Search Results for: beauprez abortion

Abortion Ban. “Buckpedaled.”

Reporter Allison Sherry of the major Denver newspaper is out today with a story you knew was coming sooner or later: GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck has officially abandoned Amendment 62, the so-called “personhood amendment,” claiming he ‘did not understand’ that it might actually ban certain forms of birth control. Having given the measure his steadfast support throughout the primary election, Buck’s campaign now says he will vote against it.

Buck also now says that he will not introduce a constitutional amendment overturning abortion rights, as he told voters during the primary he would. And Buck even backed off his prior position on an abortion litmus test for nominees–pro-choice would not ipso facto mean “disqualified” now. He has not, apparently, changed his position that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest; these specific policy applications are merely where the issue is forced to the surface.

But it’s no less of a turning point in this campaign, folks, indeed this could be the big one that throws all the other incidents of Buck’s flipping-flopping and dishonesty, from the democratic election of U.S. Senators to abolishing the Department of Ed, Social Security and Medicare being “fundamentally against” what he believes, or a national sales taxall of them–into unbearably sharp relief for the voters. Bob Beauprez earned the nickname “Both Ways” over far less. This all strikes us as a significant strategic error on the part of Buck’s campaign. The lessons from the Beauprez campaign, and prior to that, the John Kerry 2004 Presidential run, remain fresh in our mind; it’s always more dangerous to look like a “flip-flopper” than any one or two specific policy stances can ever be.

Buck has abandoned so much more than Beauprez ever did, so much of what he used to stand for, it begs the question: is there anything left of the Ken Buck who won the primary?

Deep Thoughts With Bob Beauprez

The Grand Junction Sentinel talks with 2006 GOP gubernatorial candidate “Both Ways” Bob Beauprez (see photo) about his new book, “A Return to Values: A Conservative Looks at His Party.”

The Daily Sentinel: In the book, you say, “It is time for a revolution, and Republican principles must lead it.” However, the principles you cited are traditional party tenets, such as small government and personal responsibility. How is this a revolution?

Bob Beauprez: What we have got to do is return to those principles. Some would say you have to change your ideas, you ought to change your principles, you have to change your focus. I don’t believe that’s the case. I think we have to regain our focus.

TDS: Do you see the Republican Party as a big tent or little tent?

BB: I see it as a big tent party. … We have room within our party for different opinions on some very, very complex issues, but a general overarching sense of what it means to be traditional, conservative Republicans.

TDS: Throughout the book you take shots at Gov. Bill Ritter and some of his ideas, but you don’t talk much about your 2006 campaign.

Why is that?

BB: It really wasn’t the purpose of the book. It wasn’t to rehash a success of mine or a failure of mine. It was to look at a much larger vision: Where does our party go from here? I was one speck on the lens that got pretty cloudy in 2006.

True that: besides, if we’re talking about a “return” to Beauprez’s values, things might get a little complicated between the “Elk Whisperer” training to ‘avoid’ oil drilling sites and the ‘appalling 70% abortion rate’ for African-Americans. And let’s not forget abusing confidential federal crime databases for campaign purposes, the incredible petition-rights backflip, or picking Janet “Bestiality” Rowland to be his running mate to begin with.

Yeah, there’s a lesson here–in the sense that Bob Beauprez is a walking talking cautionary tale. About mistakes you should never make in politics, regardless of which side you’re on.

War on Utah: Bob Beauprez Appointed Special Envoy

(ACP) – Governor Bill Ritter, thanking Colorado Republicans for their support in the ongoing war to liberate Utah, today appointed former Congressman Bob Beauprez as special envoy to the Colorado Provisional Authority government in Salt Lake City.

Beauprez’s unique ability to understand both sides of any contentious issue made him an ideal choice, Ritter spokesman Evan Dreyer said.

“The first thing we’re going to do is fire the whole Utah military and police force, but let them keep their weapons,” Beauprez told reporters on arrival in Salt Lake today. “Then we’ll create a new police force that uses slingshots and highly trained elk for riot control. And instead of deploying them to the cities of Utah, they’ll be put to work defending what really matters: coal and natural gas production sites.”

Beauprez then made a reference to the “appallingly” high rate of abortions in Utah before the invasion, while chief of staff John Marshall e-mailed an apology to Colorado media outlets.

“I’ll be placing Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland in charge of the interrogation program at Draper State Prison,” Beauprez, continued, “and I’ve authorized her to use special methods to extract information from captured insurgents. This is going to go really well.”

Forensics Lesson: The Beauprez Beatdown

This morning’s Denver Post begins the Bob Beauprez post-mortem: a long process, since everything that could have gone wrong for him more or less…did.

Often there is a moment in time that, viewed in retrospect, reveals where things went wrong.

In the case of Bob Beauprez’s gubernatorial bid, however, the moments were legion.

Political professionals said a mix of wayward campaign strategies, poor timing and the political judgment of Beauprez himself all contributed to a resounding loss for a candidate who 18 months ago was handpicked by the Republican establishment to be the next governor of Colorado…

He lost his seasoned campaign manager, then handed the reins to his relatively inexperienced communications director.

Then, despite the backlash over his Referendum C stance, he made a public splash by being the first person to sign a petition to roll back provisions of the measure that let the state keep extra tax revenue.

He blew a golden opportunity to pick a moderate running mate in August, and instead tapped Janet Rowland who once asked during a discussion of gay marriage: “Do we allow a man to marry a sheep?”

Two weeks later he contended that black women get abortions at the “appalling” rate of up to 70 percent.

And finally, political analysts threw up their hands in disbelief when he ended the fall campaign season with television ads that had him appearing next to a horse’s rear and an FBI investigation into where his campaign obtained information for an attack ad.

“He suffered so much damage and never managed it,” said Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli.

Post hands Ritter puff piece compared with its trashing of Beauprez

The Sunday Denver Post published a puff piece on its favorite candidate for governor, Bill Ritter, who, it turns out, favors gay unions, if not gay marriage, and embryonic stem cell research, if not abortion. Those tidbits were buried at the end of the two-page article, which means less than 10% of readers ever saw them.

The front page profile, hidden way below the fold, by Miles Moffeit, reads more like a presidential obituary than a profile of a candidate. Story is here: http://www.denverpos…

Contrast Moffeit’s puffery for Ritter with the hachet job Susan Greene did on Bob Beauprez on June 11. Story is here: http://www.denverpos… .

The glaring difference in approach by the two reporters will strike Republicans as blatantly unfair, but typical of the Post. It is notorious for bashing Republicans, except when its publisher dictates the endorsement of George Bush.

But independents who are looking for information about both candidates will note that Beauprez has a more complex career to cover than Ritter. This is despite Ritter’s much longer public record as a DA (12 years) than Beauprez’s time in Congress (barely four years).

Apparently and somewhat understandablly, it’s easier to write about a Congressman’s votes and fund raising activities than about all of the boring felonies and misdemeanors a DA has or hasn’t prosecuted.

And it’s easier to write about Ritter, because he’s had, basically, only one career as a prosecutor and government employee. (What has he been doing since he left office? I didn’t notice any reporting on wheter he’s a rich lawyer, or what. Or has he been a professional candidate?)

Beauprez, on the other hand, has built several businesses and worked as a volunteer in politics. Maybe these things are more interesting to the reporters, or maybe Greene’s a better reporter than Moffeit?

On balance, in terms of appealing to swing voters, Ritter certainly comes off better in his profile than Beauprez did in his, for crying out loud.

Both men rose from humble farms. Both played high school football, and I think were captains of their teams? Beauprez’s father left him money and a base on which to build his career, but certainly no silver spoon. Ritter’s father was a drunk but his mother apparently was as strong as Beauprez’ father.

Ritter is a smart lawyer. Beauprez may not be as smart, but he’s as accomplished, if not more so.

Both are nice guys, although Ritter’s probably better at remembering your name.

Ritter knows the law and criminal justice system. He probably thinks we’re all crooks, as most cops and prosecutors do.

Beauprez majored in gymn, I guess, but he has the drive and energy it takes to build businesses and sell. He probably understands the state better than Ritter, altlough both are natives.

But Ritter probably talks a better game. He is a former prosecutor, for crying out loud.

Beauprez’s advantage is that he’s won a couple of bitter, negative and close elections. He does go for the kill.

