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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Buck Says Steve House Would Be His GOP State Party CEO

If elected later this month to lead the Colorado Republican Party, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) would hand over the day-to-day strategic duties of the Republican Party to former Colorado GOP leader Steve House.

House, who resigned as GOP leader in 2016, would stand in for Buck as needed, and would, among other things run the “day to day operations of the party including working with county parties on development of plans and programs,” according to a memo sent by Buck to fellow Republicans, explaining how he would both serve as U.S. Congressman and leader of the Colorado GOP.

In addition to House as “Chief Executive Officer (CEO),” Buck would select an as-yet-unnamed “executive director” who would, among other things, be responsible for “daily operations of the [Colorado Republican Party] including but not limited to, accounting, bill paying, statutory meeting and assembly setup, and support of funding raising efforts as needed,” according to the memo.

House’s selection as possible CEO carries with it the ironic twist that House was nearly deposed by fellow Republicans Cynthia Coffman, Becky Mizel, and Tom Tancredo in 2015 in part, it appeared, for not selecting Ted Harvey to serve as executive director under him when he led the GOP. The incident included accusations of blackmail.

Buck’s memo states:

I choose to stand in service of my country and my party and to do so requires that I surround myself with great people so that we can be successful. I choose to do it because it must be done, not for my sake, but for our children’s sake and for their futures [emphasis is Buck’s].

If elected Chairman of the Colorado Republican Committee (CRC) I will utilize a new strategy for running the party that will lead to improved election performance at all levels in the state of Colorado. The CRC has had mixed performance on its primary objective of supporting Republican candidates in winning elections.

This organizational plan is not simply a change for 2020 but a change I recommend for all subsequent election cycles. Political organizations like the Republican Governors Association, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee operate the way I am proposing by having an elected official lead the organization with a primary focus on fundraising and then have senior staff run the day to day operations.

It appears that the GOP executive committee, meeting this weekend, must approve Buck’s propose changes.

Buck’s new plan comes as GOP leaders are arguing about the reasons for the GOP’s “mixed performance” in the last election, as Buck gently put it in his memo.

Former State Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton) was more blunt last month, calling the 2018 election work “some of the worst” he’s seen.

For his part, House, who once ran for governor, has been on conservative radio shows this week criticizing some the spending priorities and campaign tactics used by Republicans in the November election.

Speaking to guest host Randy Corporon on KNUS 710-AM Tuesday, House said he doesn’t believe that media advertising of the past will work today.

“Research was done in September of 2017 showing that media – especially television and mail media – are almost ineffective,” House told Corporon on air. “Seventy-one percent of people who see your TV ad can’t vote for you or wouldn’t vote for you. [Of] the other 29 percent, only a small fraction actually have their minds to be made up. Yet we spend blizzards of money on it. The same thing [pertains] on mail.”

Neville has criticized how outside Republican groups (The Senate Majority Fund, under Andy George; and the Colorado Economic Leadership Fund; as well as the GOP’s Independent Expenditure Committee) spent GOP funds in state senate races in 2018.

On air, House agreed with some of Neville’s criticisms.

“I mean, if you sat down with Tim Neville and looked at what was done in his district from multiple groups on the outside. I mean, 104 mailers [were sent]; a lot of them didn’t have common messaging,” said House, adding that the GOP losses had nothing to do with Trump.

“They just weren’t right. You can’t win by sitting back and hoping that the media is going to carry your message. You’ve got to go out and deliver it.  And you’ve got to have people identified that you’re going to give it to. And that’s where we’ve fallen short. And that’s why it’s so urgent that we get something started now for the 2020 election.”

House told Corporon that he continued working for the state party after he was replaced by Jeff Hays in 2016.

“I was actually in charge of – for quite some time, most of the last cycle – the fundraising effort for the Republican Party Independent Expenditure Committee,” said House on air, referring to the state GOP’s soft-side fundraising arm. “I think we raised around $3.8 to $3.9 million toward the 2018 elections. So, my daily life did involve, you know, donors, fundraising, pitching concepts and candidates across the state during that two year period when Jeff was Chair, as well.”

In another KNUS interview Thursday, on the Chuck and Julie Show, Steve House called in to object to accusations that House spent the Republican Party Independent Expenditure Committee’s (IEC) money on allegedly inept GOP consultants.

House said he didn’t make funding decisions for the IEC. The decisions on which GOP consultants to hire were made by the board of the IEC, which House did not sit on.

Asked by host Chuck Bonniwell if the IEC hired Clear Creek Strategies or EIS, House replied that IEC board chose Purple State, which was run by Andy George and Kelly Maher.

