The “Dossier” Testimony

I have been following the GPS/Simpson Dossier matters with great interest.  Here is a link to the Senate “Dossier Testimony.”  This was released by Senator Dianne Feinstein after the Democrats were not consulted on the criminal referral against former British spy and Fusion GPS investigator Christopher Steele.  Simpson touched on a wide array of topics in the 312-page transcript, including President Trump’s business ties and his tax history.

Read the sworn testimony here.

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Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog
Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog

Beth Klein Nabs Case Of The Year Award

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Nabs Case Of The Year Award

Finding Evidence in War ZonesWhen faced with international travel, reluctant witnesses and a behemoth defendant, most attorneys turned down David Dawson’s case. Most attorneys except Beth Klein of Boulder law firm Klein & Frank, who received the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Case of the Year Award for her work in winning Dawson $19 million in damages.

The verdict was years in the making but well worth the wait for Dawson, who was working in Iraq as a private contractor when he stepped into a shower that was so hot it caused third-degree burns over 65 percent of his body.

At the core of the case were three questions: Was the hot water piped to the housing units subject to sudden temperature swings? Was the manager of the residential center aware of this? And did the contractor take reasonable steps to address the problem?

To get the answers, Klein had to navigate through numerous countries, track down people with nothing more than byzantine address systems and phone directories and utilize interpreters to understand witnesses who spoke Arabic, Turkish and German.

And she had to convince people they wouldn’t be killed.

Klein worked on the case with her partner, Carrie Frank, and co-counsel Marquette Wolf of the Law Firm of Ted Lyon & Associates in Texas where the trial was held.

“What they know of us is so very bad,” Klein said of the Iraqis. “They don’t hear the nuanced political discussions on TV. They hear the bomb down the street.”
What she calls the “greatest case I’ve ever done” is now settled.

Lawyer Marketing Lows & Woes

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog
Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Personal Page

Every week or so I get a report from Google on the terms that are used to search for me and my firm. Apparently, the phrases “Beth Klein Boulder” “Beth Klein Attorney”  and “Beth Klein Boulder Attorney” and “Beth Klein Attorney Boulder “are searched so often that several advertising lawyers bid on pay per click ads to re-direct internet traffic to their websites. Fricky, Mertes, Berg, and a few others.  I guess their names aren’t enough and they have to use mine to get clients.  Should I be flattered or mad?

 

 

Beth Klein Boulder – talks DUP, Tory Puppetmaster

After failing to win a majority, the Conservative Party forged an alliance with the right wing Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a government. Government needs to have an overall majority of 326 MPs to get legislation past the House of Commons. Let’s meet the DUP which is akin to the Westborough Baptist Church as a political party, now, with power.

The DUP was founded in 1971 by radical Ian Paisley during the Troubles.  It is a Unionist party, a group that favors northern Ireland’s union with the UK and is primarily Protestant.  An Irish nationalist party favors a united Ireland and is typically Catholic.

Beth Klein Boulder talks politics Ian Paisley

Northern Ireland was in the midst of an ethnic-nationalist conflict known as the Troubles, which began in 1969 and would last for the next thirty years. The conflict began amid a campaign to end discrimination against the Catholic/Irish nationalist minority by the Protestant/unionist government and police force. This protest campaign was opposed, often violently, by unionists who viewed it as an Irish republican front. Paisley had led the unionist opposition to the civil rights movement. The DUP were more hardline or loyalist than the UUP and its founding arguably stemmed from insecurities of the Ulster Protestant working class.

The DUP opposed the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973. The Agreement was an attempt to resolve the conflict by setting up a new assembly and government for Northern Ireland in which unionists and Irish nationalists would share power. The Agreement also proposed the creation of a Council of Ireland, which would facilitate co-operation between the governments of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The DUP organized general strikes which led to the downfall of these shared-power peace initiatives.

