Republicans Run From “Dr. Chaps”

Gordon Klingenschmitt.

Gordon Klingenschmitt.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch blog continues the national attention controversial Republican HD-15 nominee Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt has received since winning Tuesday's primary election–attention that is starting to make Colorado Republicans rather nervous:

Klingenschmitt runs the Pray In Jesus Name Project, which is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBT hate group. He defeated Dave Williams in the Republican primary by about 300 votes – 52.5 percent of the vote – to earn the right to face unopposed Democrat Lois Fornander in the GOP-leaning district on Nov. 4.

Colorado voters who backed Klingenschmitt were either unaware of or support his views that gay people are possessed by demonic spirits and that Obamacare causes cancer, according to Right Wing Watch…

As his political career took hold this week, he told the Colorado Springs newspaper: “I’m very humbled by the support of the voters. This was their campaign.”

“The voters are rising up with me to defend the First Amendment, religious freedom, smaller government, lower taxes and the right to life,” Klingenschmitt told the newspaper. “And those are the values I will fight for in Denver.”

But as the Denver Post's Jesse Paul reports today, the values Klingenschmitt hopes to bring to Denver next January are, Denver Republican brass really wants you to understand this, not Republican values:

"Gordon does not speak on behalf of the Republican Party. To suggest otherwise is inaccurate and dishonest," said Ryan Call, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. [Pols emphasis]

Klingenschmitt, a 46-year-old graduate of the Air Force Academy, says he is ready to be a "team player" and that he declines "to talk about his religious views as a candidate." But he said, if elected, he will continue his daily half-hour religious-based news show, broadcast on DirectTV and other, smaller outlets.

"If people want to know my religious views, they should come to church and hear them," Klingenschmitt said in an interview Thursday with The Denver Post. "But this campaign is not about my religious views."

Don't worry, Ryan Call, we're not going to try to convince our readers that mainstream Republicans believe, like "Dr. Chaps," that both Barack Obama and Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis are "demons," or that only people who are "going to heaven" deserve equal rights from government. You might find a few more who agree with Klingenschmitt that "Obamacare causes cancer," but that's just because they watch FOX News.

It's simply enough to note, as SPLC and Right Wing Watch noted above, that enough voters either didn't know the kinds of things Klingenschmitt has said on his show, or they didn't care. Whichever the answer, Klingenschmitt has now secured the Republican nomination to run in a normally safe Republican district.

And whether Ryan Call likes it or not, nominated candidates, and especially elected legislators, do reflect on their party. It's something Call knows from experience, having dealt with Vicki Marble, Lori Saine, Jared Wright, and Justin Everett…you get the idea. It's easy to understand why Call is trying to disown Klingschmitt–and to pity his futile gesture.

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MapMaker says:

    It's not necessary to try to convince “our readers” that mainstream Republicans don't believe all that demon and cancer stuff. We already know that that's what they do believe.

    Unless and until Ryan Call or any “sane” Republican disagrees with any of Klingenschmitt's positions, it's reasonable to attribute these positions to all Republicans.

    Just saying “Well, he's nuts.” and not disclosing why they think what they think is just another dodge, another way of agreeing with Klingenschmitt's positions without saying so.

  2. FrankUnderwood says:

    I'm trying to put this thing in perspective.  I understand that Ryan Call has to try to distance himself and his party's leadership from this guy, but this guy is not all that much of an isolated freak.  They had Welker who published that ghastly e-newsletter.  They had Scott Renfroe who once referenced the Old Testament as for how to respond to gay rights issues.  Charlie Duke use to have auditory hallucinations when he was in the House.  Doug Bruce (need I say more).  Laura Waters-Woods and Tony Sanchez are trying to join Chaps.

    What is really mind boggling is trying to think of a Democrat in the state House of Representative or state Senate who would be the left-wing counterpart to Dr. Chaps.  I cannot think of one.

    • Republican 36 says:

      There isn't one.

      If "Dr. Chaps" was the only example, we could reasonably assume the Republicans made a mistake, sigh, and let it go as an outlier but the problem is the Colorado Republican Party continues to nominate whackos from the top to the bottom of the ticket. Beauprez and Gardner, along with Dr. Chaps, are just two of this year's crop of off-the-wall Republicans. Both Beauprez and Gardner support the Personhood amendment and both are against immigration reform. Beauprez has endorsed the "birther" movement, endorsed a disgraced FBI agent's rants that the Muslim Brotherhood controls U.S. Foreign Policy under President Obama, called climate change a hoax and generally adopted most of the lunatic fringe conspiracy theories he's come in contact with.

