“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.)

(more…)

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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].”

(more…)

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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.”

(more…)

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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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Republicans Aim to Hang Trump Portrait at Colo Capitol in July

Colorado Republicans now aim to unveil a portrait of Trump at the Colorado Capitol in July.

The painting, paid for via a grassroots fundraising campaign led by former GOP State Senate President Kevin Grantham, was first intended to be on a wall in the Capitol rotunda by early January. Then the target date moved to April.

Artist’s sketch of Trump portrait.

Then Republicans tried to snag Trump himself to attend an unveiling ceremony, during the president’s trip earlier this month to Colorado Springs to speak at the Air Force Academy graduation. But this didn’t work.

Now the goal is to have the portrait, which has been completed and is in storage at the Capitol, on public display in July, according to a source. No details on a possible unveiling ceremony have been released.

Colorado Springs artist Sarah Boardman, who was commissioned to create the portrait, has said her work portrays the president with a “serious, non-confrontational” and “thoughtful” expression.

Trump’s likeness would hang next to paintings of former Presidents Obama, Clinton, and Bush.

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Buck: Trump Has Done an “Outstanding Job” of “Trying to Clean Up” Obama’s Immigration “Mess”

(Orwellian stuff – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck (R).

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck said Wednesday that when it comes to immigration, the Trump Administration has done an “outstanding job of trying to clean up the mess of past administrations.”

“The mistreatment of children really tugs at the heartstrings,” Buck told KFTM radio’s John Waters Wednesday (Listen below). “But this administration really has done an outstanding job of trying to clean up the mess of past administrations.”

Buck is echoing false statements by Trump, who’s also said past administrations launched the policy of separating children from their parents at the border.

But fact multiple independent fact checkers concluded that Trump, in fact, instituted the blanket policy of prosecuting parents and separating them from children, as part of his “zero-tolerance” approach to the border. It was at least publicly rescinded by the president after a national outcry, but loopholes remained, causing further outcry.

“There is a lot of misinformation,” said Buck.

Some of it is coming from Trump himself, who told NBC Sunday that he “inherited separation from President Obama” and that “I was the one that ended it.”

“When I became president, President Obama had a separation policy. I didn’t have it. He had it. I brought the families together. I’m the one that put them together,” Trump told Telemundo Thursday.

Buck defended U.S. border control personnel, suggesting that they have no ill will toward immigrant children.

“I’ve met with the people that supervise the border,” Buck said on air. “They have children of their own. They have a heart for children. And they are just overwhelmed by the number of children that are being sent across the border.

Buck voted against a bill, passed mostly by Democrats Tuesday, that would provide $4.5 billion to address the humanitarian crisis on the U.S. border.

(more…)

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Aurora Congressional Candidate Will Let His Trump Flag Fly

(Promoted by Colorado Pols, because why the hell not)

If you were watching then U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) during his failed re-election campaign last year, you know he took every opportunity, especially toward the end of his campaign, to criticize Trump, trying to convince voters in his Aurora district that he wasn’t a Trump Republican.

Casper Stockham, the newly minted Republican who’s running in Aurora, thinks Coffman made a big mistake, and so he’s planning to carry the Trump flag on the campaign trail as early and often as possible.

The Colorado Times Recorder spoke with Stockham, an uber driver and motivational speaker, about his pro-Trump strategy, and here are a few excerpts from the interview, edited for space considerations.

(more…)

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Conservative Leader Disappointed That Gardner Won’t Say If He’ll Attend Gathering

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A leading conservative activist says it’s “disappointing” that U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has yet to decide if he’ll attend a giant conservative gathering next month in Colorado.

Gardner has been a featured attraction for years at the Western Conservative Summit, Colorado Christian University’s (CCU) annual gathering of conservatives.

Last year, he even starred in the event’s promotional video, which was incessantly mocked online by progressives.

But this year, he won’t say if he’ll attend, according to Jeff Hunt, who directs CCU’s Centennial Institute, which runs the event. And Gardner did not return a call for comment.

“We have invited him, and we have not got a definitive answer yet, and you know, that is disappointing,” Hunt told KNUS’ Randy Corporon this month. “You know, we’d like to have him [at the Western Conservative Summit].”

