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.

Poll: Will They Really Expel Roy Moore?

Roy Moore, Cory Gardner.

The Denver Post’s editorial board lavished undeserved praise on Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado yesterday, excessively lauding Gardner’s belated call for the U.S. Senate to expel Alabama’s Roy Moore if he survives the sexual molestation scandal currently waylaying his campaign and wins:

We’re pleased to see Colorado’s junior senator, Cory Gardner, use his prominence among Senate Republicans to present a clear, moral argument against the accused child molester. Those inflamed by the politics of the scandal should consider his wisdom. As head of the Republican’s Senate campaign arm, Gardner announced last week the group would cease fundraising efforts for Moore’s Senate bid and said that if allegations of molestation were true, Moore should drop out of the race. This week Gardner stood with multiple accusers and argued that if Moore refuses to step aside and goes on to win in the special election next month, the Senate should expel him.

Always tripping over themselves to shield Sen. Gardner from criticism, the Post completely glosses over the politically toxic delay between last week’s “if true” deflection of the story by Gardner and his harder line taken this week. That initial response, echoed by many other Republicans, was roundly condemned as inadequate–and it was that condemnation which forced Republicans like Gardner to take a stronger position.

Not really what you’d call a profile in courage.

With that said, the real problem with this overly-generous editorial may not be evident until after Roy Moore wins the Alabama Senate race. It’s a matter of record that Sen. Gardner called for Donald Trump to pull out of the presidential race in October of 2016, after the Access Hollywood recordings of Trump bragging about committing sexual assault became public. But when Trump emerged victorious on Election Day, Gardner ditched his supposed convictions and embraced the President-elect with his trademark smile.

A poll follows–is there any reason to believe it’ll be different this time?

And why is that exactly?

Will Republican Senators vote to expel Roy Moore if he wins?
Not sure/other
View Result

Colorado to HHS: #HandsOffMyBC

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Don Coram (R-Montrose) speaks at the Denver #HandsOffMyBC rally.

Coloradans filled the streets in downtown Denver today as part of rallies in numerous major cities across the nation in opposition to the recent decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to allow almost any employer to eliminate contraceptives from employee health coverage. ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, joined with NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), the American Civil Liberties Union, the Interfaith Alliance, Indivisible Denver, Indivisible Front Range Resistance, New Era Colorado, C.A.P.E. Denver, Together We Will, concerned residents, and elected officials on both sides of the aisle to rescind this order and ensure women stay covered.

“Men and women, Republicans and Democrats, communities of faith from across Colorado all say with one voice that access to birth control is off limits to cynical DC political games,” said Sen. Kerry Donovan of Vail. “Contraceptive coverage as mandated by the Affordable Care Act has helped to reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy in Colorado and throughout the nation. The public health benefits of contraceptive coverage have been proven again and again, but more importantly, people have a fundamental right to access contraception within the health coverage they already pay for.”

“Since the beginning of this new administration, American lives have been at stake,” said Rev. Tammy Garrett-Williams. “The Affordable Healthcare Act otherwise known as Obamacare has been threatened from every angle. Now we’re here to defend women and teen girls who are being affected by taking away basic care when it comes to prevention of unplanned pregnancies. There is no mention of abortion in our Bible anywhere, but there is clear reference to not judging another person—spoken specifically by Jesus. This decision takes a judgmental action by implying that women are not capable of making decisions with their own bodies. This decision will cause more problems by increasing unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Take your hands off our birth control!”

“Increasing access to reproductive health care means access to birth control,” said Adrienne Mansanares of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. “It is unconscionable that a woman’s decision to access birth control can now be made for her by her boss. This is a message to American women that they can’t be trusted to make their own health care decisions, and must get permission from an authority figure first. Nothing should come between women and the health care they need.”

“Colorado is an incredible success story when it comes to reducing the rate of unintended pregnancy through access to contraceptives,” said Taylor Holden of ProgressNow Colorado. “Part of that success has been the requirement that employers offer contraceptive coverage as part of every insurance plan. We know from experience in Colorado that having access to birth control leads to better planning, happier children, and stronger families. We’re calling on HHS to immediately rescind the new policy allowing almost any employer to end contraceptive coverage. Colorado knows what success looks like, and we don’t want this.”

