Beware of Unverified Claims by Credibility-Challenged Recall Campaigns

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Here was The Denver Post headline about the campaign to recall Colo Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) last Tuesday: “Effort to recall Colorado Senate president on track as deadline nears, organizer says

And this was the newspaper’s headline three days later: “Organizers needed 13,506 signatures to force recall vote of Colorado Senate president. They handed in 4.”

So what happened? On Tuesday, the news story, if any, should have been about the approaching deadline, not about the anti-Garcia activists’ claim that they were on track.

That’s how Colorado Public Radio presented the story on Tuesday: “Campaign To Recall Senate President Leroy Garcia Plans To Turn In Signatures.”

If The Post had information Tuesday to confirm the claim of the recall campaign’s likely success (trusted sources, evidence of signatures gathered), then you could justify a story about imminent success. That would be good journalism. But such information did not exist.

Instead, The Post apparently simply regurgitated the claim, which lead CO PeakPolitics, a conservative blog, to gloat that Garcia had “arrogantly predicted” that voters had “no appetite” for a recall election. Oops.

PeakPolitics Post

The blog removed its post after the four-signature truth came out Friday, saying that no amount of correcting could have salvaged its story.

The Post left its piece in place, which was the right thing to do, and it now serves as a reminder that the shrill and unverified utterances or screams of small numbers of credibility-challenged discontents and their backers, while deserving of respect, shouldn’t dominate the news or certainly a news cycle, whether it’s at the beginning of a failed recall campaign or at the end of one.

This is especially true given that recall proponents demonstrated repeatedly that they weren’t credible.

House Republican Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock announced with gun extremist Dudley Brown that recalls against state Sen. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village) and state Rep. Meg Froelich (D-Englewood) were coming. They weren’t.

Backed by Brown and Neville, Colorado Republican Party Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown launched a recall of state Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Aurora) on May 13. She dropped it less than a month later. The Colorado Politics story reporting on the Sullivan recall included this line:

Republicans and their conservative allies have said they plan to launch a dozen or so recalls against Democrats.

This also did not happen.

Organizers of the statewide recall efforts aimed at Colorado Gov. Jared Polis were similarly factually challenged. One group, calling itself the “Official” Polis Recall, never even pulled recall petitions. Donors were furious and demanded refunds. Rather than return the tens of thousands of dollars, however, leaders simply moved donors’ money from account to account before giving it… to themselves.

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Will Republicans Join the Fight to Save Journalism in Colorado?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Colorado Media Project, a coalition fighting to give journalism a future, plans to push legislation next year to save local news in Colorado.

“We have talked to legislators on both sides of the aisle already,” said JB Holston, a Denver University dean and a spark plug of the CMP. “The frames are different, but they are not incompatible. A lot of R’s look at it and say, ‘Gee, that’s an economic development, Colorado-innovation, small-business development opportunity.’ Those on the other side of the aisle resonate with the notion that democracy is at risk.”

“But I think the other notion is, when you have a one-party state, the other party doesn’t mind having journalists to the same degree,” Holston continued. “So, I think there is some of that going on.”

Holston was speaking on a panel yesterday about the CMP’s new report, “Local News is a Public Good.”

“I think one of the challenges for the conversation in Colorado, though, is, how do we scale that conversation,” Holston said. “This kind of a forum is great. How do you have a hundred times as many people in real time involved. I think the New Jersey story is a good example of how you get that done. But a lot of the challenge for this is, where do we go from here?
“Now we are putting legislation on the table for this session. This is the beginning of a scaled, Colorado-wide, collaborative conversation about the issue.”

Holston and his fellow panel members took the surprising step of advocating a tax specifically to boost journalism in Colorado (e.g., a sales tax on digital ads, a local special-district tax).

(more…)

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Protesters Spotlight Trump Official’s View That Public Lands Should Be Sold

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a protest Friday, Sierra Club activists spotlighted environmental threats posed by William Perry Pendley, the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) acting director, who spoke on a panel at the annual conference of this week’s Society of Environmental Journalists at Colorado State University (CSU).

The activists fear that Pendley, who was appointed to his position in July, will, among other things, push Trump to sell public lands.

“PENDLEY’S PUBLIC LANDS LIQUIDATION! PRICES REDUCED,” stated a sign held by one of about a dozen demonstrators at the event.

“This longtime president of a nonprofit that advocates selling off millions of acres of federal lands — who is now overseeing 245 million acres, more than 10% of the entire U.S. landmass — is right out of Trump central casting.” said Jim Alexee, director of Sierra Club Colorado in a statement about the protest.  “It’s up to us to stop Trump’s latest yes man from carving up and auctioning off our last wild places — not to mention sacred Native American spaces — to Big Oil and Gas.”

In fact, Pendley once said all public lands owned by the government should be sold, writing in the National Review in 2016 that the “Founding Fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold,” and the government has a “constitutional duty” to do so.

Asked about this stance by the Colorado Times Recorder at the SEJ event, Pendley said his personal opinions would have no impact on his decisions in his job, just as he said his denial of global warming would have no bearing on his actions at BLM.

“Once again, those views [about a “constitutional duty” to sell public lands] I expressed then,” he said. “That was then. This is now. My personal opinions in that regard are irrelevant.”

Promises no “wholesale” selling of lands, but how much?

