Tate “Skeptical” about Campaign to Recall Sullivan

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Jack Tate (R).

A second Republican who represented the Aurora state house district now occupied by Democrat Tom Sullivan is expressing skepticism about the recall campaign against Sullivan, which is spearheaded by the conservative Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

State Sen. Jack Tate told KZMT 1690-AM’s Jimmy Sengenberger yesterday:

“We had an election last year and we’re going to have another election next year. And so the recall makes me skeptical because a recall provision is about getting representatives, or your elected representatives out of office due to serious issues of malfeasance, maybe criminal behavior, something that is really just outside the pale in terms of providing a function of being an elected representative. So, if you think about why there are recalls, it is about getting people out of office when we need to. But at the same time, you have to have some discipline. You can’t set up a situation where people who you elect — maybe under a trustee model, more than a delegate model — to make tough decisions are constantly facing an every-month a recall, based on having made tough decisions. If constituencies don’t like the decisions politicians make in the fray, then that’s what a normal election is for. So, I have a degree of skepticism.”

“…And now we have these recall efforts. And it’s like, there’s something that’s just too partisan, too much of a do-over with a different voting base than I am comfortable with.  So I’m thinking through this issue right now, Jimmy. “

Tate’s comment follows a sharp denunciation of the Sullivan recall effort by Republican Cole Wist, who was defeated by Sullivan in last year’s election. Wist won the house district after Tate ran for state senate.

(more…)

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Priest Now Says He Wasn’t Representing the Catholic Church In Testimony Against Conversion Therapy Bill

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

With Colorado Gov. Jared Polis planning to sign legislation next Friday banning licensed therapists from trying to turn gay youth into heterosexuals, a priest, who said he was “representing the Catholic Church” when he testified in March against the conversion-therapy ban, is now saying he testified “on my own behalf.”

In fact, the Archdiocese of Denver, which speaks for the Catholic Church on such matters locally, did “not take a position on this bill,” according to Mark Haas, a Archdiocese spokesman.

“I testified on my own behalf and just meant to identify myself as a Catholic priest who would be bringing a Catholic perspective to the conversation,” Rev. Matthew Hartley, Parochial Vicar at St. Joan of Arc Church in Arvada, said in an email after the Colorado Times Recorder asked who gave him authority to speak for the Catholic Church.

In his March 18 testimony before the Colorado Senate’s State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee (here at 1 hour 41 minutes), Hartley denounced the bill banning conversion-therapy on minors, telling lawmakers it was “outdated, irrational, in violation of religious freedom, and discriminatory.”

The Archdiocese of Denver supports the right of its religious leaders, like Hartley, to express their political opinions.

“We support his right, like that of any citizen, to participate in the political process,” said Haas.

Johnny Hultzapple, a South High Student who testified for the ban on conversion therapy for minors, objected to Hartley’s claim to represent the Catholic Church, a couple weeks before Hartley announced he wasn’t really representing the Church.

(more…)

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As Democrats Seek Gun Violence Solutions, Republicans Push More Guns

Students evacuate from a STEM school in Highlands Ranch earlier this month.

In the wake of the shooting at a STEM school in Highlands Ranch earlier this month, Colorado Democrats are considering legislation to tighten the state’s laws around gun storage and child access, as the Colorado Sun reports:

“The end goal is that someone who shouldn’t have access to a firearm can’t access it,” said Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, who revealed conversations about the potential policies at The Colorado Sun’s legislative forum last week. “Usually that would be a minor, but theoretically would include someone who just isn’t allowed to have a firearm.”…

…There are reports that the shooters in the STEM School attack, which left one student dead and eight more wounded, obtained their weapons by breaking into a gun safe belonging to one of their parents. The suspects are 18 and 16 years old, too young to legally purchase handguns, which authorities say were used in the attack.

About a dozen U.S. states have laws stipulating how guns are stored and how to prevent children from accessing them. Colorado is not among them, though it does have a law against providing a handgun to a juvenile. The older suspect in the STEM attack, 18-year-old Devon Erickson, is accused of committing that crime, according to online court records.

Image of a flyer from “Bullets Both Ways” distributed at a gun rights rally on Saturday.

Republican lawmakers are not enthusiastic about this idea. Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert dismissed the proposal in an interview with the Sun, as did Sen. John Cooke (R-Greeley), who reverted to a particularly stupid argument about the fallibility of laws in general:

“We have laws against murder. It doesn’t stop people from murdering. If you’re not storing your gun responsibly, a law is not going to change that.”

Why have laws at all? 

The per-capita rate of deaths from gun violence in Colorado is at its highest level in more than 30 years, so what are Colorado Republicans going to do about the problem? They’re not going to do anything, as we’ve seen time and time again, but if backed into a corner the GOP solution continues to be to put more guns in public places.

Over the weekend, firearm enthusiasts gathered by the dozens at the State Capitol for a “Rally For Our Rights” event billed as a protest against a so-called “red flag” bill that passed through the state legislature this Spring. House Bill 1177, signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis in April, allows Colorado families and law enforcement officials to petition a court for an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) to temporarily remove firearms from the hands of individuals who deemed to be a risk to themselves or others. Many Republican lawmakers opposed the “red flag” bill, including Sens. Holbert and Cooke. Perhaps the most vocal opponent was House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, who has been openly advocating for recall elections against Democrats who supported the legislation (including Democratic Rep. Tom Sullivan, a co-sponsor of HB-1177 and the father of a victim of the 2012 Aurora Theater shooting) .

Neville’s “solution” to gun violence has been the same since he first joined the State House in  2105; he is a leader of the movement to get more guns in the hands of teachers. This is a sentiment shared by others in the “Rally For Our Rights” circle. Among the organizations on hand for Saturday’s “more guns” rally was a Colorado-based group called “Bullets Both Ways” that believes that “Bullets Both Ways are better in our nation’s schools than bullets one way coming from an unchallenged perpetrator.” This is asinine.

What Neville and groups like “Bullets Both Ways” don’t mention, of course, is that the “more bullets” approach to gun violence actually creates…more danger for innocent people. As the Denver Post reported last week:

The district attorney for Teller and El Paso counties will review whether a security guard accused of firing at deputies responding to the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch should face criminal charges.

The source said a deputy has told authorities that the security guard, who has not been publicly identified, fired a shot at him or her while sheriff’s responders were arriving at the school. [Pols emphasis]

Investigators also are trying to determine whether the trajectory of the bullet indicates the guard may have struck and injured a student, the source said. Eight students were injured in Tuesday’s shooting, which also claimed the life of 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo.

