Cory Gardner: The Great Con Is On

UPDATE #3: Rep. Diana DeGette fires back at Gardner in a new Denver Post op-ed:

In 2006, Gardner offered an amendment in the Colorado statehouse to prohibit emergency contraception birth control pills under the state Medicaid program. A year later, he was one of only nine members of the statehouse to oppose emergency contraception birth control pills for sexual assault victims. In 2010, Gardner voted against a bill that required insurance policies that cover complications of pregnancy and childbirth to also provide coverage for contraception, including "the pill."

Since he came to the U.S. Congress in 2011, Gardner has repeatedly voted to restrict employees' access to insurance coverage for birth control if their employer objects. Among the first pieces of legislation he co-sponsored was a bill to do just this, and a year later, he signed a letter with other Republican congressmen urging the Department of Health and Human Services to reverse a rule that guaranteed contraceptive access to women as part of basic health insurance coverage. Despite these objections, there is now a requirement that says most insurance plans must cover birth control, including "the pill."

Last September, Gardner joined his Republican colleagues in demanding that the contraceptive coverage guarantee be overturned, and Gardner and others attempted to make this demand a bargaining chip during last fall's federal government shutdown…

Given this record, as a woman and an elected official, I am offended that someone would put forward a proposal that transparently contradicts long-held positions. [Pols emphasis]

—–

UPDATE #2: MSNBC's Steve Benen:

Yes, one of Congress' most conservative members on the issue of reproductive rights is now, a long-time culture warrior who's spent much of his career on the far-right side on the issue – in 2011, Gardner even tried to redefine "rape" in order limit federal funds for abortion coverage – is all of a sudden a liberal when it comes to access to the pill.
 
The chutzpah necessary to even try a move like this is simply breathtaking.
 
"This is really getting ridiculous," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "As a state legislator, Cory Gardner voted against the Birth Control Protection Act. Gardner even voted against a bill to allow pharmacists to prescribe emergency contraception. He voted to strip contraception funding from the state Medicaid program. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood, which serves women in rural Colorado. He opposed covering contraception as part of preventive health care without a co-pay. Today, he decided the best way to cover women's health is to insult the intelligence of every voter in Colorado."

—–

UPDATE: Think Progress:

Three weeks after Gardner announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate, he came out in opposition to personhood efforts. “The fact that it restricts contraception, it was not the right position. I’ve learned to listen. I don’t get everything right the first time,” he said at the time. Planned Parenthood Votes, a super PAC affiliated with the national women’s health organization, has accused Gardner of attempting to “whitewash” his past positions on reproductive health, pointing out that he still co-sponsors personhood initiatives on the national level. Gardner’s op-ed was published on the same day that the group released an ad criticizing his history on personhood.

Planned Parenthood isn’t impressed with Gardner’s new call for over-the-counter birth control, either. “If Cory Gardner thinks he can delete his long record of restricting women’s access to health care with one op-ed, he clearly doesn’t respect the intelligence of Colorado women,” the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Votes, Dawn Laguens, said in a statement, adding that the GOP candidate has “spent his career trying to deny women access to birth control.”

—–

No really, trust me.

No really, trust me.

​As FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner is plowing ahead with his audacious campaign to reinvent himself on issues of importance to women voters, the latest move being a Denver Post op-ed published yesterday in which Gardner endorses making oral contraception available over the counter:

Gardner responded Thursday with an Op-Ed in the Denver Post charging Udall and Washington Democrats with using women’s health issues as a wedge to divide voters and offered his idea: allowing women to buy birth control pills over the counter without getting a prescription from a doctor, something he says can save families time and money…

Gardner’s well-written Op-Ed is smart politics but it did not include any promise to sponsor legislation or take other action to spur the Food and Drug Administration to re-classify birth control pills to be available over the counter.

And it opened the floodgates for Udall’s campaign and Democrat-leaning organizations to stay on their favorite subject, to remind voters about Gardner’s past votes, including a 2007 vote as a state lawmaker against requiring hospitals to inform survivors of a sexual assault of the availability of emergency contraception. [Pols emphasis] The bill exempted health care professionals who objected on religious grounds and would not require a hospital to provide emergency contraception to a survivor not at risk of becoming pregnant.

Much like Gardner's original sort-of reversal on the Personhood abortion ban, where Gardner disavowed his prior support for the Colorado statewide ballot initiative while remaining to this day a sponsor of equivalent federal legislation, or Gardner's less-publicized but equally important reversals on such issues as gay adoption and immigration, the response from Democrats has been, in a word, incredulous.

“Congressman Gardner has a disturbing record of supporting radical measures to limit, and even outlaw, women’s access to contraception. His flailing efforts to remake his image serve as an admission that his extreme beliefs and reckless agenda are out-of-step with mainstream Colorado values,” said State Rep. Angela Williams in a statement blasted out by Udall’s campaign.

