Center Square’s Stealth Conservatism

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Last month, Colorado Politics, a print and online political news site, published a story about conservatives who submitted signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State to place an anti-tax initiative on the ballot.

The ballot-measure story quoted a leading Colorado conservative activist, Michael Fields, but no information or opinion from Fields’ progressive opponents appeared in the article, which was produced by Colorado Center Square, a “news service” that offers stories for free to “media companies” and is, according to the biography of the board chair of Center Square’s parent organization, “competing with The Associated Press.”

In contrast, back in August of last year, another Center Square story appeared in Colorado Politics about a progressive initiative that made the ballot, and it included detailed arguments by conservatives against the proposal.

The committee opposing the progressive initiative was quoted as stating that the measure, which aimed to establish a family-leave program in Colorado, was “economically risky at any time and especially dangerous when the economy is just beginning to recover.”

The Center Square story noted that the “state’s fiscal note says it could ‘influence hiring decisions made by employers,’ affecting jobs.”

The two ballot-initiative stories were written by Derek Draplin, who came to Center Square after being an associate editor at the Daily Caller, a hard-right media site whose website states, “PATRIOTS, fighting for you.” Other Center Square writers have long worked for right-wing publications, according to The Denver Post.

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Republican Wars Have Consequences

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

No matter what side they’re on in their internal war over whether to dump open primaries, Republicans are telling the world — and each other — how weak they are in Colorado, how much swing voters hate them, how deep blue the state is turning, and how depressed they are about it.

That’s the most amusing collateral damage for Republicans in the lead-up to Saturday’s vote on the open-primary question. And they are inflicting it on themselves.

In a devastating opinion posted today, Republican Mark Hillman expertly outlines the irrefutable math on how much unaffiliated voters, who are essential in winning elections, dislike Republicans nowadays.

“Even in GOP strongholds of Douglas and El Paso counties, unaffiliated voters are breaking hard against Republicans,” wrote Hillman, repeatedly using the phrase “deep hole” to describe the Republicans’ whereabouts in Colorado.

George Bruachler, a former candidate for Colorado Attorney General, was more circumspect about spotlighting his party’s ongoing failures in Colorado, but he did so nonetheless. “The notion that Republicans’ lack of electoral success since 2018 in Colorado is attributable to open primaries and all of the conspiracy theories that flow from them is contrary to facts.”

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CO Radio Host Recovers from COVID, But Still Won’t Say Whether People Should Get Vaccinated

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A Colorado talk radio host whose show introduces him as a “newsman, now with an opinion,” is refusing to offer his opinion on whether his conservative listeners should get a COVID vaccination, despite his landing in the hospital himself this year and after contracting COVID.

I called Steffan Tubbs KNUS show Friday to find out why he’s withholding his opinion on vaccinations.

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Bremer Should Denounce Trump & Join Cheney at the Evil Doers Encampment Outside the Shrimpy GOP Tent

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Please clap.

The Republican challenging U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) made me laugh Tuesday when he told Colorado Politics, “Republicans may be looking around saying, ‘OK, we really want to win,’ as opposed to looking at the litmus, purity test that often is the assembly.”

Republicans are looking around and saying, ‘Ok we really want to win?’

I want to believe Bremer, because it would be good for all of us. But all I see is Republicans, well beyond the assembly, acting as if they really want to lose.

Yes, they say they want to win, but then they dress in multiple layers of ideological straight-jackets (King Trump! Death to Obamacare! Biden wasn’t elected! Abortion is murder! Family leave will kill the economy! And more!) that make it impossible for them to win in Colorado.

if Bremer were right about Republicans in Colorado really wanting to win, he’d join Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney and object to Trump.

But he knows if he did, he’d join Cheney at the Evil Doers encampment far away from the already shrimpy Republican tent.

But this might set him up to win in Colorado someday.

The GOP’s continued love for Trump, and Trump’s love of the spotlight, spells death for statewide candidates like Bremer in next year’s CO election.

But Colorado’s Republicans don’t want to change course.

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Polis Is Unbeatable in Next Year’s Election, Says GOP State Sen. John Cooke

(Moment of clarity – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Gov. Jared Polis (D).

Appearing on right-wing talk radio yesterday, state Sen. John Cooke (R-Greeley) said he thinks Republicans can’t unseat Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) in next year’s election, due to the incumbent’s potential war chest and the absence of a “viable” candidate so “late in the season.”

“Can Polis get beat?” KNUS radio host Peter Boyles asked Cooke, who’s the Republican Assistant Minority Leader in the Colorado Senate.

“You know, I would like to say yes, but no, I don’t think he can at this point,” replied Cooke, who praised Polis as smart and popular. “You know, it’s unfortunate, but money runs campaigns. And one, we need to have a good candidate, and it’s really getting late in the season.”

Cooke’s comments came as a surprise, as leaders of political parties don’t usually predict that their party will lose upcoming elections for fear of scaring away donors. Yet Cooke lamented one GOP candidate’s lack of money.

“We have one person that announced [to run for governor],” said Cooke on the radio. “Greg Lopez, good guy. But if you ask 99, if you ask 100 people, walk up to strangers say, ‘Who’s Greg Lopez?’ Ninety-nine, I bet, maybe even all 100 would say, ‘I have no idea.’ And so he has no name recognition. And if you don’t have name recognition, you’re not going to raise the money. And if you don’t have the money, you’re not going to get the name recognition. So it’s kind of a Catch 22. So we don’t really have a viable candidate yet running for governor. Nobody seems to be out in the wings waiting. And, you know, Polls can write his own checks.”

