“Below the Belt” Attack Ad Against A Democrat Triggers A Wave of Bipartisan Donations

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Brittany Pettersen and Cynthia Coffman

State senate candidate Tony Sanchez’s decision to send a negative mailer, widely seen as off-the-charts nasty, appears to have backfired. Donations to his opponent, Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood), have skyrocketed since the postcard appeared in voters’ mailboxes.

Pettersen’s latest campaign finance report shows 73 donations on October 24, the day after the mailer hit Lakewood mailboxes.

Three are from prominent figures in Colorado politics, including $200 from the top-ranking Republican in statewide office, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman. According to campaign finance records, it’s the only donation Coffman has ever made to a Democrat.

(more…)

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Candidates Humenik And Jensen Submit Near-Identical Answers To Hometown Newspapers

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Sen. Beth Humenik (R, center right).

Candidates Christine Jensen of Arvada and Rep. Beth Martinez-Humenik (R-Thornton) have a lot in common. Both are Republican women running for Colorado state senate seats in highly competitive suburban swing districts. Both answered the same five questions from their local community newspapers and both gave nearly identical answers to those questions. The answers aren’t just substantially similar; they are structurally the same and often word-for-word identical.

Colorado Community Media (CCM) published the Q&A style interviews two weeks ago. CCM owns eighteen weekly local papers around the Denver metro area,  Five questions were posed to every statehouse candidate running in a district covered by a CCM paper. The first and last question were open-ended, make-your-case questions, while the other three addressed specific policies and priorities.

Compare Humenik’s answer and Jensen’s answer to the question, “What can the Legislature do to ease the strain of rising housing prices on Colorado residents?” The bolded language is identical in each answer.

(more…)

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State Senate Candidate Christine Jensen Opposes All Medicaid Funding For Planned Parenthood

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CO Christine Jensen SD20 CFA 2018

State Senate candidate Christine Jensen of Wheat Ridge opposes all public funding for Planned Parenthood, including all funds via Medicaid, which is the state-federal health insurance program for low-income people. 

Planned Parenthood uses Medicaid funds to pay for contraceptives, counseling services and patient education, infertility services and sterilization reversals, cancer screenings, and testing for sexually transmitted infections related to family planning services, according to a statement on Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ website.

The statement also notes that “in accordance with the Hyde Amendment and Colorado law, these federal funds do not pay for abortion services.” 

Jensen’s unequivocal stance on the issue came in here response to a candidate questionnaire from the Colorado Family Action Foundation (CFA), which is allied with three far-right evangelical organizations, two of which are hate groups. (more…)

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Wild Card: The St. Louis Cardinals Almost Complicated Stapleton’s Rocktober

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Walker Stapleton Cardinals Fan

Rocktober is here! The Colorado Rockies began their battle with the Milwaukee Brewers last night, having earned themselves a playoff series appearance for the first time since 2009. And thanks to this season’s success occurring in an election year, there are naturally plenty of politicians looking to highlight their support to share in the team’s glory.

Gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton, clearly one of biggest baseball fans among Colorado’s elected officials, is likely both disappointed and relieved that the Rockies are facing off against the Brewers rather than the perennial NL Central powerhouse St. Louis Cardinals.

Following the Rocks’ Tuesday night clinching of a playoff spot, Stapleton tweeted simply, “ROCKTOBER!” At the time, the Cardinals were still in contention for a playoff spot.

An anonymous  Twitter account replied with a pair of photos showing Stapleton wearing a hat and displaying a jersey of the St. Louis Cardinals.

(more…)

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Statehouse Candidate Grady Nouis Campaigns on Immigrant Crime Despite Criminal Record

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Grady Nouis, the Republican candidate for an Arvada area statehouse seat in the Colorado legislature, talks a lot about crime. He’s primarily concerned that so-called “sanctuary cities” endanger residents, because undocumented immigrants who may live in these cities commit crimes, particularly drug crimes.  

In the summer of 2005, Nouis was arrested and charged with felony manufacturing of hallucinogenic mushrooms. He ultimately pled guilty to “maintaining a drug house” and possession of marijuana.

The arrest report, obtained by the Colorado Times Recorder via a source, explains how the police discovered Nouis’ suspected mushroom grow operation. He was living in a house owned by his parents in Grand Blanc, Michigan. They had moved to another city and were planning to sell the house in Grand Blanc. A realtor, believing their son to have returned to college, entered to prepare the house for a showing. She discovered numerous syringes and mason jars filled with a clear liquid and topped with plastic tubing. Believing she had discovered a methamphetamine lab, she called the police. After entering the property themselves, the police determined that it was a “psilocybin mushroom grow operation.”

“As we cleared the rest of the residence, we continued to find evidence of a psilocybin mushroom grow operation. We observed several dehydrating/drying units, packaged mushrooms ready for sale, the spores need to grow mushrooms a makeshift greenhouse made out of large plastic tubs with mushrooms growing along with various other items.”

