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October 05, 2010 09:25 PM UTC

Gardner, Maes, Tancredo Still Stand with Personhood

  • by: Jason Salzman

( – promoted by ClubTwitty)

UPDATE: Response by Colorado Right to Life:

“Mr. Vande Krol was reported to support Personhood by a volunteer who said he spoke to him, but this is not a reliable method of knowing of someone’s stand, and he has also not responded to our survey,” Bob Kyffin, custodian of the CRTL blog, emailed me in response to my questions. “We have tried to make it clear that the only way we know for sure where someone stands is if they respond to the survey.  When we do, we make note of that.”

Kyffin added: “Your articles are helpful to us in determining who sincerely supports Personhood and who is just pretending — historically a major difficulty with Republicans.  It is our hope that most of those you communicate with will affirm support for Personhood in full knowledge that the only forms of birth control it would ban are those that cause a chemical abortion (i.e. abortifacients).


The ranks of the Personhood 33, as I’ve been calling the top 33 Colorado candidates who’ve endorsed the Personhood Initiative, are diminishing.

First, as you know, Ken Buck un-endorsed the measure, though he still supports personhood “as a concept,” leaving me and others wondering what’s changed.

Buck’s hard-line abortion stance still puts him in opposition to common forms of birth control and abortion even in the case of rape and incest.

Still, I’ve been wondering if the other 32 members of the Personhood 33 will follow Buck’s cue. (See list here.)

So this week, I phoned up some more of them, after determining previously that Dan Maes and Tom Tancredo were standing with the Amendment.

Colorado Senate (SD 16) candidate Tim Leonard, who-like Buck-believes that life begins at conception, told me he never endorsed the Personhood measure, and the Christian Family Alliance website erred in listing him as an endorser.

“I’ve taken no position on any citizens initiative or anything that’s on the ballot that doesn’t have to do with me,” he said, adding that activists were asking him about it during the primary but he never took a position.

Colorado House (HD 35) candidate Edgar Antillon also told me he shouldn’t be on Christian Family Alliance endorser list anymore, having un-endorsed the Initiative during the GOP primary before Buck did.

“Obviously, I don’t get attention like Ken Buck does, but my stance changed on that,” he told me, primarily because he supports abortion to save a women’s life, putting the life of the mother first.

So the Personhood 33 was down to the Personhood 30 by the time I called Colorado House (HD 34) candidate Brian Vande Krol, who told me that he also never endorsed Personhood Amendment. The Colorado Right to Life website claims he supports “Personhood”, but he did not return the CRTL survey.

I left a couple messages over the past week at the campaign of U.S. House candidate (CD-4) Cory Gardner, who’s endorsed Personhood, but I didn’t get a response yet.

Gardner told the Coloradoan a couple weeks ago that he supports the proposed personhood amendment, confirming his past endorsements.

Abandoning Personhood would be a major change of direction for Gardner, given that, you may recall, he bragged at a February candidate forum about his circulating petitions to put the measure on the ballot this year.

“I have signed the Personhood petition. I have taken the petitions to my church and circulating them in my church. And I have a legislative record that backs up my support for life,” said Gardner.

But Gardner has changed his position on one issue dear to the hearts of social conservatives. The Coloradoan reported Oct. 3 that Gardner will no longer carry legislation to outlaw abortion, despite what he previously told Tea Party groups.

Given the prominence of social issues in past CD 4 elections, the Coloradoan is right to be asking Gardner about these topics, even if he resists them.  (You can hear the Gardner’s exchange with the Coloradoan here, toward the end of the clip, demonstrating how a reporter sometimes needs to press a candidate to get an answer to a question.)

But especially given Buck’s statements on Amendment 62, journalists elsewhere in Colorado should be asking the personhood endorsers what they think nowadays about the measure. But they’re not. Hence this blog post, to fill in the journalistic gap.


15 thoughts on “Gardner, Maes, Tancredo Still Stand with Personhood

  1. Last time I saw the subject mentioned, and sorry I don’t have a link to where that was, “social issues” like personhood (incl. abortion) were rated “most important” by about 5% of the population. By contrast, two-thirds of voters mentioned the economy.

    I wonder why Bennet continues to push the “too extreme for Colorado” line, meaning social values, rather than pointing out the benefits brought by the economic stimulus to folks right here in Colorado! IF the economy is rated #1, and IF the Obama administration with which Bennet is inevitably linked has in fact generated jobs and kept some large corporations from going under, why not mention this? Why not sell the benefits of government intervention to save the economy from disaster? Why not persuade voters with some concrete examples?

    Odd, or ironic, or somesuch, that on one hand Bennet seems determined to put as much blue sky between himself and Obama as he can, while at the same time he is suffering from an association with Obama–while not trying to take credit for what good the watered-down (IMHO) administration economic policies have in fact done!

