Under-the-Radar Race Gets TV Coverage Because… It’s So Important!

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you’re paying attention to politics in Colorado, you know that few people have any clue about the most important political contest in the state: the state senate race in Arvada/Westminster, where Republican Laura Woods is battling Democrat Rachel Zenzinger.

But the importance of the race apparently isn’t a good enough news hook for many reporters to give it the coverage it deserves, which is a lot.

So Fox 31 Denver’s Joe St. George gets our collective thanks for assembling a TV story about, as he labeled it, the state senate race in Arvada that could be “the most important race you’re not watching.” That was his hook! How great is that?

“At first glance this race doesn’t look very important,” says St. George in his piece, showing Woods and Zenzinger knocking on doors. “…the most important race you likely haven’t talked about….if Zenzinger wins this re-match, Dems may be in complete control [of state government]….

“While this race dominates the headlines,” narrates St. George, flashing images of Clinton and Trump. “This one in Arvada may end up impacting your life more come next year.”

Political insiders know this, yet coverage of the state’s most important race remains spotty (unless you get behind the paywall of the Colorado Statesman–or read the Colorado Independent), so few people know about it, much less where the candidates stand on the issues. St. George provided a bit of this info on the KDVR Fox 31 Denver website, listing, among others, these comparisons of the two candidates.

St. George reported:

In terms of the issues:

Abortion
Woods: Pro-life
Zenzinger: Pro-choice

Gun control
Woods: Against
Zenzinger: Supports common sense measures

Minimum wage increase
Woods: Against
Zenzinger: Supports

(For background, Woods is against all abortion, even for rape and incest, and, on guns, she’s against all criminal background checks prior to gun purchases.)

As we get closer to the election, more reporters will almost certainly inform voters just how important this race is. Good to see St. George leading the way.

Post’s Editorial Page Promotes Coffman and We Lose

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Denver Post editorial/news guy Chuck Plunkett.

Denver Post editorial/news guy Chuck Plunkett.

“Good for Mike Coffman.” That’s the first line of an August Denver Post editorial, and, as it turns out, it’s an excellent summation of the The Post editorial page’s singular stance toward Coffman over many years.

I just finished reviewing five years of Post editorials mentioning Coffman, and, of the 43 editorials citing the Aurora Republican Congressman during that period, including two endorsements, he’s been criticized only four times, while being praised in 34 editorials. The newspaper has lauded him mostly on issues related to the Veterans Administation but also on immigration, Selective Service, Afghanistan, marijuana, the federal budget, and more.

Yet, during these five years, Coffman has run seriously afoul with the broad positions/principles taken by The Post: on Planned Parenthood (Coffman voted twice to defund just last year, after putting the organization’s logo in a campaign ad the previous year.) and on immigration (Coffman opposed a 2013 bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill, and he reiterated his opposition to birthright citizenship, even stating so in an interview with a Post editorial writer.).

In 2013, Coffman threatened to shut down the government instead of raising the debt ceiling. Nothing from The Post. And nothing from The Post when Coffman belittled global-warming science in 2013.

The Post was silent in 2012 when Coffman said Obama was not an American “in his heart,” and Coffman strangely told 9News’ Kyle Clark five times:  “I stand by my statement that I misspoke, and I apologize.”

Coffman’s positions over many years have been at odds with stances The Post has taken. But the newspaper has been mostly silent.

To be fair, a more cursory analysis shows that The Post doesn’t criticize U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet much either, and he was also endorsed by The Post.

The difference? Bennet’s policy positions, on the issues mentioned above and others, align very closely with The Post’s, while Coffman’s do not.

You can’t blame Post editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett for much of this, since he took over the job exactly three months ago, but I called him anyway for his take on whether the newspaper deliberately refrains from criticizing Coffman, even when his positions clash with the newspaper’s editorial views.

