GOP CU Prez Finalist Blows Basic Diversity Question

Former Rep. Mark Kennedy (R).

As the Denver Post’s Elizabeth Hernandez reports, an interview at Colorado Public Radio with the controversial sole finalist to be the next President of the University of Colorado, former GOP Rep. Mark Kennedy, took a turn for the embarrassing when he flubbed a basic and essential question about the role of affirmative action in university admissions:

Host Ryan Warner referenced the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights requiring Texas Tech University’s medical school to stop considering race in admissions. Warner asked Kennedy what his thoughts were, in general, on affirmative action in Colorado college admissions.

Kennedy stumbled.

“I have not wrestled with that at a university yet, in that restrictions have not been as — let me go back,” Kennedy told Warner. “Can I just not answer that question?” [Pols emphasis]

No, as the sole finalist for President of the state’s flagship public university, you have to answer that question.

So Mark Kennedy did. And it was not a good answer:

Kennedy told Warner the question caught him off guard and followed up with: “I think however we do admissions, it has to be done in a way to recognize that diversity provides a benefit to all and there are many ways of doing that.”

While it’s true that diversity among student bodies is beneficial to everyone, affirmative action is most certainly and foremost meant to benefit the minority groups who have been historically underrepresented in higher education. To inartfully dance around this central fact, especially after trying to avoid the question entirely, is problematic to say the least–you might call it the college admissions equivalent of “all lives matter.”

Kennedy later told the Post that the reason for these troubling answers to a very straightforward question were the result of him worrying about being late to his next appointment, and “clarified” that affirmative action should result in neither “undue benefit or undue penalty.” Unfortunately that clarification doesn’t clarify much of anything–and honestly sounds more like a swipe against what affirmative action is, you know, all about.

Fair to say that if you’re one of the CU students protesting your new “sole finalist,” your concerns were not allayed.

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Ken Buck Keeps Making a Jackass of Himself on Race

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

Yesterday in Washington, the Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the increase in white nationalism and hate crimes in the last few years, with prominent examples like the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 and the mass murder of Jewish congregants at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in October of 2018 serving as a backdrop to the reported three years of consecutive increases in such crimes. USA TODAY:

Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray called white supremacist violence “a persistent, pervasive threat” during testimony before the House Appropriations Committee.

In November, the FBI released a report that showed a 17% increase in hate crimes from 2016 to 2017, although the bureau pointed out the number of law enforcement agencies reporting the data had also increased.

While majority Democrats in the Judiciary Committee wanted to talk yesterday about the statistically undeniable increase in hate crimes in the United States since Donald Trump became President, undeniable even factoring better reporting of hate crimes or any other kind of excuse one could make to explain the increase away…Republicans on the committee had other ideas. Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt:

Conservatives on the House Judiciary Committee, of which notably few were even in attendance, made it clear today that they are not equipped or willing to engage in a meaningful conversation about understanding and solving white supremacy and hate crime in America.

A panel of experts and people with lived experience who study and feel the effects of violent extremism in this country sat under the lights in the Rayburn House Office Building this morning–next to right-wing activists Candace Owens, communications director for Turning Point USA, and Zionist Organization of America’s Mort Klein. The esteemed experts attempted to share factual information and proposed solutions, but their messages were frequently derailed by the conservative duo’s efforts to change the topic of discussion and wield the hearing as a bludgeon against Democrats. Republican members of the Judiciary Committee in attendance, including Reps. Louie Gohmert and Ken Buck, egged them on and, at one point, Rep. Greg Steube yielded his time to Owens to make whatever comments she wanted to. Buck asked Owens if her status as a “pro-life” conservative “triggers” liberals. [Pols emphasis]

Owens testified that she was participating in the hearing because she had been the victim of a hate crime in high school, which is true. But Owens spoke only briefly about that incident and then pivoted to make accusatory and incorrect claims, such as that the GOP’s Southern strategy was a myth, ignoring the fact that RNC chairman Ken Mehlman apologized for the Southern strategy’s existence in 2005.

Candace Owens.

Candace Owens of the hard-right college organizing group Turning Point USA recently caused a stir in Colorado when she spoke before Boulder County Republicans shortly after recorded comments of her saying Adolf Hitler “just wanted to make Germany great” in a way that could be interpreted as an excuse for Naziism if it only happened inside one country. Boulder Republicans gave Owens a pass, but the Turning Point USA chapter at CU Boulder later called for her to step down. But at yesterday’s hearing Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, fresh off his most recent lowlight last week comparing gay people to Nazis, had Owens’ back:

Buck, who was a longtime Weld County district attorney and is now the new chair of Colorado’s GOP party, was among the Republicans who defended Owens during the testy hearing.

“I think you’ve caused my friends on the left to go to their safe spaces,” said the 4th District Colorado Republican. [Pols emphasis]

As for Owens’ blanket denial that Republicans intentionally courted whites in Southern states with coded racist campaign messages, initiating the great Southern realignment from the Democratic Party to the GOP by the early 1980s? There’s simply no historical basis for this contention. The strategy was publicly avowed by its principal architect Lee Atwater, and it is an historical fact that the Republican Party apologized for it back in 2005:

Mehlman, speaking before the NAACP, said Republicans had been wrong to try to make use of racially divisive issues.

“Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization,” Mehlman said, according to his prepared remarks. “I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong.” [Pols emphasis]

While the “Southern strategy” helped Nixon win the White House in 1968, Democrats went on in the ensuing decades to solidify their support among black voters, as Mehlman acknowledged.

What changed between 2005 and today to make Republicans deny this dark but important period of their own history? That’s simple. The strategy became popular again–and not just in the South. The low-information apologetics of Candace Owens, backstopped by members of Congress like Ken Buck who are seemingly out to prove Owens wrong, is a bizarre spectacle that says a great deal about today’s GOP politics.

And nothing good.

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Neville Clan: Still Recall Central

There’s been some confusion in the last few days as recall efforts against freshman Rep. Rochelle Galindo of Greeley have received publicity over two groups working on the effort: with a few wealthy Weld County landowners pledging big bucks for the campaign and the Recall Colorado organization led by House Minority Leader Patrick Neville working with local pastor Steve Grant firing up hater grassroots opposition.

In an interview Wednesday on AM600 talk radio, Joe Neville of Rearden Strategic tried to sort out the current state of play, while still portraying themselves in a management role over the effort:

LAKEY: Now, the House District 50 – there was a different gentleman who – I guess – pulled the [recall] petitions. Not all of these recalls are connected. I mean, everybody is kind of teaming up where possible, but it’s not all coming from, like, one central organization. And House District 50 fits that description, does it not? It’s put on by some local folks, that they are pulling the petitions and hoping to team a bunch of people together. But not everything flows through Joe Neville.

