Coloradans Reject “Liar Keyser”

Following a petition drive in January to expose the ethically questionable record of Rep. Jon Keyser, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online advocacy organization, released comments from the public showing Coloradans are tired of dishonest right-wing politicians who will say and do anything to win elections. This comes after Washington, D.C.-based ethics group American Democracy Legal Fund filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission alleging Keyser broke campaign finance laws. Last month, ProgressNow Colorado filed a complaint with the Judge Advocate General regarding Keyser’s alleged campaigning for office on government time.

“From playing politics on the taxpayer’s dime to lying about our elections, Jon Keyser has very serious ethical problems that make him unfit to serve,” stated Alan Franklin, political director of ProgressNow Colorado. “When we inform Coloradans about the truth of Keyser’s record, they want nothing to do with him.”

Here are just a few comments received from ProgressNow Colorado members about Keyser’s ethics scandals:

Karen in Littleton: “Jon Keyser–really? what lengths you have gone to mislead the public! I would be embarrassed to put my name out there again. You have to know that you will be thoroughly vetted and those looking for the truth will shine a spotlight on past indiscretions. Coloradans deserve trustworthy politicians to represent their interests in Washington.”

Clinton in Parker: “Why would you setup the ‘straw man’ of voter fraud? There was little evidence, and your false documents just emphasize how political you made this and the danger you pose to honest citizens.”

Sylvia in Boulder: “I’m a teacher. If one of my students had falsified information the way it appears you’ve done, I would have given him a couple of extra assignments, asked for a public apology, and hoped he’d learned a lesson about honesty. Character building, I’d call it. Do you have any such plans for yourself?”

Lyn in Lakewood: “What you did was deliberately mislead Colorado voters in a partisan ruse to make us think there was massive, deliberate voter fraud. We’ll keep your snake-oil hocus-pocus in mind come time for us to vote.”

Elisa in Hotchkiss: “Lying to influence issues important to the voters, or on any issues, is unethical and shameful.”

Alice in Wheat Ridge: “We don’t trust a liar and we don’t vote them into Congress.”

“Once the voters have a chance to see Jon Keyser for who he really is, they can see he is not ready to serve in the U.S. Senate,” said Franklin. “What sounds good on paper or in a Washington, D.C. backroom doesn’t always work on the ground here in Colorado. After Cory Gardner’s deceitful campaign in 2014, the message we’re getting from Coloradans is clear: we won’t be fooled again.”

Tim Neville will stop at nothing

When we say that right-wing Sen. Tim Neville is the most dangerous man in Colorado politics, we mean it. Neville has wasted no time in 2016, laying out an agenda in the Colorado legislature that would strike at the heart of the values we as progressives have spent a decade in Colorado fighting to uphold.

Send a message to Tim Neville now: tell him to back off his backward plans for Colorado.

Here are just a few of the bills Tim Neville is personally sponsoring this year:

  • Gun safety repeal: In 2013, Colorado passed a comprehensive set of common-sense gun safety proposals, including background checks for most transfers of firearms and limits on high-capacity magazines for semiautomatic weapons. Neville’s goal is to repeal all of these important reforms, and make it even easier to carry loaded guns on the streets. Neville has introduced a bill to allow high-capacity magazines again in Colorado like the 100-round drum used in the Aurora massacre.
  • The so-called “Anti-Vaxxer Bill of Rights”: For the second year in a row, Neville has introduced legislation that could make it even easier for unvaccinated children to attend Colorado schools, along with other harmful changes to public health and safety programs for children. Neville has reworded the legislation slightly to remove overt references to vaccination, but the point of the bill hasn’t changed.
  • Union-busting: Even as workers in low-paying jobs protest for a living wage, Neville is sponsoring legislation to attack the rights of workers to collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions.

And that’s just the start. Neville will be working to pass new restrictions on women’s abortion rights, to roll back expansions of Medicaid and other health care reforms, and to repeal protections against discrimination in the workplace. As he sets his sights on higher office, Tim Neville is the biggest threat to our shared progressive values in Colorado since now-Sen. Cory Gardner.

Tell Tim Neville right now: we will fight you all the way to November and beyond. We’ll make sure he gets the message.

