Civil war?

(You saw it here first – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: The Denver Post's Joey Bunch:

A Colorado liberal group launched an attack on Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez Thursday for saying he worried Obama’s policies could lead to revolution or civil war in the United States…

Beauprez’s campaign spokesman, Allen Fuller, said ProgressNow was trying to stir up controversy where none exists to help incumbent Democrat John Hickenlooper.

“Hickenlooper’s loyal attack dogs ProgressNow are blasting around tired old attacks crossing their fingers that someone might fall for their same old tricks,” he said in an e-mail.

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Politics gets crazy sometimes. I probably don’t need to tell you that. But in America, we pride ourselves in being able to come together when it’s necessary and solve the big problems that confront us.

Unfortunately, not everyone agrees these days. And since the Tea Party came to power in 2010, there have been some truly crazy things said about our country by far right politicians. Some of it doesn’t sound very American at all.

In a 2012 interview, Colorado politician Bob Beauprez was asked on a talk show whether President Barack Obama’s policies could lead to “a civil war in this country.” Here’s how Beauprez responded:

“I hope and pray that, that we don't see another revolution in this country. I hope and pray we don't see another civil war, but this administration is pushing the boundaries like none I think we've ever, ever seen.”

To watch this shocking video clip, click here.

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Live Blog: Coffman v. Romanoff, Round 1

UPDATE 11:20AM: American Bridge now eagerly circulating what could be the defining moment of today's debate, in which GOP Rep. Mike Coffman forgets something very, very important about his position on abortion rights:

Like we said, this will be in a TV spot very soon. Maybe more than one.

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CD6 Debate

Mike Coffman, Andrew Romanoff, Aaron Harber (left to right)

It’s time to fire up the Colorado Pols Debate Diary once again. That's right, friends: It's live-blog time!

It has become something of a tradition here at Colorado Pols for us to give you, our loyal readers, a live blog, play-by-play of political debates in Colorado. This morning (yes, morning), we're at the Hilton Garden Inn in Highlands Ranch for the first CD-6 debate between Congressman Mike Coffman and Democrat Andrew Romanoff.

*NOTE: The most current update appears at the top of the page. As always, unless it is in direct quotes, consider all statements paraphrased in the interest of time.


FINAL THOUGHTS:
If campaigns were decided in debates, Andrew Romanoff would be a shoo-in for Congress. He's a much better speaker, much better prepared, and has a general way with the audience that draws people in. Romanoff also stayed on topic and had a few good jabs at Coffman.

As for Coffman, he seemed…off. Coffman stumbled badly on a couple of questions, particularly one about abortion rights. It would be hard to walk away from this debate remembering much of anything from Coffman that was generally positive. His dour, somewhat angry demeanor was a stark contrast to a fresher Romanoff.
 

9:27
Coffman's closing statements.

Says he moved to Aurora 50 years ago. Father was enlisted soldier who dreamed of owning a small business. Says mother and father worked very hard on that business, but it failed. Whenever I see a small business shutter, I often think that there is a family behind it.

This is good stuff from Coffman. Where was this earlier?

Coffman continuing story about Coffman and Co. HVAC that still exists today?

Coffman is telling his life story now. Hard to make transition from military to business life. Says he took savings and built a small business.

Talking way too much about military transition to civilian life; it's a good anecdote, but not worth 2 minutes in a debate.

Finishes with something about finding solutions. Pretty weak close.
 

9:23
Closing statement time. Each candidate gets 4 minutes for some reason.

Romanoff: We've known each other for at least 15 years. We disagree on a number of issues, but not on our love for this country. That's not at issue in this debate.

Says strengthening economy starts with improving access to higher education. Strengthen middle class with equal pay for equal work. New energy economy.

Talks about leading House of Representatives when Republican Bill Owens was governor. "We never shut down the whole government over our issues."

"I respect Congressman Coffman. We take a different view…but I believe he is sincere in his views."

