Gardner Still Lacks Plan to Cover People with Pre-Existing Conditions

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) told a conservative talk-radio host Friday that he and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders both want to repeal and replace Obamacare with a healthcare law that covers people with pre-existing conditions.

In fact, Sanders’ universal healthcare plan, called “Medicare for All,” would cover all people, including those with pre-existing conditions.

But Gardner has yet to produce a specific plan that would do so. Instead, Gardner voted three times to kill Obamacare, even though he had no plan to protect people with pre-existing conditions.

“I disagree with [Sanders] on [Medicare for All], but [Democrats] still want to repeal and replace Obamacare,” said Gardner in an interview with KHOW’s Dan Caplis Friday.

“But what we can agree on is making sure people with pre-existing conditions have coverage, required coverage,” said Gardner on air. “That’s what we are about. That’s what we’ll fight for and continue to succeed with.

“We know that we can come together with better plan, a better policy, a better idea that works, that covers people with pre-existing conditions. And unfortunately, Obamacare has failed to do what they promised it would do.”

Gardner’s office did not return a call asking for his “better plan,” if he has one, to replace Obamacare.

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Recall Organizer Agrees that Garcia Isn’t Doing Anything Unexpected As Pueblo’s Senator

A leader of the effort to recall a Pueblo Democrat, who’s the leader of the Colorado Senate, got some simple but tough questions from KOA radio hosts Aug. 21.

Appearing on the station’s Good Morning Colorado show, recall organizer Susan Carr said Colorado State Sen. Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) isn’t representing his district, in part because he voted for tightening safety and environmental regulations on the oil and gas industry.

But under questioning, Carr admitted that Garcia is doing what you’d expect a Democrat in his position to do, once elected to office.

KOA HOST MARTY LENZ: Susan, did you vote for Leroy Garcia?

CARR: No, I didn’t.

LENZ: Okay. And this is why I ask this question, because, to me, from [the perspective of] a recall effort, I can understand if you and other people on this petition voted for him, and you’re like, “Wait a second! We voted for this guy, and he’s not doing what we asked him to do.” But the fact that you didn’t vote for him, and he’s doing things that are opposite or counter to what you believe, to me, the recall effort is like, well, elections have consequences, right? So if you don’t like him, you vote him out of office instead of trying to do a recall.

CARR: Sure, and I would understand that. It’s just that the people here in Senate District 3 simply don’t think that he’s up there in Denver doing what he was elected to do.

LENZ: But he won with a pretty overwhelming majority, in that area.

CARR: Yes, he did.

CO-HOST APRIL ZESBAUGH: And he’s doing what a Democrat would probably do in that office, right?

CARR: Yes, he is.

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Coffman and Gardner Don’t Like Red Flag Laws, But Don’t Rule Out Backing One Anyway

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (left) and ex-Rep. Mike Coffman.

Former Congressman Mike Coffman, who’s now running to be mayor of Aurora, and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) sound like they are opposed to a red flag law, but if you listen carefully, you’ll hear that neither is shutting the door completely on the policy, which would allow judges to order the confiscation of guns from dangerous people. 

Both don’t like Colorado’s red-flag law, in particular, with Coffman saying it’s, “wide open to abuse.”

Speaking on conservative radio this month, Coffman went on to “question the constitutionality of a federal mandate on a red flag law,” stating that if it were “constitutional under the Commerce Clause, then I think it would be horribly done. I mean, it would be done by federal law enforcement, federal courts  — the last thing we want.”

Still, Coffman left the door open for an acceptable red flag bill.

“The Cato Institute has done great work in terms of what due process ought to look like, in terms of making sure that you protect the rights of the individual, protect the Second Amendment,” said Coffman on air. “I think it can be done.”

(more…)

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Douglas County GOP Uses Ten Commandments As Weapon Against Dems

(“You shall make no idols.” Love ya, irony! — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Groups on the religious right in Colorado have long pushed Republicans to embrace the Ten Commandments–and insert them in public life.

The issue used to pop up in candidate questionnaires, like this one in 2010 from the Christian Family Alliance of Colorado, which asked candidates if they support the “public posting of the 10 Commandments.”

And so you had candidates like Cory Gardner in 2010, when he first ran for Congress and was facing a tough primary race, saying, yes, Gardner was on board with posting the Commandments in public buildings.

Now, the Douglas County Republican Party is trotting out the Ten Commandments as part of its campaign against Democrats.

The group shared a Washington Times opinion piece arguing that socialist Democrats want government to “confiscate ever more income and power.”

In contrast, “[w]hen we look at each of the Ten Commandments, we see that they’re directly at odds with socialism,” states the post.

“With a couple dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls vying to see who’s pinker,” states the opinion article posted by the Douglas County GOP on its Facebook page Aug. 13, “perhaps its time to contrast socialism with something more helpful and permanent: The Ten Commandments. “Socialism teaches that wealth should be held in common ownership, controlled by the state. Hence, the Democrats’ constant push to have government confiscate ever more income and power. “By contrast, the Bible teaches that God owns all things and that we’re merely stewards of His creation. When we look at the Ten Commandments, we see that they’re directly at odds with socialism.”