Pendley told journalists at the SEJ conference that the Trump Administration does not favor the “wholesale” transfer of public lands, but he did not offer his definition of “wholesale,” leaving conference goers to speculate on how much land he might actually want the government to let go of.

“The Administration has been crystal clear,” said Pendley. “The president of the United States and the secretary of interior have been crystal clear. We do not believe in, we will not participate in, the wholesale disposal or transfer of federal lands. Bottom line.”

With respect to his 2016 National Review article, which was titled, “The Government Should Follow the Constitution and Sell Its Western Lands,” Pendley told the SEJ conference, “Well, I didn’t say there’s a constitutional duty to sell the land. What I did say was that the property clause, which is in Article 4, gives all that power to Congress. I also said that the founders intended to sell all the lands, but things change. Times changed. Congress passed the National Parks Act in 1910. Congress passed…the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, for which it said we have come to the end of the disposal era. We are no longer selling our federal lands. We are holding on to them. In other words, times changed. We are talking about the past.”

Pendley concluded his 2016 National Review article, after reviewing the congressional action mentioned above, by writing that it’s “hardly surprising that westerners think” federal lands in the West should be sold.

Environmental activists worry that Trump will nominate Pendley to direct the BLM, bumping him up from his acting role in the position.

“We also need to stop Pendley from being confirmed as the permanent Director of BLM, because it’s likely Trump will nominate him for that position,” said the Sierra Club’s Alexee.

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Trump Public Lands Director Won’t Say Why He Denies Global Warming–And Says He Has Yet to Be “Briefed” on It

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Acting BLM Director William Perry Pendley.

In a contentious exchange with journalists Friday, the acting director of the federal agency in charge of most public lands in the U.S. insisted his “personal views,” which include a denial of global warming and hostility toward immigrants, have no bearing on his job and he repeatedly refused to discuss his opinions on some topics.

But William Perry Pendley, the acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management, contradicted his no-personal-opinion stance by offering strong opinions on other topics.

“You have been clear in the past, on twitter and elsewhere, that you don’t think climate change exists,” New York Times reporter Lisa Friedman told Pendley during a panel discussion at the annual Society of Environmental Journalists’ conference in Ft. Collins. “I’m hoping that you can clarify for us, first, what did you mean by that? What don’t you think exists? Is it, you don’t think greenhouse gases are warming the earth? Is it something else? What scientists do you rely on for those conclusions, and if the answer required is that this is your personal opinion, maybe you could explain to us some concrete things that you’ve done to help inform or discuss this issue and ensure that personal opinions are not at play in making policy decisions.”

“Nope, not going to clarify,” replied Penley, who’d said earlier in the session that, in his role as BLM director, he’d not yet been “briefed” on climate change issues, in his new job, and did not know when he would be briefed. “Those are my personal opinions.”

“I’m a Marine. I follow orders,” Pendley responded, saying his boss, Secretary of Interior David Benhardt, has said global warming exists and humans have an impact. “He’s told me the way it’s going to be, and that’s the way it’s going to be.”

In response to another journalist’s question, Pendley refused to say whether he still thought “illegal immigration is spreading like a cancer,” as he wrote in a 2007 fundraising letter.

“My personal opinions are irrelevant,” responded Pendley, who will be visiting the border next week to inspect BLM land that his agency must clear for use in construction of Trump’s proposed border wall along the Mexican border. “I have a new job now. I’m a zealous advocate for my client. My client is the American people. And my boss is the president of the United States and Secretary Bernhardt. So what I thought, what I wrote, what I did in the past is irrelevant. I have orders. I have laws to obey, and I intend to do that.”

But Pendley was eager to offer his personal opinion on multiple other issues that arose in the session.

When the panel’s moderator asked all the members of the panel for their thoughts on the proposals by Democratic presidential candidates to stop all new fossil fuel leasing from public lands and public waters, Pendley said, “I’ll jump in,” and he slammed the idea.

“I would be absolutely devastating not just to the American West but to the entire country,” he said. “A tremendous amount of the energy we use every day, whether it’s natural gas or oil, comes from federal lands.

“I can give no other word for it than, absolutely insane and a terrible blow to the American people, to the West. We’ll see how that stands up,” he added. “…I think the overwhelming majority of American people would vote against it.”

Pendley’s desire to pick and choose which of his views to discuss leaves much on the table–because he was widely known as a hardened conservative activist, with extreme views, prior to his appointment to his post by Bernhard in July.

He once accused federal land managers and advocates of “tyranny” for “waging war on the West.”

Pendley served under much-criticized Secretary of Interior James Watt from 1981-1984 and was accused at the time of selling coal resources at the Powder River Basin to industry entities at a $100 million loss to taxpayers.

As the long-time Director of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, a conservative advocacy group based in Colorado, Pendley supported Cliven Bundy, the renegade anti-government activist who occupied public lands in a 2014 standoff with the Bureau of Land Management.

On Thursday during an interview on talk radio in Dener, Pendely inched toward supporting folks like Bundy.

The radio host referenced “families fighting with the government” and a “shoot out,” and then asked Pendley about people who feel like the government isn’t on their side.

Without responding directly to the “shoot out” comment by the Libertarian radio host Ross Kaminsky, Pendley framed himself as a defender of the people against government.