(more…)

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Thurlow: Republican Party Needs to Modify Core Beliefs

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Dan Thurlow (R).

There’s no hope, of course, that Colorado Republicans will moderate their hard-line stance on guns, in the wake of the failure of pro-gun groups to find enough signatures to recall a Democratic lawmaker for supporting modest gun control laws after his son was murdered in the Aurora theater.

But I did find some hope in the form of former Colorado State Rep. Dan Thurlow, who’s been pushing fellow Republicans to change their stances on a variety of issues, instead of arguing about whether one consultant or another is to blame for one election disaster or another.

“When I was in business, the first thing you had to have was a good product, and yes, you had to have a good marketing strategy,” Thurlow told me. “But if you didn’t have a good product to begin with, you wouldn’t do very well in the marketplace. And that’s my premise about the current Republican Party in Colorado.”

“We seem to have become fixated on issues the voters have passed us by on,” Thurlow continued. “And that’s guns, and gay rights, and abortion.”

Thurlow stands out among Republicans for his willingness to specify changes to produce a better “product.”

Thurlow not only backed a red-flag bill, allowing guns to be taken from dangerous people, but he says the 2nd Amendment needs to be modified, and Republicans should alter their views on gun control.

“Our party seems to say, ‘NO! We absolutely will not move an inch on that issue!'” Thurlow has said. “And as a result [in Colorado elections], we are getting worse and worse outcomes.”

(more…)

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These Conservative Radio Hosts Don’t Want Cory Gardner on Their Show

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

As the months continue to stack up since he’s held a town-hall meeting, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner continued to make time for interviews with conservative radio hosts this week, speaking at length with KNUS’ Steffan Tubbs and KHOW’s Ross Kaminsky.

But he again didn’t talk with the conservative radio hosts who criticize him the most, namely KNUS’ Chuck Bonniwell, Peter Boyles, Julie Hayden, and Randy Corporon.

In an unusual move, Tubbs actually played an audio clip from his KNUS colleague Corporon, in which Corporon asked why Gardner goes on the “radio with [Tubbs] and Caplis and Ross Kaminsky, and stays away from me or Peter or Chuck and Julie or anybody else who might disagree with some of the things that he does.”

“Look, I know Randy,” replied Gardner, saying he hoped to work something out with Corporon. “I don’t know the other folks that you’re talking about.”

And it looks like Gardner won’t be getting to know Hayden or Bonniwell anytime soon.

“In fairness, we have not asked him to be on our show,” said Hayden, who is a prominent conservative and former Fox 31 Denver TV reporter. 

Bonniwell, who’s the publisher of the Cherry Creek/Glendale Chronicle, once called Gardner a “total [whore] for the Chamber of Commerce,” and a “Mitch McConnell stooge.

Asked if they planned to invite Gardner on the show, Hayden said, “It’s kind of like the jailhouse interview you do with someone you know is guilty, just so you can say you had the interview. What purpose does it serve?

“We know we disagree. We’ll ask him a question. He’ll give us an answer. We won’t like the answer. He’ll give us another answer. Do you know what I mean? It doesn’t go anywhere.”

Boyles, who’s been in Denver media for decades, did not return an email seeking to find out if he wants to talk to Gardner, but it’s clear Boyles doesn’t think much of Gardner, saying recently on air:

BOYLES: “Don’t kid yourself about the GOP in the State of Colorado. It’s a clown show. And Cory Gardner’s not gonna get reelected, because it’s on him.”

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Ben Carson Coming To Colorado July 12-13

The conservative Centennial Institute, a project of Colorado Christian University, announced today that Trump cabinet member Ben Carson will speak at its Western Conservative Summit July 12-13 at the Colo Convention Center.

“We are honored that Secretary Carson will join us for the Western Conservative Summit,” said Jeff Hunt, Director of the Institute in a news release. “In the past, he has also visited the campus of Colorado Christian University and interacted with our students.

“It is a strategic priority of Colorado Christian University to impact our culture in support of the sanctity of life and compassion for the poor. These are principles that Secretary Carson has championed both as a neurosurgeon and now as a cabinet member.

“We are grateful for his leadership at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and are eager to hear about innovative ideas, such as opportunity zones, to improve the lives of Americans.”

