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


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

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)


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.


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.


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.


It’s Official (Maybe): Cynthia Coffman is Pro-Choice

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

CBS4 political specialist Shaun Boyd reported last week that newly minted gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Coffman was pro-choice.

This set of a wave of disbelief and anger in conservative circles, led by KNUS radio host Dan Caplis, who said on air that Republicans wouldn’t have allowed Coffman to become Colorado’s attorney general if her pro-choice views were known.

But in reporting that Coffman was pro-choice, Boyd did not quote the candidate directly on the matter. Boyd asserted it as a background fact, leading Caplis and others to question whether it was true.

Boyd settled any lingering doubts with this tweet this morning:

Boyd: Responding to questions about my report on @CynthiaHCoffman being pro-choice. I learned it via a source after my interview. I’ve asked Coffman’s campaign if she wants a correction. Her spokesperson says she does not.”

Coffman’s official confirmation of Boyd’s reporting will likely be denounced by fellow GOP gubernatorial candidates, like businessman Victor Mitchell, who’s already called out Coffman on it, and Tom Tancredo, who’s openly and seriously anti-choice.

Even if you didn’t witness the impact of anti-choice personhood activists during multiple elections over the past decade, allowing Republicans like Cory Gardner to build their careers on the issue, you probably know that a large block of GOP primary voters, like Caplis, will not support a pro-choice candidate, unless, possibly, the only anti-choice Republican available is a likely child molester. See Roy Moore.

And like Alabama voters who face the decision of  pro-abortion vs. likely child molestation, they might decide not to vote. That’s how “foundational” the abortion issue is, as Caplis puts it.

This might explain why Coffman has at least appeared to be hostile to abortion rights over the years. For example, she’s bragged about opposing public funds for Planned Parenthood. In some interviews that I’ve found so far, she’s dodged the issue.

Conservatives, like Arapahoe County Tea Party founder Randy Corporon, were left with the impression that Coffman was anti-choice.

“I’ve been around her many times over the years, where all sorts of different conversations have come up, and I’ve never left with the impression that she was anything but pro-life,” said Corporon on air.

Colorado Senate press secretary warns of “harassment” and copyright violation if you quote his Facebook page

(Wow, that’s stupid – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

paige on violation of copyright and harassmentU.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona is a “media whore.” Fact-check journalism is “largely phony.”

Those quotes, which I included in recent blog posts, come from the personal Facebook page of Colorado Senate GOP spokesperson Sean Paige.

Going forward, he wrote on his Facebook page, he does not want people like me, who are not his Facebook friends, using quotes like those.

No doubt Paige does not want me to quote his polite request to stop quoting his Facebook material, but here I go anyway:

Paige: “Please note that these are my private and personal thoughts, which I post on this invite-only Facebook page for friends and associates–and which aren’t meant to reflect the views of clients I may have in the professional realm. I’m forced to add this because social media bottom-feeders, in a desperate bid for cannon fodder, relevance and clicks, have been stealing content from this page and republishing it on partisan attack blogs without my consent or permission, which I deem not just a violation of copright and an act of harassment, but a despicable effort to curtail and chill my privacy rights and rights to free speech and expression. So if you are here uninvited, with such aims in mind, please unfriend this page and stop misappropriating and misusing what I post here. Surely there must be better, more honest ways for you to get attention.)” (emphasis added)

When Paige complained on Twitter a few months ago about my quoting his Facebook posts, I responded by asking him if he thought Clinton’s private emails were out of bounds or Obama’s comments about Pennsylvanians who cling to their guns. Or Rep. Mike Coffman’s (R-CO) comment that he was unsure if Obama was an American in his heart.

Paige didn’t respond, but he’s gotta know, as a spokesman for politicians, how journalism and public debate works. Private information gets out. If it’s verifiable and relevant, it gets published. Trump gets mad but that’s life.

You sympathize with politicians and people like Paige who are scrutinized, but it’s tough to keep your thoughts private these days, especially when you blast them out at private fundraisers or post them on your personal Facebook page, which has hundreds of friends.

But now Paige, who did not immediately return a call for comment, is taking a different tact, with new accusations about people who quote his stuff:

An act of “harassment.” Not. It’s closer to bearing witness. In my case, I just quote him and try to explain it or challenge it.

“Curtail and chill” his privacy rights and rights to free speech and expression. Nope. I’m interested in debating him freely and letting his speech blossom into the sunlight.

“Violation” of his copyright. Again, no. Sharing is the way of social media, but Paige actually has an important point that copyright protections exist. But, per fair-use standards, you’re allowed to reproduce portions of copyrighted material for criticism and commentary. So my selective quoting of his Facebook page is ok.

If Paige is serious about trying to keep his stuff personal, he should de-friend all his Facebook friends, except the ones who won’t pass on his posts to me or others. But the person who shares my Facebook posts the most is my mother! She even prints them out and puts them on her fridge for all to see! So if I were Paige, I’d have a hard time keeping my posts under wraps. I mean, I’d never de-friend mom.

As He Exits Gubernatorial Race, Brauchler Needles Coffman

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This guy to the rescue!

