Republican Ganahl Is Raising Her Profile for Possible 2022 Election Campaign, Say Experts

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Republicans’ last remaining statewide official, CU Regent At-Large Heidi Ganahl

By Gabrielle Bye, for the Colorado Times Recorder.

University of Colorado (CU) Regent Heidi Ganahl, the state’s sole remaining statewide-elected Republican, has been busy lately.

Besides CU Regent duties, business ventures, and numerous speaking engagements, she’s also recently begun writing a column for the Denver Gazette.

And she’s about to launch a new podcast for which she’ll travel around Colorado and interview “folks who embody the true spirit of the Rocky Mountains.”

Does Ganahl’s sudden flurry of activity indicate her desire to make a bigger name for herself in advance of a campaign for statewide office in 2022?

That’s the question I posed to several political analysts and commentators in Colorado–and signs point to a likely run, they told me.

Increasing her profile

Eric Sondermann, a longtime political commentator, believes that the decision to launch a podcast after already landing a column is a definite move to increase her profile to Coloradans–and that wouldn’t hurt if she decides to run for another statewide office.

“I don’t think she just decided to write a column and produce a podcast out of the blue. I think they’re part of a conscious strategy to increase her profile,” Sondermann told the Colorado Times Recorder. “So she may or may not run, and I suspect she’s a little way away from a formal announcement, but I think these are clearly and unambiguously early steps to at least put herself in position where something like [running for statewide office] might be possible.”

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Election Fraud Conspiracies Still Abound Among Colorado Republicans

(The stupid has a life of its own now – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Dr. Douglas Frank presents his election fraud conspiracy theory to Sherronna Bishop and other Grand Junction far-right activists.

“You know the story about the Navajo Windtalkers in World War Two? Imagine if I was a German and I just happened to know Navajo, right? Then maybe I could break the code. Well, that’s what happened.”

The man asking me to imagine him as a Nazi is Dr. Douglas Frank, a part-time math teacher who is currently visiting Colorado to push an eye-popping election fraud conspiracy at events across the state. Frank, who teaches at a private school in Cincinnati, believes he’s uncovered an algorithm that proves that Colorado’s 2020 election results (along with those in many other states) were rigged in favor of President Biden.

Frank first made these claims in an online video called “Scientific Proof,” which is hosted (and bankrolled) by mustachioed Trumper Mike Lindell, better known as the “My Pillow” CEO who wanted Trump to declare martial law to remain in power. The video features Frank claiming to have analyzed publicly available election data and determined that someone used computer algorithms to manipulate votes all across the nation.

From the video’s promo:

“Dr. Frank testifies to host Mike Lindell that deviations and mathematical impossibilities could not have been done by humans, by artificial intelligence and computers that were running before, during, and after the 2020 U.S. election. Dr. Frank’s investigation reveals that the 2010 national census data was used to manipulate the 2020 election rolls and to inject phantom votes into the election totals.” “I found the algorithms that control how many registrations and how many ballots you need in every county to control an election,” Frank tells Lindell at the start of the interview. “That’s what I figured out. And it’s widespread- it’s in every state that I’ve checked so far and it’s in magnificent parts-per-million detail, so I know it’s not an accident. It has to be done by an algorithm.”

The slides Frank shows to Lindell in the video purport to show data on county-level population, registration, and actual votes cast. He and Lindell gleefully point to spikes that appear to show more votes cast than people registered or even living in various Colorado counties, including Broomfield, Mineral, and Bent.

Doug Jones, computer science professor at the University of Iowa and a national expert on election security, is skeptical.

“Every one of those graphs of age versus population for the different counties is obviously smoothed data,” says Jones. “Perhaps he took the real data for age versus population and smoothed it with a 6th order polynomial…The usual presentation of census data is in bins that are 5-years wide.  Taking such data and smoothing it with a polynomial would give exactly the kind of curves that Douglas Frank was showing. Then, comparing such a curve with data he extracted with voter registration would, of course, have a finer scale, because the voter registration data gives the actual birthday of every voter.  So the voter registration curve is all bumpy compared to the population curve.  The net result of this is that, even if our voter registration data was perfect (no “phantoms”), we’d have bumps in the voter registration curve that exceeded what the census said.”

Furthermore, the numbers Frank are showing for verifiable totals such as ballots cast are simply wrong.

Republican political consultant Ben Engen documents the numerous errors between Frank’s slides and actual vote totals in an April 22 blog post.

Graphic from Engen’s blog showing incorrect ballot total in Frank’s data
“His estimate isn’t just off by nine percent,” writes Engen. “The number he’s using for verification is too! This isn’t an isolated incident, he’s using incorrect ballots cast figures as the basis for his entire analysis. You can’t get a real result when the underlying data you use is wrong.

This isn’t Frank’s first rodeo. He authored a similarly flawed but widely shared Facebook post, “Why is the Epidemic Fading?” last August, which was quickly debunked by the Assciated Press.

In the video, Frank spends a lot of time on Broomfield, noting apparent discrepancies in the charts he created between the supposed number of residents, registered voters, and ballots cast in the 2020 election.

Reached for comment, the Broomfield Elections Division also disputes Frank’s data and calls his analysis, “misinformation.”

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CO Lawmakers, Climate Activists Advocate for Climate Bills With a Two-Ton Earth Ice Sculpture

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Ean Thomas Tafoya calls for climate change action centered on environmental justice and racial equity.

By Sean Price, Colorado Times Recorder

Earlier today, to celebrate Earth Day and the beginning of Climate Week, climate advocates and state legislators stated the need for environmental justice and climate legislation in Colorado.

