Tancrendo to Obama: Get out of the office or face armed rebellion

(Eep – promoted by Colorado Pols)

(Image credit goes to Constantine Report)


The word “treason” gets thrown around a lot these days, but in this case the shoe absolutely fits.

Tom Tancredo, a former Colorado Congressman and recent Gubernatorial primary loser, has become increasingly vocal about the idea that if Obama isn’t impeached, or better yet, steps down willingly, there will be an armed rebellion in the United States which forces him to do so. Concern-troll Tancredo doesn’t want to see violence, so he is kindly asking the president to consider taking the first option. In other words: blackmailing the freely elected President of the United States by threatening violence against him and his administration. In other-other words: treason.


Gardner: “There is no federal personhood bill.”

(Once again–the federal Life at Conception Act contains the same operative language as Colorado's Personhood abortion ban. Gardner's distinction according to fact-checkers, is complete BS. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Cory Gardner's Personhood twist

9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman got one-on-one interviews with both senatorial candidates last week, and the questions he chose to ask Sen. Mark Udall and his Republican opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner, should earn him the respect of conservatives and progressives.

One of Rittiman's questions for Gardner has been consistently overlooked by Denver journalists:

Rittiman: How do you square your recent change on personhood at the state level with the bill that you still are on in Congress. The life begins at conception act?

Gardner: Well, there is no federal personhood bill. They're two different pieces of legislation, two different things.

Rittman followed up by pointing out that other co-sponsors of the bill say it it is federal personhood, and asking, "But it's still a piece of legislation that says abortion ought to be illegal, no?"

Gardner: No. It says life begins at conception. Look, Sen. Mark Udall is trying to say that it's something that it's not.

Rather than letting Gardner's false statement slide, Rittiman reported:

Rittiman: At the very least, the bill is meant to set up a legal challenge to a woman's right to choose. [Factcheck.org supports Rittiman's reporting here.]


Club20 Live Blog

(Action in comments, coverage to follow – promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: The first video clip forwarded to us from today's Club 20 debates is of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, rejecting coverage of pre-existying conditions and making some pretty stark "personal experience" claims about the Affordable Care Act and Colorado's new insurance exchange. Fact-checkers, sharpen your pencils:

BEAUPREZ: What you need is leadership and not just conversation. And that's what we've had. We did all this, all this Obamacare, we did all of that and increased premiums on people, to take care of people with pre-existing conditions, I don't think so. [Pols emphasis] There is a much easier and much cheaper way and much more efficient way to do that. My, my daughter-in-law to be, checked on your insurance exchange, she got her insurance cancelled, and it would cost exactly twice as much to get a new policy as it did before. [Pols emphasis] Therefore, she doesn't have one today. That's a crime, ladies and gentlemen, you want to ensure people, you ought to make it affordable… (inaudible, applause) 

The Denver Post's Joey Bunch reports from the gubernatorial debate:

Beauprez hammered on one of Hickenlooper's perceived strengths: a rebounding economy, citing statistics that painted a dimmer picture than those Hickenlooper has cited for months, including the nation's fastest growing economy…

Beauprez said Hickenlooper had not grown the state's economy as much as the size of its government. He recited his campaign refrain about his disdain for regulations.

"On Day One, I will freeze non-essential regulations," he vowed.

The affable governor responded with uncharacteristically sharp elbows.

"Maybe you should be running for congress if you want to target federal issues," Hickenlooper said. [Pols emphasis]



Both ways opening, sounds like he got the meds wrong.

OK, big event starting Gardner v. Udall…

READ THIS: The Many Lies of Con Man Cory

(Link rich – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This evening, Rep. Cory Gardner will join Sen. Mark Udall in Grand Junction for the first debate of the 2014 U.S. Senate race. There are a lot of issues at stake in this race, and I wanted to take a moment to recap everything we’ve been talking about so far.

No politician is perfect, but Cory Gardner could truly be one of the most deceptive candidates Colorado has seen in years. Just this week, the Associated Press reported that one of Gardner’s latest TV ads, which you’ve probably seen, claims credit for “launching” Colorado’s green energy industry. The truth is Gardner opposed the landmark 2004 law, Amendment 37, that made Colorado a leader in the renewable energy economy. And the bill that Gardner sponsored never funded a single renewable energy project before being repealed.

Tell Cory Gardner it’s time for the lies to stop.

