Sen. Cory Gardner sums up his accomplishments in a single gesture.
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner is bragging a lot these days about, as his campaign website puts it, having “had eight bills signed into law, more than the current Colorado delegation combined.”
Even if you’re the laziest of journalists, you can look up eight laws, right? So I had no excuse.
It turns out two of Gardner’s laws (25% of the total) rename buildings.
Two more (an additional 25%) mandate reports from federal agencies.
One Gardner law aims to help a foreign country (Taiwan) “observe” international meetings.
Why would Gardner, a Republican, draw our attention to such weak stuff?
Gardner is trying to “show he is effective,” said Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, in an email to the Colorado Times Recorder, adding that, “being effective is a good thing for a senator. Especially if you have to run with Donald Trump.”
“Of course, there are many ways for a senator to be effective–through amendments (I don’t see any) oversight (none, despite the corruption and mismanagement of the administration) constituent service (you tell me),” wrote Ornstein. “And it is hard to stand out in an era where little is done. But Gardner for the past 3-1/2 years has been a loyal foot soldier in the Trump army, voting for every nominee, no matter how unqualified or corrupt, voting to blow up the Affordable Care Act with no replacement, enabling a racist and nativist president without criticism.”
What’s surprising is that Gardner would specify a precise number of laws (eight), including some that invite mockery (naming buildings) instead of simply focusing on the three more substantive laws on his list, which provide money 1) for Colorado’s Veterans hospital and 2) for U.S. interests in Southeast Asia and 3) for modernizing operations at federal scientific agencies. (And he could spotlight his Great American Outdoors Act, (GAOA) providing ongoing funding for public lands, which is coming, but not yet signed into law.)
A call to Gardner’s office seeking to understand why he’d invite scrutiny of such flabby material was not immediately returned.
But the answer is probably as simple as: It sounds good to say you’ve had more bills signed into law than all of Colorado’s Washington lawmakers combined–instead of pointing to a few laws you passed.
“Senators do not get better than Gardner,” editorialized the Gazette. “The Senate passed his Great Outdoors Act on Wednesday, which was the 10th major piece of legislation passed into law at Gardner’s insistence and sponsorship. All other eight members of Colorado’s Washington delegation combined have not passed that many laws in the past six years.”
See what I mean? Even one of the state’s biggest newspapers was fooled.
Tenth “major piece of legislation?” That’s not just hype. It’s a falsehood. I’ll be watching for a correction from the Gazette,
Let’s hope voters see through this amateur manipulation.
UPDATE 7/8: Gardner appeared with Boebert July 7 at a campaign stop in Colorado, with Boebert wearing her gun and no mask, and Gardner with a mask and no gun. (first reported by Jesse Paul of the Colorado Sun)
Lauren Boebert’s unorthodox splash into Colorado politics, with no mask on her face and a gun on her hip, has sparked chatter among political experts about whether respectable Republicans, who must win over Colorado’s left-leaning independent voters in November, will campaign with Boebert.
Boebert shed one ray of bright light on the question when she told KNUS host Steffan Tubbs last week that Colorado Congressman Ken Buck and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, both Republicans, want to hit the campaign trail with her.
Boebert’s is running to represent a sprawling district, mostly in southwestern Colorado, parts of which are clearly Trump country, as well as gun-friendly.
Trump liked Boebert so much that, upon hearing of her victory over Tipton, the president reportedly told an aid, “You know, with her winning, I think it’s safe to say we just won Colorado.”
Asked by KNUS’ Tubbs about her campaign plan, Boebert said she’s got a “strong ground game,” which she is “going to ramp up.”
“We already have Ken Buck wanting to come here and campaign with us, Senator Cory Gardner,” she said on air. “I am scheduled to speak with Senator Ted Cruz today. And I spoke with Jim Jordan and Thomas Massie, all of these great Congressmen with the Freedom Caucus. They are excited and want me to join and be a member of the Freedom Caucus with them. And they want to help us! “They want to help us with this ground game, do some fundraising, come to our district, see our people. And you know it’s really exciting that there is so much support from all over the country wanting to come and help us in the Third Congressional District.” https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/boebert-gop-nominee-for-co-03-discusses-her-campaign-support-from-gardner-buck-et-al
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner told Republican supporters last week that the “media does not want us to win” and “is going to do everything they can to suppress our vote by deflating our hopes.”
Gardner made the comments during a virtual meeting with GOP activists after last week’s primary election.
“We need to make sure we get this turnout to happen,” said Gardner. “We can’t let people get depressed by the media. I know I’m going to shock people. I know you have not heard this before. The media does not want us to win. And they are going to do everything they can to suppress our vote by deflating our hopes. And so, we can’t let them do that.”
“When Lauren Boebert was asked in May about QAnon, she didn’t shy away from the far-right conspiracy theory, which advances unproven allegations about a so-called deep state plot against President Donald Trump that involves satanism and child sex trafficking,” began the AP story. “Everything that I’ve heard of Q, I hope that this is real because it only means that America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values,” the Associated Press quoted her as saying, drawing from a radio interview.
But KHOW’s Caplis didn’t mention QAnon at all, beginning by telling Boebert, “This is a great thing,” and, “You have lit a fire.”
“And now we need to win in November, and we will,” Boebert told Caplis, saying she got calls from U.S. Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Ken Buck of Colorado, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.
Vice President Pence called her from Air Force Two, telling her about “the wonderful things” he’s learning about her and praying for her family, and he thanked her for serving at-risk women in her local jail, Boebert told Caplis
“And then I got a call from President Trump,” said Boebert. “And it was incredible.”
“Wow. Cool,” said Caplis.
