Schultheis, Conservatives Unwittingly Make Case for Gay Marriage



Former State Sen. Dave Schultheis was never particularly vague in his beliefs about unwed mothers (famously “wishing that they would get AIDS“) or the evils of gay marriage, which is why were particularly interested to see this recent Facebook page from the great foot-in-mouth Senator.

If you follow the link, it takes you to a new report called “The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing” from the Institute for American Values, the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, the Georgia Family Council and Familes Northwest. The point of the paper is to show all you unwed heathens out there that you are costing American taxpayers a lot of money with your free-spirited ways:

Why should legislators and policymakers care about marriage? Public debate on marriage in this country has focused on the “social costs” of family fragmentation (that is, divorce and unwed childbearing), and research suggests that these are indeed extensive. But marriage is more than a moral or social institution; it is also an economic one, a generator of social and human capital, especially when it comes to children.

Research on family structure suggests a variety of mechanisms, or processes, through which marriage may reduce the need for costly social programs. In this study, we adopt the simplifying and extremely cautious assumption that all of the taxpayer costs of divorce and unmarried childbearing stem from the effects that family fragmentation has on poverty, a causal mechanism that is well-accepted and has been reasonably well-quantified in the literature.

Based on the methodology, we estimate that family fragmentation costs U.S. taxpayers at least $112 billion each and every year, or more than $1 trillion each decade…

If, as research suggests is likely, marriage has additional benefits to children, adults, and communities, and if those benefits are in areas other than increased income levels, then the actual taxpayer costs of divorce and unwed childbearing are likely much higher. [Pols emphasis]

Those are certainly some interesting conclusions, which lead us to another obvious question: Given the economic and societal benefits of marriage, shouldn’t Schultheis and his family-parading friends actually support gay marriage rather than oppose it vehemently? If marriage “has additional benefits to children, adults and communities” beyond just economic benefits, then shouldn’t they be advocating strongly in favor of gay marriage?

As far as we can tell, the report doesn’t define “marriage” in any specific manner, making this part all the more important:

We note that even very small increases in stable marriage rates as a result of government programs or community efforts to strengthen marriage would result in very large savings for taxpayers.

So, there you have it, kids. Gay marriage = taxpayer savings.

Wait…was that not what you meant to say, Dave?

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Ken Summers Should Probably Just Stop Talking

(This isn’t working out so well for Rep. Summers, who should have heeded our original advice: JUST. STOP. TALKING. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE #2: Here’s the response from reporter Emile Hallez Williams:

Evergreen Newspapers stands by the story, and I personally stand by my work. We welcome any concerns about the factual content of our stories and address inaccurate information promptly.

Though I regularly record many of my interviews, our papers are not in the practice of releasing recordings.

As we said earlier, this is why you don’t call a story a fabrication unless you have some pretty good backup — now, not only are you doubly guilty of saying some really stupid things, you look like a jerk and have probably permanently damaged your relationship with the local paper. Really, Rep. Summers, did you honestly think that calling an entire story a lie would be believable? Especially when you are quoted repeatedly?

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UPDATE: Rep. Summers responded in the comments section, claiming that the entire story was basically a lie by the reporter. We probably haven’t heard the end of this one, since challenging a reporter on an entire story doesn’t usually work out; there are a lot of quotes from Summers here, and if the reporter was recording the interview, this won’t end well. Here’s Summers’ comments:

Sorry to disappoint but Teen Challenge DOES NOT offer “reparative therapy.” I DO NOT believe taking drugs causes homosexuality and I DO NOT believe child abuse condemns one to a homosexual lifestyle. I DO believe that each person should have the freedom live their life as they see fit and seek appropriate help for issues they have when they determine they need it. You mean a reporter may have not accurately communicated the facts in an article and gave a distorted view based on a predisposed bias, what a rare occurance. Perhaps some reporters should stop writting.

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There’s a weird story in the current issue of The Columbine Courier about Rep. Ken Summers and his Teen Challenge of the Rocky Mountains program, which tries to help teens with alcohol and drug problems. Summers’ program also apparently offers “Reparative therapy,” which is a fancy way of saying they try to convince gay people that they’re not really gay.

“We would help people with those issues,” Summers said in a recent phone interview. Weeks before, he had sidestepped a question about whether Teen Challenge worked with clients on problems of a sexual nature, telling the Courier that the program primarily treats drug and alcohol addiction.

“It would depend on the situation of that particular issue,” he said, describing applicable clients as having a “cross-section of sexual behavior that has brought confusion into their life.”

When asked how many men the program had treated for homosexuality, Summers’ initial response was “zero.” But a phone conversation with a 180 Ministries staff member indicated the program had indeed attempted to “convert” gay men – and that Teen Challenge would likely accept such a client who had no history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Okay, so Summers apparently doesn’t want to freely admit that his program tries to “un-gay” people who come for help. We thought that was a bit odd, until he started trying to explain his theories:

Only after being confronted with the information obtained from the staff member did Summers concede that Teen Challenge has worked to “convert” gays to straight lives. But such treatment was secondary to drug therapy, he said, in explaining his previous response.