Accompanying them on the west steps of the state Capitol was an ice sculpture of the planet weighing more than two tons. The sculpture was meant to be a symbol of how a changing climate will devastate the planet–a melting sculpture to mirror our melting world.

The weather in Colorado had other plans and the press conference was held through light April snowfall and frigid temperatures. So, the sculpture became a metaphor not for global warming, but instead for another one of climate change’s repercussions: the large-scale shifts in weather patterns happening worldwide.

Ean Thomas-Tafoya, a climate activist and co-chair of the Colorado Latino Forum, said the weather does not take away from the event’s goal.

“We’re here celebrating Earth Day and the planet, but it is a cold day. We were hoping for the optics of that melting,” Thomas-Tafoya said, laughing and gesturing to the ice sculpture. “We do want to acknowledge that weather is not the same as climate. Science has told us that there is no doubt we are heading in the wrong direction when it comes to climate change.”

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Boebert Returning To Mar-A-Lago for Another Fundraiser

(So much for draining the swamp – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Last Friday, Politico’s Alex Issenstadt reported that Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO), along with fellow QAnon-linked Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) and many other members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, will join former President Donald Trump on April 24 for a fundraiser at Mar-A-Lago.

This is the second trip to West Palm Beach in three months for Boebert, who with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) co-headlined a fundraiser for Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in February. Gaetz, who is now under investigation for child sex trafficking, is not among those listed on the invitation, despite being both a Floridian and a prominent House Freedom Caucus member.

Besides Boebert and Taylor-Greene, other members of Congress featured at the event are Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Ted Budd (R-NC), Scott Perry (R-PA), and Waren Davidson (R-OH). All eight current members voted in favor of blocking President Biden’s election win. Most have openly questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election results, despite the fact that all of them were also elected to office on the same ballots. Boebert has continued to promote QAnon-linked conspiracy theories since taking office.

Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (who also previously served in the House) and former Sen. Jim DeMint are also listed. Tickets to the event start at $2,500 per person, with VIP packages available for double that price.

Host Dr. Peter Lamelas is a longtime Trump donor and emergency room physician who founded a chain of urgent care clinics in Florida.

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In Ironic Twist, CO Republicans Refuse to Re-Do “Sham” Election of El Paso GOP Leaders

(All you can say is sham-wow – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former GOP Chair Congressman Ken Buck exiting stage left.

The Tea Party/Patriot wing of the Colorado Republican Party flexed its collective muscle last Saturday, leaving no doubt who’s in charge of the state GOP.

Despite a video featuring cavalcade of endorsements from nearly two dozen legislative and party officials, former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, the establishment’s choice to succeed Congressman Ken Buck as GOP Chair, lost decisively to current Vice-Chair Kristi Burton Brown.

Gessler’s loss wasn’t the day’s only defeat for establishment Republicans, however. GOP Central Committee members, comprised of local and state precinct leaders and delegates, voted Saturday to overturn their own leaders’ decision to order a new election of party officers in El Paso County, after dozens of party members submitted signed statements raising concerns about the voting process, including the El Paso County Sheriff, who called it “a sham.”

The party, whose elected members have introduced multiple bills purporting to strengthen election security based on debunked conspiracies of election fraud, has yet another internal voting controversy within its own ranks.

In a March 17 report, the Colorado GOP Executive Committee ordered a new election for El Paso County GOP officers, to be held within 60 days of the adoption of the report, which was expected to take place at last Saturday’s Central Committee meeting.

The unusual situation stems from objections surrounding current El Paso County Chair Tonkins’ “preregistration” requirements for voting members to participate online.

CPR’s Bente Birkeland reported on some elements of the controversy prior to the meeting, including the very short notice of online pre-registration requirements to be completed a week prior to the meeting date. CPR’s story followed a report by the Colorado Springs Independent’s Heidi Beedle who covered the apparent partnership between Tonkins and extremist militia group FEC United, which was both recruiting voting members to support Tonkins and also supposedly providing security at the event.

Upon reviewing the evidence presented to them, nearly all of the top leaders of the Colorado Republican Party found enough problems with the election that they voted 13-3 to “set aside” the election result and order a do-over.

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Lamborn Lambasted for Saying It’s “Truly Disturbing” to Host Migrant Kids at Air Force Base

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U.S. Rep Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs)

By Sean Price, Colorado Times Recorder

Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs is being considered by the Department of Defense to host unaccompanied migrant children, and U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), whose district includes Colorado Springs, is reportedly not happy about the idea.

“It is truly disturbing that the Biden administration would entertain the possibility of using Peterson Air Force Base as a location to house unaccompanied minor illegal immigrants,” Lamborn told the Colorado Springs Gazette. “Peterson is critical to our national security and is home to both Space Command and Northern Command — defense entities with can’t-fail missions that occur daily.”

In the Gazette article a Department of Defense spokesperson responded that the Pentagon only offers this kind of support when it has “no impact on primary missions.”

Since President Joe Biden took office there has been an increase in apprehensions of migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

A press release by the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition included several immigrant advocacy groups and Colorado Springs residents urging the community to create a welcoming environment for the children.

Reverend Nori Rost, local faith leader and member of the Accompaniment & Sanctuary Coalition of Colorado Springs (ASC COS), an immigrant rights advocacy coalition, said in the press release that she was deeply concerned by type of rhetoric Lamborn used.

“It is important for our community, local elected officials, and legislators to educate themselves on these issues instead of perpetuating incomplete narratives about unaccompanied minors and the broader immigrant community,” Rost said.

Despite the increase in unaccompanied minor apprehensions and the backlog of asylum requests, the number of unauthorized immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border is lower than it was in 2019.

