Lamborn Takes Unusually Heavy Fire For Usual Buffoonery

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs).

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs).

As the Colorado Springs Gazette's Megan Schrader reports, Rep. Doug Lamborn continues to reap red-on-red criticism for her remarks, originally publicized by the Colorado Independent last week, that suggested he is actively trying to persuade military commanders to resign in protest of President Barack Obama's policies:

On Sunday night, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican from Aurora, tweeted a link to a story about Lamborn's comments and said, "As a Marine and combat veteran, I know to keep my politics off the battlefield."

And when asked about Lamborn's statement, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, said: "There is no room for partisan politics when it comes to our men and women in uniform."

It was hardly a deluge of criticism compared to what "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC and political opinion writer Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek dumped on Lamborn, a five-term congressman from Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs City Councilwoman Jill Gaebler criticized Lamborn on Twitter, tweeting Saturday that "Lamborn is an embarrassment to our service members and to the great state of #Colorado."

Here's a little more from Kurt Eichenwald's Newsweek column yesterday:

Lamborn is the latest type of political muck America needs to scrape off the bottom of its national shoe: an officeholder so absorbed with his hatred of the opposing party that he is willing to do anything, no matter how much it damages our national security and the underpinnings of our democracy, if it will win him some applause and maybe a couple of votes…

During a question-and-answer period, a member of the audience called on Lamborn to support the troops, “despite the fact that there is no leadership from the Muslim Brotherhood in the White House.” (Yeah, this is one of the conspiracy theories making the rounds among the feverish fanatics set: that Obama has secretly filled his administration with fundamentalist jihadists because, ummm…don’t ask me.)

There was a time in our country when politicians considered it to be a sign of leadership and part of their moral obligation to calm folks down when someone voiced some wackadoodle idea. Senator John McCain did that as recently as 2008 when he cautioned some frightened supporters that Obama was “a decent man you don’t have to be afraid of.” Unfortunately, the fact that the crowd booed at McCain’s truth-telling in front of the rabid was a lesson not lost on his fellow-GOPers. And so now, no attack on Obama is too nuts to get a “well, maybe, you don’t know” response.

Lamborn, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, burbled happily at the absurd conspiracy theory voiced by someone in the audience, and then assured the crowd that, in fact, he and his fellow Republicans were doing everything in their power to undermine America…

The Gazette's Schrader dutifully notes Lamborn's "clarification":

Critical media outlets also ignored Lamborn's backtracking clarifications. Lamborn clarified to The Gazette on Friday that he was talking about old policies from President Barack Obama. He offered resignation as an option when his office received complaints from generals and admirals who were riled up about sequestration in 2013 and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 2010.

The biggest problem, of course, is that makes no sense: Lamborn wasn't responding to a question about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Lamborn was plainly being asked about the present military conflict against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and it was in that context that Lamborn replied he is–in the present tense–"talking to the generals" about their resigning. The words Lamborn used, in the context he used them, are not ambiguous, and reinforce the worst criticisms offered by Lamborn's opponents. Lamborn really was saying he thinks generals should, as Eichenwald explains it, "abandon their troops in the middle of a war."

With all of this in mind, it's not hard to understand why Lamborn's colleagues Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman would be quick to triangulate off these remarks. Gardner and Coffman face tight elections with moderate electorates, and this kind of rhetoric does not impress moderates on either (or neither) side. In fact, comments like these tend to repel the middle-of-the-road voters Gardner and Coffman need to win in November. In the case of Mike "Obama's not an American" Coffman, this is an opportunity to distract from the fact that he's blown the same "dog whistle" himself.

As for Lamborn, there is at least a better-than-even chance that he really doesn't get how bad this looks. As we saw with Lamborn's handling of the Barack Obama "tar baby" gaffe, he may be too shallow, spiteful, or just plain stupid to know better. If that's right, the only ones who can spare the state of Colorado further reputational damage from this collective embarrassment are the voters of the heavily Republican Fifth Congressional District.

How bad does it have to get, CD-5?

Conservation Colorado Endorses Gov. Hickenlooper

Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Gov. John Hickenlooper.

A press release this morning from leading environmental advocate group Conservation Colorado announces the endorsement of incumbent Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper for a second term:

Conservation Colorado Executive Director Pete Maysmith, released the following statement endorsing John Hickenlooper for Governor of Colorado today.  

