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

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Recall Polis PAC GOT image

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

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

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

Darryl Glenn

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

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

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

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Scott Gessler Wants You For His Army

(Honey Badger wants YOU – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to the Colorado Alliance website, its mission is:

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

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

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

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CU Regent Heidi Ganahl Endorses Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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

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

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

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

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Cory Gardner Applauds Ken Buck’s Call for Recalls

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Glenmoor Country Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Recall Colorado 2019 ad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Salzman contributed to this post.

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

Drawn & Quartered

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

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

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

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

But then things got dark:

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Neville Family & Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Working On Recalls

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Patrick Neville and Dudley Brown talk recalls

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

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

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

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

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

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

(more…)

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Neville Family Launches Recall Effort Against Minority Leader’s Colleagues

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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State Senator Vicki Marble Says She Wants to Secede

(Bye! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

State Senator Vicki Marble at the Capitol

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Tonight: Colorado Mesa University Hosts Climate Change Denier

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Heartland Institute climate skeptic Billboard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(He seems nice – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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

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

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

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

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

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It’s Official: Gardner 2020 Campaign Kicks Off in DC With Leadership Luncheon

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Gardner & McConnell NRSC election night 2018

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner is officially running for re-election next year.

His 2020 campaign will “kick off” Feb. 27 with a Washington, D.C. luncheon hosted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), “benefiting the reelection campaign of Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO).”

This event invitation appears to put to rest speculation among political pundits that Gardner may have been thinking about stepping down in the face of discouraging poll numbers.

(more…)

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Boulder GOP Keynote Speaker Candace Owens: “Hitler just wanted to make Germany great”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The day before she is scheduled to headline the Boulder County GOP annual dinner, video has surfaced of conservative media personality Candace Owens of Turning Point USA saying “Hitler just wanted to make Germany great.”

Owens is a regular speaker at Colorado Republican events. 2019 marks her second consecutive year headlining the Boulder County GOP dinner. She also made three appearances, along with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, at College Republican events at CSU Fort Collins, University of Colorado Colorado Springs and CU Boulder last year.

Speaking in London last December at the launch of Turning Point UK, Owens responded to a question from the audience about the role of nationalism in Western politics:

“I actually don’t have any problems at all with the word ‘nationalism’,” Owens said. “I think that the definition gets poisoned by elitists that actually want globalism. Globalism is what I don’t want. Whenever we say nationalism, the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler. He was a national socialist. But if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted, he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize. He wanted everyone to be German, everyone to be speaking German, everybody to look a different way. To me, that’s not nationalism.” Candace Owens at Turning Point UK event, London, Dec. 11, 2018

Owens later released another statement via Periscope, which she began by calling Buzzfeed, which first reported her statement, “scum of the earth.” She then reiterated her explanation that Hitler wasn’t a nationalist because he was “bent on world domination,” adding that he was a “psychotic homicidal maniac.” However she nevertheless concluded by saying “I stand by my statements and that is that.”

Reached for comment, Boulder County GOP Chairwoman Peg Cage said “Candace is pretty bold and she’s her own person,” but declined to comment on Owens’ specific statement without having reviewed the video and news reports first. A follow-up request for comment after having provided the video was not returned.

The Boulder County Republicans Lincoln Day Dinner takes place tomorrow evening, February 9th, at the Embassy Suites in Boulder.

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Focus on the Fearmongers

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Nearly three hundred people showed up at the Capitol last week to speak against a relatively narrow bill concerning sex education. Many of them were passionate in their opposition; some were outright angry.

One woman gave a graphic description of fringe sex acts that drew audible gasps from the room. Another brandished a condom and talked about pedophiles grooming children.

Why were so many people so upset about a bill clarifying relatively obscure state regulations that have mostly been on the books for five years?

Quite simply, they were lied to.

Religious right advocacy groups blasted out “Action Alert” emails to their followers claiming that this bill would “require children in local public and charter schools to learn the explicit sexual techniques of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.”

