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August 10, 2021 08:25 AM UTC

At Least They Didn't Call It The "Contract On Colorado"

  • by: Colorado Pols

TUESDAY UPDATE #2: From fail to flail:


TUESDAY UPDATE: How big a fail was the Colorado Republican Party’s “Gas Station Manifesto?” The answer lies in both the overall paucity of coverage, with just a few outlets paying momentary attention, and in the irony-laden bad press they managed to receive from those who did. 9NEWS’ Marshall Zelinger’s report last night turned out as quizzical as his Tweet below:

“Just like the air in Denver, it wasn’t quite clear,” said Zelinger.

Denver7’s Meghan Lopez zeroed in on the contradiction between this half-baked press conference and the release yesterday of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s damning new report on human-caused climate change, all while Denver experiences some of the worst air quality of any major city on Earth:

While scientists try to raise the alarm about climate change, at a gas station in Denver, a group of Colorado Republicans held a press conference to talk about their policy priorities moving forward…

“Last November, gas was $2.19 a gallon at this gas station. Today, it’s $3.69; that’s $1.50 more per gallon that working class average families, like the one I grew up in, are paying every day thanks to Democrat policies. We’ve got to fix them,” Burton Brown said.

However, Democrats criticized the press conference afterward, saying it missed the point and proved that Republicans are out of touch with what people are experiencing.

“The other aspect of it is how tone deaf it is to roll out an agenda at a gas station and not talk about climate change when we literally just experienced the worst air quality in the world,” Majority Leader Sen. Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, said.

The political graveyard is full of ideas that sounded good in a conference room or on a Zoom call but were in execution unqualified disasters–sometimes disasters that do much more harm than anything the gimmick in question might have gained the perpetrators.

The Colorado GOP’s press conference at a Sinclair gas station on a hot, smoky August day in 2021 will be so remembered.


Today, as 9NEWS’ Marshall Zelinger reports, the Colorado Republican Party, struggling for relevance after years of successive pummelings in recent elections, unveiled their new platform they’re calling the “Commitment to Colorado” literally at Sinclair gas station:

We are concerned for the next generation of Coloradans. With an increased cost of living, a skyrocketing crime rate, and an education system that has failed our students, Colorado Republicans make this Commitment…

Which will forever be known now as the Four Seasons Sinclair.

What follows (read it for yourself if you want) has got to be one of the vaguest and least inspiring political platforms we’ve ever read. Other than the usual complaints about taxes and fearmongering about rising crime rates, there’s absolutely nothing in this platform to motivate swingable Colorado voters who have been breaking for Democrats consistently in recent elections to consider voting the other way. Goals like “making Colorado affordable” sound great, but without even the pretense of a plan to actually do that the whole thing comes off as an arrogrant and tone-deaf exercise.

And then there’s self-immolating pablum like this:

Because that’s what Republicans do! Think through the last four years in your mind if you’re not sure.

It’s the party’s job to articulate the message. But when that message is total crap, it’s better to say nothing at all.


76 thoughts on “At Least They Didn’t Call It The “Contract On Colorado”

      1. Poor Sen. Paul, he supports the spread of the Delta variant and the killing of our children. Governors DeSantis and Abbott are in the same boat with him. I cannot imagine why any voter – Republican, Democrat or unaffiliated – or conservative, liberal or moderate – would support and vote for someone who advocates a policy that threatens their lives, especially when such policy threatens the lives of their children and grandchildren. 

      2. There's nothing that subhuman piece of garbage won't say. Late last week he was blabbering about Democrats "plucking" COVID-infected children from groups of recently-arrived "illegals" at the border and depositing them in cities around the U.S.

        Rand's daddy is a piece of shit as well, but at least he limited himself to ranting about freedom (while being latched firmly to the public teat for decades, of course) and spewing racist scumbucketry in writings directed toward other racists scumbuckets. Ol' Ron was 100% impotent and ineffectual as a member of Congress. His son is determined to use his position as a U.S. Senator to get people murdered.

        1. Well said, Genghis. 

          Rand Paul did inherit one thing from his dad…the absolute conviction that he is the smartest person in whichever room he finds himself.

