Tea Party Promises and Empty Talking Points May Doom Neville

Republican Scott Tipton got elected to Congress in 2010 in part by saying pretty much whatever the hell he wanted to say without any real eyebrow raising from GOP supporters. But since he hasn’t been able to come close to accomplishing, well, anything he promised, the right-wing and Tea Party factions of the GOP are pretty pissed off.

This is a lesson that new Republican state senator Tim Neville may want to remember. Neville upset state Rep. Jim Kerr last week for the right to replace Mike Kopp, who resigned from SD-22 to spend more time with his family. Neville seems destined to face a primary next summer, which could be as nasty as the 2006 battle that got Kopp elected over the appointed Kiki Traylor, and if he does, he’ll probably half some serious ‘splaining to do. Neville won the vacancy by promising unicorns and rainbows to the GOP faithful, as The Colorado Statesman notes:

He promised to “pass a Right to Work law in this state,” said it was time to “put an end to illegal immigration in this state” and vowed to stop “Gov. John Hickenlooper’s sanctuary city policy.” He also promised: “I will fight to protect our rights to keep and bear arms” and pledged to “oppose all tax increases, even those disguised as fees.”

Uh, yeah. Good luck with all that. Kerr was more judicious in his promises, in large part because he’s been in the legislature for nearly 8 years and has an idea of what you can actually accomplish; his reluctance to promise the moon may have cost him the vacancy appointment, but at least he wasn’t going to throw out empty platitudes. Come next summer, plenty of potential Republican candidates will be able to point to Neville’s nonsense with extravagant promises of their own…and this will all start back up again, and again, and again.

Because of the timing of Kopp’s exit, SD-22 will see consecutive elections in 2012 and 2014, which opens up what could be a long and vicious cycle of Tea Party talking points nonsense. Kopp, in fact, seemed resigned to at least a primary in 2012:

“I don’t want to prognosticate too early, however, the maps I saw of this district lead me to believe the real fight will be a family feud, a primary type of fight,” he said, and then he hastened to add: ” I’m not saying there will be, I’m not encouraging that, but if there’s going to be a fight, that’s where it’s going to be.”

We wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Neville, like Traylor in 2006, only lasted one session in the legislature before being ousted in a primary (although for entirely different reasons than Traylor, who was a moderate candidate). Republican supporters were apparently enamored with Neville’s “leadership” in the 2011 Jefferson County School Board races, oddly ignoring the fact that the two Republican-backed candidates were absolutely destroyed at the ballot box. Preston Branaugh and Jim Powers were both awful candidates who ran awful campaigns; if Neville was indeed instrumental in that fiasco, it doesn’t bode well for his 2012 prospects.  

Stay Classy, Jim Kerr

More Republican-sponsored “Arizona copycat” anti-immigration bills died at the state capitol yesterday, and though that might not be quite all of them, it’s clear that this little campaign didn’t turn out quite the way the Republican Study Committee of Colorado intended.

But as we’ve said repeatedly, the chief effect of these bills has only been to further alienate the Latino electorate in Colorado from Republicans, and smart Republicans have stayed well clear of them. In addition to the obvious distastefulness of opening the door to racial profiling, and the certainty of expensive litigation if these bills were to pass, some Republicans flashed signs of being truly, well, there’s no other way to say it, bigoted about stuff along the way.

Can’t see the audio player? Click here.

This is an audio clip from testimony over one of several immigration-related bills debated this past month, in this case a bill (HB11-1003) requiring photo IDs in order to vote. The witness is a Venezuelan-American, who gets some laughs after noting that her country still has lots of corruption even with a voter ID law (see: Chavez, Hugo). But it’s the end of her testimony, and the response from GOP Rep. Jim Kerr, that will drop your jaw:

KERR: Thank you for your testimony. Any questions? [pause] Anybody bilingual that can talk Venezuelan, or whatever… [Pols emphasis]

WITNESS: Spanish. Spanish. Thank you. Thanks for your time.

KERR: Thank you very much.

UNKNOWN: “Venezuelan?” [laughter]

KERR: I thought I’d try it.

So for starters, did you really think her English was that bad? It seems to us if you’re going to say something so churlish and offensive, it should at least be based in reality. And of course, there’s the hillbilly ignorance self-evident in asking if anyone present can “talk Venezuelan.”

Like we said, are there any more of these immigration bills lurking in the hopper? Because surely there is a Latino Colorado voter out there who has not yet been offended.

Jim Kerr: “Women Like to Shop, But they Don’t Shop Health Care?”

(At Least He’s Not Your…Oh, Never Mind – promoted by Colorado Pols)

According to *Jim Kerr (R) of HD28, women shouldn’t be concerned about paying more for health care because they just need to fulfill their natural, God-given instincts to shop around more for better rates.

In this interview with Lisa Codispoti of the National Women’s Law Center, *Jim Kerr in typical Colorado Republican foot-in-mouth-style, demonstrates his heinous, deep-seated sexism and inability to think on his feet.


What I’m concerned about is the 12%-42% and 11%-51% where women like to shop, but they don’t shop health care? I’ve got a disconnect with that.

Yeah, disconnect is a good word.

*(not Andy Kerr who will here forth be referred to as “Angel Kerr” …and I guess I will refer to Jim as “Heinous Kerr”)