Worse And Worse For “Dr. Chaps”

chapsdorty
Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt with Dwight David Dorty, a twice-convicted sex offender.

As the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Megan Schrader reports, GOP Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt, facing calls for his resignation once again after stating on his Youtube video program that it would be “better” for gay Boy Scout leaders “if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea,” has a rather ironic problem:

A few weeks before Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt found himself in hot water for saying Jesus said child molesters should be drowned, he interviewed a man on his show who has been convicted twice of sexual assault on a child and called him a “new friend.”

David Dorty, who is active in El Paso County politics and is with the American Conservatives of Color, appeared on Klingenschmittt’s video ministry Pray in Jesus’ Name (PIJN) News on July 16.

Dorty, as The Gazette reported in March, has twice been convicted of sexually assaulting a child, once by a person in a position of trust. [Pols emphasis]

You can watch Rep. Klingenschmitt’s interview here: the relevant portion begins about 17:55 in. Here’s what the Gazette reported about Dwight David Dorty back in March, after he was escorted out of the Colorado Republican Party’s annual meeting on orders from then-GOP chairman Ryan Call:

A twice-convicted sex offender from El Paso County caused a stir Saturday at the Colorado Republicans’ annual organization meeting by attending the event at Douglas County High School in support of the party’s new vice chairman Derrick Wilburn.

Ryan Call, who presided over the assembly as chair of the Colorado GOP, said he requested the sergeant of arms ask the individual to leave.

“I did not think it was appropriate to have him there, certainly on school grounds, or involved in connection with our meeting,” Call said.

According to the Gazette, Dorty was convicted twice of the crime of sexual assault on a child: once in 1986 and again in 1995. The second conviction added the aggravator of being a person in a position of trust over the child in question.

Kind of like a scoutmaster would be.

Now obviously, there are a number of takeaways from this latest revelation, and some might be mitigated by the time since Dorty’s conviction, and the contention by his supporters that he has been rehabilitated. We have no interest in further denigrating a person who has paid their debt to society to the crimes they’ve committed, though we certainly understand Ryan Call’s preference that a convicted sex offender not come on to the grounds of a public high school for an official Republican Party function.

As for “Dr. Chaps,” whose wishing of death on child molesters didn’t appear to make any exceptions for, you know, rehabilitation?

“I hope that Dr. Chaps has a good supply of millstones,” said Amy Runyon-Harms, executive director of Progress Now Colorado. [Pols emphasis]

Not much we can add to that, folks. The circle of utter hypocrisy appears closed.

Get More Smarter on Friday (July 31!)

Get More SmarterColorado Pols has a new (server) home — enjoy the room and stretch your legs. Let’s Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The U.S. Senate went down to the wire — today is the deadline — to come up with legislation to keep the Federal Highway Trust Fund from expiring. From the Ft. Collins Coloradoan:

A six-year highway bill passed by the Senate Thursday includes provisions that would aid the widening of Interstate 25 from Longmont to Fort Collins…

…The Senate also voted Thursday to keep the Highway Trust Fund running for another three months, preventing an abrupt halt to road and bridge construction at midnight Friday. Bennet and Gardner also voted for the temporary extension.

The House passed the three-month bill on Wednesday. President Barack Obama has promised to sign the legislation, which ensures that states continue to receive reimbursement from the federal government for highway and mass transit projects.

The six-year Senate highway bill will be used in negotiations with the House when Congress returns from its August recess. Some states have complained they can’t plan or break ground on major transportation projects because Congress keeps passing bills that fund such projects for only a few months at a time.

Perhaps Congress will come up with another strategy aside from “kick the can” when lawmakers return to Washington D.C. following the August recess.

Yeah, probably not.

Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has put together her leadership team in Colorado…as far as she knows, anyway. In making the announcement, Fiorina’s National Political Director referred to Colorado as “The Boulder State.”

 

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Gardner, Senate GOP Rush To Vote Against Planned Parenthood

Sen. Cory Gardner.

Sen. Cory Gardner.

The Hill’s Jordain Carney reports:

Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the Republican whip, suggested Wednesday that the Senate will take a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood on Monday.

“We’ll find out Monday night,” the Texas Republican told reporters on whether or not Republicans would be able to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural hurdle.

