In Victory for Abortion Rights, CO’s Prop. 115 Abortion Ban Fails

(Another decisive win for reproductive choice in Colorado – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a hard-won victory for supporters of reproductive rights in Colorado and across the nation, Proposition 115 was soundly defeated today by Colorado voters.

As of 9 p.m., 59.8 percent of voters rejected the measure, with nearly 80 percent of precincts reporting. The race was expected to be close, but the results were first called by NBC around 8:30 p.m.

“Today, we can proudly confirm that Colorado remains a safe haven for access to the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion care,” said Vicki Cowart, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. “Once again, Colorado voters confirmed what we have always known: that health care decisions belong between a patient and their health care provider, without political interference.”

The ballot measure would have banned abortion at 22 weeks of pregnancy in Colorado with no exceptions for rape, incest, the patient’s health, or a lethal fetal diagnosis, seriously damaging the state’s status as a safe haven for abortion access in a sea of states that place major restrictions on the procedure and in the midst of national attacks against reproductive health care.

Given that Colorado is one of only seven states that do not impose gestational limits on abortion, and is home to a clinic that is world-renowned for offering later abortion care to those with medically complicated pregnancies, Prop. 115 would have had a global ripple effect on abortion access for those in the most desperate of circumstances.

The defeat of the ban comes at a time when abortion rights advocates are preparing for the worst following the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who represents a grave threat to the constitutional right to abortion due to her well-documented anti-abortion stance and the new 6-3 conservative majority on the court. If the court chips away at the Roe v. Wade decision – or does away with it entirely – abortion access could be entirely dependent on the handful of states like Colorado where abortion is unrestricted.

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Prop. 115 Backers Falsely Claim Deaths From Illegal Abortions Are ‘Fabricated’

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Supporters of a Colorado ballot initiative that would ban abortion at 22 weeks falsely claimed in a social media post that deaths associated with illegal abortions are “fabricated.”

The Instagram post from the group End Birthday Abortions states, “Don’t believe the lies that say if abortion is restricted, women will die in illegal abortions. Those numbers were fabricated from the beginning, and don’t justify taking someone else’s life.”

Proposition 115 would ban abortion in Colorado at 22 weeks with no exceptions for rape, incest, a lethal fetal diagnosis, or non-fatal health reasons.

Backers of the ballot initiative have for months been attempting to assure voters that the measure wouldn’t put a patient’s health at risk, despite evidence to the contrary and pushback from the medical community.

The assertion that women don’t die from illegal abortion, however, is a noteworthy statement from the campaign in the final days of the election considering the long, dark, and well-documented history of maternal deaths related to illegal abortion in the U.S. and across the globe.

Before abortion was enshrined as a constitutional right in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, women still got abortions, but abortion was much less safe, especially for low-income women and women of color.

In New York City in the early 1960s, one in four maternal deaths among white women was due to abortion, compared to one in two maternal deaths among nonwhite and Puerto Rican women, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

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Colo. Lawmaker: You Can “No Longer Trust” the “Biased” Postal Service

(Can’t trust somebody, anyway – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado State Rep. Rod Pelton, a Republican from Cheyenne Wells, is joining a chorus of conservatives nationwide who are attacking the United States Postal Service (USPS) ahead of an election that will rely heavily on mail-in voting.

“Conservatives if you want your ballot to count, better drop it off yourself,” wrote Pelton on Facebook, sharing an Associated Press article regarding a postal service workers union’s endorsement of Democrat Joe Biden for President. “No longer trust the Postal services to do a job that’s not biased.”

The National Association of Letter Carriers’ endorsement of Biden comes after President Donald Trump admitted to depriving the USPS of much-needed funding in order to make it more difficult to process mail ballots during the upcoming election, when an unprecedented number of voters are expected to utilize mail ballots due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pelton did not respond to an email seeking to know whether he supports Trump’s attempts to defund the USPS ahead of the 2020 election or whether he acknowledges Colorado’s position as a leader in voting-by-mail.

In Colorado, mail ballots have been the primary method of voting since 2013, and despite some conservatives’ claims that mail ballots beget voter fraud, Colorado’s successful history of using mail ballots proves otherwise. Former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams has joined Democrats in backing Colorado’s vote-by-mail system.

Trump began attacking the mail voting system at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., with many in the Republican Party, including in Colorado, following suit. As conservatives have expanded their condemnation to include the USPS, a highly trusted and revered institution in the minds of the majority of Americans, and as the 2020 election draws nearer, public outcry has ensued.

A wave of rallies nationwide took place on Saturday as part of a coordinated effort to raise alarm about cuts to USPS, including multiple in Colorado.