The piece goes on to run through each of the Ten Commandments and explain why Socialism (wink, Democrats) runs counter to each of them.

(more…)

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Gardner Continues to Brag about a Bipartisanship Rating that Ignores His Actual Votes

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

During a recent stop in a Denver suburb, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) first bragged about getting a high bipartisanship ranking, and then he denounced the practice of simply sponsoring bills that have little or no hope of passage.

That’s notable because his high bipartisanship ranking is based on co-sponsoring legislation that had little or no hope of passage.

Confronted by 9News’ Kyle Clark prior to a little-publicized meeting in Wheat Ridge Aug. 8. (at 2 min 30 sec here), Gardner touted his high bipartisanship ranking, telling Clark:

Gardner: “I’m going to continue to do what’s right by the people of Colorado. And I will continue to make my voice heard. And I’m going to try to do it by not playing politics but by bringing people together. That’s what I promised the people of Colorado to do. And that’s what I continue to do. “And that’s why I’m the fifth most bipartisan member of the United States Senate, according to the Lugar Institute. That’s why I’m going to continue to work with my colleagues to address real problems.”

Lugar’s “Bipartisan Index” totally relies on whether a lawmaker sponsors or cosponsors legislation with members of the opposite party. Nothing else is evaluated by Lugar. Not Gardner’s actual votes. Not his loyal support for hyper-partisan Republican legislative tactics, nor his behavior as a leader of the national Republican Party.

In fact, only 23 out of over 175 bipartisan bills, sponsored or cosponsored by Gardner, even made it out of committee last session, when Gardner scored 5th place in Lugar’s bipartisan ranking.

(more…)

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Reversal: Neville Now “Can’t Say” that He Talked Trump Out of Backing Red Flag

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House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock)

Republican State House leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) is walking back his claim that he went to the White House last year after the Parkland massacre and convinced Trump not to support red-flag legislation, which would allow guns to be confiscated by people deemed dangerous by a judge.

“I can’t say that I’m the guy that talked [Trump] out of it or anything, and I don’t even know if he’s still talked out of it,” Neville told KNUS host Randy Corporon Saturday.

That contradicts Neville’s comment on KNUS Aug. 9, in which he took credit for talking Trump out of supporting a red flag bill after Parkland.

“Just about eighteen months ago, I went and visited the president and actually talked him out of [supporting a red flag bill],” Neville told KNUS hosts Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden.

A call to Neville asking about the discrepancy between the two statements was not immediately returned.

A video of a meeting with Neville and Trump last February (at 26 min here) raises questions about whether Neville talked Trump out of backing the legislation, which would allow guns to be confiscated by people deemed dangerous by a judge.

As you can see in the video, Neville indeed argued against gun-safety laws in Trump’s presence in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, and Trump agreed with him. But you can’t conclude that Neville flipped Trump on the the red flag bill, which was barely mentioned. But you also can’t say Neville did not convince Trump.

It turns out that Neville flew to Washington for second meeting with Trump, about a week later, where Neville says he applied more of his persuasive prowess on Trump,

But after describing his meeting with Trump, Neville says he can’t be sure he convinced the president of his stance on the red-flag bill.

(more…)

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Host of Gardner-Haley Fundraiser Tonight Is Hickenlooper Donor

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Former Trump U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is a “special guest” at a private fundraiser tonight in Greenwood Village for U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO).

In an ironic twist, the host of the $1,000-per-ticket event donated to former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), who is currently deciding whether to jump into the Democratic primary race to take on Gardner.

The event, running from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., is at the home of Heather and Jimmy Mulvihill, who gave a total of over $2,000 to Hickenlooper in 2010 and 2014.

Mulvihill could not immediately be reached for comment on whether he’d stick with Gardner if Hickenlooper enters the U.S. Senate race.

Mulvihill and his wife also donated to Gardner, as well as Trump and other prominent Republicans and some Democrats. Sometimes donations came from Mulvihill’s real estate business, Black Creek Group.

Politico reported in May that the Gardner campaign had invited Haley to stump for him:

“[Haley] has also been asked to campaign alongside Republican candidates who might be more reluctant to stump with the president, including Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner… campaign spokesman Cosey Contres said the campaign invited Haley to Colorado because of “her focus on bringing people together” — something few voters, Republican or Democrat, would say about Trump.”
Nikki Haley Post-Trump Tweet

“Denver, here we come,” Haley tweeted along a photo picturing herself and her husband on the plane to Denver.

One of the first commenters to Haley’s tweet hopes Haley will help “straighten out” the U.S. once Trump is no longer in office. Dennis Goett wrote:

“Nikki. You are our best bet to straighten out U.S. post-Trump. Go for it. Where is your organizational effort? How can I help?”