Progressives Demand Accountability As “Liar Keyser” Pattern Emerges

(As originally reported here and here – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Last week, ProgressNow Colorado requested an investigation of Keyser with the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force for violating rules while campaigning behind the scenes during his time in the Air Force Reserve. Keyser claimed in response that he was not actually “in uniform” when he conducted the interview, but admitted he was campaigning behind the scenes while serving. Today, ProgressNow Colorado called on Keyser to apologize for misleading voters with unfounded allegations of fraud in Colorado’s mail ballot elections.

In 2013 Jon Keyser, then a candidate for the Colorado House, posted a photo on social media of “two ballots” he received, claiming this was evidence of a “failed system” passed by Democrats that year. In truth, Keyser’s “second ballot” was for a single ballot question related to property he owned elsewhere in the state. The photo Keyser posted intentionally concealed the return address of the second ballot to falsely imply he had received two complete ballots for the same election. [1]

“Jon Keyser knew exactly what he was doing,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “Colorado Republicans led by then-Secretary of State Scott Gessler were desperate to convince voters that Democrats had somehow sabotaged the election system. Gessler’s friend Keyser was more than happy to help promote this fiction, then had to make silly excuses for his antics when debunked by fellow Republican county clerks.”

“The fact is, Colorado is a leader in modernizing our election system to increase participation,” said Franklin. “When the new law was passed, opponents immediately claimed it would result in massive election fraud that, as it turns out, never happened. But some Republicans like Jon Keyser were so eager to protect the status quo they invented bogus ‘fraud’ cases out of thin air.”

“Voters deserve an elected official who plays by the rules and is honest with the people of Colorado,” said Franklin. “The more we see from Jon Keyser, the more it becomes clear he is simply not an honest player.”

Why Can’t Coffman Condemn Trump?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: Worth reposting the Aurora Sentinel’s tongue-in-cheek lambasting of Rep. Mike Coffman’s lack of candor:

Mike Coffman remains firmly on Santa’s list of good boys after making sure he said nothing that could be remotely construed as cross about the fascist Donald Trump. Whereas a cadre of his fellow Republicans on the congressional delegation had plenty of nasty things to say about the poll-leading presidential candidate, Coffman observed Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment in speaking no direct ill of the Donald nor his plan to ban all Muslims from entering the country.

This was a chance for Coffman to prove his reinvention is more than pro forma, and he blew it.

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After widespread condemnation of the recent call by Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump to unconstitutionally halt all travel by Muslims into the United States, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Rep. Mike Coffman to apologize to the Muslims in his district for not condemning Trump in the strongest possible terms.

“Donald Trump’s offensive and unconstitutional proposal to block people from the United States on the basis of their religion marks a new low in a presidential campaign that has already been an embarrassment to our nation,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “The inability of Rep. Mike Coffman to stand up to Trump and his hateful faction of the Republican Party, even after others in his party have done so, is an insult to thousands of Muslim-Americans he represents in Colorado’s most culturally diverse district.”

“We all know that Rep. Coffman used to represent Tom Tancredo’s hard-right congressional district, and it’s possible that old habits simply die hard,” said Runyon-Harms. “Donald Trump is dividing Americans and stirring up hatred against fellow Americans based on their religion. That Rep. Coffman cannot speak out against Trump for fear of upsetting his right-wing base of support shows he can’t be trusted to protect his own constituents when they need him most.”

“Instead of condemning Donald Trump’s bigotry, Mike Coffman is subsidizing it with his own cowardice,” said Runyon-Harms. “And that is totally unacceptable.”

Progressives, Pro-Choice Activists Demand Accountability For Planned Parenthood Terror Attack

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: Apropos, Democratic CD-6 candidate Morgan Carroll calls out the Douglas County GOP for a shocking Tweet today, and asks GOP opponent Rep. Mike Coffman to stand up to them in the name of decency:

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 12.37.01 PM

“It’s deeply disturbing and dangerous for the Douglas County Republican Party to compare Planned Parenthood to a domestic terrorist that killed a mother, Iraq War veteran, and police officer,” said State Senator Morgan Carroll.“As the 6th District’s representative, Congressman Coffman needs to step up and denounce this dangerous rhetoric immediately.”

