“Horrifying” Sex Ed Bill Is Top Reason To Oust Polis, Says Recall Leader

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The President of the Official Polis Recall campaign thinks the “worst of it,” when it comes to the transgressions justifying Polis’ removal from office, is a proposed comprehensive sex ed law working its way through the Colorado legislature.

In a KNUS radio conversation replete with misinformation, Juli-Andra Fuentes, the group’s president, called Colorado’s proposed sex ed law “horrifying” because “you must include the experiences” of LGBTQ students, and “abstinence will not be taught”

And no “religious connotation” can be included, said Karen Murray, a co-chair of the Official Recall Polis site, who was also on the show.

Juli-Andra Fuentes

KNUS radio host Peter Boyles, amplifying misinformation promoted by right-wing anti-LGBT hate groups, chimed in with, “Why does the third-grade boy need to know how to put a put a prophylactic on a banana?”

Which prompted Fuentes to say, “Well, it’s not only that. They’re basically saying you cannot employ gender norms, and that by doing that, that’s shame-basing and stigmatizing.”

In fact, the sex ed bill allows schools to not offer sex ed at all, but if they do, the curriculum must be comprehensive, meaning both abstinence and LGBTQ-related information should be offered and religious perspectives can be included.

Boyles said on air that the “truth always knocks these suckers down,” but his own inflaming comment about the third grader, the condom, and the Banana is not true. The legislation states that the information in sex-ed classes should be age appropriate. Boyles said later in the interview that teaching sex ed to older LGBTQ kids would be “fine.”

Fuentes’ comments reflect her Recall Polis group’s website, which lists the sex-ed bill, described as “Radical Sexual Education Overhaul in Our Schools,” among the top reasons to recall the governor–which is widely seen as an extreme long shot to succeed.

Republican efforts to recall other Colorado lawmakers refer to the sex ed bill in a similar manner.

The Recall Colorado website backed by Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock lists the proposed law as a top reason that three legislators should be removed from office, describing the comprehensive sex-ed bill as “State Sexuality Indoctrination: A state indoctrination plan to undermine parental rights to educate their children about sexuality.”

So far, only one of three state lawmakers listed on the Recall Colorado website is facing an actual petition drive that, if successful, would trigger a recall vote.

That’s State Rep. Rochelle Galindo, a Democrat from Greeley.

A Greeley leader of the recall campaign called Galindo, who is gay, a “homosexual pervert,” and said he’d told Galindo to vote against “this homosexual sex education bill,” according to Colorado Politics.

(more…)

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Gardner Aggressively Promotes his Private Meetings With Colo Groups–After They Take Place

(Catch him if you can! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) plans to speak Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Colorado Chamber of Commerce in Colorado Springs.

Why’s that news? Because Gardner hasn’t held a public town hall meeting in over a year, instead meeting regularly with private groups, like the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce.

But if you want to go see Gardner at one of his private meetings, or stand out front with a sign, don’t get your hopes up. It’s usually impossible to find out about his private meetings. No press releases. No tweets Gardner.

That is, until after the private events occur, when Gardner promotes his private meetings in a big way, as if the create the perception that meeting with Gardner is easy, constant, and fun.

Here’s a sample after-his-meeting tweets from last week. when Gardner was apparently touring Colorado:

GARDNER: “While in Boulder this week I toured @archerdxinc and @MentalHealthCO’s Ryan Wellness Center and met with staff to discuss the innovative research being done at these facilities.”
GARDNER: I enjoyed visiting local Main Street businesses with Greeley Mayor John Gates yesterday. Check out this video from @GreeleyTribune to learn more about my meetings with local business owners on the growth of the local economy [No article appeared in the newspaper prior to his meetings]
GARDNER: Impressed touring @coschoolofmines this week to learn more about their ADAPT center and research related to PFAS exposure and contamination. I’ll continue my work in Congress to ensure Coloradans have clean and safe drinking water.
GARDNER: It was great to hear from staff and veterans at the Western Region One Source Center while in Grand Junction yesterday and see first-hand the resources being provided to our veterans to ensure they receive the care and support they have earned.
GARDNER: Today I hosted a business forum in Loveland alongside the Northern Colorado Manufacturing Partnership & small business leaders. Thx to all those who joined to give feedback on ways the federal government can better support workforce development & protect against cyber threats.

A call to Gardner’s office to find out when his next private meeting in Colorado was–or if he planned to host a town hall meeting–was not returned.

In 2017, Gardner held a private meeting and confronted protesters. A Colorado Springs Gazette article read:

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who has been criticized for his aversion to holding town halls, was ambushed Wednesday by a mariachi band at what was supposed to be a small, members-only meeting with the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and EDC at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

Fear of this type of protest might explain Gardner’s pattern of promoting his events after the fact.

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Sign Up to Help Recall Democrats from Office! Win a Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle!

(The Las Vegas shooter would be green with envy! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A hard-line pro-gun group is kicking off its campaign to recall a Greeley lawmaker with another gun raffle, this one for the largest firearm it’s ever given away, a Barrett M82A1 magazine-fed Barrett .50 BMG semi-automatic rifle.

“Dear Fellow Patriot,” reads the RMGO website. “Make no mistake, gun owners in Colorado are in the biggest fight of our lives! We need all hands on deck! To help rally the troops, RMGO is giving away the largest gun we’ve ever done…”

The gun is a semi-automatic sniper rifle with massive power and maximum range of over a mile.

All you have to do is sign up here to be eligible to win the semi-automatic.

Folks who sign up will join Republican and RMGO leaders who are working together to remove State Rep. Rochelle Galindo (D-Greeley) from office.

They’re mad not only at her vote for a “red flag bill,” which allows law enforcement personnel to seek judicial permission to take guns from dangerous people, but also her support for comprehensive sex education, for more local control of oil-and-gas operations, and more.

“Her Red Flag vote was tip of iceberg,” tweeted RMGO, which is opposed to even the most modest gun safety measures, like criminal background checks prior to gun purchases, that are supported by many Republicans.

