El Paso GOP Filed Police Report Claiming Thefts of Financial Records, Then Lost Interest in Solving the Case

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Presumably they have their top men working on it.

On Aug. 18, El Paso County Republican leaders filed a report with the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) reporting “multiple thefts” of thousands of dollars’ worth of financial records, ID badges, and a laptop computer from their party’s headquarters over the course of a year.

Yet despite having filed a police report of these alleged crimes over two months ago and claiming that the missing documents are “vital to their operation,” party officers still haven’t given CSPD a list of people who had access to the office.

When an investigator followed up on Oct. 5, the party treasurer told him that they’re too busy with the election to provide the information.

The report, filed by El Paso GOP Treasurer John Pitchford and President Vickie Tonkins, also claims that “numerous computer files have been deleted,” presumably from computers or drives that remain in the office.

Furthermore, the report notes: “All check register information prior [to] 3 April 18 has been removed. All financial / bank records prior to 2017 are missing.”

What sort of thief steals old check registers and bank records? Or takes some computer equipment while leaving others, but not before logging on and deleting some files?

The scenario described in the report seems more like political sabotage than random theft, but if so, why aren’t the victims making the search for the culprits a top priority?

Reached for comment, Pitchford declined to be interviewed over the phone and asked that questions instead be emailed. Upon receipt of the emailed questions, he again declined to answer, first stating that “they might be above his pay grade” and then citing the upcoming election as reason for being too busy to answer any questions.

Via Facebook message, Tonkins declined to comment.

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Complaint to Senate Ethics Committee Alleges Gardner’s Tele-Townhall Violated Rules

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A formal complaint filed last week with the U. S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics asks for an investigation into Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s use of unsolicited robocalls to promote a tele-townhall COVID-19 update within 60 days of the election.

Election season limitations on Members of Congress conducting constituent communication are longstanding and well-understood restrictions. However, in March of this year, the Senate Rules Committee waived at least one of the rules Gardner is alleged to have violated in order to permit senators to update people on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The exception permits “providing updated information about the pandemic, and providing information about the federal government’s response.” It is intended to allow the transmission of critical pandemic response information, not for senators to tout their accomplishments to voters.

The complaint filed against Gardner, a Republican, argues that between the pre-selected robocalls to voters and Gardner’s talk of politics and non-COVID issues such as listing his bipartisan work with Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), the tele-townhall violated Internet Services and Technology Resources Usage Rules 6.2 and 6.3.

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FACT CHECK: Gerber Says She Isn’t “a QAnon” But She’s Promoted the Conspiracy Theory

(Who? Me? — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Republican state Senate candidate Lynn Gerber took to Facebook over the weekend to dispute reports that she supports the QAnon conspiracy theory.

“Accusing me of being a QAnon is ridiculous, frankly I didn’t know much about it until they said I was one,” wrote Gerber, who’s trying to oust incumbent Democrat Rachel Zenzinger of Arvada.

UPDATE: After publication of this story, Gerber edited the portion of her post addressing QAnon. It now reads:

“Her party accusing me of being a QAnon along with other lies is ridiculous and false.”

Gerber also “loved” a comment from yesterday supporting QAnon, that claims “the rabbit hole goes far deeper than anyone can imagine and it’s scary. …the fact’s [sic] being released about the Russia hoax and the Biden’s is just the beginning.”

Gerber “loved” the main comment and “liked” the reply.

The Colorado Times Recorder reported in September on Gerber’s previous Facebook posts and comments from late June and early July.

On June 30, Gerber shared a QAnon video titled “COVID 911: The DEEP STATE Insurgency,” which compiles a myriad of conspiracies. She shared it with the statement: “Something to listen to!”

Just over a week later on July 8, Gerber shared another QAnon video as a comment on the “Reopen Colorado” page, in response to a post about Larimer County mask orders.

“This is so good,” another commenter replied when Gerber shared the QAnon video.

Gerber deleted her June 30 post sometime in mid-September, but her July 8 comment remains online today.

Below, read Gerber’s full response on Facebook to reports that she follows QAnon:

“The lies about me by powerful people within a party are Typical dirty politics. Money and political power is ruining our Colorado. It is simply wrong how certain individuals abuse their power, and the dark money that comes into our state. Things must change. The division of good people no matter the party is heartbreaking. My hope is that people in my District will look past the lies and do some research. Senator Zenzinger is a politician, fact. She does her best to look good on the outside, but make no mistake she is a politician through and through. I worked with her on animal welfare legislation that went nowhere because of politics. Accusing me of being a QAnon is ridiculous, frankly I didn’t know much about it until they said I was one. We need leaders. I was asked and called to service. I have been serving my community for the last 30 plus years. I will work for the people and the agenda our party is founded on. Fact check people. So vote for a politician or someone who is a common sense voice for the people, the choice is yours.”

Gerber did not respond to a Facebook message requesting comment. This article will be updated with any response received.

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Cory Gardner Totes a Fishing Pole, Not a Gun, in NRA Political Ad

(Maybe it’s one of them gun poles — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

An unarmed Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) shows off his fishing pole.

Cory Gardner brought a fishing pole to gun fight.

The National Rifle Association’s (NRA) latest digital ad for Cory Gardner stresses not just that he’s your choice for “defending the Second Amendment” but specifically, “your right to self-defense.”

Pretty standard stuff for a Republican senator with a history of voting solidly with the NRA, and for cashing millions of dollars of campaign checks from the group. It’s one of several Facebook ads the NRA has run on Gardner’s behalf over the past two months, spending about $10,000 per week.

