Huge Gardner Protest Makes For Yuge “#DefundPP” Day Backfire

Yesterday was supposed to have been a nationwide day of protest by pro-life conservatives, answering the weeks of massive demonstrations against the new Trump administration and GOP-controlled Congress’ agenda on that and many other issues with their own call to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding.

But as the Denver Post’s Danika Worthington reports, that’s not how it played out in the Mile High City:

In the morning, more than a hundred people gathered outside Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountain headquarters in east Denver to call for the government to defund the health care service.

They held signs that read “Planned Parenthood lies to you” and “Stop abortion now.” This was one of about 200 protests scheduled across the country.

Then later in the day, more than a thousand rallied outside Republican Sen. Cory Gardner’s Denver office to support funding Planned Parenthood [Pols emphasis] while holding their own variety of signs, including “Girls just want to have fun-ding” and “Nevertheless, she persisted” while chanting “My body, my choice” and “Not the church, not the state, women will decide their fate.”

The estimates we’ve heard for yesterday’s rally outside Sen. Cory Gardner’s office in downtown Denver are all in the thousands. The crowd once again filled downtown Denver’s Skyline Park from 17th to 18th Streets, with more waving signs from adjacent street corners. Attendees lined up to hand-write letters to Sen. Gardner to be delivered this week by protest organizers, noting their local address and unpaid protester status:

One of the high points of yesterday’s rally was state Sen. Rachel Zenzinger of Arvada, reading the satirical pseudo-children’s book See Joan Run to the delight of thousands of rallygoers:

Bob says, “There are too many Dicks in office.”

In the end, the anti-abortion rally outside Planned Parenthood wasn’t completely squelched by the much larger protest to save Planned Parenthood, as evidenced with the news headlines that virtually all talk about the “dueling protests.” But the underlying fact that at least ten times as many people turned out in favor of Planned Parenthood as turned out against the organization, and probably a much higher ratio, cannot be considered anything but another major defeat for the anti-abortion movement–in one of the nation’s most pro-choice states.

In Colorado, #DefundPP was more than a bust. It was a backfire.

The fact that the rally to save Planned Parenthood was held outside Sen. Gardner’s offices also illustrates the growing political threat these actions represent to Republican elected officials here and around the country. Whether Gardner likes it or not–and we suspect he doesn’t like it one bit–he has become the local vessel into which the public is pouring its anger over the GOP’s and Trump administration’s agenda. Gardner’s infamous flip-flops and evasions on the abortion issue in particular on the campaign trail in 2014 have not been forgotten, and stand today as huge liabilities he has made no effort to resolve.

These few short weeks of upheaval cannot tell us what 2020, which is Gardner’s and Trump’s next election, will look like. But if Cory Gardner continues to dismiss what is happening outside his office as the work of “paid protesters” and liberal donor usual suspects?

There is a scenario in which it goes very badly for him.

Late-Night Hearing on Abortion Bills: Majorities Matter

The Durango Herald’s Luke Perkins reports on the long, drawn-out death last night in the Colorado House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee of Republican-sponsored bills to restrict abortion rights–bills that were always going to die in the Democratic-controlled House, but highlight the new threat to abortion rights from a federal government more hostile than ever to them:

House Bill 1086, which would mandate providing women information about ways to reverse chemical abortions, was heard by the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee.

After nearly five hours of testimony, the bill died on a 6-5 party-line vote, with Democrats disputing the viability of research backing the reversal option.

Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, said the lack of scientific support was a serious obstacle for mandating that information. “We searched for data supporting this, and the only thing we could find was a case study that had six cases in it,” Lontine said.

The “abortion reversal” push is a relatively new attempt to shoehorn in obstructions to abortion rights, and if anything has even less scientific backing than the usual fare:

In recent years, the rise of medical abortion has led some anti-abortion activists and lawmakers to claim that the process can be reversed with an emergency treatment after the first pill. But even if they succeed at turning that myth into law, the truth is that science is not on their side…

It is impossible to find reliable sources for the notion that medical abortions can be reversed. The Louisiana bill’s sponsor, Rep. Frank Hoffman, told WWL that he heard about it from George Delgado, the medical director of an organization called Abortion Pill Reversal (APR), at a Right to Life Conference in New Orleans.