“I think this is an election year stunt, not a genuine analysis,” he told me, arguing that there was no news hook for my blog post and I was not focusing on The Post’s treatment of other elected officials. “You’re picking Mike Coffman, when Morgan Carroll is struggling. Why is that? It looks like you’re trying to aid Morgan more than you are legitimately trying to critique an institution.”

I explained to Plunkett that as a progressive media critic, I look for instances where news outlets tilt rightward. That’s my bias, and with the election coming up, now is a valid time to analyze The Post’s editorial-page approach to Coffman, which I found inexplicable.

“As a journalist, I think trying to analyze a newspaper’s position over time is very tricky, especially if you only look at one particular angle,” Plunkett told me. “There are all kinds of things that go into thinking about an editorial or an endorsement or what have you.”

“You’re right,” Plunkett acknowledged, “when a newspaper endorses someone, that same board is going to be, understandably, more protective of that person.”

(more…)

More Bad Journalism News, But with a Silver Lining

(Bad AND sad! — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Local journalist Corey Hutchins reports in his “Colorado Local News and Media” newsletter (subscribe here) on the upsurge in shifts among Colorado political reporters:

“…Denver Post political reporter Joey Bunch announced he was leaving to join The Gazette in Colorado Springs, which is beefing up its statewide political profile. But then, Gazette political reporter Megan Schrader announced she was leaving The Gazette to join The Denver Post’s editorial board. This comes after Jim Trotter’s recent move from Rocky Mountain PBS to The Gazette, and Woody Paige also leaving The Denver Post for the Colorado Springs paper.

If that wasn’t enough, The Colorado Statesman, a POLITICO-like subscription-based trade journal, effectively laid off its editorial department— just 50 days out from the election. I’m told the paper slashed half its budget. Some of the writers will still write, but on a freelance basis, and they’ll focus more on the weekly print paper than on the website, which was frequently updated. Also on the cutting room floor in Colorado: four people at BizWest Media’s Fort Collins and Boulder offices got laid off and the publication will shift to a monthly print schedule.

Whew, head spinning? Let this stop you. Former Denver Post journalist Tina Griego has returned to Colorado after four years on the East Coast, and is now an editor at The Colorado Independent. Check out her first essay about the new, gentrified, displaced Denver she found upon her return.”

No one in their right mind likes Republican Larry Mizel’s “secret” ownership of the Statesman, but cutting veteran news reporters there is obviously bad and sad.  And so is the further shrinking of The Post’s dedicated political news staff.

Usually bad journalism news has no silver lining, but this time the good news is Schader’s and Trotter’s moves and Griego’s return. Also, Post Editor Lee Ann Colaciappo informs me that the newspaper is advertising for a political writer and hopes to fill Bunch’s position soon. So let’s be thankful for that.

CORRECTION: An early version of this post incorrectly stated that The Post’s staff of political writers would be shrinking further due to Bunch’s departure. 

Will Former Jeffco School Board Member Williams Help Sink Woods?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Recalled Jeffco school board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk, Julie Williams (WNW).

Recalled Jeffco school board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk, Julie Williams (WNW).

Last year’s recall of Jefferson County school board member Julie Williams is widely considered a huge factor in this year’s Arvada/Westminster state senate race that will likely determine whether Republicans retain control of the state senate.

Jefferson Country voters threw out Tea Party conservatives on their school board, with special ire directed at Williams, who was denounced by both sides. Even Dave Kopel, a researcher at the conservative Independence Institute, said Williams had a lot of “foolish” ideas.

The Jeffco vote was overwhelming, with 60 percent favoring the recall, and analysts believe the voters’ anger may carry over to Jeffco candidates aligned with Williams.

Sen. Laura Woods (R).

Sen. Laura Woods (R).

Williams has ties to Republican State Senator Laura Woods, who’s defending the Arvada/Westminster Senate District 19 seat against Democratic challenger Rachel Zenzinger.

State Sen. Tim Neville is Williams’ brother-in-law, and Neville is connected to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which heavily backed Woods’ upset victory in 2014. Woods backed Neville’s failed U.S. Senate bide earlier this year. And Woods and Neville have overlapping connections to other Republican operatives.