According to an attorney for the security guard, the armed man spent four years in the Marine Corps, which means he was probably plenty experienced with firearms. Yet he still may have mistakenly fired his weapon at students and law enforcement officers responding to the scene of the shooting. It’s ludicrous to expect that anyone other than the most highly-trained law enforcement officers would be able to safely handle a weapon in the midst of a school shooting, but if Neville and other gun advocates had their way, inexperienced shooters would be firing weapons in every direction at the first sign of a threat.

We need real solutions to our gun violence epidemic, not silly fantasies of promoting “a good guy with a gun.”

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Gardner: It’s “Up to the States,” like Alabama, to Decide if Abortion Is Legal

(Con Man Cory’s original sin is back – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).

After initially dodging a question from a reporter about Alabama’s abortion ban, saying he was late to a meeting and had no time to talk, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has now stated his general support for the controversial measure.

That’s consistent with his previous stance against Roe v. Wade, which, if overturned, would allow states to ban abortion.

“I’m pro-life, but that’s up to the states,” Gardner told Politico over the weekend, adding that he hadn’t seen details of the new law.

If states are indeed left to decide whether abortion is legal, then Gardner would presumably support Alabama’s law.

Here’s why:

The Alabama measure will likely be challenged in court on the grounds that, under Roe v. Wade, states like Alabama don’t have the authority to ban abortion.

In fact, many anti-abortion activists hope that if Alabama’s new anti-abortion law is reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the conservative new justices will overturn Roe v. Wade, which currently guarantees a women’s right to an abortion.

If Roe were overturned, abortion would not be illegal. Instead, states like Alabama would have the authority to ban the procedure, even for rape and incest, as Alabama’s law does.

So Gardner’s position of leaving it “up to the states” to decide about abortion is consistent with anti-abortion Republicans who want Roe v. Wade struck down.

In his comment to Politico Saturday, Gardner didn’t cite his opposition to Roe specifically.

But in a 2010 Colorado Family Institute candidate questionnaire, he’s on record opposing the landmark abortion decision.

In the survey, Gardner indicated that he opposed the “U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision.”

Gardner has been a staunch opponent of all abortion throughout his political career, using anti-abortion activists to help carry him into the U.S. House of Representatives. He’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood 10 times since he’s been in federal office.

In his run for U.S. Senate in 2014, he reversed his opposition to a personhood abortion ban in Colorado, but he continued to support a federal personhood bill, which he cosponsored, that aimed to outlaw abortion nationally.

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Colorado Week in Review: 5/17/19

Your deliberately oversimplified glance at what happened in Colorado this week.

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Cory Gardner (Literally) Runs Away from Abortion Question

Republican lawmakers in Alabama this week passed the most restrictive abortion law in the country as part of an effort to ultimately force the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade. For obvious reasons, Alabama’s new law has thus been one of the biggest political topics of the week and will likely continue to dominate conversations for months to come. For equally obvious reasons, political reporters have been asking elected officials at all levels of government for comment.

As The Hill newspaper reports, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) doesn’t want to talk about it:

Other Republicans facing tough reelection races in 2020 dodged questions on the Alabama law.

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. [Pols emphasis]

A United States Senator refusing to answer a question about one of the most significant political questions of the 2020 election cycle is not normal. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) is widely considered to be among the most vulnerable Republican incumbents seeking re-election in 2020. Like Gardner, Collins will be running in a state that Democrat Hillary Clinton carried in 2016; unlike Gardner, Collins is actually willing to provide her opinion when asked. Again, from The Hill:

“I’m very much opposed to the Alabama law,” Collins told The Hill. “I think it’s completely inconsistent with Roe v. Wade and will lead to a virtual ban on abortions in Alabama, even for victims of incest and rape.”

“I can’t imagine that any justice could find that to be consistent with the previous precedence,” she told CNN in a separate interview.

When the Denver Post made its stunning decision in March to un-endorse Gardner in a harsh editorial, it had a lot to do with exactly this kind of behavior from Colorado’s junior Senator. At the time, Gardner had just completed a full 180-degree flip on the subject of President Trump’s “emergency declaration” for border wall funding. None of this is new territory for Gardner — his duplicitous nature has merely become impossible to ignore over the years. This is the same Cory Gardner who told Fox 31’s Eli Stokols prior to the 2014 election that “there is no federal personhood bill,” when, in fact, there absolutely was a federal personhood bill (and Gardner was even a co-sponsor in Congress).

Perhaps the most instructive way to consider Gardner’s non-comment on the Alabama abortion law is to look back at that same Fox 31 News interview from September 2014. Here is how Gardner responded to a question about then-Sen. Mark Udall focusing on Gardner’s ever shifting position on abortion:

“This is a political campaign and he is trying to do everything he can to change the subject, to run away.”

This is Cory Gardner.

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Gardner Dodges Question about Alabama Abortion Ban, Saying He Was Late for a Meeting

A reporter from The Hill, a Washington DC new site, tracked down Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner today for a comment on the new law in Alabama, banning all abortion in the state.

Gardner declined to comment, as the Hill’s Alexander Bolton reported:

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.

Gardner is one of two Republicans running next year in a state Clinton carried in 2016.

During his election campaign in 2014, Gardner repeatedly claimed not to have co-sponsored a federal personhood bill, which would have also banned abortion. He claimed the bill was just a statement of life, a claim debunked repeatedly by fact checkers.

But Gardner has been a staunch opponent of all abortion throughout his political career, using anti-abortion activists to help carry him into the U.S. House of Representatives and then shifting his stance to help win his current U.S. Senate seat.

He’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood 10 times since he’s been in federal office.

Most recently, he’s been part of a Republican misinformation campaign against abortions late in pregnancy.

And he voted to ban abortion after 20 weeks.

Gardner’s office did not return a call for comment.

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Nugent Once Said GOP had “No Balls,” But Now He’s Loving Trump and Sheriff Reams

(Wang Dang Sweet Poontang! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Nuge.

A few years ago Rocker Ted Nugent was on Colorado radio saying the Republican Party has “no balls” and “someone extracted their scrotum with a rusty siv.”

Now he’s saying Trump is his “hero,” and Nugent is doing a fundraiser for a Republican sheriff in norther Colorado June 21.

Here’s what Rocker Ted Nugent said on Colorado radio in 2014 when asked what happened to the Republican Party:

“Someone extracted their scrotum with a rusty shiv,” Nugent replied. “They have no balls.  I don’t know where this ‘Let’s be Mr. Rogers with a Lawrence Welk soundtrack tie adjusting’ mantra came from, but my god! If there’s a life-support system attached to the GOP, it’s flat-lining.”

Then he sang “The new American Anthem.” Here at 3 min 50 sec. “I’m heart broken,” he said.

But now things appear to be looking up for Nugent.

He loves Trump.