"If you elect me to the House of Representatives, I can't promise I will get everything done. But if we elect the same crowd, nothing is going to change." Great close.
 

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Wayne Williams Thanks God For Friendly Press

El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams.

El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams.

As the Colorado Springs Gazette reports, El Paso County clerk and Secretary of State candidate Wayne Williams is returning a contribution made improperly to his campaign, from a Republican group that isn't properly set up to donate to candidates:

Colorado Secretary of State candidate Wayne Williams says he will return a $550 campaign contribution from a federal group because it wasn't an appropriate donation under the state's campaign finance rules…

The issue is how the RSLC is registered in Colorado.

Currently, the group's Colorado arm – the Republican State Leadership Committee-Colorado Account – is a 527 political organization, which can receive unlimited contributions from its federal namesake but cannot contribute directly to a candidate…

"We let people know what the rules are ahead of time and we thought everything was fine when we accepted it," [Pols emphasis] Williams said of the donation. "When we followed up with them, it didn't meet all the technical requirements so we're sending it back to them."

But as Williams' Democratic opponent Joe Neguse fires back in a press release today, the only reason Williams "followed up" with this donor from June is because he was contacted by the media about the donation. Since it's likely that either Neguse's campaign or somebody allied with them gave the information about this improper donation to the press, they'd be the ones to know:

Joe Neguse's campaign manager Elisabeth Mabus released the following statement, "We need a Secretary of State that understands campaign finance laws.  Wayne Williams' campaign was perfectly happy to keep this donation until the media pointed out the issues with it, and only then did he agree to return an improper campaign donation from this shady out of state Republican organization." [Pols emphasis]

Fortunately for Williams, the friendly local newspaper allowed the story to be about Williams' returning the contribution, not the fact that he took an improper donation to begin with. That's kind of strange, since normally newspapers bust politicians in these circumstances instead of helping them put the story to bed. And given that we're talking about a candidate for the state's chief elections officer, don't these details matter more?

They should matter–and Williams shouldn't get a pass for this.

Holbert stands behind statement likening Hick actions to spousal abuse

(Stay classy, Rep. Holbert – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Chris Holbert (R).

Rep. Chris Holbert (R).

In a Facebook posting yesterday, state Republican Rep. Chris Holbert wrote that Gov. John Hickenlooper "treats us like we are his abused spouse."

In explaining why he'd vote for gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, Holbert wrote in response to a Facebook post of one of Holbert's Facebook friends:

Because Hickenlooper treats us like we are his abused spouse. He smiles and tells us that things will be better, signs bills into law that trample on the freedom and prosperity of the People, apologizes, becomes angry when we don't forget, swears at us, then promises to abuse us again.

Don't put Hickenlooper back in office for another four years. That ONE person can cancel out anything that a Republican Senate might accomplish. Don't allow ONE Governor to cancel out 18 or more Senators who would work to repeal eight years of Democrat control.

Reached by phone this afternoon, Holbert stood behind the comments.

Asked if he thought his comparison to spousal abuse could be offensive to actual abused spouses and others concerned about domestic violence, Holbert said:

Holbert: "I think there are various kinds of abuse, and what I am pointing to is verbal. I’m not comparing it to physical abuse. People would have greater respect for the governor if he would have one story and stick to it."

"He tells us one thing and tells his supporters another thing," Holbert said, explaining his Facebook post further. "He suggested to the sheriffs that he didn’t talk to Bloomberg and records show he did. He apologized for signing bills that he claims he didn’t understand were so controversial. And then he talked to Eli Stokols, I believe, and says he’d sign the bills again. So which does he mean? I feel that’s abusive to the people of Colorado who look to him for leadership."

Beauprez threatens to sue feds if immigration laws not enforced

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

beauprezdemsfear

Speaking on a Denver radio show yesterday, gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez threatened to sue the federal government if it doesn't enforce the nation's immigration laws.

Asked by KNUS host Steve Kelley whether he'd "build a coalition with the Jan Brewers and the Rick Perrys" and "put this state on the line if it requires a lawsuit" to enforce immigration laws, Beauprez replied, unequivocally, "yes."

