Senator Cory Gardner has been hard to find in Colorado this year. This evening, however, he and his family will be at Denver’s historic Brown Palace for his annual Christmas Open Home party.
According to the invitation, Gardner says he’s looking forward to seeing his fellow Coloradans come out to show support for our Western Values and get into the holiday spirit.
The holiday gathering is officially hosted by Gardner’s political action committee, Project West PAC. The committee spent over $1.2 million during the last election, including $430,000 in direct contributions to federal candidates. Recipients included the other three Republican members of the Colorado delegation, and 44 of Gardner’s GOP colleagues in the U.S. Senate.
The PAC is managed by the Starboard Group, the fundraising firm of choice for Colorado Republicans. The Starboard Group team tweeted a picture of themselves from the party last year.
The photo included their intern at the time, right-wing social media personality, Ashley St. Clair, who earlier this year was dropped by Turning Point USA for partying with white nationalists.
Yet on an informal podcast with the National Republican Senatorial Committee (which he chaired from 2016-18), Gardner said he was “a little mad at his ancestors” for settling in Yuma rather than pushing on to the Rockies.
“Look I’m a little mad at my ancestors. I mean, we live out by the Kansas border, you know, three more weeks in a covered wagon and they could’ve been in Aspen. I mean, I don’t know happened.”
The comment was clearly lighthearted, as was the rest of the interview, with the NRSC hosts asking him about casual topics ranging from Star Wars movies to Gardner’s impressive Mitch McConnell impression.
That said, Gardner raised the issue of preferring swanky Aspen to humble Yuma. His comment is notable precisely because Republicans have pushed this “war on rural Colorado” frame for years without a trace of humor. Gardner himself has talked about it extensively, from lamenting the divide in a 2017 interview with The Denver Post to attacking “big-city politicians” who “want to leave rural America behind” in his speech to this year’s Western Conservative Summit.
They take it so seriously in fact, that in 2013, when several counties, including Yuma, voted on whether or not to secede from the state of Colorado, Gardner refused to say how he voted on the issue.
Was he joking today? Sure. But thanks to years of relentlessly pushing a message of rural-urban division in his own state, he should be surprised if some of his constituents think this is no laughing matter.
Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) recent fundraising letter attempts to scare Coloradans into donating to his reelection campaign by using extremely partisan language at odds with his claims of being a moderate, bipartisan dealmaker.
Toward the end of a four-page letter mailed to prospective donors, Gardner explains his need for money in extreme (though poorly copy-edited) language:
“To help me fight back the radical liberal hoard [sic] that is descending on Colorado to try to defeat me, please make a commitment to my campaign today…” writes Gardner.
It’s unclear which Coloradans specifically Gardner is referring to as part of the “radical liberal [horde] descending on Colorado,” but at the very least he includes his potential challengers, the two most prominent of whom (Hickenlooper and Romanoff) have lived in Colorado for decades. His language also invokes a longtime conservative complaint about liberal Coloradans who moved here from other states and shifting the political demographics.
An email to the Gardner campaign requesting clarification of whom he considers to be part of the “radical liberal [horde]” was not immediately returned.
In the postscript, Gardner continues to warn of “radical liberals” and of Democrats’ desire to institute socialism.
“They want to destroy me and elect a radical liberal to work with Schumer and Pelosi in Washington, D.C.,” Gardner writes.
(Desperate enough to admit it without prompting – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
not George Athanasopoulos
Former GOP Congressional candidate George Athanasopoulos, who is leading the Initiative 76 “Citizen Voter” campaign, believes in the effort not only for its policy impact, but as a political organizing tool to help Republicans in the 2020 election.
The Colorado Constitution already mandates that voters to be citizens of the United States, yet the ballot initiative proposes to amend a single phrase, from “every citizen” may vote to “only a citizen” may vote.
While legislators and lawyers can debate whether the new phrase would actually change the current law’s effect, Athanasopoulos went on the radio to say that there is another benefit to the campaign: energize lagging Republican political campaigns in need of a “lifeline.”
On Tuesday, House Republicans may have showed at least some faith in his argument by not only delivering the Initiative 76 signatures themselves, but also sharing a video of several lawmakers including House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), Minority Caucus Chair Lori Saine, (R-Dacono), and Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs) carrying boxes of petitions into the Secretary of State’s office.
Speaking to KNUS hosts Chuck Bonniwell & Julie Hayden on July 29, Athanasopoulos said:
“This can be the spark that lights the fire. This can be the issue that Republicans can run on and get people enthusiastic and frankly it shouldn’t just be a Republican issue this should be an American issue.”