“At first, I was told twice by his White House political director how excited the president was,” said Boebert on air. “He said last night I was in his office at 11:30 with [Trump], and he’s going through your Twitter, and he sits back in his chair and he says, ‘You know, with her winning, I think it’s safe to say we just won Colorado.’ He told me how excited the president was and again he said, ‘I don’t think I’ve seen the President more excited over a candidate before.’ He said, we are going to put you on the phone with him.”
Boebert then spoke with Trump who invited her to meet with him at his Rushmore event backstage.
“It was an honor of a lifetime to have that call with President Trump,” she told Caplis.
Boebert recently gained attention by rejecting state COVID orders to close her cafe, until its license was suspended by the county. Her business previously made headlines for food-safety infractions and for its staff, including Boebert, openly carrying guns. She also challenged a Democratic presidential primary candidate on gun issues. Her campaign has said she doesn’t “follow QAnon.”
(“Enemy of the people,” etc. – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Sen. Cory Gardner (R).
Sen. Cory Gardner’s complaints about the news media surfaced again Saturday, when KNUS host Randy Corporon put this question to the Colorado Republican:
CORPORON at 20:45: “You of course have been on the receiving end of so many attacks during your political career, including the way the newspapers and the television news–you, know they’re really not news reporters. They’re commentators, political activists, anymore. But have you ever seen anything quite like where we are right now with just the undeniable inaccurate dishonest spin being placed on anything that Republicans do right now.”
GARDNER: “I certainly haven’t seen it in my lifetime. You know, I don’t know that anyone has in their lifetime either. Look, we have to compartmentalize that, right. We have to acknowledge it, recognize it, and just say, ‘Okay, now, what do we do in spite of that.’ And that’s to get our message out to the people of Colorado, to get our message around the people who want to twist or turn it or ignore it. We have to figure out how to get onto the ground and get the grassroots engaged. In many ways, that’s what we are seeing.
“And perhaps that’s the fight some don’t like, is that they don’t like the fact that you can communicate directly with constituents without going through their pre-approved filter. But we have to do that, because we have to recognize that it’s real. And then just address it. That’s how we are going to win in November. It’s not just by wishing things were different. It’s by recognizing it and addressing it.”
These comments by Gardner, who didn’t return a call for comment, may reflect his thinking behind his decision last month not to take part in a debate on 9News, a decision met with cheers from some conservatives.
Gardner didn’t say why he rejected 9News and its partners, but state Rep. Patrick Neville of Castle Rock told another conservative platform: “[Gardner] told me…. He was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t talk to those guys [at 9News]’” (here at 20 min 30 sec).
(He’s not wrong about Trump, but this word salad is something else: “On this side of the looking glass, we find ourselves in the year 2020, it seems as though nothing is as it was, and that nothing will be as we were promised.” — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
A conservative activist, once regarded in Colorado as a partisan Republican, is now saying Trump has “failed in even the simplest of pursuits in his role,” and wants the president defeated in November.
Jonathan Lockwood, who worked for former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), has aligned himself with the Lincoln Project, a Republican-lead organization working to defeat Trump.
“The president has failed to elevate our collective consciousness, and he has failed in even the simplest of pursuits in his role,” said Lockwood when asked why he’s turned against the president. “The antics are not just campaign tactics, they are character flaws. The cover-ups and insidious events are alarming.”
Lockwood insists he wants Democrats and Republicans to come together to solve problems.
“America is in crisis,” he wrote in a statement to the Colorado Times Recorder. “We need leaders on both sides of the aisle to stand up to profligate personalities occupying positions of power. I will continue to speak out on division and lawlessness, and advocate for policies that advance a fairer and freer society. My purpose is to manifest a new world—one not imprisoned by chaos and revolution, but evolution and order. “Our future is at stake, we must fight not only for survival, but for survival. Imagine a world without war, poverty and suffering—even just for a moment—we need leaders to capture that spark, the imagination of our nation, and aspire for better by appealing to the best in all of us, not the worst humanity has to offer. On this side of the looking glass, we find ourselves in the year 2020, it seems as though nothing is as it was, and that nothing will be as we were promised.”
Those may not sound like words you’d expect from a former spokesperson for Colorado House Republicans and Oregon House and Senate Republicans or from someone who concocted a nuclear-bomb-themed attack advertisement targeting Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, but Lockwood is seriously disappointed by Trump.
“I voted for the president because the stakes were high, and the partisan warfare was real,” he wrote. “I took him at his word that he would be fiscally conservative, but he has delivered a fiscally irresponsible administration. He’s advanced the Pelosi spending agenda. He promised a smarter foreign policy and he has delivered a more vulnerable America due to his nefarious volatility.”
Lockwood was among the leaders of campaigns to recall Colorado Democrats for passing gun control laws. And he worked for GOP candidate Casper Stockham, who’s currently running for Congress in the Seventh Congressional District.
He directed Advancing Colorado, a now-defunct conservative multi-issue advocacy group in Colorado and was a fellow both for the Charles Koch Institute and legislative fellow with American Legislative Exchange Council
“It is not too late though, and while I don’t expect people on the other side of the aisle to be waving and holding open arms — we need to seriously come together and unite for humanity,” Lockwood wrote.
(The turtling kiss of death – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
In recent fundraising appeals, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s election campaign has referenced endorsements by Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other Republican senators.
But over the weekend, Gardner’s campaign went further, blasting out an “exclusive video message” from McConnell imploring Republicans to “step up and help Cory Gardner, one of our most effective leaders in the Senate.”
After Chance Hill, who sits on the University of Colorado’s governing board, wrote a Facebook post that contained multiple clauses taken verbatim from the writing of pundit George Will, a University of Colorado professor thinks Hill is “now very well placed” to take part in a public discussion of how to “face up to our missteps when we confuse the boundaries of intellectual property.”
Original (Will): “Most Americans are not merely patriots; they are nationalists, too. They do not merely love their country; they correctly believe that its political arrangements, its universal truths, and the understanding of the human condition that those arrangements reflect are superior to other nations’ arrangements.”
