Otero County GOP Leader Thinks Floyd’s Death Might Have Been Faked

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The leader of the Otero County, Colorado, Republican Party was “suspicious from the get-go” about the George Floyd video, thinking it might have been faked to harm Trump in November.

“Interesting perspective. I’ve been suspicious from the get-go, because it’s in the main media,” said Stephanie Garbo in a May 28 Facebook post, referring to an essay she shared on the social media platform.

The essay, which remains posted on Garbo’s public Facebook page, states: “I think there is at the very least the ‘possibility’, that this was a filmed public execution of a black man by a white cop, with the purpose of creating racial tensions and driving a wedge in the growing group of anti deep state sentiment from common people, that have already been psychologically traumatized by Covid 19 fears.”

“I am ready for the fallout,” commented Garbo before sharing the essay. “If I’m wrong, I’ll admit it. I hope I am. This is, in my opinion… [elipses in the original ORCHESTRATED. CHAOS. How do you get control of chaos within your citizenship? Martial Law.”

Efforts to reach Garbo via email and phone were not successful.

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Mesa Republicans Remove Facebook Post Speculating That Floyd’s Death Was Faked

The chair of the Mesa County, Colorado, Republican Party says he’s going to “tighten the posting policies” on the organization’s official Facebook page after an item appeared on the site Monday, and was subsequently removed, speculating that George Floyd’s death was staged.

“It’s already been removed, and it’s gone,” Kevin McCarney, chair of the Mesa County Republican Party, told the Colorado Times Recorder. “It’s not the position of the party.”

The Mesa County Republican Party pasted 21 “puzzling” questions about Floyd’s death of its Facebook page and made a comment suggesting that the organization was open to the possibility that the death was a hoax.

“This is a cut and paste from another group — I don’t know the answers,” stated the Mesa County Republican Party, in its comment above the list of questions, which included:

“Why did the kneeling officer appear completely cool and calm, as if he was posing for the camera?” “Is there any cop dumb enough to continue kneeling on someone’s neck for 8 minutes when surrounded by people and being video recorded?” “Is it possible for the deceased’s cousins and fiance to be completely tearless during interviews?”

Now Mesa Republicans are totally denouncing these questions and the post itself.

“We think what we happened to George Floyd was awful, and one hundred percent, our stance is that we support justice for George Floyd, absolutely. that never should have happened.”

(Nine other questions appeared on the post.) Asked for an explanation for the appearance of the post, McCarney said, “One of my guys put it up there, and I asked him to remove it as soon as it popped up.”

McCarney didn’t name the person responsible, but it’s not the first time members of the group have posted racist memes or disinformation on Facebook.

In December, Mark McCallister, then a former second vice chair of the Mesa County Republican Party, posted an awful meme on his personal Facebook page depicting Trump placing a noose around the neck of Obama. McCallister didn’t comment.

Asked for a response at the time, state Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta) told the Colorado Times Recorder, “I didn’t see this on Mark’s Facebook page, so I cannot comment. On account of the bitter divide at the Federal level, respect and a willingness act as decent humans is lacking. As we celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah, I’d ask of politicos and the media alike to tone down fanning the flames of this divide, so that we can be civil and focus on helping those in need, spending time with family and friends during this Holiday season. This is a message for Republicans and Democrats.”

In 2018, McCallister, who held the post of second vice-chair of the Mesa Republicans at the time, shared a racist Facebook post on his personal Facebook page comparing California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who’s one of the country’s leading African American women, to the alien beast in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous 1987 movie, Predator. The organization did not respond to a request for comment at the time. He also posted fake news the previous year.

Other content on the Mesa GOP Facebook page shows anger and doubt about the Floyd protests.

“Hopefully, these riots are winning converts from the gun-control crowd to our side. When crime runs rampant, the police can’t be everywhere at once,” states the group in one recent post.

Another recent post states: “Sickening these staged protests make it to our State.”

Another implies that the “riots” are sponsored by George Soros to “cover” for Biden.

“And if these riots don’t stop we know the true agenda. Cover for Biden this election year. A message paid for by George Soros,” states the post.

The home page of the Mesa County Republican Party states, “Keeping Mesa County Great,” along with the statement, “We believe in American exceptionalism. We believe the United States of America is unlike any other nation on earth. We believe America is exceptional because of our historic role — first a refuge, then a defender, and now an exemplar of liberty for the world to see.”

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TV Reporter: LeBron James, Thanks for ‘Drawing our Attention’ to Colorado’s Peaceful Protest

LeBron James took a shot at the media Saturday, in retweeting a video of a peaceful protest posted on Twitter by ace Colorado Times Recorder reporter Madeleine Schmidt.

“Media showing this???? I bet you they’re not,” wrote James in his Twitter post afer watching Schmidt’s video. “You know why, cause this is unity, peaceful, beautiful and love!”

Some commenters on Twitter pointed out that the Colorado Times Recorder is part of the media too, even if we were glorifying a peaceful protest instead of looting, fires, graffiti, destruction, tear gas, and/or windows being smashed.

But we’re small, and James was just saying that peaceful protests aren’t covered enough. He may have been referring to the national media. See screenshots of MSNBC and CNN’s homepages from Sunday evening:

It’s easy to complain about excessive mayhem and fluff in the news. It’s harder to know how to solve the problem, part of which is caused by peaceful activists who are important but often boring.

But the King at least took a stand and tweeted about the focus on the chaos. (He tweeted our video and another.) And it worked.

An NBC affiliate in Los Angeles broadcasted the CTR video as Lebron requested.

