Dumbest Solution In Search Of Problem Ever Heads For Ballot

“Herbie the Hate Bug” collects signatures for the so-called Citizen Voter initiative.

Colorado Public Radio’s Andrew Kenney reports, here’s an exciting new way Republicans have found to make differing groups of people who live in America dislike one another–which history has shown has a measurable effect on how Americans vote!

The national group Citizen Voters has poured more than $1 million into an attempt to change a few words in Colorado’s state constitution.

It’s part of a well-funded, multi-state campaign to explicitly ban anyone without U.S. citizenship from voting in elections, which critics say is already part of Colorado’s existing law. Organizers say they’re on track to get on the ballot for the 2020 election.

The Colorado effort has collected more than 200,000 signatures ahead of a Tuesday deadline, likely ensuring they’ll have more than enough ruled valid to qualify for the election, according to Joe Stengel, registered agent for the initiative.

“Only people eligible to vote by virtue of being a citizen should be allowed to vote. This will ensure that will take place,” said Stengel, a former Republican state legislator from Littleton.

Let’s start with the most important thing people need to know about the so-called “Citizen Voter” initiative, which assuming the petition drive in support of placing this measure on the November 2020 ballot was carried out professionally–no guarantee of course with the shady characters involved in paid signature collection efforts–we’ll be voting on.

It’s already the law that only U.S. citizens can vote in Colorado elections. It’s the law two ways, in fact, via federal law pertinent to every federal office as well as the state constitution which explicitly makes citizenship a requirement to vote.

The state constitution says that “every citizen” may vote, and Initiative 76 would change it to say that “only citizens” may vote. [Pols emphasis]

In terms of practical effect in any Colorado election, this change would be completely meaningless. Although some local governments in other states have allowed for noncitizens to participate in low-level elections like school boards where federal election laws do not apply, that can’t happen in Colorado under the state constitution.

So why spend the money and man-hours to pass a constitutional amendment that changes nothing? That’s simple: it motivates conservative voters, who believe against all available evidence that election fraud in general and noncitizen voting in particular is rampant throughout the country. Here in Colorado, former GOP Secretary of State Scott Gessler tried for years to persuade the public that “tens of thousands of illegal voters” were swinging our elections. Gessler’s initial claims of tens of thousands dwindled down to something around a half dozen cases, since Gessler omitted basic considerations like the thousands of people who became citizens during the same period–more than accounting for Gessler’s fictional discrepancy.

We’ve always assumed that Gessler knew he was being dishonest. Likewise it’s reasonable to assume that the proponents of this initiative are fully aware that it would make no practical difference in the law. This is about showing token support for President Donald Trump’s virulently anti-immigrant agenda, and stoking the ugly anti-immigrant animus Trump has capitalized on since the moment he entered the presidential race in 2015. For this to be happening at the same time as the U.S. Supreme Court’s battle over “DREAMer” immigrant children makes for a compelling backdrop, and not in any way that makes the measure’s proponents look good.

One can only hope that the same Colorado voters who rejected Trump’s demagoguery will see through this as well.

Tuesday Open Thread

“About all I can say for the United States Senate is that it opens with a prayer and closes with an investigation.”

–Will Rogers

The Next Abortion Ban: Telemedicine

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R).

A report from medical industry publication mHealth Intelligence discusses a new monkeywrench being thrown by Republicans into the gears of women’s reproductive rights–a ban on “telemedicine” physician appointments to prescribe abortion medications:

A Congressman from Texas is seeking to make telemedicine abortions all but illegal in the US.

Rep. Ron Wright’s new bill, HR 4395, would prohibit care providers from using telehealth to prescribe abortion drugs unless they have physically examined the patient, are physically present when the patient takes the medications, and schedule a follow-up visit…

Roughly 25 percent of the abortions performed in the U.S. are non-surgical, or medical abortions. The process can be paired with a telemedicine platform in two ways: a physician can examine a patient via telemedicine, then issue a prescription for mifepristone and misoprostol to the patient to terminate the pregnancy; or a remote physician can examine a patient who’s at a clinic, then issue instructions to clinic personnel to dispense the drugs from a locked cabinet that is remotely opened by the doctor.

