Gardner Says White House’s Refusal To Cooperate with Congress Is Just a “Negotiating Position”

(Would it surprise you to know that Gardner has taken a completely different position in the past? Of course it wouldn’t. — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

In a radio interview over the weekend, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) characterized U.S. Attorney General Barr’s refusal to testify before the U.S. House–and Trump’s statement that other White House officials won’t cooperate with the investigation–as a “negotiating position.”

Asked by KNUS 710-AM’s Craig Silverman if he thought it was a “viable position” for Trump officials to refuse to testify before Congress, Gardner implied that he didn’t think it was viable:

GARDNER: “I think you are seeing a bit of sort of negotiating positions by both the Democratic majority in the House, and by the Administration. And I think part of this public discussion is giving time for the private discussions to occur–on how the committee hearing would work and how that testimony is allowed to move forward. So I think that is exactly how they are trying to negotiate.”

Gardner has demonstrated his support for congressional investigations, voting in 2011 to subpoena White House documents relating to Solyndra, a solar company, even though the Obama White House indicated it was producing documents for the House committee.

Gardner’s office didn’t return a call seeking to know what he thought Congress should do if it turns out not to be a negotiating position by Trump.

Nor did he say if he thought Trump should stick to his position of 1) refusing to cooperate with congressional investigators and, specifically, 2) not allowing White House officials to testify.

But Gardner repeated his position that Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller should testify to Congress.

“I don’t think any testimony that he gives will be any different than anything that’s in the report,” said Gardner on air. “That’s what Bill Barr has said. That’s what Lindsey Graham has said. That’s what others have said. I think that testimony will just line up with what the American people have already seen through the release of that report.”

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GOP Lawmakers Who Need Media Literacy Training Vote Against It

This fake news remains on Scott’s Facebook page to this day.

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(Those who need it most always want it least – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Multiple Colorado Republicans voted last week against legislation, now awaiting Democratic Gov. Jared Polis’ signature, aimed at boosting media literacy in public education, even though they would have clearly benefited from media-literacy education themselves when they were in school.

I’m talking about lawmakers who’ve shared fake news on their Facebook pages–or otherwise undermined professional journalism’s mission of illuminating facts and exposing misinformation and lies.

One lawmaker who voted against the bill, yet needs serious schooling in media literacy, is State Sen. Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) who notoriously called the Grand Junction Sentinel “fake news.”

But Scott’s complete and total absence of media-literacy skills came a few days after he called the Sentinel “fake news,” when he actually promoted Sentinel articles he agreed with on Facebook, as if a news outlet is only fake when you disagree with it.

What’s more, Scott then refused to remove from his Facebook page a fake news item titled, “WikiLeaks CONFIRMS Hillary Sold Weapons to ISIS…Then Drops Another BOMBSHELL! Breaking News.”

This fake news remains on Scott’s Facebook page to this day.

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GOP Recall Leader Says Legislative Session Wasn’t So Bad After All

(Recalls talk, reality walks – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A leading Colorado Republican, who’s been saying for months that Democrats should be recalled from office for proposing extreme laws, now believes the “system” worked and the results aren’t so bad.

“No, it wasn’t a complete clean sweep,” Republican House Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock said this morning on KNUS 710-AM’s Peter Boyles Show. “I mean, there’s a lot of bad stuff that they did get that we don’t like. A lot of climate change stuff going through. The oil and gas stuff. But even that, we were able to get some amendments to make it not as bad.

Patrick Neville

“I think the system’s working. I think we had tremendous support from you, and your station that helped got the message out. It helped get the message out and caused quite a bit of chaos down at the Capitol to make sure that they were actually hearing the people’s voice. And that was effective.”

How does this view of the legislative session square with Neville’s comments over the last few months that, essentially, the Capitol dome was melting due to “unprecedented overreach” that warranted the ousting of any and all Democrats.

“This is unprecedented overreach. We need to do something,” Neville, the state house Republican leader, said on KHOW radio March 9. “If there is a grassroots effort that starts percolating up, then I am going to help them,” he said.

Neville formed a Recall Colorado website to help fund the recall efforts, listing six pieces of “overreaching legislation.”

Here’s a recap of his list:

o An oil-and-gas bill regulatory measure was amended to the point where the oil-and-gas industry has accepted it with trepidation, and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and oil companies aren’t supporting the recall elections.

o A bipartisan sex-ed bill will likely become law, with amendments that address some of the most controversial elements, leading Republican Larry Crowder of Alamosa to say on Facebook that the legislation “was an overreach and was brought down to Earth.”

o The national popular vote bill, conditionally removing Colorado from the electoral college passed, as did a measure allowing courts to apply guardianship proceedings to immigrant minors.

o A proposal to make Colorado a sanctuary state died.

o A red-flag bill, allowing a judge to allow the confiscation of guns from dangerous people, passed with amendments.

That’s just the six bills listed on the Recall Colorado website. Many others moved in the GOP direction, including a now-dead proposal to save the lives of drug addicts.

So you can see why Neville said the system is working for him.

Now, will he still push ahead with recalls anyway?

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Gardner: “Mueller Should Testify”


Smile!

(Words, words, words — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Robert Mueller should testify before Congress, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner told KOA radio this morning, putting Gardner at odds with conservatives who think it’s time to end the debate about the special prosecutor’s report.