He expounded on his point a few minutes later, imagining a Republican candidate using the initiative as a campaign talking point:
“This is a great issue for Republicans because if you’re a Republican running for office I would vocally say, ‘I signed the petition I am supporting this initiative. I believe that only American citizens should vote in American elections. How about my opponent? Did my opponent sign this? Does my opponent support this?'”
He returned to the same point again, saying simply:
“This initiative is a lifeline to many Republican campaigns that they need to grab on to.”
Over the course of his interview, he convinced at least one person. Host Chuck Bonniwell introduced the last segment with Athanasopoulos by making his guest’s point for him:
We’re here with George Anthony was talking about a new initiative to mandate in the Colorado Constitution that you have to be a U.S. citizen to vote. And I think as George has indicated it can be used by candidates — certainly Republican candidates–to go after the Democratic ones who refuse to support the initiative. Chuck Bonniwell, KNUS radio host, July 29, 2019
(The Force will not necessarily be with you – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Colorado’s recall leaders aren’t calling it quits, they’re just rebranding and expanding.
Today, the Resist Polis PAC, which claimed to have collected hundreds of thousands of signatures but didn’t turn in any, re-launched as Colorado Freedom Force, with renamed Facebook groups and a new website complete with a new donation page. Divisions between the various recall entities, however, are presenting challenges for the new group’s organizing and fundraising plans.
On October 4, Korry Lewis, spokesperson and filing agent for Resist Polis PAC’s failed gubernatorial recall group and daughter of state Rep. Kimmie Lewis (R-Kim), filed articles of incorporation for a new 501(c)(4) nonprofit, the “Colorado Freedom Force.”
Resist Polis PAC has rebranded its regional chapter Facebook groups and shared the new website on each page, encouraging supporters to join the new email list and donate anonymously:
“Today, the most important step you can take is to join our force by adding your name. Join the Force – Click Here. This is the very best way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Colorado.
The second most important step would be to chip in to our cause. As a 501(c)4 organization, your contribution will remain anonymous, and there is no limit as to how much you can give.”
In the statewide Facebook group, several commenters expressed skepticism, questioning the group’s purpose and noting that they felt like their previous donations had been wasted. Lewis pushed back, asking to which of the two Polis recall groups the commenters had contributed money and specifying CFF’s anticipated activities.
According to Lewis, the CFF will organize in a variety of ways:
“Colorado Freedom Force is essentially a grassroots army of people throughout Colorado who are willing to take action to protect their freedoms. That may be through signature-gathering efforts (initiatives, referendums, or recalls), testifying at the Capitol, or educating voters about candidates and ballot measures.”
In addition to serving as the filing agent for Resist Polis PAC, Lewis coordinated the group’s half-hearted recall efforts against Colorado state senators. She solicited donations on behalf of all three recalls: Governor Polis, Sen. Brittany Pettersen, (D-Lakewood) and Sen. Pete Lee (D-Colorado Springs).
A new tracking poll shows both an increase in enthusiasm for voting among Coloradan Latinos and a distinct preference for presumed Democratic senate candidate John Hickenlooper over incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner.
When Equis Research polled Colorado Latinos over the summer, it was clear Cory Gardner had a lot of work to do. As the Denver Post’s Nic Garcia reported at the time, “U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner is in big trouble with Latinos.”
However that poll from July also noted that fewer than half (48%) of Latino registered voters were “excited” to vote in 2020. According to the latest data released yesterday, that total has jumped to 55%, a significant increase in less than three months.
When asked about the U.S. Senate race, Latino Coloradans expressed a 3-1 preference for a generic Democrat over Gardner (68%-23%). The latest poll, which named Hickenlooper as Gardner’s likely opponent, returned essentially the same results (69%-23%).
The Colorado data also reflected increased support (6%) among Latinos for the Democratic party, along with a three point slide in President Trump’s favorability.
Breaking down the “excited to vote” data by partisan affiliation further exacerbates the challenge Colorado Republicans face in wooing the Latino votes. Here are the totals of “excited voters as divided into partisan categories: “Liberal 67% (+9), Moderate 51% (+12) Conservative 47% (-5).”
Facebook, Google, and Wells Fargo are all prominent sponsors this year’s conference of a Koch-funded network of right-wing think tanks and advocacy groups, several of which promote far-right beliefs, including Islamophobia, homophobia and sexism.
Facebook is giving branded travel mugs to attendees of the 2019 State Policy Network (SPN) conference, which begins today at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs:
Colorado SPN member groups include the Independence Institute, the Centennial Institute, Leadership Program of the Rockies, Steamboat Institute, and the Mountain States Legal Fund.
Many of the SPN members have longstanding ties to the Koch empire, which has deep connections to the Republican Party and has advocated for conservative policies at the national and state levels for decades.