The email sent on January 25, five days before the hearing, was signed by “The Family Policy Alliance Team (in association with our state ally, Colorado Family Action)”

The “Team” comprising the Family Policy Alliance includes Colorado’s own Focus on the Family and two out-of-state anti-LGBT hate groups: Alliance Defending Freedom and Family Research Council.

On the day before the hearing, another out-of-state hate group called the American Family Association sent portions of the FPA email to its followers and asked them to contact their legislators.

Hours later, the Lakewood-based Centennial Institute blasted its list with a very similar message under the headline: “No on Banning Traditional Family Values from Colorado’s Schools.”

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Walker Wants Our Water

(He’s never running in Colorado again, that’s for sure – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton shared a new money-making strategy with his Twitter followers today: invest in water!

The article shared by Stapleton encourages investing “Like Dr. Michael Burry from the Big Short.”

For those who haven’t seen the movie, Dr. Burry is one of a handful of financial speculators who anticipated the 2008 mortgage crash and bet against the market, making billions off the massive losses in value sustained by millions of American families, homeowners and retirees.

Why water? Because it’s a limited resource that’s dwindling by the day! To make its point, the article addresses the shortage from a global perspective:

By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with 2/3rds of the world’s population living in water-stressed regions. …Ask the residents of Flint, Michigan, who are experiencing firsthand the effects of America’s aging water infrastructure. Clearly there’s a growing and critical demand for access to freshwater and for related products and services. So how can an intelligent investor profit from it?

None of this is news to those of us in Colorado, where drought conditions have lowered reservoir levels to near-record lows. Last year’s snow-melt was so small that the Colorado River Basin received just a third of its average annual water volume. This forced the state to close the Yampa river to fishing and boating last summer and eventually to cut water to some users in September.

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Gardner Supports EPA Decision Not To Regulate Toxic Chemicals In Colorado Drinking Water

(Drink up! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Trump administration is refusing to regulate two toxic chemicals known to contaminate the drinking water of many Americans, including tens of thousands of families near Colorado Springs.

The decision by Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has angered many Republicans in Congress, but not Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner.

This is despite the fact that studies have shown that nearly 80,000 people living near Peterson Air Force Base, just southeast of Colorado Springs, are exposed to dangerously high levels of contamination and have been for years.

[Gardner] told POLITICO he expected there would be a federal role in regulating the chemicals, but he wanted to see the results of a health study included in the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

“I think it’s very important that we get as much information as we can and then act appropriately,” he said.

The study Sen. Gardner is referring to won’t begin until August of this year and will take five to seven years to complete. Funded by the Department of Defense and conducted by the Health & Human Services’ Agency For Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the national study of eight sites near U. S. military bases may or may not include the Peterson AFB site.

The chemicals known collectively as PFAS have been largely phased out of industrial use in the United States, but are still found in the fire retardant foam used to fight petroleum-based fires.

Numerous studies linked these chemicals to kidney cancer, liver damage, increased risk of thyroid disease, decreased fertility and other health threats.

Last summer the Trump administration attempted to block its own Department of Health and Human Services from releasing an 852-page “toxicological profile” summarizing the “adverse health effects information for these toxic substances.”

In December 2018 the Colorado School of Mines released a study of people living near of Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. Research showed levels of a particular PFAS toxic compound, PFHxS, at ten times the national average.

This followed a 2017 health assessment by the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) that found higher rates of cancer among the Peterson AFB communities of Fountain and Security-Widefield.

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New Ad Calls On Gardner To End Shutdown


(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado’s morning news watchers got a dose of politics with their coffee earlier today. A new ad campaign launched today is calling Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) to account for his role in the now month-long government shutdown.

Noting the unprecedented length of the shutdown, the ad lists several serious consequences, including 800,000 workers going with paychecks, food safety inspection stoppages, and increasing risks to air travel.

The ad also accuses Gardner of “siding with party leaders who refuse to even allow a vote to reopen the government.” It asks Coloradans to call Gardner and tell the senator to “demand and end to the shutdown.”

