The Colorado GOP’s circular firing squad, 2017 edition

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Robinson, who’s Mitt Romney’s nephew, told KNUS’ Dan Caplis Monday that he and four other Republican candidates agreed at a forum that they won’t “do the circular firing squad,” and, instead, they’ll “try to be supportive” of one another.

Possibly thinking of Both-Ways Bob or national GOP attacks on Tom Tancredo in 2014, Caplis responded with relief, saying when Republicans “put a circular firing squad together, we don’t miss.”

It looks, however, like the firing squad is already in place.

Robinson himself has been repeatedly pummeled by his fellow Republicans for being Mitt Romney’s nephew, as has candidate Walker Stapleton for being George H.W. Bush’s cousin.

Gubernatorial candidate Steve Barlock, who was the chair of the Denver Trump Campaign, said the family ties of Robinson and Stapleton were a prime reason for his gubernatorial run: “I am interested [in running for governor] because I want to stop a Bush and stop a Romney,” Barlock told Fox 31 Denver’s Joe St. George.

Likewise, in one radio interview, gubernatorial candidate George Brauchler took a side swipe at Robinson and Stapleton for their family connections. “I am related to George Brauchler, Senior, and so, I got that, from Queens,” said Brauchler, in response to a comment about establishment Republicans running for governor.

Firing from across the circle in April, Victor Mitchell, a Republican businessman running for governor, had some harsh things to say about Brauchler: “It’s clear that the Capitol-insider establishment and road lawyer-lobbyists already have fellow lawyer Brauchler in their pockets. Just say ‘No thanks!, I’ll take a real businessman instead.’” Mitchell has said no attorney should “in any way be running for governor.”

Just this past Friday, Stapleton spokesman Michael Fortney, in a prickly Twitter exchange with Brauchler, ridiculed Brauchler, who, in turn, lashed out at Stapleton for missing candidate forums. Brauchler and GOP political operative Greg Brophy seem to want to launch a #WheresWalker! hashtag.

The most damage Colorado Republicans have inflicted on themselves in the past couple decades was probably done by Republican Marc Holtzman, in labeling Bob Beauprez “Both Ways Bob” in the 2006 GOP gubernatorial primary. Beauprez went on to lose to Bill Ritter and has been unable to shake the “Both Ways Bob” moniker to this day.

Why Hasn’t Patrick Neville Removed Fake News from his Facebook Page?

neville patrick on kaepernick saying he'd stand for anthem if he could play again“BREAKING: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick tells CBS he’ll stand during the national anthem if given chance to play football in NFL again.”

If I were Colorado State Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Littleton), I would have shared that news, delivered via Facebook by the Associated Press, on my Facebook page.

I mean, it was reported by CBS and and validated by AP, both credible news outlets.

And, in fact, Neville shared it on his Facebook page, with the comment, “Values have no price.”

But it turns out Kaepernick never said this.

Snopes now says it’s not true, and so does CBS itself, which corrected its own report.

So it’s 100 percent fake news, if you define it, as I do, as false information, packaged as news, that’s been deemed false by Factcheck.org, Politifact, Snopes, or a credible news outlet.

So, if I were Neville, I’d delete it from my Facebook page, if a progressive blogger alerted me to the problem with calls and an email. I’d explain what happened, because, as the Republican leader of the Colorado House, I’d want to set a good example and show my commitment to fact-based discourse.

But despite my outreach to Neville beginning last week, the fake news post remains on his Facebook page. I wish I knew why he hasn’t removed it. Maybe he didn’t get my messages? Seems like he and I would agree on this one.

Hey ColoradoPolitics, you’ll lose the war against fake news if you put your credibility at risk

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Journalists hate fake news, right? And they hate it when they’re accused of being purveyors of fake news. So why would a newspaper put its most valuable asset, its credibility, at risk by publishing fake-news advertisements that look almost exactly like news? And then not answer questions about it?

Don’t ask ColoradoPolitics, a political news site owned by conservative billionaire Phil Anschutz, because that’s what it did this week.

Corey Hutchins, writing for the left-leaning Colorado Independent, reports that ColoradoPolitics will not respond to questions about a deceptive advertisement, designed to mimic a news supplement, that ran in the online and print editions of ColoradoPolitics last week.

That was disappointing, because I thought ColoradoPolitics would respond to reasonable questions like the one in Hutchins’ headline, “Who paid for ‘sponsored content’ and a ‘paid advertisement’ in Colorado’s weekly political newspaper?”