Williams makes no secret of her support for Woods, and Woods, who doesn’t return my calls, has apparently accepted Williams’ backing, which makes sense since Woods and Williams align in their support for Trump and guns, among other links.

Here’s Williams’ Sept. 17 Facebook post, obtained from a source, endorsing Woods:

(more…)

State senator shares video showing shady, ugly guns

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado State Sen. Randy Baumgardnbaumgardner-gun-video-9-19-2016er has apparently removed a video, which he’d shared on his Facebook page, showing a man frantically firing weapons (apparently a sawed-off shotgun and fully automatic rifles and pistols) that are shady or, at worst, illegal under federal and state laws), unless you work the loopholes.

Banned high capacity magaizes are also shown in the video, which you can see here.

Baumgardner is glorifying some of the weapons and magazines used in the two worst gun massacres in Colorado history.

Maybe this occurred to him, because Baumgardner apparently removed the video, called a “Case of Mayhem,” sometime after he shared it over the weekend.

A call to Baumbgardner’s office confirming that he shared the video and seeking his reason for posting it, and an explanation for his taking it down, was not immediately returned.

The Moffat County Republican, whose Twitter handle is CapitalCowboy, is part of GOP State Senate leadership.

Tancredo Says Many Venues Refused to Host Gellar Event

(How about that – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Pamela Geller.

Pamela Geller.

Anti-Islamic pundit Pam Gellar’s visit to Denver last week was greeted with horror by ColoradoPols, who commented that “Gellar’s hatred may be constitutionally protected, but it should not be welcomed.”

It’s no surprise, but thankfully others in Denver concur, to the degree that organizer Tom Tancredo has a tough time finding a venue that would accept Gellar.

“I had Pam Gellar speak at Colorado Christian University because it was about the only institution that would allow us there, by the way,” Tancredo told KCOL host Jimmy Lakey Tuesday. “We tried and tried. Including, I should say, the Jewish Community Center in Denver, turned us down – said it was too controversial.”

In an interview today, Tancredo declined to list the other venues, but he confirmed that the Jewish Community Center was among them.

As Pols pointed out last week, the Southern Povery Law Center tracks Gellar and reports examples of how, as SPLC puts it, “Geller uses her website to publish her most revolting insults of Muslims.”

On air, Tancredo gave CCU credit for hosting the Gellar event, which he described as “wonderful.”

“You just cannot imagine how, I think, thirsty people are for the truth,” Tancredo told Lakey, explaining his belief that the media deliberately hide the identies of the perpetrators of 9/11 as radical Islamic terrorists. “And how appreciative they are. They gave Gellar a two minute standing ovation at the end of the speech. Yeah. It was wonderful.”

Coffman Again Responds to Immigration Question with Non-Answer

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Obfuscation)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Obfuscation)

The Colorado Independent’s Corey Hutchins took a risk last week and tried figure out U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s stance on a very specific immigration issue.

If you’re a reporter, you know that’s going to cause a serious headache before you start, because it’s so hard to sort out where Coffman stands on any specific immigration-related bill or proposal. That may sound like an opinion, but it’s a fact.

In this case, Hutchins, who profiled Coffman’s race against Democrat Morgan Carroll last week, knew the Aurora Congressman, in 2011, co-sponsored bill that would have eliminated the requirement, under the Voting Rights Act, for some jurisdictions to provide ballots in different languages.

As recently as 2014, Coffman remained opposed to the dual-language ballot requirement. What’s his position now, Hutchins wanted to know.

Here’s Hutchins story:

Asked last week whether Coffman still holds that position, his campaign spokeswoman Watson did not answer directly. Instead, she said, “Rep. Coffman is co-sponsor of H.R. 885, the Voting Rights Amendment Act.”