“John Hickenlooper has played an important role in achieving several conservation gains during his time in the Governor’s office. He signed a number of important pieces of legislation into law including increasing Colorado’s renewable energy standard and championing first in the nation air protections to reduce ozone pollution and directly reduce methane pollution from oil and gas facilities. The Governor and his staff also engaged productively in discussions regarding protections of critical open space and wildlands like the Thompson Divide and sage grouse habitat in Northwest Colorado…

We have had disagreements with Governor Hickenlooper over policies of his which have put the interests of the oil and gas industry over the health and environment of Coloradans. Even given those differences, it is the case that under a Governor Hickenlooper administration, Colorado’s air, land, water, and our open spaces have a much greater chance of being protected than if Bob Beauprez were governor. [Pols emphasis] We also believe Governor Hickenlooper will do a significantly better job of promoting our State’s leadership in clean wind and solar energy than Beauprez would.

Conservation Colorado endorses Governor Hickenlooper and we look to the Governor to lead in his second term on the most pressing environmental issues of the day – climate change and safeguarding what we love about Colorado – clean air, water, scenic opens spaces and our unique quality of life.”

Though it's not unexpected, the endorsement of Conservation Colorado is very important to Hickenlooper for shoring up the Democratic base ahead of the November elections. It's no secret that Hickenlooper's relations with environmentalists have not been a strong point. With that said, Hickenlooper can credibly point to agreements like the Air Quality Control Commission's new emissions rules, and the compromise brokered with Rep. Jared Polis to work on legislation aimed at enhancing local control of oil and gas drilling. These and other examples from Hickenlooper's first term show a different side of the proverbial coin: when Hickenlooper's ability to bring opposing parties to the table was key to making any kind of progress.

Recognizing that this may not be quite enough for all of their constituents, Conservation Colorado invites you to consider the alternative:

Coloradans face a clear choice. The Governor’s opponent, Bob Beauprez, has returned to his extreme right wing roots promoting an anti-conservation, anti-clean renewable energy agenda. Beauprez has stated that climate change is a hoax, he has mocked efforts to address citizen concerns around drilling and fracking, and he supported a failed referendum to boost transmountain water projects that would have further damaged Colorado’s rivers and streams. Disturbingly, Beauprez has recently aligned himself with far right wing, anti-government ideologues who are calling for the state to seize control of America’s public lands. This is a costly proposition for the State and could fence off Coloradans from areas they have long enjoyed for camping, fishing, hunting, and hiking.

When the question is between someone who agrees with you 80% of the time or not at all, the answer is pretty simple.

What’s next for reporters covering Cory Gardner’s personhood hypocrisy?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Fox 31 political reporter Eli Stokols tried hard last week to extract an explanation from senatorial candidate Cory Gardner for his decision to withdraw from "personhood" legislation at the state level but, at the same time, to remain a co-sponsor of a federal personhood bill, which would ban all abortion, even for rape, and some forms of birth control.

So what else could a reporter ask Gardner at this point?

We know he thinks there's "no federal personhood bill," because he said it four times to Stokols and once previously to 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman.

So what does Gardner think the bill aims to do? If it's not personhood, what is it?

Gardner discussed this question at least twice: Factcheck.org reported last month that "Gardner’s campaign says he backed the [state and federal] proposals as a means to ban abortion, not contraception."

Later, contradicting this, Gardner told Rittiman that the "[Life at Conception Act] says life begins at conception." Gardner's spokespeople have said the same thing, saying it won't ban contraception, but they did not mention abortion.

Abortion

Expanding on Factcheck.org's article, reporters should discuss with Gardner the ramifications of his co-sponsorship of a personhood-style abortion ban. All abortion, even for rape and incest, would be banned. Thus, under the Life at Conception Act, a teenager raped by her father would not have the option of getting an abortion.

Contraception

Gardner has said the Life at Conception Act doesn't ban contraception. In fact, he told Stokols, "I do not support legislation that would ban birth control. That's crazy! I would not support that."

Gardner did not waiver or offer further explanation, even after Stokols told him directly about one of  Factcheck.org's conclusions: "Gardner says he has changed his mind and no longer supports the Colorado initiative, precisely because it could ban common forms of birth control. But he still backs a federal personhood bill, which contains the same language that would make a ban of some contraception a possibility."

Reporters who question Gardner should avoid asking him about his position on "contraception" or birth control" generally, because these words means different things to different people, as you can read here.