Obviously, to institute a legal requirement regarding a medical procedure with so little medical basis is extremely bad policymaking. Even the unscientific studies put forward in support of the idea only indicate a fraction of such “reversals” are successful, and the procedure could itself be dangerous to a woman’s health.

And as Perkins continues the action didn’t stop there:

In addition to H.B. 1086, House bills 1085 and 1108 were also scheduled to be heard Thursday. H.B. 1085 requires facilities that offer abortions to file registration forms with the attorney general of Colorado, detailing how many procedures they have performed and a list of all the doctors who performed abortions at the facility. H.B. 1108 makes the termination of an unborn child a Class 1 felony.

Abortion registrations, and a simple bill to make abortion a felony. The latter bill we’ve seen more or less yearly in the Colorado legislature. Generally we have regarded this legislation as much more damaging to the Republican brand with moderate voters than it was ever worth in terms of motivating the pro-life base to support Republican candidates.

What’s different this year? In Colorado, not much. Our state’s Democratic House majority and Democratic governor are a solid bulwark against these kinds of abortion restriction bills passing into law here. But Coloradans can no longer ignore the fact that hundreds of similar restrictions have passed in state legislatures throughout the country.

As for the DOA abortion felony bill, it’s meant to be a vehicle for a state challenge to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision establishing abortion rights once and for all. Before Donald Trump became President on a promise to see Roe repealed, this was little more than a remote and hypothetical threat–something you could imagine, but not reasonably consider possible based on political reality.

Well, folks? Notwithstanding Colorado, that political reality has changed. Now we have a U.S. Supreme Court rapidly tilting right, the most anti-abortion Congress and Executive Branch in modern history, and state legislatures controlled by Republicans across the nation ready to serve as guinea pigs.

In short, the abortion rights Coloradans have taken for granted for decades have never been more in danger–and every election, state and federal, should be considered a last line of defense.

Gardner dodges question about whether he discussed Roe with Gorsuch

(Roe v. Wade? What’s that? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Asked by a conservative talk-radio host whether U.S. Senators have private discussions with U.S Supreme Court nominees about cases like Roe v. Wade, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) said Thursday they “absolutely occur,” but Gardner dodged a follow-up question about whether he’d discussed Roe with Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s high court nominee.

Gardner also said on air that he was told by a staffer that Gorsuch had written on Roe v. Wade. But no such opinion appears to exist.

“Did you have that conversation with Judge Gorsuch, ‘Hey, what’s your view of Roe v. Wade?'” asked KNUS 710-AM talk-show host Dan Caplis, when Gardner was on his show Thursday (at 6 min below).

“We had conversations about precedents of the Court,” replied Gardner, dodging the question. “And this is something I’m sure that there will be more attention to paid in the days coming.”

Gardner told Caplis he met with Gorsuch for an hour Wednesday and that a staffer at the meeting told Gardner that Gorsuch had written on Roe v. Wade.

“I think he’s written on it, that that decision is precedent already,” said Gardner on air. “I’d have to get the case. I can’t remember the name of the case that he brought before me. That was brought up by one of the staff that were in the meeting about a case where he has written in regard to Roe v. Wade.

“Does [Gorsuch] consider Roe v. Wade to be settled law, which at this point is not subject to being overturned?” Caplis asked Gardner.

Again, Gardner dodged the question saying, “You know, I’d have to look at the opinion, because I think he’s written [one], and I don’t want to put words in his mouth, when he’s already written on it. So it would probably be best, Dan, if we both read into it a little bit, read the opinion, and see what it said.”

The Colorado Times Recorder found no cases in which Gorsuch wrote an opinion on Roe v. Wade. ThinkProgress reported Jan. 31:

…while Gorsuch has never ruled directly on the viability of Roe v. Wade, he wrote a 2009 book, entitled The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, that is heavy with the kind of political rhetoric opponents of abortion deploy in the battle over reproductive choice. “Human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable,” Gorsuch wrote in his book, adding that “the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”

As Ed Whelan, a former law clerk to Justice Scalia who writes frequently on the courts puts it, “Gee, might that principle have any application to abortion?