(more…)

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Once Endangered, Capitol Journalists Make a Comeback in Colo

Like endangered fish that seemed destined to disappear from a once-important lake, journalists have made a miraculous comeback at Colorado’s Capitol, which is now teeming with about the same number of reporters who were assigned there from the 1960s through the 1990s.

“I would have to say, yes, your perception is correct,” said Charles Ashby, Capitol reporter for the Grand Junction Sentinel, when asked if his species of journalist was thriving at the Capitol, compared to the old days. “While I can’t speak on how many people were around in the 60s, 70s and 80s (because I may be the Capitol dean and Oldnewsman, I’m not THAT old), my understanding is there are about the same or maybe slightly fewer people covering the Capitol these days.”

Ashby estimated that when he started at the legislature in 1997, the Capitol press corps, which is the group of journalists assigned to cover the general assembly, consisted of three to four from The Denver Post, two each from the Rocky Mountain News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, and the Associated Press, and one each from Pueblo Chieftain and Longmont Times-Call—with an “occasional” reporter from Boulder Daily Camera and “less occasionally” from the Fort Collins Coloradoan and Grand Junction Sentinel. Other reporters would “parachute in for specific stories,” said Ashby.

That’s a total of 11 to 15 Capitol reporters in the late 1990s, before the numbers started to decline in the next decade.

Today’s list totals at least 17 reporters.

Colorado Independent: Two. Colorado Politics: Two. Denver Post: Two (versus a high of five in the 1960s and 1970s) Colorado Public Radio: Two. Colorado Sun: Two. Associated Press: One. Chalkbeat: One. Denver Business Journal: One Denverite/CPR: One. Durango Herald: One. Grand Junction Sentinel: One. Rocky Mountain Community Radio: One.

“The competition for office space around here this year has been pretty intense, because there just isn’t enough room to accommodate everybody,” said the Capitol’s second-longest-serving journalist Marianne Goodland of Colorado Politics, an online and print weekly.

That wasn’t the case over the past 15 years, when the Denver and rural dailies were cutting their Capitol bureaus—and online platforms weren’t filling the gap.

“A lot of publications stopped sending people here around the time the Rocky Mountain News closed, so you had this dearth of coverage of the legislature, and it’s just now on the rebound to where it was before,” says Goodland, who started covering the legislature in 1998. “It’s a different business model with a lot of niche reporting for which there is a clear demand. Everybody is growing.”

The number of journalists in the Capitol press corps doesn’t include reporters for local television news stations, who have a bigger presence at the legislature than they did during the heyday of the print dailies, according to longtime journalists.

Nor does the Capitol press corps include the many journalists, from The Denver Post, Colorado Politics, Colorado Public Radio, the Colorado Sun, and elsewhere, who drop in for a story or two.

“We have John Frank and Jesse Paul at the Capitol full-time,” Colorado Sun Editor Larry Ryckman said via email. “We have freelancers Brian Eason and Sandra Fish covering state government issues part-time, and we have other full-time reporters — including Jennifer Brown, John Ingold and Chris Osher — who cover issues at the Capitol from time to time.”

Kevin Dale, the Executive Editor at Colorado Public Radio, described a similar approach.

“We have two full-time reporters: Bente Birkeland and Sam Brasch,” Dale said via email. “We also send other beat reporters to monitor bills that are important to that beat. We now have a photographer and often send them there. Last, because we just acquired Denverite, we are making use of their statehouse reporter Esteban Hernandez, though you might already be accounting for him with Denverite.”

Could we have arrived at the surreal situation where Colorado has too many reporters at the Capitol, given that other critical beats, like municipal government, education, courts, etc., aren’t getting the attention they deserve–or not attention at all?

“Media outlets rightly believe that what happens in the Legislature greatly impacts their readers, and therefore is important to follow and report on.” Ashby emailed me. “And I wouldn’t say there is too much emphasis on the Legislature over local government coverage. For example, I’ve had to remain in Grand Junction more often than normal this session because of some turnover here. While they are seeking a new county government reporter, I have spent the past several weeks covering both county government and the Legislature.”

Former Rocky reporter Lynn Bartels, who started covering the legislators in the year 2000, says the legislative coverage now is “overwhelming.”

“There’s almost too much to read in the morning,” Bartels told me, explaining that she will open just one of many morning emails from the outlets, look up, and find that she “hasn’t gotten any of her work done.”

“There is an amazing concentration on the Capitol, and I sometimes think that’s to the detriment of other beats,” she said, explaining that the Rocky had a Denver Public Schools reporter, a suburban reporter, police, higher education, religion, city hall, and more.

Maybe in an ideal world, you’d spread the journalistic love across the community, but alas it doesn’t work that way.

So let’s just accept this as great news for journalism and Colorado—and appreciate it while it lasts.

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Your Source for Trump-Infused Criticism of the Colo Republican Party

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

What’s your best underworld source for unfiltered Trump-infused criticism of Colorado’s Republican Party?

A radio show with an innocent name, the “Chuck and Julie Show,” but a pair of Republican hosts, Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden, who routinely throw fellow Republicans off the cliff as buzzards call the program to find out where to feed later.

Day after day, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on KNUS-710 AM, the show dedicates big blocks of time to dissecting Republican failures in Colorado, naming names and letting no one off the hook.

Fat cat Republican consultants. Cory Gardner. Developers. State Republican Party leaders. Chamber of Commerce. Mike Coffman. Phil Anschutz. Oil Companies. No one is off the radar.

The show welcomes all stripes of underworld guests who throw grenades, some more rumor- than fact-based, at fellow Colorado Republicans, especially those who dare to challenge Trump or his policies. Bonniwell, who’s the publisher of the Cherry Creek Chronicle, once called Gardner a “total [whore] for the Chamber of Commerce,” a “Mitch McConnell stooge.

This little snippet from Friday is a good example.

