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March 01, 2013 02:31 PM UTC

Colorado GOP Chair Race Quietly Getting Nasty

  • by: Colorado Pols

SATURDAY UPDATE #2: The Denver Post reports that Ryan Call defeated challenger Mark Baisley and will remain GOP chairman, final vote 272в…“ votes for Call to Baisley's 158в…” votes.There's some kind of methodology that explains the fractional vote totals, but we think it's more fun to let our readers speculate how Republicans arrived at a precise 272в…“ votes. If it's any consolation, as of this writing so did the Post.
SATURDAY UPDATE: Good heavens! Look what spontaneously appeared in our inbox last night (image right, click for higher resolution).


Good stuff today from the Colorado Statesman's Ernest Luning on the race for Colorado GOP chairman:

Colorado Republicans meet this weekend to elect a state chairman in the wake of last November’s resounding losses at the polls and both announced candidates say the GOP needs to undergo a massive overhaul in order to compete with what they both acknowledge is a superior Democratic organization.

Republican state central committee members — county officers, elected officials and bonus delegates, awarded by county based on the vote received by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney — will chose between incumbent state chairman Ryan Call and Douglas County GOP chairman Mark Baisley at the biennial reorganizational meeting on Saturday morning at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village…

“There’s no question that we had a tough election,” Call said, resulting from “a significant shift from a reliably Republican electorate” in the state. “Our electorate is shifting, demographically, politically, and we can’t keep doing things the way we’ve been doing it the last four or five years”

Describing a set of “bold and dramatic moves” he hopes to take if he wins a second, two-year term, Call said the state GOP must build “an ever-present and year-round campaign operation,” including voter registration drives, neighborhood canvases and coordinated town hall meetings.

In the wake of yet another electoral drubbing last year, Republicans are rightly looking at their senior staff to see if the problem lies there. In the case of Ryan Call, you've got a party chairman who has at least paid lip service to the need for moderating reform, and to present a more palatable image to the next generation of voters–younger, more diverse, and socially tolerant voters that the party has been mostly successful alienating.

Call's lip service, and even occasional criticism of his fellow Republicans in support of improving the party's image has not just failed to manifest in visible terms, as the party continues to put its most extremist foot forward on a host of issues. In the person of Call's "Tea Party"-favored opponent, former Douglas County party chair Mark Baisley, Call's attempt to put lipstick on the proverbial pig is being actively resisted

“We need to think more in terms of chess instead of checkers, where we make a move, they make a move. We need to think two, three steps ahead, where they come to bloody us with their ‘War on Women,’ we can play the video of Joe Salazar,” he said, referencing remarks made earlier in February by the House Democrat during floor debate over gun control measures when he suggested that women might not accurately assess whether they’re about to be raped and shoot someone when no threat exists.

Baisley also stressed the importance of cultivating coalitions in communities. Traveling the state, Baisley said, he encounters plenty of “folks that just feel left out, they don’t feel like they’re part of the party across the state. They want to be, but they don’t feel like they’re connecting.”

Baisley wants to respond to damaging established GOP memes with weak-minded gotchas instead of countering the meme itself–and the standard "Tea Party" refrain, bringing in "folks that just feel left out." In support of Baisley, the knives are coming out for Call. Here's an email from Shari Bjorklund, former GOP legislative candidate:

Maybe we should try a new approach and NOT elect weak Progressive Republicans to lead our party!  Ryan Call is a progressive (liberal) Republican.  Besides working to keep conservative Republicans out of the party and actively donating to Democrats, Ryan Call is the registered agent for the group Progressives for Immigration Reform.

Supporters of Baisley are also making as much hay as they can of a 2011 traffic stop, where Call was arrested on a failure-to-appear charge related to an unpaid traffic ticket. Call quickly bonded out of jail, but it's a fair point that attorneys should pay their traffic tickets. Not to be outdone, Call's supporters are circulating Baisley's history of his recent "Obama economy" financial troubles. In addition to RINO vs. "Tea Party," it's a battle of petty mudslinging.

