Former Rep. Judy Reyher is Now Out of the Race in HD-47

Ex-Rep. Judy Reyher, who famously told The Denver Post that she “hated the black half of Obama as much as” she “hated the white half.”

Republican Judy Reyher, the unabashed racist who was briefly a state legislator in HD-47 until voters decided, “no, thanks,” has removed herself from consideration for a State House seat in 2020.

We noted last November that Reyher and her technicolor dreamcoat were hoping to make a comeback in the state legislature, but that campaign was short-lived. Today, Reyher announced via Facebook that she was dropping her bid for HD-47 and throwing her support behind Republican Ron Parker for the Pueblo-area seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Bri Buentello.

“After a great deal of thought and discussion with people who matter to me, I have decided that I am dropping out of the race for Colorado House District 47 for the 2020 election,” wrote Reyher on Facebook. “I stepped in because I firmly believe we must send our current Representative home, and we must put this seat back into the hands of a Republican. We now have Ron Parker from Pueblo as a candidate. I believe he will do a good job, and I will do all I can to help elect him.”

Reyher served in the State Legislature for one full session in 2018 after winning a vacancy committee appointment, and then proceeded to lose a GOP Primary to an equally-problematic General Election candidate in Don Bendell. A few months later, Buentello defeated “Deadbeat Dad” Bendell to flip a Republican-held seat to the side of Democrats.

We have now learned two things from Reyher: 1) You can’t be a racist if you went to a wedding in China, and 2) It’s hard to make a comeback in a legislative district when your own party has already rejected you once before.

Who’s Afraid Of The “Public Option?” Not Colorado

As the Denver Post’s Saja Hindi reports:

More than half of Colorado voters are in favor of the state creating a public insurance health option and nearly three-quarters support setting limits on prescription drug costs, according to a new survey by a progressive political group.

Strategies 360, a political consulting firm, surveyed 600 registered voters in Colorado earlier this month by phone, and the results, first reported by The Denver Post, show widespread support for health care reforms in the state. The survey was paid for by the State Innovative Exchange, known as SiX, a national group that works to advance progressive changes. About 4 in 10 survey participants were unaffiliated voters with the rest split almost evenly between Republicans and Democrats. The margin of error was 4%.

The possibility of a public option in Colorado has garnered significant attention since last year. Proponents say they are working to reduce costs for the consumer, while opponents insist that it will have unintended costs for hospitals and quality of care, with money pouring in from special interest groups opposing the model. Still, results from the survey showed a majority of Coloradans — 58 percent — favor a public option, with 82% of liberals, 63% of moderates and 41% of conservatives supporting it. The survey showed particularly strong support — 55% — on the Western Slope, where residents have struggled with some of the highest health care costs in the country.

Set to be one of the biggest ideological battles in this year’s session of the Colorado legislature, a “public option” to compete against traditional for-profit insurance plans to bring costs down was at one point a central plank of the 2010 Affordable Care Act–jettisoned from the bill late in the process in order to win over a few recalcitrant Democratic Senators. The proposal coming together for Colorado in 2020 is for coverage plans that would still be sold by private insurers, but follow tighter cost control rules primarily on the provider payment side to deliver a lower-priced product, with the same essential coverage and less deductible expense to consumers.

Which means, of course, that it’s about to be absolutely vilified by Republican opponents and the for-profit health care lobby as the second coming of [insert 20th Century communist despot here]! But after a decade of pitched partisan political warfare over healthcare reform, much of which has had little if any tethering to reality, this poll says pretty clearly that Colorado voters are ready to take some of the next logical steps on the issue–reforms that were on the table a decade ago, and would still have merit today.

Trump: You’re Goddamn Right I Ordered The Code Red

Oops, he said shortly afterward.

Rolling Stone’s Peter Wade reports while anyone paying attention picks their jaw up off the floor:

President Trump said he’s happy with the way the impeachment trial is going thus far because his administration has not released “materials” that would hurt his cause.

“When we released that conversation all hell broke out with the Democrats,” Trump said. “Because they said, ‘Wait a minute, this is much different than [what Adam Schiff] told us.’”

