Kiss That Speaker’s Gavel Goodbye, Frank McNulty

The Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby updates the Rep. Laura Bradford saga:

“I’m frustrated and disappointed in the speaker of the House when last Friday on the phone, when we were discussing this, he said, ‘You’re toast,'” Bradford said. “This isn’t about the last seven days. This has been going on for the past 15 months…”

Regardless of the department’s exoneration of Bradford, McNulty said there are other issues to discuss, such as Bradford’s driving after drinking, and her claim that she came from a legislative function at a downtown Denver bar…

Bradford said she is 95 percent certain she will leave the party. The last 5 percent she has to think about is whether she will become an independent or Democrat, [Pols emphasis] and whether she will resign before the end of her term. She is up for re-election for her third term this fall.

AP’s Ivan Moreno via the Durango Herald:

McNulty responded that, “It is quite possible that I said that if she’s not honest about what happened, and she doesn’t show remorse for what happened, that she would be toast.”

He said Bradford’s comments about possibly leaving the party are “unfortunate and unproductive.” He said the forming of an ethics committee shows “the seriousness of the allegations that have been put in play here.”

Bradford said she disagrees with having an ethics committee look at her actions – and potentially dole out punishment ranging from censure to expulsion – because the question of whether she abused her power has been settled. She said she’s deciding Friday whether to leave the GOP and switch to unaffiliated or Democrat, even though she’s been a lifelong Republican.

As of this morning, the consensus view from our sources is that Rep. Laura Bradford’s disaffiliation from the Republican Party is all but inevitable now. Most expect her to serve out her current term, but not to run for re-election due to the logistical hurdles imposed by changing affiliation so late–and of course the drama and still-unresolved questions about the past week complicating everything. It’s considered more likely that Rep. Bradford will go unaffiliated, though the possibility of her switching to the Democratic Party remains out there.

The thing to understand is that in either case, Bradford going unaffiliated or Democratic, it’s a very good bet that House Speaker Frank McNulty will not be Speaker when the dust settles. As we said yesterday, if Bradford switches to a Democrat, the majority simply flips. If she goes independent, you’ve got a 32-32-1 tie, and near-certainty of Bradford–or somebody else–calling an election for a new Speaker. And as you probably know, or if you didn’t know you could well be about to learn, McNulty is not universally loved within his caucus.

One possible scenario here is a House that remains in Republican hands, with Democratic help.

That’s all we should prudently say right now, we’ll update as events warrant (which they will).

70 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Say Hey Kid says:

    After every major donor and player in the GOP from Mesa County and across the State talks to Rep. Bradford she will stay put.  The Speaker will say kind words about her and this whole saga will end.  The Democrats by not striking while the iron was hot and having the vote to oust McNulty yesterday probably blew their only chance to pull this off.

  2. OrangeFree says:

    One possible scenario here is a House that remains in Republican hands, with Democratic help.

    She could just say “I’ll keep the GOP in the majority, but McNulty and Stephens are out.” Dems wouldn’t even have to be involved in the process.

    Now, that isn’t to say the Dems couldn’t get invovled, siding with McNulty on the speakership in exchange for allowing ASSET and Civil Unions to come to a full vote of the house. But that probably won’t happen.

  3. Middle of the Road says:

    One, props to Speaker McNulty for not attempting at any time to sweep this whole mess under the rug. It may even cost his party control of the House which makes what he did all the more honorable, since it appears that Bradford is only switching parties out of sheer spite and vindictiveness.

    Two, doesn’t anyone besides me wonder why McNulty would question, from the get go, her story and her version of what happened when she got pulled over? Kind of makes you wonder about other things she has done.  

    • Aristotle says:

      then I don’t wonder at all. She’s painting a picture of leadership that’s been angry with her for a long time, and if it’s true, then THEY are the ones who look petty and vindictive to me.

      Right now, it’s he said she said, and since it’s McNulty (a proven weasel), I’ll withhold any plaudits because even if Bradford is lying through her teeth, there’s no reason to believe his actions are anything but self-serving.

      • Middle of the Road says:

        but several of our posters on this blog know Bradford and from their comments the last several days, I’ve gathered she is rather vindictive and not necessarily truthful by nature when it comes to covering her own ass.

        I don’t see it as petty or spiteful to demand an ethics investigation of her behavior in all of this. I would expect no less if a Democrat pulled this stunt.

        She’s brought some of her Party’s wrath on herself by stupidly voting the wrong way on a health care repeal bill.

        And to suddenly consider switching parties and going public about it, after being a lifelong Republican, seems petty and spiteful not honorable.  

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      and inconsequential existence, but I for one refuse to waste a single minute pondering another inebriated west-slope legislator.

      But, I do agree that McNulty has been more than honorable in his up-front dealing with this situation, and that is both notable and commendable.  

  4. davebarnes says:

    promise Laura a Committee Chair.

    The overall victory would be worth the whoring.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      And yeah, it would be whoring. No sense in pretending otherwise. And it would also be worth it to get some real legislation passed this session with a Dem majority in both the House and Senate.  

      • JeffcoBlue says:

        We flip the chamber now, we flip it in November. I agree it would be better to flip it now so we could actually get shit done.

