There’s just gotta be better ways to advance the conservative agenda on talk radio than holding the hand of Lisa Pinto

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Colorado GOP chairman Ryan Call, Jefferson County Communications Officer Lisa Pinto.

Former Colorado GOP chairman Ryan Call, Jefferson County Schools Communications Officer Lisa Pinto.

One wonders if the GOP’s Leadership of the Rockies Program, which schooled GOP operative Lisa Pinto, needs to add a class on how to gracefully ignore anonymous tweets.

In her job as Chief Communications Officer for the Jefferson Country  School District, Pinto has massively more important problems on her plate than complaining about tweets directed at her. Yet, she’s wasting time on conservative talk radio whining about her tweets.

You’d any right-leaning talk radio program, normally home base for the get-over-it approach to personal problems, would boot her off the show, but KNUS host Krista Kafer wrapped Pinto in a warm blanket, introducing a April 3 segment on the tweets:

Kafer: “So there are these people out there. I don’t know. Do they not work? Do they not have a hobby? Do they not garden? I don’t know, but apparently they have a lot of extra time just to be mean. I guess being mean is a hobby.”

This opened the floodgates from Pinto, who emphasized that she took time on vacation to discuss the tweets on KNUS 710 AM, not on the taxpayer dime. (Listen below.)

“Thanks for taking up this really important topic,” Pinto told Kafer. “It’s really crazy that this is going on in this day an age in Colorado.”

Really important? Crazy in this day and age?  She’s a communications pro? Maybe she’s under the spell of the Independence Institute, which found recent tweets about Jeffco-School topics so important that it established a website, MeanGirlz.org, to promote them. Read more about this in Westword.

Anyway, Pinto went on for the next 20 minutes or so, making me wonder if she knew anything at all about the content of Twitter.

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Denver Post shouldn’t forsake its own opinion page

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You’d be excused for assuming, from all the talk about The Denver Post being in free-fall, that the newspaper is shedding writers like my cat sheds hair in springtime (now).

But it turns out, when you do the bean counting, that The Post has pretty much maintained its editorial staff over the past year or so. If you count two positions that are apparently waiting to be filled, the departed staffers equal the hired/filled positions.

Many veterans have left, leaving serious memory loss, but some excellent reporters have been hired as well (e.g., the newish politics reporters: John Frank, Mark Matthews, Jon Murray.)

You can argue that the journalistic stability at The Post, such as it is, is the owner’s, Digital First Media, transparent attempt to prop up a sick business that’s currently for sale.

Against a backdrop of stability, even if it’s manufactured, you wonder whether the newspaper has plans to replace opinion writer Alicia Caldwell, who left last month. I asked Post Editorial Page Editor Vincent Carroll about this.

“The position that Alicia vacated has not been filled, and I am not currently looking for a replacement,” Carroll told me via email on Thursday. “Alicia was a valuable colleague and I regret that she moved on, but her new job sounds like a great opportunity for her.”

That sounds bad to me.

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Inconsistency mars Post’s Personhood editorials

(Pretty much ridiculous – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Vince Carroll, Denver Post editorial board.

Vince Carroll, Denver Post editorial board.

At the heart of Thursday’s Denver Post editorial supporting State Sen. Bill Cadman’s personhood bill is the argument that Colorado needs a new law to penalize people like Dynel Lane, who faces over 100 years in prison for her horrific attack on Michelle Wilkins, who was pregnant and lost her fetus.

But just last year, The Post argued that existing Colorado law, specifically addressing crimes against pregnant women, was sufficient for cases like Wilkins’.

The 2013 Crimes-Against-Pregnant-Women law balances severe penalties for crimes harming fetuses with the preservation of abortion rights and the protection of pregnant women from criminal investigation.

Here’s what The Post said last week in its editorial endorsing Cadman’s bill:

A 2013 law made it a felony to unlawfully terminate a pregnancy, but it is a Class 3 felony with a sentencing range of 10 to 32 years unless the mother dies — when it becomes a Class 2 felony. The Class 3 felony is utterly inadequate.

