Woods defends comparing police to Crips and Bloods

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

In a Facebook post Saturday, State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada/Westminster) defended her comparison of police to Crips and Bloods.

Woods wrote that when some law enforcement officials confiscate property under Civil Asset Forfeiture laws, it’s a “direct violation of due process,” and she asks, “And what makes that any different than a gang member or a common street thug who takes something from you?” She also emphasized that she supports “law enforcement at every level.”

But she did not explain why the comparison of police to violent and murderous gang members was appropriate, especially for an elected official.

It’s one thing to criticize police appropriately, in an effort to improve things, and clearly asset-forfeiture abuse must be stopped, but Crips and Bloods? How does that comparison benefit Arvada?

Reporters should make an effort to find out why Woods, who doesn’t return my calls, thinks such an extreme comparison is justifiable.

Woods initially made the comparison on a talk radio show, affirmatively agreeing that police and Crips and Bloods are “no different” in some situations involving confiscation of property.

CALLER MIKE: Ok, so, Laura, these [police] are no different than the Bloods and the Crips that they’re constantly whining and crying about down in downtown Denver or Colorado Springs, or up in [Fort] Collins. I mean, how is law enforcement different from the people they’re fighting? I mean, if they can just take your stuff for no reason.

WOODS: Yeah, when they are taking stuff from innocent people with no conviction or no charges filed, they are no different.

CALLER MIKE: Yeah.

WOODS: Yeah.

Here’s Woods’ statement on Facebook:

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Graham makes unusual pro-choice claim in Republican Senate primary

A huge frustration of Personhood USA folks is the familiar pattern of Colorado Republicans building their political careers and winning primary elections with the help of hard-working anti-choice activists and then buckpedaling away from the “pro-life” loyalists once they face the frowns of general-election voters.

See, for example, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) in 2014 and Republican senatorial candidate Ken Buck in 2010. Buck lost anyway, but Gardner (and Rep. Mike Coffman) buckpedaled their way to victory in general elections.

But now Republicans have a candidate who’s breaking free and saying he’s pro-choice from the get-go.

That’s former Colorado State University athletics director Jack Graham, whose website states:

Graham: Although I would never personally support an abortion as a way to deal with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, I do not believe I have the right to impose my choices on others. I support and I believe in a woman’s right to choose; and that our government does not belong in this decision.

It’s hard to imagine Graham buckbedaling on that pro-choice stance if he miraculously wins the GOP primary Tuesday. Why would he? A huge majority of Coloradans support abortion rights.

But Graham’s problem is, can he survive the GOP primary, where anti-choice activists join forces with Tea Partiers and actually win primaries. (See Buck and Maes.)

Graham’s competitors won’t be worrying about losing votes from anti-choice GOP voters because, as I outlined in a post for Rewire today, they’re all pro-life in varying degrees, with Darryl Glenn on top of the heap with the official approval of Colorado Right to Life, meaning he opposes all abortion, even for rape and incest. And he’d give legal rights to fertilized eggs (zygotes).

“I am an unapologetic pro-life American,” Glenn said during a recent televised debate.  “I don’t agree with the decision of Roe v. Wade.”

Graham and his campaign manager, long-time friend Dick Wadhams (See them them together here.), are probably hoping that the “pro-life” vote fragments among Glenn, Robert BlahaRyan Frazier (Listen to Frazier here.), and former state  Rep. Jon Kyser, leaving Graham to snare the three GOP primary voters who are pro-choice.

But, unfortunately for Graham, he already won over the three pro-choice Republicans with his other stands, like his support of gay marriage. And if choice is so important Republicans and determined who they’d vote for, they’d be Democrats! Or marginalized Republicans who aren’t voting in the primary.

So it’s hard to see how Graham wins politically with his pro-choice stance. But if he does, it will be great not to have to see the Buckpedal again. It’s such an ugly dance.

Thanks to journalists who refuse to take the same non-answer for an answer

Journalists take a lot of hits these days, but we’re all glad they’re out there asking questions.

The final days of the Republican senatorial primary give us an opportunity to thank journalists for asking candidates a question multipile times when the question isn’t answered.

