Video: GOP Gubernatorial Candidates on Cliven Bundy

A revealing video clip from today's 9NEWS gubernatorial debate hosted by reporters Kyle Clark and Brandon Rittiman. In the clip above, Clark asks GOP gubernatorial candidates Bob Beauprez, Mike Kopp, and Scott Gessler what they think of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's dispute with the federal government. Mr. Bundy has been a cause celebre among conservatives since a standoff between BLM agents and armed militia in support of Bundy early this month. Last weekend, however, remarks by Bundy about African-Americans and the desirability of slavery have given many of his supporters pause.

But it doesn't look like our GOP gubernatorial candidates are very perturbed by that stuff:

KYLE CLARK: I'm curious what you all make of the land dispute in Nevada, between the rancher Cliven Bundy and the and the federal government. Senator Dean Heller from Nevada says that Mr. Bundy's supporters are "patriots," whereas Senate Minority Leader, uh Majority Leader, rather, Harry Reid calls them "domestic terrorists." What do you think, Mr. Beauprez?

BOB BEAUPREZ: It's pretty outrageous to call any American citizen a "domestic terrorist" unless they've committed a terrorist act, and I don't think Mr. Bundy has. He certainly is, uh, my guess is not without fault, but this is another issue that's very personal to me, because we've now got a ranch up in our own mountains. And I've been asked specifically, do you think this kind of thing could happen in Colorado, and unfortunately my answer is yes, because I think government has gone completely mad. That's the issue here. The excesses of government in trying to resolve a dispute with a, with a rancher who's been there for generations, for heaven's sakes, do we need to bring in helicopters, and SWAT teams, and it, it looks, it looks like martial law has broken out. There's got to be a more common sense way to resolve this dispute. I am very concerned about the overreach, not only in that case, but there's numerous other cases, of federal power on private citizens, and that's something I think a governor needs to stand up and push back on, and even though he's a Republican, I've been curious to see how quiet Mr. Sandoval seems to be in Nevada.

CLARK: An early statement of support and then not much past that. Again, Senator Heller calls them "patriots," Senator Reid calls them "domestic terrorists." What do you think of Mr. Bundy and his supporters?

MIKE KOPP: Well, first of all, I think Harry Reid is rarely right, and this is no exception to that rule. Um, the fact of the matter is the federal government has dramatically overreached. You know we have like seventy agencies in the federal government that have armed police officers. Seventy. I'm not sure why the federal government needs to have that kind of armed force, um, against its own citizens. If I were governor there, the thing I would be interested in doing would be part of a broader policy that I would be interested in enacting, and that is, putting myself between the citizens of the state and the federal government to advocate for the citizens, for the freedoms of the people, of my state. In this particular case, you know you have somebody who should have paid their permitting fees, but you also have a federal government who has just gone incredibly overboard in the matter. There's no question about that. And I think most people look at that, probably, with the same degree of skepticism about their actions.

CLARK: Mr. Gessler, what do you make of Mr. Bundy and his supporters?

SCOTT GESSLER: Well, let me first address Harry Reid. That, uh, that man never misses an opportunity to insult his political opponents whenever he can. And that's not the way to go about things. The fact is, I think the government, federal government overreached here and overreacted. You know when I started my career as a federal prosecutor, one of the things I learned is that governmental power should be restrained. It should be limited. It should be treated with care. Because it's a dangerous thing. And we do have a Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies, where the first thing they're looking to do is to, is to hammer people, instead of work with them to find ways to find solutions. Um, Mr. Bundy I think has his own problems, but no one should have treated him the way he was treated. I think that what we need to do is, you know, be prepared to speak out against the federal government when it oversteps its bounds, and recognize that most people want to do the right thing most of the time. And a government should respect that, and find a way to work with them.

CLARK: Thank you, Mr. Gessler.

Whatever you might think about Bundy's dispute over grazing rights on federal land, don't you think one of our GOP gubernatorial contenders could have acknowledged that his extreme throwback racist worldview isn't very defensible? Were they counting on absent Tom Tancredo to do that?

Yes, folks, that last part was sarcasm.