Whether Peterson Air Force Base is selected, the discussion provides an opportunity to reset the conversation in Colorado surrounding immigration, according to Silvia Hernandez, Colorado Springs resident and a leader of Grupo Esperanza, a grassroots group of undocumented people in the Springs.

“This moment is a chance for Colorado to prioritize humanization over criminalization,” Hernandez said. “As organizers, we’ll do our utmost to ensure our state takes that chance.”

Even if unaccompanied migrant children are housed at Peterson, Jerima King, also from ASC COC, says that more should be done.

“Temporarily housing unaccompanied minors at Peterson is certainly preferable to holding them in a more carceral setting, like a detention center.” King said. “Our immediate priority must be to reunite these children with their families as soon as possible.”

Military bases in Virginia and Texas have also been surveyed as options to temporarily house migrant children.

Lamborn’s office has not yet returned a request to comment on the response from immigration advocacy groups.

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Colo Conservative Groups Host Racist & Anti-Muslim Speakers on State Tour

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Professional bigots Katie Hopkins & Trevor Loudon are currently touring Colorado speaking to conservative groups

British speaker Katie Hopkins is a racist, Islamophobic bigot. New Zealand speaker Trevor Louden is an unapologetic anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist.

The pair are currently visiting Colorado on an eleven-stop speaking tour organized by former Colorado Republican Party national delegate and promoted by numerous Republican and conservative groups across the state.

Last summer Twitter permanently banned Hopkins for “hateful conduct.”

The former UK reality TV personality had already been suspended more than once for racist tweets such as this one, which she later deleted, stating, “Dear black people. If your lives matter why do you stab and shoot each other so much.”

 

She tweeted the following to a Jewish U.K. politician whom she opposed: “Pollsters say Justine [the leader’s wife] is the least popular of party wives. He might stick her head in the oven and turn on the gas.”

Following the 2017 terror attack by Islamic extremists in Manchester, England, Hopkins called for a “final solution,” using the Nazi term for the Holocaust. She later deleted it, replacing it with one that read “true solution.”

Trevor Loudon is also virulently anti-Muslim, as well as a conspiracy theorist who believes former President Obama was born in Kenya and rose to power as part of a Soviet plot to undermine the United States. He also claims that the deadly Charlottesville rally organized by neo-Nazis and white supremacists was in fact planned by left-wing communists.

Loudon & Hopkins are speaking in Parker tonight, Golden tomorrow, and in Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, and Monument next week.

The tour is coordinated by Regina Thompson, a conservative activist who in 2016 served as one of the Colorado Republican Party’s RNC delegates. She also sits on the advisory council of the Colorado Women’s Alliance, a conservative women’s advocacy group.

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Weld Sheriff Tells Anti-Govt Activists Not to Revolt, Then Calls CO Lawmaker a Terrorist

(Unbelievable, except in Steve Reams’ case it’s not – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: Colorado House Democrats hit back at Sheriff Steve Reams’ smear:

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Weld Sheriff Steve Reams speaks to Keep Colorado Free & Open in Greeley on Mar. 23

Monday evening’s meeting of anti-public health restriction group Keep Colorado Free & Open was a tough room for any elected official, but especially a law enforcement officer, even one as conservative as Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams.

Faced with questions about the natural rights of “sovereign beings” to ignore laws, Reams refused to tell them they could take the law into their own hands. Then he called a Colorado state representative “a terrorist.”

A woman declaring herself a “sovereign being” said they didn’t have time to wait until the next election to change leadership, and implored Reams to “take us outside the law.”

“I can’t encourage you to openly revolt against the government,” Reams told the crowd. “Truly, that’s what you’re asking me to say, is openly revolt against the government. I can’t do that.”

The event offered an audience with the Weld Sheriff and a screening of a pandemic conspiracy movie called Nonessential, the trailer for which features Hitler, President Biden, George Soros, Bill Gates, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, concluding with a call to “Stand Up Against Tyranny!” The fifty or so people who gathered in Greeley Monday night to see the movie and hear Reams speak and watch were angry, frustrated, and looking to their Sheriff for sympathetic answers to their desire for taking unrealistic –and often illegal– action.

Reams didn’t give them what they were looking for. Instead did encourage the crowd to focus on grassroots organizing and civic engagement, saying they should channel their obvious passion into public testimony, lawful protests and campaigns for office.

It was at the end of one of these perfectly reasonable responses, in this case to a man who was insisting the Supreme Court’s Marbury v. Madison ruling gives all Americans the right to ignore laws they don’t like, that Reams called State Rep. Leslie Herod (D-Denver) a “terrorist.”

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Colorado Republicans Buck, Boebert, Lamborn & Ganahl Keep Parler & Gab Accounts on the Down-Low

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/CU.Regent.Heidi_.Ganahl-1.jpgLike it or not, social media accounts are an indispensable component of all professional communications, but especially for elected officials, who can share their message without having to go through reporters. As a rule, the more attention the better. More followers mean a bigger megaphone to talk directly to constituents.

For Colorado Republicans posting on far-right sites Parler and its even more extreme competitor, Gab, however, it appears there’s an exception to that rule.

None of the three Republican members of Colorado’s congressional delegation, nor University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl, the lone statewide Republican elected official, list Parler or Gab among the other social media sites on their websites. The Colorado Times Recorder searched for all of seven of the state’s Members of Congress, as well as both At-Large Regents, but didn’t find Parler or Gab accounts for any of the Democrats.

Both Congressman Ken Buck’s official website and campaign site direct visitors to four social media platforms where people can find him: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Neither mentions a fifth platform, Parler, which until recently was growing in popularity as a far-right anything-goes alternative to mainstream sites.

Buck doesn’t advertise his presence on Parler, but he’s quite active, posting almost daily.