“I don’t think there have been that many in our program,” he said. “If people come to us for help, we’re going to tell them what the Bible says.”…

…But homosexuality is a behavior, Summers contends, a choice that can be changed – or controlled.

“The whole issue of sexual identity is very complicated,” he said, noting the Teen Challenge program confronts homosexuality through counseling and scripture.

“Those individuals have experienced some kind of violation in their history,” he said. “Many of them have been abused as a child, sexually.”

Summers also said homosexual behavior is often a side effect of drug abuse.

So, homosexuality is the result of childhood sexual abuse and/or drug abuse. Alrighty then! Well played, Mr. Summers. Well played. The retiring Sen. Dave Schultheis can rest easy knowing the role of class clown has plenty of candidates ready to carry on without him.

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We’ll All Miss Dave Schultheis (Even Spammers)

For years state Sen. Dave Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs) has been a walking landmine for Republicans because of his, er, “talent” for making stupid and occasionally horrific statements.

But were it not for his brash stupidity, Schultheis would have left little mark on the Colorado legislature in his years under the Golden Dome. Schultheis announced last fall that he would not be running for re-election in 2010 and will instead retire to some insensitive pasture somewhere. In just a few short months Dave won’t have himself to get kicked around anymore.

So it is that we couldn’t help but laugh about an email that was spammed out to just about everybody at the State Capitol this afternoon. Take a look at the message that was later forwarded to us:

—–Forwarded Message—–

From: dave.schultheis.house@state.co.us

Sent: Feb 12, 2010 1:41 PM

To: dave.schultheis.house@state.co.us

Subject: Essential for hot affairs

Got obstacles with ordering medicaments to your house?

Our web-store is aimed for helping you! Place your order here and get your package to your home or office the same day.

We don’t annoy you about prescription, but we care about privacy of delivery and transactions.

[image link removed by Colorado Pols]

We removed the link, so as not to spam any of our readers, but it pointed to a sexually-themed image relating to “performance” enhancing drugs.

This is obviously a spam message (Schultheis, after all, would no longer be using a State House address because he is now a State Senator), and this almost certainly is not Schultheis’ fault. We don’t blame him for it, and we certainly wouldn’t expect anyone else at the Capitol to blame him, either.

But could this really have happened to anybody else? It seems even spambots have a sense of humor.

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Schultheis Exit Planned Move for Lambert?

We speculated earlier that the surprise announcement that Sen. Dave Schultheis would not run for re-election in 2010 might be the GOP’s attempt to get rid of one of their most divisive and problematic members (at least in terms of public perception). But as it turns out, Schultheis’ exit might have been a planned move to make sure that his hand-picked successor, equally-looney Rep. Kent Lambert (and a pal from the Republican Conservative Study Committee, or whatever they call it), would be able to walk into the seat.

Lambert announced yesterday that he would run for Schultheis’ Senate seat in 2010, and from what we hear, most other potential challengers consider him a near-lock and will likely not oppose him in a primary (this is a safe GOP seat, so the action is in the primary).

Schultheis’ timing in making his announcement also means that Rep.Amy Stephens, a potential challenger, would not be able to run for the seat; because the election is less than 12 months away, Stephens doesn’t have time to move into the district and still be eligible to run.

This is all reminiscent of 2006, when long time GOP state Sen. Norma Anderson abruptly retired in order to give her chosen successor, Kiki Traylor, a head start. Schultheis isn’t resigning, of course, and Anderson’s move didn’t work out when Traylor was beaten in that summer’s primary by now Sen. Mike Kopp. Lambert also seems to have a better chance at keeping the succession plan intact than Traylor did.

Of course, all this moving around also means that Lambert’s House seat is now open. Potential bidders for that job include El Paso County GOP Chair Kay Rendleman (Lambert’s former campaign manager) and Lisa Taskerud, who is also close to Lambert.

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Hillman Being Recruited to Challenge Schultheis

Republican State Sen. Dave Schultheis wants to be a national committeeman for the Republican Party, since, you know, he hasn’t done enough damage to Republicans yet.

But Schultheis may not have an open path to this largely meaningless job. Several Republicans are trying hard to persuade former State Senator and 2006 Treasurer candidate Mark Hillman to run for the post opposite the Colorado Springs genius. Hillman could use the post to build more fundraising contacts for a future run for office, while Schultheis certainly isn’t getting elected to anything bigger than State Senator.

But more than that, Schultheis has been such a massive embarrassment for Republicans that moderates fear the damage he could do with a national platform with which to say stupid things. For that reason alone, we’re rooting for a Schultheis victory – it gives us more to write about.

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Press Release of the Year

We get a lot of press releases at Colorado Pols, as you might expect, and some of them are better than others…like the one you can read below.

