Gardner Likely to Vote with Republicans on Impeachment, Say Political Observers

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This article, which originally appeared in the Colorado Times Recorder, was written by Jake Maher.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

As the impeachment trial begins in the Senate today, the scrutiny on Colorado’s Cory Gardner grows.

Speculation has filled a vacuum left by the Republican senator himself, who has made few statements to the press about how he views the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, in which he is now a juror.  And Gardner himself couldn’t be reached to explain his stance.

Among experts on Colorado politics, though, the consensus is clear: Gardner can be expected to fall in line with the Republican caucus, except for the possibility of voting for some witnesses or a similar concession, if it’s done with a group of GOP senators.

In the words of Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute: “He’s a partisan.”

“I would be very surprised, at least knowing what we know now, if Gardner defects from his party’s line on the final impeachment vote,” Kyle Saunders, a professor of political science at Colorado State University, wrote in an email.

Miles Coleman, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, wrote that he “wouldn’t expect Gardner to deviate from the Republican leadership.”

Gardner himself became a member of the Senate’s Republican leadership in 2016, and he currently serves as deputy whip.

A Possibility of a Smaller Act of Rebellion

As senator of a purple state, simply following the Republican party line may be too divisive of a political tack, and some experts saw the possibility of a smaller act of rebellion via a vote on allowing additional witness testimony—but only if the crowd is already moving that way anyway.

“If there is a vote taken on witnesses, and it appears that a majority supports limited witnesses, I could see Gardner making the calculus to support something like that, but only if it’s some sort of limited scenario,” wrote Saunders. “I don’t see Gardner supporting a free-for-all ‘as many witnesses as can be called’ scenario unless things are going very badly for Trump.”

“And it’s still not likely that it will go badly for Trump with Leader McConnell running point,” wrote Saunders.

According to Ornstein, he’s likely to follow the lead set by Senator Susan Collins of Maine and allow a few more witnesses, including Hunter and Joe Biden, and possibly reprimand the president.

But ultimately, “people don’t vote alone,” according to Seth Masket, a political scientist at the University of Denver. “[Gardner is] not going to stand that far out.”

Democratic political consultant Steve Welchert said Gardner is already “off-script” in his public communications on the Senate trial by not defending Trump more aggressively, besides calling the House impeachment vote a “total circus.”

Some experts said this tactic—maintaining a neutral public image while reliably voting along party lines—has been a characteristic of Gardner’s style of politics since the beginning of his term.

Ornstein noted that No Labels rated Gardner a “moderate” during his 2014 election, as he billed himself a solutions-oriented “problem solver” at the time.

“There is nothing in the record—no votes—to suggest he is a moderate,” he said.

A similar scenario played out during the Senate votes to repeal Obamacare in 2017, when Gardner’s noncommittal public statements cane in advance of repeated votes in favor of repeal.

Gardner “will signal open-mindedness, but is likely to vote with the rest of his caucus,” said Masket.

According to Coleman, Gardner’s voting record as a whole demonstrates his adherence to the Republican agenda at all turns, his public statements notwithstanding.

“He voted for both Trump’s Supreme Court picks, the GOP tax bill, ACA repeal, and was supportive of the President’s emergency border declaration last year,” he wrote.

“Throughout his tenure, on the big votes, he usually seems more like a senator from deep red Wyoming instead of a light blue state like Colorado,” said Coleman.

CORRECTION: Gardner remains on the U.S. Senate leadership team, currently serving as deputy whip. Due to an editing error, this post initially stated that he was no longer a GOP Senate leader.


Gardner Erases His Opposition to Obamacare from his Campaign Website

(Shaking the Etch-a-Sketch – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R), holding a Sham-Wow.

In a little-noticed change to the “Health Care” section of his new re-election campaign website, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has removed any mention of his stance in favor repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

That’s a major shift in campaign tactics for Gardner, who made killing Obamacare a major theme of his political campaigns, first for the U.S. House in 2010 and then for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

“Cory has been a leader in modernizing our health care system, lowering costs, and improving the quality of care for Coloradans,” states the new website, which was changed sometime since November. “He understands any health care plan needs to cover pre-existing conditions and must be a part of any plan he will support.”

Contrast this to Gardner’s stance on health care when he was running against Democrat Mark Udall in 2014, when not only did Gardner’s campaign website call for repealing the “misguided” ACA, but it was the centerpiece of his entire campaign, his reason for entering the race.

“Throughout his time in Congress, Cory has voiced his strong opposition to Obamacare and the premium increases, thousands of pages in new regulations, and burdensome mandates it creates,” states Gardner’s 2014 campaign website, courtesy of the Way Back Machine. “…He supports legislation that repeals this misguided law and replaces it with a solution that allows the purchase of insurance across state lines, bolsters state high-risk pools to provide for those with pre-existing conditions, and enacts badly needed tort reform to reduce medical costs, among other ideas.”

Health care analysts believe Gardner’s campaign is trying to hide or downplay the senator’s longstanding opposition to the ACA, in light of the fact that the popularity of Obamacare was at a low point when Gardner was elected to the Senate, and it’s at a near high point now.

“Gardner is trying to erase his history of voting to repeal the ACA in 2017 and well before,” said Adam Fox, Director of Strategic Engagement for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “He knows that Coloradans will not look favorably on it, and it damages his chances of re-election. He’s just trying to obscure the way he consistently votes, because it’s politically inconvenient for him.”

Gardner’s office did not return a call asking if he no longer wants to kill Obamacare and/or if he plans to remove references to repealing the ACA from his Senate website.



Colo Lawmaker Introduces Anti-Vaccination Bill in Name of Consumer Protection

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This article, which originally appeared in the Colorado Times Recorder, was written by Noah Zucker.

After Tuesday’s vaccine-oriented rally in front of the Colorado State Capitol, a few parents and some of their school-age children filled a committee room in the ornate building’s basement for a town-hall meeting, organized by state Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs), to discuss his proposed legislation, called the Vaccine Consumer Protection bill.