As states have moved in recent to impose all manner of incremental restrictions and medically dubious regulations on access to abortion, telemedicine has emerged as a novel way for women to circumvent so-called “TRAP” legislation and get the care they need. It’s only natural that a ban on the practice would emerge as soon as anti-abortion Republicans became aware of it, and we fully expect to see a state-level version of this ban introduced in the Colorado legislature next January–where it will die, of course, after giving the issue’s diehards another chance to sound off in futility. This federal version was filed in the Democratic-controlled U.S. House for similar reasons.

The bill, which was filed on October 30, has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for further action. It has 12 co-sponsors: Reps. John Joyce (R-PA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Randy Weber Sr. (R-TX), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), John Rutherford (R-FL), Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), [Pols emphasis] Mark Meadows (R-NC), Jody Hice (R-GA), Jim Banks (R-IN), Andy Harris (R-MD) and Bob Gibbs (R-OH).

And no surprise, Colorado’s Rep. Doug Lamborn is an original cosponsor! One of the ways Colorado’s least inspiring member of Congress defends his safe GOP seat from perennial primary challengers is by never missing the chance to jump all over sticky wedge issues the base can’t resist. Opposition to telemedicine appointments for reproductive care is difficult to oppose on the merits–if you oppose it, it’s probably because you oppose all abortion and recognize telemedicine as a way of circumventing other arbitrary restrictions.

Par for the course for Doug Lamborn, Colorado’s premiere “gynotician.”

What you can do to fight back this week (November 11)

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As a progressive lucky enough to work full time fighting for the values I believe in—freedom for every person, equality, and equal opportunity for everybody—I’m proud to call our progressive values American values. As a Marine Corps veteran who served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, I know that America’s moral leadership can never be taken for granted.

If every American doesn’t do our part to ensure our elected leaders live up to the ideals we proclaim to the rest of the world, we lose our moral authority at home and abroad. That’s why every action you take, from the smallest act of kindness to a stranger to the protest marches where we speak truth to power by the hundreds of thousands are so important.

The freedom to fight back is as important as every other American freedom our veterans have fought for over the years. America isn’t perfect, and we’ve made many mistakes as a country. But because we have the freedom to do better as a nation, and learn from our mistakes, Americans have hope that millions across the world today do not.

So on this Veterans Day, I say thanks to all of you—who take action in ways big and small to make America better every day. Happy Veterans Day, and here are some more ways to fight back for the week of November 11.


Denver Repro Health Happy Hour!

Join us for our November repro health happy hour where folks who support or work in the repro movement can network and meet each other!

Where: Bear Creek Distillery, 1879 S Acoma St, Denver
When: Tuesday, November 12 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Home Is Here: DACA at the Supreme Court Rally

As the US Supreme court hears a brief from the US Department of Justice defending it’s actions on September 5th 2017 to rescind the Obama Era Executive order known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), our communities are coming together to discuss the importance at this time to stand in solidarity for those most impacted by these court proceedings. Colorado DACA recipients will make their case to the community why we need to continue to fight for a permanent solution for DACA, TPS and DED recipients.

Where: Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, 2 E 14th Ave, Denver
When: Tuesday, November 12 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Click here for more locations across Colorado.


Battle Against Wage Theft

We will be holding a rally and press conference in an effort to speak out against wage theft. Stand with us and others that have been impacted by wage theft! The Rally will begin at 11:30 AM with the Press Conference to follow at 12:00 PM.

Where: 1498 Irving St, Denver
When: Thursday, November 14 at 11:30am

Click here to RSVP.


Plastics Pollution Prevention Event at the Capitol

While bringing your own grocery bag and reusing a water bottle is important to reduce plastic pollution, we need systematic changes to protect Colorado’s waterways, people, and wildlife. Join us on the west Capitol steps on November 14th, the day before America Recycles Day, to highlight the need to reduce plastic pollution statewide, especially those plastics which can’t be recycled. We will be joined by coalition partners and state and local officials who want to be a part of this fight to end plastic pollution. Join us to make your voice heard on this issue!

