Suppes and Suthen Boy Make National News

Don Suppes Twitter

Don Suppes’ offensive Tweets/”homework.”

UPDATE: Suppes is changing up his excuse to the old "Rogue Staffer" problem. Remember, Suppes and his campaign previously blamed his Twitter problem on invisible "hackers," but now he has a different explanation in a follow-up to the Mother Jones article:

Sept. 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm: In an email to Mother Jones, Suppes confirms that his campaign reported unauthorized activity on the @DonSuppes2014 Twitter account. Suppes adds that he has taken steps recommended for victims of identity theft.

Suppes also notes that he did not manage his campaign's Twitter account. "The campaign Twitter account had been managed by a staffer who has since been terminated," Suppes writes. "No authorization was ever granted to comment on articles. I had never heard of Southernboy and only recently investigated the bizarre postings which were of great concern to me."

Suppes is running for SD-5 in the State Senate. How is it that he has multiple paid staffers doing anything for his campaign, let alone managing his Twitter accounts? Suppes doesn't mention anything about why his personal Twitter account, @DonSuppes, was deactivated. When this story first broke on Colorado Pols a few weeks ago, the initial response from team Suppes was to deactivate @DonSuppes, leaving @DonSuppes2014 online; eventually both accounts were deactivated.

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A few weeks ago we told you about the Twitter accounts of Republican State Senate candidate Don Suppes, which have been deactivated after absurd claims from the Suppes campaign that his accounts had been "hacked." Well, that original screengrab we posted (image at right) has gone viral, with Mother Jones magazine picking up the story. It's not good for Suppes:

In a race that could decide which party controls the Colorado state senate, Republican state senate candidate Don Suppes is fending off accusations that his campaign tweeted out a link to a neo-Confederate website that denigrates gay people, women, and African-Americans, and complains that white people can't use the N-word.

Colorado Democrats are circulating this screenshot of the tweet, dated May 26, in which the Suppes campaign shares a link to the website SuthenBoy.com, with the words, "Interesting read…"

…Suppes is the two-term mayor of the 3,100-person town of Orchard City and runs a heating and cooling business. Democrats are also circulating a video of Suppes claiming that members of the US Senate were supporting UN plans to control parts of the United States. Suppes goes on to describe a plaque he saw on his vacation to Mexico bearing the number 21—the plaque is proof, he implies, that the UN has used "Agenda 21," a non-binding resolution that encourages sustainable growth, to encroach on sovereign nations; conservatives often describe Agenda 21 as a plan to evict US residents from rural communities and turn that land back into wilderness. "I do my homework," says Suppes. "If that makes me a conspiracy theorist, I'm sorry." [Pols emphasis]

Yeah, sure. "Homework."

21.

Google Dumps ALEC, Crickets In Colorado

google_dont_evil250px

The Center for Media and Democracy claims another huge win in their years-long campaign to persuade American corporations to stop funding the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)–an organization with deep ties to Colorado Republicans that has somehow managed to evade scrutiny in local press even as nationwide controversy rages about the group's improper influence in state legislative policy.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt said Monday that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is "literally lying" that climate change is not a reality, and that its membership in ALEC "was some sort of mistake."

ALEC stated that it is "unfortunate to learn that the company had ended its membership." Over 80 companies have dropped their membership in ALEC since the Center for Media and Democracy launched ALECexposed.org in 2011…

"I'm curious to know if Google is still supporting ALEC," a caller to the show asked, given the group's promotion of climate change denial and Google's purported commitment to environmentalism.

"Um, we funded them as part of a political [campaign] of something unrelated," Schmidt replied. "I think the consensus within the company was that that was some sort of mistake and so we're trying to not do that in the future…"

"Well, the company has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts — what a shock. And the facts of climate change are not in question anymore. Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people — they're just, they're just literally lying." [Pols emphasis]

ALEC has faced growing scrutiny and criticism in recent years, with a nationwide campaign launched against the group in the aftermath of the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin–whose killer escaped justice, drawing attention to a law pushed by ALEC in Florida called "Stand Your Ground." ALEC's role in a broad variety of Republican legislation, from "right to work" schemes to school vouchers and everything in between, has further stoked controversy as stakeholders in many states discover how many bad ideas that have become law began life as ALEC "model legislation."