(more…)

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Cadman Says “Integrity” Has Led One Colo News Outlet to Succeed When Others Fail

(No comment – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Colorado Republican Senate President Bill Cadman served as master of ceremonies at a gathering Thursday to celebrate the expansion to Denver of Colorado Politics, a weekly print and online political publication.

“Why is [Colorado Politics] successful when many other media organizations are going by the wayside?” Cadman asked a group of about 100 hobnobbing people in front of him at Ironworks, near Mile High stadium in Denver. “And some still here are not only shadows of their former selves. They are shadows of shadows of their former selves.”

“Because of their values,” said Cadman. “Their values are based on journalistic integrity… And that’s why I actually still read Colorado Politics.”

Most serious news industry analysts blame the demise of journalism not a lack of integrity among failed news outlets, like the Rocky Mountain News, but on the undermining of journalism’s business model, with Craig’s List first devouring newspapers’ classified ads and then other online entities steadily winning over advertisers with their ability to target customers with mind-blowing pinpoint accuracy.

In reality, the core reason for the success of Colorado Politics is conservative billionaire and GOP donor Phil Anschutz, who owns the publication via his business, Clarity Media.

That’s not to say there aren’t great journalists at Colorado Politics, because there are.

Still, it makes it noteworthy that prominent Republicans far outnumbered Democrats at the event. (See photos here.)

(more…)

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New GOP Vice Chair, Who Founded the Personhood Movement, Thinks Trump Is Asset in Colorado

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Donald Trump.

“One of the things we have to do here in Colorado is talk about how the policies that our president has enacted benefit people here in Colorado and benefit our businesses,” Kristi Burton Brown, Vice Chair of the Colorado Republican Party, told KNUS host Chuck Bonniwell yesterday.

“That’s one thing we have to do as Republicans, is connect our policies to people,” said Brown on air. “And that takes messaging. It also takes candidates who are likable, who can connect with people.”

Brown’s view mirrors comments last month by Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, also a Republican.

“I like the president, and we’ve got to make sure we have an opportunity for the American people to get to like the President,” Gardner told KNUS 710-AM’s Steffan Tubbs. “And I think they like his policies. I think they do.”

Neither Gardner nor Brown specified which Trump policies are allegedly popular here, but in the past Gardner has referenced Trump’s unpopular tax law.

Brown, who launched Colorado’s personhood movement in 2008, once lauded Gardner as being one of the “main stupporters” of the personhood amendment, which aimed to ban all abortion in Colorado but was rejected overwhelmingly three times here.

(more…)

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Artist Completes Trump Portrait For Colorado Capitol

Colorado Springs artist Sarah Boardman has finished her portrait of President Donald Trump for the Colorado Capitol.

Artist’s sketch of Trump portrait.

Former State Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City), who led a $10,000 fundraising effort to commission the work, is now deciding what’s next for the Trump likeness.

“I’m pretty sure there will be some sort of unveiling at some point,” Grantham told the Colorado Times Recorder.

But a date for the unveiling has not been set, and it’s possible the portrait will go up without a ceremony, said Grantham.

Colorado Springs artist Sarah Boardman based her work on a Trump photo and sketch, which shows the president with a “serious, non-confrontational” and “thoughtful” expression, according to Boardman.

Grantham has yet to see Boardman’s finished painting, but he said he was impressed with the work Boardman did on the Obama portrait that hangs in the Capitol along with portraits of other presidents.

“There are people who can capture the essence of people, and I think she did a really great job [on the Obama portrait],” said Grantham.

 

Asked about criticism that Trump should not be portrayed as “non-confrontational” and “thoughtful,” when he is widely considered confrontational and rash, Boardman said last month:

“I agree that some people think of him that way now, but it is not a universal view which will endure into the future,” Boardman wrote. “There are presidents in the gallery, as it stands, who had very volatile histories, yet we do not look at the portraits in that light today. My choice of references comes from my decision to remain neutral, and let the criticisms stand on their own throughout time.”

 

Boardman won an open call to paint an Obama portrait that hangs in the Capitol, and Colorado Creative Industries selected Boardman to paint the Trump portrait “so that the style would match,” according to Ruth Bruno, program manager for Colorado Creative Industries, which served as a liason between the artist and the Capitol. The artist, sketch, and other details were approved by the Capitol Building Advisory Committee.

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Gardner Accuses Democrats of “Overreach” But Isn’t Asked About Recalls

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner accused state Democrats of “overreach” yesterday, telling KHOW radio host Dan Caplis that proposed legislation is “extremely, extremely alarming” and contrary to the “people’s will.”

Caplis did not ask Gardner if he supports recalling Democratic lawmakers, and a call to the senator’s office seeking an answer to that question wasn’t returned.

But Gardner clapped in approval Saturday, when U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), Colorado’s newly elected Republican Party leader, endorsed recalling Democrats. Gardner fully embraced Buck, telling the crowd, “I need [Ken Buck].”

“I think this is an overreach,” Gardner told Caplis yesterday. “I think [Democrats] are not going to be able to help themselves because they’ve got a base that is demanding further movement to the left. They’ve got a national election going on that is demanding further movement to the left. And I think what we’re going to see is going to get even worse.”

Gardner cited legislation, backed by Democrats, allowing for more local control of oil industry operations, a bill conditionally giving Colorado’s electoral presidential votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote, and a proposal to establish a program intended to save the lives of drug addicts. Gardner didn’t address a comprehensive sex ed bill and red-flag gun control legislation that GOP leaders spotlighted as a reason for recalls as well.

“Look, I think if you’re an unaffiliated voter in Colorado right now, you’re very concerned about what happened,” said Gardner on air. “This isn’t what you voted for!” Yesterday, Buck said he supports recalls in “rare circumstances,” telling Caplis a state lawmaker from Greeley is a “perfect example” of a lawmaker who should be recalled.