 
“We had so many responses from viewers online and into our newsroom about a piece of video,” said NBC Los Angeles reporter Robert Kovacik on air. “We’ve got the video now for you about what happened in Denver today,” said Kovacik. “Take a look. Those are thousands of people lying on their stomachs chanting, ‘I can’t breathe.’ And they did that for nine minutes, the time that was clocked by investigators when George Floyd had a knee against his neck. And that was this afternoon in Denver. “King James, we did play it because you asked us to, and we appreciate you drawing our attention to it.”

Another journalist from a TV station in Atlanta told James on his Twitter feed that they’d aired the video too.

Others seemed frustrated by James’ media critique.

Commenting on James’ Twitter feed, Denver 7 weekend anchor Jaclyn Allen seemed irritated at the King’s implication that journalists weren’t covering the peaceful protests.

“Yep, @KingJames, we showed it,” wrote Allen on James’ timeline, not specifying if this was done when activists repeated the action the following day after James had drawn attention to it. “Live. For several minutes while it was happening. And over and over again after that.”

Allen didn’t return my call to talk about this, but as our video climbs past 12 13 million views, it looks like there’s a market for hope and peaceful protest on TV, and every other media platform on the planet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chd0xWuZ8po&feature=youtu.be

 
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Gardner’s Retaliatory Snub of 9News Brings “Joy” to GOP Activists Who Are Vital to His Re-Election Bid

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Lots of people had theories on why U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner decided not to take part in a debate on 9News prior to November’s election, but House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock got the inside scoop from Gardner himself.

“[Gardner] told me…. He was like, “‘Yeah, I don’t talk to those guys [at 9News],'” said Neville on the “Chuck and Julie” podcast last week (at 20 min 30 sec).

Gardner snubbed the 9News debate but accepted invitations for five other debates prior to the November’s election. Gardner spokesman Jerrod Dobkin didn’t say why Gardner made the decision.

It hasn’t always been this way. Gardner eagerly debated Sen. Mark Udall on 9News in 2014 during Gardner’s successful campaign to oust the Democrat.

But sometime between then and now, Gardner got a sour taste in his mouth about 9News, which reaches far more Coloradans than any other news broadcast in the state.

It’s a sourness that TV viewers have seen ooze out from Gardner on a number of occasions, and it has surprised political analysts of all stripes, who admire Gardner’s normally smooth dealings with the press.

After a speech to a business group in October, for example, Gardner snapped at 9News’ Anusha Roy, after she identified herself as being with 9News.

Roy was trying to find out why Gardner was blaming Democrats for Haliburton’s layoffs on the Western Slope, and she caught up with Gardner as he was leaving the venue.

Roy: You tweeted that Colorado Democrats– Gardner: You didn’t like the tweet? Who are you with? Roy: I’m with 9News. Gardner: So you must have your own opinion. What’s your opinion? Roy : No. I was asking about the tweet you sent about the Haliburton layoffs.

9News anchor Kyle Clark later reported that Gardner had “accused Roy of bias.”

Clark told viewers on air: “We meet [Gardner] at these public events because he ignores our interview requests.”

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Neville to Push Bill Limiting Governor’s Authority to Issue Public-Health Orders

(#COVID4Colorado – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R).

Colorado Republicans plan to push for legislation limiting Gov. Jared Polis’ authority to issue public-health orders to 15 days, after which time Polis or a future governor would need to get the green light from the state legislature to extend orders any longer.

State House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock said at a news conference and on KCOL radio that he and fellow Republicans plan next week, when the legislative session resumes, to begin “pushing back on the governor’s authority, making sure that after 15 days he actually has legislative approval to continue on with his emergency powers.”

When Arapahoe County area District Attorney George Brauchler called on lawmakers earlier this month to push this type of legislation, a professor of medicine and public health at the University of Colorado School of Medicine called it a “sad” illustration of how the response to the pandemic is being converted into a “partisan issue.”

Brauchler called for a “liberty-loving legislator” to offer a “bill to claw back the massive authority given to the governor.”

Brauchler appears to have found his lawmaker in Neville, who’s one of the highest-ranking Republicans in Colorado.

Neville, who’s falsely alleged that masks “don’t accomplish anything,” said on air that the GOP plans to run a bill that “essentially says ‘the governor can only have emergency authority for 15 days. After 15 days, he has to go back and seek legislative approval.'”

Neville acknowledged his proposed legislation probably won’t move forward this year, because it will be considered a late bill that can’t advance without the approval of the Democratic majority, which, he says, will not allow it.

Republicans Target November Election

In light of the likely paralysis of his proposal to strip Polis of his authority to issue pubic-health orders, Neville tried to turn Republicans’ attention to the upcoming election.

Neville said he saw this situation coming, and that’s why he was involved in the failed recall campaigns last year in Colorado

“This is a big reason we were active in the recall elections a year ago and why we were trying to push back, because we saw a lot of this happening,” said Neville on air. “We never thought it would actually get to this point.”

“We really need people to be on the ground fighting for Republicans in elections,” he continued. “If we don’t at least close the gap on Democrat control, then we will probably never solve this.”

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“This Isn’t a Joke. Coloradans Need Help Now,” Says Colo Dem after Gardner Laughs off Her Request to Vote Against McConnell

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Gardner & McConnell NRSC election night 2018
Gardner, McConnell and others

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) jumped on conservative talk radio yesterday to laugh off a letter from Colorado House Speaker KC Becker and others requesting that Gardner pledge not to vote for Mitch McConnell as Republican leader of the U.S. Senate, if Gardner is re-elected in November.

Gardner didn’t tell KHOW radio host Dan Caplis whether he’d vote against McConnell.

