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September 05, 2013 8:34 am MST

First As Tragedy, Then As Farce: GOP Chicken Follies Continue

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE #3: For what it's worth, a new denunciation from Colorado GOP chairman Ryan Call:

You'll remember Call backpedaled his criticism of Sen. Vicki Marble, so don't take this as final or anything.


UPDATE #2: The Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance has heard enough as well:

We are appalled at the insensitivities of Representatives Marble and Sain, intentional or otherwise, regarding issues of minority health and finances. Their comments and actions are reflective of the misunderstanding of the plight of minorities at large and by the silence from their constituencies appear to be reflective of a systemic stereotypical bias. 

We vehemently oppose a task force formed in the supposed interest of Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction with members who are neither sympathetic nor empathetic to the plight of those caught in the system of poverty. Such a task force is disingenuous and will ultimately be ineffective. Rather than being a spokesperson and legislative mascot for “Popeye’s,” we believe an apology is in order to those affected peoples of color, with a sincere commitment to advocate for their better health and well-being.

UPDATE: A blistering statement just issued by Colorado House Democrats:

The 15 members of the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus of Colorado and the Colorado Democratic Latin@ Caucus denounced Rep. Lori Saine today for her fried-chicken “silent protest” defense of Sen. Vicki Marble, who outraged many Coloradans with remarks stereotyping African-Americans, Hispanics and their diets.

A joint statement from the two caucuses reads:

“There is no doubt about Rep. Lori Saine’s conduct. It was deliberate and malicious. Her mocking, taunting attitude proves that she is out of touch with racial concerns in our society and our state. [Pols emphasis] Her actions were unacceptable. We call on the leaders of the legislative Republicans, the leadership of the Colorado Republican Party and even Sen. Vicki Marble to denounce Rep. Saine’s deeply offensive behavior. It’s time for GOP leadership to lead and show they don’t tolerate these types of behavior.

“This behavior has to stop. We cannot allow out-of-touch, out-of-date actions to distract us from the real work of tackling the daunting problems of poverty in Colorado.”


Rep. Lori Saine (R).
Rep. Lori Saine (R).

FOX 31's Justin Joseph reports while we shake our heads incredulously:

Two weeks ago, the last meeting of a Colorado task force on economic opportunity and poverty exploded into allegations of racism when Sen. Vicki Marble, a Republican, attempted to explain high poverty rates among African Americans by talking about chicken.

Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Rep. Rhonda Fields, an African American lawmaker, and all but the most extreme Colorado Republicans distanced themselves from Marble, R-Fort Collins.

So on Wednesday, when the task force met for the first time since the Aug. 21 hearing, a box of Popeye’s fried chicken placed conspicuously on Rep. Lori Saine’s desk inside the senate committee room drew the attention of several lawmakers and observers in the room.

One witness heard Saine, who represents District 63 in Weld and Morgan counties, telling Marble that she brought the chicken in ‘silent protest’ of the uproar caused by Marble’s comments last month.

So the first thought you'll naturally have after reading that is "Oh my God, seriously?" And the answer is yes: rather than allowing the most embarrassing episode of brain-dead racial insensitivity in Colorado politics in years to fade away quietly, Republican Rep. Lori Saine of Dacono keeps the story alive with her "silent protest." That alone is a stunning act of political cluelessness, but as FOX 31's Joseph continues, it gets even better: 

For the next three minutes, I followed Saine throughout the Capitol as she walked in a circle through the rotunda and back to the elevators, then down to the basement, and through the cafeteria until she left the building.

Repeatedly, she refused to say anything other than, “I’ve made my statement.” [Pols emphasis]

We've posted the unedited video of this reporter following Rep. Saine around the Capitol, trying to get some kind of justification for her self-described "silent protest" after the jump. It should go without saying that if you're going to follow up a major controversy with a stunt like this, you'd better be able to explain it. This bizarre spectacle, especially without explanation, doesn't so much "make a statement" as it makes a joke out of the offense taken by so many to Sen. Vicki Marble's rambling monologue about "the black race" and chicken two weeks ago.

The most charitable explanation is mindless spite, and the other possibility is quite a bit worse.



71 thoughts on “First As Tragedy, Then As Farce: GOP Chicken Follies Continue

    1. Or maybe she thinks you guys took it too far with embarassing Marble for an unintentional misstep.  Forget the maybe, that is what she said per the original post: that she "brought the chicken in ‘silent protest’ of the uproar caused by Marble’s comments last month" (emphasis added)

      So to be clear, Lori didn't draw a comparison to fried foods with any ethnicity.  She drew a comparison of fried foods to the MEDIA REACTION.  And this is somehow news to you guys?


