BREAKING: Apparent Fraud Uncovered in U.S. Senate Race

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE #4: The Denver Post’s John Frank:

The signature of one voter, Pam Niemczyk of Littleton, raised particular questions because it appeared on two petitions in different handwriting.

Niemczyk said she remembers signing a petition for Graham outside a local grocery store but not Keyser.

“I have seen my signature for Jack Graham and I have seen my signature for Jon Keyser and I can definitely say the one for Jon Keyser is not my signature,” she said in an interview. “It’s forged.” [Pols emphasis]

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POLS UPDATE #3: Coincidentally, a former candidate for Denver city council was just sentenced today by the Denver District Attorney’s office for falsifying signatures on a petition for ballot access.

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POLS UPDATE #2: Marshall Zelinger at 7NEWS reports, bad news for Jon Keyser:

Pamela Niemczyk of Littleton told Denver7’s Marshall Zelinger on Tuesday that she had signed a petition for Jack Graham, another Republican U.S. Senate candidate. She said the signature on the Keyser petition was not hers, calling it a “fraud.” [Pols emphasis]

…The Keyser campaign issued a statement blasting U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, the Democratic incumbent whom he and other Republican candidates are vying to challenge in the November general election.

“Senator Michael Bennet’s liberal friends, ProgressNow Colorado, embarrassed his campaign yet again today with a flailing stunt that clearly telegraphs to the entire political world how scared Michael Bennet is to face Jon Keyser in November,” Keyser spokesman Matt Connelly said in the statement. “…The entire political world knows Jon Keyser will be on the ballot and we appreciate Progress Now’s invitation to highlight for conservatives across the country that Jon Keyser is Senator Bennet’s worst nightmare.”

Whether or not it was political stunt, Denver7 confirmed that the Littleton voter said someone forged her signature on the Keyser petition.

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POLS UPDATE: This could be about to get very serious for Jon Keyser, as 7NEWS’ Marshall Zelinger confirms apparent fraud in Keyser’s submitted petitions:

Watch this space for updates, uh-oh…

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With time running out on a temporary injunction against the finalization of the 2016 Republican U.S. Senate primary ballot, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to re-examine petition signatures submitted in the U.S. Senate race. This request comes after a cursory investigation of the Secretary of State’s own data revealed several invalid petition signatures that evidently slipped through the cracks, and at least one wrongly accepted duplicate signature that appears to be fraudulent.

“Our review of just a sample of Jon Keyser’s petitions in one congressional district has found enough uncaught invalid signatures to raise serious questions about whether Jon Keyser has in fact qualified for the Republican primary ballot,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “The Secretary of State must immediately rescind their statement of sufficiency for Jon Keyser, and request an extension of the temporary injunction now in place to revisit errors and potential fraud in the signature validation process. ‘Close enough’ isn’t good enough for Colorado voters.”

After petition documents were made available for inspection by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, a cursory review of Jon Keyser’s signatures in one congressional district found at least six invalid duplicate signatures that were not discarded in the Secretary of State’s signature validation process. The signatories appear in the accepted signature reports for both U.S. Senate candidates Jack Graham and Jon Keyser. Based on Keyser’s total validated petition signatures in one congressional district (CD-1), fourteen additional invalid signatures would put Keyser below the minimum number required to appear on the 2016 ballot.

At least one duplicate signature accepted for Keyser, a voter whose signature was also accepted for Jack Graham, appears to be fraudulent. A visual inspection of the signatures plainly shows the same name filled out in different handwriting. [1]

“Our brief look at the petitions for Jon Keyser has raised serious questions, and after he barely qualified for the ballot, every single signature matters,” said Franklin. “Our sample of petition signatures has revealed previously uncaught errors, as well as a potential for outright fraud, that could change everything in this race. Unless the Secretary of State takes the time to re-verify every petition signature, no one can have confidence in the Republican U.S. Senate primary ballot.”

Who is Scott Tipton working for? Not you

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This weekend, a devastating report in the Denver Post confirmed something many in western Colorado already knew: Rep. Scott Tipton is the tool of an oil and gas company that has given his campaign tens of thousands of dollars. Tipton takes his orders from the energy industry–not the citizens he represents in Congress.

Tell Scott Tipton to return SG Interests’ money–and stop letting them write his bills.

