Search Results for: neville recall

War Between RMGO, GOP Establishment Goes On In SD-19

UPDATE #2: Apropos, Eli Stokols goes in-depth on the SD-19 primary for today:

"I just couldn't do it," Sias says. "For me to [run for state senate], I'll be beholden to the Constitution and to the people of the district, not an outside power broker. At the end of the day, I'd rather lose than be in that guy's pocket."

That guy, of course, is Dudley Brown, RMGO's executive director, who is notorious in Colorado Republican circles for his scorched-earth tactics against GOP candidates who don't fill out his survey, which asks candidates to declare their absolute support for gun rights and their commitment to fighting against or to repeal gun control efforts.

The survey itself comes with an intimidating cover sheet informing the candidate, "we expect legislators to live up to their word" and threatening the familiar brand of retribution should they fail to fill it out: "Failure to respond will mean we have to tell citizens that you do not care enough about their gun rights to fill out the survey, and can't be counted on to defend those rights."

Sias’ decision may be the one that determines whether he is ultimately successful in his upcoming primary against the RMGO-backed Laura Woods… [Pols emphasis]


UPDATE: This graphic that appears on the Colorado Campaign for Life website appears to be the Facebook post in question that was "shared" by Laura Waters Woods:



Lang Sias, Tea Party endorsed no longer.

Lang Sias, “Tea Party endorsed” no longer.

A press release late Tuesday from Republican SD-19 primary candidate Lang Sias sums up the acrimonious state of one of the GOP's most important state legislative races this year, as establishment kingmakers square off against the powerful Rocky Mountain Gun Owners:

The Sias for Colorado Senate Campaign calls on Laura Woods to immediately retract her statement comparing Lang Sias to one of America's most notorious mass murderers. In a stunning and completely unfair post on social media, Laura Woods featured Lang Sias next to a picture of Kermit Gosnell. Kermit Gosnell viciously murdered children born alive and was found guilty of first degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Former Senate President John Andrews decries Woods' act, stating: "Laura Woods has to stop making things up. She claimed me as a supporter when I'm not. I'm neutral. Much worse, she linked Lang Sias with a mass murderer for failing to complete a survey. I know Lang to be pro-life. This is unworthy of a would-be senator, the smear of the year."

Lang Sias is committed to the pro-life position, including no partial birth abortion or late stage abortion, no taxpayer funding of abortion, and religious freedom for employers related to abortion…

Laura Woods.

Laura Woods.

​Any time a GOP primary invokes the name of the reviled abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, you know somebody means business. There is likely no primary campaign going on in Colorado today featuring nastier rhetoric than in the GOP SD-19 race–the seat formerly held by Evie Hudak, now held by a very capable Democrat Rachel Zenzinger. The district's close past election results, combined with a perceived opportunity created by Hudak's resignation last year to avoid a possible recall, makes this race an absolute must-win for Republicans hoping to recapture the Colorado Senate this year.

RMGO, the powerful "no compromise" pro-gun group which played heavily in the recall petition drive against Hudak, is battling hard for their endorsed candidate Laura Waters Woods, who won the Assembly vote to appear as the top-line candidate. Here's the latest missive from RMGO political director Joe Neville:

"Republican" Senate District 19 candidate Lang Sias has a long list of sins that show why he can't be trusted.

As recently as 2006, Lang Sias was registered as a Democrat who switched his registration only TWO YEARS before he ran for Congress as a Republican.

Furthermore, Lang Sias even financially supported anti-gun Democrat Mark Udall!

Now, when we were gathering signatures for the Hudak Recall, we knew it would be an extremely tough job to pull off, as we needed over 18,000 signatures in 60 days!

…It would be a HUGE slap in the face to the nearly 1,000 individual Recall Hudak volunteers, as well as the nearly 25,000 people who signed the recall petition, if Lang Sias won the June 24th Republican Primary Election in Senate District 19. [Pols emphasis]

Bottom line: whatever momentum Republicans may feel exists in this district after last year's turmoil, Lang Sias is still the guy who lost in 2012 to Evie Hudak. Sen. Zenzinger has done an excellent job establishing herself in a short time, and there is no reason to think she would underperform Hudak in the general election–in fact, she puts Democrats in about their best possible position to hold the seat. Add to that the likelihood that the present anti-establishment sentiment among the Republican grassroots today operates in Woods' favor, and it's easy to see why backers of Sias are very worried that he's about to lose his third election.