NEVILLE: That’s correct. That’s absolutely correct. What our goal is with ‘recallcolorado[.com], is we’re working to help out the grassroots. So, we have run recalls before, we have the ability to raise resources, and we’ll put volunteers out there. But these recalls – it’s the people’s district. And they sense, too – because the legislators work for the people, and so the people, they’re the ones who are putting these recalls together, the citizens in these districts. And we’re just there to help support them and get them the resources they need, to help them with getting ballot signatures and get this on the ballot – get the recalls on the ballot. And then when it comes time for the election, we’ll be there to help with that part, too. But really, it’s helping them be effective and give them the best chance possible to make sure the recall is successful.

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

From there the conversation turned more specifically to Pastor Grant, who the Nevilles originally connected with to organize the HD-50 recall after he vowed to bring down his “homosexual pervert” representative:

NEVILLE: And, you know, we need to stand up, not only to the press, but the fact of the matter is, you know, whether it was with Trump or [what] we’ve seen just over the past few months, people aren’t going to put up with it anymore and they’re going to start focusing on holding these politicians accountable. And that’s what we’re doing with the recalls. And you know, the guy that stood up – the pastor that stood up, good for him! Good for all these people that are involved in this, because it’s not just one issue. It’s several issues that are affecting these people in this district, and they have a right to hold their politicians accountable. [Pols emphasis]

LAKEY: Yeah. The [recall] petitions are not approved yet. Where are we at in that process? Because I know my listeners are chomping at the bit, and the people all across Colorado are chomping at the bit, to get their hands on a petition. The Galindo petition, particularly – it’s in the approval process? Is that what we say?

NEVILLE: Yep, it’s in the approval process. There are several different stakeholders. I mean, this was such a polarizing effort that several people had started entering petitions. So we had to put – you know, pause it, bring everybody to the table, try to figure out what petition we’re going to move forward, because the last thing we want is multiple petitions out there, splitting up the effort. We’ve come to that conclusion, I believe. [Pols emphasis] And within the next few days we should have a final one turned in and approved. And so I’m guessing within the week, here, is when things should start moving forward. And we’ll definitely be reaching out to everybody that signs up at recallcolorado.com and telling them where to go and pushing them to the main center of the first — what looks like it’s going to be the first recall in Colorado this year.

To whatever extent there is an attempt to put daylight between less-savory organizers of this recall effort and the money men funding the petition campaign, consider it scrambled! After the jump, we’ve reprinted for posterity the original March 26 press release from the Nevilles praising Pastor Grant and celebrating his participation in the Galindo recall. It looks like, barring a specific indication to the contrary, the House Minority Leader and his family business are going to be the glue that sticks all the disparate –and unpleasant–pieces of this operation together.

(more…)

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UPDATE: Polis Recall Responds To Anti-Semitism Report

UPDATE: After a segment last night on 9NEWS recounting the Greeley Tribune’s story of anti-Semitic views held by organizers of a possible recall of Gov. Jared Polis, it looks like the Recall Polis organizers may be taking steps to come across as less overtly anti-Semitic:

In the aftermath of that report, a post went up on the Facebook group suggesting that one of its “high profile” leaders, presumably group administrator Judy Spady of “Israel did 9/11” infamy, has been excused:

“The highest standards of humanity”–now with one less Nazi! Here’s to getting the “vetting” right next time.

We feel better about the whole thing now, really.

—–

On Sunday we blogged about a story from the Greeley Tribune’s Tyler Silvy, which took an unflattering look at some of the “grassroots” activists behind a Facebook group with nearly 30,000 members who are organizing for a potential recall of Gov. Jared Polis. At least two organizers of this group including its purported leader Shane Donnelley have made what can be characterized as highly anti-Semitic postings to social media over the years, to include commenting that ‘Hitler was good to the German people’ and another claiming that “Israel did 9/11.” Our blog of this report has spread fairly widely on social media along with the original story since Sunday, and Colorado Public Radio mentioned the story briefly in their interview on the subject with Gov. Polis yesterday.

Overnight last night, two people identifying themselves as principal organizers of the Recall Polis campaign, Christine Martinez and Juli-Andra Fuentes, responded at length to our post, perhaps mistaking us for the original outlet but in any event seeking to clear the air surrounding the Greeley Tribune’s disclosures and the intentions of the Recall Polis group.

Because we strive to be eminently fair, and also because we didn’t want to see any of this memorable response deleted once…well, you know, folks sobered up, we’ve reprinted Martinez’s two comments from the original post in their entirety after the jump. If you’re in a hurry, the TL;DR version:

Needless to say, the “suggestion” that we take down our post is respectfully declined.

(more…)

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Who’s Running The Polis Recall? Nazis. Yes, Really.

Over the past couple of weeks there have been a number of stories about groups organizing to recall Gov. Jared Polis from office. Because Gov. Polis is constitutionally protected from a recall effort for the for six months he is in office, it has not been possible for these groups to gather any signatures, and the massive requirement of over 600,000 valid signatures makes the attempt as a practical matter highly unlikely. Regardless, the agitation is contributing to the current zeitgeist of GOP rebelliousness against Democrats, who won in an historic landslide election in 2018 leaving Republicans with no way of stopping Democrats from passing desired legislation.

But for all the legitimizing press the Polis recall proponents have received this month, there’s been something very important missing–information about the people behind the effort. And as the Greeley Tribune’s Tyler Silvy reports today in one of the biggest stories ever from that media outlet, this data point is extremely significant.

Because some of them are Nazis.

Recall Governor Jared Polis page, a closed Facebook group, is nearly 30,000 members strong after adopting that name.

Shane Donnelly is one of the admins for the page, and appears to be in charge, as he has called the page “my group,” and commented that he “created this movement.”

He also once posted that Hitler was good to the German people, and “its time america has someone american.” Donnelly hasn’t responded to a Facebook message seeking comment. [Pols emphasis]

There’s no way we can effectively summarize all the the damning detail in this story, so make sure you click through and read it all. The short version is that an online right-wing activist named Shane Donnelly is the principal organizer of the “official” Polis recall closed Facebook group and the issue committee of the same name. The Tribune reports on a recent split between that organization and another group calling itself the Resist Polis PAC. Regardless it’s Donnelly’s group that has almost 30,000 members, the only hard indicator of support that exists for any of this.

And Shane Donnelly is not the only Nazi in the group.

Then there’s the OFFICIAL RECALL ELECTION COMMITTEE, which would discuss potential candidates for election to take Polis’ place should a recall be successful.

Judy Spady is officially involved with both committees, and she’s also an admin for the Facebook group, earning that title following Good’s exodus.