          In the excellent book, "Dead Certain" by Robert Draper, the subject of "certitude" is dissected, as it pertained to the presidency of "Dubya". It is a distinguishing characteristic of many who wind up seeking the power public office can provide. It is the qualifier for admission into the world of zealots.

          The conviction that you cannot be wrong, is almost a guarantor that you are.



          1. Rand Paul did inherit one thing from his dad…the absolute conviction that he is the smartest person in whichever room he finds himself.

            Absolutely, Duke. "Often wrong, never in doubt" describes both of the Paul boys quite well.

        2. Actually his dad, to Ron Paul's credit, would not accept Medicaid as payment. Rand, on the other hand, did so when he was practicing medicine.


          1. I know that these things can be rather complicated, but why would I want to give Daddy Paul “credit” for, essentially, his refusal to treat (obstetrics & gynecology) numbers of poor women and children, and disabled folks?

            1. The credit is for consistency, not moral conduct. 

              In his world, the poor are only entitled to pro bono health care. (Let's see how far that goes.) 

              His son probably denounced Medicaid but had no problem taking the money.

  1. While their Eighth Prevarication is indeed laughable, I give runner-up status to the Fourth where they're all up into using "private-sector innovation to create environmentally friendly and affordable energy." Guessing that's the long way of saying "nukes," but the GOP's at least obstructed so many other things in recent history that I can't believe even the true believers would buy this claim.

    1. Or maybe we’ve already done that?  A decade of public/tax policy that has driven the cost of wind/solar to be cheaper than natural gas? Ditto for battery storage.  

      We don’t need you maroons to do a single thing other than get out of the way.  

  2. I know you are really not supposed to do this, but
    "We will deliver a state where middle class families can afford their home, gas, and groceries. We will reverse the excessive fees, taxes, and regulations that threaten to put the American Dream out of reach for many Coloradans."

    1. How are pro-business free-marketeers going to make housing more affordable?

    2. Does the Colorado GOP control the price of oil?

    3. Groceries are [slightly] more expensive here due to Kroger's 35% marketshare. Does the Colorado GOP plan to break up Kroger?

    4. Our state taxes are relatively low. Does the Colorado GOP plan to tell/control what counties, cities, and towns charge in sales taxes?

    5.Just what is the "American Dream"?

    1. GOP:  Vote for us Pro-business, anti-regulation, totally free market Republicans.  We will keep the invisible hand of the free market from fisting you.

      Voters:  How?

      GOP:  We Don't know.

      .Just what is the "American Dream"?

      Don't know.  But the Republicans are doing their level best to see that the vast majority of Americans don't achieve it.  

      1. Is that the same pro-business Republican Party that has a governor in Florida prohibiting Norwegian Cruises from requiring proof of vaccination for passengers boarding its ships?

        Where is the outrage over this excessive governmental interference with private enterprise?

        Oh the horror, the horror!


          1. Walmart, Google, Tyson Foods, Kaiser Permanente, DOD, DVA, and dozens of other government agencies and companies.

            Where I work, the message has been clear: vaccinate or vacate.
            Announced last week, and I believe we are going to stick to it.

            The only downside I can see is that we lose some employees who do not share the company values.  It is possible our hiring and internal development practices have not improved and we will hire more bad fits.

      1. Think twice before boycotting Kroeger, Michael.  Along with Safeway and Albertson's, they still have unions — as, of course, does Costco.  The biggest retail food seller is Walmart, where unions are banned.

        1. My preference is always Safeway first – they’ve managed to keep a store open in Burlington all these years, and have a nice one in Fort Morgan. When not in the hinterlands, it’s Costco.

          1. Costco isn’t uniform.  According to Goggle, Teamsters have some in California, UFCW elsewhere and some are not organized.

            Overall, 17,000 of Costco’s 135,000 employees are unionized in the U.S. — compared to zero at Wal-Mart and Sam’s club.

