A “Team Trump Bus” is touring northern Colorado today, and on it is John “TIG” Tiegen, who tweeted his unvarnished support for Kyle Rittenhouse, the Wisconsin teen accused of shooting three people at Wisconsin protests yesterday.
“That’s why I say NICE F@&k shot Kyle!” tweeted Tiegen.
Two of the three victims from the protest, which occurred in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, have not been officially identified, but the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has named all three based on images and posts found on social media. Tiegen nonetheless reposted claims made by a far-right meme page called Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children, which stated that all of the shooter’s victims were pedophiles and violent criminals. Authorities have charged 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who claims to be a militia member, with the homicides.
Tiegen didn’t return a message asking if he thinks others should follow Rittenhouse’s example and take to the streets and shoot people. He was also asked if he’d talked to Trump about these matters.
It appears that some Colorado Republicans are presenting themselves as mask wearers on public communications platforms, but being less diligent in the real world.
Take, for example, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), who’s trying to appeal to moderate mask-lovers–and, and at the same time, fire up his mask-hating conservative base to help him defeat Democrat John Hickenlooper.
In response, he’s apparently decided to consistently don a mask in photos for public Facebook consumption but often go maskless on the campaign trail.
All photos on his official Facebook page since July 17, when Colorado’s statewide order to wear masks went into effect, show him wearing a mask, in indoor or outdoor settings, while photos snapped of the senator during the same period on the campaign trail tell a tale of inconsistent mask-wearing.
Gardner did not return a call seeking to know why.
(In other words, this “bill” is worthless — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is claiming that legislation he introduced this month “would guarantee Coloradans with pre-existing conditions have health insurance coverage protections.”
In fact, his bill does not provide such protections due to multiple loopholes that insurance companies would use to avoid covering people with pre-existing medical conditions, say experts and journalists who’ve reviewed Gardner’s legislation.
The loopholes that insurance companies would exploit are currently closed due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which protects people with pre-existing conditions.
But if the ACA were repealed, Gardner’s bill wouldn’t stop health insurance companies from again using common strategies for denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions that they used before the law was passed, say experts and fact-checkers.
“Big picture, [Gardner’s] bill does include some protections, but when you open up loopholes for insurance companies to avoid covering people with pre-existing conditions, they will take advantage of them,” said Sabrina Corlette, who directs the Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.
“Effectively, there is no protection at all,” said Corlette.
Corlette outlined four of the loopholes or issues involved in Gardner’s bill in a telephone call with the Colorado Times Recorder.
Denial Based on Health Status
“The biggest, and most glaring is that under this bill there is nothing to prevent an insurance company from just denying you a policy outright,” said Corlette.
“Before the Affordable Care Act, if you were applying for insurance, typically you’d be asked to fill out a health questionnaire, and you’d also have to check a box or say that you would allow the company to go back through your medical history. There’s nothing to prevent the company from doing that under this bill and then saying, ‘We’re not going to issue you a policy. Go somewhere else. If we don’t think you’re an insurable person, we won’t cover you.'”
Insurance Policies Designed for Healthy People
A second loophole in Gardner’s bill would allow insurance companies to design policies that don’t cover people with specific diseases or conditions, said Corlette.
“Prior to the passage of the ACA, insurance companies would design policies that would only work for healthy people,” explained Corlette. “They would do this, for example, by designing a policy that doesn’t cover drugs needed for specific diseases, like HIV/AIDS or hemophilia or cystic fibrosis.
“There’s nothing in the bill that restricts [insurance companies’] ability to design a benefit package that attracts only healthy people.”
Coverage, Yes, As Long As It’s Not Too Expensive
Third loophole: Gardner’s bill would allow insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions but not pay for their care if it got too expensive.
Before the ACA, if you had an expensive medical condition (systic fibrosis, organ transplant, hemophilia), you would hit annual or lifetime caps on your benets. So you’d be left paying with your own money.