During 1981, the DUP opposed the talks between British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey. That year, Paisley and other DUP members attempted to create a Protestant loyalist volunteer militia—called the (Ulster) Third Force—which would work alongside the police and army to fight the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

In November 1986, a rally was held in which DUP politicians Paisley, Robinson and Ivan Foster announced the formation of the Ulster Resistance Movement (URM). This was a loyalist paramilitary group whose purpose was to “take direct action as and when required” to bring down the Agreement and defeat republicanism. Recruitment rallies were held in towns across Northern Ireland and thousands were said to have joined. The following year, the URM helped smuggle a large shipment of weapons into Northern Ireland, which were shared out between the URM, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). Most, but not all, of the weaponry was seized by police in 1988. In 1989, URM members attempted to trade Shorts’ missile blueprints for weapons from the apartheid South African regime. Following these revelations, the DUP said that it had cut its links with the URM in 1987.

The DUP opposed the other peace initiatives including the Good Friday Agreement referendum, in which the Agreement was approved by 71.1% of the electorate.

In 2016, seeds of alliances with the Conservatives/Tories were planted. The 2017 election bore fruit of power for the DUP. May will have to make concessions to the DUP in order to maintain her government.

Arlene Foster, is the current leader of the DUP. Foster was raised in the town of Dernawilt and is a member of the Protestant Church of Ireland. Her experience with political violence began early in her life when her father was the victim of a failed assassination attempt — shot at their home. As a teenager, Foster was on a school bus that was bombed by the IRA, the vehicle targeted because its driver was a soldier in the Ulster Defence Regiment. Foster is a degreed lawyer.

The DUP formerly campaigned against the legalisation of homosexual acts in Northern Ireland through the “Save Ulster from Sodomy” campaign,and in recent years has vetoed the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. In December, the DUP’s Trevor Clarke was criticised by Sir Elton John after the politician admitted he did not know heterosexual people could contract HIV until a charity explained the facts to him.

DUP East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson, a devout climate change denier, was once Northern Ireland’s environment minister. Mervyn Storey, the party’s former education spokesman, once called for creationism – the belief that human life did not evolve over millions of years but was created by God – to be taught alongside evolution in science classes. He has also objected to an exhibition on evolution in the Ulster Museum and signs at the Giant’s Causeway in his North Antrim constituency.

The DUP has called for a debate in the House of Commons over the death penalty. The party maintains that it is “pro-life” and unanimously opposed a bill by Labour MP Diane Johnson to protect women in England and Wales from criminal prosecution if they ended a pregnancy using pills bought online. The DUP opposes funding for international family planning programs.

The party backs “soft Brexit” and a soft border in Ireland.

Meet the DUP, PM May's Puppet Master

After failing to win a majority, the Conservative Party forged an alliance with the right wing Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a government. Government needs to have an overall majority of 326 MPs to get legislation past the House of Commons. Let’s meet the DUP which is akin to the Westborough Baptist Church as a political party, now, with power.

The DUP was founded in 1971 by radical Ian Paisley during the Troubles.  It is a Unionist party, a group that favors northern Ireland’s union with the UK and is primarily Protestant.  An Irish nationalist party favors a united Ireland and is typically Catholic.

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Beth Klein Boulder talks politics Ian Paisley

Northern Ireland was in the midst of an ethnic-nationalist conflict known as the Troubles, which began in 1969 and would last for the next thirty years. The conflict began amid a campaign to end discrimination against the Catholic/Irish nationalist minority by the Protestant/unionist government and police force. This protest campaign was opposed, often violently, by unionists who viewed it as an Irish republican front. Paisley had led the unionist opposition to the civil rights movement. The DUP were more hardline or loyalist than the UUP and its founding arguably stemmed from insecurities of the Ulster Protestant working class.

The DUP opposed the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973. The Agreement was an attempt to resolve the conflict by setting up a new assembly and government for Northern Ireland in which unionists and Irish nationalists would share power. The Agreement also proposed the creation of a Council of Ireland, which would facilitate co-operation between the governments of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The DUP organized general strikes which led to the downfall of these shared-power peace initiatives.

