Homophobic Williams to run for Chaps’ old House seat

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Constituents of House District 15 in El Paso County have been represented for almost two years  by a homophobic, gaffe-prone politician with ethical challenges:  Dr. Gordon Klingenschmitt, aka “Dr. Chaps“. Now, unless mass sanity strikes, they will probably be represented by another gay-bashing, hot-tempered, inexperienced  politician: David O. Williams.

“Chaps” announced that he would not run again for HD15; he is now running against Bob Gardner for  SD12,term-limited Senate President Cadman’s district. Chaps’ long-suffering constituents should have had a reprieve from embarrassing stories about their duly elected representative. Klingenschmitt’s greatest hits have included claiming that a brutal assault on a pregnant woman was God’s punishment, saying that Rep. Jared Polis wants to behead Christians, and being under IRS investigation for possible  financial misconduct.

david o williams

David O. Williams, candidate for HD15

Unfortunately, House District 15’s new Republican nominee, David O. Williams, looks to be potentially every bit as embarrassing as Chaps. Homophobia? Check. Lack of elected experience? Check. Hot temper – Shoot first, then aim? Check. Dubious financial history, only ever employed in his father-in-law’s business, kicked out of the only two positions he’s ever been elected to ? Check. Add to this access to weapons and $2,000 from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in 12/2013, and EPCO HD15 voters may have another embarrassingly rocky two years ahead of them.

David Williams is the son-in-law of his employer,  Doyle McAlister, who was a registered sex offender in 2013.  McAlister’s company, MKW Global Sourcing, is primarily in the Chinese export-import business.  MKW employs Williams as Program Manager.

Williams ran for HD15  in 2014, but Dr. Chaps got the nod from the El Paso County delegates. Williams’  homophobic behavior is well known, and has included booing a “Log Cabin” gay delegate; threatening someone else with an AR15; discriminating against funding of gay clubs as UCCS Student Body President, and fostering a climate of gay-bashing and bullying during his tenure, because of which he was finally impeached.

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Just How Bad Did The “Pray The Gay Away” Debate Get?


One Colorado, the state’s leading LGBT advocacy group, is circulating the video you can see above highlighting the, um, the lowlights from the recent debate in the Colorado House over House Bill 16-1210–legislation that would ban the widely-discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy” by licensed mental health professionals seeking to “cure” LGBT Coloradans of, you know, their gayness.

News reporting on the passage of this bill in the Democratic-controlled House did take note of the comments from some Republican lawmakers during this debate, in particular Reps. Kathleen Conti and Tim Leonard–comments that appeared to directly compare “curing” LGBT Coloradans to seeking treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction. Those reports frankly don’t do the comments you can hear in the video above justice. These comments and questions betray a fundamental prejudice against LGBT people held by at least some Colorado Republican lawmakers.

We’ll note just a small portion of Rep. Leonard’s remarks in particular from 1:30 into the video:

LEONARD: Representative Conti um, had a question that was similar, which was if someone came to you saying you know, I have a, all my friends are involved in drugs and alcohol, and you know, I think I’ve got to get out of this, I don’t think it’s going anywhere, would you ever be prevented to, saying, I can’t counsel you out of that lifestyle, but I can tell you you’re not fat or you’re not this or that’s now your value versus theirs…

Obviously, the comparison Rep. Leonard is making here is unambiguous. But we were forwarded the response Leonard sent to one of the witnesses in committee testimony on the bill when challenged about these remarks:

Your’s, and other’s, claims that there was a comparison made between homosexual attraction and drug/alcohol addiction were mistaken. None were made. Any questions directed at the child psychologists testifying were directed at other reasons that a child might be seeking therapy from that counselor. No connection was made between the two issues — it was for questions seeking answers for other issues the therapist might counsel children.

This is no different than asking an auto mechanic testifying on his changing oil with other services he might see other customers, like changing tires or replacing anti-freeze. It would be inaccurate to state that the questions were comparing oil to anti-freeze…I cannot speak for Rep. Conti, but my questions were directed into gathering information on how the psychologist would counsel children on other issues.

Rep. Leonard doesn’t like being called out for this highly offensive comparison, but it is what it is…and it is nothing like replacing anti-freeze.

