Fact Check: Gardner voted for the government shutdown

(The con is full-on - Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

Colorado senatorial candidate Cory Gardner took his falsehoods about the government shutdown to a new level this week when he told PBS’ Guen Ifill:

Gardner: “I voted for every measure that would have avoided the shutdown. I supported efforts during it to make sure we were finding ways not only to get out of the immediate situation but to make sure that we develop long-term solutions."

That's the kind of rotten information journalists should correct before it's too late. Everyone who follows this issue at all knows that Gardner voted with fellow Republicans to shut down the government in an effort to kill Obamacare. Gardner was fully behind using the threat of a government shutdown as leverage to try to de-fund the health-care law. As Gardner told KOA Radio's Mike Rosen in August: "I believe that we don’t need to shut down the government because we ought to just lift this health-care bill out of the way and let America work." As part of a fact-check of a recent ad, 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman explained how Gardner's votes led to the shutdown, just after Colorado's horrific floods:

Gardner did vote in line with the Republican strategy that led to the government shutdown. That didn't happen by passing a bill to shut it down… Those votes were Republican spending packages, which passed the House. They would have funded the government, but also contained language aimed at curbing Obamacare. For that reason, the president made it clear he wouldn't sign that bill, which had no chance of passing the Senate regardless. Republicans knew they could cause a shutdown by forcing the healthcare issue to be part of the discussion about keeping the government open. However, it takes two to tango, and the Democrats didn't want to mix the ACA into the spending debate. It would have been possible to accept the GOP plan and avoid a shutdown. Whether it was fair to bundle those concepts is the core of the debate.

Against after reading that, even if you're on Gardner's side and you wanted to force Obama to de-fund the health-care law, is there any way you could claim, as Gardner did, that he voted for "every measure that would have avoided the shutdown?" Not.

Gardner’s Democratic Past Comes Back To Bite Him

Cory Gardner.

Cory Gardner.

The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels catches Republican U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner in yet another…well, if it's not a straight-up lie, we'll be very surprised. Following up on this week's pivotal 9NEWS debate:

Republican Senate hopeful Cory Gardner can’t recall voting for a single Democrat although he was one for eight years.

Yuma County election records show Gardner registered as a Democrat in 1992 and switched his voter registration in 2000 to Republican. If, indeed, he never voted for a Democrat that means Gardner:

* Didn’t vote for Democratic Gov. Roy Romer’s re-election bid in 1994 although Gardner has said one of his proudest moments as a Yuma High School student (which was not his football career, obviously) was getting the governor to come talk to students in 1992 about the lack of education funding for rural schools. A photo in the Yuma Pioneer of the event begins with “Future politician?” in reference to the junior’s successful effort in attracting attention to the situation.

* Didn’t vote for former Fort Collins Mayor Susan Kirkpatrick for Congress in 1998, although he seconded her nomination at the Democratic 4th Congressional District assembly that year. Kirkpatrick said never at any time during that election did he indicate he was no longer backing her…

During Wednesday's debate, Gardner was asked to name a Democrat–any Democrat–that he had ever voted for. This seemed to us like a tremendous softball for the former Democrat, a low bar to validating his supposed willingness to "reach across the aisle" that has been a cornerstone of his new image. You may have noticed that a considerable investment has been made in remaking Gardner from a safe-seat "Tea Party" darling into a "moderate" electable statewide in Colorado.

And he blew this golden opportunity.

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, a story from highly trafficked national online news site Deadspin exploded on social media, featuring quotes from a local source claiming that Cory Gardner had never played high school football despite his claims otherwise on the campaign trail. It was pretty quickly determined that the story was incorrect after Gardner's campaign Tweeted photos of Gardner in his Yuma High School football uniform, and soon the original source had retracted his quotes. The story was wrong, but one of the reasons it caught fire so quickly was how plausible it seemed. Much like Paul Ryan's infamous marathon and 14er-climbing controversies in 2012, it's just really easy to believe the idea that Gardner is lying. Because he lies a lot.