“Over the last 30 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with loggers, miners, ranchers, recreationists, canoeists, boaters,” Pendley told KHOW radio’s Ross Kaminsky. “You name it, I’ve worked with them, represented them, gone to the Supreme Court on their behalf. And so, I get their situation vis a vis the federal government.”

“When I was with the Reagan Administration, our desire was to be a good neighbor — [for] the federal government [to] be a good neighbor to local citizens. That’s President Trump’s desire. That’s Secretary Bernhardt’s desire, to be a good neighbor.”

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Brauchler Compares Prop CC Ballot Measure to Sex Assault

(It’s so weird that Brauchler failed at running for both Governor AND Attorney General in 2018 🙄 Promoted by Colorado Pols)

“This is the hand on the knee, and if we don’t swat it away, they’re going to come for TABOR with a big, deep, tongue-down-your-throat kiss, here, next year or about a year after that.”

That’s Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler on KHOW radio yesterday (at 43 min 30 seconds), using a sexual-assault analogy to convince voters not to approve a ballot measure allowing Colorado to spend all the tax revenue it already collects.

“Slippery slope,” is a much gentler way of making Brauchler’s argument, and it’s not clear why Brauchler felt the need to use the inflammatory language.

The primary argument that advocates of the ballot measure are making is, the state needs to remove restrictions on its budget so that it can “fix our roads and bridges, improve our schools by hiring and retaining the best teachers, and improve our economy with investments that help all Coloradans.”

Opponents like Brauchler say there’s already enough money.

Do we need to bring up sexual assault to debate this, asked one proponent, pointing out that most Coloradans have already voted at the local level to let the government keep all the taxes it collects. This measure would extend it statewide.

The question, called Proposition CC, on the ballot reads: “Without raising taxes and to better fund public schools, higher education, and roads, bridges and transit, within a balanced budget, may the state keep and spend all the revenue it annually collects after June 30, 2019, but is not currently allowed to keep and spend under Colorado law, with an annual independent audit to show hoe the retained revenues are spent?”

Colorado conservatives have been using sex-assault analogies lately to throw punches in debates about state taxes and budgets. Jon Caldara used a similar date-rape analogy in Denver Post last month in a column headlined, “Why Date Rapists Hate Tabor.”

Given that one in five U.S. women has been raped, the use of sex-assault analogies in political campaigns is risky at best but more likely counter-productive, say political strategists.

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“There, I said it”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Given the repellent effect Trump has on election-deciding independent voters in Colorado, and failed U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s post-election declaration that Trump caused him to lose his swing district last year, you’d expect more Colorado Republicans to start jumping off the Trump ship, at least here in Colorado.

Maybe they think it won’t help, and they’re probably right, if you look at how hard Coffman tried (and failed) to make people believe he was the anti-Trump Republican.

But conservative KOA 850-AM radio host Mandy Connell might be leading the way on her show, which airs from noon till 3 p.m.

“There, I said it.”

On her blog yesterday, she wrote, “Could Mitt Romney be considering a primary run at Trump? I would consider voting for him. There, I said it.”

But will other Colorado conservatives start saying it? Chances are the dam won’t break until/if the blue-wave round-two strikes next year here.

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Activist Tries to Find Gardner at Trump Tower in New York

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

“Have you seen Cory Gardner yet?” I asked Laura Packard, as she was trekking through New York today.

No. But she’s convinced she’s getting close.

As a National Co-chair of Health Care Voter, Packard knows Gardner is the featured attraction at this weekend’s “Trump Victory Committee’s Fall Retreat” in New York City.

But Packard doesn’t know precisely where the Victory Committee is meeting.

Her first assumption was Trump Tower. So Packard went there. No Gardner.

A tweet bounced around showing Packard standing next to a Trump Tower doorman. She held leaflets stating, “MISSING: CORY GARDNER” and “TELL HIM TO GET BACK TO WORK,” along with his phone number, “202-224-5941.”

Then Packard went to another hotel, Lotte New York Palace, identified by conservative author Bill Kristol as the location for the lavish gathering..

No Gardner.

In between, Packard went to Central Park.

“I asked all the carriage drivers, and they have not seen him,” said Packard. “I asked the horses, and they had nothing to add.”

(more…)

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In the Bubbled World of CO Talk Radio, Bazookas Are Your Friend

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Paul Lundeen (R).

For those of you who may not listen to conservative talk radio, here’s a glimpse into the bubbled world of KVOR in Colorado Springs.

“The Second Amendment is not actually about my right to hunt,” said state Sen. Paul Lundeen on a Colorado Springs radio station recently. “It supports that, of course. And it’s not actually about a person’s right to defend themselves when someone is coming after them…. The Second Amendment is about the protection–over the people–from tyranny.”

Later in the show, a caller named “Rudy” challenged Lundeen.

“If that’s so, [people] should be owning bazookas, or what have you.”

“Okay, so, now it just gets Crazy-town!” interjected KVOR host Tron Simpson. “This is what we do. Now, Paul, try to educate him a little bit more.”

“Here is what I’d say, Rudy,” replied Lundeen. “Go out to YouTube, find the video from Venezuela, where the military police in their armored personnel carriers were driving over the tops of the citizens of Venezuela.”

“Runnin’ ‘em over, man!” exclaimed the talk radio host.