Ritter’s advantage is the anti-GOP tide and his greater appeal to unaffiliated voters. And he’s won the votes of more than a few juries.

Although both candidates are strong Catholics, Ritter will appeal to non Catholics more thean Beauprez because he seems to think for himself rather than blindly follow his church’s doctrine.

Neither profile offered much in the way of comments by the candidates about why they want to be governor or what they would do if elected. They’ll worry about that if they win.

These were personality pieces. Beauprez comes off as a nice, fuzzy thinker; Ritter as a nice, bright and compassionalte lawyer, of all things.

Fortunately for Beauprez, nobody remembers the bashing he got from Greene, and Ritter is even more fortunate in that the Post has given him a great link for his web site.

As for the Post’s readers, they got a chance to understand the candidates, but chances are that only a few read more than the first few paragraphs on the front page.

The Rocky has a chance to best the Post when it profiles the candidates. It’s always easier to rewrite than to write the first draft.

Which candidate will be most likely to link to his Post profile?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (May 2)

The Denver Nuggets took a 2-0 series lead on Monday night by beating the Phoenix Suns in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinals matchup; Game 3 is in Phoenix on Friday. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.




The Colorado legislature is scheduled to wrap up its 2023 session on Monday, but there is still much work to be done. Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun has more on one late — but very important — proposal:

Colorado voters would be asked in November to approve a 10-year plan aimed at preventing property taxes from rising at a historic clip under an eleventh-hour proposal unveiled Monday by Gov. Jared Polis and Democrats in the state legislature.

The effort, which would reduce Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights refunds in order to make up for the cuts, is aimed at combating a dizzying rise in property values that will cause a corresponding jump in homeowners’ and businesses’ tax burden. Property tax bills are in large part determined by property values, and home values increased statewide by an average of 40% over the past two years.

Proponents of the measure say it would cut the projected property tax increase for the average Colorado homeowner by 62% in the 2023 tax year for which taxes are due in April 2024…

…To get the measure on the November ballot, the proposal only needs the support of a simple majority in the legislature. The measure was introduced Monday as Senate Bill 303 and state lawmakers will have to act quickly, as the 2023 legislative session in Colorado ends on May 8.

You can read more on this proposal from Colorado Public Radio, The Denver Post, and 9News.


In other news from under the gold dome at the State Capitol, House Republicans saw three stupid ideas get canned in a committee room on Monday. Meanwhile, Democrats continue to work on real ideas:

Marianne Goodland of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman takes a big-picture look at the work left to be done in the final week of session.

♦ House Democrats will try to paste some lost pieces of a land use/affordable housing bill favored by Gov. Jared Polis that were cut by the State Senate. Seth Klamann of The Denver Post has more on changes to SB23-213.

♦ Legislation that seeks to lower the threshold for workplace harassment claims is still moving along, as is a bill that would increase regulations for no-knock warrants.

♦ A bill to extend Medicaid and child health care access is headed to the desk of Gov. Polis.

♦ Halfway houses will be audited for the first time in decades.

♦ Legislation to implement a new magic mushroom industry in Colorado has been finalized.


State Republican Party Chair and former lawmaker Dave Williams finally showed up at the State Capitol for his other job as a legislative aide.


 Give your eyes a break and put your ears to work with this week’s episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast:

Click below to keep learning things…



Heidi Ganahl: The New Best Loser in Colorado History

We’re #1! We’re #1!

Now that the 2022 election is behind us (most of us, anyway), there are a number of questions to be answered. Chief among them: Just how historically bad was Hiedi Heidi Ganahl’s campaign for Governor?

Bad. Really, really bad. Like, all-time bad.

In fact, we’d say that Ganahl has dethroned Bob Beauprez as the single worst statewide candidate and campaign in modern Colorado history. If you disagree, consider that the margin between Ganahl and Democrat Jared Polis is now 20 points wide.  That’s right — updated election results show that Polis beat Ganahl by better than 20 points.

If you still disagree, keep reading. To put our theory to the test, we brought in some help from the Ghost of Bill Owens

Owens was the last Republican to be elected Governor in Colorado, winning a second term in 2002. Owens isn’t dead (as far as we know), but his party is virtually deceased, so the metaphor works well enough.

Published below is our conversation, conducted with the Ghost of Bill Owens in the Republican spirit land known as Rur-al-Colorado. 


COLORADO POLS: Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, the Republican candidate for Governor in Colorado in 2022, is the worst major statewide candidate AND campaign in Colorado history. Change our mind.


Woody is in there!

GHOST OF BILL OWENS: Boo! Oh, nevermind. I’m not sure that I could make an intelligent counter-argument for you. But first, a question: What do you mean “candidate AND campaign?”


POLS: Well, you can have a bad candidate with a good campaign, or vice-versa. They don’t necessarily have to go hand-in-hand. 

For example, Lauren Boebert was not a great candidate in 2020 when she defeated Scott Tipton for the Republican nomination in CO-03. Boebert was almost completely unknown, but she managed to put together a campaign to beat a long-term incumbent in Tipton, who basically fell asleep that Spring and didn’t wake up again until the day after the election.

Oddly enough, Boebert might lose her seat in Congress after pulling a “Tipton” herself once cycle later. She didn’t spend a lot of time campaigning in her district; in the last few weeks of the 2022 election, Boebert was in Tennessee to deliver a Christian Nationalism speech and then went to Mar-a-Lago in Florida for…for whatever it is that people do there. 

Anyway, back to Ganahl. Let’s look at some comparisons:


See what we mean? Ganahl wasn’t even able to get to 40% of the vote in Colorado, which is downright remarkable. Every other statewide Republican candidate received somewhere between 41% and 43% of the total vote in their respective races). Even David Torres, the Democratic candidate for Congress in beet-red Colorado Springs, managed to get 40% of the vote running against incumbent Republican Doug Lamborn (56%). Hundreds of thousands of Colorado voters who were willing to say “Yes” to the rest of the GOP ticket just could not force themselves to vote for Ganahl. 

Ganahl remained below even her own floor: A recent exit poll memo in Colorado conducted by Global Strategy Group found that only 42% of voters even considered voting for Heidi Ganahl

Here are a few more numbers to consider:

♦ Global Strategy Group found that Ganahl lost Unaffiliated voters in Colorado by 33 points. Yes, that’s two threes.

♦ There were six statewide races in Colorado in 2022 (U.S. Senate, Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, and the State Board of Education at-large position). Out of 12 major party candidates on the ballot in these races, Ganahl is THE ONLY ONE who is not going to reach at least 1 million total votes.


By the way, Polis is the first major statewide candidate in Colorado in 20 years to win a General Election by at least 20 points. The first since…



POLS: Right. You, or whatever. In 2002, Bill Owens defeated Democrat Rollie Heath by nearly 33 points to win re-election as Governor. In fairness to Heath, he joined the race fully understanding that it was virtually unwinnable that year and was the sacrificial lamb for Democrats so that Owens wouldn’t run unopposed. 

This is an incredibly rare occurrence. We’ve only seen a 20+ point statewide race 4 times since 1990 (Ben “Nighthorse” Campbell in 1998 and Roy Romer in 1990). 


GOBO: Good times. But what about Dan Maes?

POLS: Ah, yes. Dan Maes. This is always the first name that comes up on this topic. Maes was another completely-unknown Republican who won the GOP nomination for Governor in 2010 with Scott McInnis weighed down by a plagiarism scandal. Republicans were so convinced that Maes would be a disaster in a General Election against popular Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper that they recruited Tom Tancredo to run as the American Constitution Party candidate for Governor. Maes ended up with only 11% of the vote; had he dropped under 10%, Republicans would have lost their official “major party status” for 2012.

Maes was not a good candidate, but he was more of a dunce who was in the right place at the right time when McInnis cratered in the Republican Primary. Since nobody else had been challenging McInnis for the GOP nomination, Maes was the beneficiary of being the only “Not Scott” candidate. Maes performed poorly in the 2010 General Election in large part because Republican bigwigs sandbagged him and refused to help. Maes didn’t really know what he was doing as a statewide candidate, and Republicans weren’t interested in helping him. Maes should not have won the GOP nomination in the first place, but that was the Party’s fault, not his, for an inability to organize another option to McInnis.

