Sentinel Blogs

Players and coaches of the Grandview volleyball team pose with the 2014 Class 5A state championship trophy they won with a three-set victory over Chatfield on Nov. 8, 2014, at the Denver Coliseum. The Wolves won their second straight state title and fifth overall in 10 trips to the championship match — all since 2003. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

With two Class 5A state championships already to its credit and a football team that could add another in the coming weeks, Grandview High School is rolling in the fall prep sports season.

The Wolves’ first 5A state championship came on Oct. 25 when Emily Supercynski and the softball team topped Fossil Ridge 6-2 to win the first softball crown in program history. The school added another of the Colorado High School Activities Association’s new-look state championship trophies Saturday night when the volleyball team swept Chatfield in front of a massive cheering section at the Denver Coliseum to complete a repeat bid and win the fifth overall state crown in program history.

Yet to be decided is the 5A state football crown, for which 11-0 Grandview is a major contender. Coach John Schultz’s Wolves won the Centennial League championship, finished the regular season undefeated — capping it with a victory over vaunted Valor Christian — and has marched into the quarterfinals of the 5A playoffs without surrendering a single point thus far. Grandview’s first and only state football championship came in 2007.

Additionally this fall, Grandview senior Nathan Graham finished  an Aurora-best fourth in the 5A boys state cross country race.

With only one sport left to be crowned, no other Aurora school can match Grandview’s championship haul. Regis Jesuit is on the only other city school remaining alive in the football playoffs.

Only the co-op gymnastics team based at Overland High School has won a state title this fall among Aurora schools and even a few members of that team were from Grandview.

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes


For one reason or another, Utah has come up a lot in the last few days. Whether it’s Colorado gubernatorial candidates comparing the states to curious congressional races in the Beehive State, Utah’s hot. Clickbait real estate sites have even gotten on the bandwagon (albeit, with poor efforts.)

As a former resident and overall Utah fan, I felt the need to set a few things straight. Here’s A’s to all your FAQ’s about the state where avoiding bad words is a statewide sport. (Bonus points if you said, “What the eff?” or “Fudge that.”)

So is everyone Mormon?

No. In fact, Salt Lake City has more non-Mormons than Mormons. But no one acknowledges that because it would totally wreck the narrative that the church runs everything. People would also stop reading City Weekly immediately.

But there are a lot Mormons?

Oh yeah, drive 20 minutes in either direction of downtown and everyone is a member of the lodge. Well, except for Park City — but that’s a different story.

Why are they asking if my name is “El Dias”?

That’s “LDS” and it’s because the word “Mormon” doesn’t get used a lot. (Example: “Do people still cruise State?” Response: “Is Donny Osmond LDS?”) It’s short for Latter-day Saint and don’t capitalize the D.

Why not?

Because the uppercase D is a traditionalist movement in the church (read: polygamist.)

Oh yeah, where are those guys. Is it like “Big Love”?

Not really. It’s in Southern Utah and on reality shows only. The fundamentalists are easy to spot, they look straight out of “Little House on the Prairie” and look nothing like Jeanne Tripplehorn.

Why do you keep trying to sell me juice/phone service/pre-paid legal service?

Besides the Osmonds, multi-level marketing (read: pyramid scams) are Utah’s most prolific export to the rest of the world.

And emergency preparedness kits?

Utahns believe a massive earthquake will hit tomorrow. Or that the feds will turn on them for some reason. Anyway, they stock a lot of powdered milk in their basements. It’s a thing there for some reason.

And green Jell-O?

Yeah, green Jell-O. We don’t get it either.

I didn’t know fries had their own sauce?

They don’t. Fry sauce is just ketchup and mayo and it’s Utah’s second-favorite condiment behind ranch dressing on everything.

And you have your own In-and-Out Burger, too?

Yeah, but if you wait in that line you’re a sucker. Crown Burger (or Apollo Burger) owns because pastrami was made for burgers.

I don’t understand how pastrami burgers/funeral potatoes/ketchup and mayo/ranch dressing and everyone looks so good?

Yeah, Utah has seriously good-looking people. It’s bizarre. But spend enough time there and you’ll start to notice they all look the same. And somehow their last names are either Jensen/Young/Smith. Maybe the gene pool isn’t all that deep, yet.

That’s why everyone is so attractive?

Maybe. That and a lot of plastic surgery.

How do they pay for it?