Co-host Julie Hayden, a former Fox 31 Denver reporter, pointed out that this looked the same as Clear Creek Strategies and Andy George.

This was confirmed later in the show when guest George Athanasopoulos pointed out that the GOP IEC paid Clear Creek Strategies over $750,000, according to state campaign finance records.

House later told me the issue for him is more about what gets done, not who does it.

“I’m a fairly large donor myself,” said House. “I think I spend over $40,000 in donations myself during the last cycle. I don’t want that money to go into the pockets of people who don’t have a pay-for-performance type plan or have a track record of winning. You know, if you are gong to give people money, you might as well burn it or give it to charity.”

“My take on it in the last cycle was, we needed to be using digital more,” House said. “If you look at the data..there are a very small number of people are what you’d call a persuadable-Unaffiliated voter. Most Unaffiliated voters know what they want. Some of them are persuadable on an issue. But the best way to get to them is not to run a TV ad or send them a hundred mail pieces. It’s talking to them or engaging them, or more importantly, engaging them on an issue that’s really important to them. And then they will stand up and take notice. Those are the kind of changes that have to be made. I think the Democrats did a much better job of it than we did. And clearly, we are going to recognize that and make some changes.”

 

Memo from Ken Buck to members of the Colorado Republican Party Executive Committee.

People ask me why I want to lead the Colorado Republican Committee, why I would take on two jobs and how I could do that while supporting my constituents in both roles.

Let me start by quoting Thomas Paine who said: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of this country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

I choose to stand in service of my country and my party and to do so requires that I surround myself with great people so that we can be successful. I choose to do it because it must be done, not for my sake, but for our children’s sake and for their futures.

If elected Chairman of the Colorado Republican Committee (CRC) I will utilize a new strategy for running the party that will lead to improved election performance at all levels in the state of Colorado. The CRC has had mixed performance on its primary objective of supporting Republican candidates in winning elections.

This organizational plan is not simply a change for 2020 but a change I recommend for all subsequent election cycles. Political organizations like the Republican Governors Association, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee operate the way I am proposing by having an elected official lead the organization with a primary focus on fundraising and then have senior staff run the day to day operations.

The duty of the Chairman is to win elections and accomplish this objective by modifying the party structure and attracting a team of great people as outlined below.

My organization Plan:

The State Party’s role in winning elections in Colorado requires that the Chairman focus on raising money to support programs including:

    • Voter Registration and Voter Identification
    • Republican oriented messaging and defining our opponents
    • Turnout work to get voters engaged
    • Volunteer program development and performance
    • Statutory requirements must be completed.

To accomplish these goals and to improve our performance, I believe we need to add a support structure to the party that includes a volunteer CEO to run the day to day operations of the party and other targeted outreach groups as shown on the organizational chart included.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Chairman – Congressman Ken Buck

  • Reports to the executive committee and by extension to the State Central Committee. Primary roles and responsibilities include raising money into the State Party accounts and into the IEC to achieve objectives and meet the requirements agreed upon with the Executive Committee per party bylaws.
  • Messaging through the support of the communications director on a daily weekly and monthly basis to insure performance.
  • Establish goals, timelines and metrics for the CEO and staff.
  • Hold monthly meetings to monitor progress, re-evaluate goals, and allocate resources.

CEO – Steve House

House is the former CRC State Chairman, Adams County Chairman, business owner, and consultant. Steve House and all outreach and social media directors will functions as volunteers.

  • Reports to the Chairman and is governed by all CRC bylaws regardless of the fact that this role is not defined in the bylaws.
  • Runs the day to day operations of the party including working with county parties on development of plans and programs.
  • Works with new county chairman to develop them and their county strategy.
  • Supports fund raising in coordination with the Chairman and specifically is responsible for digital, mail, and low dollar fund raising.
  • Interfaces with RNC ground operations and supports candidates across all offices in the state including federal candidates as needed.
  • Insures that all statutory requirements of the party are completed fully and on time.
  • Works with targeted precinct leaders in critically important areas in support of their county leadership and candidates.
  • Attends functions in the absence of the Chairman whenever necessary.
  • Works with Vice Chairman and Secretary on development of their role and responsibilities.
  • Interfaces with the executive committee as needed.
  • Works with all appointed committees on behalf of the Chairman.

Executive Director

  1. Reports to the CEO and indirectly to the Chairman and to the Treasurer.
  2. Responsible for daily operations of the CRC including but not limited to, accounting, bill paying, statutory meeting and assembly setup, and support of funding raising efforts as needed.
  3. Develop training manuals for County leadership and volunteer programs.
  4. Interface with the State Director of the RNC and manage communications processes through the RNC State Communications Director.
  5. Prepares all statutory documentation and reporting for the Secretary of State and the executive committee as required.
  6. Supports the Vice Chairman and State Secretary as required.