“The ACA prohibited those [benefit caps], and this bill does not address that,” said Sabrina. “So, if a plan stated, ‘We’ll cover a full plate of benefits but after $100,000, you’re out of luck,’ it would be allowed. Well, if you have hemophilia, that means this policy isn’t going to do you much good. There are conditions that require a million dollars per year for treatment.”
Incentives to Cover the Healthy
The ACA, Corlette says, incentivized insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions, and Gardner’s bill does nothing to keep those incentives in place.
“The ACA included risk-management programs that essentially tried to change incentives for insurance companies to manage risk, instead of avoid it. Bottom line, it tried to shift rules of the game so that insurance companies could take people with heart disease or diabetes, for example, and manage their care in such a way as to be a financial win for them.”
“If the ACA is repealed those incentive programs go away, and so insurance companies to a large degree are going to revert to the days when they win by avoiding risk entirely.”
Gardner Hasn’t Addressed Criticism of His Bill
Gardner did not return a call asking if he sees any problematic loopholes in his proposed law.
The senator has insisted for years that he supports requirements that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions–even as he’s voted multiple times against the ACA, which protects people with pre-existing conditions.
His bill appears to be intended to be part of his response to his critics.
But while he may point to it as a symbol of his stance on the issue, it’s not convincing analysts or journalists that it will make a substantive difference for people with pre-existing conditions, if the ACA is repealed.
Denver’s NBC affiliate, 9News, quoted Larry Levitt, vice president of Kaiser Family Foundation, as saying Gardner’s bill “is missing certain words that requires insurance companies to take anyone.”
9News anchor Kyle Clark was more blunt, calling the bill “horse excrement.”
9News’ Marshall Zellinger reported that Gardner didn’t respond to his requests for an interview.
So it appears Gardner’s only comment on the bill is contained in a news release distributed Aug. 7 when the bill’s title, without any text, was released.
“My bill is simple – it guarantees coverage for people who have pre-existing medical conditions and ensures that people cannot be charged more because of a pre-existing condition,” said Gardner in a news release. “I will continue to fight for pre-existing condition protections as well as measures to lower health care costs, strengthen innovation, and expand access for all Coloradans, including those with pre-existing medical conditions.”
Lauren Boebert’s mug shot taken upon her arrest in February, 2017
At about midnight four years ago, restauranteur Lauren Boebert, in her words, “turned too sharp,” and rolled her truck into a ditch near her home in Rifle, Colorado.
She faced a careless driving and unsafe vehicle charges, and a court date was set for three months later.
Not an uncommon slip-up on rural roads at night.
But Boebert, who’s now a Republican candidate for Congress, never showed up for her court hearing on October 5, 2016, according to records obtained by the Colorado Times Recorder from Colorado’s 9th Judicial District.
This led a Garfield County judge to issue a warrant for Boebert’s arrest for failing to appear in court.
Information about the 2016 warrant comes after Colorado Newsline reported last week that Boebert failed to appear for two separate hearings following her 2015 disorderly-conduct arrest at the Country Jam music festival near Grand Junction. A document search shows that the Mesa County court issued a warrant for her arrest in this case as well after she didn’t show up.
In the 2016 case involving the car accident, a letter was sent by the court to Boebert’s home address in Rifle and advised Boebert that a “warrant for your arrest” was issued for “failure to appear on 10/5/16,” in reference to the case.
“You may take care of this matter by contacting the court…and request a new court date,” the letter, dated Oct. 7, 2016, states. “If you wish to plead guilty, it may be possible for you to do so by mail. In addition to the warrant, a warrant fee has been assessed and a hold may have been placed against your driver’s license. Please contact the court as soon as possible to resolve this matter.”
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) says repeatedly that he wants to protect people with pre-existing conditions from losing their health insurance, yet he’s voted repeatedly to eliminate or gut the federal requirement that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions.
Now Gardner has introduced a bill, the text of which has yet to be released, that would, according to a news release from the senator’s office, “guarantee Coloradans with pre-existing conditions have health insurance coverage protections.”