No idea. But Utah’s “bootstrap conservative” economy is built on a lot of smoke and mirrors. Strictly speaking, a wealth of natural resources has boosted the economy way more than work ethic has. Want proof? Rush hour starts at like 3:30 p.m.

That sounds entirely pessimistic.

Yeah, it probably is. Actually, Utah has one of the smallest gaps in income equality because like the “Beehive State” lots of people are focused on family, church and work. In that order. There aren’t a lot of robber barons or people who want to be like one. Beehive = lots of workers, no one cares about being queen.

About Park City?

Oh yeah, Park City is basically a Colorado town. Very few people actually live there, and we’re not sure about liquor laws there.

How about those liquor laws?

Everyone is an expert, but it boils down to this: Getting drunk in Utah is about the same as getting drunk everywhere else. The beer’s not watered down; it’s actually pretty good if it’s local. But if you’re planning on getting a double Jack and Coke, keep driving away from the mountains to Nevada.

“Away from the mountains”?

Yeah, because Salt Lake is basically built into a mountain, driving west or “away from the mountains” is the only way we know where to go. That and the street grid system make it ridiculously easy. Yeah, and the Temple is the center because of course it is.

What’s the fascination with Sparta?

“Return with honor” is a Mormon missionary thing.

I heard you’re called Salt Lake Citians?

That’s the second-dumbest thing I’ve heard. It’s Salt Lakers.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve heard?

That all the gay people from California moved to Salt Lake to get back at them for Prop 8.

So it’s OK to be gay in Salt Lake?

Yup. You don’t even have to live in the Marmalade neighborhood.

Why is it called Emigration Canyon if the Mormons traveled through it to settle the Salt Lake valley? Shouldn’t it be Immigration Canyon?

Utahns don’t like the word “immigration.”

So where should I eat?

Anywhere with funeral potatoes.

Funeral potatoes?

Yeah, potatoes, sour cream, cheese, chips, more cheese. What more do you need?

Anywhere else?

In the land of chains, the Cotton Bottom, Red Iguana, Copper Onion, Lamb’s and The Pie are all worth a look. Market Street is even OK, too.

Does everyone ski?

We’re 15 minutes from the mountain. Wouldn’t you?

So winter is the best time ever?

Inversion, so no.

What’s inversion?

A weather phenomenon created by everyone driving their own car to work and mountains, altitude, temperature and black magic. But really, it’s terrible.

Is it like smoking?

Yeah. And you can’t do that in Salt Lake until you’re 19 for some reason.

 Don’t pronounce T’s?

Brigh-en, Lay-en. Yup. Leave ’em out.

No lines for voting at Aurora's West Middle School at about 2 p.m. Nov. 4, 2014. Same story for most Aurora centers, according to county election officials.

6:50 P.M. About 75 people so far at Camp Romanoff, set up at Moe’s BBQ in Aurora. Mood is subdued so far.

4:55 p.m.: As Election Day nears an end, one of the local contests to watch will be the possible repeal of Aurora’s ban on pit bulls.

The 9-year-old ban has always been contentious, and city voters will be asked whether they want the city to scrap it.

Last week, just a few days before Election Day, a dog that witnesses described as a pit bull attacked a 15-year-old girl’s shih tzu, killing the smaller pooch right in front of its owner.

The attacking dog — which witnesses described as a brown and white pit bull named Bandit — has not yet been found, and police said they can’t say with certainty whether it was a pit bull.

Still, the incident grabbed some headlines just before the election.

Juliet Piccone, a local lawyer who has been a vocal critic of the ban, said the attack shows why breed bans don;t work.

In this case, Piccone, who is a member of Coloradans For Breed Neutral Dog Laws Inc., said the dog’s owner should be prosecuted, but the dog’s actions, not its breed, is the troubling element here.

“The breed should not be the issue. The issue should be, was there an irresponsible owner,” she said.

Also, Piccone said, she wouldn’t be surprised if the dog wasn’t a pit bull. In the case of a suspected pit bull that bit another dog at n Aurora dog park last summer, Piccone said DNA tests eventually showed the dog was not actually one of the restricted breeds.

Dog attacks are common, she said, and last week’s only grabbed attention because of the upcoming election.

Aurora City Councilman Bob Broom, who supports the pit bull ban, said he doesn’t think last week’s attack will have any effect on the election.

“Most people already voted,” he said.