Here in Colorado, ALEC enjoys what we can only call protection, or at least deference, from a local media which has been convinced for whatever reason that ALEC "isn't a story." That bias in the local press has forestalled coverage of ALEC's large footprint in the Colorado General Assembly, even as protests against ALEC raged across the nation and major corporations renounced their ties to the group. Despite all of that, Republicans in Colorado serve proudly in key ALEC positions, once in awhile dubious ALEC model bills even attract Democratic support–and nobody says anything.

This is something we really think ought to change.

Republican “Study Committee” Heads For The Border (Again)

UPDATE: Bonus round–check out this photo from 2010's "fact-finding tour" and tell us how many guns you see.

ColoGroupBorder
From left: 2010 House candidate Chris Holbert, then-Rep. Kent Lambert, Sen. Scott Renfroe, then-Rep. Laura Bradford, 2010 House candidate Janak Joshi, then-Rep. Randy Baumgardner.

A press release this week from the arch-conservative Republican Study Committee of Colorado, a social club for the more right-leaning among Republican legislators in this state, announces they are taking another field trip to the Mexican border. In 2006 and 2010, both years like 2014 when immigration was in the headlines, a gaggle of Republican elected officials and candidates undertook similar border "fact-finding tours."

The Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC) has planned a fact-finding trip to Texas to gain firsthand knowledge of the situation with respect to U.S. border security in southern Texas. In just a few weeks (October 5-7), Colorado legislators plan to meet with representatives from the Texas State Legislature, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Military Forces (Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard), and perhaps even some local citizen groups during a brief three-day visit.

"With all of the information and misinformation that we see on the topics of immigration and border security, and what they mean to Colorado citizens, we thought that the best approach would be to go gather some real-time information for ourselves," said RSCC Chairman and State Senator Kevin Lundberg, representing Colorado Senate District 15. 

No taxpayer funds will be used for the trip. 

Republican legislators have a history of traveling to the southern border, having made similar visits in 2006 and again in 2010. For legislators, there have been some things that have changed dramatically, and some that haven't changed much at all. The 2010 trip revealed a porous border, some unsettled locals, increasing criminal activity, and frustrated officials. Local ranchers, veterinarians, and others who used to work regularly with their neighbors on the border had seen a dramatic shift in the nature of activity over the years. 

For some legislators, the place to start is to define just what the issues are. "When people talk about immigration', I think it's important to define what we're talking about. Does that mean Naturalization and citizenship? Does it refer to the movement of labor and capital? Does it refer to national security? Does it refer to criminal activity, particularly in drug, slave or sex trafficking? Does it refer to the availability of entitlement programs? Defining and parsing out the issues is an important place to start before we can craft good policy for Colorado," stated Senator Lundberg.

During their 2010 trip to Arizona, RSCC members were "briefed" on that state's new anti-immigrant law SB-1070 by its principal backer, then-Sen. Russell Pearce. Pearce enjoyed brief popularity for his role in passing SB-1070, but within a few years his political career had completely unraveled. Pearce was ousted from his seat in 2011 is Arizona's first-ever successful recall of a sitting legislator. Then just this week, Pearce resigned as vice chairman of Arizona Republican Party after saying this on a local radio show:

"You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations,” Pearce said, according to the Phoenix New Times. “Then, we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job."

We assume the RSCC will not be meeting with Mr. Pearce during their trip to the Texas border. With that said, RSCC members who took the trip to see Pearce in 2010 introduced numerous pieces of legislation the following year–both mimicking Arizona's SB-1070 anti-immigrant law, along with other ideas they had heard about on their "fact-finding tour." In the summer of 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down most of SB-1070 as unconstitutional in the landmark case of Arizona vs. United States.

And of course, in the fall of 2012, Democrats retook the Colorado House from the GOP, crushing that party's single-seat, single-term majority in the one chamber they had managed to wrest control of in 2010–and helping lock down what has been the state of affairs in the General Assembly for going on a decade. Immigration wasn't the only factor in the GOP's significant legislative defeats in Colorado last election, but we can safely say that the Colorado GOP's image was not helped by the RSCC's antics in any way. Whatever disappointment Latino voters feel with Democrats for being unable to pass immigration reform, this is the stuff that reminds America's fastest growing bloc of voters who their enemies are in the starkest possible terms.