Communications Director

  1. Position to be paid by the RNC but would coordinate all communications from the State Chairman to the media.
  2. Monitors communication from the democrat party and all their candidates and elected officials.
  3. Consults with the RNC, Federal Candidates, and the Presidential campaign to insure message cohesion and discipline.

Treasurer

  1. Reports to the Chairman and works closely with the CEO and the Executive Committee.
  2. Performs all statutory duties as required.

Committees — The following committees will be included but do not have individuals named in most cases.

  • Finance Committee – Will be co-chaired by a highly respected man and woman with a business background and fundraising experience. Team will have 4-6 individuals to support fund raising and reports directly to the Chairman.
  • Outreach Committee – Will be led by a director to be chosen and its’ primary function is to identify, register and engage targeted voters to support Republican candidates.
  • Social Media Committee – Will be led by a director and include a team of individuals to coordinate with the Communications director, CEO, and Chairman to engage a broad spectrum of voters and donors through social media interaction.

I will continue to refine this Organizational Plan, recruit the best talent and develop goals as we approach the March 30 meeting.

Your feedback is essential for our success.

Please feel free to contact me… Thank you for your support and encouragement.

For Colorado,

Ken Buck

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Gardner’s Stance On North Korea Appears To Evolve As his Relationship With Trump Changes

(Like everything else – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner.

It appears that Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s stance on North Korea evolves in different directions due to political, rather than national security, considerations.

When he was in full attack mode against Obama, Gardner took the hardest of hard-line stances on North Korea, denouncing a minor move by the Obama Administration, under its “strategic patience” approach, to communicate with the North Korea regime.

Then, as he cozied up to Trump, Gardner flipped and supported the president’s gentler approach, culminating in a summit.

Now, as he’s facing a tough re-election bid and he’s trying to both embrace and repel the president a bit more, Gardner is returning to a hard line stance.

Trump, Gardner, and Domestic Politics

About a year ago, when Trump announced a summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Gardner, who was wooing Trump as he led the GOP’s campaign to elect Republican U.S. senators, welcomed Trump’s summit, saying it was a “certainly a positive move” for Trump to enter into talks with North Korea, even if it should be taken with a big grain of salt.

That raised eyebrows from national security wonks, because back in 2016 Gardner said he was “extremely” disappointed with Obama for reportedly engaging in low-level talks with North Korea without insisting on “tough” preconditions, like ending its nuclear missile program. And soon after Trump was elected, Gardner had warned against any talks without preconditions.

Gardner’s never explained why his stance on North Korea had morphed into a softer approach.

(more…)

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Gardner Criticized Obama for “Circumvention of Congress”

Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)

(Consistently inconsistent  — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), who’s currently deciding whether he supports Trump’s national-emergency declaration, once opposed an Obama action because Gardner thought it represented an unacceptable abuse of power by the president.

Gardner voted to block Obama’s 2014 DACA initiative protecting “Dreamers” from deportation.

Gardner said at the time that he voted against Obama’s DACA program because he wanted “to condemn the President’s circumvention of Congress,” but he still wanted to find a solution for the Dreamers, who’ve been brought to the U.S. as children and know no other country, besides America, as home.

Fox 31 Denver’s Eli Stokols reported in 2014:

Gardner immediately released a statement following the vote [against DACA], explaining that he opposes the president’s unilateral action but not comprehensive immigration reform overall.
“Recently, the President issued an executive order that circumvented Congress and asserted power he previously said he doesn’t have,” Gardner said in the statement. “Today the House voted on a bill to condemn the President’s circumvention of Congress.

So today, Gardner favors building a border wall, and may support extreme presidential action to get it done. In 2014, Gardner said he supported the Dreamers but opposed Obama’s DACA policy.

A call to Gardner’s office seeking to know why he saw DACA as an unacceptable circumvention of Congress, while he doesn’t necessarily see Trump’s emergency declaration the same way, was not returned.

What’s the difference between Obama’s executive action on DACA and Trump’s?

In short, Obama’s move was well within bounds set by previous presidents, while Trump’s national emergency goes beyond anything seen in America. It’s not known if it’s legal, but it’s an outlier in terms of asserting presidential power.

(more…)

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Radio Host Kaminsky Says GOP “Basically” Lied about Overdose-Prevention Program

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

One of Colorado’s top Republicans is crediting conservative radio station KNUS for being instrumental in stopping a program aimed at saving the lives of drug addicts.

But another conservative host at a competing radio station is calling out Colorado Republicans for “basically” lying in an effort to “turn people against” safe injection sites, where addicts can use street-purchased drugs under the supervision of medical personnel.

