Colorado GOP Vice Chair: Cory Gardner Votes With Trump Almost All Of The Time

(The message to the faithful – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Republican Party Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown told pro-Trump conservatives last month that President Trump really likes Senator Cory Gardner and “if he likes him, we should like him.”

Speaking to a small group of activists at a house party in Boulder, an audience member asked Brown if she could reach out to Gardner and suggest that he ask the president to hold a rally while in Colorado for the Air Force graduation. Brown reassured them that the two are already in close contact and that Trump really likes Gardner:

They talk on a regular basis. Senator Gardner and President Trump are in regular contact. [Gardner] has told [Trump] how important it would be for him to come to Colorado. I think he will probably continue to do that. Ken is also in regular contact with the Trump campaign. That’s our goal at the state party- is to win for President Trump and every Republican down the ballot. President Trump needs Senator Gardner and interestingly enough when you look around the state, not all Republicans are sold on both of them. You have Republicans who really like Trump, and Republicans who really like Gardner and there’s some space between them. But what we need to communicate -this is the truth- Senator Gardner is one of the key votes that gets the judges on the court we care about. He votes with President Trump almost all the time. We need them both to get this done. If we want the real Republican agenda to get accomplished at the federal level, we don’t have a lot of room to spare in the Senate. We need Cory there who talks to the President regularly. The President really likes him and if he likes him, we should like him. That’s a good point in [Cory’s] favor- that the President talks to him quite a bit and really likes him.

Gardner has tried to distance himself from President Trump on a number of issues including tariffs and most recently, the legality of foreign interference in American elections.

Vice Chair Brown emphasized the most important reason pro-Trump Republicans who are skeptical of Gardner should give him a pass: Gardner’s votes for Trump’s agenda, especially his nominees to the Supreme Court. According to political data website FiveThirtyEight, Gardner votes with President Trump approximately 90% of the time.

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Following Corporate Donors’ Surprise At Funding Recalls, Patrick Neville Forms Separate Committee

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Following the Colorado Times Recorder’s reporting that corporate donors Xcel and Noble Energy were surprised to learn that money they donated to Colorado House Republicans was possibly being spent on recalls, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s Recall Colorado entity has formed a new independent group, presumably to collect and spend money on recall campaigns.

On May 30 the Colorado Secretary of State approved paperwork filed by Patrick’s brother, Joe Neville, to create “Recall Colorado,” a 527 political committee. Despite its name, the stated purpose makes no mention of recalls, nor of elected officials currently in office. Rather, it says it will “educate and inform Colorado voters regarding candidates for the Colorado legislature, primarily supporting Republicans and opposing Democrats.”

The Recall Colorado website and brand was created and funded by another 527 committee, Values First Colorado (VFC), which serves as the House GOP caucus fund.

As previous reporting by the Colorado Times Recorder has indicated, at least two prominent corporate donors have publicly stated that they did not expect money from their 2018 election cycle donations to be spent on recalls. As of election day last year, Values First Colorado and other Neville-controlled independent expenditure committees still had approximately $300,000 — or about one-fourth of its total amount raised during the election cycle — still in the bank.

VFC has since published the “Recall Colorado” website, paid for legal support for the recalls, and solicited donations under the Recall Colorado brand, listing Patrick Neville as “Director.”

Until its collapse earlier this week, VFC was supporting the campaign to recall Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial). Republican Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown, who initially filed the recall petition, announced Tuesday that she shutting down the recall and “refocusing” her efforts on Senate Democrats who aren’t up for reelection next year. Brown has worked closely with VFC: she served as the group’s registered agent for the 2018 cycle.

(more…)

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Arapahoe GOP Official: Rep. Tom Sullivan “Shamefully Politicized His Son’s Death”

(That’s just twisted – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Explaining her reasons for supporting a recall of Colorado State Rep. Tom Sullivan (D – Aurora), Arapahoe Republican Party Vice Chair Brenda Stokes told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger that Sullivan politicized his son’s murder.

“You have a politician, who ran on a campaign that sadly politicized the loss of his son… and forgot about the important issues that us parents are faced with, especially with those horrible bills that just passed the state legislature.”

Reached for comment, Stokes reaffirmed her belief:

“Tom Sullivan took out-of-state money –from Bloomberg in particular– and ran on a platform which sadly in my opinion, and it will always be my opinion, he shamefully politicized the death of his son at the Aurora shooting, which tells me he cannot be independent when it comes to some of the legislation that affects other people.”

Sullivan’s son Alex was one of twelve people murdered in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting. Strengthening Colorado’s gun safety laws by establishing Extreme Risk Protection Orders was a primary message of his campaign.

Colorado Republican Party Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown filed the Sullivan recall petition. She says she did so as a private citizen, rather than as a party official. Party chair Ken Buck affirmed her claim, despite having campaigned for his party position by saying “we need to teach [Democrats] how to spell RECALL!”