Advocates focused not only on the danger to the upcoming election if the USPS can’t operate normally, but on the institution’s critical role in the everyday lives of Americans, especially those in rural areas.

Major delivery companies like UPS and FedEx tend not to service the country’s most rural and remote areas, so the USPS serves as a lifeline for those communities, including by delivering critical medication.

Pelton represents one of Colorado’s most rural districts in the northeastern corner of the state.

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Colorado Lawmaker Likens Businesswoman Who Refused to Close Her Salon to Rosa Parks

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If restrictions imposed to fight COVID-19 are like slavery, then those who defy those orders are like civil rights icons.

That seems to be the view of some conservatives nationwide and in Colorado who have heralded those who are keeping their businesses open, protesting, or otherwise eschewing public health rules and recommendations as American heroes fighting for freedom.

And they’re even going so far as to compare these dissenters to the mother of the civil rights movement herself, Rosa Parks.

“Could Shelley Luther be the Rosa Parks of COVID-19?” mused state Rep. Mark Baisley (R-Roxborough Park) on Facebook last week.

Luther, who owns a salon in Dallas, became a conservative hero after she refused to close her shop during Texas’ stay-at-home order, and was fined and briefly jailed after ignoring a court order to shut down.

Asked to address criticism that such comparisons are racially insensitive, Baisley told the Colorado Times Recorder via email that anyone who would criticize his Facebook musings as such is “shamefully shallow.”

“As you can see on my Facebook page, I merely posed the question, ‘Could Shelley Luther be the Rosa Parks of COVID-19?’” Baisley wrote. “I think it is an interesting concept for my friends to ponder aloud and they did. Those who dismiss the question as racially insensitive are shamefully shallow in disallowing themselves to consider the full lesson of this important moment in American history.”

The comments by Baisley, who was photographed earlier this month at a protest at the Colorado Capitol against coronavirus restrictions, come after Trump advisor Stephen Moore drew ire last month for comparing those protesting coronavirus restrictions in several states to the civil rights leader.

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Campaign to Partially Ban Abortion Asks Secretary of State for “Additional Considerations” Due to Coronavirus

(You had a deadline and you missed it — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In an email sent to supporters Saturday, the organization behind a ballot initiative to ban abortion at 22 weeks in Colorado revealed that it asked the Secretary of State to grant it “additional considerations” in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are still waiting to hear back from the Secretary of State’s office on whether…we can get additional considerations surrounding the growing COVID-19 concerns,” the email from Due Date Too Late reads.

The request from the Initiative 120 campaign raises the question: As the COVID-19 pandemic forces drastic changes to public life, including stringent social distancing measures like closing businesses and canceling events, what will happen with ballot initiative campaigns that rely on public signature gathering?

In order to adhere to social distancing guidelines, Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced Tuesday that the office would suspend all in-person operations, including this week’s Title Board meeting.

Griswold’s announcement didn’t, however, explain what will happen with ballot initiative campaigns like Initiative 120, which submitted petitions to the Secretary of State’s office on March 4.

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Abortion Foe Appears to Mock Women Who Have Had Ectopic Pregnancies, Miscarriages

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a video promoting a bill to ban nearly all abortion in Colorado, Christy Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Colorado Campaign for Life, appeared to mock women who’ve experienced a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening condition in which a fertilized egg attaches itself outside of the uterus.

Speaking alongside Colorado state Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone) about her bill to make abortion a felony by defining human life as beginning at conception, Rodriguez dismissed concerns, raised by women testified against previous versions of the bill, that the legislation could result in criminal penalties for the removal of an ectopic pregnancy or fetal remains following an incomplete miscarriage.

See the video below:

“As I understand it, it does not criminalize women who have had an ectopic pregnancy,” said Rodriguez.

“That’s right,” Saine replied.

“That’s been one of the arguments during the testimony in previous years, that women come in and say, ‘I had an ectopic pregnancy. I had a miscarriage, and they had to do a D&C and this is going to… I’ll get thrown in jail for that,’” she continued, appearing to mock those women. “How to you respond to those objections?”

“Well that simply isn’t in the bill, and they’re throwing all of these red flags out hoping that they’ll convince the members of the legislature to vote against the bill,” Saine replied.

While the Protect Life at Conception Act does contain an exception for ectopic pregnancies, there are no specific protections for doctors who provide treatment during a miscarriage.

Under this legislation, performing an abortion for any reason other than to save the life of the patient would be a class 1 felony punishable by life imprisonment or death.