Experts say Gardner’s legislation appears to be motivated more by politics than substance, especially given that federal law, under Obamacare, as well as Colorado law already requires insurance companies to cover Coloradans with pre-existing conditions.
“Big picture, this seems to me like a late-in-the-day effort to protect the senator politically, given his support for repealing the pre-existing condition protections in the ACA in 2017 as well as public opinion about the Trump administration’s current efforts to undo pre-existing condition protections at the Supreme Court,” said Sabrina Corlette, a professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute.
Other health experts agreed with Corlette.
“To me, this is just a political stunt because these protections already exist at the federal and state level,” says Adam Fox, Director of Strategic Outreach for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “This is pure politicking. If Gardner really wanted to help people with pre-existing conditions, he would protect the ACA, denounce the lawsuit against it, and make sure our Medicaid program is fully funded through the health crisis.”
If Gardner and other Republicans were to repeal the ACA (which they were unable to do in 2017 when they had the power to do so) and pass Gardner’s bill (which might narrowly protect people with pre-existing conditions), the “entire health care system would be thrown out of whack,” said Fox, predicting high premiums, millions of uninsured people, and the prevalence of so-called junk insurance, pushed by Trump and Gardner, that doesn’t cover what consumers expect from health insurance.
“If you have the protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but you don’t have some of the other protections, like essential health benefits, no annual and lifetime [coverage] limits, and preventive services, you could end up with insurance that, yes, you technically could buy, but it wouldn’t cover much of what you need without the ACA.”
If you live in Aurora or the surrounding suburbs, Republican Richard Murray wants you to give him a seat on the governing board of the University of Colorado to stop Democrats from controlling CU.
That’s what’s at stake in his campaign against Democrat Ilana Spiegel, he says.
If Spiegel beats Murray in November in their suburban Denver race, the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents will almost certainly shift to a Democratic majority.
“If we don’t win this race, Democrats will take control of the Board of Regents for the first time in 40 years,” says Murray on his campaign’s Facebook page. “I will do everything in my power to prevent that from happening.
One funny side effect of congressional candidate Lauren Boebert’s rise to fame is that she makes other Republican Party candidates in Colorado look awful–at least in the eyes of conservative hardliners who must vote nonstop if Cory Gardner has a prayer to win in November.
Don’t take it from me. Hear it from the king of the bottom-feeding right-wingers himself: KNUS radio host Peter Boyles.
“This young woman brings the most excitement to the Republican party in the state of Colorado since I don’t know when,” said Boyles on air Monday.
But instead of turning this into a plus for the Republicans, Boyles contrasts Boebert with “so-called candidates” like…Cory Gardner!
“We’ve been through Bob Beauprez and Bruce Benson and the Coors brothers and, I mean, [Walker] Stapleton and this–Cory Gardner,” said Boyles. “You have infused more excitement, more speed, into the Republican party than any of those other so-called candidates.”
In other words, life would be great if only Gardner vanished, poof, and Colorado had Boebert all day every day, on every harvestable mail-in ballot in the state.
Boyles explained that no other worthless top Republican was in Denver last year, as Boebert was, carrying her gun and telling Beto O’Rourke “hell no” she wouldn’t give up her gun if his dangerous idea of a mandatory buyback of all assault weapons became law.
“I did that because I didn’t see anybody else doing it; I didn’t see anyone standing for freedom,” said Boebert on air, triggering Boyles.
“I didn’t see Cory Gardner standing there, or Mike Coffman, or Walker Stapleton, or any of the above–the establishment,” Boyles yelped.
“And you’re not a big woman–I’ll say tiny woman, but I don’t mean to offend anyone,” said Boyles, who says he’s “in love with” Boebert. “You’re not very tall.”
You may find that offensive but the Republicans who must go to the polls and vote for Gardner mostly don’t. It’s refreshing to them, harmless, and its message is clear.