We received a press release from Republican Rep. Kent Lambert that is about Republican Sen. Dave Schultheis endorsing Mitt Romney for President. We can’t tell you why Rep. Lambert is sending out the press releases for Sen. Schultheis, or why anyone would care who Schultheis is endorsing for President, but we’re just passing the information along.

Click below for the full press release.

Colorado State Sen. Schultheis endorses Mitt Romney for President

“At this time in our nation’s future, we need a President who will energize the Reagan coalition of strong fiscal, social and national-security conservatives.  These are critical times for our nation’s future, not only from without, but from within, and I believe that as President, Mitt Romney will be a strong advocate for those principles so espoused by President Reagan and held by the majority of Americans,” said Sen. Schultheis, (R-Colorado Springs).

As a leading advocate for strong border control and interior enforcement, Sen. Schultheis as been a leading force in Colorado since 2005, in the fight against illegal immigration.  Sen. Schultheis considers illegal immigration one of the most critical issues facing Colorado and nearly every state across our land.

“This situation, left unabated will continue to take a major toll on key elements of our country.  It must be stopped…and stopped now.  The negative effects are reaching devastating proportions.  Examination of its onerous effects on K-12 Education, Healthcare costs, and crime statistics clearly bear this out.  I believe Gov. Mitt Romney is taking take this issue seriously and will take steps to restore the rule of law in this area of concern to 85% of the nation’s citizens,” said Sen. Schultheis.  

With this endorsement, Sen. Schultheis joins Colorado’s U.S. Sen. Allard as well as Congressman Tom Tancredo, who has championed the illegal alien issue for over a decade.

Sen. Schultheis is also concerned about the future makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Speculation is that the U.S. Supreme Court will possibly have two-to-three vacancies during the term of the next President.  “This nation needs a president who we can count on to appoint men and women who will interpret the strict meaning of the law and the constitution…not legislate from the bench, or consider rulings by courts of other countries.  I am convinced that ‘President Romney’ will make such appointments,” said Schultheis

“As a proud conservative, with a strong commitment for the rule of law, I am pleased to give my strong endorsement to Mitt Romney for President,” said Senator Schultheis.

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RSCC Inexplicably Enters Fray on SCHIP


The Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC) is a group of Colorado legislators from the most conservative of the Republican ranks. Their positions on many issues are always predictably ultra-conservative, and that’s fine, but their political strategy could use a little work.

Today the RSCC issued a press release praising President Bush for his veto of SCHIP,  which would have expanded health insurance coverage for children. Why the RSCC would do this – when they don’t need to speak up – is another matter, because SCHIP is incredibly popular with voters.

Nobody is asking what people like Sen. David Schultheis and Rep. Kent Lambert think about SCHIP, so what’s the strategic rationale behind intentionally going on record in support of a veto that is wildly unpopular with average voters? Granted, Schultheis has never been the brightest bulb in the lamp, but this is stupid even by his standards.

Click below for the full idiotic press release in all its cheeky slogan-filled nonsense.

President Bush is right on SCHIP

(Denver) Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC) applauds President Bush’s courageous veto of the fiscally irresponsible Democrat expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). We also encourage all Republican members of Congress to stand firm against pressures to override the President’s veto.

The Democrat bill dilutes the intent of SCHIP to provide healthcare for poor children by expanding coverage for children in some households with incomes of up to $83,000 per year, four times the Federal poverty level. Sen. David Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs) said, “Colorado Democrats’ attacks against President Bush for standing up for the original goals of SCHIP, is just one of many examples of ‘Democrats Gone Wild’.”

In his announcement of October 3, 2007, President Bush said, “The policies of the government ought to be… poor kids first.” Instead, the Democrat
plan would have shifted as many as two million kids from middle class families that already have private health insurance into government-run programs. That would have effectively replaced affordable private insurance coverage and parental choice in coverage for their own children with a
budget-busting one-size-fits-all Federal bureaucracy.

“Republicans typically support medical care for the poor, as the President clearly demonstrated in his $35.5 billion budget for poor children’s health insurance,” said Rep. Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs). “Instead, the Democrats are deceptively exploiting the needs of poor children to advance their true socialist agenda of mandatory, universal, government-controlled Hillary Care that will further sap taxpayers and individual choice in healthcare. SCHIP should focus on enrolling currently-eligible poor children instead of trying to pay for families who can already afford to pay for themselves.”

The RSCC agrees with the observations of the Health Policy Consensus Group that, “Two-thirds of uninsured children are eligible for either SCHIP or Medicaid under current law, including many children under 200 percent of poverty who are not yet enrolled. Expanding SCHIP to children in higher-income families would mean shifting the focus away from these children who most need help and would grow the program into a middle-class entitlement that goes far beyond its current mission of helping near-poor children.”

Reauthorization of SCHIP should concentrate on maintaining a safety net for the poor and not become the next step toward Hillary Care. Let’s put poor kids first.

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