(more…)

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Weld Sheriff Sympathizes With Cliven Bundy’s Armed Standoff; Sees Similarities With Red Flag Law

(Wait, what? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: Reached for comment, Sheriff Reams corrected this story’s earlier inaccurate statement that he is a member of the Constitutional Sheriff and Peace Officer Association- he is not. He also clarified his interview remarks to say explicitly that he did not think the Bundy family and its supporters should have resorted to armed resistance and said he would never encourage an armed standoff with any law enforcement, nor does he think such action is appropriate.

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams sympathizes with Cliven Bundy in his armed standoff against the federal government and compared that situation to Colorado gun rights activists opposed to the recently passed “red flag” bill.

 
“I don’t ever look for an armed confrontation with the federal government, but you can understand when people have been pushed too far. Take this red flag bill for instance,” Reams told conservative podcast Major League Liberty last week. “The Bundys have been life-long ranchers on that land and they were basically going to be told, ‘you’re going out of business.’ The way they went about it, was that the best way of doing it? I guess that’s up for debate.”

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s dispute with the BLM over his decades-long refusal to pay grazing fees came to a head in 2014, when law enforcement arrived to remove his cattle from public land. Bundy and numerous anti-government supporters took up arms against BLM staff and rangers. With rifles aimed at them, law enforcement decided to stand down and release the cattle.

Armed private militia members near the Bundy ranch in Nevada, April 23, 2014

This isn’t the first time Reams has expressed support for refusing to follow the law, just the first time he’s allowed for the possibility of using force to do so.

During the legislative debate over the “red flag” bill, which allows judges to authorize the confiscation of guns from dangerous people, Reams told CNN he would rather go to jail than enforce the new law.

(more…)

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Cory Gardner: Rainbow Warrior?

POLS UPDATE: LGBTQ rights organization One Colorado minces no words:

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(More like rainbow washing – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sens. Cory Gardner & Susan Collins at LGBT GOP fundraiser

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner was one of three swing-state Republican senators to receive money from a fundraiser hosted by American Unity Fund (AUF), a conservative LGBT rights group.

First reported by North Carolina conservative blog the Daily Haymaker, AUF hosted the $250 per person event on Tuesday at the Washington D.C. office of Hogan Lovells, a white shoe law firm with a large Denver presence.

Longtime AUF supporter Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, posted a picture of Gardner and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) posing with Timmons and his husband at the event.

Last month Timmons and his husband were honored by Equality Virginia for their advocacy for the right of same-sex couples like themselves to become parents. In 2007, then-State Rep. Cory Gardner voted against a bill to allow Colorado gay and lesbian couples to adopt children.

(more…)

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Former Colorado Republican Attorney Mike Davis Tweets Photo of Judge Merrick Garland’s Severed Head

(All class – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Colorado Special Assistant Attorney General Mike Davis was busted by national media last week for tweeting an inflammatory fake photo.

Davis shared the fake photo, originally created by the Onion, showing a bloody U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky holding up the severed head of Judge Merrick Garland, whose nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court by Obama was torpedoed by McConnell.

Davis deleted the tweet soon after, but not before Reuters reporter Lawrence Hurley grabbed a screenshot.

Davis is best known as the GOP point man for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. He had briefly clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch before going to work for Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley on the Senate Judiciary Committee as Chief Nominations Counsel, where he was responsible for shepherding President Trump’s judicial nominees through the vetting and approval process.

(more…)

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RMGO’s Dudley Brown: “Cut Douglas County Sheriff’s Budget by 20%. Why not?”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

At a legislative briefing in March, Gun activist Dudley Brown was so angry at Douglas County Sheriff’s support of a gun safety law, he said county commissioners’ should cut the sheriff’s budget by twenty percent. “Why not?” Brown asked.

“That’s what Douglas County Commissioners should be doing right now… I don’t give a rat’s butt about their sanctuary city resolution. I care about- why don’t you cut his funding? The guy’s down at the state capitol, working for Moms Demand Action. He can draw a paycheck from them. Cut 20% of the Douglas County Sheriff’s office funding right now. Why not?” Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Director Dudley Brown, March 8, 2019

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock was the most prominent Republican to support a 2019 bill creating the Extreme Risk Protect Order, a means by which law enforcement can ask a judge for permission to remove firearms from someone deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners organized the briefing along with House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R – Castle Rock). In addition to the ERPO or “red flag bill,” they also discussed plans to recall several legislators.

Brown also promised to end Sheriff Spurlock’s political career, saying he would either be primaried or recalled.

“I’m here to tell you,” Brown said “Tony Spurlock’s career as an elected Republican is over… he’s not going to get elected anywhere because I’ll follow him like a bad habit.”

Several Republican groups, including Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert, the Douglas County Republicans and the Colorado Senate Republicans praised Sheriff Spurlock and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for its response to Tuesday’s fatal school shooting at the Highlands Ranch STEM School.