(more…)

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Tancredo Joins Radio Hosts In Seeing Further Failures for State GOP

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tom Tancredo.

Colorado Republican Tom Tancredo doesn’t think the Democratic or Republican parties in Colorado have much influence on elections, due to the overwhelming power and money of other political groups.

But, still, he doesn’t think Colorado Republicans have the right man in Steve House to run the day-to-day operations of the Republican Party.

Tancredo told KNUS’ Peter Boyles this morning that House opposed Trump in the 2016 primary and is a “reflection” of establishment Republicans who don’t like Trump to this day.

House has repeatedly denied he ever opposed Trump.

“[Steve House] is part of that establishment, and he was picked because he is part of that establishment,” said Tancredo on air. “What has he done that you could look back on and say, ‘Oh look, this is a great leader.’ Even the money he was raising. I think they picked him because he’s part of the establishment, and that’s the way this this whole party is going and why it goes down the tubes.”

“He made all these promises to the liberty side of the party about who he was going to put in,” said Tancredo, citing an alleged promise to install former Republican lawmaker Ted Harvey as the party’s executive director.

“The Republican Party has destroyed itself,” replied Boyles.

“Yes, absolutely,” said Tanc.

(more…)

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Colorado Politics Expands With a New Focus on Denver

Just when you think veteran Denver journalists have seen their last rodeo in town, they’re back! Everywhere you turn, ghosts of Denver journalism past are staring at you.

That’s a good thing, of course, because everyone loves a good journalist with roots in the community–even if everyone doesn’t know it.

The latest re-emergent scribes will be found at Colorado Politics, a weekly print and online publication owned via Clarity Media by conservative billionaire Phil Anschutz.

The steadily-expanding outlet has added Neil Westergaard, a former editor of the Denver Business Journal and The Denver Post, to write an opinion column about Denver.

Also as part of its expansion to cover Denver politics and civic affairs, Colorado Politics hired former Rocky reporter John C. Ensslin, for a Denver politics, government and civic affairs beat.

Starting in tomorrow’s print edition, look for a “Focus on Denver” section that will feature city coverage–as well as digital content.

Colorado Politics has aimed to expand statewide through content-sharing arrangements with other publications. Such an arrangement with the Durango Herald ended in December, but the publication continues to share content with 9News.

No other content-sharing plans are in place at this time, said Jared Wright, General Manager of Colorado Politics, in a statement to the Colorado Times Recorder.

“Our publication continues to attract readers from around the state and the country who value our in-depth public policy journalism, analysis and opinion on Centennial State politics, and now, on politics in the City and County of Denver,” said Wright.

Asked how he was going to prioritize coverage in such a big beat, especially given the reduced number of journalists competing with him, Ensslin said, “My approach is going to be the same one that has served me well all these years: Find the best story of the day. Do it.”

“At Colorado Politics, our mission has been to provide award-winning coverage of state politics and policy, and that will continue,” said Mark Harden, managing editor of Colorado Politics, in a news release. “But in today’s challenged media environment, our readers are in desperate need of in-depth, insightful reporting on the city of Denver, its government, its politics and its issues. Now, Colorado Politics is making moves to be the city’s go-to news source for Denver news that matters to our audience.”

“It’s the perfect match,” added Gazette Editor-in-Chief Vince Bzdek, who oversees the Colorado Politics editorial operation, in the news release, “one of the country’s most dynamic cities, chronicled by two of that city’s most dynamic, seasoned journalists. Get ready to understand the larger forces driving Denver – and the major players behind those forces – in a whole new way.”

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Gardner Still Wants to Kill “Command-And-Control” Obamacare, But Doesn’t Offer a Replacement Plan

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner doubled down yesterday on his longstanding opposition to Obamacare, saying the national health insurance law has “failed” without offering a concrete plan to replace it.

Gardner’s comments, delivered on KNUS 710-AM’s Steffan Tubbs show, came as the Trump Administration announced yesterday that it will not defend Obamacare in court.

“We need to have Republicans and [laughs] Democrats recognize that the Affordable Care Act failed,” said Gardner when asked by Tubbs what he thought the latest GOP effort to kill the Affordable Care Act.

As part of his evidence for this, Gardner cited the discredited figure that “hundreds of thousands of Coloradans had their insurance plans canceled” due to Obamacare.

In a fact check of a campaign ad citing those numbers, then 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman pointed out that “it’s true that millions of people with individual coverage got cancellation notices because their old plans didn’t meet the standards of Obamacare…. But getting one of these notices is not the same thing as losing insurance.”

Gardner is apparently trying to make people think all these people lost their insurance, which is not the case. In fact, renewals were offered to the vast majority of people whose policies were canceled, and new policies were offered to all.

Gardner cited actions that could be taken to replace Obamacare.

(more…)

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Singleton Will Buy a Tractor From Gardner After Gardner Loses

(An unkind cut – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

After The Denver Post declared this month that its 2014 endorsement of U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) was a big mistake, former Post owner Dean Singleton got a call from Gardner himself.

“After the editorial ran, he called me, just to chat,” Singleton told the Colorado Times Recorder. “And I told him that I certainly couldn’t vote for him again, but when he goes back to Yuma in 2021 to sell tractors, I’d be happy to buy a tractor from him.” (Singleton owns ranches and buys tractors.)
“Cory is a gentleman,” Singleton continued. “He said, ‘I respectfully disagree.’ And I said, ‘That’s what democracy is all about. And I suspect the voters of Colorado may disagree with you when they cast their ballots in November of 2020.’
“I mean I don’t know that, and we don’t even know who will run against him. But if you are a U.S. Senator, and you put your hand on the Bible and you swear to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and when you fail that test, you ought not be a U.S. Senator.”

Singleton is no longer on the Denver Post’s editorial board, as he was in 2014 when the newspaper endorsed Gardner.

But prior to writing the mea culpa editorial on Gardner, Denver Post Editorial Page Editor Megan Schrader reached out to Singleton for his thoughts on the senator.