      1. Maybe Lord Flatulence she would better serve her constituents if she actually made an effort to deal with the problem of malnutrition and health problems relating to the poor rather than play the "Republicans are victims" card over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.  You people are such phonies with your "We're no stinkin racists.  Just ask us.  We'll tell you it's not true even though we suppress minority votes and believe the best way to help the poor is not to help.  That doesn't make us racist.  We're just callous hypocrites who love to believe we're Pro-Life but have no inclination to help people who weren't born rich".  You can bet Ms. Saine believes she is more "Pro-Life" the those dirty poor people.


          1. Or maybe you'll agree that minority health is tied to having access to affordable health care and affordable nutrition but we know that a pompous gas bag like you who has never missed a meal in his pathetic life wouldn't understand what this committee is tasked with doing.  The whole 'Republicans are victims and not racists' is just so sick on so many levels.  When I read Republicans proclaim that there has never ever been a racist in their party, I think about the conspirator who will never admit that there is a conspiracy because if he does than the cat's out of the bag.  "We're no stinkin racists.  Just ask us and we'll tell you with a straight face that no we've never had a racist throught in our entire lives.  Not a one and neither have any other Republicans in the whole country".  And then they wet themselves scrambling to pass voter suppression laws and destroy food nutrition programs.  What a fucking liar.

            1. Fail. Your picture at the bottom should be of an African American baby.

              Also, you might want to let Rep. Saine know that she was eating, and correct her assertion that she's making a "silent protest." If she was only eating, it wouldn't be a problem. Can you do that for us, Eliot?

              1. Lori Saine was the one eating fried chicken.  Is she African American?  Didn't think so. 

                Your argument fails.  Her eating chicken was in no way racist.  You know this, but you are so addicted to yelling "racist" when the word "Republican" appears that you still can't help yourself from doing it here. Stop embarassing yourself and just admit that Lori's eating chicken wasn't racist.  Maybe you can say that it is a stupid protest, but that is a totally different question from what you are arguing here. 

                    1. It isn't.

                      But that wasn't simply what Saine was doing.

                      Was it?

                      Tell me she was, then square it with her own statement that she was engaging in silent protest.

                      I dare you.

                    2. (now if you want to say that it was "more" than eating chicken because she was protesting something, even that does not help you out as you have to specify what she was protesting.  merely protesting media treatment of a person who made a misstep is not racism, you know it, and you need to admit it). 

                    3. I don't know why I can't simply reply to your comment below that begins….

                      (now if you want to say that it was "more" than eating chicken…


                      Repeatedly, she refused to say anything other than, “I’ve made my statement.”

                      Good god, Elliot.

              1. Nope.  Simply eating fried chicken isn't racist.  I'll put it another way – a pretty well known LIBERAL commentor on this site had lunch with me about the time the Marble story broke. I let him/her pick the location and he/she picked a fried chicken place.  Was he/she racist?

                1. God, keep your replies in one place, okay?

                  Was this LIBERAL commentor eating said fried chicken in protest of Marble's treatment at the hands of the left blogosphere? The answer to this question is the answer to yours.

              2. Please can we all top encouraging this ridiculous idiot? Really. At least others, such as Moderatus, either hit and run or only respond once or twice. We can't respond to EF without generating mile long nonsense threads that serve no purpose other than venting and feeding the jerk.

                Please let's just cut off the oxygen by swearing not to reply to such idiocy and stick to it.  It's not as if we have to worry about anyone who isn't already an unreachable moron being swayed by his lame non-arguments. Socrates, my ass.

                This is my last plea since he also responds to these pleas even though they aren't directed to him. This is encouraging him, too. So this is my last comment about EF, my last call to please leave his drivel alone. Full Stop! 

                  1. Said liberal commenter definitely saw and advanced the purported humor of the fried chicken angle, however was an additional reason for choosing restaurant beyond that which I do not want to get into for danger of outing him/her.

                    And given that your responses are generally just insults I am pretty indifferent on whether you all continue to respond to me or not.  Your call.

                    1. There's plenty of substance in my response. You can address it or ignore it, but when you ignore it, I take it as an admission that you know you're wrong.

                      For example, here, you don't actually address the question of motivation satisfactorily – that is, you don't admit that the person who decided upon a fried chicken lunch was motivated by the same desire to "make a statement" as Rep. Saine has, which means that there's no comparison. In other words, when I posed a yes or no question above, you didn't say "no," although your lengthier reply shows that you know the answer isn't "yes."

            2. Leave it up to the white male attorney to feel compelled to lecture one and all what is and is not 'racism'  reduced to a silly binary rendering.  Its not experience, or personal history, code words, or crude cliche insensitivities.  Its what Elliot Fladen esq says it is and nothing more or less. 