Ectopic pregnancy has increasingly become a topic of conversation within the abortion-rights debate after anti-abortion lawmakers in Ohio pushed a bill to require doctors to “reimplant” ectopic pregnancies, a procedure that doesn’t exist in medical literature.

According to a study published last month in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, early pregnancy loss due to ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage frequently causes PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

Responding to an email from the Colorado Times Recorder containing the link to the video, Saine wrote, “I haven’t reviewed the video yet and I don’t remember what you are referring to.”

“Any interviewer is responsible for their own words,” Saine added.

Rodriguez did not respond to a request for comment.

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‘No-Pants’ Pastor Seulean Re-enters State House Race, Says His Party Bullied Him to Drop Out

(Modest Culottes! — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Cory Gardner, Corey Seulean.

Ultra-conservative Longmont Pastor Corey Seulean, who believes women shouldn’t wear pants, has decided to re-enter the House District 63 race after dropping out in September.

In a video announcement on his Facebook page, Seulean harshly criticized “a handful of powerful elites” in his own party who he claims bullied him into dropping out of the race, saying he “did so against [his] will and better judgment.” He blamed the attacks on “the Christian conservative base of the Republican Party.”

Seulean claimed that a “sitting politician” – whom he did not name – told him he was simply a “placeholder,” and that he needed to “be a team player” and “get out of the way” for a better candidate.

That candidate appears to be former state legislator Pat Miller, who announced her candidacy just days before Seulean dropped out. Miller won the endorsement of current HD63 representative Lori Saine, who’s term-limited.

“It is not just the Democrats who are corrupt,” Seulean said. “There are many in our own party as well.”

Despite his harsh criticism of the “mafia mentality” of those who pressured him to step down, however, Seulean pledged to “run a clean campaign” and urged his party to unite against what he views as the real enemy:

“Our enemy is the liberal, socialist, radical Democrats who want to destroy our state, tear up our constitution, make Colorado be like California, strip us of our God-given inalienable rights, kill our babies, take away our national voice in the presidential election, turn us into a sanctuary state and destroy our economy by crippling our oil and natural gas industry.”

If elected, Seulean said he’d “bring God back to our state politics.”

Seulean made national headlines following the Colorado Times Recorder’s reporting on his belief that it’s immodest for women to wear pants, and that they should instead wear either skirts or “modest culottes.” He dropped out of the race a month later, on Sept. 20.

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Poll: Coloradans Less Likely to Vote for Gardner if He Supports Gagging Clinics from Discussing Abortion

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

New polling from Hart Research Associates shows that Colorado voters are less likely to support U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) if he doesn’t push back against the Trump Administration’s recent changes to the Title X family planning program, known as the Title X gag rule.

Title X provides funding for contraception, STD testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and other reproductive health services for low-income and uninsured people.

Thanks to a new Trump Administration rule, however, health centers that provide abortions, refer to abortion providers, or even discuss abortion with patients are barred from receiving these funds.

Planned Parenthood, which says it serves about 40% of the nation’s 4 million Title X recipients, was forced to pull out of the program due to the Trump administration’s changes.

According to the new poll, the Title X gag rule is deeply unpopular among likely voters in Colorado. It also showed that voters make negative judgments about politicians who support Trump’s Title X restrictions.

By a whopping 40 percent margin, those surveyed indicated that if Colorado’s Republican senator voted to uphold the Trump administration’s Title X restrictions, they would be “less likely to support him in the next election” (60%), rather than “more likely to support him in the next election” (20%).

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Ultra-Conservative Pastor Running for CO House Seat Thinks Women Shouldn’t Wear Pants

(We have nothing to add – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The question of whether it’s appropriate for women to wear pants is one you might expect to see while studying the beginnings of the feminist movement in the 19th century, but probably not in a 2019 race for a seat in Colorado’s House of Representatives. And yet, here we are.

Longmont pastor Corey Seulean, who recently announced he’s running to replace term-limited Colorado Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone), tells women in his congregation at Hopewell Baptist Church that it’s immodest to wear pants, and that they should instead wear either skirts or “modest culottes,” a woman who attended his church said on Facebook.

Corey Seulean
Source: Youtube

When asked by the Colorado Times Recorder about the pastor’s stance on how women decide to cover their legs, a Seulean spokesperson confirmed that he does in fact believe that pants are immodest and that women shouldn’t wear them.

The comment from Melissa Ford was posted on Seulean’s candidate Facebook page announcing his campaign kickoff event.

“Mr. I am going to tell the women of my congregation how to dress?” wrote Ford on Seulean’s post. “Please pick a better candidate.”