Asked by Boyles about defeating U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cooke said it will be “tough” to unseat him.

“You know, maybe in Colorado,” said Cooke on air. “It’s going to be tough unless we get organized and unify on a message, then I don’t know if that could be beaten either.”

Cooke’s assessment of the Republican Party’s prospects in next year’s election is largely supported by voter surveys and expert opinion, which point to Democratic victories in the absence of a fundamental political shift. That’s seen as not likely but always possible.

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To Win Next Year, the CO Republicans May Need Unaffiliateds to Split Their Tickets. Is This Possible?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you were one of the Republicans thinking about running for governor next year, and you look at Colorado’s electorate and at Gov. Jared Polis’ (D-CO) popularity — and his war chest — you might consider running for some other office

That’s what Republicans, including CU Regent Heidi Ganahl are thinking about doing, according to multiple sources, who say some Republicans see a more viable path to a statewide victory in one of the other constitutional offices, like Colorado Secretary of State or Colorado Treasurer, than in the governor’s race.

The assumption here is, Colorado voters will back Polis in 2022 and can be convinced to “split” their ticket and vote for Republicans in the lower profile statewide races.

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) won repeated elections, for example, in a district that simultaneously handed victories to him and Democrats, like Hillary Clinton. He lost in 2018 to Democrat Jason Crow.

In 2020, 90% of GOP candidates in Colorado got more votes than Trump, allowing four Colorado House GOP candidates to win their seats, according to an analysis by Colorado Public Radio.

The four GOP victories occurred in Republican-leaning districts where GOP voters were likely the ones splitting their tickets. So, for next year, you can imagine a scenario where Republican voters in Douglas County, for example, might vote for Polis and Crow, but might be more easily persuaded to vote for Republicans down-ballot.

But political observers point out that not losing Republican voters doesn’t cut it for the GOP in Colorado, where Republican voters make up only 27% of the electorate, versus 30% for Democrats and 43% for unaffiliated voters.

In 2022 statewide races, with Democrats unlikely to vote for “down ballot” Republicans, it would require unaffiliated voters, who favor Democrats by a 60-40 margin, to put a check by the name of “Ganahl” instead of one of the incumbent Democrats, Attorney General Phil Weiser, Treasurer Dave Young, or Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

Any chance of this happening?

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What ‘Other Issues,’ Besides Abortion, Are Communion Dealbreakers for Denver Bishop?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Archbishop Samuel Aquila of the Archdiocese of Denver.

In an opinion article published July 2, Denver’s Catholic archbishop wrote that for years he’s been urging Catholic politicians not to take Communion if they hold “immoral political positions,” not just on abortion but “other issues” as well.

“To add another layer to this, many bishops – including myself – have been privately dialoguing with Catholic politicians on abortion and other issues for years, urging them to refrain from Communion if they won’t change their immoral political positions,” wrote Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila on July 2.

The statement came as a surprise given that Aquila and other U.S. bishops are on the verge of demanding that President Biden, who’s Catholic, stop taking Communion due to his pro-choice stand, while ignoring other politicians who may be voting against the Catholic church on other issues, like immigration or poverty concerns.

But Aquila’s article didn’t specify which “immoral political positions,” other than being pro-choice, constitute such grave public sins that they put politicians and others in a “state of not being able to receive Communion.”

Asked to list the political views on “other issues” that Aquila considers Communion dealbreakers, Mark Haas, Director of Public Relations for the Archdiocese of Denver, said the “details on those private conversations remain private.”

Haas explained the holy Communion, also called the Eucharist, is the “true presence of Jesus Christ – body, blood, soul, and divinity,” so taking Communion is an extremely important and serious act for Catholics.

Haas pointed to a quote from Aquila stating that baptized Catholics “are endangering their souls by receiving Communion in a state of grave sin, whatever that grave sin is.”

“And so at the heart of all of this is to restore greater belief in the tremendous gift that is the Holy Sacrifice, and to help all Catholics, including Catholic politicians, align their lives with the fullness of the Gospels, and not just pick and choose which parts they will follow,” wrote Haas.

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Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene “Cannot Wait” To Address Colorado Republicans Next Month

(They’re not sending their best – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was stripped of her committee assignments after calling for the execution of Democrats, is “tickled” to be speaking to El Paso County, Colorado, Republicans August 6.

“I cannot wait,” Greene told KNUS Randy Corporon last week to promote the event. “…I’m just tickled to be the keynote speaker. I’m excited to meet great patriots. I love going all across the country.”

“My good colleague Lauren Boebert, she’s got some really great people. So I can’t wait to come to Colorado,” said Greene. “We need an army of America First members of Congress.”

Speaking to Corporon over the weekend, El Paso County GOP Chair Vickie Tonkins, who apparently spearheaded the effort to invite Green, said she’s received criticism from fellow Republicans for asking Greene to speak at the fundraising event.

“I get opposition after opposition for the fact that I’ve invited Marjorie Taylor Greene to speak at our Lincoln Day Dinner,” said Tonkins.

“All the pushback I receive is from quote-unquote Republicans. And I think it’s a travesty that we have this kind of resistance in our own party,” said Tonkins.

“I’m going to call people out for not supporting the people they should be supporting,” said Tonkins

Greene, who also once said that California fires were caused by space lasers, said it was a gift that she was stripped of her committee assignments, giving her time to focus her energy elsewhere.

Boebert Appears Unconcerned About COVID Outbreak at Concert She Attended in June

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) isn’t showing any signs of worry about rising COVID cases in her district–or about a COVID outbreak that occurred at a music festival she attended during the last week of June.