Haley replied directly with a link to her own political fundraising organization.

Money raised at the event will go to the “Gardner Victory Committee,” one of several joint fundraising committees created to support Gardner’s reelection campaign.

Erik Maulbetsch contributed to this post.

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Brauchler “Happy” to Break the Law to Carry His Gun into a Theater that Bans Guns

(Law-breaking law enforcement? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

George Brauchler.

Arapahoe-County area District Attorney George Brauchler says he doesn’t care if a business, like a movie theater, bans concealed weapons from the premises.

He’s “happy” to violate the law and bring his concealed weapon into the theater anyway, he told Greeley’s KCOL guest host Karen Kataline Aug. 13.

Brauchler: I’m not a fan of the Gun Free Zones, and in fact, I mean, I will tell you that I violate that all the time. I carry concealed all the time.
Kateline [facetiously]:  Don’t admit that, George!
Brauchler:  I’m going to admit it – all the time! I feel completely undeterred.  And again, someone may say, ‘Oh, you’re violating—.’  No. Listen, I’m going to protect myself where I think it appropriate. Now, if I were [to be] stopped by law enforcement and confronted and have I committed a crime? [I] probably have!  [I’m] happy to own that.  But I’m not going let someone else disarm me under those circumstances.

Brauchler has bragged about his willingness to flout gun-free zones multiple times in radio interviews, usually pointing to the example of going to the movies with his family.

“It’s tough,” Brauchler said on KNUS following the Las Vegas massacre, when he was asked what citizens can do about mass shootings. “I think there is a combination of things. I mean, I’ll tell you that me, personally, since the Aurora theater case, I have not gone to the movies with my family without me carrying concealed.
“And I’ll plainly concede that there are probably several theaters that have said, ‘You can’t carry concealed here.’ And I have disregarded that, because I am never going to put myself in a position to not have options.”

But this week’s comment was different insofar as he stated directly that he’d be happy to break the law to do so, which is a notable comment from one of Colorado’s top law enforcement officials.

Brauchler, who briefly ran for Colorado governor then attorney general last year, did not return a call requesting an explanation on why he thinks he can choose the laws he wants to abide by–or why he thinks he’d “probably” be breaking the law by carrying his concealed weapon into a gun-free zone.

(more…)

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Neville: I Talked Trump Out of Backing Red Flag Bill After Parkland

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House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock)

As Trump is promising action on gun safety legislation, Colorado Republican House leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock is taking credit for talking Trump out pushing a red flag bill in the wake of the 2018 Parkland, Florida, gun massacre.

“Just about eighteen months ago, I went and visited the president and actually talked him out of [supporting a red flag bill],” Neville told KNUS hosts Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden, referring to legislation that would allow judges to authorize the confiscation of guns from dangerous people. “I went to the Roosevelt room [at the White House]. The staff tried to prepare us beforehand, saying, ‘Here’s what we are going to talk about. Pump this up.’

“And so everyone did until they got to me. And I was like, ‘Hey Mr. President. I think these are terrible laws. And here’s why.’ And I gave him a bunch of different reasons.”

Neville thought he was going to leave the room with “some weird nickname from the President.”

Instead, Trump “actually listened,” said Neville, who’s a Columbine shooting survivor. 

Now Neville thinks Trump’s staff is again poisoning his thinking on red flag legislation.

(more…)

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“Never Trump” Kafer Considers Eating Out of the Trump Dumpster

(Okie dokie then – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A once brave “Never Trump” conservative, who couldn’t hold her nose and vote for Trump, is caving.

That’s Denver Post columnist Krista Kafer. As a talk radio host, she took endless abuse for her stance against Trump, and KNUS eventually dumped her.

Now, she’s saying she’s upset with Democrats and “looking at voting for Trump.”

“The deal is, that, yeah, [voting for Trump] a little like eating out of the dumpster, but if you’re that hungry, you’re going to do it,” said Kafer on Colorado Public Television’s weekly politics show, Colorado Inside Out. (on channel 12)

I’m a fan of dumpster diving. Great stuff to be found, including good food.

But if Kafer eats out of the Trump dumpster, not only will she get incredibly ill and possibly die, but she’s leading conservatives into a long stretch of political starvation.

Swing Voters in Colorado hate Trump, and Republicans can’t win without them. If you’re a practical Republican, you have to avoid the Trump dumpster–because the numbers don’t work for Republicans. Ask failed GOP congressional candidate Mike Coffman if he agrees.

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Colo Republican Party Using a Voter Data App Called Sidekick

In a recent Facebook post, Recall Jared Polis heralded its use of the SideKick app, stating, “We are putting the finishing touches on our custom app to track and verify recall petition signatures. Our goal is to shatter the record for the lowest signature rejection rate in Colorado history, and with you as a volunteer, we know we can!”

(more…)

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

During November’s election, someGOP candidates and their allies in critical Colorado races didn’t use the same voter database, potentially causing them to duplicate time-consuming canvassing efforts and to fail at effective voter mobilization.