Many at Tuesday’s rally held anti-vaccine signs

“If families believe that [vaccination is] a benefit to them, then so be it – take it on yourself,” Williams said, summarizing his bill, which has yet to be released. “But if there are parents and families that know of vaccine injuries that have occurred and they don’t want to have that risk, then that’s fine, too.”

Williams said the proposed legislation would require health care providers to give information about vaccines to patients when requested and report adverse vaccine-related events.

He added that the bill would outlaw government discrimination against those on delayed vaccine schedules or those who outright refuse vaccination.

While the World Health Organization (WHO) does acknowledge there have been some rare cases of adverse side effects associated with vaccines, its page on common vaccine misconceptions completely dispels the idea that vaccine-related health issues are at all common or widespread.

With respect to risks of not vaccinating, Colorado has one of the lowest immunization rates in the country, with only 87 percent of the state’s kindergarteners having received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine during the last school year. A vaccination rate of 90 to 95 percent is required to achieve herd immunity, meaning that enough of the population is immune in order to prevent the spread of the disease, particularly among those who are unable to receive certain immunizations, like infants.

RELATED: Republican Lawmakers to Host Anti-Vaccination Summit at Colorado Capitol



People Who Are Pro-Choice Have “Dead” Consciences, Says Denver Catholic Leader

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In endorsing a partial abortion ban targeted for Colorado’s November election ballot, Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila denounced abortion in sweeping terms yesterday at the annual Celebrate Life rally in Denver, saying, “Only the persons whose consciences are dead, who have no conscience, can participate in [abortion].”

The proposed measure backed by Denver’s Catholic leader would prohibit abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy, putting a major regulation on abortion in Colorado that’s one of seven states that has not cutoff date for abortion.

Opponents of the partial ban say it targets a group of women who are already dealing with horrific decisions about pregnancies, and so the government should leave the choice to women.


Amber Jones had an abortion after 22 weeks, for example, after receiving a diagnosis of a rare fetal genetic disorder, which causes miscarriage half the time and death after one week for the median of those that make it through delivery. Read Jones’ story, written by my colleague Madeleine Schmidt, in Jezebel.

Dr. Warren Hern, who performs abortions in Colorado, has said the 22-week ban would be a “catastrophe” for women with pregnancy problems, like Jones’, who aren’t diagnosed until late in pregnancy.

“These women are desperate,” Hern told Jezebel “They don’t want to have an abortion. They want to have a baby.”

But Aquila told the crowd that neither medical nor any other complication should stand in the way of stopping all abortion.

“No matter what the circumstances in life, each and every person is called to defend life, especially the lives of the most vulnerable,” said Aquila.

Placing a 22-week regulatory framework on abortion, instead of banning the practice outright has drawn opposition from some of the state’s leading anti-abortion activists.

“Our misguided pro-life allies have presided over decades of regulating child killing,” Bob Enyart, a spokesman for Colorado Right to Life (CRTL), told me earlier this year. “You don’t regulate crime; you deter crime. Once again, they increase confusion where only truth should be proclaimed. Their immoral initiative 108 seeks to protect children ‘who can survive outside the womb.’ But what about the rest of them?”

Aquila responded to Enyart’s concerns by saying the proposed partial abortion ban is an important incremental step toward a total ban.

“And yes, we firmly believe that all abortion laws should be abolished,” said Aquila. “But we also desire to protect, even in increments, the gift of given life. We are not voting for abortion, nor are we saying we agree with abortion up to 22 weeks. What we are saying, is that we respect life, and we respect it for all the pregnancy.”

“We hope in November 2020 you and the citizens of Colorado will have the chance to protect unborn children, mothers, and fathers,” Aquila told the crowd.



Throwback Thurs: Gardner Once Promised to Hold “Town Meetings” so Voters Could Hold Him “Accountable”

(You’ve come a long way, Cory – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

When he was first running for Congress in 2010, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) promised that voters could hold him “accountable once the election is over” by, among other things, attending his “town meetings.”

But Gardner hasn’t held a town meeting in over two years.

In a 2010 interview with the Franklin Institute, a few months prior to entering Congress with his defeat of Democratic U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, Gardner said he looked forward to constituents who would “hold our feet to the fire, who will attend our town meetings, who will contact the office, email us, call us, when they see us on the streets, making sure we’re doing what we said we would do.”

By being accessible in these ways, Gardner said he’d be “accountable for [his] actions once the election is over.”

A call to Gardner’s office asking about his promise to be accountable to constituents was not returned.

This isn’t the first time Gardner has gone over a year without holding a town hall meeting.

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

Over a thousand of Gardner’s constituents were so upset that they held a town hall meeting in February, 2017, without Gardnerdirecting questions to a cardboard cutout of the senator.

Cardboard Cory: Folk Hero

The Gardner cutout, dubbed “Cardboard Cory,” went on to become a folk hero among Gardner’s opponents and others, appearing on Twitter, Facebook, and at events all over Colorado.

As pressure mounted, Gardner finally surprised political observers by announcing he’d hold not one but three in-person town hall meetings on the same day, apparently trying to dilute the expected onslaught from the public. He started in Colorado Springs in the morning, then moved to Greeley and Lakewood (Colorado Christian University).

A Denver Post headline summarized the string of town halls this way: “On a ‘rowdy day’ of three town halls, Cory Gardner is shouted down by crowds.”

Now, Cardboard Cory is again holding meetings while Gardner is not. Activists even featured the cutout on a statewide bus tour last year.


Bonniwell and Hayden Launch Podcast after Being Fired from KNUS

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

After being fired from KNUS 710-AM last month for joking that a “nice school shooting” would be a welcome antidote to the “never ending impeachment of Donald Trump,” Denver radio host Chuck Bonniwell, along with his co-host Julie Hayden, are launching a podcast Wednesday.

“We are excited to be joining the podcast world with the launch of the Chuck and Julie Show this Wednesday, January 8th,” tweeted the conservative co-hosts Sunday.

“The show will be a live internet call-in talk show providing thought provoking information, conversation, and entertainment,” according to the show’s page on BBS Radio.

It will air Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Denver time.