Battle Over New Jeffco Schools Superintendent Escalates

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The Denver Post reports today, Douglas County's Dan McMinimee hired by the new conservative Jefferson County school board majority on a split 3-2 vote:

A badly divided Jefferson County Schools board on Tuesday night hired Daniel McMinimee as the next superintendent of the state's second-largest school district, as audience members howled in protest and hurled catcalls toward the dais.

The 3-2 vote to hire McMinimee, who serves as an assistant superintendent with the Douglas County School District, was preceded by loud interruptions from a crowd of several hundred. At one point, a large portion of the room stood up and began chanting "stand up for kids" and a woman was led out of the room by security workers after she spoke out of turn…

Things got off to a bumpy start Tuesday evening, with board members Jill Fellman and Lesley Dahlkemper pleading with the majority — the three conservative members elected as a slate in November — to allow more than 45 minutes for public comment.

"We need to hear from our community before we vote," Fellman said to loud applause.

But a motion to lengthen the public comment period failed on a 3-2 vote.


UPDATE: A letter from the Jefferson County PTA calls out newly elected board member Julie Williams:

The school board, as you know, is supposed to be non-partisan.  Board Policy GP-07 states:  Board members should represent the interests of the citizens of the school district. This accountability to the whole district supersedes any conflicting loyalty to other advocacy interest groups, or citizens of a director district and membership on other boards or staffs.

It also says:  Any member of the Board of Education may speak to the press, write articles or in other ways communicate with citizens.  Board members must identify any personal opinions as such and may not state personal opinions as if they are positions of the Board of Education…

In addition to being blatantly partisan, Williams' post is offensive on many levels. It shows an unconcealed disrespect of and disregard for the general public that she was elected to serve…   
As publicly elected officials of the Jeffco Board of Education, you are expected to make decisions with input from all stakeholders.  To ignore state laws, school board policies, and public outcry in order to impose an agenda or simply do what you please is abuse of power.


Julie Williams of the Jefferson County School Board.

Julie Williams of the Jefferson County School Board.

​This evening, the raging controversy over the agenda of the new Jefferson County Board of Education's conservative majority again takes center stage with a meeting to consider the sole finalist for the district superintendent position, Douglas County Schools assistant superintendent Dan McMinimee. McMinimee is up for the job after the resignation of the previous Jeffco Schools superintendent Cindy Stevenson, who quit citing an inability to work with the new majority.

As the Denver Post's John Aguilar reports, McMinimee is just the latest sign that the new right-wing majority is pushing Colorado's second-largest school district in an unwelcome direction:

Many teachers and parents eye [McMinimee] with suspicion, afraid that he might bring to Jeffco some of the controversial reforms that have taken root in the last few years under a decidedly right-leaning Douglas County school board.

"It sure looks like it's becoming Douglas County," said Erin Murphy, a teacher at Alameda International High School in Lakewood, who wonders if McMinimee is simply coming to Jefferson County to do the bidding of the school board's new conservative majority…

Courtney Smith, president of the Douglas County Federation, said McMinimee lost his way as the makeup of the board changed. She sat across the table from him during the ill-fated teacher contract negotiations of 2012, during which she said McMinimee didn't advocate sufficiently for teachers in front of the board.

"At one point, he was a principal in the district. He saw firsthand how incredible the work was that was being done with teachers and the district," Smith said. "And then to take part in the top-down initiatives that have harmed Douglas County. He was a part of that."

The new Jefferson County Board of Education majority was elected last year in the same election that saw the overwhelming defeat of Amendment 66–the ill-fated education tax hike proposal whose poor marketing helped far-right school board candidates on the same ballot. The new board members lack experience in education either as teachers or administrators, and since election last November have routinely stoked controversy with an avowedly radical "reform" agenda along the lines of Douglas County to the southeast.