“And that is exactly why the Second Amendment needs to be in place,” explained Lundeen. “It’s how you avoid tyranny. To your question, ‘You need a bazooka?’ – perhaps the people DO, in order to stand against tyranny. So, consider that as a philosophical construct.”

(more…)

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Dems Simply Upset With Last Election Or Playing Politics, Say Republicans Who Backed Colo Recall Efforts

(O-kay… Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Democrats are pursuing impeachment for political reasons or simply because they’re upset with the last election, say Republicans who backed the recall of Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) and/or other Democrats soon after they were elected.

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, head of the Colorado Republican Party, came out against impeachment, saying: “Democrats spent three years trying to overturn an election that didn’t go their way… It’s time to move on.”

In reporting on the statement, 9News’ Kyle Clark pointed out Sept. 25, “But the Colorado GOP pushed for the recalls of six Democrats this year.”

Buck called for the recall of Colo Democrats in a campaign-style speech in March, saying, “We need to teach them how to spell “R-E-C-A-L-L.”

Now, state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling is echoing Buck, telling a northern Colorado radio station that the impeachment effort is “playing politics,” and it’s a “distraction.”

“It’s a huge huge mistake for Nancy Pelosi to go down a path in which the polling that I have seen across the country is, people don’t want us to go down that path they actually want us to actually get our business taken care of in Washington DC and quit playing games,” said Sonnenberg on air.
“It just seems ludicrous to me that you would want to continue down that path rather than move an agenda forward,” he added.

Yet, Sonnenberg was a high-profile signer of the petition to recall Polis, having been featured on the Facebook page of “Dismiss Polis,” a group backing the now-failed effort.

Does Sonnenberg think the Polis recall was less about “playing politics” than the impeachment inquiry?

“They are two different scenarios,” Sonnenberg told the Colorado Times Recorder, emphasizing his point that he thinks the impeachment inquiry will hurt Democrats. “A recall is grassroots driven. It comes from the people. The impeachment came from the Speaker of House or a faction of that caucus.”

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Gardner Again Takes Credit for Lowering Healthcare Costs Via a Program He Wanted to Kill

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Over the weekend, Colorado Senator Cory Gardner again took credit for a health-insurance cost-saving program that, if Gardner had his way, would not exist.

The program, funded via state innovation waivers in Obamacare, allows states to essentially provide insurance for insurance companies, covering extremely costly claims and allowing the companies to lower insurance rates on the individual market in Colorado by an average of about 18 percent.

During a speech at Saturday’s meeting near Grand Junction of Club 20 , a group of rural government and business entities, Gardner said he made sure Trump officials approved Colorado’s request for the reinsurance program, after state officials asked for it as part of a new state law.

“I was glad that it was issued and grateful to be a part of that bipartisan work to get that waiver accomplished,” said Gardner during a speech at the event.

But Gardner has voted to kill the Affordable Care Act multiple times, even giving a GOP repeal bill the thumbs up when fellow Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona famously gave a bill to end Obamacare the thumbs down, and Gardner has said repeatedly that the law is a “disaster.”

Reporters have noted the inconsistency of Gardner’s taking credit for a waiver program that wouldn’t exist if Gardner had succeeded in killing the federal health care law.

In a 9News segment in July, news anchor Kyle Clark said that a spokesperson for Gardner said he was approached by Polis to talk to the Trump Administration to help ensure the program’s approval.

But, as Clark put it, “Senator Gardner wants to demolish the house, but today he’s claiming credit for helping the homeowners put on an addition.”

(more…)

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Gardner: “People Are Going to Lie.” But the Alleged Lies Would Be True

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

 

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

In a recent radio interview, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) complained that his opponents are going to lie about him by claiming he’s against guaranteeing insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions when, in fact, he supports such coverage.

Gardner told KHOW’s Dan Caplis last month that Democrats and Republicans can agree that people with preexisting conditions should “have coverage — required coverage.”

“That’s what we’ll fight for and continue to succeed with,” Gardner said on air. “Now, people are going to lie about it.  People are going to try to say that that’s false.”

So is it, in fact, false to say Gardner fights to require coverage for people with pre-existing conditions?

If you judge Gardner by what he says then, yes, he wants people with pre-existing conditions to have required coverage. He says it all the time.

(more…)

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Buck: Only “Very Soft People” Are Worried about Trump’s Potential Crimes

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck (R).

Asked this week by a conservative radio host about the impeachment of Trump, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) said the president has done nothing wrong except “trigger the sensibilities of a bunch of very soft people.”

“They have no evidence that rises to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor,” Buck told KHOW’s Jon Caldara Monday. “They have no evidence that suggests that this president has done anything other than trigger the sensibilities of a bunch of very soft people.”

If so, one of those soft people would be Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, as we know thanks to Buck, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee.

Buck himself asked Mueller in July if Mueller “could charge the president with a crime after he left office.”

“Yes,” Mueller replied flatly.

Most recently, Trump has been accused of obstructing the investigation of the House Judiciary Committee by instructing former aids not to testify before the panel, which is controlled by Democrats.

Buck said on air that there’s “zero” chance impeachment will be “voted on on the floor of the House.”

“The impeachment itself — the charging of the President itself — will never happen in this Congress,” said Buck on air.

