Jeffco Liberty Party Coalition Gives Gardner “Enema of the State” Award

(That sounds painful – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has been taking it pretty hard from all Coloradans, judging from his low approval ratings, and his conservative base isn’t giving him a pass when it comes to criticism either.

In one recent Facebook post, for example, the North Jeffco Tea Party shared an image of an “Enema of the State” award that was apparently bestowed on Gardner by a vote at the Christmas Party of the Jeffco Liberty Party Coalition.

The award, also given to Sen. John McCain of Arizona, was for Gardner’s “Conduct Unbecoming of a Conservative.”

Gardner has also been under serious attack most of the year by some conservative talk radio hosts here in Colorado, most recently because of his abandonment (and then partial embrace) of failed Alabama Republican Roy Moore, but generally because of his close ties to U.S. Senate President Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who’s seen as a tool for moneyed GOP interests–as opposed to a champion of Tea Party principles.

This month on KNUS 710-AM, host Julie Hayden called Gardner a “swamp creature,” saying Gardner won’t support “populist” candidates who will “not be bought and paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the big-money boys.”

Gardner won’t support Republicans who “are voting based on what the voters want” because “that threatens [his] entire existence,” said Hayden, who’s a former Fox 31 Denver reporter.

Gardner did not immediately return a call for comment, but defended his opposition to Moore by saying he was “unfit” to serve in the senate.  Gardner holds a leadership role in the U.S. Senate, working closely with McConnell, and Gardner has been a reliable backer Senate leader all year. Gardner has also voted with Trump 94 percent of the time.

Hayden’s co-host, Chuck Bonniwell, who’s the publisher of a newspaper in Glendale and Cherry Creek, explained on air that Gardner “has been promised by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that if  [Gardner] is defeated, they will give him millions in lobbying contracts. I mean, millions of dollars in lobbying contracts.”

“He’ll get to spend the rest of his life in luxury and ease,” said Bonniwell, adding that Gardner “doesn’t care” if he’s re-elected. “He ain’t coming back to Colorado. He’s staying in Washington DC for the rest of his life and he will live the life of a multi-millionaire.”

“If anybody is a weasel, Cory Gardner is a weasel,” said Bonniwell.

Yesterday on Hayden and Bonniwell’s KNUS show, Anil Mathai, GOP chair in Adams Cty, asks Sen. Gardner, “Are you on crack cocaine?” for suggesting that Alabama Democrat Doug Jones vote with Republicans. Listen to Mathai here:

Not all on talk radio are critical of Gardner. Conservative KNUS host Dan Caplis is unwavering in his defense of Gardner, asking his Tea Party critics to name a single vote that Gardner has gone the wrong way on.

GOP HD-47 candidate says Reyher “embarrassed our party” and was “selected under a cloud of suspicion”

(Harsh – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tamra Axworthy formally ended her campaign to fill a vacant seat in the Colorado House of Representatives, stating in an email to media today that she can’t “understand why the [Republican] party would move ahead with seating a candidate who was selected under a cloud of suspicion and who has embarrassed our party with racially charged offensive remarks.”

On Nov. 27, GOP vacancy committee appeared to have selected Otero County GOP Chair Judy Reyher to fill a House seat held by State Rep. Clarice Navarro (R-Pueblo), who resigned to join the Trump Administration.

But Axworthy challenged the vacancy committee’s decision at the end of last month, even going so far as to email reporters what she saw as proof that six members of the 11-person committee had voted for her over Reyher. (See the texts below and to the right.)

Axworthy says state Republicans ruled against her anyway, proving to her that the “process is set up to favor the establishment” and “was rigged to favor Judy, the Chair of her own vacancy selection, from even before the resignation of Clarice Navarro was publicly announced.”

​​”Even when 6 out of the 11 voters provide written statements that show a different outcome from the official party narrative, party insiders are content to ignore it and sweep the matter under the rug,” wrote Axworthy.

“This was certainly confirmed to me when I learned that the party, being aware of a further appeal, certified Judy’s appointment and sent it to the Secretary of State without first directly addressing the evidence of 6 separate voters attesting to a different outcome.”