The measure currently counts 15 Republican lawmakers as co-sponsors, according to its public bill-tracking web page at Congress.gov. As of today, Coffman’s name does not appear, and the last congressman to sign onto the law was Ryan Costello, a Republican who was added on July 14. Costello is up for re-election in the swing state of Pennsylvania.

“The co-sponsor list will be updated tomorrow to include Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado,” said Nicole Tieman, spokeswoman for Sensenbrenner. “That will be the only change to the best of my knowledge.”

Trouble is, if you read H.R.885, it doesn’t answer Hutchins’ question about whether Coffman’s position has changed. He could favor the bill but still stand behind his position that he wants to save money by not requiring local jurisdictions, with significant populations of non-English speakers, to provide ballots in multiple languages.

You’d be excused for thinking Coffman is deliberately obfuscating things, because, as Hutchins explains above, it looks like Coffman signed up as a co-sponsor after receiving Hutchins’ questions.

Hutchins reports: “Asked in two separate emails when Coffman became a sponsor, his spokeswoman Cinamon Watson did not answer, nor did she respond to a request to talk about it on the phone.”

So, despite the best efforts by a reporter to lay out the facts, we’re forced to conclude (maybe) that Coffman remains opposed to dual-language ballots, but he’s making it appear as if he doesn’t. Until a reporter gets Coffman to respond, that’s where things stand.

FACT CHECK: Zika bill, supported by Buck and Coffman, has anti-Planned Parenthood agenda

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

zika_0_3On KNUS 710-AM yesterday, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck accused U.S. Senate Democrats of holding up funds to fight the Zika virus.

Buck: “Senate Democrats filibustered that bill. They wanted more money for Planned Parenthood for abortions related to the Zika virus.”

In fact, Senate Democrats did not want more money for abortions, and federal dollars can’t be used for abortion anyway.

The truth is, U.S. House Republicans, including Buck and Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, passed a Zika-relief bill in June, but the legislation blocked the United States’ Zika-response funds from going to groups (like Planned Parenthood) for birth control and family planning programs—even though Zika affects the developing fetus and appears to be sexually transmitted.

Since then, Senate Democrats refused to pass bill, which they see as fatally flawed. The New York Times reported June 28:

Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, said Republicans had poisoned the chances for moving ahead by blocking money for Planned Parenthood, knowing Democrats would never agree.

“They’re just not living in the real world, and they’re just not facing the fact that this is an emergency,” Mr. Nelson said. He noted that at least five babies had been born with microcephaly in the United States — the most recent one in Florida — but said he expected the disagreements to continue.

Yet, Buck told KNUS host Krista Kafer, “This is tragic in a number of ways. It really is going to create a human tragedy, number one, and, number two, a burden on taxpayers in the future if we don’t start dealing with the epidemic , certainly the disease, that is rampant in some parts of this country.”

Republican leader wonders whether transgender people fit in America’s future

Wilburn's Facebook Comment on Transgender Man

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a Facebook post this week, Colorado Republican Vice Chair Derrick Wilburn inadvertently sums up what Republicans have to do on social issues, if they expect to be a serious political force in Colorado in the future.

“You have to work even to understand this,” wrote Wilburn in a comment on a photo of a transgender man breastfeeding his baby.

But Wilburn doesn’t seem to be ready to work hard enough to create an America that welcomes transgender family members, co-workers, friends, all people.

“I sincerely wonder, is this the future you desire for America?” asks Wilburn in the second part of his Facebook comment on the transgender man and his baby.

Yes, of course it is. Wilburn and his fellow Republicans should work harder to understand and embrace it.

Correction: In this blog post, two uses of the word “transgendered” were changed to the word “transgender,” because “transgender” is the correct form of the word.

Tancredo recounts GOP arm-twisting in U.S. House

Earlier this year, former Rep. Tom Tancredo told KNUS 710-AM’s Peter Boyles the story of how Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert made it clear to fellow Republican Rep. Joel Hefly, during the 2003 House debate on Medicare Part D, that Hefley would lose his chairmanship of a subcomittee if he didn’t vote for the measure. Both Hefley and Tancredo represented Colorado districts at the time.