The president continued, “So, we’re doing very well. I got to watch [the impeachment trial] enough. I thought our team did a very good job. But honestly, we have all the material. They don’t have the material.” [Pols emphasis]

President Donald Trump’s gleeful apparent admission that the White House did not provide materials requested by investigators would seem to validate the second of the two articles of impeachment currently before the U.S. Senate–obstruction of Congress:

The House of Representatives has engaged in an impeachment inquiry focused on President Trump’s corrupt solicitation of the Government of Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 United States Presidential election. As part of this impeachment inquiry, the Committees undertaking the investigation served subpoenas seeking documents and testimony deemed vital to the inquiry from various Executive Branch agencies and offices, and current and former officials.

In response, without lawful cause or excuse, President Trump directed Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officials not to comply with those subpoenas. President Trump thus interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the “sole Power of Impeachment” vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.

In other words, exactly what Trump appears to have just admitted to! Will it make a difference to Republicans like Sen. Cory Gardner that Trump just yucked it up about stonewalling Congress from the information they needed to investigate allegedly impeachable offenses? We’d say it takes a certain amount of contempt for one’s own authority as a lawmaker to simply ignore this brazen disregard for Congress’ subpoena power.

Then again, it would hardly be the first time Gardner has had to debase himself for Trump’s benefit.

Colo Hispanic Republicans Posts Fake News that United Nations Is Coming after your Guns

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Especially as the election nears, political entities that post fake news on their Facebook pages will face massive public backlash, right? Let’s hope so.

Today’s fake news problem can be found on the website of the Colorado Hispanic Republicans, which describes itself as a “center-right organization dedicated to creating a welcoming space where conservative Hispanics can share their thoughts and ideas….”

The group posted an article with the headline, “UN Hiring American Gun Control and Disarmament Officers.”

“The UN is hiring multiple ‘Disarmament Officers’ to lead the United Nations’ gun control push…. The United Nations is using your hard earned tax dollars to impose gun control onto the American people,” the article from the Conservative Daily, “Your Source for Sanity,” states.

“This is serious stuff,” stated the Colorado Hispanic Republicans in a comment introducing the article on Facebook. “Please read the entire article before commenting. Don’t just react to the headline. This is yet another reason we must re-elect President Trump.”

(more…)

Crow Impresses on First Day of Impeachment Trial


Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), who sits dutifully behind President Trump’s legal team on the floor of the U.S. Senate, has been getting hammered in national news outlets for his blind obedience to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Team Trump despite an oath to be an “impartial juror” in the President’s impeachment trial.

Colorado Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora), meanwhile, is earning rave reviews for his performance as one of seven House “impeachment managers” prosecuting the case against Trump. Here’s NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent Kasie Hunt on Tuesday:

In Gardner and Crow, Colorado has two high-profile connections to the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. The contrast couldn’t be more stark.

From The Daily Caller:

Tuesday’s session lasted almost 13 hours, according to CNBC. Crow, a former Army Ranger, spoke late into the evening and noted that despite the late hour, it was morning in Ukraine, where soldiers were fighting Russia and depending on U.S. aid. He previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The American people deserve answers,” Crow said Tuesday. “I remember what it feels like to not have the equipment you need when you need it. Real people’s lives are at stake. That’s why this matters. We need this information so we can ensure that this never happens again. Eventually, this will all come out.”

“We will have answers to these questions. The question now is whether we will have them in time, and who here will be on the right side of history.”

— Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora)

Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post has more on Crow’s performance from Tuesday:

Crow took to the Senate floor in the evening to argue for a subpoena of documents from OMB, where testimony and media reports suggest officials were concerned by Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine.

“We know these documents exist and we know the only reason we do not have them is because the president directed OMB not to release them,” Crow said, referring to what he claims are key documents that reveal how the president’s controversial order was enacted. “Because he knows what they would show.”

Crow went through a timeline of events related to the withholding of aid to Ukraine in the summer of 2019, punctuating his remarks on several occasions by saying, “The American people deserve answers.” Crow talked about his own combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the importance of military aid to soldiers in wartime.

“Who knew what, and when? OMB documents would shed light on OMB’s actions as the president’s scheme unraveled,” the congressman said.

Crow’s background as an Army Ranger who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan allows him to frame the withholding of military aid from Ukraine in a very personal manner; there aren’t many Members of Congress who could have the same impact, as you can see from this CNN clip below:

One member of Colorado’s Congressional delegation is standing up for what he believes and making a passionate case for his colleagues to follow. The other is Cory Gardner.

Kudos to Jason Crow.