Earlier this year Centennial Institute founder John Andrews spoke at his group’s signature event, the Western Conservative Summit, where he told the audience that it is impossible to be a “good and faithful American” and a good and faithful Muslim.” He then warned that “America is in a war to death” with Islam. His xenophobia led The Denver Post editorial board to describe Andrews as a “Anti-American fringe radical.”
The Centennial Institute also has a long history of advocating homophobic beliefs and anti-LGBT policies, including promoting false information to advance its policy agenda. Last year the organization called for a boycott of Disney’s Beauty & The Beast movie for featuring “a gay moment.” In 2017 it hosted a rabbi who called gay couples “an abomination” and compared them to space aliens who “aren’t human beings.”
(Got traction? Get answers – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Sen. Cory Gardner is in Washington, D.C. today, but at least two members of his staff are holding a public meeting here in Colorado.
State director Andy Merritt and Regional Director Steve Emmen are scheduled to give a legislative update over lunch from noon to 2:00 PM today at the Spring Valley Golf Course east of Castle Rock.
Spring Valley Golf Club is located in the town of Elizabeth, which is currently the only place in Colorado still embroiled in political recalls. It’s also the only recall effort in the state that managed to collect enough signatures to put the question to the ballot.
Last Thursday, officials determined that recall proponents turned in enough valid signatures to move ahead with recall votes for the Mayor and all six town trustees.
Back in April, Gardner applauded Congressman Ken Buck’s rallying cry to Colorado Republicans that they would teach Democrats to spell R-E-C-A-L-L.
The Elizabeth Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event, which is free and anyone can RSVP. As of 10:00 AM, the luncheon is taking place as scheduled.
The invitation doesn’t list specific topics, but there is one question Gardner’s office has consistently refused to answer over the past three weeks: Is it appropriate for the president to ask a foreign government to investigate his political opponent? And while the senator still hasn’t answered that specific question, Gardner’s office did find time to release a statement decrying the House’s impeachment inquiry as a “political circus,” a term his fellow Republicans have used recently to describe Colorado recalls. 9News’ Steve Staeger noted this in a recent broadcast.
Considering that his office is holding a public meeting in the one town in Colorado still involved in such a circus, it might be a good time to ask his office to clarify his position.
Two Colorado Republican legislative leaders are hosting an all-day “Vaccine & Health Summit” at the state capitol on Monday, Oct. 28. The event features representatives from the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), which says it’s “dedicated to preventing vaccine injuries and death,” and has been described as “the most powerful anti-vaccine organization in America.” NVIC promotes the debunked claim that vaccines cause autism.
Monday’s summit is the third and final “Vaccines & Health Choice” event hosted at the state capitol by Saine and Marble. The last one, on Sept. 20, featured an anti-vaccine doctor from Colorado Springs. He suggested that families could send samples of their children’s blood to schools to prove their “natural immunity” in place of required vaccinations. That event also included NVIC Executive Director Theresa Wrangham of Boulder, who will also participate in Monday’s panel.
NVIC has received criticism for spreading dangerous misinformation about vaccines, including via a billboard in New York City’s Times Square. NVIC has also continued to push a discredited academic research paper that has since been determined to be fraudulent.
(Stay classy, Tom Tancredo – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Just three days after the death of his former congressional colleague U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD7), Tom Tancredo posted an meme mocking the man’s death and calling him a liar.
Tancredo routinely posts inflammatory images and statements on social media, but this meme, attacking a fellow Member of Congress less than 72 hours after his death, was particularly extreme, especially considering that Tancredo and Cummings served together in the House for a decade.
Since his brief gubernatorial run last year, the former congressman has spent much of his time working with fellow immigration hardliners Kris Kobach and Steve Bannon promoting private border wall construction.
It was at one of those “We Build The Wall” events that Kobach announced his candidacy for the 2020 Kansas U.S. Senate election, as well as Tancredo’s endorsement of his campaign. The Kobach campaign did not immediately respond to a emailed request for comment on Tancredo’s Facebook post.
Considering that both Kobach’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign and his current U.S. Senate campaign have come under scrutiny for hiring white nationalists, it’s possible an endorser’s Facebook post may not raise much of a concern.
However, Tancredo’s presence is still impactful here in Colorado, and he’s lending his influence to state political races as well.
Over the past week, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has received an avalanche of bad press for his refusal to criticize President Trump over Ukraine. Wednesday afternoon, as Gardner chaired a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations’ East Asia subcommittee, the issue came up again, but this time, it was from a friend: Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).