However the ad doesn’t show Cory packing heat, but rather a fishing pole. The NRA and other gun groups advocate for a very broad interpretation of “bearing arms,” but I doubt even the most diehard supporters believe the Second Amendment covers spin rods.

NARRATOR: “Cory Gardner knows your right to self-defense is essential. Vote freedom first. Vote Cory Gardner for Senate.”

The list of Republican campaign ads featuring candidates and firearms is longer that than the ammo belt feeding Rambo’s machine gun, so the NRA non sequitur B-roll video of Gardner begs the question: is it possible that a Republican senator with an “A” rating from the NRA doesn’t have a single image toting a shotgun or hunting rifle?

One can only imagine the response from gun rights activists if a Democratic candidate ran a similar ad.

Given that the narrator specifically mentions the “right to self-defense,” one would think an image of a firearm would make sense.

Unless, of course, the ad is targeting brown trout.

This opinion column first appeared in the Colorado Times Recorder.

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Conservative Group Behind Deadly “Patriot Muster” Rally Working Closely With Colorado GOP

(Filed under “disturbing” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

FEC United, a new conservative political group, organized the Oct. 10 “Patriot Muster” rally in Denver’s Civic Center Park. The event turned deadly immediately after its conclusion when a private security guard hired by 9News to protect its reporters shot and killed a rally attendee who pepper sprayed him.

As the event’s name implies (“muster” means to assemble military troops), the rally was a call to action for armed supporters to gather publicly. FEC United has its own armed group called the United American Defense Force (UADF), led by former Benghazi security contractor John Tiegen. The “defense force” doesn’t use the word “militia,” but it is indistinguishable from other coordinated groups of armed civilians. The UADF is just one component of FEC United’s multi-pronged organization (FEC stand for Faith, Education & Commerce) that has ambitions to be a national political & policy membership organization for the religious right.

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Senior Trump Campaign Advisor John Pence Stumps With Colorado Republicans

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Senior Trump campaign advisor John Pence (left) prepares to speak at his first of multiple campaign events in Colorado today.

Senior Trump campaign advisor and Vice Presidential nephew John Pence is stumping for Colorado Republicans’ campaign events today. He joined state senate candidate Doug Townsend at a small front yard event in Denver’s Montclair neighborhood. In his introduction Townsend noted that Pence, “works closely with the White House Office of Political Affairs and the Republican National Committee to organize the President’s political activities.”

Pence spoke in broad strokes about the need to vote Republican, not only at the statehouse level but for Cory Gardner and Donald Trump.

“Your great Senator Cory Gardner needs to be sent back to Washington for six more years,” said Pence. “He’s fighting for common-sense, pro-growth policies. He’s also fighting for the beauty of Colorado. He championed the Great American Outdoors Act- the largest piece of environmental legislation to be passed since the days of President Roosevelt.”

Pence characterized the election in the direst of fundamental terms:

“My uncle likes to talk about how usually elections are about Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, but this election is about whether America remains America. Whether we see the greatness that is this country. Whether we stand for this land of the free because of the brave, or whether we accept the notion that America is systematically this or systematically that.” [He may have meant ‘systemically.’]

He also emphasized “law and order,” and decried the property damage that accompanied some of the widespread protests against police brutality. “There’s a freedom of expression in America,” Pence warned. “There is not a freedom of destruction in America.”

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Colorado Republican Women’s Group Leader Defends Proud Boys

Former Colorado GOP state chair Amy Ollivier with Sen. Cory Gardner at his annual Christmas Party

Former Colorado Republican state chair Amy C. Ollivier, a longtime party insider who now helps lead the state GOP’s “Women in Action” group, praised the Proud Boys in a long Facebook post, calling them “wonderful men” and “great Patriotic Americans.”

Ollivier wrote her post Wednesday morning, following President Trump’s Tuesday night debate statement in which he declined to condemn the hate group, instead saying they should “stand back and stand by.”

The Proud Boys describe themselves as “proud Western chauvinists [who] refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” In 2018, the Trump administration’s FBI classified the Proud Boys as an extremist group with ties to white nationalism.

Evidence of these ties emerged in Colorado in October, when, as the Anti-Defamation League notes, “members of the Denver chapter of the Proud Boys marched with members of [white supremacist] Patriot Front and former members of the now-defunct neo-Nazi group Traditionalist Worker Party.”

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Cory Gardner’s Zoom Room Appears to Include Book by Racist Extremist David Horowitz

(Rate this room or you hate America – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

During a brief virtual interview with a local Colorado Springs news station last night, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) offered viewers a glimpse at some of the books on the bookcase behind his desk. Most prominent among the visible titles is “Take No Prisoners” by David Horowitz, an unapologetic racist ideologue known for his anti-Muslim and racist statements.

Horowitz, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center considers an anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim extremist, has proved so offensive in recent years that being seen as associating with him has created problems for corporations and politicians alike.

In 2018 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis refused to answer questions about his speeches at Horowitz conferences.

A week later Verizon canceled its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council over the group’s selection of Horowitz as a conference speaker.

“Our company has no tolerance for racist, white supremacist or sexist comment or ideals,” a Verizon spokesperson told the Intercept at the time.

In subsequent weeks, AT&T, Dow Chemical and Honeywell both followed suit, dropping out of ALEC due to its association with Horowitz.