Axworthy is so disheartened by the outcome that she “more than likely won’t be running in a primary” against Reyher, who sparked a national media flareup with her racist comments on Facebook (African Americans are “hatred-filled beings.”) and to The Denver Post (Black people “hate white people with a passion.”). Still, Reyher insists she is not a racist.

“You should never say never,'” wrote Axworthy about a primary challenge to Reyher, “but how can anyone decent run for office when the deck is so stacked against outsiders who wish to serve in an honest, and in this case, non-bigoted way?”

Republican officials, including Freemont County Republican Chair Gregory Carlson, who chaired the vacancy committee meeting after Reyher recused herself, insisted that Reyher was elected fairly by secret ballot, according to an email obtained from a source.

(more…)

Sonnenberg Says Lowering Global-Warming Pollution Would “Kill All The Trees And Plants”

(Jerry Sonnenberg don’t need no science — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a talk-radio appearance last week, Colorado State Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling) had this to say about environmentalists concerned about carbon pollution, which is causing temperatures to rise on Earth:

SONNENBERG: [below at 3:45] So, you know, when we talk about carbon dioxide and those type of things, actually, those are important to agriculture and to the balance of nature. Trees and plants use carbon dioxide to create oxygen. It’s part of their process. And it’s nature’s way to make things work. So I guess my argument to those enviros that want less carbon is,”Here, you want to kill all the trees and plants.”

This type of climate-change denial is not taken seriously by the scientific community.

Even so-called “climate skeptics,” who deny the seriousness of global warming, at least acknowledge that human activities are contributing to a rise in global temperatures.

So Sonnenberg sits with an extreme fringe, which has representatives in high places. See Trump’s Chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, who denies the link between Carbon emissions and climate change. See also Trump himself, who’s dismissed global warming as a hoax.

Sonnenberg, who spoke to KFTM-AM Dec. 6 from Nashville where was attending an unnamed energy task force meeting with other legislators, possibly as part of an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), meeting did not immediately return a call seeking clarification or comment. Surprisingly, Sonnenberg said some of his conservative allies on the task force favored a carbon tax.

Sonnenberg’s position in denial of global warming is shared by other Republicans in Colorado, including apparently Cory Gardner, who refused during the last election to tell Denver Post Editorial Page Editor Chuck Plunkett whether he thinks humans are causing global warming.

Top Republican gubernatorial candidates in 2014, including current GOP contender for governor Tom Tancredo, had the same position as Sonnenberg.

SONNENBERG: [00:04:42] And when you look at the speck of time that we’re here on Earth, and we talk about climate change for the last — what?– 30, 40 years compared to the last 30, 40 million of cycles of the Earth — the climate cycles of the earth — we are a fraction — a very small fraction — in the time scale. And to think that humans have the ability to destroy the Earth is just ludicrous.

Sonnenberg scored an 11 percent on Conservation Colorado’s 2017 Environmental Scorecard.

Saine’s talk-radio-host lawyer does a bad job of convincing us his client is a responsible gun owner

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

“Do you see why people are concerned that a state lawmaker walked into a security check point with a weapon?” asked Channel 7 reporter Jaclyn Allen.

“Well, I would hope more people would feel sorry for her for forgetting she had [the loaded gun] and being in custody here [in jail] for going on 30 hours,” replied State Rep. Lori Saine’s (R-Firestone) attorney Randy Corporon, who moonlights as a conservative talk-radio host on KNUS-710 AM.

That’s one of a number responses Corporon gave Allen about his client’s bad behavior with guns at the airport, where she was arrested after her gun was discovered this week.

During the unusual interview, Corporon repeatedly downplayed the security risks posed by someone who tries to run a loaded weapon through airport security, saying such a move does not translate into irresponsible gun ownership.

Told by Allen that a lot of people can relate to forgetting a bottle of water but not to forgetting a loaded weapon, Corporon said, “I think responsible gun owners who conceal carry don’t have to think about it as some special nuclear-powered weapon or something.”

“You have to be responsible as a gun owner,” Corporon told Allen. “[Saine] was. She has the proper licensure. There were no bullets in the chamber, according to the probable cause affidavit. She was in a hurry. It was in a purse and she didn’t realize she sent through TSA. I think it’s about as simple as that.”

“They just made a mistake in a hurry,” said Corporon of the 106 people who got caught carrying a weapon through a security check point this year. He asserted, without citing evidence, that none of the 106 intended to “take down a plane” or “cause a stir.”

