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

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

From USA Today:

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

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

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


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

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

The Nuge Boosts Steve Reams As Political Aspirations Grow

UPDATE: Does this look like a guy who is content to just run for re-election as Sheriff?


Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams (R).

Conservative activists in the would be sovereign state of Weld County are over the moon today after it was announced that “American Legend” Ted Nugent will headline a $150 a plate fundraiser for Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams next month (see invite above). As our readers are well aware, Nugent has made himself a recurring guest star on the far right side of Colorado politics ever since anti-immigrant firebrand Tom Tancredo started running for President and then governor in the mid-to-late aughts. Since Colorado became a battleground state over gun safety laws in 2013, Nugent has bitterly criticized our state as “a poster child for apathy, disconnect, laziness, and abandonment of We the People.”

Of course, Nugent hasn’t always proven to be helpful to the politicians he has endorsed, as in Tancredo in 2014 and then George Brauchler’s abortive run for governor for the 2018 cycle. Part of that may be due to Nugent’s record of calling President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel” who can “suck my machine gun,” his unapologetic and continuing utilization of the “N-word,” saying women who don’t like guns deserve to be raped, and of course recording hit songs in celebration of statutory rape. If you add all that up and wonder how the hell any politician–particularly a politician in law enforcement–would allow themselves to be associated with The Nuge, you’re not alone.

Setting that aside for a moment, it’s undeniable that Sheriff Reams’ political star has risen among Republicans since he became the poster child of defiance to the state’s new extreme risk protection order (ERPO) law, vowing to go to jail rather than enforce the law despite overwhelming public support. Given renewed speculation about Ken Buck’s future and even the possibility of an upstart primary challenge to a politically weakened Sen. Cory Gardner, we wouldn’t be too confident that mere re-election as Weld County Sheriff is the limit of Reams’ ambition.

In the meantime, hopefully Sheriff Reams will keep his buddy away from the local Jailbait.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (May 9)

The Colorado Avalanche are out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after a controversial loss in Game 7 on Wednesday, but the Denver Nuggets can advance to the Western Conference Finals with a win tonight in Portland. It’s time “Get More Smarter.” If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


► If there’s one thing you can count on from President Trump (other than lots of Tweeting), it’s inconsistency. As CNN reports:

Trump reversed course again Thursday that he will leave it up to Attorney General William Barr as to whether special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before Congress.

“I’m going to leave that up to our very great attorney general. He’ll make a decision on that,” Trump said, adding that Mueller’s report has come out and it is done.

Over the weekend, Trump tweeted, “Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!” But an administration official told CNN’s Jim Acosta that Trump was merely “expressing his opinion,” and was not necessarily expressing intent to block Mueller’s testimony.


► Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora), whose district includes the Highlands Ranch STEM school that was the scene of a shooting earlier this week, is introducing new gun safety legislation. From the Aurora Sentinel:

A proposed federal law from Aurora Democratic Congressman Jason Crow would ban immediate, over-the-counter sales of rifles and shotguns to buyers in states where they do not live.

Crow said the law closes a loophole “that allows purchasers to immediately obtain rifles and shotguns, but not handguns, when traveling out-of state.”…

…The proposed same-day gun legislation comes nearly a month after Sol Pais, a Florida woman traveled to Colorado, bought a shotgun and killed herself, as police across the Front Range sought her for unspecified threats to local schools the FBI deemed as credible. Law enforcement said she was “infatuated” with the Columbine High School shooting. She traveled to Colorado just days before the 20th anniversary of the shooting.

The threats caused most Front Range schools to cancel school as law enforcement searched for Pais.

Crow says this legislation would have prevented Pais from immediately purchasing a shotgun upon her arrival in Colorado.