The Denver Post reported this weekend that Rep. Scott Tipton introduced legislation regarding a controversial energy development issue in western Colorado which “was written largely by an energy company that is also Tipton’s largest campaign contributor.” [1] The bill leaves out any plan for long-term conservation in the Thompson Divide area. The Post reports that Rep. Tipton admits to taking language for the legislation “word-for-word” from lawyers for the energy company that owns mineral rights in the Thompson Divide.

And it’s the same energy company, SG Interests, that has given almost $40,000 to Rep. Tipton’s campaign. Ordinary citizens in Tipton’s district can’t compete with the industry’s lavish support for Tipton, and the results are obvious. Western Colorado’s representative in Congress answers to the highest bidder.

Send a message to Tipton now: tell him to return SG Interests’ money, and stop letting the oil and gas industry write “his” legislation. We’ll make sure Tipton gets the message.

Thanks for standing up for western Colorado when it matters most.

Help us stop the loan sharks in Colorado (again)

(Just say no – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

At the end of the Colorado legislature’s session in 2015, lobbyists for subprime predatory lenders rushed a last-minute bill through with almost no debate allowing lenders to dramatically increase interest rates on personal loans. You might remember this battle: with our members’ help, we fought back against the loan sharks and persuaded Gov. Hickenlooper to veto the bill.

With only weeks left in the 2016 legislative session, the loan sharks are back. Contact your legislators right now and tell them to vote NO on Senate Bill 16-185, the “2016 Loan Shark Enrichment Act.”

Politicians like to say they’re for protecting the middle class, but Senate Bill 16-185 would do exactly the opposite. Hiking interest rate caps on personal loans will lead to more unaffordable debt and years of steep payments–or default, which these lenders fully anticipate with some of the most aggressive collection practices in the industry.

Senate Bill 185 will cost Colorado families millions of dollars in higher interest payments, for no good reason other than increasing profits for the out-of-state hedge fund that dominates Colorado’s “supervised lending” market. Contrary to the industry’s claims, there is no evidence to indicate these loans are not accessible to consumers, and certainly no evidence they are unprofitable. Colorado consumers and hard-working families who need access to credit deserve better than predatory terms.

Contact your legislators right now: urge them to vote NO on Senate Bill 185.

Loan shark lobbyists are very good at what they do. Last year, similar legislation almost became law with practically no debate. This year, help us get the message to our lawmakers loud and clear that they work for us–and not the predatory lending industry.

Voters across Colorado call on Jon Keyser to disavow Tancredo’s endorsement

After GOP U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser celebrated the endorsement of anti-immigrant ex-Congressman Tom Tancredo at a debate last night [1], ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, once again called for Keyser to disavow Tancredo’s endorsement–and apologize to Colorado’s Latino voters for cozying up to Tancredo and his racist agenda.

“The response from ProgressNow Colorado members to Tom Tancredo’s endorsement of Jon Keyser has been overwhelming disgust,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “Colorado has worked for years to undo the ‘hate state’ reputation that Tancredo helped create with his openly racist anti-immigrant demagoguery. What politician in his right mind would re-legitimize Tancredo’s racism by touting his support?”

After Keyser announced Tancredo’s support in March, ProgressNow Colorado members responded with anger:

“Mr. Keyser, we are watching,” stated Robert Johnson of Evergreen. “Racist policies will not win the day in Colorado. My family and friends have been voting in Colorado going on half a century and as a whole our state thrives on diversity–not shallow and self-serving racism.”

“As a Colorado citizen I am ashamed of your support for people such as Tancredo and Trump who continue to create divisiveness between people of different ethnic backgrounds instead of working for unity among all Americans and those who live here,” stated Sharon Baker of Palmer Lake.

“We have come too far to go back to this kind of racist hatred and bigotry,” stated Niara Isley of Durango.

“Tancredo’s politics are bigoted and disgusting,” said Susan Wolinsky of Denver. “Do you really want to be involved with them? Remember the old adage: ‘You will be judged by the company you keep.’”

“I find Tom Tancredo to be as hateful and racist as Donald Trump,” says Judith Maclean from Bayfield. “In fact the philosophy of the right wing is frightening. I am a student of World War II history, and I shudder at the sight of watching history repeat itself in America in 2016.”

“Kicking off your campaign by alienating Colorado’s large population of Latino voters is not the way to win,” said Franklin.