When prompted for more details by another commenter, Ford wrote, “We attended his church at one point. He would get in front of the congregation and basically tell us women should not wear pants. We should wear skirts or ‘modest culottes’. Not sure that is the best candidate to be putting forward.”

Ford could not be reached for comment.

The post with Ford’s comment has since been deleted.

Campaign manager Benjamin Seulean, who’s also Cory Seulean’s son, said that’s because they updated the event announcement after learning that Rep. Saine would no longer be able to attend, not because they didn’t want Ford’s comment on their page.

“I did not delete it because of [Ford’s] comment,” said Seulean. “I didn’t have a problem with what she said.”

Benjamin Seulean told the Colorado Times Recorder that while the church doesn’t enforce a dress code, Pastor Seulean has made it known that he believes that the Bible says it’s immodest for women to wear pants.

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Coloradans Behind Ballot Initiative Banning Later Abortion Care Hold Far-Right Views

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Earlier this month, anti-choice advocates filed a Colorado ballot initiative that would ban abortion after 22 weeks.

Colorado is one of a handful of states that don’t restrict abortion based on gestational age, and thus has become a target of increasingly inflammatory rhetoric around the one percent of abortions that occur later in pregnancy.

The initiative, which was filed by conservative activists Erin Behrens and Giuliana Day, could come to a vote in 2020 if they can gather the 124,632 signatures required to make it on the ballot.

So who are Behrens and Day?

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Coloradans Could Vote on Banning Abortions Later in Pregnancy in 2020

(One election away… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Abortion opponents have filed a ballot initiative in Colorado to ban what they refer to as “late-term abortions.”

The initiative, which would be up for a vote in 2020 if proponents gather the 124,632 signatures required to make it on the ballot, would ban nearly all abortions after 22 weeks gestation, around five months of pregnancy.

The proposed initiative contains no exceptions for rape or incest, and while there is an exception for abortions that are necessary to save the life of the mother, there are no exceptions for abortions to protect the health of the mother in cases that are not considered to be life-threatening. It also specifically states that “psychological or emotional conditions” that threaten the life of the mother will not be included as exceptions.

Doctors who perform unlawful abortions under this measure would be subject to a class three felony, punishable by up to 16 years in prison. It’s unclear, however, if women who perform abortions on themselves, or even have accidents that lead to miscarriage, would be subject to criminal prosecution as well.

Although the initiative states that “a woman on whom an abortion is performed… cannot be charged with a crime,” it also states that “any person who intentionally or recklessly performs or induces or attempts to perform or induce an abortion… is guilty of a class 3 felony.” [emphasis added]

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Abortion Rights Are Safe In Colorado, But Only For Now, Advocates Warn

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

As some states move to pass the harshest abortion restrictions seen in decades, Colorado remains one of a handful of states where reproductive rights are safest.

But local reproductive rights advocates are warning that it could happen here, too, if Coloradans aren’t careful.

“We’re not safe in Colorado either,” said Vicki Cowart, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, in an interview with the Colorado Times Recorder. “We’re in good shape right now because people have worked very hard to express their support for healthcare and women’s access to reproductive health care, and they’ve held their elected officials to that standard, but it’s still not a done deal, and it could happen here.”

Colorado has no major restrictions on abortion or laws that would spring into effect to restrict abortion should Roe be overturned.

But unlike a handful of progressive states, Colorado has no affirmative protections for abortion rights in state law or the state’s constitution, either. That means state lawmakers have the power to either restrict abortion rights or ensure they’re protected.

With a pro-choice governor and Democratic majorities in both chambers of the state’s legislature, there’s no immediate threat to abortion rights in Colorado. But Cowart says that could always change if anti-abortion lawmakers get elected.

“Abortion access is very safe [in Colorado] today, but there’s an election soon, and everything can switch out at any given election,” Cowart explained.

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CO Lawmaker Says It’s Hypocritical for Pro-Choice Dems to Worry About Immigrants Who Miscarry in ICE Custody

(Stay classy! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

State Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs)

State Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) criticized presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on social media last week after she expressed concern for pregnant women who have miscarried while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), questioning whether she has the “moral authority” to do so given her pro-choice stance.

“Detaining pregnant women is dangerous,” Harris said on Twitter last week. “As many as 28 women have miscarried in ICE custody over the past two years. I’ve called on this Administration to end this practice now.”

Hill took to Facebook with his response, asking, “How can you have any moral authority decrying an accidental miscarriage when you support voluntary miscarriage (aka abortion) up to the point of birth?

He went on to say, “It seems the only logical difference is the desire of the mother. Does this change the moral logic?