So, you know, take lots of pictures in Texas.

Dems Not “Shying Away From Guns” In SD-19

A new Democratic mailer hitting mailboxes in Colorado Senate District 19, where Rocky Mountain Gun Owners-endorsed arch-conservative Laura Waters Woods is facing off against Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, is noteworthy for its subject matter. Voters are getting lots of material from Republicans about the issue discussed in this mailer this election season. Here's one back at them in one of the state's most important legislative races:

woodsgunsmailer

Inside, the mailer calls out Waters Woods–not just for her opposition to the universal background checks on gun sales that are now law in Colorado, but her RMGO litmus-test opposition to all background checks for gun purchases. Anywhere.

woodsmailerinsert

One of the major criticisms of Democrats in the wake of last year's fierce debate over gun safety legislation passed by the Colorado General Assembly has been the perception that Democrats were unwilling to defend the bills they had passed. There is some validity to this criticism–not any unwillingness of individual elected Democrats like Sen. John Morse to go to the mat for these bills, which they were. Morse in particular, who was recalled by a very small margin after fighting valiantly to keep his seat, was and remains one of the most articulate and persuasive spokespeople for Democrats on gun safety. The problem was that political consultants early on had determined that the risk/benefit to "engaging the gun issue" wasn't worth it.

As those consultants discovered, pretending there's no 800-pound gorilla in the room is not a good strategy.

And the fact is, especially on closing the background check loophole, there was never a good reason to shy away from the issue. Polling on universal background checks is overwhelmingly in favor–above the 80th percentile in most surveys. Worse, the failure to respond to the avalanche of Republican misinformation about the gun bills has allowed it to gain a foothold in the public consciousness: to the point where, even as voters say they want universal background checks in overwhelming numbers, a majority say they "oppose gun control."

How can that cognitive dissonance be undone? The message in this mailer is a start.

Don Suppes Thinks You’re Stupid

TheWTF-Gang

Earlier this week, we took note of the fact that Republican SD-5 candidate Don Suppes has suspended both of his Twitter accounts following disclosure of a Tweet from last May linking to a white supremacist website as an "interesting read." Suppes, who bills himself as the "most conservative mayor in Colorado," is already in hot water over crazy remarks he made in a recent debate against Democratic opponent Kerry Donovan–and Tweeting this kind of stuff plants Suppes firmly in the ranks of what we are calling the "WTF Gang" of disastrously nutty Republican legislative candidates. Suppes was already on the short list after his weakness United Nations conspiracy theories was exposed earlier this summer.

Yesterday, Suppes responded to the growing controversy over his now-disabled Twitter accounts. Unfortunately, it's almost certainly BS:

Candidate for Colorado Senate District 5 Don Suppes has suspended his Twitter account after noticing unauthorized activity. According to a press release from the Suppes campaign the Republican claims "The Democrats have utilized this opportunity to run a smear campaign"… [Pols emphasis] 

Campaign Manager Matt Soper said, "The account hacking had been reported to the appropriate authorities." Don Suppes is running for Colorado State Senate, Dist. 5.against Democrat Kerry Donovan. District 5 covers a vast section of south-central Colorado, ranging from Aspen, and Delta,  through the San Luis Valley to the New Mexico border.

There are two key things to understand here. The first is that Suppes maintains 2 separate Twitter accounts (@DonSuppes and @DonSuppes2014), both of which he has suspended — so he expects you to believe that BOTH of his Twitter accounts were hacked? The second is that the offending Tweet in question was posted months ago–all the way back in May — on @DonSuppes2014. It would be one thing if this was a recent Tweet, but the idea that Suppes would have simply let this sit in on his page for months without ever noticing it strains credulity to say the least. And if this was some kind of nefarious Democratic attack, why would they just post this one link with only the words "interesting read?" We have no idea how to go about hacking a Twitter account, but we assume it requires some effort–effort that would either be noticed in the form of "failed login" alerts from Twitter, or noticed because whoever would go through that much trouble would surely do much more damage.

Who would go through the trouble of doing this to a rural Colorado Senate candidate–months ago?

The last instance we can recall of a politician claiming his Twitter account was "hacked" after something untoward was posted to it was former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner. Weiner claimed his Twitter account had been hacked, and his infamous "dick pics" uploaded by someone out to get him.

