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Political TV talk show airs five days a week through Election Day in Denver

For those of you who used to complain about the shrinking length of TV sound bites, but now you’re grateful for any political blip on TV at all, take this: A local TV public-affairs show that airs five days a week.

That’s what Aaron Harber, who’s hosted public affairs programs here for years, in a unique partnership with The Denver Post, is bringing you this election season. That’s about 100 shows, some of which may be candidate debates like Harber has moderated in past elections.

The “Aaron Harber Show: Colorado Election 2014″ launched about three weeks ago, and the string of guests continues to impress: Ryan Call, Scott Gessler, Ken Buck, Diane Carman, Dick Lamm, Tom Tancredo, Steve Welchert, John Andrews, Mike Littwin, among others. (Okay, maybe they’re all not so impressive, but still.)

You can catch former State House Speaker (and impressive to boot) Mark Ferrandino Monday. The show is available in the morning (and first) on The Post website, and then broadcast on Denver commercial TV station KCDO-TV Channel 3 at 6:30 p.m. (3 p.m. next week) through Election Day. Below, see how else it’s being distributed.

Harbor is particularly excited about the partnership with The Post, which he hopes will push the show out to a much wider audience than you’d expect for a local TV public affairs program, like others produced locally.

The show “is the nation’s first daily political news show on a commercial over-the-air broadcast television station in conjunction with a major newspaper,” according to the show’s promotional materials, and, as such, “could be a model for the country to promote civil and mutually-respectful debate.”

“Can you have a partnership with a television station and a newspaper, where the newspaper gets the program first?” asks Harber. “In this case The Denver Post gets it in the morning and the television station gets it at 6:30 p.m. (3 p.m. next week). Can we make this work? The newspaper loves having the content first, and will that actually help viewing when the television broadcasts the show later? We think it can.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Aaron and provide our readers and viewers with additional information for evaluating candidates and issues this election cycle,” Post Editor Greg Moore said in a Post article about the series. “We are impressed with Aaron’s ability to get political players to come to the table and discuss their views and we look forward to what we can create together.”

“Viewers get to see the guests in a more in-depth manner than they do on an average TV news program, where the average sound bite is 9 seconds,” Harber told me. “We’re trying to present people with a fact-based program that allows them to see various candidates and representatives of ballot initiatives.”

Harber says he’s gotten positive feedback on the show so far, but he’s tweaking it as it goes along, He’s had suggestions for improvement, like “maybe a new host,” he joked.

One possible show in the future, or a segment of future shows, might involve assembling a panel to critique political ads, kind of like the fact-checks on local TV stations but done in a discussion format, said Harber.

Here’s a summary, provided by Harber, of where you can catch the program:

The program will be highlighted in the morning newspaper every weekday and broadcast first on The Denver Post’s Website and made available 24/7 thereafter on DenverPost.com through the General Election.

After each daily premiere on The Denver Post, the show will be broadcast over-the-air as well as on cable and satellite from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm by KCDO-TV Channel 3 (K3 Colorado).

COMCAST Entertainment Television has agreed to carry the entire series statewide (with two broadcasts daily after the KCDO-TV Channel 3 broadcast).

To ensure even broader availability to voters, ION Television has agreed to carry the best shows of the series.

K3 will preempt the regular Sunday morning program 11:00 am time-slot for “The Aaron Harber Show” (right after most of the national political news shows) and re-broadcast the “best” program from the previous week to give the series even more exposure.

COMCAST also will make the entire series available 24/7 at no charge via its XFINITY [Video] on Demand service so all Colorado COMCAST customers can view the programs in HD at their convenience.

In conjunction with the Colorado Press Association, full-length programs and short segments also will be available to the 44 Colorado print and electronic participants in the Publishers Advantage Initiative (representing an additional 625,000 readers and viewers).

In conjunction with the Colorado Broadcasters Association, full-length programs and short segments also will be available to the every radio and television station in Colorado at no charge for use on their Websites (potentially representing an additional 1,725,000 viewers and readers).

2014 Colorado Primary Election Night Open Thread

UPDATE 10:00PM: Democratic Governors Association chair, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin:

"Under Governor John Hickenlooper's bipartisan, business-oriented leadership, Colorado has made tremendous economic progress over the last four years. The unemployment rate has dropped from 9.1 percent to 5.8 percent, the state has improved from 40th to 4th in the nation for job creation, and we've seen 31 consecutive months of job growth. By working with business leaders to drive Colorado-based ideas, innovations, and solutions, Governor Hickenlooper has helped build an economy that's stronger and fairer for the middle class.