Here’s what makes Ganahl different: She HAD all of the advantages that were denied to Maes but could not or would not capitalize on them. Starting off her campaign as an election denier really crippled any momentum in the early stages. Still, Ganahl managed to win a Republican Primary and then inexplicably just kept moving to the right


GOBO: Wait, that means Ganahl is worse than Bob Beauprez in 2006?

POLS: Beauprez’s 2006 campaign for governor was absolutely the Best Loser in Colorado until he was out-losered by Ganahl. Beauprez was a schmuck of a candidate who said really stupid things (such as his absurd claim that 70% of African-American pregnancies end in abortion) and made equally-terrible decisions (choosing Janet Rowland as his running mate after she suggested that homosexuality was a gateway to bestiality). He also lost by a sizable margin to Bill Ritter, the former Denver DA who was nobody’s first, second, third, or even fourth choice on the Democratic side (at the time, there were a lot of bigger-named Democrats who decided against running, among them Hickenlooper, House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald).

But Beauprez did have a second act, sort of. In 2014, he won the Republican nomination for Governor and gave then-incumbent Governor John Hickenlooper a scare before ultimately losing by 3 points.

Still, we’ll always have this:

Bob Beauprez saw the future way back in 2006.


POLS: Here’s another question: Could you see Ganahl making a comeback in a few years after all her nonsense about furries in schools; election conspiracies; and failing to raise enough money to even have a legitimate television advertising budget?

GOBO: [Thinking] I guess you’ve got me there. Ganahl couldn’t get elected as a local PTA President after everything she said in the last few months.


POLS: Exactly. She’s radioactive. 

Look at how many Republican candidates were severely hurt by Ganahl’s awful campaign. Ganahl was probably never going to beat Polis, but if she could have made it a race, it would likely have made a big difference in turnout for down-ticket races. How many extra votes might Boebert (CO-03) or Barbara Kirkmeyer (CO-08) have picked up if there had been even a modest enthusiasm among Republicans for the top of the ticket?


GOBO: What about Joe O’Dea’s Senate campaign? Wasn’t he a drag on other Republicans?

POLS: Sure, but not like Ganahl. O’Dea’s campaign is definitely in the top 20 of worst major campaigns of all time, but he was more of a drag by virtue of being uninteresting. Ganahl was an unshakable anchor on the entire Republican Party.

GOBO: Ganahl was not a great candidate, but she was the best the GOP had this year…


POLS: Was she? Surely Greg Lopez, who lost to Ganahl in the GOP Primary, could have at least made it to 40% of the vote in Colorado. You might have done better if you painted a smiley face on a rock and made it the Republican nominee; at least the rock wouldn’t have been talking about furries.

GOBO: Fine, I concede that Ganahl is the worst candidate and campaign in state history. Lesson learned, amirite?


POLS: There are indeed a lot of lessons for Republicans. The real question is whether the Colorado GOP is at all interested in learning any of those answers. 

In multiple post-mortem news stories after the election, Republicans claimed that they had a great slate of candidates (they did not) and some great issues to run on (they did, but they screwed that up). They complained about too many liberal voters moving to Colorado, but they never adjusted their message to have a conversation with those voters. 

As for Ganahl, she spent 99% of her time complaining about Polis and talking about every negative statistic related to Colorado that she could dig up. Listening to her was exhausting. Her policy ideas were so shallow and ridiculous that she even managed to exasperate longtime Republican and Denver Post publisher Dean Singleton.

Were Republicans surprised by how ridiculous Ganahl became from the moment she announced her campaign? Were they unprepared by how quickly things went from bad to worse? If they were surprised…why, and how come nobody came to the rescue? Surely somebody had talked with Ganahl before she launched her campaign, right? Were they so blinded by their dislike of Polis that they didn’t see their own disaster of a candidate?


GOBO: Are all those questions for me?

A fitting metaphor if ever there was one.

POLS: No, they’re mostly rhetorical…though still probably worth answering if you are a Republican. 

GOBO: Okay, riddle me one last thing: Was the candidate or the campaign worse?

POLS: Ooh, that’s tough. Also, how is it that we are now answering your questions?

It’s difficult to separate the candidate from the campaign here, given that Ganahl had 47 different campaign managers [that’s an exaggeration, but it was a lot] and seemed to direct most of the strategery by herself, with the occasional input from nitwits like Lindsey Datko of Jeffco Kids First.   

It’s interesting, and sad, to think that 18 months ago, Ganahl was a fairly well-respected CU Regent who was the sole remaining Republican to have been elected statewide in Colorado. Today, she is “that furry lady.” And that’s only to the extent that anyone would even recognize her due to her lack of advertising during the campaign. 

GOBO: Maybe that’s the silver lining here.

POLS: What’s that?

GOBO: It’s probably good that most Coloradans don’t know what Ganahl looks like – that means fewer people who will recognize her in public.

POLS: Fair point. Now, can someone please tell her to take a break? As the old saying goes, we can’t miss you if you won’t go away.


Ganahl: Most Colorado Kids Can’t Read, Write, or Do Math

Earlier this year we posted a bracket-style look at the worst major political campaigns in the last two decades in Colorado. The Winningest Loser in our bracket was Republican Bob Beauprez’s disastrous campaign for Governor in 2006, but we noted at the time that 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Hiedi Heidi Ganahl was making a run at the title with her dumpster fire of a campaign.

Indeed, the closer we get to Election Day, the more Ganahl’s campaign seems to be morphing into Beauprez’s 2006 debacle. Here’s yet another example…

In August 2006, Beauprez was forced to make a half-assed apology for making a ridiculous claim about abortion during an interview on Colorado Public Radio’s “Colorado Matters” (in fact, we still have the transcript of that interview in our archives). Beauprez had claimed that more than 70% of African-Americans were getting abortions, a figure that is so ludicrous that it doesn’t even need a complete fact checking:

“I’ve seen numbers as high as 70 percent – maybe even more – in the African-American community that I think is just appalling.”

Beauprez’s apology was not great, but at least he acknowledged his own idiocy: “I was wrong about the statistic I quoted in a recent interview with Colorado Public Radio and I apologize to the African American Community and anyone else who was offended,” said Beauprez in a statement. “I should have verified the statistic before repeating it.” [Pols emphasis]

This is a lesson that Ganahl should have learned. We recently stumbled across this “Mom on a Mission” video from Ganahl’s campaign that tries to use an equally-absurd statistic as fact. You can click on the link above to watch the entire 34-second video, but here’s the key part:

“And 60% of our kids here in this state cannot read, write, or do math. That is not okay.”

— Republican gubernatorial nominee Heidi Ganahl



Again, we don’t need to spend any time doing serious research to know that this statistic is straight bananas. Ganahl would have you believe that 6 in 10 Colorado children are both illiterate and incapable of solving basic math problems. This is as dumb as saying that 100% of Colorado children under the age of 3 are unable to read, write, or do math…but at least that figure would be accurate.

Ganahl is an elected Regent at the University of Colorado, so she should have at least absorbed SOME information about public education just by osmosis over the last 5-6 years. Of course, this isn’t the only time Ganahl has said something bizarre about public education in Colorado; she also seems to think that we are teaching sex education to kindergarteners, which is silly.

So where did Ganahl come up with this 60% figure? Here’s our guess:

Over the course of her campaign for Governor, Ganahl has regularly mentioned statistics about how Colorado children perform in schools. You can find plenty of numbers showing that X% of kids test below grade level in various subjects, which is a completely fair thing to point out (however, Colorado students generally test better than the national average when it comes to reading). But the details matter. At some point, Ganahl stopped parsing out the numbers for different grade levels and subjects and just lumped it all into one ridiculous percentage.

And that number just keeps rising. By the time we reach November, Ganahl will be saying that 90% of the state’s entire population is illiterate.

Ganahl has long acknowledged that she’ll say pretty much whatever you want her to say if she thinks it might earn your support. Most politicians will exaggerate on various issues to some degree, but this is different — it’s just flat out lying. For the Ganahl campaign, such an approach seems to be standard operating procedure.