But, as he did last week in another radio appearance, Gardner continues to downplay or ignore concerns, raised in the wake of the release of the Mueller report, that Trump obstructed justice.

In discussing the possibility of Mueller testifying this morning, Gardner again focused on the Russian interference issues in the special prosecutor’s report without mentioning anything about obstruction:

“I think Mueller should testify. I’m fine with that,” Gardner told KOA host Marty Lenz. “But I think the testimony really revealed what we’ve seen in the report that’s been released. And I think it’s important that we focus on the findings of that report, including making sure we protect our elections from Russian hacking or any other country’s attempts to influence or cause division within our country”

Gardner also commented on Attorney General William Barr’s testimony, without offering specifics.

You know, I think it was good for Bill Barr to come and testify,” said Gardner on air. “I think that was important. But, you know, we’ll see what happens next — if people are going to actually use it and try to come up with a good policy, or are they going to try to drive a partisan divide.  That’s really — I guess — up to the individual temperament of the members.  As far as my actions, I’m going to make sure that we take the report and we safeguard this country.”

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This Time, Gardner Is Silent as Trump Defends White Nationalism

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

A couple years ago, when Trump refused to condemn an attack by white nationalists at a protest in Charlottesville, saying at the time that the violence was caused by “very fine people on both sides,” Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner jumped in the national media spotlight and called on Trump to “lay blame on white supremacists, on white nationalism, and on hatred.”

Gardner’s comments landed in media outlets from Sunday TV talk shows to The Denver Post and elsewhere.

In a surprise statement last week, after Biden showed Charlottesville footage at his presidential campaign launch, Trump raised the issue again, and defended his “very fine people” remark.

“I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee,” Trump said, according to CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. “People there were protesting the taking down of the monument to Robert E. Lee. Everybody knows that.”

“Whether you like it or not, he was one of the great generals,” Trump said.

After Trump’s comments went viral, Gardner didn’t race to the media, as he did in 2017, to repeat his call on Trump to “lay the blame on white supremacists.”

Then, less than a day after Trump’s statement, came the hate-crime shooting at the synagogue in California.

And still, nothing from Gardner. And no media coverage of his non-statement.

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Colorado Oil & Gas Association Isn’t Supporting Recall Campaigns

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Rochelle Galindo (D-Greeley).

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and State Rep. Rochelle Galindo of Greeley should be ousted from office for supporting legislation, now signed into law by Polis, that allows for more local control in regulating the oil-and-gas industry, according to the websites of multiple campaigns launched to recall the two Democrats.

But Colorado’s largest association of oil and gas companies doesn’t share that view.

“We are not currently supporting any recalls or funding any recalls, nor do I know of any oil and gas company that’s funding recalls,” Dan Haley, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA), told the Colorado Times Recorder.

Haley then asked me if I could name an oil company that’s funding the recalls.

“I saw [Democratic presidential candidate] Elizabeth Warren do a video the other day saying [the recalls] are being funded by oil and gas,” he said. “I read a Greeley Tribune story saying it’s being funded by oil and gas. I have not seen any proof that it is.”

I mentioned the Greeley rancher and GOP donor named Steve Wells, who told the Greeley Tribune that Galindo’s vote on the oil and gas bill was the most important reason for his donation to the recall effort.

“I wouldn’t look at that as oil and gas,” Haley responded, referring to Wells as a mineral owner. “I think of oil and gas as Anadarko and Noble, mid-stream companies, production companies. I haven’t seen any of our members funding it.”

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Lawmaker Cites “Flagrant Abuse” of GOP Rules in Election to Lead Colorado Republican Party

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Susan Beckman (R).

State Rep. Susan Beckman of Littleton, who lost an election by fewer than 10 votes to lead the Colorado Republican Party, has issued a detailed report calling the GOP voting process “troubling” and marred by “flagrant abuse” of rules and expected election practices.

Beckman’s report spotlights seven core “issues,” which include:

“More “clicker” voting devices activated and voted than SCC members credentialed… Teller Committee added voting members without SCC amending credentials… Proxies were accepted after meeting “Called to Order….Total SCC voting membership calculated incorrectly….Vote totals reported in percentages, not number of votes… Meeting records requested by Beckman campaign prior to Meeting were ‘lost’… Relevant documents withheld from Beckman campaign until after SOS filing deadline.”

Among the most serous allegations, given U.S. Rep. Ken Buck’s narrow margin of victory, is Beckman’s contention that 18 more voting “clickers” were issued than the number of eligible voters present (Only State Central Committee members were allowed to vote.), and Beckman’s contention that 27 proxy votes were accepted in violation of election rules.

“The final accepted Credentials Report adopted by a vote of the SCC reflected the number of eligible voting members present that day was 394, in conflict with the number of 412 clickers that were activated and utilized in voting (as reflected in the vendor clicker report),” states Beckman’s report.

Buck prevailed over Beckman after a third candidate, El Paso Republican Vice Chair Sherrie Gibson, endorsed Buck.

Beckman repeatedly points to an alleged unwillingness by Republican Party leaders to address the issues she raises in the report, including problems with proxy voting.