“Finally we have president who sounds like you and I and your dad and mom at a campfire,” Rocker Ted Nugent told KHOW’s Dan Caplis May 10.

“[Trump] is a we-the-people guy,” said Nugent, who described Trump as a “good friend” and “my hero.”

And Nugent also loves Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams, who’s been fighting against Colorado’s red flag law, which allows a judge to authorize the confiscation of guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others. Reams has threatened not to enforce the new law, passed by Democrats this year.

“I’m cocked, locked, and I’m ready to rock, and I can’t wait to get back to Colorado, ’cause I have a feeling if I’m with Steve Reams I’ll be in the real Colorado,” said Nugent on air.

But Nugent isn’t impressed Colorado generally.

Nugent said he’s watched Colorado turn into a suburb of San Francisco, which he described as dominated by “feces, needle Capitol, celebrants.”

“I’ve always confronted the abuse of power, and the corruption, and the cronyism,” said Nugent, who says he drives the left “berzerk.”

The Nugent/Reams event at the Island at Pelican Lakes, in Windsor begins at 5 p.m. with a barbecue. A rally follows at 7 p.m.

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Get More Smarter on Friday (May 17)

Go forth and make us proud, graduates. It’s time “Get More Smarter.” If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Supporters of President Trump would love for you to believe that the investigation into Trump’s campaign and potential collusion/obstruction involving contacts with Russia should be classified “case closed.” The reality is much more complicated, as the Washington Post reports:

A federal judge on Thursday ordered that prosecutors make public a transcript of a phone call that former national security adviser Michael Flynn tried hard to hide with a lie: his conversation with a Russian ambassador in late 2016.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington ordered the government also to provide a public transcript of a November 2017 voice mail involving Flynn. In that sensitive call, President Trump’s attorney left a message for Flynn’s attorney reminding him of the president’s fondness for Flynn at a time when Flynn was considering cooperating with federal investigators.

The transcripts, which the judge ordered be posted on a court website by May 31, would reveal conversations at the center of two major avenues of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election…

…Sullivan also ordered that still-redacted portions of the Mueller report that relate to Flynn be given to the court and made public.

Chris Cillizza of CNN lays out one big lesson from this news:

At nearly every turn of the probe into Russian interference into the 2016 election, President Donald Trump was working to make sure Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser, knew that the White House was on his side — and that the President himself thought Flynn was a good guy.

Now we seem to know why.

Trump was worried — and it turns out, rightly — that Flynn knew things that would be problematic for the President as it related to Russia. And that if Flynn cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe — as he eventually did — it would have negative consequences for the administration. Court records released Thursday night revealed previously unknown details of Flynn’s cooperation.

 

Recall fever in Colorado is exposing some significant bad blood between Republicans and the “no compromises” gun group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

 

► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is working hard on trying to brand himself as a supporter of LGBTQ rights. The organization “One Colorado” isn’t buying it.

 

Colorado’s outdoor industry is bracing for massive financial hits because of President Trump’s trade war with China; one local retailer says that “people will be shocked” at the extent of necessary price increases. Colorado’s economy in general is not well-positioned to withstand heavy losses from rising tariffs.

Meanwhile, a proposed aid package for American farmers harmed by Trump’s trade war could reach $20 billion.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

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Jamie Giellis: A Streetcar Named Disaster

FRIDAY UPDATE: This headline in the Denver Post sums up an awful week for Giellis:

Elsewhere, this interview with Kyle Clark of 9News demonstrates that Giellis still has no idea how to deal with her own blunders:

—–

Giellis’ Mayoral campaign is a train wreck streetcar wreck.

This week started out pretty good for Denver Mayoral candidate, streetcar enthusiast, and occasional voter Jamie Giellis, who is campaigning ahead of a June 4 runoff election against incumbent Mayor Michael Hancock. On Monday, Giellis held a rally to announce the support of former Mayoral candidates Lisa Calderon and Penfield Tate in a show of unity against Hancock.

After that, everything went off the rails.

On Tuesday, Giellis participated in a live interview on Brother Jeff Fard’s webcast focused on African-American issues in Denver. Giellis was asked about her knowledge of the “NAACP,” and she made it clear that she didn’t have the slightest idea what the acronym stood for. As the Denver Post reported:

Giellis offered that it could begin with the words “National African American,” laughing as she learned that was incorrect.

Jamie Giellis

GAH! This was indisputably bad for Giellis. Then she made it worse. As 9News reports:

Giellis apologized Wednesday for what she called a “momentary lapse” when she was unable to identify what the initialism NAACP stands for in an interview on the Brother Jeff Fard show.

Within hours, Giellis announced a tacos and lowriders fundraiser at a Mexican restaurant in Denver. 

A tweet announcing the tacos and lowriders campaign event was later deleted from Twitter Wednesday night. [Pols emphasis]

“Tacos and lowriders”? Double GAH!

Soon afterward, Giellis COMPLETELY DELETED her social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram, but not before one particularly terrible Tweet was captured in a screenshot. The Tweet below came from the account of Jamie Licko, which is Giellis’ maiden name:

 

Triple GAH!

The Giellis campaign issued a statement this morning regarding the sudden purge of her social media accounts. It was also not good:

“Our campaign Facebook and Twitter pages remain active and we are working on restoring the campaign Instagram page. I turned off my personal accounts when I felt like personal statements were being taken out of context for the purpose of diverting the conversation from the issues that Denver is facing and voters care about.”

Scrubbing social media accounts for problematic posts is something that a smart campaign would have already done a long time ago. Nobody completely deletes their social media accounts — particularly a candidate who is just weeks out from Election Day — for any other reason than to hide embarrassing and or incriminating information. You can’t talk your way around something like this.

In less than a week, Giellis destroyed her chances of becoming Denver’s next Mayor and made political casualties out of prominent supporters like Calderon and Tate. The incumbent Hancock has been working hard on his final re-election campaign, but at this point, all he really needs to do is just get out of the way of Giellis’ runaway streetcar.

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Neville: Removal of Ryan Call As Chair of Fundraising Committee Would Be “Wise Move”

(It’s war. For Colorado Republicans, it’s always war. – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock).

Republican leaders expressed what appeared to be cathartic disagreement yesterday over whether to support a move by Colorado’s Republican Party to recall a state lawmaker for backing a gun-control bill, after the lawmaker, whose his son died in the Aurora theater massacre, campaigned on the issue.

The dispute prompted a top Colorado Republican to say it would be a “wise move” to oust the former leader of the Republican Party from his chairmanship of a key GOP fundraising committee.

Colorado’s GOP House minority leader, Patrick Neville of Castle Rock, made the comment on KNUS radio during day of intense infighting among conservatives, which opened wounds, inflicted by Republicans on themselves, that have been festering under the party’s skin for at least a decade here.

