Republican Party Imploding In Most Important Electoral County in Colorado

Nate Marshall, GOP candidate for HD-23.

Nate Marshall, GOP candidate for HD-23.

UPDATE #3: Nate Marshall not ready to formally resign as candidate in HD-23 (h/t to Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman). In a diatribe posted on Marshall's website (all CAPS is how it appears on Marshall's site), the candidate says that Jeffco GOP Chair Bill Tucker "[threw] him under the bus":

I AM DONE WITH THE RACE BUT I WILL NOT FILE THE PAPERWORK UNTIL THE JEFFERSON COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY AND COLORADO GOP MAKE AMENDS WITH THE TEAPARTY WHO BETTER REPRESENT CONSERVATIVES THAN RINOS LIKE BILL TUCKER. WE DO NOT NEED SELLOUTS LIKE HAVE INFECTED THE STATE AND COUNTY PARTY! WE NEED TRUE CONSERVATIVES.

BY STATE LAW YOU CANNOT BE REMOVED FROM A BALLOT UNLESS YOU SIGN A NOTARIZED FORM OF WHICH I POSSESS BUT HAVE DECIDED NOT TO FILE. I MAY JUST SIT ON THE DESIGNATION AND GIVE THE SEAT TO THE DEMOCRATS.. IMAGINE IF THEY GET 32-32 AND IN ORDER TO GET THE MAJORITY ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS WELL RESPECT THAT I LEGALLY AND MORALLY HOLD ALL THE CARDS AS I WAS LEGALLY AND CONSTITUTIONALLY DESIGNATED.

I DO NOT WANT TO RUN AND AM NOT BUT AM LEFT WITH LITTLE CHOICE BUT TO PROTECT MYSELF AND FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES BY STANDING UP TO THESE RINO BULLIES AS BEST I CAN.

We'll continue to update this story as it develops.

—–

UPDATE #2: The Colorado Independent confirms big news from Republican Rick Enstrom (who ran in HD-23 in 2012) that Nate Marshall was recruited to run by Tim Neville, the Republican candidate in SD-16 who has been endorsed by RMGO:

Embattled Colorado state House candidate Nathaniel Marshall was reportedly recruited to run for office by state Senate candidate Tim Neville, a prominent Colorado Republican politi

Republican Senate candidate Tim Neville (SD-16)

Republican Senate candidate Tim Neville (SD-16)

cian with close ties to far-right kingmaker Dudley Brown…

…Rick Enstrom, a prominent candy business executive and onetime Republican House candidate, tweeted Wednesday that Marshall told him that he was recruited to run by Neville. Today Enstrom confirmed that assertion in a phone interview.

“I’m not running for anything, and Tim Neville is a friend of mine but, hey, the facts are the facts,” he told the Colorado Independent.

This is a pretty significant twist to how a white supremacist career criminal could become the Republican nominee for House District 23. While Neville may claim that he didn't know about Marshall's past, it's hard to

 

believe that you could have conversations with the guy and not suspect anything strange. Anyone who followed Marshall on Facebook or Twitter would have seen some of this stuff.

(more…)

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

(Worse and worse – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(more…)

RMGO-Backed Candidates Win GOP County Assemblies

Lang Sias, Tea Party endorsed no longer.

Lang Sias, “Tea Party endorsed” no longer.

​As the Colorado Independent's Sandra Fish reports:

Jefferson County Republicans set the stage Saturday for two potentially divisive state Senate primaries.

Disagreements over which candidates are the strongest supporters of gun rights, “liberty” and the pro-life movement simmered just beneath the surface during an afternoon of speeches and voting.

Democrats have an 18-17 majority in the state Senate, and Republicans hope to take it back. The JeffCo seats, currently held by Democrats, could be key to that effort…

Saturday, Lang Sias and Laura Woods faced off in Senate District 19 for an opportunity to face appointed Democratic Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, while Mario Nicolais and Tony Sanchez competed in Senate District 22 where one of them will face incumbent Sen. Andy Kerr.

Sias, a former fighter pilot, took direct aim at Woods and her supporters, who include Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a conservative gun rights group. Sais lost to Sen. Evie Hudak by fewer than 600 votes in 2012…

“My opposition thinks I should be disqualified because I didn’t participate in the Hudak recall,” Sias said. “I did not feel it was right for the to stand up and ask for a do-over.” [Pols emphasis]

Laura Woods.