Congressman Coffman has been an outspoken opponent of a woman’s right to choose, and yet he tries to run away from his own rhetoric when it comes time to run for reelection. He said he was pro-life with no exceptions and supported the Personhood Amendment, which defines would define “person” as any human being from the moment of conception. This year he has voted to defund Planned Parenthood six times.

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In the aftermath of last week’s domestic terrorist attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, joined with NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado and concerned citizens to demand that right-wing politicians in Colorado at every level apologize for their false claims about Planned Parenthood–claims that have resulted in numerous acts of violence against women’s healthcare providers, including Friday’s mass shooting in our state.

“Across the nation and now here in Colorado, the latest smear campaign against Planned Parenthood has directly contributed to violence,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “For months, right-wing anti-choice politicians have leveled extreme and totally unfounded allegations that the organization ‘sells baby body parts.’ News reports indicate these are the same words the alleged killer used last weekend to justify his murderous rampage. The clear link between the false attacks on Planned Parenthood and violence against their facilities in recent months can no longer be ignored.”

“Let’s be clear, when you use fighting words, and you break laws to prove your point, your words and actions appear to condone violence and hate,” said Karen Middleton of NARAL Pro Choice Colorado. “The so-called ‘Center for Medical Progress’ led a three-year campaign, using false information and deceptive editing to gain access and justify their views. The elected leaders holding hearings attacking the largest provider of women’s health care don’t get to say ‘I did not mean it’ when a deranged individual takes action in response to those words.”

Here in Colorado, right-wing politicians have joined in the false attacks on Planned Parenthood, using incendiary rhetoric that could motivate unstable persons to commit violent acts. Sen. Tim Neville, a candidate for the United States Senate, actually claimed that “some of the most disgusting videos of Planned Parenthood murdering, cutting to pieces and selling unborn baby parts were filmed right here in Denver, Colorado.” Jennifer Mason of Personhood USA said in response to the shooting that “the media is failing to report that innocent babies are killed in that very building every day that they are in business.” Nate Marshall, a former Republican legislative candidate, unequivocally praised the shootings, saying “this guy is a hero. Children are not being slaughtered and butchered for profit by left wing scum today.”

“Colorado politicians at every level from Rep. Mike Coffman, who has repeatedly used Planned Parenthood as a political football, to state legislators who held a sham ‘hearing’ to attack Planned Parenthood last month, have contributed to the toxic environment that resulted in Friday’s tragic mass shooting in Colorado Springs,” said Runyon-Harms. “The attacks on Planned Parenthood have been discredited, but that hasn’t stopped politicians from lying about the organization. And now, three people are dead.”

“It must stop, and stop now,” said Runyon-Harms. “We call on right-wing politicians across the state and nation to stop their false attacks on Planned Parenthood, and apologize for lies that are directly contributing to politically-motivated violence in America today. You either stand with women, or you’re standing in the way.”

Mike Coffman Backs Paul Ryan Agenda Against Colorado’s Middle Class

Following Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) election by his fellow Republicans as Speaker of the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Rep. Mike Coffman to stop supporting Ryan’s disastrous budget proposals and stand up for the needs of his own constituents.

“Rep. Mike Coffman has voted for every terrible budget proposal hatched by Paul Ryan,” said ProgressNow Director Amy Runyon-Harms. “Coffman has repeatedly voted in favor of Ryan’s plan to privatize Medicare, slashing taxes for the wealthiest Americans, and cutting key priorities like college investment for middle class families.”

Since Republicans took control of the House, Coffman has offered his vote every year in support of the budgets designed by then-House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan. These budgets have been denounced for their radical overhauls of Medicare, throwing millions of Americans off the health care rolls, slowing economic growth, and handing a tax break to the wealthy. [1] Rep. Mike Coffman has himself called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme.” [2]

“In recent years, Republicans in Congress have given the country a choice between chaos, shutdowns, and even default–or Paul Ryan’s agenda to dismantle the institutions America’s middle class relies on,” added Runyon-Harms. “Mike Coffman stood with Paul Ryan every time, voting to hurt his own constituents. The people of Coffman’s diverse and competitive congressional district deserve better.”