This primary season, we added interviews with former State Rep. Jon Keyser to BigMedia’s video of reporters who refuse to take the same non-answer for a real answer. (The video also includes interviews with Rep. Mike Coffman and Sen. Cory Gardner. Tip of the hat to, among others, 9News’ Kyle Clark and Brandon Rittiman, former Fox 31’s Eli Stokols, and New7’s Marshall Zelinger and Marc Stewart.)

Woods says feds have taken away “virtually all citizens rights” and compares police to Crips and Bloods

(What the hell? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

“We’re in a spot in our country where, at the federal level, they have taken away a bunch of states’ rights and virtually all citizens rights.”

Who said that? And what country are they talking about?

You’re right! It’s Westminster Republican State Sen. Laura Woods talking about the United States.

She’s agreeing with a KLZ 560-AM radio host who said, “I’m beginning to think that there is not a sector of government that doesn’t think they’re above everybody else.”

“Yeah, that’s probably a good assessment, right now,” Woods replied, apparently forgetting that someday she may need the help of firefighters, first responders, military personnel, or countless other public servants who sacrifice their lives for ours.

The overall topic was asset forfeiture, and Woods was angry about its abuse by police. But does this mean the police act like Cripps and Bloods?

CALLER MIKE: Ok, so, Laura, these [police] are no different than the Bloods and the Crips that they’re constantly whining and crying about down in downtown Denver or Colorado Springs, or up in [Fort] Collins. I mean, how is law enforcement different from the people they’re fighting? I mean, if they can just take your stuff for no reason.

WOODS: Yeah, when they are taking stuff from innocent people with no conviction or no charges filed, they are no different.

CALLER MIKE: Yeah.

WOODS: Yeah.

I have my problems with asset forfeiture, which has resulted in unfair confiscation of property by police. But are the problems on par with what we see from Crips and Bloods.

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Conservative African American set to address Delta County GOP, after its leader compared Obama to a chimp

Derrick Wilburn, founder of Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, will deliver a keynote address Saturday at the annual Lincoln Day dinner of the Delta County Republican Party, whose leader, Linda Sorenson, found herself in the national spotlight this month for sharing a Facebook Post comparing Obama to a chimpanzee.

After Sorenson’s promotion of the racist meme came to light, the local NAACP and Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance (GMDMA) called for her resignation,

But while state GOP leaders, like Rep. Scott Tipton, denounced racism in general, they did not join in asking Sorenson to go. After meeting with Sorenson, GOP State Chair Steve House promised racial sensitivity training.

Wilburn, who’s African American and also the vice chair of the Colorado Republican Party, told me his keynote address to Delta Republicans was planned long ago, and he will not push for Sorenson’s resignation. He pointed me to his June 8 Facebook post addressing Sorenson’s situation:

Wilburn: Typical procedure in these situations is to fire the person or request they resign, let the dust settle & smoke clear and then, having added another body to the scrap heap, move on. And what have we really accomplished?

Is Ms. Sorenson “a racist?” I don’t know her but I tend to doubt it. But can a person who is not a racist be guilty of saying or doing something racially insensitive or offensive? Absolutely.

This time rather than demanding a head, how about we say, “This has been going on for too long, let’s use this as an opportunity to teach, edify, grow.”
We can get her canned, everyone’s happy, we move on. But then what’s really changed? What have we affected? Then the next time someone does something similar get rid of them too. As concerned as I am with what happened last week, I’m more concerned with next. And the one after that, and after that… How do we affect those??

Outside of the understandable hurt and justifiable anger -which I do feel, I don’t like the President’s POLICIES but he nor any black man should EVER be compared to a chimp-perhaps we have an opportunity here. We can send one (who may be deserving) to the gallows, or we can use this as an opportunity for advancement. I vote for the latter.

Wilburn’s post promises more information “very soon” about what he’s going to do, but his Facebook page states that he’s talked with the GMDMA and Denver Urban League officials about it.

As for his presentation Saturday in Delta County, at Zack’s BBQ in Hotchkiss, Wilburn does not plan to make the Chimp-meme issue a “focal point” of the presentation, but he does plan to “communicate to the people in Delta County that there are very real disconnects in America, and you have to learn to be sensitive to those,” Wilburn said.

“If you do something that is insensitive or offensive, you have to own it,” Wilburn told me. “You can’t just sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn’t exist and hope it goes away.”