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Promoting QAnon-linked Conspiracy, Boebert Says Resignations Will Soon Allow GOP to Control Congress

(We don’t call her “Q*Bert” for nothing – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert put a Q-flavored cherry atop an already controversial town hall last Monday night, when she claimed to have insider knowledge of a QAnon-linked conspiracy theory promoted by The Epoch Times that secret documents declassified in the final days of the Trump administration will expose wrongdoing by Trump’s enemies and lead to resignations and arrests, allowing Republicans to gain a majority in the U.S. House and Senate prior to the 2022 election.

Boebert, a Republican, claims her sources for this are close to Trump.

“And this is my opinion with that information that I have, I believe we will see resignations begin to take place. And I think we can take back the majority in the House and the Senate before 2022 when all of this is ended,” Boebert said at the Montrose event.

Her startling claim, first reported by Dennis Anderson of the Delta County Independent, came in response to the last question of the evening. An unidentified man wanted to know if there will ever be “perp walks” for Hillary Clinton and high-level officials like the former heads of the FBI and CIA.

Listen to the question at the Montrose town hall and Boebert’s answer, in audio recorded by Anderson, here:

Boebert’s belief that a wave of resignations from Congress will allow Republicans to reclaim power before the next election is sure to raise some eyebrows.

The Epoch Times, identified as “a leading purveyor of right-wing misinformation” by the New York Times, exploded in size and influence during the Trump administration both by embracing the President and promoting innumerable conspiracy theories, many of which are linked to QAnon. The narrative referenced by Boebert appears to rooted in the “Spygate” and “Russiagate” conspiracy theories, of which The Epoch Times is a huge proponent of both. Per the New York Times:

“The publication has been one of the most prominent promoters of “Spygate,” a baseless conspiracy theory involving claims that Obama administration officials illegally spied on Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign. Publications and shows linked to The Epoch Times have promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory and spread distorted claims about voter fraud…”

Russiagate is a disinformation campaign denying Russian election meddling and falsely claiming that such accusation of such were created by former President Obama and Hillary Clinton to discredit Trump. Neither it nor “Spygate” is factual.

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Boebert: “You Can’t Petition Your Government, You’re An Insurrectionist If You Do”

(Yikes – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

At a Republican party meeting in Montrose last night, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert appeared to defend those who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, saying, “We already see in Washington, D.C., you can’t petition your government, you’re an insurrectionist if you do that.”

Boebert’s jaw-dropping statement came towards the end of a longwinded diatribe on “cancel culture,” which began with a Biblical analogy about the persecution of the Hebrews before comparing them to modern-day Democrats she claims want to cancel both Christianity and the Bill of Rights.

“So what amendment is next?” Boebert asked rhetorically. “We already see in Washington, D.C., you can’t petition your government, you’re an insurrectionist if you do that!

The office that I sit in, in the Longworth Building in our nation’s capital isn’t my office. That’s your office. You pay for that office and Nancy Pelosi won’t let you come and petition your government. Speak to me in your office, how disgraceful is that?”

Boebert’s office did not immediately respond to an email request for comment. This article will be updated with any response received.

UPDATE: Following publication, Boebert’s Communications Director Ben Stout issued the following statement:

“Rep. Boebert’s remarks were not referencing the events of January 6th, which Rep. Boebert has repeatedly condemned (see her tweet where she said, “I support…the rule of law, and denounce all acts of violence.”)

Her remarks last night were criticizing the fact that Americans are not allowed to meet with their elected representatives since the Capitol is still surrounded by razor wire. The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) informed the Sergeant at Arms (SAA) on March 15th that ‘there does not exist a known, credible threat against Congress or the Capitol Complex that warrants the temporary security fencing.’”

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Former CO Sec. of State Gessler Brags About Engineering Negative Press Coverage of Current SOS

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

During a GOP chair forum hosted by an election-fraud conspiracy group, former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler bragged about being responsible for a negative news report about the current Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

Asked to list his unpaid work on behalf of the Colorado GOP during the last election, Gessler ticked off a number of activities including candidate training, fundraising and media work.

He then claimed credit for a Colorado Public Radio story about Griswold, a Democrat, that Gessler described as containing, “a lot of bad information about her.”

“I actually did it. I made sure [Colorado Public Radio] got it,” said Gessler at the GOP forum.

He didn’t explicitly name the headline, but an Oct. 9 Colorado Public Radio story that explored a rift between county clerks and Griswold seems far and away the most likely story.

Gessler, who is quoted in a similar Denver Post story published the previous day saying bluntly, “She does not know her (expletive),” did not return a call requesting comment and confirmation as to which CPR story he was referring to.

Reached by phone, CPR investigative reporter Ben Markus said he could neither confirm nor deny Gessler’s claims.

“Also in the media, you’ll remember, for example, I worked on a fair amount of media behind the scenes,” Gessler began. “Colorado Public Radio did that piece on the Secretary of State Donetta Dav– I’m sorry, Jena Griswold. There was a lot of bad information about her. There was a way that that got in Colorado Public Radio’s hands. And I helped make sure that that–I actually did it. I made sure they got it…

And I’ll tell you, I spent probably 10 to 15 hours over the last two weeks talking to a number of Republican clerks and recorders, walking them through how to do the ClearBallot review of Dominion, how to deal with the public policy implications and the PR side. I’m the guy that they call.”

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Unions Thank Hick and Bennet for Voting for $15 Minimum Wage

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

by Gabrielle Bye, Colorado Times Recorder

Freshman U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) is receiving praise from unions for his vote Friday to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

It wasn’t clear that the Democrat would vote for a hike to the federal wage, because unlike the rest of Colorado’s congressional delegation, he hadn’t cosponsored the Raise the Wage Act, a standalone bill that would raise the standard federal minimum wage, as well as the minimum wage for workers under 20 years of age, workers with disabilities, and tipped workers.