Instead, Gardner said the pledge request was a show of “confidence” that Gardner will win his re-election campaign in November, because he only gets to vote for McConnell if he wins.

“I was attacked I think by the speaker of the House in Colorado, who urged me to vote against Mitch McConnell for being majority leader. And of course what that acknowledges is that we will win in November because the only way that I get to vote is if I win in November. So I appreciate their confidence.”

“This isn’t a joke, Coloradans need help now,” responded Becker in a statement to the Colorado Times Recorder. “Stop ducking the question: are you going to oppose McConnell or continue to go along with his dangerous agenda that hurts Colorado?”

Becker’s letter does not assume Gardner will win in November, but instead asks Gardner to pledge to vote against McConnell, “if re-elected.”

“When you were first elected to the Senate, it was on a pledge to be an independent voice for Coloradans,” states Wednesday’s letter to Gardner. “Now, keeping your word means making a different pledge: that if re-elected, you will not vote for Mitch McConnell as your party’s leader in the Senate.”

Gardner’s spokesman declined to comment on the letter, when asked to do so Wednesday by ColoradoPolitics reporter Ernest Luning.

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Michael ‘Heck’ve a Job’ Brown, of Katrina Fame, Won’t Take COVID Vaccine

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Michael “Brownie” Brown (right).

Michael Brown, who became famous after President George W. Bush told him that he was doing a “heck’ve a job” during the Katrina disaster, already knows he isn’t going to take a vaccination against COVID-19, if one becomes available, and, meanwhile, he thinks mask-wearing is in many ways an “utter joke.”

“A mask provides a clear indication to government officials that you are in compliance, that you are a good little citizen doing what they ask you to do,” said Brown during his radio show yesterday titled “Enough with the Masks” on KOA 850-AM in Denver. “That’s why I think masks are, in many ways, just a joke, just an utter joke. And I don’t care if you wear one.”

Brown compared what he sees as flawed climate science to what he also sees as the bogus science behind mask-wearing.

“All I want you to do is be aware of the fact that the science behind the wearing of masks is kind of like climate change,” he said. “Depending on the model you use, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it gets warm. Sometimes it gets cold. Sometimes you just don’t know what it’s going to do.”

The science behind climate change and mask-wearing is actually sound. Here are a few trustworthy sources, for example, showing mask-wearing to be beneficial:  here,  herehere, hereherehereherehereherehere.

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Republican House Leader Neville: Masks “Don’t Accomplish Anything”

(“Boy” Neville knows best – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you follow the Colorado Times Recorder, you know we’ve been trying to figure out if some Republican leaders in Colorado, like Colorado Republican House leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock and U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), believe masks provide any protection whatsoever against getting COVID-19.

Neville put the question to bed this week, posting on Facebook that masks “don’t accomplish anything.”

Neville’s comment came in response to Trump attorney Jenna Ellis’ Facebook post.

“So my question for the anti-maskers is: Is THIS really the battle worth fighting?” asked Ellis, who’s a former Colorado Christian University faculty member. “The whole you gotta wear pants in public thing has been a law for quite a while. I don’t see a lot of freedom fighters streaking to stick it to the tyrants.”

“I’m asking for valid arguments of ‘overreach’ for government temporarily requiring them to be worn while in public places,” continued Ellis on Facebook. “(Private businesses are a different issue.)”

Neville then responded that masks “don’t accomplish anything,” adding that he “often” wears one out of politeness, without explaining why he thinks masks are useless.

You might have guessed this was Neville’s position, after photos emerged of him standing maskless in a crowded cafe recently.

(more…)

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Live and Let Die with Colo GOP Leader Neville

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

When you see Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville enjoying his maskless self at a restaurant filled with other maskless patrons, as we saw over the weekend in Castle Rock, you wonder if he understands the life-saving benefits of wearing a mask.

It turns out, he does. He knows that wearing a mask is much more about protecting others from catching COVID-19 from you than it is about protecting yourself.

Neville with the owner of the Castle Rock Restaurant

Wearing a mask is about trying to stop other people from getting the virus from you, doing your part for the community. Being in this together.

Neville knows this.

As he told KHOW radio host Ross Kaminsky Tuesday, wearing a mask isn’t “really protecting me.”

But the strange part is, Neville doesn’t seem to care if he infects people around him who aren’t wearing masks.

“So if other people really didn’t feel the need for a mask, I didn’t wear mine,” he said on-air, explaining why he didn’t wear his mask at C&C Coffee and Kitchen.

It’s a live-and-let die approach.

Neville is essentially saying, “I might as well risk contaminating all these maskless people because my mask isn’t protecting me from them. So who cares.”

What’s worse than that? Especially for someone a lot of people look up to? Especially during a pandemic? Especially in the midst of maskless throngs of people at a restaurant?

Neville went on to say he wears his mask at Walmart, where others wear masks.

“No one was really wearing a mask, so I chose not to wear a mask, because really, I do it out of politeness,” Neville told Kaminsky about the crowded restaurant seen around the globe before being shuttered for violating Colorado law. “It’s not really protecting me. So if other people really didn’t feel the need for a mask, I didn’t wear mine. But if I go to Wall Mart typically I wear mine.”

I don’t get any of this, and Neville didn’t return my call to discuss it.

 

 
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Brauchler’s Proposal to Roll Back Polis’ Power Shows How Pandemic Is Being “Converted into a Partisan Issue”

(It would be cool if Brauchler spent this much time on his real job — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a proposal that one health expert is calling a “sad” illustration of how the response to the pandemic is being converted into a “partisan issue,” Arapahoe County area District Attorney George Brauchler is urging lawmakers to roll back Gov. Jared Polis’ (D-CO) power to fight the COVID-19.