Cornyn spoke with reporters after a press conference with a handful of Senate Republicans who pressed for legislation rolled out Tuesday that would cut off federal money for Planned Parenthood and redirect the funding to other women’s health groups…

Republicans have renewed their push to defund the agency in the wake of a string of controversial, hidden-camera videos. The third, released Tuesday, appeared to show a Planned Parenthood official in Colorado negotiating with someone posing as a buyer of fetal tissue.

In an interview earlier this week with 9NEWS, GOP Sen. Cory Gardner confirmed that he will vote to defund Planned Parenthood:

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) will be voting for the Paul amendment.

“I’m disgusted and deeply saddened by the recent videos released documenting highly unethical and inhumane practices committed by Planned Parenthood officials and affiliates,” Gardner said.

One problem with this rush to vote to defund Planned Parenthood is the “investigations” underway into selectively edited undercover videos that have circulated in recent weeks are not complete–not that we expect political investigations by Planned Parenthood’s avowed congressional enemies to produce any outcome other than wholesale condemnation anyway. But to push forward with a vote to punish Planned Parenthood without even finishing their biased inquiries broadcasts that this response was a foregone conclusion from the beginning.

That should tell you something very important about this latest campaign against Planned Parenthood, which is hardly the first–looking back, we can recall other attempts to scandalize this organization, also in the lead-up to a general election year as we are now. Even though none of the videos released so far validate the accusation that Planned Parenthood is being illegally compensated for voluntary fetal tissue donations, they are already guilty in the eyes of social conservatives just for being Planned Parenthood. With that in mind, these videos are merely a pretext for actions that conservatives would gladly take, and have taken with or without pretext.

And that should tell you something important about Sen. Cory Gardner, who you’ll recall the pundits assured us last fall “would pose no threat to abortion rights.” Here is just the latest evidence of what a bald-faced lie that was–and it won’t be the last.

Behold, We Go To Prepare A Place For You

FRIDAY UPDATE 10:45AM: If you’re reading this, you’re on our brand-new dedicated server! Welcome and please don’t break anything.

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UPDATE 8:50PM: We’re back, thanks as always for your patience.

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We’ll be taking our server down a bit later this evening to complete another major round of upgrades–maybe, just maybe, the definitive upgrade to our always-overtaxed server capacity that everyone has been looking for. Or, maybe it’s just the next step in the endless arms race against spammers and hackers, while keeping the site functional for the occasional actual reader (that’s you). Either way, it must be done, and we’ll do our best to make it as brief an outage as possible.

Look for updates via Twitter, and we’ll see you on the other side.

Friday Open Thread

“Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.”

–Sun Tzu, from The Art of War

Carly Fiorina Builds Kick-Ass Campaign Team…Somewhere

Carly Fiorina (right), with Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt.

Carly Fiorina (right), with Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt.

A press release from Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina today announces her new “leadership committee” for a state she calls Colorado:

Republican leaders and activists in Colorado have endorsed Carly Fiorina for President of the United States. From business leaders to elected officials, Carly Fiorina is proving that her conservative outsider message is resonating with Republicans across Colorado. These leaders are part of a growing group of prominent citizens comprising a Colorado leadership committee.

Vic Stabio, CEO of Hallador Energy, is joining State House Minority Whip Perry Buck and Camp Bow Wow CEO Heidi Ganahl as a Colorado Co-Chair supporting Carly Fiorina in her candidacy for President of the United States.

We wouldn’t consider her a goodwill ambassador, but at least we’ve heard of Rep. Perry Buck of Windsor–though not exactly a household name. Other members of Fiorina’s “leadership committee” announced today include Tony Gagliardi of the National Federation of Independent Business and Centennial councilwoman Stephanie Piko. Again, we’re not talking A-Listers.

Of course, maybe the reason we don’t recognize many members of Fiorina’s Colorado team is that we’re not actually talking about Colorado?

“Carly’s outsider perspective to Washington politics is resonating in the Boulder State,” said Tom Szold, National Political Director. [Pols emphasis]

Folks, where the hell is the “Boulder State?” Because as any member of Fiorina’s Colorado leadership committee could surely have told the front office, Colorado is known as the Centennial State. We do recall political campaigns in the past where Republicans have tried to portray Colorado as ruled by the liberal stronghold city of Boulder–think Dick Wadhams and “BoulderliberalMarkUdall”–but it’s just not reality. And if it were, we’re pretty sure Republicans would not bother campaigning for President there.