Now the Colorado Republican Party has a new voter database that’s also being used by allied conservative groups.

Speaking to activists last month, Colorado Trump Chair Jefferson Thomas indicated that the Colorado Republican Party is now using a “door-to-door” application called “Sidekick.”

“Sidekick is our voter contact application,” said Thomas, when he asked about GOP tools that could be used in multiple elections. “There is also a front-facing database, if you will, that contains all of our voters, all of those things integrated in one system.”

The Colorado Republican Party is listed as a client on the website of CampaignSidekick, which sells the app. Other clients are state Republican Parties, like Arkansas, Arizona, and Ohio.

A campaign to recall Democratic Gov. Jared Polis is also appears to be using the Sidekick app.

The Resist Polis PAC made an expenditure to CampaignSidekick on July 1 for “consultant and professional services.”

In a recent Facebook post, Recall Jared Polis heralded its use of the SideKick app, stating, “We are putting the finishing touches on our custom app to track and verify recall petition signatures. Our goal is to shatter the record for the lowest signature rejection rate in Colorado history, and with you as a volunteer, we know we can!”

(more…)

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“I’m Going to Keep Showing Up,” Says Activist Whose Gun Questions Gardner Ignored

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Wearing a “Moms Demand Action” t-shirt and speaking in a quiet but firm voice, Connie Grieshaber asked U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner a series of questions today about guns during a little-publicized meeting at Lutheran Medical Center.

Gardner appeared to listen carefully to Grieshaber, and then didn’t answer a single one of her questions.

Grieshaber, who said members of her family committed suicide with guns, said of Gardner after the event, “He didn’t answer a single question I asked. I asked what was going to do to move universal background checks forward at a federal level. I asked him if he was going to stand up for the Colorado Extreme Risk Protection Order. He didn’t answer that. I asked him to stop taking money from the NRA. His pockets are lined with blood.

“He always comes back to mental health. But you know what, it’s the gun that kills.”

Asked what she would do now, Grishaber said, “We’re going to take the NRA down.”

But what about Gardner?

“I’m going to keep showing up,” replied Grishaber. “And I’m going to share my voice. And I’m going to share my shirt and my story, until we vote him out of office.”

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Colo Republican Ted Harvey Cites Abortion As a Root Cause of Gun Massacres

(Huh? — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A former Colorado Republican lawmaker is arguing that it’s not guns but video games, music lyrics, divorces, and other issues that are the root cause of gun massacres, like the murders in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

“Something has drastically changed in our society,” Ted Harvey, who represented parts of Colorado Springs at the Capitol from 2001-2015, told KNUS radio Wednesday, explaining that when he was growing up in Texas, citizens carried guns into schools and “there was never significant issues down there.” “The disrespect for life,” said Harvey, who currently heads up the Committee to Defend the President. “We are promoting abortions up to infantacide, after the child has been actually been delivered. And you have the Democrat Party saying you should still be able to kill the child even after its born. You have assisted suicide in states around the country.”

The Democratic Party does not say a child should be killed after birth.

Harvey did not return a voice message asking for evidence for his contention that abortion is a motivating factor for gun massacres.

(more…)

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Charter School Led by Bob Schaffer Is First to Apply for a Waiver to New Sex Ed Law

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Republican Congressman Bob Schaffer.

Liberty Common School in Ft. Collins is the first applicant for a waiver to Colorado’s new sex-ed law.

If granted by Colorado’s State Board of Education, the waiver would allow the charter to completely or partially ignore the law’s requirement that public schools, including charter schools, teach a comprehensive sex-ed curriculum, including lessons on consent and information for LGBT students, if they choose to offer sex ed at all.

Liberty Common, which serves elementary, middle, and high school students in Ft. Collins, is overseen by headmaster Bob Schaffer, a former Colorado Republican Congressman, who helped found the school in 1997 and was promoted from principal to headmaster last year.

Schaffer is widely known as a champion of conservative causes, including school privatization via vouchers. Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, toured Liberty Common, which regularly receives high ratings in state rankings, during the last presidential race.

Under existing Colorado law, charter schools and school districts already had the option of obtaining waivers to sidestep state guidelines for sex-ed and to teach the subject however they want. The new law doesn’t change this for charters. But school districts can no longer receive waivers, pursuant to the new law, according to Bill Kottenstette, who heads the Colorado Department of Education’s Schools of Choice Unit. (Here’s info on what’s new in Colorado’s 2019 sex-ed law.)

Instead of seeking a waiver, a school district or charter school can choose not to teach sex ed at all. If they do teach the subject, however, it must be comprehensive, as spelled out in the law, which means more inclusivity for LGBT students, and lessons on consent, family planning, and more.

Liberty Common has decided not to opt out of teaching sex ed but is seeking a waiver from the state guidelines, in part, because it wants to teach “human sexual reproduction strictly within the context of science instruction,” according to Schaffer, the headmaster.

