(So you don’t have to — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert (R-ifle).
You get a sense of what’s coming in U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-CO) new book, My American Life, when the jacket cover brags about her voting to “oppose the presidential electoral certification.” And a blurb from Trump promising that after “reading her story, you will love her as much as I do.”
That’s a big clue that you shouldn’t read this book.
And sure enough, there’s nothing in it for you, trust me, including the forward by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who writes that America “needs more representatives like Lauren.”
More representatives like Lauren?
No one in their right mind would arrive at that conclusion after reading this memoir.
Boebert uses her own life story — massaged with misrepresentations — to glorify some of the worst aspects of American culture, business, and politics.
Her job at McDonald’s is presented as her proof that all you need to do is work hard to succeed in America — even if you drop out of high school like she did. And later when she was working at an energy company, she didn’t need six weeks of parental leave. She was happily back at work after four weeks. “I’m sure Pete Buttigieg will be disappointed,” she writes.
The intense pain of her teen marriage, widely documented, is downplayed instead of used as a warning. “Love at First Sight” is the title of the chapter telling the story of meeting her boorish (and troubled) future husband when she was behind the counter at McDonald’s and he came in for a burger. “What are we doing later?” were Jayson Boebert’s first words to Lauren, who was 17 years old.
Republican pundit Dick Wadhams says that newly minted Democratic lawmaker Kevin Priola’s decision to leave the Colorado Republican Party because of the party’s support of election deniers has “no credibility” because, in Colorado’s last election, the election deniers “got routed.”
State Rep. Colin Larson went further last week, calling Priola’s decision “political BS” because “[a]nyone in our party carrying the insurrectionist banner was roundly defeated” in the June primary election.
In a letter explaining his move, state Senator Priola, formerly a Republican, wrote that he didn’t want to be “part of a political party” that “continues to peddle claims that the 2020 election was stolen.”
“I was very struck in his letter about citing the election denier issue as one reason he’s leaving the party. Look what happened in Colorado,” Wadhams told KHOW’s Dan Caplis Aug. 23. “The election deniers, the conspiracy theories got routed. I mean, Ron Hanks, Tina Peters, Greg Lopez. And then I guess there were a bunch of local and state legislative primaries where the election deniers got beat. Colorado is a beacon in defeating election deniers and conspiracies. I don’t understand that. That had no credibility with me at all.”
No credibility? Political BS?
Is it credible for Priola to want to run from the Colorado Republican Party in the race to save democracy? Needless to say, if you’ve been following Colorado politics, the facts support Priola here. But in case you’ve been focused elsewhere over the past several years, I’ll explain.
During a wide-ranging interview with conservative pundit Jon Caldara, Colorado congressional candidate Barb Kirkmeyer said she’d reduce federal spending, in part, by transforming Medicaid into a block grant system, a move that could lead to cuts for low-income Coloradans who rely on the federal-state health care program, say experts.
“I think the other thing we could look at again the Medicaid situation. You know, I’ve been talking with folks about maybe we put that into a block grant, same as what we did with temporary aid for needy families, the Welfare reform stuff, and even with our child welfare, and looking at our child care programs as well,” Kirkmeyer told Caldara. “Looking at block grants. And then having states say, ‘This is what’s best to serve our constituents.’ You know, ‘Here’s the block of money.’ That’s exactly what happened back in late ’90s. Here’s the block of money that comes to the state. States, you still have to match. You don’t get to drop your match just because we are block-granting it to you. But we are going to give you more flexibility to meet the needs of the residents of your state.
“And I think that’s what we need to do with Medicaid.”
In her conversation with Caldara, Kirkmeyer first brought up her Medicaid proposal in response to Caldara’s question (at 18 min 12 sec) about what “on the federal level we should spend less on.”
“I think we need to look at the entitlement programs and get a handle on them,” replied Kirkmeyer. “… I think we need to look at the whole Medicaid situation.”
Converting Medicaid to a block-grant program is a longstanding goal of conservatives and has been denounced by Medicaid proponents as a stealth way to cut the program.
“Block grants are just code for cuts,” said Adam Fox of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI), when asked by the Colorado Times Recorder about Kirkmeyer’s proposal. “We saw what would have happened if efforts to repeal the ACA would have been successful, because they would have block granted Medicaid and forced devastating cuts to eligibility and the services available. Block grants are just a way to eviscerate the benefits Coloradans need.”
The primary reason block grants would likely result in cuts for state Medicaid spending is that the Medicaid program, as currently designed, guarantees coverage to all eligible individuals. The program’s funds are not limited and can respond to “fluctuating need; eligibility criteria can be tightened (consistent with federal standards), but coverage cannot be rationed among eligible people on a first-come, first-serve basis,” as explained in a Kaiser Family Foundation report. Block grants, “typically limit the number of people served through priority lists, waiting periods, and by simply closing down enrollment. Individuals generally have no federal right to the services financed through the block grant,” states the report.
(In the name of all that’s good and decent — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
In his race for the state Senate, Tom Sullivan, who first ran for the state legislature after his son was killed in the Aurora Theater massacre and has made gun safety a top priority ever since, faces a Republican opponent, Tom Kim, who received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and appears to oppose the basic gun safety measures Sullivan has pushed into Colorado law.