For more information on today’s rally in Denver and other major cities across the nation, click here.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (November 15)

Koningsfeest is a fun word to say. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.



► Senate Republicans have decided to push ahead with legislation to cut taxes for rich people that also now includes a repeal of the individual mandate connected to Obamacare. As the Washington Post reports, this kitchen sink tax bill is a big gamble:

Congressional Republicans are reaching for a booby-trapped bag of cash as they scramble to try to pay for their tax overhaul. 

House and Senate Republicans are moving to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate — a surprise turn that would yield more than $300 billion in much-needed revenue even as it revives the toxic politics of the GOP’s summertime drive to gut the landmark law.

Senate GOP tax writers incorporated the high-stakes maneuver into the latest version of their plan (see full text here), released late Tuesday night. They applied the new revenue to making permanent the deeply-slashed 20 percent corporate rate at the heart of the tax plan; doubling the child tax credit to $2,000; and expanding access to a deduction for pass-through businesses. But the updated bill sunsets individual rate cuts at the end of 2025 to help the package comply with strict budget rules — a move that Democrats seized on to blast the GOP for prioritizing corporate interests over working people. 

The Post notes that House Republicans are not nearly as excited about the idea of trying to repeal the individual mandate within a tax reform bill that has already been taking on water for weeks. Earlier this month Republicans were hammered for trying to insert “Personhood” language into the tax bill as well. Chris Cillizza of CNN writes that Republicans are risking the entire 2018 election on this new maneuver.


► “Tax reform” legislation in the House of Representatives remains on track to potentially get a floor vote as soon as Thursday, which could theoretically allow the House and Senate enough time to reconcile both versions before the end of the year. From CNBC:

The GOP aims to pass a plan to chop tax rates for businesses and individuals by the end of the year to fulfill a key campaign promise. Lawmakers argue that changing the tax code will spark economic growth and boost job creation and wages.

This week, the Senate is marking up, or debating and amending, its version. The chamber wants to approve the bill after Thanksgiving.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday described the current plans as a “work in progress.” He said he expects the two chambers to pass separate legislation before going to a conference committee to craft a joint plan.

In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, McCarthy contended that the House and Senate can quickly reconcile the differences and get a final bill to Trump’s desk by the end of the year.

President Trump is expected to visit Capitol Hill on Thursday to drum up support for cutting taxes for rich people.

Meanwhile, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) has an idea for a real reform to the tax code that makes a lot of sense and therefore probably has no chance of succeeding.


► Just when you thought the saga of Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore couldn’t get any weirder…it does. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now suggesting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions could be a Republican write-in candidate in next month’s special election in Alabama. Of course, the entire reason that this special election is even taking place is because Sessions left his Senate office earlier this year to become Attorney General.

Moore continues to resist pressure to withdraw from the race, and Sessions has given no public indication that he would want to return to his old job. There’s a word for what’s happening in Alabama right now (hint: it rhymes with “Blusterfuck”).

Also, Colorado Republicans have a lot of explaining to do about embracing Moore during a visit to Denver last Spring.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Wednesday Open Thread

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”

–John Cage

Wait, You Can Do That? Harassment Tax Break Edition

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

KDVR FOX 31 Denver reports on a proposal from a Colorado Republican for which we think there ought to be unanimous support, in light of headlines coast to coast and flyover states too–but for one little problem:

Whether it be Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore or Steve Lebsock, the topic is dominating Colorado airwaves.

Now Congressman Ken Buck says it’s time to end the practice of businesses being able to deduct harassment settlements from their taxes.

“Right now a business can write that off as an ordinary and necessary business expense which is wrong,” Buck told FOX31 political reporter Joe St. George.

The idea that a corporation can build harassment settlements into the cost of doing business to the extent that they can get a tax break for them might come as a rude shock to many readers, and we of course have no idea when this particular provision may have been inserted into the tax code.

We assume plenty of dudes through the years found it useful. It’s good to see that time may finally be past.

With that said, there is a problem in the case of Rep. Ken Buck’s proposal with implementation:

Buck has written a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee chairman asking for language to be included in the latest tax reform debate on Capitol Hill.