Everybody remembers how that turned out, right?

Bottom line: the Tweets are bad enough by themselves. Suppes' belated cover story about their origin is next to impossible to believe. The most likely scenario is exactly what it looks like: Suppes, a far-right conservative, got caught Tweeting the kinds of offensive stuff far-right conservatives tend to Tweet. When caught, he realized that it looks bad, deleted everything in a panic, and then cooked up a cover story that probably sounds perfectly believable out in Orchard City.

Just not anywhere where people know how these things work.

Gardner even dodges “friendliest audience you could ever hope for”

(Afraid to go on Caplis? Seriously? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

KNUS radio host Dan Caplis said this morning that during 21 years on air, he's "never had trouble booking Cory Gardner."

But he said, "we have had, on a regular basis, trouble booking Cory Gardner for the last three-or-four months," even though his show has the "friendliest audience you could ever hope for."

"My concern is whether [the Gardner] campaign, and this is where I get back to tactics, has allowed Cory to be Cory, and whether they've had him out there enough. And whether it's been a play-not-to-lose strategy. That's my concern, because I think Cory is magnificent. I know even on this show, which is about the friendliest audience you could ever hope for, we have had on a regular basis trouble booking Cory Gardner for the last three or four months. And I've been on air 21 years, and I never had trouble booking Cory before."

Listen to Dan Caplis discuss his troubles booking Gardner for his friendly show.

You gotta give credit to Caplis, who sounds on air like he runs in elite Republican circles, for coming clean with his criticism of Gardner's media dodge.

Don Suppes Joins Ready, Dr. Chaps, in the “WTF Gang”

Don Suppes

TUESDAY UPDATE: It now appears as though both of Suppes' Twitter accounts (@DonSuppes and @DonSuppes2014) have been deactivated. Perhaps the links below were just the tip of the ol' Twitter iceberg for Suppes.

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UPDATE: Don Suppes appears to understand the problem with his social media posts, though it seems he is still trying to figure out how to deal with this problem. Earlier, we wrote that the Twitter accounts @DonSuppes2014 had been disabled, leaving only @DonSuppes as a Twitter account for the candidate. Well…now things have reversed, for some reason. The @DonSuppes account is inactive, but the @DonSuppes2014 accounts has been re-activated. In retrospect, perhaps Suppes should have just refrained from sharing stories about white supremacists and wild conspiracy theories altogether.

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TheWTF-Gang

Tom Ready, Don Suppes, Gordon Klingenschmitt, and Nate Marshall

Republican Don Suppes is running against Democrat Kerry Donovan in SD-5, a huge, meandering Senate district in central Colorado that is one of the most hotly-contested races in 2014.

Suppes is apparently the Mayor of a Western Colorado town called Orchard City, and he likes to say that he is the "most conservative mayor in Colorado." We don't know if that statement contains any truth to it or not, but we won't try to refute it since we've only been aware of the existence of Orchard City for a few hours now. However, we can confidently say that Suppes is not one of the smartest mayors in Colorado, and you'll probably agree after reading this. 

Suppes is the latest Republican candidate to join the group that we'll (not-so-affectionately) call "The WTF Gang" that includes Pueblo County Commissioner candidate Tom Ready; HD-15 Republican nominee Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt; former HD-23 candidate Nate Marshall; and a host of other characters whose public statements are often met with a similar response from average Coloradans: "WTF are they talking about?"

Following on the heels of the recent idiocy perpetrated by Tom Ready comes a video (after the jump) in which it is revealed that Don Suppes has some, well, interesting, views on race and is really concerned about one of our favorite ridiculous conspiracy theories — the United Nations is coming to steal your guns treaty.  

Don Suppes Twitter

The Twitter account above was deleted sometime in the past few days.

Suppes only recently deleted the Twitter account @DonSuppes2014, presumably to try to scrub the Internet tubes of some horrifying links that the Orchard City Mayor thought were worth considering.

Just last May, for example, Suppes Tweeted the comments, "Interesting read," in linking to Suthenboy.com, a white-supremacist website that predicts "The South Shall Rise." 

You know what is really interesting about this, Don? That you would think nothing of sharing information about white supremacists as both a sitting mayor and a candidate for State Senate.

