In The Lobby with Corky Kyle, Tony Gagliardi & Mark Cooper, May 7, 2013


Show:        In the Lobby, with Corky Kyle

Guests:           Gagliardi, Cooper 

Link:               www.

Date:         May 7, 2013         

Topics:     Renewable Energy,  Senate Bill 13-252, Rural Utility Cooperatives,  Subsidies for Renewable Energy, Abound Solar, Pat Stryker, Representative Crisanta Duran, Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino, Senate President John Morse, Senator Rollie Heath, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Naturopaths, Naturopathic Medicine, Accredited, Certified, Wyoming, Colorado, Small Employers, Small Business, Regulation, Registry, Discrimination, House Bill 13-1111, House Bill 13-1136,

 HOST CORKY KYLE:  [Corky apologizes for running a rerun or a previous show yesterday, because he was in committee regarding HB-1111, naturopathic regulation bill.  He introduces his first guest, Dr. Mark Cooper.  Then:]  And then I have my very good friend and colleague, Mr. Tony Gagliardi from the NFIB.  He’s the director for Colorado and Wyoming.  So, he’s going to depress us and tell us how bad business got it in the ol’ keester this session, regardless of the fact, if you recall, when we started out this session, it was all about jobs.


KYLE:  Jobs, jobs, jobs.    And we’re not talking about the guy that invented the iPad.  And so, anyway, [laughs] It was sort of a reverse deal


KYLE:  [@6:00] Oh, my gosh!  We’ve already got someone calling in […]  All right, caller!  Hello there! 

CALLER #1:   Yes! Hello.  Yes, I was just wondering about the legislation. What do you feel is the most important single piece of legislation that was passed to affect business in Colorado?

KYLE:  In a good way or a bad way?

CALLER:  The most dramatic way.

KYLE:  Well, I’m going to turn that over to my good friend, Mr. Gagliardi, because you can make that decision, since you represent small business.

GAGLIARDI:  I think I know that voice. [laughing]

 KYLE:  I was going to tell ya.  Play along!  Go with it!  Work with it! 

GAGLIARDI:  Okay.  Before I start [relays greetings to his father in Atria nursing home in Lakewood].  […]  So, anyway, I’ve got to say, probably the most dramatic piece, and not in a good way, unfortunately, not in a good way, is House Bill 1136. We’ve coined it the “Sue Your Boss Bill”.  It was supposed to be a civil rights in employment bill.  But this is the work of Senator Morgan Carroll, Representative Clara [sic] Levy, and Representative Joe Salazar.  And guess what they do for a living! 

KYLE:  [facetiously] They’re not trial attorneys! 

GAGLIARDI:  They are!

KYLE:  No way! 

GAGLIARDI:  Sure!  We’ve got one civil rights attorney, we got two employment attorneys, and um, so, um, we’re not going to talk about that!    […] 1136, really, what it does is it puts a target on the back of every small business owner in Colorado:  Main Street business, rural business, you name it.  If you have one employee or if you have 500 employees.  Now, there’s already been a federal act passed, years ago.  It covered employers with 15 or more employees.  That’s always been the case.  Under fifteen was exempted for the specific reason [that] Congress understood that small businesses are different.  Small business don’t have the resources of in-house counsel and HR–

KYLE:  [Corky asks for more explanation as to what the bill would do]

GAGLIARDI:   If a worker or even an applicant, or an applicant for promotion, feels that they’ve been discriminated against on grounds of sexual orientation, or gender, or religion, and those types of things –

KYLE:  Age?

GAGLIARDI:  Age.  Age is now at 70 and above.  And, again, this has always been against the law, under the federal statutes.  Now, what they’ve done is, this bill brings everything and allows the plaintiff, whether it’s a plaintiff for a large employer or a small employer, to file in state court and not only be entitled to front wages and back wages and lost time, but punitive and compensatory damages.

KYLE:  Punitive and compensatory damages? 