That’s right–unfortunately, this no-brainer of a tax deduction to repeal is going to get bundled with a whole bunch of other and in many cases stupid alterations to the tax code, an elusive “pay-for” in the GOP’s budget-busting tax cut plan that–while we certainly wouldn’t mind seeing this particular pay-for enacted–isn’t worth the widespread harm certain to ensue when the hole these cuts create has to be filled. As a general guide, that is usually right after the opposing party retakes power.

If Buck keeps this idea alive in the entirely possible event the tax bill tanks, or fails to include this provision at all, we’ll circle back to thank him.

As of now, we’d rather see a “clean” harassment tax break repeal.

Dear Everyone: Don’t Outrun Sexual Assault Allegations

UPDATE: State Rep. Steve Lebsock unintentionally backs up our point:


Hold on. Back up. Slow down.

A story about sexual harassment in the State Capitol that broke last week is quickly turning into a weird media free-for-all with desperate attempts to advance the story to another stage without fully embracing or unpacking the fundamental issue at stake: There is a cultural and institutional problem of sexual harassment at the state legislature.

This is not a partisan problem, and it is not a new problem. For too long, the atmosphere around the state legislature has been reminiscent of a high school field trip with little accountability or even understanding of the inappropriate behavior that takes place in quiet corners. Reporter Bente Birkeland of KUNC first broke the story on Friday of harassment allegations against state Rep. Steve Lebsock, a Democrat who is also running for State Treasurer. Much of the media focus since that story has been about Lebsock and his most-visible accuser, state Rep. Faith Winter, and on Monday the coverage started to veer into a “cover-up” story suggesting that House Speaker Cristana Duran should resign from the legislature for not doing more to address sexual assault claims in 2016.

There will be plenty of time to address Duran’s responses to these allegations and the subsequent political fallout, but it’s critical that we don’t veer off topic from the broader issue at stake. As Birkeland wrote on Friday, this story does not start and stop with allegations about one legislator:

Beyond Rep. Steve Lebsock, there are other complaints about a handful of male senators touching women’s lower backs, giving lingering hugs, making uncomfortable and unwanted comments about appearances, massaging necks, telling off-color jokes of a sexual nature and showing pornographic pictures.

Several female lobbyists said they try to avoid being alone with certain senators and go to offices in pairs or ask a male colleague to talk to them instead. None were willing to be named for this story, saying they feared going public would hurt their work at the legislature.

Another said, “It’s a well known fact across the building that people like Rep. Lebsock and a number of Senate Republicans have all behaved in a way that would never be accepted in any other conventional workplace. It crosses party lines and has been happening for generations.” [Pols emphasis]

Rep. Steve Lebsock (D-Thornton)

This story is nowhere close to even contemplating a conclusion. According to Birkeland’s reporting, numerous other lawmakers from both parties appear likely to be accused of sexual harassment encompassing several years.

Let’s repeat that one more time: According to Birkeland’s reporting, numerous other lawmakers from both parties appear likely to be accused of sexual harassment encompassing several years.

As we all wait for more information about this developing story, the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA) issued a powerful statement today calling on the media to consider the chilling effect it can have on other victims who may otherwise be prepared to come forward with their own experiences:

Sexual violence is a complicated topic to understand and crimes of sexual violence, including sexual harassment, are among the most underreported crimes in our society. Compounding the problem is that media coverage of these crimes often perpetuates stereotypes and myths, rather than providing well-written, fact-based stories. Covering sexual violence requires context — an understanding of who perpetrates these crimes, who is affected, and how sexual violence can be prevented. When the media chooses to criticize the actions of survivors and bystanders instead of focusing on the choices of perpetrators, journalists stand in the way of meaningful cultural change necessary to support survivors, hold offenders accountable, and create safer communities. [Pols emphasis]

SURVIVORS’ CHOICE MATTERS. Disregard for individuals’ choices and autonomy is at the core of sexual violence perpetration, including sexual harassment. Disregard for survivors’ choice to report, or not to report, is a shade of the same color. In a perfect world, survivors would be able to report without fearing personal and professional consequences. However, this is not a perfect world, and we know that many survivors face safety concerns, financial obstacles, custody battles, and social ostracism, amongst other considerations when reporting. Furthermore, we know that victims of workplace sexual harassment fear repercussions that make it difficult to continue at the workplace, such as lowered reputation, questioning of credibility and competency, reassignment, and even loss of their job. All this to say that reporting is a significant decision for a survivor with significant consequences to consider.

