Why Aren’t Leftists “Hysterical About Defecating on the Street?” And Other Views on Coronavirus from Colo Right-Wing Radio

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you want facts about coronavirus, you can visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But if you want to believe the threat of coronavirus is a hyperbolic creation of Democrats and the news media, tune to some of Colorado’s leading right-wing talk radio shows.

On KNUS’ flagship program, Peter Boyles said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis called a state of emergency “because every Democrat mayor and governor and his mother are lock step in this.”

“You don’t think they’re not playing this on Trump, do you?” asked Boyles on air. “Does anyone else besides me see this? Of course it is.” “I’m not saying people aren’t going to get sick. But I mean there’s a list of things,” said Boyles, listing Y2K, the end of the Mayan calendar, Ebola, the Doomsday Predictions of Nostradamus, Mad Cow, Y2K, SARS, HSN1, and H1N1. “…I mean, think of everything you’ve survived already.”

“It’s created. If you watch the local news geeks, they lower their voices,” said Boyles. “They get in what I call, you know, the dead cop voice.”

On Saturday, KNUS guest host Karen Kataline, subbing for Randy Corporon, blamed the “left” for creating hysteria.

“While the left and other people are creating such hysteria in an election year, about yet another virus, they don’t seem to be hysterical about defecating on the street, or Typhus in California, or the dangers they seem to ignore,” said Kataline, prior to introducing a guest who said on air, “Get yourself healthy so you don’t get a virus” by taking vitamins A, B, C, D, and Zinc and losing weight.

“It is also a distraction,” said Kataline, who said she wants level-headed concern. “If you can be all distracted about the coronavirus, then maybe you won’t notice, for example, that Joe Biden is one of the most corrupt politicians ever to run for president, and that’s saying something!”

On KVOR in Colorado Springs, longtime host Richard Randall said the coronavirus isn’t as “bad as the flu or just a cold.” He said the situation helps the Democrats because Trump can “no longer have his rallies” and Biden won’t have to debate the president.

Listen to Boyles here.

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Dems Work to Keep Preventive Health Care Free in Colorado Even If Obamacare Is Killed

(Ten years of Obamacare, and not a single Grandma unplugged – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

With Obamacare again on the chopping block this year at U.S. Supreme Court, it’s possible that the national health care law’s mandate that insurance companies offer free preventive care (e.g., annual checkups, vaccinations) will disappear, leaving it up to states to decide whether health insurance companies should be required to offer this type of care at no charge.

Democrats in Colorado have decided to try to protect Obamacare’s mandate, proposing a law ensuring that, if the national health care law is killed or repealed, preventive health services will still be offered at no charge under all health insurance plans sold here.

“The goal of this legislation is to codify those preventive services in state law, so that folks can continue to access them without any cost, co-pays or deductibles,” said state Sen. Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City), a sponsor of the bill.

Though the bill was in the works well before the coronavirus outbreak, the health crisis caused by the virus underscores the need for preventive medicine, which is a key part of Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to Moreno.

“As we see now with the effects of coronavirus, people being in good health from the outset is super important and actually also saves the health care system a lot of money,” said Moreno. “So focusing on preventive measures and preventive medicine, I think, is a good thing for people’s health and ultimately, in the long run, will save the state money.”

In a video released today by Protect Our Care, an advocacy group that supports the ACA, Obama called on Americans to protect the national health care law in the face of Republican efforts to repeal it and the upcoming Supreme Court case, which was triggered by a GOP lawsuit.

“Republicans will keep trying both in Congress and in the courts to rip away the care that millions of Americans rely on and to raise costs for millions more,” says Obama in the video, which was released in advance of the 10-year anniversary of the ACA. “So even as we celebrate, we commit ourselves to protecting the progress we’ve made until we finish the job for good with quality affordable coverage for every single American.”

Obama emphasized that the ACA has saved lives.

“These are important health services that many Coloradans use on a regular basis,” said Adam Fox, director of strategic engagement at the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “And ensuring that people have access to them without additional cost is important.”

“Especially with the uncertainty of the ACA going to the Supreme Court again this fall, all the more reason we should make sure these services are protected,” said Fox.

Under the bill, called Protecting Preventive Health Care Coverage, some preventive services would be required in Colorado that go beyond what’s mandated by the ACA. These include: osteoporosis screening, urinary incontinence screening, and screening and treatment of a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Democratic sponsors in the state House are Daneya Esgar of Pueblo and Kyle Mullica of Northglenn. The state Senate sponsors are Moreno and Brittany Pettersen of Lakewood.

Republicans in Colorado have introduced multiple bills attacking Obamacare. A 2017 bill sponsored by Patrick Neville, Colorado’s Republican House Minority Leader, aimed to eliminate Colorado’s ACA health insurance exchange, but it died. A Democratic bill expressing support for Obamacare was killed by Republicans in a state senate committee in 2017.

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Colo Right-Wing Media Outlets Sponsor Each Other

Colorado Citizen Press, an anonymous ultra-conservative blog, is sponsoring the Chuck and Julie Show, a right-wing podcast with hosts Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden, who burst into the national media late last year after Bonniwell joked on KNUS radio that a “nice school shooting” was needed to break up the “never-ending” impeachment hearings.

The pair’s radio show was immediately canceled, and they started a “Chuck and Julie Show” podcast to replace it.

Chuck and Julie are in turn advertising on Citizen Press, where they bill themselves a “Colorado’s Top-Rated Conservative Podcast.”

Here’s the announcement of the sponsorship:

CO-HOST BONNIWELL, PUBLISHER OF THE CHERRY CREEK CHRONICLE: Chuck and Julie Show, Truth Straight Up.  We’re going to have a great show, we’ve got some great guests, and we’re just going to let it rip! CO-HOST JULIE HAYDEN:   That’s right!  And who knows what I’m drinking in this glass, right? [holding up her coffee mug from the hosts’ kitchen, where the show is conducted] BONNIWELL:  Yeah!  That’s right, that’s right. HAYDEN: And we want to let folks know, this show is sponsored — we are so thrilled to have them as a sponsor — by ColoradoCitizenPress.com, Colorado’s conservative voice. You know, every morning before I get up and every night before I go to bed there are a few websites that I check. I kind of just do a round robin, and won’t you agree, Colorado Citizen Press is one I check every day.  They have so much stuff there that you will never see anywhere else that you need to see. BONNIWELL:  They are fantastic!  They really are fantastic. And whatever else you check, you have got to check out Colorado Citizen Press, if you are conservative or Republican or you’re just somebody who’s interested in — HAYDEN:    –who cares about your life in Colorado BONNIWELL:  Yeah! Yeah, Colorado Citizen Press is just wonderful.