2:15 P.M. Aaaaaand, we’re back. is back online. All the interactive features, such as where do I vote/drop-off-my-ballot/the-dog-groomed (just kidding) appears to be working. The site was down for more than five hours. Local county officials said the problem arose from the Florida company that manages the site. So far so good. Voting and drop-off at local voting centers appears to be light. No or very small wait times, according to the county’s website. There was just about nobody voting or dropping off ballots at West Middle School in Aurora at about 2 p.m.


1:55 P.M. Lots of hand-wringing over at Arapahoe County Clerk’s office. The county’s wonderful voting website is, dead in the water. The Florida vendor who manages the site isn’t sure what’s wrong, and they have no ETA when be back. Local Democrats said the outage wasn’t helping them lasso last-minutes votes. In the mean time, some election information, such as voter center locations and ballot-drop off sites is available at


1:40 P.M.: It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, and it’s not over — or cheap to feed the hungry. Congressman Mike Coffman’s campaign is running to the finish line tonight, but stopped long enough to send out one more missive asking for support, and cash. “Our volunteers are out knocking doors, waving signs, and making calls until the last minute,” Campaign chief Tyler Sandberg said in his email. “Just $5 could help feed these hungry supporters and keep them going through the day and up until the last ballot is cast.” Could be several hours before we find out whether Team Mike Coffman or Team Andrew Romanoff gets to taste a little victory or crow tonight.


1:15 P.M.:  Does Amendment 68 hold key to Arapahoe Park’s future in Aurora? — If voters say yes to Amendment 68 tonight, they can expect a massive expansion at the Arapahoe Park horse racing track.

Year-round table games and slot machines will join horse racing there to make the facility one of the state’s top gambling destinations. And projections call for more than $100 million in annual tax revenue to be funneled to Colorado schools.

But if voters say no? The future for the 400-acre, 10,000-seat horse-racing track just outside the Aurora city limits is murkier. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY BY BRANDON JOHANSSON


NOON: Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Mark Udall are both fishing for last-minute votes on the Auraria Campus in Downtown Denver. Free burritos, a raucous crowd have got a lot of students headed to the voting center nearby, students said.


11:50 a.m.: With about seven hours left in Election Day, local voters hoping to check Arapahoe County’s election website are running into trouble.

The site,, has been down off and on throughout the day.

As of about 11:45 a.m., the site — which includes details on where to drop off a ballot and how many ballots have been cast — remained down.

A county spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment.

John Buckley, chairman of the Arapahoe County Democratic Party, said the website woes are troubling.

“It’s certainly not helpful,” he said.

Still, Buckley said, he is getting reports that Election Day turnout has been high so far, with 24-hour drop boxes around the county crammed tight with ballots.

Buckley said he is hopeful the Election Day turnout means a strong showing for Democrats similar to 2010, when many Democratic voters opted to cast a ballot on election Day rather than via mail.


10:20 a.m.: Republican Mike Coffman was out early today, waving for votes as the clock winds down.

10 a.m.: No problems reported in either Adams nor Arapahoe counties. Voting and drop-off is reportedly light so far at Aurora area voting centers. The website at, arguably the best county election website in the state, and maybe the country, is slow to load this morning.

NARAL and protesters at the Denver Post building Oct. 28. Photo from Twitter/NARAL

DENVER | Members of the Colorado chapter of the NARAL and have gathered in the front of the Denver Post building Tuesday morning in Downtown Denver, demanding the paper retract its recent endorsement of Republican Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate.

Protesters said they are delivering boxes containing more than 12,000 signatures demanding the retraction. It’s unclear whether the signatures are all from Colorado residents.

The newspaper made its own headlines in national publications two weeks ago when it endorsed the two-term Republican from northern Colorado. The Post’s editorial board chose Gardner over incumbent Democrat Mark Udall.

Both organizations have been part of social media campaigns to rebuke the Denver newspaper for its Senate choice, and drop newspaper subscriptions. The Post has not said how many subscriptions have been cancelled over the Oct. 10 endorsement.

The Denver Post has for years endorsed candidates for major offices from both parties, but Gardner’s ties to conservative Tea Party leaders and issues was seen by some pundits, moderates and liberals as a death knell for a newspaper endorsement that considers itself politically moderate on its opinion page.

Gardner has also been endorsed by The Colorado Springs Gazette, The Greeley Tribune, The Pueblo Chieftan and The Grand Junction Sentinel.