On his campaign website, Kim makes no mention of his stance on guns or his “A” rating from the NRA, but in a May Facebook ad, Kim touts himself as a “gun owner and member of the Centennial Gun Club” and questions whether a fellow Republican supports the Second Amendment.
Kim and Sullivan are competing to represent Senate District 27, which is located in and around Centennial, southeast of Denver.
Kim’s top NRA rating, which was apparently awarded during his Republican primary campaign against JulieMarie Macklin, was based on Kim’s answers to an NRA questionnaire. That’s why his rating is “Aq” on the “Voting Card” below, with the “q” referring to the questionnaire, which was obtained by the Colorado Times Recorder.
Kim’s specific answers to the NRA’s questions were not found, but to obtain an “Aq” rating, based on the NRA’s questions, it’s fair to conclude that Kim answered many if not all of the questions to the approval of the NRA. “Aq” is the highest rating a candidate can receive without having a voting record.
One of the NRA’s questions, for example, asked if Kim would support “mandating the locked storage of firearms in one’s own home?”
Sullivan, who’s currently a state representative, was a co-sponsor of a bill, which became law last year, that required “firearms be responsibly and securely stored when they are not in use to prevent access by unsupervised juveniles and other unauthorized users.”
In another question, the NRA wanted to know if Kim would support any “new restrictions on the purchase and possession of ammunition beyond current law?”
Kim did not return a call to discuss the gun-storage law and to obtain his positions on other gun measures. Sullivan also didn’t return a call for comment.
For his part, Sullivan states on his website that, going forward at the Capitol, he wants to focus, among other things, “on firearm suicide prevention as well as public awareness around responsible firearm ownership.” He says he respects Second Amendment rights.
Kim’s top rating from the NRA means he will likely “not just try to stop the passage of [gun safety] laws but seek to repeal laws that have already been passed,” according to Tom Mauser, whose son died in the Columbine school shooting and is a spokesman for Colorado Ceasefire, a group formed to stop gun violence.
“The NRA has nothing to offer on the gun violence issue,” said Mauser. “They have nothing, other than they want to reverse what’s been passed, and they want to have more people carrying concealed [weapons]. They want to have more people carrying [weapons openly in public]. They want to have teachers armed. To the NRA, the solution is more arms, and I don’t think that’s where most Coloradans are.”
Prior to the pandemic, Kim’s gun club was known for its annual “Machine Gun Santa” event, in which members were invited to bring their children to pose for a picture with St. Nick and an arsenal of fully automatic weapons.
(Saying it doesn’t make it so — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Longtime Republican strategist Dick Wadhams told The Denver Post that congressional candidate Barbara Kirkmeyer “does not have a record of being an activist on abortion.”
In fact, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Kirkmeyer celebrated the decision and specifically noted her long history of working with the anti-abortion movement.
The end of Roe was an “exciting day for those of us who have toiled for the pro-life cause for so long!” wrote Kirkmeyer, a Republican.
On her Facebook page, she stated, “Roe v Wade was a terrible decision that was not Constitutionally sound, and millions of unborn babies have died as a result.”
Roe guaranteed the right to abortion early in pregnancy. Kirkmeyer has said she’s against all abortion, whatever the circumstances, at whatever stage of pregnancy, even for rape and incest. She’s now saying she favors abortion to save the mother’s life. Her campaign website also includes the statement, “I have been pro-life my entire life.”
In her campaign for Colorado’s new congressional seat, Kirkmeyer has promoted herself as an anti-abortion activist, bragging in a campaign video this year that she was the “only candidate” in her race to speak at an anti-abortion rally at the Colorado Capitol, where she denounced legislation, introduced by Democratic lawmakers, to codify the right to an abortion in state law.
“The pro-life cause isn’t always popular, but I’m confident we are on the right side of history,” Kirkmeyer said in a March Facebook ad. “Back in January, I was the only candidate for CD 8 to speak at the March for Life Rally.”
Wadhams didn’t return a voice mail seeking to know why he thinks Kirkmeyer has not been an “activist on abortion.”
Kirkmeyer, who’s currently a state senator, faces Democratic state Rep. Yadira Caraveo.
Caraveo, a medical doctor, is a pro-choice Democrat who’s promised to “fight to guarantee a woman’s right to choose at the federal level, just as we’ve done in Colorado.”
The two are vying to represent the 8th Congressional District, which lies mostly north of Denver. The district was assigned to Colorado after the 2020 Census, and it’s expected to be among the most competitive races in November.
Earlier this month, the Colorado Chamber of Commerce announced its endorsements of state legislative candidates for the 2022 election, saying the candidates selected by the chamber, “all demonstrated a dedication to working with the business community to support forward-thinking policies that will promote job creation and opportunity for all Coloradans.”
But at least ten of the chamber’s 43 chosen candidates — about a quarter of the selections — are on record as promoting baseless conspiracies that Trump won the 2020 presidential election. The chamber endorsed 35 Republicans and 8 Democrats.
Mark Baisley (R-Roxborough Park)
Baisley was a featured speaker at an election-conspiracy rally in April, and he’s attended multiple events sponsored by election-conspiracy groups.