HD29 Candidate Grady Nouis Arrest Report

According to court records, Nouis was initially charged with one felony count of “manufacture of psilocybin,” and one misdemeanor count of “possession of marijuana.” A plea bargain reduced the felony manufacturing charge to another misdemeanor, “maintaining a drug house.” Nouis was sentenced to three years of probation and paid fees and fines totaling $1,660.

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Republican Candidate Grady Nouis Is A Regular At Racist Hate Group Rallies

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Since declaring his candidacy for the Colorado statehouse in December of 2016, Westminster Republican Grady Nouis has promoted and participated in several far-right rallies organized by hate and extremist groups. Furthermore, he’s documented his participation in numerous videos, including one where he shouts the n-word during an argument with African-American couple in Denver’s Civic Center Park.

HD29 candidate Grady Nouis attends Proud Boys rally, 6.3.17Last summer, the first since Trump’s election, saw marked increase in alt-right rallies across the country, including several here in Colorado. 

After attending a Colorado Proud Boys rally in Boulder on June 3, 2017, Nouis posted news coverage of the event and noted that he would “proudly stand” with the Proud Boys.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labeled that organization a hate group in 2016. The SPLC notes that the self-described group of “Western chauvinists… regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists.”

Just a week later he joined an “Anti-Sharia” rally at the state Capitol, at which he was one of the announced speakers. Nouis had been heavily promoting the event online, and once it took place he live-streamed much of the event. 

The June 10 rally was one of 23 simultaneous rallies organized by an anti-Muslim hate group, Act for America. SPLC’s reasoning for the hate group designation? “Act for America pushes wild anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, denigrates American Muslims and deliberately conflates mainstream and radical Islam.”

During the event, Nouis shared a video of state troopers escorting him and his fellow far-right extremists away from counter-protesters. At approximately the 8:45 mark of the video, he repeatedly shouts the n-word during an argument with African American bystanders in Civic Center Park.

(more…)

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Hate Group Rally At Capitol Features Colorado Republican Speakers and Stapleton Super PAC

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Rep. Winkler speaks at hate group rally
Rep. Alexander Skinny Winkler (R) (top right, speaking).

Dozens of far-right conservatives and hate group members held a rally on the west steps of the Capitol Saturday afternoon to protest what they perceive to be censorship by Facebook. One Colorado Republican state rep helped produce the event and Walker Stapleton’s Super PAC was there to recruit staff.

Proud Boy rally at Capitol, 9.15.18 The event was hosted by Major League Liberty, a far-right pro-Trump social media podcast, along with the Proud Boys, a far-right men’s organization that describes itself as representing “Western chauvinists.” The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Proud Boys as a hate group “whose leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.”

hate group Colorado Proud Boys post promoting far-right anti-censorship rally, 9.15.18Officially titled the Rally To Protest Internet Censorship, the event drew approximately 60 people as well as 40 or so counter-protesters. Nearly as many Colorado State troopers maintained a wide perimeter between those attending the event and those protesting it.

Speakers included State Rep. Alexander “Skinny” Winkler (R-Northglenn) and Republican Congressional candidate Mark Barrington, who is challenging Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter. In his speech Rep. Winkler said he supported free speech and liberty unequivocally. He mentioned that his sound company provided the audio equipment and that he was “happy to help out.”

Stapleton Super PAC recruiting staff at hate group rallyAlso in attendance was a representative of Better Colorado Now, the Super PAC supporting Republican Walker Stapleton’s campaign for governor. Wearing a Better Colorado Now polo shirt that read, “Elect Walker Stapleton,” Ben, who did not give his last name, said he was hoping to hire people to knock doors for his group. He said they “help elect Republicans.” According to the group’s registration with the Secretary of State, its purpose is to “Oppose Democrat candidates for governor and support Walker Stapleton for governor.”

Two of the attendees sported a popular Proud Boys T-shirt that reads “Pinochet did nothing wrong!” with the letters “RWDS” on the left sleeve. The acronym stands for “Right Wing Death Squad.”

The back of the shirt, kept covered by both men during the rally, depicts people being murdered by being dropped from a helicopter.

Stapleton SuperPAC staffer at rally w/ hate group close up

Stapleton Super PAC representative looks to hire canvassers at hate group rally. Man on right’s sleeve displays RWDS: “Right Wing Death Squad”

Many of attendees wore protective clothing, from tactical gloves with hard plastic knuckles to helmets and various types of arm padding. One man sported a set of hockey pads. Two others wearing street clothes said they fought with some “black bloc” types in Civic Center Park on the way to the event, with one saying he was struck in the head by a baton. He noted that the attackers were not part of the protestor group on the sidewalk.

The rally was livestreamed by Major League Liberty as well as many attendees.

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State Rep. Steve Humphrey Posts Image Of Flyer Attacking Colleague Over Violence Against Women

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Rep Humphrey Shares RMGO Wist Attack, 9.15.18

Colorado state representative Steve Humphrey (R-Severance) shared a photo of a flyer that accuses his party’s Assistant Minority Leader, Rep Cole Wist (R-Centennial) of wanting to prevent women from being able to defend themselves.