I noticed that the logo on the ColoradoPolitics’ sponsored content/advertisement appears to matche the one used by Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED). And CRED ran a similar ad insert in The Denver Post a few years ago, with similar pro-oil-and-gas messages. So the answer to Hutchins’ question could well be CRED, but we don’t know for sure. CRED did not return a call.

I had a few other questions about the ad, and I listed them in my email, sent Thursday, to Vince Bzdek, the editor of the Colorado Springs Gazette, also owned by Anschutz. Bzcek oversees editorial direction at ColoradoPolitics. He did not respond, which is too bad because I’ve admired his work and was hoping to hear from him.

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Gardner’s Push for Trump to Unilaterally Dismantle Obamacare Is Coming to Fruition

(Like we said – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has yet to comment on Trump’s latest effort to deliver a body blow to Obamacare by eliminating insurance assistance for low-income people.

But in March, Gardner said he hoped Trump would use his presidential authority, ASAP, to dismantle Obamacare.

“We also, I believe, need the Administration to move forward with some of its executive actions,” Gardner told KHOW 630-AM’s Ross Kaminsky. “Those executive actions they can take won’t ever be scored by the Congressional Budget Office. That’s not what the Congressional Budget Office does. But if they take those actions, it could result in significant improvement in the current system.” [listen below]

You may recall, in the spring, the Congressional Budget Office estimated for the first time that tens of millions of Americans would lose health insurance under the House GOP’s proposal to repeal Obamacare. The uninsured would include hundreds of thousands in Colorado.

The specter of millions of Americans losing health insurance generated such coast-to-coast angst and blow back that the seven-year GOP effort to kill Obamacare seemed doomed to die in the House.

So that’s why a gloomy Gardner, calling Obamacare “a disaster for the American people,” was looking at how Obamacare could be rolled back without legislation. Without repealing the law, Trump could do a lot through executive actions, Gardner said, and, bonus, they won’t be scored by the CBO, so we won’t get the nonpartisan estimate of the resultant misery. Not to mention the headlines.

Fast forward to yesterday.

Trump signed more executive orders aimed at Obamacare, as Gardner hoped he would, but it turns out Gardner was wrong about the CBO–at least with respect to one of Gardner’s orders.

That’s because, a few months after Gardner’s radio appearance, Democrats asked the CBO to analyze what would happen if Trump eliminated Obamacare subsidies for insurance on the individual market. The CBO report was completed back in August, but it’s getting a lot of attention now, because it shows that Trump’s order will increase health insurance rates on the individual market by 20 percent in 2018 and that one million more Americans will lose insurance entirely next year, compared with current law.

Obamacare supporters say Congress can stop this chaos, without increasing the deficit, by providing the Obamacare funds that Trump wants to cut. They would be used to lower the cost of health insurance for low-income people, as Obamacare stipulates.

But Gardner will have to change his thinking drastically to get on board. To date, he’s backed everything and anything in Congress to kill Obamacare. And when it looked like Congress wasn’t going to be able to do it, he called on unilateral action by Trump.

Now, with the full repercussions of Trump’s orders out in the open will Gardner shift his position, break his alliance with Trump, and endorse bipartisan congressional efforts to fix Obamacare, rather then nuke it?

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Columnists shouldn’t have trumpeted outlier poll showing free speech is “deeply imperiled” on campuses

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The Denver Post has run two guest opinion columns (by a local columnist here and by a syndicated columnist here) relying heavily on a dubious study, financed by the right-wing Koch Foundation and conducted by a UCLA professor, which concluded that “freedom of expression is deeply imperiled on U.S. campuses.”

Yikes! I’ve been seeing conservatives fret about this, and I’ve been waiting for proof. Could this be it?

My kid is in college and my wife works for one. They both love free speech, and they haven’t complained about its demise on campus. And I haven’t seen any data, beyond minor anecdotes, ridiculously overblown by the media, supporting the notion that American universities don’t love free speech and are anything but completely dedicated protecting it and educating students about its value.

Yet, a new poll comes out, and Denver Post columnist Vincent Carroll sounds the alarm in an Oct. 1 column arguing that unlike today, activists in the 1960s and 1970s did not want to shut down hate speech:

“UCLA professor John Villasenor, who conducted the survey, found that a plurality of students believe the First Amendment does not protect hate speech (of course it does) and a majority thinks a school is ‘legally required’ to present opposing viewpoints to a speaker ‘known for making statements that many students consider to be offensive and hurtful’ (there is no such requirement),” wrote Carroll.