In the past, Bonniwell has been critical of the conservative blog, PeakPolitics, while praising the liberal blog ColoradoPols.

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As Coronavirus Spreads, Advocates Ask Cory Gardner to End His Crusade to Kill Obamacare

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

As coronavirus infections rise, supporters of Obamacare in Colorado are calling on politicians, like Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), to stop trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), pointing out that the current health care crisis highlights the benefits of the national health care law, like the fact that 400,000 people in Colorado have health insurance thanks to Obamacare.

Prior to the implementation of the ACA in Colorado, about 16 percent of residents lacked health insurance, a figure that’s dropped to about six percent today.

The threat of the coronavirus “underscores the need for everyone to have access to affordable health care and how we need to protect the systems that provide that — such as the ACA,” said Vanessa Harmoush, a spokesperson for Rocky Mountain Values, a progressive advocacy group, in a statement.

“Coloradans with ACA-compliant insurance will not be charged exorbitant fees for being tested for coronavirus, thanks to the ACA’s requirement that insurers cover preventative care,” said Harmoush.

Now is the time for Gardner to stop calling for the repeal of Obamacare and, instead, to help more people gain insurance under the ACA so they can receive preventative care and other treatment,” said Polly Baca, also with Rocky Mountain Values in a news release.

“We need Senator Gardner, who has voted seven times in his career to repeal our health care, to pledge to stop attacking the Affordable Care Act, especially during a national crisis like this,” said Baca.

An interactive tool released last week by the liberal group, Center for American Progress, shows the health benefits that would be lost in Colorado, if Obamacare were repealed.

The importance of these benefits in Colorado is even more clear in the midst of the current health care crisis, say advocates, who point to polls showing a high level of concern about the crisis and dissatisfaction with Trump’s response.

Gardner did not return a call seeking to know if he has new thoughts on Obamacare, in view of the potential pandemic, and on health care more broadly in light of the coronavirus, but opponents of the ACA have said the law has failed to contain health-insurance costs, requires too much government involvement, and can be replaced with a better program.

But Republicans were not only unable to repeal Obamacare in 2017 when they had the power in Washington to do so, but they have yet to put forward a plan that would contain costs better than Obamacare has, as well offer the ACA’s benefits such as requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions, offer preventative care for free, and more.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a decision by a lower court that ruled in favor of Republican plaintiffs who alleged that the ACA is unconstitutional. That decision is on hold pending the Supreme Court decision. Gardner appears to back the lawsuit.

In interviews, Gardner has expressed concern about coronavirus and defended the Administration, but he hasn’t objected in recent years to budget cuts to the agency charged with preventing coronavirus-like outbreaks.

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Denver GOP Leader Decries Anti-LGBTQ Content on Facebook But Not at the Capitol

The leader of Denver’s Republican Party, Kristina Cook, told fellow Republicans this week that if they “need to be vulgar, to disparage your fellow man simply because he loves another man (or she loves another woman) — either keep it to yourself or leave the party.”

Cook issued the statement after Democrat Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the presidential race, triggering the “most intolerant, idiotic, and insensitive references to homosexuality that I think I’ve ever witnessed. Disgusting memes, disgusting comments [on Facebook] — all in reference to his sexuality,” according to Cook.

I was glad to see that Cook’s comments were greeted with praise on the Denver GOP Facebook page.

Of course, I was hoping Cook would also call out President Trump for one or all of his vulgar, disparaging comments.

I mean the single most depressing phenomenon in the Trump era is that Republicans don’t condemn the president when he deserves it and they know it, which is often.

But keeping the discussion here in Colorado on disparaging LGBTQ people, Cook should also look over at the state Legislature.

There, Republican House leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock and fellow Republicans are pushing a bill, among other anti-LGBTQ legislation, that subjects health-care providers to felony charges for providing gender-affirming care for transgender youth–an approach that’s opposed by mainstream medical groups.

Another bill, promoted by Rep. Stephen Humphrey (R-Severance), would define marriage as between a man and a woman and allow adoptions only by heterosexuals.

In an email, I complimented Cook for standing up for LGBTQ people, but also asked about the ongoing disparagement at the Capitol.

“That post was not about policy – it was about being respectful in our discourse,” Cook responded. “If you would like comments about Rep. Humphrey’s bill or Rep. Neville’s bill, I suggest you reach out to them. I’m sure they’d be happy to discuss their reasons for introducing such bills. “I don’t view my position as being involved in policy. Instead, my focus is on creating community in Denver County through our work with the Denver County GOP. I believe we can help contribute to, among other things, a culture where we don’t use derogatory language towards one another, nor (for example) support the idea of spreading the Coronavirus to those we disagree with politically. If we can create that culture, one where we treat each other respectfully, maybe then we can have sane discussions about policy.”

“But,” I asked Cook, “would you agree that at some point policy positions or legislation can also ‘disparage’ LGBTQ people? And these policy positions should be denounced as unacceptable, just as you denounced the anti-LGBTQ memes on Facebook?”

“I stay in my wheelhouse, which in this case includes public discourse,” responded Cook. “Policy belongs to the policy-makers. I have cc’d Rep. Humphrey and Rep. Neville on this thread, so that they can answer your questions about their proposed legislation.”

All I got from Humphrey and Neville was silence.

And Cook’s admirable LGBTQ comment notwithstanding, silence is what you expect from Republicans who know better these days.

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In Election Year Shift, Cory Gardner Calls Himself a “National Leader” on Climate Change

(Cue laugh track – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

When Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner first ran for Senate in 2014, the phrase “climate change,” “global warming,” or other words describing the destruction of the Earth’s atmosphere, didn’t appear on his campaign website, except in a linked news release slamming his opponent for supporting Obama’s “Overreach on Climate.”