Spady’s public Facebook page is rife with anti-semitic posts, including a post from September 2017 saying “Israel did 9/11,” and another that credits the western world with creating radical Islam to “use fear to push the Jew World Order.” [Pols emphasis]

Now, let’s compare this revelation to the outrage over Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments about “allegiance to a foreign power” in reference to support for Israel, the advisability of which remains a subject of hot contention among Democrats after a push to condemn Omar via a resolution went sideways. Republicans of course had no such division in their ranks, if anything with a few like Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado voting against the watered-down Omar resolution because it didn’t single out anti-Semitism above all other forms of oppression:

In the history of the world, no group has suffered more insidious hatred than the Jews. Anti-Semitism can’t be compared with any other hate speech without marginalizing the history of Jewish oppression. I will not vote to overlook the anti-Semitism which has been covered up by the Democratic leadership…

Well folks, we’re sorry to inform Rep. Buck that the campaign to recall Jared Polis–which he’d better handle with care as a candidate for Colorado Republican Party chairman–is run by people who aren’t at all ambiguous in their hatred of Jewish people.

There’s a lot more to say about this, and it’s time for that conversation to happen. It’s not just that these vile fringe figures were given credibility in multiple news reports that they never deserved. The Recall Polis campaign is trading on the same ginned-up outrage as the recall campaign against House members personally fronted by GOP House Minority Leader Patrick Neville. It’s the same message, motivating the same segment of the electorate. If anything, Neville would love to have the nearly 30,000 members of Donnelly’s Recall Polis group give Neville’s relatively obscure Recall Colorado page a like.

This is who they are. If it’s not who you are, and you’re part of their movement, you know what to do.

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Buck Joins Weird GOP Faction Against Anti-Hate Resolution

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

FOX News excitedly reports on a resolution that passed the U.S. House today in part to respond to controversial remarks by a Democratic member of Congress from Minnesota suggesting that supporters of Israel are pushing for “allegiance to a foreign country”–a resolution that by the end saw only a handful of Republicans voting against:

After several days of infighting and a near-rebellion by rank-and-file Democrats, as well as a major last-minute revision, the House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution that only indirectly condemned Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s repeated ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘pernicious’ comments — without mentioning her by name.

The final vote was 407 to 23, with 23 Republicans voting no, and all Democrats voting yes. Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King, who faced his own bipartisan blowback for comments purportedly defending white nationalists, voted present.

The final draft of the resolution was expanded to condemn virtually all forms of bigotry, in what Republicans characterized as a cynical ploy to distract from Omar’s remarks. Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, speaking on the House floor to announce that he would vote against the resolution, remarked, “Now [the resolution] condemns just about everything. … Hatred for Israel is a special kind of hatred. It should never be watered down.”

Readers will have sharply varying opinions of this Rep. Ilhan Omar’s remarks and this resolution, based largely on their own view of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict–and our purpose here is not to sort out that much larger and more fractious question. But whether or not you believe Rep. Omar’s comments amount to “a special kind of hatred” for Israel or anyone else, the inability of these 23 Republicans to condemn anything but anti-Semitism, to include Rep. Steve King’s unapologetic pining for our nation’s white supremacist past, stands out in our minds much more.

Among Colorado’s delegation, the only vote against this resolution came from arch-conservative Rep. Ken Buck. We’ve haven’t seen a statement from Buck about this vote, but it wouldn’t surprise us if his rationalization like that of Rep. Louie Gohmert is the extra-special horror of anti-Semitism compared to, you know, Steve King.

On a subject where there is plenty of dishonesty to go around, some people are still more dishonest than others.

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CCU Speaker Charles Murray: “Feminist & civil rights movement” made it “obligatory to not to be critical of blacks or women”

(He seems nice – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute hosted controversial author Charles Murray Monday evening as part of its “Distinguished Lecture Series.”

Murray’s speech addressed “The State of White America” and largely focused on the widening income gap between rich and poor Americans. Following the speech, an audience member asked Murray to explain the “intolerance and fear of new ideas” of the “New Elite,” Murray’s label for wealthy American intellectuals.

Question: Could you explain why the “new elite” has become so close-minded and intolerant and just frightened of ideas if they don’t follow whatever the spiel is on NPR?
Dr. Murray: To answer that you have to say, “What does the political correctness go back to?” I guess it goes back to both the feminist and civil rights movements, which had great moral authority, certainly among the new upper class and academia. And deserved great moral authority.
By the way I’m being very speculative here. I’ve thought about this a lot; I can’t document it.
In a way it became obligatory to not say things that seemed to be critical of blacks or of women. A raised consciousness about both minorities and women that appropriately produced a sense of guilt. That’s fine- no problem with that, but it went too far. And it stifled the expression of certain kinds of beliefs and that has kind of snowballed.
So first it was African Americans and women, and then you added homosexuals and then you added the disabled and then you went on down through the list and you have one group after another who has taken a victim status which circumscribes further the bounds of permissible discourse on all sorts of topics.

Murray did not identify the “new ideas” that might be discussed if this political correctness wasn’t preventing people from critiquing African-Americans, women, LGBT Americans, Americans with disabilities or other groups that he believes have “taken a victim status.”

Murray drew his speech from his 2012 book, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010,” which he says addresses the “cultural fissures” that have emerged in America since 1960. He explained that he would only examine “non-Latino whites” to avoid arguments that the problems he is identifying “are the result of the legacy of slavery, racial divisions or ethnic problems, not that those aren’t real problems, but “you won’t come to grips with the dynamics that have been at work, until you understand that these have been happening within the white population.”

(more…)

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Greeley Trib To Lori Saine: “Stop Digging”

Rep. Lori Saine (R), center, receiving an award from ALEC in 2017.

Last week’s most-discussed lowlight in Colorado politics, Rep. Lori Saine’s disastrous attempt to appropriate the occasion of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by asserting that blacks and whites were lynched “in almost equal numbers” for “the crime of being Republican,” could have been a one or two-day news incident with limited collateral damage for the GOP brand. The reason it didn’t stop is simple: Rep. Saine steadfastly refused to apologize, and in fact doubled down in subsequent days to inquiring press and various talk-radio audiences.

At this point, the Greeley Tribune’s editorial on the matter for today’s edition sums up the view of any smart Republican:

Shh …. Shh ….

That’s our advice to Rep. Lori Saine, R-Firestone, who kicked over a hornets nest this past week at the Colorado Capitol when she claimed in a speech on the House floor that blacks and whites had been “lynched in nearly equal numbers” for the crime of being Republican in the aftermath of the Civil War…

We don’t see what Saine hoped to accomplish by making her remarks. Republicans in the Legislature will have their work cut out for them this session to advance their agenda as a minority party. Saine’s comments won’t make that easier. At best, they’re a needless distraction from the work lawmakers of both parties must accomplish during this year’s legislative session. At worst, they’re ignorant and distasteful.