How will it end? The GOP central committee meets tomorrow morning, so you won't have to wait long.


46 thoughts on “Colorado GOP Chair Race Quietly Getting Nasty

  1. If that fool Baisley thinks Joe Salazar's poorly thought out – and immediately apologized for – bit comes anywhere close to actual proposed legislation to make doctors perform unnecessary, invasive, and likely punitive procedures on women (never mind "legitimate rape," then he has no fucking clue.

    1. Nonsense. Salazar said that women don't have the judgment to know if they are about to be raped or not. Say what you want about pro-lifers, we do not think women are helpless fools. We are simply pro-life.

      1. If any of you think that attack will have any affect on women's votes, you are a total blithering idiot.  Women know why the vote against Republicans.  It's because you don't support their views.  Republicans indeed have a war on women that has been going on for more than 25 years.  It's only now that there are so many of the true believers that women are coming to understand how really anti-woman the "Republican" Party is.  If you think women or the general public are going to be fooled by a stupid lthing like this, well, the sooner the end of the "Republican" Party.  I know you can't do any more than put lipstick on the stinbking positions of Republicans and that you essentially have no one left in the party with the balls to take down these crazies.  But, you've made your bed and now you have to sleep in it, stinking crap and all.

      2. Pro-life… there is no bigger joke than that. Pro-life SHOULD mean caring about the welfare of children, that they're getting a good education and a just shot at success. You know, everything you went on record as opposing when you said "DAMN RIGHT" in wake of Rmoney's "47% speech." Your love of personal tools of death further belies your words. You're as pro-life as Pol Pot.

        The anti-abortion movement is about controlling women, their bodies, and reproduction. Nothing more. You care about that embryo as much as you care about roadkill. But you want it to grow into a baby and be born because it's proof that men are in control. The mother you couldn't care less about.

        Women aren't stupid. They know how little they're valued by today's GOrP. That's why you are so desperately trying to make a mountain out of an anthill with Salazar – since you won't actually propose policies that give women any rights or respect, you'll have to scare them with the old "LOOK THEY DO IT TOO!" trick. Except that they don't do it, too, and women are smart enough to know that.

        You guys are pandering to Hispanics, but can't be bothered to do even that with women. Losers – the whole disgraceful lot of you.

        1. The only problem with what Romney said is it was too frank for an election year. You know it and I know it. Democrats are about building a dependent class. Romney was right, he just said it at the wrong time.

          I am pro life, and pro competition. I want everyone to succeed, but I am realistic enough to know not everyone will.

          1. Pro-Life?  Hah.  You're actually a Deatheater who loves his weapons of mass destruction to the point that you would kill American soldiers if you thought they were going to take your precious toys away from you.  You are an envionmental raping asshole who has no problem killing our planet so that your masters can extract more profit before we all boil alive from Climate Change.  You insult anyone who really is Pro-Life with your blather about living forever in some far away place in your afterlife which requires you to insist that government coerce women to do change their lives when it is not in their best interests to do so.

            What a fool.

          2. It was only "too frank" in that he exposed just how contemptuous of working Americans that he (and you) really are. Yeah, that won't win many elections. What poetic justice that Romney earned 47% of the total votes cast.

            But go right ahead and tell us that your myth is true. That poor people are only poor because of their own choices, and not because the system is designed to keep them that way. You lose more votes and become more irrelevant every time you do.

          3. Romney was wrong for two reasons. First, as President you need to represent all the citizens of this country. You don't have to agree with them, but you need to represent them.

            Second he demonstrated a major Republican misconception. It's not that the majority of people in this country want a free ride. What they want is a community that helps others where appropriate. Where misfortune is mitigated and opportunity is not limited to those born wealthy.

            Fundamentally that honest statement by Romney demonstrated that he is opposed to our being a community.

            1. Second he demonstrated a major Republican misconception. It's not that the majority of people in this country want a free ride. What they want is a community that helps others where appropriate. Where misfortune is mitigated and opportunity is not limited to those born wealthy.

              Well said, David…and completely correct.