Where: Colorado State Capitol, Denver
When: Thursday, November 14 at 1:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


CMU Sustainability Council: Trivia Night

Battle it out with friends for prizes and bragging rights, featuring categories such as Public Lands, Climate Change, and more! Bring your E-Game (Earth Game)

Where: Copeka Coffee, 1012 N 5th Street, Grand Junction
When: Thursday, November 14 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado: Bans Off My Body Tour

These last few months have been tough for #reprorights. We’ve seen dangerous abortion bans being introduced across the country – and Colorado is no exception. Opponents of abortion access have begun gathering signatures to put an abortion ban on the 2020 ballot in Colorado and we need your help to fight back. Join Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado as we travel across Colorado for the Bans Off My Body Tour! Learn more about the proposed abortion ban & what you can do to help defeat it. Together, we can protect access to safe & legal abortion care in Colorado!

Where: Denver (location upon RSVP)
When: Thursday, November 14 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Saturday Postcard Event in SoBo Lucky’s Market Cafe

Every Saturday, we invite activists as well as political, municipal and school board candidates to come mingle and do something meaningful together: writing postcards! With 2020 elections coming up, we will likely be writing different postcards depending on what the most urgent needs are.

Where: Lucky’s Market South Boulder, 695 S Broadway St, Boulder
When: Saturday, November 16 at 12:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Refugee Welcome 2019

Play a small role in showing a warm welcome to local people who have fled war-torn countries and persecution to be resettled in Colorado by the United Nations refugee program. Kids are welcome and encouraged to attend! We will show our gratitude and welcome wishes by making cards, writing notes, collecting grocery gift cards, and other supplies that will be given directly to families in need on November 21st.

Where: 150 E 10th Ave, Denver
When: Sunday, November 17 at 2:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Health Care Open Mic Night

Rocky Mountain Values is hosting its first Health Care Open Mic night with special guest, Representative Leslie Herod. Come share your health care stories in any way you want. Performers can share their experience with the health care system, high cost of prescription drugs, access to health care, and more.

Where: Coffee at The Point, 710 E 26th Ave, Denver
When: Monday, November 18 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Thanks again! We’ll be back next week with more ways to fight back.

Sincerely,

Alex Ferencz

New Polling in New Hampshire Shows Same Four at Top

Last week we took note of a new poll from Quinnipiac University showing that the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination in Iowa appears to be centering on four candidates: Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg. According to new polling results out today from Quinnipiac, the battle for New Hampshire looks much the same:

Biden receives support from 20 percent of New Hampshire likely Democratic primary voters, with Senator Elizabeth Warren getting 16 percent, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg getting 15 percent, and Sen. Bernie Sanders at 14 percent.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard gets 6 percent, businessman Andrew Yang gets 4 percent, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar and businessman Tom Steyer are each at 3 percent. No other candidate tops 1 percent, and 14 percent of likely voters are undecided.

Just as with last week’s Quinnipiac polling from Iowa, the top four Democratic candidates are essentially tied when you consider the margin of error. There’s still time for other candidates to move up (keep hope alive, Sen. Michael Bennet!), but it’s looking more and more like a four-candidate race at the moment.

What Does This Even Mean? DougCo GOP Edition

We get forwarded all kinds of bizarre social media postings from both official and decidedly unofficial Republican Party mouthpieces (here’s looking at you, Tom Tancredo) some of which are straightforwardly offensive in any of the customary ways individuals on the fringes of the American political right offend the socially well-adjusted. Others, however, just leave us scratching our heads as to what exactly they’re trying to say at all:

Folks, where are the Douglas County Republicans going with this? In Colorado, it’s the law that students must have the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance–though they also have the freedom to not recite it. Is somebody forcing kids to pray to Mecca, which would be the only way we can think of this makes any sense?

The problem must be that we expect it to make sense.

But again, this is “official” Republican Party content. You can’t just ignore it.