The most partisan political and vocal member of the new board majority is Julie Williams. Williams is the sister-in-law of former Colorado Sen. Tim Neville, which in turn connects Williams with the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the broader hard-right wing of Colorado GOP politics. Last week, Williams posted to her Facebook wall about tonight's meeting with McMinimee, with a over-the-top call to action:


Tancredo, Woods, etc., remain talk-radio heroes, no matter what’s happening in the real world

(Let's set reality aside for a moment – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: Apropos to the original post, here's a flyer circulating for a Laura Woods event hosted by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, who seems to be throwing down hard in the SD-19 GOP primary against Lang Sias:

Woods Meet and Greet

Come for the meeting, stay for the giveaways! Original post follows.


In the alternative reality constructed each morning on KNUS' Peter Boyles show, they're busy reliving the glory days of the recall campaigns.

Recall spokespeople Laura Woods and Jennifer Kerns have been on the show re-telling stories about how "grassroots" Republicans fought off establishment Republicans and won.

One of Boyles' favorite things to do is to point out that most of the Republicans who've risen up in recent weeks weren't the ones getting down and dirty during the recall effort.

On Tuesday, for example, Boyles asks Woods for the names of specific Republican candidates and elected officials who were with her:

Woods: Well, I just want to preface by saying, as a candidate [for SD 19] now, I’m not endorsing these guys, but I’ll put on my recall hat and I’ll talk to you about who was out there on the lines with us. We clearly had Victor Head. He wasn’t a candidate then, but he is now. And then we had senator candidates Tim Neville and Tony Sanchez walking the streets, knocking doors, gathering petition signatures. Tom Tancredo was out there, as was Greg Brophy. We had the sheriff candidates, Jim Shires, Jeff Schrader, John Berry, all out there at times. Ken Buck was in the office at times. And Owen Hill was sitting in our office making phone calls. So, there were a lot of candidates, none of whom were involved in this back room deal—other than Ken Buck to move, you know, from the Senate race to the House race.

The good old recall days are gone, and the good old folks are threatened, in Boyle's mind, by back-room-dealing evil-doers, like Bob Beauprez, Cory Gardner, and Ryan Call.

But on Boyles' radio show, regardless of what's happening in the real world, the heroes are still Woods and Tancredo, and the like, and nothing can change that, unless the show is abruptly canceled by Salem Communications Inc., which is as inevitable as a gaffe from you know who. Or someone flipping the bird at you.


State Senate Key Races: Q3 Fundraising

Democrats hold an 18-17 majority in the State Senate following the Sept. 10 recall elections, a margin that will make several 2014 Senate races even more competitive than usual. There are 17 Senate seats up for grabs in 2014, and 8 of those seats are considered "safe" for one party or another.

The list of competitive Senate seats may change somewhat between now and next fall, depending on which candidate wins the primary in certain races and how each party fairs in recruiting strong candidates in other districts. But for now, we're keeping an eye on 6 seats that could decide the makeup of the state Senate in 2015. We're not yet including SD-3 in our list below, because while Democrat Angela Giron was ousted in the Sept. 10 recall, the voter makeup of that Pueblo district leans heavily towards Democrats; it would be a surprise if Republican George Rivera, who was selected to replace Giron in the recall, is able to win a full term next November.


Checking in on Key 2014 Legislative Races: Q2 2013

We've scrolled through the fundraising reports for state legislative candidates, and after the jump you can see how some of the top races are playing out thus far. The top fundraiser in Colorado (among legislative candidates) is Democrat Alec Garnett, whose HD-2 warchest has grown to $35,467.

As of today, Democrats hold a 37-28 advantage in the State House and a 20-15 advantage in the State Senate. We have not included candidates for the 2013 recall elections in SD-3 (Giron) and SD-11 (Morse). We also did not include races where there are not at least two candidates who have reported fundraising figures, with the exception of SD-5 (where Democrat Kerry Donovan just filed his candidacy papers in July).