As he exited the gubernatorial race this week, Republican attorney general candidate George Brauchler criticized current AG Cynthia Coffman, telling KCOL radio host Jimmy Lakey that Coffman’s last-minute “decision to abandon her position as attorney general” put the AG’s office at risk of falling into Democratic hands–something he did not want to see happen. And this helped push him out of the gubernatorial race.

“The timing was so important to my decision,” said Brauchler, the district attorney who tried the Aurora theater shooter, on KCOL’s Nov. 14 show. “When she made the decision to abandon her position as attorney general less than a year before the general election, my phone just started going crazy, started blowing up with people who are saying, ‘What are we going to do to hold this seat?’ The idea of one of the progressive, extremist-type candidates on the other side taking that seat — in addition to possibly having the governorship — it would just put us, Jimmy, on a path where — I’m not even sure we’d be on the road to California. We would be California.  And I was convinced — and I believe — that the best role I can play right now for helping my home state is to defend that Attorney General’s position and to make sure it is held by a conservative and not someone who wants to legislate through litigation.”

Political operative and pundit Laura Carno, who served on Brauchler’s advisory committee, underscored the point on Lakey’s show the same day.

“I’m disappointed that a statewide official left an office where she was going to be running for reelection, and that really should be one of the offices that we don’t have to worry about — a popular incumbent running for reelection,” said Carno on Greeley’s KCOL, adding that she also agree with Brauchler that the “numbers” in the gubernatorial race, with new opponents, did not look good. “But now, with Cynthia Coffman moving over to the governor’s race, that puts at significant risk that attorney general spot. And if we’re going to — if we have the potential of having a Gov. Polis – God forbid– we have to have somebody with guts in that attorney general’s office. So, by the end of the conversation, although I started out saying, ‘I have got to talk George Brauchler out of this,’ there was just no other decision. And I appreciate that he moved over to protect that seat. So, that’s how I’m looking at it, and [I’m] disappointed that he was put in that position. But, I get it. I’m supportive. And I’m still a huge George Brauchler fan. I think he’s an eminently decent human being.”

In other statements, Brauchler acknowledged that the entrance of former Congressman Tom Tancredo into the gubernatorial race complicated his path to a primary victory, as did Coffman’s late decision to run.

“[Tancredo] also competes for some of the same votes that I’d compete for,” Brauchler told the Colorado Independent.

Unless Brauchler draws a primary opponent, he will likely face one of these Democrats vying for the their party’s nomination: Boulder prosecutor Michael Dougherty, attorney Brad Levin, Denver prosecutor Amy Padden, State Rep. Joe Salazar of Thornton, or former CU Law School dean Phil Weiser.

Former Denver Mayor Webb shows integrity by removing fake news from his Facebook page

webb fake news 11-17Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb gets serious praise for removing fake news from his Facebook page, which falsely quoted Trump as saying:

“If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.”

Webb not only removed the post, which had received hundreds of “likes” and “shares,” but he posted a note on his Facebook page copping to his mistake and apologizing.

What more could you want from a community leader?

For this, I officially dub him a Warrior Against the Fact-Free World.

It’s great to remove fake news in silence, but Webb went further by acknowledging his error and thus showed by his example how we can all fight fake news. Anyone can make a mistake and post fake news, no matter how hard we try not to. Webb’s action encourages others to act responsibly if they’re in the same boat.

Contrast how Webb handled the situation with the many Colorado officials who refuse to remove fake news, defined as social-media post that looks like news and has been proven false by, Politifact, Snopes or a credible news outlet.

Current or former lawmakers who’ve refused to remove fake news include former State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt of Colorado Springs, State Sen. Tim Neville of Littleton, State House Republican Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock,  State Rep. Ray Scott of Grand Junction, and former State Sen. Laura Woods of Arvada (most recently here). They are all Republicans.

On the positive side, a growing number of officials, from former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo on the right to Webb on the left, have readily removed fake-news, once they become aware of the rot on their social-media feeds. Yay for that.

Victor Mitchell Hits Cynthia Coffman on Abortion

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell stated on Facebook that the Colorado Republican Party “should nominate pro-life candidates” and to do “otherwise is to abandon our values.”

Mitchell’s comment on Facebook came in response to a news report Friday that Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who’s also running for the GP gubernatorial nomination, is pro-choice.

The report, by CBS4 political specialist Shaun Boyd, prompted KNUS radio host Dan Caplis to denounce Coffman and to speculate that she lied about her pro-choice stance during her campaign for attorney general.

Caplis’ hostility reflects the opinion of what appears to be a sizable segment of GOP voters who participate in primary elections. Their position on the abortion issue precludes many pro-choice Republicans from running at all.

In fact, one pro-choice Republican, Ellen Roberts, dropped out of consideration for the U.S. Senate race in 2015 after denying that she’d described herself as pro-choice, when in fact she had done so on the floor of the Colorado Senate.

In taking a pro-choice stance, Coffman could be targeting an unknown number of unaffiliated voters who could participate in this year’s Republican primary. But in doing so, she risks alienating anti-abortion Republicans, who’ve demonstrated their grassroots abilities to push much of their agenda into the GOP platform in Colorado and who’ve seen it adopted by most GOP elected leaders here.