Mark Waller: Chaps Is Nuts, But “Legislative Majorities Matter”

UPDATE: Democratic Secretary of State candidate Joe Neguse calls on Republican opponent El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams to return a campaign donation from Gordon Klingenschmitt:

Secretary of State candidate Wayne Williams' campaign finance reports show he accepted a campaign donation from Gordon Klingenschmitt, the Republican State House candidate who recently compared Congressman Jared Polis to a terrorist group in Iraq and Syria. Many prominent Republicans have denounced his controversial statements, including Colorado GOP Chairman, Ryan Call.  Despite that, the El Paso County Republican Party, which Williams once chaired, is standing with Klingenschmitt. 

In response, Joe Neguse's campaign manager Elisabeth Mabus released the following statement, "Colorado needs a Secretary of State who will stand up for all Coloradans.  We call on Williams to return the money, publicly reject the hate filled speech and agenda of Gordon, and oppose his candidacy for the State House.  A radical like Klingenschmitt has no place in our state legislature."


Rep. Mark Waller, Gordon Klingenschmitt.

Rep. Mark Waller, Gordon Klingenschmitt.

As Vic Vela at Colorado Community Media reports, Rep. Mark Waller, the outgoing Republican representative for Colorado House District 15 in Colorado Springs, has finally broken his silence about his nominated successor Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt. Ever since Klingenschmitt won the HD-15 primary and especially since his latest over-the-top attack on Democratic Rep. Jared Polis last weekend, we've been waiting eagerly to hear what Rep. Waller has to say about the man his party has chosen to succeed him.

Waller's message to HD-15? Hold your nose and vote for "Dr. Chaps."

"Democrats like Polis want to bankrupt Christians who refuse to worship and endorse his sodomy," [Klingenschmitt] wrote. "Next he'll join ISIS in beheading Christians, but not just in Syria, right here in America."

Waller said his "11-year-old son can identify that as a hateful speech."

"I think it was horribly inappropriate to say," Waller said. "It doesn't matter if he's a person running for state representative or a person on the street. I think it's terrible to say.

"Obviously, he does not speak for me or the Republican Party."

Waller hasn't endorsed Klingenschmitt, but he wouldn't go as far as saying that he should drop out of the race – as Klingenschmitt's opponent, Democrat Lois Fornander has.

"If you're not voting for him, you're voting for the Democrat and quite honestly legislative majorities matter," Waller said. [Pols emphasis] "But that puts (House District 15 voters) in a rock and a hard place in terms of who to vote for."

We'll give Waller credit for at least acknowledging what Klingenschmitt said is not appropriate. That's better than the chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party Jeffrey Hays, who flat-out told reporters that Klingenschmitt "is part of our team" and that he "represents a whole host of views the Republican Party will have." But the bottom line seems little different–"legislative majorities matter." There's nothing in this statement that will encourage "Chaps" to do something smart for his party (not to mention morally) like withdraw from this race, and alongside with Hays' explicit support, Mark Waller appears to be giving tacit clearance for the Republican faithful in HD-15 to vote for Gordon Klingenschmitt.

House District 15 is heavily Republican and Klingenschmitt is still favored to win, in spite of his recent comments.

Because this is a solidly Republican district, it has never been a serious component of Democratic House strategy–and if it were to fall to a Democrat this year due to Klingenschmitt's implosion, the GOP would almost certainly retake the seat in 2016. If anything, that makes it doubly strange that local Republicans are so reluctant to speak out against Klingenschmitt. Is it because Klingenschmitt could damage other Republicans on his way down, like friend and political associate Sen. Bernie Herpin? Or could it be that "Dr. Chaps'" extreme rhetoric just doesn't upset social conservatives all that much?

In terms of damage outside HD-15, the latter seems like the bigger problem.

27 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DawnPatrol says:

    Wow, so any old psychopath, lunatic, criminal and/or racist will do, as long as the numbers give you the edge, eh CO GOTPers?