The Get More Smarter Podcast: Colorado’s Critical Role on Choice


This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, Ian Silverii has a baby (well, not on the podcast), so Alan Franklin joins Jason Bane to talk about Sen. Cory Gardner getting hammered by national reporters; how Jon Caldara getting canned from The Denver Post epitomizes a larger problem for Colorado Republicans; and how Big Potato picked up a smashing victory. Later, journalist Madeleine Schmidt joins Alan and Jason to discuss her reporting for Jezebel about Colorado’s important role as a safe-haven for women facing difficult decisions about abortions later in pregnancy.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

Wednesday Open Thread


“There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.”

–Mahatma Gandhi

Where’s Cory? Right Next to Team Trump


As multiple news outlets have reported, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is widely expected to follow along with the wishes of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump’s scurrilous legal team on all issues related to Trump’s impeachment trial underway in the U.S. Senate.

Lest there be any doubt, check out where Gardner has been seated today: He literally could not be any closer in proximity to Trump’s legal team. Gardner’s typical seat in the Senate chambers is at the back of the room; Gardner is instead squatting in the seat reserved for Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe.

U.S. Senate chambers, January 21, 2020

The Hits Keep Coming For Cory Gardner


President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner.

Keeping track of the bad national press for Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado these days requires a lot of attention–hard on the heels of a damaging New York Times story about Gardner’s lack of accessibility to constituents back home over the holiday weekend, the Washington Post’s Griff Witte writes today:

[Sen. Cory] Gardner is perhaps the most vulnerable Republican of all this year, seeking a second term in a state Trump lost by nearly five points in 2016. Colorado has only shifted further left in the time since as younger, more liberal voters have flooded in and Democrats have tipped a registration deficit in their favor.

But rather than run away from Trump as the evidence mounts of an abuse of power, Gardner has drawn nearer…

While a significant majority of Coloradans disapprove of Trump’s performance, Gardner will need Republicans, who are nearly unanimous in their support of the president, if he has any hope of keeping his seat.

“…Cory’s got a tough race. The odds are 50-50 — at best,” said Dick Wadhams, a veteran Republican strategist in Colorado and a friend of Gardner’s. “There’s no doubt about it: Trump is a liability.” [Pols emphasis]

This story, which should be read in its entirety, is as fair as possible to Gardner in recounting Gardner’s condemnation of Donald Trump in October of 2016. Gardner’s journey from denouncing Trump as a man who boasts about committing sexual assault in 2016 to one of Trump’s fiercest defenders and a Trump campaign fundraising star in 2019, especially while representing a state which has only become more hostile to Trump in the time since Gardner called for Trump to pull out of the presidential race, is baffling to many taking their initial election-year look at our state and this race.

The problem is simple, and we’ve said it countless times in this space: without the loyal Trump GOP base, Cory Gardner has no base. Gardner is therefore powerless to change course and carry out the clear wishes of a majority of Colorado voters–to dump Trump like Gardner called for in October of 2016, and voting to remove Trump from office.

One thing’s for sure: an assessment this bleak from Gardner’s Republican friends who know him best will not help Gardner convince the makers of tough calls in DC that his re-election is salvageable.

McConnell Backs Down as Impeachment Trial Begins


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

As Politico reports, there are some significant happenings already as the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump gets underway:

Senate Republicans backed down from an aggressive timetable and new restrictions on evidence in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, changing course after protests from senators like Republican Susan Collins of Maine.

Instead of crammingas many as 48 hours of opening arguments from House impeachment managers and the White House counsel into just four days this week, McConnell’s resolution will now give each side 24 hours to speak over three days. That could ultimately extend the trial by two days. And a controversial provision in the plan that would not have automatically included the House’s evidence was also scuttled from a previous draft.

McConnell’s rule changes — which include the admission of evidence from the House impeachment process — were so last-minute that they were actually written out by hand, as NBC News reports. As the New York Times confirms, McConnell made the adjustments due to pushback from his own caucus:

Mr. McConnell made the change after key Republican senators, including Susan Collins of Maine, argued that the rules for Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial should not deviate from the rules used during the only modern precedent, the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999.

Ms. Collins, a moderate Republican who is likely to face a tough re-election bid later this year, has significant sway with Mr. McConnell, as her votes could change the outcome of the trial.

We will update this post as more information becomes available.