Instead, the question is, Does Gardner support specific types of contraception, like Plan B and IUDs. Plan B and IUDs could be banned under the Life at Conception Act because they threaten or destroy fertilized eggs (zygotes), which would gain full legal rights, the same ones you and I have, if the federal personhood bill became law.

In vitro fertilization

Factcheck.org pointed out that personhood measures, like the federal personhood bill, threaten "in vitro fertilization, which often involve creating more than one embryo in an effort to help a woman conceive — the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has been against personhood initiatives." What's Gardner's stance on this issue, given his backing of the Life at Conception Act.

Plenty to ask.

So Stokols' intense interview with Gardner leaves plenty of questions unanswered, and they go beyond the ones from Stokols that Gardner dodged or refused to answer factually.

Jeffco Schools Superintendent Threatens Teachers Over Latest Protest

Dan McMinimee

Jeffco Superintendent Dan McMinimee has turned to the “threaten teachers” section of his right-wing handbook.

UPDATE: We'll have more on this before tomorrow's Gubernatorial debate at the Denver Post auditorium, but in the meantime, here's an interesting take from Westword: (we had a feeling this would happen):

Meanwhile, the proposed history curriculum changes could become an issue in the upcoming gubernatorial race between Democrat office-holder John Hickenlooper and Republican challenger Bob Beauprez. At a debate Friday, the Durango Herald reports that Beauprez backed board members: "An elected school board not only has the right to speak up about curriculum and what they think are the wisest choices…but they have an obligation to do that," he said. Hickenlooper, for his part, was more critical, arguing that "you want your kids to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, but you also want them to learn about the Boston Tea Party."

—–

Classes were cancelled today at Golden and Jefferson High Schools in Jefferson County when a majority of teachers called in sick as part of an ongoing protest against heavy-handed tactics from the right-wing majority school board. As Jesse Paul of the Denver Post reports, Jeffco Superintendent Dan McMinimee is talking tough about cracking down on teacher protests…which is not going to go over well:

Teachers who missed school will have to show proof of illness, he said, adding that personal days need 24-hours notice.

"We are going to have our building principals work with each teacher involved in this," he said.

"We will probably dock them a day's pay," McMinimee said of teachers who didn't follow the guidelines of the collective bargaining agreement. "I think it's time for this to end. Let's put an end to this." [Pols emphasis]

That tone-deaf statement from McMinimee is fairly typical of the response we have seen from the conservative members of the Jeffco School Board — Ken Witt, Julie Williams, and John Newkirk have been oddly surprised that students, parents, and teachers are not excited about the idea of non-educators making massive curriculum changes. Even though Jefferson and Golden High Schools were closed today, that didn't stop students from another day of protests. McMinimee and the school board might want to pay closer attention to what the students are saying:

Angelica Dole, a sophomore at Jefferson High School, said the students were 100 percent behind their teachers.

"This is our own time. This was all students. No teachers are here, look around," Dole said.

At the same time that administrators are talking tough, the students are taking matters into their own hands, which further complicates any response. McMinimee and the school board have made passing references in the last week essentially laying the blame for protests with the JCEA (the Jeffco teachers' union), and they are getting more aggressive with those accusations and in trying to crack the whip with teachers. But the students can make things much, much more problematic:

The recent walk and sick-outs have raised alarm as the Oct. 1 state county day approaches, which determines district funding by enrolled and present students.

State officials said Monday that absences should not affect the district's funding — which is $7,021 per student — because of extensions and rules in the count which allow for students present five days before and five days after Oct. 1 to be included in the funding determination.

Ken Witt

School Board President Ken Witt. He’s “an adult.”

We're now entering the third week of high-profile protests in response to asinine actions from the right-wing Jeffco School Board. In that time, we've learned one thing above all others: Julie Williams and the rest of the conservative board appear to be completely clueless as to how to deal with this situation…which they, of course, created with their own actions. Check out this quote from Board President Ken Witt:

"I'm very disappointed that some of our instructors have chose not to turn up for work today. It is not appropriate for adult matters to impact the education of our students." [Pols emphasis]

Yes, really. That's Ken Witt saying it is not appropriate for "adult matters" to impact the education of our students. When you say, "adult matters," Ken, do you include when "adults" make inappropriate school curriculum plans based on partisan political positioning? Or does this only apply to "other" adults?