‘No Labels’ Group Doesn’t Plan to Support Gardner Again

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Cory Gardner, “Problem Solver.”

A national organization called “No Labels,” which calls for a bipartisan approach to solve political problems, has no plans to support U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) again this year, as it did during Gardner’s 2014 campaign for Senate.

“We are not looking to do the seal of approval again this cycle, but there is a lot of time between now and the election,” No Labels Executive Director Margaret White told the Colorado Times Recorder last month.

No Labels turned heads during Colorado’s 2014 U.S. Senate race when it gave a “Problem Solver Seal of Approval” to Gardner.

White insisted that her organization did nothing to support Gardner in 2014 besides issue a news release.

But RealClearPolitics reported at the time that No Labels was participating in get-out-the-vote efforts in support of Gardner, during the final days of the close election.

Informed of the spending for Gardner, White said through a spokeswoman that in 2014 her organization “did not donate to the Gardner campaign or direct any outside efforts on his behalf, other than, as has been publicly reported, a few interns doing some canvassing.”

But federal campaign-finance records show that No Labels did, in fact, spend about $4,000 in 2014 in support of Gardner.



Former Colo GOP Official Posts Meme of Trump Slipping Noose Around Obama’s Neck

(Stay classy – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Mark McCallister, a former second vice chair of the Mesa County Republican Party, posted a meme on Facebook recently depicting Trump placing a noose around the neck of Obama.

The image is accompanied by the word, “TREASON.”

He attended the April Republican State Convention with fellow Republicans from Mesa County.

McCallister didn’t return an email asking why he apparently posted the meme, obtained from a source.

Asked for a response, state Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta) said, “I didn’t see this on Mark’s Facebook page, so I cannot comment.”

“On account of the bitter divide at the Federal level, respect and a willingness act as decent humans is lacking.,” said Soper. “As we celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah, I’d ask of politicos and the media alike to tone down fanning the flames of this divide, so that we can be civil and focus on helping those in need, spending time with family and friends during this Holiday season. This is a message for Republicans and Democrats.”

Writing in the Hill about effigies of presidents being hanged or destroyed, Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco pointed out that “Americans have a long history of citizens committing violence against president effigies to voice political dissent.”

Obama effigies hanging from nooses were not uncommon during his presidency, she writes.

“James MadisonJohn TylerAbraham LincolnWoodrow WilsonRichard NixonGerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter were all burned in effigy during their presidencies,” she wrote.

“And each time this happened, the offending party leaders repudiated the distasteful and disrespectful actions of their constituents.”

McCallister left his Mesa County GOP Leadership role this year.

He attended the April Republican State Convention with fellow Republicans from Mesa County.


Boyles Allegedly Took Himself Off-Air at KNUS Because He Believed Co-Worker Was Neo-Nazi

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Peter Boyles.

“What would you do if you worked somewhere, and there was a neo-Nazi on the staff?” KHOW radio host Tom Martino asked his listeners Thursday.

“I heard–I don’t know if it’s true–that [KNUS radio host] Peter Boyles isn’t on the air today at another station because he walked off yesterday and won’t go back because they are employing a neo-Nazi,” said Martino on air.

“Peter allegedly said–I’m getting all kinds of sources–but he didn’t want to work for company that employed this guy,” said Martino, who’s known Boyles for decades.

Boyles did not take me up on my offer to comment Sunday evening.

On Friday, the day after Martino made his comments, 9News’ Jeremy Jojola reported KNUS announced in an internal memo that the alleged neo-Nazi, Kirk Widlund, was no longer with the station.

“As we head into the New Year, with the realignment of expenses I wanted to share that Daniel Catarisano and Kirk Widlund are no longer employed,” read the memo from KNUS management, reported by 9News. “Combined with the loss of the Chuck & Julie Show, it’s a tough time of year to make these types of changes. Join me in thanking them for all their service.”

So, if the allegation is true that Boyles refused to work at KNUS with an alleged neo-Nazi behind the glass in the producer’s seat, then he could be back at KNUS soon. It’s not known if he threatened to quit if KNUS didn’t fire Widlund.



Regret about a ‘Nice School Shooting’ Aside, KNUS Radio Station Celebrates Guns and NRA

KNUS 710-AM management and staff are expressing regret for the pain caused by fired host Chuck Bonniwell’s comment that the “never-ending impeachment” hearings make you wish for a “nice school shooting.”

The KNUS host who’s been the leading voice for the station’s apologies is Steffan Tubbs, and it’s hard to question his sincerity during his on-air conversation last night with the father of a student killed at a Douglas County school shooting in May.

But what gets lost in the glare of the alleged Nazi working at the KNUS, the firing of host who criticized Trump, and the painful joke about a school shooting is what the KNUS hosts say about issues, like guns, day after day after day.

For example, what is Tubbs’ stance on guns and the NRA.

Twelve days after last year’s massacre at Stoneman Parkland High School in Parkland, Florida, Tubbs and his producer, Kirk Widlund, who’s the alleged Nazi, staged an on-air stunt in response to the decision by a group of major corporations, including United Airlines, to cut discounts to NRA members.

Widland and Tubbs bought five-year memberships to the NRA live on the radio, joining what they called the #metooNRA.

Tubbs was astonished that after all the school shootings, including Columbine, the companies had finally decided to fight the NRA.

“It was this one, where [these companies] decided enough is enough, and ‘it’s you, the devil-worshiping, AK-47-shooting, don’t-care-for-your-fellow-man, waving-your-confederate-flag NRA member’; they are going to punish you,” Tubbs said, calling the companies “purely stupid.”

“It kills me,” said Tubbs. “I’m a dedicated mileage-plus United-Airlines-loving consumer.”


Ken Buck Says Impeachment Proves Existence of Deep State; Plans to Fight Back against Federal Workers

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Speaking on Greeley radio KFKA yesterday, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck of northern Colorado said the “really scary part” about the impeachment process is that “there really is a deep state,” and he pledged to fight back in part by taking a “very hard” look at pay raises and other benefits for federal employees and “job security” of “senior bureaucrats” in the executive branch.