A Colorado resident, Horowitz has spoken frequently to Republicans in his home state, including keynoting the Colorado GOP’s 2018 post-election retreat. He’s also a regular speaker at Colorado Christian University’s Western Conservative Summit.

With the majority of campaign events taking place online, elected officials’ virtual backgrounds are receiving considerable scrutiny.

Neither the Gardner campaign nor Horowitz immediately responded to email requests for comment. This post will be updated with any response received.

Horowitz’ offensive beliefs and statements are legion, but here are a few of the worst, most of which were compiled by Southern Poverty Law Center.

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QAnon Child-Abduction Conspiracies Impede Colorado Efforts To Stop Actual Human Trafficking

(Not harmless – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

QAnon supporter at Denver “Save Our Children” Rally, Aug. 14, 2020

Over the past few weeks, Colorado’s Human Trafficking Hotline has been very busy. An increased number of callers are reaching out, many of them believing they’ve witnessed perpetrators or victims. The Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT) is a Denver-based nonprofit that operates the hotline and runs other programs, including training first responders to identify possible signs of trafficking.

During July and August, LCHT fielded double the calls it usually receives. The explanation for this sudden surge in activity, however, wasn’t a new explosion of child trafficking in Colorado, but rather a massive social media campaign by QAnon conspiracy theory groups. Typically, the hotline’s primary purpose is to connect survivors with recovery services such as counseling or legal help. Unfortunately, the increase of conspiracy-induced calls made it harder for the Lab to do the crucial work of helping those people with immediate needs.

“Between the pandemic keeping everyone home and online and the underground nature of the crime, it’s a perfect storm,” says LCHT’s Communications Director Craig Nason. “Conspiracies like these muddy the water, they use elements of truth and they get people to jump to conclusions. The public perception of this crime influences our efforts to address it. So if that public perception is based in these conspiracies, then we aren’t applying our resources as effectively as we could. Myths, misconceptions and conspiracy theories about this crime aren’t new, but this is as loud as we’ve seen the public perception influence efforts to address it.”

Nason rejected the QAnon’s foundational narrative of a global cabal of child sex traffickers.

“We know from our work with survivors, trafficking is rarely tied to a nationwide or even statewide ring. It’s most often someone that the person knows or even a family member who exploits them. So, for example, the imagery online of chained kids bound-up by a man in windowless van who is taking kids off the street is not helpful. We’re not saying that couldn’t ever happened, but most trafficking is much less dramatic.”

Nason also noted that the Wayfair Furniture conspiracy theory wasn’t just a problem here in Colorado, but nationwide.

(more…)

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In Shift, Gardner Now Says He Blocked Garland Because He ‘Disagreed with the Selection’

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Ever since refusing to meet with Judge Merrick Garland, whom President Obama nominated to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has insisted his objection to Garland was about the process, not the person. In an interview last week, however, Gardner said his decision to block Garland was because he “disagreed with the selection.”

Watch Gardner here, speaking via video to the 20/20 Growth Cannabis Public Policy Conference III on Sept. 23:

Interviewer: “In February of 2016, you said, ‘The next election is too soon. We shouldn’t appoint a new justice, need to let the American people decide this.’ I can read your exact quote, if you want. But now you’re saying that, it’s September 2020, and it’s not too soon, you’re interested in appointing new justice immediately versus qualified. So I guess my question is, why was February of 2020 — of 2016 — too close to an election but September of 2020 not?

Gardner: Yeah, I think it’s the same standard today that applied in 2016. The Senate majority exercising its advise and consent powers. In 2016, we did not move forward [garbled]. In 2020, I think it’s important we move forward to fill the judge. I disagreed with the selection in 2016. And I’m looking forward to a justice that is qualified, that won’t legislate from the bench, who will uphold the rule of law in the Constitution. So, that kind of a nominee put forward, my advice and consent will be to put that justice in place, just like it would have been in 2016, had that advice and consent been for a justice if admitted, that met and fit that criteria.”

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Boebert Poses With Sign Linking Her to QAnon

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While attending her own fundraiser hosted by a Sandy Hook truther, Republican congressional candidate Lauren Boebert posed with a yard sign linking her to the QAnon conspiracies.

Pueblo County Patriots Mona Demicell, an enthusiastic QAnon believer, took the photo and shared it on Facebook.

The sign reads “NO to QAnon. NO to Insanity. NO to Boebert.”

It is located on the front lawn of a neighbor’s house near last week’s fundraiser in Pueblo.

Demicell routinely expresses her support for both Boebert and QAnon conspiracies on Facebook. In a July 9 post, she shared a QAnon post and added the hashtags, “#LaurenForColorado” and “#SilentMajority.”

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State Senate Candidate Lynn Gerber Is Latest CO Republican To Support QAnon

(QAnon takes the ‘burbs! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Lynn Gerber, Colorado GOP candidate for SD19

Another Colorado Republican state legislative candidate has joined the ranks of public QAnon supporters.

Over the summer Lynn Gerber, who is running for a senate seat in Jefferson County, posted a pair of conspiracy videos, one of which is QAnon-branded propaganda.

QAnon conspiracist groups have grown so rapidly and promote such extreme disinformation that last year the FBI labeled them a domestic terror threat.

Several other Colorado Republican candidates have shared QAnon-linked conspiracies on social media, most prominently Lauren Boebert who is running for the 3rd Congressional District, but also Gerber’s fellow statehouse candidates Samantha Koch and Vanessa DeMott.