Rep. Saine may be doing splash damage to Republicans well above and outside her stomping ground of the Colorado General Assembly, but it’s unlikely that any of this will result in a even a private reprimand from House GOP leaders. House Minority Leader Patrick Neville does not have a record of enforcing discipline on his members, since he possesses irresponsible blowhard qualities himself–not to mention a recently-demonstrated moral blind spot.

Most likely, the only way the “digging will stop” is via Rep. Saine’s impending term limit.

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“Dr. Chaps” Rallies To Rep. Steve King’s Defense

ex-Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt.

As the pressure on Iowa Rep. Steve King to resign from Congress following his controversial remarks in apparent explicit support of white supremacy goes on, Right Wing Watch reported last week on a movement among religious conservative activists to rally support for King–with a familiar face among the faithful:

Religious Right leaders and right-wing activists are rallying in support of embattled Rep. Steve King, who has been under fire since a New York Times story quoted him wondering when terms like “white nationalist,” “white supremacist,” and “Western civilization” became offensive. His comment served to highlight his long history of unabashed racism and has resulted in King being stripped of his committee assignments, as well as a wave of calls for his resignation.

Amid this controversy, Religious Right leaders are voicing their support for King, thanks to an effort organized by radical right-wing activist Janet Porter. King is a close ally of Porter’s and even introduced a federal version of her “Heartbeat Bill” in Congress in 2017 that aimed to outlaw abortion, in Porter’s words, “before the mother even knows she’s pregnant.”

Porter is currently gathering signatures for a letter in support of King that will be sent to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, urging him to issue an apology to King and reinstate his committee assignments. King and right-wing activist Ed Martin, one of the signers, slammed McCarthy earlier this week for not defending King.

And which local religious leader with one foot perennially in the door of Republican politics signed on? Why, former Rep.-turned Colorado Springs City Council candidate Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt, who else!

Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, PhD
Pray in Jesus Name Ministries
Nationally Syndicated PIJN NEWS
(in 54 million homes)

Gordon Klingenschmitt’s “nationally syndicated” video ministry audience wasn’t enough to keep him afloat in Colorado politics, where he traded his hard-won House District 15 seat for a failed run for the state senate and now is hoping to get back in the game with a seat on the Colorado Springs City Council. But maybe “Dr. Chaps” has enough juice to persuade Republican leaders in Congress to go easy on America’s most famous racist not named Roseanne Barr? 

Hope springs eternal, especially on the fringe of the fringe.

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Caplis Tries To Bail Out Saine But She Won’t Let Him

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Lori Saine (R).

During a radio interview yesterday, one of the state’s most partisan Republican radio hosts essentially begged State Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone) to walk back her statement at the Capitol last week that blacks and whites were once lynched in “almost equal numbers.” But Saine didn’t take the hint.

First, KNUS 710-AM host Dan Caplis, tried this:

CAPLIS: “…the Greeley Tribune version of the comments, as you know, is that you said essentially that black and whites had been lynched in nearly equal numbers during Reconstruction, and lynched for being Republican. Do you want to clarify those comments? What’s your view of all that now?

SAINE: And I clearly meant [during] Reconstruction. And Reconstruction is a period from 1865-1877, by the way. There is not a tremendous amount of data for a lot of those years, but the data that we do have….

Caplis tried again:

CAPLIS: “I think one of the concerns – and one thing you may want to qualify – is the reason why people were lynched – because my guess is, and this is not something I’ve researched – but intuitively I’d guess that an awful lot of the whites who were lynched were lynched for various alleged crimes such as stealing horses, bank robbery, etc., whereas blacks were just being lynched for the color of their skin. Am I right?”

SAINE: So, I have heard that argument before, but, if you look at the lynchings earlier in the 1800s versus the numbers coming right out of Reconstruction, it’s hard to say that all of a sudden they went from – you know, if you look at 1882 its 64 whites, 49 blacks….

Then Caplis said to Saine:

CAPLIS: “But we know – don’t we? – that blacks were being lynched based on the color of their skin. And whites weren’t being lynched based on the color of their skin, right?”

SAINE: So, the accounts that we have of history that people have written books about – I mean, there is a lot of sources on this. But there’s even an African American Congressman – his name is John Lloyd Lynch….

Then Caplis finally said to Saine as an apparent last resort:

CAPLIS: “But some could easily view this as you attempting to equate the plight of whites with black when it came to lynching, or to somehow downplay the horror that was inflicted on blacks, to politicize it, to make it a Republican thing. So, can you see where people would see your comments that way?”

SAINE: Well, that certainly was not my intent. And the rest of my speech goes on to say that Americans of all faiths, creed, and race stood by Reverend King to march for civil rights. And they were beaten, they were tortured, they were killed….

(more…)

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Lori Saine Becomes Colorado GOP Shame Nexus (Again)

PM UPDATE: The Greeley Tribune’s Tyler Silvy updates, as the story of Rep. Lori Saine’s whitewash-y revisionist history goes to hell with a disturbing quickness:

Following media reports from across the state and beyond which focused largely on Saine’s lynching comments, Saine argued with constituents on Facebook and Tuesday morning appeared on right-wing radio host Jimmy Lackey’s show.

Lackey introduced the topic by saying reaction to Saine’s comments represent revisionist history, that kids were being taught about Martin Luther King Jr. by “union hacks” and that Colorado is now a segregated state. Lackey also referred, multiple times, to Gov. Jared Polis as “our gay, Jewish governor.” [Pols emphasis]

For the record his name is properly spelled Jimmy Lakey, morning conservative radio host of the relatively obscure AM600 KCOL radio, who we didn’t realize was such an unapologetic…well, you know! But we most certainly know now, and that ought to make the Republican officeholders who regularly appear on his show think twice–at least the ones smarter about managing their public image than Lori Saine.

In any event, if the intent here was to make Rep. Saine or any Republican look better, that was not the outcome.

—–

Rep. Lori Saine (R), in custody after being caught with a loaded gun at DIA in December of 2017.

Less than 24 hours after you read it here first, the story of GOP Rep. Lori Saine’s wildly exaggerated estimate of white Republicans lynched following the American Civil War, made during a speech purportedly in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., has gone national–starting with the Greeley Tribune story we updated yesterday’s post with, then the Denver Post’s Anna Staver:

A Colorado representative from Weld County claimed blacks and white Republicans were lynched in “nearly equal” numbers following Reconstruction and chastised the main sponsors of a resolution honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day during a speech on the House floor Friday…

Saine, Buck and dozens of other House members sponsored House Joint Resolution 19-1006, which commemorated King’s birthday. It was introduced in the House by Reps. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, and Leslie Herod, D-Denver…[Rep. Herod] went on to characterize Buck’s brief floor speech on the resolution as both eloquent and in keeping with the spirit of MLK, but Herod said Saine’s remarks were “completely off base.”