Romanoff Most Successful Small-Donor Fundraiser in the Country

CD-6 candidate Andrew Romanoff (D).

Low-dollar donors are big fans of Andrew Romanoff

There was a really interesting story from the National Journal over the weekend with big implications in Colorado. As reporter Shane Goldmacher explains:

Democratic candidates for Congress are crushing their Republican counterparts in small-dollar donations—outraising their GOP foes by an average of more than $100,000 per candidate in the nation's top races.

That's the finding of a new National Journal analysis of federal records in the most competitive House contests in the country. In those, the average Democrat has collected $179,300 in donations under $200; the average Republican has brought in only $78,535.

"That," said Vincent Harris, a Republican digital strategist, "is a big deal."…

…For this analysis, National Journal looked at House candidates and incumbents who were in the most competitive seats, as ranked by The Cook Political Report (those in the "toss-up" and "lean" categories), and those highly touted by the party committees (those in the DCCC's Red to Blue program or the NRCC's Young Guns). The review tallied candidates' "unitemized contributions"—those under $200—as reported to the Federal Election Commission. Those few candidates who itemize every, or nearly every, contribution were excluded. The fundraising figures for all 99 candidates in the analysis are the latest available from the FEC, which for most of them is through June 30.

The findings were stark. In total, the 48 Democrats in the analysis outraised the 51 Republicans in small-dollar donations, $8.6 million to $4 million.

This is the part where we'd tease our readers by asking, Guess which Democrat tops the list?, but you've probably already figured that out from the headline. Anyhoo:

Among Democrats in the analysis, the top small-contributor fundraiser is Andrew Romanoff, a Democratic challenger who is taking on Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in a swing district in suburban Denver. Romanoff has raised $833,527 in small-dollar money, more than 24 percent of his total fundraising. No one else in a targeted race has even raised $500,000.

Romanoff is helped by the fact that he previously ran for Senate, meaning he entered the House race with a far larger network of email addresses and supporters than most. A spokeswoman said more than 15,000 people have donated to his campaign.

Political advisors and strategists quoted by the National Journal largely agree that Democrats are just much, much better at online organizing and fundraising than their Republican counterparts. We don't dispute this analysis, though Republicans should be incensed at their Party's continued inability to figure out the Internet tubes for campaign purposes. One of the great benefits of receiving big support from low-dollar donors is that those donors often end up becoming hard-working volunteers — a big bonus that will pay off repeatedly as GOTV efforts get underway.

Beauprez’s Post Profile: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Bob Beauprez.

Bob Beauprez.

The Denver Post's Joey Bunch published a long-awaited profile of two-time GOP gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez in yesterday's Sunday edition, along with a similar profile of incumbent Gov. John Hickenlooper. We've heard varying opinions about Bunch's story–many Democrats are upset with what they consider to be major omissions, while others are happy to see the overall frame expressed in the story of Beauprez damaged by his long record of far-right statements. In a few respects, Bunch does contribute to this important latter theme:

Beauprez isn't trying to evolve.

In the six months since he joined the race for governor, Democrats have rolled out a list of his past statements they say are inconsistent or too extreme, including his statement that he sympathized with 11 Colorado counties that tried unsuccessfully to secede last year.

Also, in 2006, he apologized for saying African-American women get abortions at an "appalling" rate, which was not supported by facts.

A devout Catholic, he opposes abortion except when a woman's life is endangered, but not in cases of rape and incest. Yet he opposes personhood — defining an unborn child as a human with legal rights, which would effectively ban abortions — as bad policy.

"To believe that a victim of rape or incest should be forced to have her rapist's baby proves that Congressman Beauprez is a dangerous extremist, who, as governor, would be a threat to the freedoms of Colorado's women," said Jennifer Koch, executive director of the Colorado Democratic Party.

Last year, on the conservative website TownHall.com, Beauprez compared abortion to the shootings in Sandy Hook and Aurora…

Readers do get the sense that Beauprez is a strident conservative from this story, and that's valuable to Democrats looking to frame him as out of touch with Colorado's more moderate electorate. There's also new information in this story: Beauprez was reportedly paid over $100,000 by right wing funders at the John Hancock Committee for the States to "organize" the Tea Party after 2009. That's an interesting detail which explains a lot about Beauprez's energetic organizing at that time on behalf of the "grassroots" Tea Party–he was on the clock.