“The concern that Megan has had, and I share, is that he just simply has not, and shows no evidence that he ever will, distance himself from the president,” said Singleton. “And The Post has opposed many many things the president has done. And I think the final straw was that The Post believed, and I concur, that his vote against the resolution of disapproval, was a major vote against the separation of powers between the Congress and the president.”

(more…)

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Once Again, Gardner Hasn’t Held a Town Hall Meeting in Well Over a Year

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Since he voted in support of Trump’s national-emergency declaration, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has been “back in Colorado attending private events but hasn’t hosted a public town hall,” reported Colorado Public Radio’s Bente Birkeland last week.

In fact, Gardner hasn’t held a public town hall meeting since Nov. 20, 2017, or about a year and four months ago.

“He’s resorting to canned Facebook video messages that are one way, and I think that’s what he likes,” said Katie Farnan, of Indivisible Front Range Resistance, pointing out that Gardner has yet to hold a town hall meeting since he voted for the unpopular Trump tax bill. “I’m worried that he’s looking at poll numbers and data and statistics, but he has no clue about what people on the ground are going through.”

Farnan said Gardner’s private meetings cater to a “very small homogeneous group.”

“These group meetings represent cohorts of people that have power of some kind,” she said. “They are county commissioners. Or they are public works officials. Or some other grouping of people that already has the ability to speak to him when they want. And that’s obvious. The people who he refuses to be around are the public in general.”

This is not the first time Gardner has logged over a year of town-hall invisibility.

Colorado’s junior senator went from the spring of 2016 until August of 2017 without holding a town hall, drawing sharp questions from reporters for dodging the public for so long.

(more…)

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Gardner Once Called for Release of Mueller Report. What Will He Do Now?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner.

UPDATE: Gardner’s statement on release of Mueller report: ““I have consistently said the Mueller investigation should be allowed to reach a conclusion, and I’m grateful the Special Counsel has finished the investigation and submitted a report today. The American people have a right to know the outcome of this investigation and the Department of Justice should release as much as possible to the public in accordance with the law.”

Trump Attorney General William Barr told reporters today that he will review Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report and determine how much could eventually be released to Congress and the public.

During his confirmation hearing earlier this year, Barr faced pointed questions from Democrats about whether he’d release the Mueller report, and he never committed to doing so.

It’s not clear what Democrats can do to force the release of the report now, but one Republican with close ties to the Trump White House is Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, and he’s called for the release of the report.

Asked about Mueller’s investigation, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner said earlier this year that the “American people need the information so that they can make up their own minds.”

“Look, the Mueller investigation needs to be completed as soon as possible,” Gardner told KHOW’s Krista Kafer, substituting for Ross Kaminsky Jan. 24. “The American people need the information so that they can make up their own minds. And I think transparency is in the best interests of the President. The President has said that. And, you know, we’ve heard his Attorney General nominee say the same thing. And so, I think getting this information out — this will be — this is something that is important. This can’t drag on for four years. It needs to be done. It needs to be done quickly.”

Listen to Gardner on KHOW 630-AM Jan. 24, 2019.

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Anadarko and Noble Aren’t Trying to Save Pollution Rules They Helped Develop

(We’re SHOCKED! — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Some of the world’s largest oil-and-gas companies are calling on the Trump Administration not to weaken Obama-era regulations on methane pollution, which is a significant cause of global warming.

But even though Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy basked in the media spotlight for helping fashion Colorado’s path-breaking rules on methane pollution, which served as the basis for Obama’s regulations, the two companies have yet to speak out against the Trump Administration’s plan to weaken the Obama rules.

Exxon Mobil, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell have taken unusually sharp public stances against the Trump initiative to roll back Obama’s rules for repairing methane leaks in drilling operations.

Gretchen Watkins, president of Royal Dutch Shell’s U.S. subsidiary, has called on the administration not only to retain the Obama regulations but tighten them.

“We need to do more,” she told the Houston Chronicle.

Calls to Anadarko and Noble, seeking to know if they are thinking of joining other oil-and-gas companies in speaking out against Trump’s proposal to rescind the Obama regulations, were not returned.

The absence of the two companies on the list of companies challenging the administration on methane pollution surprises some industry observers–as do reports that Anadarko is among the companies actually supporting the Trump rollback.

Not only did Anadarko and Noble proudly back Colorado’s first-in-the-nation rules, but they also brag about their stances on global warming.

In public documents, Anadarko touts its work on Colorado’s 2104 methane rules.

“Anadarko works with regulators to develop appropriate solutions at the Federal and state levels,” Anadarko stated last year in public documents. “For example, Anadarko supported air quality regulations in Colorado to detect and address methane leaks, thereby improving air quality and enhancing public trust.”

Both companies brag about their dedication to reducing methane emissions.

“Environmental protection is an integral part of Noble Energy’s commitment to operational excellence and we’ve made significant advances in reducing U.S. methane emissions,” Noble Vice President Gary Willingham stated in a company report.

Environmentalists say now is the time for Anadarko and Noble to walk their talk, as momentum seems to be building among oil-and-gas companies themselves, to push back on the Trump Administration’s initiative.

“For the first time, one of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies urged the Trump Administration to strengthen, not weaken, EPA climate rules requiring the oil and gas industry to cut methane pollution,” said Lauren Pagel, Policy Director at Earthworks, in a news release after Shell spoke out for tighter regulations. “Will the Trump Administration listen?”

Other oil industry companies have lobbied the administration to loosen the Obama-era methane rules, including the American Petroleum Institute, which lobbies, conducts research, and advocates on behalf of oil and gas companies.

Both Anadarko and Noble are members of the American Petroleum Institute.

The shift of some oil-and-gas entities toward support of the Obama methane rules comes not only in response to public pressure but also to what appears to be a softening among Republicans and some GOP leaders on the issue.