(more…)

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Second Largest Oil & Gas Producer in Colorado Not Participating in Recalls

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

State Rep. Rochelle Galindo (D-Greeley) should be removed from office for supporting new oil and gas regulations that will “devastate the oil and gas industry” and “kill oil and gas jobs,” say leaders of an effort to recall the newly elected representative.

Yet top producers in Weld County say the new law won’t have any substantial impact on their industry.

And when it comes to the Galindo recall specifically, the state’s second-largest producer says it’s not interested.

“Noble Energy does not participate in recall elections,” said Brian Miller, spokesperson for Noble Energy in an email. “Our contribution to Values First Colorado was related to the 2018 election cycle.”

Noble Energy is the second donor to Values First Colorado (VCF) to state publicly that its 2018 contribution was intended for the general election and not for any recall effort. Xcel Energy made the same statement to the Colorado Times Recorder back in March.

The Colorado Oil & Gas Association, an industry group, also stated that it doesn’t support the current recall campaigns.

(more…)

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Polis Recall Leader: Brauchler has said “yes to running” for Governor

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Recall Polis PAC GOT image

With a possible recall of Governor Jared Polis still months away, two prominent Colorado Republicans have purportedly already stated their intention to run for his office should the effort succeed. Resist Polis PAC board member Kristina Finley identified District Attorney General George Brauchler and former El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn as each having “already said yes to running” in a Facebook comment. Finley named the two Republicans while responding to a question on the “Resist Polis” Facebook group,

Reached for comment, Finley said she “heard through the grapevine that Brauchler and Glenn said yes.”

George Brauchler currently serves as District Attorney for Colorado’s 18th Judicial District. He briefly ran for Governor last year, before switching to the Attorney General race, which he eventually lost to Democrat Phil Weiser.

Darryl Glenn

Darryl Glenn served two terms as a County Commissioner for El Paso County’s First District, from 2010-2018. He ran for U.S. Senate in 2016, losing to incumbent Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO). Last year Glenn was one of several candidates to unsuccesfully challenge Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO5) in the Republican primary.

Colorado law states that a recall petition may not be circulated until the Governor has been in office for six months, hence the “Recall Is Coming 07.08.2019,” tagline on the “Game of Thrones” image posted by the recall group. On that day or any following when a petition is officially approved by the Secretary of State, a 60-day window opens, during which recall supporters must collect and submit over 631,000 valid signatures.

The Resist Polis PAC Recall group is one of two recall groups gunning for the Governor. It was launched by Tom Good, who was at one time an administrator of the other recall group, the “Official Recall Governor Jared Polis,” but is now in a dispute with its leader, Shane Donnelly.

(more…)

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Scott Gessler Wants You For His Army

(Honey Badger wants YOU – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler never shied from the spotlight while in office, but he’s kept a lower profile since returning to private practice. He recently made the news for his work on behalf of the long shot campaign to recall Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO).

It turns out he’s also been working on another project- an under-the-radar effort to mobilize grassroots conservatives called The Colorado Alliance. Its stated goal: “build an army to defend our state.” So what does he have to show for it?

Gessler’s been using this group to sporadically communicate with (and raise money from) conservative Coloradans for the two plus years since it was founded a week after Trump’s election.

He’s using it to support another statewide effort to overturn a vote- repealing the bill passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor that will would add Colorado to those states awarding their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

Gessler, a Republican, didn’t found the Colorado Alliance by himself. He listed a partner on his federal filing documents: Ben Engen.

Engen, who also runs Constellation Political Consulting, made news this week for comments he made during a recall training in Buena Vista. Video of his instructions to strategically schedule a recall election to “blindside” voters, hopefully lowering turnout as much as possible, was posted on Facebook by those he was training.

According to the Colorado Alliance website, its mission is:

“holding liberal officeholders accountable, mobilizing voters and activists, and helping restore common sense policies to our state. We are building an army to defend our state and invite you to join the movement.”

So far, however, the “army” appears to be little more than a website, email list and a bank account.

(more…)

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Ken Buck on Nevilles Profiting From Recalls: “That’s for Patrick & House GOP to Decide”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Local broadcast news faces a challenge when covering politics–how to distill complex topics into brief segments that rarely run longer than four minutes?

Last week 9News’ Marshall Zelinger sat down with Congressman Ken Buck, the newly elected chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. The wide-ranging interview only lasted 3 minutes 30 seconds on air, which is why 9News’ decision to post the entire raw footage of the interview is so important.

Inquiring minds need only visit the Next on 9News Youtube channel to find the full 17-minute interview, “Head of Colorado GOP Ken Buck on recalls, oil and gas, Nazi question.”

At 9:45 Zelinger asks Buck if it’s appropriate for elected officials and their families to profit from recalls they’re promoting publicly.