"In stark contrast, Republicans have nominated longtime Congressman Bob Beauprez. Since his historic, 17-point defeat eight years ago, Beauprez has given voice to extremism and rigid partisanship as a fringe radio host. While Both Ways Bob will spend the next few months trying to use the double-talk he mastered as a Washington politician trying to explain away his troubling record and radical views on everything from the imminent threat of Sharia law to the 'hoax' of climate change, voters won't be fooled. We look forward to Governor Hickenlooper's reelection in November." 

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UPDATE 8:00PM: a very, very familiar face you'll be seeing a lot of until November:

beauprez

UPDATE 7:45PM: Multiple news outlets now calling the GOP gubernatorial primary for Bob Beauprez.

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UPDATE 7:27PM: FOX 31's Eli Stokols:

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners are celebrating a hard-fought primary victory here tonight, as newcomer Tony Sanchez appears headed to victory over attorney Mario Nicolais in the race for the GOP nomination in state senate district 22.

Sanchez has doubled up Nicolais 66-33 percent with around 8,000 votes counted.

Senate Democrats are also celebrating Sanchez’s likely win, which may help them hold onto a senate majority this November.

While Sanchez, along with the RMGO-backed Laura Woods, who’s holding a narrower lead in her primary battle with Lang Sias in senate district 19, hold strong appeal to the conservative base on primary night, most observers believe they’re far too conservative for the districts they seek to represent.

—–

UPDATE 7:25PM: In CD-4, Ken Buck rapidly pulling away from Scott Renfroe. This race will be called soon.

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UPDATE 7:20PM: Tight race emerging in CD-5 with Rep. Doug Lamborn barely ahead of challenger Bentley Rayburn in early returns. In the HD-15 GOP primary, Gordon Klingenschmitt and Dave Williams are too close to call.

—–

UPDATE 7:15PM: Rocky Mountain Gun Owners having a good night so far, endorsed candidates Laura Waters Woods and Tony Sanchez leading in the SD-19 and SD-22 GOP primaries respectively.

In the HD-24 Democratic primary, Jessie Danielson beating Kristian Teegardin. Alec Garnett ahead of Owen Perkins in the HD-2 Democratic race.

—–

UPDATE 7:10PM: Early results with 18% of precincts now reporting:

Beauprez 32.5%     
Gessler 25.2%     
Tancredo 24.0%     
Kopp 18.1%

Still very preliminary. Tom Tancredo presently leading in bellwether Jefferson County.

—–

"We always want the best man to win an election. Unfortunately, he never runs."

–Will Rogers

Can “Honey Badger” Sneak In a Win?

Scott Gessler.

Scott Gessler.

The two most likely scenarios in tomorrow's Republican gubernatorial primary elections, based on all polling of the race, is either a win by former Congressman Bob Beauprez or his colleague Tom Tancredo. But there is a third possible outcome that we do want to note for the record, as the Denver Post's Joey Bunch reported last week:

[Scott Gessler] embraces the nickname "Honey Badger" — even calling his campaign Team Honey Badger — which came from the Internet meme about "the most fearless animal in the animal kingdom."

"He has less baggage than Tancredo, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have any," University of Denver political scientist Peter Hanson said of Gessler's primary opponent, who is known for controversy.

To his credit, Gessler has a well-organized, disciplined campaign, Hanson said. [Pols emphasis]

One thing we know from elections past is that polling is notoriously problematic in a low-turnout primary election, because a disciplined get-out-the-vote field campaign can turn polling results on their head on Election Night. And that possibility remains for tomorrow night: even though Beauprez and Tancredo are hogging the spotlight for earned media in this race, Gessler's by all accounts quality campaign, staffed by smart up-and-coming intelligentsia Republicans, just might be getting the ballots in from their well-targeted voters.

This possibilty prevents us from completely writing off any of the three viable contenders in this nominally four-man, widely regarded as a two-man race. Mike Kopp has no ability to pull off a steal himself, having never raised the minimum needed to undertake a field campaign. We don't even think his Rocky Mountain Gun Owners endorsement can help him at this point, with Kopp basically in vanity mode after winning the state assembly.

If there's an upset brewing in this race, Gessler will be it.