“I think Gov. Polis ought to convene a task force to say, ‘How can we trim back my authority,'” said Brauchler recently on his Saturday morning “George Show” on KNUS radio. “You know that will never happen. We need to re-look at these public health orders. We need to look at how we give authority to these people.” “Which liberty-loving legislator from either party will stand up and begin this important and needed conversation by offering a bill to claw back the massive authority given to the governor?” wrote Brauchler in a Denver Post opinion today.

Matthew Wynia, a Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, says proposals like Brauchler’s are an “illustration of how the response [to the pandemic] has been increasingly converted into a partisan issue.”

“That’s sad because it shouldn’t be partisan,” Wynia wrote in an email to the Colorado Times Recorder. “Both Republicans and Democrats are dying of this illness – and we all care about the people in our families and communities who are at particular risk.”

“Also,” continued Wynia, “people in both parties are equally concerned with re-opening society as quickly as possible and reducing the harms the shut-down is creating, which are very real and which should not be downplayed at all. No one wants to keep the shut down in place, and no one is talking about keeping it in place forever or even indefinitely. The argument is whether to keep measures in place until we have the numbers going down, when we can do adequate testing and tracing, and when our health care system is ready for the inevitable increase in cases that will come with re-opening.

In questioning the wisdom of Colorado laws that give the governor broad power to respond to public health emergencies, Brauchler is aligning with Republicans across the country who are proposing legislation and filing lawsuits to roll back pandemic-related orders, like closing restaurants and requiring residents to shelter-in-place and wear masks.

In Colorado, Brauchler, who briefly ran for governor in 2018 before dropping out to launch a failed bid to be the state’s attorney general, appears to be the highest-profile Republican who’s proposing to trim Polis’ power.

State Rep. Rod Pelton, a conservative Republican from Eastern Colorado, said last month he’d like the General Assembly to “roll back” the governor’s power to issue public-health orders. He’d like to start on this when the legislature resumes next week, but it might have to wait until next year, he said.

Wynia called the type of legislative effort proposed by Pelton and Brauchler “purely political messaging” that has “no chance of success since the Democrats control both houses.”

“In that regard, it’s a waste of time at a moment when there are much more important things for legislators to be addressing,” wrote Wynia.

In his opinion column, Brauchler didn’t acknowledge that passing legislation now is next-to-hopeless with Democrats, including Polis himself, in charge of state government, but he did address the issue of legislators being too busy.

“And before the ‘we’re too busy’ crowd can claim that they have more important issues to address with their limited time, let me address those more pressing issues,” wrote Brauchler. “Outside of the state’s budget, an ironic victim of these very orders, what legislative action can result in as sweeping and devastating an impact on Coloradans as permitting a potential second, nearly unchecked shutdown of the state?”

Bruachler did not return a call for further comment.

Nationally, the most intense efforts to roll back the power of governors’ public-health orders, either via legislation or the courts, has occurred in key the presidential battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, all of which have Republican-controlled legislative bodies and Democratic governors.

But Republican legislators in Ohio have targeted the authority of the state’s health director, leading fellow Republican governor Mike DeWine to tell them they should focus on coronavirus testing and the economy.

So far, actions to reduce gubernatorial power to fight the virus have failed nationally, according to James Hodge, director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University, but he predicted there will be “massive legislative and judicial battles ahead for the rest of the summer.”

Hodge, who helped develop model legislation designed to help state governments respond to health crises, said if roll-back efforts are successful, they could set back the government’s ability to deal with the pandemic.

When he drafted legislation, “governors essentially told us, ‘Spell out for what powers we might have, and let our legislators consider that and pass these specific provisions, and we’ll act based on those specific legislative authorizations,” said Hodge. “If you don’t spell that out, you create more chaos, not less,” he said.

It appears that Colorado law does not give more emergency powers to its governor than many other states, judging from comparisons available online and a review of emergency orders issued in other states.

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Activist Who Launched Trump Re-Election Campaign in Colorado Now Leading Rally to “TAKE OUR FUCKING COUNTRY BACK”

(Pardon his French – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

John “TIG” Tiegen, who launched Trump’s re-election in Colorado in November, is organizing an aggressive protest Sunday to defend a restaurant that welcomed throngs of maskless customers last weekend.

Tiegen, who submitted petitions in November to place Trump’s name on the Colorado election ballot, identified himself at the time as the founder of “Colorado Veterans for Trump,” telling reporters at the secretary of state’s office that he was confident Trump would win the elections, especially with the economy booming.

Tiegen promoting Sunday’s Rally

Now Tiegen is much angrier, writing on Facebook, “Gov. Jared Polis, calling the restaurant an ‘immediate health hazard,’ has suspended the restaurant license of C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock.

“ITS TIME TO FIGHT BACK PUSH BACK & TAKE OUR FUCKING COUNTRY BACK!”

Video of the Castle Rock restaurant packed with Mother’s Day clients swept across the country yesterday, leading Polis to suspend the eatery’s license for a month.

On his Facebook post, Tiegen is pictured in military garb, draped with weaponry.

“Let’s Stop the threats from our government,” he writes. “Let’s Stop the overreach of POLIS and his unelected Despots.”

He writes that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”

Neither Teigen nor the Trump campaign could immediately be reached for comment.

The rally is another in a string of increasingly aggressive protests to re-open Colorado’s economy, even though the move to do so is seen as dangerous by health experts and opposed by the public.

Trump adviser Stephen Moore called a rally in Colorado “effective.”