► The Colorado Independent reports on Wednesday’s vote in the House Judiciary Committee to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt:

The committee voted 24-16 along party lines to approve a resolution recommending that the full U.S. House find Barr in contempt for his refusal to comply with a committee subpoena seeking an unredacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report detailing Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election…

…Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) said that, given the threats to U.S. democracy from a foreign adversary that were revealed in the Mueller report, he was “at a loss for understanding” why his GOP colleagues wouldn’t join Democrats’ efforts to secure the full Mueller report and underlying evidence. “We have no choice but to move forward with a contempt citation,” he said.

Neguse and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) both sit on the House Judiciary Committee. Buck was a ‘NO’ vote, urging his colleagues to “move on and not attack the attorney general in this way.”

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that there may be more contempt charges in the near future for Trump associates who persist in efforts to stonewall Congress.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


RMGO’s Dudley Brown: “Cut Douglas County Sheriff’s Budget by 20%. Why not?”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

At a legislative briefing in March, Gun activist Dudley Brown was so angry at Douglas County Sheriff’s support of a gun safety law, he said county commissioners’ should cut the sheriff’s budget by twenty percent. “Why not?” Brown asked.

“That’s what Douglas County Commissioners should be doing right now… I don’t give a rat’s butt about their sanctuary city resolution. I care about- why don’t you cut his funding? The guy’s down at the state capitol, working for Moms Demand Action. He can draw a paycheck from them. Cut 20% of the Douglas County Sheriff’s office funding right now. Why not?” Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Director Dudley Brown, March 8, 2019

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock was the most prominent Republican to support a 2019 bill creating the Extreme Risk Protect Order, a means by which law enforcement can ask a judge for permission to remove firearms from someone deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners organized the briefing along with House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R – Castle Rock). In addition to the ERPO or “red flag bill,” they also discussed plans to recall several legislators.

Brown also promised to end Sheriff Spurlock’s political career, saying he would either be primaried or recalled.

“I’m here to tell you,” Brown said “Tony Spurlock’s career as an elected Republican is over… he’s not going to get elected anywhere because I’ll follow him like a bad habit.”

Several Republican groups, including Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert, the Douglas County Republicans and the Colorado Senate Republicans praised Sheriff Spurlock and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for its response to Tuesday’s fatal school shooting at the Highlands Ranch STEM School.


Thursday Open Thread

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

Report: Ken Buck May Not Run for Re-Election

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


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

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

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(h/t Arvadonian)

Even More Sicko Speculation From Recall Polis Admins

We were forwarded this exchange on one of the Facebook groups devoted to the logistically unlikely but still popular to speculate about campaign to recall Gov. Jared Polis from office once he is constitutionally eligible after being in office six months. Unlike the targets of opportunity in the legislature for whom the threshold of signatures needed to recall is arguably much too low, the massive requirement to gather over 600,000 valid voters signatures to qualify a recall of Gov. Polis for the ballot makes it a silly proposition–but also a guilt-free cash cow for enterprising Republican grifters.

It also has a tendency to attract, as we saw in the aftermath of another threat of violence against area schools last month, unhinged conspiracy theorists convinced that nothing is as it seems:

That’s Bob Tocarciuc, one of the administrators of the Resist Polis PAC Recall Facebook group operated by local political operative with ties to the Independence Institute named Tom Good–who had a falling out with a larger Recall Polis group, then helped expose nasty anti-Semitic leaders of the group in local media one of whom was later ousted.

If you Google Bob Tocarciuc, which having a last name like “Tocarciuc” makes pretty straightforward, you’ll find the KKTV news story yesterday referenced in the Facebook post about a town hall in Colorado Springs Saturday featuring the very same Gov. Jared Polis–a town hall that apparently ended in a scuffle between security and a recall supporter. In this story, Bob Tocarciuc’s role as an administrator of a recall group is curiously omitted, and he’s presented as an innocent bystander:

As the governor left, one woman pulled out a scarf that said “Recall Polis.” 11 News spoke to bystanders who watched what happened next. They say the woman was dragged over to her granddaughter, who was sitting down.