“There is this group of bureaucrats that think they run the government and that Congress and the president, whether they’re elected or not, should answer to this group of bureaucrats,” Buck told KFKA host Gail Fallon. “And they — you know — fought against President Trump’s trying to reform government and trying to change the balance between the appointees in the in the executive branch and the career bureaucrats. And they won! That is the only winner of this. The Democrats didn’t win. They’ll learn that next November. The Republicans didn’t win. The president didn’t win. Congress didn’t win. The only winners in this are the bureaucrats.”

In attacking the so-called deep state, Buck is echoing a long-running theme of Trump, who’s long portrayed himself as a victim of deep state operatives.

Most recently, Trump even pointed to the existence of a deep state within the U.S. military.

Much has been written about the topic, including a New York Times bestseller.

And the deep state comes up repeatedly on conservative media outlets, like Fox News.


Impeachment Is So Boring “You Wish for a Nice School Shooting,” Says KNUS Radio Host

(What the…? — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: KNUS management has canceled Bonniwell’s radio program, called the Chuck and Julie show, and removed all archived audio from past shows from the station’s website. “Given the history of school violence that has plagued our community,” a statement released Wednesday evening by 710 KNUS Denver reads, “710 KNUS confirms that an inappropriate comment was made on the Chuck and Julie show by co-host Chuck Bonniwell. A programming decision was made to end the program immediately.” In response to the backlash against his comment, Bonniwell stated on Twitter, “I made an inappropriate comment meant as a joke. I’m sorry it was not received that way.”


Denver radio host Chuck Bonniwell began a segment of his afternoon radio show Tuesday by lamenting the “never-ending impeachment of Donald Trump,” and then saying, “You know, you wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt the monopoly.”

“No, don’t even say that! Don’t call us! Chuck didn’t say that,” said Julie Hayden, who’s Bonniwell’s co-host on the KNUS 710-AM show.

Boniwell and Hayden

I called anyway, and Hayden told me Chuck regretted the comment.

“It was something he immediately wished he hadn’t said,” Hayden told me.

Bonniwell hasn’t apologized on air yet, but immediately after Hayden’s response to his comment, he told his audience that he meant shootings in “which no one would be hurt.”

Bonniwell’s comment came as KNUS is facing accusations that a staffer is a Nazi. KNUS management is reportedly conducting an internal investigation. and the producer has denied posting pro-Nazi comments on social media. The results have not been announced.

Bonniwell, who publishes the Cherry Creek/Glendale Chronicle, has a long track record of comments that draw media scrutiny.

Last year, during Jared Polis’ successful race to become Colorado’s governor, Boniwell said Polis has the support of the “gay mafia.”

During the same election, he called state Sen. Faith Winter of Westminster, “an overweight, unpleasant, vicious, amoral human being.”

A few years ago, Bonniwell told his listeners that Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, who was body slammed by Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT), was a “little jerk” and a “metrosexual.”

And, since the holiday season is upon us, you might want to know that Bonniwell once said Obama “doesn’t like Christmas.”


In Radio Review of Inglourious Basterds, Host Laughs Off Accusations that Producer Is a Nazi

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In what appears to be another sign that KNUS 710-AM is unconcerned about allegations that a staffer is a Nazi, the station’s afternoon-drive show conducted an on-air film review Friday of a classic anti-Nazi movie, Inglourious Basterds.

“Who doesn’t hate Nazis? We all do,” said KNUS host Steffan Tubbs on air, as he began his weekly movie review segment with producer Kirk Widlund, who’s denied writing the pro-Nazi posts, bearing his name, on social media, including one post stating that America fought on the wrong side of WWII.

Tubbs and Widlund

Journalists pointed out distinct similarities in “Kirk Widlund’s” social media posts to language Widlund used on KNUS–as well as other links between Widlund and the “Kirk Widlund” on the Russian social media site VK, where the neo-Nazi posts were found by Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists.

Acting as if the controversy over the neo-Nazi posts were behind them, Tubbs and Widlund took a light-hearted approach to the Friday film review of Inglourius Basterds, using a dead-Nazi scale to rate the 2009 film.

Tubbs: “It is time for the Friday home-stretch film review. The film of the week for Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. It’s Kirk’s choice this week. Who Doesn’t Hate Nazis? We all do. Inglourious Basterds from 2009. Man, I forgot how violent this was, but easily my favorite character Brad Pitt has ever played….

Widlund: …This is really the feel-good film of the season, I think. Killing Nazis. Getting them out of the way.

Tubbs: …Drum roll please. Kirk, your choice for many obvious reasons we don’t have time to get into, you give Inglourious Basterds–

Widlund: Eight dead Nazis out of ten.

Tubbs: Drum roll please. I’m also joining you, eight dead Nazis out of ten. Have a great weekend.

Widlund: Thank you.

KNUS management isn’t commenting on the controversy, but Widlund and Tubbs said last week that an internal investigation was underway at that time.

Listen here:


Gardner Smart to Act Like Impartial Juror He’s Not, Says Buck

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Mitch McConnell, Cory Gardner.

On conservative KNUS last week, host Steffan Tubbs asked U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) why Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner wasn’t speaking out more on impeachment.

Buck replied with, “I think Cory is absolutely right. Cory will be part of the jury in the near future, and I think Cory is demonstrating that he is entering this with an open mind, that he wants to see the evidence. But Cory is a thoughtful and he is a senator that is well-respected because he holds his cards close to his vest. And I think that that Cory Gardner, when he speaks and when he says, ‘I’ve listened to the evidence and this is my vote,’ it’s much more convincing than if he was a partisan all the way along.”

In fact, Gardner hasn’t been spewing out news releases on impeachment, like KNUS’ Steffan Tubbs wants him to do.

But the senator has already called the impeachment inquiry a “total circus” He also voted for a Senate resolution condemning the inquiry.

The irony hasn’t been lost on 9News’ Kyle Clark, who tweeted Dec. 10: “Quite the contortion in [Gardner’s] statement on impeachment. Says it’s a ‘total circus’ to ‘appease the far-left’ but Gardner says as a juror in Senate they’ll be ‘bipartisan and fair.'”