GAGLIARDI:  Oh, yeah, and the bill actually spelled out the right to sue for loss of enjoyment.  Now, the sponsors are saying, “This bill actually protects small employers because we lowered the caps.”  So now, if you have one employee to four, then the maximum damage is $10,000.  Now, if you have–

KYLE:  Oh, that’s it? 

GAGLIARDI:  That’s it.  If you have five to fourteen, it’s 25,000.  And 50,000 after that.  The bill started out at 50,000 for everything.  What it doesn’t address, and this is why I told the Governor, and you’ve heard me on air before and on TV, caps mean nothing, because you as the employer have to go out and retain legal counsel.  [Explanation ensues of how legal costs are rarely awarded (< 1% of the time) to the employer, and how these costs make the caps on damages less meaningful.  Now, Colorado Civil Rights Division in their most recent report said they have 339 cases of discrimination filed.  313 were dismissed because of lack of merit.]  And yet, Joe Salazar, Clara Levy, and Morgan have the nerve to sit in committee and say [that] frivolous lawsuits are a myth.  They do not happen.  […] That’s the reason they want to be able to file in state court, because state court is going to be much more favorable.  Federal court, they’re used to these cases […] and they know 9 out of 10 of them are frivolous, they lack merit.  But, you get them into state court, now you’ve got a jury. 

KYLE:  This is a miniature civil rights law.

GAGLIARDI:  This is a miniature – yeah.  This goes back to Jim Crow.  Yeah, just about, the way this is being handled. And that’s why we call it the “Sue Your Boss Bill”.   The governor –We asked the Governor in a press conference on Tuesday, and we delivered a letter to his office, urging him to veto this bill.  Because he was a small business owner.  He came into office saying what?  “I understand small business.  And the most important thing I can do is create a good atmosphere and environment for small business to thrive.”  And what did he do?  He signed this bill.  Governor Hickenlooper, you own this bill.  This is your bill and you will carry this forward.  This bill is going to haunt you every day between now and 2014. 

CALLER:  Insurance agents are going to love it, too! 

GAGLIARDI:  Absolutely.  Small employers, now,  are going to have to go out and look at Employer Practices Liability Act Insurance with high deductibles, because  — here was another one.  Joe Salazar is supposed to be this civil rights attorney, insisted that, “Oh, no.  An employer doesn’t have to do that because their general liability insurance will cover this.”  It’s a crock!  The man doesn’t even know his own business!

KYLE:  Wow! 

GAGLIARDI:  So, that –

KYLE:  There you have it caller. That sounds to me like it’s the worst one. 

GAGLIARDI:  There you have it.  This is probably the most impactful bill of this session, next to what effect Senate Bill 252 will have in the renewable energy portfolio. 

CALLER:  You certainly made my day.  I think I’ll go have a drink now. 

KYLE:  […]  You might want to, before you leave, download this bill […] and get this out to your clients, because this is going to give you an opportunity, as terrible as it sounds, and I hope you have this in your insurance bag, that you can get out there and give this information to your client and also offer them the type of coverage they are going to need to protect themselves from this. 

GAGLIARDI:  We already have Webinars scheduled to make employers aware of this bill and what it means, and yeah, this is a right to work law, only it’s a right to work law for plaintiff attorneys

CALLER:  Incredible! 

KYLE:  This is a […] full employment act […] for trial attorneys

GAGLIARDI:  This legislature came in in January talking about jobs, jobs, jobs.  And they created jobs for trial attorneys. 

KYLE:  […] There you go.  Thanks, Caller!

GAGLIARDI:  Thank you!

KYLE:  That’s just frickin’ scary, there, amigo.

GAGLIARDI:  And that was the tone of the session this entire session.  This session, in all actuality, was just as bad as last session we all went through when Governor Ritter was governor and we had the Dirty Dozen tax increases.  Yeah, this session was just bad.

KYLE:  Yeah.  The whole state is going to hell in a handbasket. 