Colorado’s Republican House leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock is also defending the restaurant, writing in an email today, “Tell him to leave these honest, hardworking people alone.” Tiegen will lead a caravan of motorcycles and other vehicles out of Pueblo at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, arriving at the Capitol in Denver before the protest, which runs from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The Facebook post makes no mention of social-distancing protocols for the rally.

Tiegen is best known as a former Blackwater contractor and member of the CIA’s security team involved in defending the U.S. embassy in Libya from an attack that led to the death of a U.S. ambassador during the Obama administration. Those falsehoods are chronicled in his co-authored book, “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.”

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Gardner Praises COVID-Tainted Meatpacking Plant, Without Acknowledging It Broke Promise to Test Workers

(If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

During an online discussion hosted by a conservative talk radio station yesterday, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) refused to acknowledge that the JBS meat-processing plant brazenly broke its promise to test all employees before they went back to work. Seven JBS employees have now died of COVID-19.

As Gardner was giving a rambling response to KNUS radio host Steffan Tubbs’ initial inquiry about whether Gardner had received “false promises” from JBS management, Tubbs interrupted Gardner to ask simply if Gardner thought the JBS plant had been “up front and honest.”

“They shut the plant down. They worked on it,” Gardner replied. “In terms of sanitizing it, they need to continue to do that. Every employee who wants a test can get a test. It’s important that they continue to do that.”

Gardner went on to say: “It’s important that they live up to their word. It’s important that they live up to the promises that they have made to employees. Employee safety is paramount.”

Multiple news outlets have reported that JBS promised to test all employees, but has since decided not to do so.

Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) said the state has told JBS that free tests are available, Colorado Public Radio (CPR) reported yesterday:

“To be clear, if JBS is willing to test all employees, we would be happy to work with them on making sure they have the supplies to do that,” CPR reported Polis as saying. “We can’t just go on their premises and test people, that’s why we did it a mile away.”

CPR reported:

Polis said JBS officials backed away from an initial plan to test all employees and decided to just close for two weeks instead. It reopened in late April. Polis said state officials would work “around” JBS if they need to in order to make sure all employees get tested. “These are folks who live and work in Greeley, and we’re just as worried about their neighbors, their friends, store owners who serve them, and many others, in addition to those who work directly at the JBS plant,” Polis said.

In a virtual meeting with Republican activists last week, Gardner boasted that he and Vice President Mike Pence had procured 5,000 COVID-19 tests for workers at the JBS plant. But the workers had not been tested.

In response to Tubbs’ ititial question about the JBS plant last night, Gardner said that it was his understanding that any employee at JBS who wanted a test could get a test, without acknowledging that the optional-testing offer provided by the state only exists because of the company’s broken promise to test all of its employees.

“We need to continue to protect or workforce, not just at JBS but at businesses across the state, across the country that are open, that have remained open, those essential businesses that are there every day. They are the real heroes,” Gardner told Tubbs. “Think about it. Yes, we absolutely have to do great things for our health care workers, our EMTs, our first responders. They have been absolutely heroic. But you’ve also got people like the grocery store workers, like the people working at our meat-processing facilities, our farmers and ranchers, who are working every day to make sure that we have this food-supply system that works and puts food on our tables. Thanks to them as well, each and every one. Thanks to the people working at convenience stores, our gas stations. These are people who have done it every day. We have to make sure that they are protected.”

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Conservative Radio Host Says Not to Expect ‘Breaking News’ from His ‘Town Hall’ with Cory Gardner

(Hater radio lovefest! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In advance of his radio station’s online discussion with U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), KNUS host Steffan Tubbs warned “not to expect breaking news” from his “virtual town hall” with Gardner tonight at 7 p.m.

Still, Tubbs said he’d ask “what I perceive to be tough questions” of Gardner.

Those attending the online event are encouraged to submit questions, but Tubbs didn’t know how he’d choose which questions to ask Gardner.

“I don’t know, Pete, to be honest with you, the process of what questions are going to be asked,” Tubbs told KNUS’ Peter Boyles this morning.

Tubbs said prior to the event on air that he would not be  working with Gardner’s staff on deciding which questions would be asked.

In an indication that his questions won’t cause problems for Gardner, Tubbs said on air not to expect “breaking news” from the event.

In fact, Tubbs apparently criticized 9News anchor Kyle Clark, who’s known to grill Gardner and other politicians, for what Tubbs apparently sees as Clark’s unfair questioning of Gardner.

“I have noticed of late the little digs by a certain anchor on Channel 9. I don’t get it,” said Tubbs on air, almost certainly referring to Clark who’s the object of frequent criticism on KNUS.

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Denver Mayor: Cory Cardner Needs to “Stand Up for Colorado”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

In response to a statement by U.S. Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that Colorado and other states “use the bankruptcy route” to deal with state budget shortfalls resulting from COVID-19, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock today called on Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to use his influence on McConnell “to stand up for Colorado and to fight for Denverites and other cities around the nation.”

“We are calling on Senator Gardner in particular, who is a close ally of McConnell, to stand up for Colorado and to fight for Denverites and other cities around the nation,” said Hancock during a press call today organized by Rocky Mountain Values, a progressive advocacy group.

A bankruptcy declaration would be “absolutely disastrous” for Denver, said Hancock.

“We would see layoffs, quite frankly, of our most important soldiers, men and women who serve as our police officers, our firefighters, our teachers, and other essential personnel, who are battling this pandemic,” said Hancock.

“It’s really those first responders and front-line workers who are making sure we are recovering and we’re able to protect and secure our residents,” he added.

Hancock called it a “partisan mentality” that led to McConnell’s resistance to giving federal aid to states and cities.