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“If Anything, I’ve Gotten Kudos,” Says GOP Lawmaker about his Vote for Conversion Therapy Ban

After voting last month in favor of a proposed law banning mental health professionals from trying to make gay youth become heterosexual, State Rep. Colin Larson (R-Littleton) “didn’t get any backlash” from his district, despite that fact that the vast majority of his fellow Republicans voted against the legislation.

“I didn’t have any constituents reaching out and saying, ‘What are you doing? You’re betraying me,'” Larson told the Colorado Times Recorder after he spoke a news conference today, organized by supporters of the bill.

“If anything, I’ve gotten kudos,” he said, emphasizing his view that GOP opposition to the bill is rooted in generational differences that are fading.

Larson, who’s the youngest statehouse member, said their’s a “disconnect” between the views of ordinary Republicans and the stances of GOP lawmakers at the Capitol.

“My colleagues have a perception that there’s this groundswell of opposition that’s actually a small minority of folks,” he said.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, a Democrat, agreed with Larson that “we are going through a generational change; all people are people, regardless of sexual orientation.”

Decrying the fact that, for four years, “Republican leadership” in Colorado’s state senate killed bills banning conversion therapy for minors, Daniel Ramos of One Colorado told reporters at the news conference that “this year is different.”

“With pro-equlality majorities in both the house and the senate, and a pro-equality governor, this is the year that Colorado sends the message to LGBTQ youth that they were born perfect and should be affirmed for exactly what they are,” said Ramos.

Republican opponents of the conversion-therapy ban mostly emphasize that it should be up to parents, not the government, to make decisions about therapy for their children.

The bill’s advocates emphasized that conversion therapy is opposed by major mental health professional associations.

“Through the testimony I have heard, year after year, of heartbreaking feelings of being rejected by your families and by those who are supposed to love you, we know that this practice is tantamount to child abuse,” said Colorado State Rep. Dafna Michaelson Janet (D-Commerce City) at the news conference.

Today’s news conference took place prior to a state senate hearing on the conversion therapy ban.

“I implore the committee members today to vote in a decent and ethical way and putting an end to the cruel and inhumane practice of conversion therapy,” said Johnny Hultzapple, a South High Student at the news conference. Hultzapple got national attention for his Facebook post denouncing a conversion-therapy program launched last month by Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila.

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Gardner Said Twice He Was Against Trump’s National Emergency. What Happened?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

In his short explanation of why he voted with Trump for a national emergency to build a border wall, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner did not explain why he told at least two Colorado media outlets that he opposed the national emergency.

The two statements are unequivocal, starting with his March 13 statement to KOA radio’s Marty Lenz, one minute into the interview:

“I think declaring a national emergency is not the right idea,” said Gardner on air. “I think Congress needs to do it’s job. There may be some dollars that are available for reprogramming. I’m not sure what they would be, and that would be a matter of a lot of debate because Congress holds the purse strings.”

The next day, Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner Thursday got a similar response from Gardner.

Warner: How do you get the message to him that you don’t want him to perhaps declare a national emergency, as has been hinted? Or, raid other funds for this. How does —

Gardner: Well, it’s pretty simple. I’d tell him that in person, that I think Congress needs to do its job.

Warner: Have you done, that? And do you —

Gardner: I have.


Gardner’s office did not return a call seeking to know why he previously held such a firm view on the national-emergency issue–and what made him do an about face on it.

After the interviews, Gardner issued a statement saying he was still undecided on the national emergency.

“I’m currently reviewing the authorities the Administration is using to declare a national emergency,” stated Gardner.

But he did not explain what he was thinking before and why.

His statement on Wednesday hints that he now believes there is in fact a national emergency on the southern border, and so maybe this affected his thinking:

“Between October and February, border patrol apprehensions were up nearly 100 percent and since 2012, border patrol methamphetamine seizures are up 280 percent,” Gardner said in his statement.

The New York Times has pointed out that it’s apprehensions of families that have increased over time, pointing to a humanitarian crisis. Overall apprehensions are down historically, and ports of entry, not the wider border, is the gateway for most drugs entering America from Mexico.

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Neville: “They love to primary anyone who likes to stand for liberty and conservative ideals”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock)

Colorado Public Radio’s Bente Birkeland broke news this week that moderate Colorado Republicans are launching a new organization, Friends for the Future, to try to elect more moderate Republicans in Colorado and appeal to Unaffiliated voters.

Birkeland reports that the effort could be at odds with the strategy of House Republican Leader Patrick Neville. who’s been accused of backing candidates who are so conservative as to be unelectable. Birkeland:

Still reeling from historic losses that put Democrats in charge of Colorado’s government, a group of current and former Republican state lawmakers say it’s time for a different strategy. They created a new organization to recruit and train more moderate candidates. The aim is to appeal to a broader swath of voters, especially the state’s growing segment of unaffiliated voters…

Rep. Lois Landgraf of Colorado Springs and former state lawmakers Dan Thurlow and Polly Lawrence are behind the new independent expenditure committee, Friends for the Future, which they formed in December.

“For us to get clobbered across the state, it’s just not acceptable,” Landgraf said. “And we sat back and said, ‘who’s doing any of this stuff? You know, what’s your party doing?’ We were not happy the way the various elections were run, the campaigns were run. We weren’t happy with any aspect of what went on in this last election.”

Neville didn’t respond to a request for comment from Birkeland, but he answered questions about Friends for the Future on KNUS 710-AM this morning.

The Castle Rock Republicans thinks Friend for the Future will try to use primary elections to oust conservative lawmakers.

“Part of it is a vendetta,” said Neville on air, when asked about Friends for the Future. “They have a vendetta against me. Part of it is, they’ve done this for years. They have a history of doing this.

“If you look at what happened in 2014 and 2016, they love to primary anyone who likes to stand for liberty and conservative ideals.”

KNUS Host Peter Boyles: The establishment [of the Republican Party] hates you as much as the progressives do? Why is that?”