    God bless Uhmurika.

  2. rathmone says:

    So is Doc Chaps the rock or the hard place?

  3. gaf says:

    (Sigh) Waller is considered one of the more sane Repbulicans, and still this is what you get.

  4. I'm regularly accused of being a Democratic Party partisan – and I do work with the Democratic Party (officially, even).

    But if a candidate like Klingenschmitt made it on the ballot as a Dem (say, a LaRouche "Democrat"), I'd be pulling the lever (historically speaking) for an opponent – Green, Independent, Republican or even ACP unless they were proveably worse than my own party's candidate.

    I wish there were enough Republicans in HD-15 who voted against "Dr. Chaps" in the primary who had the moral fortitude to say 'No' to him on the general election ballot. Some things, in my opinion, transcend party loyalty. I know that's not likely, but more moderate Republicans need to start drawing a line if they want to have a party left in a few years.

    • BlueCat says:

      Fortunately that remains a hypothetical for Colorado Dems because we simply do not have any candidates as crazy as their crazies, much less making it through our primaries. But yes, if it ever happens that a Dem candidate is as crazy as this guy even I will abandon my usual position that any Dem is better than contributing to any possible R majority. I don't anticipate such a thing as likely to happen, though. It's pretty much like saying I wouldn't vote for a Dem unicorn.

    • The realist says:

      R's generally vote for R's, NO MATTER WHAT. One of the "fine" qualities that set Dems apart from Repubs . . .


    • FrankUnderwood says:

      That occurred to me too.  I know Dems have had some clunkers for candidates over the years (see Weiner, Anthony…….on second thought, maybe you don't want to see that), but they're relatively few and far between, and to her credit, Nancy Pelosi lanced and drained that boil pretty quickly.  But it seems that for every one Dem embarrassment, there must be at least 20 Republicans, and they tend to give aid and comfort to their freaks.

  5. gaf says:

    If you really want to keep Klingenschmitt out of the legislature, you need to do more than bash him–you need to actively support Lois Fornander.

    It seems every Democratic candidate and progressive group in the state is using Klingenschmitt to support their own campaign or project or issue, and many are using Klingenschmitt to raise money. That's great. We need to win these battles. And it shows why it is important for candidates like Lois to step up and challenge in very difficult districts. Even if she loses, she has made a big contribution to the cause.

    But to keep Klingenschmitt out of the legislature, Lois must win. That money being raised off of Klingenschmitt's outrageous conduct is not going to her campaign. Fornander is not going to win with money, but she must have a modest threshold of funds to get out a positive message to the Unaffiliated voters and disaffected Republicans. Her path to victory always depended upon Klingenschmitt continuing to be crazy (he has), Republicans being repulsed (Waller's comments show that they are), swinging Unaffiliateds (they are unlikely to swing to Klingenschmitt), and getting Democrats to the polls (Klingenschmitt is motivating Dems). The opening is there.

    So if you want to go beyond making Klingenshcmitt the face of the Republic party and try to keep him out of office, visit Fornander's website and give her some direct help.


    But very little

    • gaf says:

      OK, and then I screw up again. Just posted in the main thread what I wanted to post as a correction to my previous comment–which is this:

      Arrggghhh! I hate this "no edit" provision! Those last three words were from a delete way above and they somehow reappeared, apparently out of my sight below the typing frame–and they end up included in the worst possible spot. Looks like I am punking my own post.


      Arrggghhh! I hate this "no edit" provision! Those last three words were from a delete way above and they somehow reappeared, apparently out of my sight below the typing frame–and they end up included in the worst possible spot. Looks like I am punking my own post.  – See more at:

  6. gaf says:

    Arrggghhh! I hate this "no edit" provision! Those last three words were from a delete way above and they somehow reappeared, apparently out of my sight below the typing frame–and they end up included in the worst possible spot. Looks like I am punking my own post. 

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