Americans For Prosperity And Aurora Shooting Photos, Part II

afpcoloradodeleted1

BuzzFeed follows up on yesterday's big story, the misuse by conservative group Americans for Prosperity of a photo taken in the aftermath of the Aurora theater shootings in 2012. As it turns out, yesterday wasn't their first offense:

Late last year, Americans For Prosperity posted a tweet attacking Colorado Sen. Mark Udall and Gov. John Hickenlooper for being “Obama buds.” The Koch-funded group used an image of the two Democrats standing with President Obama looking dismayed to make the point that the three men were sharing “a sinking feeling.”

The image AFP Colorado used was taken at a Colorado hospital in July 2012, where Obama and the two men were gathered to visit victims of the Aurora shooting.

The picture and a tweet defending its use remain posted to AFP’s Colorado account.

The group reacted very differently Wednesday when it used the same image from the Colorado hospital in a TV ad…

When Americans for Prosperity posted this photo last December, local Twitter pundit Janus303 immediately called them out:

Which AFP Colorado didn't react well to:

afpcoloradodeleted2

Since we began writing this blog post about fifteen minutes ago, AFP Colorado has deleted all of their Tweets from this exchange in response to BuzzFeed's inquiry. The replies to them remain visible, and we screen-grabbed the originals before they went down. Obviously, AFP didn't show anything like the contrition shown yesterday after they were called out by media nationwide back in December.

It seems to us like this pissy response from December might betray how they really feel.

Udall, Gardner Virtually Unchanged In Latest Q-Poll

Mark Udall, Cory Gardner.

Mark Udall, Cory Gardner.

Quinnipiac University's polling of major Colorado races continues today–after yesterday's release showed Gov. John Hickenlooper pulling away from his gaggle of Republican challengers, today's polling of the U.S. Senate race remains very tight:

Sen. Udall gets 45 percent to 44 percent for U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, his Republican challenger, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. 

The gender gap is wide as Udall leads 52 – 35 percent among women while Gardner leads 53 – 38 percent among men. Udall leads among Democrats 90 – 3 percent while Gardner takes Republicans 88 – 7 percent and gets 43 percent of independent voters to Udall's 41 percent. 

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 16 percent of voters list the economy or jobs as the most important issue in deciding their U.S. Senate vote, and 14 percent list healthcare. No other issue comes close…

This poll shows a statistically insignificant tightening of this race from the two-point lead Sen. Mark Udall enjoyed over then-frontrunner Ken Buck in Quinnipiac's last poll in February. It's ominous, as we've noted in other recent polling, for Republicans to see the man who replaced Buck as the party's presumptive nominee polling basically no better, even after hundreds of thousands of dollars expended trashing Udall by third-party groups like Americans for Prosperity.

With that said, Udall and Democrats face an ongoing challenge improving the public's view of both health care reform and the economy. On the latter, Udall gets a boost from what appears to be a significantly more favorable opinion of Colorado's economy versus nationally in this poll. Looking ahead, the rapidly improving outlook for the Affordable Care Act after a string of good press in recent weeks also bodes well for Udall–though that's not yet reflected in these numbers. And perhaps most important today, the large and persistent gender gap in this race, with women lopsidedly backing Udall, portends the same dynamic that sank Ken Buck in 2010–strongly validating the Udall campaign's early strategy of hitting Gardner hard on women's issues.

When the needle finally moves in this race one way or the other, and it will, we'll be here to cover it.

9NEWS Truth Test Praises Udall’s First TV Spot

9NEWS' Brandon Rittiman takes a look at the new ad from Sen. Mark Udall's campaign, hitting GOP opponent Cory Gardner on his longstanding support for banning abortion and the "Personhood" initiatives–and unlike his recent Truth Test of an Americans for Prosperity ad falsely attacking Udall, Rittiman finds Udall's ad to be largely truthful:

CLAIM: "Gardner sponsored a bill to make abortion a felony."

VERDICT: True.

In 2007, as a member of the state House of Representatives, Gardner was listed as a sponsor of SB-147.

The bill would have made it " a class 3 felony to perform an abortion," so the felony charge would have applied to abortion providers, not women who underwent abortions.

CLAIM: The bill Gardner supported would make abortion a felony in "cases of rape and incest."