        But it’s flipping either way this year.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      They got off to a great start with their call for a Constitutional Convention and everything was going their way to paint every vote as a vote against the hated Obama Administration.

      This totally gums up the works.  Even a couple of weeks of uncertainty in a tight calendar that ends in May is going to do serious damage to their political narrative.

      Bradford is damaged goods.  Dems. would appear to be equally Machiavellian if they kissed her on the mouth and tried to woo her.  She is an entitled Republican to the core for God’s sake.  Let this one go by and concentrate on promoting good solutions to the problems of our times.  That will work out better in the long run.

    • MADCO says:

      Since it only takes one.

  5. nancycronk says:

    Can I be the first to acknowledge the pink elephant in the room (pun intended)? When I volunteered for a crisis center for several years, we saw a lot of substance abuse. It was common for people struggling with alcohol issues to blame their problem, and turn on, those around them.

    If Rep. Bradford has a problem, she is surely coming face to face with it now. I don’t know this woman from Adam, and I am not suggesting there is, but if there’s more to this story, I wouldn’t judge her for it. People are human, and people make mistakes. To all who are suffering with an addiction of any kind, PLEASE GET HELP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Others care about you, regardless of your political party affiliation.

  6. Say Hey Kid says:

    The Democrats spent the day worried about how it would look if they made a deal to get Bradford’s vote.

    The Republicans went about the business of making sure that Bradford doesn’t switch. The Democrats made no deal when they had the opportunity and McNulty keeps his gavel.  

    • JeffcoBlue says:

      Proof of anything of this? I call wishful thinking or misinformation.

      I’ve got sources at the Dome too, clown.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        I’m so happy to have Say Hey and the gang back.  Romney must have opened his pocketbook to get them all back on board.  Reading the A-BOT day after day made for some boring days.

        Of course they are all factually challenged.  I’m sure Say Hey had no intent to have his statements regarded as factually accurate.  The new Republican posters are as big of liars as A-BOT.  That never changes with the election cycle.

  7. Aristotle says:

    McNulty responded that, “It is quite possible that I said that if she’s not honest about what happened, and she doesn’t show remorse for what happened, that she would be toast.”

    Good god, just admit you said it, and stop using the passive voice. You’re not a fucking child.

  8. Arvadonian says:

    How do we get a civil unions bill passed out of this?

  9. Canines says:

    Can she actually be prevented from changing her affiliation?

    And is the solution, if she does, having a Democrat become an Independent for the sake of “party union.” That’s pretty funny.

  10. BlueCat says:

    Dems out of power here as elsewhere. Could this be, as so often in the recent past, largely due to, shall we say, colorful GOP characters (Tanc, Buck, etc. here in Colorado), a harbinger of things to come nationwide?  The way the 2004 tide starting to turn here in favor of Dems put us in the forefront of nationwide successes of Dems leading to the great Dem triumphs of 2006 and 2008?  Sure seems like, from lowly state legislators to governors and presidential hopefuls, it’s been a parade of wackiness on the GOP side for the past two years.  

  11. Say Hey Kid says:

    Votes for leadership are always in order.

    Is Frank McNulty still the Speaker?

  12. sxp151 says:

    Bradford said she is 95 percent certain she will leave the party. The last 5 percent she has to think about is whether she will become an independent or Democrat.

    Oh, come on! If it’s 95% not being a Republican, and 5% either being independent or Democrat, then that’s 100% not being a Republican.

  13. abraham says:

    I think that this will all settle down this week.

    It is perfectly possible that Bradford will leave the party – as did Tancredo – for a more right wing group, but I doubt she will jump the highly liberal Democrat Party.  Too many fundamental philosophical issues to get over that divide.

    I doubt that she will jump before they adjourn sine die in May.  Precinct caucuses are next Tuesday and then we go into nominating assemblies.  I would expect her to make her decision on reelection known before the nominating assembly.

    The Democrats need to be cautious.  If they end up with a 33-32 majority with Bradford, what happens if the Republicans make McKinley a great offer and it switches back?  The State cannot afford that kind of volatility and instability.  

    Everyone down there needs to quit playing fantasy politics and get focused on the problems of Colorado.  Scorched earth partisan gamesmanship is likely to get a smack down by the electorate.

    • MADCO says:


      All the talk is abotu Bradford – rightly so since she broke at least two laws (DUI,GUI) and perhaps lied about it.  But any  R that switches could have a committe chair and even an appointment now or up to 2018 when Hick will be out.  Its the end of an R career (though switching parties didn’t seem to hur Senator Nighthorse Campbell) but not necessarily the end of a career in public service.

      And there are others I would prefer to recruit.

      You talk about focusing on the problems facing Colorado – you mean like suppressing votes, keeping their thin majority, outlawing fetuses in food, and other time wasting things our own R’s are focused on?  Perhaps we should pass a law preventing the governor from allowing Colorado to enter the UN and surrender sovereignty. But it seems like that can wait.

  14. says:

    Is it possible that a vulnerable dem is cutting a deal so they won’t face a credible challenger in exchange for republican support?

  15. _stight says:

    Speaker Levy…  

  16. Say Hey Kid says:

    I’m hearing that there may be a leadership vote on Monday.  Maybe Frank should start packing.  

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