Ain’t No Party Like a Tea Party Party

GOP Senate candidates Ken Buck and Owen Hill.

One of these men is NOT Ken Buck.

Republican Senate candidate Owen Hill is a "new" Republican leader, which is a really-not-very-subtle way of saying that he's not Ken Buck. As the Greeley Tribune (firewall) reports, Hill has received the endorsement of The Tea Party Express, a national Tea Party group that endorsed Buck in 2010 (back when they still liked Buck, apparently). As it turns out, a bunch of local Tea Party groups aren't happy about this:

But a Colorado Issues Coalition news release said Monday that the Colorado Tea Party Patriots, Arapahoe Tea Party, 285 Corridor Tea Party, Evergreen Tea Party, North JeffCo Tea Party, Lakewood Tea Party, South JeffCo Tea Party and Bears Ears Patriots stand together to disavow the endorsement for Hill, a 31-year-old state senator…

…“This out-of-state organization with no local grass roots ties does not speak with the consent nor consensus of the many tea party, 9.12 and other liberty groups in Colorado,” said Regina Thomson, president of the Colorado Tea Party Patriots.

No, we don't know much about "Bears Ears Patriots" either, but it sounds cool.

The Tea Party Express has an independent expenditure arm called Our Country Deserves Better, which is running this ad in a two-week cable buy beginning today. Owen Hill — he's not Ken Buck!

This infighting among Tea Party groups is one of the most significant problems that Americans For Prosperity and the Koch brothers didn't really think out when they were trying to build a group of activists with no central leadership. When you don't have a central leadership structure, you can operate more like a grassroots advocacy group. But when you don't have a central leadership structure, there is nobody to convene to try to talk things out.

In other words, it looks like Colorado is in for a Tea Party fight. Start scrounging for scones and crumpets, or whatever.

Beauprez’s Dancing Highlights GOP Anxiety in 2014

Groucho, Not KarlThe more we watch the saga of Bob Beauprez, candidate for (Governor/Senate/Student Council?), the more we are reminded of this famous quote from actor Groucho Marx. The quote doesn't quite fit for Beauprez, necessarily, but is fairly spot-on if you attribute the saying to Colorado Republicans. Since his historic implosion as a candidate for Governor in 2006, Beauprez has floated his name as a potential candidate for Governor or Senate more often than some state legislators take a bath (we're kidding, we're kidding: we're sure most of you are bathing). The response Beauprez has received from Republican leaders in Colorado has been fairly consistent; a polite, 'maybe this is not your year' from some folks, while most just pretended they weren't home when Beauprez rang the doorbell.

But that was then. Now? Now, things are different…sort of. Now Republican leaders just pretend they're not home when any of their candidates for Governor or Senate come to call. And there's Beauprez, grinning like Jim Carrey's character from Dumb and Dumber, after being told by the woman of his dreams that he had a '1-in-a-million' chance of dating her: "So you're saying there's a chance…"

Fox 31's Eli Stokols has been on the Beauprez watch for months now, and then last Wednesday, Colorado Pols reported that Beauprez was close to entering the race for Governor. Then, on Thursday, Beauprez sent out a vague Tweet saying that he was 100% committed to trying to bring the 2016 Republican National Convention to Denver. The next day, Friday (Feb

Beauprez, via The Colorado Statesman.

Beauprez, via The Colorado Statesman.

. 7), Beauprez was quoted extensively by Jody Hope Strogoff in The Colorado Statesman. He doesn't exactly sound like a guy who doesn't want to talk about running for Governor:

Asked whether he might bow out of his RNC role after the upcoming deadline, Beauprez said he has “the intention to stay.”

But Beauprez also acknowledged he’s cognizant of the upcoming caucuses to be held on March 4, and the earlier than usual election calendar that has the primary election on June 24. “It’s on my mind, sure,” he said, dashing speculation that he’s ruled out a race for governor in total.

