Colorado Deserves Better Than Libby Szabo

Two local reporters follow up the story of Rep. Libby Szabo's appearance last Friday on the O'Reilly Factor, where she accused Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino of "protecting someone" after the death of a bill in the House to mandate long prison terms for child sex offenders. Both stories thoroughly deconstruct the hysterical reaction from Republicans to the death of this bill, but there's a more important point we don't want lost.

Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post reports on the death of "Jessica's Law" and the subsequent reaction today, establishing critically that the bill actually had very little support–including opposition from law enforcement and victims' advocates such as the Colorado District Attorneys' Council and the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault. According to a public defender specializing in sexual assault cases, Colorado law already allows for life sentences for the crimes covered by this bill. In addition to being an overreaction to something we already are very strict about in Colorado, absolutely nothing about the status quo or the proposed legislation justifies the hysterical anger being stoked about the bill's death.

FOX 31's Eli Stokols, writing about online meta-reaction to Bartels' story, explains why–and includes important details that Bartels, for whatever reason, omitted. 

In her article posted Tuesday morning, Bartels notes that the entire law enforcement community and even legal scholars agree that the law, which imposes mandatory minimum sentences on those who sexually assault children, isn’t needed in Colorado.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Libby Szabo, R-Arvada, appeared on Fox News with Bill O’Reilly Friday night and accused House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, who O’Reilly quickly pointed out was gay, of “protecting someone.” [Pols emphasis]

Ferrandino, who has since received hate mail from people who saw the segment, believes that Republicans only introduce the bill when Democrats are in control, forcing them to either pass it or be attacked for being soft on sexual predators…

On Twitter, Bartels noted that “no Coloradans testified for” Jessica’s Law, completing her point-by-point dismantling of the GOP’s hysterical reaction to the whole process.

Folks, millions of people watched Friday's broadcast of the O'Reilly Factor on FOX News, which we talked about on Sunday. Bartels does report that in the wake of that broadcast, Speaker Ferrandino received graphic and violent threats, "including one from a viewer who said he hoped Ferrandino's 14-month-old foster daughter gets raped."

But she never explained, as Stokols did, that host Bill O'Reilly and Rep. Libby Szabo explicitly accused Ferrandino, who they first went to great length to establish as "the first openly gay House speaker" and "a big pro gay marriage guy," of killing the bill because he was "protecting somebody." It's not enough to point out, though Bartels correctly does, that the bill is a warmed-over GOP "gotcha" with no real support, and exists primarily to facilitate ugly low-information campaign mailers in election years. The explicit linkage made by O'Reilly between the failure of civil unions last year and this bill, and Rep. Szabo's unconscionable accusation against the Speaker of her chamber, must be understood for the public to realize what a vile place this legislative session has descended to.

21 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. roccoprahn says:

    We had our window and we blew it.Tim Allport lost to the szabot by around 1600 votes.

    I'd mentioned earlier that IMO, Tim lost partially because he was WAAAAY too nice. He had a smorgasboard of szabot filth to throw back at her, and he declined.

    He went issues in a "faith based" pinko infested District, where the 3,000 red registration advantage is primarily made up of an ankle biting christ-ee crowd, denis szabot faith bible lemmings, that are 3 issue based. Anti-choice, anti Civil Unions, and President Obama not only being a Kenyan/Marxist/Muslim/white hating christian (I know, both at the same time…..go figure), but of all things, "the anti-christ" as well.

    He cut the pinko advantage by half with a solid and extremely focused and disciplined campaign, but missed the opportunity to close the deal, leaving the szabot's own legislative record on  womens' issues such as contraception and screenings, anti-choice rhetoric, and vile, hatefull, and very agressive opposition to Civil Unions on the table, unused.

    Well, the crazy szabot and her even more crazy husband have teed it up in 27 for another challenger.

    Personally, I'd love to see Tim run again.

    With a whole lot more attitude.