And speaking of contortion, Buck doesn’t have a problem saying that he “absolutely” does not believe that Gardner will vote against impeachment, which is what he told Tubbs Friday.

So Buck is saying, Gardner needs to act like an impartial juror, but don’t worry my fellow Republicans, Gardner will absolutely vote with Trump.

That’s what it looks like when a contortionist defends a contortionist.

Buck’s own impeachment behavior is getting national attention.

Maureen Dowd of the New York Times spotlighted Buck as having the “most twisted” defense of opposing the impeachment.

The twisted moment came, Dowd wrote over the weekend, when Buck said that it doesn’t make sense to impeach for obstructing Congress because “we were sent here to obstruct this Congress.” It was “a campaign promise.”

If you read that a few times, then Buck’s defense of Gardner maintaining his non-silence silence to be impartial seems logical.


Radio Station’s Ties to Hate Groups Look Ironic in Light of Hosts’ Tragedies

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Denver’s KNUS 710-AM management isn’t saying whether the radio station will air a new show hosted by the Colorado Proud Boys, a designated hate group, as reported by 9News’ Jeremy Jojola.

But Louie Huey, one of the Proud Boys behind the show, appeared as a featured guest on KNUS as recently as Oct. 26.

The Proud Boys have been labeled hate groups by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, two organizations that track such groups.

But Huey, who identifies as Hispanic, claims he’s not part of a hate group. He did not return an email from my colleague Erik Maulbetsch seeking comment.

Major League Liberty co-host Logan Schwarz

White supremacist and other hate groups are on the rise in Colorado, with increasing ties to Republicans and others in the state.

The presence of a hate group on KNUS would be tragically ironic, given that KNUS morning show anchor Peter Boyles regularly touts the legacy of Denver talk radio pioneer Alan Berg and the close friendship and professional association they shared before the evening of June 18, 1984 when Berg was assassinated in his driveway.  Berg was shot with a MAC-10 submachine 12-13 times in the face and body by a hit squad of 4 members of The Order, a white supremacist group that operated in the Pacific Northwest.

Another KNUS host, Randy Corporon, was a also victim of neo-Nazi violence. On April 13, 2014, Corporon’s 69-year-old cousin, Dr. William Lewis Corporon, along with Reat Griffin Underwood, Dr. Corporon’s 14-year-old grandson, were murdered in a hate crime at the Overland Park Jewish Community Center in Kansas City.  The shooter was a 73-year-old Klansman, neo-Nazi and former political candidate named Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr.

Corporon didn’t return a call seeking to know whether he had qualms about having Huey on his show and if he was opposed to having the Major League Liberty show co-hosted by a Proud Boy aired on KNUS.

KNUS faced scrutiny this week when producer Kirk Widlund was accused of posting neo-Nazi messages on the Russian social media site VK. One of Widland’s posts stated that Widlund believes the U.S. fought on the wrong side in WWII — as an ally of Communists, socialists, and Zionists, which is ironic since Widlund produces a show on KNUS which highlights American veterans, and has featured laudatory profiles of many WWII veterans.

But Widland says none of the VK posts under the “Kirk Widlund” profile were written by him, saying it is all a smear against him by Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists, the anonymous group that first posted the “Kirk Widlund” material.

Questions about KNUS’ ties to white nationalists were also raised due to its association with Michelle Malkin, a Colorado-based conservative activist who has partnered with KNUS in hosting rallies and counter-protests against immigrants rights groups. Malkin has been disavowed by groups due to her associations with known white nationalist individuals and groups. She also wrote a book defending the racial profiling and the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.

Logan Schwarz, Huey’s partner on their Major League Liberty show, announced that the show would be moving to KNUS in a Facebook broadcast (at 4 minutes).


Buck to Try to Strike Impeachment Text Describing Ukraine-Meddling Theory as Debunked

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley).

In a radio interview this morning, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck said he’ll offer an amendment striking impeachment language that uses the term debunked or discredited to describe the theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

Buck said he’s going to do this because, “It’s not just a group of right wing nuts that are saying, ‘Oh, the Ukraine interfered!’ There are a lot of people who believe that the Ukraine took steps.”

As a factual matter, it is only a group of right-wingers who still adhere to the debunked theory that Ukraine meddled in the U.S. election.

U.S. intelligence agencies do not support Buck’s view.

Buck acknowledged that when Trump asked to investigate the Bidens, Trump got “off track.” But Buck didn’t say what consequences, if any, Trump should face for his request to investigate a political rival.



Anti-abortion Measure Not Likely to Hurt Pro-Choice Candidates, Says Professor

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Would a Colorado ballot measure banning abortion after 22 weeks into pregnancy inspire more conservatives to vote next year, to the benefit of anti-choice Republicans like Cory Gardner?

I assumed so, along with others, like Colorado Sun columnist Mario Nicolais, who tweeted that the initiative, if it makes the ballot, will “rally the base.” And you’d think Nicolais would know, since the GOP anti-abortion base rallied against him, knocking him out of a GOP state Senate primary in 2012.

But maybe not, according to Denver University Associate Professor Joshua Wilson, the author of The New States of Abortion Politics (Stanford University Press, 2016).

As I reported for Rewire News yesterday, Wilson told me via email that the most “activist-minded” of anti-abortion voters might vote due to the initiative, but this represents a small number of voters.

“What’s more, they already have a strong reason to turn in their ballots,” wrote Wilson. “When you look at polling data on Trump’s most stable supporters – white evangelicals – they are also the most invested anti-abortion voters. Given that, they already have a strong reason to show up to vote.”

Wilson points out that, in fact, the abortion measure may push more pro-choice than anti-abortion voters to cast ballots.

“Abortion has recently risen precipitously as a ‘very important’ issue for Democratic voters,” wrote Wilson.

He points to a September Pew study stating: “About six-in-ten (61%) supporters of Democratic candidates now say they consider abortion to be a very important issue to their vote; this is the first time in the past decade a majority of Democratic voters have said this. The share of Democratic voters who rate abortion as very important has increased 14 percentage points since 2014 and 23 points since 2008. Republicans are about as likely today as in the past to say abortion is very important to their vote.”

