Op-Ed from CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, “Evil D.C. Politics Infiltrates Colorado Capitol”
When I started in the legislature 13 years ago, there was integrity and collaboration. You could disagree but still have a discussion and still be civil to each other. You would try to find common ground and actually try to solve problems. Now, not so much.
We have a governor who bragged about a stakeholder process for the new oil and gas restrictions when, in fact, there was none– no enviros– no industry. Integrity meant working with constituents to draft problem-solving language. Drafting any legislation in back rooms and then being dishonest when it is introduced is not the definition of good policy making, let alone integrity.
The evil seems to be a continued agenda with absolutely no desire to reach across the aisle to form good policy. From the introduction of bills which would create safe places to inject illegal drugs with new needles given by government to giving our Presidential votes away to the populated states, this governor and lawmakers are taking Colorado down a path of destruction and socialism.
A day after the press conference that touted a stakeholder process (which we found out was a lie), a bill was introduced to ultimately shut down oil and gas production in much of the state. Hidden under the disguise of local control, the Oil and Gas Commission would reevaluate already-issued permits under a new set of standards and allow local governments to create even stricter regulations, even though the voters soundly rejected 112, their anti-energy referendum.
It also appears that rallies at the capitol are scheduled in advance of a bills introduction and social media support issued for a hearing date in committees of bills that have not yet been introduced and boom- new bills that meet the agenda and time frame suddenly appear to the rest of the citizens. Again, elected officials showing an unprecedented and orchestrated abuse of power.
Introduced legislation that would continue Denver’s safe injection sites perpetuates the evil nature of this legislature. For lawmakers to try and provide safe areas and provide tools for drug addicts to shoot up with illegal drugs that we know are bad for them only adds to the destruction of a society.
With Democrats so upset over the last Presidential election, their proposal to cede our electoral college votes to the rest of the country is short-sided. Our forefathers got it right when they created a system to make sure that heavily populated urban states did not over-run rural areas and govern by mob-rule. In an attempt to make sure Colorado never leads and only follows New York and California, the current leaders of our state have done an end-run around the Constitution.
The attempt to make sure sex-education and health classes are taught with a specific agenda is a true overreach and are one of the responsibilities of parents. It has never been, nor should it be, a schools responsibility to teach an agenda that is more appropriately taught at home.
The agenda continues with the absence of due-process in legislation that allows an upset family member to have law enforcement remove a law-abiding citizen’s guns. A court could order the removal of firearms without hearing the other side, and then when your guns are removed, you are guilty until you can prove yourself innocent of being mentally unstable. The unintended consequence here is this: folks that are currently talking to counselors may no longer do so if they think that it may be used against them in taking their firearms away.
These are all reasons that the second amendment was adopted – to allow the people to defend themselves against a tyrannical government. The Nazi regime used gun control to disarm its enemies. We know it was evil then, and it continues to be evil today.
The new war on rural Colorado and on its values and traditions has reached a new low and we will continue to see the wedge grow larger under the new state leadership. This capitol is an evil place these days, and constituents are correct to assume that the dysfunction in D.C. has infiltrated the state of Colorado.
MORE ABOUT CO SENATOR SONNENBERG
Jerry Sonnenberg is a Colorado native who has been farming and ranching in northeastern Colorado his entire life. He continues to live and work on the same farm that both his father and he were raised on growing wheat, corn, sunflowers, millet and cattle. Senator Sonnenberg was first elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2006 and immediately became a strong voice for agriculture and rural Colorado. After serving 8 years he was elected to serve from District 1 in the Colorado Senate where he represents the counties of Cheyenne, Elbert, Lincoln, Logan, Kit Carson, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Yuma, Washinton and Weld. Because of his leadership abilities, agriculture background and experience in Colorado’s land and water issues, Jerry currently serves as the chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee. He also serves as vice-chair of Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee and is a member of both Senate Appropriations Committee and Capital Development Committee. Senator Sonnenberg has proposed legislation during his tenure that has reinstated the ag sales tax exemption; tried to eliminate the governments use of eminent domain in acquiring water rights; authorize spending on water projects; making it easier to build water storage projects; protect agriculture data given to government from access by the public; allows trucks to be more efficient by utilizing triple axles and larger loads on secondary roads; encourage Division of Wildlife to utilize easements rather than fee-title acquisition; secure emergency funding in tough economic times for K-12 education; create a stable funding source for highways; protect law-abiding citizens from the Governor tramping on their gun rights; secure funding for community colleges; regulatory reform and removing regulations; drug testing as a condition of receiving government assistance. Jerry was born and raised in Sterling, Colorado graduating from Sterling High School. He married Vonnie Constance Sonnenberg, a teacher at Merino Elementary School, and together have four children; Ashley, and her husband Chad Renslow of Colorado Springs, CO; Afton, her husband Russel Dains, their daughter,Cambrei and twins Caleb and Cailyn of Henderson, CO; Joshua and his wife Dani of Sterling; and Ryan also of Sterling.