In this case, he almost certainly did lie, because he was an active Democrat for years before, as he told the Post, "I realized the Democratic Party doesn’t represent me or my values or what I believe this country to be." That, or he realized it's kind of hard for Democrats to get elected in Yuma? Either way, now that he's made the deliberate choice to lie about it, it reinforces a much broader narrative: how you can't trust Cory Gardner.

Republicans Remind You: Walker Stapleton Rarely Shows Up for Work

On Tuesday we discussed the first TV ad from Democrat Betsy Markey in her race to unseat Republican Treasurer Walker Stapleton. The ad, which you can view again after the jump, doesn't waste time in getting to the point: Stapleton doesn't appear to spend much time on the job he was elected to do.

Based on data gleaned from an Open Records request of Stapleton's state-appointed key card (which he needs to enter the State Capitol), there are probably tour guides who spend more time in the building than Stapleton himself. As the script for the ad explains:

At best…it’s inexcusable.

At worst…it’s a scandal. State Treasurer Walker Stapleton.

Official key-card records from his Denver office confirm…

Stapleton only bothers showing up at his office around ten days a month.

Often, skipping the office for weeks at a time.

Or only showing up after three P.M.

This is a pretty straightforward ad that is hard for Stapleton's campaign to fully refute, though Stapleton's spokesperson, Michael Fortney, tried lamely to defend his boss when questioned by Denver Post reporter Lynn Bartels. According to Fortney, Stapleton often forgets his key card, and when he does, he just enters the capitol through the public entrance.

But what about the days in which Stapleton's "key card" doesn't show up at the office until after 3:00 pm? Does his wife drop off the key card when he goes out for an afternoon snack? Or was he really just not in the building until the late afternoon?

You can see why this is a tricky problem. Stapleton's campaign is apparently worried about the effect that Markey's ad may be having with voters, because Republicans are spending an inordinate amount of time trying to explain away the mystery of the key card. Why else would you intentionally bring up the same TV ad — exposing its message to more voters — unless you felt the extra exposure was necessary in order to try to refute the message? We wouldn't want to be drawing more attention to a strong attack ad (particularly when Markey doesn't have millions of dollars for an ad buy), but then we're not Republican Rep. Frank McNulty and the Republican group "Reveal Politics."

Take it away, Frank and friends:

So…does McNulty just hang around outside every day waiting for Stapleton to show up for work?

We're joking — we know that's not the point they are trying to make here, but was this really worth bringing up Markey's ad once again? What do you think? You can watch that ad again after the jump:

 

 

 

In pivotal election year, Colorado Students Considering Recall of Conservative School Board Members

The bold protest of Jefferson County, Colorado students to the actions of the conservative majority on the Jefferson County School Board in Colorado has already drawn national and international press.

Yet the school board is still proceeding with a curriculum review committee that would not just examine AP History, but would have the ability to review and change many courses, including English, Health, and Science. Organizations funded by the Koch brothers support such candidates, and would benefit from curriculum that not only promotes what the Board is considering ‘American Exceptionalism’ but also avoids questions related to Global Warming or Climate Change.

But this goes deeper — this could threaten critical thinking in the classroom.

This could not only impact Jefferson County students, but could affect all students in the country.

On October 11, 2014 students held a rally at Clement Park in Littleton, Colorado — adjacent to Columbine High School. There, they began collecting names for a potential recall.

Ashlyn Maher, Thomas Sizemore and Mali Holmes

“We are not a political agenda, and we’re not a profit margin; we are students that need to be educated.”

This issue is not just important for Colorado, but the nation. If anything the Koch Brothers have shown us, is that once they have succeeded with a conservative agenda, they will replicate that agenda everywhere they can.

There is a saying in Colorado elections, as Jefferson County goes, so goes Colorado.
Jefferson County is the biggest county and usually its voters are the pivotal votes in a statewide election. With Ballots going out as of this week – how will the extreme actions of the School Board impact the races for Governor and the even the US Senate?
And will that also be a referendum on the conservative effort to white wash our History and censor our Public Education curriculum?
Here is the extended rally video — where Colorado’s Lieutenant Governor (who is also an educator), Joe Garcia, dropped by to lend his support for the students.