Colorado Public Radio:

“The lynching comment is extremely problematic, in the sense that it really does kind of take away and hide some of the dark past that this country has faced,” Herod said Monday. “And if we’re not honest about our history, if we don’t face our past, then we’ll never be able to move forward as nation and a country. And so her comments really sought, I think, to water down the realities of the march for justice and for civil rights.”

Saine said she delivered the comments with little preparation, based on things she’d read. She clarified that she meant only the earliest days of post-Civil War Reconstruction. However, the article Saine said she referenced is an amateur statistical analysis that looks at data from a later period and makes no reference to party affiliation.

From there…Newsweek:

Saine, a Republican representative, backed up her remarks on Monday, all in support of a white state representative who was shunned from introducing a resolution to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In her statement that was televised, Saine said whites were lynched more often than blacks “in the beginning,” and also acknowledged that blacks were collectively lynched at a far-higher pace over the next seven or eight decades.

Saine claimed whites and blacks were all lynched for the simple fact of being a Republican, which caught one college professor in the state off guard.

The Hill:

While lynchings of white, Hispanic and Native American people have taken place in the United States and Republicans were targeted during Reconstruction, evidence points to African-Americans being by far the greatest number of victims of lynchings, which were used as a tool for racial suppression.

And this morning, even FOX News is obliged to report:

According to the NAACP, nearly 73 percent of people who were lynched from 1882 to 1968 were black. Many of the white people who were lynched were being punished for helping black people, the NAACP said. It noted that many lynchings were not recorded.

The political affiliation of those who suffered this punishment was not recorded in the NAACP’s statistics. University of Northern Colorado professor Fritz Fischer said Saine’s assertion was incorrect.

“Blacks were lynched for the ‘crime of being black’ which obviously isn’t a crime – and not even close to equal numbers,” Fischer told The Greeley Tribune. “I suppose there were a certain number of blacks who were lynched who were Republican. But that was coincidental.”

With more stories going to print as we write, it won’t be long before everyone with even late-night talk show familiarity with current events hears about the Republican from Colorado who said white people were lynched as often as black people. The added insult of claiming lynchings of African Americans were for “the crime of being Republican” is not just inaccurate but a complete whitewash of the ensuing century of history, in which the Republican Party willingly morphed into the party of holdout Southern racism.

As for Rep. Lori Saine? This is hardly the first time she has shoveled shame on Colorado Republicans, having made national headlines for getting caught with a loaded handgun at a DIA security checkpoint in 2017, then introducing bills to weaken Colorado’s gun laws–not to mention underscoring Sen. Vicki Marble’s nationally infamous monologue about “problems in the black race” with heart disease by bringing fried chicken to the next hearing.

We’ve said it before: Lori Saine is a walking, talking disaster for the Republican brand.

So naturally, ALEC should give her another award.

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Thanks For Clearing That Up, Todd Brophy

There’s been a great deal of debate in the last couple of days over an incident Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., caught on video from a number of angles, of a confrontation between a Native American veteran and a group of high school students wearing red “MAGA” hats. The Trump supporter teens were at the tail end of the anti-abortion March for Life, Native American drummer Nathan Phillips had participated in the simultaneous Indigenous People’s March, and still another group of unrelated protesters was on the scene resulting in a toxic brew of mutual antagonism that as of this writing has still not been conclusively sorted out.

Unless you’re Todd Brophy, cousin of longtime state Sen. Greg Brophy and himself the losing 2016 GOP candidate for Aurora’s House District 40, who posted this straightforward interpretation of events to the Facebook page of the Arapahoe County Republicans yesterday:

For anyone hoping to see tensions reduced after another racially divisive national news incident, this won’t help.

But unlike at least some of the participants, Todd Brophy isn’t bullshitting you about his reaction.

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Steve King Spoke At Denver Conservative Gathering Last Year

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Dave Williams (R), Congressman Steve King (R-IA).

Colorado Christian University “generally” doesn’t repeat speakers at its annual conservative gathering near Denver, said the event’s director Jeff Hunt when asked whether a Republican Congressman, who advised people not to be offended by white supremacy, would be invited to the annual event again this July.

Iowa Congressman Steve King, who made the comments to the New York Times, spoke at the last year’s Western Conservative Summit, billed as the “largest gathering of conservatives outside of Washington D.C.”

Other top shelf Republican speakers last year included then Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then EPA chief Scott Pruitt, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), and U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO). Gardner has spoken there multiple times.

Hunt directs the summit in his role as head of CCU’s Centennial Institute.

On a House floor speech, “King argued he was saying terms like white supremacist, white nationalist and Nazi were ‘almost always unjustly labeling otherwise innocent people,” according to the Des Moines Register.

In the wake of a controversial comment by King in 2010, then congressional candidate Cory Gardner canceled a joint fundraiser with the Iowa Congressman.

King is now facing disciplinary action from fellow U.S. House Republicans after he told the New York Times it was wrong to consider white nationalism and white supremacy offensive.

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Mr. King told The New York Times Jan. 10. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told CNN over the weekend that he would meet with King today and “action will be taken.”

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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.”

(more…)

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Worst Source Scenario, Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives

Yesterday evening, the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives posted a link to their Facebook page that immediately raised eyebrows–not so much because of the subject matter, but rather the source:

That’s not a misprint: the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives posted to Facebook linking to the Daily Stormer, one of the nation’s–perhaps one of the world’s–most scurrilously white supremacist websites, which fought a running battle against internet service providers in the last couple of years to remain accessible outside the “dark web.”

Not long after this link was posted, somebody let them know:

The problem is that these two links are not to the same story whatsoever. “BizPacReview” is a fringe-right internet property that has long been regarded as a source of fake news, but the Daily Stormer piece includes extremely provocative anti-Semitic statements that we have real trouble imagining could be overlooked while reading it. Readers are free to hunt either down if they choose, we won’t be linking to them.

But this means either the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives member who posted this link didn’t read the story, or they did–and weren’t troubled by the words “smashing k—-s.”

Needless to say, we hope it’s the former.

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Colorado Republicans Invite Hate Leader To Speak At Post-Election Retreat

(Just wow – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

anti-Muslim extremist David Horowitz

Looking to re-energize their caucus following sweeping losses at the ballot box last month, Colorado Republicans held a retreat in Sedalia immediately after the election. The event featured controversial writer and pundit David Horowitz as a keynote speaker.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Horowitz as an “Anti-Muslim fanatic” and lists David Horowitz as an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim extremist. It describes his David Horowitz Freedom Center as “a platform to project hate and misinformation.” 