He’d also told the Wall Street Journal last month that he was worried about the repercussions a $15 minimum wage could have on small businesses.

However, last week his office told the Colorado Times Recorder that he does support a federal wage increase–and he walked the walk, voting in favor last Friday of an amendment to the COVID stimulus bill that would have increased the minimum wage to $15 by 2025.

The amendment failed to pass 42-58 in the longest known Senate vote, coming in at 11 hours and 50 minutes.

The minimum-wage amendment was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who caucuses with Democrats.

The amendment was also called the Raise the Wage Act, and was identical to the standalone bill by the same name.

Progressives were hoping to pass the minimum wage hike as part of the American Rescue Plan Act because it might have stood a better chance of passing than a separate bill. But some moderate Democrats’ decisions to vote against it showed that Democrats presently have little hope of getting a majority on board with this particular legislation, let alone the majority of 60 that they need to pass it.

Colorado essential workers rallied outside Hickenlooper’s Denver office last week demanding he vote in favor of the wage increase.

Following the senator’s vote, those workers in partnership with the SEIU Local 105–a union representing essential workers–thanked Hickenlooper in a press release.

Hickenlooper ran a presidential campaign last year on his own idea of what a national wage increase should look like.

His idea was that the wage should be increased proportionally to the living expenses of the area, so “the most expensive quarter of the country would get a $15 minimum wage by 2021, and the least expensive would see that hike in 2024,” according to CPR–a much more expedited timeline than Sanders’ proposal.

A Hickenlooper spokesperson told the Colorado Times Recorder that Hickenlooper will continue to support and fight for a $15 minimum.

“Senator Hickenlooper supports raising the minimum wage to $15 and voted to allow this important issue to advance in the Senate,” the spokesperson said. “It’s unacceptable that the federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised in over a decade, and he is eager to work with his colleagues to change this unjust reality.”

It’s unclear whether Hickenlooper plans to introduce any legislation in the future similar to that in his presidential campaign, and if he still holds any reservations regarding the impact on small businesses.

Representatives of local Colorado unions are pleased with Hickenlooper’s support of better labor laws, and encouraged him to continue supporting essential workers during the pandemic.

Lauren Martens, executive director of SEIU Colorado State Council, expects to see more of Hickenlooper’s efforts in the future.

“We appreciate Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper listening to workers and voting to give over 550,000 Coloradans a raise to $15 an hour,” Martens told the Colorado Times Recorder. “Working people need our Senators to keep fighting for $15 until it passes, and not let archaic Senate processes get in the way.”

Hilary Glasgow, executive director of Colorado WINS, a union that represents state employees, says Colorado needs “bold, transformative solutions” in addition to the American Rescue Plan Act.

“We need bold, transformative solutions because Congress has more work to do for essential workers,” Glasgow told the Colorado Times Recorder. “

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Boebert Says Colleges Are “Leftist Training Camps”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The largest school in her district, Colorado Mesa University, is led by a prominent Republican.

“Leftist training camp” aka Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction

In a column published yesterday, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) called all colleges and universities “leftist training camps.”

Writing for Glenn Beck’s far-right website The Blaze, Boebert attacked Congressional Democrats’ proposed update to federal voting laws, called the For The People Act (H.R. 1), which among other reforms would implement many of Colorado’s “gold standard” election laws across the country.

Despite having handily won an election conducted under these laws, Boebert accuses Democrats of trying to rig the system, including attempting “to use taxpayer dollars to establish aggressive voter recruitment programs at leftist training camps — otherwise known as colleges and universities.” Boebert’s office did not respond to a request for additional comment.

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The Nazi in Boebert’s Parler

(Very fine people – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Far-right social media site Parler returned to the Internet this weekend and judging by a comment on Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s page, it still has a Nazi problem.

On Feb. 15 Boebert posted,“Let’s call it like it is. The Democrat Party is the greatest threat America faces.”

The fourth comment on her post came from an account named “WaffenSS” and was simply “*jews.”

Over 24 hours after I tweeted the above screenshot and tagged both Parler and Boebert, the comment remains on the Republican’s post.

UPDATE: It’s now been three days and the comment has yet to be removed.

Reached for comment via email, Boebert’s communications director Ben Stout suggested asking her campaign staff about the post, saying that the “@LaurenBoebert” Parler handle “is not the Congresswoman’s congressional account.”

The account, which at over 114,000 followers is one of the largest state-level accounts on the site, is the only one that appears in Parler’s search results for “Lauren Boebert.” The Congresswoman is currently facing a lawsuit for blocking constituents from following her personal “@LaurenBoebert” Twitter account.

Boebert’s campaign did not immediately return an email inquiry.

 

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Campaign Finance Complaint Moves Ahead Against Conservative Dark Money Group

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a legal action that could unveil the names of high-rolling Republicans in Colorado and beyond, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Elections Division is moving ahead with its investigation of a conservative dark money group behind millions of dollars in campaign spending during the 2020 election cycle.

In a complaint filed Feb. 1 with the Office of Administrative Courts, Attorney General Phil Weiser alleges on behalf of the division that despite making six-figure contributions to three separate ballot issue committees, Unite for Colorado, a conservative advocacy group, failed to register itself as an issue committee for any of the measures.

In short, the SOS office is arguing that Unite for Colorado, which didn’t exist until November of 2019, disclosed contributions to only four entities (the three proposition committees and its own affiliated independent expenditure committee), and provided over 80% of the entire campaign budgets of both Props 116 and 117, indeed should count those contributions as major purposes, requiring public disclosure of donors’ names.