Rep. Steve Humphrey posts photo of RMGO flyer attacking Rep. WistRocky Mountain Gun Owners distributed the flyer at this weekend’s Centennial Gun Club Firearms Festival. Humphrey  posted a picture of the RMGO table, including the flyer, with the caption “Meeting and greeting and supporting conservative Second Amendment candidates at the RMGO booth.”

 

The flyer, one of two on the table attacking Wist, labels the House’s number two Republicans as “anti-gun” and says he “wants to leave you defenseless,” below an image of a woman being assaulted on the street.

 

RMGO, along with Minority Leader Patrick Neville, attacked Wist repeatedly during this year’s legislative fight over his proposed “red flag” bill. The bipartisan bill would have created a civil legal process called an Extreme Risk Protection Order to enable family members and law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from an individual who poses danger to themselves or others.

Sponsored by Assistant Minority Leader Wist, the bill was also supported by District Attorney George Brauchler and Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock, both Republicans. It passed the House 37-23, with Wist and Rep. Dan Thurlow (R-Grand Junction) joining all Democrats in support, but failed to get out of committee in the Senate.

Rep. Humphrey’s post was “liked” by two of his colleagues, Rep. Perry Buck (R-Windsor) and Rep. Shane Sandridge (R-Colorado Springs). Joe Neville, who runs the House GOP independent expenditure committee and is a former RMGO lobbyist, also liked the post.

Voicemail messages requesting comment were not immediately answered by either Rep. Humphrey or Rep. Wist. This post will be updated with any replies received.

This post was first published by the Colorado Times Recorder.

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Tipton And Other Republicans Return to Pueblo Racist’s Annual Fundraiser

(Gross — promoted by Colorado Pols)

Every year, Republican lawmakers gather at Tom Ready’s Steak Fry fundraiser. Ready is an unapologetic racist and anti-government conspiracy theorist whose annual backyard BBQ nevertheless continues to draw GOP candidates and elected officials of all levels, including Congressman Scott Tipton.

 Ready’s history of overt racism, homophobia and Islamophobia has been well-documented by the Colorado Times Recorder in the past. The post on the left is from a couple years ago.

Tom Ready racist NFL FB postHe continues to do so today, with posts like this one about NFL players. 

 

Confirmed attendees at this year’s event include Congressman Scott Tipton, State Sens. Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa) and Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), HD46 Jonathan Ambler, HD47 candidate Don Bendell, HD62 candidate Scott Honeycutt, Pueblo County Commissioner District 3 candidate Zach Swearingen, University of Colorado Regent Glen Gallegos, and Marla Spinuzzi Reichert, chair of the Pueblo County Republicans.

 

(more…)

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Stapleton Dismisses KKK Ties By Disparaging Civil Rights Icon John Lewis

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After months of silence, Colorado Treasurer and Republican candidate for governor Walker Stapleton is finally trying to address the news coverage of his family’s racist Klan legacy. This week Stapleton appeared on KNUS radio’s afternoon talk show, hosted by his friend Stephan Tubbs. The casual interview was a perfect venue to deliver his talking points cleanly. Instead, he made it worse – a lot worse.

In less than a minute, Walker Stapleton managed to both slander a civil rights icon and explain how Senator John McCain’s death made him “feel good.”

Tubbs was about to ask Stapleton for his response to all the national coverage of his great-grandfather’s leadership role in the KKK, but before he could finish, Stapleton interrupted. Instead of delivering his talking points, however, Stapleton attributed a false statement about deceased US Senator John McCain to civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis of Georgia. Then he said that [incorrect] statement was the one thing that made him “feel good” about the Arizona senator’s death.

Stapleton inaccurately recounted a Rush Limbaugh segment about Rep. Lewis’ recent tweet praising Senator McCain. According to Stapleton, Limbaugh claimed Lewis’s praise made him a hypocrite because ten years’ earlier Lewis had called McCain a white nationalist. [Neither Lewis nor Limbaugh ever used that term.] Knowing that, Stapleton said, makes him “feel good about” McCain’s death because he’s getting attacked for his Klan legacy just like Rush Limbaugh says McCain was attacked by Congressman Lewis.

Listen for yourself:

(more…)

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Stapleton Still Embracing Tancredo, Whose Jaw-Dropping Racism Hits Another Low

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Tom Tancredo is always comfortable in front of a microphone, even when his words are making his audience uncomfortable. That’s exactly what the most prominent Republican to endorse Walker Stapleton did July 30 at the Jefferson County Republican Men’s club, when he delivered racist comments about black student athletes at his alma mater, Northeastern Junior College.

Musing about the racial and religious quotas imposed on his college’s dormitories by the Klan-influenced local government, Tancredo, a former Congressman, wondered why the restrictions didn’t apply to the whole school rather than just the students at the residences:

Tancredo: “I always wondered, why just the dorms? If you’re gonna have a quota, why not on everything. I dunno, they needed black players, I guess, on the team.”

The anti-immigrant firebrand’s influence with the GOP base is exactly why Stapleton asked the conservative icon to introduce and nominate him at the Republican state assembly. That said, Tancredo’s remark about the Klan’s relaxed racial quota when it came to black athletes fell flat on the conservative audience, which appeared to be shocked by the comment.