Horowitz published the text of his speech on his website. It’s clear from his first sentence that he wasn’t pulling any punches:

Horowitz: Here’s my lesson from the recent election in my newly adopted state: You’re too damn nice. Democrats call Republicans “racists, sexists, homophobes, Islamophobes, xenophobes” and “Nazis.” And Republicans call Democrats … “liberals.” Stop it! What are Democrats liberal about except sex, drugs, spending other people’s money, coddling criminals, giving America’s mortal enemies like Iran the benefit of the doubt, nuclear weapons and billions in cash to finance their terrorist activities, and opening borders to terrorists, sexual predators and whoever comes along? Democrats don’t even believe in due process any more. Innocent until proven guilty? That’s for aging white men – Republicans. The Democrats are satisfied with guilt by accusation. The Democratic Party is a party of racists, character assassins and, oh, liars. Say it.

For a party looking to broaden its appeal to an increasingly diverse Colorado electorate, the choice of Horowitz is puzzling. His recent appearance at the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in August led several large corporations to drop their ALEC memberships in protest. Verizon left in September, stating,

“Our company has no tolerance for racist, white supremacist or sexist comment or ideals.”

As outrage over Horowitz’s speech grew, ALEC distanced itself from him in a statement and removed video of his speech from their site. That wasn’t enough to stem the tide of companies abandoning the organization, however.

Last Friday, industry titans AT&T, Dow Chemical and Honeywell, also quit ALEC over Horowitz’s speech.     

Horowitz, who said via email that he did not charge for his appearance, was invited by State Sens. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) and Vicki Marble (R-Fort Collins) .

Lundberg dismissed concerns about Horowitz’s beliefs and positions, telling the Colorado Times Recorder he was aware of the concerns raised by companies that dropped their ALEC memberships, so he listened to the speech before inviting Horowitz to speak to the Republican caucus. He did not find the speech to be racist.  

Lundberg: “I believe he had some very salient points to make. He doesn’t mince words. He dives right in and tells you what he thinks in a very forthright manner. He does have some observations that are worth paying attention to… I came to the conclusion that Mr. Horowitz was not being fairly represented, and I felt he has valuable things to say to the Colorado Republican caucus and so I asked him to speak to us and he did.” 

Lundberg expressed disappointment that ALEC “capitulated” to “bullying” in issuing its statement disavowing Horowitz’s speech. He noted that “ALEC does an incredibly good job in informing and empowering state legislators with the basic principles of limited government, free markets and federalism.”

(more…)

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Trump Ramps Up Racism After Synagogue Massacre

UPDATE: From the Sacramento Bee:

Bracamontes was next arrested May 4, 2001, on marijuana charges in Maricopa County, and deported three days later. Republican George W. Bush was president at the time, and was president when Bracamontes slipped back into the United States a short time later.

The date of his re-entry is not clear, but records show Bracamontes was married in Maricopa County on Feb. 28, 2002, when Bush was president.

By then, Bracamontes had been living near Salt Lake City where he remained until 2014, when he and his wife embarked upon a methamphetamine-fueled trip that ended with their arrests in Placer County after the deputies were killed.

Meaning that in addition to being twisted and outlandishly racist, this ad is also lying.

—–

CNN reports, and it would be a profound shock at any other moment:

In the most racially charged national political ad in 30 years, President Donald Trump and the Republican Party accuse Democrats of plotting to help people they depict as Central American invaders overrun the nation with cop killers.

The new web video, tweeted by the President five days before the midterm elections, is the most extreme step yet in the most inflammatory closing argument of any campaign in recent memory.

The Trump campaign ad is the latest example of the President’s willingness to lie and fear-monger in order to tear at racial and societal divides; to embrace demagoguery to bolster his own political power and the cause of the Republican midterm campaign.

The web video in question, which has over 3 million views via President Donald Trump’s Twitter account alone, depicts an undocumented cop-killer from California bragging about his crimes before cutting to selected clips of the migrant caravan of asylum seekers making its way north through Mexico toward the U.S. border. It’s being compared to some of the worst race-baiting political ads in modern political history, from the Willie Horton ads against Michael Dukakis in 1988 to the infamous Jesse Helms “White Hands” ad invoking white resentment to affirmative action.

But in context with current events, it’s actually far worse than any of those.

Given the horrific violence that misinformation about this caravan of people who intend to seek asylum from the U.S. government in the event they reach the southern border weeks from now has provoked, including the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 people last Saturday, this video making a totally unjustified connection from a violent criminal to this caravan is incredibly irresponsible. Less than a few days after an act of misguided violence over this same dreadfully overhyped caravan that shocked the nation, the President of the United States is inciting further violence rather than trying to bring Americans together.

After two years in which it seems like every boundary self-imposed by civil society and common decency has been shattered by this heedless monster of a President, this could honestly be the worst yet. At a moment when the President should be backing the nation away from the brink, this one is pushing us closer.

Whatever happens next Tuesday, this is a very sad moment in American history.

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Walker Stapleton. Anti-Semitism. Calling You Out.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s deadly attack on a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, capping a week of political violence that included a racially motivated shooting in Kentucky and pipe bombs mailed by a pro-Trump Floridian to numerous Democratic leaders and other critics of President Donald Trump, NBC News reported on an underlying spike in social media attacks on Jewish people in particular–using code language anyone who follows politics locally or nationally ought to recognize.

Separate researchers who were independently looking at [Instagram and Twitter] said attacks on Jewish people had spiked on both services ahead of the midterm elections on Nov. 6, similar to a rise in harassment before the 2016 presidential election.

Many but not all of the posts mention billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros, the researchers said. Soros is frequently the subject of unfounded conspiracy theories, and his home was among the targets in a series of attempted bombings this month. [Pols emphasis]

Jonathan Albright, a researcher at Columbia University in New York who directs a center on digital forensics, told NBC News that the amount of anti-Semitic material posted to Instagram and tied to Soros was possibly the worst sample of hate speech he had seen on the site.

Billionaire investor George Soros has served as a boogeyman for the far right for many years, stemming from his support both for Democratic candidates and liberal nonprofit organizations working in support of a wide range of progressive agenda items. Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton regularly invokes Soros as a villain on the campaign trail. In truth, conservative funders from Sheldon Adelson to the Koch Brothers spend vastly more on American politics than Soros–but Soros has been the subject of intense vilification because he was born in Europe, and perceived to be a corrupting foreign influence by the nativist right.

And of course, George Soros is Jewish.

RYAN WARNER: …Recently it was reported that Americans for Prosperity, a political advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers, will be investing in your campaign perhaps to the tune of as much as a million dollars. While it sounds like that money might be welcome when you look at what your opponent is spending, I wonder what kind of influence comes with a sizeable contribution like that.

WALKER STAPLETON: Probably the same kind of influence that comes from Good Jobs Colorado which is being backed by checks from George Soros, a wealthy international financier… [Pols emphasis]

Full stop. The term “wealthy international financier” has stood in for “Jew” among anti-Semitic bigots literally for centuries. Henry Ford’s infamous anti-Semitic book The International Jew was entirely based on the trope of wealthy Jews controlling the world through financial treachery and a lack of national loyalties, like its forged predecessor The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In terms of identifying thinly-concealed prejudice against Jewish people, the phrase can be fairly considered a dead giveaway.