“Far more disturbingly, a slight majority also said it was acceptable for a student group to disrupt the speech of a controversial figure ‘by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker,’ while nearly one-fifth said it was acceptable to use violence ‘to prevent the speaker from speaking.'”

The trouble is, no one, not even Villasenor himself, seems to know whether his on-line, opt-in poll can be trusted.

And it doesn’t comport with most opinion polls of students on the topic, according to Prof. Seth Masket, who’s the chair of the political science department at the University of Denver.

“It’s true that researchers use on-line polls all the time,” Masket wrote me in response to my email query. “But generally great care is taken to make sure the sample is gathered or weighted to be representative of the underlying population. It’s not clear to me that this was done in this case.

“Regardless, the fact that this survey produced results that are highly inconsistent with other recent surveys on similar topics suggests that more research is needed. Either this poll is an outlier or there’s been a radical and massive shift in the beliefs of college students. The former is far more likely than the latter.”

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THEIR OWN WORDS: Right-wing radio host interviews right-wing Colorado lawmaker

Maybe the headline doesn’t strike you as news?

Still, Denver radio host Peter Boyles’ interview today with Colorado State Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs) is worth reading. And you can listen to the KNUS interview below.

BOYLES: We have dubbed him the Half-blood Prince. If you remember back when Dave Williams was not allowed to be, uh — what –how did — how did they pronounce that, when Crazy Joe [Colorado State Rep. Joe Salazar of Thornton] started calling you – what did he call you?

REP. DAVE WILLIAMS: Half Latino. [Which is how Salazar says Williams introduced himself]

BOYLES: But he went [affecting an exaggerated Spanish accent], “La Raztinos!” They have – like, the people who always talk about [affecting exaggerated accent, and mispronouncing] “Nigaragua”. [Laughs]

WILLIAMS: [chuckles]

BOYLES: And they become Spanish speakers! You know [affecting accent], “Che Guevara!” They do that. So, you were called the Half-blood Prince. I dubbed you the Half-blood Prince. Dave, why did you become the Half-blood Prince?

WILLIAMS: [laughing] Well, I don’t know if it was my choice, but it was —

BOYLES: And it wasn’t!

WILLIAMS: Yeah, right, it had to do with immigration, and the fact that I was fighting against sanctuary cities. And so, this was said about me as a way to discredit my standing within the community – the Hispanic community.

BOYLES: [Said] by Crazy Joe Salazar. You — your mom — your mom is Hispanic, correct?

WILLIAMS: Right. Right.

BOYLES: And so, that made you, in my mind, only the Half-blood Prince – you and Harry Potter. So –

WILLIAMS: Right.

BOYLES: And it was funny, and then they started talking about, you were not “Latina”! You were some other person. So, — and it’s funny: the identity politics, as it’s called, and who gets to say what. And you were a great example of that. So—

WILLIAMS: Mm-hmm. Right.

[…]

BOYLES: Dave Williams is with us! So, Dave! Did you go to D.C.?

WILLIAMS: I did. I did. It was a good experience. I was shocked when I got the invitation to the White House. I thought it was a gag, at first, so I had to call around to make sure it was right. But, yeah, I was invited to the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, and this is where the President was bringing together people from around the country that were good for the Hispanic community, in the Hispanic community. And he wanted to honor, you know, the contributions and, you know, every positive, good thing that came from that community. And what was very wonderful about the President’s speech was he not only acknowledged, you know, Hispanics and Latinos, but he also acknowledged that, hey, at the end of the day, we’re all Americans. And not any of us is better than the other, and that we’re all in this together, and we need to put America first. And, you know, he made some good remarks, especially about Puerto Rico and Florida, with respect to the hurricane relief.

And, you know, it was just – it was a fabulous event. And I don’t care what anyone says, — I’ve seen the man personally speak— the guy is a class act!

[…]

WILLIAMS: You know, the one thing I’ll leave your audience with, is that the President gets it.

BOYLES: Oh, yeah!

WILLIAMS: And we spoke about – I spoke about immigration. Go figure, right? And I specifically spoke about Denver, Aurora, and these cities that are flaunting  immigration. And I was told – and it was committed to me – that they’re going to handle it. They’re going to crack down on it.

BOYLES: You bet!

[…]

WILLIAMS: You know, the one thing I would like to tell everyone is that Washington D.C. is a beautiful place. So, we need to absolutely drain the swamp, but we need to keep the city as it is.