(more…)

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Pandemic Shows Danger of Trump Plan to Give States Grants for Health Care, Say Colo Experts

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Cory Gardner.

Earlier this year, just before the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration launched a program allowing states opt out of traditional Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for low-income people, and instead receive a block grant from the federal government.

Trump’s block-grant program, widely seen as a back-door way of killing Obamacare, is billed as giving states more flexibility to address local needs because it allows them to spend the federal dollars with far fewer restrictions.

The pandemic has shown why the Medicaid-block-grant idea, which has been backed in the past by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and other Colorado Republicans, is a bad idea, say experts.

One of the great benefits of Medicaid, they say, is its ability to expand quickly to meet the demands of a health care crisis, like the coronavirus pandemic.

Ross Brooks, who directs Mountain Family Health Centers in Colorado’s central mountains, says block grants don’t end up giving states more flexibility, primarily because they create spending caps that can be devastating to local health care systems, especially in rural areas like he serves.

In a pandemic like this one, the spending caps could prevent budget-strapped states from adding citizens to their Medicaid rolls–because states could easily burn through the grant money, said Brooks during a press conference organized Thursday by Protect Our Care, a progressive advocacy group.

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A Big-Headed Wood Product to Star in Documentary

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

One of the many surprisingly effective qualities of the cardboard cutout of U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), which was built to highlight the senator’s decision not to hold town-hall meetings for years, is how photogenic it is, especially when it interacts with real humans.

When people see the smiling cardboard cutout, at an event or on the street, they’re drawn to it, to take selfies, make comments, stick out their tongues, laugh, yell.

“I’ve made so many phone calls to you, Cory. Where have you been?”

“Why did you take so much money from the NRA?”

“Do you even like Colorado? We haven’t seen you in a really long time.”

So it’s a brilliant plan of anti-Gardner activists to create a series of online videos, and a short documentary, starring…Cardboard Cory.

The purpose of the videos, says Indivisible Front Range Resistance organizer Katie Farnan, is to build a volunteer base for phone banking, texting, or whatever can be done activist-wise in the new COVID-19 campaign world.

So Farnan and filmmaker Nick Rosen are turning Cardboard Cory into a recruiter.

“People see Cardboard Cory and want to be part of this awesome thing we created,” said Farnan. “They want to join us. Cardboard Cory makes it okay to get involved.”

To give us a taste of what’s to come, Indivisible has released a teaser titled, of course, “Cardboard Cory.”

It opens with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow saying Gardner’s “constituents have not seen much of him,” noting that at the time the senator hadn’t held a town hall meeting in “486 days, seven hours, ane 20 minutes, not that they are counting or anything.”

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Mask-Dissing Buck Posts Photo of Himself Wearing a Mask with Fellow Congressmen

(Better late than…wait, that’s not how this works – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: Now somebody get the word to Vice President Mike Pence:

Pray the COVID away? That’s not going to cut it now that even Ken Buck is wearing one.

—–

When you’ve been writing coronavirus stories and almost nothing else for a month (and seeing your wife, mother, and almost no one else), you naturally wonder if you’re hallucinating when you see an April 21 Facebook photo of fully-masked Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO) on an airplane–after you were sure he said the week before that he had no plans to wear a mask on an airplane trip to Washington D.C.

But there’s Buck, in an airplane, showing off his mask with fellow Colorado Congressmen Jason Crow and Ed Perlmutter, both Democrats.

“Staying safe with some familiar faces on the flight to DC.,” Buck wrote on his Facebook page along with the photo. “We’ll be debating and voting on the next phase of federal funding in the fight against COVID-19 this week.”

Did Buck’s view of the science behind the mask-wearing change? Did he feel peer pressure from his Democratic Colleagues? That’s not known because Buck didn’t return my call.

But we know that the week before he posted this photo of himself and the other Congressmen, Buck boasted to conservatives that no mask would cover his face on an upcoming airplane trip to Washington.

“I’ll be getting on a plane on Monday and heading back to DC, I have no plans on wearing a mask,” he said April 11 in response to KNUS radio host Randy Corporon’s question, “Do you ever wear a mask when you are out in public?” (Listen below.)

Buck, whom some began calling His Masklessness, did not return my calls a couple weeks ago asking for a science-based justification for not wearing a mask during an airline trip.

There’s some debate about the danger of improperly worn or handled masks, and leading scientists question the utility of masks in areas that are not crowded.

But not wearing a mask on an airplane?

I was hoping Buck, whose actions and comments on COVID-19 have raised eyebrows previously, would return my call today, because he might have an approach to protection from COVID-19 that’s masked by his conflicting statements and actions about masks–which I’ve not been able to figure out from his public statements.

He’s not against all mask-wearing, judging from the fact that he told Corporon that he wore a mask when he collected items from people for a food drive.

And he’s said masks might be part of what’s needed as Americans go back to work.

So Buck is clearly less mask-hating than his initial statement about not wearing a mask on an airplane trip would lead you to believe.

And the photo from the plane confirms this.

Buck would do us all a favor by explaining himself.

Here’s Buck saying April 11 that he has no plans to wear a mask on an airplane:

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Colo GOP Elects Tea Party Activist to Nat’l Post

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Randy Corporon.

If you’re looking for smoke signals that Colorado Republicans will moderate their views to appeal to Unaffiliated voters who decide Colorado elections these days, stop reading this post now.

The Colorado Republican Party just elected a leading Tea Party activist to represent the Colorado GOP on a national Republican National Convention committee.

The obscure vote, by GOP delegates from counties across the state at the online Colorado Republican Party convention, featured a classic battle among candidates representing the establishment, moderate, and Tea Party patriot elements of the party.