Unite for Colorado contributed over $2 million to three campaigns (in support of Propositions 116 and 117 and opposing Proposition 113).

However, in addition to splitting the $2 million three ways, it spent another $3.5 million opposing John Hickenlooper’s campaign for U.S. Senate, and Unite director Dustin Zvonek says it spent far more money it isn’t yet required to disclose.

For these reasons, Zvonek argues that none of the three ballot initiatives count a “major purpose” of the organization, and thus it didn’t have to register with the Secretary of State as an issue committee, which would require it to disclose its donors.

Ultimately a judge will decide the legal arguments over campaign finance rules, but the documents already filed in this case offer a peek at an unprecedented structure of legal entities set up by Colorado’s establishment conservatives to achieve their political goals.

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Former GOP Official With History of Racist Facebook Posts Is Running for Council in Grand Junction

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

by Colorado Times Recorder reporter Gabrielle Bye. 

Former Mesa County GOP Second Vice-Chair Mark McCallister has submitted signatures to be a candidate in the April 6 Grand Junction City Council race.

This may not seem super newsworthy at first glance, but it is for us at the Colorado Times Recorder, where exposing racism and bigotry is a priority.

McCallister has appeared on our news site several times after racist content was found on his Facebook page.

In 2018, McCallister posted a meme comparing Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) to Arnold Schwarzenneger’s Predator.

Shortly after, he posted an Islamophobic quote that was fabricated and falsely attributed to a former Oxford professor of Islamic studies.

Then, last January, a meme depicting Trump placing a noose around the neck of former President Barack Obama appeared on McCallister’s Facebook page.

But McCallister says he didn’t post it there.

“One of the posts, I didn’t post,” McCallister claimed.

“I was shown one with Trump over Obama with a noose or something over him, being treasonous,” McCallister said. “I did not do that. I will deny that to the world’s end.”

Last year, when the Colorado Times Recorder published a story about the Obama-Trump meme appearing on McCallister’s Facebook page, McCallister didn’t respond to a request for comment.

McCallister didn’t ask the Colorado Times Recorder to correct our article after it was posted last year, even though he acknowledges now that he heard about it.

McCallister did not respond to a follow-up voicemail and email asking him how the post got on his page if he didn’t post it, and why he didn’t attempt to clarify sooner that he had not posted the meme.

The meme appeared on the same Facebook page of “Mark McCallister,” which contained the other two memes that McCallister takes responsibility for.

As for the Waters/Predator meme, that wasn’t supposed to be an attack on Waters’ appearance, McCallister told me, but an attack on her “being a monster.”

“[Waters] was attacking the Trump campaign and saying, ‘Throw water on them, spit on them, throw them out of restaurants,’ you know, anyone who was a Trump supporter,” McCallister said. “And I just think that’s a real lack of character. You know, and I never commented on the post, I just shared it. Because I just thought what she was doing was wrong. And it’s a thing of character, not color.”

In fact, said McCallister, our labeling of that Facebook post as “racist” was a “misdirection.”

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Candidates to Lead CO Republican Party Embrace Election Conspiracy Theories

(Must read stuff – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former SOS Scott “Honey Badger” Gessler & current GOP Vice Chair Kristi “Personhood” Brown both want Ken Buck’s side gig

Good news for the conspiracist wing of the Colorado Republican party: both candidates currently vying to replace Congressman Ken Buck as state GOP chair believe Denver-based Dominion Voting may have been responsible for election fraud, both in Colorado and across the nation.

Former Secretary of State Scott Gessler and current Colorado Republican Party Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown spoke at a meeting of the Arapahoe County Tea Party Jan. 12.

Gessler said he believes the presidential election was stolen, while Burton agreed that the party needs to “go on attack” against Dominion Voting. The pair shared similar views not only on election fraud but on their party’s internal rifts and its messaging and communications failures.

It’s their support of the conspiracy theories seen as largely responsible for the violent insurrection attempt the U. S. Capitol, though, that should please the far-right members of their party, whose votes the two candidates are trying to court.

Many Republicans are furious at Buck for supporting several of his party’s county clerks in asserting that the 2020 election ran fairly and without fraud.

“I think it’s so important for us to understand that our votes are not being manipulated,” Buck concluded on a Dec. 2 GOP panel that featured clerks from Montrose, El Paso and Weld counties.

Aspiring chairs Brown and Gessler beg to differ. They expressed these and other opinions to an audience of Tea Party members convened by radio host Randy Corporon, who also serves as a Colorado GOP delegate to the Republican National Committee. In a wide-ranging discussion that took place in a small Aurora office building conference room, none of the visible participants wore masks.

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Boebert Claimed not to Know Anti-Govt Extremists She Posed With, But Photos Show Otherwise

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Boebert with Cory & Jaqueline Anderson, displays the custom Glock 22 given to her by Bikers For Trump

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) claimed she “didn’t know” the anti-government extremists she posed with on the steps of the Colorado Capitol in 2019, but it turns out she’s known some of them for over a year.

Last week, a photo of Boebert posing with Bikers For Trump and “Three Percenter” militia extremists at a Dec. 2019 gun rights rally in Denver, first reported by the Colorado Times Recorder, went viral due to misinformation stating it was taken in Washington prior to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) said that one of his colleagues saw Boebert giving a tour to a large group prior to the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Boebert denied the accusation, responding with a fiery letter, in which she also insisted she didn’t know the people in the photograph she herself posted.

“Extremists that believe your rhetoric have posted photos of me with people I don’t know at the Capitol Building in Denver, Colorado, following a rally from more than a year ago and claimed these were people that I gave a U.S. Capitol tour to on January 5, 2021,” wrote Boebert in the letter.

