The good news is, you haven’t lost your mind. The bad news? Not everyone has been so fortunate.
You’re not crazy in thinking that Colorado Republican state Rep. Lori Saine is an all-out nutball. Saine is making big headlines everywhere after she lost it on the floor of the state House last week during what would have been a widely-ignored few moments to honor the late Martin Luther King Jr., just before the state holiday in his honor.
On state legislature video tape, Saine, a Republican, accused black state House Democrats, including Aurora state Rep. Jovan Melton, of telling her Republican colleague state Rep. Perry Buck, that Buck was too white to be the chief sponsor of yawning annual official tribute resolution to King.
If you’re thinking this can’t possibly be that whacky Saine who forgot she had a loaded concealed gun in her purse when she went to DIA, you’re not crazy. She’s that Lori Saine.
The video extravaganza was just the beginning. Saine claimed that blacks and whites have been lynched in equal numbers — because they were Republicans. So she was trying to make the point that whites have had it just as bad as blacks, and now reverse race-reversal at the state Capitol is just so un-King-like.
If you were watching the video you might think you’re crazy because no sane person would say something like that, unless you’re David Duke or get 24/7 Breitbart notifications on your smartphone.
You’re not crazy. Saine then posted more crazy-history crap on her Facebook page and spent much of this week there and on the dubious whacky-radio circuit defending it with even more crazy talk, calling out people — shocked and angry that she’s actually an elected state lawmaker — as “haters.”
Notably, she spent time on AM 600 KOOL radio’s Jimmy Lakey’s show, where the banter was about bashing teachers, gays, blacks, Jews, historians and the folks determined to call quacking right-wing crackpots the scary the little ducks they are.
“Lakey introduced the topic by saying reaction to Saine’s comments represent revisionist history,” Greeley Tribune reporter Tyler Silvy wrote in Tuesday edition of that paper. “That kids were being taught about Martin Luther King Jr. by “union hacks” and that Colorado is now a segregated state. Lakey also referred, multiple times, to Gov. Jared Polis as “our gay, Jewish governor.”
Crazy isn’t limited to the oil-fields of Firestone. There’s plenty right here in Aurora.
This week, after years of wrangling, criminal justice reformer Elisabeth Epps is going to jail, possibly for a month or so.
Her crime? Getting in the face of Aurora police in 2015 at an apartment pool-side barbecue party where some poor mentally troubled vagrant was being either moved along or hauled off.
Her real crime? Attitude.
Epps’ vocation and all-out professional obsession is finding ways to make sure poor people without money or good connections don’t get pushed around by the criminal justice system. She’s locally famous for bailing moms out of jail on Mother’s Day. The point she and her organizations, The Colorado Freedom Fund and Denver Justice Project, keep trying to make is that court sentences, especially jail sentences, are often unfair and unnecessary.
Research backs her up pretty seriously. Poor people and minorities do get harsher sentences across the board. A couple days in jail or a few-hundred dollar fine are exponentially more catastrophic to poor people than to people who can financially just roll with it or have PTO to eat up while they cool their heels.
Epps is finding all this out first-hand this week. Aurora Judge Shawn Day has been outraged by Epps from the beginning of this mess in 2015.
In a Facebook video of her arrest back then, she’s mouthy, brash and disrespectful to the cops and a pretty big pain in the butt about what was happening with a vagrant dude who was clearly a mess.
And in Day’s courtroom, Epps was mouthy, brash and disrespectful as she was telling her side of the story.
And Day thinks she needs to go to jail for that — for three freaking months.
That’s crazy crap. I agree that how Epps handled the apartment vagrant incident was wrong and dangerous. Someone could have been hurt, either her, the cops or the vagrant.
But Epps dead-on point is that courts here and across the country abuse jail-time, inflicting this expensive and often useless punishment. In the process, courts do far more harm to individuals and the community than any possible good.
Epps has been appealing Day’s way-off jail sentence all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court, and losing.
On Wednesday, Day’s having his crazy day of fun by seeing her hauled off to the Arapahoe County Jail — at taxpayer expense.
You’re not crazy. This is all just as dumb as a bucket of hair.
Epps broke the law and rightfully needs to be fairly punished. Make her pay fines. Make her do community service. Make her spend time with cops who deal with crazy crap in the community day in and out.
But jail is for dangerous people who do truly dangerous things. Jail is not for mouthy activists that piss off temperamental judges who don’t know when to back down and save the crazy stuff for oil-country politicians who make so much in this whacky world seem so perfectly normal, perfectly fine.
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