There’s a reason we call him Con Man Cory. From the moment Cory Gardner entered the race for the U.S. Senate, he has been covering up his long political record–a record that ranked him as the 10th most right-wing member of Congress in 2012, according to National Journal. Days after getting into the Senate race, Gardner claimed to have disavowed the Colorado Personhood abortion bans he’s supported for years, even though he is still sponsor of federal legislation that would do the same thing: ban abortion and many common forms of birth control.

On every issue that matters to women and families, Gardner is not only trying to claim a new position; he is trying to pretend his old votes didn’t happen. Gardner claims today that he "never" supported the disastrous shutdown of the federal government last year, which impeded recovery from devastating floods that impacted our state just days before. But the truth is, Gardner did support the shutdown, voted with his party at every step to shut down the government, and publicly defended the Republican strategy. In addition to impeding flood recovery, the shutdown’s closure of the state’s national parks and monuments cost Colorado’s economy millions of dollars.


Pigeon Pie and Fracking Sage Grouse: On Caring for Our Furred, Finned, and Feathered Neighbors

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A recent story on National Public Radio about the last passenger pigeon’s death in the Cincinnati Zoo – 100 years ago on September 1—raises questions about the role and responsibility of humans in caring for the well-being of other species.

The passenger pigeon was once the most plentiful bird in North America, flocks of which would blacken the sun behind mile after mile of undulating clouds—driven to rapid extinction by human avarice, poor practice, and the absence of professional wildlife management that follows species, and science, even across state lines. 

Those human failures are what we remember the passenger pigeon for, as an article about its recent, sad anniversary in the NY Times noted: 

[We] remember the passenger pigeon because of the largest-scale human-caused extinction in history.  Possibly the most abundant bird ever to have existed, this gregarious pigeon once migrated in giant flocks that sometimes exceeded three billion, darkening the skies over eastern North America for days at a time. No wild bird in the world comes close to those numbers today. Yet 100 years ago this week, the very last pigeon of her kind died in her cage at the Cincinnati Zoo. Her name was Martha, and her passing merits our close attention today.

Martha’s passing merits our attention and reflection because we know better now, or at least we should.  Now we have professional wildlife management. And we have federal laws that can compel action if state management to protect vulnerable species is not sufficient to get the job done.


What Military Gear Did Your Police Department Purchase?

Do you want to know what military surplus equipment your favorite law enforcement division picked up under the 1033 program? Well, you're in luck! NPR has published its research in nice easy-to-search files on Google Drive. According to their analysis, only three percent of the transfers under the program were weapons – but there are still a lot of weapons in the bunch.

Is your city or county police department suddenly flush with bayonets? (Yes, I'm looking at you, Englewood and La Plata – WTF do you need with dozens of bayonets?!?!?) Did your county sheriff's office acquire more M16A1's and M14's than it had officers? (That might be you, El Paso County, with 44 M16's and 4 M14's…) Did your city find itself severely short of M16A1s the last time it had to control protesters (Colorado Springs – 140 M16's and 14 M14's)?

Or perhaps your department opted for a robot bomb disposal unit (we got a few, but let's give a special shout out to the bombing hotspots of Mesa and La Plata counties for picking up three each!), or what appears to be serious amounts of firefighting equipment (Archuleta seems like it went on a particular spree with intrenchment tools and packs…), or maybe just some utility vehicles.

Colorado's list is all here, sorted by organization. If you'd like it split out differently, or want to peruse other states' data, the complete data set is also available.

Some details on how Gardner “built his entire political career on support of personhood”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Cory Gardner.

Cory Gardner.

Back in July, Cosmo's Ada Calhoun quoted Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, as saying:

Mason: "[Cory Gardner has] built his entire political career on support of personhood. I think he's just listening to some bad advice, and he's playing politics."

Calhoun didn't get into the details of how and why Gardner relied on personhood to advance himself in politics, so I'll hit on it briefly now, not only because it gives you insight into Gardner but, in the bigger picture, the anti-abortion movement's lock on Republican candidates as they move through caucus and primary processes in Colorado.

From the time he was elected to the State Legislature, Gardner clearly made his anti-abortion stance a priority, sponsoring state personhood legislation, in 2007, defining life as beginning at conception and outlawing abortion even in the case of rape and incest.

In 2008, Gardner stood with other Colorado legislators in support of Colorado's first personhood ballot measure, earning a shout out from Kristi Burton, the mother of our state's personhood movement,

When she helped launch the 2012 personhood measure, which didn't make the ballot, Burton praised Gardner as "very supportive" and "one of our main supporters" of personhood campaigns.