As the nation has rapidly shifted from institutional discrimination against LGBT Americans to acknowledgement of their rights to live in peace and function in society, there is a segment of our political culture that has been left behind. We would be remiss not to remind you that forward-thinking Republicans here in Colorado and elsewhere have tried to put daylight between themselves and the bigoted holdouts–who crush Republican dreams of reaching out to the next generation of voters.

Which, at least here in Colorado, they just did again.

GOP Cheers Huge Capitol Rally For Rev. Franklin Graham, Hater

UPDATE: A slew of Colorado GOP legislators join hands at Franklin Graham’s rally today:

legislatorsgraham

From left: Sen. Kevin Lundberg, Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, Rep. Patrick Neville, Rep. Dan Nordberg, Rep. Clarice Navarro, Sen. Larry Crowder, (we think) Rep. Kim Ransom, Sen. Laura Waters Woods, a dude in sunglasses, Rep. Justin Everett, and Sen. Vicki Marble. We’re pretty sure Sen. Tim Neville and Rep. Jim Wilson are tucked in behind there too.

Standing proud for America–just not gay America, Muslim America, or grazing fee-paying America.

—–

grahamrally
Photo by Sen. Laura Waters Woods

Many thousands of religious conservatives turned out today at the Colorado Capitol for a rally featuring Rev. Franklin Graham, son of legendary Christian evangelist Billy Graham, who is touring across the nation as part of his “Decision America Tour 2016.”

Franklin Graham is traveling to all 50 states in 2016 to hold prayer rallies, to preach the Gospel, and to challenge believers to take a stand and take action. He’ll be urging Christians to vote, to live out their faith in every part of their lives, and to pray for our nation just as Nehemiah cried out to God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and restore hope to His people.

Franklin Graham has emerged in recent years as one of the most powerful figures on the religious right wing of American politics–much more so than his father, who was more concerned with winning souls than votes. Not so with Franklin Graham, who has eagerly joined in the contemporary “culture wars,” bitterly denouncing the movement for LGBT rights as the direct product of Satan:

This is a full-scale assault against Christianity and the followers of Christ. When prayer is banned from the public square, when our President fails to defend biblically defined marriage, and he openly and zealously advocates for gay rights; when legislators rush to overrule existing laws to promote gay marriage; when schools and courts consistently suppress religious freedoms; we know we are locked in a war against the Christian faith, not culture. The architect behind this offensive is none other than Satan himself.

Graham also seconds Donald Trump’s call to halt all immigration into the United States by adherents of the Muslim faith:

For some time I have been saying that Muslim immigration into the United States should be stopped until we can properly vet them or until the war with Islam is over. Donald J. Trump has been criticized by some for saying something similar. The new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said yesterday that he disagrees—saying that “such views are not what this party stands for and more importantly it’s not what this country stands for.” Politicians in Washington seem to be totally disconnected with reality.

Most recently, Franklin Graham made headlines as one of the principal intercessors on behalf of the militia members who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Militia members sought out Graham to negotiate on their behalf. All told, Franklin Graham has staked out his ground about as far right as 2016’s politics will allow–and as you know from the headlines today, that’s pretty damn far to the right.

With all of this in mind, you might think that Colorado Republicans, especially vulnerable legislators like Sen. Laura Woods (photo above), Rep. Clarice Navarro, and Rep. Kit Roupe would steer clear?

All we can say is, don’t check their Facebook pages.

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Elbert County Clerk: Kim Davis Lite?

UPDATE #2: 9NEWS just posted a fascinating original email exchange from last summer between a number of Eastern Plains county clerks, most of them very upset at the prospect of having to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples–including the email from Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder where he explains his reasons for posting his discriminatory poster. Most of these messages will not be fondly remembered by history, but we wanted to note the very different response from Christy Beckman, clerk of tiny Sedgwick County in the northeast corner of the state:

I just wanted to comment that we are very lucky in this office as we are all comfortable with issuing same sex licenses. We all have our own religions as well but are very accepting of other peoples choices and therefore are okay with this. I’m sorry that some of you are having a hard time with it and I hope for your sake that something can be figured out.