Coloradans To Sen. Cory Gardner: #DoYourJob

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Gardner-MorningJoe-22416With new polling released today showing the American public rejects the right-wing stonewalling of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, delivered a petition with nearly 1,300 names and hundreds of comments from Coloradans to Sen. Cory Gardner demanding he do his job and give Chief Judge Garland a fair hearing.

“It was a risky gamble for the far right to vow to block any nominee President Obama put forward, and today the polls show the American people reject this latest act of partisan obstruction by the Republican Party,” said ProgressNow political director Alan Franklin. “The message we’ve heard from progressives in Colorado is loud and clear: we can’t wait until 2017 for a new Supreme Court Justice. It’s time for Republicans in the U.S. Senate to set aside their endless vitriol against America’s first black President and do their jobs.”

Here are just a few of the hundreds of messages to Sen. Gardner from Colorado voters received by ProgressNow Colorado:

Robert in Denver: “It is not unprecedented for a president to nominate a SCOTUS replacement during an election year. Do your job–you know, the one the tax payers are paying you to do, and carry out your Constitutional responsibility.”

Jacquelyn in Boulder: “It is not likely you will have the courage to do the right thing. I have yet to meet an independent Republican. You love to talk of the Constitution, but will not even give a nominee a hearing. It is disgraceful. If it were up to me, none of you would get your paycheck. Most of us would be fired immediately if we did our job the way your party does. I will spend as much shoe leather as I can afford to defeat you and your obstructionist colleagues.”

Sharon in Palmer Lake: “If it was good enough for Reagan to nominate someone for the Supreme Court during his last years…it is also good enough for President Obama to do the same thing. Shame on you and the others who are not willing to work together according to the U.S. Constitution.”

Curt in Denver: “Ronald Reagan was the last president to nominate a Supreme Court justice in the year prior to an election…it is ridiculous for Mitch McConnell to block a nomination to the Court by President Obama. Leaving the Court in limbo is unprecedented. Election year politics have no place in your obligation to advise and consent to Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court.”

Garrett in Pueblo: “I find it interesting for all of Republicans’ rhetoric about following the Constitution, that you are not willing to follow it in this case and give Judge Merrick Garland a hearing. No one is suggesting that you must accept his nomination–you can always vote ‘no.’ But to deny him a hearing and an ‘up or down’ vote is to disregard the Constitution and to make up the rules as you go along. We all have our jobs to do–now do yours. Give Judge Merrick Garland the hearing he deserves.”

To read more comments from Colorado voters to Sen. Cory Gardner, click here.

“The response from Cory Gardner and Republicans in Washington to the election of Barack Obama as President almost eight years ago has been to wage endless partisan warfare against him, which has done enormous damage to our nation and our politics,” said Franklin. A new poll today [1] shows that Republicans are rapidly losing public support for their refusal to even hold hearings on Judge Garland’s nomination. The message from Colorado voters to Cory Gardner and the Republican Party could not be clearer: do your job. If they refuse, November is coming fast.”

Racist or Liar? Progressives Condemn Keyser/Tancredo Unholy Alliance

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: As the Denver Post’s Mark Matthews reports, Tom Tancredo isn’t the only endorsement Jon Keyser announced today, but it’s the one everybody is talking about:

[T]he most intriguing of the bunch is the thumbs-up from Tancredo, the on-again, off-again Republican who ran an insurgent race for president long before Donald Trump tried it.

Said Tancredo in a statement released by the Keyser campaign: “Jon brings an unparalleled level of national security experience to this race and I have no doubt he will secure our southern border and bring Colorado common sense to Washington, D.C.”

Tancredo did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment, though it’s not surprising that he mentioned immigration in his statement — as that issue was Tancredo’s often-controversial calling card during his political career.

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Tom Tancredo.

Tom Tancredo.

After the announcement this morning that former state Rep. Jon Keyser has accepted the endorsement of Colorado’s foremost anti-immigrant radical politician Tom Tancredo, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, condemned Keyser joining forces with a national symbol of racism to win right-wing primary voters.

“Tom Tancredo is one of America’s most notorious anti-immigrant demagogues, and it is outrageous that Jon Keyser has joined forces with him to further his political career,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “Tom Tancredo’s racism has no place in any responsible political campaign, especially with the hate-filled rhetoric we’re seeing around the country. But not only did Keyser welcome Tancredo’s endorsement, Keyser actually sent out quotes from Tancredo in a press release celebrating his support.”