BOYLES: I tell you, the Jefferson Memorial is doomed if the little PC witch hunters have their way.

WILLIAMS: Mm-hmm.

BOYLES: The Lincoln Memorial, there’s moves on that, certainly the Washington Monument.

WILLIAMS: Mm-hmm

BOYLES: So, let us not kid ourselves. The witch hunters are working. And the Columbus Day statues are classic examples.

WILLIAMS: Right.

BOYLES: And so, like I said, their force is at work.

[…]

WILLIAMS: Well, unfortunately, I didn’t really get to shake his hand. I got very close. I got very close, but he was a class act. He came down and shook a disabled vet’s hand. And, you know, everyone mobbed him. But the guy, – like I said – he’s a class act. You know, the media portrays him in such a bad light.

BOYLES: I know.

WILLIAMS: And it is not fair. If you were to hear him speak, you’d absolutely know what I’m talking about. The guy is classy, and he is just working for the American people. America first!
[…]

BOYLES [referring to media coverage of President Trump]: This is the absolute worst guy to ever be President of the United States. Wow!

WILLIAMS: Yep! Far from it. No, media is the opposition party. I mean, that’s true. Mainstream media.

Listen to Colorado State Rep. Dave Williams on KNUS’ Peter Boyles show Oct. 10, 2017:

Will you please connect me with Steve Bannon’s room?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Steve Bannon.

Sometimes a journalist tries the most basic research tactics, and they pay off.

That’s what happened to Colorado Springs’ KRDO reporter Chase Golightly last week when he went to the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs in search of right-wing political strategist Steve Bannon.

Golightly went to the hotel, hung around a for a bit, but didn’t see Bannon. He interviewed staff, who wouldn’t confirm anything. He spoke with guests and workers.

Finally he got the idea to call the front desk. He phoned up the hotel, asked for Bannon, and bingo, the notorious Breitbart editor and former Trump adviser was on the line.

Unfortunately, Bannon apparently hung up on Golightly, but confirmation positive. Bannon was at the conference, sponsored by the Council for National Policy.

It’s one of the details you’ll enjoy in Golightly’s piece last week about Bannon’s presence in Colorado. He takes you through the steps he took to try to find the elusive Bannon.

Unfortunately, Golightly didn’t return an email and call seeking comment, but perhaps he’s just seeing what it feels like to be Bannon. So I don’t hold it against him.

The bigger praise goes to The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews, with help from John Frank, who broke the story that Bannon was somewhere in Colorado and, more importantly, had been talking to Tom Tancredo about his possible run for governor.

But without slighting The Post, it’s great to see aggressive and entertaining journalism from KRDO TV’s Golightly.

Because, as Golightly reported himself, the Broadmoor is “no stranger to gatherings of the highest political and financial ranks,” and we need journalists to try to figure out what’s going inside there–and elsewhere in Colorado Springs’ conservative miasma.

In anti-Trump stand, Beverly Belles won’t perform at El Paso County GOP fundraiser

After the Beverly Belles, a group of Andrews-Sisters-style singers, rejected his offer to play at a GOP fundraiser, Joshua Hosler, who’s the newly elected leader of the El Paso County Republican Party, tweeted:

“We asked The Beverly Belles to play an event. They declined b/c they don’t like Trump. No problem. We support their right to choose clients!”

I asked Julia Tobey, who owns the Beverly Belles, why she didn’t want to perform for Hosler’s group.

She looked at group’s website, she told me, and found recordings of Trump officials praising El Paso Republicans. In one voice mail on the website, Donald Trump, Jr., called from “corporate headquarters in New York” to tell the regional field director in the El Paso GOP office that “my father really appreciates” his work, “the family gets it,” and “we’re going to win this thing.”

Tobey said she and her organization, which is based in Denver and Los Angeles, “in no way support Donald Trump” and would not want it to appear as if they were helping raise money for him.

“Since Trump moved into the White House, I am most saddened by his aggressive attack on the rights of our African-American, Muslim, Mexican, LGBTQ, immigrant and refugee American brothers and sisters,” Tobey emailed me, emphasizing that she was speaking for herself and not all the members of her company. “I feel called to stand up and actively support these minorities.

“And also, as a female-run organization, we would never choose to support a president who has a history of blatant sexism and actions that objectify and degrade women. We are heartbroken he has actively pursued policies to strip women of hard-earned rights to make choices about our own bodies and do not support him or his administration in any way.