          4. And what irritates me agop is that you know the rest of us know that you don't believe any of the garbage you post. Especially about romney's honesty or your being "pro competition". limbaugh and hannity say that crao, and you just try to remember it and post it here. Frankly, I know you're an old white guy that's full of shit………and hate.

            Also, I don't think you know what "pro life" means. I also am pretty sure Ari nailed it when he just said this wierd fixation your ilk has on womens' bodies IS about control.

            From my own experience growing up, I met plenty like you. I kind of remember it , so I'll try to re-tell it.

            Back in the '50's and into the late '60's the mostly white demographic in the US had a big thing going  pushing back on boomers' wives leaving home and going to school, I mean post high school. The "war of the sexes" kind of changed names, into "womens' lib" That term was meant to be derisive. Guys like you were pissed women felt they had a right to seek employment just like men. That women might date more than 1 guy. That they "infiltrated" supposedly male only professional areas….legal, medical, and so on.

            Eventually education was the catalyst and most barriers fell…..funny you should have mentioned this…………because of competition. And the whole "keep 'em home, pregnant and barefoot" con fell apart.

            But one demographic got left behind. Yours. The older, white,  virulently racist, homophobic, constervative christ-ee xenophobic, draft dodging part of the boomers/60's generation.

            It matastacized into the republican party. You "people" don't know what you want, or like, or stand for, or even believe in. You just know "it ain't your America any more".You're hypocrites, as you dodged the draft, but claim to be Pro militay. And you believe you're patriotic! When you're actually anything but. What a joke!

            I really don't care why you're what you are. I just know your ilk is destroying this country. Your anger plays out in Washington, in our ownState Capitol, in disrupting Town Halls by screaming anti- government bullshit, in.your penchant to cling to your bullshit religion, which you really don't believe in, and your guns. You're bitter. You figure your Social Security check's small because others get Social Security

            I just know the only way to destroy you is a bullet proof Senate, 62 or 63 to make sure, a Democratic President, and control of the House, 2 more Liberal Supreme Court Justices, Democratic control of the 30 States that have pinko governors/legislatures, and a fired up OFA base that never stops campaigning.

            Who gives a shit why people like you are so  miserable, mean and hatefull? He won, you fuck, get over it.

            We only need know how to beat you.

          5. The only problem with what Romney said is it was too frank for an election year.


            A) It's always an election year.

            B) Classic GOTP – speak. You all know what we mean, we shouldn't have to say it out loud- and when we do, pleeeze, for God's sake, do not record it.


            C)  Please, say it more often, Explain it i greater detail. Perhaps start with SNAP or free cell phones.



        2. I'll criticize the personhood folks as much as the next person, but I think their position is a little bit more complicated than simply seeking to control women's bodies.  From their POV its about rebutting the idea that government can decide to dehumanize and thus strip rights away from people. 

          1. It's a good thing that women are already dehumanized in their POV, then, isn't it? Makes it easier to defend stripping away their rights.

            1. I think you are going to have trouble backing up the idea that Personhood supporters dehumanize women. 

              Maybe they are judgmental towards women.  Maybe they don't support women having adequate autonomy to live their lives.  I could see you arguing each of those (without saying whether or not I'd agree with you).  However, I just don't see how you can say that Personhood supporters "dehumanize" women.  Much more difficult position to make an argument that passes the laugh test, let alone is persuasive. 

              1. Acutally, I can back that up pretty easily.

                Personhood puts forth the idea that a fertilized egg, or a cluster of cells smaller than a fingernail, has rights that can justify ending the life of a human being.  We're not talking about late-term abortions. We're not talking about developed fetuses. We're talking about fertilized eggs. And reducing a person's rights to less than those of a fertilized egg, or a cluster of cells. That is dehumanizing. 

                You're going to have trouble defending an idea you can't even openly admit that you agree with. A stance built entirely upon equivocating doesn't even merit the laugh test. 


  2. Mr. Baisley doesn't understand what people mean when they tell him they want to be part of the Republican Party but they feel left out. I'm one of those people who felt left out and finally left because of people just like Mr. Baisley who didn't and don't want anyone in the Republican Party who deviates from the ironclad conservative ideology even one centimeter.