Buck also told Caldara that he’s opposed to all federal red flag legislation, which would allow judges to take guns from people deemed dangerous–and he argued vehemently against a ban on assault weapons, saying they are used by people in “rural Colorado” to shoot “raccoons” or “prairie dogs, whatever.”

(more…)
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Speaker on How GOP Can Be More “Effective” Is Accused of Being Ineffective

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A Colorado Republican, scheduled to deliver a lunchtime lecture Wednesday on how to be an “Effective Republican in an Unaffiliated World,” is facing criticism from a fellow Republican who says she isn’t qualified to lecture on the topic due to her own ineffective leadership.

Kristina Cook and Tamra Farah, both Republican leaders in Colorado, are set to deliver the speech tomorrow to the Douglas County Republican Women, a political group.

The lecture drew national attention in Newsweek after Cook, who’s chair of the Denver Republican Party, said, “I Bet MLK Wishes He’d Had A Sniper by his Side That Day,” prompting Bernice King to tweet that her father would not have wanted a “gun battle on his behalf.” Cook later thanked Bernice King for helping Cook understand King’s “father’s perspective.”

Jeff Krump, a former state house GOP candidate and former vice chair of the Denver Republican Party, blasted Cook, saying he hasn’t seen “any evidence” that she’d be an “effective leader as a Republican woman.”

(more…)

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Douglas County GOP Shares Facebook Meme Attacking Muslims

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Douglas County, Colorado, Republican Party shared a Facebook post this week stating that Muslim members of Congress who express specific ideas are terrorists.

The post, which has been spreading on Facebook, states:

“Every time a Moslem (sic) stands up in Congress and tells us they will change the Constitution, impeach our President, or vote for Socialism, remember you said you would never forget. They said they would destroy us from within.”

Some commenters on the Douglas County Facebook page scolded the group for posting the bigoted statement.

Stephen Allen, Chair of the Douglas County Republican Party, didn’t respond to an email seeking comment on the Facebook share.

Last week, state Sen. Vicki Marble (R-Greeley) “liked” the same anti-Muslim meme.

Marble then told the Colorado Times Recorder she did so as part of her job to listen to the public.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Friday called on Marble to apologize.

“Would Senator Marble like posts supporting the KKK or neo-Nazis?” asked CAIR’s Acting Board Chair Krista Cole in a news release. “Islamophobia, just like anti-Semitism or bigotry of any kind, should not be tolerated and we call on the Senator to immediately apologize.”

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Racist and Anti-Semitic Posts Appear on Facebook Pages of Leaders of Garcia Recall Campaign

(Wow – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

One leader of the effort to recall Colorado state Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) is speculating that her Facebook page was hacked, while another leader isn’t commenting, in response to questions about racist or anti-Semitic posts on both of their Facebook pages.

“Today reaffirms my disdain for illegals…Barbarians…3rd world pigs,” wrote Ernest Mascarenas, who’s listed in state records as one of three leaders of the recall effort, on Facebook Feb. 12, where he goes by the name Ernest Carlos. “Pissed in a bottle and threw it down the elevator shaft, landing on a elevator worker. If you like them so much and want them here that bad, take them into your home…BUILD THAT WALL.”

In another comment posted July 10 above a DailyCaller article with the headline, “BET Founder Gives Thumbs Up To Trump, Thumbs Down To Democrats,” Mascarenas wrote, “You’ll always have the dumb minorities that’ll support the Democrats… All the way to the oven.”

Multiple attempts to reach Mascarenas to discuss the Facebook posts, which were obtained from a source, were not successful.

Susan Carr, also listed in state filings as a leader of the Garcia recall, has apparently made similar comments, referring on Facebook to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) as “trying her best to do Hitler’s work.”

Carr’s 2013 apparent comment came in response to Feinstein’s calls for new gun laws after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in 2012.

Carr’s Facebook page states that by pushing gun safety legislation, Feinstein, whom Carr refers to as “some 80-year-old Jewish Senator (b 6-22-33 SF Ca)” who is “old enough to know about the events in Germany in the thirties and forties when Adolf murdered millions of Jews,” is “trying her best to do Hitler’s work in the U.S.”

(more…)

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Marble Says She “Liked” Bigoted Facebook Post As Part of Her Job to Listen to People

(A like-ly story – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Sen. Vicki Marble (R-Ft. Collins) “liked” a Facebook post this week with an image of the burning twin towers set in the middle of this statement:

“Every time a Moslem (sic) stands up in Congress and tells us they will change the Constitution, impeach our President, or vote for Socialism, remember you said you would never forget. They said they would destroy us from within.”

The Colorado Times Recorder asked Marble why she “liked” this post.

Marble: Good morning, Jason. Thank you for calling. As we discussed before, the ‘like’ on FB can mean many things. For example, I find many posts interesting, not that I agree or disagree with them, but ‘Like’ is a way to say thanks for posting or let the person know I read it. I respect their right to say what’s on their mind…

Colorado Times Recorder: Thank you very much. Yes, I agree about Facebook likes. Fair point. Why did you like the post in this case? …To me, it suggests U.S. Reps. Ihan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are terrorists. Can you explain why you like it?

Marble: I ‘Like’ your point of view on this. I don’t think many people agree with you, but this is how you perceive it to read. I find your point of view interesting, but I don’t read things into this the way you do.