Wilburn’s approach may be greeted with  hostility from some Delta Republicans themselves Saturday night.

Here’s what one Delta Republican, Tom Huerkamp, had to say in a letter-to-the-editor of the Delta County Independent:

As a 76-year-old lifelong registered Republican and fiscal conservative, I am totally mortified to think that Linda Sorenson is speaking for me. I, too, am very unhappy with our current U.S. administration. However, she not only needs to step down, our elected county officials need to publicly and collectively disavow what has taken place. Furthermore, those members of the Central Committee who will not vote to replace Linda also need to step down and make room for a more responsible representation of our party.

Another letter writer, Delores Wilson, opined:

The fact that Linda Sorenson is “stunned” at the vitriol and hatred directed at her for posting a racist meme on Facebook points to her obvious need to educate herself on the history of civil rights in America. Her suggestion that she is somehow the victim in this incident would be laughable if it wasn’t so pathetically sad. The fact that she resorted to using Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous quote in defense of herself is appalling under the circumstances.

While Ms. Sorenson may call racist imagery “silly” it is anything but “silly.” Imagery has the power to promote fear, prejudice, discrimination and hate. There is a long history in this country of blacks being depicted in art, advertising, greeting cards, sheet music, cartoons, etc., with extremely grotesque exaggerated features. Printed material depicting them as intellectually inferior, lazy, ugly, etc., was the accepted norm. Depicting a black person as a primate is nothing new; it is a part of historical imagery suggesting that they are less than human. It is an insidious form of racism that perpetuates more racism. When such material is accepted as the norm it bolsters the lie that the viewer is superior to the caricature they are viewing. Unless, of course, the viewer is black and then it bolsters feelings of humiliation, denigration, shame and more.

Also in the Delta County Independent Bruce Hovde, Chairman of Delta County Commissioners wrote:

Rhetoric that concerns the elected officials of Delta County is the stereotyping of our county as “racist.” The people of Delta County, the elected officials, and the Republicans as a whole are by no means racist. It is not who we are, nor how we conduct business.

We’ll see what comes of Wilburn’s speech on Saturday at Zach’s BBQ.

Plunkett Replaces Carroll as Editorial Page Editor at Post

(No comment — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rumors are swirling about which Denver Post reporters are accepting a buyout offer from the newspaper, which seeks 26 editorial staffers to volunteer to leave, even though, according to sources cited by Michael Roberts at Westword, The Post made $25 million last fiscal year.

One confirmed departure is Vincent Carroll, editorial page editor, who will be replaced by current Post politics editor Chuck Plunkett.

Here’s an announcement of the move from The Post:

Politics editor Chuck Plunkett has been named The Denver Post
editorial page editor, effective July 2, where he will oversee print and online content for the daily opinion page and the Sunday Perspective section.

He will replace Vincent Carroll, who joined The Post in 2009 and became editorial page editor in 2013. Carroll also spent 27 years at the Rocky Mountain News, including 19 years as the editorial page editor. His last day will be July 1. He plans to remain in Denver.

“It’s been my pleasure to work with Vincent Carroll over the past couple of years. We appreciate the contribution he has made to The Denver Post and wish him good fortune in his future endeavors,” said chief executive and publisher Mac Tully. “And I look forward to working with Chuck as Vincent’s successor. Chuck has a long and rich history in journalism.”

A professional journalist for more than 20 years, Plunkett joined The Post in 2003 after reporting for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. He became editor of the politics desk in 2011.

“I am humbled — and also enormously thrilled — to be trusted with this chance to continue The Post’s contribution to the Colorado conversation,” Plunkett said.

Otero County GOP Chair Facebook posts refer to “black population” as “hatred filled beings” and more

(Yeesh, another one? Here? Seriously? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Otero County Republican chair Judy Rydberg Reyher says there’s no intended racism in her Facebook posts that appear to make sweeping unfavorable comments about African Americans, including, among other things, that African Americans are “hatred-filled beings” who are kept full of  “hate and resentment” by people like author Toni Morrison.