Gardner, in Boyles own words, is a “weenie,” a weak, word-sloshing piece of political scrap, destined of course for a high-paying lobbying job with a reciprocal smile and a pat on the back, thank you very much.
(The Colorado Q-reepshow goes on – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
“I feel this, with every ounce of my being,” wrote Otero County, Colorado, Republican leader Stephanie Garbo on Facebook last month, in response to a post, retweeted by an account associated with QAnon, an online conspiracy movement tied to violent acts and flagged by the FBI as a potential domestic terror threat.
Garbo responded to a statement on Facebook expressing a deep allegiance to QAnon, which is built largely around the idea that government workers are out to undermine conservatives like Trump.
“I just keep reminding myself that no matter what, I was drawn to the movement because I sensed something was horribly wrong…and whatever happens, I will be equipped to love and guide those who were blind,” stated the Facebook post that Garbo responded to. (See below.)
Most of Otero County, in Southern Colorado, is represented in Congress by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO), who was toppled in a primary this year by Lauren Boebert, of Rifle, who’s also praised QAnon.
In a May interview first reported by Right Wing Watch, Boebert said, “I hope that [Q] is real, because it only means America is getting stronger and better and people are returning to conservative values.”
The congressional candidate later said she’s not a QAnon follower.
In an interview on Denver radio station KHOW, Trump campaign adviser John Pence put to rest any doubt that Trump is targeting suburban women with his hot rhetoric about riots and chaos in American cities.
Asked July 28 by KHOW morning host Ross Kaminsky if he thought the upcoming election will turn on economic issues or on suburban women’s concern for safety with the riots in the streets and the virus, Pence responded with:
“Well, Ross, I have three older, very opinionated sisters, two of which have four children each. I guess you would say they are suburban women. They’re very concerned about this radical call of defunding the police. The president made that very clear, that he’s going to stand with our police,” Pence told Kaminsky. “He’s going to back the blue. And safety and security really is on the ballot this November. And that is an issue. I mean, what — you can’t pursue the American dream if you don’t feel safe going to work. I mean, that’s just — that’s fact. And defending our freedom starts with preserving law and order. And that’s why I’m sure you’ll hear strong words from our Attorney General about folks who destroy federal property, folks that commit arson and crimes will be held accountable to the full extent of the law. And President Trump is not going to back down on that to keep the American people safe.”
Pence, who is Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew, went on to say he thinks Trump can win Colorado.
“I don’t like to talk about feelings,” Pence told Kaminsky. “I like to talk about numbers. And our Trump Victory field team has done an excellent job with the voter contact work I mentioned, with knocking doors. And when it comes to making the voter contacts, registering voters, we know that voters are 80% likely to go out and vote for a Republican candidate that very first time. So if we have registered hundreds of thousands of voters in this growing Republican Party between now and November–but really eight weeks away, as you know, with early voting and mail-in voting in this state — you know, we’re in a competitive position.
Pence talked to Kaminsky after campaigning with newly minted congressional candidate Lauren Boebert in Pueblo and Grand Junction.
He called Boebert a “really strong candidate” who could represent a “recipe for American greatness.”
“Cardboard Cory: the Documentary” tells the incredible story about the life and times of a cardboard cutout of Republican Sen. Cory Gardner and the political activists behind the cardboard.
There’s a perception out there of activists as lonely, angry people who you try to slide away from at parties. This film does a beautiful job of debunking that stereotype, showing that activism and activists are about community-building and fun.
But the 15-minute film is also an organizing tool.
And it’s the organizing-tool part that really excites the folks who are promoting the film and want more than anything to see Gardner exit the U.S. Senate.
“We’re fewer than 100 days out from the election. To win in 2020, we need to work together to save our future,” says Katie Farnan, of Indivisible Front Range Resistance (IFFR), which created the cutout along with other local indivisible groups. “The Cardboard Cory documentary inspires us to celebrate our movement’s leaders and past victories and then get to work on the election of our lifetimes.”