The pain was evident on Twitter, where warriors representing factions of the Republican Party put aside restraints and publicly denounced one another’s stances.

After a conservative radio host Chuck Bonniwell slammed Tyler Sandberg, who was former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s campaign manager, for telling a news site that Trump has a “less than zero” chance of winning in Colorado, Sandberg tweeted, “Chuck, take my advice, put down the meth pipe.”

But the proposed recall campaigns, opposed by the deep-pocked oil and gas industry and other corporations, were the focus of most of the day’s debate.

Former Colo GOP Chair Ryan Call came out against the recall campaign of State Rep. Tom Sullivan of Aurora, which led to this conversation on KNUS 710-AM’s Chuck and Julie Show, with Neville and hosts Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden:

(more…)

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Sandberg: Trump Has “Less than Zero” Percent Chance of Winning Colo

Polls show most Democrats are worried that Trump could win next year’s presidential election, despite the beating Republicans took in last year’s mid-term.

But the Republican who managed November’s failed re-election campaign of former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman believes Trump’s chances of winning, at least in Colorado next year, are “less than zero.”

“Despite the recent bravado from Trump’s campaign manager saying he thinks Trump can win Colorado, the chance of that happening is less than zero,” told Colorado Politic’s Dan Njegomir in an interview posted yesterday.

Sandberg didn’t return a call seeking to know if he thinks Trump has any chance of winning nationally. Also left unanswered on Sandberg’s voicemail was the question of if there’s anything at all Trump could do to turn things around here in Colorado.

“In every single metric we’re looking at being bigger, better and badder than we were in 2016,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale told CBS’s “Face the Nation” last month, pointing specifically to Colorado and three other states.

Sandberg managed Coffman’s campaigns in 2018 and 2014 and was a senior project at the influential GOP consulting group, EIS Solutions, where he worked with Josh Penry. Sandberg worked on former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton’s failed U.S. Senate bid in 2010.

Even Democrats were surprised in November when Democratic U.S. Rep. Jason Crow trounced Coffman, who’d repeatedly defied efforts to unseat him.

For next year, Sandberg told Colorado Politics that Colorado Republicans need to figure out a way to get voters to split the ticket, meaning to vote for Republican candidates even though they’re voting against Trump.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s seems to think differently, hoping Trump will get more popular here.

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Republican Recalls: Voter Suppression After the Fact

Bob Seay

Recalls of Democratic lawmakers in Colorado are not about making sure lawmakers faithfully represent their communities. Quite the opposite. These strategic recalls are designed by Colorado Republicans to nullify the results of the 2018 election and to gather information for the 2020 election.

They are voter suppression after the fact.

Republican attacks on Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial) are a good example of this kind of election nullification. Tom Sullivan was talking about gun control when he defeated a Republican incumbent and won his seat in the Colorado House of Representatives. It was impossible for him to avoid. Tom Sullivan’s name has been linked to gun regulation since 2012, when his son was killed in the Aurora Theater shooting. Tom made gun control the centerpiece of his campaign when he ran for State Senate in 2016. When he did not win that election, he ran in the next available opportunity, the 2018 Colorado House race. Again, his campaign centered on gun control. Tom Sullivan eloquently and boldly addressed an issue that most politicians won’t even touch.

In 2018, the voters decided he was right.

Now, Colorado Republicans expect us to believe that 54% of the voters of traditionally conservative Centennial, Cherry Creek, and South Arapahoe County did not know where Tom stood on guns. Or at least that’s what they claim. It’s either that, or they think that 54% of the total votes cast should not be counted and just don’t matter.

This recall isn’t about malfeasance or misbehavior. Recalls should be reserved for officials that have betrayed the trust of the voters or have broken a law. The only misbehavior Tom Sullivan committed was standing up to the NRA and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. In doing so, Rep. Sullivan has shown more courage than most elected officials at any level and of any political party, Democrats included.

Kristi Burton Brown, an attorney and the vice-chair of the Colorado Republican Party, said Tom was being recalled because “he did not represent the families of Colorado.” Maybe Tom Sullivan does not represent Ms. Brown, Ken Buck, and their friends in the Republican Party, but he was elected by an 8 percent margin to represent the people of his district.

Is it that hard for Republicans to accept that the people of Colorado House District 37 just aren’t that into them anymore? This is the same district and same election that unseated Mike Coffman and sent Democrat Jason Crow to Congress.

Republicans don’t want lawmakers who represent the people of Colorado, or at least not a lawmaker that represents an evolving district like Colorado House District 37. Republicans want to impose their failed policies on all of Colorado, including cities and counties that clearly rejected those policies in 2018. With these recall efforts, Republicans are clearly putting Party ahead of People.

We cannot allow recalls to become the weapon of choice for political parties that continue to be out of step with the majority of voters.

The GOP does not get to override the will of the voters, especially when that intent was expressed as clearly as it was when District 37 elected Tom Sullivan.

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What you can do to fight back this week (May 13)

Like these alerts? Click here to subscribe. Or, download the Beacon (formerly RiseUp) app and never miss an action.

The 2019 legislative session is over, and a summer of organizing before the crucial 2020 election season lies ahead.

Over the past two and a half years, Colorado’s progressive grassroots has evolved far beyond mere resistance to Donald Trump into a movement to realize our most important shared values: freedom, fairness and truly equal opportunity for every single person in our state and nation. In 2018 those values translated into a landslide progressive victory here in Colorado, and in 2019 the new progressive majority set to work keeping its promises.

Over the coming months, we’ll continue to keep you up to date on events and opportunities to take meaningful action like you’ve been doing all year in the legislature. If you haven’t already, take a moment now to forward this alert to your progressive friends and family, and encourage them to sign up to stay in the loop. Visit our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter as well for up to date information, and don’t forget to download the Beacon app to your smartphone to access alert information on the go.

And the work goes on–here are some great ways to take action for the week of May 13:


ACLU Annual Meeting

Please join us as we look back at the successes and challenges of the past year, honor local civil liberties heroes, and celebrate a year of activism and accomplishments. Admission is free and open to ACLU members and supporters. Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

Where: SKYLIGHT, 833 Santa Fe Drive, Denver
When: Tuesday, May 14 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Bars and Graphs; Colorado Fiscal Institute’s 2019 End of Session Wrappy Hour

Join the CFI team as we raise a glass and celebrate the end of the 2019 legislative session. Meet us at Vine Street Pub and Brewery and grab a beer (or wine) on us! We’ll chat about everything that happened at the capitol this year and discuss CFI’s upcoming summer agenda.