  1. Trolling for the Lt. Gov slot on the 2014 ticket?  Tancredo whistling 'Dixie' while his #2 glad-hands the fast-food-fried-chicken crowd.  Seems like a marriage ripe for consummation…

    1. Whistling Dixie and enjoying the basement remodel done by a contractor who used an entire crew of undocumented workers, don't forget.  

      Apparently having a basement full of Spanish speaking workers didn't raise any concerns for him though he's always been the first to question whether someone involved in a crime or accident with a Spanish surname is here legally. 


      Tanc's excuse has always been that it wasn't his responsibility to question the contractor about it. Guess the bid was just too much of a good deal. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. But do look behind every bush for phantom non-citizen voters and assume every Spanish surname you see in the news belongs to someone who doesn't have the right to be here. 


      Yeah they'd make a perfect pair. 


  2. Rep. Lori Saine is a smart lady, and she sure knew how to push your buttons. Do you need a paper bag to stop hyperventilating about a box of Popeye's chicken?

    Ridiculous libs. This is why the center laughs at you.

      1. I think this dipshit just realized the whole stunt backfired once the reporter started hounding her and peppering her with questions. 

        In the world of Moderatus, DEER IN HEADLIGHTS = SMART LADY.

    1. Oh really? If the center thinks we're so ridiculous why have they joined us to elect Obama twice, a majority in the Senate, more House members last time out, a Dem Gov, two Dem Senators and a Dem majority in both houses here in Colorado. etc. etc. etc.? Why have they joined us in supporting gay rights and opposing personhood amendments? Why do more of them support the Dem position on immigration reform? No need to bother with an answer. I suppose it will be something as brilliant as "oh yeah?".


  3. Forgetting all the Fladen/Moderatus dodge ball for the moment . . .

    I would really like our Republican Senators to look into just what the fuck is Bernie Herpin's chicken problem??

    To paraphrase, ". . . we can change the world one (tubby chicken-eater) at a time . . ."

      1. No, really!  The guy could be Colorado's poster child for morbid obesity.  If your GOPer senators on the committee can't work up any legitimate concerns about the health of the lower income folks in this State, then maybe they can at least do a little something for one of their own . . . 

        . . . consider it a starting point towards starting the discussion . . . 

        1. Maybe Chick-fil-A wouldn't have made the "statement" she was going for  with her "silent protest".

          Like I said…. someone needs to tell the nitwit to stop digging.

  4. It was racist. She may not be aware that she's racist, but that doesn't change the fact that it was a really despicable thing to do.

    Those that attempt to excuse the specific actions of Marble and Saine are at best putting party before renouncing racism. And at worst are attempting to make subtle racism acceptable. Either way – for shame.

    1. The bright spot in all of this is that it's shown the players, to the entire country, for what they are:

      Marble is stupid, and probably racist;

      Saine is stupid, and definitely racist;

      The Colorado GOP is a haven for stupid racists, 

      And Elliot, as always, is a spineless, egg-sucking GOP lapdog, who'll do anything to defend those racists and gain their favor. 

      It's my sincere hope that their words and actions follow them, since they won't renounce them. They will follow them, if decent people have anything to say about it. Thank the Goddess that you can't "erase" the internet. 

    2. Subtle, my ass! Anyone else here ever spend any time below the Mason-Dixon Line? I've got kin all over the Deep South so I know a bit about it. She didn't bring Chick-fil-A. Anyway, that would have been a sop to the anti-gay religionists. Not KFC, which is much more common in this part of the country, Pop-eye's is pointedly "Louisiana-poor-black-folks" through and through. Only a pathetic GOP apologist could possibly see anything innocent in the gesture. She got her point across loud and crunchy. Hope it gave her a blistering case of heartburn.

    1. GL, 
      While like everybody I have my frustrations in life, emptiness and lack of purpose is not among them.  I of course you find happiness and purpose in your life as well. 

  5. Oh noes!  Ryan Call fell off the bus again, or threw Saine's under the bus!  There is a bus involved and someone (a Republican in either case) is getting crunched again underneath. 

    It is racist, it’s not racist.  It’s just chicken.  It’s a 'silent protest.'  We are just concerned about poor health among the (chicken-eating) minorities.

    Goodness gracious Mr. Fladen, you do have your work cut out for you!  I was already dizzy before you even showed up, but you've gotten all twisty extreme, brother.  Which gets us around to Jams Friday… going out to Counselor Elliot Fladen…


    1. The problem is, Eliot Fladen doesn't know what racism is. It is as if he was raised in white suburbia in the 1950s, or never read much about race, racism or black history.  

      This is typical of someone who grew up racially isolated with all the priviledges and none of the experiences that would let them understand other races. They want to pretend that racism is about hatred, violence against minorities, or laws preventing voting by minorities. Those are just obvious, physical manifestations of racism.