Throwback Thursday: When The NRSC Boosted Andrew Romanoff

As readers know, Colorado Republicans are furiously sounding the alarm over ads running ahead of the June 28th primary attacking Republican candidates for U.S. Senate and governor Ron Hanks and Greg Lopez. Republican strategists interpret these ads as an attempt to boost what they consider to be the undesirable candidate in the race–in the process betraying their own biases. Democrats counter correctly that Hanks and Lopez are much closer ideologically to the voters who will decide the nomination, and that’s not their fault.

Although Republicans are trying to portray Democratic ads ahead of their primary as some kind of unprecedented act of treachery, as Ernest Luning of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports, “meddling in primaries” is neither new nor the exclusive tactic of either side:

Both parties have histories of trying to sway the outcome of the other’s primaries, usually by running ads attacking the less moderate candidates, who are considered easier to defeat in a general election…

National Democrats tried something similar in 2014 by attacking former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo for his conservative positions, but former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez won the gubernatorial nomination after he blasted the “dishonest, negative attacks and underhanded tactics.”

The NRSC took the same tack in Colorado in the last election, albeit on a smaller scale, though it didn’t work. In a billboard campaign and targeted ads that drew national attention, the Republicans linked Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff and other more left-leaning primary candidates to popular progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York congresswoman known as AOC. Former Gov. John Hickenlooper won the nomination and went on to deny Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner a second term.

We wrote about the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s “Andrew [Romanoff] and AOC: One and The Same” campaign when it happened and…well, it was clever enough, while also as we said at the time being fairly telling about the NRSC’s desired opponent in the general election. It didn’t work for Republicans in 2020 against the well-known and popular Hickenlooper, but the dynamics of the 2022 GOP primary are very different. This time, you have two candidates with very poor name recognition, and Joe O’Dea is seriously deficient ideologically relative to the voters he’s trying to win over. The other candidate, Rep. Hanks, has a platform much more naturally aligned with the Republican base on just about every issue.

Where the NRSC’s boosting Andrew Romanoff didn’t work, helping GOP primary voters understand the ideological differences between Joe O’Dea and Ron Hanks could be decisive. That’s why Republicans are pushing back so furiously, hoping “smart” Republican voters “see through” the tactic and vote for…

The pro-abortion guy who supports Joe Biden’s socialist infrastructure bill and donated to Democrats.

The more light shed, the reason O’Dea’s backers are so on edge becomes very clear.

Boebert Makes “So-Called Candidates,” Like Gardner, Look Awful to Boyles

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Lauren Boebert (R-ifle).

One funny side effect of congressional candidate Lauren Boebert’s rise to fame is that she makes other Republican Party candidates in Colorado look awful–at least in the eyes of conservative hardliners who must vote nonstop if Cory Gardner has a prayer to win in November.

Don’t take it from me. Hear it from the king of the bottom-feeding right-wingers himself: KNUS radio host Peter Boyles.

“This young woman brings the most excitement to the Republican party in the state of Colorado since I don’t know when,” said Boyles on air Monday.

But instead of turning this into a plus for the Republicans, Boyles contrasts Boebert with “so-called candidates” like…Cory Gardner!

“We’ve been through Bob Beauprez and Bruce Benson and the Coors brothers and, I mean, [Walker] Stapleton and this–Cory Gardner,” said Boyles. “You have infused more excitement, more speed, into the Republican party than any of those other so-called candidates.”

In other words, life would be great if only Gardner vanished, poof, and Colorado had Boebert all day every day, on every harvestable mail-in ballot in the state.

Boyles explained that no other worthless top Republican was in Denver last year, as Boebert was, carrying her gun and telling Beto O’Rourke “hell no” she wouldn’t give up her gun if his dangerous idea of a mandatory buyback of all assault weapons became law.

“I did that because I didn’t see anybody else doing it; I didn’t see anyone standing for freedom,” said Boebert on air, triggering Boyles.

“I didn’t see Cory Gardner standing there, or Mike Coffman, or Walker Stapleton, or any of the above–the establishment,” Boyles yelped.

“And you’re not a big woman–I’ll say tiny woman, but I don’t mean to offend anyone,” said Boyles, who says he’s “in love with” Boebert. “You’re not very tall.”

You may find that offensive but the Republicans who must go to the polls and vote for Gardner mostly don’t. It’s refreshing to them, harmless, and its message is clear.

Gardner, in Boyles own words, is a “weenie,” a weak, word-sloshing piece of political scrap, destined of course for a high-paying lobbying job with a reciprocal smile and a pat on the back, thank you very much.


Recapping One Of Cory Gardner’s Worst Weeks

President Donald Trump, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the gross incompetence of President Donald Trump and the non-career professional side of his administration into harsh relief, along with the Republican political establishment that enabled and continues to prop up Trump through his daily displays of embarrassing ignorance, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado has taken a terrible beating in the polls, continuing to underperform a sliding Trump and showing deficits in corroborating polling matchups so large Democrats risk complacency if taken for granted–which means they won’t be, at least not yet.

Of all the bad weeks Gardner has had since Trump’s election, and especially since the outbreak of COVID-19, last week could be the worst. Briefly recap it with us:

Last weekend, after polling the previous week showed Gardner losing by as much as 18%, a new poll from showed Gardner’s approval rating fading to black and stuck several points below Trump’s own As the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reported:

Global Strategy Group surveyed 800 registered voters in Colorado online between May 7 and 11. They found 37% of voters approve of the job Gardner is doing, which is lower than the 41% of Colorado voters who approve of the job Trump is doing. Thirty percent approved of Gardner’s work on coronavirus response.

Then Trump told the world that he’s taking a drug he has controversially touted for months, hydroxychloroquine, as a preventative measure despite no evidence it is effective for either treatment or prevention of COVID-19 and evidence it could be lethal. Tuesday, CNN’s Manu Raju tried to get Gardner to say something, anything about the President he’s endorsed for re-election, and Gardner’s lame dodge stuck out like a COVID toe:

Asked if Trump should be giving medical advice, Sen. Cory Gardner said: “I’m going to continue to work with the governor of Colorado and make sure Coloradans have what they need to get through this together…”

Then on Wednesday, Gardner snubbed a request by local NBC affiliate 9NEWS, the highest-rated local news channel in the Denver market, for a Senate debate:

Gardner is the first U.S. Senate candidate since Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell in 1998 to decline to debate their opponent on 9NEWS. [Pols emphasis] Nighthorse Campbell, a Democrat turned Republican, was facing Democrat Dottie Lamm at the time.

He is also the first candidate in any race to decline to debate their opponent on 9NEWS since 2014, when Tom Tancredo refused to debate Republican gubernatorial candidates Bob Beauprez, Scott Gessler and Mike Kopp.

While Gardner did agree to some other proposed debates in the general election season, his refusal to go on 9NEWS keeps alive a running battle by reporters at the station to nail Gardner down on a variety of topics over the years going back to his flip-flop on abortion in the 2014 Senate race. This is an increasingly emblematic feud between Gardner and accountability that probably deserves its own blog post.

But of all of these stories that left Cory Gardner looking weak, cowardly, and in deep denial, Thursday’s humiliation was far and away the worst:

Gardner surprised many Wednesday by threatening to stop the Senate recess. He tweeted that it’s “unfathomable” for the chamber to go on a 10-day recess before considering additional coronavirus aid measures. The Senate has been in session the past couple of weeks, but mainly voting on nominations and confirmations.

While Gardner and some other Republican senators have been pushing for more coronavirus aid, McConnell has said repeatedly that a “pause” is needed to see how the money Congress has already spent is or is not working.

Senators left Washington, D.C., without taking up any coronavirus legislation. [Pols emphasis]

And after all of this, a brutal story in Politico Saturday about Gardner’s failure to sway the GOP-controlled Senate on a major local swing voter issue, the legal marijuana industry:

“At some point, I have to go to Cory Gardner and say, ‘Why should the industry continue to support you?’” said Marijuana Policy Project’s Don Murphy, a former Republican lawmaker in Maryland. “I know you’re trying, but you’re not getting anything.” [Pols emphasis]

Cory Gardner’s public defeat after threatening to take show-stopping action to force the Senate to write and pass another round of coronavirus economic stimulus was a shocking exposure of how little influence Gardner actually wields in the Republican-controlled Senate today. It’s surprising that Gardner took this public stand without having assurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he’d be backed up. But it’s even more notable that McConnell left one of his supposedly biggest “protects” up for re-election in 2020 to twist in the wind just like McConnell did with marijuana. That’s an unmistakable sign that Gardner’s value to his own party’s leadership, to the extent is was ever more than a photo-op, is on the wane.