Good luck!

Chris

In a lengthy chain of fairly disgraceful emails between a number of our Colorado county clerks, we were very happy to see this. Original post follows.

—–

UPDATE: Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder cuts and runs–7NEWS reports the offending poster has been removed from public display, presumably after Schroeder met with that lawyer he retained.

Too bad, Mike Huckabee was raring to go.

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Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroder.

Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder.

7NEWS has a story out of beet-red Elbert County that we suspect is going to raise some hackles in the days ahead:

It’s hanging on the wall, above the desks where marriage licenses are issued. That’s why a poster that quotes a Bible verse referencing marriage between a man and a woman is causing controversy in Elbert County.

The poster shows a bride and a groom, with a verse that reads “…each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” The verse is from I Corinthians.

Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder would not appear on camera because he has obtained outside legal counsel, but he says the poster has been up for 15 months without any complaints…

Rowan County, KY Clerk Kim Davis.

Rowan County, KY Clerk Kim Davis.

As it turns out that’s not quite accurate, and several Elbert County residents have indeed complained about the poster. And as 7NEWS continues, there’s good reason to be concerned:

[W]hile Schroeder claimed the poster was simply “a celebration of marriage,” an email obtained by Denver7 suggests otherwise.

This summer, Schroeder wrote an email to several Colorado Court Clerks discussing same sex marriage and the poster he had specifically made in response to it.

“My thought process is that they have to see the poster,” writes Schroeder in the email. “And if they choose to violate God’s written Word, then that is on their head.” [Pols emphasis]

And with that, yes, this is a problem. 7NEWS reports that Dallas Schroeder’s office has issued two same-sex marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized them nationwide, but in its full context, this poster in the Elbert County Clerk’s office is obviously meant to convey a discriminatory message to same-sex couples in a government-controlled space. Whatever the personal views of the Elbert County Clerk on same-sex marriage, he of course has no right to force residents with obliged to file for this license at his office to view what amounts to bigoted political propaganda.

But something tells us this guy is ready and itching to wage a splashy earned-media battle for just that. Kiowa’s finally going to make the Fox News Channel! Mike Huckabee can’t be far behind.

God bless America.

Lundberg supports Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R).

Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R).

UPDATE: The Denver Post’s John Frank asked Lundberg Friday whether he’d back a Colorado clerk who denied same-sex marriage licenses. “I believe that they have that responsibility as an elected official to ask themselves, am I fulfilling my job or not,” Lundberg told The Post. This comment may have led, in part, to the Post’s editorial today pointing out that Lundberg “appears confused about whether state officials can ignore laws they don’t like.” The Post called Lundberg’s stance “disturbing.”

——-

In a string of Facebook posts beginning Sept. 3, Colorado State Sen. Kevin Lundberg hasn’t been shy about his support for Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, who landed in jail after giving marriage licences to some loving couples but not others.

Who would expect Lundberg to be shy, given his uncompromising stances on social issues in the legislature? But he is a state senator, which is why his fringe view should be aired out by reporters and others. To wit:

On Facebook, Lundberg wrote that Davis is “abiding by the laws of God and man. The Supreme Court and their inferior courts are the ones in violation of the rule of law.”

Lundberg:

Good for Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who is refusing to issue “marriage” licenses on the grounds that it violates God’s law, and her conscience.

Have the Federal judges become kings and queens who can fabricate law out of thin air and then throw state government officials in jail for daring to oppose their plans? What Constitutional authority does the Federal Court have to jail this elected official for exercising her best judgement in fulfilling her duties as county clerk? If the people who elected her want her to change, they can speak through any recall procedures the State of Kentucky allows, or vote her out at the next election for county clerk, but the Federal Courts should stay out of areas of law clearly reserved for state jurisdiction.

The courts have certainly seized this power and demonstrated their autocratic intentions long ago, but they do not derive this authority from the Constitution, which is the law of the land.

In my opinion the clerk is abiding by the laws of God and man. The Supreme Court and their inferior courts are the ones in violation of the rule of law.

In a post last week, Lundberg addresses the question of why Davis shouldn’t just resign:

Additionally, many are saying that the clerk is not following the “rule of law.” I submit it is more accurate to say she is not following the rule of the Court. If anyone is actually following the rule of law, it is clerk Davis.