From Mali Holmes — student from Evergreen High School:

Since our protest began, we’ve been featured in the Huffington Post, USA Today, and the New York Times. We’ve been covered by the Guardian and other International news outlets.

America is listening. We won’t be taken down so easily. Like pawns, the students are on the front lines of this issue. We will stand together and fight until we win this battle.
We will be the ones to call ‘Checkmate‘.

Professor Chad Kautzer of University of Colorado at Denver:

I just have one thing to say to (the Jefferson County Majority)
RESIGN. (Cheers)

I have a feeling if they don’t resign, the people of Jefferson County will push them out.
Because they are an embarrassment to Jefferson County, they are an embarrassment to Colorado, they are an embarrassment to our Country and they need to go.

Everything bad in American History has been coupled with social struggles and these are the people that we need to read about, that we have to learn about, and we need to honor that history.

Rachel Hillbrecht of Golden High School:

We will not cut out History. We will not cut out Science classes. We need to know the truth every single piece of it!

Casey McAndrew:

The Jeffco School Board of Education has failed to do the single most important thing that any elected board has to do – to listen to its people.

We will not be censored. People did not die so that they could be erased. Jefferson County will not be erased. WE will stand together.

Lt. Governor Joe Garcia:

In high school, I had the opportunity to take AP History. In college, I had the opportunity to take Ethnic Studies. Those classes did not make us hate each other. They did not make us hate America. They made us hate oppression and injustice.

The students have given me hope and inspiration. Because these high school students now represent potentially a four-year block of students — from Freshman to Senior — that will associate the most important social education protest of their lives with Republican over-reach.
If you have been so inspired, then I will share with you this message from a parent of one of the students – a request.

“Recalls are expensive, right now, the Students don’t know if there is enough support from the community to go ahead with the effort. But maybe someone who reads your article might know someone like Matt Damon or Diane Ravitch or some other well connected person who would be willing to get behind the students with this effort.”

If you do now someone or feel this effort is worth supporting, please visit Jeffco Students for Change and like their page – let them know that they do have support for this effort.
Thanks also to Redfoxrun and to From Thin Air
who performed live at the event at Clement Park.

Halter Slams Lamborn In TV Spot; Prepares To Debate Chicken

Doug Lamborn (R).

Doug Lamborn (R).

The Hill reports on Democratic CD-5 candidate Irv Halter's new ad, hitting Rep. Doug Lamborn on his Veterans Affairs Committee attendance record–a weak spot for Lamborn in this military-heavy district:

"In the Air Force, when you're absent without leave, you get arrested," says retired Maj. Gen. Irv Halter (D), in a new ad. "In Washington, they play by different rules.”

Halter is charging that Lamborn, a four-term incumbent, missed 58 percent of the panel’s meetings, labeling it “one of the worst records in Congress.”

In his new spot, Halter says that Lamborn “blamed others for veterans not getting the healthcare they earned,” referencing the scandal at the Veterans Affairs Department over long wait times and delayed treatment for patients.

“President Obama failed his duty, but Congressman Lamborn didn’t even show up,” says Halter.

A trained chicken.

A trained chicken.

Meanwhile, as the Denver Post's Hugh Johnson writes, Gen. Halter is holding a debate today. But not with Rep. Lamborn, who has refused to face his opponent man-to-man:

Irv Halter, the Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 5th Congressional District, will likely debate a chicken on Thursday.

The outlandish notion is the latest attempt to get Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn to debate the retired Air Force general. A political-action committee called Colorado Springs Citizens For A Congressman Who Won’t Chicken Out is scheduled to host a debate at the Colorado Springs Penrose Library Thursday. Members of the committee have been going around the city dressed in chicken suits handing out leaflets imploring Lamborn to debate Halter. The committee even showed up at the Colorado Springs city council meeting Tuesday.