Gardner Cancels CPR Interview, Still Makes Right-Wing Radio Show

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

I was really looking forward to U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) appearance yesterday on Colorado Public Radio, especially after reading the outpouring of questions submitted in response to CPR journalist Ryan Warner’s request for queries for Gardner on the tax bill.

Here are the 100-plus questions, from Warner’s Twitter feed. They give you hope for representative government in these dark times.

But alas, Gardner cancelled, leading Warner to Tweet:

I’m grateful for all the questions you’ve shared for @SenCoryGardner. His office says they must reschedule. Stay tuned.

You have to take Gardner at his word that he had a real conflict, but it’s worth noting that our senator did not cancel his radio interview with arch conservative Jimmy Sengenberger, over at KDMT, this morning at around 7 a.m.

Sengenberger started off by confirming Gardner’s previously announced position against backing Alabama Republican Roy Moore, who faces accusations of child molestation. Sengenberger told Gardner he “appreciates” Gardner’s stance.

“Thank you. Thank you,” said Gardner.

Then the tax bill.

“Where do we go from here?” asked Sengenberger, pulling out his big guns.

“I was very excited about the passage of the tax relief bill. Every income bracket, every income level in America will see tax relief as a result of this bill legislation. It’s going to grow the economy, create a million jobs, and most importantly for the people of Colorado, this will lead to higher wage growth. We’ve seen for far too long, over the past decade, stagnant wages, people working harder than ever, and they are not bringing home more money. As a result of this legislation, businesses bringing investments back into the United States, more competitive around the globe, we’re going to see those dollars come back into the United States and it’s going to result in competition for workers. And as a result we’ll see wage growth. That’s a very powerful tool of economic growth and economic activity, and that’s what we’re going to see…This makes us competitive again.”

Help! Journalistic intervention needed. But alas, no Warner-type person exists  in the KDMT studio.

Instead, we have Sengenberger. All he could come up with was a trickle of a question about whether the individual tax cuts would be made permanent.

No doubt they would at some point, said Gardner, and the interview continued with this:

Sengenberger: “How much of an impact do you think this could really have on wages and other forms of investments that businesses might want to make, Sen. Gardner, in their businesses?”

Gardner: “Well, I think significant. If you look at the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, their estimates in Colorado for net increase in income for the average family is over $3,000…”

Sengenberger’s response: None. (Complete acceptance of trickle-down economics and of the Tax Foundation as nonpartisan, when it’s in fact right-leaning)

He moved on to praising Gardner for the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate.

“That one could affect a large swath of people, myself included,” Sengenberger told Gardner.

“This simply says to people, ‘You have a choice,” responded Gardner. “You can either buy insurance or not. It’s about freedom. It’s about opportunity….

“[This bill] doesn’t take anybody’s health care away. That’s simply a hysteria out there that is just not founded in reality.” [emphasis added]

Nothing from Sengenberger about the truly nonpartisan Congressional estimates that 13 million people will lose health insurance as a result of the repeal, and premiums will rise by 10 percent more than anticipated.

Instead, Sengenberger’s follow up question puts an exclamation point on why we can’t afford for journalism to die in America.

“How optimistic are you at being able to get this bill through Congress by the end of the year, if not by Christmas?” asked Sengenberger.

“You know, I’m very optimistic….” said Gardner.

Listen to Gardner’s interview on KDMT 1690-AM Dec. 6.

Coffman refuses to appear on conservative talk radio show, says host

After her stance on abortion came under scrutiny by multiple conservative radio hosts, gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Coffman is now refusing to appear on KNUS’ Craig Silverman show, according to fellow KNUS host Chuck Bonniwell, who’s also publisher of the Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle.

Bonniwell: You’ve got the weird Cynthia Coffman deal, where she’s running but she’s not running. She has now come out as a pro-choice candidate—even though she used to run as a pro-life candidate, but she doesn’t want to be labeled. And she gave an interview to Karen — a caller here who has now made her own kind of radio, kind of outfit – who ripped her a new one. And now, so [she] won’t even come on [KNUS’] Craig Silverman Show, even though he’d be kind to her. I mean, it’s bizarre! I mean, but I’d imagine, if you’re Tom [Tancredo] you’d want to keep her in. You know, you’d – “Hey! Give her some money!” You know? Keep her in! Because she’ll split votes off – far more from Walker Stapleton than she would from Tom.