During 1981, the DUP opposed the talks between British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey. That year, Paisley and other DUP members attempted to create a Protestant loyalist volunteer militia—called the (Ulster) Third Force—which would work alongside the police and army to fight the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

In November 1986, a rally was held in which DUP politicians Paisley, Robinson and Ivan Foster announced the formation of the Ulster Resistance Movement (URM). This was a loyalist paramilitary group whose purpose was to “take direct action as and when required” to bring down the Agreement and defeat republicanism. Recruitment rallies were held in towns across Northern Ireland and thousands were said to have joined. The following year, the URM helped smuggle a large shipment of weapons into Northern Ireland, which were shared out between the URM, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). Most, but not all, of the weaponry was seized by police in 1988. In 1989, URM members attempted to trade Shorts’ missile blueprints for weapons from the apartheid South African regime. Following these revelations, the DUP said that it had cut its links with the URM in 1987.

The DUP opposed the other peace initiatives including the Good Friday Agreement referendum, in which the Agreement was approved by 71.1% of the electorate.

In 2016, seeds of alliances with the Conservatives/Tories were planted. The 2017 election bore fruit of power for the DUP. May will have to make concessions to the DUP in order to maintain her government.

Arlene Foster, is the current leader of the DUP. Foster was raised in the town of Dernawilt and is a member of the Protestant Church of Ireland. Her experience with political violence began early in her life when her father was the victim of a failed assassination attempt — shot at their home. As a teenager, Foster was on a school bus that was bombed by the IRA, the vehicle targeted because its driver was a soldier in the Ulster Defence Regiment. Foster is a degreed lawyer.

The DUP formerly campaigned against the legalisation of homosexual acts in Northern Ireland through the “Save Ulster from Sodomy” campaign,and in recent years has vetoed the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. In December, the DUP’s Trevor Clarke was criticised by Sir Elton John after the politician admitted he did not know heterosexual people could contract HIV until a charity explained the facts to him.

DUP East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson, a devout climate change denier, was once Northern Ireland’s environment minister. Mervyn Storey, the party’s former education spokesman, once called for creationism – the belief that human life did not evolve over millions of years but was created by God – to be taught alongside evolution in science classes. He has also objected to an exhibition on evolution in the Ulster Museum and signs at the Giant’s Causeway in his North Antrim constituency.

The DUP has called for a debate in the House of Commons over the death penalty. The party maintains that it is “pro-life” and unanimously opposed a bill by Labour MP Diane Johnson to protect women in England and Wales from criminal prosecution if they ended a pregnancy using pills bought online. The DUP opposes funding for international family planning programs.

The party backs “soft Brexit” and a soft border in Ireland.

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney talks Weaponized Advertising

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney talks about Weaponized Lawyer Advertising.

In the legal profession, advertising lawyers have gone to extremes to acquire clients.  And it is rather frightening to know that lawyers are simply following marketing techniques that are used to push the sale of nearly everything.  It started in the 1970’s.

Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld the right of lawyers to advertise their services. In holding that lawyer advertising was commercial speech entitled to protection under the First Amendment (incorporated against the States through the Fourteenth Amendment), the Court upset the tradition against advertising by lawyers, rejecting it as an antiquated rule of etiquette.

With this decision, lawyers began working with phone book advertising, billboards, radio, and TV.   Who could out noise, out number and out size was the game.  Strong arms, grizzlies, and rabid dogs became brands to get leads.  And the warehouse law firm model was born.  The back office with nameless paralegals in warehouses processing cases and the front office crunching productivity – churning cases and burning clients.

Childless lawyers hire child models to appear as their own kids for that “family man” image.   Lawyers hire dancing-girls and target motorcycle riders at events with the vibe of Sons of Anarchy and sexual innuendo.

And then there are lawyers who are brutally honest about who they are:

Groups of lawyers fund national campaigns to acquire clients by pooling money for bigger ad buys.  Telephone banks and auto mailings are created to receive calls, read scripts, and sign up clients.  And then, clients are sold as commodities.  There are private lawyer banks that fund the sale of blocks of clients.

Recently, lawyers have gotten into the email text, and behavioral data harvesting game.  Your emails and face book posts and anything you click  on-line are harvested for data analytics on behavior prediction.  Google is not an electronic library index; it is a data collection company.

Ever notice how you might be searching for a product or emailing someone, and then all of the ads that you see are targeted toward your recent search and seem to have a connection with a recent email?   Your data is being collected and used to predict your buying behavior.