But Wilson doesn’t think abortion will be a decisive motivator for Democrats either.

“Given all of the other issues that matter for Democrats, the 2020 race will be about a whole lot more than abortion,” he wrote. “So, while abortion matters far more now for Democratic voters than in the past, it is still just one of many issues that will matter, and likely one that is still sitting behind a list of others.”

Overall, Wilson said, abortion “does not decide elections.”

“To give you some polling data,” he continued, pointing to a Gallup poll, “since 2012 the percentage of voters who say that a candidate ‘must share’ their views on abortion has ranged between 17% and 27%. The percentage of voters who have said that abortion is ‘not a major issue’ has been between 24% and 34%. That leaves the bulk of voters – between 45% and 51% – responding that abortion is only “one of many important factors.”

“Looked at as a whole historically, voters tend to have views on abortion, but the details of those views are ill defined, and thus it does not drive the majority to vote one way or the other,” Wilson argues. “Rather, abortion gets eclipsed by other issues.”

KHOW radio host Dan Caplis, who discusses abortion issues, including the 22-week abortion ban, frequently on his afternoon drive-time show disagrees with Wilson.

“Damn right, it’s going to cause more pro-life folks to go out and vote, because if you hold that pro-life point of view, then it is literally a life-and-death issue,” Caplis told the Colorado Times Recorder Monday. “And it’s hard to imagine any more important reason to cast your ballot. “And I think it goes way beyond ‘white evangelicals.’ The pro-life people span all demographic right now. Communities of color. I think it’s going to be a big motivator to get people to vote.”

Actually, even some who hold the “pro-life point of view,” don’t support the the 22-week-abortion ban, saying it will set their anti-abortion movement back.

“Our misguided pro-life allies have presided over decades of regulating child killing,” Bob Enyart, a spokesman for Colorado Right to Life (CRTL), told me earlier this year. “You don’t regulate crime; you deter crime. Once again, they increase confusion where only truth should be proclaimed. Their immoral initiative 108 seeks to protect children ‘who can survive outside the womb.’ But what about the rest of them?”

KNUS Staffer Denies Nazi Comments and Associations

(Who would admit to this? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In what are apparently his first public comments since accusations surfaced that he’s a Nazi, KNUS 710-AM producer Kirk Widlund said it’s all a “smear” campaign against him, and he never stated, among other things, that America fought on the wrong side of WWII.

“It’s absolutely a smear,” Widlund told me Monday. “One hundred percent. I don’t know if they’re trying to destroy me, or the station, or the people I work with. But it’s a total smear.”

The accusations against Widlund were first published by a group called Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists, which describes itself as a “collective of private citizens” fighting fascism and other forms of discrimination and hate.

In a blog post, the anonymous authors cited social media posts allegedly penned by “Kirk Widlund.”

One post, for example, says that the United States fought on the “wrong side” of WWII.

“The sad fact of the matter is that there has been no book written; no words put to print; no joke constructed or performed on stage; no music group formed; no instrumentation conducted; no ‘epic space opera’ put to film; no technological feat; no wonder drug discovered; nothing at all that justifies or soothes the truth; we fought on the Jewish side of WW2 (Communism/Marxism and Zionism), and thus every societal ill conjured up in the last century has been a direct result of fighting on that wrong side,” states the post by “Kirk Widlund.”

“I’ve never used VK,” said Widlund, referring to the Russian website website, known for its neo-Nazi content, where Widlund’s opponents say Widlund authored the WWII post above and others.

The VK profile of “Kirk Widlund” was taken down after Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists published its post, but the group had copied the account’s content and has made it available.

“I am not a Nazi.,” said Widlund. “Those quotes they are saying are mine are not mine.”

Asked if he thought the posts were fabricated by the Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists, Widlund said he did not know where they came from.

The Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists rejected claims that the group “manufactured two years worth of social media posts in order to frame” Widlund.

“When we published our research on Mr. Widlund, we included a full and uncensored archive of every post he has made since he created the account in 2017 that anyone is free to download and verify,” wrote Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists in a statement. “Putting aside the absurd suggestion that we manufactured two years worth of social media posts for a largely behind the scenes personality at 710 KNUS, it would be impossible for us to manufacture the comment Kirk left on Lucas Martin’s photo describing Adolf Hitler as an ‘Amazing Hero,’ that is still online as of 12/10/19. We also could not have manufactured Lucas Martin’s LinkedIn profile which features endorsements by Kirk Widlund, nor could we manufacture the fact that they both attended Colorado Media School at the same time. If Mr. Widlund and Mr. Tubbs are going to claim that we manufactured two years of social media posts, they need to provide some proof.”

Widlund is named as a connection in Lucas Martin’s Linkedin profile, and Martin apparently retweeted Widlund’s VK post about being on the wrong side of WWII. The pair apparently worked together and attended the same film school.



Colo GOP Offers Workshop with Pence Nephew, who ‘Manufactured’ Trump Rallies

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The political operative who orchestrates Trump’s political rallies, which are seen as both as hate-filled and wildly successful, is conducting a training for fellow Republicans in Colorado on Saturday.

The Trump Victory Leadership Initiative is running the workshop at the conservative Independence Institute Saturday, featuring John Pence, a senior adviser for President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.

John Pence is the nephew of Vice President Mike Pence and the son of Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN).

John Pence is “particularly responsible” for having “orchestrated and manufactured” campaign tactics to “stoke fear in this country,” said former White House aide and Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault in a July interview on MSNBC.

“I had to attend many of these rallies when I worked on the campaign and even in the White House,” continued Manigault. “There are these section leaders who start the chant, control how long the chants go and quiet them down when they want to. … “In fact, you’ll be surprised to learn that Vice President Pence’s nephew, John Pence, is one of the big coordinators of these rallies. And so this is how closely these rallies are coordinated with also what’s going on in the White House. John Pence is a very big key player in the campaign, but he’s particularly responsible for all of the staging and choreography of the campaigns and, yes, they are very much orchestrated and manufactured to get the outcome that we saw from Donald Trump saying ‘go back to your countries that you came from and if you don’t love it, leave it.’ All of that is coordinated and manufactured to stoke fear in this country.”