(more…)

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Gardner Plans August Meetings “All Over” Colorado, “Corner to Corner,” But No Public Events Announced

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is dedicating August to a series of meetings throughout Colorado, which will bring him “all over the state, corner to corner.”

Yet, no public meetings have been announced by Gardner or on his website.

“We will be going all over the state, corner to corner. Traditionally, we’ve done a big Eastern Plains, Western Slope tour during August, where we meet with local communities’ leaders, round tables, businesses–find out what’s on people’s minds, what’s working, what’s not working, how Congress can do a better job,” Gardner told KNUS 710-AM host Randy Corporon last week. “And I’ll repeat it. We need more Colorado in Washington, less Washington in Colorado. And I think that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do every step of the way. And that’s exactly how we’ll use August, is to figure out how do do just that.”

Gardner’s office did not return a call asking if he’d hold any public meetings during his August tour of Colorado.

In past Colorado tours, Gardner has aggressively promoted his private meetings, and even posted photos and descriptions of what he did, after the events took place, creating the perception that meeting with Gardner is easy, constant, and fun.

Here’s an example, among others, from April of how Gardner promotes his meetings during a tour after the fact:

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.

Gardner’s opponents, as well as journalists, have criticized Gardner for talking with friendly audiences, on talk radio, for example, while dodging questions from reporters and the wider public.

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Stockham’s Campaign Kickoff Speakers: Tancredo, Beckman, Saine, Ransom

Republican Casper Stockham is kicking off his congressional campaign Saturday with an event featuring speeches by former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, attorney Mark Barrington, former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez, and GOP state lawmakers Susan Beckman of Littleton, Kim Ransom of Littleton, and Lori Saine of Firestone.

In addition to the speakers, the kickoff party will feature “Betsy Ross flag photos,” music and networking, food, and drink (non-alcoholic).

“I’m going to introduce the crowd to my team,” said Stockham. “This time I have a team of about seven people. I’m going to lay out my strategy for winning the race. I have a five-point plan to win that seat back.”

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jason Crow won the 6th Congressional District seat, which includes Aurora, in November, beating Republican incumbent Mike Coffman.

Stockham’s email for the kickoff stated that the event would include “Trump photos.”

Stockham said a likeness of the president would be on hand for photos.

“Not the real thing, not yet,” joked Stockham. “I want him to come to Colorado. And I want him to endorse my campaign. I don’t think he’s a racist. I think he’s doing a great job, or I wouldn’t be running as a Republican.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Republican Party, Steve House, told ColoradoPolitics he’s considering running for CD6. House ran for governor in 2014.

Stockham says he expects a primary with multiple candidates, and he’s looking forward to it.

Stockham’s kickoff event takes place tomorrow, Saturday, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at 6870 South Dallas Way in Greenwood Village.

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No Ill Words Spoken of President at Unveiling Ceremony for Trump Portrait

Without a whimper of dissent, a portrait of Trump was added to a third-story wall at the Colorado Capitol today, joining the likenesses of scores of other U.S. presidents.

Artist Boardman below Trump Portrait

Nothing negative was mentioned about Trump in the remarks of three Republicans and one Democrat who spoke at the unveiling ceremony, along with artist Sarah Boardman.

Former Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City), who led an online fundraising effort to pay for the Trump portrait in the Capitol, praised Trump as a “populist.”

“It’s only fitting that a populist, such as the president, would have the first crowd-funded campaign for a presidential portrait,” said Grantham at today’s event.

“You are the ones that made this happen,” he said.

Grantham brushed aside concerns by critics that Trump so deeply undermines U.S. values and institutions that his portrait has no proper place under the gold dome, at least now.

“Unfortunately, there is plenty not to like about each and every one [of the U.S. presidents portrayed at the Capitol], and we could find reasons to take them all down,” said Grantham on KCOL radio Wednesday. “But the fact of the matter is, they were all presidents of the United States, and they deserve to be on that wall.”

Speakers at the unveiling of the Trump portrait at the Capitol this afternoon echoed those sentiments, agreeing that Trump’s portrait should be on the wall, regardless of what he does as president.

State Sen. John Cooke (R-Greeley), for example, told onlookers that “the portraits show the strength of the American spirit.”

“It’s not about the man,” said Cooke. “It’s about the institution.”

Some of the speakers noted that they were proud it was Colorado Day.

“It’s a great day to be an American,” said State Rep. Kevin Van Winkle (R-Highlands Ranch).

Colorado Springs artist Sarah Boardman, who was commissioned to create the portrait, said previously that her work portrays the president with a “serious, non-confrontational” and “thoughtful” expression. Boardman also painted the portrait of former President Barack Obama that currently hangs in the Capitol.

One Trump opponent at the event said a new portrait might need to be added to the Capitol sooner than expected.

“If they need help raising money for a Pence portrait or a Pelosi portrait, let me know,” said ProgressNow Colorado’s Alan Franklin, referring to the order of presidential succession. “I’m here to help.”

