The Western Conservative Summit, a yearly confab of hard-right conservatives held in the Denver area annually that seeks to compete with CPAC and the other big-name conserva-cons coming up this weekend, has frequently aimed to stir up controversy with their roster of speakers. Over the years, WCS has brought in such colorful types as leading Dutch racist politician Geert Wilders who called for a moratorium on mosque construction, in addition to Republican luminaries big and small–the more important the election year for Republicans, the bigger the luminaries including President Donald Trump and Cabinet officials. In recent years as Republican fortunes have waned dramatically in our state, the speaker list at WCS has slipped from relatively “A List” early in the Trump years to this year’s pack of relative unknowns:
The list does go on from here, and Colorado’s three remaining Republican members of Congress are all set to speak, but this roster is a far cry from the days when Trump and Sarah Palin packed the hall at the WCS. The year’s speaker’s list has more people we’ve never heard of than perhaps any other year, and not even a major presidential candidate on the list.
But if you’re looking for controversy, recently reprimanded attorney Jenna Ellis at least has that commodity in ample supply. Ellis was formally censured by the Colorado state board of attorney regulation for a “pattern of misconduct” related to her false statements about the 2020 presidential election. This admission, which was required in order to save Ellis’ law license, resulted in her being excommunicated from Trump world.
But as the Colorado Times Recorder reported last week, that hasn’t slowed Ellis down in the controversy department:
Jenna Ellis, a controversial conservative talk show host and attorney from Colorado, announced on social media this week that she supports the new, highly criticized Ugandan anti-LGBTQ law, which prescribes the death penalty for those found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality.”
Ellis is a former legal advisor to President Trump, censured election denier, and a former professor of law, leadership, and ethics at Colorado Christian University, where she taught from 2015-2018.
Even Sen. Ted Cruz has condemned Uganda’s extreme anti-LGBT laws. But for Ellis there’s a more immediate problem in the form of Rep. Ken Buck, who was at least at one point so opposed to Uganda’s persecution of LGBT people that he refused to share a stage with a supporter of their crackdown:
Back then, U.S. Representative Ken Buck (CO-04), another Colorado conservative and member of the House Freedom Caucus, backed out of an event where a Ugandan proponent of that 2014 law on the bill. “I can’t share the stage with someone like that,” Buck said at the time. [Pols emphasis]
Well folks, unless something changes in the next 48 hours, he’s about to. Ken Buck of course knows Jenna Ellis, having fired Ellis from the Weld County District Attorney’s office back in 2012 for “unsatisfactory performance.” Buck also tried to put distance between himself and the 2020 presidential election conspiracy theories that drove Ellis to the pinnacle of fame and then disgrace.
Add it all together and it looks like a real dilemma for Ken Buck.
At the very least, we expect some top-shelf Buckisms as he talks his way out of it.