But it gets worse.  Some lawyers use marketing companies to text you directly if you are communicating about an illness, a product, or a death.  This means that your internet carrier and phone company are harvesting your phone data and communicating directly through texts to your phone number.

And now there is a new frontier:  voice ads talking through your home and intelligent personal assistant devices (like Siri).  Google and Amazon are currently engaged in a battle over who will dominate the new voice-activated AI-enabled smart assistant market. Google Home can play information about new products through your house speakers.

But there are ways to fight back.  Burger King launched an ad that would read out the benefits of Whoppers on AI smart assistants and home speakers.  The script that the AI was to read was from Wikipedia.   But annoyed consumers re-wrote the Wiki text.  So that the AI assistant read that Whoppers were the worst burger and contained cyanide.   The ad was pulled.  And a least for a day, Siri was not reading about the benefits of a burger.

But soon Siri will be talking about the benefits of the pit bull attorney or the lawyers who “ride” and “hammer hard.”    We can only hope that this script is changed, and that quality and mastery becomes what matters when hiring an attorney.

 

 

 

 

 

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney’s Primer on the Chevron Doctrine

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney explores the interpretation of vague legislation and how agencies and courts confront circumstances where Congress has failed to be clear.   Do we defer to the agency bureaucracy or simply strike down ambiguous laws?

Under the Chevron Doctrine, Courts defer to agency interpretation of vague or ambiguous law.   What is problematic is that agencies are not only given the freedom to determine what the law is, but they can change their interpretation at any time.  Uncertainty about law destabilizes our society.

Chevron matters more today than ever, as President Trump changes agency rules – deleting 8 years of pro-union labor rules, immigration policies, environmental controls on fossil fuels and how the ACA is administered.    Can America withstand the whipsaw change of law and policy with the change of the party in charge?  Probably not well.

This is the current standard:

First, always, is the question whether Congress has directly spoken to the precise question at issue. If the intent of Congress is clear, that is the end of the matter; for the court, as well as the agency, must give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress. If, however, the court determines Congress has not directly addressed the precise question at issue, the court does not simply impose its own construction on the statute . . . Rather, if the statute is silent or ambiguous with respect to the specific issue, the question for the court is whether the agency’s answer is based on a permissible construction of the statute.

— Chevron U.S.A. v. NRDC, 467 U.S. 837, 842-43 (1984).

Gorsuch has called out the destabilizing effect of this doctrine.  Citizens should be able to rely on clear and stable law so that they can conform.

Under Chevron the people aren’t just charged with awareness of and the duty to conform their conduct to the fairest reading of the law …. Instead, they are charged with an awareness of Chevron; required to guess whether the statute will be declared “ambiguous” (courts often disagree on what qualifies); and required to guess (again) whether an agency’s interpretation will be deemed “reasonable.”  . . .

And, of course, that’s not the end of it. Even if the people somehow manage to make it through this far unscathed, they must always remain alert to the possibility that the agency will reverse its current view 180 degrees anytime based merely on the shift of political winds and still prevail.

Federal judges have started to  question the constitutionality of allowing Congress to grant so much deference to unelected bureaucrats and to pass unclear and unfinished laws.  Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote a decision last year declaring the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency unconstitutional because no one including the President had the power to fire its director.  Kavanaugh says “Because of their massive power and the absence of Presidential supervision and direction, independent agencies pose a significant threat to individual liberty and to the constitutional system of separation of powers and checks and balances,”  Gorsuch has expressed concerns about Congress delegating legislative power to the President.  The Supreme Court decided in 1892 that Congress can’t delegate legislative power to the president – members of Congress must remain accountable to voters in their own districts. The Supreme Court in 1935 rejected a statute giving the president the power to write an industrial code of competition.

The Courts alway struggle with legislative laziness, bad drafting and the inability and failure to agree on policy.  Activist judges fill in the gaps.  Others defer to the political branch or defer to agencies via the Chevron doctrine.

We are about to embark on a new legal journey.   And its time for Congress to step up their commitment to the People.

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Beth Klein Boulder Attorney and the Chevron Doctrine

Rights to be lead questioner in Trump lawsuit auctioned off for charity!