It could be worse–we suppose Fiorina could have subbed Denali for Pikes Peak on her website. But between Fiorina’s underwhelming list of local endorsers and a political director who can’t even get the state’s nickname right, we’re thinking she’s not going to factor much in our Republican primary.

Local Planned Parenthood Pushes Back Hard On Latest Anti-Abortion “Sting” Video

komen-planned-parenthood4-1The Denver Post’s Elizabeth Hernandez reports–as you’ve probably seen in the news by now, the anti-abortion gotchameisters at the so-called “Center for Medical Progress” paid a visit to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains as well–and a video this week adds to their drumbeat releases of highly edited videos attacking the organization’s alleged tissue donation practices:

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is “certain” it has done nothing illegal and that the accusations made against it by an anti-abortion group that posted an undercover, edited video of a PPRM physician seemingly talking about the sale of fetal parts is false.

The video — the third released by the Center for Medical Progress in recent days — shows local Planned Parenthood Dr. Savita Ginde looking at specimens with an alleged fetal tissue buyer.

Fetal tissue cannot be sold for profit but can be donated for research with permission of a donor, and providers can be reimbursed for the cost of the procedure.

Planned Parenthood says it obeys the law. But since the release of the first furtively recorded video, Republicans in Congress have been pressing to bar federal aid to the group.

Now several weeks into a series of undercover videos released by anti-abortion activists in the hope of scandalizing what amounts to routine and life-saving medical research, two things are increasingly undeniable: that these videos rely on emotional manipulation to shock viewers out of thinking rationally, and that they are part of a longstanding campaign by anti-abortion activists and allied Republican lawmakers to discredit and ultimately defund Planned Parenthood–despite the organization’s major contribution to public health in a variety of fields. The Colorado Independent’s Nat Stein provides important context for locals:

This 501(c)3 nonprofit was founded in 2013 by David Daleiden, a famous provocateur in the anti-abortion movement. Also listed as a CMP board member on the group’s registration filing in the state of California is Troy Newman — president of Operation Rescue, which ran a decades-long harassment campaign against Dr. George Tiller in Kansas that only ended after Tiller was murdered in a church in 2009…

Here in Denver, it’s worth noting that PPRM, like most Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country, doesn’t currently have a fetal-tissue-donation program. From the highly edited video, the context of their conversation about tissue sales is unclear, but PPRM President and CEO Vicki Cowart issued a statement explaining that representatives from CMP’s fake company Biomax had approached the clinic about launching a program. [Pols emphasis]

Under pressure from hard-right Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs, Colorado State University has announced they will suspend any further acquisition of fetal tissue until Congress completes an “investigation” sparked by the spread of these videos. CSU presently has a single research project that has used fetal tissue samples, working on a treatment for HIV/AIDS. CSU says they did not obtain complete fetal organs, just small tissue samples, and CSU insists they were all procured in accordance with the law.

It’s important to note that, other than the unpleasant subject matter being discussed, none of these videos show anything that appears illegal as the law pertains to voluntary fetal tissue donations. Planned Parenthood doctors covertly filmed repeatedly state that they are following the law, and that it’s “not about the money.” In the end, it is one’s pre-existing views on abortion that principally determine the reaction to these videos. And that means they are most useful for agitating people who already oppose abortion.

For the rest of us, it’s the same old anti-choice crap. It takes just a moment of critical thinking to realize that medical research is in fact a good thing, and doctors talking about their work in terms non-doctors find a bit macabre is hardly a new phenomenon. Once you realize that, these videos are no more worthy of consideration than those lurid rolling billboard trucks covered with bloody fetuses and pocket change. Not to mention the growing possibility that laws were broken filming them.

In the end, it’s (pardon the expression) red meat for the conservative base, and little more. With one possible caveat: to the extent that these videos send social conservatives into yet another public freakout over what most Americans consider a settled law, this could well backfire politically–once again defining Republicans as the “war on women” party just ahead of a major election.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (July 30)

Get More SmarterHappy Marter Day. Let’s Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Colorado Springs legislator Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt has said plenty of disgusting and ridiculous things on his “Pray in Jesus’ Name” YouTube channel, but he pole-vaulted over the line with recent comments that gay Boy Scout leaders should be drowned. Calls for his resignation are growing louder by the hour, and the Colorado Republican Party quickly condemned Dr. Chaps.