It’s worth noting that Hill’s characterization of abortion “up to the point of birth” is misleading, part of a wider effort by conservatives to stoke outrage and spread misinformation about abortions that take place later in pregnancy…

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“Gun Sanctuary” Resolutions Being Adopted by Some CO Counties Have White Supremacist Roots

(Know your history or repeat it – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Nearly half of Colorado’s 64 counties are joining a nationwide trend of passing resolutions opposing laws they don’t like, asserting that their elected county sheriffs need not enforce measures they view as unconstitutional and harkening back to a movement that has roots in white supremacy.

A proposed measure to allow law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from individuals who are proven to be dangerous has led many Colorado counties to declare themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, meaning they don’t want their elected sheriffs to enforce gun restrictions like the so-called “red flag” bill that’s progressing in the state’s legislature. One Colorado sheriff, Steve Reams of Weld County, told CNN that he’d go to jail before enforcing the proposed law.

This idea of county supremacy, where sheriffs are seen as defenders of the constitution in the face of what conservatives view as overreach from state and federal governments, has roots in far-right and white supremacist movements.

The Posse Comitatus movement, from the Latin for “power of the county,” began in the ’70s, and grew out of the Ku Klux Klan. It aimed to protect white Americans from civil rights laws that they viewed as unconstitutional. They believed that there was no legitimate form of government beyond the county level, and that there was no higher law enforcement authority than the county sheriff. Its founder, William Potter Gale, believed that the U.S. Constitution was a divinely inspired document meant to elevate white Americans above Jews and people of color.

The Posse Comitatus is no longer active, but lives on today in the form of the constitutional sheriff movement. The Constitutional Sheriff and Peace Officer Association (CSPOA) formed in 2011, and is based around the same extremist constitutional theory as the Posse Comitatus – that sheriffs can and should disregard laws they see as unconstitutional.

The movement has continued to grow alongside the anti-federal sentiment that was sparked during the Obama administration, with Colorado occasionally at the center of it, especially when it comes to gun control legislation.

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Billboard Near UT Border: “Welcome to Colorado, where you can get a safe, legal abortion”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A new billboard facing west on I-70 near Colorado’s border with Utah reads “Welcome to Colorado, where you can get a safe, legal abortion.”

Paid for by progressive advocacy group ProgressNow Colorado and their Keep Abortion Safe project, the billboard highlights how women often must cross state lines in order to access abortion care.

The goal of this billboard is to remind people coming from the conservative state of Utah that they are now in a place that trusts and allows pregnant people to make their own healthcare decisions for themselves and their families,” said ProgressNow Colorado’s Alex Ferencz in a press release.

While Colorado has few restrictions on abortion, it is surrounded by more conservative states where lawmakers have made it difficult to access the full range of reproductive care.

In Utah, not only are abortion providers sparse, with the only two located in Salt Lake City, but laws targeting the procedure require women to jump through extra hurdles to get the care they seek.

For example, a Utah law mandates that women seeking abortion care receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to sway her decision, and then wait 72 hours before the procedure is provided. This necessitates multiple trips to the clinic, posing logistical and financial challenges to those who might need to take time off work, arrange child care, or pay for lodging if they don’t live near the clinic.

As I wrote in an article for Rewire.News published last week, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains serves a high volume of out-of-state patients along Colorado’s borders, and expects that number to rise as lawmakers in surrounding states continue to attack reproductive rights:

“Over 8 percent of abortions performed at their Colorado health centers in 2018 were for out-of-state patients, but that percentage is much higher for health centers located near the state’s borders, according to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM). In Fort Collins, more than a quarter of abortion services provided were for out-of-state patients, and at their Durango health center, it was more than 40 percent.

‘We’re anticipating the numbers who are going to have to travel to get to a provider will increase,’ said PPRM President Vicki Cowart. ‘We’re positioning ourselves to be part of the solution to deal with what we’re anticipating is going to be a public health crisis.’”

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Gardner: ‘Most Dangerous Thing’ To Come From 2016 Election Is The ‘Normalization Of Socialism’ By Sen. Sanders

(This is a joke, right? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Trump (left) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).

In remarks made on local conservative talk radio last week, Colorado’s Republican Sen. Cory Gardner said he thinks “the most dangerous thing to come out of the 2016 election” was the “normalization of socialism by Bernie Sanders.”