    1. done by the administration’s economic policies is a hard sell in a 30-second ad. While “it could have been worse” is an accurate argument, it’s not terribly persuasive. This isn’t a mystery.

      Also, Bennet’s “Buck is too extreme” line isn’t just about social issues, he’s also hitting Buck over Social Security and soon, if Dan is correct, veterans issues.

      1. In addition to attack ads.

        Attack ads aren’t going to bring up his positives, which are very important for an incumbent.

        I think it would be easy to write an effective spot highlighting the positive outcomes of his votes.  Time to take the framing away from the Republican 527s.

        1. –Limits on what can be said in 30 seconds could be overcome by paying for 60. Is this no longer an option? MB seems to have a fair amount of moola at his disposal.

          –Agree w/ Ralphie in two respects: negatives focus the conversation on Buck instead of Bennet, and do nothing to sell Bennet. Bennet? Who’s he? (One of the downsides of Ritter having picked someone with no proven identity…) It’s the old “who are you gonna vote against this year?” issue.

          I suspect quite a few people out there in the TeeVee ether couldn’t tell you Thing One about what the Obama administration has accomplished, or how they’ve benefitted personally. They do, on the other hand, read/hear about the malaise abroad in the land and, having heard it repeatedly, begin to shake their heads and conclude “a change is needed” without any rational analysis.

          Thus, Buck isn’t Obama; whereas Bennet is. (Leaving aside the deep-rooted racist component of the Tea Party, whether they try to deny it or not.)

            1. {Simultaneously shown on screen and read out loud):

              Thanks to Democrats like Michael Bennet,

              –Democrats created X,000 jobs here in Colorado.

              –Democrats avoided X,000 foreclosures here in Colorado.

              –X,000 children in Colorado can now get health insurance who couldn’t before.

              There’s more to be done. Michael Bennet is the one to get it done.

              This message paid for in cold cash by Upper East Side Financiers Who Like Mike, Arthur, Herbert and Percy Salomon, cochairs.

              Was that 30 seconds already? Nope; just ~65; time for 15-20 more, or for a few loving shots of Colorado hillbilly beneficiaries in between bullets. And, I’d say, run the same damn add over and over and over and over until people can recite it in their damn sleep.


                1. … maybe something like:

                  Paid for with nickles and dimes sent in by schoolchildren rooting for the nice guy. Thanks kids! I’ll do my best to do my duty.

          1. Hi there, all you little snuggins, you. I’m Mike. Okay, Michael when I’m in the office or totin’ up frequent flyer miles ‘tween here and DC. My daughters call me daddy, except for the oldest one, who calls me Senator Father Sir. Isn’t that cute? Look right into camera and smile damnit.

            Now, I know that a bunch of you think, well, these are hard times. I wouldn’t know personally, but I’ll take your word for it. Look serious. So, like, what do you want me to do about it? Ha! Just kidding. Here’s the thing. Elect me and I’ll fly to Washington on the six o’clock flight and gather up a buncha money in a coupla Whole Foods reusable bags–gotta be green, not the color, but you know what I mean, green like Environmentally Conscious grin–and bring it home on the seven o’clock flight the same day. smile again.

            Where is all that money coming from? grin sheepishly. Well, we’re gonna get the Federal Reserve to put in some overtime printing money, see, plus we’re going to email Bill Gates–I think I’ll use gmail, just to get the point across, if you see what I mean, sort of an inside joke–yeah, email Bill Gates and tell him, ‘Guess what? You’re no longer the world’s richest dude. He lives in Mexico. See, ’cause we responded to popular furor and jacked up your taxes. No prob, right?’

            Anyway, day after that I’m goin’ down to Home Depot or wherever and invite a buncha you to come fix the infrastructure there at Sixteenth and Welton. Don’t worry, the rest of you can still stroll the mall case you’re unemployed and all. We’ve fixed that, though. You know the so-called ninety-niners? Well, they’re now the mighty-niners, meaning it’ll be mighty nice to get nine dollars a week until, well, indefinitely. Big grin. Am I supposed to read that out loud? And maybe we’ll invade Tajikistan, which will soak up a bunch more of you obese loafers out there.

            Whoa! I’m like almost outta time. Some rich dudes in New York paid for this ad, and I like approved it because I was told to. Vote for me, ‘K?

    2. have been shown to have an impact on women voters. These are issue women care about. that’s why reporters should take notice. that’s my point.

      I saw a Maddow clip, on pols?, in which she pointed to candidates attacking right-wing candidates on social issues. And she was happy to find two or so, including Bennet.

      If you know any swing voters, you know how difficult it is to change their minds about the stimulus and Obama. But that doesn’t mean they like Buck a hell of a lot. That’s the situation at hand.

  2. So hearing something from someone who says they talked to someone else “is not a reliable method of knowing someone’s stand.”

    Didn’t the rest of us learn this in elementary school?  

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