VERDICT: True.

SB-147 did contain an exception to save the life of the mother. Aside from that, the bill would have outlawed abortion with no other exceptions…

As for the hardest-hitting claim in Udall's ad, that Gardner "championed an 8-year-crusade to outlaw (common forms of) birth control," referring to the "Personhood" abortion ban initiatives? This is where Rittiman gives Gardner a little more leeway:

VERDICT: Debatable.

Cory Gardner supported Personhood campaigns in Colorado, but this year he changed his mind. [Pols emphasis]

His campaign says Gardner wanted to ban abortion, not birth control, pointing out that the above-mentioned 2007 bill did include language to protect contraceptives.

The Udall campaign counters that it is dishonest for Gardner to claim he didn't know the Personhood questions could affect birth control, because supporters said that it would.

However, the Udall campaign was unable to provide evidence of Gardner on record directly saying he opposes birth control. [Pols emphasis]

We understand why Rittiman is making this distinction, but we also can see why others plausibly would not be so charitable to Gardner as he flip-flops on this issue. It was indeed common knowledge as far back as 2008 that the "Personhood" abortion bans would outlaw certain forms of so-called "abortifacient" birth control–the Denver Post argued against Amendment 48 in 2008 for exactly this reason, and proponents who most certainly do oppose such forms of birth control campaigned on it. And while Udall might not have Gardner outright saying he wants to ban birth control, Gardner is on the record with his proud support for Personhood in 2010–years after these facts were common knowledge.

Bottom line: the worst Udall got was a single "debatable" rating for this ad, on what we'd say is still a very defensible claim. The rest of the ad is true. When you compare that to the unflinchingly mendacious (and now backfiring) ads from Udall's opponents…well, there's really no comparison, is there? Next time you hear someone complaining about those endless, grating political ads, maybe mention how it's considerably worse to endure them when they're not true. And then show them this Truth Test.

Media omission: Gessler says only he has the “guts” to fight rampant corruption in CO government

(Uh-huh – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Scott Gessler.

Scott Gessler.

During a radio interview Saturday, Secretary of State Scott Gessler framed his gubernatorial campaign as a battle to save Colorado from the rot of corruption, saying our "state government is corrupt," and he's the only candidate who's had "the guts to stand up and say, 'No more.'"

"I’ve had the guts to stand up and say, 'I’m not going to tolerate this; I’m going to fight back,'" Gessler told KNUS radio-host Jimmy Sengenberger, citing his clashes with Democrats over his budget and ethics issues. "And no one else wants to because they’re afraid. They’re afraid that if a Republican gets criticized they can no longer win elections. And let me ask you, Jimmy, how has that worked out for us over the last ten years?"

"We are a party that needs to be bold," replied Sengenberger, whose show airs Saturdays 5 – 8 p.m. on KNUS. "I agree with you there–"

"I am the only guy who’s being bold on this stuff and what happens?" Gessler continued. "We have these fearful, weak-kneed, timid Republicans who are more interested in scoring political points against me than standing up for principle and saying, 'You know what? We have corruption in this state.'"

"Republicans need to stand up and understand that we have a corrupt state government. They shouldn’t buy into the corruption," he said.

During the interview, Gessler criticized members of the Independent Ethics Commission and called it "corrupt."

In June, the Independent Ethics Commission ruled that Gessler violated the public trust by using public money to attend a Republican political event. On the radio, Gessler was incensed by this decision as well as the Commission's dismissal last month of a complaint against Gov. John Hickenlooper

Gessler said at one point, referring to the Commission, "Let me tell you, Jimmy, this is a corrupt, corrupt government. And I will say ‘corrupt’ again."

Comparing the corruption he says he saw as a young man in Bosnia and Chicago to what he sees in Colorado today, Gessler said, "Where people no longer respect the law, we lose the foundation of our western civilization here. And we’re facing that in Colorado."

(more…)

Thursday Open Thread

"Be calm in arguing; for fierceness makes error a fault, and truth discourtesy."