“Cory Gardner is trying to re-write history and erase his record on women’s access to contraception,” [Pols emphasis] said Karen Middleton, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado. “He voted against contraceptive access time and time again in Colorado. In Congress, he’s still a co-sponsor of the Personhood bill, which would outlaw many forms of contraception.

“Colorado women know the truth. We can’t trust Cory Gardner to stand with us and protect out rights on contraception and reproductive health.”

The stakes in this fight to define Gardner for voters couldn't be higher: in 2010, then-GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck narrowly lost his challenge to appointed Sen. Michael Bennet, in a race where women voters were so much the decisive factor that it's been a point of study ever since for political scientists across the nation. Gardner came into this race with a heavy load of baggage on reproductive choice, principally because all of his prior campaigns have been for safe Republican seats.

Gardner's solution to this problem may too go down in history, especially in the event it is successful. Gardner's strategy to drop his long-established hard line positions on abortion like a hot brick, hoping to neutralize the issue before the general public tunes back in to politics this fall, is without hyperbole one of the most audacious political gambits we have seen in our years covering politics. Gardner is not just flip-flopping, he is trying to cast himself as the enemy of his former self on issues he knows are losers with the statewide electorate. It goes well beyond "politics as usual," and that point is critical for Democrats to drive home in the coming weeks.

As the AP's Nicholas Riccardi reports, another important factor to consider is that Republicans know exactly what's going on–and, desperate for a victory in a marquee statewide race after years of losing, they don't care how it looks.

Katy Atkinson, a Republican political consultant in Denver, said Gardner’s strategy is clear.

“He doesn’t have to convince them he’s the No. 1, best person on” reproductive rights, she said. “He just has to muddy it up enough to take it away from Udall.” [Pols emphasis]

The task for Democrats today is to set aside their apoplexy and hammer away at every attempt Gardner makes to reinvent his image–on abortion, gay rights, and everything else that's coming. They need to aggressively call out brazen acknowledgements like Katy Atkinson's that it's all just a contrivance to win the election. The fact is, this is not going well at all for Gardner, and with every attempt to turn over a new leaf being accompanied by broadsides of negative press, there is a very plausible chance of this ending in a major political disaster–for Gardner, and for Republicans in Colorado generally.​

Either that, or bullshit wins the day like never before, setting a truly unsettling precedent.

25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Ralphie says:

    Shake that Etch-a-Sketch, Cory!

  2. horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

    Wow.  Colorado voters can be stupid, but I don't think they're THAT stupid.  This just displays his opinion of them.

    Mitt is shedding a tear somewhere right now.

  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Gardner's attempt to take contraception out from under the umbrella of Obamacare in order to sell it over the counter is merely a sop to his base – Can't have the gubmint subsidizing birth control. He admits as much in the Denver Post piece - OTC contraception would "protect the rights of those with conscience objections".

    If implemented, it would also open up the market for price-gouging, as we've seen happen recently  with generic drugs. Many people can only afford their meds now  because of Obamacare.

    "Muddying the waters" is exactly what he's doing here.

  4. BlueCat says:

    The big crazy eyes again. Why do so many far rightie wackos have them?

  5. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    Katy Aktinson makes my blood boil. What a shameless hack. She's proud to be in on the con job.

  6. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    Cory Gardner is now officially in favor of over the counter morning after pills:

     

    The table below lists all of the brands of oral contraception available in the U.S. which you can use to prevent pregnancy in the few days after sex. For information about how to use a specific pill as an emergency contraceptive, click on the brand name in the table.

    Looking for options for emergency contraceptive pills in another country? Click here.

     

    Table 1. Oral contraceptives that can be used for emergency contraception in the United Statesa 
     

    Brand

    Company

    First Doseb

    Second Doseb
    (12 hours later)

    Ulipristal Acetate per Dose (mg)

    Ethinyl Estradiol
    per Dose (µg)

    Levonorgestrel
    per Dose (mg)c

    Ulipristal acetate (Dedicated EC pills)

    ella

    Watson

    1 white pill

    Noneb

    30

    -

    -

    Progestin-only (Dedicated EC pills)

    Plan B One-Step

    Teva

    1 white pill

    None

    -

    -

    1.5

    Take Action

    Teva

    1 white pill

    None

    -

    -

    1.5

    Next Choice One Dose

    Actavis

    1 peach pill

    None

    -

    -

    1.5

    My Way

    Gavis

    1 white pill

    None

    -

    -

    1.5

    Levonorgestrel Tablets 

    Perrigo

    2 white pills

    Noneb

    -

    -

    1.5

    Combined progestin and estrogen pills (Regular oral contraceptive pills)

    Altavera

    Sandoz

    4 peach pills

    4 peach pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    Amethia

    Watson

    4 white pills

    4 white pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    Amethia Lo

    Watson

    5 white pills

    5 white pills

    -

    100

    0.50

    Amethyst

    Watson

    6 white pills

    6 white pills

    -

    120

    0.54

    Aviane

    Teva

    5 orange pills

    5 orange pills

    -

    100

    0.50

    Camrese

    Teva

    4 light blue-green pills

    4 light blue-green pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    CamreseLo