Bigots, Birchers, and Islamophobes in Colorado Mainstream Now

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Groups promoting hatred and fear of Muslims, gays, immigrants, unionized workers, and people of color are openly meeting in Colorado. These meetings are being promoted by mainstream Republican activists, and are aimed at influencing policy by informing local law enforcement and legislators of the  “threats” these groups pose. The John Birch Society had an Executive Dinner in Denver July 24.  RMGO is promoting an anti-Muslim training session for law enforcement, community and the public Aug. 13-15.

John Birch Society- the Founding Bigots

The John Birch Society met July 24, at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in North Denver.  Many mainstream GOP activists planned to attend, according to their Facebook pages. The John Birch Society (JBS) has a long history of racism and religious bigotry in the United States, and was where the Koch Brothers learned how to prey upon the fears of the ignorant.

In the JBS world view, communists are everywhere.

The JBS had its origins in the McCarthy era, as an anti-Communist group.  “Birchers” preached that all Civil Rights Movement leaders and actions were Communist-inspired. My father, an editorial writer for the Post, used to rail about the “Goddamn Birchers” who would oppose every piece of civil rights or anti-poverty legislation in Denver, and tried to suppress his editorials in the 1960s.

Although JBS leadership now wears three-piece suits, and meets at $50 a plate fundraising dinners in nice hotel ballrooms, their messaging has changed very little: “Those people” (leftists, feminists, unionists, environmentalists, gays, Muslims, the UN, Democrats, people of color promoting Obama’s “race war”) are conspiring to take away your American way of life,  and they must be stopped, preferably with a hefty donation to the JBS. 

The JBS contributes heavily to “Right to Work” and other ALEC- generated legislation.  Colorado legislators are rated  on the JBS “Freedom Index”. Rated at 70% or higher: Mike Coffman, Doug Lamborn, Scott Tipton,  Cory Gardner, and Ken Buck . It will be interesting to see which of these Republican politicians attended the JBS dinner.

 John Guandalo: RMGO sponsored workshops August 13-15 on “Understanding the Threat” of the Global Islamic Movement

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Haters Gonna Hate (2016 Ballot Edition)

UPDATE: ThinkProgress reports, “traditional marriage” advocates may have gotten out a little over their proverbial skis this time:

A proposed amendment to the Colorado constitution appears designed to eliminate same-sex marriages. Yet it is so broadly drafted that it would most likely eliminate marriage entirely in the state of Colorado.

The proposed amendment, which would be subject to a ballot initiative if its supporters collect enough signatures, provides that “marriage is recognized as a form of religious expression of the people of Colorado that shall not be abridged through the state prescribing or recognizing any law that implicitly or explicitly defines a marriage in opposition or agreement with any particular religious belief.” It’s the last part of this text — the reference to “any particular religious belief” — that would prevent marriages from taking place in Colorado. [Pols emphasis]

Mr. Hater, call your office.

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Lord have mercy on our souls.

Two men on a cake! Lord have mercy.

As the Denver Post’s Joey Bunch reports:

A proposed ballot initiative filed Thursday would redefine same-sex marriages in Colorado as civil unions. A second initiative would allow wedding-related businesses opposed to gay marriage to hire a contractor to serve the couples…

Dave Montez, the executive director of One Colorado, the state’s largest advocacy group for gay rights, said the initiatives are an attempt to undo the Supreme Court decision.

“This initiative is an unnecessary attempt to radically redefine all marriages in Colorado in order to undermine the Supreme Court’s recent decision,” he said. “Even before last week’s Supreme Court decision, the 37 states that already had marriage equality had proven that when loving, committed, gay couples share in the freedom to marry, families are helped and no one is hurt.”

The first of these two anti-LGBT ballot initiatives seems to have little chance of success. Redefining existing same-sex marriages after they have been validated by the U.S. Supreme Court seems like an incredibly gratuitous insult, not to mention pointless in the face of the court’s ruling that these are marriages like anybody else’s marriage. This initiative is in exercise in exactly the kind of discriminatory logic the Obergefell v. Hodges decision struck down–that there is a difference between rights two same-sex persons have versus heterosexual couples.

