Monday Open Thread

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

"Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community."

–Andrew Carnegie

Eating Dangerously at Safeway

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

I just went to Safeway after reading Eating Dangerously, by Denver journalists Michael Booth and Jennifer Brown.

I have to admit, the produce aisle was scary. The cantaloupes brought flashbacks from the book’s detailed recounting of the deaths of 33 people who ate Colorado cantaloupe in 2011. The shiny apples didn’t look clean. The bagged greens, which I love, bothered me. But I found a deceptively clean-looking bag and tossed in in my cart.

I moved on, just trying to implement some of the book's ideas to protect myself.

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Talk-radio scoop: Gardner says his abortion position is same as Archbishop Chaput

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Cory Gardner Flip Flops

When Rep. Cory Gardner dumped his longstanding support of the Personhood amendment two weeks ago, reporters failed to tell us about Gardner's new position on abortion.

It turns out, Gardner now holds the same abortion stance as Archbishop Charles Chaput, who left Denver for a Vatican post in Philadelphia in 2011.

That's what Gardner told KFKA (Greeley) talk-show hosts Tom Lucero and Devon Lentz March 27. They get the intrepid-talk-show-host prize for being the first to ask Gardner the logical follow up to his March 21 bombshell about ditching personhood:

LUCERO:  So, Cory, has your position on life changed, or just your position on – with regards to the Personhood initiative?

GARDNER:  Yeah.  I mean, if you look at my record, it still is a pro-life record.  And many pro-lifers in Colorado, including Congressman Bob Schaffer, the Archbishop Chaput of the Catholic Diocese, hold the same position.

LENTZ:  So, it’s really, it’s more along the lines, if I’m understanding correctly, on what contraception is available for women, not – not abortion — for being abortion– it’s just more having the choice of birth control itself.

GARDNER:  Well, that’s one of the consequences that we looked at in terms of contraception, but this issue [personhood] is, I think, a settled issue in Colorado and something that pro-lifers – you know, like I respect peoples’ difference of opinion on this, and I think there are a lot of differences of opinions on this, but I happen to agree that, with the things that I have learned, that I did something that was the right position to take.

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Bob Beauprez Says Sharia Law is “Creeping In” Here in Colorado

Beauprez, via The Colorado Statesman.

Bob Beauprez does not approve of Sharia Law being implemented in Colorado. Just so we’re clear.

Check out this audio clip of Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez taking questions at a GOP event in Weld County last week. We actually held off on posting this yesterday because we didn't want readers to think this was an April Fool's joke. It is not.

In the clip below, Beauprez answers a question about what he would do to prevent Sharia Law from being implemented in Colorado, which is apparently a concern for some people.

Seriously. Sharia Law.

TRANSCRIPT:

Question: What would you do or not do to stop the implementation of Sharia Law here in Colorado. For any of you who don’t know what that is, it is the martial law that is being implemented in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran. It’s being implemented now in some of the states here in the United States.

Bob Beauprez: You’re on a very good point. It is creeping in. It’s creeping in not only in Colorado, but all across America. And it’s in this same nutty realm of social justice and tolerance, diversity, and 'can’t we all get along.' You remember the mosque case at Ground Zero.  You talk about nuts. And there was a whole lot of people who bent over backwards to say, 'Oh no, this is religious tolerance.' Well, there’s a difference between being tolerant and being stupid.

Lipstick doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a pig. There are a great many people that are Muslim, that embrace the Islamic faith. They’re decent people — I know some. But you can’t ignore the fact that many of them are extreme radicals that are sworn to our destruction. The destruction of us as individuals, the destruction of Western Civilization. We need to recognize that for what it is and fight back against it.

What? 

Maybe we're wrong, and Greeley is now holding public stonings — not the marijuana kind — in the town square. Otherwise, it's hard to understand what Beauprez even thinks he's talking about here. Colorado has a pretty low percentage of Muslim residents, and Islam is not even the most popular non-Christian religion in our state (Buddhism tops that list).

Beauprez may not be the brightest bulb in the political lamp, but we're a little surprised to see him paying lip service to a very old and idiotic "Muslim Brotherhood is taking over the United States" conspiracy theory that even Evangelicals and right-wing talk show hosts have largely abandoned. Maybe Bob is still working off of a 2006 list of conservative talking points.

 

 

SCOTUS “Opens Floodgates,” Strikes Down Donation Limits

campaignfinance2_0

The Washington Post reports, and you'll be seeing the impact soon:

A split Supreme Court Wednesday struck down limits on the total amount of money an individual may spend on political candidates as a violation of free speech rights, a decision sure to increase the role of money in political campaigns.

The 5 to 4 decision sparked a sharp dissent from liberal justices, who said the decision reflects a wrong-headed hostility to campaign finance laws that the court’s conservatives showed in Citizens United v. FEC , which allowed corporate spending on elections.