Zelinger: House Minority Leader Patrick Neville has come out supporting recalls. His family could benefit from recalls because that’s their business. Should it be appropriate for elected officials and their families to profit off of recalls and elections? By being hired for election purposes–this is an added election outside of a cycle–perhaps this is being done in a way that benefits the family business?

Buck initially says he doesn’t understand, but then gives a response that indicates he does understand, but that he doesn’t want to get involved.

Buck: So, Patrick’s brother is a consultant in the business and certainly there were some resources from the House fund that were used in the last cycle and his brother ran some of that political operation. I think that is something that Patrick and the elected Republicans in the state House will have to decide. It’s not something the state party will intervene in in any way. Ken Buck, Next on 9News, 4/5/19

Zelinger’s question about the Neville’s family financial stake in the House GOP political machinery was just the latest reporting on the issue, the most prominent of which was Marianne Goodland’s pair of feature-length articles for Colorado Politics, particularly the second one titled “A hard look at 2018’s GOP ‘soft money’.” Goodland reported that other Republicans expressed concerns with the Nevilles’ performance and tactics:

One Republican insider told Colorado Politics he didn’t mind if Joe Neville and his companies make money off their political activities. But, he said, the lack of results in terms of election wins for the GOP is another matter… Another concern among Republicans who talked with Colorado Politics: what appears to be a large amount of unspent money left over after the election.

By early March, it was clear where at least some of that unspent money was headed- paying for recalls. House Minority Leader Patrick Neville launched a website to support recalling his own colleagues in the legislature. At least one corporate donor, Xcel Energy, expressed surprise that some of its 2018 contribution to the GOP House caucus fund was now being used for recalls.

More recently, 9News’ Kyle Clark noted that both former Secretary of State Scott Gessler and also the conservative Independence Institute are both generating revenue from another proposed Colorado recall, the moonshot that is the attempt to remove Governor Jared Polis. State law dictates that petition gathering for a gubernatorial recall can’t begin until at least six months into the governor’s term, but there are no restrictions on when political operatives can start gathering checks from naive donors.

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CU Regent Heidi Ganahl Endorses Trump

(Colorado’s only OTHER statewide elected Republican official – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The red meat was indeed raw and juicy at the Colorado Republican Central Committee meeting last month.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner shouted about needing “a fighter” at the top of his lungs. Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO) threatened recalls and dared Democrats to take his guns from his “cold dead hands.” District Attorney George Brauchler said “the front was bloody” and warned that soon Coloradans will have to call California “our overlords.”

Compared to violent language and imagery favored by Buck, Gardner, and Brauchler, University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl’s speech was relatively tame.

“We’re on the right side of history. We have the right solutions for the problems our state faces, and Ken Buck has a track record of winning and winning big, as our president likes to say. “It’s time to get to work to re-elect President Trump, to re-elect Senator Gardner, and to win back the state legislature.” CU Regent Heidi Ganahl, Republican Central Committee meeting, 3/30/19

This straightforward endorsement wouldn’t be significant were it not for the fact that during her 2016 campaign for CU Regent, Ganahl refused to even utter the name of her party’s presidential candidate.

(more…)

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USA Today’s ALEC Expose Highlights State Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg’s Asbestos Bill

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity released a report today revealing the breadth of so-called “model bills” written by corporations and conservative advocacy groups and distributed through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg features prominently in the report, which focuses on his “Asbestos Transparency Bill.”

Better transparency was one reason Colorado state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg said he introduced the bill in 2017, and again last year, at the urging of a tort reform group called the Colorado Civil Justice League and backed by insurance companies, including Nationwide Insurance. “Whenever you add transparency to the mix, it helps all consumers,” said Sonnenberg, a Republican. [The bill], in effect, cast corporations as victims of litigation filed by people harmed by asbestos. The model bill requires people battling the asbestos-triggered disease mesothelioma to seek money from an asbestos trust, set up to compensate victims, before they can sue a company whose product might have caused their cancer. That process can take months or even a year. Many mesothelioma victims die within a year of their diagnosis. Their families can still sue on their behalf, but for far less money.

The report follows its rundown of Sonnenberg’s industry-friendly bill with an interview of Chris Winokur, widow of former Fort Collins Mayor Bob Winokur, who died of mesothelioma in 2015, just nine months after his diagnosis.

It wraps up the Colorado segment by Sonnenberg saying he didn’t realize who the corporate lobbyist and ALEC committee chair who testified for the bill worked for:

Sonnenberg told USA TODAY he didn’t know Behrens worked for the Chamber of Commerce when he called him to testify. “I just knew they were experts and they indeed understood the legal issues and process much better than I,”

Sen. Sonnenberg is as familiar with ALEC as any legislator in the state. Records show him attending their conferences in 2006 and 2007, the years he received $1000+ “ALEC scholarships. He likely attended in 2017 as well, when he gave a radio interview to a Nashville station where he said was at a “gathering of legislators where he served on an energy task force.” Nashville was hosting an ALEC conference at the time.