As for the second initiative, we expect to see many such attempts to chip away at newly-won rights for LGBT citizens in the coming months as the battle shifts to public accommodation instead of basic legal guarantees. Without protections against discrimination when doing business or obtaining publicly available goods and services, equality doesn’t really mean that much. At the same time, this is a more nuanced argument to make with voters who aren’t familiar with the issue.

Bottom line: the viewpoint of the state’s electorate has changed dramatically since 2006, when an anti-LGBT statewide measure passed and even modest civil unions failed at the polls. The public overwhelmingly supports the Supreme Court decision upholding marriage equality today, where they didn’t ten years ago.

So no, we don’t think LGBT rights supporters should be worried about these proposals. In fact, much like Republicans have painfully learned with the “Personhood” abortion bans over the years, the biggest worry could be blowback against their proponents.

Marriage Equality The Law of the Land

SATURDAY UPDATE: Last night’s celebration at the Colorado Capitol was fittingly historic in itself, photo courtesy One Colorado:

comarriageequality

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loveisequal
Graphic via Rep. Jared Polis

UPDATE #4: Colorado Democratic legislative leaders weigh in:

“’Justice delayed is justice denied,’ and today – finally – the delay is over, and all loving families have the right to marriage. It is about time!” said Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, Senate Democratic Leader. “Today we should honor those who fought for equality before us, but sadly aren’t here to see the outcome of their struggle. And we should also celebrate the fact that love finally won. Love will always prevail over hate and intolerance. What a great day for all Americans!”

“The Court has brought the finishing touch to the long journey for equality in marriage,” said Sen. Lucia Guzman, D-Denver. “On the Eve of our country celebrating our freedom, may we all stop for a moment and give thanks to all who have fought the great battles for Justice.”

“Colorado Democrats have been fighting for equality for the LGBT community for a long time,” said Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder. “Today’s decision in the Supreme Court affirms what I’ve known since this fight was just getting started: no matter how long it takes, no matter how hard it gets, no matter what the opponents of equality throw in our way, in the end, love wins.”

“In the 90’s, Colorado was called the ‘hate state’ with the passage of Amendment 2,” said Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver, co-chair of the House LGBT Caucus. “Since then, we have acted quickly and broadly on LGBT equality. Colorado set the table and helped shape the debate that led to today’s Supreme Court decision, and I couldn’t be more proud to have been a part of it.”

“From designated beneficiaries to two-parent adoption, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, to civil unions and today’s decision, Colorado has been on the right track for LGBT individuals and families for a long time,” said Rep. Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, co-chair of the House LGBT Caucus. “I’m proud to have been part of the caucus to sponsor and pass the Colorado Civil Unions Act in 2013, and today’s decision finally gives all Americans the right to marry who they love.”

UPDATE #3: Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver is ready to officiate more weddings:

“Finally, every loving couple in the United States may choose to express their commitment in marriage and be assured of its legal benefits and responsibilities. This is a proud moment in our ongoing march towards full equality.

“I was particularly touched by Justice Kennedy’s observation about the children of same sex couples, who have borne the burden of the inequality of their parents’ relationships, observing:

‘[e]xcluding same-sex couples from marriage thus conflicts with a central premise of the right to marry. Without the recognition, stability, and predictability marriage offers, their children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser. They also suffer the significant material costs of being raised by unmarried parents, relegated through no fault of their own to a more difficult and uncertain family life.’

“That stigma ends now.

“I have proudly officiated services for same sex couples, and I have my minister’s license ready to perform more.”

—–

UPDATE #2: Polar opposite statements two Colorado congressmen–Rep. Jared Polis:

“The road to LGBT equality in America has not been an easy one. From the Stonewall riots in 1969, to an epidemic that killed hundreds of thousands of gay men; from a Supervisor assassinated for refusing to blend in, to a Wyoming college student beaten to death for his sexual orientation, that road has been paved with far too many tragic days.

“Today is not one of those. Today is a day to celebrate, as we’ve overcome one of our most challenging obstacles yet.