In one of the ten posts (see below and right), Reyher shared a National Review article last April about Toni Morrison:

Reyher’s comment: “And this woman is supposed to be respected around the country. This is exactly why the black population for the most part have not been able to move forward. They have people like her keeping them full of hate and resentment. And if any black person is successful and/or moves away from their hate, he/she is vilified and destroyed if possible. This picture is looking into the eyes of what might be one of the worst problems the black population must get past. Pass this on because these riots are showing the true ‘color’ of these hatred filled beings.” [BigMedia emphasis]

Asked whether she thinks African Americans are hatred-filled beings, Reyher said, “Some are. Some whites are hatred-filled beings. Some Muslims are hate-filled beings. Some Hispanics are hate-filled beings.  No one should be blanketed.”

Reyher said: “There’s a lot of white people that have that same, I don’t know what you’d call it, victimhood embedded into them. ‘It’s not my fault I’m this way. It’s because a teacher was mean to me or they didn’t like me when I was in school.’ And I get really tired of it. And with blacks, it’s become an industry keeping them stirred up, keeping them angry.

“I meant that as a slam on any color group that plays the victim card.”

Another Facebook meme shared by Reyher last June shows an African American family living in poverty and states, “Poor people have been voting Democrat for FIFTY YEARS and they’re STILL poor.”

Reyher wrote: “Yet these same people refuse to believe it is the Democrats keeping them in this cycle of poverty!!!!! We tell them, they just won’t listen.”

One Facebook commenter wrote, “So sad but true….could it be a comfort zone? Hope not.”

Reyher replied, “I am afraid it is just that.”

Another commenter wrote that Reyher’s post is “too racist for me.”

“This is NOT racist. It is the truth and goes for every single person who believes in the Democrat Party and what they are.”

Asked about the post, Reyher, who’s from southwest Colorado, said:

Reyher: “I believe that to the core. If I offended somebody, I hope to hell I offended them to the point where they say, ‘Maybe so,’ because they have to be offended into reality somehow.”

But she doesn’t see this as a specific problem of African Americans.

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Dems challenge state house primary candidate’s claim to be pro-choice

In a Denver Post candidate survey, Pueblo-area Democratic state house candidate Alonzo Payne alleges that his primary opponent, Donald Valdez, “is anti-choice and is willing to force his own personal convictions on women, forcing them to have barriers to their own health care.”

You read that correctly. That’s a pro-choice Democrat attacking another Democrat for being anti-choice. A rarity in Colorado, where Democrats like to use the easy-to-understand abortion issue to distinguish themselves from the GOP–not from each other.

A look at Valdez’s Facebook page and further investigation turned up nothing on Valdez’s position on choice. So I called Valdez to find out if he’s anti-choice and why.

In an interview, Valdez insisted, “I’m pro-choice.” In fact, Valdez said he’d heard that Payne said in a “meeting” that Payne “is going to de-fund Planned Parenthood.”
Asked for the name of someone who heard Payne say this, Valdez said, “I can’t tell you their names at this time.”

In an interview, Payne told me he is pro-choice and that fellow Democrats heard Valdez state his anti-choice stance at the Rio Grande County assembly. Multiple sources I interviewed confirmed the comment by Valdez.

Alex Raines, a Payne supporter, was delegate to the Rio Grande County Assembly, where he heard Valdez say, during a question-and-answer session, that he would not support pro-choice legislation.

Raines, an attorney, was representing Payne at the country assembly, and told the group that, unlike Valdez, Payne was pro-choice.

“[Valdez’s] statement was that he supports a women’s right to choose for life,” Raines told me. After a number of questions from delegates who were confused about what “right to choose life” meant, Valdez said he “would not support legislation that allows a woman to terminate her pregnancy,” according to Raines.

Valdez denied saying this, adding that “we need a broader conversation” about what pro-choice is.

Another delegate at the Rio Grande assembly, Joe Schlabach, also said he witnessed the question-and-answer exchange with Valdez, and Schlabach concluded that Valdez “is pro-life” and “would support anti-choice legislation.”

As the secretary-treasurer of the Rio Grande Democratic Party, Schlabach said he is not endorsing a candidate in the race.

Journalists should note lawyer’s $50,000 dark-money donation to group backing Carrigan

If you like summer election mysteries, you’ll enjoy pondering why personal injury attorney Frank Azar gave $50,000 to a committee backing Denver District Attorney candidate Michael Carrigan. And why would Azar run the money through a Texas entity?