On June 30, Gerber shared a QAnon video titled “COVID 911: The DEEP STATE Insurgency,” which compiles a myriad of conspiracies.

“This is the perfect tool to clear up any doubt as to those who still don’t ‘trust the plan,'” reads the post. “POTUS has been ten steps ahead of all the DEEP STATE actors and their attempt to throw the world into chaos and bring in their dream of the NEW WORLD ORDER. They can’t stop what’s coming. Q. Patriots Are IN control. #WWG1WGA #QAnonArmy.”

The breadth of the disinformation contained in the video is staggering. It claims the COVID-19 pandemic, which at the time had killed 130,000 Americans, is both a hoax and yet also a man-made biological weapon created at the orders of former President Obama and the Democrats in order to sway the election. It goes on to assert that Democrats orchestrated George Floyd’s murder in order to launch nationwide protests, inverting the actual timeline of events- a classic conspiracy feature.

Facebook fact-checkers flagged the post as false information, linking to a thorough debunking memo by the Lead Stories FactChecker site.

“Is the COVID-19 pandemic a conspiracy manufactured by ‘Deep State Democrats’ and the ‘mass media’ to disrupt, even rig, the upcoming presidential election in a bid to topple Donald Trump?” states the memo. “And did the coronavirus provide the perfect cover for the mass racial justice protests since the death of George Floyd after being knelt on for nearly nine minutes by a Minneapolis police officer? No, there is no evidence to support any of this.”

Gerber shared the post on June 30. Facebook’s fact-checkers debunked it less than 48 hours later. Nevertheless, it remained on Gerber’s page for more than five weeks; it wasn’t removed until sometime after Sept 11.

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Boebert Deletes Her YouTube Account Where She Subscribed to Multiple QAnon Channels

(Q*Bert Q-overup – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Story by Jason Salzman, Colorado Times Recorder

Colorado congressional candidate Lauren Boebert has apparently deleted a YouTube account where she had subscribed to receive videos from multiple QAnon channels.

She’s also apparently deleted her personal Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Alex Kaplan, a researcher with Media Matters for America, first pointed out on July 1 that Boebert apparently subscribed to receive the QAnon content on YouTube.

Kaplan’s tweet about Boebert’s QAnon subscriptions, which show that she was apparently following QAnon, came just after she said, “I don’t follow QAnon.”

Boebert first tried to distance herself from QAnon, saying she wasn’t a follower, the day after she won the June 30 Republican primary, when numerous stories about her upset victory reported that she’d once said, as first chronicled by Right Wing Watch in May, that she hopes QAnon is real. QAnon is a widely condemned conspiracy, built largely around the idea that government workers are out to undermine Trump to prevent him from exposing a child sex trafficking network run by Democrats and Hollywood celebrities.

RELATED: Boebert Still Embraces ‘Deep State’ Conspiracy Theory that Gov’t Workers ‘Appear To Be Undermining’ Trump

Kaplan reported that Boebert’s apparent YouTube handle, “Boebert0477,” matches a handle she apparently used to use on Twitter. Multiple entities tweeted to her at the Boebert0477 account.

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Boebert Accepting Endorsement of Conspiracist Group Gun Owners of America at Pueblo Event

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Republican CD3 candidate Lauren Boebert poses with militia members in front of her restaurant in Rifle.

The far-right Gun Owners of America (GOA) group is endorsing Lauren Boebert for Colorado’s 3rd congressional district at an in-person event in Pueblo this Saturday. GOA is a fringe pro-gun group that, like Dudley Brown’s National Association for Gun Rights, has sent fundraising emails asking for money to defend Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse.

The group also has a history of promoting extremist conspiracy theories. Following the Aurora theater shooting in 2013, GOA issued a press release offering founder Larry Pratt’s availability to discuss the possibility that the massacre was a false flag attack orchestrated by the federal government. As Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy reported at the time,

“[GOA President] Pratt believes the timing of Holmes’ rampage, which left 12 people dead and 58 wounded, seemed designed to coincide with the upcoming negotiation of the United Nations Small Arms Treaty. A press release sent out to radio bookers on Tuesday advertising Pratt’s availability noted that, ‘In an article posted at The New American…one expert even outlined a theory that Holmes didn’t act alone, but was possibly ‘enlisted’ to carry out his violent act.” Pratt, the publicist stated, was free for interviews on Holmes’ ‘impeccable’ timing.’”

GOA Vice President Erich Pratt (Larry’s son) and Boebert will appear together at Saturday’s event. The announcement praises the upstart candidate while noting her inexperience.

“Lauren Boebert may be new to the world of politics, but she’s not new to defending the Second Amendment,” Pratt said. “I look forward to her standing up to the anti-gun likes of Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the halls of Congress.”

The announcement also credited Boebert for her primary victory over Scott Tipton, whom GOA had endorsed in previous cycles.

“While she’s new to the field of public policy, she’s no shrinking violet. Lauren shocked the political world when she defeated the sitting incumbent in the primary – something which hasn’t been done in this state for almost 50 years!”