Neville: You know, I don’t know if they just can’t get over the fact I actually got leadership. That might be part of it. [laughs] ..But it feels like I’m fighting a two-front battle constantly against these establishment Republicans and then the Democrats. If they could spend as much time and effort fighting the Democrats as they do myself and other conservatives, we’d be in a lot better place in Colorado.

“We have some folks who think we should be more like Democrats and that will get us wins,” said Neville on air. “I think quite the opposite. I think we need to paint a clear contrast and actually show what we stand for and not just say, ‘We’re for less higher taxes than the Democrats.’ No… Let’s fight against tax increases. They’re coming.”

Neville did not mention other issues that create the divide between his conservative wing of the party and the moderates, but in an interview with KHOW’s Dan Caplis yesterday, former GOP lawmaker Lawrence emphasized that Republicans should be flexible on the issues, including abortion, so that GOP candidates can espouse positions that reflect their districts.

RELATED: Why Can’t Republicans Win in Colorado? Bad Election Campaign Tactics? Or Bad on the Issues that Matter Most?

“A lot of these folks sit around and figure out what their principles are by the latest poll numbers,” said Neville, referring to the leaders of Friends for the Future. “But you can’t do that. Sometimes you have to look at things with common sense.”

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Polis, Weiser Speak Out Against 2nd Amendment Sanctuaries

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado’s governor and attorney general both stated today that sheriffs should disregard county resolutions not to enforce gun-safety laws.

The statements came as Colorado lawmakers are poised to pass “red flag” legislation allowing police to take firearms from people deemed by a judge to be dangerous to themselves or others. Most Republicans oppose the measure, while Democrats support it.

Asked about the “2nd Amendment Sanctuary” resolutions passed by over a dozen Colorado counties, Gov. Jared Polis (R-CO) told KHOW’s Ross Kaminsky:

POLIS:  “Obviously, elected sheriffs don’t choose the laws, right? I mean, they enforce the laws. I would think that there are laws that every sheriff has qualms with and wouldn’t vote for if they were a legislator or wouldn’t sign if they were governor. So, I don’t think that it’s different than any other law that a sheriff opposes. But obviously, it’s the constitutional responsibility of a sheriff to enforce the law equally and without prejudice… We have a very important third branch of government, Ross, and that’s the courts – the judicial branch.  The judicial branch definitively determines what is constitutional and what is not.  Sometimes they put a stay on a law, and it’s not enforced pending appeal.  Sometimes the law is found unconstitutional. Sometimes laws are found constitutional. I mean, so, we have a process to do that. I have faith in our democratic republic. I have faith in that process. “

For his part, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser also stated today that such resolutions “cannot and do not override a valid judicial order implementing state law,” such as an order a judge might issued to confiscate a gun under the red flag law.

“Our nation and state depends on the rule of law. All law enforcement officers swear an oath to uphold the rule of law,” stated Weiser, a Democrat elected in November, in a news release. “I am confident that when and if the time comes, all law enforcement officials will follow the rule of law.”

The bill’s opponents disagree, saying the red flag measures violate multiple articles of the U.S. Constitution.

Weiser pointed out that that multiple states passed red flag laws, and he believes they save lives and pass “constitutional muster.”

(more…)

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Why Can’t Colo Republicans Win? Bad Campaign Tactics? Or Bad on the Issues?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Republicans are standing chest-deep in blue water that crashed here in November.

They’re soaking wet, the water isn’t receding, and they’re frustrated, trying to figure out what went wrong, so they can dry out and win again in their lifetimes.

But pretty much all they’re talking about is changing their campaign tactics. More digital ads. Fewer mailers. Better mailers! More money.

GOP operative Mark Hillman, a former Colorado Treasurer, wants Republican donors to pony up big bucks like progressive groups allegedly get.

Former State Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton) wants fellow Republicans to stop spending money on certain failed political consultants–and instead spend their money on other failed political consultants. Former State House Speaker Frank McNulty has the same idea, but he’s likely thinking of the opposite consultants.

State GOP chair candidate Ken Buck wants to identify more Republican voters and increase turnout.

What they’re not talking about are the issues.

Aren’t Colorado Republicans going to have to change substantively to make more people like them? Specifically, to get more love from Unaffiliated voters, whose support they must have to win in Colorado?

Yes, say moderate Republicans I spoke with, on and off the record, over the past week.

(more…)

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INTERVIEW: The Artist Who’s Painting the Trump Portrait for the CO Capitol

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

After a successful fundraising drive last year led by local Republicans, Colorado Springs portrait artist Sarah Boardman was commissioned to paint a portrait of President Donald Trump for the Colorado Capitol. She’s putting the finishing touches on her work, which she says will done by the end of the month. Boardman also painted a portrait of President Barack Obama, which hangs at the Capitol. Read more about Boardman here.

Boardman took time over the weekend to answer questions, via email, from the Colorado Times Recorder.

Trump Image Selected For Capitol Portrait

The first set of queries is about her artistic process on the portrait and her work as an artist; the second set addresses the response to the Trump portrait in particular. Boardman’s sketch for the Trump portrait, as well as her selection of the photo underlying it, were first reported in a Colorado Times Recorder article last year.

Here’s the interview:

Hi Sarah –

Thank you again for taking time for this interview.

I’ve got questions about the art itself and the response to your sketch.

How’s the painting process going? Are you finding President Donald Trump harder or easier to paint than President Barack Obama?

Neither harder nor easier. I love painting portraits, and each one brings different challenges and highlights. I approach each one as an individual project and prefer to avoid comparing them as I go along.

Do your personal feelings about Trump affect your work on his portrait?

Not at all – when I start to paint a portrait, it is the portrait, likeness, and “essence” of the subject which I strive to portray.  Any personal feelings about any subject are not relevant and are left outside the studio per my training to “leave those emotions at the door”.

You told me that you’re painting by daylight only, as opposed to artificial light. Why?