Gardner

But now, with pollsters saying Gardner can’t win November’s election without support from swing voters who want action on the climate crisis, Gardner has unveiled a new campaign website that claims he’s a “national leader” on “climate change policies that achieve results.”


“For more than a decade, Cory has been a national leader advocating for commonsense energy and climate change policies that achieve results,” states Gardner’s new campaign website. “…Cory rejects the false choice between addressing climate change and economic growth. Instead, his bipartisan approach aims to reduce emissions, combat climate change, and grow the economy,” states Gardner’s new website in the section titled, “Colorado’s Senator, Colorado’s Priorities.”

Gardner’s self-description as a “national leader” on climate change policies is leaving environmentalists in disbelief.

“Actions speak a whole lot louder than words, and Cory Gardner’s record shows he has done far more to harm the environment and contribute to climate change than help,” said Pete Maysmith, Senior Vice President of Campaigns for the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund, in a statement. “Unfortunately for Cory Gardner, no campaign website update can make up for years of climate denial and siding with big corporate polluters,” said Maysmith.

In fact, it’s hard to find evidence that Gardner is a “national leader” on climate change, as his new campaign website claims.

And Gardner’s office did not return a call seeking to know why he thinks he’s a national leader on the issue–and what “commonsense” climate change policies he’s put forward.

Over his career, Gardner has said in multiple interviews that the climate is warming but that the human contribution to the problem is hyped in the news media.

Gardner voted five times to stop the EPA from regulating the major climate-change pollutant.

(more…)

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“Democrats Are Anti-Christian,” Says Colorado Republican Lawmaker

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Dave Williams (R).

A Colorado Springs Republican lawmaker is standing behind his radio comment that his House Democratic colleagues are “anti-Christian,” saying they attack “family values.”

State Rep. Dave Williams (R-CO Springs) made the comment on conservative KNUS radio Feb. 15 during a discussion about a legislative hearing.

Williams, who’s the El Paso County Republican Party’s official liaison to the Trump Campaign, said, during a hearing on bills that were voted down by Democrats, he’d sat through “13 hours of the radical left, you know, talking about how good people of faith are terrible people.”

“I mean, what they engage in is, they’re anti-Christian,” Williams told KNUS’ Randy Corporon. “At the end of the day, Democrats are anti-Christian and, you know, they want to try and besmirch good people of faith like Jack Phillips [who refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple], and that was their whole goal that day that we heard those bills.”

Williams was referring narrowly to Democrats in the Colorado House of Representatives, not everyone who is part of the Democratic Party.

“I stand by the statement,” Williams told the Colorado Times Recorder when asked about the comment on Friday. “I was referencing the House Democrats, who I believe are radical. They were trying to spin the narrative that day about Jack Phillips and Christian families.”

“Those Democrats, the House Democrats, are anti-Christian, and they want to attack family values,” he said.

State Rep. Leslie Herod (D-Denver) said Williams should help create a “inclusive and just” society, instead of calling people anti-Christian.

“I’d say to my Republican colleagues, Rep. Williams included, that honesty is a virtue,” Herod told the Colorado Times Recorder in a statement. “It would be better for all of us if they would simply be honest about these bills and their rhetoric. There are LGBTQ Coloradans who are good people too, who are people of faith, and who simply want to live, work, and exist in a state free from discrimination. The truth is that some, but not all, of my Republican colleagues would rather resort to demagoguery–calling people ‘anti-Christian’ and proposing questionable pieces of legislation– instead of joining the rest of us in creating a society that is inclusive and just.”

Williams is unabashed conservative, known for speaking out on social issues (e.g., opposing civil unions) and immigration (e.g., proposing lawmakers representing sanctuary cities be liable for crimes committed by undocumented immigrants).

Williams is seen as a leader of the Republicans’ legislative efforts to loosen vaccination rules in Colorado.

Listen to Williams on KNUS’ Randy Corporon Show here.

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Crank Is Thrilled that Gardner Isn’t a Susan Collins-Type Republican

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Yesterday, Colorado’s Cory Gardner, who’s one of the most vulnerable senators in November’s election, voted for two anti-abortion bills.

Susan Collins of Maine, who’s equally vulnerable, voted for one of the anti-abortion bills–and against the other one.

On impeachment, you saw the same pattern. Collins made the appearance of doing the splits, voting to hear more witnesses and to aquit Trump.

Gardner voted with Trump both times on impeachment.

The recent votes by Gardner and Collins follow a familiar pattern, with Gardner being a reliable Trump voter and Collins less so. (Gardner votes with Trump about 89% of the time; Collins 67%.)

Gardner and Collins voted in opposite sides on repealing Obamacare, confirming anti-choice judges, gutting Obamacare, and nixing Trump’s emergency declaration.

Colorado conservatives, like KVOR radio host Jeff Crank, are thrilled with Gardner–and glad he’s not a Susan Collins-type Republican.

Crank celebrated Gardner on air last week for not being a Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

If Gardner were like Collins, “I would vote for him, but I wouldn’t be as enthusiastic about him,” said Crank, who’s a former GOP congressional candidate and executive for Americans for Prosperity, a Koch group.

Would he work as hard for a candidate like Collins?

“I wouldn’t be as enthusiastic about it, but I would work hard, because I wouldn’t want to lose that seat,” he answered pointing to Collins’ votes for the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the tax bill.

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Cory Gardner Again Votes for Partial Abortion Ban

(“No threat to abortion rights” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner voted today for two anti-choice bills, one to partially ban the procedure, the other requiring doctors to save the life of a baby born alive after an abortion. Both bills failed to pass in the U.S. Senate.

The partial ban, called the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” prohibits abortion after 20 weeks and carries an exception for rape victims.

But such rape survivors would be required to get counseling prior to having an abortion. Only 1.2% of abortions occur after 20 weeks, and the ability of a fetus to feel pain has not been proven scientifically.

Gardner voted for a similar bill last year.

The second bill is called the “Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act” and would address a rare situation when a baby would be expected to die anyway.

“Senator Gardner can try to trick Coloradans into thinking he isn’t a threat to our reproductive freedom, but his record tells the truth: Gardner supports uncompromising measures that would put politicians in charge of personal health care decisions and potentially criminalize doctors,” said Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll in a statement. “These votes are just the latest in a string of Gardner’s attacks on our reproductive freedom, which include confirming anti-choice judges who threaten to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

Proponents of the bills, which would levy penalties, including jail time, on doctors, say the U.S. must use the force of law to stop abortion.