Carson joined the Trump Administration as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development after being defeated by the mogul in the Republican presidential primary in 2017.

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Colo Anti-Abortion Group Opposes A Ballot Initiative Banning Abortions Later in Pregnancy

(Because it doesn’t ban abortion enough! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A leading anti-abortion organization in Colorado has come out against a ballot initiative that ostensibly bans abortions later in pregnancy, saying the measure doesn’t go far enough and would set the pro-life movement back.

“Our misguided pro-life allies have presided over decades of regulating child killing,” Bob Enyart, a spokesman for Colorado Right to Life (CRTL), said, as quoted in Rewire.news today. “You don’t regulate crime; you deter crime. Once again, they increase confusion where only truth should be proclaimed. Their immoral initiative 108 seeks to protect children ‘who can survive outside the womb.’ But what about the rest of them?”

Enyart is reflecting the views of a segment of the anti-abortion movement nationally.

KHOW radio host Dan Caplis asked Erin Behrens, a leader the Colorado initiative, which was submitted to the Colorado Secretary of State Friday, directly about her opponents’ logic.

“What do you say to the really good people who say, ‘Wait a second; I’m going to hesitate to support that because it’s like saying, abortions before 22 weeks are okay.’ What do you say to those folks?” asked Caplis during his May 23 show.

“I tell them that this is only the beginning of the conversation,” replied Behrens, who’s an ardent Trump supporter. “I think we can all agree, 99.9 percent of us here in Colorado can agree, that five months in is a very reasonable limit. Let’s get that passed. Let’s get that on the books. Let’s put the Boulder Abortion Clinic out of business and prevent those lives from being taken every year, and then let’s come back and talk more about it in 2022 and 2024,”

“We are going to put a very reasonable limit of 22 weeks, which is about five months into pregnancy,” Behrens said on air. “And we think that this reasonable limit will pass overwhelmingly in Colorado, and we will finally be brought into the 21st century. We will finally be among all the other states that have reasonable limits, and we will finally not be the late-term abortion capitol of the United States.”

Pro-abortion activists argue, among other things, that the language of the initiative, which includes the use of the word “child” in multiple sections, could be interpreted by the courts as giving legal “personhood” rights to a fetus, and thus be interpreted by the courts as banning all abortion in Colorado.

Activists from CRTL were a driving force behind massive signature-gathering campaigns that put personhood abortion bans on the Colorado ballot in 2008, 2010, and 2014. In 2014, over 500 churches and 1,000 volunteers from around the state were central to the success of the effort, which was often fueled by crusading passion, organizers said.

Personhood USA, which officially led spearheaded the efforts in 2008, 2010, and 2014, is not involved this year and is mostly dormant, according to a spokeswoman. All three initiatives failed overwhelmingly.

It appears likely that the stance of CRTL will put a dent in the ability of the proponents of the ballot initiative to collect 124,632 signatures needed to put the measure on the ballot.

The question is, how big a dent?

Part of the answer to that question depends on how Colorado’s anti-abortion churches and activists, who played a central role in previous ballot efforts, come down on tactical question of whether the initiative, as written, will hurt their cause in the long run–or is, as Enyart put it, “immoral.”

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Root Cause of Recall Disaster Is Establishment Republican Calcification, Says GOP Activist

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

State Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial).

Former GOP congressional candidate George Athanasopoulos defended Colo House GOP leader Patrick Neville, pro-gun activist Dudley Brown, and others today against accusations that they botched a recall campaign against Democratic lawmaker Tom Sullivan of Centennial.

“Anybody who’s trying to finger [Patrick Neville, Joe Neville, or Dudley Brown] for the blame is either misguided or is straight lying for their own benefit,” said Athanasopoulos on KNUS’ Chuck and Julie Show this afternoon.

“The story I heard is that [Brown] contracted [a firm to gather] signatures,” said Athanasopoulos. “There was a contract. There were benchmarks. There were stipulations. There were agreed-upon prices, and [the signature-gathering firm] absolutely failed to deliver. Instead of throwing good money after bad, they did the responsible thing, which was [to] say, ‘Hey, we’re going to pull the plug.'”

“This illustrates the fact that we have a political class, consultants here in Colorado, who are inept, who lie, who cannot meet contractual obligations. It’s the same thing we’ve been talking about on the air for years,” said Athanasopoulos “It’s a never ending clown show of pigheaded buffoonery, to use a colorful term.”