Gardner's deep support from anti-abortion activists paid off as he launched his first congressional campaign against a tough field of candidates, including Tom Lucero, the former CU regent.

At a Tea Party event in November of 2009, Gardner was asked if he'd carry legislation to end the "practice" of abortion:

Gardner: "Yes, and I have a legislative background to back it up."


Bob Beauprez Returns to Face Referendum A

Referendum A

That’s one prickly letter.

The first General Election debate for Governor (and U.S. Senate) will be held tomorrow at the Club 20 annual event in Grand Junction. For Republican Bob Beauprez, it will also mean a return to the question of (eek!) Referendum A.

Referendum A is a 2003 ballot measure, endorsed by Beauprez, that aimed to divert a sizable chunk of Western Colorado water supplies to the Front Range of Colorado at a massive cost of $2 billion (the equivalent of $2 billion in 2003 would be…probably a lot in 2014. We're not going to look that up.) Now, there are couple of things for the uninitiated to understand about Referendum A before we proceed:

First of all, Referendum A was a stupid idea. Anyone who tells you otherwise is someone you don't need to be having conversations with any longer. Referendum A sought a ridiculous amount of money in order to maybe build some unspecified water projects that would take water from the Western Slope and pipe it to the Denver Metro area. Voters thought it was stupid, too. Referendum A was defeated by a 2-to-1 margin; there wasn't a county in Colorado that approved of Referendum A.

That such a bad idea would be so soundly rejected by Colorado voters created a lot of questions for politicians who supported the measure and campaigned for its passage. Several years later, in 2010, longtime Denver Post columnist Ed Quillen wondered if there was a Referendum A curse taking down Republican politicians who once supported the idea. Beauprez didn't lose the race for Governor in 2006 because of his prior support for Ref. A, but it didn't help his case with rural Colorado voters who will forever be angry at anyone who supported the water measure.

Which leads us back to Saturday's Club 20 debate. The anti-Beauprez group Making Colorado Great sent out a press release today (full text after the jump) as a reminder that Beauprez was a supporter of Ref. A. Ordinarily it wouldn't seem particularly important to bring up a 2003 ballot measure at a debate for Governor, but Beauprez's presence as the GOP nominee makes it relevant again; he is one of the few remaining Ref. A supporters who is still kicking around public office, and this debate is in the heart of the Western Slope community that fought against Ref. A more than a decade ago.

Like it or not, the question still matters for Beauprez because water rights are such a critical issue in most of Colorado.


Countdown Coffman: Mike Coffman Likes Saying Words

Jorge Ramos Rep. Mike Coffman

Jorge Ramos, left, and Rep. Mike Coffman (not left)

Colorado's Sixth Congressional District was the focus of a piece that appeared on "America With Jorge Ramos" on Fusion TV. For those unfamiliar with Jorge Ramos, he is often cited as the most popular Hispanic news anchor in America, in part due to his position as lead anchor with Noticero Univision. Ramos has a very direct interview style that attempts to get right at an issue, and those skills were on display during interviews with both Rep. Mike Coffman and Democrat Andrew Romanoff.

The "America With Jorge Ramos" story includes both interviews as well as a feature-style look at the race in CD-6. There are interesting moments in each interview — particular the confidence shown by Romanoff when asked about the race overall — but the standout once again is Coffman (and not in a good way). Whether it is during a debate or in video segments that show the candidates side-by-side, Romanoff comes off much more personal, engaging, and honest. Coffman, by comparison, appears fidgety and uncomfortable with his own words, as you can read from an early exchange in the Ramos interview:

Ramos: Do you support, right now, immigration reform in the House?

Coffman: "I do. I just think there's gotta be a middle path to this. I believe in a step-by-step process. We can have a comprehensive approach without having one massive bill. But we've got to move forward."

Good Gravy! Is there a better example of parsing phrases — not even just words — in a more meaningless fashion? Last July, Coffman wrote an Op-Ed for the Denver Post in which he said, "The time has come for comprehensive immigration reform." Coffman now says that comprehensive immigration reform is bad, which is a complete reversal. Ramos did his homework on this issue and was aware of Coffman's changing rhetoric, which came to a fantastic conclusion above when Coffman just tried to fit every buzzphrase he could think of into one answer…saying absolutely nothing in the process.

Coffman looks much better when he just gives a straightforward answer to a straightforward question a little later in the interview:

Ramos: So did you change your mind on immigration?