“Great night at the Country Jam in Grand Junction, Colorado!” tweeted Boebert June 26, along with photos of herself and the crowd at the concert.

Country Jam, an annual event, is where Boebert was arrested in 2015 after telling arresting officers that they would be hearing from her “friends” at Fox News and after she encouraged juveniles to flee police custody at the scene.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screenshot-twitter.com-2021.07.08-10_26_11-1024x676.jpg

Today, as first reported by Westword, Colorado public health officials are calling Country Jam a COVID-19 outbreak site, with four staff members and 13 attendees contracting the virus there so far.

Boebert has been largely unconcerned about the pandemic in her district, essentially campaigning on a platform of downplaying the danger of the virus.

Her behavior during the campaign was criticized by public health officials.

RELATED: Read the Police Report on Boebert’s 2015 Arrest at the Country Music Jam

Both before and after this year’s music festival, health officials were concerned about the spread of the COVID-19 in Mesa County, where the festival took place, as hospital emergency rooms were filling up and local residents were lagging getting vaccinated in comparison to other parts of Colorado.

Yet, despite attending the concert and the alarming news reports about Covid in Mesa County, Boebert hasn’t acknowledged the seriousness of the situation in her district.

The Congresswoman’s most recent tweets on COVID took a shot at President Joe Biden for deploying his “Needle Nazis to Mesa County” and accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of “bullying” people into getting vaccinated against COVID.

“The people of my district are more than smart enough to make their own decisions about the experimental vaccine and don’t need coercion by federal agents,” Boebert tweeted today. “Did I wake up in Communist China?”

The Biden Administration is launching a program targeting areas, like Mesa County, where the virus is spiking and vaccine hesitancy is high. The vaccination rate in Mesa County has stalled at about 45%.

The surge is due, in part, to the rise of the Delta variant, which is considered to be a 50% more contagious variety of COVID-19 than the strain of the virus that previously dominated Colorado.

RELATED: Public Health Expert Says Beobert ‘Stoking Mistrust’ of ‘Heroes’ Who Work in Public Health

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CO Republicans Once Declined Interview Requests From Toxic CO Radio Hosts. Not Anymore

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Peter Boyles.

Some of Colorado’s most right-wing talk radio hosts, who regularly promote views that drive Colorado voters away from the Republican Party, are rejoicing over the willingness of Colorado Republican leaders to appear on their shows again — after past GOP leaders rejected interview requests from the toxic radio yappers.

“You know, I got to tell you something,” KNUS morning host Peter Boyles told Aurora City Council candidate Danielle Jurinsky on air earlier this month. “…If I told you I could not get a Republican candidate or an elected official to sit in that chair for ten years, would you believe me? They never came.”

“How sad is that?” said Jurinsky.

“I never got Walker Stapleton; they wouldn’t even return phone calls,” continued Boyles, adding that the “old guys” were really “machine” Republicans. “Cory Gardner, forget about it. I’ll give you a list of people that wouldn’t come near the show.”

But now, Boyles is thrilled to say on air, he can get the leader of the Colorado Republican Party, Kristi Burton Brown to appear on his show any time he calls. Same with the party’s vice-chair and secretary. 

Boyles talks about possibly hosting a series of “lunches” to raise funds for these women.

Republican leaders who want to be hated by most Colorado voters should go yuk it up with Boyles as early and often as possible. He’ll help them lose elections.

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CO Republican Party Missed a Perfect Moment To End Its War Against Obamacare

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Supreme Court’s latest refusal to kill the Affordable Care Act left mostly everyone saying the law is now here to stay.

Following the decision, Democrats issued news releases praising Obamacare, which is now popular–as opposed to when it first passed in 2010 and was used by Republicans, like former Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, to oust Democrats (like former Colorado Congresswoman Betsy Markey) who voted for it.

It would have been a perfect, statesperson-y moment for Colorado Republicans to change course — after so many years of trying and failing to undermine the national health care law — and pledge to work with Democrats to make it better.

And it would make especially good sense in the blue state of Colorado. That is, if Republicans want to win.

But alas, the moment came and went with silence.

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Boebert Hovers Above CO GOP Leader’s Effort To “Brand” Republicans As Caring

(One of these things is not like the other – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

You have to agree with the leader of Colorado’s Republican Party when she says people think Republicans are white and mean–and this creates problems for them when it comes to winning elections.

“People have a misconception, I think [about Republicans],” Burton Brown said on KHOW last week at 24 minutes, saying it’s her job to re-brand the Republican Party. “They’ve put us in a box. ‘Here’s what Republicans are. They are old. They are white. They are men. They do not care. They only want to give the rich people money.’

Kristi Burton Brown

Yet Burton Brown can’t say enough good things about U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), whose meanness continues to shock even people like me who listen to her all the time.

For example, back in April, when the humanitarian crisis on the border was ramping up and officials were struggling to find ways to help children who crossed the border, Boebert showed no sympathy at all.

With images of destitute kids all over the news, Boebert was asked on conservative radio, what’s the “biggest problem at the border right now that could be addressed right away if you could only do one thing and do it first? What would Representative Bobert recommend doing?”

“Continue construction on the wall. That’s exactly what needs to happen,” Boebert told a KHOW radio host, acting as if the kids in the news didn’t exist. “On day one, Biden issued an executive order to halt construction at our southern border. We need to get the wall built.”

Even if you believe the wall could work, which serious people don’t, you still have the kids, right here right now, who need care that border security, especially a wall, won’t give them.

