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February 01, 2024 01:07 PM UTC

House Republicans Keep Showing Their Asses

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Marshall Zelinger at 9News has more on the Republican opposition to a Black History Month resolution:


Post by @kyleclark9news
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The new House Minority Leader at the state legislature apparently has no more control of the grandstanding imbeciles in her micro-minority than did the previous head clown.

Rep. Rose Pugliese, shown last week after her caucus selected her to be the new House Minority Leader.

Last week, House Republicans selected Colorado Springs Rep. Rose Pugliese as their new Minority Leader. The worst job in Colorado opened up after Rep. Mike Lynch stepped down from his leadership role amid questions related to his failure to disclose the details of exceptionally-bad DUI and weapons arrest from September 2022. The name plates may be different, but House Republicans are the same insensitive, nonsensical bunch of time-wasting buffoons that they were in 2023.

Today is February 1, which marks the first day of Black History Month. Democrats thus introduced a completely benign resolution (HR24-1003) recognizing Black History Month that included some interesting tidbits about Colorado (for example, Hattie McDaniel, the first Black Oscar winner, was a graduate of East High School in Denver). No reasonable person should have voiced objection to this resolution, which declared:

(1) That the Colorado House of Representatives recognizes the contributions Black Americans have made to the development of Colorado and the United States; and (2) That the Colorado House of Representatives recognizes February of 2024 as Black History Month and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s 2024 theme of “African Americans and the Arts”.

Of course, “reasonable people” are in short supply in the 19-member House Republican caucus, which is how Colorado Springs Rep. Ken “Skin” DeGraaf ended up at the microphone for another of his now-standard asinine rants. Before we get to DeGraaf’s “speech” below, it’s important to note that the freshman Republican is not an outlier among his colleagues; DeGraaf actually received five votes for House Minority Leader in last week’s election.

DeGraaf’s gibberish was eventually stopped by House Speaker Julie McCluskie, but not before he could vomit out nonsense that included a rant about how slavery is really the fault of African and Middle Eastern countries; that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is scientifically inaccurate; and that House Democrats are racist because they a) Support green energy legislation which relates to child slavery in Africa, and b) Support sanctuary city policies that make slaves of undocumented immigrants, or something. [Skip to 30:04 in the video below if it does not automatically begin at that point]


State Rep. Ken DeGraaf reading his gibberish speech from an iPad.

DEGRAAF: I’m afraid you’re probably not going to like where this is going, but I think it’s important. I would like to sign on to this resolution, but with an opportunity to address my concerns instead of seeing this resolution late last night, perhaps I could…

DeGraaf insinuates that he didn’t have time to fully digest this resolution, which is both stupid and untrue. He literally read his PREPARED REMARKS from an iPad.

DEGRAAF: One, it violates the primacy of verbiage [sic] which we are told we must adhere. We don’t say disabled Americans because of Americans with disabilities to focus on their humanity first. Here, the focus is on a reference is to phenotype, which is a minor physical characteristic. Unlike the consensus non-science of [Charles] Darwin’s theory which considers a race – RACE – to be a primary characteristic, with darker skin being indicative of a lower level of evolution. It’s non-science. 100%. But it’s taught in our schools and celebrated by many in this room. Also, not all Black Americans are of African descent, and I have friends who feel that their heritage is erased and consumed by a myopic narrative.

This is the same guy who regularly argues that Climate Change is a hoax and that the real problem with our environment is too much water vapor. DeGraaf is not a scientist, but he does have access to a thesaurus! DeGraaf thinks it makes him sound very smart to use big words like “phenotype.”

DEGRAAF: This resolution puts slavery rightly in a pejorative context. But on three separate occasions last session, this same caucus voted to use money extracted by force from Colorado taxpayers to support child slavery and environmental degradation of third-world countries to support green energy. It’s difficult to stand against slavery with someone standing for it. Even the majority party’s insistence on being a sanctuary for trafficking immigrants unprotected by documentation, turning them into a perpetually-vulnerable slave class exploitable…

It is at this point that McCluskie first tries to gently persuade DeGraaf to stop wasting everyone’s time:

MCCLUSKIE: Representative DeGraaf?

DEGRAAF: Yes, ma’am?

MCCLUSKIE: I’m going to pause us for a moment and ask you to return to the content of the resolution, which speaks about Black History Month.

DEGRAAF: Yes, ma’am. There’s a lot of history…

MCCLUSKIE: The votes that have been taken by members of this body are not reflected in this resolution, and your conclusions are not welcome at this time as you speak. I ask you to please focus on the content of the resolution.