In his introductory remarks, Markey, the ranking Democrat on the committee, began by thanking his colleague for his work on the bill that bears both their names, the Gardner-Markey Asia Reassurance Investment Act (ARIA). He then proceeded to show his friend what it means to stand up to a president who doesn’t respect the rule of law.
This being the United States Senate, Markey was unfailingly polite. He didn’t speak about Gardner, rather, he made his point by speaking to the committee chair sitting next to him, stating in plain language why Trump’s pressuring of Ukraine is unacceptable and flat-out dangerous…
Ken Buck and the Colorado Republican Party are inviting supporters to a fundraising luncheon next Wednesday featuring Republican National Committee co-chair Tommy Hicks, Jr., who’s been linked to two Ukrainian men arrested last week for illegally funneling foreign money to U.S. candidates and political committees.
The son of a Dallas billionaire and hunting buddy of Donald Trump Jr., Hicks served as chair for America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC, prior to being named co-chair of the Republican National Committee earlier this year.
The Washington Postreported that the Ukrainian associates of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Frumen, donated $325,000 to America First Action. According to the indictment, the money was falsely reported as coming from a fake liquified natural gas company set up to conceal its true donor.
Four days after making the illegal six-figure donation to Hicks’ group, Parnas posted this picture of he and Fruman enjoying a “power breakfast” with Hicks and Trump Jr. at the Beverly Hills Polo Lounge.
Following the Colorado Times Recorder’s report that the “Vote No On CC” campaign was using the new Colorado state logo without permission, attorneys for the state issued a cease and desist letter. The logo has since been removed.
Proposition CC is a referred measure from the Legislature that asks voters to keep state tax revenue over the limits prescribed by the state constitution. The proposal is so common it has a nickname, “De-Brucing,” after anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce, whose 1992 ballot initiative, the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR), added the revenue limits to the constitution in the first place.
Over 80% of all Colorado cities, counties and school districts have already passed similar measures at the local level.
Bruce, who is leading the opposition campaign, is also a convicted felon who served prison time for tax fraud, attempted bribery and money laundering.
The “Vote No on CC” website is run by a longtime friend of Bruce, Dr. Frederic Herman of Wyoming. The state logo has been replaced with an image of free market economist Frederic Bastiat, who argued that taxation is “legalized plunder.”
Opposing the taking of someone else’s property without permission is entire thrust of the No on CC campaign’s argument. Ironically, it’s the same argument the state of Colorado made to the campaign in order to get it to stop using the state logo for political purposes.
(2013 called, wants talking points back – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
At a Colorado Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week, Sen. Gardner (R-CO) once again confirmed his desire to repeal Obamacare, without offering a plan to protect people with preexisting conditions from losing their insurance coverage.
Asked by moderator Ed Sealover if the unspecified Republican replacement plan would keep any of the popular features of Obamacare, Gardner repeated his claim that the Republican solution would preserve those elements.
Gardner has been claiming for months that a Republican plan would continue to protect people with preexisting conditions. He continues to assert this despite voting repeatedly to eliminate coverage for preexisting conditions without offering any viable replacement.
SEALOVER: Should any of the provisions of the ACA stay in place in your mind?
GARDNER: Yes. We’ve already talked about [allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance until] age 26. We need to make sure we are protecting and providing coverage for people with preexisting conditions. The solutions we bring will provide coverage for people with preexisting conditions. But what I think is now widely recognized is that both sides of the aisle now want to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. That’s why you see it in Medicare For All and that’s why you see it in other solutions for replacement. We can provide people with preexisting conditions with affordable coverage. We ought to pursue things like we’ve helped with in Colorado that will now reduce the cost of insurance between $7-8k for a family of four.
Gardner is referring to the reinsurance waiver passed by the legislature last year and approved by the federal government in late July. He has repeatedly taken credit for its success in reducing health insurance premiums on the individual health insurance market, despite his multiple votes to repeal Obamacare, which would have eliminated the waiver program entirely.
Gardner also opposed another program designed to help insurance companies cover expensive patients. He and Sen. Rubio stripped funding from a risk corridor provision of Obamacare.
Speaking as part of a business panel hosted by Colorado Chamber of Commerce, Liberty Oilfield Services CEO Chris Wright was asked to name the biggest threat to his business. Wright responded by citing a “rising sense of fear and panic,” before giving a detailed summary of eugenics (culminating in the Holocaust), and then comparing it to modern climate science.
The Colorado Chamber’s annual luncheon featured keynote speaker U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO).
The event, titled “Business Elevated: Industries Driving the Colorado Economy,” included a panel discussion, moderated by Denver Business Journal reporter Ed Sealover, among business leaders on key political and policy issues impacting industries in Colorado.