Laura Woods.

Tony Sanchez in SD-22 and Laura Waters Woods in SD-19 are the prohibitive favorites of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, the hard-line gun rights group foremost responsible for the drive to recall two sitting Colorado Senators last year while forcing the resignation of a third.

But even as RMGO flexes its muscles in the Republican primary, evidenced by both Woods and Sanchez winning top lines on their respective primary ballots this weekend, there is desperate establishment pushback underway against this post-recall attempt to install more RMGO friendly legislators in the Colorado General Assembly. RMGO overall does a fantastic job getting their candidates through the GOP primary process, recent examples of their work including Sen. Vicki Marble.

Unfortunately, once these RMGO-endorsed primary candidates become legislators, they have a tendency to severely harm the Republican brand as a whole (see: Vicki Marble). Sometimes they don't even make it that far, like brief SD-11 "RMGO endorsed" recall successor candidate Jaxine Bubis. The fact is, you've got a lot of Republicans out there who would like nothing more than to wash their hands of Dudley Brown and his ilk forever.

At the same time, how can any self-respecting Republican cheer when Lang Sias runs away from those same recalls in his county assembly speech? For us, this epitomizes the cognitive dissonance at work among Colorado Republicans today. On the one hand, the recalls are the Colorado GOP's rallying point for this year's "comeback." On the other, they reveal perhaps the greatest weakness in today's Colorado Republican Party–embarrassed by its own "success," out of touch, at war with itself.

As we've said, we don't know what the GOP's solution is, but the problem becomes more obvious every year.

Who Is Rep. Libby Szabo Protecting?

libbyszabo

The Denver Post's Anthony Cotton reports on today's passage of a Democratic bill to toughen sentences for child sex offenders:

The reading of a bill designed to create mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of crimes against children advanced Monday in the House, but not before some heated debate between Democrats and Republicans over how closely it hewed to ground-breaking legislation in Florida…

Both bills were heard in the House's State Affairs committee two weeks ago, with the Democratic-controlled group killing Szabo's bill while moving Foote's.

Szabo sought to mirror the Florida law, which includes a 25-year minimum sentence for offenders over the age of 18 as well as a provision that if the person were released early on parole, he or she would have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Foote's bill would stagger sentences that range from 10 to 48 years based on the seriousness of the crime and if it's ruled a class 1, 2 or 3 felony.

The Democrats accused the Republicans of trying to "cut and paste" the Florida law onto the Colorado statutes, adding that Foote's proposed legislation has the support of Lunsford's family. [Pols emphasis]

The passage of a so-called "Jessica's Law," mandating long sentences for sex crimes against children this year, came after a disgusting episode in the last legislative session, where Rep. Libby Szabo, the bill's primary sponsor, accused Democratic House Speaker Mark Ferrandino of "obviously protecting someone" after the 2013 bill died in a House committee. In reality, stakeholders including the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, and victim's advocates like the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault opposed Szabo's bill because Colorado already has very tough sentencing for perpetrators of sex crimes against children. The approach favored by Democrats this year, and still supported by advocates for "Jessica's Law," acknowledges the tough status quo and further strengthens sentencing–within a framework that attempts to make the punishment fit the crime.

But that wasn't enough for Szabo today, who warned darkly:

(more…)

RMGO Goes To War Against The GOP

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

SUNDAY POLS UPDATE: The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels:

The three RMGO-backed Senate candidates in Jefferson County are Tony Sanchez, Laura Woods and Tim Neville. Sanchez faces Nicolais in the GOP primary for the Senate seat now held by Democrat Andy Kerr, while Woods faces Sias in the GOP primary for the Senate seat now held by Democrat Rachel Zenzinger. Neville so far has no primary opponent, and is expected to face Democrat Jeanne Nicholson in November.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners claims in its Facebook post that the party is allowing “campaign operatives” for “anti-gun” candidates Sias and Nicolais to work in the Jeffco office and have “exclusive access to key data” that could give them an advantage in the June 24 primary. Brown also claimed in a fundraising letter that the party is “giving preferential treatment to the candidates who refused to fill out our survey.”