            1. Costco:  according to union release from UFCW …

              part of the reason Costco’s workers are making good wages and receive benefits is due to the fact that over 15,000 of its workers are unionized. Organized by the Teamsters, Costco is union-friendly and meets workers on an even playing field when it comes to bargaining, and as union members, they have a say in the terms and conditions of their employment. For more than 20 years, they have stood together to ensure their rights as workers are protected.


        2. Does anyone know what Safeway/Albertsons' market share is?  I tend to shop at Safeway for convenience, but don't shy away from Kings.  Walmart, on the other hand, I will actively avoid at all costs. 

          1. I have often wondered what Alice Walton might have done with the half billion dollars or so she has sunk into her “Crystal Bridges” fine art museum in Bentonville. You know, health care …feeding people…making sure her employees make enough money they don’t qualify for food stamps…like that.

          2. Fascist -Mart dominates the U.S. grocery market with a 26 percent share.  Kroeger is a distant second at 10.1 percent.  Albertsons/Safeway is third at 5.3.

            1. Somewhere this past week I read where the Walton family fortune has grown by $100 billion in the same time frame their average wage grew only from. $10/hr to $11/hr. 

              When they said the wealth would trickle down, they meant it literally. 

              If you’re on Twitter and not following @DanPriceSeattle do yourself a favor and mosey on over there. Some really great, data driven posts on the economy. 

    2. #3 and #9 are all about public funding for private schools. If these yahoos could cozen  the public into putting them into power, we could end up with a system like Florida’s: Parents whose children are “bullied” about mask-wearing or forced to learn inclusive history instead of the sanitized, Manifest Destiny version could receive state-sponsored scholarships to go to private schools. 

  3. It would have been better for them to hold their press conference in front of the Four Seasons Landscaping between the crematorium and the adult book store.

    They may have even been lucky enough to get the melting and flatulating Rudy Giuliani at participate.

  4. “Stop the war on rural Colorado”  What war? 

    Other than that, this is the same old Republican mantra on the various issues. Its all about limiting state government so people can pollute without consequences, gut public education, and eliminate government shining the light on certain aspects of society so bad actors and their actions become invisible to the tune of “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” 

    The GOP’s commitment is to let the free market run amoke. They have never understood that a free market is not moral or immoral. It is amoral. It exists to create wealth which it has accomplished better than any other economic system in history, but that is precisely its greatest weakness too. The free market left to its own devices only thinks of wealth creation and none of the other considerations or detriments to society it may cause like environmental pollution. The only way those kind of free market consequences can be tackled is through our government. In fact, by way of example, environmental laws give corporate management a crutch with shareholders to spend corporate funds on environmental compliance. Can you imagine what would happen to the CEO and board of directors of a company at the next stockholders meeting if they voluntarily spent millions of dollars on environmental compliance where no laws required them to do so and thereby cut the stockholders dividends. They would be removed in a minute. The only way to make sure a free market economy recognizes and addresses other values besides wealth creation is through legislation and regulation.  The so called “Commitment to Colorado” is designed to do the opposite. 

    1. R36 – I've posted this editorial from the Wichita Eagle before so you may have already read the contents. It's a little dated but written by a previous Kansas Dept of Ag Commissioner who'd had it with the AFP noise machine.  I think they've moved it behind the paywall now so I'll paste it here for your perusal: 

      Joshua Svaty: Free market has spoken on renewable energy

      I became concerned during this past legislative session about the chorus line I was hearing from opponents of the renewable portfolio standard. “We like renewables,” Americans for Prosperity would superficially say. “We just don’t like that they were mandated.”

      This “principled stand” was restated in the opening lines of a commentary by the elected architects of that Kansas opposition, Rep. Dennis Hedke, R-Wichita, and Sen. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona (“Renewable mandate driving up energy costs,” May 20 Opinion). As I had a front seat to the passage of the 2009 comprehensive energy legislation they mentioned, I thought I might try to illuminate a few things. 

      There were a lot of mandates in the 2009 energy bill. The legislation mandated that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment permit a coal-fired power plant in western Kansas. It mandated the size of that coal plant. It mandated that a certain portion of the coal come from Kansas, of all things. But the “market distortion” passed by the Legislature that Americans for Prosperity seems to have zeroed in on is the mandate that utilities provide a portion of their power from renewable sources.