Then, and now, all Boebert can do is repeatedly mock their plight and offer no help or ideas or anything but…a wall of meanness.

Just this week on Flashpoint, a Christian right podcast, Boebert offered not a word of love or compassion toward immigrant children but instead degraded them with language that served her need for a political attack line but had no basis in reality.

Thousands of migrant children are “wrapped and stacked like baked potatoes” at the border, she said.

Like baked potatoes, because some, at some point, had mylar blankets?

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Coffman Admits to Using Proposed Camping Ban To Elect Conservative Allies to Council

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman pretending to be homeless.

If only Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman’s proposed ban on camping in Aurora, as well as his week pretending to be homeless for a local news story, could be written off solely as a way to get his face on TV.

But it’s so much worse.

Coffman is brazenly using some of the most vulnerable people in our midst to make himself more powerful – to elect a majority of conservative allies to Aurora’s City Council.

It’s not a secret. Reporters have called him out on it. He explains the political strategy openly on right-wing radio.

Asked by a salivating radio host if he was “going to make it a big election issue, as big as you can,” Coffman replied with a stern, “Oh yeah.”

“Let me tell you, I think that I will have a Council that will pass this after this election, if not in June, by the weight of the pressure that comes down on council members,” Coffman told KHOW’s Ross Kaminsky May 21. “But definitely after November.”

He added that the camping-ban issue will serve as a “referendum,” turning council candidates who oppose it into losers.

You wish you could say Coffman is the actual loser, and leave it there.

But camping bans are politically popular, even in cities like Denver with large majorities of Democratic voters.

So the twisted situation looks like this: Everyone who’s studied homelessness knows a camping ban won’t work. But Coffman’s political strategy of using the ban to flip the Council might actually succeed.

And anything that might help Coffman’s conservative posse win in bluing Aurora is worth a try, the mayor must figure.

9News put this into focus with figures showing that camping bans in the metro area don’t work.

“If this isn’t about something that may immediately become law or ordinance in Aurora, could it possibly just be a red meat campaign issue while city council elections go on there?” asked 9News Anchor Kyle Clark on air May 21. “Yeah,” answered 9News reporter Marshall Zelinger, who compiled the information, pointing out that Council elections are in November.

Great. Ride the camping ban to victory in Aurora’s upcoming city council election.

And trample the people on the streets on your way in. The powerless people struggling with poverty, mental illness, drug addiction, fear, hopelessness.

Coffman wants a camping ban to make life even worse for them and better for him, giving the mayor the power to pass a conservative agenda on issues going way beyond homelessness.

Let’s hope it doesn’t work.

But it’s bad enough to picture Coffman sitting in a room somewhere, with fellow Republican operatives, mapping out a power-grab strategy of using the “Homeless Mike” stunt, the camping ban proposal, and the city council process, all of it ending with November’s election.

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Court Records Show Boebert Hasn’t Paid Off Lien Resulting From Her Refusal to Garnish Wages

(You know what that means…road trip!!! — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Just before she was elected to Congress last year, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) finished paying off the state of Colorado nearly $20,000 in back taxes owed by her restaurant, Shooters Grill, located in Rifle.

The debt took the form of eight tax liens assessed since 2016 for failing to pay unemployment insurance.

But a ninth lien, assessed by the Garfield County Court after Boebert refused to garnish an employee’s wages, remains unpaid, according to the Garfield County Court, in a response last week to a records request by the Colorado Times Recorder.

The outstanding lien of $2,578 was assessed against Shooters Grill after Boebert and an employee, who’d been sued by a debt collector, failed to respond to the court and the lawyers involved.

Boebert not only failed to respond to written requests to deal with the matter, but she also skipped two hearings arranged by the court. In one case, she’d received and ignored a summons to appear.

Garfield Court Judge Jonathan Pototsky eventually issued a default judgment that required Shooters Grill to pay the $2,578, which included the initial debt of the employee, plus attorney’s fees, court costs, and interest.

The debt collector, Professional Finance Company Inc., that sued Shooters Grill is representing a nonprofit organization in the case, according to court documents.

It’s possible that Boebert has paid off the debt, according to a Garfield County Court spokesperson, and Professional Finance Company Inc. has failed to notify the court that payment was received.

Multiple calls to Professional Finance Company Inc. were not returned.

Boebert’s office likewise didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Boebert’s failure to respond to the Garfield County Court in this garnishment case is part of a pattern of not showing up for court hearings.

During the past five years, she failed to appear for court hearings in two minor, easy-to-deal-with criminal matters, resulting first in arrest warrants and then two actual arrests, which left a trail of fingerprints and mugshots that have been spotlighted by her opponents.

Boebert after a 2017 arrest.

Now Boebert mocks her arrest record, saying, “I even got a pretty mugshot out of it.”

RELATEDBoebert’s Defenders Say Let Her Grow Up. But Read the Report of Her Arresting Officers and See What You Think

Coffman Admits He Didn’t Stay at Aurora Homeless Encampments

(The weekend being homeless didn’t turn out like you planned – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman pretending to be homeless.

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman says you should believe him when it comes to homelessness because he spent a week on the streets last year, as seen in a local TV story.

Coffman said his experience in homeless shelters and in on-the-street encampments made him able to “better understand the issue, and not from what people are telling elected officials, but to actually be there with the individuals experiencing homelessness, to be able to to talk with them, to understand their issues.”

But Coffman didn’t stay in any of the encampments in his hometown of Aurora, only in Denver.

In a bizarre admission on a Denver radio show, Coffman said homelessness is a really complicated issue, and he “can’t speak” to the issues at the encampments in Aurora, only Denver.