–George Herbert

These Anti-Obamacare Ads Are Really Getting Stale

UPDATE #6: Los Angeles Times:

The problem is the photograph was taken two days after the July 2012 mass shootings at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, when Udall and Obama visited a hospital to console the injured and families of the victims. Gov. John Hickenlooper, who was also on the scene, was cropped out of the advertisement.

Several families of the victims were quick to condemn the use of the photo, calling it “an utter disgrace.”

“To insinuate the somber expressions were for anything other than their compassionate response to our heartbreak is beyond unconscionable,” the families said in a written statement.

Americans for Prosperity quickly removed the photograph and apologized to the families, replacing the offending shot with another photo of the senator and the president — shown in a ghoulish shade as a female narrator criticizes Udall for his healthcare vote.

—–

UPDATE #5: The original ad has now been taken down, but not before we grabbed a copy for posterity:

You can see the new version, without the photo from the Aurora shooting aftermath here.

—–

UPDATE #4: The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels:

"They will do anything and don't care who they hurt," [Sandy Phillips] said. "They took a picture showing great compassion for the parents and people of that shooting and made it twisted."

…The group has since removed the photo from the ad, said Adam Nicholson, state communications manager for AFP.

AFP's Colorado's director Dustin Zvonek said of pulling the image from its ad: "Fortunately we can and will change the image. Sen. Udall can't change his record that led to over 335,000 Coloradans receiving letters indicating that their health care policy had been canceled."

AFP Colorado later used its Twitter account to say: "AFP regrets erroneously using the image; and we sincerely apologize to Aurora families."

—–

UPDATE #3: Via Eli Stokols, Americans for Prosperity is pulling and recutting the ad to remove the offensive image:

Had to get another shot in there, did they? This comes just as family members of Aurora shooting victims issue a statement demanding the ad be removed from broadcast:

Aurora Victim Family Members Demand AFP Pull Ad with Image from Theater Tragedy

Family members whose loved ones were killed in the Aurora Theater shooting on July 20, 2012, today issued the following statement in response to an AFP television ad attacking Senator Udall over Obamacare:

"The use of an image taken from the President's visit to Colorado to meet with us after our children were killed in the Aurora Theater shooting is an utter disgrace. And to insinuate the somber expressions were for anything other than their compassionate response to our heartbreak is beyond unconscionable. Americans for Prosperity is exploiting our tragedy for political gain and this ad should be pulled from the air immediately. We hope Colorado television stations will exercise sound judgment and not air this ad until AFP removes the image."

Theresa Hoover, mother of AJ Boik
Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, parents of Jessica Ghawi
Terry and Tom Sullivan, parents of Alex Sullivan
Caren and Tom Teves, parents of Alex Teves

—–

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Anti-Obamacare Strategy Leaving Republicans in the Cold

Republicans out in the cold on Obamacare

D’oh!

Longtime Colorado Pols reader Republican 36 posted a fascinating diary last night about Republican Rep. Mike Coffman raising money with a different message on Obamacare. You can read the entire diary here, but here's the key excerpt:

Today I received a letter soliciting a campaign contribution from Coffman that contained a "confidential memo from Tyler Sandberg, his campaign manager, deriding Obamacare and making the usual false claims that "350,000" (everyone else says its 335,000) Coloradans had their health insurance canceled (forgetting to mention 92% received renewal notices in the same envelope with the cancelation of last year's policy) and claiming Obamacare "will be a significant issue this election," and claiming "It is a very real issue causing very real harm to Colorado families." In other words, at least in Mr. Sandberg's opinion, he lines up with the "Old Coffman" and wants Obamacare repealed.

However, Coffman's cover letter takes an altogether different position on Obamacare. In his fear based plea for contributions, he tees off on Nancy Pelosi and makes the following statement:

coffmanletter

This is a subtle message from Mike Coffman's campaign that contains a startling reality: The incumbent Republican in perhaps the most competitive Congressional seat in America is no longer soliciting support based on a message of "repeal Obamacare." This is not a message that Coffman's campaign was likely to just toss out there without having numbers to back it up, which makes it very likely that Republicans are seeing polling numbers indicating that voters are getting tired of the anti-Obamacare message and looking for candidates to talk about how to "amend" or "reform" the law instead.