Beauprez, who's facing Democrat John Hickenlooper, added that he'd sue the federal government on other issues as well, such as federal lands.

Beauprez said he'd seek a "coalition" of governors to demand that the "federal government, one, enforce the laws, in this case secure the borders, modernize legal immigration so people can get an answer and so that we can enforce employment laws in Colorado and in America, and that we know who's here, that they're legally here and what they are doing here; that's why you have rule of law."

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Say it ain’t so, Andrew, say it ain’t so!

Oh boy, the thoroughly discredited and Colorado-Tried-and-Failed strategy whereby a Colorado Dem tries to run and govern like a Republican will never die:

So which is it? Are Dems tacking left or veering right? The answer isn’t clear yet. But Isenstadt offers some worrisome anecdotes. He points to several Democratic candidates who are recycling Republican rhetoric, even in districts that went for Barack Obama in the 2012 election.

Isenstadt highlights, for example, a campaign video and accompanying material from Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff. Romanoff’s video is indistinguishable from a Republican’s, complete with a Paul Ryan-style graph of “soaring” federal debt and admonitions that “you don’t buy things you can’t pay for.”

Andrew Romanoff was one of the few candidates I've given money to the last few years. D's just can't seem to quit this congenital need to pretend they are Republican, or to pretend that some kind of High-Minded Bipartisanship will be met with the same by our Tea Party counterparts. 

RJ Eskow is really an excellent writer, and here's a bit more of his analysis regarding our good friend Andrew:

The game plan for candidates like Romanoff appears to be: Adopt your competition’s failed economic agenda, make yourself your opponent’s pallid shadow, and base your campaign on issues, positions and priorities that have little or no support among voters.

That’s not just a bad strategy. It will also be very difficult to execute. As will inevitably happen in many Democratic races, the National Republican Congressional Committee pointed to Romanoff’s past support for the stimulus and said, “It’s dishonest for Andrew Romanoff to criticize the mountain of government debt he helped create.”

The “government debt” canard is a silly critique, one that Romanoff could easily refute – if he hadn’t already abandoned his ideological post by running away from much-needed government investment. The stimulus didn’t create debt. It helped reduce long-term debt by spurring modest growth and offsetting the job losses caused by the financial crisis. What’s more, its objectives were consistent with the electorate’s priorities. Its only problem, as any good economist will tell you, is that it wasn’t large enough.

Candidates like Andrew Romanoff could choose to campaign on jobs and growth. That would be a winning approach, even in red districts, with voters who are fearful of the economic future. But when they choose to echo Republican messaging instead, they leave themselves defenseless against attacks like the one Romanoff is facing.

It won't work. He might get elected, as Salazar and Markey did, but if he carries it through a bland and unproductive first term, he'll end up exactly as they did.

And Harry Truman's aphorism will remain as true today as the day he said it:

Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time.

- Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States and Homespun Political Genius

Under Gardner’s abortion bill, doctor could have faced more jail time than rapist

(Collateral damage in the "War on Women" – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Cory Gardner.

Cory Gardner.

It's been widely reported that Colorado Senate candidate Cory Gardner sponsored a bill in 2007 that would have outlawed all abortion in Colorado, including for rape and incest.

But there's a detail about the ramifications of Gardner's legislation that's gone unreported, and it's important because it illuminates, in a tangible way, just how serious his bill was about banning abortion.

Let's say a woman was raped, became pregnant, and wanted to have an abortion.

Under the Gardner's proposed law, a doctor who performed her abortion would face Class 3 felony charges.

If the raped woman found a doctor willing to break the law and perform an illegal abortion, and if both the rapist and the doctor got caught by police, what would have been the potential charges and punishments against the rapist and the doctor?

I put that question to Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Colorado.