Kenneth DeGraaf, running for a Colorado Springs House seat
DeGraaf promotes election conspiracies on his campaign website, writing that he finds Tina Peters’ “arrest for revealing Dominion vulnerabilities disturbing.” He also links to one of the debunked “reports” on Mesa County election results written by election fraud conspiracy group U.S. Election Integrity Plan. In January, DeGraaf joined a number of fellow El Paso County election deniers on a Zoom call featuring MyPillow CEO and prominent election conspiracist Mike Lindell.
Stephanie Luck (R-Penrose)
In April of 2021, Luck was still asking John Eastman, Trump’s insurrectionist lawyer, if there were legal avenues to overturn the 2020 presidential election. And her policy director, Carolyn Martin, represented Luck, who’s introduced bills relating to election conspiracies, at a panel of the U.S. Election Integrity Project (USEIP). Luck’s local GOP, the Fremont County Republicans, published a party platform rife with debunked conspiracies concerning Dominion Voting machines and electronic voting.
Ty Winter, running for southeastern Colorado House seat
Ty Winter made multiple election fraud conspiracy statements on social media following the 2020 election. He posted a Nov. 7 Tweet from then-President Trump stating, “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” On Nov. 19 he shared an image of the word “Fraud” combined with stylized vote total lines, captioning it with “Joe Biden is the system’s pick for President. Donald Trump is the PEOPLE’S pick for President. THE PEOPLE WILL WIN!!!”
On Dec 20, 2020 Winter shared a post by religious right leader Franklin Graham quoting Stalin and claiming that the election may have been rigged. Winter also served as Chair of the Las Animas County GOP when it posted debunked election fraud conspiracies to its Facebook page.
Thanks to a law recently passed by Democrats, everyone in Colorado who filed an income return tax last year, no matter how much they made, will be receiving a $750 refund.
But a Republican lawmaker says it would probably be “more equitable” to send bigger tax-refund checks to Coloradans with high incomes — and less money to lower-income folks.
Wasserman’s group calculates that 62% of Coloradans — those with incomes of $91,000 or less — will receive a larger TABOR refund than they would have if the Democrats hadn’t adjusted the refund formula.
“The way they distribute that money is probably not the most equitable way,” said Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, a Republican from Sterling, on conservative talk radio Friday. “The guys that pay in the most, still only get the same amount as you and I.” So he’s saying the rich deserve more money back because they paid more taxes.
Sonnenberg is correct, that, if not for the Democrats’ legislation in April, taxpayers with higher incomes would be getting a fatter tax refund check, while the checks of lower-income and middle-income earners would be for smaller amounts.
And that’s the way it should be, says Scott Wasserman, director of the Bell Policy Center, a research group focused on economic opportunity.
“Conservatives have thus far completely tried to avoid talking about how the legislature chose to rebate these funds through a much fairer refund mechanism that gives those who are struggling a bigger amount of economic relief than they would have otherwise received,” said Wasserman via email.
This year, Colorado was required to refund billions of dollars to taxpayers because tax revenue exceeded limits set under TABOR, or the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which is an amendment to the Colorado Constitution.
Wasserman’s group calculates that 62% of Coloradans — those with incomes of $91,000 or less — will receive a larger TABOR refund than they would have if the Democrats hadn’t adjusted the refund formula.
Colorado congressional candidate Erik Aadland follows multiple white nationalist, election conspiracy, and QAnon groups on the far-right social-media platform Parler.
Aadland follows the well-known Parler site of the Proud Boys, whose leaders face “seditious conspiracy” charges for their involvement in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Several members of the group have been arrested for their alleged roles in organizing the insurrection.
Among the 104 accounts Aadland follows on Parler, at least a dozen promote QAnon, the multi-pronged conspiracy theory about, among other topics, Democrats being Satanic pedophiles and “deep state” government workers plotting against Trump. In 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, declared QAnon to be a domestic terror threat.
Aadland’s account hasn’t posted its own comments or other content on Parler. The account bears Aadland’s name, identifies him as “WinterLion,” and describes him as “Patriot. Combat Veteran. Truth is my religion.”
The QAnon accounts followed by Aadland include the user “WWG1WGA” who has the handle @KAGDonaldTrump and has over 15,000 followers; QAnon promoter X22 Report, with nearly a quarter million followers; and Joe M, with the handle @StormIsUponUS, 364,000 followers. Aadland also follows Ghost Ezra, a QAnon account best known for its rabidly antisemitic posts on Telegram, another far right platform, but that nevertheless has over 22,000 followers on Parler.
Aadland, who’s said the 2020 presidential election was “absolutely rigged” and has likened Jan. 6 insurrectionists to “political prisoners,” also follows multiple Parler accounts of election conspiracists, including Rudy Giuliani, General Michael Flynn, Dinesh D’Souza, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Team Trump, Mike Lindell, Devin Nunes, Jenna Ellis, and more.
Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman pretending to be homeless.
Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman is up in arms about homeless people coming to Aurora from Douglas County, despite saying last year that he hoped Aurora’s camping ban would result in Aurora’s unhoused population migrating from Aurora to “another community.”
“No jurisdiction should export their homeless to another jurisdiction without that jurisdiction consenting to that,” Coffman told KOA Morning News host Marty Lenz this morning, referring to a proposal to reintegrate homeless prisoners with family and in facilities in Aurora so that they don’t simply end up in Douglas County jail again.