Coffman: "Yes."

Of course, this is a very truthful answer to a somewhat limited question. The question should have been, "So are you still changing your mind on immigration? Coffman could still have truthfully answered 'Yes,' though that is exactly his problem right now. Mike Coffman is saying anything about everything (or everything about anything, if you prefer), and he's clearly hoping that voters are too stupid or too preoccupied to notice. It is often a telling sign about the direction of a race when incumbent candidates such as Coffman just start taking every position on an issue; that means you're (a) not confident about what you're selling, and/or (b) not confident that voters like how you are selling it. But what if voters do see what's happening?

Candidates that have discovered their path to victory don't usually find it necessary to reach out in every direction at once.


GOP’s Super Saturday: Sure Looks “Authorized” To Us

Candidates across the state will be out in force this weekend as field campaigns begin in earnest. For the Colorado Republican Party, tomorrow is "Super Saturday"–a coordinated door-knocking and phone banking campaign by the party and targeted Republican candidates.

The interplay between "independent" efforts and official campaign activity, and the disclaimers needed to differentiate between them, can sometimes lead to confusion for individual voters. Case in point is an email we got from Bob Beauprez's campaign, inviting us to join Super Saturday:


Got that? The Colorado GOP's Super Saturday is "not authorized by an candidate or candidate's committee."

Except in Beauprez's case, Super Saturday appears to be very much authorized! And the message announcing it, for us anyway, was "paid for by Beauprez for Colorado." Do you see how that might be a little confusing? Don't get us wrong, we're not alleging any violation here–in fact, the "independent" disclaimer for the party's event and Beauprez's "paid for by" on his email are both likely necessary to ensure compliance for the respective entities.

So maybe the real problem is the legal fiction that a party's activities are not "authorized" by the candidates they're obviously working to benefit–to the point that the candidate is promoting their "independent" efforts? As Beauprez's email demonstrates, the whole pretense is kind of silly.

But to acknowledge that would open up its own can of legal worms…

You Can’t Do That, Major Coffman

Maj. Mike Coffman, USMC (retired).

Maj. Mike Coffman, USMC (retired).

The Colorado Independent's John Tomasic catches GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, who touts his military service as a central campaign theme, apparently in violation of Department of Defense regulations regarding display of military uniforms and insignia in campaign literature:

[Coffman] made headlines in 2012 when he called the appearance in uniform of Army Cpl. Jesse Thorsen at a Ron Paul campaign rally an ethical lapse that represented a “grave failure in leadership.”

The comments came in a scolding letter Coffman wrote to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, saying that he thought the troops needed to be reminded about the rules governing participation in politics by active-duty, reserve and retired military personal.

“The soldier’s activities not merely skirted the margins of what is acceptable behavior, but demonstrated either a complete contempt for the standing policy or an unconscionable ignorance of it,” Coffman wrote. “I believe the existing regulations are appropriate policies that clearly express the intent of the Department of Defense. However, I see a grave failure in leaders in the chain of command’s ability to communicate and enforce them.”

Coffman wrote that the Pentagon must “reinforce what the regulations are and issue a warning to the respective service chiefs to ensure that this type of activity does not occur in the future.”

Tough talk. But as Tomasic continues, there's a budding hypocrisy problem here:

So, why then is Coffman now apparently violating those same policies? a Democratic source asks.

A Coffman campaign four-page fold-out flyer (pdf) disseminated to district residents includes images of the Congressman in uniform as the “primary graphic representation” (there are no non-military images of Coffman in the flyer) and make no mention of the fact that Coffman retired from the service years ago. That’s a clear violation of at least one and maybe two of the same Defense Department Directives Coffman railed about Army Cpl Thorsen being contemptuous toward or unconscionably ignorant of…

The directives in question:


The mailer says it was produced by the Colorado Republican Committee, but "authorized" by Coffman for Congress. We haven't seen a response yet from either Coffman's campaign or the state party, but it seems like somebody should have known this mailer could be a problem–especially since Coffman himself has made such a matter of honor out of similar situations.

Unless there's something we're missing, Coffman ought to be collecting heads over this–right after issuing an apology.

The Colorado River, the California drought and how you can help from Sara Lu

Do you like Blueberries? Tomatoes? Fruit and Vegetables in general?
Pay attention. California supplies the half of the United States produce and California is in the midst of a drought that could effect all of our families.
And at this critical time, when we need every drop of water, the EPA and US Senate are going to be ruling on which water systems should be protected – and your public comment to the EPA can help that cause.