Asked about the Beverly Belles, the GOP’s Hosler said they are “extremely talented,” and he would definitely have enjoyed their performance, having listened to their style of music as a kid with his grandfather.

But he’s not mad at them, because he supports their right to say, no thank you. “We are a party of liberty and freedom, and it’s their right to choose,” he said.

I told Hosler that I thought his tweet seemed intended to equate the decision of the Beverly Belles not to play at a Republican fundraiser with the Colorado baker who discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to make them a wedding cake.

That wasn’t the “original intent” of his tweet, which was aimed to promote liberty, he said.

Still, he said, “I can see the direct correlation. That is clearly something that was parallel.”

In fact, the baker violated Colorado law by discriminating against gay people, who are protected under Colorado’s Public Accommodations statute. Just as a shop like a bakery can’t discriminate based on race or sex.  But a baker has the right to refuse service to people of either sex who love Obama for political reasons.

As Republican John Suthers, who served as Colorado’s attorney general, said on the radio a few years ago:

And so in Colorado, essentially, sexual orientation has essentially the same protection as race in terms of anti-public discrimination laws.

So, if you have a business, whether it be a motel business, restaurant business, cake shop, and hold yourself out to the public, you must abide by this public accommodations law. And in this case, it was alleged, that a gay couple who’d been married in another state, wanted to have a celebration in Colorado, went into this cake shop, were very frank with the owner about what they wanted to do, and he refused to bake them a cake, despite the fact that they could have walked a blocked and got the cake at another bake store….it does appear this individual violated the public accommodations law, so the case was brought.

As for the event for which Hosler hoped to book the Beverly Belles, it is scheduled for Oct. 27, billed as a Monte Carlo evening. Hosler described it as a “fun fundraiser” without political speeches that “put everyone to sleep.”

“It wasn’t a fundraiser for Trump,” said Hosler. “He wouldn’t get any of the money.”

But didn’t El Paso Republicans help elect Trump and would do so again?

“We are in theory connected to Trump,” Hosler said. “Trump is a Republican, and we are pushing the Republican Party. So in a sense we are building his base of support, but it does not directly support him. It supports the Party.”

The Beverly Belles, of course, not are the only performing artists who’ve rejected Trump-related events.

The list of performers who said they wouldn’t perform at the Trump inauguration included Garth Brooks, Elton John, and Celine Dion.

The Rockettes made it voluntary for their dancers to perform at Trump’s inauguration, after an outcry from some members of the troupe.

In the video below, Tobey and other performers discuss their work–and sing.

In excellent CPR interview, Stephens says fellow Republicans owe us an “apology for seven years of blustering with no plan”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Rep. Amy Stephens (R).

Colorado Public Radio picked a perfect guest today to discuss the GOP’s failed efforts to kill Obamacare: former Colorado’s former GOP House Majority Leader Amy Stephens of Monument.

I’d been vaguely hoping someone would solicit Stephens’ opinion on the Obamacare saga, after she cosponsored bipartisan legislation to establish Colorado’s state-run insurance exchanges in 2011.

Stephens has been brutally criticized for her support of the exchanges, which she continues to maintain was not an expression of support for Obamacare, but instead an effort to allow state control of the insurance marketplace, which would otherwise have been run federal government.

Her GOP opponents think otherwise, saying her “Amycare” bill ushered Obamacare into our state.

Today, speaking with CPR’s Ryan Warner, Stephens defended her work on healthcare in Colorado, and she offered a critique of the seven-year GOP campaign to repeal and replace Obamacare, saying in part that Republicans owe us an “apology for seven years of blustering with no plan”:

Warner: …How was the exchange used against you, whether it was running for reelection at the state legislature, or later you considered running for the U.S. Senate, right?

Stephens: That’s correct. I think in part, in running for the U.S. Senate and really going to my own party was saying, you know, I didn’t do the whole, “Hey! No Obamacare!” tattooed on my arm. There were people that actually had to make decisions – right? — and be the adults in the room. And I considered that my job as a leader was to do that. However, I think that my party owes everybody, really, an apology right now. We’ve had seven years —

Warner: Your Party, the Republican Party.