And the Tea Party emerged victorious, in the form of KNUS talk-radio host and lawyer Randy Corporon, who’s a founder of the Arapahoe County Tea Party.

Corporon crushed his closest opponent, former state Senate President Bill Cadman, by a 41% to 22% margin. Other losing candidates, representing different party factions, were Andy Jones (18%) and Eli Bremer (15%) and Farid Jalil (3%).

Corporon’s victory marked a win for House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock, who endorsed Corporon as a skilled grassroots organizer whom “we need at this time and place.” Former GOP State Sen. Ted Harvey also endorsed Corporon, calling him a “hero of mine.”

Former Colorado lawmaker Greg Brophy waged a high-profile campaign against Corporon, tweeting at one point, “Randy Corporon walked out on President Trump at the RNC in 2016. Should he be our RNC committeeman?”

But the fact that Corporon had the endorsement of the Trump Campaign apparently put to rest fears that Corporon, a Cruz delegate in 2016, was anti-Trump.

Brophy backed Cadman who’s seen as a moneyed establishment figure in the party.

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Ken Buck Will Defy Polis and Attend Church May 3

(God helps those who don’t screw themselves – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck (R).

Saying “we will not get through this mess without the blessing of God,” U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) told a conservative radio host Thursday that he will apparently defy Gov. Jared Polis’ (D-CO) orders and go to church May 3, one week from this Sunday.

“We don’t get through this without prayer,” Buck told conservative KOA radio host Mandy Connell Thursday. “And that’s something that I think a lot of our leaders miss, that we can have the best medical technology possible, but without the blessing of God, we will not get through this mess.”

“And we need to get back to our churches and make sure that we pray as a group,” continued Buck, saying, “I don’t care if I have to wear a SCUBA outfit to my church, I’m going to church on May 3rd.”

Polis issued revised orders this week that relaxed his previous stay-at-home order, but his rules still prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people.

Buck did not return a call seeking to know if he’d talked to health experts about his plan to attend church–and for details about the size, location, and social-distancing practices of his church congregation.

Much of Buck’s district covers Weld County, which has suffered the third most COVID-19 deaths among Colorado counties, but 9News reported yesterday that Weld County Commissioners also plan to defy Polis’ order, giving more businesses the option of opening on Monday, if they follow social-distancing guidelines.

But Weld County will continue to prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people, which would presumably include Buck’s church.

(more…)

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Colo Rally Against Stay-at-Home Order Was ‘Effective,’ Says Trump Adviser

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Calling COVID-19 an “urban disease” and an “old person’s disease,” Trump adviser Stephen Moore praised Colorado’s weekend protest against stay-at-home orders as “effective” in advancing Moore’s goal of reopening the economy quickly.

“I saw some of the photos of what happened there in Colorado this week,” Moore told KCOL radio Monday, commenting that “people should do the social distancing.”

“But I think those [protests] are so effective,” said Moore on air, apparently trying to encourage the conservative talk radio audience, because there’s no evidence that the rally had any impact beyond headline-grabbing. “This is a basic right of Americans to protest government policy. And frankly, I think a lot of these decisions are real injustices.”

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“If Coloradans can protest safely, please rest assured we can return to work safely,” Say Colo GOP Lawmakers

(The stupid burns like a fever – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Twenty-four state lawmakers sent a letter to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) Monday, calling for a county-by-county approach to re-opening the state and alleging that protesters practicing safe social distancing over the weekend proved that the state can re-open safely.

“If Coloradans can protest safely, please rest assured we can return to work safely,” stated the letter.

But a review of multiple photographs from Sunday’s re-open Colorado rally in front of the Capitol showed that participants failed miserably at social distancing.

“Over this weekend, thousands of Coloradans took to the streets to protest the economic shutdown,” stated the letter. “Some of these protests involved ‘cruising North Ave.’ in Grand Junction; others rallied on the steps of the Capitol. Protesters found clever ways to socially distance and protest the closing of nonessential businesses.”

The 24 state representatives, includimg House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock, argued in their letter that “Coloradans are done with mass quarantining” and that the statewide stay-at-home order should be replaced by a “county model.”

Polis announced Monday that Colorado would begin a phased removal of some restrictions April 27, not in response to Republican demands, but because state health officials believe a partial easing, described as a move from “stay at home” to “stay safer at home,” is acceptable from a public health perspective. Restaurants and bars might be able to re-open in some capacity in mid-May, Polis said.

Many Republican leaders have been attacking Polis’ orders from the get-go.

Neville aggressively attacked his own local public health entity, Tri-County Health, which issued its own first shelter-in-place directive, a day before the statewide order. Neville called the order “completely insane,” and called on Douglas County to terminate its contract with Tri-County Health because of the order.

The following day, Senate Republicans denounced Polis’ stay-at-home order, stating in a letter signed by 14 of 16 state senators, “Despite many of our constituents’ expressed concerns over the last two weeks, we have resisted publicly critiquing you, your office, and your efforts, but we must formally express to you our disappointment in your ‘Stay-at-Home’ order issued on Wednesday afternoon.”

Yesterday’s letter concluded, “The House Republicans look forward to re-opening Colorado for business on a county-by-county basis starting on April 26th. Colorado has been a leader in innovative solutions to complex problems and we look forward to working with you to get Coloradans back to work. We share the common goal of a successful populace with families living the Colorado Way. It is time to make that a reality again!”

State Democratic leaders called the weekend’s GOP protests irresponsible.

“Our health care workers put their lives on the line to fight this pandemic, and now they’re facing irresponsible protests egged on by our very own president and Republican state leaders,” Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll said in a statement Tuesday.