“Are you 100 percent not running?” The Statesman queried.

“We’ll see,” Beauprez said.

“I’ll admit I’m curious, but [have] not made a decision,” Beauprez also said during the interview.

Look, it's no secret that Beauprez wants to run for something statewide, but after so many years of being politely brushed off, maybe now he's just taking his time to pretend to be talked into it. Republicans know that none of their current candidates can beat Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, and as much as they may still harbor some resentment over Beauprez's horrible, no-good 2006 campaign, he at least has the ability to self-fund a campaign — a big plus when the rest of the field is having a bit of trouble raising money. Will Beauprez ultimately make the jump and run for Governor (or still, perhaps, U.S. Senate)? It sure looks like it, but that's only part of the story.

The real story here is a Republican Party that is so divided and confused that someone like Beauprez, a shamed former candidate, can even contemplate running for Governor or Senate even though the General Election is less than 9 months away. Not only can he contemplate either race — he can actually give serious consideration into running for either office. When Udall first ran for the Senate against Republican Bob Schafer in 2008, both candidates had been raising serious cash and support for months. You'd have been out of your mind to even consider mounting a challenge to either candidate in Feb. 2008, when Schaffer was sitting on more than $1.5 million and Udall nearly $4 million, respectively. Of course, in those days, the Republican Party actually had some ability to talk bad candidates out of running in order to clear a Primary.

Whether Beauprez runs or not is almost a moot point. What matter is that he even could run. He's not the man they want. He's not the man they need. But he can't be any worse than what they've got now.


Have Congressional Approval Ratings Lost Their Meaning?

The latest polling on the Colorado Senate race was released on Thursday from Quinnipiac University, and while the head-to-head matchups normally get the headlines, we've always looked more closely at approval ratings as a stronger barometer of election outcomes. The head-to-head matchups are fun to note, but they are often little more than snapshots of support for "generic opposition Party" versus the incumbent; something is obviously off when Republican Randy Baumgardner, who has raised as much money for his campaign as you have, appears to be within striking distance of incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

According to Quinnipiac, 45% of Colorado voters approve of the job Udall is doing in the Senate, while 41% disapprove. On a scale of 1-100, that doesn't look very good. But we can't really use that scale because the playing field for federal candidates is oddly skewed. With approval ratings for Congress in general at historic lows of around 10%, you could make the argument that a 45% approval rating is actually pretty good.

In a recent national Gallup poll, only 17% of registered voters (also a record low) say that most members of Congress deserve re-election:

[V]oters see their own U.S. representative in the same way that they see most other members of Congress — as not deserving re-election.

But here in Colorado, voters are split 42-42 on whether or not Sen. Udall deserves to be re-elected. The Gallup poll was asking about members of the House of Representatives, but the word "Congress" has traditionally been assigned to include both chambers in Washington D.C. Do voters think more highly in general of their U.S. Senators than their House members? Do more people assume the word "Congress" to apply only to the House, and not the Senate?

Whatever the dynamic at play here, the historic unpopularity of Congress has to be a major factor when you try to measure the approval ratings of a particular U.S. Senator — you can't currently take any numbers at face value without considering that inherent dislike of the entire legislative body. This shows up when you look at approval ratings around the country for incumbents facing re-election in 2014. Here's a sampling of the most current available numbers for a handful of Democratic incumbents running for re-election:

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK): 43-44
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL): 46-40
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA): 46-43

Could Udall's approval ratings be better? Sure…but how much better could they realistically get at a time when Congress is so disliked?

Bob Beauprez Getting Close to Running…for Governor?

UPDATE: One of the first things Bob Beauprez will need to answer for as a gubernatorial candidate is his glowing praise in 2010 for prospective 2014 opponent Tom Tancredo. Check out this video we were just forwarded of Beauprez introducing Tancredo at a 2010 campaign event:

Apparently, things have changed.