Nicolais, who is a member of the NRA, pointed out that he didn’t bother to fill out the survey for the same reason he didn’t fill out the AFL-CIO survey: He wasn’t going to get the endorsement. He said he received the survey after the gun group already endorsed Sanchez.

—–

Not that it's really anything new, but Dudley Brown of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is again causing trouble. 

In an email sent to RMGO members and supports this morning, Brown stated that:

RMGO-PAC has received word from multiple sources that the Jefferson County Republican Party is now turning away volunteers that openly support conservatives in the area

If that sounds strange to you, it should. But he goes on to explain that he doesn't mean ALL conservatives…

The party is asking volunteers, at the door, who they are supporting in contested State Senate primaries, and if they answer "Laura Woods", "Tony Sanchez" and "Tim Neville" (RMGO-PAC endorsed candidates), the volunteers are asked to leave.

That's a pretty bold accusation. And if true, could lead to some interesting GOP intra-party drama come County Assembly, which is on March 22. 

(more…)

The Nuge Still Shilling For The Tanc

nugear15

Media Matters via Mike Littwin at the Colorado Independent:

National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent is fundraising for Republican Colorado gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo weeks after Texas gubernatorial hopeful Greg Abbott caused a firestorm of controversy for campaigning with Nugent after the NRA figurehead made a racist comment about President Obama.

According to a March 4 article in The Colorado Independent, Nugent sent a fundraising e-mail on behalf of Tancredo that asked for donations of $25 or more to be entered into a raffle for an AR-15 assault weapon. In a letter addressed to "Real Americans," Nugent warned that "Barack Obama and his radical America-hating leftist goons are perilously close to taking away our guns and nullifying the Second Amendment." According to Nugent, "Tom Tancredo is running for Governor in one of the most anti-gun states in the union, so he urgently needs our help. That's why we're giving away a free AR-15 to a fellow gung-ho supporter." Nugent praised Tancredo for "opposing President Bush's wasteful spending spree, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and of course, insane infringements to our sacred Second Amendment rights."

An image of Nugent's latest fundraising letter follows. We are a little surprised to see Tom Tancredo still using aging rocker Ted Nugent as a fundraising pitchman, after Nugent very grudgingly apologized for referring to President Barack Obama as a "subhuman mongrel"–an apparent reference to the fact that Obama had a black father and a white mother. If that kind of talk seems more at home in the pre-civil rights era South than a mainstream political campaign in 2014, you're probably not alone.

Nugent's presence on the campaign trial recently caused headaches for a different Republican gubernatorial candidate. In Texas, Greg Abbott received widespread criticism for hosting campaign events with Nugent, who is also a spokesman for the Outdoor Channel, after Nugent recently termed Obama a "subhuman mongrel." Abbott was also widely criticized for campaigning with someone who had made numerous profane and derogatory comments about women, including calling Hillary Clinton a "toxic cunt" and "worthless bitch." Even prominent members of the GOP condemned Nugent, with Arizona Sen. John McCain adding, "That kind of thing is beyond the pale, and I hope that our candidate down there learned a lesson." Nugent eventually offered a disingenuous apology — "not necessarily to the president" — for his "subhuman mongrel" comment and Abbott stated publicly he had no plans to hold future events with Nugent.

Tancredo primary voters are less likely to be troubled. And apparently, so is Tancredo.

(more…)

Finally, The End Of The Endless “Jessica’s Law” Drama

UPDATE: Release from House Democrats, Rep. Mike Foote's "Jessica's Law" passes unanimously:

“As a deputy district attorney, I have prosecuted some of these crimes, and I have seen how devastating they can be for victims and their families,” Rep. Foote said. “I want to help them heal by knowing that Colorado has no tolerance for those who prey on our children. And I want DAs and law enforcement to have every available tool to maximize the safety of our kids and to put the worst of the worst behind bars for a very long time.”

…Members of the criminal justice and law enforcement communities, as well as victims’ rights advocates, testified in support of the bill.

“House Bill 1260 brings Jessica’s Law to Colorado in a way that makes sense for Colorado,” Rep. Foote told the committee. “We’re not going to cut and paste any provision of any other state’s criminal law without making allowances for our structure and the way things work in Colorado.” [Pols emphasis]

—–

Rep. Mike Foote (D).