Here’s Gardner’s full quote from Thursday’s Ross Kaminsky Show on KHOW radio with guest host Krista Kafer:

GARDNER: “Well, look, I mean, you’ve got an incredible thing happening in Venezuela right now, where the United States recognized the sort of opposition leader in Venezuela, trying to take down Maduro. And remember what President Trump had said to the United Nations over a year ago: he said Venezuela isn’t a failed example of socialism, it is an example of what socialism does to a country. And I think the most dangerous thing to come out of the 2016 election was this normalization of socialism by Bernie Sanders. And that’s what we ought to be focusing on as well, here: defeating those who want to espouse and bring socialism here to the people of the United States, people who are talking about 80% tax increases, people who say they’d rather be – something like – morally correct than factually right – or something like that. [chuckles] I mean, this is talk of a radical left that I don’t think represents the people of Colorado or this country.”

It’s a bold statement considering the tumult that followed the 2016 election.

For example, there’s the news that a hostile foreign power attempted to interfere in our elections, the nation’s growing partisan divide, and the rising tide of white nationalism that led to a deadly rally in Charlottesville, to name a few.

But bashing Democratic Socialism is in vogue for the GOP amid the rise in popularity of politicians like Sanders and New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who’s dominated headlines on conservative media platforms lately.

Gardner’s office did not return a call seeking to know if the senator thinks Russian meddling or Trump or anything else is actually more dangerous than the normalization of socialism.

Gardner also bashed the increasingly popular Democratic “Medicare for all” healthcare policy, condemning it as an example of “why socialism is so dangerous.”

GARDNER: “…going back to what you said earlier, too, just about Medicare – Medicaid For All. I have talked to hospitals. If we go to a single payer system like this, they will cut services. I was just in Grand Junction, talking to their hospitals. They will lose services and healthcare programs if they move to this kind of a program – Medicaid — Medicare For All, I mean.  They just – they can’t make it work. And that’s why socialism is so dangerous, is it hurts the very people that they’re saying they’re trying to help.”

Like much of the GOP, Gardner has struggled when it comes pushing a clear health care policy, shunning Democratic proposals while failing to put forth one of his own. He’s been harshly criticized for repeatedly attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a system to take its place.

Polling has consistently shown widespread support for a Medicare for all-type policy. A Reuters-Ipsos poll from October showed 70 percent support for the policy nationwide, including 52 percent support from Republican voters.

Although a bit jarring, Gardner’s assertion about the dangers of socialism following the 2016 election isn’t new. In fact, his comments on the radio last week appear to be recycled directly from his speech at the 2018 Western Conservative Summit in Denver:

GARDNER: “The most dangerous thing to happen in America in the 2016 Presidential election was Bernie Sanders normalization of socialism. Bernie normalized socialism for a broad set of the electorate, mainly young voters.”

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Pokemon Go is an Alt-Right Recruiting Tool?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

As 2018 draws to a close and we begin to reflect on what we probably all agree was another strange year, I’d like to offer this as an emblem of where we’re at: progressive women along Colorado’s Front Range are going around destroying neo-Nazi propaganda that appears to have been strategically placed near — wait for it — Pokemon Go waypoints.

The propaganda is being disseminated by the recently formed white nationalist group Identity Evropa, which in recent months has been ramping up activity in the Rocky Mountain region. They gained notoriety after helping organize 2017’s Unite the Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counter-protester was murdered, and recently held a rally in Denver’s Civic Center Park.

Their goal? Lure young white men with conservative leanings into the white supremacist fold to revitalize the image of their movement and bring it into the mainstream.

The group, which leaders have referred to as a “fraternity,” is especially active on college campuses, where it hopes to attract well-educated and clean cut men – not, as their founder Nathan Domingo put it in an interview with the Daily Beast, “some uneducated redneck living in the bayou somewhere.”

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Will The #MeToo Movement Sweep Humenik Out Of the Colorado Legislature?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Beth Humenik (R) and the boys of the Colorado Senate.

One of the most competitive races in Colorado’s state legislature pits a woman who led the charge to expose a culture of sexual harassment at the Capitol against a woman who protected an alleged perpetrator of that harassment from expulsion.

Democratic State Rep. Faith Winter is vying for the Adams County seat that’s currently occupied by State Sen. Republican Beth Martinez Humenik, and how voters are reacting to the #MeToo movement could be a decisive factor in the outcome of the race, which could determine whether Democrats gain control of state government.

Winter led the charge to expose rampant sexual misconduct at Colorado’s Capitol after she publicly accused Steve Lebsock, a fellow Democratic state lawmaker, of sexually harassing her. After Winter came forward, several other women brought similar allegations against Lebsock, leading to his expulsion from the state’s House of Representatives.

Lebsock was expelled with the support of many Republican lawmakers. But when it came time to consider the expulsion of an alleged serial sexual harasser within their own party, Republicans in the state Senate, including Humenik, protected their own.