The Colorado Independent’s Marrianne Goodland first reported the donation last month, but Azar, whose ads are a well-known blight on TV, wouldn’t tell Goodland why he made the donation. No comment.

This week, Azar’s money was behind an ugly mailer attacking Carrigan’s Democratic primary opponent, former State Rep. Beth McCann.

See the Carrigan mailer attacking Beth McCann here.

In response to the mailer, McCann wrote in an email to supporters, “This mailer is the perfect example of why we need to get dark money and Super PACs out of our democratic elections. The public has no way of knowing why Mr. Azar contributed $50,000 to elect my opponent.”

Beth McCann for Denver District Attorney campaign manager Daniel Aschkinasi added in a statement, “We have all become too familiar with this circus of dark money trying to influence important political races.  This group has one purpose, and that is to smear the record of a dedicated public servant. At a time when our nation looks to solve gun violence issues, we have an opportunity to elect the woman who stood up to the NRA and passed universal background checks three years ago.”

Goodland reported May 19:

Donors [to Fair Public Advocate, an independent expenditure committee] include Denver personal injury attorney Michael Sawaya, with $5,000. Another $1,000 came from attorney Norm Brownstein of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Schreck, one of Denver’s best-known and most politically-connected law firms.

The biggest donation, $50,000, came in February from a Texas holding company, FDJR Holdings, Inc. of Houston.

According to the Texas Secretary of State, FDJR Holdings is one of a group of holding companies owned by Azar and/or his wife, Jeanette Renfro Azar.

Carrigan gave Goodland no explanation for the Azar donation, except to say that individuals and groups who “agree with my platform” are free to donate, but he will not be “beholden” to them. And he attacked McCann’s donations, even though she has no comparable donation to a committee backing her.

Good journalism frequently starts with a good question. In this case it is this: Why is big bad personal injury attorney Azar spending 50K to back Carrigan? What is he hoping to get out of Denver’s next district attorney?

Will Post readers benefit or be fooled by Colorado Statesman’s “advertising” insert in Post?

(Works for Jake Jabs – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Jared Wright.

Jared Wright.

Colorado Statesman Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Jared Wright announced last week that a special edition of the Statesman will be inserted in The Denver Post on Thursdays.

Wright wrote in the Statesman June 9 that his newspaper is “launching a new sister publication, The Colorado Statesman ‘Worldwide Edition,’ which, thanks to our friends at The Denver Post, will be inserted in the Post every Thursday. In doing so, we are introducing thousands of Denver Post subscribers to what I believe is one of Colorado’s best kept secrets.”

This is not a journalistic partnership among friends, but a “business deal,” according to Post Editor Lee Ann Colacioppo, who told me in an email that she doesn’t know the details.

“ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT” is printed on the bottom of the front page of today’s Statesman insert in The Post. There’s no other indication, throughout the 16-page insert, that the Statesman is an advertisement. As such, it’s kind of like the Sunday Parade Magazine insert, which is an ad, and in the same ballpark as outrageous news inserts, like fake news provided by the oil and gas industry, that aren’t labeled clearly enough as ads. Thankfully, the articles in these advertisements don’t appear in searches for news articles on The Post’s website or archive.

I’d like The Post to label the Statesman more clearly as an ad, but, in any case, it’s a creative way for the Statesman to reach an audience that’s literate and interested in politics, and may want to see more political news than The Post is offering these days in the wake of budget disasters. Journalism experiments are good, and you want to see the good journalism at the Statesman survive.

The downside: Readers could easily be confused that The Post is endorsing The Statesman’s content.

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Sponsor an Anti-Choice Bill, and Get a Zero on NARAL’s Scorecard

Most groups issue legislative scorecards based on averaging a legislator’s votes on specific bills. For its 2016 scorecared, NARL Pro-Choice Colorado is setting the bar higher with a new “zero tolerance policy,” according to a news release:

“Any legislator who sponsors anti-choice legislation has and will from this point forward receive a Zero rating  from NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado.

But we also know defeating bad bills isn’t enough. Seven in 10 Americans support the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision affirming abortion as a private matter, and that number is even higher in Colorado. Strong majorities in our state support the right to safe and legal abortion and have, repeatedly,  proven that at the ballot box by defeating personhood and electing pro-choice legislators.