Gardner was unreachable for comment or to answer the question of why he’d been apparently misinformed on Gorsuch’s past opinions on Roe. Phone calls to his DC office were received with, “I’m sorry, extension 5941 is on the phone.” Recently, Gardner accused “paid protesters” of flooding his phone lines with calls.

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Quick! Throw Some Cold Water on Sen. Kevin Lundberg

Sen. Kevin Lundberg

Nothing gets state Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) frothing at the mouth like “abortion.” Just say the word within earshot, and Lundberg reacts like Pavlov’s dog. You can practically see the ripples of electrical activity inside that ham sandwich between his ears.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, Sen. Lundberg is a member of the powerful and important Joint Budget Committee (JBC), a seat from where he’s happy to waste time on pointless discussions of imaginary abortion-related problems. As Lundberg happily explained to constituents via an email newsletter this week, he took the opportunity during a Jan. 25 JBC meeting to voice his opposition to funding school clinics because of some mysterious belief that school “nurses” might be referring sick kids to abortion providers. From Lundberg’s newsletter, dated Feb. 1:

During a Joint Budget Committee hearing several weeks ago I asked the Colorado Department of Education a question they found rather uncomfortable.  The Department was asking for additional funding for school clinics. In the description of school clinics it stated that they primarily provide referral services for medical care. [Pols emphasis] 

The question was: “do school clinics ever refer students to abortion clinics?” The Department said they do not know. My next question was what policy they have in place concerning this issue. Weeks later they essentially admitted they have no policy.

I asked this because the Colorado Constitution (Article V Section 50) prohibits any state funds from being used directly or indirectly for abortions. Referring a student to an abortion clinic is indirectly participating in the abortion.

Sen. Kevin Lundberg’s most recent constituent email update.

Maybe Lundberg has uncovered some vast new conspiracy.

Or…or maybe the Department of Education doesn’t actually have a formal policy that their school clinics are forbidden from referring children for abortions because why would they??? 

We went back to the recordings of the JBC meetings on Jan. 25 so we could hear Lundberg’s concerns firsthand. Here’s the play-by-play:

Sen. Lundberg: “I, consequently, will not vote for any funding or any reimbursement for funding … until their policy is clearly in coordination with the colorado Constitution [regarding abortion]…”

Rep. Young: “…this is for children with disabilities… some were wheelchair bound and needed transfers just for basic care…”

Sen. Lundberg: “Thats why it is important to be cleared up. I believe they need to act on this. I dont believe we should move forward with any funding or reimbursement of funding until they do the right thing.”

And finally, Lundberg’s closing statement:

“Until I see substantive evidence that they have a policy that says we dont go down the road of indirect funding for abortions … until that occurs, I dont see any reason for additional funding coming in any way.”

So…until we can assure Sen. Lundberg that school clinics are not recommending abortions to students, he cannot in good conscience approve any increased funding for children with disabilities.

Got it?

NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Launches thepriceiswrong.org Opposing Trump’s HHS nominee

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Launches New Grassroots Effort Opposing Trump HHS Nominee Tom Price:

thepriceiswrong.org”

Denver – NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, the political voice of the pro-choice movement, is launching a new grassroots effort to let legislators, the media, and Colorado’s pro-choice majority know that when it comes to women’s health, The Price Is Wrong. Trump has nominated anti-choice, anti-abortion rights Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga) to a Cabinet post to be Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services.

thepriceiswrong.org website will be collecting women’s stories and sending their objections to Price’s nomination to Colorado’s U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R) and Michael Bennet (D).

“Frankly, Tom Price’s views are so backwards we wonder what century he thinks he’s living in – because it sure doesn’t bear any relation to the needs of women in this state and this country in 2016,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Executive Director Karen Middleton. “He’s supported Personhood bills giving full legal rights to fertilized eggs – the same Personhood language Colorado voters have repeatedly rejected at the ballot box. And he’s been a vocal opponent of birth control access, including the types of birth control that cut the unintended pregnancy rate here in Colorado.