Both Ways Bob Beauprez

“Both Ways” Bob Beauprez (right).

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez really, really, really wants to run for elected office again. Beauprez has wanted to jump in a high-profile race ever since 2006, when he ended his bid for Governor by losing in a landslide to Democrat Bill Ritter. It wasn't just that Beauprez lost in 2006 — it goes much deeper than that. Beauprez's 2006 campaign for Governor is widely considered the worst statewide campaign in the history of Colorado, and many Republicans have never forgiven him for not only botching that race, but for giving up his incumbency as a sitting member of Congress in CD-7 (a seat that Republicans have never even come close to reclaiming since Ed Perlmutter won the open seat in 2006). Beauprez has comically (and sadly, on occasion) tried floating his own name for Senate or Governor in the years since his 2006 debacle, but his fishing expeditions have been about as successful as casting a line in his bathtub.

Nevertheless, rumors are growing that Beauprez has moved beyond the stage of looking longingly at a statewide race — and into a new position of preparing to make his candidacy official…for Governor.

Yes, Governor.

Beauprez has seen the polling numbers on the Governor's race, which show Tom Tancredo as an incredibly weak frontrunner on the GOP side. Beauprez has seen the anemic fundraising numbers, with Tancredo outraising other Republicans but also spending more money than he raised in Q4. The Gubernatorial race probably looks pretty enticing to Beauprez, who has one major advantage: He can self-fund a campaign and quickly expend more resources than his fellow GOP candidates who are restricted by the low contribution limits for Governor. Yet, we are still surprised to hear that Beauprez is leaning towards running for Governor because of that one giant albatross from 2006; Republicans have been there and done that with Beauprez before, and it was an absolute disaster.


Amy Stephens’ Q4 Report is Even WORSE Than You Thought

Republican Amy Stephens quietly announced her Q4 (2013) fundraising numbers late on Friday afternoon, and it was no surprise as to why: With an embarrassingly-low $51,000 raised in her first full fundraising period, her campaign resembled a race horse bursting out of the starting gates and immediately falling face first into the dirt. 

We thought Stephens' fundraising numbers were bad already, but that was before we saw her official Quarterly Report filed with the FEC. Things are actually much worse for Stephens. Much, much worse. Here's the breakdown:

AMOUNT SPENT:    $3,462
CASH ON HAND:   $48,192

Yeah, that's not good. Stephens currently owes $11,000 MORE than she has in the bank. She obviously doesn't have to worry about paying back those loans anytime soon, but it creates a different kind of pressure if you aren't raising enough money to even cover your debts. Can Stephens really put together the resources for a serious statewide campaign?

Colorado Republicans Post Historically Bad Fundraising Numbers

Ken Buck, Amy Stephens

How do you know when your fundraising numbers are bad? When you’re being compared to Mike Miles.

We've been talking about Q4 (2013) fundraising numbers for Colorado's U.S. Senate candidates, but the stunningly-poor quarter turned in by the three leading GOP contenders (Ken Buck, Owen Hill, Amy Stephens) is difficult to fully appreciate without looking at comparisons.

We looked at fundraising numbers for (serious) Senate candidates in Colorado, considering only the 18 months prior to Election Day, and the comparisons are pretty incredible. In the chart below, we outline the 10 worst fundraising quarters for U.S. Senate candidates since 2000.

The numbers speak for themselves: Buck, Hill and Stephens just turned in 3 of the worst fundraising quarters in the last decade. All told, the GOP triumverate are responsible for 5 of the 10 worst fundraising quarters in 13 years:

1 Mike Miles (D) Q3 2003 $28,201
2 Mike Miles (D) Q4 2003 $33,877
3 Ken Buck (R) Q4 2009 $45,585
4 Amy Stephens (R) Q4 2013 $51,000
5 Mike Miles (D) Q1 2004 $56,701
6 Mike Miles (D) Q2 2004 $88,576
7 Tom Wiens (R) Q2 2010 $99,962
8 Owen Hill (R) Q4 2013 $109,000
9 Ken Buck (R) Q4 2013 $154,109
10 Ken Buck (R) Q3 2009 $159,074

Here's one more amazing comparison as you ponder the GOP's money woes: Republican Rep. Mike Coffman actually SPENT more money in Q4 than any GOP candidate for Senate was able to fundraise.