      Beauprez continues, as he did in 2006, to insist he will cut state taxes if elected governor, including eliminating the personal property tax which, in some rural counties, provides up to 80% of the county tax revenues. Just ask Moffat County what the elimination of that tax would do to their tax base and see what the answer is.

      He wants to cut state income taxes which haven't been raised in over twenty years. How does he propose to pay for highway construction and maintenance (go back to gravel roads?). How does he expect to fund higher education (higher tuition – its the only option if he cuts tax reneues?). The bottom line is obvious. Beauprez, like he did in 2006, has not even attempted to think thorugh what he supports and the consequences.

      Another example. On his blog "A Line of Sight," one of Beauprez's contributing editors (Brian Anderson), posted an article on February 24, 2014 entitled "Occupational Licensing Needs to Go." In the article, Anderson asserts that the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies licensing boards, including the Dental and Medical boards (you know – the ones who license doctors and dentists to insure they're competent and have graduated from an accredited professional schools) should be terminated because the professions will regulate themselves and patients are referred to doctors and dentists by their friends; and, if by chance, someone treats them who is incompetent, the patient can resort to legal remedies, even though Beauprez simultaneously supports severely curtailing or ending medical malpractice suits. Beauprez has said over and over again this year that he will end government regulations to get government out of the way of the free enterprise system. That raises the question of whether his support includes terminating the medical and dental licensing boards at DORA. It is a legitimate question since one of his contributing editors, on the blog he owns and manages as publisher, asserted that posdition. In other words, does Beauprez want to turn the voters over to unlicensed medical and dental practicioners who may or may not have the proper training and background in the name of free market profit while simultaneously taking the position that the right of an individual to bring a medical malpractice case should be severely restricted?

      Beauprez, like he did in 2006, continues to take positions without ever analyzing how one position contradicts one of his other platitudes. He hasn't thought through anything and that will become more obvious as the general election campaign develops.

      The Republican Party, as now constituted, needs to be terminated and reconstituted as a responsible conservative counter weight to the Democratic Party. Dr. Chaps, Beauprez and Gardner are just the latest examples of why this needs to happen.  

      • DavieDavie says:

        Well said.  Now if they could just formally declare Moral, Ethical and Intellectual Bankruptcy, and file a reorganization plan to kick out the Birchers, KKK'ers, Teahadists and assorted other wackos, the currently unaffiliated ex-Republicans like my wife would welcome a party that finally came back to its senses, pre-Reagan era.

        • BlueCatBlueCat says:

          And he's supposed to represent the moderate wing of th party. Which means the GOTP now runs from stupid/crazy to stupid/crazier to stupid/craziest.  Yet the same people who will be hurt the most and the same counties that will be hurt the most continue to vote for these people. What's it going to take? You can bet all those folks in Oklahoma now complaining about fracking caused earthquakes, as if they don't have enough to worry about what with all the tornadoes, would never dream of voting for a tree hugging Dem. WTF do they expect if they continue to put things like the most extreme anti-choice stance, pols who promise to hate and obstruct the government they're elected to, the one represented by the flag they love to drape themselves in, and opposition the very taxes their communities are going to die without above every other practical consideration? Considerations such as some protection against compleely phony doctors and dentists.

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        I never heard that one of his minions is pushing deregulation of professional licensing!  He's gotten even wackier than he was 8 years ago…..

        • Urban Snowshoer says:

          This has been going on in libertarian circles for some years, though this is the first time I've heard of anyone in the Republican Party advocating it. 

          • BlueCatBlueCat says:

            Once again, the supposedly more moderate one among the would be R Governors. What does that say about the contemporary Republican party? Any distinction between the so called establishment and the so called Tea Party, the m so called moderates and the so called loons, is meaningless for all practical purposes.  It is the party of loons.

  3. MapMaker says:

    I notice that Ryan Call's distance doesn't go as far as to say “Don't vote for these whack-jobs.” Apparently he and so called mainstream Republicans think that anyone with an “R” after their name is better for the state. It just doesn't matter how bigoted or theocratic they are.


    Klingenschmitt's vision for the U.S. is indistinguishable from what we see in Saudi Arabia. Change the religious symbols and he'd be fine with chopping off hands for theft and stoning women for non-virginity.


    The really repellent thing is that lots of Americans agree with him. Given the district he's running in there may be some voters with “R” tattooed on their foreheads who don't know his specific malfunction. But after 20 years of the religious right poisoning our politics, it shouldn't surprise anyone, including Ryan Call, that he holds these vile positions.

  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Please, everyone, talk about Klingenschmitt a lot. Write letters to the Gazette, the Independent, college news outlets in the Springs. Get on talk radio.

    Especially if you live in HD15, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to actually get some decent, sane representation. If you volunteer and donate for the Lois Fornander campaign, that is.


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