Colorado Times Recorder: I see. So in the case of the Muslim meme, why did you ‘like’ it?

Marble: I like hearing people express their views. I need to know what is on their minds. It is part of being a legislator.

Asked about the post “liked” by Marble, Amanda Henderson, Director of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado expressed concern about “cavalier posts on social media that incite hatred and division.”

“In this case, we are one day from grieving the attacks of September 11, 2001 and stirring this kind of thing up demonizes people simply for their religious tradition, said Henderson via email. “What we really need to do as a country is build relationships across our differences and communities where all people are able to thrive.”

The bigoted post aligns with statements from talk radio hosts and other right-wing Colorado conservatives who regularly denounce not just Muslim extremists but the entire religion of Islam.

For example, in a radio interview shortly after Trump was elected, KNUS radio host Peter Boyles denounced Islam and said Muslims are incapable of respecting the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental values of the United States, due to their religious beliefs, essentially saying there is no place for Muslims in our country. He stood behind the comments.

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Democrat Schroeder Joins Republicans in Vote Granting Sex-Ed Waiver

Boulder Democrat Angelika Schroeder joined Republicans on Colorado’s Board of Education today in a 4-3 vote granting a charter school’s request for a waiver from Colorado’s new sex-ed law, which requires comprehensive instruction covering LGBT health, consent, and more.

Democrats gained a majority on the board in 2016, with the election of Rebecca McClellan representing Denver suburbs surround Aurora. 

ACLU’s Hinkley testifies before the Board

But Schroeder rejected arguments from fellow Democrats to reject–or at least declare unnecessary–the sex-ed waiver for Liberty Common, a Ft. Collins charter school led by former Republican Congressman Bob Schaffer, who insists his school has no plans to teach sex ed.

The Board’s lawyer also counseled against granting the waiver.

Liberty Common became the first public school to be granted a waiver, which is allowed under an updated sex-ed law that cleared the Legislature last year and was later signed by Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO).

Liberty Common stated that it needed the waiver, not because it wanted to teach sex ed but because sex-related topics came up in discussion of “Greek mythology, “Renaissance Art,” and science.

But state Rep. Susan Lontine (D-Denver), one of the sponsors of last year’s sex-ed legislation, told the Board in a letter that Liberty Common’s sex-related discussions in those courses were clearly allowed under the new law.

Lontine wrote that “based on [Liberty Common’s] application as presented, that a waiver is not needed.”

“Again, human sexuality instruction is defined as lessons on abstinence or sexual activity in the context of student health or healthy relationships,” wrote Lontine.

After the vote, Elizabeth Hinkley of the ACLU of Colorado urged the board to issue a written opinion clarifying that Liberty Common didn’t need the waiver based on its reasons for requesting it.

“We request that the Board issue a written opinion with their decision to grant the waiver,” Hinkley said. “As the Board’s legal counsel advised, the Board has the option to provide a written opinion clarifying that, although the waiver was granted, the type of instruction proposed by Liberty is not human sexuality instruction, and therefore a waiver from CRS 22-1-128 is not required. Other similarly situated schools will look to the Board’s decision as guidance. Absent this clarifying opinion, the Board’s decision will cause more confusion for the reasons stated by their own legal counsel.”

RELATEDAnti-Abortion Pregnancy Centers Are Teaching Sex Ed in Colorado Schools. Will a New Law Stop Them?

Liberty Common’s justification for the waiver, submitted to the board, states that the school instructs on sexuality “only within the domain of science.”

But the waiver application states that “sweeping definitions” of concepts like “healthy relationships” have “overbroad applicability,” meaning the school’s discussions in subjects like Greek mythology could be considered sexual education and could run them afoul with the law.

“We bristle at the notion of a new curricular mandate coming from the state Capitol under any terms, and this one in particular is onerous for a variety of reasons,” Schaffer, a longtime champion of conservative causes in Colorado, has said.

CORRECTION: This post was corrected to state that State Board Member Angelika Schroeder, not Valentina (Val) Flores, voted for the waiver. 

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State Ed Board to Vote Wednesday on Sex Ed Waiver for Ft. Collins Charter School

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Liberty Common School, run by former GOP Congressman Bob Schaffer, says it doesn’t want to teach its students sex ed at all, but sex-related topics are regularly discussed by students in science, literature, and other classes.

Empty Auditorium

So, to allow these sex discussions to continue (among students studying Greek mythology, for example) without potentially violating Colorado’s new sex ed law, the Ft. Collins charter school is seeking a waiver from the law’s requirement that public schools teach a comprehensive sex-ed curriculum, including lessons on consent and information for LGBT students.

But Colorado’s sex-ed law, signed in June by Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) carefully defines sex-ed to allow sex-related topics to be addressed in literature, science, and other courses without violating the law, say the statute’s backers.

The purpose of the waiver, they point out, is to clear the way for a charter school, like Liberty Common, to disregard Colorado’s sex-ed guidelines and, instead, to teach sex ed as described in a “replacement plan” which must be approved by the charter’s school district and then the Colorado State Board of Education.

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Speaker To “Address Threats of Transgender Ideology”

(Seriously? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Denver’s Catholic Archdioceses, Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute, and Catholic Charities are sponsoring a Sept. 10 event called “Made this Way: Male and Female,” featuring anti-transgender activist Emily Zinos who “helps parents and educators identify and address the threats of transgender ideology,” according to promotional materials.