But when The Post opposed last year’s personhood amendment, the newspaper argued that even a “horrific incident” did not justify a new law because “the state legislature already made the necessary statutory fix.” Here’s what The Post wrote last year:

The horrific incident laid bare a gap in Colorado law that did not allow authorities to charge the drunken driver with anything for the loss of Brady [an eight-month-old fetus].

The Yes on 67 campaign attempts to capitalize on this circumstance, saying the amendment is needed to protect pregnant mothers from violence. Proponents conveniently ignore the fact that the state legislature already made the necessary statutory fix.

It’s because of this 2013 “statutory fix” that Lane faces the 100-year prison term, because the 2013 Crimes-Against-Pregnant-Women law allows charges to be added on top of one another, over and above the Class 3 felony.

The severe penalties of Colorado’s 2013 law were apparently good enough for The Post last year, but now the statute is suddenly inadequate? What gives?

Clearly, both Cadman’s bill and Amendment 67 are attempts to take advantage of nightmarish incidents to pass different versions of “personhood.” Colorado’s 2013 law, considered the gold standard in balancing women’s rights with criminal justice, was a good argument against Amendment 67, as The Post understood at the time.

Newspaper editorials are supposed to be consistent and above-the-fray, so you’d expect The Post to point again to the 2013 Crimes Against Pregnant Women law and argue against Cadman’s personhood bill. But, alas, no, and the logic of the inconsistency escapes me.

Kopel says Dudley Brown “lying right now in Congress”

(Hot red-on-red action! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Dudley Brown.

Dudley Brown.

Last week, The Colorado Independent spotlighted Dave Kopel’s response to Dudley Brown, the director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, who’s been claiming Kopel is a weak supporter of the Second Amendment, specifically a sleeper cell for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Here’s the take-away quote from Kopel, who works for the conservative Independence Institute, in which he calls out Brown for lying to Congress:

Kopel: That’s why [Brown] is lying right now in Congress against the NRA’s National Right to Carry bill, which would mean that you as a Colorado resident with you carry permit, you could carry in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and New York city.  [Kopel sent me this as the source for his statement.]

Kopel concluded his comments with this:

Kopel: So, there are two possible views of reality. One is Dudley is a liar, a huckster, and a hoax who is preying off people and taking their money, not for gun rights but to support himself.  The other possibility is that Dudley’s telling the truth and that I am a sleeper cell for Michael Bloomberg. You can decide which one is more plausible.

Here are Kopel’s full comments, as delivered on Colorado Public Television (Channel 12) Colorado Inside Out April 17:

Lynn [Bartels] nailed it at the end. It’s a “Fundraising  for Dudley” problem if the magazine ban is 99 percent repealed – to change it from 15 to 30 [rounds].

Dudley and his group have been around in Colorado as lobbyists since the late-90s. And yet, they have never passed a single bill. He’s also got his national group – so-called National Association for Gun Rights—which has never passed a single bill in Congress. An impressive record of futility, but only if you think of his group in the same way you’d think of real gun-rights groups like Gun Owners of America, or the National Rifle Association, or the Firearms Coalition of Colorado.

As Dudley explained to a meeting of friendly, recently-elected legislators a few weeks after the election, he said, ‘Don’t work with people like Kopel, because then when they pass something, it makes it harder for us to raise money.’ Dudley’s shtick is to keep people upset and angry and giving him money, and never to solve any problem. 

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On radio, RMGO’s Brown talks as if he owns the GOP Senate majority

(Doesn’t he? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Dudley Brown.

Dudley Brown.

Before she interviewed Dudley Brown, who spontaneously called her show this morning, KHOW 760-AM’s Mandy Connell told her listeners she had no opinion about Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which Brown directs.

After the interview, Connell, an arch conservative, said she had an opinion–and I’m guessing you will too if you listen below.

In this case, Brown talked as if he has more of a right to interfere in gun legislation at the state Capitol than the Independence Institute has because RMGO bought and paid for the state GOP Senate majority.  And he went on about it, implying he’d organize primaries against five Republicans who voted against a violation of state Senate rules yesterday.