Although Cory Gardner quickly turned his attitude around after Donald Trump’s unexpected 2016 election, from calling for Trump to pull out of the race to becoming one of Trump’s most loyal defenders through through the worst scandals of Trump’s unprecedented scandal-ridden administration, the reality of Trump’s term in office has almost certainly fulfilled the worst fears of Gardner and other “smart” Republicans who despaired in October of 2016–of both defeat and what victory with Trump would look like.

For Cory Gardner in particular, what Republicans should have hailed as a historic moment of total control in Washington in the first two years of Trump’s presidency was instead an unproductive roller-coaster of executive mismanagement and legislative apprehension at the prospect of making good on a decade of promises to the far right–a central component was repealing and replace the Affordable Care Act, which Gardner has campaigned on running for both the U.S. House and Senate.

After Democrats retook the House and began the long process of holding Trump’s bull-in-a-china-shop administration accountable, not to mention putting a stop to the agenda Republicans had largely failed to pass in the two years they had total control, Gardner has been on the defensive everywhere as his poll numbers have trended from bad to worse. And then came the pandemic, which has exposed Trump and the Republican power base that lives in symbiosis with him as so incompetent and corrupt in the face of an actual emergency that Democrats could not possibly make the present reality up.

The proof is coming on so fast and so thick that the biggest challenge is keeping up with the transcription.

The second challenge is finding the words on a continuing basis to adequately describe it.

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 10)

If this were 2020, we’d be two weeks away from the Primary Election. It’s time to “Get More Smarter.” If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


President Trump is lobbying tariff threats…again. As Greg Sargent writes for the Washington Post:

President Trump has spent the last half day frantically retweeting his propagandists, who are pushing the absurd deception that Trump’s new deal with Mexico is a massive and historic victory. In reality, the agreement — which averts Trump’s threatened tariffs — consisted mostly of things Mexico already agreed tomonths ago.

Trump is in a rage over this — he repeatedly fumed at the New York Times for reporting it — and now he’s amplifying the notion that he won enormous concessions from Mexico by claiming that Mexico has secretly agreed to another major provision that will be revealed at some unspecified future time.

This has come packaged with a threat: Trump just tweeted that if Mexico does not soon take formal steps to ratify that secret provision, “Tariffs will be reinstated!” [Pols emphasis]

The White House called off tariff threats against Mexico over the weekend after pretending that its crack negotiatin’ resulted in a capitulation that — in reality — had already been agreed upon. Or maybe it was all because of Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R-Yuma) breathtaking “dear colleague” letter on Friday.

From a local perspective, Aldo Svaldi of the Denver Post explains why Colorado farmers and business owners stand to lose Bigly because of Trump’s trade war.


The U.S. Senate isn’t doing much of anything these days, and Republicans are now pretending to be concerned. As Politico reports:

The Senate is going to get back to good old-fashioned legislating any day now. Republicans swear it.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Senate has been almost entirely focused on confirming President Donald Trump’s personnel and judges and has had little in the way of recent legislative victories…

…The paltry list of accomplishments has given Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer an opening to portray the GOP as devoid of any agenda and could endanger Republicans at risk in a tough election cycle. And there’s a growing recognition within the GOP that it needs to do more.


 The Justice Department has reached a deal with Congressional leaders on turning over evidence from the Mueller investigation. From the New York Times:

The Justice Department, after weeks of tense negotiations, has agreed to provide Congress with key evidence collected by Robert S. Mueller III that could shed light on possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by President Trump, the House Judiciary Committee said on Monday.

The exact scope of the material the Justice Department has agreed to provide was not immediately clear, but the committee signaled that it was a breakthrough after weeks of wrangling over those materials and others that the Judiciary panel demanded under subpoena.

The announcement appeared to provide a rationale for House Democrats’ choice, announced last week, to back away from threats to hold Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of Congress. The House will still proceed on Tuesday with a vote to empower the Judiciary Committee to take Mr. Barr to court to fully enforce its subpoena, but even that may no longer be necessary, the panel’s leader said…

…House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said he expected the department to begin sharing some of the material Monday afternoon and that all members of the committee would be able to view it privately.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Walker Stapleton: The Candidate Nobody is Afraid to Face

Walker Stapleton

Walker Stapleton will almost certainly be the Republican nominee for Governor.

This is almost certainly not great news for Colorado Republicans.

We’re just days away from the June 26 Primary, and the overwhelming favorite for the GOP gubernatorial nomination is running a campaign that has Republican observers positively terrified.

“I’m starting to worry that Bill Owens might be the only Republican governor in my lifetime,” said Dick Wadhams in a recent interview with the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Wadhams is the Republican strategist and former State GOP Party Chair who was pulling many of the strings that helped elected Owens in 1998 (and again in 2002) and Sen. Wayne Allard in 1996 and 2002. Things have not gone well for Republicans (or Wadhams) ever since. Cory Gardner is the only Republican candidate to win a race for U.S. Senate or Governor in Colorado in the last 16 years, and it sure doesn’t look like he’s going to have any company this fall.

As Wadhams recently suggested to Mike Littwin of the Colorado Independent, Stapleton is earning a new nickname: “Walker Stumbleton.”

Congressman Jared Polis remains the likely frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for Governor, and Colorado Republicans have long expressed their desire to challenge the Boulder-area Congressman in a General Election. But here’s something you might not have heard: Stapleton has always been the candidate that Democrats hoped to face in November. It’s not hard to see why…



TV interview show to focus on election topics and candidates

Denver television fixture Aaron Harber will again produce an extensive series of TV interview shows, called Your Decision 2016, focusing on Colorado election races, ballot initiatives, and related issues beginning no later than Sept. 25 and ending Nov. 6.

Harber will soon begin solidifying topics for 14-to-18 half-hour shows. He aims to cover not only the major races and state-wide ballot initiatives but also key down-ballot state legislative races, such as state senate contests that could determine whether Democrats take control of Colorado government.

Harber plans shows on Colorado’s U.S. Senate race and the Aurora Congressional race (U.S. House District 6) between U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman and his Democratic challenger State Sen. Morgan Carroll.

“The majority of voters really start paying attention after Labor Day, so our focus is to try to make people aware of this over the course of the next four or five weeks and then start the programming,” said Harber. “Our goal is not just to provide the programming as a public service. Our goal is to reach thousands of voters, so they have a place to go for fact-based and mutually respectful and civil discussion, which seems to be in short order in the political world today.”

At least two shows will be offered each week. They will air on KCDO-TV Channel 3, Saturdays at 9 to 9:30 p.m. for one show and Saturdays 9:30 to 10 p.m. for another show. (The two shows will be air again on KCDO from 11 a.m Sundays to 12 a.m. and later on Sundays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.) The two programs will also be broadcast on COMCAST Entertainment Television Mondays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. (with repeat shows during the week on COMCAST and on ION Television), and the two shows will also be downloadable on COMCAST XFINITY ON DEMAND service).

The different venues offer “voters lots of chances to see the programs,” says Harber.

“With these six prime-time spots, we really want to take advantage of the opportunity to be on the air when a lot of people are watching television,” said Harber.

Harber’s show joins other Denver TV candidate-interview shows that have made a demonstrable impact on Colorado politics in recent years: 9News’ Balance of Power and 7News’ Politics Unplugged. Unfortunately, Fox 31 Denver dropped its interview program when longtime political reporter Eli Stokols left the station for a job at Politico.

There’s also the Get More Smarter Show, hosted by progressives Jason Bane and Alan Franklin, and Devil’s Advocate, “moderated” by Jon Caldara of the right-leaning Independence Institute. (Caldara’s show broke news last month when U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn backtracked on his previous pledge to ban all abortion, even for rape.)

In 2014, Harber’s election shows were rolled out in partnership with The Denver Post. Harber has a regular public-affairs TV program as well as the focused election programming.

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 27)

MoreSmarterLogo-ElectionRemember, friends: If you still have a ballot at home, it is too late to put it in the mail. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


► Colorado’s Primary Election is tomorrow, which means it is too late to put your ballot in the mail if you haven’t voted already (ballots must be received by your county clerk before 7:00 pm on Tuesday; postmark dates are irrelevant). For ballot drop-off locations and other voter information, go to

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has updated voting turnout results as of 8:00 am on Monday.