In conservative Tea Party parlance, which Ready and others have used before, "Interesting information" or "worth of discussion" has become the conversational equivalent of saying "No offense" before saying something mean and/or inappropriate to another person. Check out the video after the jump for more of Suppes' "ideas."

 

 

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Big Line Updates: Udall, Romanoff Growing Lead

As Election Day gets closer and closer, we'll be updating The Big Line on a weekly basis.

Here's what we're currently thinking as to the main movers in the top races in Colorado:

U.S. SENATE
Mark Udall (65%)
Cory Gardner (35%)

We don't see either Udall or Gov. John Hickelooper losing in November, but for the first time, we have Udall as a slightly bigger favorite in his respective race. Gardner's campaign has been an absolute mess, and national politicos and reporters are coalescing around the idea that Udall is in the driver's seat now.

 

GOVERNOR
John Hickenlooper (60%)
Bob Beauprez (40%)

We have this race tightening a little as Gov. Hickenlooper works his way out of a summer-long campaign funk. For Beauprez, this comes down to a lack of time — too much needs to happen in the next 4-6 weeks for Beauprez to have a realistic shot at knocking off Hickenlooper.
 

ATTORNEY GENERAL, STATE TREASURER, SECRETARY OF STATE
Republican State Treasurer Walker Stapleton has not had a good month, but he's still favored to beat Democrat Betsy Markey. Meanwhile, we have the AG and SOS races as toss-ups at this point, primarily because it's difficult to determine whether any of the candidates can do much to control their own destiny; the amount of money pouring into the races for Senate, Governor, and CD-6 will make it nigh impossible for lower-tier statewide candidates to get their message out.
 

CD-6 (Aurora-ish)
Andrew Romanoff (55%)
Mike Coffman (45%)

We wrote earlier about our belief that Countdown Coffman is underway following incumbent Rep. Coffman's boorish behavior of late. We've been hearing consistent buzz that Romanoff has nudged ahead as Coffman seeks the momentum he needs to prevent a complete collapse.
 


Check out the full Big Line 2014 or comment below.

Personhood ties run deep in Jeffco GOP campaigns

(Dance with the ones that bring ya – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Laura Waters Woods

Laura Waters Woods

I wrote last week about how senatorial candidate Cory Gardner’s support for Colorado's personhood abortion ban was part of his formula for winning the 2010 Republican caucus process, which was a big step to his being elected to Congress.

If you look at the State Senate races in Jeffco today, you see that the influence of key personhood backers persists, meaning that Gardner would likely face the same pressure to embrace personhood positions today as he did then. Gardner, of course, did not run in Jeffoco, but similar dynamics play out statewide.

The latest campaign finance reports reveal that Jeffco Republican candidates Tim Neville (SD-16), Laura Woods (SD-19), and Tony Sanchez (SD-22) all have notorious GOP strategic consultant Jon Hotaling on the payroll via his company, "Liberty Service Corporation.” Liberty Service Corporation was Sanchez's largest expenditure ($1,750) during the latest campaign-finance-reporting period and the second largest for Woods ($1,000) and Neville ($1,000).

Hotaling’s firm has worked over the years for Rep. Janak Joshi, gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo, and other personhood supporters, most notably for Colorado For Equal Rights, which ran the pro-personhood campaign, fronted by Kristi Burton, in 2008, according to campaign-finance reports. In 2008, Hotaling collected about $12,000 from Colorado For Equal Rights.

Tony Sanchez.

Tony Sanchez.

​So a major consultant for Personhood is deeply integrated into the campaigns of the three Republican senate candidates in Jeffco. Neville, Sanchez, and Woods all support personhood, as defined by Colorado Right to Life, based on their responses to its candidate survey this year.

Using what Republicans themselves called unethical tactics, Woods and Sanchez hammered their Republican primary opponents on the abortion issue during their primary campaigns against Lang Sais and Mario Nicolais.

In one flyer produced by "Colorado for Family Values," Nicolais was pictured next to Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia doctor convicted of murdering babies. The caption read: “Kermit Gosnell and his ‘House of Horrors’ abortion mill operated in secrecy for 17 years before his murderous crimes became infamous. Ask Mario why he won’t publicly defend the unborn? Call Mario…”

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Republicans Need Down-Ballot Miracle in Jefferson County

We've talked plenty in this space of the inconceivably ridiculous problems that Jefferson County Republicans have brought upon themselves and the rest of the GOP ticket this fall. Problems began long before the June 24 Primary Election, but things have only gotten worse since Tea Party favorites Tony Sanchez (SD-22) and Laura Waters Woods (SD-19) won their respective Primary races for the GOP nomination.