Connell started the conversation, which was first reported by Complete Colorado, with a question about why RMGO was opposed to raising the limit on magazine capacity from 15 to 30 rounds.

Then she asked, “So, why take out Dave Kopel?  Why go after him?”

Brown: Well, look, I don’t want to go into personalities on a public format. Dave Kopel is a wonderful writer. On strategy, he’s horrid! Dave Kopel is actually a Democrat. He has always advocated for compromise at every single turn. Every time we’ve ever had a gun bill in Colorado, he’s always advocated for compromise. And in fact, Dave Kopel is the one who fixed the Democrats mag ban so it did not include shotguns. He showed Senator Mary Hodge how to do it, mechanically. Probably being the one who enabled it to pass. Now, I have no qualms about being honest. But in politics, I don’t want it to be about personality. I want it to be about principle and strategy.

But, in all honesty, we simply don’t agree with Dave Kopel and never have, and for that matter, the Independence Institute, none of whom got these legislators into office.

It’s our organization and our PAC that spent the money to elect the legislature and take the Senate from the Democrats. We were the biggest funders of Republican candidates in the last election. Far bigger than the NRA. And let me be clear, I don’t know if this is – you could ask them, but my understanding is even the NRA opposes this compromise. Now, if the NRA opposes a compromise because it’s too squishy on the gun issue, that pretty much means that it’s as far left as it can be because the NRA usually buys into every compromise. In this case, my understanding is that they opposed it, too. Look there aren’t the votes to pass a 31 round ban –the repeal of the 30 ban, to make it 31. But there aren’t the votes for repeal, unless the Republicans take the House and the Governor’s mansion, neither of which are assured…

Now, to those people who say, “Wait a minute!  I want to be able to buy my 30 round magazine!”  I say, “Shut your pie hole and go buy one!”  There are many retailers who sell them right now.  They ignore the law, and God Bless them for doing so. And in many cases, your District Attorney and your sheriff won’t be involved in any cases against you, anyway…

Connell said, “You’re saying, ‘Go break the law.’”

Brown: I’m saying, “Do what you want.” But, the fact is, the ban, really — it’s like jaywalking. There really is no ban, right now. It’s largely a ban on some of the businesses who manufacture and didn’t want to be here, anyway.

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Fighting Overseas Tax Havens to Help Colorado’s Schools

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

overseas

It’s gotten to the point where everyone in Colorado wants politicians to find a way, somehow, to tax the money big corporations hide to avoid paying taxes, and then to use the tax revenue from these hidden profits on education. Okay, not everyone wants this but, seriously, most of us do.

But how to do it in a way that’s got a prayer of untying the knot of legal restrictions (TABOR) and divided government?

Democrats in the state legislature may have hit on a way to get this done.

Standing inside the Capitol on the eve of Tax Day, state lawmakers unveiled legislation that would stop Colorado corporations from hiding profits in overseas tax havens, like the Cayman Islands. Closing this tax loophole would generate a tidy $150 million in tax revenue annually that would go to education.

“There are some corporations that don’t pay their taxes, like the rest of us do,” said Rep. Mike Foote at the April 14 news conference, as you can see in a Denver Business Journal video here.

“They do get a chance to use our roads, to take advantage of educated folks to work in their businesses, courts for dispute resolution and so forth. But they don’t pay for the use. It’s not fair to the state of Colorado. It’s not fair to the rest of us. And this bill will address that lack of fairness by closing loopholes that some corporations use by funneling their money offshore in order not to have to pay taxes on it.”

The bill, sponsored by Foote and Rep. Brittany Pettersen of Lakewood, would not only have to clear the legislature but also be approved by voters in November. So it has a long way to go.

But similar bills became law in Montana and Oregon, picking up bipartisan support along the way, according to the bill’s sponsors.

So you’d think a bill like this would have a chance here in Colorado, where the public is overwhelmingly in favor of such measures, according to a polls.

The Denver Post’s Joey Bunch reported that the legislation is opposed by The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry:

“We understand the intent to eliminate the shifting of income to tax havens to avoid Colorado taxes,” said Loren Furman, CACI’s senior vice president for state and federal relations. “But, there are many instances where legitimate business is conducted in these countries, and that income may not have been subject to Colorado tax.