Yes, I do paint portraits in natural daylight. Light from the north is indirect light and produces the most consistent, cool, environment with the fewest changes in shadows and values throughout the day. Natural, northern, daylight does not change in temperature during the day as sunlight does, so the atmosphere remains much more controlled and I do not have to continually readjust colors because the sun is moving and changing the light.

(more…)

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Sheriff Receives Threats For Saying Counties Can’t Refuse to Enforce State Gun Laws

(It’s not always easy to do the right thing — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder says he’s getting “threats” for denouncing the El Paso County Commission’s vote to become a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary,” under which the county would reject state laws affecting guns.

This past weekend, Elder first spoke out against the “2nd Amendment Sanctuary” measures, which are intended to block a proposed red-flag law that would allow judges to authorize the confiscation of guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.

“I’ve already had threats, and a bunch of them from that lunatic fringe that don’t understand what Madison and the framers of the Constitution said,” Elder told KVOR’s Richard Randall today [listen below]. “There are provisions in place with our Constitution that say exactly how to deal with rogue legislators. And frankly, I’m going to follow what the framers said. Go read the Federalist Papers and you’ll see what I mean.”

The Republican sheriff, who opposes the red-flag measures, did not specify the nature of the threats, and he added on Facebook:

ELDER: “And what EXACTLY do you think would be the legal and appropriate thing to do? Did you read what I wrote? Do you understand that I said I would not initiate an action thru my office? This accounts for less than 1/4 of El Paso County and nothing inside any of the cities? A friend reminded me of these quotes from the Federalist papers which really sums this whole thing up nicely. “The court ensured that the will of the whole people, as expressed in their Constitution, would be supreme over the will of a legislature, whose statutes might express only the temporary will of part of the people.’ “Madison had written that constitutional interpretation must be lead to the reasoned judgement of independent judges, rather than to the tumult and conflict of the political process. If every constitutional question were to be decided by public political bargaining, Madison argued, the Constitution would be reduced to a battleground of competing factions, political passion, and partisan spirit.” Now there is some food for thought… Madison was right in my opinion (and in the opinion of the Supreme Court I might add) and I will use the Rule of Law, the guidance of Madison and the reasoned judgement of independent judges in this matter. [CTR emphasis]

The 2nd Amendment Sanctuary declarations were passed by over a dozen Colorado counties. They appear to rely on the local sheriff to stop enforcing state laws he or she finds unconstitutional, based on an alleged constitutional authority to do so.

RELATED: Lawmaker Wants Colorado To Become An “Oil and Gas Sanctuary”

“Do people expect a Sheriff, a Chief of Police, a Mayor, or ANY elected person to decide if a law is ‘constitutional’ or not?” tweeted Elder Saturday. “If so, I have a question about hundreds of others. I know my opinion is different than many others in the state, God knows around the country. We have a system where laws are tested and declared one way or another by the courts, don’t we?”

“I believe the point here is that we have a system that’s been in place since 1803 that is meant to hold rogue legislators in check and that is through the Supreme Court. WE MUST follow the system that provides judicial review and not allow any single individual or ruling class the power to override our Constitution.”

“How about everybody keep their heads on their shoulders, and let’s fight this [proposed red-flag bill] like a bunch of civilized Americans,” Elder told KVOR at 8 min 15 sec below.

Bill Elder on KVOR March 8:

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Saine Wants Weld County to Consider Becoming an “Oil and Gas Sanctuary”

(This is getting silly – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

After a handful of Colorado counties declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, rejecting a proposed law that allows judges to take guns from dangerous people, a Colorado lawmaker now wants her county commissioners to consider not enforcing state laws regulating the oil and gas industry.

“I definitely would encourage the commissioners to take a look at making it an oil and gas sanctuary county, too – a business sanctuary county,” said State Rep. Lori Saine, the Republican told KCOL radio Monday.

Saine made the comment in response to KCOL host Jimmy Lakey’s question about whether Weld County could be an “oil and gas production sanctuary,” in response to legislation under consideration at the Capitol that would, among other things, prioritize health and safety in oil-and-gas regulations and give more control to local jurisdictions.

Asked whether he favors Saine’s suggestion, Weld County Commissioner Mike Freeman told the Colorado Times Recorder that he strongly opposes the proposed oil-and-gas legislation at the state Capitol, but he doesn’t think that Weld County has the constitutional authority to declare an oil-and-gas sanctuary county.

“There is a little bit of difference between the Second Amendment sanctuary county versus oil and gas,” said Freeman. “And this is just my opinion. The difference is, with the Second Amendment, with the red flag bill, I think it’s a direct violation of the Constitution, which makes it much easier for us to take a stand on. I don’t really know that this oil-and-gas bill, at this point, could be declared unconstitutional.”

(more…)

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Job killing! Fast Track! Opposition to New Oil and Gas Regulations Looks Like 2008

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The oil and gas industry, and its Republican allies, are returning to the tactics they used in 2008 when they opposed new oil-and-gas regulations proposed by the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission, which had been reconfigured the year before.

Today, as Democrats prepare to, among other things, make health and safety the commission’s priority, opponents are saying the legislation will kill jobs and is being fast-tracked.

In 2008, it was largely the same. A Republican Senate news release quoted GOP senate leaders Greg Brophy and Josh Penry, quoting Penry as “critic of the fast-tracking” of the regulations and saying:

Josh Penry in 2008: “I don’t know if the oil and gas commission reads the paper, but we don’t need another job-killer right now,” said Penry, of Grand Junction. “There has been a lot of talk at the State Capitol in the last six weeks about creating jobs,” Penry said. “This is a litmus test for all of that bold talk. Do we really want to create jobs, or risk strangling the only industry that is moving the ball forward in our economy right now?”

By all accounts, the oil and gas industry has mostly boomed in Colorado since 2008. Yet, in 2008, like today, the oil and gas groups staged a rally with industry workers and speakers citing potential job losses. A GOP news release at the time featured a quote from then State Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma):

(more…)

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