 

Marianne Williamson: Romanoff For Senate


Yesterday, former Democratic minor presidential candidate Marianne Williamson offered her glowing endorsement to Andrew Romanoff, who is running an underdog primary bid against the generally presumed Democratic nominee in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race former Gov. John Hickenlooper. Romanoff responded later yesterday evening that he is “deeply grateful” for Williamson’s support.

Marianne Williamson was generally regarded as a curiosity in the early stages of the Democratic presidential primary, mostly due to the fact that she was never considered a serious contender in the race. But had Williamson managed to gain more than fringe traction in the primary, there was a long list of problematic past statements on very serious issues she would have had to answer for–as CNN reported last August:

Democratic presidential candidate and author Marianne Williamson once gave a platform to the unfounded theory that vaccines are linked to autism and called on her audience to “be awake” and “do your due diligence” before making the decision to vaccinate their children. [Pols emphasis]

In a January 2012 episode of her radio show, “Living Miracuously,” reviewed by CNN’s KFile, Williamson said she “agonized” as a mother over the decision to vaccinate her children and that she could see “both sides” of the issue. Her guest, author Gwen Olsen, said on the program that she knew a number of people who were vaccinated and were later diagnosed with autism, to which Williamson responded, “Yes, absolutely.”

And Vox’s Zack Beauchamp explored substantially more troubling comments from Williamson last July on the particular subject of mental health. Apropos, Romanoff is the immediate past President and CEO of Mental Health Colorado:

Williamson has repeatedly cast doubt on the idea that clinical depression is real, calling the idea “such a scam” in an interview with actor Russell Brand and labeled antidepressants harmful, a cause of suicide rather than a cure for it. [Pols emphasis]

Williamson has apologized for the “scam” comment and tried to walk back some of the more heated tweets. She also argued that her issue is not with using antidepressants per se, which she claims to at times support, but rather with their overprescription of them.

But her rhetoric has for some time gone way beyond such reasonable concerns in a way that makes her walkbacks ring hollow. She has argued that antidepressants are often actively harmful, suggested that they caused Robin Williams and Kate Spade to kill themselves (there’s no evidence for either claim), and has insinuated that Big Pharma is pushing antidepressants on Americans who don’t need them.

There is of course debate over the widespread prescription of antidepressant drugs in this country, but responsible participants in that debate agree it’s very bad to make these kinds of sweeping statements about such a complex subject. It’s even worse to make statements with an air of authority that have no factual basis whatsoever, like false claims about high-profile tragedies, and it’s worst of all when people suffering from mental illness hear these misguided statements and take them to heart.

If by this point you have realized that Romanoff just made a big mistake in celebrating Marianne Williamson’s endorsement–assuming charitably that Romanoff didn’t ask for it–we can only agree. For a campaign already struggling for legitimacy against the growing nationwide presumption that there is no meaningful Democratic primary in the Colorado U.S. Senate race, this backfire of an endorsement only pushes Romanoff closer to his own minor candidate status.

New York Times Can’t Find Cory Gardner, Either


Invisible Cory GardnerOver the weekend, the New York Times published a long, comprehensive story about the curious inaccessibility and general invisibility of Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).

They keep expecting to see Senator Cory Gardner everywhere — on the local Fox affiliates in Colorado, on Facebook, on literature crammed inside their mailboxes. They are voters who wear tasteful crepe blouses and carry structured Kate Spade totes, who like how their 401(k)’s are performing but say they could do without President Trump’s “temperament.”

They are members of one of the most coveted groups in electoral politics: suburban women. But in their field of vision, Mr. Gardner, Colorado’s top Republican officeholder, is almost nowhere to be found…

… Unlike most Republican senators, Mr. Gardner has been largely mum on the articles of impeachment against the president and the Senate trial starting Tuesday. Early in the process, he called the impeachment inquiry a “total circus,” but notably refused to answer questions about whether the president’s conduct with Ukraine had been appropriate.

Mr. Gardner hasn’t indicated one way or the other whether he’d vote to subpoena witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, even as some other senators facing tough re-election fights, like Senator Susan Collins of Maine, have expressed an openness to doing so. Last week on Capitol Hill, he evaded reporters eager to pin down his thoughts, his handler hurrying him into the nearest elevator. On Thursday evening, when a local Colorado reporter caught him at the Denver airport, a smiling Mr. Gardner offered still no clarity. “We have a trial,” he said. “That’s where we’re at right now.”…

… “I’m confused as to why he’s not out on the stump more, because that’s what he was so good at in 2014,” said Colorado Republican operative Tyler Sandberg.