“I saw an email that was going around from the Republican Party in the state of Colorado…that was exceptionally misleading in the data that they used to try to turn people against Safe Injection Sites,” said KHOW 630-AM morning host Ross Kaminsky Feb. 20. “But basically, they lied to do it. So that bothers me.”

Kaminsky, a Libertarian, said on air that he pays “very, very close attention” to “making sure data is properly used and read the proper way.”

The radio host didn’t say which specific GOP email he was referring to, but Colorado Republican Party sent an email Feb. 4 promoting what turned out to be an extremely misleading presentation on safe injection sites with speakers from KNUS 710-AM,

The GOP email stated:

  • Since Vancouver’s first injection site in 2003, British Columbia’s overdose deaths have increased by more than 725%.
  • Overdose deaths of British Columbians 10 – 18 years old are up 260%.
  • The number of heroin users in Vancouver is up from 4,700 overall in 2000 to over 7,300 at just one of the six injection sites in 2017.

“And one of the things that – unfortunately – the state GOP sent out was something saying – among other things –that there was a huge increase in overdose deaths in Vancouver after the Safe Injection Site was opened in 2003. And if you just read that literally, it’s true: there was a huge spike in overdose deaths after 2003 when this site was opened. The thing is, it wasn’t immediately after 2003. There wasn’t a huge spike in overdose deaths until, like, 2011, at least. So, when this site opened in 2003, there was no noticeable change in overdose deaths for the entire state of British Columbia […] for quite a few years.”

In an email to a listener, Kaminsky agreed with experts who say the spike in overdose deaths is due to the use of Fentanyl from China. He cited overdose data and wrote:

Kaminsky: “So it’s true that deaths are way up since 2003. But they were not up in any significant way from 2003 to 2010. So attributing the increase to SIS is a lie. Furthermore, heroin use is up everywhere in recent years.”

On his Next with Kyle Clark Show Feb. 19, 9News anchor Kyle Clark asked Colorado’s Republican House Minority Leader, Patrick Neville, about the data that Neville and other Republicans had been using in their anti-SIS campaign.

(more…)

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Neville Says Election Work by GOP Groups Was “Some of the Worst” He’s Seen

(Do tell – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former State Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton) blames his loss in November’s election, in part, on “some of the worst execution” he’s seen by fellow Republicans who ran separate campaigns in support of Neville.

Emphasizing that he did the “things a candidate can do,” Neville told KNUS Saturday that outside groups launched ineffective advertising and messaging campaigns, including lousy mailers.

“It was extremely frustrating as a candidate to watch these [mailers] hit and have people call me and say, ‘Why are we getting all these mailers. They’ve got beauty shots of all your opponents on them. What’s going on?'” Neville told KNUS host Randy Corporon, saying it would have been illegal for him to tell the Senate Majority Fund and Colorado independent expenditure committees to bug off. [listen below]

On the radio, Neville named the Senate Majority Fund in particular, which until recently had been run by Andy George of Clear Creek Strategies. New Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert replaced George with former GOP state party spokesman Daniel Cole last week.

In addition to the Senate Majority Fund, the Colorado Economic Leadership Fund and the Colorado Republican Committee IE, among others, also spent money on Neville’s behalf.

Neville pointed to one mailed advertisement that was “apparently bankrolled by Colorado Concern, Mike Kopp’s group.” The deceptive mailer was paid for by an independent expenditure committee called the Business Opportunity Fund, with major money from Larry Mizel of MDC Holdings.

“It has a big picture, and it says Neville and Hickenlooper, working together for Colorado’s economy,” complained Neville on air, saying he got complaints that he was making it look like he was endorsed by Hickenlooper.

Neville contrasted the election work of Colorado Concern, the Senate Majority Fund, and other GOP groups with that of his son, Joseph Neville, who conducted independent campaigns (via Values First Colorado, Coloradans for Secure Borders and the Colorado Liberty PAC) in support of GOP candidates running for the state house.

Joseph Neville, who came under recent attack for his campaign decisions, manages the consulting company Rearden Strategic.

“I’m definitely proud of Joseph, and what he did and what he does to help candidates–and to effectively do things,” said Tim Neville, also praising his other son, Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock, for “definitely fighting the good fight.”

Tim Neville, whose election loss helped Democrats take over Colorado state government, believes his campaign did everything it could do to win on the fundraising and mobilization side, saying he personally knocked on 18,000 doors, he said, and his campaign knocked on 25,000.

Neville did not reserve his criticism to fellow Republicans.