Udall has been endorsed by The Aurora Sentinel, The Durango Herald and The Steamboat Pilot.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan said it did not endorse in the Senate race because Gardner would not participate in an editorial board endorsement meeting. Newspapers in Vail, Longmont, Boulder, Aspen and Dillon also have not endorsed in the race.

Former Aurora state lawmaker Karen Middleton is NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado executive director.


So do you think my ramblings are so wise and spot on that you just can’t understand why I haven’t been recruited to rule the whole stinking world?

Perhaps not.

Maybe you think my missives are the epitome of stupid and the reason for not only the downfall of journalism, but probably reason and all that’s good in the world.

While you can hiss and cheer, you can’t vote me out. But you can vote out or in the folks I pump up and tear down — if you’re registered to vote, and if you get a ballot, and if you fill it out, and if you send it in.

And if you act today, you can actually register to vote online. That’s right, from the comfort of your couch, your bathroom or an elevator, you can register to vote online through today, and your county will actually mail a ballot to your house. No kidding. Then, you can go online to, see who and what we recommend on your ballot, and do just like I do, or do just the opposite, muttering, “this one’s for you, Dave,” all the way down the ballot. This, my friends and mortal enemies, is really your chance to stick it to me and others that make you throw up in your mouth a little when you hear their names.

But if you don’t vote, you live with what I and other more motivated citizens decide for you, and you’ll just have to suck it up for another two years.

For the first time ever, you can register to vote anywhere in Colorado up until the polls close on Nov. 4, but you have to get in your car and drive to a voter center to make it happen. But for a few more hours today, you can go to and stick it to me by lifting just one finger or  maybe ten. Just do it.

— Dave Perry, Editor

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Eaglecrest High School is set to debut an Athletic and Activities Hall of Fame to remember its rich history.


The inaugural class, as selected from a pool of nominees by a panel of school administrators, representatives of Cherry Creek School District, the community and the media, is made up of J.J. Billingsley, Damian Brown, Ben Baum, Tara Mendozza (DeCrescentis) and Stacey Jennings.

Broadway actor Andy Kelso is also part of the inaugural induction class, but is unable to attend the ceremony as he is starring in the lead role in the Tony Award-winning production “Kinky Boots.”

Those eligible for the Athletic and Activities Hall of Fame must be graduated from Eaglecrest for at least five years.

Eaglecrest’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Dec. 11 at Blackstone Country Club following a dinner and cocktail hour. The next day, the Hall of Fame inductees will be honored during an assembly for Eaglecrest students at 8:53 a.m.

Tickets for the induction ceremony cost $25 apiece and will be available through the Eaglecrest Athletics Office. Contact Athletic Director Vince Orlando at 720-886-1083 or for more details.

A brief bio of each of the inductees in the inaugural class:

J.J. Billingsley (Class of 2002): Billingsley was arguably the finest all-around athlete to pass through Eaglecrest, as he played at an elite level in football and track & field and also lettered twice in basketball. On the football field, Billingsley played defensive back, linebacker and running back for the Raptors under coach Gary Thompson and earned a scholarship to play at the University of Colorado. Billingsley totaled 1,177 total yards as a senior, including 736 rushing with seven touchdowns and 441 yards receiving and five more scores. Billingsley was the driving force behind Eaglecrest’s 2002 5A boys state track championship — the only one in school history — in which he won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and helped the 4×200-meter relay team to first place and the 4×100 team to fourth place. Billingsley currently works in the Cherry Creek School District.

Damian Brown (Class of 1995): Brown helped lead an Eaglecrest football team coached by Ron Peterson to win the first state championship in school history in 1993 — just three years after the doors opened — with a perfect 14-0 run to the Class 5A state title back when Colorado had six classifications. Brown, a running back, rushed for 262 yards and four touchdowns — including the tying and go-ahead scores in the fourth quarter — as the Raptors rallied past Hinkley 37-29 in an all-Aurora 5A championship game played in front of an estimated 6,000 fans at Stutler Bowl. Brown went on to play at Iowa State between 1995 and 1997 before concluding his career at Northern Colorado. He is currently the athletic director at Adams City High School.