Where: Colorado Fiscal Institute, 1905 Sherman St, Ste 225, Denver
When: Wednesday, May 15 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Vision Zero Ride & Walk of Silence

You are invited to participate in the 2019 Ride & Walk of Silence to commemorate the lives that have been lost to traffic crashes on our streets and to bring attention to the human toll of dangerous street design that prioritizes speed over safety. The Ride of Silence is an annual international event to honor cyclists who were killed or seriously injured on public roadways. As cities around the world, including Denver, have adopted Vision Zero policies, there is an even greater awareness around the need to design safer streets to protect the most vulnerable users of the road.

Where: Sunken Gardens Park, 1099 Speer Blvd, Denver
When: Wednesday, May 15 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Paris to Pittsburgh Free Film Screening

As the weather grows more deadly and destructive, Americans aren’t waiting on Washington, DC to act to protect a healthy planet today and a livable future for all children tomorrow. From coastal cities to America’s heartland, people are demanding and developing real solutions in the face of climate change. We invite you to hear incredible stories of loss and empowerment in Paris to Pittsburgh, a new film from National Geographic, produced by RadicalMedia in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies — narrated by Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning actress and activist Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”).

Where: The Alliance Center, 1536 Wynkoop St, Denver
When: Wednesday, May 15 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


One Colorado Call Night!

Join us at the One Colorado office to call supporters of LGBTQ equality.

Where: One Colorado, 1490 Lafayette St. Suite 304, Denver
When: Tuesday, May 14 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

When: Thursday, May 16 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Stories Without Borders: Beyond the (Funding) Wall

We’ve seen the stories on the news. We’ve heard the sound bites. We may have even seen the spray-painted hateful words drying on doors and walls. And we’re tired of it.It not too late to course-correct before the next election.Storytelling arms us with the power to create change.Join us for an evening of Storytelling and community with food and drink. The official event kicks off at 5:30p with our storytellers – who are individuals featured in the film – to start sharing around 630p. Beyond the Wall follows the lives of two young people navigating the struggles and barriers of building a life in America’s current social climate — an undocumented Mexican immigrant and a young Syrian refugee.

Where: 715 Club, 715 East 26th Avenue, Denver
When: Thursday, May 16 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


The Denver Press Club: CPR’s Ben Markus: Investigations

From his extensive contributions to CPR’s “Tax Man” podcast to his recent investigation into sexual harassment allegations at a major oil & gas firm and shoe-leather reporting on ties between Denver city officials and lobbyists, business reporter Ben Markus’ reporting has been making major waves. Join us in conversation with Markus for an inside look at what goes into these and other investigations. Social hour starts at 5:30, with the discussion beginning at 6:30.

Where: The Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Pl, Denver
When: Thursday, May 16 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Community Garden Launch – Apertura del Jardin Comunitario

We’re hosting a free event open to the community for members that are interested in growing their own food. At the event, hosted by Protégete: Nuestro futuro vale la lucha and Growing Home, we will teach participants the steps to prepare soil, clean, and plant in the garden. We will also provide food, drinks, and music as we all work together to launch our community garden.

Where: 3489 W 72nd Ave #110, Denver
When: Saturday, May 18 at 8:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Conservation Colorado: Hike Spraddle Creek – Celebrate Public Lands

FREE guided exploration of Spraddle Creek, a wilderness addition to Eagles Nest Wilderness Area proposed as part of the CORE Act. Join author, activist, and nature-based coach, Susie Kincade, to explore one of the last roadless areas near Vail and learn more about this exciting bill that will protect 400,000 acres of wilderness, recreation, and habitat in Colorado. Susie will guide you on the trail and enrich the experience by offering practices in “forest bathing”, working with nature to renew body, mind and spirit. Learn about the value of wilderness as a prime economic driver in Colorado’s economy, and about its role in rejuvenating the human brain and body.

Where: Vail
When: Saturday, May 18 at 9:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Public Lands Day Fest

Join us for a day of speakers, exciting activities, and chances to connect with organizations that are making a difference in the conservation and public lands protection movement. Additionally, attendees will have a chance to take action to support the CORE Act, a bill sponsored by Congressman Joe Neguse and Senator Michael Bennet that aims to protect approximately 400,000 acres of iconic Colorado public lands for future generations; participants will also be entered into a drawing for a chance to win some prizes, including two soak vouchers to Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

Where: Del Mar Park 12000 E 6th Ave, Aurora
When: Saturday, May 18 at 10:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Warm Cookies of the Revolution: Own This City: Emergency Services

Calling 9-1-1 for a fire or car accident makes sense. What other kinds of emergencies require a 9-1-1? Climate crisis? Health care? Racism? Poverty? What would that look like? How could we make it happen? Are there ways to prevent these emergencies so that we don’t need a new kind of 9-1-1? Well, bring the kids to have some fun drinking some lemonade and eating cookies while making superhero costumes, buttons, and other activities. Also, the Denver Public Library’s Wheelie the Book Bike, fire vehicles, and a ghostbuster car will be there so and let’s see what we can come up with!

Where: McNichols Building, 144 W Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Saturday, May 18 at 10:30am

Click here to RSVP.


Volunteer for NARAL at Denver Jazz Festival

Come volunteer with us at the Denver Jazz Festival! We are in need of volunteers to interact with festival patrons and to advocate for abortion access in Colorado and beyond!

Where: Denver Jazz Festival, Five Points, Denver
When: Saturday, May 18 at 11:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Chinook Fund: Creating Sustainable Local Economies

Join Giving Project Alumni and Chinook Fund’s community for a discussion on community-wealth building with local community members and organizations interested in producing and maintaining community wealth. A panel of local activists and experts will guide the conversation on building and maintaining community capital, and using shared resources for collective liberation.

Where: Posner Center, 1031 33rd Street, Denver
When: Sunday, May 19 at 2:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Thanks again. See you next time with more ways to make a difference!

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“Stand For Colorado” Rallies–The Power Of Dozens

UPDATE: Colorado Public Radio reports from Grand Junction’s sleeper of a “Stand for Colorado” rally:

When 89-year-old Tom Foster saw only a few people mulling around, he thought he had the wrong time.

“You know, at my age, I’m accused of that every once in a while,” he said with a smile.

Foster was intent on staying, however, and said he was “disappointed” in people. He believes their “apathy” is helping erode the Constitution and the U.S. as a whole.

Clearly, revolution is at hand.

—–

Stand for Colorado rally in Grand Junction.

Last week we took note of conservative rallies scheduled for Friday evening across the state, organized by a Denver AM radio host in protest of Democratic control of the state government and the results of this year’s action-packed legislative session. Featuring a variety of speakers representing the Republican political coalition from the oil and gas industry to religious activists protesting “the hypersexualization of our children,” these rallies received a considerable amount of pre-event publicity from local media–enough that a large turnout wasn’t an unreasonable expectation.