Boebert isn’t the first Colorado Republican to appear with Erich Pratt. GOA’s December 2014 newsletter featured a photo of Pratt and Gardner together following Gardner’s election to the U. S. Senate. GOA has endorsed numerous Colorado Republicans over the years, including Congressman Ken Buck and Cory Gardner in his campaigns for the U.S. House as well as U.S. Senate. In a May 2017 release, GOA featured a Gardner quote celebrating their work together. Gardner called the group “a fierce defender of the second amendment” that “provided invaluable support as we worked to bring a new generation of leadership to Washington, D.C.” GOA’s extreme positions aren’t limited to gun rights. Over the past thirty years the group has supported white supremacists and the anti-government “Christian Reconstructionism” movement. A 2014 Rolling Stone feature noted that GOA “donated thousands to Christian Identity lawyer Kirk Lyons’…white supremacist organization CAUSE (short for the Aryan bastions of Canada, Australia, the United States, South Africa and Europe).”

As noted by the Southern Poverty Law Center, in 1996 GOA founder Larry Pratt was forced to resign as co-chair of Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign after news broke of his 1992 speech at the “Gathering of Christian Men” in Estes Park, an event that featured Klansmen, Neo-Nazis, anti-Semitic Christian Identity zealots and other extremists. The event is widely considered the birthplace of the current anti-government militia movement.

Boebert is an enthusiastic supporter not only of gun rights, but of so-called “Patriot” or “Three Percenter” militias. She has appeared at events with militia members and has asked local militia members to provide security at campaign events.

A call to the Boebert campaign’s communications director asking if the candidate has any concerns about GOA’s endorsement was not immediately returned. This article will be updated with any response. The event will take place at 3:00 PM in the old K-Mart parking lot on N. Elizabeth Street in Pueblo.

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Today’s Denver Anti-Child Sex Trafficking March Rooted in QAnon Conspiracy Theories

(Everybody’s going Q-razy! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The “Q-rilla” at Colorado Capitol anti-shutdown rally in April

Organizers of a planned Friday afternoon march through downtown Denver to oppose child sex trafficking are promoting debunked QAnon conspiracy theories involving a ring of elite Democratic pedophiles.

The sudden rise in anti-trafficking hashtags and memes is directly attributable to alt-right meme factories’ latest attempt to sow disinformation. New York Times reporter Kevin Roose documented the digital deception campaign earlier this week, noting:

The idea, in a nutshell, is to create a groundswell of concern by flooding social media with posts about human trafficking, joining parenting Facebook groups and glomming on to hashtag campaigns like #SaveTheChildren, which began as a legitimate fund-raising campaign for the Save the Children charity. Then followers can shift the conversation to baseless theories about who they believe is doing the trafficking: a cabal of nefarious elites that includes Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey and Pope Francis.”

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Dave Kopel on Two-Week Probation From TV Show After Calling NBA Players “Puppets of the Slave Masters”

(Well, that’s lovely of Kopel — promoted by Colorado Pols)

By Sean Price, Colorado Times Recorder

David Kopel, Research Director of the Independence Institute

Dave Kopel, a staffer at the conservative Independence Institute, will not return to his role as a panelist on KBDI-TV’s Colorado Inside Out for two weeks following comments he made on the program about the Black Lives Matter movement.

On July 31 Kopel voiced criticisms of protests in Aurora over the death of Elijah McClain at the hands of Aurora Police. He admitted that while he did not see achievable goals that could be accomplished by peaceful protesters, they did have a right to protest.

But Kopel, who’s also a University of Denver law professor, drew the line at protests which turn violent, like when protestors broke in to the Aurora courthouse and started fires in the building.

“Separate from them [peaceful protestors] is a group of violent criminals,” Kopel said on the PBS 12 show. “People who broke the windows of the Aurora courthouse, entered it, started a fire in there. Trying to burn down a courthouse is not protest, it’s terrorism, and the kind of people who do that are less sophisticated versions of Timothy McVeigh.”

Timothy McVeigh carried out the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing which killed 168 people and destroyed a government building.

 

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Colorado Militia Member Appears to Threaten Fellow El Paso County Statehouse Candidate

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Three Percenter militia sniper, Colorado Springs BLM protest, June 6. Photo by Heidi Beedle, Colorado Springs Independent

A Three Percenter militia Facebook page that appears to be run by Libertarian statehouse candidate Nathan Foutch posted threats against retired Army Lt. Colonel John Foley, who is also running for a statehouse seat (as a Democrat) in El Paso County.

In a June 18 Facebook post, Foley objected to members of the “Three Percenters” militia setting up a sniper position atop a parking garage in downtown Colorado Springs during a June 6 Black Lives Matter protest. Foley wrote,

“This is the face of hate and extremist in our Colorado Springs community and why I oppose the Three Percenter extremist group,” wrote Foley on his campaign Facebook page. “They set up a sniper position, with a spotting scope and suppressors and bipod legs, overlooking the peaceful BLM rally on 6 June. This was a clear act of hateful intimidation. Let’s join together and say NO to such hate and extremism.”

 

Posts and comments made by the Real Three Percenters Colorado Facebook Page refer to Foutch in the first person.

On June 19, the page shared Foley’s Facebook post with the comment, “Get a load of this tyrant. Time to get the ropes ready.”

The following day Foutch then commented on Foley’s page saying he was “spreading fear-based propaganda for [his] anti-gun agenda.”

Foutch went on to call Foley “a Communist who will be dealt with accordingly when the times comes for your treason.”

When Foley reshared the comment noting that it proved his point about the Three Percenters being a threat, Foutch responded “What a bitch of a man. Now he will twist it into a threat to pander to the other pussies in El Paso County.”