    Teva

    5 orange pills

    5 orange pills

    -

    100

    0.50

    Cryselle

    Teva

    4 white pills

    4 white pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    Enpresse

    Teva

    4 orange pills

    4 orange pills

    -

    120

    0.50

    Introvale

    Sandoz

    4 peach pills

    4 peach pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    Jolessa

    Teva

    4 pink pills

    4 pink pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    Lessina

    Teva

    5 pink pills

    5 pink pills

    -

    100

    0.50

    Levora

    Watson

    4 white pills

    4 white pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    Lo/Ovral

    Akrimax

    4 white pills

    4 white pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    LoSeasonique

    Teva

    5 orange pills

    5 orange pills

    -

    100

    0.50

    Low-Ogestrel

    Watson

    4 white pills

    4 white pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    Lutera

    Watson

    5 white pills

    5 white pills

    -

    100

    0.50

    Lybrel

    Wyeth

    6 yellow pills

    6 yellow pills

    -

    120

    0.54

    Nordette

    Teva

    4 light-orange pills

    4 light-orange pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    Ogestrel

    Watson

    2 white pills

    2 white pills

    -

    100

    0.50

    Portia

    Teva

    4 pink pills

    4 pink pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    Quasense

    Watson

    4 white pills

    4 white pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    Seasonale

    Teva

    4 pink pills

    4 pink pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    Seasonique

    Teva

    4 light-blue-green pills

    4 light-blue-green pills

    -

    120

    0.60

    Sronyx

    Watson

    5 white pills

    5 while pills

    -

    100

    0.50

    Trivora

    Watson

    4 pink pills

    4 pink pills

    -

    120

    0.50

     

  7. DavieDavie says:

    Boy Howdy — Cory Gardner is setting a new record for becoming a slimy, lying politician. 

    Keep this up and he'll put most Lousiana pols to shame!

  8. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Who's desperate? I think you're just unhappy that Cory refuses to be pigeonholed. He's not letting the liberal agenda define him, and I think that's great.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Yeah, in the same way a greased pig doesn't like to be pigeonholed, right?

      Cory refuses to be pigeonholed

    • Ralphie says:

      Who's desperate? I think you're just unhappy that Cory refuses to be pigeonholed. He's not letting the liberal agenda define him, and I think that's great.

      LOL! Dizzy yet, Moddy?

    • langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

      Moddy- I believe we can all totally ignore your post for the sole reason it contains the phrase "I think"but there's no evidence of that activity and little for the capability. It's understandable a wingnut would not believe anyone "unhappy" because untruths, mis and disinformation is being exposed. You might have bolstered your weak argument a little by presenting the "liberal agenda" ,but like the "homosexual agenda", I tend to believe it's one of those ephemeral things that only exists in the febrile minds of wingers.

  9. Curmudgeon says:

    Cory's desperate. That's why he's resorting to lying and counting on low-info voters like yourself. 

  10. FrankUnderwood says:

    HAPPY PRIDE WEEKEND!  To demonstrate his newfound moderation, will Rep. Garner be leading the Log Cabin Republicans down Colfax Avenue in the parade this weekend?  Maybe Tanc will show what he means by "Freedom to Live Your Life" by riding his Harley with the leather bikers in the parade.

     

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      I think that Gardner may not be marching in the parade, but he will be at the table that the Log Cabin Republicans will have at Civic Center. Gardner will proclaim that he has always been for civil unions, but not for "marriage" for gay folk.

       

  11. FrankUnderwood says:

    correction:  Gardner

  12. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    NARAL is sending out emails to supporters, asking us to invite Cory Gardner to join NARAL, since he now supports access to contraception. I sent mine! Wow, I could ask him which of the Plan B products, which  Dr. DP listed above, he would recommend from personal experience.

    Good times. 

     

  13. langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

    @ Mamaj55 far out and great move. You will, please, let us all know if you hear back from him?

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      I'm not holding my breath, but sure, I'll let you know. The best "conservative Dad" meme I've seen lately is this Tshirt, from Feminist Father," who is the dad of Kristine Speare.

  14. DaninDen says:

      Cory Gardner’s TV ads exhortation that he “can shake things up” if elected to the senate, while as a member of the US house of Representatives, has resulted in a 7% positive view of Congress, a historic low. Colorado does not need a further blatant blockade of government by conservative types who openly work towards dismantling Democracy. We have already lost (almost) an entire decade, in a century that began with globalization and export of the manufacturing base.

     As read on Truthout 6-20-14, Cory attends Koch latest sponsored summit in (California) Billionaire Summit, topic: Opportunities in Senate.

    • Ralphie says:

      Sloppy Joes

      • 1 pound lean ground beef
      • 1/4 cup chopped onion
      • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
      • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
      • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
      • 3/4 cup ketchup
      • 3 teaspoons brown sugar 
      • salt to taste
      • ground black pepper to taste

      Directions

      1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onion, and green pepper; drain off liquids.
      2. Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar; mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

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