Republican State Sen. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulfur Springs was accused of harassing several women at the capitol, including groping them and making unwanted sexual comments. Despite the fact that the allegations were found to be credible by a third-party investigation, a resolution to expel Baumgardner failed, with only one Republican state senator voting in favor of the expulsion. Humenik voted to keep Baumgardner in the Senate.

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Republican Candidate Says Low-Income Women Should Be Sterilized, Birth Control Causes Abortions

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a series of Facebook posts from 2012, Mary Fabian, a candidate for Colorado’s House of Representatives, defended a U.S. Senate candidate who said at the time that the incidence of pregnancy after “legitimate rape” is low because a women’s body will stop such pregnancies spontaneously.

Other posts expressed inaccurate or extreme views on birth control, people who receive government assistance, and more.

In one post, Fabian criticized opponents of then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and their concerns about abortion rights, saying that Romney is “not going to legislate morality, but I’m just saying abortion is wrong, birth control kills babies after conception, too and it is sad to see our society so very brainwashed.”

She then advocated for abstinence as the only form of birth control, writing “if you don’t want the risk of a kid, don’t have sex.”

Fabian, a Republican, is running in House District 18, which encompasses Manitou Springs and parts of Colorado Springs.

In a different post, Fabian mused that perhaps there was some truth to former U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin’s infamous assertion that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Akin went on to say that abortion shouldn’t be an option for rape survivors because “the punishment should be on the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

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Protesters at Walker Stapleton Campaign Event Say They Were the Target of a Nazi Slur

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Reproductive rights activists are saying they were the target of a Nazi slur last month at a campaign event for Colorado’s Republican candidate for governor.

The activists were protesting at the July 13 Walker Stapleton campaign event to raise awareness about threats to abortion rights following the recent announcement that President Trump would appoint Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. The event, which was hosted by the Jefferson County Republican Party, featured Stapleton and U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO).

According to five protesters, following the event, a man they had previously seen walking from the venue to his car carrying a “Walker Stapleton for Governor” yard sign drove up next to them and yelled “Sieg Heil” out the window while holding his arm outstretched in a Nazi salute.

“He was so close we could have touched the car,” said Katie Farnan of the progressive activist group Indivisible Front Range Resistance.

The man, they say, then sped off in a teal Volvo.

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The Stapletons Once Accused Their Nanny Of Stealing Their Underwear, A Sippy Cup

(This line about the Stapleton’s trying to set a trap for the nanny is amazing: “It didn’t work, however, because Walker Stapleton forgot how much money he left in the book as bait, according to the police report.” — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Walker Stapleton

Republican candidate for governor Walker Stapleton and wife Jenna Stapleton once filed a police report accusing one of their three nannies of stealing several of their belongings, including thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, a $500 belt, a $200 hat, their son’s sippy cup, their daughter’s hair bows, and their underwear.

The 2015 report from the Greenwood Village Police Department explains that during that period of time, the Stapletons traveled often, and frequently left their children with three nannies. After being unable to locate several items, Jenna Stapleton began to suspect that one of their nannies had been stealing.

But before taking matters to the police, Jenna and Walker attempted to set a trap, placing twenty dollar bills sticking visibly out of a book in hopes that they would catch the suspected nanny in the act of stealing.

It didn’t work, however, because Walker Stapleton forgot how much money he left in the book as bait, according to the police report.

Jenna Stapleton then went to the Greenwood Village Police Department to report missing items: first, she told them, it was her daughter’s hair bows, which she noticed were gone after returning from vacation. Then, a ruby and diamond encrusted gold bracelet from her jewelry box, one of her earrings (which she later found, but still suspected the nanny tried to steal), a belt, and a hat. And then there was the case of the missing sippy cup and a few pairs of Walker and Jenna’s undergarments. Jenna didn’t remember exactly how many pairs of underwear, according to the report.

So why the suspicion? And why only accuse one of the three nannies?

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Why Are Republicans Speaking At The ‘Democrats For Life’ Conference?

(For the lulz, obviously – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) is holding its first conference this weekend in Denver, but speakers include no currently-elected Democratic politicians, and several speakers who have been identified as Republicans, Independents, or have no registered party affiliation.

The “I Want My Party Back” conference comes after a recent debate around whether the Democratic Party should make room for candidates who oppose abortion rights.

Some have argued that it’d behoove Democrats who are eager to regain support from Trump voters to field candidates who may not adhere to every single aspect of the party’s platform. But more progressive Democrats say the party’s so-called big tent isn’t big enough for those who would allow limitations on reproductive rights.