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Malkin Credits Member of White Nationalist Group for “Rescuing” Her & Colo GOP Leader From “Mob”

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Michelle Malkin & Patrick Neville just before leaving rally

Alt-right pundit Michelle Malkin agreed to appear on Craig Silverman’s show Saturday, but became defensive when he asked about her connections to Nick Fuentes and the “Groypers,” a far-right group of white nationalists that includes Holocaust deniers.

The initial topic of the interview was Malkin’s headlining of the July 20 “Back the Blue” pro-police rally in Denver’s Civic Center Park, along with statehouse Republican Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock. Event attendees were met by a much larger group of counter-protesters. Despite a substantial police presence, several small fights broke out.

In the days following, both Malkin and Neville gave multiple interviews to conservative media describing the conflict and their “rescue from the mob,” as Malkin put it.

Neville told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the rally was the most dangerous situation he’d been in since his active combat duty in Iraq. He then described his escape.

Neville: “Myself and Michelle Malkin… we were surrounded by Antifa… eventually we had to evacuate, and had it not been for someone who I’d met moments ushering her into her car, I don’t know if we would have gotten out of there unscathed.”

While showing KDVR’s news video of police in riot gear, Carlson asked Neville if the “violence” received any news coverage, Neville responded “no.”

Malkin recounted her version of events to Denver’s Craig Silverman. The former conservative radio host now has a weekly three-hour online podcast, after his previous employers at KNUS literally pulled the plug on him mid-show last November. Silverman says he was dismissed over his criticism of President Trump, a charge KNUS management denies.

(more…)

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Boebert’s Campaign Embraces Far-Right Militia Movement

(Freaked out yet? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

As national intelligence reports and indictments show a dangerous increase in right-wing militia activity, gun rights activist turned Republican congressional candidate Lauren Boebert is embracing elements of the militia movement, going so far as to ask militia members to provide security for her campaign events.

According to a screenshot provided by a source, a member of the III% United Patriots militia posted a call on for volunteers to attend Boebert’s appearance in Pueblo today. The request noted that the campaign invited the militia directly.

Monday at 1pm, Lauren Boebert is gonna be in Pueblo. Some of us have been asked to run a small perimeter security detail for her. The event that raises more concern for her and myself is the flag waving that starts at 5:30pm Monday. There is a couple of events that are happening before that, one of which isn’t open to the public. I wasn’t going to go unless they invited us, which they did.

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists III% United Patriots as one of several anti-government extremist militia groups active in Colorado. Boebert has been participating in events with militia members providing security for months now.

Last December, the day after announcing her candidacy, Boebert attended a “We Shall Not Comply” rally at the Colorado Capitol, organized to reject Colorado’s red flag law, which allows law enforcement officials to take guns from people deemed dangerous by a judge.

Following the rally, she posed for pictures with members of the American Patriots III% militia, also called “Three Percenters,” which said it was there to provide security.

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the Colorado APIII% militia as an anti-government extremist group, noting that “generally, such groups define themselves as opposed to the “New World Order,” [and] engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing.” In a report published in June titled “The Escalating Terrorism Problem in the United States,” the Center for Strategic & International Studies describes Three Percenters as “a far-right paramilitary group that advocates gun rights and seeks to limit U.S. government authorities.”

In a June 14 tweet, Boebert proclaimed simply, “I am the militia.”

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Colo Republicans Joining Social Platform Parler, a “Safe Haven” For Those Too Extreme for Twitter

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Following the lead of Trump administration officials and campaign staff, several Colorado Republicans are joining the conservative social media site Parler, which is best known for allowing users to post misinformation or extreme statements typically blocked by Twitter or Facebook.

Newsweek calls Parler “a safe haven for anyone too extreme, racist or offensive for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.”

Following Twitter’s flagging of several of President Trump’s recent tweets for violating it policies on misinformation and encouraging violence, the Trump administration and campaign have both ramped up activity on Parler. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Eric Trumpm, and several GOP senators joined the site.

Campaign digital media director Brad Parscale, who’s been on since the site launched in 2018, recently tweeted, “Hey @twitter, your days are numbered.”

Colorado Republicans soon followed suit, including Congressmen Ken Buck, who is also chair of the Colorado GOP, U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, Sen. Cory Gardner, and statehouse Republican leader Patrick Neville.

Buck launched his account with a series of posts about the removal of statues and monuments honoring historical figures and accusing Democrats of “ignoring their racist past in order to gaslight the American public.”

Gardner appears to have joined with both his official and campaign brands, though neither account is verified nor has he posted, or written a “Parley,” to use the site’s terminology.

A call to the Gardner for Senate office inquiring whether the account was created by the campaign was not immediately returned.

Gardner’s official account doesn’t even have a profile image yet, though it does have 153 followers, over double the audience of his branded campaign account.

An email to the senator’s press secretary attempting to confirm the authenticity of the account was not immediately returned. This post will be updated with any response received.

Neville also created two accounts, a personal and an official one. He has posted several times on the personal account but has yet to use the official one.

Other Colorado Republicans on the site include party Vice GOP Chair Kristi Burton Brown, Weld County Sheriff Steven Reams, former Colorado Senate President John Andrews, and current state senate Republican spokesman Sage Naumann.

Trump campaign senior legal advisor and former Colorado Christian University professor Jenna Ellis has perhaps the second-largest audience of any Colorado conservative, with over 60,000 followers.

She’s topped by far-right pundit Michelle Malkin who has 94,000. Both women’s accounts are “verified” by Parler, which is the site’s version of Twitter’s blue checkmark, indicating that the site stands behind the authenticity of the account’s identity.