Hill: “Traditionally, most Americans are not merely patriots, but nationalists too. We do not simply love our country; we believe that its aspirations, its political designs and structures, and the understanding of human nature that those arrangements reflect are superior to those of other nations.”
“I think that Regent Hill is now very well-placed to… [discuss] how we are to navigate in a world where quotable words are pouring into our minds at a great rate, and how we are to face up to our missteps when we confuse the boundaries of intellectual property,” said Professor Patty Limerick of CU Boulder’s Center for the American West, after reviewing Hill’s post.
In a comment to the Colorado Times Recorder, Hill says he credited writers who influenced his work. At the end of his 700-plus-word essay, Hill named his sources, including Will, but in the body of his Facebook post, Hill did not credit Will for multiple strings of words that Hill took verbatim from Will’s work. In other cases, Hill directly swapped Will’s words for synonyms.
“In borrowing from several ancient and current influencers,” Hill wrote in response to questions about his writing. “I added my own words and thoughts and used my unique arrangement to offer my sincere sentiment, writing as a private citizen, about Memorial Day and its meaning.” “Short of entering line-by-line parenthetical footnotes (which would be odd for an informal social media post),” he said, “I could not have been clearer with my references.”
“He and Ken McConnellogue [CU’s vice president for communication] through this response to you seem to be suggesting that the ‘rules’ are different for social media posts,” wrote Kirtley. “Although social media posts are by their nature usually more informal, in this case, Mr. Hill appears to have taken the time to have written a heartfelt statement that presumably he hoped would have an impact on others.
“It would have been appropriate for him to provide credit to George Will.”
While the regent takes exact words from Will in his essay, Hill cited and quoted some of his other sources, including Tocqueville, in other paragraphs of his Memorial day essay, raising questions about why he didn’t treat Will’s work the same way.
For example, in one paragraph of his essay, Hill wrote, “Tocqueville warned of a soft tyranny, which springs from excessive reliance on government, that ‘makes the exercise of free choice less useful and rarer, restricts the activity of free will within a narrower company, and little by little robs each citizen of the proper use of his own faculties.'”
“It is often difficult to explain to journalists and to students how serious plagiarism is,” wrote Kirtley, who teaches a course on plagiarism at Poynter, a school for journalists. “In this case, Chance Hill says that he did acknowledge George Will in a general sense, but it appears he didn’t link to or cite to the specific column. His phrases are very similar to those in Will’s column. Facts aren’t something you can plagiarize (or copyright, for that matter), but the essence of commentary is about the writer’s unique expression of those ideas. Appropriating someone else’s ideas and how they are expressed, without attribution, is problematic.”
Hill Says He Acknowledged His Sources
In his response to the Colorado Times Recorder, Hill points out that he listed the “thought leaders” mentioned in his online essay.
“I explicitly mention the terms ‘influenced by’ and ‘BORROWING FROM’ (emphasis added) with regard to several thought leaders, including George Will,” Hill said in an email response, referring to the passage below, which appeared at the end of his essay.
“Although I serve as your elected CU Regent representing Colorado’s 5th congressional district, I offer this particular perspective as my privately held opinion (influenced by and borrowing from intellectuals and thought leaders ranging from John Locke to Thomas Sowell to George Will to Barry Goldwater to Antonin Scalia and so many others),” wrote Hill in his essay.
Hill’s acknowledgment that he was “influenced by and borrowing from intellectuals and thought leaders” was “an interesting one” to Limerick, who believed it opened “the door to a dynamic exploration of that odd word, ‘borrowing.’ If a person ‘borrows’ something from another, the expectation is that she will give it back.”
A Call for a Discussion
“I looked at Regent Hill’s bio, and I am impressed by his public service and his military service,” Limerick said.
His resume includes degrees from Dartmouth University, Georgetown University and the University of Michigan in addition to military service and a stint with the Central Intelligence Agency.
“His record convinces me that he will indeed be a valuable participant in a discussion of the proper way to note when we are in debt to others for finding the words that express our convictions exactly but are still not words that we can claim as our own,” Limerick said.
Limerick says CU students would likely benefit from learning more about how to correctly combine quotations with paraphrasing.
“There is clearly some paraphrasing in the picture, but also some pretty substantial passages of uncited direct quotation,” Limerick said, referring to Hill’s passage with the phrases taken verbatim from Will.
“Professors are always telling students that they should avoid lengthy block quotations, and to interrupt quoted words with paraphrasing in their own words,” she said, but it’s rare for an instructor to “take 10 minutes to show what this combination of quoting and paraphrasing means in practice.”
“Since there are no quotation marks in Regent Hill’s text,” Limerick said, “it doesn’t actually represent that combination of quoting with paraphrasing.”
If Hill Were a CU Student, He Would Get A Warning, Says Instructor
If Hill, who represents the area around Colorado Springs, was enrolled at CU as a student and handed in his post as an assignment, he would receive a warning in his transcript and be forced to take a writing seminar, said an un-tenured instructor at the University of Colorado who has assigned and graded hundreds of student papers and is familiar with the university’s honor code. They did not want to be named for fear of consequences at work.
“I think the honors office would give this student a warning, put it in their transcript, and make them take a seminar on the importance of citations and whatnot,” the instructor said. “I don’t think it would escalate past that.”
“I believe that the vast majority of students who violate the honor code (or at least get caught) do so unknowingly,” the instructor said. “I suspect this would fall into that group (especially since he listed them as ‘influences’ at the end).”
Plagiarism has also played a role in Colorado politics, accusations of which contributed to the implosion of U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis’ run for Colorado governor in 2010.
Hill: “This Story Is Unreasonably Distorted”
Limerick appeared sympathetic to people like Hill.