There's plenty of reason to believe that Coffman's move to an "amend and reform" message is not just a flash in the pan. As our friends at "The Fix" noted on Monday, President Obama is encouraging Democratic candidates to run with an overt pro-Obamacare message:

President Obama announced last week that more than eight million people had signed up for insurance via the federal marketplace, a surge of last-minute activity that not even the most optimistic administration allies could have hoped for. And, then there was the news from the Congressional Budget Office that the health-care law will cost $100 billion less than projected over the next decade.

Amid a (rare) victory lap on the law, Obama was asked whether the news of the past week meant Democratic candidates should run on the law this fall rather than away from it. His answer?  "I think Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact….we're helping because of something we did."

Late last month, after a series of anti-Obamacare ads were being debunked across the country, the Washington Post took note of what it called "The incredible shrinking Obamacare sob story." The problems with an anti-Obamacare message have continued here in our state; as Colorado Pols was first to report yesterday, the Koch Brothers' Americans for Prosperity group is apparently having difficulty finding a "real" person who is a "victim" of Obamacare.

All of this is very bad news for Republican candidates in Colorado who were hoping to ride an anti-Obamacare message to victory in November. Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner, for one, is basing his entire campaign on trying to tie Obamacare to Sen. Mark Udall. If this message isn't working, Gardner won't be the only Republican looking for a new job.

Conservative talk-show hosts frustrated that Coffman isn’t talking to them

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Journalists should let us know more often when politicians are ducking them. Or when they only talk through spokespeople.

When a week or two goes by, and a public official refuses to talk, reporters should tweet it, if nothing else.

On March 28, KNUS radio's Steve Kelley and co-host Bill Rogan chose to talk openly about their difficulties landing Rep. Mike Coffman and Rep. Cory Gardner.

Kelley: Congressman Coffman and Gardner are not talking, apparently.

Rogan: Ducking us. And I don’t like that.

Kelley: Well, that’s what it feels like at this point. So we’ll give them one more day, and then look, the clubs are coming out.

Rogan: They’ll come on Saturday, and we’ll do a special edition of Kelley and Company, just to accommodate Coffman and Gardner.

Kelley: See I don’t know.

Rogan: I’m not too happy with these two.

Kelley: At this point, I’m not either. We can say that. It’s a free country.

Strongly anti abortion, Kelley told me last week he'd been trying to reach both politicians since they flipped on personhood.

Gardner finally appeared on Kelley's conservative talk show, "Kelley and Company," last week. It turned out that Gardner had changed cell phones, and he shuffled press contacts, so it was all a misunderstanding, Kelley said on air.

Coffman, however, is still not returning calls from Kelley's producer, Kelley said, noting that Rep. Diana DeGette and Sen. Mark Udall don't return his calls either.

But Coffman's lack of response surprises Kelley, who sees his conservative KNUS show as a friendly audience for Coffman, even if he asks a challenging question on occasion, Kelley told me.

(more…)

It’s Official: Hickenlooper Pulling Away From GOP “Clown Car”

His opponents are the ones dropping like a rock.

His opponents are the ones dropping like a rock.

Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post is first to write up today:

Gov. John Hickenlooper beats all four Republican rivals in a new poll that shows he's favored by women voters and has a slight advantage with crucial unaffiliated voters.

Of the four GOP candidates on the primary ballot, former Congressman Tom Tancredo presents the stiffest challenge to Hickenlooper, but loses to the Democratic governor by 7 percentage points, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning.

Since Quinnipiac began polling Colorado voters in June 2013, Hickenlooper's favorability ratings have increased from 45 percent to 51 percent, while his unfavorability ratings have decreased from 42 percent to 37 percent.

Quinnipiac's release on today's poll of the Colorado gubernatorial race underscores how women voters–more to the point, ongoing GOP alienation of women voters–gives incumbent Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper a growing advantage over any potential Republican opponent.

Hickenlooper's leads over possible Republican contenders are:

47 – 40 percent, over former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo. Men back Tancredo 47 – 42 percent while women go to Hickenlooper 53 – 34 percent. Independent voters go Democratic 44 – 39 percent.