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Neville: “Establishment Republicans” Oppose Recalls Because They’re Not Profiting from Them

(You’re not supposed to say that part out loud — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock thinks “establishment Republicans” don’t support efforts to recall Democrats from office because the establishment Republicans aren’t “profiting from it.”

While Neville said his organization, RecallColorado.com, is “willing to work with anyone and spend money on any of these recalls” in Colorado, “there’s a lot of different establishment Republicans out there trying to discourage that, because they’re not profiting on it.”

Neville made the comments during an interview on KLZ AM-560’s Rush to Reason show Thursday.

It’s not news that Colorado Republican Party leaders are bitterly divided on whether Democrats, including state legislators and Gov. Jared Polis, should be recalled from office.

What’s new is Neville’s accusation that opposition from establishment Republicans stems from their not making money from the recalls.

So-called establishment Republicans who’ve come out against the recalls include Ryan Call, who’s a former leader of the Republican Party; Cole Wist, a former state lawmaker; State Sen. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale); and Tyler Sandberg, a prominent GOP political operative.

Sandberg did not immediately return a call seeking to know whether he opposed the recall efforts because he was not profiting on them.

But some folks who could arguably be called “establishment Republicans,” such as state GOP vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, appear to support recalls, so the division between establishment and grassroots Republicans on the recall question may not be so stark.

In addition to Neville, recall campaigns have been supported by non-establishment Republicans such as pro-gun activist Dudley Brown.

Journalists have raised questions about whether Neville’s family members and their allies are themselves profiting from the recall campaigns.

9News’ Marshall Zelinger questioned GOP state leader Ken Buck on the topic in April:

Zelinger: House Minority Leader Patrick Neville has come out supporting recalls. His family could benefit from recalls because that’s their business. Should it be appropriate for elected officials and their families to profit off of recalls and elections? By being hired for election purposes–this is an added election outside of a cycle–perhaps this is being done in a way that benefits the family business?

Buck understood the logic behind the question but didn’t answer it.

Buck: So, Patrick’s brother is a consultant in the business and certainly there were some resources from the House fund that were used in the last cycle and his brother ran some of that political operation. I think that is something that Patrick and the elected Republicans in the state House will have to decide. It’s not something the state party will intervene in in any way

9News anchor Kyle Clark raised the profit issue after Brown and allied Republicans, like Burton, dropped their plans to recall Aurora Democratic lawmaker Tom Sullivan in July.

KYLE CLARK: The failed attempt to recall Democratic State Rep. Tom Sullivan did not raise one dollar and it did not spend a dollar. We learned that from some financial filings. Now that sounds funny unless you heard us saying weeks ago that this recall was really about a gun rights group called Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. The head of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners says, they funded the entire recall and guess what? They don’t have to disclose their donors. So we are left to take that special interest group at its word that this was not just a fundraiser designed as a recall that was never going to succeed. We are left to take them at their word that they took in $30,000 and spent more than that $45,000 on a failed signature-gathering effort. If those happen to be your dollars, and your trust, my condolences.
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Gardner Gets Loved Up by Tea Party Radio Host

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you haven’t followed Colorado’s U.S. Senate race very closely, you might think it’s a tough moment for Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, given how much hatred of Trump there is in Colorado, when a Trump-loving radio host asks Gardner, “Will you stand with Trump at a rally?”

But that’s the softest of balls for Gardner, who responded to the question over the weekend with a quick, “You bet! I hope everybody will!”

Gardner long ago decided to hitch himself to Trump. He endorsed him early. He’s said multiple times that he wants to campaign with Trump, and he wants the people of Colorado to get to know the president and like him.

Gardner, who once called Trump a buffoon and initially promised not to vote for him, now talks to the president frequently, as the senator boasted on air over the weekend:

“I’ve talked to him just as recently as I think Thursday — just a couple of days ago — about the Bureau of Land Management move to Colorado,” said Gardner on air. “You know, there are times when we’re going to disagree, but I hope he will come to Colorado and we’ll show him all the good things we can, that we’re doing in Colorado,” he added.

So, for now at least, questions about Trump are easy for Gardner, even though chances are his answers will prove to be his downfall in a state where voters deeply disapprove Trump–but Gardner even more.

The string of happy questions from KNUS’ Randy Corporon on Saturday surprised many listeners–who’d been expecting Corporon to be respectful to Gardner while hitting him hard after Gardner dodged his radio show for more than four years (Corporon even set up a Facebook page dedicated to shaming Gardner for not coming on the show.)

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TABOR Is the “Wrong Formula,” Says Economist In Response Conservative Questioner

(Oops! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

TABOR author Doug Bruce.

Just as U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) handed Democrats a gift during his questioning of Robert Mueller, Colorado Rising Action’s Michael Fields seemed to be expecting a different answer from Rich Wobbekind, an associate dean at the University of Colorado’s Leeds Business School, whom Fields was interviewing on KDMT radio this week.