The Colorado Republican Party, listed as a contact for the Pence event, did not return an email asking for specifics on the tactics Pence will teach at the workshop.

The online invitation to Saturday’s training, which is free, states that John Pence “works closely with The White House’s Office of Political Affairs and the RNC to organize the President’s political activities and grassroots recruitment initiatives.”

“We can turn Colorado Red in 2020, but only if we work together and ensure all Trump supporters are registered to vote. That’s why we need your help,” states the invitation.


Gardner Again Finds Narrow Audiences in Colo Visit during Senate Recess

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) spent part of this week doing what you might call under-the-radar campaigning along the front range.

It’s been over two years since Gardner has faced constituents at a town hall meeting .

Gardner in Lodo Friday

But Gardner has attended fundraisers, invitation-only discussions with businesspeople, and small press events or gatherings, announced with little or no advance notice.

That’s the model he followed this week after heading back to Colorado for Thanksgiving break.

Gardner attended a fundraiser Friday where he posed for photos with former GOP congressional candidate Peter Yu and Sheryl Fernandez, who is state Sen. Vicki Marble’s former legislative aide.

Gardner with Buck in background

On Saturday, he stopped off at the Farm Bureau dinner, with Colorado Republican leader Ken Buck in attendance.

On Tuesday, Gardner joined a panel at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley to mark a grant announcement by the Colorado United Health Foundation.

Gardner’s office promoted the event, which included remarks by Gardner, in a news release and on Twitter after it took place, per his habit of after-the-fact announcements.

Gardner spent part of August talking to small groups in Colorado, without inviting the wider public. Until recently, he’s been a regular on conservative talk radio shows, but he declined at least one radio interview recently recently, angering the host, who’s his friend.

Gardner in Greeley Tuesday

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

Over a thousand of Gardner’s constituents were so upset that they held a town hall meeting in February, 2017, without Gardnerdirecting questions to a cardboard cutout of the senator.

The Gardner cutout, dubbed “Cardboard Cory,” went on to become a folk hero among Gardner’s opponents and others, appearing on Twitter, Facebook, and at events all over Colorado.

Activists even featured the cutout on a statewide bus tour.

As pressure mounted, Gardner finally surprised political observers by announcing he’d hold not one but three in-person town hall meetings on the same day, apparently trying to dilute the expected onslaught from the public. He started in Colorado Springs in the morning, then moved to Greeley and Lakewood (Colorado Christian University).

A Denver Post headline summarized the string of town halls this way: “On a ‘rowdy day’ of three town halls, Cory Gardner is shouted down by crowds.”


“No You Don’t” Have to Vote for “Weenie” Gardner, Says Talk Radio Host Boyles

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

To fully understand the squeeze U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) faces in Colorado, you need to tune to one of the many conservative talk radio shows in the state.

Here’s what you would have heard on KNUS’ Peter Boyles yesterday.

Caller: “What makes me the most angry is, I hear some of the other Republicans on the radio and everywhere else telling me that, when it comes to Cory Gardner, I need to swallow that pill and vote for him.”

Boyles: “No you don’t.”

Caller: “But yet at the same time, these guys will not support President Trump. And I’m like, ‘How am I supposed to swallow the pill to vote for somebody who is basically a sellout, and yet you guys won’t stand behind Donald Trump because you know what the alternative is. It’s a Catch 22. It’s a double standard that they set for me, but they don’t want to follow it for themselves when it comes to supporting Trump.”

Boyles: “That’s the gimmick that they say to me all the time. I say no. You could turn Cory Gardner into a candidate…. Right now, he’s a weenie. He really is a weenie. He can just stand there and be a pretty little boy too, but guess what. That’s not Trumpian.”

What to do about this kind of thinking, if you’re Gardner?

He’s got to win over independent voters in Colorado, who account for over a third of the electorate. Overall, they hate Trump, who has a “less than zero” chance of winning here next year, according to failed Rep. Coffman’s campaign spokesman, who’s credible on this.

Independent voters don’t want to hear Gardner praising Trump like he’s been doing, by voting with him 90% of the time, inviting him to campaign here, wanting you to just get to know the president, and refusing to criticize Trump’s Trumpian behavior (Ukraine, obstruction of justice, attacks on the press, women, civil servants, intelligence services).

But Gardner’s overarching but sometimes muted praise of Trump, and his restraint in denouncing the president’s extremism, sounds like weeniness to the talk radio crowd, like Boyles, who reach a small audience but represent the Republican base.

They want Gardner to go Full Fox News, thumping his chest, and talking witch hunt, hoax, perfect phone call, Hillary, shit hole countries, invasion from Mexico.

If Gardner does what his base wants, he loses the independents. If he criticizes Trump, then he loses the boots, if not the votes, of his activists.

So what does Gardner do. Mostly these days, he’s silent on the issues that matter most.


Controversial Former GOP Lawmaker, Judy Reyher, Runs Again for Pueblo House Seat

(For Democrats, the gift that keeps on giving – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

After losing a bitter primary race to fellow Republican Don Bendell last year, former Colo state House Rep. Judy Reyher has thrown her hat into the contest to displace Democrat Bri Buentello, who defeated Bendell in a close race last November.

“You all remember when I posted a few months ago I was stepping away from politics to do something else,” wrote Reyher on Facebook this week, stating that she’d “officially filed” her paperwork to enter the race for the Pueblo-area House seat. “I can tell you it broke my heart to post that sentiment. Should have known better.”

Reyher thanked “Republican House leaders” and others for “all of the approval and confidence I have received.”

Bendell challenged Reyher in the GOP primary in 2018 for the seat, in part because of, as he put it, “mistakes” she’d made.

Asked at the time why he was challenging Reyher, Bendell said: “I had been asked by a few people privately to get involved because they felt like there had been a few mistakes made that are going to be used by the Democrats against us,” Bendell said. “And we can’t lose that seat. And they felt like I would have a better chance to beat the liberal they are running from Pueblo in the general election.”