We took note last week about Gardner’s embarrassing run-in with 9News, in which he repeatedly said “We have a trial” in response to questions seeking much more substantial responses from a United States Senator about the most important political issue of the day. What the Times story also found, however, is that Gardner’s fellow Republicans are as mystified as everyone else by the Yuma Senator’s current political strategy:

Dick Wadhams, a veteran Colorado Republican operative, was not bashful about calling out Mr. Gardner’s fear of public exposure. “If I had one criticism of him,” Mr. Wadhams said, “it’s that his team keeps him locked up in a fortress.” (Mr. Gardner and his aides did not return multiple requests for comment.) [Pols emphasis]

Impeachment has served only to highlight Mr. Gardner’s silence, whether on his own record or the national issues du jour, according to other Colorado Republicans. His caginess has frustrated some Trump supporters in Colorado, whose votes Mr. Gardner will almost certainly need to prevail in November, when Democrats are likely to come out in force in the presidential election.

Sen. Cory Gardner waves as he exits Air Force One behind President Trump in Oct. 2018.

Gardner’s attempts at invisibility might not be paying off in the manner in which he might hope, as this closing paragraph from the Times elaborates:

Amy Conklin [a former Littleton City Council member who has supported Gardner in the past] conceded that Mr. Gardner had done some good work in the Senate. But what looms largest in her mind, what she says she’d be hardest pressed to forget, are a handful of photographs she’s seen of Mr. Gardner, including one from last winter, in which she described him as “smiling and waving, following Trump out of Air Force One.” [Pols emphasis]

The Senate impeachment trial against President Trump gets underway today. Gardner will hide as much as he can and is not expected to be anything but a loyal soldier for Senate Majority Leader “Moscow” Mitch McConnell and the White House (as Politico made clear in an impeachment preview today).

Gardner Likely to Vote with Republicans on Impeachment, Say Political Observers

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This article, which originally appeared in the Colorado Times Recorder, was written by Jake Maher.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

As the impeachment trial begins in the Senate today, the scrutiny on Colorado’s Cory Gardner grows.

Speculation has filled a vacuum left by the Republican senator himself, who has made few statements to the press about how he views the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, in which he is now a juror.  And Gardner himself couldn’t be reached to explain his stance.

Among experts on Colorado politics, though, the consensus is clear: Gardner can be expected to fall in line with the Republican caucus, except for the possibility of voting for some witnesses or a similar concession, if it’s done with a group of GOP senators.

In the words of Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute: “He’s a partisan.”

“I would be very surprised, at least knowing what we know now, if Gardner defects from his party’s line on the final impeachment vote,” Kyle Saunders, a professor of political science at Colorado State University, wrote in an email.

Miles Coleman, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, wrote that he “wouldn’t expect Gardner to deviate from the Republican leadership.”

Gardner himself became a member of the Senate’s Republican leadership in 2016, and he currently serves as deputy whip.

A Possibility of a Smaller Act of Rebellion

As senator of a purple state, simply following the Republican party line may be too divisive of a political tack, and some experts saw the possibility of a smaller act of rebellion via a vote on allowing additional witness testimony—but only if the crowd is already moving that way anyway.

“If there is a vote taken on witnesses, and it appears that a majority supports limited witnesses, I could see Gardner making the calculus to support something like that, but only if it’s some sort of limited scenario,” wrote Saunders. “I don’t see Gardner supporting a free-for-all ‘as many witnesses as can be called’ scenario unless things are going very badly for Trump.”

“And it’s still not likely that it will go badly for Trump with Leader McConnell running point,” wrote Saunders.

According to Ornstein, he’s likely to follow the lead set by Senator Susan Collins of Maine and allow a few more witnesses, including Hunter and Joe Biden, and possibly reprimand the president.

But ultimately, “people don’t vote alone,” according to Seth Masket, a political scientist at the University of Denver. “[Gardner is] not going to stand that far out.”

Democratic political consultant Steve Welchert said Gardner is already “off-script” in his public communications on the Senate trial by not defending Trump more aggressively, besides calling the House impeachment vote a “total circus.”