I offer up the transcript of Tancredo’s strange story for your weekend enjoyment.

TANCREDO: This was the worst day of my life:  sitting through a debate and then a vote on the Medicare prescription drug bill, Part D.  That was the worst day because, here we were, the Republican Party, a president–Republican president, and Republican Congress putting through the greatest increase in government since the creation of Medicare!  We were doing it, and we were all doing it because Bush wanted the electoral votes of the state of Florida.

BOYLES:  Yeah.

TANCREDO:  And we were spending $1 trillion bill.  This is a trillion dollars over ten years.

BOYLES:  Was that for brother [Jeb Bush], principally?

TANCREDO:  No, no!  He was – it was coming up!  He knew he was going to –.  No.  He was running again.  He wanted the electoral votes!

BOYLES:  No, but was that to help his brother, Jeb?

TANCREDO:  No. It was for the presidency.

BOYLES:  For him to get over. Okay.

TANCREDO:  Yes!  Absolutely.  This was – and you know, there was a hanging chad, there, situation, right?  But it was all Florida.  He needed Florida.  This was, you know, a very thin band of need, out there –the very few,  I mean, there was a – but, like, that many people that actually were too poor for Medicaid, too much for – but the expenses were high for the –.  So, we were going to do this for them, right?  All for Florida!   [inaudible] We had to stay there from 12 o’clock, the vote started – it’s supposed to be a 15 minute.  This is midnight!  Not 12 o’clock in the afternoon. We had been there since 9:00 debating it. They didn’t have the votes!  Didn’t have them, man! The Democrats had promised them they were going give them the votes to pass this thing, because you never bring a vote—a bill up that you don’t think you’re going to pass. It’s a big no-no.  So, the Democrats had promised them, because he couldn’t get Republican votes. But the Democrats took one look at the thing—at the counter, and said, “Hey! I think we can embarrass them pretty well!”  And all of a sudden, we didn’t have the votes.  Well, there we were – midnight. You’re supposed to have a 15 minute vote, Peter.  Fifteen minutes.  Sometimes, they push it to about 20 to get everybody in.  Six and one half hours – we’re still sitting there.   Six-thirty in the morning, people – I mean, I’m sleeping on –.  They’re putting buddies with you.  Anybody from your delegation who was for it had to come and bug you all six hours, until.  And my buddy was Bob Beauprez [laughing].  I kept telling Bob, “Hey, listen, buddy! Go to sleep!  I am going to go to sleep.  You’re never—I’m never going to vote for this.  Save your time!  Never, ever!”  But, polling people – all you could hear was arms being twisted and broken on the floor, right? — promising things.  I mean–.

BOYLES:  “Give me this, I’ll give you that.”

TANCREDO:  Oh, yeah!  And it was never like, — it was, “We know you’ve got a lot of stuff in the pipeline.  You’ve got that bridge.  And you know, we want to help you out.”

BOYLES:  “We’ll work with you!”

TANCREDO:  “We want to work with you.”  Right. It was the most horrible thing.  And I saw one of my best friends in Congress, a guy from Colorado – Joel Hefley.  He was like a 98–.

BOYLES:  [inaudible] I thought he was a good guy.

TANCREDO:  Oh, Joel was the best!  He was like a 98-percenter.  And we’re sitting there – 6:30 [a.m.] – nothing.  I mean, it’s 217.  You need 218, one more vote.  And they can’t get it!  Here comes the Speaker.  [gesturing with his hands, indicating a man walking down to the floor].  Doo, doo-doo, doo-doo,– down, comes, sits next to Joel.  I’m in back of them, going [gestures that he was eavesdropping]. You know, because everyone is – there’s quiet.  Everybody is, you know – you’re all on the floor.  They won’t let you leave.  So, but everyone can see what’s happening.  And then, the Speaker walks down, and he says, “Joel, we came in as Freshmen together, 22 years ago.”