“I am constantly aware of how our thoughts (sometimes when they seem most original!) are mosaics of words and ideas we acquired from others, and sometimes our ‘contact tracing’… is more conscious and deliberate than other times,” she said.
Still, she seemed unsatisfied with the conclusion that the regent was entirely unaware of what he was doing.
“Even if George Will said something that perfectly captured something I believed, and I then settled into memorizing it, if I ended up typing this passage into an essay that would appear under my name, I would still be very aware that I didn’t write the words I had memorized,” Limerick said.
“This story is unreasonably distorted,” he said of this article which was not yet written at the time. “Thank you for the opportunity to respond.”
“The Best Possible Example for Students”
Hill’s response falls short of what you’d expect from a leader of a university, according to Kirtley.
“As an educator, I’m particularly concerned here because Mr. Hill is a regent,” wrote Kirtley. “He should understand, better than many, that plagiarism is a serious matter, and constitutes academic misconduct. It seems to me that a regent would want to set the best possible example for the students at the University of Colorado. When in doubt, attribute. Sometimes plagiarism happens by accident, rather than by design. When it does happen, the only recourse is to own the mistake, and correct it.”
Hill and McConnellogue, requested that Hill’s response be published in its entirety:
“This story is unreasonably distorted. Short of entering line-by-line parenthetical footnotes (which would be odd for an informal social media post), I could not have been clearer with my references. I explicitly mention the terms “influenced by” and “BORROWING FROM” (emphasis added) with regard to several thought leaders, including George Will. In borrowing from several ancient and current influencers, I added my own words and thoughts and used my unique arrangement to offer my sincere sentiment, writing as a private citizen, about Memorial Day and its meaning. That said, I believe in freedom of speech, and I respect your right to print articles of all kinds. In fact, I have fought for that principle both in military service and as an elected representative who champions free expression. Thank you for the opportunity to respond.”
No Republican candidate stepped forward to challenge the lone Democrat, Nolbert Chavez, who’s running to represent a swath of suburbs outside of Denver on the University of Colorado Board of Regents, the governing body of the university.
So the GOP has almost certainly handed the seat to Chavez in November.
Republicans wouldn’t be expected to win the District 7 seat, which is currently held by a Democrat. The same area is represented in Congress by long-time U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat.
But, still, political parties normally find a proverbial warm body to run in all significant political races, in case even a highly favored candidate stumbles badly or circumstances change for unexpected reasons, say political observers.
This year, races for CU regent are considered highly significant because Republicans hold a slim one-seat majority on the governing board, which came under fire after it selected CU President Mark Kennedy, a Republican, last year.
Three regent slots will be decided this November, including District 7, and if Democrats will all three of them, they will take control of the governing board.
Of the two other CU regent slots on the November ballot, aside from District 7, one (District 2) is likely to be won by a Democrat.
In the key District 6 race, Democrat Ilana Spiegel will face the winner of a Republican primary contest between Richard Murray and Priscilla Rahn.
Gaining a majority on the Board of Regents would mark another step by Colorado Democrats toward the complete takeover of statewide representative bodies and offices.
Colorado Democrats flipped the state Senate and Colorado State Board of Education last year–as well as the secretary of state, treasurer, and attorney general offices.
Only two Colorado Republicans remain in offices that require approval by voters statewide: U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and CU Regent at-large Heidi Ganahl, who’s up for re-election in 2022.
Gardner is now considered weak as he gears up to defend his seat in November against former Gov. John Hickenlooper or former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.
Republicans have held a majority on the Board of Regents for a jaw-dropping 40 years, and the board has a history of appointing Republican Presidents, like Kennedy, Bruce Benson, Hank Brown (a former Colorado Senator), and others.
In District 7, voters who don’t like Chavez still have the option of writing in the name of another candidate on the election ballot.
But Republicans will not be allowed to place a candidate’s name on the November election ballot, having missed a May 1 deadline to enter someone in the race. So Republicans gave up their right to nominate a candidate.
Despite writing in May that she’s “ready for the fallout” and will “admit it” if she is wrong about the Floyd video, Garbo hasn’t responded to multiple requests from the Colorado Times Recorder to explain why she deleted her Facebook page.
The leader of the Otero County, Colorado, Republican Party was “suspicious from the get-go” about the George Floyd video, thinking it might have been faked to harm Trump in November.
“Interesting perspective. I’ve been suspicious from the get-go, because it’s in the main media,” said Stephanie Garbo in a May 28 Facebook post, referring to an essay she shared on the social media platform.
The essay, which remains posted on Garbo’s public Facebook page, states: “I think there is at the very least the ‘possibility’, that this was a filmed public execution of a black man by a white cop, with the purpose of creating racial tensions and driving a wedge in the growing group of anti deep state sentiment from common people, that have already been psychologically traumatized by Covid 19 fears.”
“I am ready for the fallout,” commented Garbo before sharing the essay. “If I’m wrong, I’ll admit it. I hope I am. This is, in my opinion… [elipses in the original ORCHESTRATED. CHAOS. How do you get control of chaos within your citizenship? Martial Law.”
Efforts to reach Garbo via email and phone were not successful.
The chair of the Mesa County, Colorado, Republican Party says he’s going to “tighten the posting policies” on the organization’s official Facebook page after an item appeared on the site Monday, and was subsequently removed, speculating that George Floyd’s death was staged.
The Mesa County Republican Party pasted 21 “puzzling” questions about Floyd’s death of its Facebook page and made a comment suggesting that the organization was open to the possibility that the death was a hoax.
“This is a cut and paste from another group — I don’t know the answers,” stated the Mesa County Republican Party, in its comment above the list of questions, which included:
“Why did the kneeling officer appear completely cool and calm, as if he was posing for the camera?” “Is there any cop dumb enough to continue kneeling on someone’s neck for 8 minutes when surrounded by people and being video recorded?” “Is it possible for the deceased’s cousins and fiance to be completely tearless during interviews?”