He was particularly upset at attacks from allies of Democrats that portrayed him as raking in big money from oil-and-gas interests, which also supported groups allied with Democrats.

“We don’t live in fancy houses and gated communities,” Neville told Corporon.

“Those that know me know pretty much how we live and how hard we work and what we do and how we serve the community,” said Neville.

As for future elections, Neville said Republicans need to improve their ground game and make sure they know where their donations are going, “before they give money.”

(more…)

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Gardner’s Hail Mary: Please, Colorado, Start Liking Trump

(Not a great plan — promoted by Colorado Pols)

Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has one dim path to retaining his seat in next year’s election: Hope like heck that President Trump becomes popular in Colorado.

Oh, there’s another way too: if Trump isn’t on the 2020 ballot, but let’s just call that impossible.

But who would deny that there’s a chance, even if it’s minuscule, that Trump’s fortunes could start to rise? It could happen.

And Gardner knows it.

That’s why he was on KNUS radio last week saying:

Gardner: “We’ve got to make sure we have an opportunity for the American people to get to like the president. And I think they like his policies. I think they do.”

People like Trump’s policies? On Healthcare? Taxes? Environment? Mostly not, actually.

But in some of the most depressing news in months, polls showed more people thought favorably of Trump after his State of the Union Address speech Feb. 5.

And 57 percent of independent voters who watched the speech had a very positive view of it—along with 87 percent of Republicans.

Speech watchers tilted conservative but still.

And what if Trump took the hint and started acting like someone more people could actually like?

Gardner’s not waiting for Trump to change. The Colorado Republican has already made it clear how much he likes the president.

Immediately after November’s election, Gardner said he’d “like to see the president come to Colorado.”

Then last month, Gardner endorsed Trump’s 2020 re-election bid.

Some political observers were so stunned by Gardner’s endorsement of Trump that they speculated Gardner might be setting himself up to drop out of the race for a “high dollar” private-sector job.

But if Gardner has shown Colorado one thing, it is that he’s as savvy as it gets when it comes to supporting personhood, I mean, when it comes to winning elections.

(more…)

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Buck Amps Up The Extremism During Campaign To Be State GOP Chair

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

To get a sense of just how deep the partisan divide goes in Colorado, take a look at Ken Buck, who’s running in an obscure election to lead the Colorado Republican Party.

Buck is already known nationally as a leader of the U.S. House Freedom Caucus, a group of the most conservative Congresspeople, unafraid to drive fellow conservatives nuts with their ideological stands on immigration, healthcare, guns, and more.

In recent days, Buck is speaking up here in Colorado, apparently hoping Republican voters are listening.

Buck is adamantly opposing legislation that would require criminal background checks when you transfer a gun to non-family member, even if you know the person (family members are excluded).

Bucks says this wouldn’t allow a priest from seeing “someone that might hurt himself and [saying], ‘Give me that gun.'”

But, Buck objects, the law would stop a foster parent from giving his or her foster child a gun.

Ironic, says Buck, because Democratic policies have “caused the breakdown of the family in this country.”

“And those people that are really suffering as a result of Democratic policies — the War on Poverty has created more poverty – that those people (foster children) that are suffering as a result of Democratic policies now, are going to be prosecuted under this law,” Buck told KHOW’s Krista Kafer.

“Democrats’ hypocrisy knows no bounds!”

Buck likes to talk about hypocrisy. He’s written a book about Washington D.C. that’s overflowing with the word.

But that didn’t stop Buck this week from coming out in favor of Trump’s state of emergency, even though Buck went on and on, for years, about the horrors of Obama’s alleged executive overreach to, among other things, stop the deportation young immigrants who came here as kids and know no other country as their home but America.

“It’s a failure of Congress, certainly,” Buck told KOA, in explaining his support of the state of emergency. “The fact that the Congress is not recognizing the terrible situation we have in this country with heroin, the fact that this Congress is not recognizing the terrible situation we have with transnational gangs that are crossing our southern border, I think is a failure. I think the emergency is that Congress is not acting when it knows the facts.”

But, as has been reported over and over again, the reality and the facts about immigration don’t support Trump’s cry for a wall–or Buck’s.

But will Colorado Republicans, as they vote for their state leader, shun Buck’s hypocrisy or lap it up? Hint: Why did Walker Stapleton woo Tom Tancredo?

(more…)

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Cory Gardner Wants YOU To Like Donald Trump

(What more can we add? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Trump (left) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, said yesterday that he likes Trump and wants to give the American people “an opportunity” to get to like him too.

“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 yesterday. “And I think they like his policies. I think they do.”

Gardner’s positive comments about Trump are mostly consistent with what Colorado’s junior senator has said since the midterms, not only endorsing Trump but also saying he’d “like to see the president come to Colorado.”