But here’s the jaw-dropper: Tom Price has said he’s never met a woman who can’t afford birth control. This will come as news to women who have struggled to pay for a $1600 IUD or a year’s worth of birth control.

(more…)

Republicans plan to defund Planned Parenthood as part of Obamacare repeal, but activists promise to “fight like hell”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The director of Planned Parenthood in Colorado said yesterday her organization will “fight like hell” against plans by Republicans, announced by U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), to de-fund Planned Parenthood as part of the bill to repeal Obamacare.

“Defunding Planned Parenthood is bad for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada and Wyoming, and would result in a self-inflicted public health crisis,” said Vicki Cowart, President of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, in a statement.

“Women and men will not let politicians play games with their health care,” she said. “We will work alongside other Planned Parenthood affiliates and our coalition partners across the country to fight like hell against this.”

To try to stop the Republicans de-funding efforts, which are part of the bill to repeal Obamacare, Planned Parenthood has launched a campaign called #IStandWithPlannedParenthood. It includes events across the country, a petition, political action, and other activities.

Planned Parenthood funding has long been a target of Republicans, who are upset that the organization offers abortion services, even though federal funds cannot be used by law to provide abortion.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, for example, has voted six times to defund the organization over the years. But probably due to the fact that a large majority of women have a favorable view of Planned Parenthood, Coffman has also tried to market himself as a friend of Planned Parenthood, even presenting the organizations logo in a campaign ad.

But with Republicans about to control Congress and the White House, political observers say Planned Parenthood is at serious risk of losing some $400 million in federal funds, mostly from Medicaid, the healthcare program for the poor. At least one Republican Senator, Susan Collins of Maine, has objected to Planned Parenthood defunding in the past.

(more…)

Support Planned Parenthood: and say NO to anti-choice pretenders

First of all, thanks to everyone who has pledged their support to ProgressNow Colorado Education for Colorado Gives Day next Tuesday, December 6th! We’re grateful for your help as we fight for progressive solutions to the challenges our state faces.

Today, I want to talk to you about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains–another critical progressive voice in Colorado that needs your support. Planned Parenthood is also participating in Colorado Gives Day, and we at ProgressNow Colorado Education urge you to donate in support of their work as well.

Because sadly, there are other groups participating in Colorado Gives Day who aren’t there to help women in need. Groups that work to deceive women, and take away the choices they have over their own health and lives. So-called “crisis pregnancy centers” like Colorado’s deceptively-named “Pregnancy Resource Connection” openly boast of their mission to deceive women looking for help from Planned Parenthood, and mislead women about their options.

It is more important now than ever that we stand up for Planned Parenthood and fight back against these anti-choice pretenders. We know that abortion rights are in greater danger today than at any time since the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision–a decision the next President has vowed to see overturned.

In Colorado, the way to do that right now is to schedule a Colorado Gives Day donation to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. In the coming months, the fight to protect abortion rights will rage like nothing we’ve seen in a generation–and Planned Parenthood has to be ready for it.

Thanks for everything you do to stand for our shared progressive values and the organizations that fight for them. Your support matters more than ever today.

Uncertainty Marks Planned Parenthood Terror Attack Anniversary

komen-planned-parenthood4-1The Colorado Springs Gazette ran a number of stories over the holiday weekend commemorating the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic on Black Friday 2015 that changed much–and yet changed nothing at all–about the raging debate over abortion rights in America:

Many…involved in the Black Friday attacks – victims, witnesses, survivors – don’t wish to speak. The relatives of those slain – Jennifer Markovsky, Ke’Arre Stewart and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police officer Garrett Swasey – turned down interview requests by The Gazette.

Two-dozen officers have since been awarded the department’s Medal of Honor, its highest commendation for bravery. They include Mike Zamonas, the Colorado Springs police officer who lost a finger in the shooting. Dozens more received the Medal of Valor and Distinguished Service Award.