Now Mesa Republicans are totally denouncing these questions and the post itself.
“We think what we happened to George Floyd was awful, and one hundred percent, our stance is that we support justice for George Floyd, absolutely. that never should have happened.”
(Nine other questions appeared on the post.) Asked for an explanation for the appearance of the post, McCarney said, “One of my guys put it up there, and I asked him to remove it as soon as it popped up.”
McCarney didn’t name the person responsible, but it’s not the first time members of the group have posted racist memes or disinformation on Facebook.
Asked for a response at the time, state Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta) told the Colorado Times Recorder, “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. 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.”
In 2018, McCallister, who held the post of second vice-chair of the Mesa Republicans at the time, shared a racist Facebook post on his personal Facebook page comparing California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who’s one of the country’s leading African American women, to the alien beast in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous 1987 movie, Predator. The organization did not respond to a request for comment at the time. He also posted fake news the previous year.
“Hopefully, these riots are winning converts from the gun-control crowd to our side. When crime runs rampant, the police can’t be everywhere at once,” states the group in one recent post.
Another recent post states: “Sickening these staged protests make it to our State.”
Another implies that the “riots” are sponsored by George Soros to “cover” for Biden.
“And if these riots don’t stop we know the true agenda. Cover for Biden this election year. A message paid for by George Soros,” states the post.
The home page of the Mesa County Republican Party states, “Keeping Mesa County Great,” along with the statement, “We believe in American exceptionalism. We believe the United States of America is unlike any other nation on earth. We believe America is exceptional because of our historic role — first a refuge, then a defender, and now an exemplar of liberty for the world to see.”
LeBron James took a shot at the media Saturday, in retweeting a video of a peaceful protest posted on Twitter by ace Colorado Times Recorder reporter Madeleine Schmidt.
“Media showing this???? I bet you they’re not,” wrote James in his Twitter post afer watching Schmidt’s video. “You know why, cause this is unity, peaceful, beautiful and love!”
Some commenters on Twitter pointed out that the Colorado Times Recorder is part of the media too, even if we were glorifying a peaceful protest instead of looting, fires, graffiti, destruction, tear gas, and/or windows being smashed.
But we’re small, and James was just saying that peaceful protests aren’t covered enough. He may have been referring to the national media. See screenshots of MSNBC and CNN’s homepages from Sunday evening:
It’s easy to complain about excessive mayhem and fluff in the news. It’s harder to know how to solve the problem, part of which is caused by peaceful activists who are important but often boring.
But the King at least took a stand and tweeted about the focus on the chaos. (He tweeted our video and another.) And it worked.
An NBC affiliate in Los Angeles broadcasted the CTR video as Lebron requested.
NBCLA just played the protest video that LeBron tweeted earlier, crediting him for bringing it to their attention. pic.twitter.com/fDMztTBBPP
“We had so many responses from viewers online and into our newsroom about a piece of video,” said NBC Los Angeles reporter Robert Kovacik on air. “We’ve got the video now for you about what happened in Denver today,” said Kovacik. “Take a look. Those are thousands of people lying on their stomachs chanting, ‘I can’t breathe.’ And they did that for nine minutes, the time that was clocked by investigators when George Floyd had a knee against his neck. And that was this afternoon in Denver. “King James, we did play it because you asked us to, and we appreciate you drawing our attention to it.”
Another journalist from a TV station in Atlanta told James on his Twitter feed that they’d aired the video too.
Others seemed frustrated by James’ media critique.
Commenting on James’ Twitter feed, Denver 7 weekend anchor Jaclyn Allen seemed irritated at the King’s implication that journalists weren’t covering the peaceful protests.
“Yep, @KingJames, we showed it,” wrote Allen on James’ timeline, not specifying if this was done when activists repeated the action the following day after James had drawn attention to it. “Live. For several minutes while it was happening. And over and over again after that.”
Allen didn’t return my call to talk about this, but as our video climbs past 12 13 million views, it looks like there’s a market for hope and peaceful protest on TV, and every other media platform on the planet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chd0xWuZ8po&feature=youtu.be
Lots of people had theories on why U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner decided not to take part in a debate on 9News prior to November’s election, but House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock got the inside scoop from Gardner himself.
“[Gardner] told me…. He was like, “‘Yeah, I don’t talk to those guys [at 9News],'” said Neville on the “Chuck and Julie” podcast last week (at 20 min 30 sec).
Gardner snubbed the 9News debate but accepted invitations for five other debates prior to the November’s election. Gardner spokesman Jerrod Dobkin didn’t say why Gardner made the decision.
But sometime between then and now, Gardner got a sour taste in his mouth about 9News, which reaches far more Coloradans than any other news broadcast in the state.
It’s a sourness that TV viewers have seen ooze out from Gardner on a number of occasions, and it has surprised political analysts of all stripes, who admire Gardner’s normally smooth dealings with the press.
After a speech to a business group in October, for example, Gardner snapped at 9News’ Anusha Roy, after she identified herself as being with 9News.
Roy was trying to find out why Gardner was blaming Democrats for Haliburton’s layoffs on the Western Slope, and she caught up with Gardner as he was leaving the venue.
Roy: You tweeted that Colorado Democrats– Gardner: You didn’t like the tweet? Who are you with? Roy: I’m with 9News. Gardner: So you must have your own opinion. What’s your opinion? Roy : No. I was asking about the tweet you sent about the Haliburton layoffs.
Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R).
Colorado Republicans plan to push for legislation limiting Gov. Jared Polis’ authority to issue public-health orders to 15 days, after which time Polis or a future governor would need to get the green light from the state legislature to extend orders any longer.
State House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock said at a news conference and on KCOL radio that he and fellow Republicans plan next week, when the legislative session resumes, to begin “pushing back on the governor’s authority, making sure that after 15 days he actually has legislative approval to continue on with his emergency powers.”