“He went from zero to complete hands-on physical, you know, submission methods,” said Bob Tocarciuc, a man who helped the woman up.

Tocaciuc also happens to be a security guard, but he was not working the event, just attending as a citizen.

“I heard screaming to my left. I was approximately 8 feet away from the lady that got assaulted, I guess. It’s the only way I can describe it,” he said.

To be clear, the incident in question didn’t directly involve Gov. Polis, but a school district security guard involved in an altercation with an attendee as Polis was leaving the town hall event Saturday evening. But it’s not really accurate to say Tocarciuc was “just attending as a citizen” either, when he’s an administrator of a group supporting Gov. Polis’ recall. This also calls into question his impartiality as a witness to the incident.

But definitely, the false flag insanity in response to yesterday’s school shooting in Highlands ranch discredits Bob Tocarciuc much more. Since it seems to be a regular occurrence based on two similar local incidents in recent weeks, we’ve been trying to understand what makes some people immediately leap to the unfounded assumption that such events must be part of a grand deception tied to contemporary politics instead of the predictable and preventable tragedies they invariably turn out to be.

For today, we can only plead with our local media to stop giving these people airtime.

On to the Runoffs

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: A newsworthy come from behind win for Denver’s Initiative 301, decriminalizing “magic mushrooms,” which is now ahead outside the recount margin:

Far out, man.


Shrooms for you, Denver!

WEDNESDAY POLS UPDATE: It’s runoffs galore in Denver as Westword’s Michael Roberts updates:

The results in Denver’s 2019 election will spur multiple runoffs just under a month from now. Incumbent Mayor Michael Hancock must best former RiNo Art District president Jamie Giellis to keep his job on June 4, when five Denver City Council races will also be decided. Meanwhile, Ordinance 300, better known as Right to Survive, failed by a margin that left plenty of veteran political observers slack-jawed, while Ordinance 301, which called for the decriminalization of psilocybin mushrooms, fared better and isn’t technically dead, but its chances have faded in a big way…

District 2’s Kevin Flynn, District 6’s Paul Kashmann and District 7’s Jolon Clark ran unopposed, while three other incumbents — District 4’s Kendra Black, District 8’s Chris Herndon and District 11’s Stacie Gilmore — tallied more than 50 percent to secure their re-election. Not so for District 5’s Mary Beth Susman, District 9’s Albus Brooks and District 10’s Wayne New, all of whom must immediately gear up for June 4. Their respective opponents will be Amanda Sawyer, Candi CdeBaca and Chris Hinds.

Runoffs will also be necessary in District 1, where Amanda Sandoval and Mike Somma are set to face off, and in District 3, where Jamie Torres and Veronica Barela are still standing. And while Timothy O’Brien had no opposition in his bid to remain Denver auditor, the sprint for clerk and recorder proved tight, tight, tight. Signs point to Paul López and Peg Perl winding up back in the ring next month.

In the at-large council race, incumbents Debbie Ortega and Robin Kniech held on to their seats over a large field of challengers. But from the mayoral race where the incumbent will face a runoff for the first time since 1995 down to a surprisingly hot clerk and recorder’s race where Peg Perl squeaked into a runoff against the better known Paul Lopez, the 2019 Denver municipal elections are only at halftime. Original post follows.


As of 8:30pm it is looking increasingly likely that many of Denver’s races will be decided in runoffs on June 4th. With just over 100,000 ballots counted Mayor Hancock leads by just 39.7%, not enough to avoid facing one of his challengers next month.

Likewise Clerk and Recorder, District 1, District 3, District 5, and District 10 all are very likely to go to a run off at this hour. In District 9 Albus Brooks may yet get enough votes to pass the magic 50% mark, but as of right now he’s only at 48.07%. Incumbent Chris Herndon in District 8 is probably a bit happier with 51.15% of the vote. That could also go to a run off, but unlike in District 9 his closest challenger only has 22.26%. Still not a great result for an incumbent.