“Does Jon Keyser agree with Tancredo that we should launch a nuclear attack against the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina?” Asked Franklin. “Does Keyser agree with Tancredo that Miami is a ‘Third World country?’ Does Keyser support Tancredo’s longstanding ties to racist groups like the League of the South? Does Keyser endorse the Republican Party’s ‘palace coup’ last year that Tancredo participated in?”

“For Jon Keyser to celebrate the support of a racist demagogue like Tom Tancredo raises very serious questions about Keyser’s integrity,” said Franklin. “Either Keyser shares Tancredo’s racism, or he is a liar willing to say anything to win an election.”

Cadman vs. Everyone: Rogue Colorado Senate Must Abandon Destructive Budget Stonewall

Sen. Bill Cadman.

Senate President Bill Cadman.

POLS UPDATE: Continuing Senate GOP intransigence over the hospital provider fee even after GOP Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s opinion upholding the legality of the proposed reclassification of the fee to exempt it from TABOR restrictions received a ton of press coverage this morning–here’s a brief roundup starting with the Denver Post’s John Frank:

[T]he attorney general’s argument runs counter to a nonbinding memo from nonpartisan legislative lawyers that argued the measure may prove unconstitutional because it didn’t meet all the legal tests.

Top Republican lawmakers — who revealed the memo in January with great fanfare — suggested it nullified any action to reclassify the program, a move they believe would erode the foundation of TABOR and allow for unnecessary spending.

Not surprisingly, the new legal interpretation did little to shift the conversation at the Capitol. Hours after its release, Senate President Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, called it just “another opinion.”

The Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus:

The news offered a slight break from the partisanship that has plagued discussions, as Hickenlooper pursues the proposal as a means to address budget woes.

“It takes it a little out of the political realm …” Hickenlooper said following the release of the formal opinion. “I can only imagine that the attorney general and her office were under a lot of pressure … I respect that she’s resisted whatever political pressure was there.”

The pause from partisan bickering was brief, as Republican Senate President Bill Cadman of Colorado Springs fired back in the afternoon…

And the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Megan Schrader:

Senate President Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, has based some of his opposition on the OLLS memo. He said Monday his attorney’s are considering the new opinion from Coffman, but there are significant hurdles to passing legislation this year that removes the hospital provider fee from the general fund.

“Voters and taxpayers are looking to be protected from people who want to take the money out of their pocket and spend it wherever they want to,” Cadman said. “We’re now the arbiters between conflicting legal opinions.”

 

Given that the hospital provider fee fix has the support of a large number of traditionally GOP-friendly organizations like the chambers of commerce, it’s difficult to see how Cadman can maintain this position. Indeed, the only support Cadman really has at this point is from ideological pressure groups like Americans for Prosperity and the Independence Institute.

Who will Cadman listen to? The well-funded activists, or everybody else? Original post follows.

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Following the release of a formal opinion from Colorado’s Republican Attorney General affirming the legality of a technical change to the state’s hospital provider fee to forestall painful budget constrictions on education and other critical funding priorities, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, demanded that Senate President Bill Cadman stop trying to hurt Colorado families–and get out of the way of a solution virtually everyone else in Colorado wants.

“Once again, convicted felon Doug Bruce’s so-called ‘Taxpayer Bill of Rights’ is impeding our elected legislators from carrying out their most basic responsibilities,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “But this time, there is a simple fix that almost everyone in Colorado supports. Reclassifying the hospital provider fee to help the state fund core functions like education and transportation, while protecting the equally important gains we’ve made expanding access to health care, is what stakeholders in both parties agree is the right thing to do. The only thing stopping us now is Bill Cadman’s one-seat right wing Senate majority.”

“Bill Cadman’s budget stonewall goes against the recommendation of nonpartisan fiscal policy groups, local chambers of commerce, and bipartisan regional coalitions across the state,” said Franklin. “With the Attorney General’s definitive opinion upholding the legality of this simple change, it’s time for Cadman to let an honest debate take place in the Colorado Senate. At least one member of the Senate GOP caucus has publicly broken with Cadman and Cadman’s friends at Americans for Prosperity on the hospital provider fee, stating that he is not a ‘puppet for out-of-state billionaires.’”