According to a press release, if Lamborn doesn’t show up to the debate, a trained chicken will take his place…

Working against Halter, of course, is the fact that CD-5 is a staunchly Republican district. Working in Halter's favor is the heavily military and veteran population of the district, and the fact that Lamborn is one of the most ineffectual members of Congress in either party–and a consistent bipartisan embarrassment to the entire state of Colorado. The is the biggest reason why Lamborn has faced spirited primary challenges in basically every election since taking office. 

If it's a Democrat who takes out Lamborn, he or she will be one term and done in the next election–but Doug Lamborn's rank incompetence makes that more of a possibility than it would ever otherwise be. Sooner or later, Lamborn's dumb luck will run out.

9NEWS’ Kyle Clark Shreds Gardner on Federal Personhood Bill

UPDATE #2: Talking Points Memo:

Colorado GOP Senate nominee Cory Gardner has been confronted before by journalists when he has tried to deny that a federal bill he sponsors is in effect a personhood bill, which could significantly limit abortion access.

But at a debate Wednesday night, moderator Kyle Clark of KUSA in Denver put Gardner's dodges in perhaps the starkest terms yet, adding fuel to the fire Sen. Mark Udall has been trying throughout his campaign to fan with women voters…

"What I'm asking you about here is what appears to be the willing suspension of the facts," Clark said. "People who agree with you on the issue of life think you're wrong about how you're describing the bill. Everybody seems to have a cohesive idea of what this is with the exception of you, and I'm just wondering: What should voters glean from that fact?"

MSNBC's Steve Benen:

I can appreciate why some, especially on the right and at the Denver Post’s editorial page, may find this focus excessive. There’s no shortage of important issues in the 2014 elections, and investing considerable time and energy on one part of the GOP congressman’s work as a legislator may seem unnecessary. At first blush, it’s not an unreasonable point.
 
But that’s what made Kyle Clark’s questioning so worthwhile: this isn’t just about personhood. Cory Gardner championed radical legislation to remove women’s access to abortion and forms of contraception. Then he lied about it. Then he lied about it some more. Asked to explain himself, the Republican won’t apologize for his often shameless dishonesty, and can’t coherently justify why his claims so plainly contradict reality.
 
In other words, this may just be one issue among many, but it’s offering the public a chance to learn who Cory Gardner really is, what he does, and why kind of politician he’d be if elected to the Senate. As Clark’s line of questioning suggests, the challenge for Colorado voters is asking what else the congressman isn’t telling the truth about. [Pols emphasis]

—–

UPDATE: Jason Salzman on the same subject: "the revolt by journalists against Gardner continues."

—–

We've got a few posts to get up about last night's final U.S. Senate race debate between incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and Republican Cory Gardner–which, if you haven't watched it, was easily the best-run debate of any we've seen this year. 9NEWS political reporters Kyle Clark and Brandon Rittiman brilliantly challenged both candidates on the issues they've had the most trouble with on the campaign trail.

As we'll demonstrate in several examples, this had the effect of damaging Cory Gardner vastly more than his opponent. When the questions turned to Gardner's continued support for the federal Life at Conception Act abortion ban–and Gardner's blanket denial of its intended effect even as the experts, fact-checkers, and the bill's primary sponsors say otherwise–what followed was an absolutely devastating clip of video.

The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels reported on the exchange between Clark and Gardner:

Gardner has been repeatedly been asked on the campaign trail about his sponsorship of the federal Life Begins at Conception Act, which, as Clark pointed out, nearly everyone but Gardner agrees would outlaw abortion.

"We are not going to debate that here tonight because it's fact," Clark said. "It would seem that a charitable interpretation would be that you have a difficult time admitting when you're wrong and a less charitable interpretation is that you're not telling us the truth.

"Which is it?" [Pols emphasis]

Gardner said the bill is "simply a statement that I support life."

"The personhood bill, congressman, is a bill. It's not a statement," Udall countered. "If it became law, it would ban all abortions and it would ban most common forms of contraceptives. Coloradans deserve the truth from you. You have to really give a straight answer."