Amy Stephens Makes National Lists…for Ineptitude

You can't run a Senate campaign with pocket lint.

You can’t run a Senate campaign with pocket lint.

UPDATE: From a press release sent out by the Colorado Democratic Party:

[A]ccording to Roll Call, Amy Stephens' $51k was beaten by 150 out of 166 House candidates in high profile races around the country who raised in the third quarter of 2013. 


If you missed the news on Friday, it was by design. Colorado Republican Senate candidates quietly reported their fundraising numbers on Friday, hoping against hope that nobody would notice. There's a truism in politics that you save bad news for Friday afternoons, and that was definitely the plan for Ken Buck, Owen Hill, and Amy Stephens.

We'll break down all of the fundraising reports in a later post, but the last quarter was particularly awful for Stephens, who laid a bigger egg than the Broncos on Sunday. In her first fundraising quarter as a candidate for Senate, Stephens raised $51,000. Yes, you read that correctly. $51,000. For a U.S. Senate campaign.

To put that in perspective, Stephens was outraised by Democrat Irv Halter, who brought in $55k in his second fundraising quarter as a candidate for CD-5 (Rep. Doug Lamborn). No Democrat has come close to winning the solidly-Republican CD-5, yet Halter would appear to have more support in his darkhorse bid than Stephens could find in a weak Republican field for Senate. Stephens' poor numbers caught the eye of national political news outlets such as Politico:

Stephens, a former Colorado House majority leader, is seen by some in the the GOP establishment as their best hope of knocking off Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. But in the fourth quarter she raised a measly $51,000. Udall, meanwhile, brought in $1.1 million and has $4.7 million on hand.

Stephens’s poor performance is bound to raise fears among the chunk of Republicans who fear Ken Buck, a former Weld County district attorney who waged a disastrous, gaffe-prone 2010 Senate campaign, will again be the nominee. Buck raised $154,000 last quarter.

Ugh. Note also how Politico categorizes Buck's 2010 Senate campaign as "disastrous."

Even the conservative press can't help but criticize Stephens. Here's what "The Hotline" (National Journal) had to say in calling Stephens one of the fundraising quarter's big losers:

Stephens has gotten some buzz as a Republican who could mount a real challenge to Democratic Sen. Mark Udall if she could win the GOP primary–no easy task, given that she sponsored the legislation creating a state health care exchange. But her fourth-quarter totals (her first in the race) were far from impressive: She raised just $51,000, a paltry sum particularly considering Udall's $4.7 million war chest. She'll have to do much better than that to get past 2010 GOP nominee Ken Buck in the primary, let alone take on Udall.

Stephens has been claiming that the NRSC preferred her candidacy to those of Buck and Owens, but it's hard to see how national Republicans could still feel positive about a candidate who had such a terrible quarter. As we've said time and time again, early money indicates support, and Stephens is clearly lacking a base of backers. Stephens says she has a new fundraising committee hard at work, but at this point time is as much an enemy as her empty bank account; she's going to need hundreds of thousands of dollars just to petition onto the Primary ballot in June, let alone money to operate her campaign or buy time on television. If it is true that the the NRSC once preferred Stephens, they are likely now having conversations about whether they should even bother with trying to unseat incumbent Sen. Mark Udall.