Silverman has migrated further and further to the right in recent years, backing Trump, trashing Obama initiatives, and being fully embraced by right-leaning conservatives. He’s participated in the Western Conservative Summit, and he broadcasted with KNUS’ Dan Caplis from the White House this year.

Neither Silverman nor Caplis returned an email requesting a comment on Coffman.

Caplis reacted angrily last month when he found out that Coffman was identified as pro-choice by CBS4 political specialist Shaun Boyd. Caplis said she’d not have won her race to become attorney general if she’d have let GOP voters know she was pro-choice.

Later, Boyd asked Coffman’s campaign if it wanted to correct Boyd’s characterization of Coffman as pro-choice. Coffman’s campaign told Boyd it didn’t want a correction.

Yet, Coffman later told a radio station that she was neither pro-choice nor pro-life and rejects labels on the issue, implying that she favors abortion in some instances, at least, and likely putting her closer the pro-choice group.

 

.

Reyher launches fundraising effort to capitalize on media spotlight

(Loud and proud whether Jeff Hays likes it or not – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

After she issued an apology for “comments or posts on Facebook that have been found offensive and racist,” newly appointed State Rep. Judy Reyher (R-Pueblo) launched a fundraising campaign to take advantage of the media attention she’s gotten for such comments, such as black people “hate white people with a passion” and African-Americans are “hated-filled beings.”

She posted a donate button on her Facebook page with the request to, “HELP ME STOP THE LEFT-WING AGENDA FUNDED BY OUT-OF-STATE INTERESTS,” which she apparently believes are behind concerns that she is a racist.

In fact, the initial attention on Reyher’s came from this blog and The Denver Post. So it’s not clear what out-of-state interests she is referring to.

Reyher did not return a call seeking to an answer to that question as well as the question of how her apology squares with the fundraising campaign.

The fundraising icon on her Facebook post sits atop her statement about the controversy, headlined “A ridiculous ploy by the left to discredit – REp. Judy Rydberg Reyher HD47.

“I will fight back against smears,” she wrote. “I will fight back against the lies.”

Here is her full statement that accompanies the fundraising appeal, followed by samples of the Facebook memes that have sparked the controversy.

Reyher: The people elected a fighter, and I am proud to say I am that fighter. I will fight back against the smears, I will fight back against the lies, and moving forward, I will be fighting in Colorado’s capitol as an advocate for more liberty and freedom in our great state.

When I decided to run for the vacant seat in House District 47, I fully expected a fight from the very moment I announced my candidacy. Sadly, everything I anticipated has come true. I am here today to inform all the hate-filled left-wingers that I am not backing down and will serve the great people of my district with both distinction and fervor.

In less than a week, Democrats across the entire country have left me dozens of vile and disgusting messages of hate. I would share these, but they are so distasteful they are barely worth dignifying with a response. The far left is so desperate to win my seat that they have concocted a ridiculous narrative of racism and hate. This is straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook and shows the far left’s true colors of divisiveness and hate.

Those who have read the comments can plainly see that my responses were always thorough disgust of the left’s modus operandi in creating a vicious political atmosphere filled with division and strife. With nothing else in my experience to be grasped by them and with emotional immaturity, good Americans long ago came to expect this behavior from a morally bankrupt movement. Out-of-state groups are now using their own hate and vile manners in a blatant attempt to discredit anyone seen in opposition to their liberal position. These attacks are ridiculous, desperate, and I know voters will see through it as more garbage and divisiveness.

I am a proud 5th generation Coloradoan and an American who will dutifully serve all of my fellow Coloradoans with class and distinction. My record will reflect those values that we all hold dear. I make this commitment to all of you. I will also be working for all who live in my district. Anything less is a capitulation to the latest ridiculous ploy by the left.

Judy Reyher
Colorado State Representative-elect

(more…)

Anti-choice Leaders Are Angry about a Pregnancy Prevention Program that’s Lowered Teen Abortion Rate by 64 Percent

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

IUD.