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Cory Gardner on Ken Buck: “We need him. I need him. This country needs him.”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

At last weekend’s Colorado Republican Central Committee meeting, Senator Cory Gardner gave Congressman Ken Buck such a full-throated endorsement that his voice almost cracked.

Nominating Buck for Colorado Republican party Chair, Gardner praised his experience and his fundraising and organizing ability before concluding simply, “We need him. I need him. This country needs him.”

“It’s about our federal government. It’s about all of us. It’s about making sure we are prepared for redistricting and reapportionment. It’s about making sure we raise the money and the resources so we have the dollars to fight the fight. Ken Buck has been in the U.S. Attorney’s Office He’s been Attorney General [he hasn’t] He’s been a district attorney. He’s been in the US Congress. He knows what it takes to bring people together across the four corners of the state. From rural Colorado to urban Colorado and everywhere in between. Ken Buck knows how to organize a party. He knows how to bring the grassroots together. He knows how to bring the people who are going to fight for President Trump together. He knows how to win Colorado in 2020, he knows how to win Colorado in the Senate. He knows how to make sure Hillary Clinton- Guess What? Last Democrat to win Colorado- that’s what’s going to happen. Because Ken Buck’s a fighter. We need him. I need him. This country needs him. And I’m proud to second the nomination of Ken Buck to be our party chair.”

Coming from the highest profile Republican in the room, Gardner’s endorsement helped Buck secure his victory over Rep. Susan Beckman. Three days later, Buck made national news for comparing a lesbian mom to a Nazi to her face during a House Judiciary hearing on the Equality Act.

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Cory Gardner Applauds Ken Buck’s Call for Recalls

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Congressman Ken Buck gave a fiery campaign speech at the Colorado Republicans Central Committee meeting Saturday. Cheered on by U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, Buck hit all the usual red meat issues: guns, abortion, oil and gas, before delivering the coup de grace: a call for recalls.

Buck dared Democrats to “come and take” his guns, invoking Charlton Heston by saying they’d only get them from his “cold dead hands.” He claimed Democrats also want to “kill babies now after birth, while we want to stand up for life at every stage of life.”

Then he mentioned the failed anti-fracking ballot initiative Proposition 112, which Republicans have been claiming shows opposition to an oil and gas safety regulation bill moving through the state legislature.

“They want to shut down the oil & gas industry. We need to remind them [Democrats] that we won Proposition 112 and we need to teach them how to spell “RECALL.”

As he belted out his punchline, “we need to teach them how to spell “R-E-C-A-L-L,” the applause came not only from the audience, but from the three other Republicans who had just endorsed him for party chair: Regent Heidi Ganahl, District Attorney George Brauchler, and U.S. Senator Cory Gardner.

Buck’s speech did its job; the Colorado GOP Central Committee members elected him Chairman. Buck narrowly defeated State Representative Susan Beckman, who had broad support from her colleagues in the legislature, including House Minority Leader Patrick Neville who introduced her.

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Cory Gardner Hosting $500 Breakfast at Glenmoor Country Club this Friday

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Glenmoor Country Club

UPDATE: Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon, who is a member of the fundraiser’s host committee, responded to a request for comment. Commissioner Laydon also said he’s excited about the commitment Gardner has made to pursue infrastructure projects that are important to the residents of Douglas County. He continued,

“I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of him in terms of engaging all of his constituents in Colorado. My understanding of Cory is that he would like to engage with the public in Colorado and make sure that those voices are heard.”

Asked if the senator’s lack of public appearances is a concern to him as a public official, Laydon replied,

I think that has been a concern shared by many and that I think Senator Gardner also shares. What’s really exciting for me is to see him really hear those voices and those concerns and to make a concerted effort to show up and to listen and I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of him.”

Sen. Cory Gardner returns to Colorado on Friday, but he’s bringing Washington with him. He’s hosting a fundraiser breakfast with Sen. John Thune (R-SD) at a country club in Cherry Hills Village.

Gardner, who is under fire from his constituents for not holding a public event since September of 2017, is spending his time on high-dollar donor events: he’s held at least four since the beginning of the year, all in Washington, DC.

A pair of powerhouse law firms hosted luncheons for him in January. In February all the members of the Senate GOP leadership, including Majority Whip Thune, joined Gardner for his “Campaign Kick-off.”

Just yesterday, the Gardner campaign invited DC’s high rollers to an undisclosed location to have margaritas…for $500.

(more…)

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Do GOP Donors Want Their 2018 Election Contributions Used on Recalls?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Recall Colorado 2019 ad

At least one major donor to the Colorado House Republicans’ 2018 election campaign doesn’t want its leftover money going to fund recalls.