Stephens: Yeah. I do think they owe people an apology for seven years of blustering with no plan. And to actually say that, you know, we have a plan. I think it’s important for all of us to say, “Where do we want to go with this? Where do we want to be? I applaud Hickenlooper and Kasich for working together […]

Warner:  So, let me say, that the governors of Colorado and of Ohio – Kasich, a Republican and Hickenlooper, a Democrat came together with a plan to stabilize the insurance markets

Stephens: Right. I’d say that’s not the only answer, but I think it’s a good first start. It’s a fair first start. I wish the governor had perhaps come to some of our — our Governor, Hickenloopoer — had come to perhaps some of our own Republicans to perhaps work on that. I didn’t hear of that happening

Warner told his listeners he wanted to interview Stephens, in part, to get the “long view.” If you’ve been part of the history of healthcare in Colorado, or even if you haven’t, you should listen here.

Gardner Has Now Voted Nine Times to Strip Funds from Planned Parenthood

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)

Beneath the drama of the Republicans’ failed efforts to kill Obamacare is the stack of votes amassed by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood.

Four measures to repeal Obamacare this year would have also de-funded the women’s health organization, and Gardner voted for each one of them without objecting to the Planned Parenthood provision.

With the addition of this year’s votes, Gardner has now backed a total of nine measures to withdraw support from Planned Parenthood since 2010, when Gardner was first elected to Congress, as a U.S. Representative.

“Cory Gardner continuously underestimates the importance of Planned Parenthood,” said Sarah Taylor-Nanista, Director of Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado in a statement. “Health Centers provide 70,000 Coloradans the care they need. A third of which are Medicaid patients. Coloradans need and want Planned Parenthood. It is time for Cory Gardner to really work on the health care needs of Coloradans and stop playing politics by going after the providers who care for them.”

Gardner’s votes against Planned Parenthood are noteworthy, in part because contraception and abortion played such a high profile role in Gardner’s 2014 election to the U.S. Senate over Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, who repeatedly spotlighted Gardner’s stance against all abortion, even for rape, as well as some forms of birth control.

During the 2014 election, Gardner responded by calling Udall “Mark Uterus” and by saying he, Gardner, supported easier access to birth-control pills. Gardner withdrew his support of a state personhood abortion ban, and Gardner misinformed the public that his support of federal abortion-ban legislation wasn’t support for an abortion ban.

Gardner also said abortion and contraception weren’t “top of mind for people” and therefore Udall was “trying to distract voters” by drawing attention to Gardner positions on women’s health issues.

In fact, Gardner has been crusading against abortion from the beginning of his political career, relying on backing from anti-abortion activists to win GOP primary battles and to propel him into office.

Gardner’s votes against Planned Parenthood, which is widely known to offer abortion services, are almost certainly linked to Gardner’s own longstanding opposition to abortion, even though by law the organization cannot use federal money for abortion but instead for cancer screenings, family planning, and basic healthcare needs of low-income people. Abortion accounts for a small part of Planned Parenthood’s total revenue.

Anti-abortion activists in Colorado target Planned Parenthood, with regular protests. Former GOP Colorado State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, of Colorado Springs, once said he was proud that a legislator in South Dakota compared Planned Parenthood to ISIS.

A 2015 shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs was denounced by most anti-abortion activists, but some equated the shooting deaths to abortions at Planned Parenthood. And a Republican lawmaker in Colorado commented on Facebook that Planned Parenthood executives were the “real culprits” for the attack.

Gardner’s nine votes to de-fund Planned Parenthood include two cast as a U.S. Representative, both in 2011: one resolution, naming Planned Parenthood Federation of America, here, and the Pence amendment targeting the organization, here.

Gardner’s seven anti-Planned Parenthood votes since he became a U.S. Senator include four Obamacare repeal measures, the “Skinny Repeal,” AHCA, BRCA, and the ORAA. He also voted against Planned Parenthood funding three times in 2015, here, here, and here.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), who, like Gardner, says he’s modified his no-abortion-even-for-rape stance of the past, has voted six times during his career in the U.S. House to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Colorado Republicans Call McCain a “Media Whore” and More

(Yikes – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is under fierce attack by some Colorado conservatives, after he played a key role in torpedoing GOP bills to kill Obamacare.

On Facebook, Colorado State Rep. Steve Humphrey (R-Severance) wrote, “Love me some JMcCain (NOT.)”

Humphrey’s comment about McCain, who’s battling brain cancer, prompted Merlin Klotz, Douglas County’s Clerk and Recorder, to comment, “He wasn’t that bright before his cancer.”

Asked about his comment, Klotz told me, “A number of our senators, as they get some age on them, seem to lose some of their wisdom. And I wouldn’t confine that strictly to John McCain, but as a geriatric myself, I have to say that at a certain point, your wisdom has the potential to diminish. And I think he is at that point.