I talked with Sara Lu of Colorado Clean Water Action on this subject and the coming ruling of the EPA and the Senate on the
“Waters of the United States”, a ruling that could restore protection to our waterways in this critical drought period.

(Question) Tell me about the Waters in the United States…

One of the Biggest campaigns we are working on is to define through the best scientific information available, what constitutes a ‘Water of the United States’ as covered by the Clean Water Act. Really what this rule does is re-establish protections for our waters that constitute the drinking water and recreational water and the agricultural water for over 117 million Americans.
When the Bush administration reinterpreted the Clean Water Act over 65% of Colorado’s Waters and Streams were put ‘at-risk’.
(the Ruling) is open for public comment until October 20 after which the US Senate has to vote to adopt that rule or not.
We are working to educate the public and help them to know that they have a voice and can submit their own comments.
They can go to the EPA website or they can go to the CleanWater.org website which will give them directions to submit their comments.

This ruling will return the EPA standards to Pre-Bush Era standards, which is barely a decade old. Yet there are some, like at Fox news who are asking
“Will EPA Water Grab tip US back into Recession?”

I think the real question is can we afford not to protect as much of the water ways as possible when you look at images like these before and after pictures of Lake Shasta?

Take a moment to visit the comment page at CleanWater.org or go directly to the EPA Waters of the United States page and let the EPA hear why expanding protection of water is important to YOU.


This morning the AFL-CIO launched a campaign to target the Koch brothers called the Koch Sisters. The campaign features the Koch sisters, two middle class women from union families who are a stark contrast to the right wing Koch brothers. The ads highlight the conversation around how these billionaires are influencing our politics for the worse.

The AFL-CIO would like to encourage you to check out the website and ads as well as to share news stories via social media.  

Website: http://www.kochsisters.org

30-second ad, which will begin airing today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7BbC5V8BAU

Link to the 60-second spot featured on the website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DXCAsqkecs

Suthers not duty-bound to defend CO same-sex marriage ban

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Attorney General John Suthers and chief deputy AG Cynthia Coffman.

Attorney General John Suthers and chief deputy AG Cynthia Coffman.

In a long question-and-answer story in Westword, Attorney General John Suthers once again lays out his case that he is duty-bound to defend Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban until the bitter end. (Which isn’t bitter, actually, because everyone expects the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn such bans.)

Sounding all above-the-fray and bipartisany, Suthers tells Westword about his high-minded commitment to defend Colorado’s laws, even when he disagrees with them.

It sounds like maybe a beautiful thing, if it were true. But it’s not.

Left out of the Westword interview (and other media coverage of Suthers’ position) is the fact that under Colorado law, our Attorney General doesn't have to defend laws (and constitutional amendments) that he deems unconstitutional. In fact, he’s supposed to go after those laws.

As former Deputy Attorney General Don Quick, a Democratic candidate for Attorney General, wrote in The Colorado Springs Gazette in July:

Quick: First, the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 2003 that it is the attorney general's job to challenge a law when there are concerns about its constitutionality. I remember it well, as I was chief deputy to Attorney General Ken Salazar when the court ruled in our favor. Coffman knows this also, as her office did the same thing last year. The Legislature passed a law restricting the display of marijuana-related magazines, and the Attorney General's Office refused to defend it because it believed it was unconstitutional.

Quick is referring Cynthia Coffman, a Republican who’s running against Quick to replace Suthers. Coffman, who believes marriage is between a man and a woman and works in Suthers’ office, has embraced the Attorney General’s view that he had no choice  but to defend Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The 2003 Colorado Supreme Court ruling, to which Quick refers, involved the infamous effort by Colorado Republicans, challenged by Salazar at the time, to change Colorado’s congressional districts after they’d been established by court order subsequent to the 2000 Census. The decision delivered by Chief Justice Mullarkey stated that if the Attorney General has “grave doubts” about the constitutionality of a law (in this exact case an election-related law affecting an upcoming election) he or she must, “consistent with his ethical duties and his oath of office,” seek to “resolve those doubts," meaning, in this narrow case, file a lawsuit (consolidated cases 03SA133 and 03SA147).

What’s more, attorneys general in at least six states, decided not to defend their states' same-sex marriage bans. And U.S. Attorney General Eric holder has advised state attorneys general, like Suthers, that they are not obliged to defend state laws they see as discriminatory.