Cynthia Coffman Does Not Speak For Colorado

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE #2: Via the Denver Business Journal, Gov. John Hickenlooper slams Attorney General Cynthia Coffman for joining this lawsuit over his objections and the state’s longstanding leadership on the issue:

“We do not support this lawsuit,” Hickenlooper said via an emailed statement.

“Clean air and protecting public health should be everyone’s top priority. Colorado’s interest is best served by an open, inclusive process to implement the Clean Power Plan,” he continued.

“This lawsuit will create uncertainty for the state and undermine stakeholders’ ability to plan for and invest in cost-effective compliance strategies, something that the Attorney General has been advising the state on,” he said. [Pols emphasis]

Hickenlooper said Colorado also has worked “extensively with the EPA to ensure we have the time and flexibility we need. We believe that Colorado can achieve the clean air goals set by the EPA, at little or no increased cost to our residents.”

—–

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

POLS UPDATE: The Denver Post’s Jesse Paul reports, let no pesky facts come between Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and destiny:

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman again vowed to fight President Barack Obama’s testy Clean Power Plan as the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday published the initiative’s final rules.

“It would be remiss if I, as attorney general, looked the other way and said, ‘Because Colorado is likely to meet this carbon dioxide cap, we shouldn’t challenge the federal government,’ ” said Coffman, who in late August announced she was joining a lawsuit to stop the plan. [Pols emphasis]

“That to me is an abdication of my responsibility.”

In short, Colorado is going to pass this test. But by God, we shouldn’t have to. Because freedom. And unregistered lobbyists. The rest of the state be damned!

Original post follows…

—–

After Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced her lawsuit against the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, in apparent defiance of Gov. John Hickenlooper and the rest of the state government which has been working toward a smooth transition to the clean energy economy for years, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Coffman to stop playing politics with her office at the behest of out-of-state special interests–and to abandon this ill-conceived lawsuit against our state’s best interests.

“Documents unearthed by Public Citizen reveal unethical heavy involvement in Attorney General Coffman’s opposition to the Clean Power Plan by a Texas energy attorney named Mike Nasi,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. [1] “Why is Cynthia Coffman colluding with out-of-state oil and gas interests against our state’s own governor and legislature? As Attorney General, Coffman’s job is to represent the people of Colorado, not Texas.”

“Since taking office this year, Cynthia Coffman has repeatedly brushed with scandal,” said Runyon-Harms. “Coffman has been accused of misusing her position for political advantage and was even accused by fellow Republicans of blackmailing the party’s chairman. By using the power of her office to join this lawsuit against the wishes of Gov. Hickenlooper, Coffman has once again proven that she is not fit to serve as the state’s chief law enforcement officer.”

“Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s lawsuit flies in the face of Colorado’s leadership in the global transition to a clean energy future,” said Runyon-Harms. “In 2004, Colorado passed a groundbreaking constitutional ballot measure establishing a strong renewable energy standard. In 2013, our legislature made it stronger. Experts agree that Colorado is well positioned to meet the challenge of the Clean Power Plan. Our state’s pro-energy Governor supports the Plan. It’s the right thing to do for Colorado, and it will grow our economy the same way Amendment 37 made our state a leader in renewable energy.”

Petition Delivered: Let CU Students Attend The GOP Presidential Debate

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Delivering-Debate-PetitionAs University of Colorado students continued their campaign for more tickets to the Republican presidential debate at the CU-Boulder campus next week, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, delivered a petition to CU President Bruce Benson’s office calling for 50% of the tickets to the debate to be made available to CU students.

“We’ve heard from hundreds of University of Colorado students, stakeholders, and other local citizens who are outraged that CU’s reputation for open and honest dialogue is being misused,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “To promote this debate on the University of Colorado campus while locking CU students out who only want to fill the arena’s thousands of empty seats is an insult to those students and our whole community.”

In August, ProgressNow Colorado called for 50% of the tickets to the October 28th Republican presidential debate be distributed to University of Colorado students. After debate organizers announced that only 1,000 of the Coors Events Center’s 11,000+ seats would be used for the debate, and that only a token number of those limited seats would be offered to CU students, ProgressNow Colorado called for an additional 1,000 empty seats in the arena to be made available for students.

