“No Labels” And Cory Gardner–Is This A Joke?

UPDATE: Hold everything, it looks like Gardner wasn't completely honest about this little "endorsement," Stokols now updating his story:

[A] press release from Gardner’s campaign [claimed]: “Bipartisan “No Labels” group endorses Cory Gardner.”

But a spokesman for the group later explained to FOX31 Denver that it is “an implied endorsement” — and that Udall, should he join the group “No Labels”, is eligible for the very same “endorsement.” [Pols emphasis]

“We’d be happy to have Senator Udall sign on, and glad to give him a Seal of Approval as well,” Mark McKinnon of No Labels told FOX31 Denver Monday afternoon…

Apparently, all that's required to obtain No Labels' "endorsement" is to sign a pledge to support them–which isn't an "endorsement" at all, more like Gardner is "endorsing" No Labels. It makes sense that Gardner, working overtime to shed his stridently conservative reputation, would characterize this as an "endorsement," even though that word appears nowhere in any of the group's information about the "Problem Solvers."

But that would also appear to be BS, folks.


Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports today, and we did a double-take when we saw it:

A group founded by moderate lawmakers from both sides of the aisle aiming to push politicians back toward the eroding political center is endorsing Republican Cory Gardner in his campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall.

The group “No Labels”, founded by former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican who ran for president in 2012, and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, is bestowing its approval upon Gardner, R-Yuma, in the way of what it calls the “Problem Solver Seal of Approval.”

“We’re proud to award the Problem Solver Seal of Approval to Congressman Gardner,” said Mark McKinnon of No Labels in a statement that will be released later Monday.

“His vision of success for the people of Colorado and the country incorporates a commitment to consensus building that we believe is critical for tackling some of the nation’s most pressing issues.”

If something seems odd about this endorsement to you, perhaps it did to Eli Stokols as well, who notes right after in his story:

Gardner’s voting record ranked him as the 10th most conservative member of the House GOP caucus in 2012 (last year, he was the 98th most conservative Republican in the House).

Apparently, despite Cory Gardner's well-established record of strident conservatism and partisan obstruction, No Labels sees him as a Congressman willing to "agree to goals–not just for their parties but for the whole country." Here's what No Labels says about the leaders they endorse as "Problem Solvers."

We want members who genuinely embrace the politics of problem solving. What does that mean exactly? It means a willingness to sit down with anyone – especially people from the other party – so long as they are willing to work together to achieve shared success for America. And it means recognizing that having principled and deeply held political beliefs doesn’t require an all-or-nothing approach to governance. Especially with a divided government, our leaders simply must work together.

Got that? So when Cory Gardner voted against relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy, then got blasted as a hypocrite by Republicans and Democrats in New York and New Jersey for trying to obtain some of the same relief funds he voted against for Colorado's floods…clearly, that must have been what No Labels means by "working together!" And when Gardner said he was ready to use the debt ceiling to force Obama to "reduce the size and scope of government," even if that meant a national default…working together! And last fall, when Gardner announced his willingness to shut down the government to "use…this chance we have before us" to stop Obamacare–working together, folks!

Bottom line: are we saying that No Labels is a partisan hack group? No. We're not.

What we're saying is that by No Labels' own yardstick, endorsing Gardner makes no sense.

21 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    No Labels isn't a joke, Colorado Pols is.

    Once you step out of this hyperpartisan bubble, you realize that Republicans and Democrats work together all the time. Not always on the big splashy headlines, but on lots of bread and butter legislation that makes the country work. That work isn't as sexy to partisans, so of course Colorado Pols knows nothing about it.

    But that's where Gardner shines. He does reach across the aisle, and here are Republicans AND DEMOCRATS who say so. No Labels is saying what you don't want to hear, and what Mark Udall doesn't want to hear, but it's true.

    BTW, know who another Problem Solver is? Mike Coffman. Just burns you up, doesn't it?

    Someday you'll realize Colorado Pols, you're the partisan obstructionists. Not good men and leaders like Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman.

    • BoulderDem says:

      Oh my goodness. Is this word salad taken verbatim from the Gardner press release or what?

      Whatever happened to the old "the reason Republicans lose is because they aren't proudly conservative enough" line? I think at this point real conservatives have to be wondering who exactly they have here. It's really hard to tell!

    • Craig says:

      Your problem Moderatus, is that you don't know the history of this thing.  It started as the Repbulican Main Street partneship and then became nominally bi-partisan with the addition of the most conservative Democrat in the US Senate, Joe Manchin to their letter head.  This is still a Republican Group and while I agree that Gardner has a voting record that is far outside the mainstream of Colorado thought, in the Republican caucus, he is seen as a moderate which of course means he is to the right of Atilla the Hun.  His voting problem is quite clearly shown in his reversals or apparent reversals of position on the most extreme of the right wind positions on abortion, immigration and gay marriage.  He knows that he has to run away from those positions (which poll in the 30's in Colorado). The problem is perspective.  This group has and always will have a Republican perspective. 