► The Supreme Court had a busy morning as it works on finishing up its to-do list before Justices begin their annual summer break. The Washington Post reports on the ruling that captured the most attention:

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down Texas abortion restrictions that have been widely duplicated in other states, a resounding win for abortion rights advocates in the court’s most important consideration of the controversial issue in 25 years.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joined the court’s liberals in the 5 to 3 decision, which said Texas’s arguments that the clinic restrictions were to protect women’s health were cover for making it more difficult to obtain an abortion.

The challenged Texas provisions required doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and said that clinics must meet hospital-like standards of surgical centers.

Similar restrictions have been passed in other states, and officials say they protect patients. But the court’s majority sided with abortion providers and medical associations who said the rules are unnecessary and so expensive or hard to satisfy that they force clinics to close.

In a separate ruling that was also announced today, the Supreme Court overturned a corruption conviction for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Critics worry that the court’s decision in the McDonnell case could make it harder to prosecute public officials for criminal wrongdoing.


► The five Republican candidates seeking their party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate race continue to straddle the fence on their support of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. As John Frank writes for the Denver Post:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn made clear for months that he supported Donald Trump for president. He even called Trump “a patriot.”

But with Ted Cruz in Denver last week, Glenn added an “if” caveat that didn’t go unnoticed in the state that is driving the #DumpTrump effort ahead of the convention.

“Right now, we have a presumptive nominee,” Glenn started. “And if he remains our presumptive nominee, we have a responsibility, a responsibility, to get in line and support that candidate.”

(He also landed Cruz a standing ovation for this line: “If he cannot be our next president of the United States of America, I am personally going to lead the charge to make sure he’s our next Supreme Court justice.” Cruz demurred politely.)

Frank’s entire story is worth a read, as he tries to understand the meaning behind some of Glenn’s more cryptic comments on the GOP Presidential race.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Jan. 19)

GetMoreSmarter-SnowThe AFC Championship Game is still five days away; why are we already so nervous? It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).


► The Iowa caucuses are just two weeks away, and as Politico reports, it looks like a two-man race between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio a very distant third.


► In the last seven days, three separate Colorado Republicans have declared their intent to seek the 2016 U.S. Senate nomination. If you’re counting at home (good luck with that, BTW), Jerry Natividad is somewhere between the 9th and 12th GOP candidate to enter the race thus far. As much as it pains us to say this, Bob Beauprez has got to be lurking around the corner somewhere.

Meanwhile, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate — state Sen. Tim Neville — was in Grand Junction over the weekend to make it clear that nobody will be outflanking him on the right.



Get even more smarter after the jump…


Top Ten Stories of 2015 #8: Off the Rails in the Colorado Legislature

colorado-state-capitolIn 2015, Republicans retook control of the Colorado Senate for the first time since 2004. This impressive-sounding feat is tempered by the reality that their control of the chamber was won by a single seat, in a race decided by well under 1,000 votes. In 2010, the GOP wrested control of the Colorado House from Democrats by a similar narrow margin in a single swing Jefferson County House race–in fact a district that largely overlaps the Senate district that proved decisive in 2014. In the 2012 elections, Democrats punished majority House Republicans with two years of aggregated misdeeds from their time in power, expanding the Democratic Senate majority and retaking the House by a wide margin.

For a host of reasons, 2016 is setting up to look a lot like 2012.

Obviously, it’s a presidential election year, which has in recent elections given Democrats an edge–even in 2004 when Colorado voters put Democrats in power in the state legislature while re-electing George W. Bush. But in addition, perhaps even more than going into 2012, the GOP has given Democrats an arsenal of devastating attacks with which to turn out their voters. Just like after 2010, and if anything to a far worse extent, the GOP has squandered its chance to shape policy with a split legislature, and used their one-seat majority in the Colorado Senate for hopeless ideological crusades that play directly into Democratic hands.

When we say that it was worse this year than in previous years, we objectively mean what we say. We’re not sure if Republicans are relying on dwindling local press coverage, counting on pleasing their base voters enough to not have to rely on any sane ones, or–and this may be the most likely scenario–they’ve simply lost control of their message, on just about every issue relevant to the electorate except the always-popular slogan of “lower taxes.” But it is worse this year, and no amount of false equivalence from lazy/overworked (sometimes not mutually exclusive) local reporters can conceal it.

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

A few events from the 2015 legislative session help bring this into focus. At the same time as an outbreak of measles in California was making headlines, a disease preventable by vaccination but rising again as the “anti-vaxxer” movement claims minds in defiance of all scientific consensus, Republicans in the Colorado Senate were pushing a bill that would make it even easier for unvaccinated kids in Colorado to attend public schools. Led by the same highly vulnerable Sen. Laura Woods of Arvada who gave them the majority in 2014, and Sen. Tim Neville, a hard-right frontrunning 2016 U.S. Senate candidate, the Senate GOP pushed repeals of discrimination protections and killed the state’s unfinished pay equity study commission.

One of the worst self-made public relations disasters for Colorado Republicans this year was the killing of a bill to fund a program to provide long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) to low-income women in Colorado. Private seed funding for this program was running out, and every expert in the field recommended the state pick up the tab to continue reaping the enormous cost savings from the massive reduction in unintended pregnancy the program was responsible for. The GOP’s refusal to fund this program ripped the scab off of an ugly fact that gets suppressed in election years: they don’t like birth control. Sen. Kevin Lundberg, another hard-right icon, eagerly pronounced his belief that IUDs “kill babies,” setting Republicans back several decades on this issue–or at least back to Bob Beauprez’s gubernatorial campaign.

Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt.

Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt.

In the Colorado House, all eyes this year were on a man Republicans either love to hate or find a great subject to change: Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt. After Klingenschmitt’s election in 2014 succeeding outgoing Rep. Mark Waller in beet-red House District 15, Democrats eagerly anticipated his arrival–and he didn’t disappoint. From the moment of his swearing in, reportedly with a Bluetooth headset still in his ear, Klingenschmitt’s continuation of his batshit demon-exorcising Youtube “ministry” as a sworn Colorado Republican lawmaker became a slow-motion disaster that no disclaimer can save them from.

After Klingenschmitt stated that an horrific attack on a pregnant Longmont woman last March was the “curse of God” for abortion, he was stripped of one committee assignment–a pathetic slap on the wrist that was itself quietly rescinded a couple of weeks later. Klingenschmitt said that gay scoutmasters should prefer to be “drowned in the sea” rather than face God’s wrath. We could write a book on all the ways Klingenschmitt has embarrassed his party in such a short time in office. But today, Klingenschmitt is hoping to trade up, running for Senate President Bill Cadman’s SD-12 seat. For all his antics, locals tell us not to underestimate “Dr. Chaps'” considerable base of support.

Senate President Cadman, for his part, hasn’t commented about Klingenschmitt at all. That fact stands out.

As the year came to a close, Woods, Klingenschmitt, and other Republicans in the legislature became part of much larger and even more damaging events–as we’ll discuss in a later post. But that shouldn’t overshadow what came before the domestic terror attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. In ways we we struggle to enumerate, Colorado Republicans have set themselves up for disaster at the polls next November.

Red-on-Red Warfare: GOP Usual Suspects Gang Up on Suthers

Mayor John Suthers of Colorado Springs.

Mayor John Suthers (R) of Colorado Springs.

As reported by the Colorado Springs Independent last week, another major Republican insider-run “grassroots” advocacy group is attacking former Republican state attorney general-cum-Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, who as our readers know had the temerity to ask the conservative voters of Colorado Springs for–gasp–a tax increase to fix that conservative bastion’s famously crappy roads:

IACE Action – CS, a 504(c)4 organization that doesn’t have to reveal its donors, is opposing Mayor John Suthers’ .62 of a percent sales tax hike on the November 3 ballot.

IACE Action is run by Laura Carno, a political operative who ran Steve Bach’s successful campaign for mayor in 2011. IACE, or I Am Created Equal, provided thousands of dollars worth of in-kind donations for the El Paso Freedom Defense Committee, the issue committee largely responsible for the successful recall of Democratic Senate President John Morse in 2013.

IACE has mounted a website that contains a video explaining why people should vote “no.”