“Bill Cadman’s irresponsible budget stonewall against the entire rest of Colorado must end now,” said Franklin. “If it doesn’t, the voters will sweep Cadman’s tiny Senate majority from power in November–and they’ll have richly earned their fate.”

Call For Mike Coffman To End Silence About Donald Trump

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: The press release below asks Rep. Mike Coffman to take a stand one way or the other on Donald Trump, but at the very bottom of an obscure paywalled story in the Colorado Statesman right after the Iowa caucuses, it does appear that Coffman was already on the record–at least via his campaign spokesperson:

“Will Mike Coffman support the Republican nominee over Bernie or Hillary?” said campaign spokeswoman Kristin Strohm. “The answer is obviously yes. [Pols emphasis] And he believes strongly it is going to be Marco Rubio.”

After two more losses for Rubio in two subsequent primaries, we’d say it’s okay to ask again…

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Hair by Donald, head by Coffman.

Hair by Donald, head by Coffman.

After the chairman of the Republican National Committee announced that the Republican Party will support Donald Trump if he secures that party’s nomination for President, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, demanded that Rep. Mike Coffman end his own silence on Trump’s divisive campaign.

“For months now, Mike Coffman has run away from questions about whether he would back Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for President–sometimes literally,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “After Trump’s resounding victory in last weekend’s South Carolina Republican primary, GOP chairman Reince Priebus announced that his party would support Trump if he keeps winning. Now, it’s time for Mike Coffman to come out of hiding and tell the voters of his district whether he will follow his party’s lead.”

Last December, Rep. Mike Coffman was repeatedly asked by Roll Call if he would support Trump as the GOP presidential nominee. Coffman awkwardly evaded the question, saying “I’m not going to go there,” then told the reporter while fleeing to an elevator that Trump is “not going to be the nominee.” [Roll Call, 12/10/15] After Trump’s victory in the South Carolina primary Saturday, GOP chairman Reince Priebus stated that the party will support whoever wins the nomination, including Trump. [ABC News, 2/21/16]

“Mike Coffman is the only member of Congress from Colorado who has claimed that President Barack Obama ‘is not an American,’ and that Social Security is a ‘Ponzi scheme,'” said Franklin. “When Coffman runs away from questions about Trump, is it because Coffman own views are so close to Trump’s that he can’t bring himself to condemn Trump’s campaign? Is Coffman afraid of opposing Trump, for fear of losing support if Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination?”

“Donald Trump is now the biggest story in American politics,” said Franklin. “Mike Coffman’s continuing silence on Trump is an insult to the voters he represents, and a disservice to everyone who agrees that Trump is a grave threat to American values. If Coffman won’t speak out to condemn Trump’s hateful rhetoric, we have no choice but to assume he supports it.”

Do your job, Cory Gardner

After Colorado’s highest-ranking elected Republican officials vowed to obstruct the speedy appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice in the wake of the sudden death of Antonin Scalia, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, demanded that Sen. Cory Gardner give the President’s forthcoming nominee a fair hearing and an up-or-down vote.

“Colorado can’t wait until 2017 for a new Supreme Court Justice,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “There is absolutely no reason why Cory Gardner cannot carry out his constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on the appointment of a new Justice when President Obama nominates Scalia’s successor. Years of mindless obstruction by Republicans in Washington, D.C. have created an environment where even the most basic functions of government seem impossible. But the consequences of stalling the appointment of a new Justice until after the election would be too great no matter who wins.”

After the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia this past weekend, Republicans led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Cory Gardner announced that “the next President” should nominate Scalia’s successor. Failure to replace Scalia on the court in a timely manner could affect numerous important cases before the court, from collective bargaining rights to abortion access. [1] In an Aurora Sentinel story this weekend, most Republican U.S. Senate candidates in Colorado supported Sen. Gardner’s vow to obstruct the process. [2]

“After years of obstruction of virtually everything that President Obama has proposed, refusal to confirm a Supreme Court nominee with nearly a year left in the President’s term is another perfect example of the right’s disregard for their most basic responsibilities,” said Franklin. “From the 2013 government shutdown to refusing to do their job and fill this Supreme Court vacancy, it’s clear to the voters of Colorado in this election year who is serious about governing. If Republicans won’t do the job, they shouldn’t have the job.”

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.

—–

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:

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“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.”