With that said, this story left out most of the worst items in Beauprez's record: and in a piece exceeding 2,400 words in length, that's just inexplicable to us. It's well known that Beauprez is far to the right on abortion, and that he endorsed efforts by northeastern Colorado counties to secede from the rest of the state. Bunch covered those. As for so many others:

His opponents are trying hard to resurrect 8-year-old talking points to scare off unaffiliated voters, only to see Beauprez effectively tie his race against incumbent John Hickenlooper.

Presumably, this is meant to refer to all the things Bunch left out? Our readers know that statement is factually not accurate, since most of the crazy things Democrats have been using against Beauprez are much newer than his last run for governor eight years ago. Beauprez questioned President Barack Obama's citizenship in June of 2010. Beauprez claimed that Obama is pushing America toward "civil war" was in 2012, as were Beauprez's comments about about Americans buying up guns to "protect themseselves from the government." Beauprez's claim that Muslim Sharia law is "creeping in" to Colorado was only this past March. The fact is, and Joey Bunch is misleading his audience to suggest otherwise, most of Beauprez's craziest quotes came quite recently. To characterize these very recent and relevant statements from Beauprez as "8-year-old talking points" is simply ridiculous.

(more…)

Mike Coffman Promotes Self at Lamborn’s Expense

(Maybe it was Don Suppes — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Around 9:30pm tonight (Sept. 28), the twitter account @RepMikeCoffman posted a link to the Denver Post story regarding controversial comments by Doug Lambourn supposedly encouraging military leaders to resign. The tweet said:

This is a rare moment of disunity in Colorado's GOP delegation to Congress which is normally hesitant to discuss each other or express disagreement. 

Coffman has, up til now, declined to comment on the story in the press. One wonders whether the Congressman actually had anything to do with the tweet or whether this will be another one chalked up to "rogue staffers."

Monday Open Thread

"Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves."

–Eric Hoffer

BREAKING: Cory Gardner Has His Own Ken Buck/”Meet the Press” Moment

UPDATE #3: The full interview is now available on Fox 31's website.

—–

UPDATE #2: Watch Cory Gardner's complete refusal to back up dubious claims about his "cancelled" insurance policy:

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UPDATE: Watch the full devastating exchange between Eli Stokols and Cory Gardner on contraception and abortion rights:

—–

Cory Gardner FAIL

Rep. Cory Gardner, left, talking to Fox 31 reporter Eli Stokols.

In mid-October 2010, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Republican challenger Ken Buck had a nationally-televised Sunday "debate" on "Meet the Press" — an appearance that proved disastrous for Buck's campaign.

Did history just repeat itself?

Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner appeared Sunday morning on Fox 31's #COPolitics interview show with Eli Stokols, and while he wasn't quite as awful as Buck on that fateful day in 2010…Gardner was bad enough that he may have just mortally wounded his campaign. We'll update this post with a link to the interview as soon as the video is available online, but here's what everyone will be talking about this week (and beyond):

Gardner was asked repeatedly by Stokols to clarify his story surrounding his family's health care coverage (a story sparked by Gardner waving his family's insurance letter at a hearing in front of then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius) and refused to provide details even after several questions from Stokols. Gardner has faced questions before about his pre-Obamacare health care coverage, but in front of Stokols he squirmed, dodged, and tried to attack Sen. Mark Udall whenever he was asked for more information. Stokols noted that Fox 31 asked earlier this summer for copies of Gardner's pay-stubs to prove the Congressman's claims that he had no other health insurance other than his mystery $650-per month family health coverage; when pressed about why his office would not provide that information, Gardner went back to attacking Udall.

It would have been difficult for Gardner to have looked less believable in his responses. We'd guess there will be more than one reporter who starts taking a new look at Gardner's insurance claims after this debacle.

Gardner also dug himself deeper (who would have thought that possible?) on his flip-flopping on the Personhood issue. At one point in the interview, Gardner says, "There is no Federal Personhood bill. There is no Federal Personhood bill." Stokols eventually responds by asking Gardner if he really thinks he can make the issue go away by just saying "there is no Federal Personhood bill," to which a flustered Gardner has no response. Gardner later takes his Personhood lie even further by stating, "I do not support legislation that would ban birth control — that's crazy."

The entire interview is really a doozy. Stokols, to his credit, tries very hard to get clear answers to straightforward questions, while Gardner tries very hard to do anything other than answer those questions; to anyone watching, it is very clear what is happening. Clips of this interview will no doubt be looped repeatedly from now until November.