Colorado officials and pro-abortion advocates are ecstatic over new statistics showing that the teen abortion rate has dropped 64 percent in Colorado over eight years, due mostly to a state-run program offering free or low-cost intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants to women. Teen pregnancies are down 54 percent.

As I reported in a Rewire post today, both statistics are in line with previously reported results from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) family planning initiative. From Rewire:

The figures are a continuation and improvement on impressive results, but state officials were particularly excited about an independent study, conducted this year by the University of Colorado, confirming the state’s family planning initiative potentially saved state and federal programs more than $65 million in labor and delivery costs, other health care, food stamps, and other assistance for women and families from 2009 through 2015.

“This is one of the biggest public-health home runs that I’ve seen in my 35-year public-health career,” Dr. John Douglas, director of the Tri-County Health Department, which has six clinics in three Colorado counties, told The Denver Post. “The work that’s happened is really striking.”

Democratic state lawmakers, who protected state funding for the program from GOP attacks, would likely agree, as would at least one Republican, State Sen. Don Coram of Durango.

But most Republican lawmakers, as well as anti-choice activists, greeted the news with dismay, despite the drop in the abortion rate. That’s because they think the birth control used in the program causes fertilized eggs, also called zygotes, to be destroyed.

(more…)

Tax Bill, like a Trump Initiative backed by CO Lawmaker, Advances Personhood Abortion Ban

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Republican tax bill is being stuffed with provisions that go way beyond taxes, including language that for the first time recognizes fertilized eggs (zygotes) in federal law.

The bill allows parents to set up education accounts for an “unborn child” or “child in utero,” defined as “a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”

Coloradans will recognize the bill’s language as reflecting the wording of “personhood” abortion bans, which aimed to give legal rights to zygotes and thereby turning an abortion into a murder.

Personhood laws would also likely ban some forms of birth control, as courts have accepted arguments for anti-abortion activists that some contraception has the potential to destroy a zygote.

Personhood amendments were overwhelmingly defeated here in 20082010, and 2014.

Despite the losses, the personhood concept has the support of some Colorado Republicans, like U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who co-sponsored federal personhood legislation when he was a member of the U.S. House and did not withdraw his support from the bill during his campaign for U.S. Senate in 2014.

Gardner has already backed the GOP tax bill in committee.

At the Colorado Capitol, Republicans introduced personhood bills in recent years, with the lead sponsors of this year’s bill being State Representatives Stephen Humphrey of Eaton and Kim Ransom of Lone Tree and State Sen. Tim Neville of Littleton.

What do personhood backers in Colorado think of Trump’s effort to enshrine personhood in federal law?

On his Facebook page, Colorado State Rep. Tim Leonard of Evergreen, a longtime personhood supporter and co-sponsor of the 2017 state personhood bill, recently lauded Trump for taking pro-personhood steps within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Trump’s HHS took what Snopes calls a “radical departure” from previous administrations, both Republican an Democratic, in including language in planning documents defining human life as “beginning at conception.”

Such a definition of a person comports the wording of Colorado’s personhood amendments and legislation, as well as the language of the Republican tax plan under consideration in the U.S. Senate.

“This changes the political (and monetary) landscape of HHS, and is a major needed change to turn toward of Culture of Life from Obama’s Culture of Death!,” wrote Leonard on Facebook.

“Donald Trump is turning out to be the most pro-life President we have had for a very long time. All because he uses common sense, puts Americans first, and could care less about the lukewarmness of political correctness,” added Leonard on Facebook.

A message left for Leonard to confirm his post and find out if he support the personhood language in the tax bill was not immediately returned.

Baker tries to glaze over religious bigotry and discrimination

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

One of the craziest aspects of the bakery case, in which baker Jack Phillips discriminates against a gay couple who want to buy a wedding cake, is the contortions that Phillips’ backers have gone through to spin the bigoted baker into an “cake artist” who makes “cake art,” as if such a thing exists int the real world.

I’ve outlined examples of how they are doing this in an opinion for ColoradoPolitics today:

In his kitchen at Masterpiece Cakeshop, Phillips “usually has his hands pretty full with all the artistic elements of running his Denver cake shop — baking, icing, decorating,” according to a cover story last year in ADF’s magazine, Faith and Justice.