“All of the excuses offered by debate organizers have fallen flat,” said Runyon-Harms. “There is no reason why 1,000 empty seats in the Coors Events Center can’t be made available to students. The cameras and broadcast equipment don’t take up that much space. Nothing about the setup of the stage for the debate makes this modest request unworkable. All that’s left is the fact that everyone knows, but debate organizers can’t acknowledge: they are afraid of what these out-of-touch Republican presidential candidates are going to say.”

“It’s not too late,” said Runyon-Harms. “Our message to the RNC, CU, and CNBC is simple: prove the skeptics wrong by opening up 1,000 empty seats to CU students. Or face the embarrassment of students being denied access to an event on their own campus overshadowing the debate itself.”

President George W. Bush Sneaks Into Denver For Brother Jeb, Cousin Walker Stapleton

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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As top Republican donors, candidates, and opinion makers gathered at the Denver Art Museum for a “private” fundraiser featuring former President George W. Bush Sunday evening, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, condemned the secrecy surrounding the event and called on the former President to apologize for an administration broadly considered to be one of the worst in American history.

“Sneaking George W. Bush into Denver for a fundraiser with brother Jeb and cousin Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton makes sense given that Bush presided over one of the worst periods of recent American history,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “If Jeb Bush wanted to remind Coloradans of exactly why he is failing in the Republican presidential primary, all I can say is, “Mission Accomplished.'”

“Tonight’s fundraiser was organized by some of the state’s top Republican political operatives including the daughter of a former governor,” said Runyon-Harms. “Despite the fact that a who’s-who list of top Republicans are paying thousands of dollars for access to President Bush, his brother Jeb, and his cousin Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton tonight, news reports kept the location of the event, the Martin Museum Residence at the Denver Art Museum, private at the request of the organizers. [1] What does it say about the Bush dynasty that they’re afraid to even disclose where their fundraiser with our state’s richest and most powerful Republicans is being held?”

“A survey of presidential historians for the C-SPAN network ranked George W. Bush nearly last among American presidents on a range of topics including persuasiveness, crisis leadership, economic management, and moral authority,” said Runyon-Harms. [2] “Under George W. Bush, the nation endured the worst terrorist attack in our history, a huge loss of credibility after wrongly invading Iraq, and the biggest economic disaster since the Great Depression. If President Bush wants to raise money for a third Bush presidency in Colorado, he should start by apologizing to the people of this state for the massive problems he created while in office.”

“The last thing the people of Colorado need or want is a third Bush presidency,” said Runyon-Harms. “By sneaking George W. Bush into our state, the organizers of tonight’s fundraiser have proven that they know it.”

Ethics Complaint Filed: Coffman Must Disavow Pay-To-Play “Patriot Program”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

POLS UPDATE: Politico reports on the American Democracy Legal Fund’s complaint against congresscritters who signed the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Patriot Program” contract:

The American Democracy Legal Fund, a liberal group that has filed dozens of campaign finance and ethics complaints against Republicans over the past year, is launching a new complaint over recently disclosed agreements between GOP incumbents and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The complaints, filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics accuses 23 House Republicans enrolled in the NRCC’s Patriot Program for vulnerable incumbents of violating “House rules prohibiting official resources from being used for campaign or political purposes.” The complaint alleges that, by signing a document that committed the representatives to providing the NRCC with political justifications for their legislative goals, the representatives broke House rules designed to keep politics and legislative business separate.

The particular sticking point cited by the ADLF is the signature not just of the lawmaker, but also the lawmaker’s chief of staff–a taxpayer-funded position that should have no partisan political obligations. It’s interesting to see this story retaining its punch after many weeks of Republicans trying hard to downplay it–and Democrats insisting there is no analogue for this contract on their side.

The longer this story sticks around, the more the NRCC’s “help” becomes a liability. Original post follows–

—–

After the filing last week of an official complaint with the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics against Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado over his participation in the controversial Republican Party “Patriot Program,” ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, renewed its call for Coffman to immediately withdraw from the program.