“With today’s decision, the Court ruled in no uncertain terms that the bonds of love, commitment, and responsibility that all our families share exist without regard to gender and deserve the dignity of being recognized under the law.”

Compare that to GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs:

“I am very disappointed that the Supreme Court chose to utilize their power to disenfranchise millions of Americans with valid moral and cultural concerns via this decision. By undertaking this staggering judicial overreach, the Court, in its very finite wisdom, has decided to throw out thousands of years of tradition and societal structure. Decisions of this magnitude should absolutely be made on a state-by-state basis with local and individual citizen involvement. This decision is a slap in the face to all Americans who value this tradition of local government.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Coffman is ready to change the subject:

“The world is changing, and while I’ve supported traditional marriage, the court has ruled a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. It is time we move forward and focus on the big debates of our day — how to keep our country safe and get Americans back to work.”

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (May 5)

Cinco-LogoIt’s Cinco de Mayo, which translates in Denver to “Election Day.” It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► It’s Election Day in Denver. If you still have a mail ballot at home, you’re going to need to truck that sucker to a drop-off location before 7:00 p.m. Visit the website of the Denver Clerk and Recorder for drop-off information.

 ► Republican-led efforts to pass a fetal homicide Personhood bill in the legislature came to a predictable end yesterday when a House Committee axed SB-268 on a party-line vote.

 ► The U.S. Supreme Court seems a little hazy about what to do with legal marijuana, so they are asking the advice of the U.S. Solicitor General. As it turns out, we still have a Solicitor General.


Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Steve House Jumps On Andrews’ Hater Grenade

John Andrews.

John Andrews.

The controversy continues over the decision by organizers of the Western Conservative Summit, a major gathering in Denver of Republican politicos and activists including numerous 2016 presidential hopefuls, to “disinvite” the Log Cabin Republicans as a group that advocates “contrary to our agenda and our core beliefs.” The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels reported late yesterday on belated damage control attempts by the Colorado Republican Party, looking to stop the proverbial bleeding before it becomes a nationwide embarrassment for high-level candidates who were planning to attend:

The Colorado Republican Party has invited a gay GOP group that wasn’t allowed to set up a table at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver to share its booth.

Party Chairman Steve House, who took over in March, made the announcement Thursday afternoon, one day after a firestorm over the snub by summit organizers to the Log Cabin Republicans.

Western Conservative Summit organizer John Andrews is clearly on the defensive at this point, but still isn’t very happy about having the tables turned:

“We’re fine with the Colorado Republicans sharing some table space at the summit with all their affiliated groups. We’re not fine with the shaming and bullying pressure tactics of Log Cabin Republicans’ national office,” said summit chairman John Andrews.

Andrews responded further in a blog post at the Centennial Institute:

The Log Cabin Republicans were never specifically invited to be a Summit exhibitor, rather they applied and paid online, subject to CCU’s final approval. When we politely declined such organizational recognition and affirmed they are welcome to attend as individuals, they chose to make a news story of it.

Let them try. We don’t believe a private religious organization standing by its core beliefs is news at all… [Pols emphasis]

Unfortunately for Andrews and the high-profile Western Conservative Summit, their decision to exclude the GOP’s foremost LGBT advocacy group absolutely is news. With public attitudes toward marriage equality rapidly shifting away from the intolerance Republicans have capitalized on politically for decades, this controversy stands out as a symbol of the conflict over the issue–a conflict that now exists almost entirely within the Republican Party, as just about everyone else in our society is ready to see gays and lesbians vested with the same rights and responsibilities as every other American.

In short, Andrews has placed this conference, and by extension everyone who attends it, on the wrong side of an overwhelming consensus in America that LGBT Americans deserve equality. Political fallout far above the level of John Andrews and Colorado Christian University this could result in is what Colorado GOP chairman Steve House is afraid of. House made the best decision possible in a bad situation, but the underlying problem of a party at war with itself–over an issue increasingly settled outside the GOP–is still very much in the spotlight.

And this won’t be the last time it gets publicly nasty.

The Big Tent Collapses: Log Cabin Republicans Booted From Western Conservative Summit

John Andrews.

John Andrews.