At the Police Foundation of Colorado Springs’ annual Medal of Valor observance this month, the pain and weight of what happened were palpable. The officers hugged each other, and their eyes welled.

Confessed Planned Parenthood domestic terrorist Robert Dear has not faced trial for the murders committed that day due to being ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial. Karen Middleton of NARAL Pro Choice Colorado says that’s a mistake:

Karen Middleton heads NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado which is part of a coalition with Planned Parenthood. She feels the admitted killer is competent and his actions amounted to domestic terrorism.

“He planned it, made a vest, made propane, all sorts of things are premeditated and I think he should be standing trial,” she said.

The attack on the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic occurred after almost a full year of false claims that the organization was involved in the sale of “baby body parts”–a sensationalized reference to longstanding fetal tissue donation programs for medical research the organization had participated in with patients who voluntarily consented. Those false claims were repeated by too many Republican politicians at the state and national levels to mention them all, but after Dear admitted he attacked the clinic to stop the flow of “baby parts” these claims tapered off–at least for awhile.

In Colorado, at least two Republican state lawmakers lost their seats as a result of regrettable on-record comments about the Planned Parenthood attack: Rep. Kit Roupe who falsely claimed the shooting was a “robbery gone wild,” and Rep. JoAnn Windholz, who outright blamed Planned Parenthood for the violence committed against the organization.

But apart from those two directly attributable election defeats it’s hard to find negative consequences for Republican anti-choice politicians, despite a reasonable argument that they helped provoke Robert Dear’s terrorism. From the Colorado legislature to Congress, anti-choice politicians who rode the fact-free “baby body parts” moral panic to prominence in 2015 did not suffer at the polls in 2016. In fact, their power grew in Congress and in state houses across the nation. The witch-hunt investigations continue. And despite all the election-year assurances that abortion rights were “settled law,” a man who has vowed to overturn Roe v. Wade has been elected President.

And so a year later, we’re obliged to conclude with dismay that the Planned Parenthood terrorist has won.

Or at the very least, he has not lost.

Boulder Abortion Doc To Congress: Get Bent

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

As the Boulder Daily Camera’s Alex Burness reports:

Warren Hern, the abortion doctor currently being investigated by a congressional panel on “infant lives,” says he won’t comply with the panel’s request for medical documents from his Boulder clinic.

Hern wrote Wednesday in a response to the panel that he feels subjected to a “witch hunt” and called Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, who is chairing the investigation, a “shameless coward.”

Blackburn, a member of the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump, sent Hern — one of the country’s few late-term abortion providers — a letter Nov. 2 informing him that he is the subject of an investigation into “the practices of second and third trimester abortionists.”

Blackburn asked Hern to provide information on care for an “infant born alive” and whether that’s ever happened at his clinic, what happened to the infant afterward, and the names of any people who cared for the infant. She also sought any death certificates or referrals to funeral homes related to the infant.

Dr. Warren Hern is no stranger to the ugly side of abortion politics as the state’s only provider of late-term abortions. Late-term abortions are almost exclusively carried out for urgent medical reasons, related to the health of the mother or discovery of a serious birth defect–which doesn’t fit well into the GOP’s “anti-abortion porn,” as Hern calls it, but it’s the simple fact. As Burness reports, Dr. Hern was also a friend of Dr. George Tiller, the Kansas abortion provider who was shot to death in his church in 2009.

In 2014, Republicans across America and in Colorado spent most of the election season trying to convince voters that despite their records and rhetoric, it would be “impossible” to take away reproductive rights. Voters believed them, and grew to resent Democratic “fixation” on the issue with lots of encouragement from GOP-friendly talking heads.

Then the GOP-controlled Congress spent most of the next two years “investigating” Planned Parenthood, and Donald Trump won the presidency in part on a promise to overturn Roe v. Wade.

So hopefully we’re done denying that this is what Republicans want.

Patrick Neville, who equated a doctor who performed abortions to the Devil, is GOP state house minority leader

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Patrick Neville (R).

Rep. Patrick Neville (R).

State Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), whose voice is familiar to listeners of conservative talk radio, was elected state house minority leader Thursday.

Asked if he could see anything beyond gridlock coming out of next year’s legislative session, Neville said he had a “decent” and “productive” lunch with Gov. John Hickenlooper, leading him to think there is “common ground” to be found on some issues, like on regulatory reform.

On the radio, Neville talks frequently about guns, and he’s widely known as one of the most ardent opponents of gun safety laws in the state.

But his conservative positions go beyond firearms, and The Denver Post described him last week as a “conservative ideologue.”

The Women’s Lobby of Colorado scorecard rates Neville, an early Trump supporter, at or near the bottom among state legislators on votes related to women’s issues.

“I’m pro-life, and I don’t make any bones about it,” he told me last week.

In fact, Neville is a hero among anti-choice activists in Colorado for, among other things, his sponsorship this year of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would step up licensing requirements at clinics where abortions are performed.

Colorado Campaign for Life activist Christy Rodriquez cited this bill as a reason her organization gave Neville its 2016 Pro-Life Legislator of the Year Award in September.

“I’m truly humbled.… It doesn’t get better than this,” said Neville, after being introduced by Rodriquez.

During his speech (at 7 minutes) at the award ceremony, Neville described testimony on his bill by a doctor who performs abortions, saying that after he greeted her he felt like he’d “shaken the devil’s hand and smiled at him.”

Neville: This one person, I didn’t recognize her name, she comes up. And I went to shake her hand, and I’ve got to tell you, I’ve never had this feeling in my whole entire life. I had this crazy feeling of impending doom that came over the whole room. I came over me. And it was crazy. I don’t know how to explain it. But the best way to explain it is, I felt like I had just shaken the devil’s hand and smiled at him.  It was something else. And as testimony proceeded, we came to find out that that person was an abortionist… That feeling stuck with me for the longest time….

Let’s recognize what’s going on in this country. We’re supposed to be the most civilized nation in the history of the world. Yet, babies can be torn apart and their hearts sold for profit. We got to recognize that that’s wrong.

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Whitewashing Rep. Kit Roupe’s Record, Badly

Rep. Kit Roupe (R).

Rep. Kit Roupe (R).

GOP incumbent Rep. Kit Roupe of Colorado Springs is in a tough rematch race against the man she narrowly defeated in 2014’s GOP “wave year,” former Rep. Tony Exum. Running in a swing district, Roupe is trying hard to minimize unsightly details from her record to appear moderate–responding with umbrage to an ad attacking her yesterday:

Do you check negative ads? I just came across one claiming I called for investigating Planned Parenthood and asked you to check the facts at CFA Foundation 2016 Voters Guide. That’s news to me! And, if you check the voter’s guide my name is followed by no answers…. why? Because I did not complete the survey. [Pols emphasis] CFA voter guide So, go ahead and check the facts…

Why do they do that? Because you may not look. Just take their word for it. Don’t. It’s just a smear because they don’t have any real facts…

So we decided to take a look like Rep. Roupe suggested. In her piece above, Roupe links to the Colorado Family Action 2016 Legislative Vote Record. That report doesn’t appear to contain survey responses, just a record of votes. We assume that Roupe wasn’t on the committees in which these bills died, so she simply didn’t take a vote.

But if you Google “CFA Foundation 2016 Voters Guide,” you’ll find a very different website–the one Roupe was actually describing, and the one the “negative ad” against Roupe cites. And here’s what it says about Rep. Kit Roupe investigating Planned Parenthood:

roupecfasurvey

Rep. Roupe did indeed tell Colorado Family Action that she wants to investigate Planned Parenthood. In fact, Roupe gave a supplemental answer to this question further explaining her reasoning:

roupeppinv

And she was specific about why! All of which presents very obvious questions about her strenuous denial that just happens to link to the wrong source material.

And unfortunately for Rep. Roupe, the deception doesn’t end there:

I invite you to check my Twitter account, my Facebook pages, Instagram and what you will find is shock, sadness, and deep concern for the victims at the clinic. But they have manufactured a fantasy, hoping you’ll believe what they say.