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    Have others in the legislature descended to these depths? Or is it just Szabo?

  3. ArapaGOP says:

    Do you think maybe Colorado deserves legislators that don't leave us unprotected against pedophiles? Our state is only 1 of 5 that doesn't have this law. Why would we not have this protection?

    I'm not speculating about Ferrandino's motives, but if you don't think there is a huge problem with killing this bill, you're in denial. He should be asked to explain. It's even worse when you won't protect Coloradans from pedophiles but WILL restrict their 2nd Amendment rights.

    Colorado Pols always talks about optics. The optics of this are a nightmare for Democrats, not Republicans.

    • ajb says:

      Reading comprehension fail

      • ArapaGOP says:

        How so? Please respond to the issue at hand.

        • Gray in Mountains says:

          Hey Guppy, because our current laws are as strong or stronger.

        • Curmudgeon says:

          Easy. Scroll up. But, if you can't be bothered, here's an important tidbit: In her article posted Tuesday morning, Bartels notes that the entire law enforcement community and even legal scholars agree that the law, which imposes mandatory minimum sentences on those who sexually assault children, isn’t needed in Colorado. " 

          So, I guess "how so" is that you're either not a great reader, or disingenuous. 


          • ArapaGOP says:

            Then why do almost all states have the law? What about Colorado makes us willing to protect pedophiles when others won't? Don't tell me about the "life sentence," Pols knows that's bull because it's not a mandatory life sentence.

            Why is it ok to protect pedophiles in Colorado?

            • ajb says:

              Why don't you ask the Colorado District Attorneys' Council? They're in a better position to know than you, me, or probably anybody on this blog. I imagine most are Republicans, too. 

            • Gray in Mountains says:

              well, Guppy, clearly you have been back to Troll Boot Camp

            • The realist says:

              I almost never respond directly to you, ArapaGOP, but I must respond to your question — "Why is it ok to protect pedophiles in Colorado?" Ask your fellow Republican Baumgardner why he harbored a failed-to-register convicted sex offender in his home last spring (the arrested offender was then bailed out of jail by a Baumgardner family member). He will be able to tell you why it is "ok to protect pedophiles in Colorado." 


        • roccoprahn says:

          Why do you allways have to be baby sat?

          Yeah, Gray just answered you, but for crying out loud, do you read?


          There are obvious pratfalls in not passing this legislation as currently written. Some States have redleg legislatures, scared of primary reaction if they do their jobs. It's easier to go along with anything ALEC. It takes courage to do what the Colorado Democrats are doing.

          Snipes like oreilly, the szabot, and other opportunists, coffman last November to name another,  preach to the willfully ignorant, you for instance, that this legislation is stronger than what we have now, which it's not.

          Read the materials at hand. I shouldn't have to do this, but here's some reading for you. Erin Jemison, Colorado Coalition against Sexual Violence. Also, just fucking google the District Attorneys' take on this.

          Are you daft?

          It's about appeals, you lummox. It's about having months of hard work flushed down the toilet when the verdicts don't stand up.

          With you, I should be gettin' paid for baby sitting. I'm not that patient a person, and pinko slowskis, by design or by genes, get on my nerves.

  4. Half Glass Full says:

    Hey Szabo: ask your preacher husband what "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" means.

  5. Arvadonian1 says:

    I live in the district that Szabo claims to represent…she is pathetic,  What I'd give to have Sara Gagliardi back….

    • JeffcoBlue says:

      The only good thing that can be said about Libby Szabo is she is teaching the sane residents of Arvada what the FBC zealots are really about. Szabo is the perfect representative of brainless believer bigotry.

  6. JeffcoBlue says:

    The reason Lynn Bartels has her job is her willingness to pull punches at just the right moment. It was no accident. The less the public knows about the lies and insanity being used to churn up the nuts, the more legitimate their crazy outrage looks. She is helping keep the Rs in the fight by only reporting the effect and not the cause.

    It pisses me the fuck off.

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