Xcel Energy is among dozens of companies that donated at least $5,000 to Values First Colorado, the House Republicans’ “caucus fund” committee, which aims supports GOP candidates running for the Colorado state house.

Responding to a request for comment, Xcel Energy made clear the expectation was for its donation to go towards 2018 general election expenses.

“We gave to all caucuses for the 2018 cycle. We expected our contribution to be used for the 2018 elections and not for recall efforts.” Mark Stutz, Xcel Energy Senior Media Representative

Calls to other donors including Anadarko Petroleum, The Colorado Gaming Association, Friends of Colorado Hospitals, and the Colorado Home Builders Association, were not returned. Ready Colorado and Colorado Ski County USA declined to comment.

As reported by Marianne Goodland of Colorado Politics, Values First Colorado (VFC), and other committees connected to it, closed out the 2018 election cycle with hundreds of thousands of donors’ dollars sitting unspent in bank accounts.

After raising $1.214 million, the Values First Colorado caucus-fund committee and its related IECs left ending balances of $305,961, just over a quarter of what the GOP House caucus raised for the 2018 election.

Last month VFC launched a website promoting possible recalls of at least two state lawmakers, Rep. Meg Froelich (D-Englewood) and Sen. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village). The site has since added a third target, State Rep. Rochelle Galindo (D-Greeley).

VFC is also running paid Facebook ads promoting the website using a variety of issues, from specific bills such as Oil & Gas Public Safety bill and the Extreme Risk Protection Order or “red flag” bill, to the broad subjective claim that Democrats are turning Colorado “into California.” According to Facebook’s political ad information, the VFC is paying for 75 active ads.

Asked if donors to VFC are aware that some of the money was being used on recalls, VFC registered agent Joe Neville said,

“Yes, some of the donors are. We have plenty of donors who do know what we’re doing with this. We don’t plan on spending every penny into this, but we are going to spend what it takes to get things done. Our goals are to make sure we have the tools available and the resources available for people in the grassroots who choose to put up a recall, if it makes sense for the organization and for being good stewards for our donors. If it helps the cause of getting back the majority and there’s reason for it, then we’ll be there to help people.

Asked specifically if donors have expressed concern at money being used to fund recalls, Neville replied,

“We’ve had plenty of conversations with our donors, and we had an after action report and frankly that’s between me and my donors.”

Jason Salzman contributed to this post.

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South Jeffco Tea Party Removes FB Post Saying Stapleton’s Advisors Should be Drawn & Quartered

Drawn & Quartered

It’s been a busy week both online and in real life for the South Jeffco Tea Party. On Tuesday one of its members called out the Republican establishment in no uncertain terms and tonight the group is hosting a VIP Meet & Greet followed by a public forum for state GOP party official candidates.

Embracing its anti-establishment spirit, the South JeffCo Tea Party account posted a poll on Facebook earlier this week, asking its followers which they “hold in higher regard: ‘Chlamydia’ or the ‘RNC National Committee.’

A commenter asked “Is this same RNC that ran Walker Stapleton? I’ll have to think about that.”

While one might expect a Tea Party group to pile on the criticism of an establishment candidate like Stapleton, the SJCTP instead celebrated the democratic process, saying “We Coloradans picked Walker Stapleton and there was nothing wrong with that, he’s a fair enough candidate…”

But then things got dark:

(more…)

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Neville Family & Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Working On Recalls

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Patrick Neville and Dudley Brown talk recalls

Thursday night, House Republican leader Patrick Neville stood before a room of Rocky Mountain Gun Owner members and pledged to support their efforts to recall his colleagues, not just with a public statement, but by providing the campaign’s “infrastructure.”

Neville: I’m already getting pushback on this, but there are grassroots folks out there initiating recalls. It’s not something we asked them to do. It’s you the grassroots voter out there doing it. In 2013, the same thing happened and people in my position actually tried to prevent the grassroots from doing it. I’m not going to take that same position. I’m here to support you. We’ve actually started up a website called join.recallcolorado.org. We will provide infrastructure for those who are actually pushing recalls. If you want to recall your legislator you can email [us]. We’ve got to do something to stand up right now.” [CTR emphasis]

The website the House Minority leader is referring to was created and paid for by Values First Colorado, the House Republicans’ 527 political committee. That entity is run by Patrick’s brother Joe Neville, who previously worked as Political Director for Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO).

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners organized Thursday’s event, enticing RMGO members to the Centennial Gun Club with the promise of a free hour of range time. RMGO staff broadcast the entire event on Facebook live.

Director Dudley Brown spoke largely about two topics: the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill, or “red flag” measure, which would allow judges to allow the confiscation of guns from dangerous people, and “the R-word” as he called it: recalls.

Brown mentioned the two state legislators, Sen. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village) and Rep. Meg Froelich (D-Englewood) who are already named on the recall website created by Patrick Neville and his brother Joe (who also attended the briefing).