It’s true that if you search Rep. Kit Roupe’s social media presences today, you won’t find anything but expressions of sympathy for the victims of the Planned Parenthood shootings in Colorado Springs on November 27th of last year.

Because she deleted the ones she didn’t want you to see.

roupebankrobbery

To be honest, we don’t completely understand what Rep. Roupe is trying to accomplish by so demonstrably lying about her record where it concerns Planned Parenthood. It’s true that these are strong attacks on Roupe that she doesn’t need in a race likely to be decided by a few hundred votes, but lying about it when the truth is so easy to find helps nothing.

At the very least, you should let the 527s do the lying. It looks a lot worse when you do it yourself.

Campaign aims to take advantage of climate of “misogyny” to boot anti-choice state lawmakers

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

komen-planned-parenthood4-1The combination Trump’s “misogyny,” last year’s murders at a Colorado Springs clinic, and the popularity of Planned Parenthood is translating into votes for pro-choice candidates in Colorado, according to Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado (PPVC) Director Sarah Taylor-Nanista.

“Violent rhetoric across the country angers women, but there is a specific connection in Colorado, where we just saw how violent anti-choice language actually ended up hurting people,” said Taylor-Nanista. “And I think it’s hitting home among women voters in a profound way.”

Trying to take advantage of this election climate, PPVC is executing a multi-prong strategy to push pro-choice voters, particularly women, to the polls.

Under a $250,000 state-wide program, PPVC staff has knocked on over 6,000 doors, called over 13,000 voters, launched 10 mail pieces, and pushed earned and digital communications efforts focusing on reproductive health messages, including abortion access, according to Taylor-Nanista.

Taylor-Nanista said internal polling shows Planned Parenthood’s approval rating in Colorado to be over 65 percent.

(more…)

Mike Coffman ‘Doesn’t Know’ If Trump Is a Sexual Predator. Colorado Women Do.

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

coffmansmileDenver – Karen Middleton, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, today issued the following statement about Rep. Mike Coffman’s response that he “doesn’t know” if Donald Trump is a sexual  predator during the 9News debate Thursday night:

“Mike Coffman said he doesn’t know if Donald Trump is a sexual predator. Colorado women do. Grabbing a woman’s body without her consent is the definition of sexual assault. This is not difficult.

As the Aurora Sentinel put it in their editorial today, “What Trump did was perverse and criminal. It legally constitutes sexual assault, and it’s morally repulsive.”

…He can’t have it both ways on this issue. Trump’s blatant misogyny and admitted sexual assaults are not debatable political philosophies”

The fact that Mike Coffman seems unclear on this point could explain why he voted to redefine rape. We believe a woman has a right to control to her own body. Mike Coffman’s anti-choice record demonstrates he does not.

This is just one more reason why we support Senator Morgan Carroll for Congress.  She is a pro-choice champion with NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, has a 100% rating on our 2016 Legislative Scorecard, and has been endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America. We know that Colorado women deserve someone who will take the time to listen to them, believe them, and take action.  Morgan Carroll will stand with the women of CD6.  She would never say “I don’t know” about sexual assault for political expedience.”

J. Paul Brown’s Jedi Mind Trick

Over the last couple of years, the fight in the Colorado General Assembly over funding a highly successful program to provide long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) to low-income and young women in Colorado has been a major political flashpoint. Republicans in the legislature have proven highly resistant to funding the program despite an estimated 40% drop in unintended teen pregnancy–some citing fiscal concerns, others denouncing inter-uterine devices (IUDs) as some kind of “perpetual abortion machine.”

This week, Republican Rep. J. Paul Brown of Ignacio was asked about his stand on the LARC program during a candidate forum at Western State University in Gunnison. And here’s what Brown, running in a tough race for re-election against Barbara McLachlan, had to say:

I do support LARC. I went against my fellow–some Republicans–to vote in favor of LARC. [Pols emphasis] When we were debating the budget, I’ve been pounding really hard for K-12 education and transportation, uh education. There was an amendment that came up on LARC, and I voted in favor of that. I knew it was gonna be killed. But I do favor LARC, just so you know.