The Proud Boys hate group, which had numerous Facebook accounts taken down last month also has a verified Parler account, lending weight to the argument that the site is welcoming to extremists. A recent “Parley” by the group promotes the debunked conspiracy theory that former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich’s death was in fact a murder orchestrated by Hillary Clinton.

The same Proud Boys account also shared an “important mask safety video” showing someone burning a mask on a grill. The site lists over 3,200 posts using the hashtag, #NOMASKS.

Despite promoting the site as totally free from censorship, Parler CEO John Matze issued some basic rules of conduct last last month.

Gardner, Lamborn, Buck and their Republican colleagues aren’t the site’s only Colorado connection. Matze and fellow founder Jared Thomson both graduated from the University of Denver, before launching Parler in 2018. As the site’s popularity has exploded in recent weeks, CEO Matze has expressed concern over the lopsided political demographics of its users. CNBC reported that he is offering liberal pundits with at least 50,000 followers on Twitter or Facebook a $20,000 “bounty” to join the platform.

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Appearing on Racist Podcast, Boebert Joked She’ll Jello-Wrestle Rep. Ocasio-Cortez

(Uh… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Congressional candidate Lauren Boebert joked about “jello wrestling” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in an exchange with a conservative comedian who also used an ethnic slur during his introduction. Her appearance could lend credence to concerns that she isn’t prepared to be the Republican nominee for Colorado’s Third District.

On January 28, Boebert appeared on Compound Media’s “In Hot Water” show with host Geno Bisconte. The show is known for segments including “Rape of the Day,” and “Random Rape Threat Generator,” as well as a litany of racist remarks and sketches.

True to form, even before Boebert was on the line, host Bisconte joked that Boebert “wants to win the seat… and then wrestle [U.S. Rep] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in jello or pudding, and that would be fun to watch because she is a lovely woman.”

Bisconte then told his co-host that jello wrestling was “how we stay one step ahead of the Japs, who are jamming themselves into subway cars.”

Bisconte then introduced Boebert, who had clearly been listening to the host, as she embraced the jello-wrestling joke:

While the demeaning jello-wrestling wasn’t Boebert’s idea, after Bisconte made it, he asked Boebert a straightforward “tell us about your campaign” question. She chose to respond by returning to jello-wrestling.

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9-11 Conspiracy Group Hosting July 4th Festival in Denver’s Civic Center Park

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Image from We Are Change’s Facebook page

A conspiracy theorist group that insists the federal government planned the September 11th terrorist attacks is hosting an all-day Fourth of July music festival in Denver’s Civic Center Park.

We Are Change Colorado is the local affiliate of the national 9-11 “truther” group founded by alt-right conspiracy theorist Luke Rudkowski, who’s been promoting “New World Order” conspiracies for over a decade.

We Are Change founder Luke Rudkowski with Infowars’ Alex Jones

The messaging for the “Unite the People” festival combines the right-wing anti-government, anti-public health restriction rallies from April and May with the current Black Lives Matter protests against racism and police brutality.

As of Friday afternoon approximately 60 people had marked themselves as attending the event.

“The right-wing militants hit the capitol first because they wanted to reopen businesses, and then it was the protests over police brutality,” the artist said. “We live in a constant duality right now. I can’t speak to everyone’s views. For me, people can only appreciate each other from where they are themselves. There are still people out there who are asking for help, and for me, if people ask for help, we have to act.”

(more…)

The promotional image for the unpermitted event lists ten musical acts, including Brothers of Brass at 6:00 PM and DJ Cavem at 7:00 PM. Reached for comment, Brothers of Brass band member K.R. Azad says the promo image is incorrect and that the band is not performing at the event.

DJ Cavem, a Denver-based climate change and food justice activist, rapper and vegan chef, said he initially became involved in the event through people he met while participating in the Black Lives Matter protests in late May. He said there were lots of different views represented, and that his focus was connecting climate justice to racial justice and food justice, noting the health problems residents of neighborhoods like Elyria-Swansea and Globeville face from decades of industrial contamination that eventually led to the EPA designating the area part of a Superfund cleanup site.

Asked about the alt-right conspiracy theories promoted by We Are Change, DJ Cavem said he hadn’t been aware of any of the group’s specific beliefs, but he did acknowledge the divide between various groups involed in the protests. He said he felt called to focus on sharing a compassionate message without getting caught up in politics.

“The right-wing militants hit the capitol first because they wanted to reopen businesses, and then it was the protests over police brutality,” the artist said. “We live in a constant duality right now. I can’t speak to everyone’s views. For me, people can only appreciate each other from where they are themselves. There are still people out there who are asking for help, and for me, if people ask for help, we have to act.”

(more…)

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Two Colo Republicans Share Fake News Alleging Planned Violence at Protests

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

By Sean Price, Colorado Times Recorder.

As events protesting police brutality continue across the nation, two Colorado Republicans insinuated on Facebook that the violence — the instances of looting or rioting — at some of these protests did not occur randomly and was not incited by the police presence. They implied, rather, that the violence was premeditated and encouraged by liberal donors.

These Republicans, former state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt of Colorado Springs and state House candidate Samantha Koch of Denver, point to videos and articles stating that piles of bricks were found along march routes at the protests and that Antifa, or possibly liberal billionaire investor George Soros, might be behind the scheme to incite violence.

Multiple fact checkers found these articles downright fake or misleading.