“This is really [based on] just seeing encampments in downtown Denver, larger encampments in downtown Denver,” Coffman told KNUS’ Jimmy Sengenberger May 22. “This is not the encampments in Aurora. I didn’t stay in them. I can’t really speak to them.”

But Coffman is running to any microphone that will take him, saying the people in homeless encampments are largely there by choice and Aurora needs a camping ban to solve the problem. (Never mind that such bans are known to fail.)

RELATED: The Absurdity and Heartlessness of Coffman’s Camping Ban Is Seen in His Admission that Homeless People Will Simply Move Around Aurora.

So why in the world did Aurora Mayor Coffman decide to pretend to be homeless in Denver, not Aurora?

“Mayor Hancock had reached out to me and said, ‘Let’s work together on dealing with this housing issue.’ And so fine, of course, I didn’t tell him I was doing this. So I wanted to understand Denver and Aurora,” Coffman told Sengenberger.

But why not venture up to Aurora as well, if he wanted to understand both, given that he’s now left saying he can’t speak to what’s going on in Aurora?

Coffman doesn’t return my calls, so I’m forced to speculate here.

Perhaps he felt the Aurora encampments were more dangerous?

Maybe he was advised that they wouldn’t confirm his ideological view that homelessness is a choice and the encampments are full of drug addicts and others who don’t want to go to shelters or to change their lives.

Or how about this. We know Coffman’s week-long undercover foray as a homeless veteran was essentially a PR stunt, which he conducted with a local CBS TV reporter tracking him for a story headlined “Homeless Mike.”

CBS4’s studios at 10th and Lincoln are just blocks from the Denver encampments Coffman joined, where people brought so much good food it was bad for “weight control,” he says.

The CBS4 camera operators would have had to drive 20 minutes or more to get to Aurora–and that’s an eternity in the local TV news business, especially if there’d been a storm on the horizon.

Okay, maybe it’s far-fetched to conclude that Coffman decided against sleeping on the streets of Aurora so that he could be near a Denver TV station.

But that such a disgraceful explanation is possible at all speaks to the fact that Coffman’s proposed camping ban — and his Homeless Mike escapade — have so little to do with helping homeless people and so much to do with P.R. for Coffman himself. 

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Coffman Mocks Kyle Clark’s Hair But Can’t Refute His Facts

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Mayor Mike Coffman (R-Aurora).

On a KNUS radio show Saturday, host Jimmy Sengenberger aired a report by 9News Anchor Kyle Clark about Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman’s proposed camping ban.

“It’s tough to find anyone who would call Denver’s homeless camping ban a success outside of the people who are paid to convince you of that,” said Clark in the clip from his May 20 Next show, which also included figures from 9News reporter Marshall Zelinger showing that camping bans in the metro area (Denver, Boulder, Centennial, Parker) have pretty much been a failure.

“Yet, Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman is introducing a similar camping ban for his city tonight,” continued Clark. “His conclusion, after a week of pretending to be homeless for a TV news story, was that homelessness is a choice.”

Coffman was a guest on the radio show, and after hearing the 9News clip, Coffman responded with:

“I wish Kyle Clark would do the same thing [pretending to be homeless],” Coffman told Sengenberger. “But I doubt that will ever happen. It would probably mess up his hair. But I think doing that was an extraordinary experience.”

In the ensuing radio discussion, Coffman addressed Clark’s assertion that the camping ban in Denver has been a failure.

Coffman first acknowledged that the homeless encampments are much worse in Denver than in Aurora.

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Coffman: Under Camping Ban, Homeless People Will Simply Move Around Aurora

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Mayor Mike Coffman (R-Aurora).

Right-wing radio host Dan Caplis got to the heart of the matter last week when he asked Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman what happens if homeless people ignore Coffman’s proposed camping ban and don’t relocate to Coffman’s “designated area.”

“Where does that end,” asked Caplis on his KHOW show May 19.

After a brief pause Coffman replied, “Well, that’s problematic because, you know–you know–what they’ll do is displace and go somewhere else in the city, and we’ll have to clean up that area.”

What a brilliant way for Aurora to spend its tax money!

“Clean up that area” and then “Clean up that area” and then “Clean up that area” and so on and so on and so on.

Yet, Coffman belittles “so-called homeless advocates” for asking about the cost of the camping ban and for saying it’s not the solution.

On the radio, Coffman flat-out dismisses experts who say homeless people need housing first. It doesn’t matter that there’s study after study backing this up.

And homeless people, whose backgrounds and needs vary widely, also need a web of other support to stabilize and get off the streets.

As the interview continues, it becomes clear that it’s not just the encampments that bother Coffman but the homeless people themselves.

He wants to deny them services and hope they are “going to discover” that “Aurora, Colorado, is not the best place for them to be,” said Coffman on air, without citing evidence.

“They will find,” Coffman said, broke into a laugh, and restarted 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.'”

Talking to Caplis, Coffman sounds like the right-wing congressman he’s still best known for being. The one who wanted to stop low-income women from getting cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood in Aurora. The one who called Obamacare “very radical.” The one who endorsed Tom Tancredo for governor of Colorado.

The one you’d expect not to care much about people in Aurora who are homeless.

Coffman is clearly unconcerned about a cooperative Denver Metro solution to homelessness, but he’s working with Bandimere Speedway, well-known for its conservative alliances, to address another front range problem.

“I’ll be working with Bandimere Speedway to come up with a plan that would involve all cities in the metro area” to attract “street racing enthusiasts to race their vehicles at Bandimere Speedway instead of city streets,” wrote Coffman in a recent Facebook post.