Some experts said this tactic—maintaining a neutral public image while reliably voting along party lines—has been a characteristic of Gardner’s style of politics since the beginning of his term.

Ornstein noted that No Labels rated Gardner a “moderate” during his 2014 election, as he billed himself a solutions-oriented “problem solver” at the time.

“There is nothing in the record—no votes—to suggest he is a moderate,” he said.

A similar scenario played out during the Senate votes to repeal Obamacare in 2017, when Gardner’s noncommittal public statements cane in advance of repeated votes in favor of repeal.

Gardner “will signal open-mindedness, but is likely to vote with the rest of his caucus,” said Masket.

According to Coleman, Gardner’s voting record as a whole demonstrates his adherence to the Republican agenda at all turns, his public statements notwithstanding.

“He voted for both Trump’s Supreme Court picks, the GOP tax bill, ACA repeal, and was supportive of the President’s emergency border declaration last year,” he wrote.

“Throughout his tenure, on the big votes, he usually seems more like a senator from deep red Wyoming instead of a light blue state like Colorado,” said Coleman.

CORRECTION: Gardner remains on the U.S. Senate leadership team, currently serving as deputy whip. Due to an editing error, this post initially stated that he was no longer a GOP Senate leader.

Cancelled: Jon Caldara


Jon Caldara.

Friday evening, local right-wing subcultural institution Jon Caldara, director of the “libertarian” Independence Institute, announced that the Denver Post has pulled the plug on Caldara’s frequently controversial opinion column. Westword’s Michael Roberts reports:

Jon Caldara, president of the libertarian Independence Institute think tank, has never pretended to be politically correct. And he says his disinterest in hewing to such standards — most recently by insisting that there are only two sexes in the context of discussions about transgender topics — resulted in the Denver Post killing the column he’s written for the broadsheet since 2016…

In retrospect, Caldara thinks the seeds for his sacking were sown by a January 3 offering in which he argued that the AP Stylebook — the Associated Press guide used by many media outlets to determine which words and phrases are appropriate or to be avoided — promotes a progressive bias.

To wit, as Caldara wrote on January 3:

The AP has updated its style to say that gender is no longer binary and thus declared a winner in this divisive debate. They ruled that, “Not all people fall under one of two categories for sex and gender.”

And as the conservative Washington Times reported this weekend, Caldara circled back for another round of distasteful transphobia Friday:

“What seemed to be the last straw for my column was my insistence that there are only two sexes and my frustration that to be inclusive of the transgendered (even that word isn’t allowed) we must lose our right to free speech,” Mr. Caldara said in a Facebook post…

He referred to his final Friday column criticizing the comprehensive sex-education bill signed last year by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, which requires school districts that offer “human sexuality instruction” to include the “health needs” of LGBT individuals.

“Democrats don’t want transparency in hospital billing and they certainly don’t want education transparency when it comes to their mandate to convince your kid that there are more than two sexes, even if it’s against your wishes,” he said in the column.

Once upon a time, Caldara and his putatively “libertarian” advocacy group prided themselves on keeping clear of the kinds of social wedge issues that limited the ability of many conservative groups to make inroads with swing voters. At its peak, the Independence Institute instead hosted a multitude of issue-specific conservative organizations in their large Uptown office known as the “Freedom Embassy.”

But for several years now, Caldara’s influence has been in decline as establishment Republicans grew tired of his antics, which frequently resulted in negative press coverage. In 2013, Caldara was nearly prosecuted for vote fraud after registering to vote in Colorado Springs despite living in Boulder. That stunt fell apart in disgrace when Caldara blamed the deadly flooding in the fall of 2013 for not moving, as he (never) intended, in order to avoid criminal charges. During the 2015 school board recall in Jefferson County, Caldara was universally slammed for ads which exploited a disabled student for misplaced sympathy.

As a columnist for the Post, Caldara was known for a particularly tasteless analogy which outraged women readers and advocates: defending the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) by likening the law to “consent” in a sexual context–suggesting that Democrats were committing something comparable to sexual assault by opposing TABOR.

But in the end, it appears that old-fashioned transphobia was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Denver Post’s editorial team. For a guy like Caldara, who has made a living out of pushing the bounds of decency in pursuit of what turned out to be an old-school wedge issue conservative agenda, this is not injustice so much as an inevitable occupational hazard.

On the bright side, once cancelled by the mainstream media there’s always InfoWars.

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