“I just hope that Douglas County rises up to the occasion to take care of that population that’s in their community,” Coffman said. “And I believe that they will.”
Coffman told KOA he’s concerned about the wider homeless population in Douglas County, not just released prisoners, coming to Aurora. Douglas County commissioners have faced stiff opposition to building a homeless shelter.
Yet, Coffman has said he hopes Aurora’s camping ban will coerce unhoused people to exit Aurora. Under the Aurora ban, officials will forcibly remove people from encampments and offer shelter options elsewhere in the city. But Coffman and others do not think most displaced people will use the shelter option.
Last May, in a discussion of Aurora’s camping-ban proposal, Coffman told KHOW’s Dan Caplis that he hoped homeless people in Aurora’s encampments are “going to discover” that “Aurora, Colorado, is not the best place for them to be.”
“They will find –,” Coffman told Caplis, before breaking into a laugh and restarting his sentence, “they will find another community that will greet them with open arms and says, ‘Hey, listen, we’ll provide all these services, and we’ll require nothing of you. And you can, you know, live off the taxpayers.’”
Asked today by KOA’s Lenz if he thought Aurora’s camping ban might force homeless people to “shift to other counties,” Coffman replied with another laugh, “It seems that they move around in Aurora.”
“The challenge with the homeless people in encampments is, not that many of them have taken us up on our shelter option that we provide for them. And they just tend to move from one location to another, whether that’s outside of Aurora or inside of Aurora.
“So far it appears that they are moving inside of Aurora.”
(Getting wacky tobacky in the CD-8 GOP primary — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
We know many in Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational pot, love their ganja, so some might say it’s risky for one Republican to pay for an ad accusing “someone” at her GOP opponent’s “headquarters” of smoking too much marijuana — as voters may be drawn to the pot-smoking candidate’s campaign.
But congressional candidate Lori Saine was willing to take the risk this week.
The humorous approach in the ad, which shows a guy taking a bong hit and coughing, comes in response to false accusations that Saine, who’s among the most far-right elected officials in Colorado, is a “liberal.”
Various advertisements, paid for by a Super Pac with ties to Kirkmeyer, have labeled Saine as a “liberal” and a “Democrat,” in hopes of scaring conservative voters away from her. Kirkmeyer called the accusation that Saine is a liberal “silly,” even though it’s clearly coming from her supporters. Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann, a third candidate in the race, is also falsely labeled a “liberal” in ads.
Saine’s ad goes on to call Kirkmeyer, also a conservative, a “fake.”
The humor in Saine’s ad is likely welcomed by people on all sides of the political spectrum because Colorado’s primary election has been widely seen as much, much more terrifying than humorous — with election and climate denial, voter manipulation, apathy, misinformation, and so many other depressing developments.
The winner of Saine’s June 28 GOP primary, which — in addition to Kirkmeyer — includes former Green Beret Tyler Allcorn, will take on Democrat Yadira Caraveo to represent the district, which lies mostly north of Denver. An eighth congressional district was assigned to Denver after the 2020 Census.
Congressional candidate Barbara Kirkmeyer, a Weld County Republican, said today that she had “nothing” to do with political advertisements that label two of her GOP primary opponents, Jan Kulmann and Lori Sain, “Liberals” and imply that they are “Democrats.”
“I would just say this, first of all, that I did not put out that piece,” Kirkmeyer told KCOL’s Jimmy Lakey this morning. “I didn’t have any involvement in that piece. I didn’t do anything with that piece. Any writing of that piece. Nothing. I don’t know who that group is.”
Last week, Lakey said on air that “people that support Barbara Kirkmeyer” are responsible for the ads, which are both digital and mailed fliers and are paid for by conservatives who’ve supported Kirkmeyer in the past and opposed Saine.
But Kirkmeyer said she thought the ad, which was paid for by Conservatives for Retaking Congress, was wrong to call Saine a liberal.
“Calling Lori Saine a liberal is silly,” Kirkmeyer told Lakey. “You know, that’s just silly. But at the same time on your show, Lori Saine said she was the only one who’s a conservative. Isn’t that kind of the same thing?”
(It’s kind of silly, after all — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
On his radio show today, conservative talk radio host Jimmy Lakey called on congressional candidate Barbara Kirkmeyer, a Weld County Republican, to “rebuke” political advertisements that falsely label Kirkmeyer’s GOP opponents, Jan Kulmann and Lori Saine, “liberals.”
The ads, which are both digital and mailed fliers, are paid for by fellow conservatives who’ve been associated with Kirkmeyer in the past.
“It’s people that support Barbara Kirkmeyer,” said KCOL’s Lakey, referring to the Super PAC that sponsored the political ads targeting Kulmann and Saine.
“If there is no public rebuke from the Barbara Kirkmeyer camp of this evil Super PAC putting out this type of information, then I will choose on my ballot either Jan Kulmann or Lori Saine, and the other said candidates will not be under consideration,” said Lakey, who lives in the district and was himself a Republican congressional candidate in Colorado in 2010.
“Calling Lori Saine, for example, a liberal? That is one of the silliest things I’ve ever heard of,” said Lakey on air.