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Reporters should call bill giving legal rights to fetuses “personhood,” not “fetal homicide”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In response to the March 18 attack on a pregnant women in Longmont, state Senate Republicans have introduced legislation expanding the definition of “person” in specific state laws, including Colorado’s murder statute, to include an “unborn child at every stage of gestation from conception until live birth.”

If that sounds like personhood to you, giving legal rights to zygotes (fertilized eggs), that’s because it is a form of personhood. It establishes the fetus as a person, opening the door to possible bans on abortion and the arrest of pregnant women for crimes (e.g., child abuse) against their own fetus. And that’s what concerns Senate Democrats, who are opposing the legislation and saying Republicans are taking advantage of the horrific crime against Michelle Wilkins to pass personhood legislation.

“I am disappointed that the Republicans are choosing to use what happened to the Wilkins family to get ‘personhood’ into law,” said state Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver) in a statement after the GOP bill was introduced Tuesday afternoon.

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Worst analogy on talk radio this year (so far)

If you’re looking for 1) horrible analogies and 2) a way to lose an argument about whether it’s ok to discriminate against gays, here’s a model for you, from KLZ AM-560’s  “Rush to Reason” last week, guest hosted by David Leech:

David Leech, the “Strident Conservative:” You’re an evil person if you’re a Christian, and you don’t want to bake a cake for a homosexual marriage. But, if you’re the CEO of Apple, it’s totally cool to sell your products to Saudi Arabia, where they will murder you if you are a gay. Give me a break! What’s the deal with this? I mean, where’s the media outrage?

Producer Zach: You know, murderers need music too. You can’t discriminate against them. They need their IPods.

David Leech: In fact, maybe we should make a music video. They are throwing the gays off of the building, while we play Tom Petty’s “Free Falling.” That would totally work. I’m sorry, we’re kind of making fun, and some of you probably just got mad at me for saying what I just sad. But that’s too bad. That’s just the way things are. I can’t stand hypocrisy… If I’m in Saudi Arabia and you come into my business and say, ‘Yeah, I would like a cake for my homosexual wedding.’ I’m going to shout Allahu Akbar and cut your head off.”

Clicke here to hear this on Rush to Reason @18:40 4-8-15 Hour 3B

Eric Teetsel, Director of the Manhattan Declaration, a right-wing Christian organization, was a guest on the same segment, but wasn’t asked about the Saudi Arabia analogy.

Coffman Spokesman’s “Principle” of Not Responding to Those Who Might Disagree

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman.

Rep. Mike Coffman.

The Colorado Independent called Rep. Mike Coffman’s office numerous times over numerous days to find out if Coffman had kept $20,000 in donations from Rep. Aaron Schock, who resigned in disgrace after it became apparent that he was brazenly misspending tax money.

Coffman’s office never called reporter John Tomasic back, but Coffman spokesman Tyler Sandberg did talk to The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels, telling her, “We donated the money after Aaron Schock resigned and donated it to a veterans organization.”

Sandberg also told Bartels:

“As a matter of principle we don’t respond to fake news websites, nor did we feel a need to trumpet the donation. Sorry to upset the left-wing attack machine so desperate to find a flaw with Mike Coffman.”

The Colorado Independent is not a fake news site. It’s a progressive news site. So, I guess Sandberg is saying he won’t talk to people who might disagree with him?

I wondered which veterans organization received the cash and when it was donated, so I called Sandberg. And, lo, he didn’t return my calls either. So it appears his bogus “principle” applies to me too.

That is, unless I do something he likes.

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Anti-choice activists push for dangerous fetal-homicide bill

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Senate President Bill Cadman (R).

Senate President Bill Cadman (R).

During a KNUS 710-AM radio interview yesterday, Colorado Senate President Bill Cadman said he’s “really hoping” to get a fetal homicide bill introduced “by the end of the week.”