He’s also said, as he did on the radio yesterday, saying, “I’m going to agree with Donald Trump; I’m going to disagree with Donald Trump.”

Gardner predicted Trump will win in 2020, but it’s “going to be a tough fight.”

“I’m going to be about optimism,” said Gardner in a conversation about his plan to “take our record of accomplishment on the road” in his 2020 compaign.

Gardner has has had a bumpy attitude toward Trump over the years.

“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. And I think they like his policies. I think they do.”

— Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)

Gardner called Trump a “buffoon in 2015,” but he said in March of 2016 that he’d vote for the mogul after he was asked seven times in a row by the Wall Street Journal whether he’d do so. A few months later, after Trump’s infamous pussy-grabbing comment come to light, Gardner said flatly, “I will not vote for Donald Trump.”

Gardner now has a 90 percent lifetime pro-Trump voting record.

Prior to appearing on the show, KNUS’ Randy Corporon complained that. for years, Gardner had refused to appear on his KNUS show.

At the beginning of the interview, Tubbs promised to vote for Gardner.

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Author, Whose Book Linked Race To Intelligence, Speaks Tonight At Christian University

(The company you keep – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Charles Murray.

Conservative Charles Murray, best known as the author of the Bell Curve, long viewed as promoting racism, speaks tonight at Colorado Christian University (CCU).

Murray, who now works for the ultra-conservative American Enterprise Institute, will talk about his new book, Coming Apart, which Brigham Young University Professor Brad Cox called, a “sobering portrait of a nation where millions of people are losing touch with the founding virtues that have long lent American lives purpose, direction, and happiness,” according to a news release from the CCU’s Centennial Institute.

Murray’s book, the Bell Curve, coauthored with the late Richard J. Herrnstein, linked race to intelligence, drawing protests since it was published in 1994. Specifically, it argued that genetic differences partially explain why African-Americans are less intelligent than white Americans.

The event takes place tonight at Colorado Christian University at 7 p.m. in Leprino Hall, Room 170. RSVP here. It’s free.

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Gardner Snarls At Women Who Cheered During Trump Speech

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner  thinks it was self-serving of Congresswomen to stand up and cheer during Trump’s State-of-the-Union speech Tuesday after the President said, “No one has benefited more from a thriving economy than women who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year.”

Asked by KDMT radio host Jimmy Sengenberger about the Democrats, led by white-garbed women, who were standing up and cheering, Gardner snarled that the lawmakers didn’t cheer for Hispanics or African Americans, but “they did cheer for themselves.”

GARDNER:  You know, when it comes to the cheer leading in the middle of the State of the Union, look, they didn’t applaud unemployment levels in African American populations. They didn’t applaud unemployment levels when it comes to [the] Hispanic population in the United States. They didn’t applaud the fact that we’re going to fight against socialism. But they did applaud themselves. And I think that’s pretty telling of what we saw at the State of the Union.

“That is a very strong point, I think,” responded Sengenberger.

Gardner’s office did not return a call seeking to know if he thinks Democratic women care more about themselves than they care about Hispanics and African Americans, and, if so, why?

And does Gardner think Republican lawmakers like him are less generally self-centered and more caring people than Democrats?

Gardner’s did not answer those questions left on his office voicemail.

Gardner criticized the cheering, but Trump was more gracious at the time, saying when the applause subsided, “That’s great. Really great. And congratulations. That’s great.”

(more…)

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Will Gardner’s Endorsement Of Trump Muzzle His GOP Critics?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A longtime nonpartisan political analyst predicted Monday that Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s endorsement of Trump has “shut the door” on any efforts to primary the first-term Republican prior to his expected re-election bid in 2020.

Sen. Gardner and Trump on Air Force One

In an appearance on Colorado Public Radio Monday, Jennifer Duffy, a senior editor at the Cook Political Report, had this to say about Gardner’s endorsement of Trump:

“I think [Gardner], one: endorsed the inevitable, but two: he also sent a message to Trump supporters in the state that he was with the president because – as a lot of Republicans learned in 2018 – to be against the president is to pretty much earn yourself a primary opponent,” said Duffy. “So he shut that door.”

Since Gardner took office, he has faced livid attacks from base Republicans, who see him as mealy-mouthed and have floated the name of State Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) as a great choice to challenge Gardner in a primary. Earlier this year, GOP gadflys, like Marc Zarlengo, and others, called for someone to challenge Gardner.

But Gardner’s endorsement of Trump could indeed help stave off a primary challenge, said Steve Barlock, who led the Trump campaign in Denver.