Totally Unacceptable: Denver Post Sanitizes Senate GOP Rally

UPDATE: As promised, here are more clips from yesterday’s rally: Sen. Tim Neville making a remarkably cute comparison of Nazi Germany to the Obama administration, Sen. Shawn Mitchell on the major gripe he has paying for you ladies’ birth control, and Sen. Kent Lambert reading some pledge he took to never be forced to recognize “immoral sexual partnerships.”

Or participate in euthanasia.

Because, you know, that’s what birth control coverage leads to.

But remember, folks, it’s just those rascally Democrats distracting you with this “non-issue!” The freaked-out words coming out of these elected officials’ mouths aren’t news apparently.


Yesterday evening, we posted video clips of three Colorado Senate Republicans, Sens. Ted Harvey, Kent Lambert, and Scott Renfroe, speaking at a rally on the steps of the state capitol against contraceptive insurance coverage as mandated by federal health care reform. This rally came in response to a much larger protest held earlier in the day by supporters of Planned Parenthood in support of contraceptive coverage–and in opposition to recent comments by national pundits and local Republicans disparaging both contraception and women generally.

The video clips we posted consisted of Sen. Harvey declaring that a program of mandating contraceptive coverage is “not a slippery slope, but a cliff” to “genocide somewhere down the road.” Sen. Lambert called the policy “mind control,” and read from a right-wing column warning that the same authority could be used to force the purchase of “euthanasia pills.” Not to be outdone, Sen. Renfroe said that it could to a situation “where England was when their king decided he needed to rule the church.” Read the transcript of their remarks here–and we’ve got more video from Sens. Lambert, Shawn Mitchell, and Tim Neville of similarly embarrassing over-the-top rhetoric that we’ll be posting a little later today.

And why, you ask, are we writing again about this less that 24 hours after our original post?

Because if you read today’s Denver Post, you’ll have no idea that Republicans said any of it.

In a story published this morning ostensibly covering both rallies held yesterday, reporter Kurtis Lee goes into considerable detail about the controversy over mandated contraceptive coverage in federal health care reform–but mostly from the angle of the issue helping President Barack Obama politically. Lee quotes more than one speaker from Planned Parenthood’s rally, but managed to find only a single completely inoffensive quote from GOP Rep. Marsha Looper.

That’s right, folks. No mention of Ted Harvey and Hitler. No mention of Kent Lambert and “mind control” or “euthanasia pills.” Nothing about Scott Renfroe and Henry VIII. We’ll show you the quote of Sen. Tim Neville waxing eloquent about “national socialism” later today, and Shawn Mitchell grousing about how affordable birth control really is–nothing about them either. Not even a mention of Sen. Greg Brophy, who briefly appeared but did not speak at the rally, and whose regrettable comments in defense of Rush Limbaugh and attacking Sandra Fluke were a big reason Planned Parenthood’s rally was organized at the state capitol to begin with.

This isn’t about spin. This is about facts, and there is evidence of a problem well beyond one junior beat reporter. Immediately before the February GOP presidential caucuses in Colorado, we pointed out absolutely incredible things being said by Republican presidential candidates on the trial in our state. Newt Gingrich declaring oil scarcity predictions “a ploy by the left to control people’s lives.” Rick Santorum saying that mankind was “put on Earth” to use it “for our benefit, not the Earth’s benefit”–neither statement getting coverage. Even after national media lampooned Mitt Romney’s hypocritical visit to a factory in Colorado Springs that took millions in stimulus dollars, the Denver Post recap of his visit completely ignored the story.

Last weekend, the Denver Post published one of the most laughable and misbegotten “campaign finance exposes” in its long history. This story misleadingly argued that Democrats in Colorado outraised Republicans “by 150 times” in 2010, but only looked at one type of spending that is actually disclosed–and seems to presume that no other spending exists. The absurd conclusions and stupefying factual omissions in this story are a bipartisan joke among political insiders around the state today. We’ll have more to say about this soon as well.

With today’s story, whether a deliberate obfuscation of the facts or a green reporter who simply ignored the most newsworthy thing that happened, we feel as though a breaking point has been reached. The Denver Post newsroom is consistently misreporting and omitting basic facts, and we believe this is a new development–or at least worse now than anytime we can recall.

And if so, it is a very problematic year for that to be happening.