Fields, who was guest hosting, lobbed Wobbekind a question about the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which, among other things, limits the growth of government revenue to inflation plus population.

“There are a lot of people who look at the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights negatively,” Fields told Wobbekind. “What’s your view of its impact on the state’s economy?”

First, Wobbekind said he thought voters passed TABOR so that government spending would not increase “more rapidly than it should.”

Then he pointed out that Colorado has a balanced budget amendment, requiring Colorado not to run a deficit.

“So we do have that control in any scenario,” he told Fields.

“My honest opinion is the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is the wrong formula,” continued the dean. “If you are going to have something like that it should be based on the economic growth of the economy as opposed to population plus inflation, because we have all sorts of inflation of government-provided services, like health care, that have been dramatically higher than the Consumer Price Index, [which is the the average change in cost of consumer goods].”

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Gardner Finally Agrees to Appear on Radio Show of “Tea Party Patriot”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Randy Corporon.

KNUS radio host Randy Corporon likes to tell his listeners the exact number of days that have elapsed since U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) accepted an invitation to appear on his show–over 1,561 days so far.

But Corporon has announced that his long wait is coming to an end, with Gardner scheduled to take questions on Corporon’s show this Saturday.

“Cory knows he needs to reach out to the Tea Party, to his constituents, the ones who should naturally be excited about his effort to get re-elected along with winning Colorado for President Trump,” said Corporon on air over the weekend, explaining why Gardner has finally accepted his invitation to join his show.

In fact, Gardner has made repeated appearances on conservative talk radio shows this year, but he’d been rejecting Corporon’s invitation.

Gardner’s willingness to appear on talk radio, while often refusing to answer questions from real journalists, caught the attention of 9News anchor Kyle Clark last week.

“I have noted that Senator Gardner is spending a lot of his time in his safe spaces — talk radio,” said Clark on 9News’ Next with Kyle Clark. “And there’s nothing wrong with doing interviews there for sure, but at some point, Gardner’s gonna need to venture out and face questions from journalists. And when questions are ignored, or shrugged off, they don’t go away — they just pile up. Every week Senator Gardner spends in his safe spaces just leaves him with a bigger pile to shovel eventually.”

Corporon, who calls himself a “Tea Party Patriot” and is the chair and founder of the Arapahoe County Tea Party, spent part of his Saturday morning program asking listeners for questions for Gardner, who is scheduled to appear on Corporon’s show this Saturday.

Gardner’s office did not return a call seeking to know why he avoided Corporon’s show for so long and why he’s chosen to finally appear.

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Bob Beauprez is Joshua Hosler’s “Puppet Master,” Says Dudley Brown

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Dudley Brown.

Dudley Brown jumped on a conservative radio show this morning to respond, for the first time, to a Republican’s accusation that his organization, which is aligned with the right wing of the Republican Party, is “Colorado’s Taliban.”

Joshua Hosler, the former chair of the El Paso County Republican Party, expressed the view in a Denver Post opinion piece, in which Hosler also accused the State House Republicans’ Chief of Staff of threatening to spread rumors about Hosler unless Hosler agreed to stop attacking Brown’s group, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

“[Hosler] is speaking for the left side of the Republican Party,” Brown told KNUS 710-AM’s host, Peter Boyles. “We call that the establishment. He might as well admit that Bob Beauprez is his puppet master.”

Brown called Hosler a “very very minor player” in the Republican Party and a “failed state house candidate,” who is “a little butt hurt because we endorsed his opponent,” State Rep. Dave Williams.

The dispute between Hosler and Brown reflects wider divisions within the Colorado Republican Party over whether to moderate hard-line stances, stop using losing consultants, distance themselves from Trump, and other issues in the wake of devastating losses in last year’s election–as well as the prospect of another blue-wave thrashing at the ballot box next year.

“I think the frustration for both Bob Beauprez and little players like Joshua Hosler is that the [Republican] Party has moved pretty substantially to the right on guns, and that’s been due to us,” said Brown on air. “Setting all humility aside, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is the group that given [Republicans] a spine. And Greg Brophy, the former state senator, has talked about that frequently.”

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Gardner Pours Cold Water on Polis Recall

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner, former state Sen. Tim Neville.

Cory Gardner thinks Colorado Republicans should focus on winning the next election, not recalling Democratic Gov. Jared Polis from office.

Asked about the Polis recall, Gardner recently told El Paso Republicans, as first reported by The Denver Post:

GARDNER: “You know what, we gotta focus all we can on winning in 2020; getting our congressional seats back, getting our state legislature back … . “That’s where I’m at. You may agree or disagree, but boy I think we gotta get our nuts and bolts together so that we can win.”

Gardner’s comment aligns with the views of establishment figures within the Colorado Republican Party, who’ve said repeatedly that recall organizers will never collect enough signatures to get the recall measure on the ballot–and the effort itself makes the Republican Party look petty, whiny, and chaotic in the eyes of swing voters. 