The problem for Gardner as he attempts to talk his way out of the situation he himself created, by publicly disavowing the state Personhood abortion bans while remaining a sponsor of the functionally equivalent Life at Conception Act, becomes less about the issue of abortion each time he tries. Every attempt by Gardner to extract himself from the hard questions about his actions on this issue makes him look more untrustworthy.

Clark and Rittiman didn't spare Udall the hard questions either, asking Udall to justify his campaign's focus on abortion and birth control. Udall responded ably to this question that these issues are important to women–and citing the Denver Post's recent endorsement of Gardner that crassly attempted to dismiss the issue, he said that "if the Denver Post doesn't want to stand by Colorado women, that's their business."

Bottom line: FOX 31's Eli Stokols' now nationally-famous interview with Gardner, wherein Gardner repeated the words "there is no federal Personhood bill" over and over while Stokols confronted him with facts that clearly prove otherwise, laid bare Gardner's deception for anyone who saw it. Since then Gardner has been hit with the same questions in two debates, at the Denver Post and then last night at 9NEWS–and amazingly to us, he still doesn't have a better answer. When we say this is surprising, we genuinely mean it. Even if Gardner's revised answers were no less bogus, it would still go better for him than mindlessly repeating something that no one believes anymore.

And that is the key point Democrats must drive home right now: it's about trust, not just about abortion.

It is not an exaggeration to suggest that the outcome of this race depends on it.

Revolt by journalists against Gardner continues

We're seeing a full-scale revolt by journalists against senatorial candidate Cory Gardner's obnoxious denial of the simple fact that the Life at Conception Act, which he co-sponsored  last summer, is federal personhood legislation.

The latest confrontation occurred last night during 9News' senatorial debate between Gardner and Democrat Mark Udall.

9News Anchor Kyle Clark: You continue to deny that the federal Life at Conception Act is a personhood bill, which you've sponsored, is a personhood bill to end abortion. And we're not going to debate that tonight, because it's a fact. Your cosponsors say so. Your opponents say so. And independent fact checkers say so. So let's instead talk about what this entire episode may say about your judgement, more broadly. It would seem that a more charitable interpretation would mean you have a difficult time admitting when you're wrong. And a less charitable interpretation is that  you're not telling us the truth.Which is  it?

Gardner: Again, I do not support the personhood amendment. The bill that you are referring to is simply a statement that I support life. Let me just repeat the words of Sen. Udall.

Clark: Why does no one else think that. That's what we're getting at.

Gardner: I've answered this question multiple times.

Clark: I'm aware of that.

Gardner: If you look at what The Denver Post said. The Denver Post has called Sen. Udall's campaign on these issues, because he's a social issues warrior, obnoxious, focused on one single issue. The fact is the people of Colorado deserve better. They deserve more than a single issue that Sen. Udall is attempting to give them.

Clark: Believe you me. We're going to talk about that. But what I'm asking you about here is what appears to be willing suspension of the facts. People who agree with you on the issue of life think you're wrong about how you're describing the bill. Everyone seems to have a cohesive idea about what this is with the exception of you. I'm just wondering, what should voters glean from that?

Gardner: There are people who agree with my opinion on life. There are people who don't. I support life. I voted for exceptions. The fact is, the bill that you're talking about is a simply a statement. I've answered this question multiple times, but I'll repeat the words of Sen. Udall who said, when he changed his opinion on the issue of gay marriage, that a good faith change of position should be considered a virtue not a vice. That's not my words. Those are the words from Sen. Udall.

Rittiman: And you remain on the bill, and the idea of personhood is conferring rights of normal human beings on the unborn. That's what the bill says.

Gardner: Again, I support life. And that's a statement that I support life.

Rittiman and Gardner asked their questions with disbelief in their voices and incredulous looks on their faces, like the other journalists who've pressed Gardner on this.