Colorado Chamber Chair Stacey Campbell of Campbell Litigation, P.C. and HCA Healthcare Continental Division CEO Sylvia Young joined Gardner and Wright on the panel. GE Johnson CEO Jim Johnson was initially listed as participating, but did not attend. Both Wright and Johnson are five-figure donors to the Colorado Republican party.
For his first question, Sealover asked the business panelists to identify the biggest threat to their industry. Campbell talked broadly about the rising minimum wage, and Young discussed government interference and overreach in healthcare industry.
Then it was Wright’s turn. He began with the big picture, “We have a rising sense of fear and panic and this is a very dangerous environment for decision-making.” Then he proceeded to give a detailed historical summary of eugenics, noting that it was broadly supported by the academic and political communities of the time. He called that insane and noted that “it was taken too far –to extremes– in Europe” (a reference to the Holocaust). Wright then compared it to modern climate change science.
If these half dozen protesters want to “stop the madness,” we suggest they go inside and have some hot chocolate.
Trump Victory, along with Colorado Republican Party leaders, is hosting a “counter-impeachment” press conference today called, “Stop the Madness!” The event is one of many such events across the country, coordinated by the Republican National Committee (RNC), which says its goal is simply “to cause chaos.”
The press conference will call on Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) to “drop the impeachment inquiry against President Trump,” according to a news release. The event takes place at Crow’s Aurora office at 11:00 a.m. today.
The website features photos of three of the four congresswomen known as “The Squad,” women of color at whom Trump has tweeted racist insults in recent months.
Speakers at the event include: Colorado GOP Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown, Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) and Congressional District 6 candidates Steve House and Casper Stockham.
Also appearing is right-wing social media personality, Ashley St. Clair, a former Colorado Springs college student who worked as a “brand ambassador” for Turning Point USA until two weeks ago. The far-right group dropped St. Clair after Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt reported on photos of her partying with white nationalists at an alt-right gathering in Florida last month.
Prior to working with Turning Point USA, St. Clair interned with the Starboard Group, the preeminent fundraising firm for Colorado Republicans, chiefly Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), whose holiday party she attended.
St. Clair was in Aurora back in July to counter-protest the pro-immigration rally that took place at the contract ICE facility.
There’s no evidence that Crow’s district is feeling any more warmly toward Trump now.
Still, the RNC is targeting Crow as part of a $2 million advertising campaign for allegedly not “reaching across the aisle” to work with Trump.
As part of this, the RNC has also set up a StopTheMadness website, which will be a “one-stop clearing house to defend the president — including opportunities for people to sign up as a volunteer, details on how to show up to a counter protest, and more.
“The Democrats refuse to accept the results of the 2016 election and are on a never-ending fishing expedition to tear down President Trump,” states the website. “We need your help in standing up to these members of Congress across the nation to stop the madness!”
The site’s centerpiece is a video that links the impeachment inquiry to violence. Besides Pelosi, it features three members of Congress: Rep Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Al Green (D-TX). All three are African-American.
The leader of the Adams County Republican Party Independent Expenditure Committee says U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) isn’t really liked in Adams County.
He also believes Gardner feared a primary challenge from Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO4) so much that Gardner “stroked his ego,” convincing Buck to run for state party chair in order to take him “off the playing field.”
I believe that Cory Gardner played Ken Buck. I believe that he, somehow, stroked Ken’s ego, to a point saying “you’re the only person that can save the state party. And in doing so, when Ken agreed to run as the chairman, it took him off the playing field as a possible primary contender for his position. Ken Buck’s the only one who had the name recognition, really to challenge Cory Gardner. And Cory Gardner is not really liked in Adams County. Ben Nicholas, Adams County Republican Party District Captain & Founder, Adams GOP IEC
Nicholas’ statements came during a question and answer section following his speech, “Fundraising for Freedom.” In his lecture he explained the reasoning behind Adams County GOP’s decision to follow the lead of former state chair Ryan Call, who created an independent expenditure committee for the Colorado Republicans in order to raise money above the relatively low state limits. Call shared the impact of the GOP IEC with committee members at the same March 30 meeting at which they elected Buck chair.
The United States Senate Calendar lists September 30 through October 14 as a “State Work Period.”
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is indeed working in a state today, but it’s not Colorado. Gardner is in San Antonio, Texas talking to business leaders at a private luncheon hosted by the Texas Association of Business and several local chambers of commerce.
According to the invitation, attendees will be provided with
“a rare and unique opportunity to continue our advocacy efforts by bringing DC to SA. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the Senators, hear directly from them on the most pressing issues facing Congress, and fill them in on the issues most important to you.”