Rep. Mike Foote (D).

​CBS4's Shaun Boyd reported Friday about legislation, two pieces of legislation actually, up for debate in the Colorado House today. Both call themselves "Jessica's Law," named after a Florida child who was murdered by a convicted sex offender out of prison on parole:

The intent of both bills is the same — to make sure anyone who sexually assaults a child spends a long time behind bars.

Both bills are named after Jessica Lunsford, a young girl from Florida who was raped and murdered by a sex offender on parole…

“For these types of offenders a longer sentence is something that’s necessary,” said Rep. Mike Foote, D-Boulder.

Foote is among those who voted against the Szabo bill, calling it “one size fits all.” But he also promised Mark Lunsford he would try to do something. He’s now introduced his own “Jessica’s Law.” His bill would put child molesters away for 10 to 24 years depending on the seriousness of the crime.

“My bill treats different types of actions differently, but also makes sure to target those who are committing the worst of the worst offenses,” Foote said.

Boyd's report, while a fair look at this year's bills, leaves out a number of important details from the debate last year over the GOP version of "Jessica's Law"–details that few under the Dome can forget. The fact is, law enforcement representatives including Colorado District Attorneys' Council, and victim's advocates like the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault opposed last year's version the bill. The reason is simple: Colorado already has very tough sentencing laws for sex offenders. What GOP Rep. Libby Szabo proposed last year was more about stripping away judicial sentencing discretion in an undifferentiated way. Rep. Mike Foote's bill, though we haven't heard if it's considered any more necessary by the DAs and victims than Szabo's, at least tries to look objectively at the types of crimes committed.

This is also the debate in which Rep. Szabo appeared on the FOX News O'Reilly Factor, and made the scurrilous allegation that Speaker Mark Ferrandino was "obviously protecting someone" after the bill died in a House committee. Especially given the opinion among law enforcement and victims advocates that the law isn't necessary in Colorado, we hope that Rep. Foote's generous attempt to accommodate proponents means this is the last we'll ever have to hear about "Jessica's Law."

Rep Wright Leaves Gun Unattended at Capitol

(The stupid! It burns! – promoted by Colorado Pols)

THURSDAY POLS UPDATE: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense​ released the following statement today:

"As a concealed-carry permit holder, Rep. Wright should understand the risks of leaving a loaded gun unattended. On any given day there are classes of school-aged children touring the Capitol. And we all know the horror stories of what happens when children find loaded guns. It is inexcusable,” said State Leader, Jennifer Hope.
 
She continued, "Rep. Wright claims he carries his weapon because it is his ‘duty to be a first responder.' To that we ask, how can someone respond to an emergency situation when they can't even locate their weapon? The sad irony here is that Rep. Wright sponsored legislation to expand concealed carry rights to gun owners without permits.  We shudder to think of this reality as we see the example of ‘responsible gun ownership’ that Rep Wright has displayed."

—–

Rep. Jared Wright (R-Fruita).

Rep. Jared Wright (R-Fruita).

Let's hear a big hurrah for the Jared Wright as he absolutely obliterates any chance that Republican's will be able to use gun laws to hurt Dems in the 2014 elections in Colorado. 

In a move so ironic it hurts, State Representative Jared Wright left a loaded gun behind after a committee hearing on… wait for it… concealed carry permits. 

As if Jared Wright didn't have enough problems within and beyond his own party, he is now single-handedly responsible for enshrining the Democratic Party's majority for 2015, and will now be the poster boy for the (not so) responsible gun owners. 

The Republic/AP reports:

DENVER — A state lawmaker says he'll no longer carry a firearm in the Capitol after he inadvertently left a loaded handgun in a committee room…

State law prohibits guns in the Capitol "without legal authority." Wright, who was on the Fruita police force in 2007-2011, says that as a peace officer he has a right to be armed in the Capitol.

Wright says after speaking with the State Patrol and Gov. John Hickenlooper's office, he won't carry a gun in the Capitol anymore.

This follows a Durango Herald piece from last year when Rep. Chris Holbert told a witness testifying about gun bills: "Do you understand that there are several guns in this room?"