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Why It’s Worth Writing About a GOP Meme That Mocks a Progressive Yard Sign

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

I’ve come around to agreeing, at least some of the time, with conservatives who tell me I shouldn’t get so upset about their endless jokes about immigrants, police murders, racism, and other stuff like that.

But the problem I have with deciding whether to write about bigoted or hateful humor is, how do we know the jokester doesn’t believe the shit things they’re joking about?

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So my approach to determining the news value of an inappropriate joke is, first, to look at who’s saying it. Is it a nobody who should be ignored?

Second, I reach out to the offensive entity and ask, do you believe the things you’re allegedly joking about?

Today, for example, I received via email a meme posted–with great approval–as a joke on Facebook by the Jefferson County Republican Party.

This is the official organization representing Republicans in Jeffco.

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Can Elway Save Colo Republicans With a Run for Office?

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Elway and Neville

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

At this point, the Colorado Republican Party finds itself in a situation like the one John Elway faced in 1987 in Cleveland, with five minutes on the clock and the 98 yards to go to win the game. They need an Elway miracle to win a statewide election here.

Except they have Donald Trump on their team, not Elway.

But what if John Elway came to their rescue? His name pops up when the dregs of a political conversation turns to GOP miracles.

That’s because Elway is a Republican whom Coloradans actually like (sometimes). And over the years, he’s considered a run for office, if you believe the rumors.

Elway seems to like politics. He’s a reliable GOP donor, and he endorses Republicans in key races.

And he’s unafraid to be associated with losers–which would be a requirement if he ran for office in a blue state like Colorado.

In 2018, Elway backed, among others, then-state Sen.Tim Neville (R-Littleton), who lost his seat that year, as well as other state senate candidates whose collective losses resulted in a Democratic takeover of the state Senate.

More recently, during last year’s election, Elway gave over $85,000 to federal GOP candidates, mostly losers, including Donald Trump. He gave over $15,000 to the losing Republican efforts in the Georgia Senate races.

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Elway & former GOP lawmaker Martinez Humenik

Elway’s winning connections last year included far-right conservative U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

So would Elway run in Colorado?

Democratic pollster Chris Keating doesn’t think so.

“I don’t think John Elway is going to do it,” Keating told me last week. “I don’t think he wants to put himself and his family and his football career through the wringer. “I’m sure people are going to tell him it’s a great idea. I would tell him it’s really dumb idea. We love you John. Even Democrats like myself, we remember fondly all the stuff he’s done. And we don’t want to think about that other stuff. We love the Broncos and John Elway. “It’s insanely stupid for him to do that. He would just get dragged down into it. That’s not necessary.”

And Elway would have another problem: He’d lose.

Elway would likely clear the Republican primary because he’s a Trump backer and because he’s John Elway.

We don’t know if he’s an election conspiracist, but you’d think so based on the GOP cohort.

Then Elway would face the same unaffiliated voters whom any other Republican would need to win in Colorado. A clear majority of these swing voters are Trump-hating and progressive–and lean heavily toward Democrats.

There aren’t many athletes like Elway who’ve jumped successfully to big-time politics. In Colorado, U.S. Ben Nighthose Campbell was an Olympic star. Republican Jack Kemp of New York was an NFL quarterback. Wresting sensation Jesse Ventura was governor of Minnesota.

And you have to consider the fact that Elway oversaw a losing football team in recent years.

It all adds up to a political nose dive, not a winning drive, for Elway.

Can a Trump-Loving Republican Win in CO Next Year?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Before we get too worked up about next year’s elections in Colorado, how about we talk about whether a Trump-loving Republican has any hope of winning statewide here at all in 2022.

GOP pollster David Flaherty answers that question, in part, by saying it depends on Trump’s impact on Unaffiliated voters, who represent about 40% of the electorate, versus Democrats (29% of registered voters) and Republicans (at 28%).

With Republicans and Democrats unlikely to vote for the opposing party, Unaffiliated voters will likely decide the election. Again.

Flaherty, who runs Magellan Strategies, expects the anti-Trump intensity, which made Unaffiliated voters so excited to vote for Democrats last year, to lessen. The question, he says, is by how much.

Scenario One: a subdued Trump may zap the inspiration of unaffiliated voters, who were hell-bent on dumping Trump last year, to turn in their ballots, says Flaherty.

Scenario Two: Trump is “loud and pushing all those buttons like he loves to do,” says Flaherty, which would motivate Unaffiliated voters to 1) cast their ballots and 2) do so for Democrats.

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Buck Says Critical Reporting on The Epoch Times Is ‘Similar’ to China’s Cultural Revolution

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

“The Left is attempting to cancel an important voice for liberty — The Epoch Times newspaper,” wrote Colorado Congressman Ken Buck in a fundraising email today, spotlighting Buck’s claim that The Epoch Times had its U.S. House Gallery press credentials revoked.

Investigations by NBC, the New York Times and the Atlantic paint a picture of the newspaper as a hotbed of partisanship and pro-Trump misinformation, including promotion of QAnon and election fraud conspiracies.

In an interview posted on his Shootin’ Straight podcast yesterday, Buck asked Dr. Dana Cheng, one of the founders of The Epoch Times, if she thought there are “forces in the United States that are trying to limit” her newspaper’s “access to information or “de-legitimize The Epoch Times” as a press outlet.