Our laws need to better reflect the will of the people in that majority. We need to not just defeat anti-women’s health care bills, we can and must have our right to reproductive freedom reflected in our state laws. And as we look to the future in Colorado, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado will be on the front lines of that pro-active, pro-choice effort.”

See the scorecard here, which spotlights seven Democratic state representatives who, according NARAL, “all served on the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee and voted down every anti-women’s health bill that came before the Committee.”

Woods and Cadman Take Different Approaches to Attacking the “Entitlement Black Hole”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

Colorado State Sen. Laura Woods suggested in a radio interview last month that state Republicans wanted Gov. John Hickenlooper to cut health-care for children, elderly, the disabled, and other poor people in exchange for allowing the state to spend $370 million in TABOR rebates on roads, schools, and other state programs.

“All we had been asking, the entire [legislative] session, was for some real Medicaid reform — Medicaid expansion reform — real reform in that area,” Woods told KNUS host Jimmy Sengenberger May 14 (below). “Mr. Governor, if that’s what you want, then bring us some real reform ideas and an assurance that this money would not just be sucked into another health insurance expansion entitlement black hole, like all of — 38% of our state budget already is. And they wouldn’t come back with any ideas. So they really — you know, we gave them an alternative, [we] said, ‘Come to us with this.’ And they wouldn’t come back with any suggestions on that. So, that’s a long-winded answer to a good question.”

Medicaid, Colorado’s federal-state health care program for low-income people, is apparently what Woods refers to as an “entitlement black hole.” Under Obamacare, some 350,000 more Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid, bringing the total number of Colorado enrollees to over 1.1 million.

“Medicaid expansion has been a win on many levels for Colorado, largely because it has expanded health care access to so many Coloradans, putting Coloradans on the path to better health, and because it’s benefiting our economy,” said Natalie O’Donnell Wood, senior policy analyst at the Bell Policy Center. “Colorado’s rising Medicaid costs are and will continue to be largely attributable to the aging of our population, not Medicaid expansion.”

The federal government picked up most of the tab for Coloradans who enrolled in Medicaid as part of Obamacare. Despite this, Senate President Bill Cadman and other Republicans have falsely asserted that Medicaid expansion, under Obamacare, is busting Colorado’s budget.

Unlike Cadman, who doesn’t explain how he’d like Colorado to cut Medicaid, Woods has said she wants people to be poorer to qualify for Medicaid. But on KNUS, she suggested that in negotiations with Hickenlooper over the hospital provider fee, Republicans did not specify the Medicaid cuts they sought. The GOP wanted Hick to come to the table with “real reform ideas,” she said.

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Tancredo responds to Orlando shooting with another “Celebrating Diversity” image

(Tancredo is a one- sick-trick pony – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

After the Paris shooting last year, former GOP Congressman Tom Tancredo posted a Facebook image with the words “Celebrating Diversity…one massacre at a time…Coming soon to a concert hall near you.”

Tancredo posted the meme below on Facebook late last night. It’s similar, with the same “Celebrating-Diversity” headline and concluding with, “Coming soon to your community.”

In new book, a conservative explains why she’s a “pro-life realist” and more

Conservative operative Laura Carno is out with a new book with the ridiculous title of, “Government Ruins Nearly Everything.

But the subtitle should keep you from burning the book: “Reclaiming Social Issues from Uncivil Servants.”

If you ignore the “uncivil” part, you can look inside the 138-page volume and appreciate some of the ways that Carno tries to apply her free-market mindset to the issues of marriage, guns, abortion, and education.

She picked issues where her free-market, anti-government analysis might challenge conservatives (marriage, abortion) and progressives (guns, education), which is interesting.

But I’d have to recommend that you skip to the chapter on abortion, because it seemed the freshest.

Carno comes up with a new term to describe herself, and I’m hoping when Carno sneezes at conservative gatherings, it infects the conservative world. She calls herself a “pro-life realist.”

As such, she supports Roe!

She opposes excessive government regulations of abortion, like mandatory ultrasounds prior to having one.