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog
Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog

Imagine if you will, a dream lawyer gig – deposing Trump!   Imagine further, that the right to be the lead questioner will be auctioned off of the highest bidder.

Which charity should receive the proceeds?

Leaders Wanted!

Council Vacancies
The Colorado Human Trafficking Council is a statewide, legislatively established body that represents a wide-range of sectors, disciplines, and perspectives. The Council strives to build and enhance collaboration among communities, improve comprehensive services for victims and survivors of human trafficking, to assist in the successful prosecution of human traffickers, and to help prevent human trafficking in Colorado.There are currently three vacant seats on the Council that cover the following roles:

  • A “representative of a regional or city-wide human trafficking coalition,”
  • A “representative of an organization that provides direct services to victims of human trafficking,”
  • A “representative of a “non-profit organization that facilitates the treatment or housing of human trafficking victims.”

If you or someone you know is appropriate for these vacancies, visit the Council Vacancies page for further information on how to apply.

2011 TexasHuman Trafficking Law may Render Life Sentence.

For the first time, a Texas law that Beth Klein Boulder Attorney helped pass in 2011 may be used to land a trafficker in prison for life.

A Houston man was charged Friday with human trafficking for allegedly leading a prostitution ring, forcing women into sexual slavery through beatings and threats to their lives, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Anthony Gardner, 27, is believed to be the first person charged by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office with the crime of “continuing trafficking of persons.” He also faces one charge of aggravated promotion of prostitution and two counts of compelling prostitution by force, authorities said.

The Texas Legislature created the trafficking criminal charge in 2011 so that a person can be charged if they use force, fraud or coercion to cause someone to engage in a sexual act on two or more occasions for 30 days or longer.

JoAnne Musick, sex crimes chief for the DA’s office, said she’s been unable to identify anyone charged with the crime in Texas. She said charging someone with the crime is rare because it’s hard for investigators to catch them.

“I am thrilled that a law we helped pass with Senator Leticia Van De Putte is being put to use” Beth Klein said. “I look forward to monitoring the trial, and I hope that the prosecution is successful.”

Gardner forced eight women, including two minors, to work for him on Houston streets since November 2014. Houston police collected evidence through a monthslong investigation that included interviewing women Gardner hired to commit sexual acts, which eventually led to them tracking him down and arresting him in January 2017. Houston Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit worked in collaboration with the Harris County District Attorney’s newly formed Sex Crimes Division.

“Sex trafficking in Houston is an epidemic. Our new Sex Crimes Division is making prosecution of traffickers like Anthony Gardner a priority,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. “Gardner posed a real-time threat to the women he has trafficked and abused, but the tables have turned.”

Police identified one woman in June 2015 after an officer with HPD Vice Division contacted her based on an advertisement from BackPage.com, according to court documents. The then 17-year-old agreed to meet the undercover officers at a place at 2400 West South Loop to engage in a sexual act for $300.

She drove a vehicle registered by the defendant to the location. The woman called Gardner after being arrested on a phone number police recognized and said, “They got me, I’m going to jail.” She also referred to him as “Trouble,” which police knew as the defendant’s nickname.

The women working for the defendant allegedly had to make at least $1,000 a day by performing sexual acts. If not, they would face violent punishment.

One woman “A.L.,” who worked for Gardner shortly after turning 17, told police she had a child by him, according to court documents. She said that he would tell her how much to charge for sex acts, buy her hotel rooms to work out of and instructed all the money she made should be given to him.

A.L. also said a few weeks after Thanksgiving 2014 the defendant became physical with her and “backed her up against the wall, grabbed her by the throat, and started to choke her.” One woman also working for Gardner told police that he hit her so hard she chipped a tooth.

Musick said the District Attorney’s Office has made it a priority to track down criminals like Gardner.

“With human trafficking so prolific in Houston, it’s impossible to estimate how many people might fall into this position,” she said. “We anticipate that it’s a significant number of people. It’s very eye-opening just how much of this is going on in our own backyard.”