"A class 3 felony is punishable by 4-12 years in the penitentiary," Silverstein told me via email. "Sexual assault is at 18-3-402 of the criminal code. It is a class 4 felony (18-3-402(2)), except when it is a class 3 felony (18-3-402(3.5)), or when it is a class 2 felony (18-3-402 (5)).

"When sexual assault is a class 4 felony, it is punishable by 2 to 6 years in the penitentiary.

"A class 2 felony is 8 – 24 years in prison. These penalties can be found at 18-1.3-401 (1)(a)(III)(V)(A).

"It looks like to get sexual assault into the class 2 category, there has to be serious bodily injury to the victim or the crime has to be carried out with use of a deadly weapon, or the assaulter made the victim believe there was a deadly weapon (even if there was not one)."

So, as I read Silverstein's answer, it looked to me like a doctor who performed an abortion on a raped woman could actually have gotten in more serious legal trouble than a rapist.

To make sure I had this right, I asked Silverstein if he agreed with me that under Gardner's bill, the doctor could have faced a more serious charge than the rapist, though this would not always be the case.

"Yes," replied Silverstein, "the least aggravated category of sexual assault is a lesser category of felony."

(An early version of this story stated that the hypothetical rape was also incest.)

Gardner says “legal ambiguities” motivated immigration vote

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In what appears to be senatorial candidate Cory Gardner’s first direct comment on his vote against ending an Obama policy of allowing young undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation for at least two years, Gardner emphasized the legal "ambiguities" in ending Obama's initiative, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Gardner said on KNUS radio Sept 4 that the bill overturning DACA “had some serious legal ambiguities to it…you create a significant legal ambiguity problem that’s going to lead to children having the rug pulled out from underneath them, winding us in court, and creating a judicial ambiguity that is unacceptable in this country."

Listen to Cory Gardner talk about his DACA vote on KNUS Sengenberger 8.2.14

It makes sense that in his conversation with KNUS radio host Jimmy Sengenberger Sept. 2, Gardner de-emphasized the human costs of deporting the young immigrants, called dreamers, who were brought here as children and know only the United States as their home. It was mostly legal ambiguities that apparently troubled him.

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Help us send Karl Rove packing

Once again, an ‘Obamascare’ horror story on the air in Colorado has turned out to be a fake.

Tell Karl Rove to take his latest false ad off the air now.

You’ve probably seen a new television ad from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS group that began airing in Colorado this week to help Republican Cory Gardner, featuring a Castle Rock woman who claims she had to go back to work because her family “couldn’t afford our [health] plan.”

But when asked for details by local reporter Eli Stokols of FOX 31 in Denver, the subject of the ad admitted that the reason for her going back to work in 2010 ”wasn’t the Affordable Care Act.” [1]

In fact, Obamacare had not yet even taken effect. The whole ad is based on a deception.

The right wing has spent millions of dollars spreading false information about the Affordable Care Act. Cory Gardner has made Obamacare scare tactics the central theme of his campaign. Their willingness to mislead voters for political gain on this critical issue has done a terrible disservice to the entire nation. The truth is, Colorado’s rate of uninsured has dropped from 17% to only 11% since Obamacare has been fully implemented according to a new report from Gallup out last week. [2] But Cory Gardner and Karl Rove can’t admit the truth.

Enough is enough: it’s time for Cory Gardner and out-of-state special interests to stop misleading the people of Colorado. Sign our petition right now telling Karl Rove to take down his misleading ad.

It’s amazing that Karl Rove and the right wing is still trying to deceive the public about Obamacare after so many millions of Americans are reaping the benefits. Even worse, they can’t find ‘victims’ of health care reform, so they make them up out of thin air. This willful deception of the public has gone on too long, and it’s time for it to stop.

Thanks for your help stopping it in Colorado.

Sincerely,

Amy Runyon-Harms

CPols Technical Issue List

Please feel free to add your own. I don't really expect them to do anything, but having them in one place may help. 