(more…)

So What You’re Saying Is, Magpul Played Us Like a Fiddle

Colorado-based gun accessory maker Magpul.

Colorado-based gun accessory maker Magpul.

A typically slanted write-up from the conservative "news" site Colorado Observer responds to criticism of Erie-based gun accessory maker Magpul, who is moving their manufacturing operations to Wyoming and Texas with millions of dollars in taxpayer economic development subsidies:

Magpul has come under fire from the left since announcing Jan. 2 that the company intends to move its manufacturing facility to Cheyenne and its corporate office to Texas, making good on last year’s promise to leave Colorado as a result of Democratic gun-control bills signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

A Feb. 10 article on the liberal website ColoradoPols carried the headline: “Reminder: Magpul Played Everybody Like a Fiddle,” while the progressive Colorado Independent ran a Feb. 6 article with the headline, “Magpul is relocating because it landed long-sought financial deal.”

“Far from a hardship, [this] could be the most profitable ‘crisis’ in Magpul’s history!” said Colorado Pols in a Jan. 3 post.

Republicans described the reports as an effort by the left to discredit Magpul and rewrite the narrative of last year’s gun-control melee, which resulted in the historic recalls of two Democratic state senators and the resignation of a third.

“They [Democrats] passed a bill that drove hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars of revenue out of the state of Colorado,” said state Sen. Greg Brophy (R-Wray). “How do you defend that, other than to demonize the people who left by saying, ‘Good riddance, they should be gone?’” [Pols emphasis]

Unsurprisingly, Valerie Richardson of the Observer omits the key fact central to our previous stories on this: as reported by local news media last year, Magpul specifically sought and was offered economic subsidies by Texas and Wyoming a year before the gun safety bills later used as a pretext to justify Magpul's move were ever introduced. Setting aside that rather glaring discrepancy, here's what Magpul's spokesman says about those subsidies:

Anderson countered in an email exchange with the Observer “the Wyoming incentives are not ‘subsidies.’”

“[T]hey are loans from Wyoming to the local economic development office Cheyenne LEADS,” said Anderson. “Cheyenne LEADS will use those state funds to build a 100,000+ sq. ft. facility.”

He added that, “LEADS is leasing the facility to Magpul and will repay those state funds.  Magpul has an option after year five of the lease to purchase (the) facility for the full construction cost.”

According to all reports we've read out of Cheyenne, this just isn't accurate–a significant component of the package offered to Magpul consists of grants, not loans. And if you read the weasely language carefully above, he doesn't actually say Magpul is obliged to repay the "full construction cost"–that's just an "option!" According to the Wyoming Eagle Tribune, Magpul is only contractually on the hook for $6 million as part of a "revenue recapture plan."

Bottom line: The superficial story of Magpul's impending departure from Colorado is one that can be gainfully spun by Republicans, as it services lots of other Republican lines of attack. But the truth of this story is very different. When people learn that Magpul was shopping for economic subsidies from the same states, Wyoming and Texas, that it has now announced their move to, a full year before the gun safety bills Magpul claims were the justification for doing so were introduced–even before the mass shooting incidents in Aurora and Connecticut that motivated these bills to begin with–their reaction inevitably changes.

Of course it changes. Because they realize we were all being played like a fiddle.

Buck Looks To Bury “Buyer’s Remorse” Catastrophe

UPDATE: The conservative Daily Caller helps roll out the new female-friendly Ken Buck:

Buck promises this video is merely be the first in a series of maybe ten, or so, he will release. And although they’re too long to air on TV in their current format, “at some point in time,” he avers, “parts of these interviews will be pulled out and ads will be created to set the record straight.”

For a candidate hoping to neutralize a predictable attack, having these testimonials filmed and in the can should go a long way. “I anticipate that once again the Democrats will create the ‘war on women’ narrative,” he said, “and these women talk about who I [really] am.”