Jefferson County Republicans have had trouble recruiting strong candidates in the most important electoral county in the state, and they've even had trouble just convening a vacancy committee before the deadlines outlined in state statute. There's little dispute that Jefferson County will decide the outcome of Colorado's statewide races — as goes Jeffco, so goes Colorado — and a continued poor showing by GOP legislative candidates coupled with community anger at the Jeffco School Board could have a lasting effect in November. Fundraising figures don't provide a complete picture of the problems facing Jeffco candidates, but the comparisons are telling. Take a look at the chart below:

There are a handful of legislative races in Jefferson County that we are not including here, primarily because they are not really competitive seats for one Party or the other (HD-22, safe GOP seat; HD-24, safe Dem seat).

Taking into account the theoretically competitive Senate and House races, seven Democrats have raised $871,173 through the most recent — and final — quarterly fundraising period of 2014. Republicans, meanwhile, have raised about $272,406 — or about one-third the amount brought in by Jeffco Democrats.

In both HD-23 and HD-29, Republican candidates were late entrants after the first batch of GOP candidates were scrubbed from the ballot. Replacement candidates Jane Barnes and Susan Kochevar, respectively, have done very little in terms of raising money.

On the Senate side, Republican Primary winners Laura Waters Woods (SD-19) and Tony Sanchez (SD-22) have been less-than-impressive in their own fundraising efforts

While the outcomes of these Jeffco legislative races may not end up changing the makeup of either the State House or State Senate, the margins of defeat could have major repercussions for top-ballot candidates such as Bob Beauprez and Cory Gardner. If the races for Governor and U.S. Senate come down to Jefferson County voters, a weak stable of legislative candidates could spell D-O-O-M.

 

 

Photo: Indicted Sen. Steve King Collects More Per Diem

Last week, the Grand Junction Sentinel's Charles Ashby reported that Republican state Sen. Steve King, who has been indicted on multiple felony counts related to alleged theft of public funds, has been quietly removed from his post as chairman of the powerful joint Legislative Audit Committee by GOP Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman. To briefly recap, King is accused of improperly receiving pay from several government entities, including the Mesa County Sheriff and Colorado Mesa University, claiming hours worked that conflict with one another and King's time spent in the Colorado Senate.

In short, embezzlement and falsification of official records.

For reasons we don't understand clearly, there has been no pressure on term-limited Sen. King to resign from fellow Republicans in the Colorado Senate. The most prominent call for King to step down has come from nonpartisan (but disliked by Republicans generally) Colorado Ethics Watch. The relative lack of scandal over Sen. King's continued presence at the Colorado Capitol makes very little sense to us.

Today, Sen. King was in attendance for a meeting of the Transportation Legislation Review Committee (photo above). This would presumably entitle Sen. King to the maximum per diem reimbursement for showing up as an out-of-metro legislator. It's possible that, with King's other sources of income cut off, showing up as a lame duck to committees he's still allowed to serve on may be the only way to pay his bills.

Once again, if Sen. King had a (D) after his name…wouldn't Republicans be screaming bloody murder? Shouldn't Chuck Plunkett be detailing a reporter for a multi-day series? A lawmaker accused of felony embezzlement continuing to collect the same taxpayer dollars he's accused of stealing?

We don't get it, folks.

Sen. Ted Harvey Goes Bonkers Over Benghazi

Sen. Ted Harvey (left).

Sen. Ted Harvey (left).

The New York Times reported Friday about a new book forthcoming about the September 2012 attack on the American diplomatic consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The book 13 Hours, co-written by CIA contractors involved in the response to the attack on the Benghazi consulate that resulted in the death of the American ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and several other Americans, sheds some new light on the events of that day:

The book, titled “13 Hours,” is the first public account of the night’s events by any of the American security personnel involved in the attack. The accusation that the base chief, referred to in the book only as “Bob,” held back the rescue opens a new front in a fierce political battle over who is at fault for the American deaths.