She quotes an April 10 email from then GOP Chair Jeff Hays stating:

“The nature of these types of meetings is that once they are completed and the final gavel falls, they are over. There are no stipulations in statute, in our bylaws, standing rules, or in Roberts Rules of Order to retain or re-examine election data after the meeting is over. Once the election is done, its done.” ——-And “The inadvertent, early disposal of a number of proxy forms was an unfortunate accident.”

“Yes, it was unfortunate,” Beckman responds at the end of the report. “

She concludes by stating her apparent belief that the Republican rules favor establishment GOP candidates over grassroots representatives like her.

“It is important to note that during the election day there is a great deal of responsibility placed on the non-establishment candidate to watch for anomalies that would cause the campaign to challenge the election–on the spot. I never did expect, nor did I have the capacity to stop such flagrant abuse and violation of CRC Bylaws, Standing Meeting Rules, best practices and transparency.”

Read the report here.

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GOP Leader to Trump: Rally with Us When You’re In Town Next Month

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

With Trump set to speak at the Air Force Academy graduation in Colo Springs May 30, the vice chair of Colorado’s Republican Party is helping to organize an effort to convince the president to rally with local Republicans when he’s here.

A Facebook page called “Rally for Trump in Colorado,” states: “President Trump, we want to rally with you in Colorado! When you come on May 30th to speak at the Air Force Graduation, don’t forget us…you have great supporters here! ‘Make America Great Again’ is the Western spirit we live by in Colorado.”

Visitors to the page are encouraged to share it, comment, contact the White House,” and more. It has over 500 likes, including Steve Barlock, the former Denver Trump chair.

“Let’s get Pres Trump to rally with us in CO!!,” states a meme Burton posted on Facebook. “Like the page (in the comments) and post a comment or a pic in your MAGA hat!”

Burton, a staunch Trump backer who founded Colorado’s personhood abortion-ban movement, posted the meme online the day after Trump’s visit was announced.

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Gardner Dismisses Concerns That Trump Obstructed Justice

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner is joining Republicans nationally in dismissing concerns, raised in the wake of the release of the Mueller report, that Trump obstructed justice.

Pressed by KDMT’s Jimmy Sengenberger this week about the obstruction charges raised by Democrats, Gardner pointedly says the real issue emerging from the special prosecutor’s report is the Russian interference. He essentially says the obstruction doesn’t matter.

SENGENBERGER Now, I just want to make clear, in regards to the obstruction question, I mean, there are there are some unflattering things for President Trump in this report — make no mistake about it. But the bottom line is that he did not actually interfere with the investigation. Muller was not fired. He was never denied any sort of resources. I had Ken Starr — the independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation — here on this program say that Bob Mueller would have been able to get a Cadillac from the administration if he needed it. I think that’s critical to keep in mind, is the Democrats are talking about impeachment.

GARDNER Well, and I think that they are missing the biggest concern is the Russian interference.

Gardner, a Republican, also said, “I do think the Democrats are going to be — I think they’re going to try to pursue impeachment because they are — you know, I’ve said this before — the House majority is a revenge majority. They didn’t like the fact that President Trump was elected. They don’t think he should have been. I think they’re going to try to pursue it. Now, Nancy Pelosi has said she’s trying to tap the brakes on it. But she’s going to find out that her conference underneath her is going to move on without her.”

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Gardner Re-Election Campaign Ad: “Protect the Senate from the Radical Far-Left”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In an ironic twist, given that he hasn’t had a public town hall meeting in well over a year, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has launched a campaign advertisement that tells you, “CORY GARDNER WANTS TO KNOW WHAT’S REALLY ON YOUR MIND.”

Another Gardner ad asks, “Do you want to protect the Senate from a radical far-Left [sic] takeover in 2020?”

The advertisements are among a Facebook series of six ads, sponsored by Cory Gardner for Senate, that appear to be his first ads for his 2020 re-election campaign.

In a message atop the “What’s Really on Your Mind” ad, Gardner states, “I’m asking my fellow Coloradans like you: Which issues do think [sic] Cory Gardner should prioritize in 2019?”

The ad flashes a photo of a smiling Gardner and then states, “SHARE YOUR 2019 PRIORITIES,” which is followed by icons representing six issues: “Agriculture, healthcare, energy and environment, Second Amendment, education, taxes and spending, transportation and infrastructure.”

“TAKE THE CENTENNIAL STATE PRIORITIES SURVEY TODAY,” the ad then states.

If you click through to the survey, on VictoryAction.com, you’re told to, “Choose your response,” and then you must pick one of the same six issues featured in the ad itself.

You can’t choose two priorities, but you can write in your own issue, like, perhaps, abortion or Trump, neither of which was a standard option.

Then you’re asked to submit your name and contact information–and to donate.

Another ad states, “Attention Coloradans: Do you want to protect the Senate from a radical far-Left [sic] takeover in 2020? Share your thoughts now.”

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“Horrifying” Sex Ed Bill Is Top Reason To Oust Polis, Says Recall Leader

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The President of the Official Polis Recall campaign thinks the “worst of it,” when it comes to the transgressions justifying Polis’ removal from office, is a proposed comprehensive sex ed law working its way through the Colorado legislature.