GAGLIARDI:  I was born and raised here.  I’m a Colorado native, third generation, and I’ll be 62 years old this July,  and I didn’t think I’d ever see this state move as far left as it has.  And again, Governor Hickenlooper came in and you had a lot of main street business owners saying, “Listen, this guy is a small business guy.  He’s going to understand us.”  And he abandoned his roots as a small business owner and gave us instead of statesmandship and common sense, he just gave us politics as usual.  […] You know, I represent 7500 members in this state and another 200 in Wyoming, and the worst thing I  hated to see to come out of this session was the lack of respect for those that actually generate the infrastructure in this state.  And that’s business.  Business are the generators.  Government are the spenders.

KYLE:  Yeah! Oh, no doubt about it!  So, what’s the NFIB plan?

GAGLIARDI:  The plan is to make sure–, as I said, the governor owns this bill.  This is his bill, and to remind him of it every day between now and the next election. 

KYLE:  So, are you going to put an ad in the paper, saying, “Thank you, Governor Hickenlooper.”

GAGLIARDI:  We will–.  Uh, a lot of this is already underway. 

KYLE:  [laughs]  Good for you!  They’ve got to get called on it!  This is stupid!  […]  With that particular piece of legislation, that’s just flat scary.

GAGLIARDI:  Yeah, and it was done with – it went through the entire process [on] party line votes.The only one who voted against it, to our benefit, was Senator Cheri Jahn, Democrat from Wheatridge, she stood up and argued the bill.

KYLE:  I was going to say — And she is a small business person, folks.  She has a commercial cleaning operation.  And she hires people, and pays taxes, and makes payroll, and does all those things that small business does – puts people to work.

GAGLIARDI:  She actually signs the front side of a paycheck! 

KYLE:  That’s right!  All right.  We’re going to take a short break, after that.  […] 

KYLE:  All right. We’re back.  We’re back, after the exciting first segment of our show .  How’s it feel, Denver, to be a small business man?  Did you just want to bend over and grab the Vaseline®?  Or maybe they’re not going to use Vaseline ® this time.  I don’t think they are.

GAGLIARDI:  They’re not even going to take you to dinner.

KYLE:  They’re not even going to take you to dinner!  That’s right!  And, on top of that, they won’t even kiss you! 

GAGLIARDI:  [laughing] I know. 

KYLE:  What the heck is going on with this?  All right.  Caller, thanks for calling.

CALLER #2 9woman’s voice):  Hello!  Is this Corky Kyle? 

KYLE:  Yes, it is. 

CALLER:  Hey, I heard today that there’s a big bill that passed about naturopathic medicine.  And I’d love to know what a naturopathic doctor does, anyway.  What the heck is that?  

KYLE:  Funny you should mention that.  [Kyle introduces Dr. Mark Cooper, from Colorado Springs, on the board of directors of the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors, and also a government relations committee member.  He asks Dr. Cooper to explain what happened with the bill.] 


DOCTOR MARK COOPER:  [Explains that this bill regulates practitioners certified by accredited institutions of medical training.  This bill was a long time coming (20 years), with many stakeholders.  The growth of the profession of naturopathic doctors brought about a need for regulation.   Regulation is needed to play in the arena of healthcare, and to get malpractice insurance, and to get access to clients.  Patients want to chose their providers, including medically trained naturopathic doctors.]


GAGLIARDI:  With the registration now, once this is signed and implemented, will this allow for third party reimbursement for those registered?  Or, how does that work?

COOPER:  The current language in the bill says “no”.  And I think there’s going to be a trial period in which we prove

KYLE:  No, that’s not true!  They tried to limit it.  But you can go and do that.  Yes.  It’s okay to say it.  Because, no, you are trained professionals.  There are six schools in the country.  It’s a doctorate of naturopathic medicine. 

COOPER:  [Consumers want their naturopathic treatments covered by insurance plans.] 