“Barbara, if you’re listening, you should rebuke this type of lying and dirty campaigning,” Lakey continued, adding that he’s “close” to Kirkmeyer, who did not respond to an email seeking comment on the ad.
(This is some kind of joke, right? — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
In an ad flying around the internet, a conservative political group is alleging that congressional candidate Lori Saine, who’s one of the most conservative elected officials in Colorado, is a liberal.
Saine, a Weld County commissioner, has staked out the most right-wing ground in her primary campaign against three fellow Republicans.
Colorado Conservatives for Retaking Congress, the super PAC responsible for the ad, has earmarked $25,000 each for attacking Saine and Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann, who’s also running for Colorado’s new eighth congressional seat in the same primary, according to OpenSecrets records.
Colorado Conservatives for Retaking Congress, formed last year, has a Colorado Springs business address with registered agent Katie Kennedy, who’s associated with multiple political organizations backed by so-called establishment Republicans. The group’s donors were not disclosed.
In 2020, Weld Strong, a conservative political group that listed Rockies owner Charles Monfort among its donors, ran digital ads for Kirkmeyer and against Saine. The two candidates were competing in different Weld Country races, Kirkmeyer against Rupert Parchment and Saine against Tommy Holton.
This suggests that Kirkmeyer’s supporters could be behind this year’s attack on Saine, but Kennedy didn’t return an email seeking comment.
(Lori Saine wins the debate in 0.5 seconds — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Republican Steve Reams, the master of ceremonies at a GOP debate yesterday, leaped off the stage to cut off congressional candidate Lori Saine as she rushed to join the debate.
“I’m Lori Saine, and I accepted the invitation,” announced Saine as she approached her opponents on stage.
But Reams hit the floor and chased Saine to the aisle where she joined the ticket-holding onlookers.
The confrontation occurred after event organizers barred Saine from the debate because, they say, she missed the deadline to RSVP.
Saine says she asked to be included later, and it’s a bad “look” for Republicans to exclude a fellow Republican.
The sideshow got surprisingly little reaction from the audience, despite Reams’ jump from the stage and the pre-debate hullabaloo over whether Republicans should have allowed Saine to join the debate.
But Saine’s brush with civil disobedience was easy to miss. It was over in a blip, and Saine could barely be seen — much less heard — as she was nabbed by Reams in the cave-like Grizzly Rose event center, where the event, organized by the Republican Women of Weld, took place. Reams may have been leaping off the stage to get a note about the program, for all the audience could tell.
So the debate, featuring Saine’s three opponents for Colorado’s new congressional seat went on, uninterrupted.
(Fear and loathing at the Grizzly Rose — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
UPDATED: This article initially stated that three Republican candidates running against congressional candidate Lori Saine joined other Republicans in deciding to exclude Saine from a GOP debate tomorrow after Saine failed to respond to emails inviting her to attend according to the Republican Women of Weld (RWW), the organization sponsoring Saturday’s debate — billed as the Colorado Republican Rumble — at the Grizzly Rose in North Denver.
In fact, according to an RWW spokeswoman, “The Republican Women of Weld officers took the vote & it was unanimous. The other candidates were not part of the meeting or vote.”
The confusion stemmed from an email posted on the RWW Facebook page.
“We regret to inform you that after talking with the other CD8 candidates and having a Republican Women of Weld officers meeting last night, it is unanimous NOT to allow Lori Saine to participate in our event,” wrote Republican Women of Weld President Gillian K. Smith in an email allegedly sent to Saine May 17 and posted on the RWW Facebook page.
The unanimous vote was taken by RWW officers, not the CD8 candidates.
The email on the RWW Facebook page states there was an April 5 deadline to confirm participation in the event, and all other candidates responded in time.
Saine claims she never saw the invitation emails from the Republican Women of Weld.
Judging from the email, it appears that event organizers didn’t try to reach Saine by phone, possibly due to previous frustrations they claim to have experienced in attempting to reach her by phone for a March event.
On the Chuck and Julie Show on May 19, Saine said she almost “fell off her chair” when she heard that she wouldn’t be allowed to participate in the debate.
“I received an email saying that the other three CD8 candidates voted to not let me debate them on Saturday. That’s not a good look,” Saine told hosts Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden. “That’s the real story. That’s an email I received yesterday, and I almost fell out of my chair. I’m like, ‘You sent this to a congressional campaign.’
“I’m concerned about the look of this,” said Saine on the podcast. “Candidates being allowed to vote someone off the island.”
(Can’t hide it under a bush oh no! — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Defying the advice of national Republican leaders that GOP candidates should be “compassionate consensus builders” on abortion, Colorado congressional candidate and Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine, a Republican, went on the offensive today in a Facebook ad, accusing her Democratic opponent, State Rep. Yadira Caraveo, of “pro-abortion zealotry,” which Saine calls “murder.”
“I’m calling out my abortionist opponent Yadira Caraveo for her militant pro-abortion zealotry, which includes forcing taxpayers to pay for Partial-Birth Abortions up to and including the moment of birth and forcing Catholic hospitals and physicians and nurses of all faiths to do abortions against their will. That’s not health care. That’s murder. And I’m not afraid to call it out.”
Taxpayer dollars are not used for abortions in Colorado and abortion is not allowed at the moment of birth.