  1. Unable to edit comments
  2. Comment error message "It appears this comment has already been posted" when posting comment for first time.
  3. Logon error "not found" when attempting to logon to CPols. Clearing cache seems to fix.
  4. Comment formatting very difficult to discern in "Source" mode. Going back to WYSIWYG mode usually reformats again.

I'm using Google Chrome, which could be an issue……..but most other sites work fine.

Reporter’s work absent from Denver Post due to end of grant

(For more on Kane's shoddy work on Obamacare, click here – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Art Kane.

Art Kane.

A Kaiser-Family-Foundation grant to The Denver Post has ended, explaining the recent disappearance of Denver Post articles by freelance reporter Art Kane, whose work at The Post was funded by the Kaiser grant.

"The grant has ended, and that's why we haven't run any stories by him in awhile," said Greg Griffin, an editor at The Post, when asked about the disappearance of Kane's work.

Back in March, Post Editor Greg Moore told me the Kaiser Family Foundation provided The Post with an undisclosed amount of grant money to supplement the newspaper's coverage of health care, specifically of issues related to universal health coverage.

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Where Divesting from Fossil Fuels was born

There is a lot of news about Colorado lately, but I bet this story is still under the Radar.
I interviewed John Powers who is the founder and visionary for the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado and found out that the idea of Divestment from University Portfolios from Fossil Fuels was birthed at a place made to find Energy solutions, the Alliance Center. (a movement needed internationally for Low Lying Islanders)

On the Divestment movement at 3:28 in the video

“There’s a movement now Divest – Invest, I want to go on record that this idea was conceived on the 3rd floor of this building. Here at the Alliance Center, a group called “As You Sow” and other folks happened to be meeting here… they came up with the idea that you have to divest. Take your investments out of fossil fuels and then you have to invest them into something alternative.”


Read on for John Powers’ views on the problem with Natural Gas as a ‘bridge fuel’, the future of Renewable energy, warning about the future of our energy portfolio, and changing the model on which businesses operate from the ground up.

Colorado recently has been in the midst of a fight between pro-fracking and anti-fracking ballot measures that were pulled as ‘compromise’ which left environmentalists upset.

From John Powers:

“When you are talking about a ‘bridge fuel’ (Natural Gas), a bridge starts at some place and ends some place. We are putting all this infrastructure for Natural Gas…
That infrastructure is money we should be putting into demand side and most benign supply side energy (Renewable Energy)
And now Utility scale Solar is the cheapest form out there.
Colorado and the U.S. has the chance to provide the leadership to take these steps…Colorado has the the potential to be a leader internationally.”

On that subject, John knows what he is talking about. He built a coalition to pass the ground breaking Amendment 37 in 2004, which required our State utility, Xcel to make their energy portfolio include renewable energy.

On the Climate forecast of Storms, Droughts, and Floods:

(Question) What things have we seen in real time, the example I want to use is the (Colorado) Flood of September 2013…. When is that point when 50 plus 1 gets that something has changed?

“We can either anticipate what’s coming at us, which is irrefutable, or we can wait for these crises to mount, (if that’s the case) there’s going to be a lot of heartache, sorrow, and economic pain.
People in the short term say that economically, we cant afford to these controls…
I’m saying economically long term if you don’t do them now, you’re TOAST

And on the Grand Re-opening of an even more Energy Efficient Alliance Center on August 14th:

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado was founded to bring points of view together to find long term solutions. When you are part of creating solutions, you are more likely to implement those solutions. (The Building Remodel) We tend to think in terms of costs in a building per square foot. Instead of per square foot, the deeper more sophisticated question is how much is this building going to cost per worker? This is a model we are looking for people to implement in existing buildings, and IT’S PROFITABLE!

Thanks to John Powers for being the visionary for the Alliance Center and to all the people who are part of the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado for helping navigate the way in which we plan our Renewable energy future.
And come to the Grand Reopening of the Alliance Center August 14th!