When Arapahoe County area District Attorney George Brauchler called on lawmakers earlier this month to push this type of legislation, a professor of medicine and public health at the University of Colorado School of Medicine called it a “sad” illustration of how the response to the pandemic is being converted into a “partisan issue.”
Brauchler called for a “liberty-loving legislator” to offer a “bill to claw back the massive authority given to the governor.”
Brauchler appears to have found his lawmaker in Neville, who’s one of the highest-ranking Republicans in Colorado.
Neville, who’s falsely alleged that masks “don’t accomplish anything,” said on air that the GOP plans to run a bill that “essentially says ‘the governor can only have emergency authority for 15 days. After 15 days, he has to go back and seek legislative approval.'”
Neville acknowledged his proposed legislation probably won’t move forward this year, because it will be considered a late bill that can’t advance without the approval of the Democratic majority, which, he says, will not allow it.
Republicans Target November Election
In light of the likely paralysis of his proposal to strip Polis of his authority to issue pubic-health orders, Neville tried to turn Republicans’ attention to the upcoming election.
Neville said he saw this situation coming, and that’s why he was involved in the failed recall campaigns last year in Colorado
“This is a big reason we were active in the recall elections a year ago and why we were trying to push back, because we saw a lot of this happening,” said Neville on air. “We never thought it would actually get to this point.”
“We really need people to be on the ground fighting for Republicans in elections,” he continued. “If we don’t at least close the gap on Democrat control, then we will probably never solve this.”
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) jumped on conservative talk radio yesterday to laugh off a letter from Colorado House Speaker KC Becker and others requesting that Gardner pledge not to vote for Mitch McConnell as Republican leader of the U.S. Senate, if Gardner is re-elected in November.
Instead, Gardner said the pledge request was a show of “confidence” that Gardner will win his re-election campaign in November, because he only gets to vote for McConnell if he wins.
“I was attacked I think by the speaker of the House in Colorado, who urged me to vote against Mitch McConnell for being majority leader. And of course what that acknowledges is that we will win in November because the only way that I get to vote is if I win in November. So I appreciate their confidence.”
“This isn’t a joke, Coloradans need help now,” responded Becker in a statement to the Colorado Times Recorder. “Stop ducking the question: are you going to oppose McConnell or continue to go along with his dangerous agenda that hurts Colorado?”
Becker’s letter does not assume Gardner will win in November, but instead asks Gardner to pledge to vote against McConnell, “if re-elected.”
“When you were first elected to the Senate, it was on a pledge to be an independent voice for Coloradans,” states Wednesday’s letter to Gardner. “Now, keeping your word means making a different pledge: that if re-elected, you will not vote for Mitch McConnell as your party’s leader in the Senate.”
Michael Brown, who became famous after President George W. Bush told him that he was doing a “heck’ve a job” during the Katrina disaster, already knows he isn’t going to take a vaccination against COVID-19, if one becomes available, and, meanwhile, he thinks mask-wearing is in many ways an “utter joke.”
Brown compared what he sees as flawed climate science to what he also sees as the bogus science behind mask-wearing.
“All I want you to do is be aware of the fact that the science behind the wearing of masks is kind of like climate change,” he said. “Depending on the model you use, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it gets warm. Sometimes it gets cold. Sometimes you just don’t know what it’s going to do.”
The science behind climate change and mask-wearing is actually sound. Here are a few trustworthy sources, for example, showing mask-wearing to be beneficial: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here.
(“Boy” Neville knows best – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
If you follow the Colorado Times Recorder, you know we’ve been trying to figure out if some Republican leaders in Colorado, like Colorado Republican House leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock and U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), believe masks provide any protection whatsoever against getting COVID-19.
Neville put the question to bed this week, posting on Facebook that masks “don’t accomplish anything.”
Neville’s comment came in response to Trump attorney Jenna Ellis’ Facebook post.
“So my question for the anti-maskers is: Is THIS really the battle worth fighting?” asked Ellis, who’s a former Colorado Christian University faculty member. “The whole you gotta wear pants in public thing has been a law for quite a while. I don’t see a lot of freedom fighters streaking to stick it to the tyrants.”
“I’m asking for valid arguments of ‘overreach’ for government temporarily requiring them to be worn while in public places,” continued Ellis on Facebook. “(Private businesses are a different issue.)”
Neville then responded that masks “don’t accomplish anything,” adding that he “often” wears one out of politeness, without explaining why he thinks masks are useless.
You might have guessed this was Neville’s position, after photos emerged of him standing maskless in a crowded cafe recently.
When you see Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville enjoying his maskless self at a restaurant filled with other maskless patrons, as we saw over the weekend in Castle Rock, you wonder if he understands the life-saving benefits of wearing a mask.
It turns out, he does. He knows that wearing a mask is much more about protecting others from catching COVID-19 from you than it is about protecting yourself.
Wearing a mask is about trying to stop other people from getting the virus from you, doing your part for the community. Being in this together.
Neville knows this.
As he told KHOW radio host Ross Kaminsky Tuesday, wearing a mask isn’t “really protecting me.”
But the strange part is, Neville doesn’t seem to care if he infects people around him who aren’t wearing masks.
“So if other people really didn’t feel the need for a mask, I didn’t wear mine,” he said on-air, explaining why he didn’t wear his mask at C&C Coffee and Kitchen.
It’s a live-and-let die approach.
Neville is essentially saying, “I might as well risk contaminating all these maskless people because my mask isn’t protecting me from them. So who cares.”
What’s worse than that? Especially for someone a lot of people look up to? Especially during a pandemic? Especially in the midst of maskless throngs of people at a restaurant?
Neville went on to say he wears his mask at Walmart, where others wear masks.