The cancer raises suspicions, is he the John McCain that we used to know? I’ve had too many friends that ended up with that disease. In particular as it moves into the brain, they may not think the same way as they used to.”

“I may have been a little bit too concise in what I said [on Facebook],” Klotz told me, adding that U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is an example of an older politician who “still possesses a lot of wisdom.”

In a Facebook comment after McCain thumbed down the “skinny” Obamacare repeal, Sean Paige, who’s the spokesman for Colorado’s State Senate Republicans, called McCain a “media whore.”

“Perhaps we’re not supposed to speak ill of someone so gravely sick, but I calls ’em like I seez ’em, and I say this with sadness, as a one-time fan (and campaign volunteer, back in my Arizona days) who believes McCain is the prototypical portrait of the politician who had tremendous potential but stayed too long in Washington and lost his way,” wrote Paige in the Facebook post obtained by a source, going on to say that McCain’s vote against the skinny repeal was “petulant and selfish.”

Paige concluded with, “Maverick my ass.”

Back in July, Kelly Couey, a Colorado Republican who appeared in an I-Am-Created-Equal video prior to the 2014 election criticizing Colorado’s Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet for his support of Obamacare, had this to say on Facebook about McCain, “Sorry John McCain, the cancer in your head is not as bad as the poison in your corporate bought out black heart.”

State Rep. Humphrey posted his comment about McCain along with a LifeNews.com article headlined, “John McCain Sabotages Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood. No Vote Puts Bill in Jeopardy.” The latest bill to kill Obamacare, which stalled in the senate yesterday, would have rescinded federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Journalists Fail to Note that Gardner Contradicted Himself on National TV

(Spelling it out for you – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

On CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday, John Dickerson had this exchange U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO):

Dickerson: …And there’s a New York Times piece in which you’re quoted as saying, “Donors are furious we haven’t kept our promise.” The picture that emerges from all of this is a rush for political reasons to support this and not substantive reasons. What are your thoughts about that?

Gardner replied with: “Well, this has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do with donors. It has everything to do with the people of this country who are suffering each and every day under a health care bill that is failing to meet their needs, that’s bankrupting them.”

Gardner told Dickerson that “the people who are opponents of the bill want this to be about politics and not policy.”

If you’re a reporter, how could you possibly report Gardner’s answer to Dickerson’s question without noting that Gardner essentially contradicted what the New York Times quoted Gardner as saying?

Yet, multiple outlets made no mention of the New York Times account.

For example The Hill’s Rebecca Savransky reported yesterday:

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said Sunday the GOP push to get an ObamaCare repeal bill passed has nothing to do with politics.

“This has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do with donors.” Gardner said on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” when asked about whether there was a rush to pass the ObamaCare repeal bill for political and not substantive reasons.

“It has everything to do with the people of this country who are suffering each and every day under a health-care bill that is failing to meet their needs, that’s bankrupting them.”

Locally, Denver Post reporter Jesse Paul at least noted that Gardner “brushed off a question about whether Republicans are just trying” to make good on their promise to repeal Obamacare. But he, too, failed to note that Gardner’s answer, that this has “nothing to do with politics, it has nothing to do with donors,” contradicted reporting by the New York Times.

I could see a journalist being reluctant to report the New York Times’ account, because it came from an anonymous source, even if the story was from the New York Times.

But Gardner did not dispute the NYT article, when asked directly about it by Dickerson.

And a reporter could always ask Gardner directly if the Times story is accurate–instead of simply omitting the Times’ information and letting Gardner contradict it directly. In fact, that’s still worth doing.

For the record, here’s exactly what the Times reported Friday:

As more than 40 subdued Republican senators lunched on Chick-fil-A at a closed-door session last week, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado painted a dire picture for his colleagues. Campaign fund-raising was drying up, he said, because of widespread disappointment among donors over the inability of the Republican Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act or do much of anything else.

Mr. Gardner is in charge of his party’s midterm re-election push, and he warned that donors of all stripes were refusing to contribute another penny until the struggling majority produced some concrete results.

“Donors are furious,” one person knowledgeable about the private meeting quoted Mr. Gardner as saying. “We haven’t kept our promise.”

Jeffco’s 2016 Trump Campaign Chair also Backs a Coffman Primary Challenge

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tom Tancredo y Mike Coffman.