But the organizers of the Polis recall have the loud backing of conservative talk radio hosts and many party activists, who are livid at the governor for signing laws this year addressing gun-safety, the presidential popular vote, and comprehensive sex-ed, among other alleged transgressions.

Recall backers also say their organizing efforts will help them win next year’s election, bolstering their voter lists and identifying more volunteers and activists.

Gardner’s decision to publicly throw water on the Polis recall came as a surprise to some political analysts, who’ve noted that Gardner has already angered Republican activists to the point where they have given him a chilly reception at the state’s largest gathering of conservatives, the Centennial Institute’s Western Conservative Summit.

KNUS radio host Randy Corporon has speculated that Gardner was considering skipping this year’s Summit, in part, because he didn’t get a fully “warm reception” there last year. Gardner has decided to attend the gathering this weekend.

On the other hand, Gardner has pleased Republican activists by, among other things, endorsing Trump and approving Trump’s declaration of a national emergency for the purpose of funding a border wall.

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New Pro-LGBTQ Laws Prompt Campaign to Convince Parents to Pull Kids Out of Public Schools

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Claiming that this year the “Colorado legislature has radicalized our public schools and chipped away at the authority of parents,” advocates of home schooling say it’s time to pull children out of public schools.

Why? New Colorado laws banning conversion therapy for minors and requiring comprehensive sex education courses, including the experiences of LGBTQ students, in schools that choose to teach sex ed.

“One of these new laws will make it illegal for a licensed counselor to help a child work through any gender confusion he or she may have,” says former Republican lawmaker Kevin Lundberg in an online video for ColoradoHomeSchool.com, run by the Christian Home Educators of Colorado. “And the new sex education law will force public schools to teach this new morality.”

In fact, parents and schools can opt not to participate in sex education. And advocates for LGBTQ rights point out that “conversion therapy” has been widely discredited and is opposed for use by medical professionals by, among others, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association.

“If you are troubled by these radical policies, you need to find a better way for your family,” says Lundberg in the video, referring to Colorado’s new laws. “…The future well being, health, and moral values of your children could hang in the balance.

“Your public school may not be the right choice,” says Lundberg in the video. “But what is? For many parents, private school is just too expensive. And they never thought home schooling could work for them. Now is the time to take another look.”

(more…)

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Gardner Thinks He’ll Attend Western Conservative Summit

After months of indecision, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) indicated Saturday that he thinks he will attend a giant conservative event called the Western Conservative Summit (WCS).

“We’ve been trying to figure out the schedule,” Gardner told a conservative training session Saturday in Broomfield. “I believe we are. I think it’s on the schedule now. We’re trying to figure out where we are going to be to make that happen. I think so, yeah.”

Colorado Republican Party Executive Director Steve House asked Gardner the question, saying, “The number one question I’ve been getting being involved in the state party right now is, ‘Will Cory be at the Conservative Summit.”

“I know I’ve missed it once or twice, but I think I’ve been there the majority of times,” responded Gardner. “I think the plan is to be there.”

Conservative activist Joy Overbeck, a former Washington Times columnist, was more definitive on Facebook over the weekend, stating, Gardner “will be attending” the Summit and folks should buy tickets.

One Facebook commenter responded to Overbeck with, “I worked hard for [Gardner] to be elected and then he started turncoating on his own Republican Party and Trump!”

“He has a 90% record of voting with Trump–Google it,” replied Overbeck online. “We need to work hard to re-elect him–or would you prefer the Hickster who will likely run?”

The exchange illustrates one theory on why Gardner seemed to be avoiding the Summit: He was worried conservatives might boo him. Others speculated that he didn’t want to appear with such a conservative crowd as the 2020 election nears.

Gardner’s indecision on attending the Summit, sponsored by Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute, surprised some political analysts, who pointed out that Gardner has tried in recent months to align with the conservative base of the GOP, with, for example, his early endorsement of Trump.

The annual WCS attracts some of the most right-leaning figures in American politics, including, in 2016, then GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Conference director Jeff Hunt said last month that it was “disappointing” that Gardner had not decided if he’d attend this year’s WCS, which takes place July 12 and 13. This year will be the 10-year anniversary of the event.

If he attends, Gardner would join, among others, Trump cabinet member Ben Carson, pundit and gun proponent Michelle Malkin, Colorado’s Republican Party leader Ken Buck, Clinton prosecutor Ken Starr, writer David Horowitz, anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson, and right wing radio hosts, like KNUS 710-AM’s Julie Hayden and Chuck Bonniwell, who regularly slam Gardner.

Organizers say the most popular speech was a 2016 keynote by Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.

At last year’s Summit, Gardner told the crowd he thinks the media “want us to fail” in retaining control of the U.S. Senate, which gives Republicans the power to appoint conservative judges. Republicans went on in November to win a majority in the senate chamber.

Erik Maulbetsch contributed to this post.

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