    The march to the far right began with President Reagan when he invited what was then called the "religious right" into the Republican tent. The religious right had no intention of coexisting with the traditional Republicans. Instead they made it their mission to purge the party of anyone who disagreed with them. Their ideological litmus tests on abortion, immigration and taxes became tests that any candidate or party official must pass or be thrown out. No exceptions were or are tolerated.

    Their no compromise ideological positions has driven the Republican Party into the ground. Take taxes as an example.  We put the United States on the credit card in the mid-1960's with the Vietnam War and the Great Society. President Johnson said we can have both "guns and butter." Since then we have run up enourmous annual deficits. The Republican solution is to cut taxes, even though that was tried by President Reagan in 1981 and it failed; and again in 2001 by President Bush and it failed again. Instead of learning from experience, the Republican Party takes the position that ideology commands that taxes can never be increased under any circumstances and to the contrary, we must always cut taxes because that will stimulate economic acitivity and produce more revenue for the government even though when tried on a grand scale that policy has utterly failed to produce the theoritical result twice.

    Besides taxes, the Republican Party has exhibited open bigotry toward gay people, Hispanics and others; elected a President of the Colorado Senate who, openly again last year, advocates defunding all public education K through university which is an insane public policy position. Even more fundamental, the Republcian Party, here and across the nation has, at every opportunity, attacked and in many instances advocates the destruction, of the public institutions we have carefully built in this country since 1776. True conservates don't do that. Instead, they preserve and improve public institutions.  Today's Republican Party, here and across the country, cannot in any sense be considered conservative.  They are radical extremists bent on destroying the institutions we have set im place for the specific purpose of enhancing and preserving the right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

    The race for Colorado Republican state chairman is a microcosm of what is going on nationally. The right-wing ideologues think they lost the election because Republican candidates weren't far enough to the right. Mr. Baisley is one of those individuals and he wants to drive the state party even farther to the extreme right.  He doesn't know it but he is in favor of moving the Colorado Republican Party closer to oblivion.

    1. Nicely put by a Baisley supporter:

      Because the diseased and conflicted GOP is not suffering from mere cases of tiny tent and appendage atrophy, rather, the once Grand Old Party is suffering from a deathly plague against its principles. 

      To paraphrase a famous quotation "GOP politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small"

      1. The same battle cry heard year after year from the GOP. "We're just not pure enough, dammit!" And every year they succeed, and they drive out a few Republicans who don't meet the new stricter standard.

        Let me know when they're done and there's only one left.

        1. The GOP is now fighting over their future direction. This one race won't settle it, but it will have a significant impact on the immediate future of the party here in Colorado. I prefer a strong 2 party system as one party states are inherently corrupt. So I hope Ryan Call has a strong win.

          But if I had to bet money, I'd bet on crazy winning.

          1. It's going to be very interesting. The Old Boys actively courted the bigots and the hardliners for decades, and now those people are the face of the party. They painted themselves into a corner.

            In one sense, it's too bad that ol' bjwilson83 is long gone because his posts, entertaining in their delusion that he was making a difference and an important figure in the GOrP, also revealed the teabagger's POV regarding the internal divisions within the party. (He was more explicit over at redstate, at least before they banished him.) I assume that the Old Boys are doing what they can to wrest back control of the party. They KNOW that they're heading straight for a cliff. But it would be interesting to see how, say, the hardcore anti-immigrant people feel about the pandering to Hispanics that's going on. I know a lot of those people are racist to the bone. When I picture curious Hispanics going to a local party meeting, I see teabaggers barely disguising their hostility, keeping their arms crossed and not being friendly at all. I don't picture those Hispanics, socially conservative as they may be, feeling like they found a party that represents them at all.

            The next election cycle is going to be very interesting.

          2. I  would much prefer a strong 5 or 6 party system, with aweaker executive and coalitions galore.

            It makes the lower house more representative of the people – and closer to them.