      You can be a flaming racist without actually hating minorities.

      Racism is a pattern of ingrained social attitudes, assumptions and stereotypes that disable the ability to think clearly about other people. Racism is about power relations, social and economic. Racist stereotypes are shorthand ways of reinforcing these power relations. Like Ronald Reagan's intentionally racist comment about those people driving to the store in a cadillac using food stamps. We ALL know exactly who "those people" are, and we know the audience Reagan was communicating with.

      The "chicken" issue starts as a stereotype about ethnic food. It becomes racist when it is presented as a broad brush explanation for health issues and poverty or, as Vickie Marble said "There are problems in the black race." What the hell does she know about "the black race".

      Over beers a comment may be merely stereotypical. But, change the context to a professional setting like the office, or a public, legislative policy hearing on health, and you're showing your ignorance and racist attitudes. 

      1. Regardless of what you think I know/do not know about racism, you have no evidence that Lori did anything racist here.  Eating chicken, in protest of media treatment of colleague for a misstep, is not racist on its face.  

        So either pony up some actual racism on the part of Lori or give up the ghost. Because right now you have nothing. 

        1. First, Marble's statements were racist. Racism of the ignorant/unsympathetic kind, not racism of the white supremacist kind. That's why they kicked off a shitstorm.

          Then, weeks after it had died down and everyone was ready to move on, Saine puts out a box of fried chicken for the purpose of – her own words, Elliot – making a "statement." A statement about a shitstorm that she doesn't agree should have happened.

          She does not explain why she feels that way, but we can hypothesize based on what we know. First, she's a Republican. It's simply a given that today's Republican party is rife with racism, as elected official like Marble say and do stupid, racist things all the time. A simple google search of "republican racism" gives us 13,000,000 results. That can't all be attributed to the vast liberal conspiracy, especially when the top hits give painfully detailed accounts of all the racist things prominent and elected Republicans say and do. Therefore, Saine's chances of being racist are elevated solely by her political affiliation.

          Second, it's been par for the course for Republicans to fight the racism label in ways that do little to counter that image, and often instead reaffirm it. Saine's "statement" doesn't quite reaffirm it, but I don't perceive any racial sensitivity in this "statement" either. So it does nothing to counter the popular perception of GOP racism.

          Third, and most important, is what "statement" she was making. And that's that there was nothing wrong with Marble's actions. Except that Marble's actions were unquestionably racist. So there's nothing wrong with racism of the ignorant/insensitive kind, is what Saine is saying. Therefore, Saine's "statement" is racist.

          You can attempt to judge otherwise, but only if you deny the fact that Marble was being racist in the first place.

        2. It isn't my job to educate Libertarians or Republicans about racism.

          Your comments and arguments are however, good examples of why Republicans and Libertarians are radically out of the mainstream tradition of American tolerance and equal rights.

          As the old song goes: "Which side are you on?".

          The side of apologizing for racism or the side of condemning racism. Like the dog that didn't bark, avoiding condemnation of racist attitudes speaks loudly.

    2. Poor Ryan Call. Even though he had to execute an immediate 180 after condemning Marble remarks when the decision was handed down to blame it on rude insensitivity  on the part of an African American Dem instead, you'd think he would have held off for a few minutes this time. But no. He had to go and condemn Saine's chicken stunt and now she claims she never said anything about a silent protest so it looks like another tire screeching 180 coming up for Call. Hey, she was just having lunch after all and Dems are being mean again.

      Does he really not understand that none of the talk about reaching out to attract more minority voters was ever meant to be taken seriously? That the real strategy is still to keep the racist, bigoted wacko base appeased and depend on an arsenal of voter suppression tactics to keep minorities at bay for as long as possible? 

      Maybe Gessler should sit down with the poor man and explain the way it really is before Call suffers another serious whiplash incident.

  6. OMG I can't believe we are still talking about this.  But then,  the "chicken lady" had to fry it up again. 

    If you want to do something positive, donate to or volunteer for Rhonda Field, an outspoken human being and excellent legislator.

    Parkhill: good analysis. I would add that in the professional and especially policy settings are where racist attitudes do the most harm.

    GL:  I don't know that Elliott has any more lack of purpose than the rest of us who spend  time commenting on here. I just disagree with where his "purpose" leads him – different direction than you and I, for sure.

    1. FWIW – I am in Ohio with an ill mother (chemo treatment gone wrong that has led to multiple failed skin grafts on her arm and another surgery scheduled for next week), a daughter who is playing with a baseball in front of me, a wife who is pregnant and who is watching her, and a case set for trial in November that I am working on right now all while I distract myself while commenting here.  I think I have plenty of "purpose" at the moment 😉

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