Numerous domain names have been snapped up in relation to the controversy surrounding the embattled right-wing school board members in Jefferson County. You’ll never guess who owns domain names such as RecallNewkirk.com.

 

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Thursday Open Thread

“Seldom ever was any knowledge given to keep, but to impart; the grace of this rich jewel is lost in concealment.”

–Wendell Phillips

John Newkirk Takes Personal Role In Recall Shenanigans

Jeffco school board member John Newkirk.

Jeffco school board member John Newkirk.

One of the things that we frequently cover as the political water cooler blog for Colorado are the cutesey games that opposing political campaigns often play against one another online. Over the years and often the result of tips from readers, we’ve broken the stories of hilarious errors on candidate websites, candidate photo shoots gone horribly wrong, and the occasional outright spoofing of an opponent’s site.

The main “independent” group opposing the recall of conservative members of the Jefferson County school board is a group known as Jeffco Students First. Jeffco Students First recently pulled off a trick at the expense of the pro-recall group Support Jeffco Kids, who had registered their website’s domain name supportjeffcokids.org, but had neglected to also register supportjeffcokids.COM–the site people are most likely to type in from memory. Jeffco Students First snapped up the .com domain name and repointed it at their own website–which will both confuse voters looking for more information and hurt the real Support Jeffco Kids’ Google ranking.

But this apparently wasn’t the only example of Jeffco Students First playing domain name games. Several other seemingly pro-recall domain names were bought up, apparently some time ago: including recallwitt.org, recallnewkirk.org, and recallwilliams.org. These three domain names were all registered to the same domain registrar, Omnis Network. Recallwitt.org and recallwilliams.org were registered at 10:21PM on June 26 2014, recallnewkirk.org at 10:27PM on June 26 2014. As you can see, someone was thinking ahead.

But here’s the newsworthy part: the latter two are NOT registered in the name of Jeffco Students First. They are registered in the personal name of Jeffco board member John Newkirk. Here are the relevant portions of the identifying WHOIS records for these three domains:

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“Dr. Chaps” Says Drown Gay Boy Scout Leaders (Yes, Really)

UPDATE #2: The Colorado House LGBT caucus weighs in strongly:

“Gordon Klingenschmitt is inciting physical violence against scoutmasters for their sexual orientation, plain and simple. This type of language is hateful and certainly below the station of any elected official, especially in 2015.

“Moreover, Rep. Klingenschmitt has a history of using his platform as an online minister to spread vitriol and violence, especially against members of the LGBT community. Sadly, it is no longer a surprise to hear this type of sentiment from Rep. Klingenschmitt, but that history of hateful speech does nothing to blunt its effect in this particular instance. If House Minority leadership does not act, then they are condoning this type of conduct from one of their caucus members; House GOP leadership’s actions will speak volumes.”

In March, Rep. Klingenschmitt was stripped of his post on the House Health, Insurance, and Environment committee after saying, “This is the curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb and part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open,” after the brutal attack on Michelle Wilkins of Longmont.

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UPDATE: Colorado LGBT advocates react angrily to Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt’s latest remarks, a statement from One Colorado moments ago:

“After making numerous comments over the past year attacking lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families, Representative Klingenschmitt just can’t seem to get enough. He recently called on the Boy Scouts of America to drown all gay leaders in its organization. Gay adults are involved in scouting for the same reasons everyone else is; to serve youth, and to help them grow into good, strong citizens. These comments are reprehensible – and he should be ashamed of himself for making them.

“One Colorado calls on the leaders of the Colorado Republican Party, and Republican leadership in the State House, to condemn Representative Klingenschmitt’s comments and affirm that no one should be targeted for violence just because of who they are, or who they love.

“While experience tells us we shouldn’t hold our breath for an apology from Mr. Klingenschmitt, an apology is exactly what is owed – not just to gay scouts and leaders across the state, but to the countless friends and family members who are tired of seeing their loved ones attacked just for being who they are. Simply put, Representative Klingenschmitt – the fair-minded people of Colorado deserve better.”