Gardner Helped Kill an Obamacare Provision That Was Similar to Colorado’s New Health Insurance Cost-Saving Program

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Pols readers might be interested in the post, below, by Kery Murakami, which appeared in the Colorado Times Recorder Friday.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has been talking up Colorado’s new reinsurance plan, which is expected to lower health insurance premiums for individuals next year by almost a fifth.

He’s also been taking credit for getting federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to approve the program, saying in a press release in July he weighed in “a number of times” to get permission.

But Gardner’s trumpeting of a program is causing eye-rolling by national healthcare experts.

That’s because Gardner was a major player in killing a similar provision of the Affordable Care Act that aimed to do the same thing as Colorado’s program, deriding it as taxpayer “bailouts” of insurance companies.

And, according to a study by economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research, ending the provision, called risk corridors, played a large part in insurance prices going up in the first place.

In fact, if not for the measures Gardner supported, the study found that premiums would have gone up by 10 percent in 2017 instead of 37 percent.

(more…)

Mike Coffman’s “Comeback” Marred By Frazier Lifeline


Ex-Rep. Mike Coffman.

CBS4 Denver reports, as of this moment we still don’t technically know the winner of the extremely close race to be the next Mayor of the city of Aurora, coming down to just a few hundred votes with lots of procedural finger-pointing–and enough ballots waiting to be “cured” to at least hypothetically swing a race in which former GOP Congressman Mike Coffman holds the narrowest of leads:

People living in Aurora still don’t know who will be their next mayor. Even though Tuesday was Election Day, there is still some confusion with the ballots…

The difference is 281 votes. On Friday, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold tweeted about 828 replacement ballots that remain in question. Griswold blamed the U.S. Postal Service.

“The bottom line is that the Post Office understood that they had a problem on Election Day. They called all their carriers to come back for an emergency, pickup these ballots and send them out, but they failed to notify us,” said Griswold.

The race between Coffman and progressive challenger Omar Montgomery became a national proxy fight over gun violence after national gun-safety groups weighed in against Coffman, casting his longstanding support from the National Rifle Association as out of step with a city trying to heal from tragedies including the July 2012 mass shooting at Aurora’s Century Theater. Despite Coffman’s double-digit drubbing at the polls in 2018 when he lost the congressional seat that represents the city after years of splitting tickets in a Democratic-leaning district, most political observers have considered Coffman to be the favorite in the Aurora mayoral race based on sheer name recognition.

But the razor-thin margin between Coffman and Montgomery in this race doesn’t tell the whole story. Ryan Frazier, the former Republican congressional and U.S. Senate candidate among other failed runs for office, who (not that anyone really cares) changed his affiliation to independent earlier this year, and received nearly 12,000 votes in the mayoral race, appears to have played a decisive role in spoiling what would have otherwise have been a comfortable win for Omar Montgomery. Frazier served on the Aurora City Council until 2011, but had in fact moved away from the state eschewing politics before coming back to launch this longshot bid to be Mayor.

Given the results, some more conspiracy-minded readers might even suspect that Coffman and Frazier were working together to ensure the opposition to Coffman was fractured. We ourselves try not to attribute to treachery what can be explained by incompetence, as the saying goes, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary we’re willing to go along with the more likely scenario that Mike Coffman is simply the beneficiary of Ryan Frazier’s endless supply of hubris.

Depending on the final count and the available ballots left to “cure,” Coffman may get lucky. But anyone hoping for a “Coffman Comeback” narrative coming out of this election should be aware that luck is not synonymous with strength–and whatever the result, the real story of the 2019 Aurora mayoral election is that Coffman is weaker than conventional wisdom held.

Hick Ethics Complaint Careens Toward Nothingburger


SUNDAY UPDATE: Frank McNulty’s not going to like the Denver Post’s editorial bottom line:

As Scott Gessler can tell you, all “scandals” are not created equal.

—–

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).