The defendant faces five years to life in prison for the charge of aggravated promotion of prosecution. He also faces up to 20 years for each count of compelling prostitution by force. His “continuous trafficking of persons” charge holds a penalty of 25 years to life in prison.

“With the new laws, I encourage any man or woman who’s being victimized to reach out to law enforcement for help.” Klein said. “We want this crime to end for all time.”

Trump and Human Trafficking

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Beth Klein Boulder Attorney – Where slavery is prevalent and new global will to defeat it.

Even birds that are free to fly, cage them and they shall cry.

70% of all slavery exists in only 12 countries because laws are not enforced and traffickers operate with impunity.  Now we have the political will to fight it.  A global disciplined slavery fund and shared effort to end human trafficking with the global model of fighting AIDS is on the table.   Ending slavery is a victory that is actually possible in our generation.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; International Justice Mission; Thorn: Tech Innovation to Fight Child Sexual Exploitation were in attendance to advise the President, and it is good to see Human Trafficking as a first 100 days priority of this administration.

Slave owners prey on poor families seeking a better life

Gowri and her husband wanted to support their children and pay for their medical bills, so they took out a loan from a factory owner.

This turned out to be a trick, and the owner continually increased the loan, violently forcing the family to continue working long hours for him. This abuse continued for nearly 10 years, until IJM was able to send rescue. Today, the slave owner is standing trial, and the family is safe.

Gideon’s grandparents sent him to a man who promised to take care of him and help him go to school. Instead, the man enslaved Gideon* in a fishing boat on Lake Volta in Ghana.

Gideon’s grandfather was not wealthy enough to file charges against the slave owner, but early last year we were able to rescue Gideon and bring him home.

 

When Elsa* was 12 years old her father died, and her mother left. Elsa was determined to find work, save some money and support her brother.

A bar owner offered her a job that promised good pay. But it was a trap. The bar owner forced her into prostitution, and for years she faced violent abuse and sexual exploitation every single day. But now, Elsa is safe. She is a brave survivor of sex trafficking and describes herself as strong.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody, very nice. Nice to see you. Well, I want to thank Dina and Ivanka and everybody for working so hard to set this up. It’s been so important to them, and I want to make it clear today that my administration will focus on ending the absolutely horrific practice of human trafficking. And I am prepared to bring the full force and weight of our government to the federal and at the federal level, and the other highest levels, whatever we can do, in order to solve this horrific problem. It’s getting worse and it’s happening in the United States in addition to the rest of the world, but it’s happening in the United States, which is terrible.

Human trafficking is a dire problem, both domestically and internationally, and is one that’s made really a challenge. And it’s really made possible to a large extent, more of a modern phenomenon, by what’s taking place on the Internet, as you probably know. Solving the human trafficking epidemic, which is what it is, is a priority for my administration. We’re going to help out a lot. “Solve” is a wonderful word, a beautiful word, but I can tell you, we’re going to help a lot.

I’ll direct the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies that have a role in preventing human trafficking to take a hard look at the resources and personnel that they’re currently devoting to this fight. Now, they are devoting a lot, but we’re going to be devoting more.

Dedicated men and women across the federal government have focused on this for some time, as you know. A lot of you have been dealing with the federal government and it’s been much more focused over the last four weeks — I can tell you that. I cannot thank each of you enough, and the dedicated men and women who run my staff and your staffs in getting everybody together was terrific. I was so glad I was able to be here.

You start with really a tremendous amount of energy and blood, sweat and tears. Government can be helpful, but without you, nothing would happen. So, again, I want to thank everybody in this room. It’s a very, very terrible problem. It’s not talked about enough. People don’t know enough about it. And we’re going to talk about it, and we’re going to bring it out into the open and hopefully we’re going to do a great deal to help prevent some of the horrific — really horrific — crimes that are taking place.

And I can see — I really can say, in this country, people don’t realize how bad it is in this country, but in this country and all over the world. So thank you all for being here.

Thank you very much.

Now that you are aware

stupid_laws_of_india_maj31_rtnz4_fycya
BethKleinBoulderAttorney

It is great to see people being politically aware and involved.    I thought I would share  what state legislatures are doing to solve critical problems.

Starting with Montana (from http://www.mtcowgirl.com)  This is not a joke. These are real bills, and they are currently taking priority in the Montana legislature over anything legitimate that would create jobs or help people afford healthcare.

1) Remove restrictions on the possession of domestically-bred foxes. HB 157 by Forrest Mandeville R-Columbus (Perhaps this is how Mandeville hunts for chickens.)

2) Impose a new tax on electric vehicles, to encourage more oil consumption, HB 205, Alan Redfield, R-Livingston. (Actual quote from bill co- sponsor: “Fuel efficiency has really impacted us negatively.”)

3) Allow state legislators (and only legislators) a special exemption to carry firearms in any government building, including schools and state prisons, by Randy Brodehl (R) Kalispell HB 280 (Does not apply to legislators who are sent to prison).

4) Ban Sharia law from Montana courts. SB 97 by Keith Regier (Regier believes there is no more pressing issue in Montana.)

5) Exempt sale of “homemade food” from all freshness, safety, cleanliness, and contamination standards. by Greg Hertz R-Polson HB 352 (Includes unsanitized aka “raw” milk, which also has its own separate bill. Finally someone is doing what it takes to advance jobs and economic development in our great state.)

6) Create a state militia and outfit them with uniforms. LC546 by Cary Smith R-Billings (Smith may be in talks with Hugo Boss, who made SS uniforms in the ’30s).

7) Lift nuclear ban so that reactor can be built in the Flathead Valley, next to Galcier National Park. by Derek Skees R-Kalispell LC2008 (Ideas of this caliber never die. See HB 326 from the 2011 session.)

8) Strike the word “fair” wherever it appears in landlord/tenant agreements for trailer homes, by Peggy Webb (R-Billings) HB 350

9) Exempt political ads by religious groups from campaign finance laws, by classifying them as “news reports.” LC0604 by David Howard (R-TEA Park City)

10) Give county sheriffs authority over the federal government in terror investigations. By Cary Smith R-Billings LC0512 (Don’t you feel safer already?)

11) Re-legalize the drinking of beer while riding in a car (the “road beer” bill), by Daniel Zolnikov, R-Billings, HB 206 (Montana ranka 3rd among states with most drunk driving deaths. Perhaps Zolnikov wants the number one spot.)

12) Eliminate the office of Commissioner of Political Practices, by Derek Skees (R-Kalispell) HB 340.(Skees might have been himself removed from office for his involvement in the Meth House Scandal, had not the statute of limitations expired shortly before the Commissioner of Political Practices began his prosecutions.)

13) Ban bicycles from all two-lane roads. by Barry Usher R-Roundup (Indeed Usher owns a motorcycle dealership. Hard to believe this world class idea has not been advanced before.) LC2196

14) Create new time zone known as “Montana Standard Time”, Ryan Osmondson, R-Buffalo, SB206

15) Allow “the possession of firearms on postal service property.” HB 246, by Randy Brodehl (At long last, Montanans will have more freedom to go postal.)

16) Prohibit dousing oneself with out-of-state deer urine, SB 173 Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena (In this case, it’s the necessity of banning said practice that’s nuts, not the bill.)

17) Increase the legislative branch budget by 16% while every branch or agency faces painful cuts. HB 1, by Nancy Ballance R-Bitterroot. (Branding their own caucus as blatant hypocrites is perhaps the sharpest move this bunch has ever made.)

18) FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: “AN ACT LIMITING THE EXEMPTIONS FROM WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN ABLE-BODIED ADULTS RECEIVING SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE BENEFITS; UPDATING TERMINOLOGY; AMENDING SECTIONS
MY ADDITIONS – JOB CREATING BILLS

19) HB 55 Vince Ricci “Require DPHHS to seek a waiver to prohibit using SNAP benefits for energy drinks – Classic republican solution in search of a problem because supplement labels on energy drinks already prevent energy drinks from SNAP purchase – which his fellow republican legislator pointed out during the bill hearing 😉 #jobcreation

20) HB 212 Jeff Essmann – This is just another good ol’ voter suppression bill trying to make it harder for elderly, disabled and low income folks to vote by making it illegal for us to pick up their ballots and take them to the elections office. There have been zero cases of ballot theft in Montana. #jobs #morejobs

21) HB 255 This was another solution in search of a problem trying to ban the use of the Governor’s plane from campaign use. The republican chair of the committee was quick to gavel down a dem woman questioning the validity of this garbage. #1stamendmentformenonly and #jobs.