It has not filed a campaign finance report yet for the November election. It did file two reports for the April city election. One reported no donations or spending. The other reported one donation of $3,452 from IACE Action, and spending to a Highlands Ranch company for digital media and to a St. Paul, Minn., company for robo calls.

Laura Carno.

Laura Carno.

Laura Carno and her “I Am Created Equal” 501(c)(4) advocacy group frequently runs cover for Republican causes and candidates from a “woman’s point of view,” most famously last October when she penned a widely circulated op-ed for the Denver Post that asserted women’s reproductive rights “are not in danger” from anti-abortion Republican candidates. That those candidates included a member of Carno’s advisory board–Bob “IUDs are abortifacient” Beauprez–was apparently lost on the Denver Post, but since they were in the process of making essentially the same absurd argument to endorse Cory Gardner, that little conflict of interest didn’t trouble them.

In a guest advertisement opinion column in the Gold Dome Thrifty Nickel Colorado Statesman today, Carno details her opposition to Mayor Suthers’ request for a five-year sales tax increase to pay for road construction in Colorado Springs:

No one disputes the need for road repairs. The dispute arises over how best to pay for them…

Americans For Prosperity Colorado hired Steve Anderson, a CPA with experience in municipal budgets, to review the city’s budgets and audits and propose options within the existing city budget to find an annual $50 million for road repairs — without raising taxes. Anderson came up with many ideas and Americans for Prosperity Colorado detailed these ideas for the mayor and the City Council.

But the mayor and the City Council aren’t interested in Anderson’s proposals. They want the tax increase. It might seem like an easier path for city leaders to raise taxes than to make difficult decisions in city government. But it’s their job to make difficult decisions…

As we discussed in August, the “alternatives” from Americans For Prosperity don’t stand up to scrutiny. Mayor Suthers told the Colorado Springs Gazette that AFP didn’t even talk to anyone involved in the city budget–either in the finance office or a committee of citizens tasked with reviewing the budget every year. According to Suthers, AFP’s suggestions were completely ignorant of basic realities about where the city gets and spends its money, even suggesting that the city “tax churches and nonprofits” instead of raising the sales tax.

Bottom line: you’ve got several competing Republican interests at work here, and the result may be nothing but bad news for Colorado Springs. On the one hand, Mayor John Suthers is in charge of a city with desperately bad roads–easily some of the worst urban road conditions in the entire state. For thinking conservatives, a run-down Colorado Springs with awful roads doesn’t do much to promote their worldview. Only a totally hardened ideologue would look at bad roads in a conservative Mecca and see a good thing, right?

But alas, this is a nationally-known conservative Mecca, and to raise taxes in the city of Douglas “Mr. TABOR” Bruce would be an admission that the reviled public sector sometimes does good and necessary things with our tax dollars. Besides the military, of course, that taxpayer-funded government entity Colorado Springs’ economy is utterly dependent on for survival–but we digress. If GOP-owned and operated Colorado Springs, the very birthplace of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights were to rise taxes on itself, people might start to talk. Indeed, the whole edifice of Colorado Springs’ hard-right talk radio “drown gubmint in the bathtub” culture might begin to crumble.

Or maybe not, but Laura Carno still got a check to go to war on fellow Republican Mayor John Suthers! Thus proving something else very important in today’s politics: the GOP’s paid operative “grassroots activist” industrial complex is never more than a disgruntled donor away from eating their own.

Roberts claims media made too big a deal of her contemplated run for U.S. Senate

(LOL – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Those of you who’ve been following the strange public downfall of State Sen. Ellen Roberts will thoroughly enjoy her interview last week on KNUS 710-AM.

If you don’t know, Roberts quickly went from being a rarity in Colorado, a Great Republican Hope to defeat Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet, to being just another common Colorado Republican implosion, in the tradition of Ken Buck, Scott McInnis, Bob Beauprez, etc, etc.

Now Roberts is saying everyone made too big a deal of her contemplation of a U.S. Senate run, especially the Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus, who first broke the news that Roberts was “in the process of thinking” about challenging Bennet. Roberts told KNUS radio-host Krista Kafer last week:

Roberts: I had honestly answered a question to my local hometown reporter after the session ended. He said, “You know, your name keeps getting floated out there as a possible candidate for the Republicans in the U.S. Senate race.” And he said, “So, are you going to think about it?” I said, honestly, thinking of the average person’s definition of ‘thinking’ — not a Hillary Clinton ‘no-I’m-not-thinking-about-it-while-you’re-developing-your-whole-campaign-years-ahead — actually meant I was going to go home to Durango, unpack my boxes, reintegrate with my family and my community, and think about whether that was a choice that I would make. And from there it went gangbusters, because he put it in the newspaper and the Democratic machine went – and I would say, ‘the Democratic nasty machine’.

…And apparently, just by thinking about whether I might get into the U.S. Senate race was enough to send people to the moon and back. So, yeah, it was a – it hasn’t been a pleasant experience

“He put it in the newspaper.” Can you believe it? A leading Colorado Republican tells Peter Marcus she’s “thinking” of running U.S. Senate, and the stupid journalist actually tells us!

God knows what trick Marcus will play on Roberts next time he interviews her.


Fetal Homicide: Let No Tragedy Go Unexploited

UPDATE: Speaking of exploiting tragedy, Personhood USA is now sending out requests invoking the crime to raise funds for another attempt at banning abortion in Colorado. From their recent email to supporters:

The suspect in a gruesome unborn baby-killing case, Dynel Lane, will only be charged with unlawful termination of pregnancy and other crimes against the mother, according to Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett.

These inadequate charges do not recognize Michelle Wilkins’ daughter Aurora as a victim of the attack, and do not recognize that a crime was committed against her that resulted in her death…

The preborn must be recognized as persons and victims, or else the perpetrators of these crimes will not be adequately punished. How many more pregnant women and unborn children will have to suffer until Colorado changes its laws?

[Y]ou can help us recognize the personhood of preborn babies and put an END the senseless dehumanization of these precious children. Make a donation today toward our continued personhood efforts.

Original post follows.


Image vis CBS4 Denver

Image vis CBS4 Denver

The New York Times’ Jack Healy reports on the debate headed for the Colorado legislature over an horrific crime committed in Longmont last month, and an opportunistic response from anti-abortion interests to this story that could get ugly:

Voters in Colorado have overwhelmingly rejected three “personhood” measures that sought to include the unborn as a person or child for legal purposes. Opponents said the redefinition would have criminalized abortion and birth control, and the measure last year failed to gain support of prominent Republicans like Senator Cory Gardner, who was then a Senate candidate, or the party’s nominee for governor, Bob Beauprez.

But the unfathomable crime against Ms. Wilkins, 26, in Longmont stunned people across Colorado and the country, and has revived an emotional debate in heated commentaries online and in the halls of the Capitol here, giving abortion opponents what they hope will be an opportunity to change local criminal laws…

But the effort to pass such a bill could face stiff opposition from Democrats, who control one chamber of the legislature, as well as from reproductive-rights supporters who fear such measures lay a path toward outlawing abortion or birth control. [Pols emphasis]

Democratic lawmakers here and a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains said they could not comment on the Republican efforts because a bill had not yet been introduced. But Democrats said the push for one was a rushed reaction to a rare and horrible crime that could not be applied retroactively to Ms. Wilkins’s case.

As Healy reports, Colorado passed a compromise measure in 2013 making “unlawful termination of a pregnancy” a felony crime. Our state’s long history with proposals intended to confer rights on fetuses at any stage of development has made defenders of abortion rights here wary of fetal homicide legislation. In addition to the “Personhood” abortion ban ballot measures that Colorado voters have rejected over and over, Republicans have regularly introduced fetal homicide legislation in the Colorado General Assembly in recent years. Such bills usually contain no language disclaiming an impact on abortion law–and even when they do, the basic intent of making the fetus a secondary corporeal victim of a crime sets a dangerous precedent. It’s not that pro-choice advocates are unmoved by horrific crimes like the one committed in Longmont, it’s that this legislative answer from known abortion opponents has an obvious ulterior motive.

The disastrous abortion-themed response to this crime from one Colorado Republican lawmaker, Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt, has already pushed would-be fetal homicide opportunists off their message. The fact that there is already a felony statute in Colorado law directly pertinent to this crime calls motives for passing yet another law making a fetus a separate victim into question.