“Cory had only only one way to protect himself, and that was to endorse Trump,” said Barlock, adding that the “Trump base” in Colorado was completely infuriated at Gardner’s path-breaking decision to support ending the partial government shutdown without funding a border wall.

Gardner needs to support Trump “100 percent” going forward, said Barlock.

“It will be, ‘Cory, did you do everything for Trump? We’re voting for you. If you didn’t do everything for Trump, you’re on your own, buddy,'” said Barlock.

KNUS 710-AM radio host Julie Hayden says Gardner’s endorsement of Trump isn’t very meaningful to Republicans who don’t trust Gardner, but this doesn’t mean a primary is likely or would be successful.

“Cory Gardner’s endorsement of Trump does not do a heck of a lot right now to impress the Republicans who have had concerns about Gardner,” said Hayden. “From my point of view, Cory Gardner seems to flip flop and endorse Trump when he thinks it’s good for him. So I don’t think people like me are swayed by [Gardner endorsing Trump].”

In fact, Gardner, who called Trump a “buffoon in 2015,” said in March of 2016 that he’d vote for the mogul after he was asked seven times in a row by the Wall Street Journal whether he’d do so. A few months later, after Trump’s infamous pussy-grabbing comment come to light, Gardner said flatly, “I will not vote for Donald Trump.”

“I cannot and will not support someone who brags about degrading and assaulting women,” Gardner said at the time, promising to vote for Mike Pence instead.

Gardner now has a 90 percent lifetime pro-Trump voting record, which has fallen to 50 percent pro-Trump during the current congressional session.

“People like me are going to be keeping a very close eye on what Cory Gardner says and does,” said Hayden, who’s a former reporter at Fox 31 Denver.

Hayden added that, while she likes other Republicans more than Gardner on the issues, the chances of anyone mounting a successful primary challenge against Gardner are extremely low, given his likely financial advantage.

Gardner followed his Trump endorsement last week with a rare visit to a Republican organizational meeting in Adams County, according to local GOP district captain Ben Nicholas, speaking to Hayden on KNUS Monday.

Gardner surprised Adams GOP attendees by “finally” appearing at the meeting, after six years of “avoiding us like the plague,” said Nicholas on air.

This could be another signal, in addition to his unexpected Trump endorsement, that Gardner is trying head off a conservative primary challenge before it starts frothing at the mouth in public.

Shortly after the November election, GOP pollster David Flaherty said Gardner could “very well” face a primary challenge, but it would have a “minuscule” chance of success.

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Overwhelming ‘Love And Support’ For Student Who Spoke Out Against Catholic ‘Conversion Therapy’ Initiative

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A Denver high school student, who’s Catholic and gay, has received “overwhelming” messages of “love and support,” after his opinion article, objecting to a Catholic-Church initiative to “heal” LGBTQ people, went viral.

The intense response to Johnny Hultzapple’s essay caused the Colorado Times Recorder’s website to crash last week, ultimately bringing a quarter million viewers to read the article.

“People are thanking me, apologizing to me on behalf of the church, stating their support for me, and recounting personal experiences that are similar to mine,” wrote Hultzapple when asked about the response to his article. “I have received messages from gay people and straight people, from Catholics and non-Catholics, and from people of all different religious and LGBTQ identities. I’ve received messages from priests, nuns, authors, broadway performers, professors, teachers, people of all professions. I’ve received messages from people not only all over the country, but from all over the world. My article was translated into Portuguese and Spanish. Today I even received a nice letter, a t-shirt and lanyard from a Catholic university in Minnesota.

“Interestingly, all of these positive responses share the same sentiment: it is time for the Catholic church to start truly loving and accepting LGBTQ individuals in the same way that Jesus would/does. I think many Catholics are ready to fully accept the LGBTQ community but are held back by the archaic views of the institution of the Church.

“Incredibly Grateful”

Hultzapple wrote about how thankful he is for the support.

“I am in awe of the attention my article has received, and I am so incredibly grateful for everyone’s kind and supportive responses,” he continued. “I have been printing them out and reading them over and over again. These messages give me hope for a better and brighter future. I hope others will join me in speaking up for the truth. I am ready to fight for the love and acceptance of all people.”

With emails and texts arriving during his classes at South High School and his Model-United Nations competitions, Hultzapple found time to read his article for a TV news story, headlined “Gay Denver teen pens essay after archdiocese invites controversial host to gender matters conference,” on Denver’s ABC affiliate.

In the TV piece, Mark Haas, a spokesman for the Denver Archdiocese, said the conference was “full of love” and “full of compassion,” and “somehow that message has been completely changed.”

Haas said the conference did not use the words “conversion therapy.”