48 – 38 percent over Secretary of State Scott Gessler. Men back Gessler by a slim 44 – 41 percent margin while women back Hickenlooper 55 – 32 percent. Independent voters go Democratic 43 – 36 percent.

48 – 39 percent over former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, with men to Beauprez 46 – 41 percent and women for Hickenlooper 55 – 33 percent. Independent voters go Democratic 45 – 36 percent.

47 – 38 percent over former State Sen. Mike Kopp, with men for Kopp 44 – 40 percent and women for Hickenlooper 54 – 32 percent. Independent voters go Democratic 44 – 36 percent.

"Strong support from women and an edge among independent voters give Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper a solid foothold in his reelection effort," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll. 

Looking beyond the gubernatorial race, it's certainly not all good news for Democrats in today's Q-poll: the same poll that gives Hickenlooper a decisive edge over his opponents demonstrates ongoing confusion among voters over the gun safety legislation passed by Democrats in 2013. 56% of respondents still oppose "the state's stricter new gun control laws," even while they support universal background checks for gun purchases–one of those very same laws–by an overwhelming 85%. Only 34% of respondents say the General Assembly is doing a good job. Note that the question isn't qualified by partisanship, but it's a Democratic majority in both chambers.

Bottom line: it doesn't surprise us to see Hickenlooper pulling away from a pack of undistinguished GOP candidates, who are in many ways more liabilities to their party than assets. Assuming that trajectory continues, Democrats can start looking at ways to trickle Hickenlooper's strength down the ticket–where it's very much needed.

Wednesday Open Thread

"Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it."

–Blaise Pascal

Coffman flip-flops on Obamacare

(Wow – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman.

Rep. Mike Coffman.

As everyone knows, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman is locked in a very competitive race with former Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff. Coffman's ultra conservative record includes scores of votes to repeal and defund Obamacare. In other words he wants to destroy the President's signature policy accomplishment. As late as March 26, 2014, less than a month ago, Kurtis Lee of the Denver Post reported that Coffman had joined U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in demanding Speaker Romanoff join them in calling for the repeal of Obamacare.

A lot has happened in the past twenty-seven days. Over eight (8) million people have found health insurance on the state and federal exchanges thanks to Obamacare. Millions of uninsured people now have basic health care under Medicaid and healthcare costs are rising at the slowest rate in over fifty (50) years and, as fr those skyrocketing premiums predicted by the hard right – it isn't happening. Where does that leave Mike Coffman and his insistence on repealing Obamacare because in his opinion it is a disaster? he facts and public opinion are now running against him and as usual he has now flip-flopped on the issue less than a month after he demanded that his opponent call for the repeal of Obamacare.

(more…)

AFP Trots Out Dubious “Obamacare Victim” Tomorrow

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: It would appear that the press isn't buying what AFP is selling.

—–

Carol Perry.

Carol Perry.

A press release from conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity announces a press conference tomorrow at the Colorado Capitol, going after Democratic Sen. Mark Udall (who else?) for his support of Obamacare (what else?):

This Wednesday Americans for Prosperity – Colorado will hold a press conference on the west steps of the state capitol with AFP President Tim Phillips, Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, and Carol Perry, a Coloradan whose health insurance premiums have spiked due to ObamaCare. The presser will explain AFP’s goals in holding Senator Mark Udall accountable for his support for ObamaCare.

Americans for Prosperity Press Conference
With Senator Bill Cadman, AFP President Tim Phillips, and ObamaCare victim Carol Perry [Pols emphasis]
8:30 AM Wednesday, April 23rd
West Steps State Capitol

Being inclined as we are, after so many "Obamacare horror stories" have collapsed under minimal scrutiny, to approach supposed victims of the Affordable Care Act trotted out by Americans for Prosperity with a jaundiced eye, we did some basic checking on "Obamacare victim" Carol Perry. And once again, we're really glad we did! Pay attention, reporters covering tomorrow's presser:

According to the Colorado Secretary of State's office, Carol Perry of Douglas County has donated thousands of dollars to Republican candidates, including Mitt Romney, Ryan Frazier on the federal side, and Tom Tancredo's 2010 gubernatorial campaign. Perry's Secretary of State records also show a donation of $100 for an unknown purpose to Kelly Maher, now the director of conservative group Compass Colorado. We're not sure why that donation to Maher is even in the campaign finance system, as we don't think Maher has been a candidate. But needless to say, it's a huge red flag when evaluating Perry's authenticity.