On May 31 Klingenschmitt posted a link on his Facebook page to an article published by Law Enforcement Today, a right-leaning publication focused on police-related news, with the headline “Report: Piles of bricks are being staged in cities around the country, indicating riots are planned.”

“There are many who were thinking that these riots have Antifa written all over them and that appears to be getting confirmed that these riots were planned, orchestrated events,” the article stated.

Klingenschmitt represented a Colorado Springs-area House district from 2015-2017. Recently, he lost an election for a seat on the Colorado Springs City Council and failed to get on the GOP primary ballot for El Paso’s County Commissioner in District 2.

Klingenschmitt is known for his evangelical Christian television show called PIJN (Pray in Jesus’ Name) News which airs nationally on four networks and 10 online platforms. He is also known for wanting gay people disqualified for teaching because of their alleged immorality, comparing former U.S. president Barack Obama to a demon, saying that a “curse of god” led to the assault of a woman whose child was cut out of her womb, and claiming current Colorado Governor Jared Polis, a Democrat and the state’s first gay governor, wanted to execute Christians in 2014.

In response to questions regarding the veracity of the posts he shared, Klingenschmitt defended the idea that bricks were staged to intentionally incite violence in a statement to the Colorado Times Recorder.

“If you contend protesters are not throwing bricks, you are a liar,” Klingenschmitt said. “And unless you think they made the bricks in their own yard from mud and straw, they had suppliers. Do you deny these reports of organized crime are true?”

Of the cities mentioned in the article, only the Kansas City Police Department has publicly suggested that there may be links to bricks and the violent protests. Other cities, like San Francisco, have explicitly ruled out the connection between the bricks and any orchestrated violence.

On June 3, Facebook, as part of a new effort by the social media platform to crack down on the spread of fake news, flagged the post as potentially misleading. Politifact released an analysis stating that the claims in the Law Enforcement Today article and other rumors about bricks planted at protests were mostly false.

The piles of bricks largely belonged to construction sites or homeowner’s associations.

(more…)

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Primary Fights Reveal Rift in Colorado Republican Caucus

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Patrick Neville’s seat is safe, but is his leadership title?

Patrick Neville with longtime ally Dudley Brown, shares his ultimately failed plans to recall fellow legislators last fall.

With Colorado’s primary election just two weeks away, statehouse campaigns to be the major party nominees are heating up. The competition is particularly fierce among the Republican races, where so-called dark money groups are spending unprecedented amounts of money.

The disputed primaries are once again revealing an ideological split within the Republican party, one that is well-known to Colorado politicos: the rift between the establishment GOP and its far-right wing, led by House Minority leader Patrick Neville. Despite historic losses in 2018, Neville still controls the caucus, and at least one Neville supporter appears to be nearly as concerned with protecting his leadership role as with retaking the chamber.

Emily Williams, wife of state Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs), posted a Facebook video warning of a leadership coup within the caucus, specifically that “outside money is trying to take out Patrick Neville as Minority Leader.”

She’s not talking about Democrats trying to flip conservative seats, but rather a group seeking to elect moderate Republicans to red districts. She went on to attack incumbent state Rep. Colin Larson (R-Littleton), who she claims is attempting to challenge Neville, by accusing him of sleeping on the job, literally.

“And so he [Justin Everett] is trying to get back in there and be a fighter and be amazing, which we desperately need, because I’m gonna be honest with you, alright? The current guy–I kid you not–taking naps while Republicans are up late fighting on the floor for your freedoms. This guy was going in the back and catching some Z’s while everybody else did the dirty work and the heavy lifting. And, oh, by the way, he’s trying to make a run on leadership against the likes of Patrick Neville.”

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Racist Pundit Michelle Malkin Headlines Anti-Vaccine Rally at Colorado Capitol Sunday

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Michelle Malkin speaks as Republican Caucus Chair Sen. Vicki Marble looks on.

UPDATE: Photos from rally.

Pundit Michelle Malkin is headlining an anti-vaccination rally at the Colorado Capitol on Sunday, in advance of a rare weekend committee hearing.

Conservative activist group Concerned Colorado, which calls itself “a voice for families,” invited Malkin, along with anti-vaccine activist Robert Kennedy, Jr. to speak at the event.

 

Malkin, a Colorado resident who once authored a book in defense of the Japanese-American internment camps, has been a regular speaker at right-wing events. However her recent support of white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes led at least one major conservative group, Young America’s Foundation (YAF), to cut ties with her. 

In an opinion piece for the Washington Examiner published just after YAF’s disavowal, conservative columnist Ben Palumbo called Malkin flat-out racist.

“Malkin is just as bad as those reprehensible alt-right actors who openly peddle white nationalism…If you consistently push racist ideas and associate yourself with viciously racist white nationalists, you’re racist too.”

Malkin appearing on a June 1 video podcast with Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.

In February, despite many years as a featured speaker, the Conservative Political Action Conference declined to invite Malkin back for its 2020 event. Instead she headlined a competing white nationalist conference also held in the D.C. area during the same weekend.

Louie Huey and other Proud Boys huddle together at the rally.

Reached for comment, Concerned Colorado spokeswoman Denice Dirks said the group asked Malkin to speak because she is a well-known opponent of mandatory vaccines. “The focus should be on the legislature bringing up such a controversial bill on a Sunday,” Dirks said, “especially when so many of our churches our opening up for the first time in months. It’s discrimination.”

(more…)

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