So the next logical question is, Did Walker Stapleton use these words by accident?

The answer: we don’t think so. And here’s why.

Stapleton was nominated for governor at the Republican State Assembly this year by former Congressman Tom Tancredo. Tancredo is a past board member of the openly racist organization VDARE, which had planned to host its annual conference in Colorado Springs but was turned away after negative press. Tancredo’s anger over the supposed bad treatment of VDARE led him to first consider a run for governor himself, then to endorse Stapleton once he was satisfied Stapleton took the “issue” seriously. If you go to VDARE’s website to read about Jewish people, this is the kind of thing you’ll find:

Jewish activity collectively, throughout history, is best understood as an elaborate and highly successful group competitive strategy directed against neighboring peoples and host societies. The objective has been control of economic resources and political power. One example: overwhelming Jewish support for non-traditional immigration, which has the effect of weakening America’s historic white majority. [Pols emphasis]

The individual in custody for the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh entered the building screaming “All Jews Must Die,” and in his social media rantings before the attack peddled conspiracy theories that Jewish immigration groups were funding the “caravan” of asylum seekers slowly traveling north through Mexico toward the U.S. border. The attack in Pittsburgh on Saturday was a direct expression of the ideology promoted by VDARE as you can read above. The ideology of Tom Tancredo. The man who nominated Walker Stapleton.

The same Walker Stapleton now demonizing “wealthy international financier” George Soros.

Stapleton’s embrace of Tom Tancredo, like Donald Trump himself, was not an accident. Employing Tancredo to tacitly reassure far-right voters about Stapleton’s own views was not an accident.  The hatred being stirred up in order to turn out conservative votes across the nation and right here in Colorado, from fact-free conspiracy theories about “Soros funding the caravan” to Stapleton’s own ad campaigns vilifying so-called “sanctuary cities,” is not an accident. Based on these facts, we have absolutely no reason to believe that Stapleton’s choice of specific racist code words to describe Mr. Soros was an accident either.

At some point, you have to stop being polite and call this out for what it is.

After the deadliest hate crime against Jewish people in American history, the time has come.

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Statehouse Candidate Grady Nouis Campaigns on Immigrant Crime Despite Criminal Record

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Grady Nouis, the Republican candidate for an Arvada area statehouse seat in the Colorado legislature, talks a lot about crime. He’s primarily concerned that so-called “sanctuary cities” endanger residents, because undocumented immigrants who may live in these cities commit crimes, particularly drug crimes.  

In the summer of 2005, Nouis was arrested and charged with felony manufacturing of hallucinogenic mushrooms. He ultimately pled guilty to “maintaining a drug house” and possession of marijuana.

The arrest report, obtained by the Colorado Times Recorder via a source, explains how the police discovered Nouis’ suspected mushroom grow operation. He was living in a house owned by his parents in Grand Blanc, Michigan. They had moved to another city and were planning to sell the house in Grand Blanc. A realtor, believing their son to have returned to college, entered to prepare the house for a showing. She discovered numerous syringes and mason jars filled with a clear liquid and topped with plastic tubing. Believing she had discovered a methamphetamine lab, she called the police. After entering the property themselves, the police determined that it was a “psilocybin mushroom grow operation.”

“As we cleared the rest of the residence, we continued to find evidence of a psilocybin mushroom grow operation. We observed several dehydrating/drying units, packaged mushrooms ready for sale, the spores need to grow mushrooms a makeshift greenhouse made out of large plastic tubs with mushrooms growing along with various other items.”

HD29 Candidate Grady Nouis Arrest Report

According to court records, Nouis was initially charged with one felony count of “manufacture of psilocybin,” and one misdemeanor count of “possession of marijuana.” A plea bargain reduced the felony manufacturing charge to another misdemeanor, “maintaining a drug house.” Nouis was sentenced to three years of probation and paid fees and fines totaling $1,660.

(more…)

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Republican Candidate Grady Nouis Is A Regular At Racist Hate Group Rallies

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Since declaring his candidacy for the Colorado statehouse in December of 2016, Westminster Republican Grady Nouis has promoted and participated in several far-right rallies organized by hate and extremist groups. Furthermore, he’s documented his participation in numerous videos, including one where he shouts the n-word during an argument with African-American couple in Denver’s Civic Center Park.

HD29 candidate Grady Nouis attends Proud Boys rally, 6.3.17Last summer, the first since Trump’s election, saw marked increase in alt-right rallies across the country, including several here in Colorado. 

After attending a Colorado Proud Boys rally in Boulder on June 3, 2017, Nouis posted news coverage of the event and noted that he would “proudly stand” with the Proud Boys.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labeled that organization a hate group in 2016. The SPLC notes that the self-described group of “Western chauvinists… regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists.”

Just a week later he joined an “Anti-Sharia” rally at the state Capitol, at which he was one of the announced speakers. Nouis had been heavily promoting the event online, and once it took place he live-streamed much of the event. 

The June 10 rally was one of 23 simultaneous rallies organized by an anti-Muslim hate group, Act for America. SPLC’s reasoning for the hate group designation? “Act for America pushes wild anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, denigrates American Muslims and deliberately conflates mainstream and radical Islam.”

During the event, Nouis shared a video of state troopers escorting him and his fellow far-right extremists away from counter-protesters. At approximately the 8:45 mark of the video, he repeatedly shouts the n-word during an argument with African American bystanders in Civic Center Park.

(more…)

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Tipton And Other Republicans Return to Pueblo Racist’s Annual Fundraiser

(Gross — promoted by Colorado Pols)

Every year, Republican lawmakers gather at Tom Ready’s Steak Fry fundraiser. Ready is an unapologetic racist and anti-government conspiracy theorist whose annual backyard BBQ nevertheless continues to draw GOP candidates and elected officials of all levels, including Congressman Scott Tipton.

 Ready’s history of overt racism, homophobia and Islamophobia has been well-documented by the Colorado Times Recorder in the past. The post on the left is from a couple years ago.

Tom Ready racist NFL FB postHe continues to do so today, with posts like this one about NFL players. 

 

Confirmed attendees at this year’s event include Congressman Scott Tipton, State Sens. Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa) and Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), HD46 Jonathan Ambler, HD47 candidate Don Bendell, HD62 candidate Scott Honeycutt, Pueblo County Commissioner District 3 candidate Zach Swearingen, University of Colorado Regent Glen Gallegos, and Marla Spinuzzi Reichert, chair of the Pueblo County Republicans.

 

(more…)

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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.