In a KNUS radio conversation replete with misinformation, Juli-Andra Fuentes, the group’s president, called Colorado’s proposed sex ed law “horrifying” because “you must include the experiences” of LGBTQ students, and “abstinence will not be taught”

And no “religious connotation” can be included, said Karen Murray, a co-chair of the Official Recall Polis site, who was also on the show.

Juli-Andra Fuentes

KNUS radio host Peter Boyles, amplifying misinformation promoted by right-wing anti-LGBT hate groups, chimed in with, “Why does the third-grade boy need to know how to put a put a prophylactic on a banana?”

Which prompted Fuentes to say, “Well, it’s not only that. They’re basically saying you cannot employ gender norms, and that by doing that, that’s shame-basing and stigmatizing.”

In fact, the sex ed bill allows schools to not offer sex ed at all, but if they do, the curriculum must be comprehensive, meaning both abstinence and LGBTQ-related information should be offered and religious perspectives can be included.

Boyles said on air that the “truth always knocks these suckers down,” but his own inflaming comment about the third grader, the condom, and the Banana is not true. The legislation states that the information in sex-ed classes should be age appropriate. Boyles said later in the interview that teaching sex ed to older LGBTQ kids would be “fine.”

Fuentes’ comments reflect her Recall Polis group’s website, which lists the sex-ed bill, described as “Radical Sexual Education Overhaul in Our Schools,” among the top reasons to recall the governor–which is widely seen as an extreme long shot to succeed.

Republican efforts to recall other Colorado lawmakers refer to the sex ed bill in a similar manner.

The Recall Colorado website backed by Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock lists the proposed law as a top reason that three legislators should be removed from office, describing the comprehensive sex-ed bill as “State Sexuality Indoctrination: A state indoctrination plan to undermine parental rights to educate their children about sexuality.”

So far, only one of three state lawmakers listed on the Recall Colorado website is facing an actual petition drive that, if successful, would trigger a recall vote.

That’s State Rep. Rochelle Galindo, a Democrat from Greeley.

A Greeley leader of the recall campaign called Galindo, who is gay, a “homosexual pervert,” and said he’d told Galindo to vote against “this homosexual sex education bill,” according to Colorado Politics.

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Gardner Aggressively Promotes his Private Meetings With Colo Groups–After They Take Place

(Catch him if you can! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) plans to speak Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Colorado Chamber of Commerce in Colorado Springs.

Why’s that news? Because Gardner hasn’t held a public town hall meeting in over a year, instead meeting regularly with private groups, like the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce.

But if you want to go see Gardner at one of his private meetings, or stand out front with a sign, don’t get your hopes up. It’s usually impossible to find out about his private meetings. No press releases. No tweets Gardner.

That is, until after the private events occur, when Gardner promotes his private meetings in a big way, as if the create the perception that meeting with Gardner is easy, constant, and fun.

Here’s a sample after-his-meeting tweets from last week. when Gardner was apparently touring Colorado:

GARDNER: “While in Boulder this week I toured @archerdxinc and @MentalHealthCO’s Ryan Wellness Center and met with staff to discuss the innovative research being done at these facilities.”
GARDNER: I enjoyed visiting local Main Street businesses with Greeley Mayor John Gates yesterday. Check out this video from @GreeleyTribune to learn more about my meetings with local business owners on the growth of the local economy [No article appeared in the newspaper prior to his meetings]
GARDNER: Impressed touring @coschoolofmines this week to learn more about their ADAPT center and research related to PFAS exposure and contamination. I’ll continue my work in Congress to ensure Coloradans have clean and safe drinking water.
GARDNER: It was great to hear from staff and veterans at the Western Region One Source Center while in Grand Junction yesterday and see first-hand the resources being provided to our veterans to ensure they receive the care and support they have earned.
GARDNER: Today I hosted a business forum in Loveland alongside the Northern Colorado Manufacturing Partnership & small business leaders. Thx to all those who joined to give feedback on ways the federal government can better support workforce development & protect against cyber threats.

A call to Gardner’s office to find out when his next private meeting in Colorado was–or if he planned to host a town hall meeting–was not returned.

In 2017, Gardner held a private meeting and confronted protesters. A Colorado Springs Gazette article read:

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who has been criticized for his aversion to holding town halls, was ambushed Wednesday by a mariachi band at what was supposed to be a small, members-only meeting with the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and EDC at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

Fear of this type of protest might explain Gardner’s pattern of promoting his events after the fact.

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Sign Up to Help Recall Democrats from Office! Win a Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle!

(The Las Vegas shooter would be green with envy! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A hard-line pro-gun group is kicking off its campaign to recall a Greeley lawmaker with another gun raffle, this one for the largest firearm it’s ever given away, a Barrett M82A1 magazine-fed Barrett .50 BMG semi-automatic rifle.

“Dear Fellow Patriot,” reads the RMGO website. “Make no mistake, gun owners in Colorado are in the biggest fight of our lives! We need all hands on deck! To help rally the troops, RMGO is giving away the largest gun we’ve ever done…”

The gun is a semi-automatic sniper rifle with massive power and maximum range of over a mile.

All you have to do is sign up here to be eligible to win the semi-automatic.

Folks who sign up will join Republican and RMGO leaders who are working together to remove State Rep. Rochelle Galindo (D-Greeley) from office.