BOYLES:  Wow.

TANCREDO:  Freshman class.  And Joel said, “Yes, sir, we did.”  And he said, “I’ve always enjoyed it, you’re such a great guy,” he said.  “And you’re the Chairman of the, uh—what was it?  It was the sub-committee on – oh! Armed Services.

BOYLES:  [inaudible] Yeah!

TANCREDO:  And he said, — because he was [from] Colorado Springs, you know –.

BOYLES:  Of course.  Of course.

TANCREDO:  And he said, uh, and he said, “You’re the head of the” – I think it was called – “the NATO Parliamentary Assembly” – it was kind of a hot-shot thing.  We got to travel all over.  He always asked us.  It was great fun!  Anyway, great guy, great guy.  “But I need you,” [the Speaker said to Joel Hefley].  “I never asked you before for anything, right?”  And Joel says, “No, sir.”  And he says, “Well, I need you.  This is it, buddy. I want it.”  And Joel says, “I can’t, Mr. Speaker.  I just can’t do it.”   And he goes, “You enjoy being that Chairman, right?” –and all that.  And he says, “You want to be [Chairman] tomorrow?”

BOYLES:  Yeah.

TANCREDO:  This – this—this—this is his buddy! This is his pal!  And he goes back and sits down.  And I leaned over and I said, “Did I just hear him threaten you with your Chairmanship?”

BOYLES:  Yeah.  Yeah.

TANCREDO:  Joel just looks ahead, right?  Doesn’t say a word.  We wait.  We wait, it’s quiet.  There’s nothing.  All of a sudden, he gets up, votes,– walks down.  Oh, my God!  I literally – and I’m not kidding you, I almost threw up!  I mean, I got – we had been there all night.  It was very emotional.  There was a lot of crap going on.  And now, here’s my best – oh, my God!  And he walks down,  and he would have to pick up the green thing and go, and hand it to the girl.  And she goes, “REPRESENTATIVE HEFLEY:  OFF “NO”!  ON “AYE!”  And they – and the hammer goes down. Boom!  Two-hundred and eighteen.  It passed.  You know, he never was the same after that. He stayed another term but, you know, he got shingles.

BOYLES:  Oh, no, he went through all kinds of stuff.

TANCREDO:  Oh, my God!   And it’s an emotional – shingles is an emotional – I think there’s some component there, right?    Up here, and down into his throat – it damn near killed him.

BOYLES:  Yeah.  Yeah.

TANCREDO:  And then he quit, and it was the most horrible –.  That was the worst day of my political life.

How Trump Infects Colorado

Reyher Facebook Post on Electric Fence(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If reporters want a local window into where Donald Trump is aiming with his speech last night, they should connect with Otero County Republican Chair Judy Rydberg Reyher, who apparently posted this meme on her Facebook page this week.

“Why build a Wall? A bad ass electric fence would be way more entertaining,” reads the text.

Ryher’s comment: “Yes it would. And those of us who know have been hit by one know exactly what it looks like, dance and all.”

Why would an elected GOP official post this? Maybe her next meme will be titled, “Why build a Republican Party?” Because she’s trashing her own folks–not just immigrants. You see this and say to yourself, how will Republicans ever lift their party out of the margins?

But the bigger problem for Republicans isn’t Reyher in deep red Otero County. It’s of course the Trump infection that runs down the ballot, to folks like Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Doty, who promises to vote for Trump and says former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is “spot on” after Palin raves about Trump.

And to Arvada Republican Laura Woods, who calls Trump the “people’s candidate” and is aligned with Trump in not wanting to grant citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants born in the U.S.

Doty and Woods are battling Democrats Daniel Kagan and Rachel Zenzinger, respectively, in two of the most important under-the-radar state senate races in memory. At stake is control of state government.

And, for Democrats, there’s a line stretching from Trump to Arapahoe County and Arvada. That’s the story, from Colorado’s perspective, that comes from Trump’s speech last night.