Undeterred, he stuck with his racist theme by promoting “a great book,” Losing Ground by Charles Murray, which argues for abolishing welfare. The sociologist has also argued that African-Americans tend to be less intelligent than white Americans and that genetic differences between the races are partially responsible. Current Affairs magazine wrote an extensive profile of Murray’s racist writings in a feature piece, “Why Is Charles Murray Odious?” Tancredo acknowledged the author’s controversial status, noting, “Of course, everyone gets scared the minute you say his name.”  

Yet he proceeded to rattle off statistics from the book, showing a decline in numbers of traditional nuclear African-American families and an increase in “black-on-black murders” since the 1950s and ascribing that decline to “the war on poverty.” “[The government] started paying people not to have a male in the household.”

He went on to claim that African-Americans “used to have a higher commitment to Christianity than whites,” but “that’s all changed and it was because of the destruction of the family structure.”

In Tancredo’s other roles, including frontman for an anti-immigrant 501c4 nonprofit, occasional radio host, and social media personality, his continual race-baiting and sometimes flat-out racist statements fall on generally friendly ears.

Ever since Walker Stapleton used Tancredo’s name and brand to secure the Republican nomination however, pundits have noted that ultra-conservative firepower that proved so useful before the primary will likely become a liability in November.

Mike Littwin made this exact point in his July 25 column in the Colorado Independent, writing “Enter Tancredo, who was brought in to help Stapleton appeal to the assembly’s right-wing fringe. It worked then. But how about in November?”

Littwin’s argument matched that of pundit Eric Sondermann, who a month earlier on RMPBS Colorado Inside Out said,

“I think Walker Stapleton is making a number of strategic errors here… To have Tom Tancredo give his nominating speech at the convention in Boulder…you don’t think that one will come back to bite him come September, October, etc.? In tennis, it’s called ‘unforced errors.’”

In his speech nominating Walker Stapleton to Colorado Republicans at the state assembly in April, Tancredo gave two reasons for his presence.

First he said it was because “the day after the election, I want to see all those liberal looneys running with their heads in their hands, looking for a safe space because they can’t handle what just happened to them.”

He concluded by saying, “the only reason I am here and I am proud as I can be to do it, is to place into the nomination for the Republican governor of Colorado, Walker Stapleton.”

If Tancredo continues to make blatantly racist statements in public and the pundits are correct, then some people will indeed have their heads in their hands November 7, just not the ones Tancredo is thinking of.

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Jefferson County Republican Party refers to Jared Polis as a “Brown Shirt”

(Stay classy – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: Over the weekend, the Jefferson County Republican Party deleted the post, though officials still have yet to comment.

The Jefferson County Republican Party referred to Congressman Jared Polis as a “Brown Shirt” in an August 1 Facebook post. “Brown Shirt” is a nickname for a member of the Sturmabteilung, Hitler’s Nazi militia which beat and murdered those who opposed his rise to power. Polis, who is Jewish, is Colorado’s Democratic nominee for Governor.

The post shared an article about Rep. Polis’ (D – Boulder) personal wealth and featured a picture of him wearing a suit with a brown dress shirt. Above the image the party wrote:

Jared Polis has a new club “How to Be A Brown Shirt for Fun & Profit”

Nazi references have become a recent habit of Jefferson County Republicans. County Party Chair Joe Webb linked “Brown Shirts” to another Democratic member of Congress two weeks ago, posting:

“Things work out for the best when we disagree with each other respectfully. The Nazis example should teach Dems like Maxine Waters one thing. Today’s button pushers can become tomorrow’s targets. The Brown Shirts (SA) harassed others until Hitler did away with them in the Night of the Long Knives. When one group is unsafe then no one is safe. We should not tolerate this sort of behavior in America.”

Webb was criticizing Rep. Waters’ urging of supporters to confront Trump administration officials they encounter in public places. It’s unclear why he refers to the murderous Brown shirts as “button-pushers,” but he clearly understands that they were Nazi soldiers. Such a comparison would seem to undermine his plea for respectful discourse, which he has made repeatedly, even specifically mentioning the Governor’s race. On June 29 Webb posted:

Votes matter. The cause to prevent Jared Polis from becoming Governor is not served by crawling into the gutter with the worst most juvenile put downs. More people will be attracted to the cause by well thought out and reasoned arguments made with only good humor. Classy is clean, common sense but most importantly effective. It is the only way this race will be won. Think about it.

Former JeffCo Rep. Tim Leonard also used the term. Before he resigned last week — for reasons related to his court-ordered child support obligations — he equated the women who marched in protest of Pres. Trump’s policies to”Hitler’s brownshirts.”

Chairman Webb did not respond to an email request for comment.

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Red Dawn: Grand Junction Billboard Notes Russian-Republican Connection

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As the clock struck midnight last Sunday, Grand Junction night owls saw red–literally. The digital billboard looming over Rimrock Marketplace now displays a massive crimson and yellow “GOP,” but with the “O” replaced by the Russian hammer & sickle icon used by the former Soviet Union.