—–

2010 GOP Senate nominee Ken Buck.

2010 GOP Senate nominee Ken Buck.

T.M. Fasano writes for the Greeley Tribune today in a story shameless puff piece notably outside their usual paywall:

[Ken] Buck, the Weld district attorney and GOP frontrunner to run against Colorado Sen. Mark Udall in the U.S. Senate race, unveiled a two-minute video titled “Ken Cares: Stephanie’s Story.” Several other videos will be released over the next several weeks and months also showing Buck’s support from women…

When Buck ran for the U.S. Senate seat against Michael Bennet, and barely lost, in 2010, he was portrayed as anti-woman, something that annoys Buck to this day. [Pols emphasis]

“It’s terrible. It’s an absolute lie. I have a daughter. I have a wife,” Buck said. “I understand that politics is unfair, but at some point there has to be some basis in truth and the fact is that I have spent 25 years of my life trying to help the most vulnerable in our community. For someone to suggest that because I’m pro-life that I don’t care about the vulnerable is not logical.”

He added, “What the Democrats have done to me and to Romney and to dozens of others is to say that because we are pro-life we don’t care about women. Nothing can be further from the truth. We have a position on one issue. Look at the whole group of issues before making a decision. What the liberals have done is they have taken one issue and have tried to create a character trait based on that issue and it just isn’t true.”

Of course, there's an obvious bottom line underlying any effort to rehabilitate the image of Weld County DA Ken Buck with women voters:

Buck’s numbers in the latest Quinnipiac University poll has him trailing Udall by only 3 percentage points (45 to 42), but among women voters he’s trailing Udall by 21 percentage points (54 to 33). [Pols emphasis]

“I’ve never met someone who is as dedicated as Ken, so it’s very surprising to me to see the polls showing such little support for him over women’s issues,” [domestic violence survivor Stephanie] Drobny said.

During Ken Buck's failed 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate, a race he unexpectedly lost principally due to a crushing lack of support from women voters, there were many incidents that hurt him–like during the primary campaign against Jane Norton, when he suggested Republicans vote for him because he does "not wear high heels." Buck also aggressively campaigned on a "no exceptions" platform of opposition to abortion, proudly volunteering that he opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

But the worst came for Buck when a story broke in early October of 2010 about a case of alleged sexual assault he had refused to prosecute, claiming the alleged victim had a case of "buyer's remorse"–this despite the fact that the alleged perpetrator was caught on tape admitting to the crime. The victim in turn had a recording of Buck's callous treatment of her during the investigation, which she released. Combined with a disastrous appearance on Meet the Press and already well-established anti-woman narratives about Buck from the primary campaign (see above), this event helped turn Buck's momentum toward likely victory at the end of September into a narrow loss to Sen. Michael Bennet by Election Day.

Recognizing what happened, Buck is smart to work overtime to repair the damage with women voters in 2010–the persistence of which appears to be his biggest impediment as the GOP's frontrunner for the nomination to challenge incumbent Sen. Mark Udall in 2014. The fact that women voters remember Buck well enough to favor Udall by twenty-one points means that Democrats did a very good job in 2010.

Still, Buck gets credit for recognizing this as his biggest challenge. Much like the hard-right Rep. Mike Coffman pulling a 180 on immigration, though, can Ken "Buyer's Remorse" Buck really make nice with the ladies? It's a tall order to say the least.

Don’t Miss Greg Brophy’s “Gun Club Giveaway!”

gunclub_giveaway

We might have predicted it, but here are the details from Sen. Greg Brophy's gubernatorial campaign site:

To help spur safe gun ownership, my campaign has decided to giveaway a Smith & Wesson M&P15.
I took the time to make a few modifications myself, including: 

MVG vertical grip
MOE+ grip – AR15/M16
MBUS folding rear backup sight
MOE handguard  carbine length – AR15/M16
MS3 multi mission sling Gen 1
ASAP ambidextrous sling attachment point
STR carbine stock mil spec 
2X MOE polymer rail section 11 slots

I tricked this baby out with all the MagPul stuff you can add!

No donation necessary (though we doubt Sen. Brophy would mind), just click here to fill out a simple entry form. Best of all, this AR-15 rifle is "tricked out"–with the latest Magpul accessories, and apparently, Sen. Brophy's fingerprints! That could come in particularly handy depending on who wins this rifle, since Brophy has sworn to not obey the gun safety laws passed last year. We assume that means it will actually come equipped with the Magpul high capacity magazine pictured, and that no background check will be required for this private transfer to who might be a total stranger. Just the way the Founding Fathers intended!