But within this debate, one key fact is often ignored: These days, pro-life Democrats are few and far between.

So it shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise that DFLA, which has aimed to elect anti-choice Democrats since its inception in 1999, apparently struggled to find true-blue Democratic speakers for their upcoming conference.

The only Democratic politicians speaking are two former Congressmen — Bart Stupak of Michigan and Lincoln Davis of Tennesse, both of whom haven’t held office since 2011.

And many of the speakers aren’t Democrats at all, according to a voter database. Lauren Castillo, for example, is the National Church Relations Director for Students for Life of America, and she’s registered in Colorado as a Republican. Castillo didn’t respond to a request for comment and confirmation.

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Walker Stapleton Once Praised Confederate General Robert E. Lee as a “Great American”

(So…much…wrong with this – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a 2009 appearance on KNUS radio, Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Walker Stapleton praised Confederate General Robert E. Lee, calling him a “great American.”

Stapleton, who currently serves as Colorado’s treasurer and has yet to address community concerns about his family’s white supremacist history, added, “He just happened to be for the wrong cause and on the wrong side.”

Lee, who commanded the Confederate army, is responsible for an unfathomable amount of American bloodshed in defense of what he saw as the South’s right to own black human beings as property. Stapleton’s description of Lee as a “great American” runs counter to the fact that Lee’s loyalty to his country was overridden by his devotion to white supremacy.

Over the past year, statues commemorating some of the nation’s most influential white supremacists, including those depicting Lee, have been a source of controversy – and the sites of racially motivated violence.

As you might recall, the so-called Unite the Right rally that took place in Charlottesville late last summer, where white supremacists chanted Nazi-era slogans and murdered a peaceful counter-protester, was centered around opposition to the removal of the city’s monument to Lee.

Stapleton’s comment, of course, came years before the nation’s popular debate around whether statues commemorating racists belong in public areas. But it could be instructive of the gubernatorial candidate’s understanding of racism in America and dedication to policies that promote racial equity – or lack thereof.

Stapleton’s praise of the well-known racist isn’t a one-off.

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Colorado Dems just introduced one of the most progressive reproductive health bills in the U.S.

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Democratic state lawmakers introduced a bill yesterday that aims to increase access to all reproductive care and protect Coloradans from the Trump administration’s rollbacks.

The Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Act would require all public and private health insurance plans regulated by the state of Colorado to cover the entire gamut of reproductive care, from cancer screenings and prenatal care to contraceptives and abortion, at no cost to the patient. And the bill guarantees that coverage for everyone, regardless of gender identity, income, or immigration status.

According to the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) it’s a “proactive bill with some real teeth,” and the bill aims to address a key barrier to reproductive care: affordability.

“When it comes to marginalized communities, affordability is one of the biggest hurdles,” said COLOR’s Karla Gonzales Garcia. “You can have the right to seek reproductive health care and abortion, but if you can’t afford the care, you can’t access that right.”

Maternal mortality is on the rise in the U.S. Graph shows # of deaths per 100,000 live births. Credit: Rob Weychert/ProPublica

In addition to improving access to services like abortion and contraception, the bill also seeks to improve maternal health, a critical undertaking given that the U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world by a wide margin. And that rate continues to rise while other countries have managed to make childbirth safer.

Women of color bear the brunt of the country’s maternal health crisis. Women of color are more likely to die during childbirth, and black women are at particularly high risk, dying during childbirth at three times the rate of white women.

“A lot of it is due to complications in labor and during pregnancy, but a lot of it is also happening postpartum when people don’t have appropriate care for healing or post-delivery complications, when they frankly don’t have health coverage and then they’re having long-term health consequences and even dying,” said Garcia. “And so we see this legislation as really important to addressing maternal mortality and maternal health issues for women of color.”

As it stands, women who receive Medicaid coverage during pregnancy also receive 60 days of postpartum care. This bill would extend that coverage period to 180 days.

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Baumgardner’s Social Media Pages Are Pretty Gross

(Scroll down to see why his nickname is “Boob Grabber” — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

WARNING: Some images in this post may be considered slightly NSFW, because that’s the low standard of professionalism that *some people* who work in our state’s Capitol adhere to these days, apparently. 

Multiple social media posts from state Sen. Randy Baumgardner, a Republican who’s been repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct, reveal that he is, in fact, a total creep.

In what should come as a shock to absolutely no one given the multiple credible complaints of sexual harassment against him, Baumgardner is one of those guys who use social media to ogle photos of scantily clad women.

See the Facebook posts below, which Baumgardner liked last year, but again, be warned: they’re slightly NSFW.

 

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