And, if there was any doubt yesterday, does anyone now think the story won’t repeat itself after Trump’s next appearance?

Coffman tried and failed with the same immigration attacks last election

(Setting the record straight – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Mike Coffman.

Mike Coffman.

Reporters shouldn’t be fooled by Rep. Mike Coffman’s recycled attempts to paint his Democratic challanger Morgan Carroll as anti-immigrant. Coffman tried the same tactic in 2014 and failed.

The point needs to be made in light of the Coffman’s campaign tweet last week that Carroll “supported Tancredo’s immigration crackdown in the 2006 special session.”

Coffman tried to attack Coffman’s 2014 challenger Andrew Romanoff in the same way, and it failed, as exemplified in this Denver Post piece from a couple years ago.

During the summer of 2006, in his first term as state House speaker, Romanoff faced a critical decision: Have a broadly worded initiative appear on the November ballot that would strip state benefits and even some medical services from those in the country illegally — including children — or strike a legislative compromise.

He choose the latter option and staved off a late effort to revive the ballot initiative by spearheading a bill that pleased some hardliners and upset some in the Latino community…

Among the proponents of the ballot initiative that didn’t make it to voters was Coffman, the state treasurer at the time.

With Romanoff in 2006 was Carroll–and Republicans like the Gov. Bill Owens. With Coffman in 2006 was Tancredo. (Read more of this history here.)

The Post’s article from the last election goes on to explain that Coffman opposed (and continues to oppose) a 2013 bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill, passed by the U.S. Senate. Carroll supports this measure, including its path to citizenship. (In addition to this, Coffman is opposed to birthright citizenship, which allows children of undocumented immigrants born on U.S. soil to be citizens. Coffman is also against a provision in the Voting Rights Act that requires some jurisdictions to provide dual-language ballots.)

Coffman’s campaign acts as if Carroll’s 2006 stance and 2009 vote against in-state tuition for undocumented students are somehow equivalent to or worse than Coffman’s vast anti-immigrant record–despite the context of the 2006 special session and the fact that Carroll was a cosponsor of the ASSET bill when it passed in 2013. Carroll passed the ASSET bill.

Bottom line: Reporters saw through Coffman’s attacks against Romanoff on immigration in 2014. They shouldn’t be fooled by Coffman this time around either.

Nice to See Reporters Responding to Baseless Attacks

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Darryl Glenn.

Darryl Glenn.

The days when journalists wouldn’t respond to officials who insult them, lie about them, degrade them, or otherwise slam their professionalism are fading.

Case in point: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryll Glenn’s ridiculous attacks on The Denver Post.

Glenn said last week he would no longer talk to The Post, explaining on KFKA radio that the newspaper had called him a “liar” and journalists there had become “advocates,” which he finds “totally unacceptable.”

Rather than ignore the unsupportable attack, The Post’s Joey Bunch responded on Twitter:

Bunch: I applied facts to his words until he, not I, said his words were not correct.” [here]

The Post’s John Frank then reported over the weekend:

Glenn did not explain why he is blacklisting Colorado’s largest newspaper, but in an interview Thursday with KFKA talk radio, he appeared to link his decision to the Post’s coverage of his conflicting explanations of a 1983 charge for third-degree assault, which was later dropped…

The coverage of the incident did not call him “a liar.” A campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to questions Friday…

Glenn’s decision — which drew criticism from Republicans and Democrats — and other missteps are disturbing to GOP strategists in Colorado, but many still hope he can regain his footing.

The correction of Glenn is good, but I’d like to see journalist call out officials whenever they attack the press, even if they do so in sweeping terms, like leveling bogus accusations of “liberal media bias.”

This year, GOP Senate President Bill Cadman did so and slid by. U.S. Senator Cory Gardner did it a few times in recent years, with no response from the media.

Glenn also appears to have had a Mike-Coffman moment, when he repeated the same line over and over. Local reporters have been good at spotlighting this behavior. (See this video.)