A press release from Alex Hornaday of the Colorado Log Cabin Republicans today announces that the group has been disinvited from this year’s Western Conservative Summit at Colorado Christian University:

After being invited and charged a $250 fee, the Colorado Log Cabin Republicans group was disinvited from Western Conservative Summit. Today, John Andrews, the head of Colorado Christian University and Western Conservative Summit, sent the following in response to Colorado Log Cabin Republicans:

“You and your members are very welcome to get tickets and attend, but we can’t officially have the organization as a partner, exhibitor, or advertiser. [Log Cabin Republicans’] worldview and policy agenda are fundamentally at odds with what Colorado Christian University stands for, so it’s just not a fit. [Pols emphasis] I’m sorry it has to be that way.”

“Log Cabin Republicans are known for the hilarious ads painting Jared Polis as a king and the radio ads that aired that featured the ‘Ufestyles of the Rich and Out of Touch’ in an effort to educate Coloradans about Polis’ extremism and hypocrisy. Many of the members of our Colorado chapter are well known conservatives, and one of our board members even ran for the state senate as a Republican,” said Alex Hornaday, spokesperson and vice president.

“At our last meeting we decided we wanted to participate for the first time, have a table, you know nothing huge, but we told we could not participate in any context except as a ticket-buying attendee. Our policy agenda is one that advances a free society, and a freer economy. I think they are missing out.”

“Look, they are a private organization with every right to decide to include whom they wish.” Hornaday clarified, ‘We aren’t going to sue them over this. Nevertheless, a marketplace thrives on information, and this is information that might inform some others’ patronage.”

The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels follows up this morning with John Andrews:

He reiterated that this morning, telling The Denver Post he was “disappointed” that no one from the Log Cabin Republicans called him to discuss the situation and instead sent out a news release.

“The Log Cabin Republicans exists to redefine the family. Log Cabin Republicans think gay marriage should be the law of the land and Colorado Christian University doesn’t believe it should be,” he said. “They advocate contrary to our agenda and our core beliefs.” [Pols emphasis]

Stay tuned: with the Western Conservative Summit set to host numerous high-profile Republicans including a number of top-tier candidates for president, disinviting the Log Cabin Republicans could become a significantly bigger news story than whoever made this ill-advised decision is expecting. The negative press this move seems likely to generate strikes us as much more damaging to the conference, and the GOP brand in general, than simply allowing the Log Cabin Republicans to be there.

But when you’re blinded by prejudice, you tend to not think about how it looks to others. We’ll update this story as it develops.

James “SpongeDob” Dobson: Gay Marriage Could Start Civil War

James Dobson.

James Dobson.

We haven’t heard much in the last few years from the founder of Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson, since his retirement from that leading evangelical Christian group in 2009. Since then, Dobson has continued on with a new “ministry” with a similar focus, Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, which if you didn’t know is headquartered just across I-25 from Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs.

Formerly an icon on the “culture wars,” famous for his tirade against the children’s television program SpongeBob Squarepants, Dobson has a somewhat lower profile in American politics today–reportedly by design–but when he does speak, he can still make controversial headlines without breaking a sweat. As Right Wing Watch reports:

James Dobson, the founder of the Religious Right behemoth Focus on the Family, warned in a recent conference call with fellow anti-gay activists that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality could lead to a full-blown civil war.

After Janet Porter, the creator of a new “documentary” about how the gay rights movement will outlaw Christianity, discussed her “restraining order” campaign to convince Congress to strip the Supreme Court of its authority to rule on marriage cases, Dobson said that his fellow activists “need to be realistic about what we’re up against here.”

He said that the gay rights issue has reached an unprecedented “level of intensity” and put the country on the brink of conflict: “Talk about a Civil War, we could have another one over this.” [Pols emphasis]

Dobson also claimed that marriage equality will lead to the collapse of the nation: “The country can be no stronger than its families. I really believe if what the Supreme Court is about to do is carried through with, and it looks like it will be, then we’re going to see a general collapse in the next decade or two. I just am convinced of that. So we need to do everything we can to try to hold it back and to preserve the institution of marriage.”

Here’s the audio, with the Bob Beauprez-style civil war forecast starting at about 1:35:

And here’s where Dobson asserts that if the Supreme Court upholds marriage equality, the United States will “collapse in the next decade or two.”