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has said the partial abortion ban would “bring our nation’s regard for the unborn off this sad and radical fringe and bring it more in line with the global mainstream.”

Gardner’s office did not return a call for comment, but the Republican has long voted to restrict abortion rights and to defund Planned Parenthood.

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Lamborn: ‘Gullible’ Minorities Believe Democrats’ Lies about Voter Suppression

(“Tar Baby” Doug strikes again! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) thinks “gullible” minorities believe lies about voter suppression from Democrats.

Lamborn made the comments Thursday on a conservative talk-radio show in Colorado Springs.

“The Democrats lie when they say, ‘Oh, this is to suppress votes,’ or ‘This is to hurt minorities.’ It’s just a lie,” Lamborn told KVOR host Richard Randall. “They want to stir up minorities who are gullible and believe that garbage.”

Randall had told Lamborn, who represents the Colorado Springs area, that Judicial Watch, a conservative advocacy group, has threatened to sue county clerks in Colorado if they didn’t “clean up voter rolls.”

Then Randall asked Lamborn if he was “concerned about voter fraud here in Colorado, but especially states like California and others.”

“Well, I am,” replied Lamborn. “And I think it’s legitimate for Republicans or anyone for that matter to make sure that county clerks and secretaries of state clean up their acts and really have transparent and accountable records, paper trails, and all of the above have cyber security.”

Experts told the Colorado Times Recorder that Lamborn is wrong in multiple ways.

(more…)

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Proud Boys ‘Hate Group’ Joins Thousands at Trump Rally in Colo Springs

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: Inside the auditorium where Trump spoke, a member of the Proud Boys was photographed making a white nationalist hand signal. Most excellent photo by Erik Maulbetsch of the Colorado Times Recorder.

The Proud Boys, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC), continued its string of appearances at Republican events in Colorado today by joining thousands of Trump backers at a rally in Colorado Springs.

“We’re here to support Donald Trump, one of the best presidents we’ve had in a long time,” a Proud Boy who identified himself only as “Nate” told the Colorado Times Recorder as he waited in line to enter the Broadmoor World Arena to see Trump.

Flashing hand signals connected to white nationalism and wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, three Proud Boys recorded themselves walking through a Bernie Sanders rally last week in Denver, calling the Democrats “communists,” according to media reports.

Proud Boys at Trump Rally

Asked if he thought Trump was aligned with him as a white nationalist, Nate, who was one of six Proud Boys seen at the Trump event today, said: “First of all, people have us confused. We are not white nationalists. We allow anybody of any race, gender, ethnicity, into our club. We just see everybody as Americans. We don’t need to divide ourselves into different ethnic groups. We are all Americans here. And I think the beautiful thing about this Trump rally is, if you look around, there are all kinds of ethnicities here. We are just a melting pot of people who are here to support our president.”

These comments run counter to multiple reports, since the organization’s founding in 2016, that characterize it as hate-filled and extremist, with individual members involved in political violence.

“We are aligned with Trump in that we believe in America First,” said Nate. “There’s an America First agenda. And ‘America’ means everybody that’s here in America. We’re sick of people dividing each other across lines of race and ethnicity. “

The Proud Boys was spotlighted in media reports last year on the rise of hate-related incidents in Colorado. The group is seen as having a growing influence nationally in “patriot groups” supporting Trump.

Grady Nouis, a Republican campaigning for the Colorado State House, defended himself a “white nationalist” on a podcast called “Major League Liberty,” hosted by Proud Boy Louie Huey.

Huey allegedly lead the Proud Boy protest at the Sanders rally last week.

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In Advance of Trump Rally, Alleged Orchestrator of Trump’s Racist Rally Tactics Teaches CO Workshop

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Trump comes to Colorado Thursday for a rally along with Colorado GOP Sen. Cory Gardner. Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, is in Aurora for a “Keep America Great” rally tomorrow.

And, in late-breaking news, John Pence, Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew, will be in Pueblo tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to conduct a “Trump Leadership Initiative Training” at Pueblo Community College’s Fortino Ballroom A, according to the Pueblo County Republican Party.

John Pence is best known as the political operative who orchestrates Trump’s political rallies, seen as both as hate-filled and wildly successful.

Pence is “particularly responsible” for having “orchestrated and manufactured” campaign tactics to “stoke fear in this country,” said former White House aide and Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault in a July interview on MSNBC.

Omarosa said Pence got Donald Trump to say, go back to countries “from which they came.”

Marla Reichert, Chair of the Pueblo County Republican Party, didn’t immediately return a call seeking to know if Pence is involved in Trump’s rally Thursday, and if so, whether Pence will be deploying those kinds of tactics there–or if he’ll be teaching them tonight in Pueblo.

The Trump campaign information shared on Facebook does specify that although homemade signs are not permitted, the Trump campaign will distribute its own signs to audience members once they are inside the arena.

Pence, who’s the son of Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN), gave a Trump Leadership Initiative workshop in December at the Independence Institute, a free market activist group in Denver led by Jon Caldara, who was fired from his position as Denver Post columnist last month.

To sign up for Pence’s training, visit the Pueblo County Trump Victory Facebook group.

Prior to Thursday’s rally in Colorado Springs, Trump is holding a fundraiser where it will cost a couple $25,000 for a photo with the president. The ticket price is $2,800.

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Pollster: ‘Striking’ Trends Favor Democrats in Arvada Senate District

Magellan Strategies launched a series of deepish dives into competitive legislative districts yesterday, with a close look a Westminster/Arvada district that had the distinction of being the closest Senate race in 2016.

Magellan’s conclusion: “Long story short, whether you’re looking at the percentage of registration or simply just raw number of voters, there is a concerning trend for Republicans here in SD 19,” wrote Ryan Winger, Magellan’s Director of Data and Research Strategies.