These growing list of stonewalled reporters includes (with links to coverage): The Grand Junction Sentinels' Charles Ashby, The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels, Bloombers' Joshua Green, MSNBC's Kasie Hunt, PBS NewsHour's Gwen Ifill, Durango Herald's Peter Marcus, 9News Brandon Rittiman (twice), Fox 31 Denver's Eli Stokols,

What offends these reporters, even though they don't say it, is being lied to, brazenly, straight-up. If you've ever fact checked a politician, you know that there's usually gray area involved, making it hard to say, "You're lying."

With Gardner, Clark said there "appears to be willing suspension of the facts." But the "appears-to-be" part is gone now. It's time for reporters to stop the courtesies and start calling it a lie. Gardner has been given every chance to explain himself in a coherent, honest manner, and he's rejected those opportunities. It's fair to say he's lying.

Clark asked what Gardner's personhood dance say about his "judgment." It was a great and reasonable question. And since Gardner didn't answer the question, some reporter should track him down and put it to him again. This is weird and it's serious.

“Fantasy” Football; Cory Gardner Even Lies About High School Sports

UPDATE #2: Deadspin's Dave McKenna follows up:

Gardner campaign spokesman Alex Siciliano sent the following, presented in its entirety, via email: "Cory Gardner played football from Junior High through Sophomore year in high school." Eli Stokols of FOX-31 in Denver is reporting the Gardner campaign told him, "Gardner played football through soph year of high school, never played varsity." Reached Wednesday night at his home, Chuck Pfalmer, longtime stats keeper for Gardner's alma mater, Yuma High School, and a primary source for the story, told me: "Cory did play football for three years" in high school, and that his records show that Gardner spent his junior year "on varsity." During a lengthy conversation about Yuma High football on Tuesday, Pfalmer repeatedly said Gardner had not played football at the school.

—–

UPDATE: The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels reports that the main source for Deadspin's story claims his comments have been "mischaracterized."

The main source for the story by the online site Deadspin — a former Yuma High School teacher who had Gardner as a student and kept football stats — says the report mischaracterized his comments. Gardner graduated from the Eastern Plains high school in 1993.

In fact, says Deadspin source Chuck Pfalmer, Gardner played football his freshman through junior years in high school.

"He was not a starter, but he played in those years," said Pfalmer, 77, who retired from the high school in 1997.

In response to Deadspin's story this afternoon, which spread widely via social media, Gardner's campaign released two photos of Gardner in his Yuma High School uniform. Those photos would also seem to refute the central claim of Deadspin's story. We'll update if and when Deadspin responds–there's a pretty big gap between the quote in their story and Bartels' report, and we'd like to see it fully explained.

Original post follows.

—–

Cory Gardner is even lying about playing high school football (image via Deadspin).

Cory Gardner is even lying about playing high school football (image via Deadspin).

We're wayyyy past the point of talking about politicians who stretch the truth here — this is weird. Like, borderline-psychotic weird. Cory Gardner will quite literally say anything if he thinks it will help him get elected. ANYTHING.

Check out this story from the popular sports website Deadspin about Congressman Cory Gardner apparently lying about having played football in high school. For crying out loud, is there any subject that Gardner won't try to tackle in order to make a political point?

The Washington Post ran a long story about the campaign this week. Reporter Karen Tumulty opened the piece with a riff that had Gardner talking about his days playing high school football, and how the current opposition's campaign strategy reminds him of that experience…

…Later in the Post piece, the 40-year-old Gardner circled back to schoolboy football and the single-wing metaphor to blast Udall's politics as coming from "a tired old playbook."

Alas, other than spelling and grammar, there's not a whole lot right about those grafs.

First: So, in high school, Gardner played both ways?

No way, says Chuck Pfalmer, a now-retired Yuma High School teacher: "Cory Gardner wasn't on the football team." [Pols emphasis]

Everybody around Yuma (pop. 3,524) knows everybody around Yuma. Even when Gardner was a kid, folks around town saw him as somebody who was going to run for political office someday. And for an even longer time, Pfalmer's been known as the go-to guy for football facts about Yuma High, Gardner's alma mater. He kept stats for the Yuma Indians varsity squad from 1971 to 2010, a streak of 394 consecutive games.