The invitation also gives a preview of the topics Gardner is covering:
“Get an outside perspective from Senators Cory Gardner (CO) and Thom Tillis (NC) as they tackle tough questions about military funding, healthcare, homeland security, and the 2020 election… As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, senior Senator Gardner will talk about his efforts to urge for swift ratification of the USMCA. He will also cover his work on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to garner bipartisan support for legislation to protect our country’s energy grid from cyberattacks.”
Joining Gardner is his colleague Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC). Like Gardner, Tillis faces a challenging reelection campaign next year. The Washington Post recently listed the pair as two of the three most vulnerable Republican incumbents. The senators also share a joint fundraising committee, “Gardner Tillis Victory,” which has raised over $96,000 for their campaigns. Both candidates are also listed on five additional joint fundraising committees, according to reporting by the Colorado Sun’s Sandra Fish.
San Antonio has proven to be fertile ground for Gardner’s political fundraising efforts. He received just shy of $20,000 from residents of the Texas city in 2014. Among those contributions were a pair of maximum $2,600 donations From William Eugene Powell and his wife Dana. Gene Powell is a member of the both Greater Chamber of Commerce of San Antonio and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, two of the organizations hosting today’s luncheon.
Gardner will appear at a similar event in Denver later in the week. He’s the keynote speaker at the Colorado Chamber of Commerce’s annual luncheon, which takes place this Thursday at 11:15am at the Westin Hotel downtown. The event is titled, “Business Elevated: Industries Driving the Colorado Economy.”
In addition to giving a speech, Gardner will participate in a panel discussion with CEOs from the healthcare, oil & gas, construction and legal fields. Representing the oil & gas industry is Chris Wright, CEO of Liberty Resources, one of the state’s largest fracking companies. Wright and his wife together donated $20,000 to the Colorado Republican Party last year. Another panelist, GE Johnson CEO Jim Johnson, also donated $10,000 to the Colorado Republican Party in 2018.
Leaders of the Republican Party in Adams County will hear tonight from the president of an anti-LGBT group called The Patriot League, which is a nonprofit organization that “seeks to reclaim America’s goodness” by working “to correct unjust laws & influence society towards a consensus on the indispensability of Traditional Marriage, Parental Rights, Religious Liberty & the Humanity of the Unborn, four pillars of moral truth sustaining America’s ability to survive & thrive.”
Patriot League President Aaron Robertson will address the Adams County Republican Executive Committee at their monthly meeting at O’Meara Ford in Northglenn.
Robertson recently interviewed Adams GOP Chair (and former state representative) Joanne Windholz for his “Pillar Citizen Spotlight.” He described her as a leading member of the “Pillar Citizen Community,” the group’s project to advance its “four pillars of moral truth.”
“Traditional Marriage” is the top pillar listed on the League’s website, which also contains Robertson’s thoughts on why the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage is a mistake that must be corrected. He also encourages people to “actively reject” the authority of the Supreme Court:
“…sitting on a certain court doesn’t make persons infallible—sometimes mistakes have to be corrected. If Americans reversed one egregious decision via a Constitutional Amendment why should we think it beyond the pale to do it again? 1857’s ruling had its 1868 correction. When will 2015’s correction happen—and more importantly are you & I willing to go to work to make it happen? Let me encourage you to actively reject the idea that the authority & self-determination of “We The People” has been replaced by a branch of the Federal government.
Windholz agreed with Robertson that “if we lose the issue of life,” (speaking to the lack of anti-abortion laws in America) the county will head down a path towards becoming Hitler’s Germany.
Calls and emails requesting comment from Windholz and Robertson were not immediately returned. This post will be updated with any response.
The meeting will take place from 7 – 8:45 p.m. in the upstairs public community room of O’Meara Ford in Northglenn, while the dealership is open for business.
(Doug Bruce is really a cheapskate – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Just to clear up any confusion, the State of Colorado does not endorse the “Vote No on CC” campaign. In fact Governor Polis, who endorses the “CC Yes! For Colorado” campaign, spoke at its kick-off event this morning.
The reason you might be confused about the state’s position? Douglas Bruce, the most prominent opponent of Proposition CC, a tax reform measure on the ballot this November, is using the State of Colorado’s official logo on his “Vote No on CC” website:
Proposition CC is a referred measure from the Legislature that asks voters to keep state tax revenue over the limits prescribed by the state constitution. The proposal is so common it has a nickname, “De-Brucing,” after Bruce, whose 1992 ballot initiative, the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR), added the revenue limits to the constitution in the first place.
Over 80% of all Colorado cities, counties and school districts have already passed similar measures at the local level.