Winger: “…No, the real problem can be seen looking back at voter registration: The numbers simply aren’t there anymore. It’s basic math. A comparative advantage for Republicans in SD 19 has been completely wiped away by increased Unaffiliated registration and increased voter turnout among both Democratic voters and Unaffiliated voters. “The result? What was a fairly conventional swing district in 2014 (Cory Gardner and Bob Beauprez narrowly lost the district, while Cynthia Coffman and Walker Stapleton won) becomes by 2018, a district that voted for Democratic candidates by significant margins up and down the ballot. Where Governor Hickenlooper won by nearly 3,000 votes in 2014, now Governor Polis won by 10,000 voters in 2018. Where Cynthia Coffman won the Attorney General race by 5,300 votes in 2014, now Attorney General Phil Weiser won by 5,500 votes in 2018. Those kinds of trends are difficult to reverse, and while in a lot of ways they mirror how Colorado has changed at the statewide level, it is striking to see them at the local level.”

Magellan, a Republican-leaning polling and research firm, is analyzing the swing districts as another way to illuminate how “the political dynamics are shifting” in Colorado.

The apparent intention is, to give Republicans a math-based nudge toward strategies and tactics that can actually help them win elections again.

Winger advises the Republican Party to begin its work by, “not only registering voters but also persuading Unaffiliated voters that the Democrats in state government have overreached and offering them an alternative vision and plans for Colorado. That’s what it will take to run a competitive race in 2020, as there is no reason to believe that the turnout trends since 2014 are an aberration. As I’ve said before, this is the new normal.”

The aspect that seems to be particularly lost on Colorado Republicans, according to its Democratic and Republican critics, is the “alternative vision and plans for Colorado” part.

Since their crushing losses in 2018, many Republicans in Colorado appear to have fixated on a blame-game over which tactics and consultants failed them the worst, rather than on what issues and ideas can win over Unaffiliated voters.

Winger was unavailable for comment Friday afternoon, but in the past, when asked about what issues would work for the GOP in Colorado, David Flaherty, Magellan’s Founder, has been adamant that Colorado Republicans need to explain to voters how they will get more money into classrooms and, most importantly, lower the cost of healthcare. He wants the GOP to move off guns and immigration.

“We see the Democrat majority coming out with multiple plans to address rising healthcare costs,” Flaherty told the Colorado Times Recorder last year. “Voters love plans. Voters love ideas. Republicans have not put forth a plan or an idea at all. Walker Stapleton had no plan, whatsoever. The one he tried to put forth was not clear.” “The bottom line is, Republicans have failed at demonstrating, ‘I want to lower your costs,’ rather than being against everything the Democrats are  proposing.”

RELATED: Why Can’t Republicans Win in Colorado? Bad on Election Campaign Tactics? Or Bad on the Issues that Matter Most?

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Scalia Died Four Years Ago Today. If a SCOTUS Seat Opened, Would Gardner Again Argue for Delay?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Exactly four years ago today, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep at a Texas ranch.

About an hour after Scalia’s death was confirmed, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) told startled reporters that the “American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice” and “therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

Five days later, on Feb. 18, 2016, Colorado’s Republican Senator, Cory Gardner, agreed with McConnell that the appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice should be delayed until after the 2016 presidential election, which was later won by Trump.

Gardner told fellow conservative Dan Caplis, who was on KNUS radio at the time:

GARDNER: “Again, I think we’re too close to the election. The president who is elected in November should be the one who makes this decision.”

“We are deep in the heart of a political campaign, a divisive election, a divisive president, who has done nothing but overreached Congress time and time again,” he added. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s well-known health problems appear to be at bay for now, but the question arises of what Gardner would do this time around if Ginsburg’s or another seat became vacant.

Gardner’s office did not return a call seeking comment, but in interviews at the time, he pointed to Democrats who’d made similar arguments about delaying confirmation of a Justice.

If Gardner follows the same logic of his arguments in 2016, he’d again call for delay.

Back in 2016, Gardner went on to join McConnell and other Republicans in denying Merrick Garland, Barack Obama’s choice to replace Scalia, even the opportunity for a hearing before the Senate.

In fact, Gardner refused to meet Garland at all.

On March 16, 2016, even before Obama finished introducing Garland to the country, Gardner issued a statement that “our next election is too soon and the stakes are too high; the American people deserve a role in the process as the next Supreme Court justice will influence the direction of this country for years to come.” In 2016, Gardner’s refusal to meet with Garland earned Gardner a personal rebuke from Obama.

“Sen. Gardner has not been doing his job as a senator,” Obama told The Gazette in a short interview after the Air Force Academy graduation. “He is perfectly free after having met with Judge Garland to conclude that ‘this is not somebody that I am going to vote for.'”

“If we start getting to the point where the Senate operates in such a partisan manner that even someone like Merrick Garland can’t get the courtesy of a hearing and a vote, then that’s going to start breaking down the system to the point where we can’t get any judges confirmed,” he said. “Our system of justice is going to break down, and that’s going to have consequences for all of us.”

After Obama left office, Trump nominees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were confirmed for Supreme Court positions.

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How Gardner’s War Against Obamacare Propelled Him to Power–and Is Now a Driver of His Likely Demise

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

At his first campaign rally for U.S. Senate, on a snowy day in 2014 at a Denver lumber yard, Cory Gardner warned that Obamacare was “destroying this country.”

The words may sound harsh today, but they came easily to then-Congressman Gardner. His attacks on the country’s new health care law were a centerpiece of his first successful run for Congress four years earlier, when he raised the specter of 17,000 new IRS agents “storming” America in search of Obamacare cheaters and of the health care law failing because people just wouldn’t sign up.

Torching Obamacare in interviews and ads, Gardner cruised into the House in 2010 and edged his way into the Senate four years later.

But in an irony that’s lost on no one who’s followed Colorado’s Republican senator over his ten years in Washington, Gardner’s long war against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is now a driver of his likely downfall.

(more…)

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Gun-Safety Law Could “Address” Six Lives in Colo, But Measure Won’t Save Them, Says Brauchler

(“Six lives matter, but…” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler (R).

UPDATE: “I am in no way saying that I don’t think those lives are worth saving, whether it’s one or six, I just don’t think those lives get saved any more with that proposed law than our existing child abuse law,” Brauchler told the Colorado Times Recorder. “I haven’t seen the draft, so we are speculating, but there is a provision in the law that says if you have a broader law out there and then the Legislature passes a much more specific law that addresses that behavior, the defendant can only be prosecuted for the more specific behavior covered by it. So if they make a misdemeanor defense for not securing your firearms, it’s possible, depending on how they draft it, that you may actually take away from me the ability to prosecute the much more serious felony, if it applied. You and I wouldn’t want that. We came up with statement law that actually makes it less costly to someone to leave their gun on the table.”