But Gardner, who graduated in 1993, never played in any of the Yuma games Pfalmer saw under the Friday night lights. Not at "fullback" or "middle linebacker" or anywhere else.

Cory Gardner's capacity for just straight up lying is getting downright creepy. He lies directly to multiple reporters about a Personhood bill that has his own name on it. He lies about immigration reform. He lies about birth control.

This really is an entirely new kind of character flaw being exposed. As Deadspin writes, politicians are known to lie and fib from time to time, but those lies are usually based on some nugget of truth. What Gardner is doing now is writing fictional stories about himself from Page 1. He is making up this "Cory Gardner" person as he goes along each day, adding new nonsense at every opportunity. The next thing you know, he'll be talking about the time he landed on Mars when he was an astronaut with NASA.

Cynthia Coffman plans anti-corruption unit

This is an interesting idea coming form Cynthia Coffman.  She hasn't been seen in the AG's Office in months, but she is still receiving a salary and getting benefits.  Will she investigate herself?

“Sobbing” Suppes Staffer Raises Many New Questions

Don Suppes Twitter

UPDATE: According to campaign finance records available online via the Colorado Secretary of State's office, "Anna Villoch-Jolly" was only paid twice by Suppes' campaign. A list of expenditures shows that Jolly received $410 on 6/4/14 and $208.48 on 6/27/14. Yet Suppes claims that he fired Jolly in September when he first learned about the Tweets in question. If you believe Suppes, he fired someone he wasn't paying anyway.

—–

The controversy over a Tweet sent from an account owned by SD-5 GOP candidate Don Suppes linking to a white supremacist website has made a lot of waves in one of the state's hottest legislative races, and is now the subject of mailers arriving in the district. In a story late yesterday, the Denver Post's Lynn Bartels reports on an alleged former campaign staffer who contacted her, hoping to jump on this proverbial grenade before it sinks Suppes' campaign:

A 47-year-old Castle Rock woman sobbed today when she outed herself as the person who posted a tweet from state Senate candidate Don Suppes’ account that linked to a neo-confederate website critical of women, blacks and others…

The inconsolable Jolly said she came forward today because a friend forwarded her a campaign mailer attacking Suppes that asked, “Did Don Suppes promote a white supremacist website?” The mailer, from a Democratic-funded group, includes a confederate flag, the tweet she wrote under the twitter handle @DonSuppes2014 and unflattering reports about Suppes from two liberal outfits, Mother Jones and ColoradoPols…

Suppes said he would have preferred Jolly stay behind the scenes because he fears she will be attacked.

“It’s done. The left is not going to change its campaign tactics,” he said. “My concern is I’m the candidate. I signed up for this. She didn’t.”

Well, actually, if she signed up to work on his campaign, and Tweeted out this link to a white supremacist website, she surely did "sign up" for whatever followed–including, as the latest version of the story is reported by Bartels, getting fired by Suppes for sending it.

The problem, and we're shocked that Bartels failed to mention any of this, is that Suppes has changed his entire story about what happened. When it was originally discovered back in September, you'll recall, Suppes tried to blame the whole thing on a Democratic "hack" attempt.

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."

A few days later, Suppes claimed he had "taken steps recommended for victims of identity theft," while introducing the possibility that the Tweet was the responsibility of "a staffer who has since been terminated." This came after we and others had found the "hacking" allegations to be pretty much laughable.

With all of that in mind, this latest attempt at cover raises many new questions. When exactly did Suppes figure out that he wasn't hacked by Democrats after all? Where is the evidence that this was ever reported to the "appropriate authorities?" Why would Suppes claim this was "Democrats running a smear campaign," and that he was monitoring his identity for theft, when the origin of this Tweet should have been clear to him from minute one? Why, after Suppes allegedly fired this staffer, didn't he admit that he was never "hacked" at all?