The CCASA statement goes on to say that calling for Speaker Duran’s resignation at this point “sends a dangerous message: victim choice does not matter, and the consequences that may affect the victim are not important.”

This story first broke because Rep. Winter had the courage to come forward about her experiences. Before everyone runs off in a different direction, perhaps we should come back to Winter herself:

Look, none of this is to say that Speaker Duran is free of guilt in this situation, but we’re just not there yet. Both Democratic and Republican leaders are calling for added protections against sexual harassment in the legislature, which is an important first step in solving this problem instead of just looking for someone to take out back and shoot.

It seems likely that more names are going to come out regarding a culture of harassment at the State Capitol, and it is critical that survivors of sexual assault are not discouraged from coming forward because of knee-jerk reactions from media outlets and other observers.

Colorado Republicans Love Them Some Roy Moore!

UPDATE: The chairman of the Denver GOP Jake Viano is criticizing Sen. Cory Gardner’s decision to condemn Roy Moore, via CBS4:

“I would not have advised him to do that if I was one of his advisors – it’s antithetical to the system we have in our country,” said Jake Viano, Chairman of the Denver County GOP.

Viano says if the allegations against Moore are true he should only be tried in court.

“What bothers me is our societal shift to believing the court of public opinion and moving away from what this country is founded upon,” said Viano.

“There is a long standing narrative that was put out there by the Democrats that we have a war on women. I greatly detest that, and I’ve argued it tooth and nail that we don’t. But, this only helps further that narrative,” Viano adds on Moore’s campaign.

There you have it, folks. We suspect he’s not the only one (see below).


You don’t have to stroll very far back down Memory Lane to find this year’s Christian Home Educators of Colorado’s 2017 Homeschool Day at the Capitol: an annual event thrown by and for the burgeoning industry marketing to parents who take their children’s education into their own hands, often for religious reasons–exclusively in the case of the CHEC.

This year’s Homeschool Day at the Capitol featured a special guest: Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore!

Yes, that Roy Moore:

That’s Sen. Kevin Lundberg, now a candidate for Colorado Treasurer, giving Moore some kind of award. Moore later made the rounds with some of the state’s more conservative lawmakers, such as Rep. Tim “OITNB” Leonard:

But gentle readers, there’s one photo of Moore on the steps of the Colorado Capitol that has aged especially poorly.

Hopefully Judge Moore is praying for (pardon us) self-restraint.

Obviously these photos were taken before the sexual molestation scandal that has gripped the Alabama U.S. Senate special election became national headlines. But given Moore’s defiance in the face of mounting allegations, and the many ideologically friendly Republicans who continue to defend Moore, we think it’s a highly relevant question for anyone who appeared with Moore in Colorado as to whether they’re standing by him today.

Now that Sen. Cory Gardner has belatedly called for Moore to be expelled from the Senate in the event of his still-entirely-possible victory, there might be some choice words on the side for Gardner as well! In any event, we suspect there are many more local angles on this story than have been reported up to now.

Radio hosts hopping mad at report that Cynthia Coffman is pro-choice

(Them’s fighting words – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

On KNUS 710-AM Friday, host Dan Caplis announced, the “big news from Channel 4” that “Cynthia Coffman is now pro-choice.”

In fact, in a report Friday on Coffman’s entrance into Colorado’s gubernatorial race, CBS4 political specialist Shaun Boyd reported that Coffman “is pro-choice and pro-gay rights.”

“It looks like the Coffman campaign has not tried to correct that,” observed Caplis. And indeed the report remains uncorrected today.

Yet, Caplis could not accept that Coffman is pro-choice, but if she is, he said, he won’t support her.

“She would not be the Republican attorney general of Colorado if she had come out as pro-abortion,” said Caplis. “She would not be in that position.”