Mesa County progressives purchased the billboard to call out the Republican Party’s refusal to challenge Trump’s apparent preference for Russian denials of election interference over the unanimous assessment of United States intelligence agencies.

Grand Junction resident Anne Landman, who paid for the billboard, says its purpose is to draw attention “Republicans’ alarming acceptance of President Trump cozying up to authoritarian dictators who disregard human rights.”

While musing about a billboard on her Facebook page, a friend shared a photo of the GOP Russia design. Landman reached out to the creator, MadDogPac of Odenton, Maryland and received permission to use the image free of charge. Mad Dog PAC was founded in December 2017 by Claude Taylor, a former White House staffer under President Clinton. The organization says it “solicits contributions from concerned citizens to fund billboards censuring Trump, the GOP and the NRA.”

The fine print on the board reads “Paid for by informed citizens of Mesa County and Mad Dog Pac.” Landman says the “informed citizens” aren’t an official group of any sort, but rather friends and like-minded Mesa County residents.

The Russian GOP billboard isn’t the only piece of Mad Dog’s artwork to appear in Colorado. Drivers in the Denver metro area may have seen a billboard reminding them that “Mike Coffman Took $30,843 in NRA Blood Money.”

The Grand Junction billboard isn’t targeted at a specific elected official, but rather focuses on the Russia-friendly attitude of the Republican Party. Furthermore, it reflects the sentiments of Mesa County progressives who are decidedly outnumbered, according to Landman.

Says Landman,

“Out here on the Western slope, liberals are in the minority. These days we are derided, criticized, called names like ‘libtard’ or ‘snowflake.’ But putting this billboard up, it’s lifted everybody’s spirits. It’s become a rallying point, energizing the left and giving people something to cheer for. For that alone it was worth the money.”

Landman paid for the first week herself and has since solicited donations via her Facebook page to extend the billboard rental beyond July 28. As of Tuesday evening, Landman says she has already collected more than the required $265 for a second week’s rental fee.

This article was first published by the Colorado Times Recorder.

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Colorado GOP Successfully Sues Wayne Williams to Place State House Candidate on Ballot

(Election laws are apparently completely pointless — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

After a brief hearing Tuesday, a Denver district court judge placed a Republican state house candidate on Colorado’s November ballot.  The judge ordered Secretary of State Wayne Williams to add the Alamosa Republican to the ballot after the candidate and party officials missed a series of  deadlines for filing information required of all state office seekers. The ruling is being appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court.

Denver District Court Judge Ross Buchanan ruled that despite the weeks-late filing of multiple forms, Alamosa rancher Scott Honeycutt and the Colorado Republican Party “substantially complied” with state election law.

In its June 25 lawsuit seeking ballot access for Honeycutt, the Colorado GOP didn’t argue that Williams’ office did anything wrong by keeping the rancher off the primary ballot.

(more…)

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Republican Nominee for House District 18 Drops Out… Again

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Conrad Swanson of the Colorado Springs Gazette reports that Jillian Likness, the GOP nominee for HD 18, has withdrawn her candidacy just ten days after making the ballot, citing a health condition.

“Due to the demands and my current health condition, I do not feel that I can give my district 100% to win this seat,” Likness said in a statement. “I am extremely saddened by this decision and it was not made easily; but I will support the Republican nominee that will be selected at the upcoming vacancy committee meeting.”

Some context for this breaking news- this very same situation occurred in 2016. For the second election in a row, the Republican nominated by the party to represent HD18 has dropped out prior to the general election.

Two years ago, Republican Sonya Rose won the nomination at assembly, but by mid-August she decided she couldn’t devote the time required to the campaign and she withdrew. The Colorado Independent’s Corey Hutchins covered the subsequent vacancy meeting to select a new candidate.

Speaking from a lectern, Rose nominates local land surveyor Cameron Forth for the post. His previous political experience includes running for Congress in Idaho as an independent a decade ago*.

“I don’t even know anyone in this room,” Forth says to the assembled local Republicans when he accepts the nomination.

Hutchins went on to report that two other attendees were also nominated, Al Loma and Pat McIntire. Forth won the vacancy vote and became the new nominee, losing handily to the popular incumbent, Rep. Pete Lee (D – Colorado Springs).

(more…)

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Huerfano County GOP: Jared Polis is “openly gay” and “against our American values”

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POLS UPDATE 2: As of late evening on July 2 the post has been deleted. The Huerfano GOP has still not replied to inquiries.

POLS UPDATE: Colorado Democrats jump in:

—–

In a June 27 Facebook post published the morning after Colorado’s primary election, Huerfano County Republicans urge anyone considering not voting for GOP gubernatorial nominee Walker Stapleton to “rethink” their decision. They explained their reason for supporting Stapleton instead of his Democratic opponent in the next sentence.

“Jared Polis is an openly gay congressman who is very much against our American values.”

Included with the text of the post is a link to Congressman Polis’ voting record. It is unclear whether the Huerfano GOP believes him to be “very much against our American values” because he is “openly gay” or because of his voting record.