“If Citizens United opened a door,” Justice Stephen G. Breyer said in reading his dissent from the bench, “today’s decision we fear will open a floodgate.”

The ruling doesn't get rid of the individual federal candidate contribution limit of $2,600, but it does strike down the aggregate limit of $48,600 in hard money donations to candidates in a two-year election cycle. That means wealthy donors to candidates won't have to pick and choose who to donate to to stay under an overall cap. Now, at least in theory, everybody can have a check.

In an era where unlimited soft money has already made candidates' own fundraising of secondary importance in overall political spending, this decision will likely have an incremental not sweeping effect. But for those of you who would prefer less money flooding the political system–which is, not surprisingly, usually people without as much money–this was not a good decision for your small-d democracy.

277,000 Enrolled and Counting Shows Affordable Care Act Helps Coloradans, Here to Stay

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

obamasig31

The latest reports on the Affordable Care Act indicate that more than seven million Americans have enrolled nationally. For Colorado, newly-released metrics from the state exchange, ConnectforHealthCo.com, show that 277,000 Coloradans have enrolled, more than 118,000 through private insurance plans and more than 158,000 through the state’s Medicaid expansion.
 
According to Laura Chapin, Colorado State Director for Protect Your Care, "With 277,000 Coloradans, and counting, now enrolled in health care coverage this is proof that the Affordable Care Act works and that it's providing much-needed relief for thousands of families. The predictions of an enrollment surge proved to be true, and increasing numbers of young people are signing up as well. In one story posted today, a Colorado Young Invincible is getting health insurance for 77 CENTS a month!"

My friend had told me that I needed to be denied Medicaid before I could apply for financial assistance through Connect for Health Colorado, so I already had my denial number when I met with the health coverage guide. I was ready to start shopping! I needed the peace of mind of knowing that if something happens, I’m covered. Given my projected income, the health coverage guide said I was eligible for $150.00 in tax credits! I am paying 77 cents a month for my plan and $15/month for dental! What a relief! I was so worried I would not be able to afford a plan and have to risk it. I can happily say that I found an affordable plan that meets my needs. I know that accidents can happen and probably would not have been able to enjoy climbing and snowboarding the way I do now if I didn’t have insurance.

Despite the sabotage, the ads, the naysayers, and fifty votes by Republicans like Congressmen Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman to get rid of it, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. Thousands of Coloradans now have health care and the peace of mind that comes with it. And nobody can or should try to take that away from them.

Limited Immigration Reform May Be A Go – Nativists Have Already Conceded That It Would Not Be Amnesty

According to Alex Nowrahsteh of CATO, bipartisan immigration reform of the infamous 3/10 year bar may still be passable this year.  As described in the linked article, the three and ten year bar:

"requires that any immigrant who stays in the United States illegally for more than six months but less than one year may not leave and reenter for three years. Any immigrant who illegally stays for more than a year may not leave and reenter for 10 years. Also known as the 3/10-year bar, any immigrant who violates it triggers a twenty-year ban from reentering the United States – for any reason. Some unauthorized immigrants, mainly the spouses and parents of U.S. citizens, can currently apply for a green card. However, they can only do it after leaving the country. Since most unauthorized immigrants have been here for more than a decade and leaving would make the 3/10-year bar apply to them, this legislative catch-22 prevents current law from legalizing many of them."

So one would expect the anti-immigrants to immediately start crowing about this.   However, they have a small problem: one of the chief restrictionists, Mark Krikorian of Center for Immigration Studies, has already conceded that drastically reforming this bar would not be amnesty.  I have attached linked audio from the Spring of 2010 when I had the chance to get Krikorian on the record on Ross Kaminsky's radio show.  In it you can clearly hear Krikorian declare that allowing the spouse of a US citizen to stay in the country after a very minor penalty for overstaying would not be amnesty and also that he is not a "big fan" of the bar in the first place.  In fact, Krikorian stated he would support replacing the 3/10 year bar with a 6 months/1 year bar.

So how will the anti-immigrants handle the latest proposal?  My prediction: they will pretend Krikorian never conceded that it would not be amnesty.  Any bets on whether I am right?

This was originally posted by me at the Colorado Independent

Captionable: Randy Baumgardner’s Yard Sign

IMG_3324

It's the first occasion we've had to lay eyes on one of minor Republican U.S. Senate candidate Randy Baumgardner's campaign signs. To be perfectly honest, we're a little surprised that Baumgardner could afford a yard sign, but there it is proving us wrong.

This gives us one more chance to ponder Baumgardner's iconic mustache/cowboy hat silhouette logo, which appears on all of his Senate campaign materials so we assume he's very proud of it. Free association testing with this logo we've been present for has likened it to 1970s porn, a neon sign for a bad steakhouse, and (this one probably gets the most votes) dependable pre-owned cars.