“After watching the film, viewers were given the tools to call voters directly as well as resources for doing more electoral work in the 97 days remaining in the 2020 election cycle,” stated a news release about the documentary that was headlined, “Viewers make commitment to motivate voters as part of a week of national electoral action.”
But please take a 15-minute break from political organizing and watch this film by Nick Rosen and paid for by the Payback Project, which is Indivisible’s national campaign focused on 11 vulnerable senators.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s “Special Guest” at a “Video Conference” fundraiser that costs $1,000 for political action committees and $500 for personal attendance.
The event starts at 5 p.m. today via a Zoom link.
Graham is the latest Republican who’s raising money for Gardner recently.
Efforts learn more about the event from Gardner’s office were unsuccessful.
Last month, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell urged fellow Republicans to chip in to Gardner’s campaign and, “Help him fight off Schumer and the radical left.”
In a recent fundraising email, Gardner not only spotlighted his support from McConnell but also Donald Trump, Jr., U.S. Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona, and Joni Ernst of Iowa—all of whom implored Gardner backers to donate to his campaign now or risk seeing the Democrats take over the U.S. Senate.
Graham, who’s become known as one of Trump’s staunches defenders, was once a harsh critic of Trump, just as Gardner once was.
Gardner had to have known three years ago that McCain’s sinking thumb marked a pivotal moment in American history because Gardner hated Obamacare so much and had worked so hard to kill it. For Gardner, Obamacare isn’t just a little awful. It’s way awful.
When he was nominated to run for Senate, Gardner went so far as to call the Affordable Care Act the “biggest and worst government boondoggle this country has ever seen.”
I admit to being a harsh critic of our great country, but you don’t have to ask too many questions about American foreign and domestic policy to understand how bad Obamacare is if you think it’s the worst government boondoggle in American history.
Here’s how Gardner put it:
“As parents, we believe it’s our job to give our children a better starting point than the one we were given,” Gardner said. “But there’s a growing pessimism in Colorado that says that’s becoming more and more difficult to do. I met seniors, older folks, people my grandparents’ age, walking into the sunset of their life, wondering what happened to this nation. What happened to the hopeful, can-do country that won Cold Wars and World Wars. And I met people, hundreds of people, who for the very first time were feeling the very first effects of Obamacare, the biggest and worst government boondoggle this country has ever seen. People who lost their insurance. People who saw their insurance premiums increase. People who lost their doctor. People who were sold a bill of goods and left with the bill.”
So that’s where Gardner was coming from when McCain’s thumb was facing the Senate floor.
You can only imagine the intense emotions he must have been feeling at the moment. As a Senate GOP leader, he knew that the Republicans’ high-profile, seven-year effort to kill Obamacare, at least in Congress, was over.
Or was it? That’s the question Gardner had to answer at the time. Obamacare could still be killed quickly in the courts–or slowly through Trump’s executive actions.
At this critical juncture, Gardner decided not to join Democrats and try to fix the country’s health care law, a move that might have put him on better political footing today.
But he stopped calling it the worst of boondoggles as well. Now, Gardner doesn’t even mention Obamacare at all on his campaign website. He meekly calls for its repeal on his official Senate website.
So what’s changed for Gardner since gravity and reason tugged on McCain’s thumb three years ago? There’s the pandemic. The economic collapse. The increased popularity of Obamacare. The face-planting of Trump.
But if the vote to kill Obamacare were held again today, you know Gardner’s thumb–or maybe both his thumbs–would be pointing up. And he’d be smiling.
(Sounds like exactly the kind of decision-making that Republicans need in Congress — promoted by Colorado Pols)
In apparent violation of state and federal law, Colorado congressional candidate Lauren Boebert allowed an under-age server at her restaurant in Rifle to carry a gun.
Boebert, who toppled Congressman Scott Tipton in a Republican primary last month, told a juvenile server to pack heat at her diner, Shooters Grill, just like the adult wait staff do, according to a server currently featured on restaurant’s website.