——-

In the “best-case scenario,” a gun-safety bill under consideration at the state Legislature could “address” six homicides per year in Colorado, and “every one of those lives matters,” says Arapahoe County area District Attorney George Brauchler.

“And that’s not a small number,” he adds.

But Brauchler opposes a law, which would mandate safe-storage of guns to keep them out of the hands of children, because enforcement is “extremely, extremely tricky” and there’s already a “child abuse statute” that allows for prosecution of parents whose kids get a hold of guns, Brauchler said during an interview with KHOW’s Ross Kaminsky last Friday morning.

BRAUCHLER: “It looks like, if you look at what coroners have reported and some other stuff, that the safe storage bill, if it was 100% effective, it could address up to six homicides or injuries — I think it was homicides –a year, across the state of Colorado. And that’s not a small number. I mean, every one of those lives matters.

 

“But that’s the best-case scenario for that particular law. But I agree with you, enforcement is extremely, extremely tricky. I think they both sound very common sense-y, and that’s why I think they are going to end up passing. People are going to go, ‘Well, of course, you shouldn’t leave guns lying around. The issue is, we already have laws that allow us to prosecute adults under a child abuse statute that says if you put a kid in a position to hurt themselves or others, we can already prosecute you for that. We don’t need a safe-storage bill for that.”

Brauchler described the bill as “targeting kids getting guns and hurting themselves or others,” which he said on air was a “noble cause.”

“But it’s a bill that criminalizes people who don’t take steps to prevent kids from getting their hands on guns in those circumstances,” said Brauchler.

Tom Mauser, whose son died in the Columbine school shooting, says passing a safe-gun-storage bill “sends a message that gun owners need to take this seriously.” The existence and passage of the law is part of a public education process that continues when the law is used to prosecute violators, he says.

“Enforcement can be difficult for any number of laws, but we pass them anyway,” said Mauser. “We can agree that gun owners should store their guns responsibly, but we haven’t put this into law. We need to make it clear that you will be prosecuted if you are irresponsible with your guns.”

(more…)

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GOP-Leaning Pollster Sees Democratic Tsunami in Colo

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

“If 2018 was a Democratic wave, then 2020 is very likely to be a tsunami.”

That’s the conclusion of an analysis of Colorado voting trends, released in a blog post last week by Ryan Winger, Director of Data Analysis and Research Projects at Magellan Strategies, a Republican-leaning pollster.

Here are three paragraphs of details from the post:

Winger: “It seems obvious to say that voter turnout matters. Of course, the outcome of any election is going to be determined by who actually votes. But it’s often under appreciated just how much voter turnout can change on an annual basis, and how those changes alter the fate of candidates and ballot measures. The last two elections in Colorado are instructive. The evidence from the 2018 election in Colorado suggested a huge turn toward Democrats as they swept the statewide offices, while conservatives rightfully claimed a victory in 2019 with the defeat of Proposition CC. The difference between 2018 and 2019? Voter turnout. Over 2.5 million votes were cast in 2018 compared to over 1.5 million in 2019.

“And those extra roughly 1 million voters in the 2018 election matter. They are the difference between Republicans finishing as a plurality of 34.4% of the electorate among all votes cast in 2019 and finishing in third behind Unaffiliated voters and Democrats in 2018. Those roughly 1 million voters are also the difference between voters aged 18-34 comprising only 14% of the electorate in 2019 compared to 22.5% in 2018. Clearly, those extra one million voters are younger and more Democratic-leaning. That fact alone, more than any other observation, explains why election results in Colorado can be so different from year-to-year. So what will voter turnout look like in 2020? If past presidential elections are any indication, it is very likely to be younger and more in favor of Democratic candidates than the 2018 electorate. If 2018 was a Democratic wave, then 2020 is very likely to be a tsunami.

“That’s because as historic as the 2018 voter turnout was, it still did not match turnout from 2016 when 2.85 million votes were cast. This isn’t surprising and it’s certainly not unique to Colorado. Presidential elections always have higher voter turnout than midterm elections. In fact, in the last two presidential elections here in Colorado, there were over 900,000 voters who participated in a presidential election who did not vote in the previous midterm election.”

Winger goes on to predict that it’s “likely” voter turnout will pass 3 million in 2020, as the percentage of young voters, many Unaffiliated, increases further. Between Jan. 1, 2017, and Election Day, 2019, about 580,000 new voters registered.

Winger looks at these numbers and sees darkness on the horizon for Republicans in 2020.

His advice for Republicans: “maximize turnout” among GOP voters.

The problem: “Appealing to the Republican base is often in direct contrast to the kinds of issues and messages that attract support from Unaffiliated voters.”

“High turnout will be across the board,” Winger told the Colorado Times Recorder. “Republicans will be high turnout. Democrats will be high turnout. Unaffiliated voters will be high turnout. But those Unaffiliated voters are finally starting to punch at their weight in terms of voting. For the longest time, there was a high percentage of Unaffiliated voters registered, but they didn’t show up to vote. That’s what was so historic about 2018, is that more Unaffiliateds voted than Democrats or Republicans. And there’s no reason to think that is going to change this year. “

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Rally Goers Decry #CoverUpCory Gardner

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

“If we all vote, if we all engage in democracy, that guy is gone,” Denver City Councilman Chris Hinds told about 150 demonstrators at the Capitol this afternoon, gesturing toward a life-sized cut out of U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) which stood just to the right of the microphone.

“Do you feel like you got transparent and accountable government last night?” Hinds asked the crowd.

“No,” they yelled back.

The event was billed by organizers as an emergency rally to call out Gardner for being part of the Trump cover-up effort by voting against hearing from witnesses, after saying for weeks he’d consider all the evidence.

Hinds spoke after a rousing speech from former Colorado State Rep. Joe Salazar, who told the crowd he felt “sad” and “downtrodden” last night, after watching Republican Senators, including Gardner, vote nearly unanimously against hearing from any witnesses in the impeachment trial of Trump.