A call to Huerfano County Republican Chair Debi Sporleder was not returned. Sporleder has previously signed her name to Huerfano County Republicans Facebook posts. This story will be updated with any statements received.

The party account also liked a commenter’s claim that Polis “would head us willy nilly down the socialist anti-Christian path” and who criticized Polis for not mentioning “his gayness” in any campaign ads, despite “purporting to be proud of it.”

Huerfano County is southwest of Pueblo. It is part of House District 62, represented by Rep. Donald Valdez (D – La Jara) and Sen. Larry Crowder’s (R – Alamosa) Senate District 35.

The full text of the Facebook statement reads as follows.

If you are unsure about voting in the November elections or think you don’t want to vote for Walker Stapleton, rethink…..Jared Polis is an openly gay congressman who is very much against our American values. A no vote for Stapleton is a yes vote for Polis. Check out his voting record. I’ll make posts about Stapleton, too.

This story was originally published by the Colorado Times Recorder.

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Governor Candidate Doug Robinson Is “Least Likely to have a Closet Full of Skeletons,” Says Conservative Activist

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In a short video endorsement posted on Thursday, conservative activist Laura Carno lists her five reasons for endorsing Doug Robinson for Republican nominee for governor. Her fifth reason:

“Doug is a good, decent man and I love his wife Diane. He is also the least likely to have a closet full of skeletons.

As she is speaking in the video, the hashtag “#ChoirBoy” appears on the screen.

Carno, however, does not explain on camera why she thinks the other Republican candidates for governor, Walker Stapleton, Greg Lopez and Victor Mitchell, are more likely to have as-yet-unknown politically damaging stories in their past.

(more…)

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GOP Challenger Touts Health While Opponent Recovers from Back Surgery

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An Otero County Republican candidate forum got personal last week when primary challenger Don Bendell touted his health and pain tolerance at an event incumbent State Rep. Judy Reyher (R-Swink) was forced to miss while recovering from spinal surgery. 

Reyher is recovering from a May 22 spinal surgery for severe disc disintegration and was unable to attend. She sent a long letter explaining her absence, listing her legislative accomplishments and offering her priorities for her the upcoming year. It started with an extensive explanation of her recent surgery and the challenges that prevented her from attending the debate.

“When [the surgeons] got in there it was worse than they thought with the actual membrane surrounding the nerve being impaired.  I believed I could just drive La Junta for the forum today and and drive back tomorrow for my first post-op visit. My body put a full halt to that notion this morning as I was getting ready to make the trip. My body just has a lot of healing to do.”

Her opponent, Don Bendell, began his remarks by asking for prayers for Reyher’s recovery.

“I came here to debate. I really feel bad for my opponent, I’m sorry she couldn’t be here and I ask for you to join me in prayer for her quick recovery. I certainly can sympathize, since I started running I’ve had two 9mm kidney stones… It’s not fun dealing with pain but I’ve dealt with it my entire life. I had a broken back too, in 2011 and my prayers certainly go out to my opponent. I’m not here to say anything bad about my opponent but I am here to talk about her record.”

He then launched into a stump speech before taking questions from the audience. The first question was, “What do you have to offer Otero County?”

Here was his answer:

 

(more…)

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Will San Luis Valley Republicans Have a Statehouse Candidate on the November Ballot?

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Pueblo County Sample Republican Primary Ballot 2018As primary ballots start arriving in mailboxes across Colorado next week, some Republican voters in the San Luis Valley are going to be disappointed. There is no GOP candidate on the ballot to challenge the incumbent House District 62 Representative, Democrat Don Valdez of La Jara.

Southern Colorado Republicans appear to have lost an opportunity to field a candidate for a potentially winnable district, one that voted narrowly for President Trump two years ago.

Even though his name isn’t on the primary ballot, Alamosa resident Scott Honeycutt says he’s the candidate and believes he will be on the ballot in November. In fact he says he received such assurance from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.  

On April 13, the eve of Colorado’s state party assemblies, local party members, including State Sen. Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa) and former Secretary of State Gigi Dennis met at the Hyatt Denver Tech Center for Republican multi-county district assembly meeting. with the goal of nominating one or more candidates for the primary.  As reported by Colorado Politics that night, Scott Honeycutt and Zachary Deherrera were both nominated. Deherrera later dropped out and endorsed Honeycutt.

However, according to party activist and former House District 62 committee chair Richard Drake, the meeting took a long time to get organized and by the time it ended, they couldn’t find anyone from the Secretary of State’s office to accept Honeycutt’s candidate paperwork. Drake says another committee member said he’d take the paperwork home to scan and email it the next week, but he had trouble scanning the forms and said he mailed them instead.

But the paper candidate forms either never made it to the SOS office or didn’t arrive in time, and as a result Honeycutt isn’t listed as candidate on the primary ballot.

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These Colorado Republicans Are Pushing the Limits of Anti-Immigrant and Race-Baiting Rhetoric

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Walker Stapleton endorser Tom Tancredo has partnered with State Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton) and his son Joe Neville to promote political messaging that reflects the anti-immigrant rhetoric of President Trump and pushes the limits of  limits of inflammatory and race-baiting statements. 