Unfortunately for Rep. Brown, as the Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus reported last spring, that’s not accurate. Although Brown had voted in favor of LARC funds in the past…in 2016, not so much:

Brown flipped, supporting the effort to strip funding.

Last year, Brown was persuaded by a fellow Republican, Rep. Don Coram of Montrose. Coram carried the legislation that would have provided $5 million to expand the Colorado Family Planning Initiative program.

Health officials say the program lowered the teen birth rate in Colorado by more than 40 percent, and Brown said at the time that he thought it would lead to fewer abortions.

After reversing course last week, he said he has “mixed emotions.”

“I still feel that it prevents abortions, but there’s a difference of opinion, and I just felt like I ought to stick with the caucus today with that amendment,” Brown said after the vote last week. [Pols emphasis]

The truth is, when Rep. Brown had the chance to “go against” his fellow Republicans and support LARC funding, he voted against the funding. Because he “just felt like” he needed to “stick with the caucus.” In other words, the exact opposite of what he claimed in this week’s debate! Obviously a story about standing up to one’s partisan colleagues sounds a lot better than caving to them, especially when Republicans are in the dregs of popularity.

With that said, it needs to be true.

Darryl Glenn’s Message: All Over The Map

Darryl Glenn.

Darryl Glenn.

Two stories in the last 24 hours help explain why GOP U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn faces an historic drubbing at the polls in November, likely faring much worse than Donald Trump at the top of Colorado’s ballot. As the Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus reports:

In a Dec. 12, 2015 talk show interview – which recently garnered attention after flying under the radar early in the campaign – Glenn said he generally supports a proposal by Republican Donald Trump to prohibit all Muslims from entering the United States…

Glenn is sticking to his comments, even as the Trump campaign seemed to walk the proposal back on Thursday, with running mate Mike Pence of Indiana saying that Trump no longer wanted to enact a ban on Muslim travel.

Asked on CNN about why he would not condemn the proposal, Pence said, “Because that’s not Donald Trump’s position now.”

That’s right, folks–even as Donald Trump runs away from his infamous call for a “shutdown” of Muslim travel to the United States, Darryl Glenn is doubling down. That’s pretty much the exact opposite of what candidates are supposed to do transitioning from the primary to the general election. But Darryl Glenn is not your average candidate. He’s much less than average, and weeks behind the “Etch-a-Sketch” curve.

“Islam and the Constitution are in clear conflict,” Glenn opined. [Pols emphasis]

Meanwhile, a Colorado Public Radio story follows up on another ugly sound bite from Glenn’s not-too-distant past that made national news this week–comments from Glenn last year suggesting that he considers pregnancies, no matter how they came about, a “gift from God.” In contrast to his views on Muslims, it does appear that Glenn wants to tone down the abortion rhetoric:

“I am 100 percent pro-life and believe life begins at conception. Women should have access to birth control. I would, however, be willing to support legal exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother,” Glenn said, in part.

The statement appears to be in conflict with Glenn’s past statements to conservative organizations.

In a June 2016 post on its website, Colorado Right to Life says based a candidate survey answered by Glenn, he “pledged to be 100% pro-life.” On the same page, Colorado Right to Life states, “no candidate who supports abortion for any reason is ‘pro-life.'”

In this case, it seems like Glenn is trying to take a cue from Cory Gardner’s 2014 U.S. Senate campaign, in which Gardner deliberately flip-flopped on the “Personhood” abortion ban amendments at the start of his campaign. The trouble is that Glenn has nowhere near the personal charisma that Gardner had to live that down, and is starting from a huge deficit instead of angling for leverage in a tight race. With abortion as an issue not factoring in this election as strongly as 2014, Glenn gains little by backing off his formerly hard-line stand–but still has plenty to lose from upsetting the religious right voters in his dwindling coalition.

We are of course only talking about matters of degree here, since virtually no one expects Glenn to even come close to winning this race. But if it was ever Glenn’s intention to at least minimize his losses by not saying politically unwise things, he’s blown it.