“Masterpiece implies the artwork aspect, where we take the different artistic tools and colors and create artwork,” Phillips is quoted as saying. “And it’s definitely a cake shop, not a bakery, where you come in and just buy donuts. …it’s a place where you get a cake that’s art…”

And in an absurd example of transparent PR coaching, Phillips doesn’t even use the word “bake” or “cook” when he says in a ADF video that a same-sex wedding “is not an event I can create for.” (In reality, he would sell a cake for the event.)

The sad part is, too many people are taking this portrayal of the embattled baker-as-god-fearing-artist seriously.

But you can’t glaze over Phillips’ religious bigotry, even if you use the sweetest glaze on the shelf.

And if a baker is allowed to discriminate, where does it stop? As Dale Carpenter has pointed out, what about the cab driver who might refuse to give a same-sex couple a ride to their wedding?  A chef who decides not to grill a steak for an LGBT couple on their anniversary outing to a restaurant?

You can go down multiple rabbit holes, but at the end of the day, there’s no excuse, religious, artistic, or otherwise, for discrimination at a retail bakery when state law prohibits it, even if the owner decorates the cakes by hand with three brushes and five kisses. It doesn’t matter.

In speech before being appointed to state house, Reyher said public schools “keep churning out more idiots”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

During her speech Monday to a Republican vacancy committee that selected her to represent House District 47 at the Colorado Capitol, former Otero County GOP chair Judy Reyher slammed public education, saying, “They keep pouring money in, and we keep churning out more idiots.”

“All the money that they keep throwing into public education isn’t always the answer,” Reyer said in a video of the meeting, obtained from a source. “It’s going to take more involvement from people and from local government, not the federal government or the state government, for all intents and purposes.They keep pouring money in, and we keep churning out more idiots. Excuse me, but if you’ve ever heard some of them interviewed, you’re shaking your head. We were, most of us, lucky enough to go to school when school meant something, when history meant something.

Reyher has been asked by Democratic and progressive groups to give up her state house appointment in light of racist and bigoted comments to The Denver Post and in Facebook posts. She issued an apology to those offended by her Facebook activity.

Reyher told the vacancy committee before its 6-5 vote to appoint her that she feels “very strongly” about public education, having been a substitute teacher and “very involved” when her children were in school.

(more…)

Gardner Brushes Off Trump’s “Pocahontas” Comment And Touts Tax Bill Instead

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a radio interview yesterday, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner dodged a question about whether he worries about the President, in light of Trump’s “Pocahontas” slur during a ceremony honoring Native American war heroes.

Instead, Gardner touted the GOP tax plan, telling KOA radio hosts:

Host Zesbaugh: I know you want to focus on the issues. I know you folks are going to do that today and work to do your hardest at that. But do you worry with the President on Capitol Hill? The buzz is still going to be about the Pocahontas thing.

Gardner: “Well, look, yesterday’s [Pocahontas] statement is something that I wish wouldn’t have happened – shouldn’t have happened. But what we’re going to focus on today is tax reform. But what we’re going to focus on today is tax reform, and making sure that the people of this country know that with our plan, if you’re a family that earns $73,000 a year, you’re going to see a 60 percent reduction in your tax rate from last year.”

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that by 2027 lower income earners would see their taxes increase, because their tax cuts would expire.

Gardner’s refusal to say whether he worries about Trump, who appears to journalists as more and more unhinged, as well as Gardner’s light brush-off of the Pocahontas slur, is a continuation of Gardner’s tack of keeping his criticism of the President to a minimum while voting with Trump over 94 percent of the time.

Gardner’s support for Trump is more at odds with his constituents than any other senator, based on how Trump performed in Colorado, according to the FiveThirtyEight blog. Second is Nevada’s Dan Heller, also a Republican, and he’s well behind Gardner.

This has led some analysts to predict that Gardner would vote against Trump more often, but it ain’t happening with the GOP tax bill, which he voted for in committee yesterday. (See screen shot above, taken just before the vote.)

On KOA, Gardner claimed the Senate tax bill would cut health insurance premiums, which he’s alleged is his bottom-line goal on health care policy.

Gardner: “Well, you know, again, think we do need healthcare reform, because in Colorado we’re seeing 30, 40 percent premium increases over the next several years,” said Gardner on air. “We’ve seen that in the past. People can’t afford it. So let’s fix that.”