They’re mad not only at her vote for a “red flag bill,” which allows law enforcement personnel to seek judicial permission to take guns from dangerous people, but also her support for comprehensive sex education, for more local control of oil-and-gas operations, and more.

“Her Red Flag vote was tip of iceberg,” tweeted RMGO, which is opposed to even the most modest gun safety measures, like criminal background checks prior to gun purchases, that are supported by many Republicans.

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Once Endangered, Capitol Journalists Make a Comeback in Colo

Like endangered fish that seemed destined to disappear from a once-important lake, journalists have made a miraculous comeback at Colorado’s Capitol, which is now teeming with about the same number of reporters who were assigned there from the 1960s through the 1990s.

“I would have to say, yes, your perception is correct,” said Charles Ashby, Capitol reporter for the Grand Junction Sentinel, when asked if his species of journalist was thriving at the Capitol, compared to the old days. “While I can’t speak on how many people were around in the 60s, 70s and 80s (because I may be the Capitol dean and Oldnewsman, I’m not THAT old), my understanding is there are about the same or maybe slightly fewer people covering the Capitol these days.”

Ashby estimated that when he started at the legislature in 1997, the Capitol press corps, which is the group of journalists assigned to cover the general assembly, consisted of three to four from The Denver Post, two each from the Rocky Mountain News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, and the Associated Press, and one each from Pueblo Chieftain and Longmont Times-Call—with an “occasional” reporter from Boulder Daily Camera and “less occasionally” from the Fort Collins Coloradoan and Grand Junction Sentinel. Other reporters would “parachute in for specific stories,” said Ashby.

That’s a total of 11 to 15 Capitol reporters in the late 1990s, before the numbers started to decline in the next decade.

Today’s list totals at least 17 reporters.

Colorado Independent: Two. Colorado Politics: Two. Denver Post: Two (versus a high of five in the 1960s and 1970s) Colorado Public Radio: Two. Colorado Sun: Two. Associated Press: One. Chalkbeat: One. Denver Business Journal: One Denverite/CPR: One. Durango Herald: One. Grand Junction Sentinel: One. Rocky Mountain Community Radio: One.

“The competition for office space around here this year has been pretty intense, because there just isn’t enough room to accommodate everybody,” said the Capitol’s second-longest-serving journalist Marianne Goodland of Colorado Politics, an online and print weekly.

That wasn’t the case over the past 15 years, when the Denver and rural dailies were cutting their Capitol bureaus—and online platforms weren’t filling the gap.

“A lot of publications stopped sending people here around the time the Rocky Mountain News closed, so you had this dearth of coverage of the legislature, and it’s just now on the rebound to where it was before,” says Goodland, who started covering the legislature in 1998. “It’s a different business model with a lot of niche reporting for which there is a clear demand. Everybody is growing.”

The number of journalists in the Capitol press corps doesn’t include reporters for local television news stations, who have a bigger presence at the legislature than they did during the heyday of the print dailies, according to longtime journalists.

Nor does the Capitol press corps include the many journalists, from The Denver Post, Colorado Politics, Colorado Public Radio, the Colorado Sun, and elsewhere, who drop in for a story or two.

“We have John Frank and Jesse Paul at the Capitol full-time,” Colorado Sun Editor Larry Ryckman said via email. “We have freelancers Brian Eason and Sandra Fish covering state government issues part-time, and we have other full-time reporters — including Jennifer Brown, John Ingold and Chris Osher — who cover issues at the Capitol from time to time.”

Kevin Dale, the Executive Editor at Colorado Public Radio, described a similar approach.

“We have two full-time reporters: Bente Birkeland and Sam Brasch,” Dale said via email. “We also send other beat reporters to monitor bills that are important to that beat. We now have a photographer and often send them there. Last, because we just acquired Denverite, we are making use of their statehouse reporter Esteban Hernandez, though you might already be accounting for him with Denverite.”

Could we have arrived at the surreal situation where Colorado has too many reporters at the Capitol, given that other critical beats, like municipal government, education, courts, etc., aren’t getting the attention they deserve–or not attention at all?

“Media outlets rightly believe that what happens in the Legislature greatly impacts their readers, and therefore is important to follow and report on.” Ashby emailed me. “And I wouldn’t say there is too much emphasis on the Legislature over local government coverage. For example, I’ve had to remain in Grand Junction more often than normal this session because of some turnover here. While they are seeking a new county government reporter, I have spent the past several weeks covering both county government and the Legislature.”

Former Rocky reporter Lynn Bartels, who started covering the legislators in the year 2000, says the legislative coverage now is “overwhelming.”

“There’s almost too much to read in the morning,” Bartels told me, explaining that she will open just one of many morning emails from the outlets, look up, and find that she “hasn’t gotten any of her work done.”

“There is an amazing concentration on the Capitol, and I sometimes think that’s to the detriment of other beats,” she said, explaining that the Rocky had a Denver Public Schools reporter, a suburban reporter, police, higher education, religion, city hall, and more.

Maybe in an ideal world, you’d spread the journalistic love across the community, but alas it doesn’t work that way.

So let’s just accept this as great news for journalism and Colorado—and appreciate it while it lasts.

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Your Source for Trump-Infused Criticism of the Colo Republican Party

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

What’s your best underworld source for unfiltered Trump-infused criticism of Colorado’s Republican Party?