Caraveo, who is a medical doctor, is pro-choice, and recently denounced the draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.
“As a health care provider, I give the pregnant women and teens that I care for choices about their futures. To live in a world where I have to tell them they have no choices is devastating,” she wrote on Facebook.
(Boldly dragging the GOP backward — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
In a recent Facebook comment, Gabriel Martinez, who identifies himself as an assistant coordinator for candidate for CO governor Greg Lopez, wrote that U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his husband were committing “child abuse” by adopting children.
Martinez added that the two children should be given a “real family.”
“It’s child abuse,” wrote Martinez, who’s also the secretary of the Colorado Hispanic Republicans, commenting on a 2021 photo of Buttigieg, his husband, and two infants. “The kids will be used as a political poster children their whole lives, and always without a mother. Smh. Love the child for THEIR sakes and give them a real family.”
Studies (here, here, here) show that kids adopted by gay parents do as well as those adopted by heterosexual parents.
A person answering the phone at a real estate agency listed on Martinez’s Facebook page hung up on a reporter seeking to know why Martinez thinks adoption by same-sex parents is child abuse — or why he thinks a gay family isn’t a “real family.”
On the Lopez for Colorado campaign, Martinez serves as the assistant Denver Area Coordinator, according to Martinez’s Facebook profile. It’s not known if it’s a paid position.
Lopez himself made bigoted comments towards LGBTQ people last month, saying during campaign stops at GOP assemblies, “I think it’s time we had a real First Lady, don’t you?” The anti-LGBTQ attack was directed at Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, and his husband and First Gentleman Marlon Reis.
After gaining the support of an overwhelming 72.5% of Republican delegates at a GOP assembly Saturday, giving her the top-line position on the June 28 primary ballot, Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine called on her Republican opponents in the race for Colorado’s new congressional seat to “reconsider their campaigns” and “unite on Team Lori so we can crush the Democrats in November.”
“With a massive 72.5% landslide win at today’s Colorado Congressional District 8 Republican Assembly, I’m proud to be the ONLY candidate with GRASSROOTS conservative support,” wrote Saine on Facebook, adding, “It’s time for others in this race to reconsider their candidacies and unite on Team Lori so we can crush the Democrats in November, ROLL BACK SOCIALISM AND FIGHT FOR FREEDOM!”
The problem for Saine is, her top opponents skipped Saturday’s assembly completely and petitioned their way onto the primary ballot, likely because they thought they’d lose to Saine — or another candidate who’s more popular among the Republicans who comprise the activist base of the Colorado Republican Party and attend the assemblies, like the one that took place Saturday.
Tyler Allcorn, a former Green Beret, state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer (R-Weld), and Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann submitted enough signatures to allow their names to appear on the ballot below Saine’s, without having to face a vote of Republican activists.
Another candidate, Jewels Gray, a businesswoman, got 27.5% of Saturday’s votes, shy of the 30% required to appear on the primary ballot. She also submitted signatures and is awaiting word from the Secretary of State’s office on whether she qualified for the ballot.
So it appears that at least four of the five GOP candidates running for the Eighth Congressional District seat will appear on the primary ballot in June.
Saine’s win Saturday, at a minimum, puts her conservative credentials in the spotlight going into the final lap of the primary campaign for the new seat, which surrounds Denver to the north.
It’s not clear which candidates will be splitting votes with whom in the primary election. The voting base in June will expand beyond the conservatives who attended Saturday’s assembly — and will include some unknown number of unaffiliated voters who choose to vote in the Republican primary.
Beyond Saine’s demonstrated appeal to the Republican base, it’s difficult to predict which candidates will draw which types of voters, say observers, and it’s equally unclear how many voters will turn out beyond the conservative base.
Still, you can expect all the candidates to prioritize, at least to some extent, outreach to right-wing Republican voters, who remain the most likely folks to vote in June.
(Bring on the kiss of death — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Heidi Ganahl, with now-indicted Clerk Tina Peters.
Asked at a GOP event Tuesday if she will “be seeking Donald Trump’s endorsement,” Republican candidate for governor Heidi Ganahl said, “Yes, I would accept President Trump’s endorsement.”
Ganahl’s response at the forum, hosted by the Douglas County Republican Women and Cherry Creek Republican Women, isn’t surprising, in part, because Ganahl has supported Trump in the past.
But if Ganahl, a CU regent, were more confident about winning the GOP primary in June, she’d probably have dodged the Trump question — as she’s tried to do on the question of whether Trump won the 2020 election — and positioned herself for November’s general election where her support of Trump will almost certainly be a liability, the only question being how much of one.
Sixty-two percent of unaffiliated voters, who comprise about 43% of Colorado’s electorate, disapproved of Trump in 2018; 34% were less likely to vote for a Republican candidate due to Trump, according to a 2018 Magellan Strategies poll.
People sometimes forget the magnitude of Polis’ 2018 support from unaffiliated voters. A crazy 59% of election-deciding unaffiliated voters supported Jared Polis in 2018 versus 25% for then-Treasurer and gubernatorial hopeful Walker Stapleton, giving Polis a winning margin of 34% of the bloc. Among unaffiliated women, the margin was even higher: 45% (65% to 20%).