Except, as the Denver Post reports and you can see from the photo above, not so much!

Late Friday afternoon, about 200 conservatives stood at the west steps of the Capitol for 90 minutes and cheered while activist speakers denounced nearly every major Democratic bill of the 2019 session as byproducts of socialism, corruption, sexual promiscuity or government overreach.

“We are wild, we are crazy and we’re going to force local control right down their throats, the way they forced (Senate Bill) 181 down our throats,” said Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer, referring to an oil and gas regulation bill…

Organizers reiterated repeatedly that their theme was “Freedom versus force.” California was said to be controlling Colorado’s votes and its policies. Planned Parenthood was said to be grooming future abortion customers by teaching sex education. Public school students were said to be “marinating in ideas like capitalism is evil and socialism is not that bad.”

Headline from the Grand Junction Sentinel (5/11/19)

Two hundred protesters was the very generous estimate given for the biggest of the “Stand for Colorado” rallies at the state capitol in Denver by the Post, which may have been more like half that depending on your camera angle. In other cities it was more like a handful of local conservative usual suspects–the Grand Junction Sentinel’s glass-half-full count of the rally there was “more than 50.” Which leads to the next question: objectively speaking, was this turnout a failure? A show of weakness for bellicose conservatives where they put so much effort into demonstrating grassroots power?

Seriously, how the hell is it not? Rally crowd size isn’t the sole indicator of support, of course, but if throw one you need to not embarrass yourself. After the high bar set in recent years by (clockwise from top) Women’s Marches, public school teacher walk-outs, Jeffco students rallying to save AP History, and one of numerous protests in support of abortion rights outside Sen. Cory Gardner’s offices in 2017, the same couple hundred protesters showing up to listen to the same intemperate speeches they’ve been hearing since the birth of the “Tea Party” movement just doesn’t pack the intimidating punch it’s supposed to.

We’ve said it before–if you can’t compete, don’t try.

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Colorado Week in Review: 5/10/19

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Alice Madden Launches Senate Campaign: “we need to fight climate change just as hard as we fight Donald Trump”

Former Colorado House Democratic Majority Leader and Obama Administration official Alice Madden launched her U.S. Senate campaign today with a promise to get this country back on track.

Click here to see the launch video.

“We are now facing two man-made disasters unlike any others,” Madden said in her launch video promoted with a significant digital advertising buy. “I’m running for Senate because we need to fight climate change just as hard as we fight Donald Trump.”

 

Known as the architect of the Democratic takeover of the Colorado legislature, Madden became the first Democratic House Majority Leader in decades. She has dedicated her career to helping Colorado families thrive, protecting our iconic western landscapes, and educating the next generation of leaders.

 

As a young attorney, she protected access to reproductive health and helped victims of domestic violence. As a legislator, she got healthcare coverage for tens of thousands more Colorado kids, fought for education funding, and transformed Colorado from lagging behind to leading the nation in clean energy. She served as Climate Change Advisor to Governor Bill Ritter, helping develop Colorado’s New Energy Economy. As an appointee in the Obama Administration, she worked on expanding clean energy across the country.

 

“We need leaders who can solve the problems that keep Coloradons up at night, like affordable health care, quality education, gun violence, and economic opportunity,” said Madden. “Our state deserves a Senator who will represent Colorado values – not his special interest donors. There’s just too much at stake and I know that I can get our country back on track.”

 

Madden has both a Bachelor’s and a law degree from the University of Colorado. She and her husband Pete, a manufacturing engineer, have two grown sons — and in their first film appearance (but probably not their last), two dogs, Lily and Katie.    

 

  

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Some Colo Republicans Blame Losses on Dumb Campaign Tactics and, partly, on the Koch’s Flawed Voter Database App

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A dispute has emerged among Colorado Republicans about how much to rely on a giant database of voter information developed over many years with billions of dollars by the Koch brothers, the GOP’s mega donors.

The Koch database, called i360, is heralded by many Republicans as a beautiful tool to target voters across the country, including Colorado, using information gleaned from consumer spending (from credit agencies and vendors), social media, canvassing by Americans for Prosperity and others here in Colorado, and other places where big data sources.

Just before last year’s election, Salon called i360 an “unprecedented propaganda” tool identifying more than 199 million active voters and 290 million U.S. consumers, with about 2,000 data points on each person, such as “your vitals, ethnicity, religion, occupation, hobbies, shopping habits, political leanings, financial assets, marital status and much more.”

“They know if you enjoy fishing — and if you do, whether you prefer salt or fresh water. They know if you have bladder control difficulty, get migraines or have osteoporosis. They know which advertising mediums (radio, TV, internet, email) are the most effective,” according to Salon.

But for former State Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton), the promise of i360 doesn’t match the reality, which led Neville, in part to reject pressure from the Colorado Republican Party (and its consultants) last year to use the party’s voter data to target voters in his (mostly) Jefferson County district, according to sources.

(more…)

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Bennet and Crow step all over mourning students for political points.

Senator Michael Bennet and Jason Crow joined the Brady campaign in pulling a bait and switch on grieving students from the STEM School of Highlands Ranch.  At an event Wednesday evening that was billed as a vigil for slain student Kendrick Castillo students were enraged as the politicians speaking at the event focused their statements not on the dead young man, but on gun control.  The students stormed out of the event into the cold rain and held their own vigil.

From USA Today:  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/09/colorado-school-shooting-vigil-students-walk-out-protest/1150282001/

The event Wednesday was primarily billed as a vigil to honor Kendrick Castillo, who was fatally shot in a rampage by two students at the STEM school here. Speakers at the school’s packed gymnasium, however, were mostly politicians and advocates pressing Congress for more restrictive gun laws.

After about 30 minutes, hundreds of students from the STEM School stormed out yelling “this is not for us,” “political stunt” and “we are people, not a statement.”

Outside, the traumatized shooting survivors thrust lighted cellphones into the air and chanted “mental health, mental health,” as their hands and voices shook in the cold rain. Angry students pushed and screamed at journalists, demanding to see photos they had taken.

cut

Many students appeared unaware the event was organized by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Jason Crow, both Democrats, both spoke at length about the need for federal action. The Brady Campaign invited reporters to cover the event.

This got nationwide coverage.  I’m sure Bennet and Crow, along with the Brady Campaign thought they were getting a great photo opportunity to promote stricter gun control laws with a background of mourning students.  Instead they showed how tactless and tacky they can be trying to capitalize on the students grief.

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Report: Ken Buck May Not Run for Re-Election

UPDATE: According to an email we received from Buck’s Communications Director Brittany Yanick, “this is falsely reported information.” Writes Yanick: “Congressman Buck has no official plans to retire anytime soon nor in the foreseeable future.”