Over two weeks ago Gardner said he would vote to end the shutdown without funding for the border wall. That statement that runs contrary to the ad’s message, but since then he hasn’t repeated that position nor taken any public steps to end the shutdown. He was, however, appointed deputy whip by Senate leadership.

Majority Forward, a national nonprofit linked to the Democrats’ Senate Majority political action committee, is running the reportedly six-figure ad buy on cable and broadcast channels in the Denver media market.

“Sen. Gardner is not interested in demonstrating independence. This shutdown has impacted Colorado and Gardner refuses to demand a vote to reopen the government. He refuses real action while the repercussions of a closed government set in and have economic consequences for frustrated Coloradans across the state.”

— J.B. Poersch, President, Majority Forward

The campaign is also targeting five other states with Republican senators up for re-election in 2020 – Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Maine and North Carolina.

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The Little Bomber That Could

(Anthropomorphism gone rather awry – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

It’s been nearly a century since The Little Engine That Could first charmed children with its cheerful smile and can-do attitude. These days, kids love characters such as Thomas the Tank Engine and the cast of “Toy Story,” all of whom continue the tradition of entertaining young minds while teaching fundamental lessons about overcoming life’s challenges.

Author and Air Force wife Liesl Ross just published her children’s book to help kids –like her own who are growing up on military bases– cope with a challenge that’s especially familiar to families in the armed services: moving to a new home.

The Colorado native and daughter of Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO), wanted to tell a story that would resonate for the kids on the base. The hero of Ross’ story is also a kid who’s faced with moving away from the only friends and neighborhood she has ever known. And like Thomas the Tank Engine, she’s also a vehicle with a cute smile.

Meet Bonnie the B-1 Bomber:

Bonnie B-One’s Supersonic Move is on a mission to show children the importance of being kind and brave no matter where life takes them! Bonnie B-One is a young United States Air Force B-1B bomber jet who must navigate the emotions that come with moving to a new home and making new friends. Readers of all ages will enjoy Bonnie’s adventure and lesson in resiliency.  —Barnes & Noble overview
B-1B bomber

The B-1B Lancer is a supersonic heavy bomber that carries the largest payload of both guided and unguided munitions in the Air Force. It has served in combat over Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently in Syria. Initially designed to carry nuclear weapons, it was converted to strictly conventional use in the 1990s.

The Air Force currently retains an active inventory of 62 aircraft assigned to squadrons at Dyess AFB, Texas and Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, where Ross’ family resides.

Ross and her illustrator, airman Alexander Buchanan who is also stationed at the base, were featured in a story about their book last Friday by the Rapid City, South Dakota NBC affiliate.

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Anti-LGBT Hate Group ADF Among Colorado Combined Giving Campaign Charities

(Charitable hate? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Every year, Colorado state employees have the opportunity to make charitable donations through the Colorado Combined Campaign (CCC). Last year this workplace giving program raised $945,000 for nearly 700 different non-profit groups.

One of those nonprofits was anti-LGBT hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, which has equated being gay with pedophilia, incest and bestiality.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is adflawrence.jpg

Text from ADF’s Supreme Court amicus brief arguing to uphold Texas’ law criminalizing gay people.

How did this group get approved? According to the CCC, most charities participate as part of a federation of similar groups. The CCC Advisory Committee then vets the federations.  

State employees may designate their donations to one or more charities or groups of charities known as federations. An Advisory Committee, made up of representatives of most state agencies, sets and enforces campaign guidelines, called bylaws. The advisory committee reviews the 25 federations who sponsor the more than 600 charities in the campaign to determine if they are fiscally responsible and provide the services they say they do.

As part of the vetting process that the CCC conducts, applicant groups are required to have a “non-discrimination policy protecting, at minimum, the classes listed in the CCC bylaws: “race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, gender and sexual orientation applicable to persons served by the organization.”

ADF signed a document affirming it has such a policy. An email sent to ADF Vice President Jeremy Tedesco requesting a copy of the policy and some clarification as to its scope was not returned.

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