The new Tancredo-fronted group, Citizens for Secure Borders, claims to be “dedicated to providing the public with information regarding key issues related to preserving and promoting the safety and security of the public.” The group’s 501(c)4 articles of incorporation lists the home of Sen. Neville as its “principal office street address.” Its three board members are Joe Neville and two of his employees at consulting firm Rearden Strategic. Both Aaron Yates and Brandon Wark, like Joe Neville himself, are former employees of Dudley Brown’s right-wing gun rights advocacy groups, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners & National Association of Gun Rights. 

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Colorado conservative group invites racist commenters to join its list

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

 Advancing Colorado’s May 4 Facebook post, which referenced a comment former First Lady Michelle Obama made in a graduation speech, generated numerous comments, many of which were blatantly racist, sexist or transphobic. The post noted that Obama acknowledged a nickname actor Nick Cannon gave her, calling her his “Forever First Lady.”

Advancing Colorado, a right-wing online activist group, shared it with the tagline, “How big is your head, Michelle?”

Here’s the very first comment:

The post was shared by State Rep. Judy Reyher (R-Swink), who is already known for sharing racist memes on Facebook. Other commenters stated that Obama is not really a woman, or used images of monkeys.

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Walker Stapleton on commuting in the rain: “I might as well stay in bed”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Daily commutes are a grind, especially in lousy weather. Most of us, though, still grit our teeth, grab a jacket and get behind the wheel. State Treasurer Walker Stapleton? He hits the snooze button.

Earlier this year, Stapleton, who hopes to become the Republican nominee for governor, told a local conservative group that his commute from Greenwood Village to the State Capitol is so bad when it’s raining or snowing that he doesn’t bother getting out of bed.

I live in, uh, south of the city and my commute used to be a reliable fifteen minutes. Now it’s a reliable 45 minutes. And if there’s rain or snow, I might as well stay in bed for an extra hour or hang out at home, because I’m not going to get to work.

According to Google Maps, Stapleton’s commute from his house in the ritzy suburb he was unwilling to name, is about 13 miles. His 45-minute estimate puts him just a minute under the average Denver metro commute according to an October 2017 study conducted by staffing firm Robert Half. The company surveyed 2700 workers, though it is unknown whether they factored in those who decide to sleep in rather than face raindrops.

Stapleton’s disinclination for damp driving may explain accusations of absenteeism that have dogged him throughout the years. A 2014 campaign ad noted a pattern of late arrivals and frequent absences based on his Capitol key card records.

Official key-card records from his Denver office confirm Stapleton only bothers showing up at his office around 10 days a month, often, skipping the office for weeks at a time, or only showing up after 3 p.m.

That claim was denied by his campaign manager, who said Stapleton often forgets his key card and therefore is forced to use the public entrance where records aren’t kept.

Official attendance records again also caused trouble for the Treasurer when it came to his favorite topic: Public Employee Retirement Association meetings. Meeting minutes from 2012 – 2014 showed Stapleton showing up for only eight of 21 meetings.

The PERA board also held a meeting yesterday, May 3. According to journalist David Sirota, Stapleton didn’t show up. We don’t know why he wasn’t there, but we do know it was raining all day long.

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Republican family feud: Nevilles attack colleague on gun policy

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A pair of state representatives introduced a bipartisan bill to address gun safety and mental health. Despite several prominent Republican elected officials publicly supporting the bill, Rep. Cole Wist’s (R-Centennial) decision to sponsor it with Democrat Alec Garnett (D-Denver) prompted immediate outrage from some of his Republican colleagues.

The Denver Post’s Jesse Paul reported on a Monday evening caucus meeting held to address the situation:

“Like any close family we have arguments,” House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, said of a caucus meeting where the legislation was discussed. “But like any close family, we’re still united at the end of the day.”

9News reporter Brandon Rittiman also mentioned the caucus meeting in a tweet, calling it a “family feud”:

A review of social media indeed reveals a close family that remains united. However, it isn’t the metaphorical family of House Republicans, but rather literal relatives from one particular political family -the Nevilles- attacking other Republicans. Their primary target is Patrick Neville’s nominal partner in House leadership, Assistant Minority Leader Cole Wist.

The attacks have been led by Advancing Colorado, a 501(c)4 online entity run by Joe Neville’s consulting firm.  On Facebook the group called Wist a “Republican Traitor” who “wants to seize your guns.” It also liked comments calling Wist “treasonous,” a traitor who should be ‘removed by force,’ and a “FK TARD.” Advancing Colorado has posted numerous items over the past two days, many of which include photoshopped images attacking Wist, along with Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler (who is also the Republican candidate for Colorado Attorney General) and Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock. 

Joe Neville’s brother, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville commented on one of these posts, stating “I am 100% AGAINST this bill!”  Later he told Colorado Politics’ Joey Bunch, “None of us are happy about him supporting the bill, and he’s re-evaluating that. I think he got some advice he regrets, but, hey, we’ll move on.”

