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Local Efforts in Battleground States May Determine the Outcome of 2016

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

What does a liberal environmental group have to do with immigration? Probably nothing on the surface. But if you stop by one of the Commerce City’s elementary schools in Colorado on weekends, you would be surprised to find that Protégete, the Latino outreach arm of the environmental organization Conservation Colorado, was providing free U.S. citizenship workshops to immigrants, including helping them fill out citizenship applications and making copies of documents needed.


Interestingly, according to a Colorado Public Radio (CPR) report, most immigrants who attended had no idea that Conservation Colorado organized these workshops because volunteers/representatives from the group kept a very low profile and provided very little information at the workshops to identify what their organization is about.

Yet, when asked by a reporter from CPR about the motive behind these citizenship workshops, Conservation Colorado openly acknowledged that their goal was to help as many immigrants as possible to become voters in time for the November election, not just for the presidential election, but also for local issues they care about.

While officially a non-partisan organization, Conservation Colorado supports issues on the Democrat agenda. Its parent organization, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), was founded by David Brower, executive director of the Sierra Club in the 1950s. LCV has a track record that "almost exclusively supports Democratic candidates." For instance, in 2012, LCV and its super PACs spent "more than $2 million trying to defeat Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and another $2 million to defeat George Allen, the Republican Senate candidate in Virginia." Not surprisingly, LCV has attracted some deep pocketed liberal donors over the years. For example, reported in 2012, LCV received more than $5 million in donations from the Sea Change Foundation, an organization founded by a hedge fund manager, Nathaniel Simons, with the goal to pass climate change legislation.


Backed by such deep pocketed support, Conservation Colorado is making concrete effort to ensure the immigrants they're helping will become Democrat voters in November.

This is just one of many discrete examples of how the left has flooded battle ground states such as Colorado with money and resources, intending to bring these states under firm Democratic control, in order to advance progressive agendas.

Colorado especially feels the heat of these outsized money influence from out of state players this year. As a deeply purple state, Republicans seem vulnerable in this election cycle, while holding only a one vote majority in State Senate, the Democrats control both the governor's mansion and the State House. Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, is deeply unpopular not only with Independents and immigrants, but also among many Colorado Republicans.

Liberals believe that they can tap into Trump's unpopularity to not only send Hillary to the White House, but also to flip the Colorado legislature to firm Democrat control at all levels and then use Colorado as a launch pad to turn liberal ideas such as a single-payer healthcare into reality. Sure enough, it'sreported that liberal billionaires such as George Soros and Tom Steyer are not only making personal contributions to key Democrat races in Colorado, but also steer millions more into Colorado through various liberal groups to ensure the successful passage of several ballot issues backed by liberals, including:


· Amendment 69--a state constitutional amendment which would create ‘ColoradoCare,’ a single-payer, government run health care system in Colorado, to replace another failed government-run healthcare system - Obamacare. The selling point from the left is that this new single-payer system will be able to control medicine prices and medical spending so healthcare will be affordable to everyone in Colorado. Literally, everyone in Colorado will be a "member" of Coloradocare because proof of Citizenship or permanent residence is not required and Colorado residency isn't clearly defined. To pay for this free-for-all healthcare, the state income tax rate will have to be increased to 14.63 percent, which will be the highest in the nation and represents a 316% increase.

· Initiatives 75 and 78-- both are anti-fracking referendums. Even the liberal mouth piece, the Denver Post editorial board, called initiative 75 "a bad idea for Colorado," because it "wouldn’t just give local communities the ability to ban hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas operations, which would be quite radical enough. It would also grant those communities comprehensive control over all businesses — indeed, “the power to define or eliminate the rights and powers of corporations or business entities.” Initiative 78, another anti-fracking ballot measure, which could "ban oil & gas industry" from Colorado permanently should it pass in November.


The Republicans have made great strides at the local legislature level, with 30 state legislatures currently under GOP control. But the GOP can't afford a moment of relaxation. What's going on in Colorado demonstrate the challenges ahead. Historically, the Democrats and their affiliated groups have done a much better job at a local level, such as outreach efforts to minorities and immigrants and "getting out the vote" campaigns. While keeping an eye on national presidential race, Republicans need to pour more money and resources to the local level like the Democrats are doing. After all, the level of efforts in battle ground states like Colorado may well determine the outcome of 2016 election and so much more.


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