And before those of you who find this an affront get on your high horses, be assured that the ever-snarky Sen. Brophy has already thought of what to say to you. We'll update when we hear what it is.

Holy Hypocrisy, Randy Baumgardner!

randypolicereport

Randy Baumgardner.

Randy Baumgardner.

As the Colorado Independent's John Tomasic reports:

It was a 30-year-old High Standard nine-shot nickel-plated revolver with imitation pearl handles and it was lying on a shelf in the front hallway closet at state Senator Randy Baumgardner’s house in Hot Sulfur Springs. And then it was gone.

In the report he made to the Grand County Sheriff’s office, Baumgardner said he suspected no burglar came and took the gun. It was more likely someone who knew it was just sitting there in the closet, like maybe his stepson, 24-year-old Michael Gramm, who had recently taken a job in Texas. [Pols emphasis] Baumgardner didn’t want to make trouble for his stepson. He just wanted to make sure the fact the gun was missing was recorded and that, if it ever turned up, he might get it back.

The police report is dated 2012.

How is this relevant today, you ask? Well…

Baumgardner today will be testifying in favor of a bill he has introduced to expand exceptions to a law passed last year that requires background checks for non-purchase gun transfers. The law now says that immediate family members don’t have to get background checks to trade firearms. Baumgardner wants the law to include step-relatives as part of the family members exempted from background checks.

Now folks, we're not making a judgment about this particular bill, which some readers might reasonably support. But it's tough to imagine a worse story to come out about the sponsor of a bill to ease restrictions on gun transfers to step-relatives than his own weird police contact over the possibility his own stepson had stolen his gun. After all, isn't the whole premise of Sen. Randy Baumgardner's Senate Bill 14-090 that you can trust your step-relatives?

Baumgardner's bill was likely to die anyway, but this ought to give it a rousing send-off.

Kopel urged Large Capacity Mag Manufacturers to Improve their Quality

(This is really going to become an actual argument, isn't it? Bigger magazines are safer because they don't work as well! — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Dave Kopel.

Dave Kopel.

That's how I read this, anyway

Dick DURBIN (D-IL): What I’m trying to get to is this, if you can rationalize a 100-round drum that someone can strap onto an automatic — semi-automatic weapon, as did in Aurora, Colorado, and turn it loose, killing dozens of people there, and saving lives only because it jammed, then you certainly ought to object to the laws that have been on the books for 80 years about machine guns. Why aren’t they allowed under the Second Amendment?

Dave KOPEL (Independence Institute): Because, as the — because, according to Heller, because they are not commonly used by law-abiding citizens for legitimate purposes,

DURBIN: But 100-round magazines are? 

KOPEL: You’re the one who wants to talk about 100-round magazines.

(Nice school yard debate tool there, Dave. -ed.)

DURBIN: I sure do.

KOPEL: And thank goodness — thank goodness he had a piece of junk like that that jammed, instead of something better made, where he could have killed more people with it.

DURBIN: Well, we — that’s what it’s all about, then?

KOPEL: It’s about saving…

DURBIN: We’re playing God here?

KOPEL: It’s about saving lives — it’s about saving lives with ordinary magazines. Hundred magazines are novelties that are not used by police officers or hunters or most other people.

Colorado's pro-death gun advocates should figure out if they want more people to die from 15-round clips or better made 100-round clips as Kopel suggested in his U.S. Senate testimony.

More Coloradans will certainly die from gun violence in the future. And there will be high capacity gun clips at the scene of the crime….you can rest assured of that.

Stopping short of apologizing for mag comment, Herpin thanks Boyles for being “fair and balanced,” and Boyles calls Stokols a “Butt Boy”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

FRIDAY POLS UPDATE: Something more like an apology now from Sen. Bernie Herpin, as reported by the Colorado Springs Gazette's Megan Schrader today:

Sen. Bernie Herpin, a Republican, said he was trying to make a point about how last year's Democrat-sponsored gun laws have been ineffective in reducing gun violence.

"There's nothing I can say to relieve their pain; I certainly didn't intend to add to their pain," Herpin said.

But talk of his comments has spread rapidly and so has the criticism. [Pols emphasis]

—–

Sen. Bernie Herpin (R).

Sen. Bernie Herpin (R).