—–

Earlier today we saw some interesting news from Nathan Gonzales, Editor and Publisher of “Inside Elections” whose expertise is following Congressional races and how they may ultimately impact majority control of either chamber:


We haven’t seen any more information about this report from Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley), who was busy today railing about the House Judiciary Committee’s vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for refusing to turn over the unreacted Mueller report to a select number of Representatives (the Judiciary Committee voted by a 24-16 margin to hold Barr in contempt this afternoon). At the same time, we wouldn’t be quick to dismiss this report as entirely inaccurate.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley)

This would not be the first time that Buck has hinted at leaving Congress on his own terms; as recently as 2017 he flirted with running for Colorado Attorney General before ultimately deciding to stay put. Buck is also just weeks removed from being elected State Republican Party Chairman, though he has pledged to continue his work in Congress while turning over day-to-day responsibilities to former Party Chair Steve House.

Buck very nearly defeated Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) in a closely-watched Senate race in 2010; he might have even won had he not eaten his foot in a disastrous “Meet the Press” appearance a few weeks before Election Day. Buck put his political aspirations on hold in 2013 while battling lymphoma, then returned to the center stage to win election to Congress in 2014 when then-Rep. Cory Gardner vacated his seat to run for U.S. Senate.

Ever since he was first elected to Congress, there has been regular speculation about Buck’s next potential campaign. It’s no secret that Buck would like another shot at the Senate; if that were to happen in 2020, Gardner would have to step aside, or Buck would have to be comfortable with a bruising Republican Primary. Buck would also need to figure out what to do with his other job as Colorado Republican Party Chairman.

Hopefully Buck isn’t battling health problems once more, which would be an obvious question to ask of someone with a recent history of cancer. Of course, it might just be that Buck has soured on being in the House Minority and/or is getting tired of the blowback after regularly making a fool of himself on a number of high-profile issues (from LGBTQ rights to race relations).

Regardless of what Buck decides, CO-4 is still a Republican seat until redistricting in 2021. Buck coasted to a 21-point victory in 2018 and should have little trouble keeping his job for at least one more cycle. Should Buck bow out, however, there would be a mad scramble among Republicans to position themselves for the GOP nomination in 2020 — think of names like House Minority Leader Pat Neville, Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert, Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, and nutcases-extraordinaire such as Sen. Vicki Marble and Rep. Lori Saine.

For now, consider this report unconfirmed; but if it’s true, there could be a big shakeup coming among Colorado Republicans.

(h/t Arvadonian)

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Get Rid of the Politicians Who Won’t Act on Gun Violence

Students evacuate from a STEM school in Highlands Ranch on Tuesday.

One dead. Eight injured. Two students accused of shooting classmates at a charter school in Highlands Ranch where 1,800 children – some as young as kindergarteners – attend classes daily.

The deadly attack at a STEM school in Highlands Ranch is the fourth school shooting in Colorado since the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999. It is the 12th school shooting in the United States in 2019 alone. Last year, 113 people were killed or injured in school shootings in America.

The numbers are terrifying. The pictures are heart-wrenching. The reality is undeniable.

Gun rights advocates always default to saying that this is a complicated political issue – that solving the problem requires a delicate balance between 2ndAmendment rights and protecting children from being shot in their classrooms. This is patently absurd. There can be no more “on the other hand…” rationalizing on this subject. If we can shield children from being gunned down at school, we do it. What is the point of allowing for a “well-armed militia” to protect a country that won’t even protect its own children?

As Aurora Sentinel editor Dave Perry explains in a column today, we can’t hope to curb gun violence until we get rid of the politicians who will do everything in their power to stand in the way of solutions:

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock)

…the state House legislator who represents the community where this shooting occurred has been a stalwart opponent of the red-flag and other common-sense gun control bills. GOP state Rep. Patrick Neville not only attended Columbine High School during the school shooting there 20 years ago, he is a lauded leader in the movement to arm teachers in schools, rather than pass gun control laws.

After I criticized Neville earlier this year for his moronic stance, Republican staffers in the House emailed reporters here saying no Sentinel writers would be permitted to speak with GOP House members because of my editorial views on the opinion page.

That’s who’s calling the shots, folks. Elected officials beholden to the likes of the National Rifle Association and, worse, wild-eyed and vicious gun-extremists from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners…[Pols emphasis]

…Here’s what will happen if the Nevilles in Colorado and the nation get booted: Other Republicans and cringing pro-gun Democrats will vote with gun-control advocates because they value their seats in Congress and state legislatures more than they value gun rights. And they know it. And you know it.

As news of the shooting in Highlands Ranch was breaking on Tuesday, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER Pat Neville Tweeted the following:

Fix it? Fix it??? This is the very same Rep. Pat Neville who has been openly advocating for recall elections against Colorado lawmakers who supported so-called “red flag” legislation that allows law enforcement officials to temporarily remove weapons — via Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) — from the hands of people believed to be a danger to themselves or others. This is the very same Rep. Pat Neville who talks about the need to prioritize mental health instead of gun control, yet voted against a separate mental health bill that passed through the legislature nonetheless.

This is the very same Rep. Pat Neville whose brother, Joe Neville, is the political consultant behind “Values First Colorado,” which was literally running these ads on Facebook yesterday:

 

The Nevilles have long been closely aligned with Dudley Brown and his “no compromises” gun rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) – which recently filed a lawsuit attempting to overturn the “red flag” legislation and is excitedly advocating for recalls across the state. When RMGO announced their lawsuit at a press conference last week, Rep. Neville stood proudly behind the dais in solidarity. We know where Rep. Neville stands on the issue of preventing gun violence – it’s the same place he’s always stood.

Pat Neville isn’t going to do a goddamn thing to prevent gun violence in Colorado or anywhere else. He’s not the only Colorado politician who will continue to sit on his hands while innocent children are killed, but this is the guy who House Republicans have consistently chosen to lead their caucus. If we want to take real steps to curb gun violence, we must first oust the politicians who have demonstrated time and again that they have no serious interest in supporting anything that might possibly reduce the number of guns available to anyone at any time. On the federal level, this includes politicians like Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley), the latter of whom is now the State Republican Party Chairman.

For politicians in Colorado and the rest of the country, preventing gun violence in schools is a binary choice. Either you work to solve the problem, or you don’t. Period.

It’s time for voters to make the same choice.

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Radio Host Misrepresents Holbert’s Stance on Recall Campaigns

There are some people out there saying recalls are a waste of time,” Republican State House Leader Patrick Neville told KNUS 710-AM host Chuck Bonniwell yesterday.

To which Bonniwell asked, “Who are the people who say you are wasting your time?”