A radio show with an innocent name, the “Chuck and Julie Show,” but a pair of Republican hosts, Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden, who routinely throw fellow Republicans off the cliff as buzzards call the program to find out where to feed later.

Day after day, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on KNUS-710 AM, the show dedicates big blocks of time to dissecting Republican failures in Colorado, naming names and letting no one off the hook.

Fat cat Republican consultants. Cory Gardner. Developers. State Republican Party leaders. Chamber of Commerce. Mike Coffman. Phil Anschutz. Oil Companies. No one is off the radar.

The show welcomes all stripes of underworld guests who throw grenades, some more rumor- than fact-based, at fellow Colorado Republicans, especially those who dare to challenge Trump or his policies. Bonniwell, who’s the publisher of the Cherry Creek Chronicle, once called Gardner a “total [whore] for the Chamber of Commerce,” a “Mitch McConnell stooge.

This little snippet from Friday is a good example.

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Cadman Says “Integrity” Has Led One Colo News Outlet to Succeed When Others Fail

(No comment – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Colorado Republican Senate President Bill Cadman served as master of ceremonies at a gathering Thursday to celebrate the expansion to Denver of Colorado Politics, a weekly print and online political publication.

“Why is [Colorado Politics] successful when many other media organizations are going by the wayside?” Cadman asked a group of about 100 hobnobbing people in front of him at Ironworks, near Mile High stadium in Denver. “And some still here are not only shadows of their former selves. They are shadows of shadows of their former selves.”

“Because of their values,” said Cadman. “Their values are based on journalistic integrity… And that’s why I actually still read Colorado Politics.”

Most serious news industry analysts blame the demise of journalism not a lack of integrity among failed news outlets, like the Rocky Mountain News, but on the undermining of journalism’s business model, with Craig’s List first devouring newspapers’ classified ads and then other online entities steadily winning over advertisers with their ability to target customers with mind-blowing pinpoint accuracy.

In reality, the core reason for the success of Colorado Politics is conservative billionaire and GOP donor Phil Anschutz, who owns the publication via his business, Clarity Media.

That’s not to say there aren’t great journalists at Colorado Politics, because there are.

Still, it makes it noteworthy that prominent Republicans far outnumbered Democrats at the event. (See photos here.)

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New GOP Vice Chair, Who Founded the Personhood Movement, Thinks Trump Is Asset in Colorado

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Donald Trump.

“One of the things we have to do here in Colorado is talk about how the policies that our president has enacted benefit people here in Colorado and benefit our businesses,” Kristi Burton Brown, Vice Chair of the Colorado Republican Party, told KNUS host Chuck Bonniwell yesterday.

“That’s one thing we have to do as Republicans, is connect our policies to people,” said Brown on air. “And that takes messaging. It also takes candidates who are likable, who can connect with people.”

Brown’s view mirrors comments last month by Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, also a Republican.

“I like the president, and we’ve got to make sure we have an opportunity for the American people to get to like the President,” Gardner told KNUS 710-AM’s Steffan Tubbs. “And I think they like his policies. I think they do.”

Neither Gardner nor Brown specified which Trump policies are allegedly popular here, but in the past Gardner has referenced Trump’s unpopular tax law.

Brown, who launched Colorado’s personhood movement in 2008, once lauded Gardner as being one of the “main stupporters” of the personhood amendment, which aimed to ban all abortion in Colorado but was rejected overwhelmingly three times here.

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Artist Completes Trump Portrait For Colorado Capitol

Colorado Springs artist Sarah Boardman has finished her portrait of President Donald Trump for the Colorado Capitol.

Artist’s sketch of Trump portrait.

Former State Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City), who led a $10,000 fundraising effort to commission the work, is now deciding what’s next for the Trump likeness.

“I’m pretty sure there will be some sort of unveiling at some point,” Grantham told the Colorado Times Recorder.

But a date for the unveiling has not been set, and it’s possible the portrait will go up without a ceremony, said Grantham.

Colorado Springs artist Sarah Boardman based her work on a Trump photo and sketch, which shows the president with a “serious, non-confrontational” and “thoughtful” expression, according to Boardman.

Grantham has yet to see Boardman’s finished painting, but he said he was impressed with the work Boardman did on the Obama portrait that hangs in the Capitol along with portraits of other presidents.

“There are people who can capture the essence of people, and I think she did a really great job [on the Obama portrait],” said Grantham.

 

Asked about criticism that Trump should not be portrayed as “non-confrontational” and “thoughtful,” when he is widely considered confrontational and rash, Boardman said last month:

“I agree that some people think of him that way now, but it is not a universal view which will endure into the future,” Boardman wrote. “There are presidents in the gallery, as it stands, who had very volatile histories, yet we do not look at the portraits in that light today. My choice of references comes from my decision to remain neutral, and let the criticisms stand on their own throughout time.”

 

Boardman won an open call to paint an Obama portrait that hangs in the Capitol, and Colorado Creative Industries selected Boardman to paint the Trump portrait “so that the style would match,” according to Ruth Bruno, program manager for Colorado Creative Industries, which served as a liason between the artist and the Capitol. The artist, sketch, and other details were approved by the Capitol Building Advisory Committee.