In teaser for Sunday show, Stokols presses Gardner for explanation of personhood hypocrisy

(Stay tuned – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Cory Gardner.

Cory Gardner.

Fox 31 Denver is teasing interview with Cory Gardner to be broadcast 9 a.m. Sunday on reporter Eli Stokols' "#COPolitics from the Source."

Judging from the short exchange between Gardner and Stokols broadcast by Fox 31 last night, it appears Stokols pressed Gardner for a factual explanation from Gardner about why he withdrew his endorsement from personhood amendments at the state level but continues to support federal personhood legislation, which would abortion, even in the case of rape and incest.

Stokols: You don't support the personhood amendment at the state level anymore. Why keep your name on that Life At Conception Act at the federal level?

Gardner: There is no such thing as the federal personhood bill.

Stokols: Cory, the people who wrote that bill, Congressmen Duncan Hunter of California, Paul Brown of Georgia, they say–Personhood USA says–that that is what the Life at Conception Act is.

Gardner: When I announced for the Senate, that's when this outcry started from the Senate campaign of Senator Udall. That's what they are tyring to do. This is all politics. It's unfortunate that they can't focus on–

Stokols: But the facts are —

Gardner: No, the facts are, Eli, that there is no federal personhood bill. There is no federal personhood bill.

I'm looking forward to seeing the entire interview, which will air on Fox 31 Sunday morning at 9 a.m.

Lamborn “Encouraging” Generals To Resign: No Takers

SATURDAY UPDATE: MSNBC's Steve Benen, writing for Maddow Blog:

It’s not exactly clear from local reports what it is about Obama’s foreign policy that Lamborn doesn’t like, but under the circumstances, it doesn’t much matter. If a member of Congress has concerns about a president’s approach to international affairs, he or she has a variety of options, including introducing legislation limiting the scope of the administration’s policy.
 
The options do not include – or more to the point, the options aren’t supposed to include – meeting privately with generals, during a war, to urge them to “go out in a blaze of glory.”

As Megan Schrader of the Colorado Springs Gazette reports today, somebody might have gotten the message by yesterday to Rep. Doug Lamborn that this is kind of a problem:

Someone in the audience urges Lamborn to support the generals and troops "despite the fact that there is no leadership from the Muslim Brotherhood in the White House."

Lamborn smiles after the reference to the Islamic group that was active in the Arab Spring overthrow of Egypt's government and subsequent presidency of Mohammed Morsi and responds…

Lamborn told The Gazette on Friday that he wasn't talking about an organized effort or recent events.

"Nothing like that whatsoever," he said.

Doug Lamborn, everybody–elevating the discourse in Congress since 2007.

—–

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs).

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs).

A story from the Colorado Independent's John Tomasic is raising eyebrows today:

Colorado U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn said that “behind the scenes” he and other Republican members of Congress were encouraging military officers to resign in protest over President Obama’s foreign policy.

“[L]et me reassure you on this,” Lamborn told a small gathering of so-called liberty voters in Colorado Springs on Tuesday. “A lot of us are talking to the generals behind the scenes, saying, ‘Hey, if you disagree with the policy that the White House has given you, let’s have a resignation.’

“You know, let’s have a pubic resignation, and state your protest, and go out in a blaze of glory. I haven’t seen that very much. In fact, I haven’t seen that at all in years.”

Rep. Doug Lamborn's Democratic opponent, retired Air Force Gen. Irv Halter, is unsurprisingly grossed out:

“It is inappropriate for Congressman Lamborn to politicize our military for his own gain,” [Halter] said in an email. “When I joined the Air Force, I swore an oath to execute policy – not make policy. All of our service members take seriously their obligation to serve our nation honorably and follow the chain of command.

“Our elected officials should not be encouraging our military leaders to resign when they have a disagreement over policy. Congressman Lamborn’s statement shows his immaturity and lack of understanding of the American armed forces. Someone who serves on the House Armed Services Committee should know better.”

It's important to recognize how little Rep. Lamborn has cared for basic standards of decorum since President Barack Obama took office. This is the same Doug Lamborn who talked about not being stuck to the "tar baby" of Obama, and who has never missed a chance to attack the President in the most ad hominem terms he can think of every chance he gets–this despite the fact that Lamborn isn't a very smart man, has accomplished basically nothing in his years in Congress, and his "witticisms" generally come off as cheap off-base potshots. After all the churlish things Lamborn has said about the President, at times wildly hypocritical, it doesn't surprise us at all that he would boorishly tell military commanders they should end their lifelong careers because of how much people like himself dislike Obama.