“If she is now, as Channel 4 reports, pro-abortion, was she pro-abortion then and lied about it in order to get elected attorney general.” Caplis continued.  (Listen here, Nov. 10 hour one.)

CBS4 did not air footage or audio of Coffman saying she’s pro-choice. Instead, it was reported by Boyd, who did not immediately return a call for comment.

Another KNUS radio host, joined Caplis to denounce Coffman’s position.

“If she’s willing to waver on, for me, a fundamental foundational principle, just because she thinks Colorado has gotten more and more blue, I can’t support her,” said KNUS’ Randy Corporan, who’s a founder of the Arapahoe County Tea Party. “… 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.”

Craig Silverman, Caplis’ guest co-host Friday, speculated on air about the impact of Coffman’s pro-choice stance on her dissolving marriage with U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO).

Silverman: She running while she’s in the middle of a divorce with Mike Coffman. Is Mike Coffman pro-life?”

Caplis: “He’s a champion, a total champion for life.”

Silverman: “Do you think this is part of the reason they are getting divorced?”

Caplis: “I have no eartly idea.”

In the 2016 Colorado Senate race, former Colorado State University Athletic Director Jack Graham took a pro-choice stance, but lost to anti-choice Darryl Glenn, an El Paso County Commissioner who denounced Roe v. Wade. All other candidates in that primary took staunch anti-abortion positions.

Other Republicans in Colorado, like U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, have taken extreme anti-choice stances as they build their careers and during GOP primaries, and have tried to look more moderate, by abandoning personhood abortion bans, for example, during the general election.

Hey Cory Gardner, Remember Rodrigo Duterte?

Sen Cory Gardner, Filipino strongman Rodrigo Duterte.

The New York Times reports on President Donald Trump’s time this weekend with the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte–whose human rights record has earned his regime worldwide condemnation, and became a serious political hot potato after Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado snuck into Manila to visit Duterte for a diplomatic visit earlier this year:

President Trump said on Monday that he had a “great relationship” with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, making little mention of human rights at his first face-to-face meeting with an authoritarian leader accused of carrying out a campaign of extrajudicial killings in his nation’s war on drugs.

In a stark break from past practice by American presidents, who have pressed foreign leaders publicly and privately about allegations of human rights abuses, Mr. Trump instead pursued his own transactional style of diplomacy, dwelling mostly on areas of common ground during his meeting with Mr. Duterte. On the sideline of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit meeting, Mr. Trump focused on combating the Islamic State and illegal drugs as well as on trade issues, the White House said…

Mr. Trump “appeared sympathetic and did not have any official position on the matter and was merely nodding his head, indicating that he understood the domestic problem that we faced on drugs,” said Harry Roque, Mr. Duterte’s spokesman. “The issue of human rights did not arise; it was not brought up.”

After Gardner’s visit with Duterte was disclosed (mind you, not before), Gardner went to great lengths to insist that yes, he did caution President Duterte about human rights abuses alleged to have occurred during the ongoing Filipino “war on drugs.” There was never any proof that Gardner had broached this subject with Duterte, since no audio from the meetings ever emerged. On Filipino television, Gardner’s visit was treated like a routine visit from a foreign dignitary–certainly with nothing to indicate any controversy.

Again, it’s important to establish clearly that Gardner made no advance statement about his trip to Malina, and only expressed his concerns about Duterte’s record on human rights after his visit there was exposed. If there was any actual change in policy as a result of this visit, nobody ever reported on it.

And folks, this is not a photo that connotes troubled relations.

For Americans who, like Sen. Gardner claims to, care about human rights around the world, this is an incredibly embarrassing photo. For Gardner in particular, who if we are to believe him traveled to Manila to express reservations about the extrajudicial killings and other crimes alleged to have been committed under Duterte…

How is this not a betrayal? How can Gardner not be outraged?

Unless, of course, Gardner never was.

The State of the Race (for the State): November 2017

Tom Tancredo and Cynthia Coffman are in, and George Brauchler is out. There’s been lots of upheaval in the 2018 race for Governor in the last couple of weeks, so lets reset the field as we near the end of the year. Here’s our latest look at the State of the Race (for the State).



Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) remains the frontrunner in the race for governor.