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Gardner Accuses Democrats of “Overreach” But Isn’t Asked About Recalls

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner accused state Democrats of “overreach” yesterday, telling KHOW radio host Dan Caplis that proposed legislation is “extremely, extremely alarming” and contrary to the “people’s will.”

Caplis did not ask Gardner if he supports recalling Democratic lawmakers, and a call to the senator’s office seeking an answer to that question wasn’t returned.

But Gardner clapped in approval Saturday, when U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), Colorado’s newly elected Republican Party leader, endorsed recalling Democrats. Gardner fully embraced Buck, telling the crowd, “I need [Ken Buck].”

“I think this is an overreach,” Gardner told Caplis yesterday. “I think [Democrats] are not going to be able to help themselves because they’ve got a base that is demanding further movement to the left. They’ve got a national election going on that is demanding further movement to the left. And I think what we’re going to see is going to get even worse.”

Gardner cited legislation, backed by Democrats, allowing for more local control of oil industry operations, a bill conditionally giving Colorado’s electoral presidential votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote, and a proposal to establish a program intended to save the lives of drug addicts. Gardner didn’t address a comprehensive sex ed bill and red-flag gun control legislation that GOP leaders spotlighted as a reason for recalls as well.

“Look, I think if you’re an unaffiliated voter in Colorado right now, you’re very concerned about what happened,” said Gardner on air. “This isn’t what you voted for!” Yesterday, Buck said he supports recalls in “rare circumstances,” telling Caplis a state lawmaker from Greeley is a “perfect example” of a lawmaker who should be recalled.

(more…)

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Tancredo Joins Radio Hosts In Seeing Further Failures for State GOP

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tom Tancredo.

Colorado Republican Tom Tancredo doesn’t think the Democratic or Republican parties in Colorado have much influence on elections, due to the overwhelming power and money of other political groups.

But, still, he doesn’t think Colorado Republicans have the right man in Steve House to run the day-to-day operations of the Republican Party.

Tancredo told KNUS’ Peter Boyles this morning that House opposed Trump in the 2016 primary and is a “reflection” of establishment Republicans who don’t like Trump to this day.

House has repeatedly denied he ever opposed Trump.

“[Steve House] is part of that establishment, and he was picked because he is part of that establishment,” said Tancredo on air. “What has he done that you could look back on and say, ‘Oh look, this is a great leader.’ Even the money he was raising. I think they picked him because he’s part of the establishment, and that’s the way this this whole party is going and why it goes down the tubes.”

“He made all these promises to the liberty side of the party about who he was going to put in,” said Tancredo, citing an alleged promise to install former Republican lawmaker Ted Harvey as the party’s executive director.

“The Republican Party has destroyed itself,” replied Boyles.

“Yes, absolutely,” said Tanc.

(more…)

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Colorado Politics Expands With a New Focus on Denver

Just when you think veteran Denver journalists have seen their last rodeo in town, they’re back! Everywhere you turn, ghosts of Denver journalism past are staring at you.

That’s a good thing, of course, because everyone loves a good journalist with roots in the community–even if everyone doesn’t know it.

The latest re-emergent scribes will be found at Colorado Politics, a weekly print and online publication owned via Clarity Media by conservative billionaire Phil Anschutz.

The steadily-expanding outlet has added Neil Westergaard, a former editor of the Denver Business Journal and The Denver Post, to write an opinion column about Denver.

Also as part of its expansion to cover Denver politics and civic affairs, Colorado Politics hired former Rocky reporter John C. Ensslin, for a Denver politics, government and civic affairs beat.

Starting in tomorrow’s print edition, look for a “Focus on Denver” section that will feature city coverage–as well as digital content.

Colorado Politics has aimed to expand statewide through content-sharing arrangements with other publications. Such an arrangement with the Durango Herald ended in December, but the publication continues to share content with 9News.

No other content-sharing plans are in place at this time, said Jared Wright, General Manager of Colorado Politics, in a statement to the Colorado Times Recorder.

“Our publication continues to attract readers from around the state and the country who value our in-depth public policy journalism, analysis and opinion on Centennial State politics, and now, on politics in the City and County of Denver,” said Wright.

Asked how he was going to prioritize coverage in such a big beat, especially given the reduced number of journalists competing with him, Ensslin said, “My approach is going to be the same one that has served me well all these years: Find the best story of the day. Do it.”

“At Colorado Politics, our mission has been to provide award-winning coverage of state politics and policy, and that will continue,” said Mark Harden, managing editor of Colorado Politics, in a news release. “But in today’s challenged media environment, our readers are in desperate need of in-depth, insightful reporting on the city of Denver, its government, its politics and its issues. Now, Colorado Politics is making moves to be the city’s go-to news source for Denver news that matters to our audience.”

“It’s the perfect match,” added Gazette Editor-in-Chief Vince Bzdek, who oversees the Colorado Politics editorial operation, in the news release, “one of the country’s most dynamic cities, chronicled by two of that city’s most dynamic, seasoned journalists. Get ready to understand the larger forces driving Denver – and the major players behind those forces – in a whole new way.”

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Gardner Still Wants to Kill “Command-And-Control” Obamacare, But Doesn’t Offer a Replacement Plan

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner doubled down yesterday on his longstanding opposition to Obamacare, saying the national health insurance law has “failed” without offering a concrete plan to replace it.