While it’s true the photo was misidentified, it’s also true that Boebert indeed knows the people with whom she posed back in December 2019.

Yesterday she accepted a custom Glock 22 from Cory Anderson of the group Colorado Boots on the Ground: Bikers For Trump (BFT). Video of the presentation of the Glock is available here.

Anderson, his wife Jacqueline, and several other BFT members, along with the extremist militia American Patriots Three Percent, stood with Boebert at the state Capitol fourteen months ago. In both photos, multiple members, including Cory Anderson sport “Three Percenter” patches. 

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Rep. Boebert’s Young Intern Resigns Due To Family’s Concern For His Safety

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Boebert’s now-former intern, Weston Imer, with his mother Laurel on Jan. 5

Citing his family’s concern for his safety, Colorado teenager Weston Imer resigned from his paid internship for Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) after just six days. His brief time as a House staffer was cut short by the shocking insurrection attempt on Jan. 6 and the potential of more violence to come.

The precocious 17-year-old, who chaired the 2016 Trump Campaign’s Jefferson County effort at the age of twelve, and currently co-directs the political training group America First Republicans, announced his “reluctant” resignation on Facebook yesterday. The full video is available here.

He says he unsuccessfully tried to talk his family out of calling him back to Colorado, before acknowledging that being locked down inside the Capitol during the insurrection was “a little scary.”

KDVR-TV in Denver reported on his experience during the insurrection. In the report, he affirms his belief that “Antifa and [Black Lives Matter] BLM” orchestrated the storming of the Capitol in order to “make Trump supporters look bad.”

In addition to the violent insurrection on Jan. 6, Imer said his family’s concern’s included this Sunday’s planned events as well as “ongoing protests” in D.C. Flyers promoting an “armed march on D.C. and all fifty state Capitols” circulated online over the past week, prompting the FBI to issue warning about potential militia activity in Washington across the country.

Numerous militia groups and right-wing activists, including some in Colorado, have since disavowed the proposed protest and told members not to attend. Following the violence at the Capitol, however, authorities are taking substantial security precautions in advance of the inauguration. 

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Dominion Election Conspiracy Originated in Part During Conservative’s Hunt for ‘Antifa Journalists’

(How the madness began – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Activist Joe Oltmann (right) “explains” an election fraud conspiracy theory to co-host Max McGuire (left)

Angered by the Colorado Times Recorder and other outlets’ reporting on his group FEC United, businessman-turned-conservative-activist Joe Oltmann went hunting for proof that several Colorado journalists–including this one–are members of Antifa. During the course of his research, Oltmann insists, he found evidence that a top executive at one of the largest voting equipment companies in the nation rigged the presidential election.

Oltmann hasn’t produced any of his proof publicly, but his doxxing of the Colorado man and his numerous appearances on right-wing media has produced something of note: multiple lawsuits.

Election equipment company Dominion Voting System recently announced it is suing Trump campaign lawyer Sydney Powell for $1.3 billion. This follows a separate personal defamation claim, filed by the Dominion staffer named by Oltmann, against the Trump campaign, Oltmann, and other far-right media figures.

To hear Joe Oltmann tell it, he didn’t go looking for evidence of his Dominion Voting conspiracy theory; he was on a hunt for “Antifa journalists.”

What prompted Oltmann’s quest to expose these supposed far-left members of the press he believes are conspiring with black-clad anarchists? 

According to Oltmann himself, it was at least in part the Colorado Times Recorder’s reporting on his group FEC United that led him down the Dominion rabbit hole. 

Oltmann first shared his theory on the Nov. 9 episode of his Conservative Daily podcast. Two days later his co-host asked him to summarize his “discovery” of the Dominion Voting Systems employee that he has subsequently accused of rigging the presidential election.

Truth be told I started [FEC United] and so…we had articles that were written about leadership at FEC by Antifa journalists right? People that are involved in Our Revolution which basically wants to–as Kris Jacks says he wants to basically kill people in the street behead people in the street–I mean I kid you not that’s what he said.

So as we’re going through this process I started seeing all these things were written by these activists. They’re not journalists; they’re activists. And so I just started doing research. Obviously, I’m involved in data and researching to find out Antifa members. I wanted to de-mask Antifa members in our society that were walking amongst us with the idea that they wanted to behead or harm other Americans.

So I got access to a phone call and inside of this call there was someone on that call that’s that called themselves Eric, right? Actually, somebody else called them Eric and somebody asked who Eric was and they said, well you know Eric’s a Dominion guy. So as we were walking through this process I didn’t think twice about it because I wasn’t looking for him. Obviously, I did research on him and found out he works for Dominion Voting Systems.

Oltmann goes on to say he didn’t think much of it at the time because he was focused on finding “Antifa journalists.” It wasn’t until he heard from a friend about Dominion Voting’s widespread use that Oltmann says he “put it all together” and started reaching out to the Department of Justice.

The timing of his epiphany matches with the far-right outlets OANN and Gateway Pundit reporting on so-called vote-counting glitches in states using Dominion Voting machines, claims which by Nov. 11 had already been debunked by the New York Times. That fact-checking went unnoticed not only by both Oltmann but also President Trump, apparently, who tweeted the OAN conspiracy theory on Nov. 12.

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State Rep. Kevin Van Winkle Considering a Run For Congress?

(Don’t sleep through it – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Kevin Van Winkle (R-Highlands Ranch)

Rumors of a Republican statehouse leader considering a run for Congress have been circulating the Colorado Capitol for weeks now, but they focused on former House Minority Leader Patrick Neville. Now it looks like Neville’s former right-hand man, Rep. Kevin Van Winkle (R-Highland Ranch), is also thinking about federal office.