Ben Baum (Class of 1993): Baum, a 7-footer, was the first bonafide basketball star from Eaglecrest. As a senior, he averaged 25.7 points and 17.5 rebounds per game to win Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year honors as the Raptors posted a 17-5 record under coach Stan Adams in 1992-93. Baum — who was also a drum major and first trombone in the marching band and student body president — scored 51 points in a playoff game, which would rank first all-time among big schools and second in all classifications according to Colorado High School Activities Association records, and garnered interest from a variety of Division I men’s basketball programs, eventually signing with Oklahoma State. He was part of the Cowboys team that made it to the NCAA Final Four in 1995 and eventually spent some time in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks, while going on to play professionally for five seasons in Europe.

Tara Mendozza (DeCrescentis) (Class of 1996): Mendozza still owns the all-Colorado state meet record in the 800-meter run, having clocked a time of 2 minutes, 7.52 seconds, in 1996 to break her own state record. Mendozza — who just missed a 2:05.4 that would have qualified her for the United States Olympic Trials — won the 800- and 1,600-meter runs in both her junior and senior seasons and was part of a relay team that set a national record in the rarely-run mile medley relay. Mendozza, who lettered in cross country and track & field four times at Eaglecrest and was an all-State performer in track in 1995 and 1996, went on to an All-American career at the University of Illinois.

Stacey Jennings (Class of 2002): Jennings is the most decorated softball player in Eaglecrest’s proud tradition in the sport, as she pitched her way to at least the all-state and all-conference teams all four years in high school. The right-handed pitcher — who set the school’s career records for strikeouts at 492, innings pitched (390), wins (45), and ERA (0.50), totals that stood until broken by Raya Johnson — also helped lead Eaglecrest to the Class 5A semifinals in 1999 and 2001, helping giving the program momentum that led to winning the 5A state championship in 2005. Jennings also lettered four times in track & field at Eaglecrest. She went on to play NCAA softball at powerhouse University of Tennessee and Maryland.

Andy Kelso (Class of 1998): Kelso contributed to the drama department during his time at Eaglecrest, both as a spotlight operator and eventually an actor in a variety of productions, then went on to study musical theater and straight drama at the University of Northern Colorado. Kelso earned the chance to perform in several shows in the Denver Metro area, including “Big River,” “Footloose” and “The Drawer Boy” before moving to New York City in 2003. He made his Broadway debut in “Mamma Mia” and held the role of Fiyero in the national tour of the acclaimed “Wicked.” Kelso currently holds the lead role of Charlie Price in the 2013 Tony Award-winning musical “Kinky Boots.”

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

Congratulations to some local golfers who have recorded recent holes-in-one on Aurora golf courses. To report holes-in-one, have courses send faxes to 720-324-4965 or email


Aug. 9: Charlie Nicholson, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 11, 155 yards, 6 iron. Witnesses: Dwight Salisbury, Duane Mellinger, John Weber.

Aug. 9: Jeff Niblo, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 17, 159 yards, 9 iron. Witnesses: Don Hunt, Kent Staton, Gary Leiker.

Aug. 12: Rick Shaffer, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 3, 166 yards, 6 iron. Witnesses: Brandon Shaffer, Mark Wolfgang, Randy Dalke.

Aug. 17: Chet Wilmes, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 3, 165 yards, 7 iron. Witnesses: Roger Gunderson, Eric Martin, Kip Hoffman.

Aug. 18: Bob Hartman, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 3, 157 yards, 8 iron. Witnesses: Ron Paolucci, Scott McKimmy, Chuck Dekruif.

Aug. 20: Rick Thorstad, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 5, 89 yards, gap wedge. Witnesses: Kevin Maynard, Ron Markovich.

Aug. 24: Grant Foster, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 7, 175 yards, 5 wood. Witnesses: Richard Perovich, Reid Foster, Quinn Foster.

Aug. 25: James Beatty, Springhill G.C., No. 18, 160 yards, 6 iron. Witnesses: Jim Perry, Mike Keffer, Bill Chambers.

Aug. 31: Mallory Dively, Springhill G.C., No. 6, 139 yards, pitching wedge. Witness: Ryland Glass.


Sept 12: David Lehman, Meadow Hills G.C., No. 15, 192 yards, 3 wood. Witnesses: Brandt Demuth, Jack Rosenthal, Dominic Bazile, Tom Miller, Grace Castellanos

Sept. 16: Michael Menze, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 13, 183 yards, 5 wood. Witness: Ron Bakke.

Sept. 17: Bryant Kligerman, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 5, wedge. Witnesses: Ron Arnold, Sid Harriet, Bob Boyle.