Dr. Dana Cheng, Senior Editor of The Epoch Times

“Yes,” Cheng replied, “They are left media, like the New York Times, and the Atlantic, and NBC. They put a lot of effort to write hit piece to discredit us. And it is such a surprise. We thought that this is a free country and people respect each other’s speech. And people respect each other’s right to do media and respect different voices. But obviously, they are trying to suppress our voice. It’s agenda-driven.”

“My friends saying, ‘We thought that China is going to become America. But instead, America is going to becoming China,'” continued Cheng, whose Falon-Gong movement newspaper is on an anti-communist crusade. China has persecuted Falon Gong members.

Last year’s Times’ investigation described how The Epoch Times evolved to become a “partisan powerhouse” that’s “created a global-scale misinformation machine that has repeatedly pushed fringe narratives into the mainstream.”

Cheng complained to Buck about recent “hit pieces” with “a lot of lies” that have been directed at The Epoch Times.

“And they don’t care to check with us or they don’t care to find out whether it’s true or not,” she told Buck “It is clearly agenda-driven. And this is such a surprise. For us, we fled communists. And we thought, ‘This is a free country and we can enjoy the freedom of speech, freedom of press. And we can provide a voice, that people can choose.”

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Audio: At the End of an Interview, Gessler Requests That His Recorded Comments Be Kept Secret

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Scott Gessler.

Scott Gessler, a candidate to lead the Colorado Republican Party, recently bragged about how media savvy he is, claiming credit for getting Colorado Public Radio to run a story critical of a top Colorado Democrat.

But last week, he made a media-relations mistake widely regarded as amateur: After conducting an interview with ultra-conservative blogger Holly Casan, he asked that she keep the recording of his comments under wraps.

“So I am going to ask you one thing, and I should have demanded this at the beginning,” Gessler told Casan, according to a recording posted on Casan’s website. “So I know you’ve recorded me. I’m going to ask you not to make the recording public.”

Gessler’s comments came at the end of his interview with Casan, directly after she had complimented Gessler on his “candor.”

“Listen, Scott, thank you for your candor, and you really clarified a lot of things for me and my readers,” Casan tells Gessler in the recorded segment posted on her website. “I think it was super helpful to hear it from you in long form, so that, you know, we were able to air out the details in long form. And I just think that’s really valuable. And I really appreciate you taking the time.”

Casan agreed to Gessler’s request but nonetheless published a transcript of her Gessler interview with a little bit of audio on her website, which is called “The Real Scott Gessler.”

Gessler is a former Colorado Secretary of State and former candidate for governor with tons of media experience. He even indicated in his Casan interview that you normally lay out the rules for an interview, if any, before it takes place, not after.

So Gessler’s unusual request to can the audio recording led his critics to speculate that he was so concerned about what he’d said during his recorded conversation with Casan that he wanted it buried.

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Boebert’s Red Meat Whoppers and Other Fabrications

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R).

Multiple national media outlets pointed out last week that Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s oft-repeated story about why she carries a gun is a falsehood.

Boebert, a Republican, says she started packing heat on her hip after a man was beaten to death near her restaurant. In fact, he died of a drug overdose, as first reported by the Colorado Sun last year.

But this kind of story isn’t new. In fact, Boebert is obviously developing a track record of taking forays away from the truth.

Most of her fabrications appear to be concocted to hide politically damaging information. Others, which could be called Red Meat Whoppers, seem intended to please her right-wing fans across the country.

The Big Lie

For starters, she’s a leading proponent of the Big Lie, which is one of the easiest fibs to spot in U.S. history.

Turns Out She’s a QAnon Follower

Boebert has insisted she’s not a “follower of QAnon.” Yet, she followed multiple QAnon channels on her YouTube account, which she deleted as her beliefs about QAnon came under scrutiny by journalists.

She Was Opposed to Obamacare But Says She Wasn’t

Boebert now talks as if she might even be a supporter of Obamacare. But she secured her spot on the general election ballot by blasting her Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO), for failing to kill Obamacare–and she’s on record opposing it.

She’s Friendly With Militia Members She Claims Not To Know

Boebert claimed not to have connections to militia members photographed with her at a rally, but more photos emerged showing that she’d known some of them for years.

She Hadn’t Paid Off Debts, As Claimed

In July of last year, Boebert’s campaign told The Denver Post it was unaware of past-due liens, but records show that her business actually owed over $19,000 to the state of Colorado at the time. The debt was paid off in October of 2020, according to records obtained by Colorado Newsline.

She Spread Falsehoods About Black Lives Matter

Boebert claimed Black Lives Matter protesters were bussed to Rifle for a rally last year. But there’s no evidence for this.

She Exaggerated Her Work in Prisons

Just last week, Colorado Newsline revealed that Boebert’s claim, delivered multiple times on the campaign trail, to have volunteered for seven years at a jail is contradicted by logs at the jail, which show her visiting there only nine times over two-and-a-half years.

She Says Teenage Servers Don’t Carry Guns at Her Grill, But One Did

Boebert once said underage servers at her restaurant, Shooters Grill, are not allowed to carry guns. But one 17-year-old server featured in a news report posted on Boebert’s website says Boebert “allows me to” carry a gun, even though it’s illegal in Colorado to do so.

Food Poisoning Not Her Fault, She Falsely Claims

Instead of accepting responsibility for sickening 80 people with tainted sliders at the Rifle Rodeo, Boebert blamed the problem with her sliders on fecal matter allegedly found in the bleachers, even after Garfield County had conducted an exhaustive investigation showing that Boebert’s sliders were the “culprit.”