In a proposal that one health expert is calling a “sad” illustration of how the response to the pandemic is being converted into a “partisan issue,” Arapahoe County area District Attorney George Brauchler is urging lawmakers to roll back Gov. Jared Polis’ (D-CO) power to fight the COVID-19.
“I think Gov. Polis ought to convene a task force to say, ‘How can we trim back my authority,'” said Brauchler recently on his Saturday morning “George Show” on KNUS radio. “You know that will never happen. We need to re-look at these public health orders. We need to look at how we give authority to these people.” “Which liberty-loving legislator from either party will stand up and begin this important and needed conversation by offering a bill to claw back the massive authority given to the governor?” wrote Brauchler in a Denver Post opinion today.
Matthew Wynia, a Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, says proposals like Brauchler’s are an “illustration of how the response [to the pandemic] has been increasingly converted into a partisan issue.”
“That’s sad because it shouldn’t be partisan,” Wynia wrote in an email to the Colorado Times Recorder. “Both Republicans and Democrats are dying of this illness – and we all care about the people in our families and communities who are at particular risk.”
“Also,” continued Wynia, “people in both parties are equally concerned with re-opening society as quickly as possible and reducing the harms the shut-down is creating, which are very real and which should not be downplayed at all. No one wants to keep the shut down in place, and no one is talking about keeping it in place forever or even indefinitely. The argument is whether to keep measures in place until we have the numbers going down, when we can do adequate testing and tracing, and when our health care system is ready for the inevitable increase in cases that will come with re-opening.
In questioning the wisdom of Colorado laws that give the governor broad power to respond to public health emergencies, Brauchler is aligning with Republicans across the country who are proposing legislation and filing lawsuits to roll back pandemic-related orders, like closing restaurants and requiring residents to shelter-in-place and wear masks.
In Colorado, Brauchler, who briefly ran for governor in 2018 before dropping out to launch a failed bid to be the state’s attorney general, appears to be the highest-profile Republican who’s proposing to trim Polis’ power.
State Rep. Rod Pelton, a conservative Republican from Eastern Colorado, said last month he’d like the General Assembly to “roll back” the governor’s power to issue public-health orders. He’d like to start on this when the legislature resumes next week, but it might have to wait until next year, he said.
Wynia called the type of legislative effort proposed by Pelton and Brauchler “purely political messaging” that has “no chance of success since the Democrats control both houses.”
“In that regard, it’s a waste of time at a moment when there are much more important things for legislators to be addressing,” wrote Wynia.
In his opinion column, Brauchler didn’t acknowledge that passing legislation now is next-to-hopeless with Democrats, including Polis himself, in charge of state government, but he did address the issue of legislators being too busy.
“And before the ‘we’re too busy’ crowd can claim that they have more important issues to address with their limited time, let me address those more pressing issues,” wrote Brauchler. “Outside of the state’s budget, an ironic victim of these very orders, what legislative action can result in as sweeping and devastating an impact on Coloradans as permitting a potential second, nearly unchecked shutdown of the state?”
Bruachler did not return a call for further comment.
But Republican legislators in Ohio have targeted the authority of the state’s health director, leading fellow Republican governor Mike DeWine to tell them they should focus on coronavirus testing and the economy.
So far, actions to reduce gubernatorial power to fight the virus have failed nationally, according to James Hodge, director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University, but he predicted there will be “massive legislative and judicial battles ahead for the rest of the summer.”
Hodge, who helped develop model legislation designed to help state governments respond to health crises, said if roll-back efforts are successful, they could set back the government’s ability to deal with the pandemic.
When he drafted legislation, “governors essentially told us, ‘Spell out for what powers we might have, and let our legislators consider that and pass these specific provisions, and we’ll act based on those specific legislative authorizations,” said Hodge. “If you don’t spell that out, you create more chaos, not less,” he said.
It appears that Colorado law does not give more emergency powers to its governor than many other states, judging from comparisons available online and a review of emergency orders issued in other states.
John “TIG” Tiegen, who launched Trump’s re-election in Colorado in November, is organizing an aggressive protest Sunday to defend a restaurant that welcomed throngs of maskless customers last weekend.
Tiegen, who submitted petitions in November to place Trump’s name on the Colorado election ballot, identified himself at the time as the founder of “Colorado Veterans for Trump,” telling reporters at the secretary of state’s office that he was confident Trump would win the elections, especially with the economy booming.
Now Tiegen is much angrier, writing on Facebook, “Gov. Jared Polis, calling the restaurant an ‘immediate health hazard,’ has suspended the restaurant license of C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock.
“ITS TIME TO FIGHT BACK PUSH BACK & TAKE OUR FUCKING COUNTRY BACK!”
Video of the Castle Rock restaurant packed with Mother’s Day clients swept across the country yesterday, leading Polis to suspend the eatery’s license for a month.
On his Facebook post, Tiegen is pictured in military garb, draped with weaponry.
“Let’s Stop the threats from our government,” he writes. “Let’s Stop the overreach of POLIS and his unelected Despots.”
He writes that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”
Neither Teigen nor the Trump campaign could immediately be reached for comment.
The rally is another in a string of increasingly aggressive protests to re-open Colorado’s economy, even though the move to do so is seen as dangerous by health experts and opposed by the public.
Colorado’s Republican House leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock is also defending the restaurant, writing in an email today, “Tell him to leave these honest, hardworking people alone.” Tiegen will lead a caravan of motorcycles and other vehicles out of Pueblo at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, arriving at the Capitol in Denver before the protest, which runs from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
The Facebook post makes no mention of social-distancing protocols for the rally.
Tiegen is best known as a former Blackwater contractor and member of the CIA’s security team involved in defending the U.S. embassy in Libya from an attack that led to the death of a U.S. ambassador during the Obama administration. Those falsehoods are chronicled in his co-authored book, “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.”