As it is, Ganahl appears to be using elements of Stapleton’s playbook, whose primary-election anxiety eventually got so acute that he recruited hard-right Tom Tancredo to endorse him at the GOP state convention. Stapleton eventually spent $700,000 on TV ad depicting himself and Trump.
This led longtime Colorado pundit Eric Sondermann at the time to label Stapleton’s move an unforced error.
“Walker Stapleton has a luxury that none of the Democrats have, which is to run a November race even now in May and June and instead he’s running a May and June race when I don’t think he needs to,” said Sondermann on Colorado Inside Out in May, 2018. “I think he should be pivoting already to make himself a viable general-election candidate. This governor’s race in November is going to be tough enough for Walker Stapleton as the presumptive Republican nominee as it is. He is making it tougher for himself by using his advertising dollars to overly embrace Donald Trump. He doesn’t need that to win this primary. To have Tom Tancredo give his nominating speech at the convention in Boulder, you don’t think that one might come back to bite him come September, October, etc.? In tennis, it’s called unforced errors. And I think Stapleton is making a number of these unforced errors.”
At this point, Ganahl isn’t waving her Trump credentials around like Stapleton was, and the politics are really different today, but she’s staking right-wing ground on other issues, such as when she praised an election fraud conspiracy group to supporters last December. Does Sondermann think Ganahl today is erring as Stapleton did then, moving too far to the right? He couldn’t be reached for comment.
(A collection of contradictions — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Colorado Republican Dick Wadhams, the moderator of a GOP candidate forum Thursday, hops up and down and insists that Colorado voters will consider Republican candidates “credible” only if the candidates say the 2020 election wasn’t stolen. He wants candidates with the “guts” to say, “Fraud didn’t happen.”
Yet, after three of four Republican congressional candidates at Thursday’s GOP forum either brazenly dodged his questions about fraud in the 2020 election or delivered baseless election conspiracy theories, Wadhams told the audience at the conclusion of the event that he’d “rarely seen a forum with four more articulate, thoughtful” candidates.
“No, it was not stolen in Weld County,” said Kirkmeyer. “We have a county clerk that’s Republican. Her and her team have been running elections in this county for over 17 years. I think she knows what she’s doing. Second question, was the election stolen. No. … I just want you all to know the secretary of state in this state does not run the elections. It’s county clerks, and the majority of our county clerks are Republicans. So do I trust them? Yes, I do.
Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann dodged the question, as she’d done before, by saying “Biden is a horrible president” and “unfortunately, he is our president,” without saying whether she thinks he won the presidency due to fraud.
“I’m tired of being called a conspiracy theorist just because I want to make sure our elections are fair,” said Kulman at the forum. “It’s not a dumb question. It’s absolutely something we should be asking every single day.”
(A Q-onsolidating race for Secretary of State — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
David Winney, a Republican, dropped his quest to be Colorado’s Secretary of State Friday, throwing his support to Tina Peters, the embattled Mesa County County Clerk, who announced her entrance into the race on former Trump advisor Steve Bannon’s podcast Feb. 14.
Winney says he’ll now run for El Paso County commissioner.
Merchant and the CFEI PAC have ties to MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who, prior to Peters’ entrance into the race, had indicated he was open to endorsing Winney along with other Colorado candidates, including U.S. Senate candidate Ron Hanks of Canon City, congressional candidate Dave Williams of Colorado Springs, and statehouse hopefuls.
Hanks, Williams, and other Republican activists, such as election conspiracist Joe Oltmann, leader of FEC United, appeared multiple times with Winney at campaign-like events. They rallied in support of Peters, who was hailed as a hero for her alleged criminal involvement in the leak of election information.
But Peters’ unexpected entrance into the Secretary of State race last month “surprised” Winney, who said he wasn’t told about it in advance, but he said it was an “honor” to share the stage with Peters over the past weeks as they campaigned together. He has the highest respect for Peters, he said.
Lindell has since essentially endorsed Peters, telling a crowd of fellow election conspiracists in Colorado Springs last month, “She is gonna be the best Secretary of State.” He also called Peters the “prototype of people who we should have running for office.”
After discussions with his wife and guidance from his faith, Winney decided to drop out and back Peters, concluding that his role was to “pave the path for Tina.”
And so, at the Fervent Chuch in Colorado Springs on Friday night, Winney announced his candidacy for El Paso County Commissioner.
The promotion of baseless election conspiracies will still be the focus of his campaign.
“The messaging doesn’t change a bit,” he told the Colorado Times Recorder, “because election integrity is central to the county commissions,” citing the commissions’ role in authorizing contracts for voting machines and equipment. He believes some contracts may be illegal under TABOR rules.
Winney believes through his travels across the state, he’s “won hearts and minds in a lot of people in El Paso County,” and he’s looking forward to his commissioner campaign.
On Saturday, Peters was already citing Winney’s support publicly, telling Republican caucus-goers in Grand Junction that Winney “stepped down to support me.”
“And you know, I’ve had to ask myself several times, and this has been a huge learning curve for me. This has been. But I’ve had to ask myself several times, ‘Why did I run for office?’ I may have, in fact, more power just going and getting a job with the city.”
In response to Jurinsky’s attack on Aurora workers, Aurora Council Member Juan Marcano, a Democrat, praised Aurora staff.
“Our city is staffed by professionals who care deeply for our community and give their all to deliver as high a quality of life as possible, oftentimes despite the political machinations of the mayor and council,” Marcano told the Colorado Times Recorder.
Marcano, who filed a complaint against Jurinsky in the wake of her comment about firing the police chief, continued: “Coffman didn’t understand the role he ran for and is upset that he can’t act as a lord over his fiefdom. This is why he ensured dark money flooded into our races to get toadies elected that would support his goal of becoming King of Aurora, a city that he never once won during his tenure as a congressman and that he only became mayor of in a race where more people voted for someone else than voted for him.
Listen to a portion of Jurinsky’s comments below and the full interview here:
Jurinsky, a Republican, said on KOA that she wants to give Aurora’s mayor more power, because now it’s the “city manager who is running the city.”
The Aurora City Council, which is controlled by Republicans, can fire the city manager.
(Plotting a coup on CU payroll — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Former University of Colorado “Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy” John Eastman speaking in Washington D.C. January 6th, 2021.
Former Trump lawyer John Eastman was on the payroll of the University of Colorado (CU) when he formally became a Trump lawyer and then wrote a widely discredited memo on how Trump could subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Politico revealed this week that Eastman apparently formalized his legal relationship with Trump on Dec. 5, 2020, in an unsigned engagement letter, about five months before his appointment as a visiting scholar at CU’s Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization expired. The Benson Center is a privately endowed institute at CU, named after former CU Chancellor Bruce Benson, a prominent Colorado Republican.
Eastman worked as a volunteer under his agreement with Trump but he was still receiving his $185,000 salary from CU through May 7, 2021.
In early Jan. 2021, the university relieved Eastman of his teaching duties, due to insufficient enrollment in his classes, and on Jan. 21, 2021, he was banned from speaking at the university or performing outreach, but he still had the green light to “perform scholarship” involving “research and related activities,” according to CU statements cited in media reports.
Eastman’s press contact at the Claremont Institute didn’t return an email seeking answers these questions: Was anyone at CU aware of his agreement with Trump at the time? Did anyone at CU suggest he not sign the agreement? Did he check with anyone at CU before he drafted the agreement?
During his tenure at CU, Eastman received praise from at least one notable CU leader, GOP Regent and gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl, who called him “fantastic.”
Ganahl, a Republican, did not return an email seeking to know which election rules she thinks were weakened prior to Biden’s election — and in which states.
Also unanswered is the question of whether she believes, baselessly, that some states’ weakened rules, which she referred to on the Feb. 2 Valley View Christian Church podcast as being “lax,” resulted in Biden illegitimately winning the presidency.
Ganahl has walked tight rope when discussing the 2020 election, saying that it was conducted fairly here in Colorado but refusing to say whether she thought Biden won the election due to fraud.
She pulls this off linguistically by repeatedly saying she can’t speak for other states when it comes to the presidential election.
For example, she told a radio host last year, “I can’t speak for the election integrity of other states, but I can speak for our state, and I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think I could win here.”
Ganahl, who’s aiming to defeat Democrat Jared Polis in November, even goes so far as to say “Joe Biden’s our president,” without saying whether Biden won due to fraud.
So last week’s statement on the Valley View Christian Church podcast was notable because it revealed Ganahl to have doubts about the presidential election that she’s yet to reveal publicly.
“Well, I think we’ve got to listen to the voters and if they are concerned, we’ve got to address those concerns and do what we can to restore confidence in people’s vote,” Ganahl said on the podcast. “And there are a lot of issues, whether it was, you know, the election in ’16 and ‘Russia, Russia, Russia,’ or 2020 and some of the concerns there with the lax— the rules being weakened before the election in some states. So my focus is on listening to the voters and doing what I can to restore confidence in folks’ ability to vote and make a difference. And I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think I can win. I do think we do a lot of things right here in Colorado. Is there room for improvement? Always.”
Ganahl, a Trump backer who sits on the governing board of the University of Colorado, is the only Republican who occupies an office won by a statewide election. She’s running against a throng of fellow Republicans in the primary race to take on Polis in November, including, among others, former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez, Elbert realtor Danielle Neuschwanger, and Commerce City Mayor Benjamin Huseman.
“I thought it was a great, great meeting,” said Kristi Burton Brown, the leader of Colorado’s Republican Party, when asked Saturday about a GOP meeting in Salt Lake City where national Republican leaders voted that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was “legitimate political discourse.”
In a voice vote Friday at the Salt Lake City meeting, the Republican National Committee (RNC), which includes Burton Brown, also censured U.S. Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (IL) because they criticized Trump and took part in a U.S. House investigation of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
In particular, Burton Brown praised the RNC’s program of opening”community centers” around the country, including one in Colorado’s new congressional district. (Such centers have already opened elsewhere in the country, including in Texas.) Burton Brown also praised GOP messages that Democrats “just don’t care.”
The other Colorado RNC member is Corporon, who also praised the winter meeting on his Saturday show. Corporon was elected to the post last year by statewide GOP leaders and attended the meeting with Burton Brown, who does not return calls from the Colorado Times Recorder. Other Republican leaders in Colorado apparently haven’t commented on last week’s RNC vote.