So why aren’t there better GOP consultants in town? Athanasopoulos traces the problem to moneyed Republicans hiring their consultant friends for short-term gigs instead of developing local firms who are both competent and trusted.

“Instead of hiring fly-by-night firms, who hire anybody with a pulse, who may or may not be Republican — in fact, are probably not — we need to stand up something organic,” said Athanasopoulos on air. “There are lots of young Republicans in the state of Colorado, lots of them, who would love to have a part time job supporting the Republican cause.”

Co-host Julie Hayden, a former Fox 31 Denver reporter, says the established consulting firms squash the newcomers.

“If you come in here and try to open up another consulting agency, they will destroy you,” said Hayden. “And they make it impossible. So we have this group, as you said, of incompetent clown shows that won’t let go of the reins and won’t let the voters do what they want.

“George, I think you’ve hit it on the head, and it’s why we keep harping on this, about the establishment people, the donors and the consultant class who control Colorado politics in this state, and they’re just doing a horrible job!” said Hayden on air. “They can’t get anybody elected.”

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RECALL RECAP: Where Do Republicans Stand Now?

The vice chair of the Colorado Republican Party, Kristi Burton-Brown, wrote on Facebook today that “in order to accomplish the most good in the shortest time” she and her allies are abandoning an effort to recall Colorado State Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial) and instead are focusing on “recalling Democrat Senators who are not up for re-election in 2020.”

It’s not clear if Brown’s new strategy will win over fellow Republicans who opposed this year’s recall efforts. But here is a sampling of range of opinion within the Republican Party, as expressed before Brown’s announcement today.

OPPOSED TO RECALLS

Former State Rep. Cole Wist (R-Centennial) — “Recall fever is at odds with governing. It is designed to keep you riled up, to keep the contributions flowing, to feed the beast.

Tyler Sandberg, former Colo Congressman Mike Coffman’s Campaign Manager — “Great work taking a swing seat and making it safe for Democrats. Real bang up job, guys.”

Ryan Call, Former Chair of the Colorado Republican Party — “…what we saw during the legislative session is consistent with what most Democratic candidates said they would do while they were running.

 

SUPPORT RECALLS

State Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), GOP House Minority Leader, “This is unprecedented overreach. We need to do something. If there is a grassroots effort that starts percolating up, then I am going to help them.

Kristi Burton Brown, Vice Chair of the Colorado Republican Party. — “Rep. Tom Sullivan needs to be recalled because, like the rest of the Democrats in the legislature this session, he did not represent the families of Colorado.”

Dudley Brown, founder of Rocky Mountain gun Owners, “I hope you’ll consider making a generous contribution to our Red Flag Recall fund.”

CU Regent Heidi Ganahl and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) — (clapping in support)

 

LEANING AGAINST

Former State Rep. Jack Tate (R-Centennial) — “There’s something that’s just too partisan, too much of a do-over with a different voting base than I am comfortable with.“)

Michael Fields, Colorado Rising Action– “Recalls can identify people, but it also can strengthen elected officials that survive them.”

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Gardner Is a Regular on Conservative Talk Shows But Is Dodging the Public and Journalists

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner is a regular on Colorado conservative talk radio shows, where the questions are typically friendly and warm. But, these days, don’t expect Gardner to talk to real journalists and the public, whose questions might put a chill in the conversation.

Gardner hasn’t had a town hall meeting in over a year and a half, but since Jan. 1, the Republican has appeared on 15 conservative talk radio shows, hosted by some of the most strident conservatives in Colorado politics.

And it appears that he’s been dodging reporters’ calls with more regularity. Here are a few examples from this year.

“His office declined to comment about whether his opposition would include efforts to overturn Trump’s authority,” June 6, 2019, the Colorado Springs Gazette.

“Gardner’s office declined an interview request from The Denver Post this week,” Denver Post, May 23, 2019.

“His office did not respond to a follow-up inquiry,” The Hill, May 3, 2019.

“Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), when approached, said he was late to a meeting and referred questions to his office. Aides to Gardner did not respond to a request for comment,” The Hill, May 16, 2019.

(more…)

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