Mark Udall’s Son Arrested

This just in from the Boulder Daily Camera:

Jed Udall, the 26-year-old son of Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, was arrested Wednesday after Boulder County sheriff's deputies say he broke into three cars in Eldorado Springs and was found with heroin in his pocket…

"Maggie and I are deeply distressed to learn of our son's arrest," Sen. Mark Udall said in a statement to the Daily Camera. "We love our son and stand with him in his commitment to getting the treatment he needs. We appreciate the private space to deal with this as a family."

Not much else you can expect Sen. Mark Udall to say, but in the present acrimonious political climate it's a safe bet that Udall's opponents will try to use this against him politically in some fashion. We'll update this story as warranted.

Less Than 27,000 Coloradans Received Health Care Cancellation Notices

How many Coloradans REALLY received insurance cancellation notices?

How many Coloradans REALLY received insurance cancellation notices?

Colorado Republicans, particularly U.S. Senate candidate Amy Stephens, have been working hard over the last month to damage the credibility of incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in regards to the Affordable Care Act. In late 2013, Udall's office began questioning the accuracy of a number put out by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) that indicated some 250,000 Coloradans received notices that their health insurance policies would be cancelled in 2014. As we wrote last week, this "scandal" is little more than an attempt by Republicans to make a ridiculous number (250,000) stick in the minds of reporters and other media outlets:

But in this case, not only is their "scandal" weak, its unraveling is actually a very bad thing for the GOP. The facts here are very simple: Of the roughly 250,000 policyholders sent "cancellation letters" in Colorado, 96% of them were actually offered renewals for 2014. It's critical to understand that Colorado's implementation of the Affordable Care Act always allowed these plans to be renewed, and this was essentially what President Barack Obama subsequently allowed nationwide to compensate for the troubled rollout of the exchange.

Bottom line: if 250,000 Coloradans had actually lost coverage on January 1, we're pretty sure the outrage would be on the front page of every newspaper in America. But it didn't happen. In Colorado, many affected by "cancellation notices" no doubt simply renewed their plans like the letter said, and then wondered what the hubbub was. Thousands of "cancellation notices" were flat-out sent in error by sloppy insurers like low-rated Humana. And most importantly, the new insurance exchange has signed up tens of thousands of people.

In a story two days ago from the Denver Post's Kurtis Lee, the 250,000 number was again used in a story about Udall's office and the Affordable Care Act:

Kelley's announcement comes after her office did not provide information on a panel last week that cleared Udall staffers of accusations they bullied division of insurance staffers to change a November report noting 250,000 Coloradans would have individual policies canceled due to the Affordable Care Act. DORA oversees the division of insurance. In an internal e-mail, a division director, Jo Donlin, said a Udall staffer was unjustly trashing the number. Donlin has never spoken about the matter publicly.

It's more than a little ridiculous that the Post continues to use the 250,000 number — particularly when you consider that the same newspaper already ran a story refuting those numbers. Here's former Post reporter Michael Booth investigating the number back in November:


Stephens says she was fighting for CO, & Amycare opponents were maybe tweeting or “getting a tattoo”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Conservative activist Kelly "ish" Maher, who was a guest host on KNUS' Kelley and Company Friday, asked U.S. Senate candidate Amy Stephens a question that's been an obsession on conservative talk-radio lately:

Maher: "Potentially, let's say, you make it out of the primary. And you are in a primary with some people whom many here consider to be friends. But once you get to that point where you are theoretically running against Udall, how are you going to separate yourself from him and create a contrast because a lot of people are putting the exchange creation on you. As soon as you announced that you were running, Twitter blew up and called it Amycare. So that's an important contrast. How are you going to clarify that for people."

Stephens: "…I'm not sure with my opponents–I don't know if they were tweeting. I don't know if they were getting a tattoo. Or whatever. I was in the weeds, you know, with John Suthers and others, trying to make the best decision for the people of Colorado." [BigMedia emphasis]

If you know Maher, you know she self-identifies as a seeker of the lighter moments in politics, and so you have to be surprised that Maher didn't jump all over Stephens' "getting-a-tattoo" line.