      When customers switch on their lights at home, there is no corresponding switch that asks: “Would you like your electricity to come from coal, wind, natural gas or nuclear?” Because electric utilities in Kansas have a defined service territory, Kansas electric customers cannot shop around for their utility provider – certainly not the type of power that serves their home.

      That sort of monopoly on service encouraged the people of this state to heavily regulate, or “mandate,” nearly every layer of electric service. It is a mandate that utilities provide service. It is a mandate that they not cut off service to low-income individuals during peak heating/cooling months. It is a mandate that utilities use lowest-cost resource planning, and if they are not to use the lowest-cost power, that must be mandated, too.

      These mandates have come from the closest thing constituting a free market in Kansas’ electric utility industry – public citizens’ voices through the political process. The mandates are laws and regulations that have been developed over time by our Legislature, enforced largely by the Kansas Corporation Commission. 

      The Legislature distorts the market all the time, in economic areas that aren’t even monopolies. We subsidized Wichita’s airport. That’s certainly a market distortion, but that is also a priority set by the people. 

      Isn’t that our right, in a self-governing society? What sort of a society would these opponents have us live in? An “econocracy,” in which we can’t do anything that isn’t supported by Americans for Prosperity’s bizarre definition of the free market? 

      When policymakers talk about distortions in the electric utility market, they are missing the point that is glaring them in the face: Because of its monopoly nature, the only free market in Kansas’ electric industry is the Legislature, where the people can come and express their interests.

      Guess what? That “free market” has spoken. And spoken, and spoken again, repeatedly, saying that Kansans want a mix of their power coming from renewable sources.


    2. R36, how long have you lived here? "The War on Rural Colorado" has been a perennial theme of the Republicans for the last 30 years. Ever since Bev Bledsoe handed over the Speaker's gavel and Front Range legislators took control. It still chaps their hides

      1. I have lived in Colorado for a long time. I certainly remember Speaker Bev Bledsoe. When I wrote "What war," I was asking a rhetorical question. I certainly did not expect any of the so called conservatives to give me any facts to substantiate their "war" claims. Rural folks (I grew up in the country) have different ways of approaching issues and some may differ or object to ideas and legislation that is supported by urban voters but there is zero evidence the Colorado state government has ever initiated a war on rural Colorado. 

  5. From Wiki

    The corporation’s logo features the silhouette of a large green dinosaur, based on the then-common idea that oil deposits beneath the earth came from the dead bodies of dinosaurs. 

    I don’t know, R & R, isn’t standing in front of a dinosaur logo, created from a false belief, the perfect backdrop for these Neanderthals?  

    1. Bu, bu, but, . . .

      . . . it’s a GREEN dinosaur! . . .

      . . . so it has to be really great for the environment!!?  (Plus it’s kinda cute, like Dinger, but not as creepy syrupy and ridiculous, and not affiliated with such a miserable team.)


    I'm curious about #6.  Does anyone have a clue what this means?

    We will protect the industries that built Colorado, support agricultural water needs, and listen to the farmers and ranchers who feed our families.

    What industries "built Colorado"?  At one point, I'm pretty certain the "industries" were killing buffalo and trapping for furs.  Then mining for various metals, and building railroads. Since WWII, defense, security, and aerospace — all paid for in large part by the federal government — are a solid foundation "building" much of Colorado.  By contrast: Agricultural water, farmers and ranchers are a small sector of the economy. "Colorado's agricultural production and processing industries represented 2.1 percent of total state GDP."  Compared to 20% for "Finance" — Investments, banking, real estate and insurance.

    1. The New Deal paved the way for our rural electrics, cooperative telephone companies and ag coops.  Rural electrics are a pitch-perfect socialism construct. Are they keeping them or getting rid of them ?

      1. Winner, winner!!


        "Industry that built Colorado."…

        "Lifeblood of our economy."…

        "Most important industry"…

        "Largest job creator"…

        All lies. All code words for Republicans trying to calm their OilyBoy benefactors.