“My press secretary back there will handle all Denver Post questions,” Glenn told Frank four times when questioned.

You recall, Coffman infamously wondered in 2012 whether Obama is an American, and then he offer a sedcripted and unapologitic apology to 9News Kyle Clark five times in a row.

GOP Candidate’s Facebook Meme: “Hillary Meal Deal” (3 Fat Thighs, 2 Small Breasts, and a Bunch of Left Wings)

Garcia Hillary Meal Deal 2(Very classy — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

I called Raymond Garcia, a Republican candidate for Colorado state house, after I saw a couple memes he posted for his Facebook friends.

One depicts an image of Hillary Clinton on a bucket of “HRC” Kentucky Fried Chicken with the text, “Hillary Meal Deal, 3 fat thighs, 2 small breasts, and a bunch of left wings.” (“Crispy Commie Recipe.”)

The other was a anti-Hillary version of an anti-Trump statue.

Asked if he’s worried that these posts, which were obtained from a source, might offend people, the House District 1 candidate said:

Garcia: “I can’t help it if somebody gets offended. If they get offended, that’s their deal.”

Delta County Colorado GOP chair Linda Sorenson offered a similar response when asked if her Facebook post, comparing Obama to a Chimp, was a joke. A subsequent outrcry led to her resignation.

Garcia, who hopes to unseat Democrat Susan Lontine in the Southwest Denver district, said he posted the memes “in response to a post that somebody else has put up against Trump.”

“So it’s the exact same thing, but it’s been converted over so it criticizes Hillary instead of criticizing Trump,” Garcia said. “It’s just in response to the posts that I’ve been seeing criticizing Trump.”

I saw the Trump statue he’s referring to, but I can’t find a similar meme about a Trump meal deal. The “Meal Deal” meme has been around since at least 2008, when it was labeled “truly horrible” by a New York Magazine writer.

In any case, whether similar memes exist, I can’t find either Hillary meme posted on Facebook by a candidate seeking a state office.

I  asked if Garcia’s intent was to joke.

“Yeah, just like they did,” he replied.

After I spoke with Garcia Wednesday, he added another post on Facebook, with the text, “I Gave Her 32 Million Dollars Because She Reminds Me of My Favorite Goat.” (See below.)

Garcia Hillary Goat Meme

 

 

Garcia Trump Hillary

Buck Called Trump a “Fraud” But Now Says He’ll Vote for Him

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

After once calling Donald Trump a “fraud,” and then remaining silent on the GOP presidential nominee for months, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck has now thrown his endorsment to the celebrity mogul.

“What we have to do as Republicans, in my view, is we got to get Donald Trump elected, and then we got to hold him accountable,” Buck told Randy Corporon and Steve Kelly on KNUS yesterday afternoon. “We got to surround him with good, sensible people who will give him the best advice on how to move this country forward.”

Earlier this year, however, Buck slammed Trump, after Trump proposed a temporary ban on allowing Muslims to visit the United States. Buck told CBS 4:

“Trump’s proposal violates the Constitution, the values of our nation, the Republican Party platform, and my conscience. He should withdraw from the Presidential race. He is a fraud,” said Buck.

Yesterday, Buck sang a different tune, pointing out that “we have a system of checks and balances in this country which allows Congress and the Supreme Court to rein in the power of the president,” and that’s what Congress may have to do with “either president.”

If Trump doesn’t behave, “there are remedies,” said Buck, calling Buck a “strong person” who has “never been tested in office.”

“We have an unknown entity that we are going to be taking a risk on,” Buck said, adding that Hillary is “known entity” that he wants to reject. “I don’t think anybody can argue that Donald Trump isn’t an unknown quantity, to a cerntain extent.”

“There is one thing I know for sure,” Buck said on KNUS, in what appears to be Buck’s first public endorsement of Trump.  “If I call the White House, and President Clinton is in the oval office, no one is going to take my call. If I call the White House with a President Trump, I have a chance of influencing policy in the executive branch.”

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