Shocking stuff to hear in 2015, but keep it in perspective: a decade ago, this kind of far-out rhetoric was actually pretty common on the religious right. The last few years have witnessed a rapid shift in public opinion across America toward overwhelming public support for marriage equality, and the once-powerful religious right, led by men like Dobson, has been basically powerless to stop the falling dominoes.

But today, in what may be the last few months before the Supreme Court settles this question forever, it makes sense that the rhetoric from the far right–and naturally, we hope that it remains just rhetoric–is going bury the proverbial needle. Given his long history, it’s embarrassing but not a surprise that Colorado’s own James Dobson is staking out the fringe of this discussion.

Klingenschmitt Doesn’t Separate Political and Religious Money, either…

Rep. Gordon K. in Da Housse! (from GJK’s Facebook page)

(This is a reader diary promoted to the front page by Colorado Pols)

Representative Gordon Klingenschmitt from Colorado’s House District 15 just cannot remove his foot from his mouth. He also just cannot separate religious and political speech. Using scripture to explain horrible crimes, slandering of colleagues and organizations as terrorists, all stem from this basic conflation.

However, what I’m outlining here is how his campaign finances suffer from the entanglement of religion with politics. I will look at all three organizations Klingenschmitt owns or uses:

  1. GJK, Inc (his for-profit company),
  2. GordonforColorado, (his campaign committee),
  3. The Pray in Jesus Name/Persuade the World Ministries nonprofit. (PIJN/PTWM).

It’s not as gruesome and insensitive as his “God judges America /Ripping Women Open” comments, but just as horrifying if you believe, as our country’s founders did, as I do, in the separation of church and state.

Problem #1: The mysterious GJK, Inc. corporation

GJK as linked from the Pray in Jesus Name to Paypal “Donate to Political Work”

  •  GJK Inc, appears to be Klingenschmitt’s large, unregulated,  unaccountable cash stream from online donation buttons on the PJIN religious pages. This is illegal and unethical. 

 

 

[Lots more after the jump…]

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (Feb. 26)

MoreSmarterLogo-Hat1

We've installed fresh batteries in the Colorado Pols Quadruple Doppler (with cheese), which is predicting as much as 10 feet of snow today. Or maybe less. It's time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here's a good example).


TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► With one day left to authorize funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Colorado's Congressional delegation remains divided on how to move forward — no surprise, perhaps, given that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner can't even work things out inside their Republican majority. And what about freshman Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)? Here's Mark Matthews of the Denver Post:

Less clear was the stance of newly elected U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner. The Colorado Republican did not agree to an interview. Instead, his office released a statement that spoke less to a legislative solution and more to the actions of Democrats. "Senate Democrats are playing politics with our national security. It's wrong, and they should stop," he said in a statement. [Pols emphasis]

Once again, we remind you that REPUBLICANS HAVE MAJORITY CONTROL IN CONGRESS. Blaming Democrats for this one is like saying it's John Hickenlooper's fault that the Denver Broncos didn't win the Super Bowl. There's no way out of this mess for Republicans now.

Chris Cilizza of the Washington Post explains how Republicans got into this DHS funding mess in the first place.

► The Colorado legislature took a Snow Day on Monday because of poor road conditions, but not again today; there's plenty of legislatin' going on under the Golden Dome of the State Capitol.

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Feb. 24)

Get More Smarter

Put down the snowman and get back to work. It's time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here's a good example).


TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Today the Senate Judiciary Committee will discuss regulating "unmanned aerial vehicles," more commonly known as "drones." Don't tell Vice Chair Kevin Lundberg, but staff at the Capitol expect to be regaled by testimony from tiny little pilots.

No Homeland Security funding for you! Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to figure out what to do after the Senate voted for a fourth time to block funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) because Republicans are still mad that President Obama tried to do something about immigration. Congress has until Feb. 27 to approve appropriations to continue funding DHS. From the Durango Herald:

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has warned that an agency shutdown would result in 75-80 percent of staff members being forced to work without pay, as their jobs are deemed vital to national security. An additional 30,000 would be furloughed.

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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