Reyher’s “mistakes” apparently included Facebook posts, which were first spotlighted by the Colorado Times Recorder, with comments such as, black people are “hatred filled beings.”

Reyer said, after losing the primary to Bendell, that Bendell couldn’t win the general election, due to allegations from his children that Bendell failed to pay child support for 17 years.

Reyher was appointed to the Legislature in 2017 amid a cloud of controversy, narrowly beating GOP activist Tamra Axworthy in a vote by members of a GOP vacancy committee.

The seat had become vacant in 2017 after former State Rep. Clarice Navarro (R-Pueblo) resigned to join the Trump Administration.

Reyher, who did not immediately return a call for comment, lost to Bendell the following year.


Conservative Radio Host Wants To Hear From Gardner on Impeachment

(Him and everybody else – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is dodging his conservative talk radio allies as the impeachment hearings move forward.

KNUS 710-AM’s Steffan Tubbs explained to his listeners Wednesday that he texted Gardner’s press office Tuesday morning to request an interview with Gardner on Thursday or Friday to discuss “impeachment inquiry, campaign, and Thanksgiving plans.”

Tubbs sent his text again to Gardner’s office on Wednesday morning and got a response saying, “Hey Steffan, taking a look at schedule and will circle back.”

Gardner’s office eventually texted Tubbs, “Unfortunately at this point the schedule is packed Thursday and Friday at that time. Sorry about that, and thanks for the invitation!”

Tubbs read Gardner’s response on air and then played audio of cricket noises.

Tubbs then said, “I’ve known Cory a long time. He is my friend.”

But that didn’t stop Tubbs from mocking Gardner’s recent news release–about multiple topics (mental health, China, renewable energy).

“You would not even have an internet story about what these press releases are talking about,” said Tubbs. “They might as well be saying, ‘Senator Cory Gardner woke up this morning and put first his left shoe on, tied it, and here comes the right shoe, it was followed closely after the left show, and in fact he did tie the right show as well.'”

“We are at a very critical time in this administration,” said an agitated Tubbs. “He is a Republican senator from Colorado.”

“There is nothing, nothing, on his Twitter account that has to do with impeachment,” said Tubbs. “…Where is his voice?”



Conservative Group Hands an Award to Gardner

(Foxes for Henhouse Security – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) received a “Congressional Champion” award last week from ConservAmerica, a group formerly called “Republicans for Environmental Protection.”

“We recognized Sen. Gardner for his strong commitment to protecting the environment while also promoting the economy of Colorado, as well as for his role in founding and co-chairing the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus in the Senate,” spokesman Robert Dillon emailed the Colorado Times Recorder.

The Roosevelt Caucus is a group of Republican Senators who look at environmental problems “through a conservative, limited government lens.

That’s also the perspective of ConservAmerica, whose motto is, “Conservation Is Conservative.”

The “About” page on ConservAmerica’s website is broken, but on a previous “About” page, found on the Way Back Machine, the organization states its “mission is to educate the public and elected officials on conservative approaches to today’s environmental, energy, and conservation challenges.”

Gardner was selected for the award by ConservAmerica’s staff and board members, said Dillon.

Democrats say Gardner is trying to greenwash himself in advance of his 2020 election. They label Gardner as an enemy of the environment who sides with Trump on rollbacks in Obama-era policies protecting air, wetlands, public lands, and more.

Progressive environmental activists are pressuring Gardner to join Colorado’s Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in pushing the CORE Act, which is the first bill in a decade to set aside new wilderness in Colorado.

It cleared the U.S. House last month but faces a difficult road in the U.S. Senate without the “full-throated support” of Gardner, reported Colorado Public Radio.

Yet, Dillon says, “Gardner is trusted and works with members on both sides of the aisle, characteristics that are essential when you’re trying to advance policies and negotiate legislative text. The Senate should be about finding common ground and developing solutions that work for the majority of Americans. Sen. Gardner exemplifies the kind of policy-maker committed to good governance that is becoming increasingly difficult to find these days.”

Multiple awards Gardner has received in recent months have come under scrutiny as being either products of conservative groups like ConservAmerica or as being given on the basis of such a narrow analysis as to diminish their meaning.

For example, Gardner often cites his fifth-highest-ranking on a 2019 bipartisanship ranking that was given without considering any of his actual votes on legislation.


Fired Radio Host Introduced Gardner at Conservative Summit

Conservative KNUS radio host Craig Silverman, who was fired on air Saturday for criticizing Trump, is a huge fan of Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner.

Silverman said so when he introduced Gardner last year at a giant gathering of conservatives near Denver.

“This man [Gardner] may well be the first person from the great state of Colorado to become President of the United States,” Silverman told the crowd.

Silverman said Gardner is “respected” by, among others, “our President, Donald J. Trump.”

But Silverman’s increasingly skeptical view of Trump isn’t shared by Gardner, who endorsed Trump and won’t even tell reporters whether it’s appropriate for the President of the United States to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent.

Now Silverman is saying “let’s not hide from hard truths or label it fake news,” while fellow Republican Gardner voted for a resolution slamming the impeachment inquiry.

Silverman, who voted for Trump, said on air Oct. 24 that he still “loves a lot of his policies,” but he asked fellow KNUS radio host Chuck Bonniwell, “What about [Trump] calling Republicans who don’t support him ‘human scum?'”

“He calls a lot of people bad names,” replied Bonniwell, before Bonniwell started screaming at Silverman over the impeachment hearings, with Silverman praising Ambassador William Taylor and asking whether Trump did “corrupt things in Ukraine to try to win the election” and Bonniwell calling Taylor a “joke.” Listen here at 3 min 30 seconds.

Silverman didn’t return a call seeking to know if he thinks Gardner should speak out on Trump like he’s done.

In Silverman’s view, should Gardner say, for example, whether it’s appropriate to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival?

Has Gardner’s behavior has made Silverman think less of the senator?

Listen to Silverman vs. Boniwell on KNUS Oct. 24: