Colorado Community Newspapers columnist Dale had accuracy, spelling issues in column attacking Democrats

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Columnist Curt Dale of Colorado Community Newspapers issued false statements and made inaccurate claims in charging that Democrats are "mad as hatters." Specifically, he attacked Democrats' patriotism with the false claim that they are "withholding funding from the front lines" of Iraq and charged that, in signing an emergency contraception bill, Gov. Bill Ritter betrayed "his claims to be pro-life."

In his April 5 column for Colorado Community Newspapers, Curt Dale made several inaccurate, misleading, false, and unsubstantiated statements to support his contention that Democrats are as "mad as hatters." Most significantly, Dale attacked the patriotism of Democrats by falsely stating that they are "withholding funding from the front lines" of battle in Iraq and claimed that Democrats are "giving us" an "unprecedented record-breaking tax increase" over the next five years. Dale also dubiously claimed that Democratic Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter betrayed "his claims to be pro-life" by signing an emergency contraception bill.

Dale's column appeared in the Castle Rock News-Press, the Douglas County News-Press, and the Parker Chronicle. Each paper identified him as "a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and political writer living in Parker."

In addition to its numerous inaccuracies, Dale's column misspelled the name of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) throughout as "Pelozi."

1. Democrats "are delighted with" the burning of a U.S. soldier in effigy

Apparently commenting on an incident on March 18 in Portland, Oregon, at which a splinter group of protesters burned a U.S. soldier in effigy, Dale stated that Democratic leaders "are delighted with the event." He further "posit[ed]" that although they did not orchestrate the incident, "they'd have helped in any way possible given the chance":

If you think there isn't junkyard dog madness among folks on the far left where House Speaker Nancy Pelozi and Majority Leader Harry Reid reside, look at what just happened in Washington where leftists just burned an American soldier in effigy along with the U.S. flag.

[...]

I hope I don't hear Pelozi, Reid, Sen. Hillary Clinton or any of their bosom buddies in Congress denying, criticizing or attempting to distance themselves from leftists who burned our soldiers in effigy. I might just get physically ill if I heard Pelozi say one thing about how she supports the troops. She, Reid and the rest are delighted with the event. Did Pelozi or Reid help orchestrate that demonstration? I won't be foolish enough to say they did, but I will posit that they'd have helped in any way possible given the chance. It was done by folks of their sphere of influence and ideology. She and Reid can proclaim that the American people are demonstrating in the streets against the war in Iraq. No matter how few the numbers, no matter how far Left the demonstrators, they have their straw man to hold up to their followers and say, "See. We knew this was coming."

2. Democrats are "withholding funding from the front lines" of Iraq

Dale further attacked Democrats' patriotism by claiming that they are "withholding funding from the front lines" and "doing all they can to ... demoralize the troops":

Exactly how are law-abiding, patriotic people supposed to feel about this? Don't try to convince me that burning the effigy of a U.S. GI in the street shows patriotism. I don't care what the liberal-tilted Supreme Court said about flag burning. This is abominable. Democrats and Republicans-in-name-only in Congress can plead their patriotism and offer blathering platitudes to exhaustion, but they're still slamming our soldiers, withholding funding from the front lines and setting the date we surrender to terrorists. Not a patriot in the lot.

Can't you see how liberals, Democrats and Republicans-in-name-only who read this will blister me? They want the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism to be Vietnam all over again. They want defeat. They want no vestige of success by President George W. Bush in the fight against terrorism and are willing to pay any price for his failure. Therefore, they're doing all they can to withhold funding, demoralize the troops and tie the hands of commanders on the battlefield.

Dale's assertion regarding troop funding appears to refer to a standoff between Congress and President Bush over an emergency supplemental appropriation bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, the Democratic-controlled House and the Senate each have passed such a war funding bill, and both versions provide a timetable for redeploying U.S. forces from Iraq. As Colorado Media Matters has noted, Bush has promised to veto the bill -- which still must be finalized by a House-Senate conference -- because its current versions would impose timetables for the troop redeployment.

3. "Democrat [sic] commitment to not raise taxes was a lie"; Democrats "foisted" an "unprecedented record-breaking tax increase"

Dale misrepresented House and Senate budget resolutions for fiscal year 2008 in order to make the false claim that Democrats broke a promise not to raise taxes:

When I proposed they're mad as hatters, I was also thinking of the unprecedented record-breaking tax increase they're giving us. Never in our history has such a monumental tax increase been foisted on American taxpayers. The Democrat-controlled House, led by Pelozi, is increasing taxes by $400 billion in the next five years. That exceeds the increase planned by the Democrat-controlled Senate led by Reid by $100 billion. Reid restrained himself to an increase of only a paltry $300 billion. Don't miss the significance of this.

Many who've been below the income level of being taxed will pay taxes again.

Small business taxes will increase an average of $4,000. Everyone will see their taxes raised. The Democrat commitment to not raise taxes was a lie and a commitment to tax the rich was a lie too. Well, maybe it wasn't a lie, maybe bald-faced deception. Democrats increase the tax on the rich as promised, but they'll increase taxes for the rest of us, too.

On March 23 and March 29, the Senate and the House respectively passed resolutions establishing a budget for fiscal year 2008 and setting guidelines for fiscal years 2009 though 2012. Each of these bills originated in the Budget Committee of its respective legislative body; neither imposes a tax of any sort (All tax bills originate in the House Ways and Means Committee and in the Senate are considered by the Finance Committee.)

Dale mischaracterized as a "tax increase" the projections in the House and Senate budget resolutions to achieve certain budgetary goals without extending current provisions of the tax code. As The Christian Science Monitor reported of the resolutions on April 2, noting the Republican talking point that Dale repeated:

Congress is not proposing extending key Bush tax cuts set to expire on Dec. 31, 2010. If current law plays out, that means that income tax rates increase in all tax brackets, as well as for capital gains and dividends; the child tax credit drops from $1,000 to $500; and the estate tax, set to phase out in 2010, returns in 2011. Republicans are calling it the largest tax hike in US history: more than $700 billion over the next five years.

The Monitor further noted the Democratic response to the Republican claim that Democrats are raising taxes:

Democrats say that they are simply following current law -- not repealing tax cuts, as many members of their caucus had proposed. "The '01 and '03 tax cuts remain in place for '07, '08 '09, and '10. When we get to December 31, 2010, we have a big decision to make. But we can approach that bridge when we come to it," says Rep. John Spratt (D) of South Carolina, who chairs the House Budget Committee.

4. Ritter betrayed "his claims to be pro-life" by signing emergency contraception bill

On March 15, Ritter signed into law Senate Bill 60; as the Rocky Mountain News reported March 16, the measure requires "hospitals to give rape victims information about emergency contraception." Dale misrepresented Ritter's signing of the bill as a contradiction of "his claims to be pro-life":

Their madness isn't happening only at the national level. Remember how Gov. Bill Ritter made his claims to be pro-life in his campaign, citing religious beliefs? If this were true, why is NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado thumping the tub about him signing Senate Bill 60, titled "Emergency Contraception Information for Sexual Assault Survivors?"

NARAL's overjoyed, saying SB 60 is "the first pro-choice measure signed into law since 1999." I won't iterate the foolishness taking place in the Democrat-controlled Legislature and Ritter's office but encourage everyone to watch the show they're putting on. If it weren't so frightening, it might be amusing.

Dale's citing of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado's support for the bill to question Ritter's position on abortion is dubious, because a likely outcome of the bill would be to reduce the likelihood that a woman would be in a position to consider an abortion. As Kathryn Wittneben, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, noted in the organization's press release on the bill's signing, SB 60 might help reduce unintended or unwanted pregnancies:

"Providing Colorado women with information about emergency contraception, which can prevent pregnancy if taken shortly after unprotected sex, puts prevention first in women's health care," said Wittneben. "By emphasizing prevention first in reproductive health policy, Colorado can reduce unintended or unwanted pregnancy rates, thereby increasing the health and economic self-sufficiency of Colorado women and girls and providing the foundation to create healthy lives, children, and communities."

The measure explicitly states that it addresses contraception for "sexual assault survivors." Further, it confines the definition of "emergency contraception" to those drugs that "prevent pregnancy," while specifically excluding any "drug or device that induces a medical abortion."

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