(more…)

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Nomination Of Former Oil Industry Lawyer Is “Fantastic News For Colorado,” Says Gardner

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

Reactions diverged wildly today to Trump’s nomination of Colorado native and former oil industry lobbyist David Bernhardt for Secretary of Interior, with a leader of a Denver-based environmental group calling Bernhardt an “affront to America’s parks and public lands” and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner saying his appointment is “fantastic news for Colorado.”

“I’ve known David Bernhardt for many years and have worked closely with him over the last two years to advance Colorado priorities,” Gardner, a Republican, said in a statement. “As a native Coloradan from the Western Slope, David knows how important public lands are to our state and has a keen understanding of the issues Coloradans face every day. From moving the Bureau of Land Management to the West to promoting conservation programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Coloradans will be lucky to have David lead our Interior Department. I look forward to supporting him throughout the confirmation process.”

During his tenure at Denver law firm  Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Bernhardt served as a lawyer for oil and gas companies, which is one reason Jennifer Rokala, Director of the Center for Western Priorities, said Bernhardt shouldn’t be confirmed.

“David Bernhardt’s nomination is an affront to America’s parks and public lands,” said Rokala in a statement. “As an oil and gas lobbyist, Bernhardt pushed to open vast swaths of public lands for drilling and mining. As deputy secretary, he was behind some of the worst policy decisions of Secretary Zinke’s sad tenure, including stripping protections for imperiled wildlife. Bernhardt even used the government shutdown to approve drilling permits for companies linked to his former clients.”

Rokala’s statement directed reporters to a list of actions Bernhardt is undertaking at the request of oil and gas companies that he’s allegedly represented in some way and represent conflicts of interest.

“As senators consider Bernhardt’s nomination, it’s crucial they remember that the ongoing investigations into Ryan Zinke’s conduct intersect with policies that David Bernhardt has helped enact. Otherwise, we’ll see another Interior secretary fall into the same ethical abyss that ended Ryan Zinke’s political career. If a walking conflict of interest like David Bernhardt gets confirmed, oversight and true transparency will be more important than ever.”

Bernhardt is currently deputy Secretary of Interior, and would replace Ryan Zinke, who was praised by Colorado Republicans not long before he resigned under pressure and amid ethics investigations.

ColoradoPolitics reported today:

He met Zinke when he volunteered to help with the Trump transition team, then helped prepare Zinke for his confirmation hearings as Interior secretary.

Both of Colorado’s U.S. senators — Republican Cory Gardner and Democrat Michael Bennet — voted to confirm Bernhardt as deputy Interior secretary in July 2017, but most of Bennet’s Democratic colleagues opposed the nominee, as did several environmental groups. The confirmation vote was 53-43

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In Blaming Democrats For The Government Shutdown, Gardner Misled Reporters About A Previous U.S. Senate Vote

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

During the recent government shutdown, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) blamed Democrats for the impasse, and essentially called them hypocrites, because they’d voted last year for a $25 billion bipartisan compromise that included funds for a border wall.

And therefore, Gardner said repeatedly, Democrats should have no problem approving over $5 billion for a wall this time around.

For example, Gardner told FOX News’ “Fox and Friends” in December:

“Months ago [U.S. Senate Democrats] supported $25 billion in border security funding. Now they support less than a fifth of that. This is a massive cut in border security that the Democrats are now proposing…” “I don’t think it’s a stretch to say, ‘Just a few months ago, you agreed to $25 billion in border security; why are you trying to cut border security now?’ And I hope they will agree, ‘Yes, let’s get this done.'”

But in saying this, Gardner repeatedly misled reporters, because the $25 billion bipartisan border-security deal, approved in February of last year in a 54-45 U.S. Senate vote, also included a 12-year path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants.

It’s glaring manipulation for Gardner to leave this out, given how important a path to citizenship has been for Democrats and Dreamers.

In January, toward the end of the recent shutdown, Trump offered Democrats a border-security deal that included some relief for young undocumented immigrants facing deportation.

But the deal offered by Trump had no path to citizenship for Dreamers, instead offering three years of protection from deportation for fewer immigrants than the February, 2017, package that was supported by U.S. Senate Democrats.

In fact, Trump’s offer toward the end of the shutdown didn’t do much for young immigrants, who are barred from deportation anyway pending court decisions.

But Gardner continued to be relentless, on multiple media platforms, in insisting that Democrats had once supported the Trump deal that was on the table.

In mid-January, Gardner said on KVOR’s Jeff Crank Show (at 1 min 30 sec):

“Just a few months ago, we had $25 billion worth of border security that both Democrats and Republicans voted for.”

Again, in this interview and others, he didn’t mention that the deal included a path to citizenship for Dreamers.

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