And while Lamborn laments the fact that none of the nation's generals have taken his advice, perhaps it will become apparent to observers that safe-seat blowhards in Congress are the real problem.

Big Line Updates: Democrats Appear to Have Slight Advantage

As Election Day gets closer and closer, we're updating The Big Line on a weekly basis. Remember: Percentages listed indicate our view of the win/loss outcome only (we are not attempting to guess margin of victory).

You can always access the full Big Line 2014, but below we provide a bit more detail about our thoughts on various races.
 

U.S. SENATE
Mark Udall (62%)
Cory Gardner (38%)
Senator Mark Udall has seen his momentum slow down of late, but that probably has more to do with the natural tightening of this race as October draws near. Public polling in Colorado has become about as reliable as a Ouija Board, though if the final outcome is within the general margin of error of most voter surveys, the data is largely irrelevant anyway. For Congressman Cory Gardner, the one thing that has yet to change remains his biggest problem: He just has too many bad votes on too many important issues. Gardner's campaign also seems to have no idea how to go after Udall effectively; they've been changing tactics like the rest of us change socks.

When all is said and done (or insert cliche of your choice), we always come back to the same question: If you had to gamble everything you had on predicting the winner of this race, would you really choose Gardner?

Neither would we.

 

GOVERNOR
John Hickenlooper (60%)
Bob Beauprez (40%)

This race continues to be one of the stranger contests we can remember because of its relatively low profile. Republican Bob Beauprez hasn't run a particularly strong, or interesting, campaign thus far — but perhaps it's enough to ask that his campaign doesn't crater as completely as it did in 2006. Governor John Hickenlooper, meanwhile, has been largely invisible for the last few months. No matter how you look at the race, it's hard to envision Beauprez actually ending up in the Governor's Mansion.

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL
Cynthia Coffman (51%)
Don Quick (49%)
We've had Quick at the top of the Line for a very long time, so what's different? Nothing, really. In fact, it will be hard (post-election) to explain the outcome of this race no matter what happens in November. If this race were taking place in a bubble, we'd give the edge to Quick. But if Democrats win seats for Senate and Governor, history suggests that voters will split their ballot and pick Republicans for other statewide spots.

 

CD-6
Andrew Romanoff (55%)
Mike Coffman (45%)
There may still be a "Coffman" in elected office come January; for the first time in 25 years, we don't think it will be Mike. In their third debate of the campaign, Democrat Andrew Romanoff completely demolished Congressman Mike Coffman. One debate does not a campaign make (or something like that), but the momentum in this race is unmistakably on the side of Romanoff. Coffman's campaign has been insisting that their guy is ahead in internal polling numbers — just don't ask for proof.


Check out the full Big Line 2014 or comment below.

 

It’s Been A Big Week for Climate

(From our Executive Director – Pete Maysmith)

 

NY Climate March

Several days ago nearly 400,000 people gathered to march for climate in New York City. Nearly 400,000 people told our representatives that enough is enough. They stood up to protest the lack of political action that has jeopardized our the future of our planet. Nearly 400,000 brought the world’s attention to climate change again in preparation for the UN Climate Summit that took place Tuesday. To put that in perspective, that’s nearly the entire population of Colorado Springs migrating to New York to demand change.  

These people came from all over the country to demonstrate that climate change is the defining fight of our generation. We have to act. Now. For our kids and everyone who will come after us.  

But the latest news on climate change didn’t stop there.

Business, entertainment, politics, the general population, and even the fossil fuel industry are in agreement: the argument is over. That was yesterday’s news. Today is about action.

Check these actions out —

The Rockefeller family, a name up until now closely tied to the oil industry, divested their philanthropic organization, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, from fossil fuels. No, you aren’t dreaming — the family whose ancestor founded Standard Oil, the monopolistic oil company that spearheaded a generation of unrestrained extraction and corporate growth a century ago, has taken a stand against carbon pollution for the sake of our environment.

Also from the business world, Robert Murray, CEO of the coal company Murray Energy said Monday that those who believe the domestic coal market will recover are seriously deluded. Even those who benefit most from the fossil-fuel industry are recognizing its day is passing.   

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