Salazar recalled telling a friend that the law is “being stripped away from us.”

But Salazar’s friend told him to buckle up and reminded him that she’d seen the same thing in her native Pakistan, and that Salazar had seen the same thing here in America before.

(more…)

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Cory Gardner vs. Susan Collins

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who’s one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the U.S. Senate, announced yesterday that he would not vote for more impeachment witnesses, including John Bolton.

As Gardner was officially siding with Trump, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who’s also atop the list of vulnerable Republicans, continued to act as though she was on the verge of approving Bolton and possibly other witnesses.

Despite their different stances on the impeachment trial, Collins and Gardner both come from states that voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump (Colorado went for Clinton by 4.9%, and Maine by 3%.).

This sets them apart from other vulnerable Republican senators (Iowa’s Joni Ernst, Arizona’s Martha McSally, North Carolina’s Thom Tillis), who all represent states that backed Trump in 2016 (Iowa by 9.4%, North Carolina by 3.7%, Arizona by 3.5%).

So you might think that Gardner and Collins would mostly vote together, especially on key legislation.

But that’s not necessarily the case. Even though Colorado is even bluer than Maine, at least based on the 2016 election, Gardner generally votes to the right of Collins in the Senate.

Overall, Gardner votes with Trump 89% of the time, Collins 67%.

(more…)

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Buck: ‘A Few’ Democrats ‘Seriously Considering Voting to Aquit’

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, the leader of Colorado’s Republican Party, says he knows  there are “a few Democrat senators who are seriously considering voting to acquit in this situation.”

A call to Buck’s office seeking the names of these Democrats was not returned.

Buck made the comment this week on KFTM 1400-AM (at 9 min 30 sec).

As for his own view, Buck slammed the door on any possibility that more witnesses would offer sufficient evidence to justify impeaching Trump.

“I think no matter what the witnesses say, the president’s conduct does not rise to the level of impeachable conduct,” said Buck on air. “So the Senate can very easily make the determination that they are not going to call witnesses, and have their vote, and be done with this. And we can get back to doing business here, and hopefully, even in an election year, be able to get some positive things done.”

Buck has been a fierce critic of the impeachment process from the get-go, saying in December that he would exact revenge by taking a “very hard” look at pay raises and other benefits for federal employees and “job security” of “senior bureaucrats” in the executive branch.

He said the “really scary part” about the impeachment process is that “there really is a deep state.”

He’s also insisted that the debunked theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was, in fact, real.

Also in the KFTM interview, Buck offered his opinion that Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren “would relish the opportunity to see Vice President Biden embarrassed by his son testifying.”

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Fired Radio Host Says Former KNUS Colleague “Crawled over our Bodies and Urinated on Us”

(Oozing the classy – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In case you’re wondering if there are any hard feelings lingering after Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden’s “Chuck and Julie Show” was canceled by conservative KNUS 710-AM in December, listen to Bonniwell talk about his former KNUS colleagues on Bonniwell and Hayden’s new podcast last week.

Bonniwell: Peter [Boyles] has been great. Randy [Corporon] has been great. Backbone Radio on Sunday has been great. The one person who I considered was disgraceful was Steffan [Tubbs]. He just crawled over our bodies and urinated on us. And for a guy who was arrested for abusing a women.”
Hayden: The charges were dropped.
Bonniwell: They were dropped because he had a great lawyer. But he got fired. For that guy to try to brutalize Julie and our kid and everything else is disgraceful. It’s just disgraceful. He is just disgraceful, but that’s just me.”
Bonniwell and Hayden

Tubbs, who was fired from KOA after being arrested on domestic violence charges, was the most outspoken among KNUS staff and management in stating that Bonniwell had erred when Bonniwell stated that a “nice school shooting” was needed to break up the monotony of the never-ending impeachment hearing.

“There is no excuse for what was said on this radio station yesterday afternoon,” Tubbs said on air after Bonniwell’s firing. “And it’s hard because I like the guy who said the atrocious thing that he said.”

Tubbs, who interviewed the father of a school-shooting victim immediately after Bonniwell was fired, did not return a call for comment about Bonniwell’s urinating remark.

(more…)

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Allard: Gardner Doing ‘Right Thing’ on Impeachment

(Better with a laugh track – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Sen. Wayne Allard (left) and Sen. Cory Gardner

Colorado Republican Wayne Allard, who served in the U.S. Senate during the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, says Sen. Cory Gardner, a fellow Republican, is doing the “right thing” by holding off on his impeachment decision.

Gardner can “explain why he voted one way or the other” after he casts his vote, said Allard.

Gardner, who once worked for Allard, faces “a lot of misinformation out there,” as he decides how to vote on the impeachment of Trump, and he’ll have to “sift through that,” Allard told the Colorado Times Recorder Friday.

“I think Senator Gardner is doing the right thing to hold off until he’s got the facts in hand, and then he can cast his vote and explain why he voted one way or the other,” said Allard.

Unlike Gardner, who’s been silent on impeachment to the point of avoiding reporters who are chasing him through the halls and elevators of Congress, Allard published an impeachment diary in the Rocky Mountain News at the time. In multiple entries, Allard commented on all facets of the trial.

Denver Post columnist and ProgressNow Colorado director Ian Silverri lauded Allard’s impeachment diary as a “terrific time-capsule of insights into the mind of a Republican Senator deliberating whether to vote to convict a president in real-time.”

Gardner’s critics insist that the Gardner, who’s up for re-election in November, should at least take questions about the impeachment process, including queries about key procedural questions, like whether he wants to hear from former Trump adviser John Bolton.

In Friday’s inerview, Allard recalled listening to the proceedings and deciding that there was “no doubt that Clinton perjured himself.” And this was what “drove” his decision to convict, Allard said, not concerns about obstruction of justice.

(more…)

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Gardner’s Votes to Privatize Medicare under Scrutiny in Wake of Trump’s Comments

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner standing behind President Donald Trump.

In the wake of Trump’s comments last week that he’s willing to “look” at federal spending on entitlements, a progressive group is putting renewed scrutiny on U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) stance on Medicare and Social Security, including Gardner’s statement during his last Senate race that he would vote in the Senate to privatize Medicare, as he’d voted to do during his House tenure.