She Was Arrested for Not Showing Up to Court, Not For Ticket

Boebert talks as if she was arrested because she didn’t pay a ticket, but police arrested her for not appearing in court. So her failure to show up to court multiple times was the cause. “I didn’t pay the ticket. But I got it paid. One hundred dollars. And I even got a pretty mugshot out of it,” she said.

$22,000 Worth of Miles Whittled Down After Scrutiny

Boebert told a conservative radio host she “absolutely” had documentation to prove she was owed over $22,000 for driving over 38,000 miles during her election campaign. Two weeks later, her campaign reduced the number of miles driven by 7,000 and added expenses for hotels.

Some of Boebert’s critics laughed when I told them I was summarizing the congresswoman’s challenges with telling the truth, saying the list would be too long for one article.

That’s because Boebert isn’t shy about making extreme statements, but her challenges with telling the truth show that she often goes too far and cooks up a Red Meat Whopper that’s actually rotten.

Or she’s forced to walk back dubious claims that might damage her.

Either way, it’s a pattern that goes beyond this week’s falsehood about why she decided to carry a gun.

Boebert Appears to Embrace Aide Who Left Her Campaign After Thanking God for Proud Boys

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Right-wing activist Sherronna Bishop was U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-CO) campaign manager when she ousted then-Congressman Scott Tipton in Colorado’s Republican primary in June.

But sometime after the primary, Bishop disappeared from Boebert’s campaign.

The exact date of her departure isn’t known, but she was gone by the time ABC News aired a story in October of 2020 headlined “GOP Candidate’s Former Campaign Chief: Thank God for the Proud Boys.”

The story revealed that in September of 2019, Bishop posted a video to her “America’s Mom” Facebook page showing Bishop interviewing a man identified as a member of the Proud Boys, a far-right white nationalist organization. She closes the interview with, “Thank God for you guys and the Proud Boys.”

ABC News reported,

“Boebert’s Communications Director Laura Carno responded by saying Bishop’s views ‘were not part of Lauren Boebert’s campaign.’ In a text message to ABC News, Bishop said she was no longer with the campaign. Neither she nor Carno would say when that occurred or if it changed in reaction to this story.”

Boebert’s campaign also told ABC that Boebert has “no connection whatsoever with the Proud Boys.”

Yet Boebert still appears to embrace Bishop (literally), as you can see in this Facebook photo posted by Bishop last month:

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Boebert Deserved Even More Than $22,260 for Mileage, Says Former Campaign Manager

(Moar miles! All the miles! No receipts necessary! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) actually deserves much more than the $22,260 she had initially paid herself for miles-driven during her successful election campaign, says her former campaign manager.

“The truth is, Congresswoman Boebert could have claimed even MORE miles!!!!” wrote Sherronna Bishop, who goes by “America’s Mom,” on Facebook Feb. 3.

Bishop’s Facebook post has surfaced just as Boebert’s office decreased the number of miles used to justify the congresswoman’s $22,260 reimbursement. The campaign added hotel expenses, which had not been previously included. The $22,260 Boebert paid herself, now including $17,280 for miles, remains the same.

“We drove 25,000 miles during the primary alone,” wrote Bishop on Facebook.

“The third district is massive,” wrote Bishop, who managed Boebert’s primary campaign. “5 hours one way to Pueblo, another 5 back up to Jackson County… then another 4 over to Cortez, CO. And these ‘circle back’ (sorry) trips happened weekly. For nine months. Then came the general election.”

Bishop didn’t say specifically how many more miles Boebert could have claimed, but at the Internal Revenue Services’ mileage reimbursement rate of 57.5 cents per mile, the Congresswoman could have asked for as much as $14,375 for the alleged 25,000 miles driven during the primary.

The primary took place June 30, and Boebert announced her campaign in early December, so she would have driven the 25,000 miles over an approximately seven-month primary period, not nine months as cited by Bishop.

I was unable to reach Bishop or Boebert, so it’s impossible to know how many of the alleged 25,000 miles Boebert paid herself for. Boebert claimed a mileage reimbursement check of $1,060 at the end of March, which would cover approximately 1,843 miles driven during the primary, leaving 23,157 miles that could have been driven between April 1 and the June 30 primary. Some of these remaining 23,157 miles, possibly driven from April through the June primary election, could have been included in her November reimbursement check of $21,200.

Reporters were unable to figure out how Boebert could have driven enough miles (approximately 38,870) to justify the $22,260 total reimbursements (in March and November), even without taking into account Bishop’s statement that the congresswoman actually under-reported her miles driven.

The congresswoman’s mileage payment is the subject of a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Still, Boebert and Bishop have both argued that criticism from reporters and ethics experts of the large reimbursement figure isn’t justified.

Bishop

“The bias, the slander, the false allegations. It’s disgusting, but not unexpected,” wrote Bishop on Facebook in reference to the criticism of Boebert’s $22,260 payment to herself.

For her part, Beobert had made no mention of hotel expenses in defending her $22,260 reimbursement, before her campaign reduced the miles and added the hotel costs.

“If someone official comes to you and says, ‘Can you show us where you kept records of your mileage,’ you got something you can hand them?” KHOW radio host Ross Kaminsky asked Boebert Feb. 11, before Boebert reduced the number of miles claimed.

“I absolutely have,” replied Boebert.

RELATED:We Had To Take the Long Way,’ says Boebert in Justifying in Explaining 22,259 Mileage Reimbursement.

According to the Federal Elections Committee (FEC), candidates do not need to provide receipts or other proof of travel when submitting reimbursements but must save receipts for their own records for three years following. Large travel expenses over $500 require a report including the name of the vendor.

Colo Times Recorder freelance writer Gabrielle Bye contributed to this posst.