Laurel Imer, the 2016 chair of the Trump campaign in Jefferson County, agrees with former Congressman Tom Tancredo that U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) should face a primary challenger.

“I’d love to see him replaced, no problem whatsoever,” Imer told me. “I’d love to see someone step in and take it all from him. It would make my heart happy.”

I questioned Imer about Coffman after reading her comment about Coffman beneath my recent post reporting Tancredo’s response to Coffman’s view that Tancredo may run for governor because Tancredo is “bored” and angry.

On Facebook, Imer wrote, “Coffman is an ass!”, and she didn’t back away from the comment this morning.

“Mike Coffman does not support the Colorado Republican Party,” Imer told me. “He does not support the President of the United States, and he is purposefully divisive against everything we stand for, and therefore my comment stands that he is an ass.”

“We’ve had personal confrontations with him, and it’s disgraceful,” she said.

Tancredo threw his support behind removing Coffman from office via a primary challenge during a KNUS 710-AM interview earlier this month, stating on air, “I would encourage people–I have encouraged people, to run against him in a primary, and if he lost, that would be okay with me because I would say, a conservative loses nothing if Mike Coffman loses his seat.”

 

Does Gardner still think Cassidy-Graham “could result in a 42% increase” in CO health funding?

You have to wonder if U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is going to produce new information about the latest GOP bill to kill Obamacare–something that might make it, at least, look more appealing to Colorado, which stands to lose billions of dollars in federal health care dollars and to see a spike in the number of people uninsured.

Asked about about the bill, called Graham-Cassidy, last month, on Aug. 2, by KDMT 1690-AM’s Jimmy Sengenberger, on his “Business for Breakfast” show, Gardner hinted that he might have some information that no one else has.

Gardner: “But I certainly am interested in it. And I think it’s the right direction… So, it is something that I am very intrigued by. I’d have to understand how the formula works a little bit. And they’re being very quiet about how the formula would work. But it does sound like it could result in a 42 percent increase in funding for the state of Colorado. And so, I just need to learn more about it.”

Gardner did not say a 41 percent increase, nor did he say a 43 percent increase. It was precisely 42 percent, making it appear as if someone whispered a specific numeral in his ear, and the numeral emerged later from his mouth on the radio.

But where or where did Gardner get this figure?

Adam Fox, a spokesman for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, speculated that the 42-percent figure might have come from U.S. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), the sponsor of the legislation. He was circulating numbers weeks ago showing that some states would benefit from his bill, but his work was discredited, and he’s not produced new numbers, Fox said.

“Multiple studies have slightly different numbers, but they show drastic cuts, especially in states like Colorado that expanded Medicaid. Cassidy-Graham penalizes states like Colorado that covered more people,” said Fox.

“All outside analyses show that Cassidy-Graham will hurt Colorado and devastate our state budget,” Fox said.

Listen to Gardner here:

Gardner Wants Obamacare Replacement to Make Colorado Better, But No GOP Bill Does This

(“Undecided” for Gardner is another word for “Whatever Mitch wants” — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is a glorified page at this point in his career.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has told multiple reporters he’s undecided on the latest GOP bill to kill Obamacare, in part, as he told KOA radio this morning, because he wants to see “whether Colorado is better or worse” under the legislation.

But every analysis of the bill so far, like the one from the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, shows that Colorado will be worse off.

Gov. John Hickenlooper told reporters yesterday that the legislation would cost the state $800 million to $1 billion in federal health-care dollars.

And it’s widely predicted that millions of people would lose health insurance under the latest GOP bill, just as they would under previous Republican proposals that upend Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for children, elderly, disabled, and other poor people.

So it’s hard to know what information Gardner is waiting for.

In fact, when asked directly by Denver Post political reporter Mark Matthews what specific information he’s looking for, Gardner replied, “just additional information.”

Strangely, though, Gardner told KDMT’s Jimmy Sengenberger last month that the Cassidy-Graham bill would put the country in the “right direction” on health care and “could result in a 42 percent increase in funding for the state of Colorado.”

Gardner did not divulge where he got this information and a call to his office was not immediately returned today.

On KOA radio, Gardner said of the latest Obamacare replacement bill, “I hope it has bipartisan participation and support.”

It’s not clear why Gardner or anyone would express hope for the unreal outcome of bipartisan support, given the GOP’s seven-year partisan campaign to kill Obamacare. Could Gardner possibly be trying to score political points with rhetoric that’s completely divorced from reality?

Here are Gardner’s full comments from KOA, followed by his comments to The Post.

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