“Well, because I’m seventeen, I actually can’t carry it everywhere,” said one of Boebert’s servers in a Barcroft TV interview, shot in 2015, referring to the gun on her hip. “I can carry at work because it’s Lauren’s private property. And she allows me to.”
Colorado law bans juveniles from possessing a handgun, and exceptions do not allow gun-carrying as part of a job serving “Ballistic Chicken” and “Smoking Gun” brisket, as featured on the menu. A similar federal law has an exception for a minor carrying a gun “in the course of employment,” but it’s tough to conclude the exception would reasonably apply in this case.
Under Colorado law, if any person knows a juvenile is carrying a gun illegally, as in Boebert’s case, and “fails to make reasonable efforts to prevent such violation,” they commit the crime of “permitting a juvenile to possess a handgun.”
It’s not known if Boebert provided her under-age waitress with the handgun, and she didn’t return a call for comment on this article.
Gun-safety proponents were dismayed that Boebert would allow a minor to carry a gun in her diner, and it shows she’s unfit for Congress, they said.
“This is not how responsible gun owners behave and not who we want to represent us in Congress,” said Robin Halloran, a volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action, a group backing gun-safety laws, and a resident of the congressional district Boebert wants to represent. “This is exactly why we are working so hard from today until November to elect gun sense candidates like Diane Mitsch Bush.”
Reached by phone, Tom Mauser, whose son died in the 1999 Columbine school shooting, called it “shameful” for Boebert to allow a minor to carry guns in her restaurant.
“There is something clearly wrong if a minor is allowed to carry a gun in a restaurant,” Mauser told the Colorado Times Recorder. “And how shameful that their boss is running for Congress.”
“I have always invoked Reagan’s eleventh commandment, that it isn’t useful to attack other Republicans, simply because the philosophical differences that we are going to have with our Democrat counterparts certainly ought to outweigh that,” Tipton replied. “We try to be able to stay focused on the work that we are doing.”
Three years ago this month, after the downward-pointing thumb of John McCain put an end to the last of three Republican attempts to kill Obamacare, the Arizona senator issued a statement with ideas on how America could move forward to improve its health care system.
Among McCain’s suggestions: “heed the recommendations of the nation’s governors.”
One of those was Colorado’s John Hickenlooper, who’d been working with Republican and Democratic governors from states that had implemented the Affordable Care Act, dramatically reducing the number of people without health insurance in their states and protecting those with pre-existing conditions.
Hickenlooper and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, were probably the most prominent governors urging senators not to pass legislation that would upend health insurance coverage in their states and set back their successful efforts to reduce the ranks of the uninsured. Doug Ducey, a Republican, from McCain’s state of Arizona, was another governor who was speaking out at the time, seeking compromise.
And among the senators whom Hickenlooper and Kasich were hoping would hear their message: Colorado’s Cory Gardner.
In the months before her upset victory over fellow Republican Scott Tipton, Colorado congressional candidate Lauren Boebert developed a loud-mouthed fan base among a key group of Colorado conservatives: talk radio hosts.
Boebert was a regular guest on Colorado’s largest talk radio station, KNUS 710-AM, as well as competing stations, giving updates on her campaign and the saga about her restaurant, Shooters Grill, which she refused to close despite orders to do so to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The dozen or so radio interviews confirm the portrait Boebert creates of herself on social media, as an aggressive, media-savvy politician, who delivers zingers more effectively than the zinger-delivery experts on the radio.
“Did you ever think that in your lifetime you would be labeled defiant simply because you want to run your business in a responsible manner?” Boebert was asked on KFKA’s Mornings with Gail May 19.
“No. You know, flattening the curve turned into communism very quickly,” Boebert replied, referring to government health orders, like the one resulting in the temporary shutdown of her restaurant, where the wait staff openly carry guns, even including her servers who are under 18 years old.
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.