After a pause and a creepy giggle, DeGraaf keeps right on keepin’ on:

DEGRAAF: The content of the resolution is history. So let me skip ahead…

I do agree that the history of all Americans regardless of phenotype be interwoven because partial history is not correct history and you can not learn valid lessons from false history. But our children are forced to endure projects like the 1618 Project because it values narrative over fact. We could, or should, talk about how the first owner of a chattel slave was a free man of African descent. Or how the blood and treasure of Britain and the United States – trillions in today’s dollars – went into fighting the slave trade that was promolgated by African and Arabian empires who had based their economy on the capture…

McCluskie stops DeGraaf again at this point and declares a recess as a means of shutting him up. After about five minutes, a different Republican strolls to the microphone to make things all better…


…Just kidding. But here’s what Rep. Richard Holtorf (R-Akron) had to say: [Skip to 51:37 in the video below if it does not automatically begin at that point]


Here I come, to save the dayyyyy!!!

HOLTORF: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Thank you to all the guests here. My African-American guests who have come. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Senator James Coleman and I had a very wonderful discussion this morning about this resolution, and I want everybody to know that I’m honored to serve with my African-American and Middle Eastern colleagues in support of this resolution. 

[Insert record scratch]. Hold on just a minute. This is the same Richard Holtorf who just last week responded to a question about illegal immigration (during a CO-04 congressional candidate forum in Weld County) with this racist answer:

“For all of those fighting age, Middle Eastern males who have come to this country, they need to be immediately deported back to the Middle East – those terrorist countries. Full stop!”

In other words, Holtorf stands with his Middle Eastern colleagues…but also wants them deported immediately. Got it.

Back to the House Floor:

HOLTORF: We must understand, and I had the privilege of serving in the military. And we must understand, that the military experience, probably, frames this and references this in a very, very eloquent way, because we recognize every February in the military, in the Department of Defense. Many months. But February is always African-American month. And rightfully so. And this resolution supports that. I had the privilege of being a, uh, faculty member in the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. I served as a reserve instructor, and then I was an area coordinator for a five state region.

And one thing that is amazing that sits at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is a statue to the Buffalo Soldier. It is a beautiful, artistic recognition of the contributions of African Americans to service to their country, the United States of America. These soldiers served in the Civil War, most of them, to end slavery and preserve the Union. Which is the union that we live in today. African American soldiers traveled west. And they continued to serve and that was their choice. Voluntarily. And they did great things in service. My personal experience serving shoulder to shoulder with my brothers and sisters in the military of African American descent, was filled with nothing but honor. They should be proud of their service, as all Americans are proud of their service. In our service, we did not recognize the color of our skin. We only recognized that we were Americans. And we serve to defend the Constitution of the United States. Because we are brothers and sisters in arms, irregardless of where we came from, who we were, or our backgrounds.

“Racist Richard” closes with this fantastic sentence:

HOLTORF: So my colleagues and I, for the most part, stand in whole support of this resolution. Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to make that declaration.

“For the most part” is doing a lot of work there.

It is no surprise that House Republicans would find some way to object to a resolution acknowledging Black History Month. Just a few weeks ago, DeGraaf’s buddy Rep. Scott Bottoms (R-Colorado Springs) was the sole “NO” vote on a resolution honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You can decide for yourself whether this is more or less worse than what happened in Jan. 2023, when not a single House Republican could be bothered to sign on as a co-sponsor of a similar resolution honoring MLK.

These are the people who will be on your ballot in 2024.

This is the Colorado Republican Party.


5 thoughts on “House Republicans Keep Showing Their Asses

  1. Showing their mala fides in the Colorado legislature seems pretty typical.

    On the bright side, we haven't yet had them use the tactic employed by an Indiana Representative.

    On Tuesday, Indiana state Rep. Jim Lucas flashed his holstered handgun while discussing gun violence with teenagers at the Statehouse, according to a video of the incident. The video, obtained by, was filmed by one of the teenagers, who were there as members of Students Demand Action, a pro-gun-control organization. 

  2. Holtorf unfortunately represents the people of his House District 63 pretty well. Demographics show HD63 voters as 70% white, and fairly well to do, non-struggling middle class people. I’m pretty sure this doesn’t count all of the ( 9% foreign-born) legal refugees in the Fort Morgan and Greeley areas, some of whom are well on their way to US citizenship, and many of whom , as Puerto Ricans, are already voting citizens. 25% of HD63 is also Latino / Hispanic.

    With his TMI abortion disclosure, Holtorf was probably making a bid for the approval of the 40% of women between the ages of 15 and 40 ( more or less childbearing age) in his district, as well as their partners.  He may also be trying to appeal to the ~30,000 unaffiliated voters in his district. For comparision, Dems are about 15,000 and Republicans 25,000).

    Does anyone know if Holtorf automatically serves out his HD63 term to January of 2025 if (when) his bid for CD4 is unsuccessful?


    1. "Does anyone know if Holtorf automatically serves out his HD63 term to January of 2025 if (when) his bid for CD4 is unsuccessful?"

      Unless he resigns, why wouldn't he finish his current term, especially if he loses the CD-4 nomination? 

      If he should win, he might have to resign before taking his seat in the U.S. House since the swearing in for the U.S. House happens a few days before the new state House is sworn in.

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