As the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports, the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission has released a fact-finding report on allegations in an ethics complaint against former Gov. John Hickenlooper regarding trips Hickenlooper took while governor — filed by former GOP House Speaker Frank McNulty:

Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission released a report Thursday into former Gov. John Hickenlooper’s travel, including interview notes that show a private jet trip to Connecticut last year was paid for by a billionaire friend’s company.

The report, which drew no conclusions, will be used by the ethics commission as it conducts a hearing into Hickenlooper’s travel and whether it violated the Colorado Constitution. The report is primarily made up of interview summations, along with documentation such as checks and travel itineraries.

According to interviews with Hickenlooper and an attorney for MDC Holdings, a company that builds single-family homes and is owned by billionaire Larry Mizel, MDC paid to fly Hickenlooper to Connecticut, where he spoke at a USS Colorado commissioning.

The ethics commission’s report discusses the circumstances of a number of trips that Hickenlooper took as governor in 2018. Wingerter cites Hickenlooper’s trip to New London, Connecticut for the commissioning ceremony of the USS Colorado attack submarine–which seems difficult to cast aspersions on, since it’s very much within the scope of the governor’s duties. Other trips cited in the report include a trip to the conspiracy theorists’ favorite Bilderberg conference in Italy that Hicklenlooper says he paid for entirely on his own, and a trip to Texas to preside over the wedding of Boulder restauranteur Kimbal Musk, brother of Elon Musk of SpaceX fame. Hickenlooper’s attorneys say the trip to Texas for the Musk wedding falls under an exemption in the state’s ethics law allowing trips paid for “by a personal friend and on a special occasion.”

With that said, this report is not intended to be conclusive, and any ethics violations determined from the report will be made by the IEC. But it’s pretty clear from these long-awaited details that the facts underlying this complaint do not come close to, for example, the IEC’s determination that former Secretary of State Scott Gessler abused the public trust by spending taxpayer dollars on trips to partisan political events. Some of our readers may find the idea of Hickenlooper flying with Larry Mizel, a kingpin Republican donor to be politically intriguing, but the trip itself to speak at the USS Colorado’s commissioning seems perfectly appropriate–and it’s hard to see the political advantage in ensnaring one of the GOP’s own top donors in an ethics complaint.

Wingerter reports that former Speaker McNulty’s “ethics group,” known as the The Public Trust Institute (PTI), was created only two days before the complaint was filed in October of 2018 against Hickenlooper, and shares an address with a principal GOP “dark money” group known as Defend Colorado which has played heavily in attacks on Gov. Jared Polis over the oil and gas regulation bill SB19-181 as well as the factually-challenged but successful campaign against Referendum CC. All told, this is about Republican political operatives checking a task box they would have checked against Hickenlooper regardless of what office he’s running for.

So we’ll all have to wait for the ethics commission’s conclusions now, but it’s evident from this report that there isn’t a whole lot of “there” there–not enough, anyway, to justify more than a year of faux-outraged chestbeating from Republicans.

Weekend Open Thread


“True courage is not the brutal force of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve of virtue and reason.”

–Alfred North Whitehead

Colorado Week in Review: 11/18/19


Warren Campaign Holding Its Fire


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

We ran across an interesting story in Politico today detailing a somewhat-unconventional communications strategy being employed by the campaign of Democratic Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren. In short, Warren’s campaign is making a conscious decision to disengage from the standard practice of returning fire on all fronts:

Her surrogates and campaign aides aren’t going on cable TV to defend her — even as her rivals and their aides are constantly on shows bashing her. Warren advisers haven’t taken to Twitter to shape “the conversation.” There’ve been no statements from Warren HQ calling out rivals by name. Even when former Vice President Joe Biden portrayed Warren as an out-of-touch elitist — while he was attending a fundraiser with real estate moguls, offering the corruption-focused Warren a freebie rebuttal — the campaign kept quiet.

The only response of note to the elitist charge was a subtweet the Warren campaign posted Wednesday with a video about her humble upbringing and challenges as a young mother.