Oct. 13: John Sheehan, Saddle Rock G.C., No. 16, 153 yards, 7 iron. Witnesses: Bob Baker, Brian Grouer.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

September 26, 2013

In case you were wondering, here’s what the next two years look like in Washington if the GOP regains control of the Senate, so says Texas Senator Ted Cruz, champing at the bit to give Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the boot:

1.Jobs for everyone! We’re all going to work for Exxon et al, folks. No more stupid environmental restrictions on drilling and fracking. No more coal-burning restrictions, so we can get West Virginians all back in the mines. Global climate change? Phooey. Just a conspiracy of impotent egg heads and Democrats. If you like what life is like in Beijing, you’re gonna love Cruz Control.

2. So long Obamacare! Hell or high water, the GOP Senate is gonna nuke it. The correct answer is allowing insurance companies to go back to canceling you when you need benefits, doctors and hospitals that can do what they want without fear of being sued for little niggling things, like giving their nurses Ebola, and no sissy regulations on how much everyone can charge you or what they have to cover you for. If you don’t want health insurance because you’re healthy, then don’t get it. Of course don’t come crying to Cruz when you get sick and nobody will treat you. You want insurance for things like hip replacements or treatment for breast cancer, then pay up. Nothing wrong with working extra jobs to protect your health. Yesiree, the sky’s gonna be the limit for the healthcare industry. For consumers? Not so much.

3. Here’s the biggie, folks. We’re sealing the borders and sending the Mexicans home. Everybody without a U.S. birth certificate either leaves or goes underground until we can catch ‘em. If you say, “por que?” I say, “butter — have a green card, Pablo, and learn ya’ some English.” When little kids show up at the barbed wire fences or try sneaking across the desert, we just drag ‘em right back over the border and let the Mexicans deal with the mess they made by letting the hoodlums into their country to begin with. With 12 million illegal immigrants here, it’s gonna be jobs for everyone just hunting down all the illegals and getting ‘em into box cars for shipment to Mexico.

4. End liberal judicial activism. Conservative judicial activism is OK, but no more homo marriage crap. If the Good Lord had wanted men to kiss men, he wouldn’t have invented Las Vegas brothels.

6. No more corporate welfare, except in the case of lower taxes, corporate personhood rights and Texas oil interests.

7. Abolish the IRS. Any questions?

8. Pass a balanced budget amendment and impose it no matter the consequences. Suck it up, poor people and lazy Social Security leaches.

9. Repeal Common Core. If Southern states want ignorant children, it’s their God-given right. We don’t want no liberal White House trying to tell our children crap about using long, fancy words or that using a few gallons of crude oil is heating up the planet. (By the way, Brits recently estimated humans have burned through about 944 billion barrels of oil since they started seriously drilling for it in the 1800s)

10. Get tough with ISIL by revoking the passports of American teenagers who want to join the terrorists. Despite the massive federal budget deficit, make the military bigger and kick some butt like we did in Iraq and Afghanistan when a real man was president.

I may have left out a few things, such as prosecuting Hillary Clinton for murder in the Benghazi thing and replacing wind mills with oil wells, so you can see for yourself what Cruz wrote for the Sunday edition of USA Today:

By U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Texas

Here are ten critical priorities for the 2015 Congress:

First, embrace a big pro-jobs, growth agenda. For six years, the Obama economy has been trapped in stagnation, hurting millions. A Republican Congress should immediately help Americans get more jobs by embracing America’s energy renaissance. This means passing legislation to make it easier to build energy infrastructure, such as the Keystone pipeline. But, we need an energy policy that’s bigger than Keystone. An effective energy plan would also protect innovative energy technology, such as hydraulic fracturing, from being handcuffed by the federal government. We can also open up land for exploration and ensure that American companies can export liquefied natural gas around the world. And, lastly, stop the EPA from implementing rules that will destroy coal jobs and drive up our electricity bills.

Second, pursue all means possible to repeal Obamacare. There is a reason Obamacare has miserable 37% approval ratings: it has caused millions to lose their jobs, be forced into part-time work, lose their health insurance, lose their doctors, and pay skyrocketing premiums. It simply isn’t working. We should pass repeal legislation (forcing an Obama veto), and then pass bill after bill to mitigate the harms of Obamacare. Prevent people from having their healthcare plans cancelled, prohibit insurance company bailouts, eliminate the provisions forcing people into part-time work, and repeal the individual mandate.