Colorado changed its state logo back in March, all except for one small part which remained the same: the small “TM” in the corner. That trademark denotes that the State of Colorado owns the image it created, and those wishing to use it to promote a business or cause must get permission first.
Intellectual property legal experts agree that trademark rights give the owner the right to prevent others from using that property without first obtaining permission. The use of the logo creates an implied endorsement of the State of Colorado of this particular political campaign position, which could lead an unsuspecting consumer (voter) from mistakenly assuming that the campaign is endorsed or affiliated with the State of Colorado.
Only two U.S. senators from blue states have “A” ratings from the National Rifle Association, and Cory Gardner is one of them. He also has a 100% rating from Gun Owners of America and a 0% rating from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
His voting record is unequivocally pro-gun and his campaign donations (nearly $4 million from the NRA) reflect that. Yet Gardner’s public statements about gun violence demonstrate a reluctance to acknowledge his own position on the issue.
When questioned directly by reporters, Gardner becomes a moving target, evading questions and avoiding direct answers, often by claiming he hasn’t yet read legislation that was introduced months or even years earlier.
President Trump’s on-again, off-again support for universal background checks has complicated Gardner’s attempt to avoid the issue. Following Trump’s call for “red flag” legislation following the Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso, 9News anchor Kyle Clark was forced to ambush Gardner on the street to get a comment.
Clark: “Do you support President Trump’s call for “red flag” gun control?”
Gardner: “I’m certainly going to look at it, study it, and make sure it’s something that doesn’t violate rights while it does the right thing for the people of Colorado.”
Clark: “Senator Rubio (R-FL) has had a bill like that for a while, so I assume you or your staff has looked at that, [Gardner nods]. Do you think that’s a good idea?”
Gardner: “Look we have to do what’s right by Colorado and we have to make sure we’re right by the Constitution and do what’s right to prevent this kind of horrific event from ever happening again.”
That same day Gardner refused to give any substantive answer to a local journalist, CNN’s Clare Foran published a feature piece on Gardner and the gun issue. The article cited numerous sources, including the Colorado Times Recorder’s reporting on Gardner’s radio statements that he didn’t think that any version of Colorado’s red flag law (neither the failed 2018 bill nor the law passed this year) were constitutional.
Speaking to Fox News host Tucker Carlson last night, Congressman Ken Buck, who also serves as Chair of the Colorado Republican Party, claimed “[Democrats] certainly see urban America as a critical constituency, and there is much sympathy in urban America for some gang members.”
The statement was noted on Twitter by Media Matters’ Deputy Director of Rapid Response Andrew Lawrence:
Tucker Carlson guest says “there is much sympathy in urban America for some gang members”…Tucker Carlson responds with “I think that’s right” pic.twitter.com/0Rl5iZsgj9
Carlson and Buck were discussing gun violence and their shared beliefs in the inadequacies of Democratic policy positions. Buck began by sharing inaccurate crime statistics, claiming that “over 80 percent of the murders in America with guns are committed by gang members. Over 90 percent of the crime in America is committed by gang members.”
Buck did not cite a source for this figure, but it appeared in a pro-gun article by conservative activist Dustin Hawkins in 2013 and was repeated by Dana Loesch in 2014. Huffington Post authors debunked it later that year:
“The 80 percent of gang-related gun homicides figure purporting to support Loesch’s claim, then, is not only false, but off by nearly a factor of five. The direct opposite is necessarily true: more than 80 percent of gun homicides are non-gang related.
It is unclear where Buck came up with the claim that gang members commit 90% of all crimes in the United States. According to the National Gang Center, less than one-third of law enforcement agencies reported that they regularly record each of seven major categories of offenses as “gang-related.”
Nor did Buck provide a source for his statement that “there is much sympathy in urban America for some gang members.”
(The Nevilles are very fine people – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Angered by a news story about her son, prominent conservative activist Barb Neville launched a one-women social media assault on Colorado Politics reporter Marianne Goodland.
Neville, mother of House Republican Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) and wife of former State Senator Tim Neville of Littleton, shared Goodland’s article about Patrick Neville directing financial support to the Recall Polis effort, along with the following commentary to her Facebook page on Sept. 7:
“Why is this even news??? This reporter will report anything to give the appearance that Republicans are evil. I’ll bet if this were a demonrat she would be holding them out as heroes.Republicans and unaffiliates that support our country and constitution should be proud that we have leaders who are principled enough to stand and fight for it.MG and her socialist pervert democrat cronies are the ones who are evil. Tell the Gazette to send her packing to a country like Cuba or Venezuela where they will be more amicable to her Commie leanings. I am sick of these commie women haters I’ma a different kinda .#MeToo
Neville also shared the post with numerous Republican and conservative Facebook pages and groups, including GOP pages for Denver, Arapahoe, Pueblo, Weld, Jefferson, Elbert and Fremont counties. Other groups include the National Asian Indian Republican Association, GetErDoneRightColorado, Arapahoe Tea Party, and OGRE Exposed.