Does Stephens think her Tea-Party opponents, like KLZ talk-show hosts Ken Clark and Jason Worley, are tattoo-covered? Is there a correlation between tattoos and Tea Party types?

Or was it simply the tweet-tattoo alliteration that Stephens was going for? It sounded like Stephens may have been reaching for a joke. But why tattoos?


For the Love Of…STOP USING AURORA SHOOTING PHOTOS for Political Stories

What is it with right-wing political commentators and their complete inability to do a simple search on the origin of a photo? We pointed this out, again, when radio talk show host Peter Boyles used a photoshopped image from a moment during which elected officials were greeting each other somberly after the Aurora theater Shootings.

The right-wing outlet "The Daily Caller" is attempting to drub some kind of scandal into Sen. Mark Udall's research into claims that hundreds of thousands of Coloradans received incomplete notices about changes resulting from Obamacare — a "scandal" that has already been debunked as nonsense on numerous occasions.

Sen. Mark Udall at the Aurora Theater Shooting site in 2012.

Sen. Mark Udall and President Obama at an event held in the aftermath of the 2012 Aurora theater shootings.

Naturally, whenever right-wing outlets are trying to create a scandal out of thin air, they always like to imply that President Obama is somehow involved as well. That's probably why "The Daily Caller" used the picture on your right in their story.

Here's the caption for the photo at right, as supplied by Saul Loeb of AFP/Getty Images:

President Obama, joined by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., tells a story he heard from one of the shooting victims about holding her fingers on her best friend's neck to stop the bleeding. The president spoke during a visit to the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colo.

It's not overly difficult to do a Google image search and check the source of your picture. This picture misuse isn't nearly as bad as the more commonly-photoshopped picture that also includes Sen. Michael Bennet and Gov. John Hickenlooper (here's one of the most egregious examples), but it's still an inappropriate use of a photo taken during a terrible time in Colorado — and around the country. Whatever emotions the reader might infer from this picture are unfair to a lot of people.

“Amycare” Isn’t Stephens’ Only Problem

Amy Stephens.

Amy Stephens.

A great story from the Colorado Independent's John Tomasic late Friday explores another significant problem for GOP U.S. Senate primary contender Amy Stephens. Despite a growing amount of support for Stephens from local GOP insiders (and, most suspect, DC-based Republican heavies like the National Republican Senatorial Committee), Stephens' candidacy has failed to gain traction with rank-and-file Republicans. A major reason for this is Stephens' support in the Colorado legislature for Senate Bill 11-200, the bill that created Colorado's new health insurance exchange. Even though Colorado's health insurance exchange appears to be working well after a rough start, and was supported by business interests across the state in addition to Democrats, its origins as a key part of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare has made the insurance exchange a critical liability for Stephens with GOP primary voters.

And as Tomasic of the Independent reports, "Amycare" isn't the only base relations hurdle for Stephens:

It’s in [the context of "Amycare"] that, when Udall announced at the end of last year that he had helped negotiate the end to the rough eight-year battle around the U.S. Army’s proposal to expand its Pinon Canyon training site in southeastern Colorado, the Stephens campaign must have breathed a sigh of relief. Because, as far as conservative Colorado voters go, Stephens was on the wrong side of that litmus-test issue, too.

Ranchers have worked the wide brushland around Pinon Canyon for generations. And for nearly a decade, they watched with grave concern and growing anger as the Army sought to acquire enormous swaths of the area for its expansion plans. The ranchers had good reason to be wary.