      • Moderatus says:

        The Main Street Partnership is NOT related to No Labels. Please prove or retract.

        • Tom says:

          Former representative Tom Davis is listed as a cofounder of No Labels, though at the time the organization was founded he was head of the Republican Main Street Partnership. He headed the Main Street Partnership through 2012, while No Labels was launched in 2010. 

          I don't see any other obvious staffing or leadership overlap, but the all-important funding mechanisms are obscured since both organizations are 501c4 and don't have to report donors.

    • gumshoe says:

      "No Labels isn't a joke, Colorado Pols is."

      Then why do you post here? Does COPols scare the GOP? Is that why you're on the payroll to hijack threads? 

      • Duke Cox says:

        Does COPols scare the GOP?

        The truth scares the GOP. CoPols is a place where Republican lies and bullshit get exposed on a daily basis. The only thing that exceeds their hatred of this blog is their fear of it. That is why we have a non-stop string of goobers and conserva-trolls coming here to try to somehow change voters perception that the GOP stands for "Gods of Prevarication".

        • Andrew Carnegie says:

          I don't hate this blog or fear it.

          Some of the Polsters are delusional, but so are some non-Polsters.

          Are you really so silly as to believe most members of the GOP even know of this blog?  People who come here to disagree are paid to do so?  Seems that several Polsters have a rather grandiose view of this blog and its importance to others.  Hopefully Polsters enjoy themselves and perhaps occassionally learn something.  Nothing more, nothing less.

    • Colorado Pols says:

      Are we talking about the same Congress? Republicans in Congress aren't working with anybody to do anything. It's not hyperbole to say that they are doing virtually nothing in Congress. Hell, they are barely even showing up to work. http://coloradopols.com/diary/53102/any-wonder-why-colorado-legislature-is-more-effective-than-congress


  2. Tom says:

    Weirdly, the No Labels website says that the organization was founded amidst the partisan deadlock around Obamacare. It calls out Republicans for their tactics in trying to roll it back and of course paints the Democrats' entrenched defense as equivalent. 

    Gardner gets props for being a "problem solver" who proposes solutions when he has made repeal of Obamacare a centerpiece of his campaign? Coffman is also in their gallery of problem solvers. I suppose they felt like it would expose the entire game if they went ahead and tossed Lamborn and Tipton in there as well.

  3. BoulderDem says:

    Haha! Turns out that Eli Stokols did some actual reporting and discovered that the "endorsement" of Gardner is merely "implied" as a result of Gardner joining the No Labels group. They ask all 535 members to join, and there are no requirements or filters to membership. And they'll "endorse" Udall too just as soon as he joins.

    Some endorsement!!! Man, Gardner is running a poor campaign.

  4. Progressicat says:

    Moddy's gonna need a hug after this.

    • Moderatus says:

      Not at all! Why didn't Udall want to be a part of No Labels?

      • Andrew Carnegie says:


        He asked Obama if he could join.  Obama told him to ask Reid.  He asked Reid, Reid told him to ask Steyer.  He asked Steyer and Steyer told him if he joined he would not get his share of the Keystone Pipeline Dem Senate Welfare fund.

        Udall has to do what Udall has to do.  His master has spoken.

  5. ct says:

    Its just resume padding. But I think he ought to add secessionist as well.  Balance out the pseudo-bipartisan sheen with some good downhome batshit.  Appeal to a broader segment of the electorate that way.  Sorry you're having such a bad day Modie, you might head down to a dispensary or something and try to take of that.  November is still a ways off.  There's probably a lolipop or something for what you're sufferin'  No need to have your head explode before Tank gets the nod to self-destruct again in the Gub's race.  



  6. itlduso says:

    So, Cory Gardner joined No Labels.  BFD.  As noted, Udall could join and get the same "implied endorsement".  In fact, Jared Polis has joined.  So has Mike Coffman (I mean, New Mike Coffman).

    I joined the Mothers and Apple Pie Alliance.  I intend to highlight their "implied endorsement" on my resume.

    A truly BFD story. 

  7. Duke Cox says:

    So …if you join "No Labels"…doesn't that label you as a "No Labels" member?

    Just asking.

  8. Diogenesdemar says:

    Let me get this straight, Gardner's so hard up for resume' filler that he's actually willing to join an organization that will have him as a member????

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