“The complaint filed last week by the American Democracy Legal Fund accuses Mike Coffman of violating both federal law and congressional ethics rules,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “The contract Coffman signed with national Republican donors obliges Coffman to use the official resources of his office to coordinate legislative plans with a partisan political organization. That’s against the law, as well a huge breach of trust with the citizens Coffman represents in Congress.”

In its complaint filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics, ADLF notes that “the Patriot Program is designed only for current members of the House of Representatives; thus, the contract contemplates that the Members would have official resources available…to make it even clearer that official resources are at stake, the Members’ Chief of Staff is also listed as a contracting party and required to sign the contract separately.” Federal law, 31 U.S.C. § 1301 and House rules both prohibit official resources from being used for campaign or political purposes. [1]

“By signing the ‘Patriot Program’ contract, Mike Coffman has signed over his office to national Republican donors and special interests,” said Runyon-Harms. “The sad fact is, this latest incident wouldn’t even be Coffman’s first case of violating campaign laws. In 2004, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Coffman had violated the Fair Campaign Practices Act, using official resources to conduct partisan political activity.”

“Playing by his own rules has been Coffman’s habit for years,” said Runyon-Harms, “but it may finally be catching up with him with a national spotlight on his long record. We’re asking for Coffman to immediately withdraw from the ‘Patriot Program,’ and apologize for once again putting his political survival above the interests of the people he was elected to serve.”

Nothing Less Will Do: 1,000 GOP Debate Seats For CU Students

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

CU-Boulder's Coors Events Center.

CU-Boulder’s Coors Events Center.

As controversy continued to grow over the lack of seats made available to University of Colorado students for the Republican presidential debate at the Coors Events Center on October 28th, progressive and student advocacy groups joined with CU students to request an additional 1,000 seats in the 11,000 seat capacity venue be made available to students.

“I was excited to learn that the Republican presidential candidates are coming to my campus,” said Spencer Carnes, a University of Colorado undergraduate student. “But when I found out that most of the seats in the Coors Events Center will be empty, and that students had almost no chance of actually seeing the debate in person, I was offended. If politicians want to use my school as a backdrop, we expect them to let us be in the room to hear what they have to say.”

“We’ve heard loud and clear from students at the University of Colorado that they expect better,” said Amy Runyon-Harms of ProgressNow Colorado. “There is tremendous excitement about holding such an important event on the Boulder campus, but shutting the CU student body out of the debate sends the wrong message. There are thousands of CU students from all walks of life who want to hear from these candidates, and there’s no reason why they can’t be accommodated.”

“No one on our campus buys this excuse that they can only handle 1,000 people at the Coors Events Center,” said Dylan Robinson-Ruet, a CU student. “If the debate is only for TV, why hold it in a basketball stadium? If they can accommodate 1,000 hand-picked attendees in a stadium that seats 11,000, they can certainly handle 1,000 more for CU students who want to be there. In fact, it’s the least they can do.”

“This is about misusing the reputation of Colorado’s flagship university,” said Runyon-Harms. “We support hosting this important debate on the University of Colorado campus. But using CU to boost the credibility of these candidates while excluding CU students from participation in this debate is simply wrong. It’s time for debate organizers to do the right thing, as we’ve called for from the beginning, and make 50% of the seats at this debate available to CU students. That means making 1,000 more seats available to CU students in addition to the 1,000 seats already spoken for.”

“If the GOP refuses to allow students to even attend a presidential debate on their own campus,” asked Runyon-Harms, “what does that say about the candidates?”

Call For Mike Coffman To Fight For Planned Parenthood, Against Shutdown

As Republicans in Congress prepared to vote on legislation to defund Planned Parenthood this week, setting up a confrontation that could result in a shutdown of the federal government, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Rep. Mike Coffman to fight against any attempt to either defund Planned Parenthood or endanger continued construction of the VA medical center in Aurora.

“Last year, Mike Coffman used Planned Parenthood’s logo in his own campaign ads to falsely imply they supported him,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “But when anti-abortion activists started circulating misleading, doctored videos attacking Planned Parenthood this year, Coffman went on talk radio to pile on the baseless criticism. Now, Coffman’s colleagues are threatening to shut down the government to attack Planned Parenthood’s funding, which could once again endanger the VA Aurora hospital construction project. How many times will Coffman’s Republican colleagues in Congress threaten to punish our veterans to score political points before he says enough?”

