(Gardner probably meant to say buyer’s remorse. Or something. – promoted by MADCO)
I read Pols’ post yesterday about Cory Gardner’s co-sponsorship of H.R. 3 with both interest and no small amount of outrage. As a woman and a CD-4 voter, these things are of obvious concern to me. I don’t think it needs much disclosure but I will disclose anyway, I’m a Democrat and voted for Betsy Markey. The idea of the largely male Republican majority in the 112th Congress redefining the definition of rape is disgusting.
Frankly, even though I dislike Gardner, I was surprised he attached his name to this piece of legislation. For those of you who followed the CD-4 race, and Bob Moore’s excellent attempts to get both candidates on the record about these issues, you know that Gardner went out of his way to avoid all discussion of abortion.
In particular, Moore called Gardner out for telling a Tea Party forum that he would carry legislation to outlaw abortion – and then denying that he ever said so to the Coloradoan editorial board. (I tried to find the link from the Coloradoan to post but it looks like it is now archived. The Huffington Post link still exists: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/… If Bob Moore is following this thread, maybe he can post the pertinent links.)
Fueled by the disquieting news about H.R. 3, I decided to dig a little further into Gardner’s past to see if he has taken positions that would lead him to help champion something like this. What I found just makes me regret I did not spend more time digging this up and talking about it during the election.
I found a lot of this information through internet searches and on different blogs – but I sought to verify every vote by looking at the archives kept on the Colorado state house website at http://www.leg.state.co.us/cli…
(And yes…I just finished writing a dissertation so I am still citation happy.)
In 2007, Gardner was one of only 9 state house members to vote against requiring hospitals to inform survivors of a sexual assault of the availability of emergency contraception. The bill did exempt health care professionals who objected on religious grounds and did not require a hospital to provide emergency contraception to a survivor not at risk of becoming pregnant. [2007 Digest of Bills, June 2007]
In 2008, Gardner was one of only 6 state house members to vote against continuing the Domestic Violence Offender Management Board until 2017. The board sets standards for the evaluation, treatment, and monitoring of convicted domestic violence offenders. [HB08-1232 fiscal note, 6/19/08; HB08-1232, House Journal page 1849, 5/02/08]
In 2008, was one of only 6 state house members to vote against enacting the Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act, requiring an employer to provide time for a nursing mother to express milk for up to two years. The time could be paid or unpaid but the employer would also have to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location for the mother. [HB08-1276 fiscal note, Legislative Council Staff, 7/11/08; HB08-1276, House Journal page 672, 2/27/08]
This one really stumped me… In 2007, Gardner was one of only 5 state house members to vote against compiling a report to track sexually violent predators. The bill directed the Department of Corrections and the Judicial Department to jointly submit to the General Assembly an annual report concerning sexually violent predators who were in or released from custody or were on probation. [HB07-1172, House Journal page 364, 2/12/07]
I remember Markey attacking Gardner on this issue during the campaign…but again, in a year when everything was about the economy, it did not get a lot of play. In 2006, Gardner voted against intercepting the payment of gambling winnings to satisfy debts owed to the state, including outstanding court fees, unpaid child support, medical support, taxes or penalties.
Gardner had more company in opposing that bill – 16 reps total voted against it – but still…I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that outstanding child support come out of gambling earnings. According the Denver Post at the time, the state had more than $1.1 billion in uncollected child support and that tapping casino and racetrack winnings could recover up to $1 million a year. [Denver Post, 3/06/06 - I know we can't link back to the paper but this is the article where this information came from and in the interest of being accurate, I included the cite.]
There are other examples of Gardner opposing bills that the pro-choice community would support – where he voted with a majority of Republicans to oppose or support something. My attempt here is not to highlight that Gardner is pro-life. That was never at issue. My point is that he has a history of taking extreme positions within his own Party on issues of great concern to women.
Seen through this lens, with the benefit of some history that frankly did not get a lot of play during the campaign, Gardner looks exactly like the newest version of Marilyn Musgrave. For now, in a district that is still heavily conservative – he can probably get away with it.
But in a redistricting year coupled with a big Presidential election?
Well…Pols is right…Gardner (and the voters of the 4th CD) should have read the fine print.