colorado

Treasurer Trivia – and not so trivial coverage on the three-way race for the Republican nomination for State Treasurer. From Lynn Bartles at The Spot.  She also links to the businessword.com blog extraordinaire of  The Donald Johnson,  who covers questions and answers from Ament, Hasan, and Stapleton.

Legislative nanny state trivia – on new laws for bike helmets is wittily commented on by the prolific Ben Degrow.

Ben also has a great piece analyzing what in my view is the single most important barrier to long-term economic sustainability of Colorado and the US–government employee unions.