22) SB 27 This bill looks like it provides a legislative reaction to the effective date of the medical marijuana ballot initiative start date ruling of the Supreme Court, but it does so much more – by naming and insulting the court that made the ruling – and ignoring the will of the people. #jobsjobsjobs

Nostalgia and Desire to Help Again

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney and the “Haiti 80”

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With the January 12 devastating earthquake in Haiti, the call went out for mental health professionals who could volunteer their time to help transport Haitian orphans to their adoptive parents waiting in the U.S. One of Kempe’s newest Board members, Beth Klein, literally worked around the clock to secure a charter flight for the orphans to be safely transported to the U.S. She kept volunteers updated with the constantly changing crisis.

In crisis work, people are trained to be ready to leave at a moments notice. This bit of wisdom proved to be true as I found myself making last minute travel arrangements. The Child Protection Team’s administrative assistant, Linda Jensen, quickly packed a bag with crayons, paper, markers and stickers for the children; The Kempe Foundation generously covered my expenses and provided their unwavering support.

In Miami, our spontaneous crisis “team” met for the first time at the Miami International Airport. The team included Renee Branson a therapist and crisis worker from Colorado; Allison Stone, a vibrant young attorney from Miami; and Ben Escobar, a seasoned international aid worker; and me. We arrived with a true sense of gratitude for the opportunity to help the children and their newly adoptive parents.

The 81 Haitian children, dubbed the “Haiti 80” by the media, all came from a well-respected orphanage, God’s Littlest Angel (GLA). Due to owner Dixie Bickel’s exceptional organization, she had the ability to take the children’s paperwork to the embassy to have them processed to leave the country.

The adoptive parents were from throughout the U.S. Many had been to Haiti several times as they had waited up to two-and-a-half-years for their children. Our team met with the couples to answer questions, provide information and discuss any concerns they might have. We had ample time to get to know each other as we waited 24 hours for the children. The ights were difficult and delayed. Once in Miami, one agent had to process 81 children through customs. Arriving at 1 a.m. they initially entered the United States eight hours later.

Exhausted, hungry and close to dehydration, many children looked stunned while others were ill. One child was rushed to a local hospital for emergency brain surgery for a life threatening infection. All wanted to be held and fed. The adult volunteers worked quickly, feeding and diapering children. The older children began to play and sing. The parents had to wait a little longer with more paperwork. One by one, the children were united with their new parents. True excitement and joy permeated the room with sounds

of laughter and tears. Some families adopted siblings; many were first time parents while others had their older biological children with them.

The parents were incredibly loving, devoted and patient. One little boy who had his adoptive father and uncle waiting for him was known to be frightened of having men hold him. After spending time soothing and cradling the little boy with his new father, maintaining constant eye contact with him, we were able to transition the child to his patient, expectant father.

The parents understand their children may need to regress to an earlier stage of development in order to recapture missed developmental milestones. They know their child may have a tendency to want to eat more than they may physically need.

They know that even before the earthquake, their child lived in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. For these children, their parents’ will and determination has already made a difference in their young lives. A month after being with their adoptive parents, two siblings, 4- and 2-years-old, living in Colorado are already thriving. Their biological, single, 40-year- old mother in Haiti gave up all of her 5 children because she could not feed them. The 4-year-old has gained 3 pounds in 4 weeks. The 2-year-old is learning English with ease. Both children dislike the cold and snow. Yet, they are happy to be loved and nurtured. They are very affectionate, enjoy playing and calling out “mama” and “papa,” knowing their new parents will respond.

These families come from communities where they feel supported18308730_304. In the future, if they need additional support and guidance, The Kempe Center will be there with its dedicated staff and wealth of expertise. Kempe will provide the most professional and compassionate care available for all children and their families.

 

Michele’s Channel 7 interview is available on the Kempe in the News page at kempe.org.