Real (lack of) Obamacare Horror Stories

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Deena* did everything wrong for most of her life, and then she tried to do everything right. She had three kids by three different fathers. She abused drugs and alcohol. She had times of being homeless. But what killed her in the end wasn't her years of wild living, nor was it the years of scraping by, putting herself through school, living clean and sober, going to church, making amends,  trying to be a good citizen, mother, and grandmother.

In the last decade before she died, Deena worked as a registered nurse through a temporary agency. While the money was good, there were no health benefits offered unless the assignment lasted more than six months. So she took good care of her patients, but was unable to be taken care of herself, when she developed strange symptoms of swollen joints and incapacitating,  intense pain. Her family and I thought that she may have developed lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis. A late night visit to an emergency room resulted in a condescending doctor telling her to stop complaining, prescribing a pain-killer, and sending her home.

She was prescribed a codeine-based pain killer. Because she was a petite woman, the dosage may have been too much for her, and she stopped breathing early in the morning on New Year's Day, about 15 years ago. If she had been able to have a regular doctor who tracked her health history, or access to regular care to manage her symptoms, we thought that the outcome would have been different.

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Politico is latest media outlet to let Gardner slide on personhood inconsistency

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Cory Gardner.

Cory Gardner.

The latest reporter to ask senatorial candidate Cory Gardner why he's un-endorsed the state personhood amendments but has yet to un-cosponsor a proposed federal personhood law is Politico's Paige Winfield Cunningham, who reported Wednesday:

Gardner now says he was wrong to back personhood because it could ban some forms of contraception. He’s even urging the Food and Drug Administration to make birth control pills available without prescription. But he is still listed as a sponsor of a federal personhood bill. His campaign didn’t respond to questions about the discrepancy.

In the absence of a response by Gardner, or his spokespeople, Cunningham should have cited the Gardner campaign's previous erroneous statement that the federal personhood bill, called the Life at Conception Act, is simply a declaration that life begins at conception, and it would not ban abortion, even for rape and incest, like Colorado's personhood amendments aimed to do.

Here's what Gardner spokesman Alex Siciliano told The Denver Post's Mark Matthews July 15.

"The federal proposal in question simply states that life begins at conception, as most pro-life Americans believe, with no change to contraception laws as Senator Udall falsely alleges."

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Tom Tancredo is His Own Consultant

Tom Tancredo with top consultant, Tom Tancredo

Tom Tancredo with top campaign consultant, Tom Tancredo (left or right, doesn’t matter).

The June 24th Primary Election may be pretty far in our collective rear-view mirrors, but Election Day doesn't mean that losing campaigns immediately shut down. There are bills left to pay, offices to mothball, rhetoric to file away, etc. And for losing campaigns, there is often cash left over to spend on…stuff. Occasionally, that "stuff" ends up back in the hands of the candidate.

After looking through campaign finance reports from losing campaigns filed in July and August, we found some interesting (if not particularly legal) expenditures. Republican Tom Tancredo's campaign for Governor, for example, lists a total of about 121 separate expenditures made to one "Thomas Tancredo," including out personal favorite, which was reported on June 30, 2014: Tom Tancredo's campaign paid Tom Tancredo $1,300 for "Consultant and Professional Services." 

We're assuming this wasn't considered a bonus for Tancredo's consulting advice that resulted in a Primary loss to Bob Beauprez. It is telling, however, that Beauprez had trouble dispatching a man in Tancredo who apparently wasn't overly interested in running a serious campaign for Governor.

All told, Tancredo's campaign paid Tom Tancredo about $10,501.99 in the year or so that he ran for Governor as a Republican. That's a lot of money to pay yourself for various items, though it pales in comparison to the money that 2010 Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes somehow squirreled away.

If you're wondering, Tancredo is actually a bit of an outlier when it comes to odd expenditures. The campaign for Republican Scott Gessler wrote at least two separate checks to Scott Gessler for $3,468.38 for services described as "Other." On the other hand, Mike Kopp, the other losing GOP candidate for Governor, does not appear to have received any odd expenditure checks from his own campaign.

You can check out some of our more interesting campaign finance findings for Tancredo after the jump…

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