Bonniwell then alleged that Colorado Politics reporter Marianne Goodland said that State Senate Republican Minority Leader Chris Holbert is against recall campaigns.

Bonniwell asked Neville yesterday if this was true.

“I don’t know if he’s against recalls or not,” replied Neville, who’s set up a website to support efforts to recall Democrats from office in Colorado.

It turns out, Goodland actually told Bonniwell on air that Holbert and Neville “differ a great deal on the issue of recalls,” not that Holbert opposed them per se.

For the record, Holbert told the Colorado Times Recorder that he is “neither for nor against” recalls.

“That’s up to people in local districts,” he said. “And I’m not for them or against them. I don’t have a position for or against.”

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

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

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(more…)

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What you can do to fight back this week (May 6)

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After 120 days and hundreds of bills, the 2019 session of the Colorado legislature adjourned last Friday.

Last November, the voters of Colorado elected a progressive majority in a landslide to tackle the the big problems facing our state: health care, education, criminal justice, transportation, and everything else we depend on to make life in Colorado work.

It was a huge job, it wasn’t easy, and frankly it’s not finished yet. But in 2019 the progressive majority in the Colorado General Assembly delivered lasting change we’ll be celebrating for years to come. If you haven’t already, check out ProgressNow Colorado’s recap of the Winners and Losers of the 2019 legislative session here:

To everyone who came to the Capitol to testify for and against legislation, all of you who wrote letters and made phone calls to legislators or turned out for rallies and press events, we owe you a debt of gratitude. While most of the news is about the craziness in Washington, it’s the state capitol in Denver where we pass the legislation that matters most in our daily lives. It’s thanks to your efforts that we made historic progress this year to protect the environment, improve public safety, level the playing field for women in the workforce, and so many other issues on which Colorado made progress in 2019.

The legislative session is over, but the fight for our shared values goes on all summer! Here are a few more ways to take action for the week of May 6:


May Detention Center Vigil The Power of Compassionate Justice

American Friends Service Committee, Colorado People’s Alliance and the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition come together to offer a vigil seeking Compassionate Justice for those snared by our immigration system! Join us Monday, May 6th from 6:00-7:00 pm at the ICE Detention Center at 3130 Oakland St. in Aurora, CO.

Where: 3130 Oakland St, Aurora
When: Monday, May 6 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice: Faith & Freedom 2019

Please Join the CORCRC and Friends for the 2019 Faith & Freedom Award Reception honoring Colorado Senator Joann Ginal for her contributions to CORCRC and Women’s Reproductive Rights. Also with grateful acknowledgement to Daisy Patton for her artistic contribution to the CORCRC card project. Heavy hor d’oeurves served. Entertainment by Josie Quick, Violinist.

Where: Temple Emanuel Denver, 51 Grape St, Denver
When: Tuesday, May 7 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Showing Up for Racial Justice – SURJ Denver Quarterly Community Meeting

Join us on May 7th for our Quarterly Community Meeting. We will continue to deepen our community-building and neighborhood organizing work while providing attendees with actionable items they can do once they leave. Everyone is welcome even if this is your first meeting or you haven’t attended in a while — there’s a place for you in this work! Everyone is needed.

Where: Wash Park UCC, 400 S Williams St, Denver
When: Tuesday, May 7 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Sierra Club End of Session Happy Hour

It seems like just yesterday when we gathered at the Alliance Center for our citizen lobbyist training day. But, believe it or not, we’re nearing the end of the 2019 legislative session-and it has been one for the books! Thanks to the help of citizen lobbyists like yourself, we’ve successfully advocated for a number of bills this year designed to protect Colorado’s environment and hasten our transition to clean renewable energy. To celebrate a productive session, and to say thank you to all the volunteers and legislators who made it happen, we’d like to invite you to a happy hour on May 8th from 5pm-7pm at the Capitol Hill Tavern. Light snacks will be provided.

Where: Capitol Hill Tavern, 1225 Logan St, Denver
When: Wednesday, May 8 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking: Colorado Project 2.0 Release Event!

What would it take to end human trafficking in Colorado? We hope you’ll join us on Wednesday, May 8th at a special release event for Colorado Project 2.0! Be the first to hear about our unique research report, and how it will empower communities and professionals involved in addressing this human rights abuse. We’ll be joined by our research team as they highlight changes in the statewide movement, name promising practices, and discuss recommendation in our new action plan. You’ll also learn about how we’re going to take our findings around the state in the months ahead.

Where: 1031 33rd St, Denver
When: Wednesday, May 8 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


May Colorado Homes for All Meeting & Celebration!

Come celebrate the victories from the legislative session and the Renter Power we have gained in Colorado! Food, childcare, and Spanish interpretation will be provided as usual. Thank you!

Where: 1609 Havana St, Aurora
When: Wednesday, May 8 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Harm Reduction Action Center: Celebrating Lisa’s 10 Year Anniversary

Help us celebrate Lisa Raville’s 10 years of leadership and advocacy with the Harm Reduction Action Center! This is your opportunity to bring friends, roommates, coworkers, and colleagues to learn more about our agency and wave their Harm Reduction Freak Flags!

Where: Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Dr, Denver
When: Thursday, May 9 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Community Garden Launch – Apertura del Jardin Comunitario

We’re hosting a free event open to the community for members that are interested in growing their own food. At the event, hosted by Protégete: Nuestro futuro vale la lucha and Growing Home, we will teach participants the steps to prepare soil, clean, and plant in the garden. We will also provide food, drinks, and music as we all work together to launch our community garden.

Where: 3489 W 72nd Ave #110, Denver
When: Saturday, May 11 at 8:00am

Click here to RSVP.


One Colorado: Brunch Out Loud

Fifty years after the Stonewall Riots, our movement has come further than we ever could have known. Following the election of the nation’s first openly gay governor, pro-equality majorities in both chambers, and the 2nd largest delegation of LGBT elected officials in the country, we are closer than ever to passing our two priority bills that will change the lives of LGBTQ Coloradans — it’s time to take a moment to celebrate. Join us on Saturday, May 11th for a legislative brunch celebration as we commemorate this movement, this community, and this great state that we call home.

Where: Tamayo, 1400 Larimer St, Denver
When: Saturday, May 11 at 11:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Mother’s Day Rally To End Family Separation And Detention

On Mother’s Day, show immigrant mothers and families that you have their backs by joining a local Mother’s Day Rally to End Family Separation and Detention. All families belong together and free. Which is why on Mother’s Day, we’re honoring motherhood by taking a stand to show the Trump administration that we are watching, we will never forget and that we won’t stop fighting until the government reunites and frees every family it has torn apart.

Where: Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Sunday, May 12 at 12:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


We’ll be back next week with more chances to make a difference. Thanks again!

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