“At some point they will be,” Trump said, when asked if entitlements were on his agenda. “At the right time, we will take a look at that.”

Specifically, Trump stated his willingness to look at curbing Medicare spending.

“When you take a closer look at the records of the Senate’s most vulnerable Republicans, the takeaway is clear: Donald Trump just made their reelections infinitely harder,” said Zach Hudson, a spokesman for American Bridge in a news release, spotlighting Gardner, among other senators. “Their long track records of voting to cut Medicare and Social Security are now fair game and will receive renewed scrutiny, and that’s a recipe for disaster for these incumbent Senators.”

In the news release, Hudson pointed to a series of votes, like this one, by Gardner during his four years in the U.S. House, from 2010 to 2014, for the so-called Ryan budget, which would have, among other things, privatized Medicare. Hudson also listed multiple votes, like this one, by Gardner to raise the age of eligibility for Medicare and Social Security, even though he’d once promised not to do so.

In his comments last week, Trump did not specify how he’d address Medicare spending.

Asked during his 2014 senate race against Democrat Mark Udall if he would vote again in the U.S. Senate for the “Ryan Budget,” Gardner signaled his willingness to do so. And he offered a strong defense of his Ryan-budget vote.

“Well, I would vote for a bill [Ryan budget] that allows us to balance the budget, that protects Medicare, and that’s what I did, Senator Udall, was voted for a bill that protects Medicare, that protects retirees and their social safety nets,” Gardner said on C-Span.

This isn’t surprising coming from Gardner, who made no secret of his admiration for Ryan himself.

“This is a guy [Ryan] who understands the budget and the economy perhaps better than anybody other than Mitt Romney,” Gardner once said.

A call to Gardner’s office, seeking a reaction to Trump’s comments, was not returned.

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Colo Hispanic Republicans Posts Fake News that United Nations Is Coming after your Guns

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Especially as the election nears, political entities that post fake news on their Facebook pages will face massive public backlash, right? Let’s hope so.

Today’s fake news problem can be found on the website of the Colorado Hispanic Republicans, which describes itself as a “center-right organization dedicated to creating a welcoming space where conservative Hispanics can share their thoughts and ideas….”

The group posted an article with the headline, “UN Hiring American Gun Control and Disarmament Officers.”

“The UN is hiring multiple ‘Disarmament Officers’ to lead the United Nations’ gun control push…. The United Nations is using your hard earned tax dollars to impose gun control onto the American people,” the article from the Conservative Daily, “Your Source for Sanity,” states.

“This is serious stuff,” stated the Colorado Hispanic Republicans in a comment introducing the article on Facebook. “Please read the entire article before commenting. Don’t just react to the headline. This is yet another reason we must re-elect President Trump.”

(more…)

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Gardner Likely to Vote with Republicans on Impeachment, Say Political Observers

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This article, which originally appeared in the Colorado Times Recorder, was written by Jake Maher.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

As the impeachment trial begins in the Senate today, the scrutiny on Colorado’s Cory Gardner grows.

Speculation has filled a vacuum left by the Republican senator himself, who has made few statements to the press about how he views the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, in which he is now a juror.  And Gardner himself couldn’t be reached to explain his stance.

Among experts on Colorado politics, though, the consensus is clear: Gardner can be expected to fall in line with the Republican caucus, except for the possibility of voting for some witnesses or a similar concession, if it’s done with a group of GOP senators.

In the words of Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute: “He’s a partisan.”

“I would be very surprised, at least knowing what we know now, if Gardner defects from his party’s line on the final impeachment vote,” Kyle Saunders, a professor of political science at Colorado State University, wrote in an email.

Miles Coleman, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, wrote that he “wouldn’t expect Gardner to deviate from the Republican leadership.”

Gardner himself became a member of the Senate’s Republican leadership in 2016, and he currently serves as deputy whip.

A Possibility of a Smaller Act of Rebellion

As senator of a purple state, simply following the Republican party line may be too divisive of a political tack, and some experts saw the possibility of a smaller act of rebellion via a vote on allowing additional witness testimony—but only if the crowd is already moving that way anyway.

“If there is a vote taken on witnesses, and it appears that a majority supports limited witnesses, I could see Gardner making the calculus to support something like that, but only if it’s some sort of limited scenario,” wrote Saunders. “I don’t see Gardner supporting a free-for-all ‘as many witnesses as can be called’ scenario unless things are going very badly for Trump.”

“And it’s still not likely that it will go badly for Trump with Leader McConnell running point,” wrote Saunders.

According to Ornstein, he’s likely to follow the lead set by Senator Susan Collins of Maine and allow a few more witnesses, including Hunter and Joe Biden, and possibly reprimand the president.

But ultimately, “people don’t vote alone,” according to Seth Masket, a political scientist at the University of Denver. “[Gardner is] not going to stand that far out.”

Democratic political consultant Steve Welchert said Gardner is already “off-script” in his public communications on the Senate trial by not defending Trump more aggressively, besides calling the House impeachment vote a “total circus.”

Some experts said this tactic—maintaining a neutral public image while reliably voting along party lines—has been a characteristic of Gardner’s style of politics since the beginning of his term.

Ornstein noted that No Labels rated Gardner a “moderate” during his 2014 election, as he billed himself a solutions-oriented “problem solver” at the time.

“There is nothing in the record—no votes—to suggest he is a moderate,” he said.

A similar scenario played out during the Senate votes to repeal Obamacare in 2017, when Gardner’s noncommittal public statements cane in advance of repeated votes in favor of repeal.

Gardner “will signal open-mindedness, but is likely to vote with the rest of his caucus,” said Masket.

According to Coleman, Gardner’s voting record as a whole demonstrates his adherence to the Republican agenda at all turns, his public statements notwithstanding.

“He voted for both Trump’s Supreme Court picks, the GOP tax bill, ACA repeal, and was supportive of the President’s emergency border declaration last year,” he wrote.

“Throughout his tenure, on the big votes, he usually seems more like a senator from deep red Wyoming instead of a light blue state like Colorado,” said Coleman.

CORRECTION: Gardner remains on the U.S. Senate leadership team, currently serving as deputy whip. Due to an editing error, this post initially stated that he was no longer a GOP Senate leader.

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