“Join us for an incredible evening of timely and relevant information, equipping you to understand and dialogue effectively on the topic of the Transgender Trend,” states the event’s online registration page.

Zinos is the Project Coordinator for Ask Me First MN, which has ties to the Family Policy Alliance and Focus on the Family, the anti-LGBTQ organization based in Colorado Springs.

Another featured speaker at Tuesday’s event, Dr. Patrick Lappert, is billed as an “Alabama-based plastic surgeon and deacon in the Catholic Church,” who will “provide revelatory insight into transgender surgery.”

Zinos has written about “activist parents” who, she alleges, forced their transgender children on her school.

“Widespread discrimination, unemployment, homelessness, and violence are just some of the issues transgender people face on a daily basis,” states the website of One Colorado, which defends the rights of transgender people. “One Colorado is devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender Coloradans through education and advocacy on the state and local level.”

One of the organizations sponsoring the event is the Denver Catholic Archdiocese’s Respect for Life Office, which among other things, compares abortion to slavery, claiming that the “growing scientific and moral truths, will prevail as they have in other societies when human beings realize something is truly wrong.” The entity opposes the death penalty and euthanasia.

Another sponsor, Catholic Charities, mostly runs multiple programs for people in poverty, including food pantries and aid programs, and an anti-abortion pregnancy center.

The third sponsor, the Centennial Institute is the public policy arm of Colorado Christian University, running the annual Western Conservative Summit. Trump was a speaker there in 2016. In recent years, the organization is perhaps best known for campaigning against legal and illegal drugs, like marijuana (but not alcohol) and magic mushrooms.

The event takes place Sept. 10 at St. Thomas More’s McCallin Hall, 8035 S. Quebec St., in Centennial, at 6:30 p.m.

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A GOP Radio Host Asks His Listeners Why They Dislike Gardner

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

A conservative radio host asked a question I’ve been wanting to hear on the conservative air waves for years: Why do so many Republicans dislike U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) so much?

“So many of you have texted over the last year. So many of you have called in. So many of you emailed in. ‘How dare you even call [Gardner] your friend,'” KNUS radio host Steffan Tubbs told his audience last week.

“Why don’t you like him?,” asked Tubbs on air.

The responses flowed in from his listeners:

Gardner hasn’t been honest with people. ..If he were passionate about just one thing, I wouldn’t be such a frustrated conservative. …He’s missed so many opportunities to stand up for conservatives and Trump. …

Wishy washy Charlie Brown; at least have some principles. …Sick of his goofy smiling face. He needs to be more serious.

His responses are canned. …He is too reluctant to take stands on issues. …He’s a fake conservative — needs to stop running to the middle. …He did not show up to be with Trump at the Air Force Academy

Gardner hasn’t been honest with people. …Generic responses to constituent concerns. …He dodges on issues by saying that any given issue is a “local decision.” …The man leads on NOTHING!

When Gardner got to Washington, he was bought and paid for by big-money donors, not guys like me. …I’d prefer former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo — men of courage, honor and principles. …I’m disappointed in Cory because he supports the DREAM Act

Gardner needs to Cowboy up and quit being a city slicker. …Needs a backbone. …He’s trying to juggle four balloons. …He needs to start pounding the podium. …Empty suit. …I’m tired of holding my nose and voting for people.

On Friday, Tubbs told Gardner on air that many of his listeners are super upset with him, and he got a response from Gardner to a couple of the gripes.

Tubbs told Gardner that his listeners want him to express his opinions about Trump, even if he disagrees, instead of sitting in silence.

“Well, look, I’ve made it clear on things I disagree with the president about. I don’t think I’ve tried to hide those areas,” replied Gardner, citing his opposition to tariffs, which he’s actually hedged on.

“I am a far from perfect person”

“I am far from a perfect person,” said Gardner. “You can ask my wife about that. But I do work each and every day for the people of this state and that’s what I am going to continue to do.”

Tubbs asked Gardner to respond to the accusation that “there’s no passion there.”

“There’s a time for everything, I suppose,” replied Gardner on air. “…Coloradans deserve respect, and they deserve somebody who is going to try to provide that respect to the people of this state–and try to be civil and try to be somebody who is providing, I hope, to provide a calm voice in what is a pretty divisive time right now. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

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GOP Chaos in CO Springs Could Hamper GOP Comeback Effort

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Dave Williams (R).

The mysterious implosion of the county GOP party in Colorado Springs may hamper Republican efforts to fortify itself against a blue wave that appears to be heading our way again next year.

With so many of the state’s Republicans congregated in El Paso (157,208 registered Republican voters), and the rapidly growing number of Trump-hating independents and Democrats pooling in previously-thought-of swing areas of the state, the GOP must orchestrate a phenomenal turnout of voters around Colorado Springs–or it has little chance of winning Colorado’s U.S Senate race next year, say analysts.

Hence, the importance of having a functional Republican Party entity in El Paso.

So the sudden resignation Tamra Farah, the leader of El Paso’s Republican Party, less than ten days before their biggest fundraiser of the year and amid allegations that leading donors refused to work with her, is certainly a cause for concern among Colorado Republicans across the state.