But the senate tax bill would jack up premiums by 10 percent, according to nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Before successive votes to repeal Obamacare, Gardner claimed to want to lower the costs of health insurance premiums. But nonpartisan analysts estimated that the repeal bills would have resulted in double-digit premium increases. Gardner has yet to offer or support a healthcare plan that would lower premiums.

Gardner has boasted about “many great conversations” with Trump. He’s reportedly touted Trump’s “many accomplishments.” Conversely, Gardner has called his critics, many of whom want him to stand up against Trump, “paid protesters.”

Gardner promises trickle-down benefits from tax reform bill

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner sounded like Ronald Reagan himself this morning on KOA radio, when he claimed the Senate’s tax-reform bill would help the poor with trickle-down wage increases.

Still, he said, he was uncertain whether he’d ultimately vote for the measure–just as he’s been undecided before voting in favor of all Obamacare-repeal bills this year.

KOA MORNING NEWS CO-HOST APRIL ZESBAUGH: First off, do you like the Senate’s current plan?
GARDNER: You know, I think this is a great opportunity for us to take a bill, that I like the direction it’s heading. I hope I’ll be able to support this. I think it’s something I will be able to support, once we finish the debate, markup on the floor. I’ll have some amendments that I hope are included….
ZESBAUGH: There’s a new nonpartisan analysis that found the Senate plan would really benefit those who make one hundred grand or more a year, but would hurt the poor by raising health insurance premiums and adding [$]1.4 trillion to the deficit. Do those figures worry you, and is that something you want to tweak?
GARDNER: Well, I think what they’re talking about is they’re actually saying that if you remove the penalty, if you remove the fine under the Affordable Care Act — if you don’t buy insurance — they’re saying that you don’t get a tax credit and therefore you have a tax increase. Look, the mandatory requirement that people buy insurance — forced to buy a product they can’t afford under the Affordable Care Act — is one of the least popular aspects of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, 126,000 Coloradans had to pay a fine for not buying insurance as required under the Affordable Care Act. The reason they couldn’t do it is because they don’t earn enough money to pay for the outrageous premiums of the Affordable Care Act. Seventy-five percent of Coloradans who paid that fine earned less than $50,000 a year. And so what we’re doing is, we’re saying you have the freedom to buy what you want, not being forced to buy something you can’t afford. But with tax reform, we know that average Colorado families will see after-tax wage increase — for middle-class families — of over $3000. If you live in the western slope of Colorado, that’s going to be closer to $3500. This is a chance for us to grow wages. It’s a chance to see real wage growth that we haven’t seen in over a decade, and an opportunity to help middle-class families.

Is a trickle-down wage increase really the best Gardner can do?

Gardner did not return a call in search of the source for his wage-increase figures, but it appears to be a report from Trump’s White House Council of Economic Advisers, whose chair, Kevin Hassett has been promoting this information.

A former chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers was quoted in the New York Times as criticizing the study:

Jason Furman, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and a former Council of Economic Advisers chairman in the Obama administration, called Mr. Hassett’s findings “implausible” and noted they were rooted in studies that had not been published in major academic journals.

“This lies outside the mainstream of economists,” he said.

The consensus among nonpartisan analyses is not only that, as a result of the repeal of the individual mandate in the Senate bill, 13 million Americans would lose health insurance over the next decade, but also that the tax-reform bill would hurt lower income earners and be boon for the rich, especially in the long run. The New York Times summed this up yesterday:

The Congressional Budget Office said this week that the Senate bill, as written, would hurt workers earning less than $30,000 a year in short order, while delivering benefits to the highest earners throughout the next decade. Those estimates echo other analyses, like that by the Joint Committee on Taxation, which have found the biggest benefits of the bill increasingly flowing to the rich over time. By 2027, the budget office said, Americans earning $75,000 a year and below would, as a group, see their taxes increase, because individual tax cuts are set to expire at the end of 2025.

Coffman denies that she’s pro-choice

(Schrödinger’s choice? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman

Apparently contradicting her spokesperson’s statement to CBS4 political specialist Shaun Boyd, gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Coffman told a radio station last week that, in fact, she’s not pro-choice and refuses to “accept a label” on the abortion issue.