Perhaps, President Obama vetoes every one. But each has powerful appeal with the electorate who are hurting under this law, and Democratic senators may not be quite so eager to join their 2014 colleagues in losing their jobs over Obama’s refusal to listen to the people.

In 2017, I believe a Republican president will repeal Obamacare in its entirety. In the interim, we should pass positive healthcare reform to start over, allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines, expanding health savings accounts, and making health insurance, personal, portable, and affordable.

Third, secure the border and stop illegal amnesty.Today, we’re facing a humanitarian crisis of 90,000 unaccompanied children at the border, along with growing national security threats. We should welcome and celebrate legal immigrants who follow the rules, and at the same time honor the will of the people and prevent any more illegal amnesty.

Fourth, hold government accountable and rein in judicial activism.We need real oversight of the administration’s lawlessness and abuse of power. The IRS’s illegal targeting of citizen groups, the wanton violation of religious liberty and privacy rights, the lawless implementation of Obamacare, the EPA’s assault on manufacturing jobs and war on coal, and the debacle of Benghazi — all should be the subject of careful, sober Senate hearings.

And the Senate should stop confirming activist judges who will impose their own policy preferences, such as striking down state marriage laws. We must uphold the Constitution.

Fifth, stop the culture of corruption. Crony capitalists are standing in the way of commonsense reforms, whether it’s abolishing the Export-Import Bank or keeping the Internet tax-free forever and unconstrained by job-killing regulations. We can stop the Washington corruption, in part, by reining in corporate welfare, imposing a lifetime ban on members of Congress becoming lobbyists, and fighting to pass a constitutional amendment to require term limits for Congress.

Sixth, pass fundamental tax reform, making taxes flatter, simpler, and fairer. Moving towards a simple flat tax would treat all Americans more fairly and end the massive time and costs wasted in dealing with the IRS; we should let taxes become so simple that they could be filled out on a postcard. Ultimately, with a Republican president, we should abolish the IRS and end its abuse of power and violation of Americans’ constitutional rights.

Seventh, audit the Federal Reserve. Americans are seeing near-zero interest rates on their savings accounts while median incomes are falling, and millions of people are facing higher gas prices, food prices, electricity prices, health insurance prices. Enough is enough, the Federal Reserve needs to open its books — Americans deserve a sound and stable dollar.

Eighth, pass a strong balanced budget amendment. We should pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to stop out-of-control spending by Congress and the president. More than $17 trillion in national debt shows how badly we need structural reforms to stop bankrupting our kids and grandkids.

Ninth, repeal Common Core, so that local curriculum is not mandated by Washington bureaucrats. We should also do all we can to expand educational choices for parents and children and allow every child access to a quality education, regardless of race, class, or zip code.

Tenth, deal seriously with the twin threats of ISIL and a nuclear Iran, including passing legislation that strips American citizens who join ISIL of their U.S. passports so they cannot return home and wage jihad against innocent men and women. We must rebuild our military, protect our nation, and restore America’s leadership in the world.

We should lead boldly. No Washington games. We will either pass a serious agenda to address the real priorities of the American people — protecting our constitutional rights and pulling us back from the fiscal and economic cliff — or the Democrats will filibuster or veto these bills. And, if they do so, we will have transparency and accountability for the very next election.

Ted Cruz is a Republican senator from Texas.

Hillary Clinton will be in Aurora Tuesday to help embattled Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and 6th Congressional District hopeful Andrew Romanoff.

The event will be held at noon the Radisson as part of a get-out-the-vote event with less than a three weeks until Election Day.

According to Romanoff’s campaign, tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at Udall’s Aurora and Centennial field offices. They’ve set aside 100 tickets for the first 100 people who sign up today for a GOTV volunteer shift between now and the end of October.

“Hillary Clinton is coming here to Aurora because she knows that this is one the closest races anywhere in the country, and every vote is going to matter,” said Mandy Hennessey, a volunteer with Romanoff’s campaign, in an email to supporters.

 That’s why we need your help to knock on doors, make phone calls, and remind every voter in this district how important their vote is.”

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets are available for pick-up at the following Udall for Colorado field offices:

South Aurora Field Office: 10730 E. Bethany Dr., Suite 275, Aurora, CO 80014

Leetsdale Field Office: 7150 Leetsdale Dr., Suite 316, Denver, CO 80224

Centennial Field Office: 6590 S. Vine St., Suite 102, Centennial, CO 80121

— Rachel Sapin, staff writer