(If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Sen. Cory Gardner (R).
During an online discussion hosted by a conservative talk radio station yesterday, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) refused to acknowledge that the JBS meat-processing plant brazenly broke its promise to test all employees before they went back to work. Seven JBS employees have now died of COVID-19.
As Gardner was giving a rambling response to KNUS radio host Steffan Tubbs’ initial inquiry about whether Gardner had received “false promises” from JBS management, Tubbs interrupted Gardner to ask simply if Gardner thought the JBS plant had been “up front and honest.”
“They shut the plant down. They worked on it,” Gardner replied. “In terms of sanitizing it, they need to continue to do that. Every employee who wants a test can get a test. It’s important that they continue to do that.”
Gardner went on to say: “It’s important that they live up to their word. It’s important that they live up to the promises that they have made to employees. Employee safety is paramount.”
Multiple news outlets have reported that JBS promised to test all employees, but has since decided not to do so.
Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) said the state has told JBS that free tests are available, Colorado Public Radio (CPR) reported yesterday:
“To be clear, if JBS is willing to test all employees, we would be happy to work with them on making sure they have the supplies to do that,” CPR reported Polis as saying. “We can’t just go on their premises and test people, that’s why we did it a mile away.”
Polis said JBS officials backed away from an initial plan to test all employees and decided to just close for two weeks instead. It reopened in late April. Polis said state officials would work “around” JBS if they need to in order to make sure all employees get tested. “These are folks who live and work in Greeley, and we’re just as worried about their neighbors, their friends, store owners who serve them, and many others, in addition to those who work directly at the JBS plant,” Polis said.
In a virtual meeting with Republican activists last week, Gardner boasted that he and Vice President Mike Pence had procured 5,000 COVID-19 tests for workers at the JBS plant. But the workers had not been tested.
In response to Tubbs’ ititial question about the JBS plant last night, Gardner said that it was his understanding that any employee at JBS who wanted a test could get a test, without acknowledging that the optional-testing offer provided by the state only exists because of the company’s broken promise to test all of its employees.
“We need to continue to protect or workforce, not just at JBS but at businesses across the state, across the country that are open, that have remained open, those essential businesses that are there every day. They are the real heroes,” Gardner told Tubbs. “Think about it. Yes, we absolutely have to do great things for our health care workers, our EMTs, our first responders. They have been absolutely heroic. But you’ve also got people like the grocery store workers, like the people working at our meat-processing facilities, our farmers and ranchers, who are working every day to make sure that we have this food-supply system that works and puts food on our tables. Thanks to them as well, each and every one. Thanks to the people working at convenience stores, our gas stations. These are people who have done it every day. We have to make sure that they are protected.”
(Hater radio lovefest! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
In advance of his radio station’s online discussion with U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), KNUS host Steffan Tubbs warned “not to expect breaking news” from his “virtual town hall” with Gardner tonight at 7 p.m.
Still, Tubbs said he’d ask “what I perceive to be tough questions” of Gardner.
Those attending the online event are encouraged to submit questions, but Tubbs didn’t know how he’d choose which questions to ask Gardner.
“I don’t know, Pete, to be honest with you, the process of what questions are going to be asked,” Tubbs told KNUS’ Peter Boyles this morning.
Tubbs said prior to the event on air that he would not be working with Gardner’s staff on deciding which questions would be asked.
In an indication that his questions won’t cause problems for Gardner, Tubbs said on air not to expect “breaking news” from the event.
In fact, Tubbs apparently criticized 9News anchor Kyle Clark, who’s known to grill Gardner and other politicians, for what Tubbs apparently sees as Clark’s unfair questioning of Gardner.
“I have noticed of late the little digs by a certain anchor on Channel 9. I don’t get it,” said Tubbs on air, almost certainly referring to Clark who’s the object of frequent criticism on KNUS.
In response to a statement by U.S. Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that Colorado and other states “use the bankruptcy route” to deal with state budget shortfalls resulting from COVID-19, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock today called on Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to use his influence on McConnell “to stand up for Colorado and to fight for Denverites and other cities around the nation.”
“We are calling on Senator Gardner in particular, who is a close ally of McConnell, to stand up for Colorado and to fight for Denverites and other cities around the nation,” said Hancock during a press call today organized by Rocky Mountain Values, a progressive advocacy group.
A bankruptcy declaration would be “absolutely disastrous” for Denver, said Hancock.
“We would see layoffs, quite frankly, of our most important soldiers, men and women who serve as our police officers, our firefighters, our teachers, and other essential personnel, who are battling this pandemic,” said Hancock.
“It’s really those first responders and front-line workers who are making sure we are recovering and we’re able to protect and secure our residents,” he added.
Hancock called it a “partisan mentality” that led to McConnell’s resistance to giving federal aid to states and cities.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Cory Gardner.
Earlier this year, just before the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration launched a program allowing states opt out of traditional Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for low-income people, and instead receive a block grant from the federal government.
Trump’s block-grant program, widely seen as a back-door way of killing Obamacare, is billed as giving states more flexibility to address local needs because it allows them to spend the federal dollars with far fewer restrictions.
The pandemic has shown why the Medicaid-block-grant idea, which has been backed in the past by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and other Colorado Republicans, is a bad idea, say experts.
One of the great benefits of Medicaid, they say, is its ability to expand quickly to meet the demands of a health care crisis, like the coronavirus pandemic.
Ross Brooks, who directs Mountain Family Health Centers in Colorado’s central mountains, says block grants don’t end up giving states more flexibility, primarily because they create spending caps that can be devastating to local health care systems, especially in rural areas like he serves.
In a pandemic like this one, the spending caps could prevent budget-strapped states from adding citizens to their Medicaid rolls–because states could easily burn through the grant money, said Brooks during a press conference organized Thursday by Protect Our Care, a progressive advocacy group.