KNUS radio host Dan Caplis, who’s a deep-red social conservative, urged Cadman to push for a law like California’s, which establishes a fetus as a potential victim of a crime.

Cadman replied that the California law is “definitely one of the models that we’re looking at.”

Pro-choice advocates, however, say the California law undermines civil rights protections of pregnant women, allowing for criminal investigations of pregnant women based on the legal rights of the fetus.

They say any fetal homicide measure is unnecessary, as Colorado’s Crimes Against Pregnant Women Act is the gold standard insofar as it mandates severe penalties for perpetrators of crimes like the Longmont attack, while protecting abortion rights and the civil rights of pregnant women.

The Longmont attacker faces charges that could result in a 100-year prison term.

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Radio host continues to amplify his campaign to land Gardner on his show

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Talk-radio shows can hit their stride when they latch onto a cause and fight for justice–or something that looks like justice to the target audience.

Hence, in recent years, you’ve had KNUS’ Dan Caplis fighting the insulting Tim Tebow trade. You’ve seen KHOW’s Peter Boyles standing strong  for Jon Benet Ramsey (a million shows and counting…). You’ve got Jeff Crank exposing the slithery tactics of the Hotaling brothers, who are notorious GOP operatives.

Now KLZ 560-AM’s Randy Corporon is ramping up his dogged campaign to get newly elected Senator Cory Gardner to appear on his radio show. Not only does he have conservative icon Bill Kristol on his side in principle, he now has a Facebook page with the simple name, “Why Won’t US Sen Cory Gardner Come on Wake Up With Randy Corporon?

It’s got 159 likes (including one from me) and this attractive artwork:

Veteran Denver Post opinion-page writer Alicia Caldwell exits journalism

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Creating yet another gaping hole at Denver’s leading news outlet, Alicia Caldwell ended a twelve-year run at The Denver Post Tuesday, when she left the newspaper for a job as communications director for the Colorado Department of Human Services. Caldwell started at The Post in 2003 as a news reporter and joined the newspaper’s editorial board in 2006. Prior to joining The Post, she spent 16 years at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida.

Before her departure from The Post last week, Caldwell answered a few questions via email about journalism,The Post, and her new job.

Why are you leaving The Post?

Caldwell: The opportunity to become communications director for the state Department of Human Services was too good to pass up. Many of us get into journalism because we are drawn to important issues and care about the condition of society at large. This job gives me a more direct way of contributing on both those counts. The work CDHS does is really difficult, yet the agency is making headway on a number of fronts. I’m not sure there is a broad appreciation of that progress.

Do you agree with me that as journalism shrinks, opinion-writing jobs at newspapers, like yours at The Post, are even more endangered than jobs on the news side? If you agree, what will be lost in a place like Colorado, as jobs like yours disappear? If you disagree, please explain why.

Caldwell: I both agree and disagree with your premise. Yes, I think that the loss of voices on the opinion page diminishes breadth and depth of debate on issues of public importance. Love us or hate us, well-researched opinions on the topics of the day, especially the complex ones, bring value to the public sphere. Where I might part ways with your supposition is that opinion positions are more endangered than those on the news side. The newspaper has been cutting everywhere, unfortunately, due to shrinking revenues. It makes me profoundly sad, I will tell you, to see the diminution of the staff and the coverage we’re able to provide readers.

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Tea-Party activists talk about booting elected Republicans, as Gardner dodges the conversation

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Tea-Party activists in Colorado are feeling good about themselves after booting GOP state Chair Ryan Call, and their momentum could spell trouble (as in, P-R-I-M-A-R-Y) for newly elected Sen. Cory Gardner–as well as fellow Republican Rep. Mike Coffman.

Before last month’s election, which put the Tea Party in control of the state GOP, you might have ignored threats about primaries–about ousting Gardner or Coffman. But now, reporters and others should pay attention to these folks on conservative radio shows.

“I want to plant this seed in everyone’s mind,” said former state GOP vice chair Mark Baisley on KLZ radio March 19. “Now, the priority has become the principle. The priority has become liberty; it has become founding princicples. It has become the party platform, which I’ve been preaching for years. That’s become the priority over the people in office.