“Mike Coffman has tried to have it both ways for years, but he finally has to take a stand now to avoid political catastrophe,” said Runyon-Harms. “It’s time for Rep. Coffman to denounce any attempt by his colleagues to defund Planned Parenthood, and to make clear that any legislation that would threaten completion of the Aurora VA medical center is a nonstarter. The voters in Coffman’s district deserve better than empty posturing and excuses.”

Sign the petition: CU students deserve to be there

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

AP GOP 2016 CPAC A USA MDYou’ve probably heard by now that the whole gaggle of Republican candidates for President will debate at the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus in late October.

We’re asking debate organizers to promise that at least 50% of the tickets to the debate will be made available to CU students. Sign our petition now.

The Republican presidential debate at CU Boulder is a chance to hear first-hand the positions of over a dozen presidential candidates. It’s a great opportunity to be involved with our political process that CU students have come to expect from their world-class educational institution.

But it’s critical that students be given the chance to attend.

The Boulder Daily Camera reports that no decisions regarding the distribution of tickets have yet been made. The Coors Event Center on the CU Boulder campus seats over 11,000 people.

The Republican Party is partnering with the University of Colorado to host this debate, and enlisting the credibility of Colorado’s flagship educational institution to elevate the GOP and the participating candidates. That’s why it’s so important that the audience for the debate include students of the University of Colorado. Anything less would be a deception.

Sign our petition: tell organizers of the October presidential debate at CU to make at least 50% of the tickets available to CU students.

Thanks for your quick response to this important petition. Let’s make sure that CU’s reputation is protected by making this debate open and accessible to CU students. It’s only fair.

Call For CU Student Body Participation in Presidential Debate

As preparations for the Republican presidential primary debate to be held in late October on the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus get underway, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on debate organizers to ensure at least 50% of the tickets to the debate are made available to CU students.

“The Republican presidential debate at CU Boulder is a chance to hear first-hand the positions of over a dozen presidential candidates,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “It’s a great opportunity that CU students have come to expect from their world-class educational institution–and it’s critical that students be given the chance to attend.”

The Boulder Daily Camera reported Friday that preparations for the October 28th Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado are underway, but no decisions regarding the distribution of tickets have yet been made. The Coors Event Center on the CU Boulder campus has a seating capacity of over 11,000 attendees.

“The Republican Party is partnering with the University of Colorado to host this debate, and enlisting the credibility of Colorado’s flagship educational institution to elevate the GOP and the participating candidates,” said Runyon-Harms. “The audience for the debate therefore must be representative of the students of the University of Colorado.”

“Colorado progressives support the University of Colorado’s choice to host this important debate,” said Runyon-Harms. “We’re asking debate organizers to guarantee today that at least 50% of the tickets to the October GOP presidential debate will be made available to CU students.”

Jeb Bush in Denver next Tuesday: your help needed

We’ve just received details on former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s town hall meeting in Denver next Tuesday to discuss veterans issues. This meeting is open to the public, and we need as many progressives as possible to attend and ask the hard questions Bush needs to answer:

Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs is swamped with injured veterans of wars started by Jeb’s brother, former President George W. Bush. Will Jeb Bush continue to involve the United States in reckless wars, and if so, how will he take responsibility for the thousands of new injured veterans who will need care?

What about fellow Republican Mike Coffman’s failure to oversee the Aurora VA hospital project as chairman of the VA’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee?

Massive cost overruns for military weapons programs barely make the news these days, while a VA hospital running over budget is a nationwide headline. As President, would Jeb Bush continue to sink billions of dollars into unnecessary and expensive weapons, or will he direct that money to ensure veterans have the care they need?

Those are just a few questions we would like Jeb Bush to answer, and we know you’ve got your own as well. If you can make it, click here to get a ticket for Jeb Bush’s town hall in Denver next Tuesday morning.

Englewood Town Hall with Governor Jeb Bush
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 8:30 AM (MDT)
VFW Post 9644
2680 W Hampden Ave
Englewood, CO 80113

Thanks very much for your help holding Bush accountable. We hope to see you there! Let us know if you have questions.