The abortion topic came up on Fox News Radio, KCOL, after guest host Karen Kataline asked Coffman directly about Boyd’s report that Coffman is pro-choice and pro-gay rights, a statement her campaign did not want Boyd to correct.

“Shaun didn’t ask me about that,” Coffman replied. “So, I was surprised as most people to hear that.”

Pressed by Kataline about whether she said she was pro-choice when she ran for her current position of Colorado attorney general, Coffman said:

Coffman: No! No, I didn’t. I refused to accept a label. And I still do, because I — like many people, I think have opinions about this complicated issue that are somewhere not on either end of the spectrum. I personally would not choose abortion. I would choose life. But I also believe that this is settled law from the United States Supreme Court. And unless that law changes at some point, we have to follow it. Because we are a rule-of-the-law nation. And that’s what my position is, as Attorney General, and would be as Governor.

Boyd’s initial report that Coffman is pro-choice drew an angry response from conservative talk radio hosts, leading KNUS’ Dan Caplis to say she wouldn’t have been elected AG if she’d come out as pro-choice.

Asked if she did not support the Obamacare repeal, Coffman said, “No. I didn’t even take a position publicly.”

“We need to fix Obamacare,” she said. “People are extraordinarily frustrated, as am I, with Congress, and particularly with the United States Senate, that they are unable after all this time talking about it to come up with a plan that they can get a majority vote on.”

Elsewhere in the KCOL interview, Coffman said her GOP primary opponent Tom Tancredo “goes too far” in an “effort to get people’s attention.”

Coffman described Tancredo as “entertaining” but not “constructive” and “not what people want; people want a serious candidate who will talk about all the issues.”

“This is not a single issue campaign,” said Coffman, saying Tancredo has picked “a few issues” issues to run on.

Coffman said she’d made her decision to join the GOP gubernatorial primary before Tancredo entered the race Nov. 1.

Coffman’s abortion position is similar to that of former State Sen. Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) who began her potential campaign for U.S. Senate in 2015 by telling a radio station she’d never been pro-choice but was forced to correct her statement once a video emerged of Roberts calling herself a pro-choice Republican.

“I’ve never called myself pro-choice as a politician,” said Roberts at the time. “What I found out, early on, was I supported parental notification in the instance of an underage girl having an abortion. So, when I supported that, and I still support that, I found from those who are pro-choice advocates that no longer made me pro-choice. And I was surprised. I didn’t know that there were slices to what made a person one thing or another.”

Roberts later withdrew her name from consideration for the GOP Senate nomination.

Listen to Coffman on KCOL Nov. 22 here:

Anti-Choice Group Wants Potential Fathers To Have a Say In a Woman’s Abortion Decision

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Campaign for Life, a statewide anti-abortion group, is promoting a Facebook meme with a photo of a man kissing a baby along with the text, “Her ‘Choice’ is actually My Child.”

Colorado Campaign for Life’s Director Christy Rodriguez said the meme’s message is two-fold, first, that the word “choice,” as someone who’s pro-abortion would use it, is actually a “child” and, second, that a potential father should have a say in a woman’s decision whether to have an abortion.

“It’s a child, not a choice,” said Rodriguez. “The word ‘choice’ is covering a child, whether it’s a man’s child, a woman’s child, somebody’s grandchild. Calling it a choice doesn’t negate the fact that it’s a child.”

“It takes a man and a woman to have a baby,” continued Rodriquez. “We’re talking about men who have come to the Capitol and testified, ‘Hey, I said I would have paid for this child. I said I would take the baby off her hands. I said I would raise the child, and she insisted on having an abortion.’ A man really has no say in a child’s life until after it’s born.”

“A man should have a say in his child’s life before his child’s life has ended,” she said.

Asked to respond to the Colorado Campaign for Life meme, Karen Middleton, director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, called it “insulting and pointless.”

“Men don’t own women or their bodies, and the choice of whether or not to continue a pregnancy belongs to the woman,” said Middleton via email. “End of discussion.”

It’s unclear how much support there is in Colorado for the notion that men should have some sort of say, possibly legal standing, when it comes to a woman’s decision whether to have an abortion. Such provisions would violate federal abortion-rights protections as currently interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

(more…)