Perry also appears to be a frequent witness in favor of Republicans on a wide variety of issues. We've found records of her testifying against last year's gun safety bills. In the 2012 elections, Perry was a public face of My Purse Politics (photo above right), a a project of the Conservative Women's Alliance aimed at turning out the woman conservative vote. But one of the most amusing, and telling, press hits for Carol Perry came last June in testimony on the lack of respect for "political diversity" at the University of Colorado:

Carol Perry, who testified to the board, said she would never send her daughters to CU because of what she perceives to be a persistent liberal bias.

Okie dokie then!

So, does this mean Carol Perry might not be the most reliable source on the horrors of Obamacare, much like other "horror stories" hyped by Americans For Prosperity in ads ruled "misleading" by fact-checkers from coast to coast? Obviously, we haven't heard her particular story yet, so there's no way we can say that for sure.

But based on what we know about AFP and now Mrs. Perry, we're more than a little skeptical.

“Respect”–Udall Tears Into Gardner Over Banning Abortion

UPDATE: Cory Gardner's campaign responds with what appears to be their stock response on abortion and Personhood questions. Eli Stokols of Fox 31 reports:

Gardner’s campaign responded quickly, attacking Udall for going negative and alleging that the ad distorts Gardner’s record.

“After nearly two decades in Washington, Senator Udall has decided to launch his reelection campaign with a negative, misleading attack ad because he has no record of accomplishments,” Gardner campaign manager Chris Hansen said in a statement. “While Coloradans sound the call for new leadership, Senator Udall continues to lie about Cory Gardner’s record while distorting his own.

Gardner's campaign is sticking with this approach in order to defend his own background with the abortion issue: Making a broad accusation that opponents are "distorting Gardner's record." We suppose there is nothing much else for Gardner to say in response to the two main points of the ad, that he 1) supported legislation that would make abortion a felony, and 2) he was a supporter of Personhood for years before his surprise flip-flop in March.

If you have a weak defense, all that's left is to play offense.

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Incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is up with his campaign's first TV spot of the election season–and it's a powerful kickoff, hitting GOP opponent Cory Gardner squarely on his past support for banning abortion and "Personhood." From Udall's release:

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Gardner assures radio host that his “pro-life” record “will always be on my record”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

On conservative KNUS radio last week, GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner assured listeners that he remains "pro-life" even though he recently un-endorsed the personhood amendment, which would ban abortion in Colorado.

"I remain a pro-life legislator who believes that my record actually speaks for itself while I’ve been in Congress," Gardner told KNUS radio host Steve Kelley.

If his record speaks for itself, does Gardner stand behind it? Because left out of the radio conversation was the annoying fact that Gardner's legislative record in Congress includes his endorsement of federal personhood legislation, which he has yet to un-endorse. His name is still right there, having joined as a co-sponsor in July of last year.

Gardner also told Kelley:

"If you look at my record, it is a pro-life record. And that will always be on my record, and continue to be a part of it. So, I think that that is something that we have not been trying to turn away from." [Bigmedia emphasis]

Gardner's "pro-life" record, which (in case you missed it) he says "will always be on my record," also includes co-sponsorship of bills in Congress aiming to de-fund Planned Parenthood and to re-define "rape" to include only the "forcible" kind. (Gardner later said his effort to redefine rape was a misunderstanding.)

His "always-on-my-record" record at the state legislature includes sponsorship of legislation banning all abortion, even for rape and incest, as well as other anti-abortion bills, like one mandating ultrasounds prior to abortion. These have yet to be un-endorsed.

Gardner's response to Kelley, touting his anti-abortion credentials to receptive ears, sounds like Gardner's statement at a Tea Party forum in 2009, when he was running for Congress for the first time.

Gardner was asked if he'd carry legislation banning abortion, and he replied, "Yes. And I have a legislative background to back it up."

Gardner later told journalists he would not carry anti-abortion legislation in Congress. Then he did it.

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