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Neville Family Launches Recall Effort Against Minority Leader’s Colleagues

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s threats to recall his own colleagues aren’t just words anymore. He’s endorsed his caucus’ fundraising committee, run by his brother Joe, which has launched recall efforts against at least two Democrats.

Late Wednesday Minority Leader Patrick Neville shared a link to “Recall Colorado,” a website built and paid for by Values First Colorado, the Republican House Independent expenditure committee run by his older brother Joe’s consulting firm, Rearden Strategic. The link was also shared by “Advancing Colorado,” an online attack brand also run by Rearden.

The site lists four bills it claims are examples of “overreach,” all of which have been covered extensively in the press. They include the National Popular Vote, Comprehensive Sex Education, Extreme Risk Protection Order firearm removal, and the Protect Public Welfare Oil And Gas Operations bill, which enhances health and safety regulations on the oil & gas industry. The list also includes two immigration-related items: a floor amendment to a bipartisan juvenile justice bill, and a “pending bill” that doesn’t actually exist yet, but which the site says has been “announced by Democrats.”

The site makes no mention of another “announced” bill that initially prompted Neville to publicly threaten to recall his fellow legislators: the safe injection site bill to address the opioid crisis. Neville purported to be so upset by that bipartisan proposal he told 9News he would recall the bill’s Democratic sponsor, though not the Republican one. That bill was eventually dropped, but House Minority Leader Neville apparently never dropped his threatened response.

The site confirms the recalls, reported by Colorado Politics earlier in the day, against Sen. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village) and Rep. Meg Froelich (D-Englewood). It also teases additional targets with the tagline “Who’s Next?”

The family connections between Patrick Neville’s leadership role and his brother’s consulting company was explored in a twopart series by Colorado Politics reporter Marianne Goodland. From the first story:

Several Republicans who spoke with Colorado Politics said they believe the Nevilles’ key objective in 2018 was to ensure that Republicans elected to the House would vote for Patrick Neville as minority leader for another term, which, in turn, would keep donor dollars flowing into various committees and companies controlled by Joe Neville. According to campaign finance filings with the state, Joe Neville and his firm Rearden Strategic were paid $194,360 in fees for consulting with political committees and candidates during the 2018 election cycle, including $114,716 from Republican caucus funds and the rest from candidates.

In the second story, titled “A hard look at 2018 GOP’s soft money,” Goodland laid out a complex trail of money moving between various Neville-controlled groups, the end result of which was a lot of unspent cash and un-won races.

Values First Colorado routed additional money to at least two other IECs run by Joe Neville: Coloradans for Secure Borders and the Colorado Liberty PAC. Out of the total of $416,150 raised by the Colorado Liberty PAC, $393,000 came from Values First Colorado. The committee spent $264,580, leaving an ending balance of $152,009 after the final reports for the 2018 election cycle were filed on Dec. 6. Rearden Strategic and its employees, Joe Neville and Yates, got $11,416 for consultant services from the Liberty PAC and another $239,886 to do advertising on behalf of a dozen Republican House candidates. Of those dozen candidates, 11 lost their races.After raising $1.214 million, the Values First Colorado caucus-fund committee and its related IECs left ending balances of $305,961, just over a quarter of what the GOP House caucus raised for the 2018 election.

The disclosure on the website reads “Recall Colorado is an entity operated by Values First Colorado. Paid for and authorized by Values First Colorado.”

Joe Neville during the 2013 recall effort against Sen. Evie Hudak

It’s unclear whether Values First Colorado is using the leftover funds from 2018 to pay for this recall effort, but it certainly has enough in the bank to do so. Calls to Minority Leader Neville and to Values First Colorado inquiring about the funding for the recall effort were not immediately returned. This piece will be updated with any response.

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State Senator Vicki Marble Says She Wants to Secede

(Bye! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

State Senator Vicki Marble at the Capitol

State Senator Vicki Marble (R-Fort Collins), the third ranking member of her party’s leadership team, proposed secession as “recourse” to a “global agenda,” represented by a bill to strengthen health and safety rules for the oil & gas industry.

Posting a picture of the public hearing for the “Protect Public Welfare Oil And Gas Operations,” aka SB19-181, which lasted for twelve hours and featured testimony from hundreds of proponents and opponents, Marble wrote:

No discussion, no stakeholder process, and no consideration for the hundreds of thousands of workers in oil and gas and their families. Democrats have declared war on oil and gas and have deemed these workers and their families as “collateral damage.” Unacceptable, and I’ll fight it ever step of the way.

In response to a comment on her post agreeing with her sentiment, Marble replied,

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Cory Gardner Headlined the NY Republicans’ “Empire Club” Fundraiser

Senator Cory Gardner has had a busy fundraising schedule so far this year. In addition to a pair of high-dollar events last month, his official campaign kick-off luncheon takes place Wednesday at an undisclosed Washington DC location, where he’ll be joined by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the entire Senate leadership team. But Gardner isn’t just holding his own hand out, he’s helping other Republicans in need as well.