The campaign’s refusal to engage this week has baffled rival campaigns and some Democratic strategists. But it’s not an outlier. Internally, communications director Kristen Orthman refers to the approach as “blinders and bulletin board” — as in, put your blinders on to the horserace drama and stick your retorts on a bulletin board rather than tweeting them out. (Orthman has an actual bulletin board on which she also posts critical stories about Warren as a motivation tool.)

“Fighting on Twitter most of the time does not advance our goals,” said one campaign official in explaining Warren’s refusal to follow “The War Room” ethos that political campaigns have hewed to for decades. In short: All attacks must be publicly returned, and then some.

Warren’s communications strategy is baffling to the likes of James Carville, the longtime Democratic political consultant who popularized the idea of a campaign “war room” during Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign for President.

“There is much more to be lost in attacking fellow Democrats than there is to be gained for a news cycle or two.”

— Unnamed Democratic strategist quoted in Politico (11/8/19)

Warren is polling well and raising good money for her campaign, so this strategy of not engaging in a tit-for-tat with her opponents is a decision she has the luxury to make at the moment; candidates who are struggling on both fronts may not feel as though they have the same sort of choice. If Warren loses ground in the next month or two, of course, then this strategy could go out the window.

We certainly agree that it makes sense to not get stuck responding to the story of the day on a regular basis, and it’s hard to argue that Warren’s decisions haven’t been paying off to this point. Critics will argue that a candidate must always be on the offensive against a potential opponent like President Trump, but perhaps not engaging in Trumpian distractions is exactly the correct way to deal with his vitriol.

Overall, we’re a bit undecided on this approach. What say you, Polsters?

Trump Torpedoes GOP Talking Points on Impeachment


It was two weeks ago that Republican Members of Congress stormed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in the basement of the Capitol in order to highlight their protest that impeachment investigations were unjust because hearings were held behind closed doors (nevermind that Republican members of these particular House committees were always able to attend the hearings).

Two days later, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) co-sponsored a resolution in the Senate criticizing the House for a lack of openness on impeachment matters. “I hope people will read the resolution and that everyone supports a fair and transparent process,” said Gardner. This was more than Gardner had said previously about President Trump’s actions; Gardner infamously bombed in front of a group of reporters when asked whether it was appropriate for the President of the United States to ask a foreign government to interfere in American elections.

Today, Gardner and his fellow Republicans learned once more that following Trump’s lead will only get you hopelessly lost:

Via CNN (11/8/19)

 

President Trump now says that Democrats should NOT hold public impeachment hearings after he and Republicans spent weeks bemoaning the fact that hearings were being done outside the public view. “They shouldn’t be having public hearings,” said Trump on Friday. “This is a hoax. This is just like the Russian witch hunt.”

None of this should be a surprise to anyone who has paid even a lick of attention to national news in the last couple of years. Republicans are continually sticking their necks out for a President who won’t even blink at doing something to contradict their every word. Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), who moonlights as the State Republican Party Chair, ran into a similar problem just a few days after supporting the GOP’s SCIF Storming when it became clear that officials involved with Trump’s Ukraine dealings were confirming every bit of the whistleblower’s fears.

House Democrats had already effectively neutered the Republican’s “lack of transparency” strategy by agreeing to make everything public (on-camera testimony in House committees will begin next week). That hadn’t stopped the GOP from continuing with their attacks on the legitimacy of the “process” for impeachment discussions, but Democrats don’t really need to undermine the Republican strategy when President Trump will do it for them.

Caption This Photo: Cory Gardner at Trump’s Last Supper


The cover art for today’s Politico Magazine top story, a photo collage of AP and Getty images by Zach Meyer, is turning heads–a depiction of President Donald Trump and key Republican lawmakers in the style of the Last Supper painting by Leonardo da Vinci. On the left you’ll find Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, who has embraced Trump in recent months despite the state he represents turning decidedly hostile toward the President (and the President’s party) in recent elections. The thinking here we assume is that despite Gardner’s steadfast support of Trump up to now, Gardner’s personal vulnerability could well make a turncoat of him before the end.

With that said, we will grant that this depiction is a little better imagewise for Gardner than the Politico Magazine headline he earned after his narrow win in 2014:

Not much better, but a little.