Tension among leaders of the Republican Party in El Paso, which includes Colorado Springs, has been evident for many years, but GOP infighting “came to a head” in recent months, State Rep. Dave Williams (R-CO Springs) told KNUS, a conservative radio station, Wednesday.

“I put this squarely at the feet of the establishment,” said Williams on air, referring moneyed Republicans who generally support more moderate candidates.

Williams alleged that establishment Republicans initially supported Farah but backed off, but he wouldn’t name the individuals involved.

“This is not a grassroots problem,” said Williams on air, referring to the faction of the Republican Party that backs more right-leaning candidates and usually has less financial backing.

“I don’t think [Farah] wanted to play games anymore with helping out insiders and their friends and their buddies,” said Williams on KNUS.

(more…)

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Gardner Cites New Bipartisanship Report That Ignores All His Votes and Stances on Issues

Invisible Cory Gardner(Did someone change the definition of “bipartisan”? Did we miss that? — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) issued a news release Wednesday about a new report showing Gardner to be “one of the most bipartisan Senators” in Congress.

It turns out the report, produced by Quorum Analytics, a software company, looks at one narrow set of data: the number of bills Gardner co-sponsored with a Democrat as the lead sponsor.

Nothing else was taken into consideration, not Gardner’s actual votes, not the significance, impact, or symbolism of the co-sponsored legislation, not his official stances on issues, like guns, climate change, healthcare, and abortion.

Quorum spokeswoman Theresa Hebert said her company is not judging Gardner or any lawmaker but simply demonstrating the “value of our software with the statistics that we have at our disposal to show what’s going on in Congress.”

Asked if she thought Quorum’s report was too narrow and easily manipulated, Hebert said, “There are certainly other ways that you can measure [bipartisanship]. We are specifically looking at that data set. It’s certainly not the only one you could use.”

Gardner issued the news release, titled “Quorum Highlights Senator Gardner’s Strong Bipartisan Record,” and tweet citing the Quorum data.

“Colorado is a fiercely independent state,” said Gardner in the news release. “We judge ideas based on how they will affect the Centennial State, not by the letter that is next to someone’s name. Coloradans expect our elected officials to work across the aisle for the good of our entire state. I’m proud of my bipartisan record of results for Colorado, and I will always place the people of Colorado first.”

Gardner’s news release also cited his fifth-place ranking, earlier this year, by the Lugar Center, as Washington DC think tank, that also used bipartisan co-sponsorships as the basis for a more in-depth analysis.

Asked for his views on Lugar’s report, Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, said he’s “not a fan of using cosponsorship as an indicator; it is a symbolic gesture for the vast majority of bills.”

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Republican Won’t Seek Re-Election As CU Regent

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

University of Colorado Regent John Carson, a Republican representing a Democratic-leaning district, has decided not to run for re-election next year, widening the highway for Democrats to color Colorado a deeper hue of blue.

Republicans currently hold a tenuous one-seat majority on CU’s Board of Regents, which fell under intense scrutiny after it voted in a 5-4 party line vote in May to appoint CU President Mark Kennedy, a former GOP Congressman, to be CU’s President.

Carson’s departure from the race leaves Republicans without the advantage of incumbency in a district where Democrats have a distinct, but not overwhelming, advantage. The district covers Aurora and suburbs south, east, and north of Denver.

CU Regent Carson

A Democratic victory next year would likely flip CU’s governing board, as two regents up for re-election next year come from solid blue districts that would be expected to elect Democrats.

Gaining a majority on the board of regents would mark another step in a steady takeover of statewide representative bodies and offices by Democrats, having 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), who will defend his seat next year, and CU Regent at-large Heidi Ganahl, who’s up for re-election in 2022.

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.

Carson told the Colorado Times Recorder that he decided not to run primarily because he’s been dedicated to public service, in various capacities, for 14 years, and he wants to spend more time with family and elsewhere.

Asked if the political climate in Carson’s district was a factor in his decision, Carson said it would have been a close race that would have demanded a lot of his time.

(more…)

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Republicans Target County Commissions to Fight Colorado’s New Oil-and-Gas Safety Law

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Lori Saine (R).

Colorado’s GOP House leader says fellow Republicans are fighting Colorado’s new oil-and-gas safety law by trying to get elected to county commissions, which now have more authority over oil-and-gas operations.

Discussing the new oil-and-gas law last week on KLZ 560-AM, state Rep. Patrick Neville said the “next election cycle in 2020 is pretty pivotal” in terms of exerting local control, as allowed under the law.

Neville pointed to state Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone), who is running for Weld county commissioner, as the type of candidate needed to fight back against the new law, passed this year to make health and safety the top priority in oil-and-gas regulations.

“I think it’s important that we actually get people like [Saine] – especially in Weld County – elected as a county commissioner in Weld County, because she will fight!” said Neville on air. “You guys know Lori, she will fight tooth and nail for that local control aspect. And so, we’ve got to have rock solid people at that local level fighting up.”

In fact, Saine wants Weld County to be an “oil-and-gas sanctuary,” free from enforcing any oil-and-gas regulations.

Neville said former state Sen. Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) is running for Mesa County Commissioner “for kind of the same reasons Lori is.”

Scott acknowledge the importance of oil-and-gas issues in his decision to run.

(more…)

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