What does Randy's logo make you think? Please keep it PG-13 if possible.

In CD-4, Secession Question May Play Big Role in Winning GOP Nomination

cd-4 candidates and secession

Guess who?

Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post takes a look at the race to succeed Congressman Cory Gardner in CD-4, which includes a particularly interesting tidbit about the secession issue. 

Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer has the endorsement of fellow Commissioner Sean Conway, who was one of the ringleaders of last year's disastrous secession efforts. Weld County voters opposed secession when the final ballots were cast, as did the overwhelming majority of voters who cast a ballot on the issue. But that doesn't mean Kirkmeyer won't use her support of secession in a Republican Primary, as Bartels reports:

She noted her involvement in last year's secession movement involving 11 counties — 10 of which are in the 4th District.

"It wasn't so much about seceding from the state as it was sending a message that there's a lot of discontent with what was going on at the state Capitol," Kirkmeyer said, pointing to bills about renewable energy mandates and gun control.

Buck was opposed to secession. Renfroe, while in agreement that the Democratic-controlled legislature was not listening, did not publicly say where he stood.

Former Senate candidate and current CD-4 frontrunner Ken Buck opposed secession when pressed to give an opinion last fall, but Gardner has consistently avoided the question — to the extent that the Denver Post editorial board even called him out on it. Now running for the U.S. Senate, Gardner would like to continue to avoid answering that question. But as Kirkmeyer continues to make it an issue, she may also force Scott Renfroe to publicly support the idea as well. If secession becomes something of a litmus test for Republican candidates in CD-4, you can bet it will only increase the pressure on Gardner to say something about his position — and there's only one good answer to that question for "Con Man Cory."

 

 

Tim Neville’s Statement Does Not Make Suspicions Of Link Between Him/RMGO And Nathaniel Marshall Unfounded

(Worse and worse – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Colorado Independent has been investigating the circumstances that led to Nathaniel Marshall, a person with significant ties to white supremacism, to enter the race for Colorado HD-23.  As an early result of that investigation, the Independent's John Tomasic reported yesterday that signs had emerged indicating that Tim Neville – a person with significant ties to Rocky Mountain Gun Owner's Association ("RMGO") - recruited Nathaniel Marshall to run for HD-23.  The signs relied on by Tomasic's article consisted of the following:

1) Rick Enstrom, a prominent candy business executive and onetime Republican House candidate, specifically claiming that Marshall admitted he was recruited by Neville at the Jefferson County Assembly ("Enstrom's Statements")

2) Dudley Brown, RMGO's Executive Director, admitting that per RMGO political director Joe Neville, Tim Neville spoke with Marshall at "an event" ("Brown's Statement")

In response to Tomasic's article, Tim Neville last night put forth the following statement on Facebook (accessible here):

"Regarding the leftist hit piece published today posing as a news story in the Colorado Independent:  I spoke with its author John Tomasik [sic] and told him I had no connection with Mr. Marshall's campaign- not as an endorser or financial donor or supporter.   I suggested Mr. Tomasic retract his story because it’s false.  Then he asked me if I ever met Mr. Marshall and I had to explain to him that I meet hundreds of people each week on the campaign trail.  Then he hung up on me.  Shocked?  No, but I'm very disappointed that a Republican like Rick Enstrom would spread such a story without even a phone call to me.  I believe he knows my number, since his campaign had no problem finding me when I helped him as a volunteer to walk his precincts in 2012.     These types of attacks only embolden me to fight even harder for you.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all your calls and emails of support tonight.Iron sharpens iron. Together I look forward to taking back Senate District 16 this November and winning a Republican majority.   Game on!" (emphasis added)

While Tim Neville may wish that his mere claim that a story is false is sufficient to demonstrate that a story is in fact false, that is not the case.  Here, there is evidence to indicate that Neville – and through him potentially RMGO – recruited White Supremacist Nathaniel Marshall to run for HD-23.  The first two pieces of evidence are the Enstrom and Brown Statements.  In addition to those statements, last night Nathaniel Marshall revealed that he had been invited to an RMGO fundraiser as a candidate and that now they were throwing him "under the bus".  Moreover, recruiting Nathaniel Marshall would fit within a perceived pattern of RMGO supporting candidates who repeat its party line but who are poorly vetted – the chief example being former pornographic novel writer Jaxine Bubis.

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Don’t forget Tancredo-endorser Nugent called Colorado the “poster child” of “moral dereliction”

(How ingratiating – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Ted Nugent.

Ted Nugent.

I wrote a blog post a while back regurgitating rocker Ted Nugent's appearance on KNUS Peter Boyles' show, where Nugent said Colorado is the poster child of "moral dereliction" and the Republican Party has "no balls" because someone cut off "their scrotum with a rusty shiv.”