(more…)

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Stapleton Still Embracing Tancredo, Whose Jaw-Dropping Racism Hits Another Low

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tom Tancredo is always comfortable in front of a microphone, even when his words are making his audience uncomfortable. That’s exactly what the most prominent Republican to endorse Walker Stapleton did July 30 at the Jefferson County Republican Men’s club, when he delivered racist comments about black student athletes at his alma mater, Northeastern Junior College.

Musing about the racial and religious quotas imposed on his college’s dormitories by the Klan-influenced local government, Tancredo, a former Congressman, wondered why the restrictions didn’t apply to the whole school rather than just the students at the residences:

Tancredo: “I always wondered, why just the dorms? If you’re gonna have a quota, why not on everything. I dunno, they needed black players, I guess, on the team.”

The anti-immigrant firebrand’s influence with the GOP base is exactly why Stapleton asked the conservative icon to introduce and nominate him at the Republican state assembly. That said, Tancredo’s remark about the Klan’s relaxed racial quota when it came to black athletes fell flat on the conservative audience, which appeared to be shocked by the comment.

Undeterred, he stuck with his racist theme by promoting “a great book,” Losing Ground by Charles Murray, which argues for abolishing welfare. The sociologist has also argued that African-Americans tend to be less intelligent than white Americans and that genetic differences between the races are partially responsible. Current Affairs magazine wrote an extensive profile of Murray’s racist writings in a feature piece, “Why Is Charles Murray Odious?” Tancredo acknowledged the author’s controversial status, noting, “Of course, everyone gets scared the minute you say his name.”  

Yet he proceeded to rattle off statistics from the book, showing a decline in numbers of traditional nuclear African-American families and an increase in “black-on-black murders” since the 1950s and ascribing that decline to “the war on poverty.” “[The government] started paying people not to have a male in the household.”

He went on to claim that African-Americans “used to have a higher commitment to Christianity than whites,” but “that’s all changed and it was because of the destruction of the family structure.”

In Tancredo’s other roles, including frontman for an anti-immigrant 501c4 nonprofit, occasional radio host, and social media personality, his continual race-baiting and sometimes flat-out racist statements fall on generally friendly ears.

Ever since Walker Stapleton used Tancredo’s name and brand to secure the Republican nomination however, pundits have noted that ultra-conservative firepower that proved so useful before the primary will likely become a liability in November.

Mike Littwin made this exact point in his July 25 column in the Colorado Independent, writing “Enter Tancredo, who was brought in to help Stapleton appeal to the assembly’s right-wing fringe. It worked then. But how about in November?”

Littwin’s argument matched that of pundit Eric Sondermann, who a month earlier on RMPBS Colorado Inside Out said,

“I think Walker Stapleton is making a number of strategic errors here… To have Tom Tancredo give his nominating speech at the convention in Boulder…you don’t think that one will come back to bite him come September, October, etc.? In tennis, it’s called ‘unforced errors.’”

In his speech nominating Walker Stapleton to Colorado Republicans at the state assembly in April, Tancredo gave two reasons for his presence.

First he said it was because “the day after the election, I want to see all those liberal looneys running with their heads in their hands, looking for a safe space because they can’t handle what just happened to them.”

He concluded by saying, “the only reason I am here and I am proud as I can be to do it, is to place into the nomination for the Republican governor of Colorado, Walker Stapleton.”

If Tancredo continues to make blatantly racist statements in public and the pundits are correct, then some people will indeed have their heads in their hands November 7, just not the ones Tancredo is thinking of.

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Lock Kids Up – Trump’s Border “Solution” for Prison Profits

LL at ICE protest

“Lucia” (not her real name)  speaks about the pain of being separated from her children by ICE. Photos by Amalthea Aelwyn, used with permission

Lucia’s* voice is cracking. She can’t hold back the tears as she describes being incarcerated in the  GEO Group ICE detention facility,  where a crowd is gathered now to hear her.

“Lucia”* fled her father’s abuse and horrific civil war in Guatemala to come to the US in 1998. She went to school here, but had to drop out of high school when her mother died of cancer.

“Lucia” has raised a family, worked, and made a life here, but when her husband was pulled over at a traffic stop, both were incarcerated in the ICE facility in Aurora. For a week, her  children had no idea where their parents were, or if they were alive or dead. They finally were able to post $1000 bond each, and are now working their way through the system, trying not to be deported, trying to keep their family together.

Cristian

Marguerite and Cristian addressing the crowd at Families Belong Together rally. Photo by Amalthea Aelwyn, used with permission

Cristian from Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition is a vibrant young man with a wide smile.  He is a student leader at his college.

But Cris is a Dreamer, and if DACA protections are rescinded, he could be deported at any time.

He tells the story of how his mother carried him and his young sister over the border, and how she has worked ever  since  to maintain the family.

“My mother has been on that waiting list (for citizenship) since 1999,” he said. “My whole family pays local taxes, we pay into Medicaid and Medicare, Social Security, we pay Federal taxes, local taxes, sales taxes. We pay for programs we will never benefit from. We’re helping to take care of our nation’s children, of our senior citizens. We are not a burden. The real burden is the moral burden Trump is imposing on this country with these policies.”

Marguerite, from Colombia, said,“ I see this building behind you and it pains me. It hurts. Because I would have to wait in line to see my son. He waited for months there to be deported back to Colombia.  There is no illegal human being on this earth. The only way we can become illegal is to break our laws and hurt each other. But we’re not doing that.”

Lucia, Cristian, and Marguerite are speaking to a diverse crowd of about two hundred people,  gathered in front of GEO group’s vast, windowless, grim ICE facility in Aurora on June 14, 2018, to protest the Trump administration’s new policy of separating families who are crossing the border.

I am part of this protest. We are here  because we feel that we must “do something” to stop the atrocity of tearing families apart and incarcerating the young children of families who come here seeking asylum.

Over 11,000 children have been separated from their families while crossing the southern border since March, according to NPR. About 46 kids a day are being torn away from their parents. This is not including the unaccompanied minors who were already showing up at the border by the thousands.

(more…)

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These Colorado Republicans Are Pushing the Limits of Anti-Immigrant and Race-Baiting Rhetoric

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Walker Stapleton endorser Tom Tancredo has partnered with State Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton) and his son Joe Neville to promote political messaging that reflects the anti-immigrant rhetoric of President Trump and pushes the limits of  limits of inflammatory and race-baiting statements. 

The new Tancredo-fronted group, Citizens for Secure Borders, claims to be “dedicated to providing the public with information regarding key issues related to preserving and promoting the safety and security of the public.” The group’s 501(c)4 articles of incorporation lists the home of Sen. Neville as its “principal office street address.” Its three board members are Joe Neville and two of his employees at consulting firm Rearden Strategic. Both Aaron Yates and Brandon Wark, like Joe Neville himself, are former employees of Dudley Brown’s right-wing gun rights advocacy groups, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners & National Association of Gun Rights. 

(more…)

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