“Be ready to hold [to] account,” continued Baisley, who’s aligned with the insurgent liberty wing of the Colorado Republican Party, even though he lost his vice-race last month. “And be ready to throw out people like Cory Gardner, people like Mike Coffman, who are not toeing the line. Hold folks to account and let them know, ‘Hey, we’re in a mood. And hop on, or you’re not as important as the movement; you’re not as important as founding principles.'”

“Boy, you’ve been dying to be in a position where you could just make that last statement, haven’t you.” KLZ host Randy Corporon told Baisley, “because you couldn’t say those things as vice-chairman of the Colorado State Republican Party.”

“Yeah, it would not have been appropriate,” replied Baisley. (Listen to Mark Baisley here, beginning at 2:15)

“Yeah, so, power to you, man!” replied Corporon, who’s the founder of the Arapahoe Country Tea Party. “God bless you for saying so and being honest.  Because, absolutely, you know, Mike Coffman is my Congressman.  Primaries – there is such talk about primaries right now, because we can’t have people who continue to allow the big government agenda to go forward.  I don’t care how strong you are on the VA. I don’t care how likeable and charismatic you are on CNN, and that you have good hair.  If you don’t stand up for the Constitution, if you don’t push back with everything you’ve got at every opportunity against this advancing progressive agenda, then I’m done with you.”

Corporon and Baisley are upset about Republican votes on immigration and budget issues. And Gardner’s refusal to appear on Gardner’s radio show, Wake Up, is having a salt-on-the-wound effect.

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Are Klingenschmitt’s campaign endorsers standing by him now?

Now that one State Representative, Justin Everett, is arguing that Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt should not lose legislative clout for comments he’s made outside of the legislature, reporters should track down Klingenschmitt’s endorsers from his campaign last year and find out what they think of their embattled friend.

Their words of praise for Dr. Chaps, as Klingenschmitt calls himself, can be found on his campaign website:

“Gordon Klingenschmitt has demonstrated to me strength of character and resolve to maximize our individual liberties.  He is definitely a warrior who will fight the constant intrusion of government which constantly erodes our freedoms.  “Thank You,” Gordon for your willingness to represent us.”  — Fmr. Colorado Senator Dave Schultheis

“I like Gordon Klingenschmitt!  His Academy and military experiences have nurtured a mental toughness to stand and fight for conservative principles when others don’t.  We need that in the Colorado General Assembly.”  — Colorado Senator Kent Lambert

“Gordon Klingenschmitt is a proven leader who has the principles and values we need in the Colorado legislature.” — Colorado Senator Kevin Lundberg

“Today, we are living in a climate of moral and financial confusion.  Gordon Klingenschmitt will help direct the State back to principled conscience and economic prosperity.” — Colorado Senator Vicki Marble

Cadman promotes bill previously torpedoed by anti-abortion forces in GOP caucus

(Those who don’t learn from history…something, something. — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Senate President Bill Cadman.

Senate President Bill Cadman.

Republican Senate President Bill Cadman took to the radio yesterday to announce plans to introduce a bill allowing prosecutors to treat a fetus as the victim of a crime but, apparently, with specific language allowing for abortion.

Cadman told KNUS 710-AM that his bill “does provide a protection for a woman to do with her body as she desires.”

Colorado already has a law, passed in 2013, allowing prosecutors to file additional charges, but not murder, in a crime involving the destruction of a fetus.

To ensure that the law does not turn into a back-door abortion ban, the measure specifically identifies the pregnant woman as the victim of the crime and states that nothing “shall be construed to confer the status of ‘person’ upon a human embryo, fetus or unborn child at any state of development prior to live birth.”

This anti-personhood language enraged anti-choice Republicans, like Sen. Scott Renfroe, who during a 2013 committee hearing, called the legislation the “Let’s-Go-on-Killing-Babies” bill.

In 2011, a bipartisan attempt to pass a similar bill was killed over similar objections by abortion foes.

Yet, when asked on the radio yesterday about why these types of measures did not become law, Cadman blamed pro-choice legislators.

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