Exciting stuff that logged me 50,000 listens on SoundCloud.

The thing is, Nugent, who also called Obama a "subhuman mongrel," is featured in at least three fundraising appeals for GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo.

A couple weeks ago, Denver Post reporter Lynn Bartels asked Tancredo about his association with Nugent:

“Every time somebody asks me about it, I always say, ‘The thing about Ted Nugent that I like is he has given me the ability to say something that I have hardly ever before uttered in my life and that is the following — ‘” Tancredo said, but couldn’t finish his sentence he was laughing so hard.

“He has given me the ability to say, ‘I wouldn’t go that far,’” Tancredo said, cracking up.

After he calmed down, Tancredo noted Nugent had apologized for the remark. Critics said it was a half-hearted apology, and Nugent then went on to attack Obama, calling him a lying, law-breaking racist who engages in Nazi tactics. The apology came after Nugent was criticized by a number of Republicans, including Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona.

But Nugent has yet to apologize to Colorado!

Nugent: “If ever there was a poster child for apathy, disconnect, laziness, and abandonment of We the People, and moral dereliction, it is Colorado."

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Gays, God, and Guns…GOP lineup for HD15

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE:  Gordon Klingenschmitt, aka "Dr. Chaps" just received 71% of the delegate votes at the El Paso County Republican Assembly. Dave Williams announced his intent to petition onto the primary ballot, to be held in June. Great opportunity for the Democrat in the race, Lois Fornander, to pick up some moderate ,Independent, and disenchanted Republican votes, whichever one of these two charmers ends up on the November general election ballot.


 

Voters in El Paso County's HD15 will almost certainly elect a Republican. The district was and is 63-30% Republican vs. Democrat , so Democratic representation is not on the menu for HD15.

But which Republican will get the assembly's nomination on March 29?

Will it be bachelor #1, David Williams, known for extreme homophobia, , while simultaneously  giving child sex offenders the benefit of the doubt? Back in  2013, PCG exposed this bully in a series of investigative diaries.  Best quote (after being requested to apologize to gay Republicans): "You know what I'm sorry about? Not buying an AR-15 sooner." Photo and quote from Williams' Facebook page, researched and diaried by PCG

Williams is strongly supported by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, as evidenced by his campaign financial disclosure of January, 2014: $100 from Tim Neville, $2,000 from Rocky Mtn Gun Owners PAC. Most of the remainder of his $37K finances consist of a loan from himself. The other two candidates are also self-financing.

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Politico scoop: Gardner promised to help pay off Stephens’ campaign debt, if she’d exit

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

At least three people in Colorado have been dying to know how Rep. Cory Gardner managed to persuade Ken Buck and Rep. Amy Stephens to drop their Senate campaigns, allowing Gardner to jump in with a clear field (assuming you don't count Owen Hill and Randy Baumgardner).

Politico's Manu Raju deserves credit for scooping Colorado media today by posting some of the details on how Gardner maneuvered to get in, including the tidbit that Gardner promised to help pay off Stephens' campaign debt.

In January, Gardner first had second thoughts about his previous decision not to run, according to Politico. This is inconsistent with his oft-repeated story about beginning to have second thoughts in August, when Gardner got a letter from his insurance company explaining his options for coverage under Obamacare.

In any case, in January, after he told Republicans in Washington DC of his renewed interest in the race, they ran a poll, the results of which prompted Gardner to jump in, if he could avoid a bitter primary, according to Politico.

Here's what happened next:

He first approached his biggest roadblock: Buck. The Weld County district attorney had battled with the NRSC in 201o. But the two sides had smoothed things over during the past year, and Buck had a friendly relationship with Gardner.

At a meeting with Buck at a Cracker Barrel just north of Denver, Gardner dropped the bombshell: He was seriously thinking about jumping in the race, and he did not want to battle Buck in a bruising primary. For days after that meeting, Buck mulled his options before encouraging Gardner to take the plunge, nodding to the congressman’s stronger polling and fundraising numbers. Buck even entertained sitting out the midterm election season altogether if it would help Gardner in the primary.

Instead, Buck opted to run in a contested primary for Gardner’s House seat. He called up the congressman and asked for an endorsement for his House seat, something Buck said Gardner was “enthusiastic” in offering. The two denied any quid pro quo.

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Marshall isn’t the only Republican Candidate to flirt with White Supremacists

It is a bit interesting that Republicans in Jefferson County are attempting to kick Nate Marshall off of the ballot for cavorting with white supremacists when their top candidate for Governor, Tom Tancredo has a history of doing the exact same thing.  Here is a an article about Tancredo appearing alongside Don Black, creator of Stormfront.org, at the Council of Conservative Citizens, back in 2012.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/06/25/tancredo-to-speak-at-white-supremacist-conference/