Democratic candidates are outraising Republican counterparts not named Walker Stapleton by significant margins. Democrats Jared Polis, Cary Kennedy, Mike Johnston, and even Donna Lynne are running strong campaigns as we enter the campaign doldrums of the Holiday Season. Things should start to shake out a bit once we cross into 2018, because there just isn’t room for all four of these candidates to mathematically make the ballot through the caucus/assembly process; remember, any candidate who does not petition onto the ballot must get at least 30% of the vote at the state assembly for ballot access.

Polis has the name ID and the resources to go the caucus route, so at least one of the other three major Democratic candidates will need to spend a great deal of time and money on gathering petition signatures if they hope to see their name on the June Primary ballot. It’s hard to envision a scenario where Lynne does not go the petition route; the bigger question will be about what Kennedy and Johnston decide. Right now, all four major Democratic candidates are essentially rowing in the same direction. Expect that to change in January.

On the Republican side, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and former Congressman Tom Tancredo have pulled away from the rest of a crowded pack. Stapleton is sweeping up one major Republican donor after another, and he likely ends the year with the largest amount of contributions among Republican candidates. Stapleton raised more than $300k just from major donors (contributions of $1,000 or more) in the last six weeks, and wrote himself a $250k check. This doesn’t count the hundreds of thousands of dollars being funneled into a pro-Stapleton PAC, either.

Ed Gillespie, Tom Tancredo, and Donald Trump

Tancredo, meanwhile, seems to be establishing himself as the [quote-unquote] insurgent candidate for Republicans. We learned from last Tuesday’s election results that incumbency won’t save Republicans in 2018. We saw that the Republican brand is in tatters. And Tuesday’s Democratic wipeout confirmed something many had long expected: That Trumpism doesn’t exist without Donald Trump. Tancredo is not an establishment Republican like failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, nor is he a diehard Trumpian whose political fortunes will be tied to President Twitterer. In 2018, Tancredo may be embraced by national Republican factions – rather than openly opposed – and his strong name ID among Republican voters means that he doesn’t need to compete dollar-for-dollar with Stapleton.



Attorney General Cynthia Coffman

Cynthia Coffman finally entered the GOP field for Governor after nearly a year of publicly teasing the idea. Even with Brauchler out of the race, it’s difficult to see how she might have a path to the GOP nomination in June. Longtime Republican operative/consultant Dick Wadhams told CBS4 Denver that Coffman’s entry into the race probably helps Tancredo more than anything else:

“Tancredo starts off with anywhere from 20 to 23 percent — a rock hard political base,” Wadhams said. “So the more the rest of the vote is divided up by these other Republican candidates, it helps him.

“Now, the challenge for the other candidates is for somebody to break through.”

Coffman is essentially running for Governor because she doesn’t want to be Attorney General any longer; if she’s going to run another statewide race in 2018, she figures that she might as well try for the top prize. Unfortunately for Coffman, she has neither the fundraising chops nor the conservative bonafides to be a top contender in a Republican Primary. Coffman has never been good at raising money; when she was first campaigning for Attorney General in 2013, she failed to surpass $100k in donations in her first four months in the race. It’s fair to say that Coffman would have entered the race for Governor long ago if she knew that the money would be there to sustain a campaign.

As for her conservative credentials, Coffman has lots of explaining to do to a right-wing base about why she issued a ruling in support of legislative efforts to reclassify the Hospital Provider Fee (HPF). Coffman may have been doing her legal duty with the HPF decision, but that won’t make diehard Republican voters feel any better. If you don’t think Coffman doesn’t already realize this problem, take a look at how she answered some straightforward budget questions in an interview with the Durango Herald:

Coffman deflected a question about the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and Gallagher Amendment, which limit tax collections and have been blamed for hampering the state budget and dozens of local government budgets, including special districts.

“We would need to set a longer conversation,” she said. “I don’t want to give it short shrift.”

Nothing demonstrates leadership by refusing to answer questions about the state budget.

Oh, and then there’s the whole “Coffmangate” scandal that will be rehashed repeatedly.



Things aren’t going well for the first 3 GOP candidates for Governor: Victor Mitchell, Mitt Romney’s Nephew, and George Brauchler.