COOPER:  There is [collaboration between naturopaths and medical doctors] and it will only grow.  And I think that will be the big plus that shows the Colorado Medical Society that you are an advantage to healthcare service in Colorado.  Currently, right now, there are some naturopaths that are receiving reimbursement, either through cafeteria plans or other third party payment structures.   We didn’t want to raise that red flag and act like we are stepping into this to secure additional funding and we’re greedy and we just want to make sure we get all the insurance [money] we can get.  That’s not what this is about.  However, having said that, yes, I think it’s reasonable for a consumer, the patient, seeking services to use their resources as they decide for the purchase of their services. 

KYLE:  [Mr. Kyle talks about Wal-Mart approving alternative treatments for their employees as a cost saving measure, and speculates that business will collaborate more and more with medical providers.  He also indicates that this new law will be an advantage to people living in rural areas.

COOPER:  [Dr. Cooper agrees, and points out that the collaboration among doctors and naturopathic providers is a cost saving efficiency, as well as providing medical services in rural areas where there is a lack of medical service providers]

GAGLIARDI:  [Gagliardi sees this bill as an assist to the establishment of a free market model, which is what  NFIB advocates for.] 

COOPER:  [Cooper asks whether HB-1136 applies to volunteer workers.]

GAGLIARDI:  [affirms that volunteers are able to sue for discrimination]

KYLE:  [Points out that non-profits are endangered by potential discrimination lawsuits.  Then, the host wonders about the applications of this bill with the upcoming implementation of Obamacare.]

KYLE:  Let’s talk again, a little bit about this energy bill.  Not again.  Let’s talk a little bit about this energy bill.  Because, this – and I don’t know a lot, but I know it stinks.

GAGLIARDI:  Okay.  It stinks to high heaven. A little background […]

[Original mandate from 2007 required 10% of electicity for Rural Electricity cooperatives to come from renewable sources by 2020.]

]The Ritter administration was solely devoted to renewable energy (solar, wind, bicycle generation, 40 people in a room breathing heavy)]

[Rep. Duran, Sandra Morris, Ferrandino, Gail Schwartz from Aspen decide to kick up the mandate for Rural Electrical Associations to 30% .]

[Consumers will end up paying for increases in costs.  NFIB surveys show that utility costs, next to salaries, are the second highest expense to businesses today, a steady climb.]

[Solar panels are still being imported from China, because Abound Solar (thanks to 400 million from Obama sweetheart deal with Pat Stryker) left Weld County (Longmont) bankrupt and leaves a Superfund site that will cost 8-10 million dollars of cleanup bill because of cadmium contamination.]

GAGLIARDI:   “This bill did pass.  It’s on its way to the Governor.  And here’s another bill that the governor will own, because this is going to destroy rural Colorado.   Businesses will lay off work force or stop hiring to be able to pay for increased costs.  Ferrandino and Heath and Morse say that costs will be passed to consumer.  “Which is just hogwash.  I mean, we all know that, but they evidently don’t.  Maybe they went to public school.  I don’t know.  But anyway, Senate Bill 252 is going to have a dramatic effect on rural Colorado.

KYLE:  Holy Jumpin’ Catfish! 

GAGLIARDI:  [Reads list of businesses opposed to SB 252] [Legislators are “know-it-alls” —- don’t even talk or listen to their constituents.]

 GAGLIARDI:  “It goes along with the move in this state, starting with Governor Ritter,  that we’re going to ban fossil fuel.  This is the bottom line.  They want to ban fossil fuel.

KYLE:  Asserts that there is more fossil fuel in America now than in Saudi Arabia, because of new technology. And now, that’s why all these other things are falling to the wayside.

GAGLIARDI:  It creates an artificial market.! 

KYLE:  Goddamn union bills

GAGLIARDI:  Dreams of having 6 pump jacks pumping oil outside his kitchen window, in his yard,  because that means people have jobs. 

KYLE:  You’re getting a royalty check!

GAGLIARDI:  That’s right!