Obviously we're not going to get those answers from the Denver Post–so hopefully if another outlet gets a call from Suppes' bawling ex-staffer, they'll ask a few more questions.

Fact Check: Gardner opposes Dream Act and blocked immigration reform

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Cory Gardner.

Cory Gardner.

Rep. Cory Gardner continues to misrepresent his record on immigration, and reporters have failed to call him out on it.

During an Oct. 6 debate, Gardner was asked if he'd vote for the DREAM Act, which would grant a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who attend college or serve in the U.S. military.

Instead of answering the question, Gardner used the dodge tactic of stating his opinion on what will happen to the DREAM Act.

"Ultimately, I think the Dream Act will be part of the solution of immigration reform," Gardner said. "It has to be. Look, I believe in immigration reform."

If Gardner had answered the question, instead of predicting the future, he'd have said that he's long opposed the Dream Act.

Gardner: "I think if you pass the DREAM Act today, you’re still not fixing the problem,’ Gardner told the Boulder Daily Camera last year. "I want to create a fair system so people who want to be here legally can be here legally.”

Last year, Gardner even opposed a proposed state law, so-called ASSET, to grant in-state tuition for young immigrants in Colorado.

Gardner: "But we can’t start putting in place in-state tuition, whether it’s other things that are being placed by the states, without actually addressing the root problem that will only continue more illegal immigration into this country," Gardner told KNUS' Steve Kelly last year." And so, that’s why we’ve got to have a policy that actually works, and I believe it starts with border security."

On this very day, as I type this blog post, Gardner's website states that the Congressman opposes "giving those people [who are here illegally] benefits that will only encourage more illegal immigration."

In a similar vein, Gardner likes to say, "I strongly support immigration reform."

But Gardner was one of 30 House Republicans who openly opposed House Speaker John Boehner's immigration principles, intended to begin the embryonic stage of the process of moving immigration legislation out of the House.

Asked directly by Fox 31 Denver's Eli Stokols if he went to House Speaker Boehner and urged him to move the bipartisan Senate immigration bill or some other bill, Gardner again did not answer the question, saying that the Senate doesn't have a "monopoly of good ideas."

If he'd answered the question, he'd have said that he joined House Republicans in blocking Boehner and thereby ending hope for immigration reform last year.

Denver Post's Joey Bunchreported last week that Gardner  has "long held he doesn't support providing amnesty to those here illegally."

Reporters need to pin Gardner down on what he supports now and what he's done about it. Otherwise, he gets to present himself as if he's for reform while he done nothing to advance reform.

Joe Neguse Sets Fundraising Record for SOS Candidates

Joe Neguse

Joe Neguse, Democrat for Secretary of State

According to a press release sent out yesterday by the campaign of Democrat Joe Neguse:

Today Joe Neguse for Secretary of State announced raising $461,380 in contributions. Neguse surpassed the total amount raised by any candidate running for Secretary of State in the history of Colorado. [Pols emphasis]

Mike Coffman previously held the record with $446,660 total raised in his 2006 run for the office. Neguse has already bougth $280,000 in TV ads. Neguse's Republican opponent, on the other hand, appears to have raised the least amount  of any candidate (Republican or Democrat) running for statewide office in Colorado.

Republican Wayne Williams has raised a total of $225,522, which isn't even half of the total raised by Neguse. We're actually kind of surprised Williams has even raised that much given his numerous problems with fundraising.

Neguse has run a very strong campaign for Secretary of State, which gives him the best odds in our view of the three Democrats running for down ballot statewide races (Attorney General, Treasurer, SOS). As we've said many times in the past, it is tough for any candidates running for these seats to really make a mark in an election year where tens of millions of dollars are being spent on three races alone (Governor, U.S. Senate, CO-6), particularly given the fact that Colorado voters tend to split their votes for these second-tier seats. But the combination of Neguse's strong campaign and Williams' general ineptitude — not to mention a poisonous four years from current SOS Scott Gessler – may just put Neguse over the top in November.