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“Save our Liberty. Save our Economy.”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A conservative talk radio host and former spokeswoman for a failed effort to recall Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) is helping spread the word about MayDay-Colorado.com, which is encouraging Colorado businesses to open May 1, whether or not they have government authorization to do so.

Karen Kataline appeared this morning on conservative 710-AM radio to urge listeners to promote MayDay-Colorado and watch for the initiative’s banner at a drive-by “gridlock” rally in downtown from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 19.

“Guess what? We are opening for business on May Day, the old socialist holiday,” said Kataline on air. “We are taking it back, and we don’t need the governor’s permission. We are on solid constitutional ground.”

There’s no evidence that Polis’ order to shut down non-essential businesses to protect public health faces any serious constitutional challenge.

A MayDay-Colorado flyer available for download states: “Business Independence Day” and “MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Save our Liberty. Save our Economy.”

Kataline said people should drive by the “gridlock” protest tomorrow and view the banner.

Kataline, who substitutes for regular hosts on talk radio stations in the metro area, said last month that the response to the virus has been marked by hysteria.

Polis has said that if the virus were to run rampant, it would do more damage to the economy than the efforts to try to fight it, as Colorado is doing.

Reached by phone, Kataline said she is not a spokeswoman for the group. She called the radio show to get the word out, she said.

Greg Lopez, a former mayor of Parker who’s already announced his candidacy to oppose Polis in the next gubernatorial election, came up with the idea to push back with small businesses and open May 1 regardless of state directives, said Kataline. She also said social distancing would be respected.

Lopez did not immediately return a call for comment.

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GOP Leader Patrick Neville Has Ties to Group Promoting Protest to Open Businesses

(COVID4America! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Citizen Press, an anonymous conservative blog whose sponsors include Take Back Colorado, a political committee tied to Republican State House Leader Patrick Neville, published an item this morning that promotes two protests on Sunday calling on Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) to allow businesses to open, despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

Yesterday, Colorado Citizen Press emailed a “special message from our sponsor,” Take Back Colorado, stating, “If you agree that Polis has done enough damage to Colorado’s economy… please chip in to help us elect conservatives who will support economic and personal freedom.

The Take Back Colorado email linked to a donation page featuring a “POLIS POLICE STATE SURVEY” that asked, “Do you think it’s time for Polis to lift his lockdown order and let Coloradans get back to work?”

Take Back Colorado is run by Rearden Strategic, widely known to be run by Patrick Neville’s brother Joe Neville.

Efforts to find out if Patrick Neville plans to attend the protest–and for comment on this article– were not successful.

A Facebook page for one of Sunday’s protests, called Operation Gridlock Denver and set for 1 p.m. at the Capitol, shows 323 people going and 1,400 as interested. It’s hosted by the Libertarian Party of El Paso County, Victoria Reynolds 2020, and Peace, Love, and Hippie Juice.

Several Colorado Republicans have either RSVP’d or indicated interest in attending, including House Minority Caucus Chair Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone), Rep. Shane Sandridge (R-Colorado Springs), Republican candidate for HD63 Pastor Corey Seulean, and former legislators Ted Harvey and Gordon Klingenschmitt.

The second event starts at 2 p.m at the same location and is hosted by the Libertarian Party of Colorado. A Facebook page for this event shows 72 people going, 268 interested.

(more…)

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What About People Who Refuse a COVID-19 Vaccine?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Lori Saine (R).

If a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, what about so-called “anti-vaxxers” who refuse it for religious or philosophical reasons?

It turns out Colorado, where vaccinations are currently recommended but not required for adults, has the authority to force you to roll up your sleeve and get the shot.

But experts say it’s more likely Colorado would have to deal with vaccine shortages, especially in communities with inferior health-care access, than with people who refuse vaccinations for non-medical reasons.

If people refuse the COVID-19 vaccine, for whatever reason, they could be forced into quarantine if circumstances necessitate.

Colorado Could Mandate a Vaccine

“States are the proper bodies to impose a vaccination mandate,” wrote Michelle Mello, Professor of Law and Medicine at Stanford Law School, in an email to the Colorado Times Recorder. “The federal government could lean on them in various ways to create incentives for them to do so, but the requirement would come from them.”

“There is precedent to extend vaccination mandates beyond schoolchildren–e.g., recently, the NYC health commissioner ordered everyone in certain Brooklyn zip codes who was not up to date with measles vaccinations to get them. A court had little difficulty finding the order reasonable in light of the fact that there was a serious measles outbreak in those neighborhoods.”

(more…)

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BUCK: America Is Developing a “Bailout Mentality” Due to COVID-19 Gov’t Help

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck (R).

When U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) gets on a plane Monday, to head back to Washington, he has “no plans” to wear a mask.

That should surprise no one who’s been paying attention to the Colorado Congressman, who said last month that it’s “just craziness” to shut down businesses due to COVID-19.

Now Buck is saying that assistance being rolled out by the federal government is causing a “bailout mentality” in America.

“What are we doing to young people who see the bailout mentality that we are developing in this country,” Buck asked Saturday on KNUS 710-AM’s “Wake Up” with Randy Corporon.

Buck acknowledged the impact of the disease in America, saying, “It is a serious problem, and people are dying.”

But he advocated for different public-policy response.

“The point is, how do we develop a strategy so that we can isolate those most at risk, and at the same time go about our business? Do we wear masks to work? Do we ask restaurants to leave every other table free?”

Buck made his KNUS radio appearance the day before Easter, and he said he was resentful about the restrictions on attending services.

“I just really resent the fact that I cannot be with my fellow Christians in my church celebrating the resurrection of my savior,” said Buck on air.

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