Asked by a commenter on her post if any part of Goodland’s article was false, Neville didn’t dispute any of its accuracy. Instead, she complained that the decision to report the story itself was showing Republicans in a negative light.
Colorado Press Association CEO Jill Farschman expressed concern over Neville’s post:
“While sharing opinions is certainly a First Amendment right, attacks on journalism as a profession undermine our free press which is the only profession enshrined in our nation’s Constitution due to its criticality to a functioning democracy. In this instance, the accuracy of the journalist’s work isn’t being questioned and suggesting she should be sent to other countries openly hostile to free press is extremely offensive. Such personal threats debase our political discourse and put the safety of journalists at risk.”
Barb Neville isn’t just related to politicians. She’s a former candidate-turned-operative herself. She briefly ran for state Senate in 2006, and later ran her sister-in-law Julie Williams’ successful 2013 campaign for Jefferson County School Board. The Denver Post’s profile of the Neville family that year described them as a “political dynasty.”
Reached by email for a response to Neville’s insults and calls for Goodland’s banishment, Mark Harden, managing editor of Colorado Politics, stated:
“Marianne Goodland is an outstanding reporter on state politics whose work is widely respected by Republicans, Democrats and independents alike. We stand by her reporting.”
Barb Neville did not return a Facebook message requesting comment.
House Minority Leader Patrick Neville took to the airwaves to attack his Republican colleagues last week. He dismissed the fundraising efforts of his former state Reps. Dan Thurlow and Polly Lawerence, calling them “the JV squad.”
The pair of former legislators, considered “establishment” Republicans compared to the far-right Minority Leader, launched an independent expenditure committee to support GOP legislative candidates. Former Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and other Republicans have since joined the group, Friends Of The Future, as advisors.
During a Sept. 6 appearance on KNUS 710AM’s Chuck & Julie Show, Neville mocked the moderate politicians for imitating his small-dollar fundraising prowess:
“They’re kind of like the JV squad reuniting, wearing their letter jackets and talking about all the great things they did. Imitation is the biggest form of flattery, so in this case they’re seeing how successful we’re being with developing a small dollar donor base so we don’t have to be totally dependent on these large donations from corporations or other big donors…” House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, KNUS, 9/6/19
Asked by KNUS host Julie Hayden which Republican fundraising entities conservatives should support, Neville briefly mentioned his official House 527 Values First Colorado, but quickly moved on to promote “Recall Colorado,” another 527 Neville and his brother Joe created, ostensibly to separate their recall fundraising from their regular election cycle work.
Values First Colorado is the official House 527 and then we also have RecallColorado.com. We’re transforming that into small dollar donations that we’re really trying to turn into a base that we can hand off towards future election cycles so that’s really main effort that we’ve put into it. It’s becoming Take Back Colorado, now that we’re getting past the recall cycles and getting closer to 2020, we’re running out of time to initiate a lot of these recalls. So that’s what we’re going to transform that into. So recallcolorado.com, there you go.”
Neville’s claim that he’s transforming Recall Colorado into “Take Back Colorado” (TBC) as part of an effort to shift from “recall cycles” to “future election cycles” is interesting for a few reasons.
Just days after the Recall Polis campaign came up short, a related effort to remove state Sen. Pete Lee (D – Colorado Springs) faces its deadline tomorrow, Sept. 10.
Resist Polis PAC leader Kristina Finley says the Recall Et Al issue group will issue a statement about the Lee recall tomorrow. Proponents hoped to gather 15,000 signatures from registered voters in Senate District 11. Lee won his seat with 62% of the vote, a figure cited by the Colorado Springs Business Journal in its Sept. 6 editorial opposing the recall, “Let Pete Lee Govern Already.”
Colorado Springs resident Scott David Fisher, a constituent of Sen. Lee, filed the recall petition on July 12.
Resist Polis PAC worked with Fisher in El Paso County. Fisher spoke about the Lee recall at Resist Polis’ weekly meeting in late July. However, while the effort has been led by the same Recall Et Al issue group that coordinated the Recall Polis campaign, the Lee recall has been a considerably lower-key effort, with no standalone website or Facebook page.
Less than a week after the recall was filed, Colorado Politics’ Marianne Goodland reported that Fisher has “has a history with paramilitary groups such as the III% United Patriots of Colorado.” That history included patrolling the streets of Colorado Springs in 2015 with a semi-automatic rifle wearing a bandana to hide his face.