Colorado Springs entrepreneur/pastor/author Barry Farah was supposedly going to enter the Republican gubernatorial field back in August, but he seems to have vanished since those initial reports. Farah is either playing a complicated political shell game, or (most likely) he just decided that there was no place for him in the 2018 field.

Republicans Victor Mitchell and Mitt Romney’s Nephew are still plugging along as candidates. Both men have the financial resources to make a serious run at the nomination, but thus far neither has been able to grab much of a foothold of support to reach top-tier status. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see both candidates out of the race by the beginning of 2018…nor would it be a shock if one or both made a late push to get into contention.

The longest-running candidate on the Democratic side, meanwhile, is businessman Noel Ginsburg, who officially joined the race last December. But like the Denver Broncos, Ginsburg is going nowhere fast; unless something changes, he is largely inconsequential in this discussion.



Colorado’s next Governor is going to come out of the current field of candidates. There is really no other potential candidate lurking who could make a serious bid for the job at this late date.

This is Not What Momentum Looks Like

I have seen the future of Colorado, and it does not include me as Governor.

Republican George Brauchler has officially abandoned his bid for Governor in order to run for Attorney General. As the Colorado Springs Gazette reports this morning:

George Brauchler, the 18th Judicial District Attorney, has decided to drop his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Governor of Colorado for 2018. He first announced his decision to run last April.

Instead, Brauchler will campaign for Attorney General.

“My decision to run for office has always been about my commitment to serving Colorado far more than it has been about the title of the elected position,” said Brauchler in a statement released Monday. “That commitment remains just as strong as we make this important change.”

Brauchler is absolutely committed to getting elected to some sort of statewide office. It appears as though he won’t have to navigate through a crowded primary in a race for Attorney General — both Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) and state Rep. Cole Wist are backing off — but Brauchler has a long way to go to catch up to Democrats like Phil Weiser and Michael Dougherty in the AG’s race.

Two years ago, Brauchler resisted a courtship from Republicans to be their default U.S. Senate candidate. After the 2016 election, Brauchler moved quickly to build support for a bid for Governor, officially launching his campaign in early April. But Brauchler’s gubernatorial bid never really took off; he had been limping along for months, and when he failed to even raise $100k in the Q3 fundraising period, the narrative of a campaign on life support began to take hold. Tom Tancredo’s subsequent entry into the race closed off whatever path to the GOP nomination Brauchler might have had left, and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s decision to run for Governor rather than re-election gave Brauchler the opening he needed to exit a race he couldn’t possibly win.

Attorney General is probably the statewide office that always made the most sense for Brauchler, but as he enters the race today, it is with the air of a man seeking a consolation prize.

Lundberg Is Endorsed by “Fervent Homophobe” on Southern Law Poverty Center Hate List

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud), who’s running for state treasurer, is touting his endorsement by David Barton, who’s on the anti-LGBT hate list of the Southern Law Poverty Center (SPLC), which monitors “hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States.”

The SPLC includes on its anti-LGBT list groups and individuals who “often link homosexuality to pedophilia, claim that same-sex marriage and LGBT people in general are dangers to children, that homosexuality itself is dangerous, support the criminalization of homosexuality and transgender identity, and that there is a conspiracy called the ‘homosexual agenda’ at work that seeks to destroy Christianity and the whole of society.”

The SLPC describes Barton as a “fervent homophobe”:

…Barton has claimed that gay people die “decades earlier” than others and have more than 500 partners apiece in their lifetimes. On his WallBuilders radio broadcast, he’s flagrantly misled listeners by saying that the “leading pediatric association in America” has cautioned educators against providing education about homosexuality. But the American College of Pediatricians that Barton referred to has only a couple of hundred members and is, in fact, a right-wing breakaway group from the 60,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics, which is the real “leading pediatric association in America.”

Lundberg did not return calls seeking comment, but in recent months some Colorado conservatives have attacked the SPLC as left-leaning.

Republican in the state-treasurer race include state lawmakers Justin Everett and Polly Lawrence, Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn, and Brett Barkey, a district attorney. Democrats include State Representatives Steve Lesbock and Dave Young, and businessman Bernard Douthit, also a Democrat.