“A person can be pro-life and believe the government can’t reduce abortions,” Carno, who founded I Am Created Equal and is possibly best known for her pro-gun advocacy, writes, pointing to data showing that making abortion illegal results in more abortions.

“Where abortions are illegal, more abortions occur,” she writes in her straight-forward and easy-to-understand prose.

Pro-choice activists would say government policy can definitely reduce abortions, but they’s agree on the banning part.

See, for example, Colorado’s Family Planning Initiative, which was run by civil servants and is credited with lowering abortions among teens by as much as half. Now it’s funded by the state, as well as run by it.

Carno offers alternatives to banning abortion or using government to make it more difficult. These include misguided efforts like the Save the Storks program, which push ultrasounds to pregnant women, along with alleged counseling. But to Carno’s point–this is a private effort. And Carno doesn’t advocate deception among the crisis pregnancy centers she favors. Unfortunately, many of these outfits have been shown by NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado to be manipulative and predatory.

Carno suggests pro-life groups do more for foster-care and support adoption programs, not just of infants. Carno wants government out, of course, but we’ll take it.

She wants better education about contraception and access to birth control, including the pill and new methods.

I like Carno’s plea for empathy among people who are pro-life. It’s an attitude that both progressives and conservatives can learn from–and can move us to solutions across the issue spectrum.

Here’s what Carno has to say (page 65-6):

An increasing number of Americans don’t want abortions to be illegal, even though they consider themselves to be pro-life. Why? Could it be that Americans are concerned about others who might be in a much more difficult situation?.. Pro-life realists…can easily imagine a woman in a dire financial situation who has an unplanned pregnancy. They fear she could be living out of her car if she experiences just one more financial setback. 

The empathy is real, and informs their preferences, even though they are pro-life. Among even those who are not generally political, this is a common reason for pro-life people to want to want abortion kept legal.

Progressives can come up with lots of ways to critique this, even condemn it, but, hey, let’s acknowledge our mutual empathy and see where it takes us.

Adams County GOP Official Doesn’t Agree With Own Anti-Muslim Bigotry on Facebook

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Adams County GOP vice-chair John Sampson.

Adams County GOP vice-chair John Sampson.

Adams County Republican Party Vice Chair John Sampson does not believe that a Muslim judge, who chose to take her oath of office with her hand on a Quran, will use Sharia law as the basis of her legal decisions, even though an email shared by Sampson on Facebook made the argument that the judge, Carolyn Walker-Diallo, “will head the first federally sanctioned SHARIA COURT.”

“Just because I post something, does not necessarily mean I agree with it,” Sampson told me today. “I will post something in order to prime the pump, if you will, for public discourse. And I would use the word civil public discourse.”

“I don’t agree with it,” Sampson continued. “She, from everything I have seen, is an exemplary jurist. Just because she is wearing a hijab, and just because she is holding a Quran does not necessarily mean she is going to impose Sharia law. People are drawing conclusions based on an insufficient amount of information.”

In the spirit of “putting it out there for public consumption,” Sampson did not indicate that he disagreed with the email, when he posted it on Facebook May 29, writing instead, “What follows is the content of an email I received from a friend. I did not write this. I am merely ‘sharing’ it.”

Here’s the text of the email, which, again, Sampson said, he does not agree with:

The first Muslim woman judge — Carolyn Walker — was hand-picked by President Obama and sworn in as judge of the 7th Municipal District, Brooklyn, choosing to swear her oath of office holding the HOLY QURAN at the Brooklyn Boro Hall on December 10, 2015. It was a historic day! Oddly enough, there was almost no media coverage of this event . .

Since the Quran forbids all law but Sharia Law, isn’t it reasonable to assume that Her Honor will head the first federally sanctioned SHARIA COURT.

Makes one proud, doesn’t it? “Gives me chills up my legs” said Chris Mathews.

Another little chink in the armor? A small, quiet erosion here and there. No one cares, until it’s too late. Step by step by step….this is how American culture will end.

Rejoice Obama supporters! Your dream of destroying America is coming true.

Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and all for the same reason

A Snopes fact-check found it to be true that Walker-Diallo chose a Quran for her swearing-in ceremony, as permitted by law.

Walker-Diallo is the first black Muslim female civil court judge in New York City. She has no apparent connection to Obama, as alleged in the email.