          3. I'm just waiting for them to move far enough right to create a vacuum in the middle for another party.

            Frankly, I'd love a functioning multi-party system where coalitions have to be made and issues aren't strictly party-line.

            1. If Democrats can significantly beat expectations in 2014, that is precisely the end result — a fatally splintered GOP with center-right and former Republicans finally joining together to form a new party.  One that is forward-looking, but fiscally conservative, while leaving behind the escapees from the asylum.




    – See more at:





            Traveling the state, Baisley said, he encounters plenty of folks that just feel left out, they don't feel like they're part of the party across the state. They want to be, but they don't feel like they';re connecting.





        Try to be all things to all people right of left-center.


        And instead, your almost nothing to most of them. It worked in 1928 because Hoover could say one thing in NY and another thing in Chicago and yet another in Ohio and no one knew.


    It even worked on 1980 when no one in the middle or the North really knew what was said in Neshoba.


        But as recordings of (Akin, Coffman, Buck, Romney, Gruenhagen, and too many to count) prove over and over and over again: when you actually say what you believe you have to back away by mixing up the words: mean, say, said as in the standard GOTP apology tries to say:


    we didn't mean what it sounded like we clearly said

    when everyone hears

    I didn't mean to say that out loud on a recording.



        Recent examples:




    “It’s an unhealthy, sexual addiction,” state Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen said Wednesday.







    If you bother to go find these or similar examples- 

    listen to the buckpedal.

    It will claim the words were twisted – but it will also sound a lot like, I didn't mean to say what it sounds like I said.


    but if you can hear the dog whistle, you will hear loud and clear

    I didn't mean to say what it sounds like I said out loud or in front of a recorder.

  4. The Dems in the leg are doing what the times and good sense demand in the issues of guns, civil unions and school finance. But, I will be surprised if we are able to hold both houses in '14. Dems tend to vote at lower numbers in non Presidential elections and there will be some backlash voting. I'd love to be proven wrong and will work to prove myself wrong. But, you want  to  guess how many state senators there are on the west slope? Gail Schwarz is term limited

    1. The Internet and social media age and the rise of the Tea Party has made historical trends virtually irrelevant as predictors of future results. The 2010 election is a prime example — the entire election swung largely on a group with no central leadership that had only really been in existence for about 18 months. You couldn't have done that 10 years earlier.

      In 2000 you would have needed many years to grow an organization with the same size and influence, but the catch-22 is that it would have been nearly impossible to maintain momentum and interest among the initial group of supporters; you would have added new supporters at the same time you lost older followers. The 2014 election won't likely look like 2010, and 2006 might as well have been 100 years ago.

      The other significant change is the dramatic increase in all-mail ballot elections and advanced data crunching techniques. Both parties will know exactly who has received a ballot and when they return it, allowing them to focus in on those who have yet to vote. We are approaching a time where voter turnout will never again be lower than in a previous election.

    1. Are you trying to be funny?  Because you do realize that the 3/5 thing was done to LIMIT the influence of slavery, not further it?  Do you?

      1. Bullshit. Slaves weren't citizens, nor were free African Americans. Counting the slaves (who had no legal recognition as citizens) gave the South greater representation in the House. Greater representation = greater influence.

  5. Aristotle, and the South wanted to count the slaves as a full people, thus increasing their representation and thus further enshrining slavery.  Cutting the amount of representation down to 3/5 DIMINISHED slave state power, and thus was done to help end slavery, not further it. 

    1. Don't be pedantic. Counting the slaves in the representation formula at all, in any numerical fashion, allowed the South greater representation than would have been allowed if they only counted the white citizens.

      1. Aristotle, 
        You realize that the Northern states were pushing for not counting at all and that the Southern states wouldn't go for it?  That is why they compromised. 

        And let's say they hadn't compromised – what would the result have been?  

        1. Who cares? That's beside the point. You argued that 3/5 diminished the influence of the slave states, but you can only diminish something if you start from counting slaves as full people. They started from NOT counting slaves at all, so your assertion was incorrect.

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