There is no doubt, however, that ordinance 300 has gone down to a wide defeat. Over 80% of the votes counted so far have been against it. After this bad showing in Denver it would be surprising to me if a similar bill gets out of committee in the legislature.

Edited to Add: The Denverite relays that there are only 139,412 ballots. This means that there are just short of 40,000 or 28% left to be counted. The next update for people staying up that late will be 10pm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Highlands Ranch School Shooting Thread

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: David Hogg, survivor of the Parkland, Florida school shooting who has emerged as an activist for stronger gun control laws, smacks down Sen. Cory Gardner’s “thoughts and prayers” boilerplate in response to yesterday’s shooting in Highlands Ranch:



The Douglas County coroner has not released the identity of the student who died, however, the family of Kendrick Castillo, 18, confirmed to NBC News that he was the student who was killed.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said two shooters walked into the campus’ high school at South Ridgeline Boulevard and Plaza Drive at around 1:50 p.m. Tuesday and opened fire on their classmates in “two separate locations.” The sheriff’s office initially said both suspects were male, but Wednesday morning said the second suspect is a juvenile female.


We’re following tragic news from the STEM School in Douglas County, a K-12 charter school with some 1,800 students:

Two suspects are in custody and seven to eight people were injured following a shooting Tuesday afternoon at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, according to Douglas County sheriff’s officials.

Police are still searching the school, but do not believe there are any other suspects, Douglas County Undersheriff Holly Nicholson-Kluth said at a news conference.

We’ll update when more information is made available. Hug your kids.

This is Not What Totally Innocent People Do

Would a guilty person just sit in a chair like this?

As the Washington Post reports:

The White House formally asserted executive privilege over special counsel Robert S Mueller III’s report Wednesday, President Trump’s first use of the executive authority in the latest confrontation with Congress…

…The White House assertion of privilege represents the latest collision between Trump and House Democrats, who have seen their investigations of the president blocked at every turn.

“This decision represents a clear escalation in the Trump administration’s blanket defiance of Congress’s constitutionally mandated duties,” Nadler said, later adding: “As a co-equal branch of government, we must have access to the materials that we need to fulfill our constitutional responsibilities in a manner consistent with past precedent.”

The White House move came shortly before the House Judiciary Committee planned to vote to hold Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt for failing to provide the full Mueller report.

Today’s move comes one day after the White House asserted “executive privilege” to block a subpoena for written records from former White House counsel Don McGahn. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also recently refused to accede to Congressional demands to turn over President Trump’s tax returns, setting up a likely legal battle over the matter.

But, you know, “case closed” and all that.

Radio Host Misrepresents Holbert’s Stance on Recall Campaigns

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

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

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

Bonniwell asked Neville yesterday if this was true.

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

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

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

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

Second Largest Oil & Gas Producer in Colorado Not Participating in Recalls

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

State Rep. Rochelle Galindo (D-Greeley) should be removed from office for supporting new oil and gas regulations that will “devastate the oil and gas industry” and “kill oil and gas jobs,” say leaders of an effort to recall the newly elected representative.

Yet top producers in Weld County say the new law won’t have any substantial impact on their industry.

And when it comes to the Galindo recall specifically, the state’s second-largest producer says it’s not interested.

“Noble Energy does not participate in recall elections,” said Brian Miller, spokesperson for Noble Energy in an email. “Our contribution to Values First Colorado was related to the 2018 election cycle.”

Noble Energy is the second donor to Values First Colorado (VCF) to state publicly that its 2018 contribution was intended for the general election and not for any recall effort. Xcel Energy made the same statement to the Colorado Times Recorder back in March.

The Colorado Oil & Gas Association, an industry group, also stated that it doesn’t support the current recall campaigns.


Every Freak In The GOP Freakshow Gets Ready To Rally

Joey Bunch at the Phil Anschutz-owned Colorado Springs Gazette obligingly helps publicize a big-ish upcoming event for Colorado conservatives, rallies this Friday across the state to express displeasure over the full range of legislation passed by majority Democrats this year:

Organizers contend that legislators are making it more expensive to live in Colorado, while making people rely on the government and driving companies from the state.