Gardner’s comments, delivered on KNUS 710-AM’s Steffan Tubbs show, came as the Trump Administration announced yesterday that it will not defend Obamacare in court.

“We need to have Republicans and [laughs] Democrats recognize that the Affordable Care Act failed,” said Gardner when asked by Tubbs what he thought the latest GOP effort to kill the Affordable Care Act.

As part of his evidence for this, Gardner cited the discredited figure that “hundreds of thousands of Coloradans had their insurance plans canceled” due to Obamacare.

In a fact check of a campaign ad citing those numbers, then 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman pointed out that “it’s true that millions of people with individual coverage got cancellation notices because their old plans didn’t meet the standards of Obamacare…. But getting one of these notices is not the same thing as losing insurance.”

Gardner is apparently trying to make people think all these people lost their insurance, which is not the case. In fact, renewals were offered to the vast majority of people whose policies were canceled, and new policies were offered to all.

Gardner cited actions that could be taken to replace Obamacare.

(more…)

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Singleton Will Buy a Tractor From Gardner After Gardner Loses

(An unkind cut – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

After The Denver Post declared this month that its 2014 endorsement of U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) was a big mistake, former Post owner Dean Singleton got a call from Gardner himself.

“After the editorial ran, he called me, just to chat,” Singleton told the Colorado Times Recorder. “And I told him that I certainly couldn’t vote for him again, but when he goes back to Yuma in 2021 to sell tractors, I’d be happy to buy a tractor from him.” (Singleton owns ranches and buys tractors.)
“Cory is a gentleman,” Singleton continued. “He said, ‘I respectfully disagree.’ And I said, ‘That’s what democracy is all about. And I suspect the voters of Colorado may disagree with you when they cast their ballots in November of 2020.’
“I mean I don’t know that, and we don’t even know who will run against him. But if you are a U.S. Senator, and you put your hand on the Bible and you swear to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and when you fail that test, you ought not be a U.S. Senator.”

Singleton is no longer on the Denver Post’s editorial board, as he was in 2014 when the newspaper endorsed Gardner.

But prior to writing the mea culpa editorial on Gardner, Denver Post Editorial Page Editor Megan Schrader reached out to Singleton for his thoughts on the senator.

“The concern that Megan has had, and I share, is that he just simply has not, and shows no evidence that he ever will, distance himself from the president,” said Singleton. “And The Post has opposed many many things the president has done. And I think the final straw was that The Post believed, and I concur, that his vote against the resolution of disapproval, was a major vote against the separation of powers between the Congress and the president.”

(more…)

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Once Again, Gardner Hasn’t Held a Town Hall Meeting in Well Over a Year

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Since he voted in support of Trump’s national-emergency declaration, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has been “back in Colorado attending private events but hasn’t hosted a public town hall,” reported Colorado Public Radio’s Bente Birkeland last week.

In fact, Gardner hasn’t held a public town hall meeting since Nov. 20, 2017, or about a year and four months ago.

“He’s resorting to canned Facebook video messages that are one way, and I think that’s what he likes,” said Katie Farnan, of Indivisible Front Range Resistance, pointing out that Gardner has yet to hold a town hall meeting since he voted for the unpopular Trump tax bill. “I’m worried that he’s looking at poll numbers and data and statistics, but he has no clue about what people on the ground are going through.”

Farnan said Gardner’s private meetings cater to a “very small homogeneous group.”

“These group meetings represent cohorts of people that have power of some kind,” she said. “They are county commissioners. Or they are public works officials. Or some other grouping of people that already has the ability to speak to him when they want. And that’s obvious. The people who he refuses to be around are the public in general.”

This is not the first time Gardner has logged over a year of town-hall invisibility.

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

(more…)

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Gardner Once Called for Release of Mueller Report. What Will He Do Now?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner.

UPDATE: Gardner’s statement on release of Mueller report: ““I have consistently said the Mueller investigation should be allowed to reach a conclusion, and I’m grateful the Special Counsel has finished the investigation and submitted a report today. The American people have a right to know the outcome of this investigation and the Department of Justice should release as much as possible to the public in accordance with the law.”

Trump Attorney General William Barr told reporters today that he will review Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report and determine how much could eventually be released to Congress and the public.

During his confirmation hearing earlier this year, Barr faced pointed questions from Democrats about whether he’d release the Mueller report, and he never committed to doing so.

It’s not clear what Democrats can do to force the release of the report now, but one Republican with close ties to the Trump White House is Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, and he’s called for the release of the report.

Asked about Mueller’s investigation, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner said earlier this year that the “American people need the information so that they can make up their own minds.”

“Look, the Mueller investigation needs to be completed as soon as possible,” Gardner told KHOW’s Krista Kafer, substituting for Ross Kaminsky Jan. 24. “The American people need the information so that they can make up their own minds. And I think transparency is in the best interests of the President. The President has said that. And, you know, we’ve heard his Attorney General nominee say the same thing. And so, I think getting this information out — this will be — this is something that is important. This can’t drag on for four years. It needs to be done. It needs to be done quickly.”

Listen to Gardner on KHOW 630-AM Jan. 24, 2019.

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