On Tuesday he apparently used his leadership authority to take Wist’s seat on the House Judiciary committee where the bill was assigned to be heard this afternoon. It is unknown if Wist’s removal is temporary.

Barb Neville, mother of Patrick and Joe, wife of GOP State Sen. Tim Neville (and manager of the senator’s Facebook page) shared one of Advancing Colorado’s posts. She added her own comment wondering what sort of bribe Wist and other Republicans must have been promised to support the bill.

Barb Neville attacks Rep. Cole Wist over gun safety“First they built the DNA Lab, now this, what’s next? Why are these three prominent republicans sleeping with Colorado Cease Fire and Michael Bloomberg. It makes one wonder what kind of golden nugget has been promised them. Call Cole Wist and URGE him to remove his name from this bill and VOTE NO on it: Cole Wist’s office: 303-866-5510”

Sen. Tim Neville, who represents Littleton, hasn’t attacked Wist publicly, as his wife and sons have, but he made his opinion of the bill known to KDVR TV reporter Joe St. George immediately before the bill’s hearing on Tuesday afternoon. St. George tweeted: “@NevilleforCO tells me he has “’no interest in this bill.’”

Sometime between the Monday press conference and the start of the bill’s hearing, Wist shut down his Facebook account. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Executive Director Dudley Brown confirmed this in a comment on the RMGO page stating that the reason Wist shut down his Facebook page was because “our heat was too much.”

This post was first published on the Colorado Times Recorder.

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Colorado GOP apologizes for Facebook post but not racist comments

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Colorado Republican Party has deleted and apologized for posting pictures of State Rep. Dominique Jackson (D – Aurora) with her eyes closed at her desk on the statehouse floor.

The caption declared Jackson to be “In search of the American Dream,” but it failed to mention her serious health condition: lung clots which require her to receive regular IV infusions of white blood cells.

Her condition and the post itself were first reported via Twitter by KRCC radio’s Bente Kirkland.

Republican Party spokesman Daniel Cole apologized to the Representative on Twitter, writing “I’m the one who made the offending post. Upon learning of Rep. Jackson’s condition, I immediately removed it. I apologize to her for having shared the pictures in the first place.” 

9News story by Brandon Rittiman also quoted Cole:

“Reached by telephone state GOP spokesman Daniel Cole said he ‘wasn’t aware’ of Jackson’s medical issues. He said the post’s wording was meant to be light-hearted and that he “wouldn’t have made that comment” if he had been aware of her condition, which is why he removed the post this morning.”

Cole posted the images around 3:00 pm on Monday. Within the hour, several commenters had noted her health condition.

Other commenters, however, were less concerned about the Representative’s health. 

Still others chose to make racially charged statements referencing Africa and calling the Representative as a welfare recipient.

Joining in the comment frenzy was El Paso County Republican Chairman Joshua Hosler, who compared Rep. Jackson to 85 year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, who notoriously fell asleep during a State Of The Union speech.

None of these comments were removed from the post. Some remained up for eighteen hours, being removed only when Colorado GOP spokesman Cole deleted the post entirely.

Daniel Cole was right to apologize and to delete the post. No apology was forthcoming, though, for the dozens of cruel and insulting statements hosted on the state Republican Facebook page for nearly a day. During this time, two new posts appeared on the page.

Political Facebook can be a mean place and page administrators like Cole aren’t expected to spend every waking minute scanning their post comments for hate, but personal and racial insults levied at an elected official and colleague of the Colorado GOP’s own members shouldn’t ever be tolerated.

This was first published on the Colorado Times Recorder.

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Alamosa Official Won’t Resign After Writing ‘Republicans hate poor people’

(The foot remains in the mouth – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Alamosa residents decried Councilor David Broyles’ assertion that “Republicans hate poor people,” before calling for his resignation at last night’s city council meeting, which also included a discussion of a possible recall election.

Broyles admitted to being the author of the Alamosa County Republicans’ controversial post on its Facebook page Friday. He has since resigned from his position as Vice Chair of the Alamosa GOP, but remains in his public office as city councilor for Alamosa’s Ward 2. 

The full city council meeting can be viewed online here. The links in the paragraphs below jump directly to the statements being discussed.

Alamosa GOP Facebook post by then-Vice Chair David Broyles

South Alamosa resident Scott White asked directly for Councilor Broyles’ resignation: “We should as a city, ask for Broyles’ resignation as a clear show of support for the poor people that he claims Republicans hate. We are some of the poorest counties in the state and we need to support our people and not encourage or defend hate speech. I ask that Councilor Broyles resign as a city councilperson.”

Following comments from the public that included requests for his resignation, Councilor Broyles apologized for the post, saying in part,

“I made the posting. It doesn’t represent who I am and it doesn’t represent the platform of the Republican party. I sincerely apologize to the public and to the Republican Party. All I can say is that I will show you in the months ahead that my heart really is centered with helping the poor. My whole life has been with working with the poor. One of these days I’m going to write a letter to the editor to tell you everything I do to work with the poor.” 

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