Minutes after State Sen. Bernie Herpin thanked KNUS talk-radio host Peter Boyles for being "fair and balanced," Boyles called Fox 31 reporter Eli Stokols a "Butt Boy."

Herpin and Boyles were angry over Fox 31 Denver coverage of Herpin's statement that it was "maybe a good thing" that the Aurora m0vie-theater shooter had a 100-round magazine.

Asked by Boyles' about Stokols' coverage, Herpin said this morning, "As a media person you know it's their job to sensationalize the news to attract readers and viewers and followers on their blogs."

"Fortunately, we have people like you that stand up for us, that provide both sides of the story in a fair-and-balanced way," Herpin told Boyles. "And I thank you for that."

"Well, you're kind," responded Boyles, who really truly expressed his "love" Herpin earlier in the interview.

Listen to Herpin says Boyles is fair and balanced 02-13-14

After I tweeted Boyles' conversation with Herpin, "Missing Pundit" responded with "Live from Kenya," referring to Boyles' birther obsessions.

Herpin stopped short of apologizing for his comment about the 100-round magazine, telling Boyles, "I certainly meant no disrespect to people."

Boyles' substantive criticism of Stokols' reporting was that Stokols didn't include the full context of Herpin's quote until the lower portion of Stokols' post. There, Stokols wrote: "Herpin was trying to say that larger magazines are less reliable, more prone to jamming up." And then he provided Herpin's full comment with video.

That doesn't sound like reporting from a Butt Boy, whatever that means.

“Maybe a Good Thing That He Had a 100-Round Magazine”

THURSDAY UPDATE: Audio of Tom Sullivan's (father of Aurora shooting victim Alex Sullivan) response to Sen. Bernie Herpin's remarks in testimony now available below.

From every indication that I have, the pictures, and the reports that I've received from the DA, it says that 76 bullets came out of that magazine. [Pols emphasis]

—–

Sen. Bernie Herpin (R).

Sen. Bernie Herpin (R).

Today's "just wow" moment in the Colorado Senate is brought to you by freshman Sen. Bernie Herpin (R-Recall), as reported by FOX 31's Eli Stokols this afternoon:

Republican state Sen. Bernie Herpin raised the ire of an Aurora theater shooting victim’s father when he claimed that it might have been “a good thing” that gunman James Holmes had a 100-round magazine when he opened fire and, ultimately, killed 12 people…

“My understanding is that James Holmes bought his 100-round capacity magazine legally,” said Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver. “So in fact, this law would have stopped James Holmes from purchasing a 100-round magazine.

“I was wondering if you agree with me.”

“Perhaps, James Holmes would not have been able to purchase a 100-round magazine,” Herpin responded.

“As it turned out, that was maybe a good thing that he had a 100-round magazine, because it jammed. If he had four, five, six 15-round magazines, there’s no telling how much damage he could have done until a good guy with a gun showed up.”

Just a couple of points to add, since this horrifyingly tortured logic doesn't really merit anything you'd call "analysis." Herpin was trying to make a point, not wholly inaccurate, that some of the cheaper civilian-grade high capacity drum magazines aren't very reliable. The drum magazine used by the Aurora shooter in fact did jam his assault rifle–after numerous fatal shots. But the idea that anyone would count on product defects to protect the public in an actual shooting is, of course, ludicrous beyond words. Also, we are obliged to note that in the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, the Colorado-made Magpul high capacity magazines did not jam.

Tom Sullivan, father of Aurora shooting victim Alex Sullivan and who was present for today's hearing, said this afterward:

“The lack of empathy and compassion is shocking,” he said. “Not just to me and my family, but to all of the families who have lost loved ones to gun violence and to all the people of Colorado. But this is what he truly believes.

“And to think this is the person who they brought in to replace John Morse.” [Pols emphasis]

Without a doubt, Herpin delivered a huge political gift to Democrats today, betraying an ignorance and aloofness to suffering that frankly voters wouldn't believe if there wasn't recorded proof it had happened. This is a hit not just on Bernie Herpin, but the entire Republican 2014 "comeback" strategy that revolves around keeping the momentum from last year's recalls at full tilt through November. Cracks in that strategy had already appeared as gun rights supporters failed to pack committee hearings for the repeal bills.

And now, folks? Who will justify this madness?