On January 8, someone registered the URL “kevinvanwinkleforcongress.com.” The registration is anonymous and Van Winkle did not respond to multiple phone messages requesting comment, so the Colorado Times Recorder is unable to confirm that the representative or his campaign is responsible for the purchasing the domain. This article will be updated with any response received.

Van Winkle, who served as Assistant Minority Leader under Neville, ran to replace him as leader of the House Republicans when they held their caucus elections last November. He lost to Rep. Hugh Mckean (R-Loveland), considered the preferred candidate of establishment GOP leaders eager to show a shift away from Neville’s far-right philosophy after disappointing election results in 2018 and 2020.

Recently Van Winkle helped organize the Legislative Audit Committee hearing that promoted misinformation and conspiracy theories about election fraud nationally and in Colorado. Van Winkle also promoted the same debunked conspiracy theories on right-wing talk radio, appearing w/ Rep. Dave Williams. The pair of legislators went on the air and asked listeners to sign a petition rife with false information.

Colorado’s congressional districts will be redrawn this year, using data from last year’s Census. Given the state’s surging population, Colorado is expected to gain an additional seat, creating a new opportunity of office. With boundaries as yet to be determined, however, it’s anyone’s guess where the new district will be or what if any partisan lean it will have.

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U.S. Rep. Boebert Blocks Constituent on Twitter, Could a Lawsuit be Next?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

From the Colorado Times Recorder’s Sean Price:

On Wednesday, during the violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, newly-elected U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) blocked one of her constituents, former state Rep. Bri Buentello (D-Pueblo). Elected officials ranging from President Trump to a Colorado state senator have been successfully sued for blocking constituents on social media, which violates their First Amendment rights by severing their ability to participate in political discourse.

The tweet that got Buentello blocked pointed out Boebert’s hypocrisy in condemning the violence at the Capitol by listing quotes from Boebert, who recently joked that the Second Amendment was intended for “hunting tyrants,” encouraging the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was rigged. During her speech on the House floor Boebert also claimed the protestors outside the building as her own constituents.

Buentello believes Boebert’s decision to block her is more than an infringement of her First Amendment rights, but also as an indictment of Boebert’s ability to govern. Buentello explained that there is a difference between campaigning and governing.

“The bottom line is that Boebert works for her constituents,” Buentello said. “I should know as an elected state representative and it’s not easy, but it is what I signed up for. And I darn sure didn’t block people or step on people’s First Amendment rights. People showed up at the town hall I held in Otero County and they screamed and spit on me. This woman? This big wannabe cowgirl who carries a Glock on her hip? She can’t even handle Twitter.”

Elected officials blocking constituents on social media has become a contentious topic of debate in recent years, both because of the rise of social media use and because of Trump’s continued reliance on Twitter once he bacame President. General legal consensus and precedent is that social media pages run by the government or by a public official to conduct public business are protected as limited public forums by the First Amendment.

According to Mark Silverstein, Legal Director at the ACLU of Colorado, Buentello may have a meritorious lawsuit against Boebert.

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Colorado Republicans Promote QAnon-linked Capitol Rally to Overturn Election

(Consider yourselves Q-tipped – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

“We Are The Storm!” proclaims the digital flyer for tomorrow’s noon rally at the Colorado Capitol to overturn the presidential election, invoking the QAnon conspiracist slogan.

The JeffCo GOP says it was unaware of any QAnon connection.

The event, which baselessly alleges that the presidential election was fraudulent, is being promoted by the Republican parties of Jefferson and Douglas Counties.

Since Joe Biden’s victory over President Trump, the QAnon “Storm” conspiracy has expanded to encompass claims that Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, the largest voting machine company in the nation, rigged the election against Trump.

State GOP chair Ken Buck and several Republican county clerks (though not the DougCo clerk) reject the conspiracy theory, but numerous Colorado Republicans publicly support it. They include the President’s lawyer Jenna Ellis, eight members of the state legislature, and Joe Oltmann, founder of conservative group FEC United. Oltmann’s group and its associated militia, the United American Defense Force, are also promoting the event.

A pair of relatively new pro-Trump groups, Colorado Election Integrity Project (CEIP) and MAGA Drag Colorado, are organizing the event.

CEIP says speakers at the four-hour event include GOP congressional candidate and conservative activist Casper Stockham, porn industry survivor and former madam Jessica Joy, and Minister Amy Everette of Colorado Prays. Additional pastors are also expected to speak.

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Univ. of Colo. Regent Heidi Ganahl Uses Far-Right Social Media Sites That Allow Bigotry & Misinformation

(Sadly, no surprise here — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl took to social media last week to announce her new side-gig as a conservative columnist for the Denver Gazette. In addition to posts on Facebook and Twitter, Ganahl shared the news on alt-right site Parler, which is known as a haven for far-right extremists, white nationalists, and conspiracy theorists. Some conservatives are choosing to join it and other “alternative” sites because of their belief that fact-checking efforts by mainstream social media platforms are censoring conservative speech.

Founded in 2018 with funding from conservative donor Rebekah Mercer, Parler positioned itself as a right-wing alternative to mainstream social media sites largely not to ban or remove misinformation or hate speech. The result? A site rife with swastikas, racism, and unsolicited pornography.

Ganahl joined Parker back in June, along with many other Colorado Republicans including Congressmen Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn Sen. Cory Gardner, Congresswoman-elect Lauren Boebert, and House Minority Leader Patrick Neville.

Buck, Boebert, and Neville are all regular users. Gardner appears to have created handles for both his office and his campaign, but never posted to either account. Ganahl’s Dec. 7 post was her eighth post or “Parley” on the site.

 

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