    2. It does not mean anything literal. (old definition)

      It means industries that Ds want to regulate out of existence like oil and gas extraction, refinement and shipment. Food processing.

      It  means the water you think is yours will not go to some front range spa, golf course or spa. It can only be used to support livestock or make snow. or high country golf.

      It is the dog whistle of urban= bad and rural = white, christians who share your values.

      1. Let me fix that sentence for you:

        It means industries that Ds want to regulate out of existence like oil and gas extraction,

        Dems want industry to be accountable for their negative externalities (of which they’ve managed to socialize over decades). 

  7. Silly libs trying to understand today’s patriots . . .

    . . . It’s not about doing, or saying, anything that has any specific meaning.  It’s about doing whatever to get contact information for fundraising, propaganda, and signing future recall petitions, etc.

    I simply can’t believe they forgot to mention any of the really important stuff, like: anything about Ttump, gold cards, stop the steal, the American flag, clean coal, the 2nd Amendment, religious liberty, or hydroxychloroquine????

  8. We are concerned . . . [w]ith . . . a skyrocketing crime rate . . . .

    Ghastly, ham-fisted, utterly unapologetic racism inbound in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

  9. #2  “skyrocketing crime rate……..”  Could it be that a cause of that crime rate is because this group of Republicans don’t want any reasonable restrictions on guns?

    #10 “protect the rights of the individual…..” Unless one is a woman seeking abortion services or wanting to use one of those “nasty contraceptive devices (IUDs)” that serve as “abortifacients.” In that situation, many of these self-proclaimed Republicans will support intervention by big government, powered by big religion, into peoples’ bedroom decisions.

  10. I see a lot of people with no masks so not real sure if I believe they are serious about "protecting" Coloradans.  It's sad that folks who demand the freedom to infect other people with promiscuous COVID behavior also demand that a woman can't choose her own destiny.  

  11. ok then..republicans lie…

    Accept it, embrace it, tickle it, pet it…ok I was talking about my dog…

    the fact remains, republicans are liars…they are crooks, and they eat babies while we aren't watching…

  12. I love the state Republican chair's response to Kyle Clark of 9News. She blames the World's worst air quality on the Democrats even though, as we all know, it is primarily due to the wild fires in California and ozone during the warm months. Presumably, since she recognizes the problem, she believes our air quality should be improved. Only concerted efforts through legislation and regulation can improve and sustain better air quality. But wait, in her Commitment to Colorado items #1 and #4, she clearly states Republicans want to terminate government environmental regulation and let the "private sector innovation develop environmentally friendly and affordable energy." In the end, she apparently is ok with the present state of  our air quality. She is just waiting for the oil and gas industry to pour their annual profits into fighting wild fires throughout the western United States and using some of those same profits to voluntarily reduce emissions. For some inexplicable reason, I think she is in for a long wait while the rest of us suffer breathing bad air but of course its all about "freedom."

      1. Aye. That is not on the job qualification list for her position. Certainly, there is some sort of matter between her ears, but whatever sort of tragedy has befallen that mass is as devastating as it is mysterious.

  13. Under Bush II, average national gas price went up to $4.11 for a spell in 2008. He was not only a conservative Republican for those times, he was also a professional oily guy. I'll be disappointed in anyone who buys KBB's messaging about gas prices, but if it's anywhere close to their top issue it won't help them nearly as much as they think. I admittedly don't drive a lot, but the price of gas probably ranks about 50th on my list of economic concerns.

    1. "he was also a professional oily guy"

      I'm reminded of what the late Anne Richards once said about Shrub's claim to being an oil man. 

      "He couldn't find oil in the Automotive Department of K-Mart!"

  14. re: The KBB update … "caring" about gasoline prices.

    here's some new economics math problems (please show your work): 

      * With appeals to end the federal supplemental unemployment benefits of up to $300 per week, how many gallons of gas would be impacted for those people KBB claims to care about?

      * If Democrats back a $15/hour minimum wage and Republicans want to maintain (or abolish) the minimum wage, how will the policies impact the sales of gasoline? 

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