Republicans have blamed President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the secretary of state, for the security failure.

American officials have previously acknowledged that the Central Intelligence Agency security team paused to try to enlist support from Libyan militia allies. But the book is the first detailed account of the extent of the delay, its consequences for the rescue attempt, and who made the decisions.

The commandos’ account — which fits with the publicly known facts and chronology — suggests that the base chief issued the “stand down” orders on his own authority. [Pols emphasis] He hoped to enlist local Libyan militiamen, and the commandos speculate that he hoped the Libyans could carry out the rescue alone to avoid exposing the C.I.A. base.

Hillary Clinton Newsweek

​In the aftermath of the Benghazi attack, Republicans have strained credibility to make a connection between high-level Obama administration officials and the decisions made on the ground that may have contributed to the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans. This latest version of events from the CIA contractors who responded has reinvigorated those questions from Republicans, despite the fact that they at least partly exonerate the administration–it wasn't then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or anyone in Washington who ordered those operatives to "stand down," it was the CIA's station chief in Benghazi acting on his own authority.

Which beings us to Colorado Sen. Ted Harvey, who runs the national Stop Hillary PAC–and has been beating the Benghazi drum as loudly as anyone. Don't pester Harvey with any of your silly details:

This is an emergency. We just learned the damning truth about Benghazi — the loss of 4 American lives was COMPLETELY AVOIDABLE. 

The key U.S. security team in Benghazi was FORBIDDEN from immediately responding to the attack on the American diplomatic mission. 

That's right…their inside account of what happened the night of the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attack is proof that Hillary Clinton had the means to save her diplomatic team…

Hillary Clinton is guilty of more than just lying. Crippling indecision, or worse, willful inaction were Hillary's death sentence for those 4 Americans who died September 11, 2012. [Pols emphasis]

And that, dear reader, is how the deed gets done. The facts that undermine Harvey's insistence that Clinton has blood on her hands? Forget those facts. Harvey never bothers to mention that it was the CIA station chief in Benghazi who the contractors say "forbade" them from going in. And it doesn't matter than a bipartisan House investigation determined there was no intentional wrongdoing by anyone in the administration.

Of all the attacks that have been leveled against the Clintons in their many years in politics, the Benghazi attack probably isn't the worst. But the disregard for the facts in this case, even after they are refuted by credible investigations, is a good lesson in how for many in politics today, facts just don't matter.

Colorado Sen. Ted Harvey fits that description perfectly.

UN Liberals, Unicorn Bans, and Better Broadband—The Battle for Senate District 5

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Senator Gail Schwartz, who has rather tirelessly worked on behalf of Senate District 5 is term-limited, and the battle to replace her is considered one of the top races this cycle for control of the Colorado Senate.  The contest is between Kerry Donavan, town councilor for Vail, and member of a long time Eagle County business and ranching family; and, Don Suppes the self-proclaimed “most conservative mayor” from Orchard City, an incorporated water district on the southern flanks of Grand Mesa, somewhere roughly between Delta and Cedaredge

The Club 20 debates yesterday not only included the marque races for Governor and U.S. Senator, and the second string races for CD 3 (Tipton, R-Worthless and Tapia, D-Pueblo, again) and CD 2 (featuring George Leing talking to himself), but a number of down ticket races as well including one shaping up to be a major battle in the fight to keep or take control of the state senate. 

Senate District 5–which includes Eagle, Lake, Gunnison, Chafee, Pitkin, and Delta counties–bridges the Divide: at the spine of the continent, as well as in the politics in western Colorado. 

Far from the ‘Republican stronghold’ some imagine it to be—western Colorado actually has classically divided politics: a number of areas are blue and trending bluer, even as the Republican strangleholds on places like Mesa and Moffat County increase.

And there is a strong sentiment toward being non-affiliated: which spans the range from conservative to liberal, and not always in familiar pairings.  A lot of folks like guns, and pot.  Your neighbors might be a changing band of hippies or survivalists bunkering down for the post-apocalypse.  Sometimes its the same group of people.  Its not a new thing and we like it that way.  We can be a little crusty, but most of us are friendly, and we help each other out.  

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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."

(more…)

AFL-CIO LAUNCHES KOCH SISTERS CAMPAIGN

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