“Hardworking, every day folks seldom ‘do’ rallies,” Kim Monson, leader of the Stand For Colorado team, said in a statement. “May 10th, Coloradans will come together to send a message to the out-of-control politicians and bureaucrats that we are watching, we care and we are concerned about the future of our state.”

The rallies are organized by long-running local right wing talk radio hosts known as the Americhicks, who host a morning show on the B-list (even by AM radio standards) AM560 KLZ. But the list of speakers for Friday’s rallies run the gamut of conservative conspiracy theorizing:

  1. Pastor Christine Uwizera-Coleman—Survivor of the Rwandan Genocide. Invocation.
  2. Don Wilson—Mayor of Monument-National Popular Vote, SB19-042
  3. Barbara Kirkmeyer—Weld County Commissioner-Oil and Gas Law, SP19-181
  4. Sheriff Steve Reams—Weld County Sheriff, The Red Flag Law, HB19-1177
  5. Giuliana Day—Concerned Citizen-Organizer Against the Hypersexualization of Our Children Law, HB19-1032.  Let kids be kids!
  6.  Amy Oliver Cooke—Executive Vice-President, Independence Institute-Energy-The Assault on Affordable, Efficient & Reliable Energy.
  7. Heather Lahdenpera—Concerned Mother-Forced Vaccinations of Our Children, HB19-1312
  8. Sue Sharkey—Chair, CU Board of Regents-Higher Education in Colorado
  9.  Natalie Menten—RTD Board Director-Assault on TABOR, the Taxpayers Bill of Rights
  10.  Heidi Ganahl—CU Regent, Free Speech on Campus
  11.  Brita Horn—Former Elected County Treasurer, Raid by Colorado of Personal Uncollected Funds
  12.  Tina Francone—Former Jefferson County Commissioner & Former RTD Board Director, Air Quality Rules, Regulations & Laws
  13. Susan Kochevar—Entrepreneur and Owner of the Historic 88 Drive In Theater-Forced Minimum Wage and Unfriendly Laws, Rules & Regulations
  14. Deb Flora—Salem Media Group-Parental Rights
  15.  Jan Cook—Co-Founder, Get Er Done Right Colorado, Forced Voter Registration, SB19-235
  16. Patti Kurgan—Former Member-Pay Equity Commission, FAMLI Leave Bill, SB19-188
  17. Kim Gilmartin— Charter School Parent
  18. Helen Raleigh— Author & Speaker, Immigration
  19. Carol Baker—Pharmacist, Prescription Drugs
  20. Kim Monson—Radio Show Host of The Americhicks with Kim Monson, Transportation
  21. Lesley Hollywood—Founder and Executive Director, Rally for Our Rights, Red Flag Law
  22. Grady Birdsong—Marine Vietnam Veteran, Author, Coopers Troopers, Veterans Issues

That looks like everybody! From “red flag” misinformation to “forced voter registration” to “hypersexualization of our children” to the “forced vaccinations,” Friday’s rallies should feature every part of the crazypants coalition aligned against Colorado Democrats who had the temerity to win an election six months ago and then legislate accordingly. Now, you may rightly wonder why people who might someday want to be considered serious contenders for higher office–here’s looking at you, Heidi Ganahl–would jump on the hypersexualized forced-vaccination crazy train?

The answer is simple: this is the Republican coalition now. And to the radicalized conservative grassroots, these disparate issues all run together in a low-information vortex of fear and loathing. The lesson of these rallies is that there’s no point in trying to compartmentalize the motivations of organizers of a possible recall against freshman Rep. Rochelle Galindo, hateful vs. “legitimate,” when conservatives make no attempt at such distinctions among themselves.

The fringe and the “mainstream” of the GOP share the stage. Let’s stop pretending they don’t.