 

Just one week ago he was in New York City to help the New York GOP squeeze a few dollars out of their high-rolling members. Speaking at an exclusive reception for the party’s Empire Club, Gardner entertained the crowd with tales of NRSC victories from the 2018 election.

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Colorado Family Action Leader Says Conversion Therapy Helps Children “Sexually Abused…by a Same-Sex Person”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Family Action director Debbie Chaves used a dangerous and false stereotype of LGBT people to oppose a proposed bill banning conversion therapy for minors.

Speaking on a religious right video podcast, Chaves warned about the dangers the bill would create for children who have been “sexually abused by a same sex person.”

She also warned of “LGBTQ agenda driving policy” at the state capitol, saying “they’re going after the hearts and minds of our children.”

Speaking on a religious right video podcast, Chaves warned about the dangers the bill would create for children who have been “sexually abused by a same sex person.” She also warned of “LGBTQ agenda driving policy” at the state capitol, saying “they’re going after the hearts and minds of our children.”

The host asked Chaves to explain a proposed bill that would ban “conversion therapy” for minors, Chaves answered,

“It would ban any licensed counselor from talking to a child about a biblical world view of sexuality, if [that child] don’t want to have a homosexual or same-sex attraction. So they would ban a licensed counselor from counseling a child towards heterosexuality.” What that means in a nutshell is, when we have a child who has been sexually abused or exploited in some way by a same-sex person, oftentimes they have anger or rage issues and they go to counseling. When it would come out that they want counseling to not have an attraction and to align their behavior with their sincerely-held beliefs, they [the counselors] would be stopped from counseling a child towards that belief and behavior. It puts children in danger. These kids that have already been exploited. Do we want a vulnerable child to be banned from getting the help that they need?”

 

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Tonight: Colorado Mesa University Hosts Climate Change Denier

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Heartland Institute climate skeptic Billboard

Colorado Mesa University is hosting climate change denier Steve Goreham this evening, for a speech titled “Energy, Climate Change & Public Policy.”

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese promotes tonight’s speech at CMU by climate change denier Steve Goreham

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese promoted the event on her Facebook page.

Pugliese has publicly rejected global warming, saying, “It is not a proven scientific theory. There is not evidence to support it.” Pugliese did not return a call requesting comment.

Goreham is the Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and a policy advisor to the Heartland Institute, a Koch-funded advocacy group that has disputed the reality of climate change and global warming for decades.

The organization’s claims are so dubious that esteemed scientific journal Nature felt the need to editorialize about its suspect assertions back in 2011, saying: “the Heartland Institute’s climate conferences…are curious affairs designed to gather and share contrarian views, in which science is secondary to wild accusations and political propaganda.”

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CCU Speaker Charles Murray: “Feminist & civil rights movement” made it “obligatory to not to be critical of blacks or women”

(He seems nice – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute hosted controversial author Charles Murray Monday evening as part of its “Distinguished Lecture Series.”

Murray’s speech addressed “The State of White America” and largely focused on the widening income gap between rich and poor Americans. Following the speech, an audience member asked Murray to explain the “intolerance and fear of new ideas” of the “New Elite,” Murray’s label for wealthy American intellectuals.

Question: Could you explain why the “new elite” has become so close-minded and intolerant and just frightened of ideas if they don’t follow whatever the spiel is on NPR?
Dr. Murray: To answer that you have to say, “What does the political correctness go back to?” I guess it goes back to both the feminist and civil rights movements, which had great moral authority, certainly among the new upper class and academia. And deserved great moral authority.
By the way I’m being very speculative here. I’ve thought about this a lot; I can’t document it.
In a way it became obligatory to not say things that seemed to be critical of blacks or of women. A raised consciousness about both minorities and women that appropriately produced a sense of guilt. That’s fine- no problem with that, but it went too far. And it stifled the expression of certain kinds of beliefs and that has kind of snowballed.
So first it was African Americans and women, and then you added homosexuals and then you added the disabled and then you went on down through the list and you have one group after another who has taken a victim status which circumscribes further the bounds of permissible discourse on all sorts of topics.

Murray did not identify the “new ideas” that might be discussed if this political correctness wasn’t preventing people from critiquing African-Americans, women, LGBT Americans, Americans with disabilities or other groups that he believes have “taken a victim status.”

Murray drew his speech from his 2012 book, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010,” which he says addresses the “cultural fissures” that have emerged in America since 1960. He explained that he would only examine “non-Latino whites” to avoid arguments that the problems he is identifying “are the result of the legacy of slavery, racial divisions or ethnic problems, not that those aren’t real problems, but “you won’t come to grips with the dynamics that have been at work, until you understand that these have been happening within the white population.”

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