The existing 240,000-acre maneuvering ground was seized by the Army in the 1980s through eminent domain from residents who refused to sell. It was a bitter pill to swallow at the time but it seemed only an early small dose of a larger toxic prescription when in the mid 2000s the Army floated a proposal to gobble up 7 million more acres and establish the largest training site in the country. The plan would have bought out or seized acreage from an estimated 17,000 landowners, according to government documents…

State legislators introduced bills aimed at prohibiting the Army from using eminent domain to condemn and seize land around the site. In 2009, a bill to prevent the state from even leasing land in the area split Republicans at the capitol. Stephens, an El Paso Republican, was one of only 17 members of the House to vote against the bill. [Pols emphasis]

Tomasic cites the example of then-GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis, who also sided back in 2009 with El Paso County military supporters against landowners in southeast Colorado to support the expansion of Pinon Canyon. We took note of McInnis' choice of the Army over private property rights at the time, and McInnis' primary opponents hammered him over the issue with Republican voters. Local voters in turn promised to never support McInnis. And this 2009 vote wasn't the only stand taken by Rep. Stephens against landowners in Pinon Canyon. In 2007, Stephens was one of just a few representatives to vote against House Bill 07-1069, a bill withdrawing the state's consent for Pinon Canyon to expand. That bill was signed into law by Gov. Bill Ritter.


Republicans Agree with Udall on NSA Spying

Colorado Democrat Mark Udall

Sen. Mark Udall

The Republican National Committee today passed a resolution condemning surveillance programs of the National Security Agency, a move that will certainly make for a nice TV advertisement for the re-election efforts of Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Udall has been in front of the efforts to pull back on the NSA's domestic spying programs, and the RNC's agreement on the issue will help Udall supporters cast him as a bipartisan leader.

It doesn't hurt that the RNC's language in their resolution is remarkably similar to Udall's messaging. From The Hill:

The committee criticized the government’s bulk collection of records about all phone calls, which emerged as one of the most controversial programs revealed in leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. That NSA effort “is in itself contrary to the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution,” the RNC said in the resolution.

Now here's Udall speaking about the issue with NPR a few weeks ago:

"We shouldn't codify a program that violates Americans' privacy, raises questions about the Fourth Amendment and is, in the end, not proven to be effective. … It violates Americans' privacy and may well be unconstitutional."

It looks like we know where the eventual GOP Senate nominee will be on the NSA spying issue…just maybe with a little different language.

Stephens touts her gender as asset but she shares Buck’s extreme anti-abortion stance

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In an article yesterday, The Denver Post's Kurtis Lee reports Rep. Amy Stephens' response to Ken Buck's comment Monday comparing pregnancy with cancer:

"It's Ken again being Ken," Stephens, who is among several Republicans vying to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, insisted Thursday. "Just like in 2010, we have high-heels comments, we have alcoholism and homosexuality, now we've got cancer and pregnancy."

Buck in 2010 was the nominee for U.S. Senate against Democrat Michael Bennet. His statement on "Meet the Press" comparing homosexuality to alcoholism was considered the turning point in a campaign he had been expected to win.

Before telling Lee about "Ken again being Ken," Stephens was on KNUS' Dan Caplis Show Wed., where she made her opinion of Buck's candidacy even more clear, saying she does not believe Colorado Republicans will unify around Buck if he wins the nomination, and saying, based on what Buck's offered so far, it would be the "definition of insanity" to run Buck again.

Stephens @10 min: I am not convinced Ken has given us an argument as to why we should go down this path again. And I call the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over with the same results….

I also believe nationally, and I have heard this in my travels, that there is not going to be — You know, when somebody wins a primary, people rally, come around. The party goes, whatever. I do not believe that's going to happen should Ken be the nominee. I do believe this would happen should I become the nominee, because I think there will be a lot more interest in this race and a lot more support. [BigMedia emphasis]

Listen to Rep. Amy Stephens tout herself as a woman and slam Buck on KNUS 1-15-14

On the radio, Stephens went on to say that she'd be better able to "take on Sen. Udall on issues that they normally love to hit our men with, and I think as a woman, I have a very strong voice to speak about."

But as Caplis should have pointed out, Stephens' anti-abortion record, including ten years on the staff of Focus on the Family, sets herself up for the same criticism Buck has faced.