Liberal group ProgressNow Colorado takes it a step further, calling (again) for Klingenschmitt to resign–and for House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso to step up and take some responsibility for his caucus:

“Just how far is too far?” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “After Rep. Klingenschmitt claimed that a sitting member of Congress from our state wants to ‘behead Christians,’ and that the tragic attack on a pregnant woman in Longmont last March was ‘the curse of God,’ ProgressNow Colorado called for him to resign. Instead, House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso restored Klingenschmitt to his committee assignments as soon as the media stopped paying attention, and swept the matter under the rug. That was a huge mistake, and today Republicans are paying the price as Klingenschmitt once again brings shame upon the entire state of Colorado.”

“It would be easy to dismiss Klingenschmitt’s statements as the ravings of a deranged lunatic, except for the fact that he is an elected Republican legislator in the state of Colorado,” said Runyon-Harms. “By not acting to distance themselves from Rep. Klingenschmitt, Colorado Republicans are validating what he says. Every day that goes by with Klingenschmitt continuing to serve as a Republican legislator, his hatred speaks for them. It has to stop, and the only ones who can stop it are Klingenschmitt’s Republican legislative leaders.”

“It is months past time for Colorado Republicans to ask Rep. Klingenschmitt to resign,” said Runyon-Harms.

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Raw Story’s David Edwards reports on the latest over-the-top emanations from the mouth of GOP Colorado Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt–and this one can fairly be described as a doozy. In all our time discussing Klingenschmitt’s wacky declarations about demons possessing President Barack Obama or Rep. Jared Polis wanting to “behead Christians,” we’re pretty sure he has never actually called for the various agents of evil in the world he identifies to be, you know, physically harmed.

Until now:

Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt (R) said on Monday that it would be “better” for the Boy Scouts of America to drown its gay scoutmasters in the “depths of the sea” instead of lifting a ban on them…

“If your boy is in one of those organizations, you need to get him out of there,” he warned. “Because what they’re going to do is promote homosexual men to mentoring and camping with your boys in the woods. And it will lead to child abuse… The children are in danger. It’s not about the sexual pleasure of the adults.”

Klingenschmitt pointed viewers a verse from the book of Matthew: “Whoever causes one of these to little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

“This is what Jesus said about child molesters,” the Republican lawmaker insisted…

Klingenschmitt goes on to say that gay Boy Scout leaders being drowned would be preferable to the wrath of the Almighty God “when he throws them into hell.” Klingenschmitt himself says he would rather be drowned than face God’s judgment for the molestations that must surely follow if the Boy Scouts let gay scoutmasters come out of the closet.

Got that? According to the elected Republican representative of Colorado House District 15, who never misses the chance to pose with big-name Republicans for a photo, and who was reinstated to his committee assignments by House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso after calling a vicious attack on a pregnant Longmont woman “the curse of God upon America,” murdering gay Boy Scouts would be doing them a favor.

To be honest, we weren’t sure how “Dr. Chaps” could ever top his previous outrages–but it looks like he just did.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 29)

Get More SmarterNo, your office does not have a “trade deadline.” Let’s Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► “Turn-In Tuesday” contained quite a surprise; supporters of a recall campaign in Jefferson County turned in more than 110,000 signatures in an effort to oust three right-wing school board members. Recall proponents needed less than three weeks to collect — and significantly exceed — the required number of signatures to place the measure on the November ballot. Opponents of the recall will now have a difficult time challenging the signature collection process, as Westword explains:

Now, the clerks have fifteen days to validate the signatures. Then there’s a fifteen-day window for any protest of the validity of the signatures. McCord hopes that doesn’t happen. “If somebody does protest, they will drag us past the date by which we can get on the November ballot,” she says. “Then we end up in a special election that costs the district a whole lot of money that we don’t want to spend.”

The parents estimate that a special election would cost half a million dollars. “We got lots and lots of extra signatures,” McCord adds. “So there wouldn’t be any valid protest. It would be frivolous.” [Pols emphasis]

Of course, this won’t stop opponents from making ridiculous Baghdad Bob-style arguments.

Congressional Republicans are fidgeting over how to deal with a new challenge to House Speaker John Boehner. In a surprise move on Tuesday evening, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) offered a motion to vacate the chair — an effort to force a vote on whether Boehner should remain Speaker. As it approaches its annual August recess, Congress appears to have completely run off the rails.

 

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Wednesday Open Thread

“The best apology against false accusers is silence and sufferance, and honest deeds set against dishonest words.”

–John Milton