Bottom line: Republicans inject failed “Personhood” politics into this tragedy at their peril.

Dr. Chaps Compares Planned Parenthood to ISIS

TUESDAY POLS UPDATE: Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado responds to Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt in a blistering statement:

It is deeply troubling that Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt of El Paso County has decided to stoop to ridiculous rhetoric instead of finding common solutions to the real policy issues facing Colorado families. In a recent podcast, he praised a South Dakota legislator who compared Planned Parenthood to ISIS. In fact, the legislator from SD, like Rep. Klingenschmidtt, has championed the extreme agenda being pushed by the groups that yell at and harass women who seek care in health clinics.

Planned Parenthood provides reproductive health care to women and men and makes sure that women have the option to decide when is the best time to begin their families. Planned Parenthood ensures that people have all the information, options, and support that they need to make their own health care decisions. That is why one in five women in America has turned to Planned Parenthood for support and health care. That’s a far cry from “terrorism.”

This is not the first time Rep. Klingenschmitt has taking the extreme position of drawing comparisons between people or policies he disagrees with to the “Islamic State.”

His behavior is reprehensible, extreme, out-of-touch and should be denounced by all of his legislative colleagues and the leaders of both political parties. This goes beyond politics – it is shameful and we hope both Democrats and Republicans alike will be honest in declaring it so.


State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt has said he’s “very proud” of South Dakota State Rep. Isaac Latterell, who wrote a blog post last month comparing Planned Parenthood the Islamic State.

“I am discerning the spirit of god on this state rep from South Dakota,” said Klingenschmitt in Tuesday’s edition of his online video series called Pray in Jesus’ Name, beginning at about the five minute mark below. “His name is Issac Latterell. And he is taking a stand to protect the innocent, and I am very proud of that.”

“Father, we ask your blessing, on South Dakota, on all of America, Father, that we would stand against terrorism in all its forms, stand against murder of innocents in all of its forms, that we would be consistent in our policy and stop funding the abortion business with American tax dollars,” he said later. “God, wake us up as a nation to stop the slaughter of innocents.”

As I reported for RH Reality Check this morning, the last time Klingenschmitt brought up ISIS, writing last year that U.S. Rep. Jared Polis  wants “to bankrupt Christians who refuse to worship and endorse his sodomy” and that Polis would “join ISIS in beheading Christians,” Ryan Call denounced Klingenschmitt’s comments.

This, in turn, led Klingenschmitt to say his remarks were “hyperbole” and that “some Democrats do not have a sense of humor.”


Get More Smarter on Friday (Feb. 27)


The dress is definitely bluish-brown. It's time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here's a good example).


► Today is the deadline for Congress to authorize funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), so what should we expect of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner? If you guessed, "punt the issue for three more weeks," you win the door prize. But as Politico reports, Republicans are merely delaying an answer on a budget problem that is about to get much, much worse:

First the good news: Congress appears to have found a way to avoid a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security for the next three weeks.

Now the bad: March is beginning to look awfully grim for the new Republican Congress that had lofty expectations for legislating in 2015.

GOP leaders appear set to win approval of their short-term solution to the DHS impasse on Friday, hours before the money runs dry. But that will leave the House and Senate just three weeks to bridge their fundamental differences on funding the department for the long term and blocking President Barack Obama’s changes to the enforcement of immigration policy.

On top of that, Congress must update a complicated Medicare reimbursement formula for doctors. And it needs to pass a budget.

This is where we remind you, again, that REPUBLICANS HAVE MAJORITY CONTROL IN CONGRESS and they still can't figure out how to govern.

Mr. Spock is dead.

Get even more smarter after the jump…



Key fact in debate about pregnancy-prevention program: IUDs prevent pregnancy

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R).

Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R).

The Ft. Collins Coloradoan advanced a story Monday that Boulder Rep. KC Becker is working on a bill to provide $5 million for a state teen-pregnancy prevention program that, in a privately-funded multi-year pilot phase, reduced teen pregnancies by 40 percent and teen abortions by 35 percent–and saved Colorado tens of millions of dollars to boot!

The Coloradoan quoted Sen. Kevin Lundberg, who's the Assistant Republican Majority Leader, as objecting to such funding because the program relies on the distribution of free or no-cost intrauterine devices (IUDs) and other long-lasting pregnancy -prevention implants, and Lundberg (along with twice failed gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez) believe IUDs cause abortions.

But IUDs work before pregnancy occurs!

“Any statement that IUDs aren't contraception simply isn't medically or scientifically accurate," said Dr. Jennifer Hyer, a Denver Ob-Gyn, in a statement distributed by NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado. "As a licensed, practicing Colorado OB-Gyn I recommend IUDs for my patients all the time. They are among the most effective forms of contraception, especially for at-risk women, because they automatically prevent pregnancy. That’s why Colorado's program was so successful, and access to long-acting contraceptives needs to continue if we want to keep reducing the teen birth and abortion rate.”

The Coloradoan rightly pointed out that the "definition of pregnancy used by the [Colorado Department of Health and Environment] and other scientists has pregnancy beginning at the implantation of the fertilized egg."

The definition of pregnancy is so central to the debate around this teen-pregnancy-prevention bill that the Coloradoan should have been even more explicit, saying that the mainstream scientific community, meaning the scientific establishment of nerdy medical people, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have defined pregnancy as beginning at implantation, not before.


Top 10 Stories of 2014: The Final Four

We are finishing up our Top 10 Stories of 2014 by posting the final four all at once.

As we realized while writing the first six entries, there isn’t much that we can say about the biggest stories of 2014 that hasn’t already been written in this space. With 2015 already upon us, it’s time to close this series out.

With that, we give you the entire list of our Top 10 Stories of 2014. Follow the links below for the first six entries, or follow the jump to read the final four in its entirety.

#10: Colorado’s Two-Headed Electorate
#9: Unfinished Business in Jefferson County
#8: Cory Gardner Runs for U.S. Senate
#7: Frackapalooza!
#6: Colorado GOP Goes WTF
#5: So Much for Those Recalls
#4: Republicans Battle Each Other But Take Control of State Senate (below)
#3: Coffman Crushes Romanoff in CD-6 (below)
#2: Hick Finds His Groove, and Another Bad Loss for Beauprez (below)
#1: Gardner Wins Senate Seat, Ending Long Career for Mark Udall (below)



Expert Analysis: What Happened in Colorado in 2014?

The good folks at Hilltop Public Solutions, one of the leading Democratic-aligned political consultant firms in Colorado with offices across the nation, have put together a fascinating presentation analyzing the results of the 2014 elections in Colorado. We had the opportunity to view their presentation this week, and obtained permission to use their slides and data in a post. We doubt we can explain in a blog post as well as Craig Hughes and team can tell the story, but we'll try to give readers a sense of their conclusions. This is largely a data-driven explanation, but to be clear, it does come primarily from the perspective of Democrats.


This slide dispels one of the major misconceptions about the 2014 elections. The fact is, Democrats turned out the votes they believed were necessary to win in Colorado, and did so in greater numbers than they had in the last midterm election in 2010. What Democrats didn't count on was a national political climate that Colorado has slowly caught up with in the years since President Barack Obama's election. In 2010, Democrat Michael Bennet won substantially more right-leaning independents and even Republican votes than Mark Udall did in 2014. Combine that with the sudden erosion of support for Democrats in formerly reliable blue areas of the state–Pueblo and Adams County–and you can account for much of the difference between Bennet's narrow win and Udall's narrow defeat.

Hilltop-Public-Solutions-2014-Election-Results-Analysis-3 Hilltop-Public-Solutions-2014-Election-Results-Analysis-4 Hilltop-Public-Solutions-2014-Election-Results-Analysis-5 Hilltop-Public-Solutions-2014-Election-Results-Analysis-7

What you can see in these slides is analysis of the "surge" vote in 2014 midterms–voters who did not vote in the last 2010 midterms elections but did this year. As you can see, Democrats performed well among these lower-propensity voters, and it wasn't really what you'd call a "Republican wave" at all. But it wasn't enough to overcome the large Republican base in Colorado, which was much more unified behind Cory Gardner than the GOP was united behind Ken Buck in 2010.