Campaign Finance Complaint Filed Against GOP’s Robert Ramirez

UPDATE: That's that, folks–via the Denver Post's John Aguilar, so much for Robert Ramirez:

—–

Robert Ramirez.

Robert Ramirez.

​A press release from the House Majority Project announces a complaint filed against defeated former Rep. Robert Ramirez, who is (at least on paper) once again running for House District 29 in Arvada and Westminster:

In total, Mr. Ramirez has skipped out on filing 12 legally required campaign finance disclosure reports, and hasn't submitted a single report since his candidate affidavit was filed on March 19, 2014.  The Secretary of State fines campaigns $50 per day for these violations, bringing Ramirez's total delinquency bill to a whopping $57,200 in penalties owed.  

Pursuant to Colorado Constitution Article XXVIII, a candidate is personally liable for penalties imposed on his or her candidate committee.  State law only allows complainants to pursue violations occurring within 180 days of a complaint, bringing the total amount that Ramirez and his campaign are liable for to $12,300. 

"As Treasurer of the Jefferson County Democratic Party, I filed countless campaign finance disclosure reports, it's not that hard" said [Jefferson County resident Liz]​ Geiselman.  "Robert Ramirez is once again asking voters to put their trust in him to make the law, yet he breaks the law 12 times in a row.  That's simply unacceptable to the people of Jefferson County.  Jeffco residents want the Ramirez campaign held fully accountable for these violations."

It's anybody's guess what's going on here–did Ramirez file as a candidate and then decide not to go through with it? Is he just thumbing his nose at campaign finance disclosure law? Or is he just assuming that Secretary of State Scott Gessler would help him raise money to pay off any fines that he couldn't get dismissed?

Ramirez was originally elected in 2010 in a razor-thin victory over Democrat Debbie Benefield, but quickly lost standing after a long string of gaffes and oddities that gave current Democratic incumbent Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp an opening to send Ramirez into early retirement in the subsequent 2012 election. Back in March when we learned he had filed to run again, we speculated whether Ramirez was actually serious about it, or had just recycled his 2010 campaign materials for a placeholder rematch.

Whichever it is, filing his legally required campaign finance disclosures…would be nice.

GOP Gubernatorial Candidates on Local Control: Yeah, Right

Photo courtesy Rep. Jared Polis

Photo courtesy Rep. Jared Polis

The Denver Business Journal’s Ed Sealover reports, not that there was ever much doubt, but for the record:

None of Colorado’s four Republican gubernatorial candidates support Gov. John Hickenlooper’s current effort to give local governments more regulatory authority over drilling operations in exchange for U.S. Rep. Jared Polis yanking down his nine proposed regulatory ballot initiatives, with all of them saying that doing so would be, in essence, capitulating to the wealthy Democratic congressman.

Only one of the quartet — former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo — said that he would be open to some measure of local control on some oil and gas issues, while another, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, said he believes drilling restrictions already are too harsh and should be rolled back in order to boost the energy economy in Colorado…

Hickenlooper, Polis and the state’s two largest drillers have agreed on a compromise proposal, but the governor is seeking more industry and business support — enough, administration sources say, to get a number of Republicans to vote for the bill — before he calls a special session.

If one of the four Republican gubernatorial candidates were in office right now, it’s pretty clear that no such negotiations would be underway. [Pols emphasis]

Of the four responses, we have to say that Tom Tancredo’s comes the closest to a reasonable position, at least acknowledging the desire of local communities to have some control over heavy industrial operations like oil and gas drilling within their boundaries. All of them employ Rep. Jared Polis as a scapegoat, although Sealover notes correctly that the resistance blocking the local control compromise legislation is from the energy industry.

As for Scott Gessler’s contention that regulations on oil and gas in Colorado are already “too strict” and should be rolled back to “boost the energy economy,” well, that’s the Honey Badger for you! That will almost certainly be a minority viewpoint among general election voters, but for the purposes of moving out of distant third place in this primary, Gessler’s ready to pander and pander hard.

Bottom line: Gov. John Hickenlooper’s friendly relations with the energy industry are a matter of record, about which we’ve had plenty to say in this space–the good, like bringing the industry and conservationists to the table for strong new air quality rules, and the bad like Hickenlooper’s dubious taste for fracking fluid. Fortunately for Hickenlooper, one of these guys will be the alternative in November–and there will be a clear, or at least clear enough, distinction.

One Week Out: Who Will Win The GOP Gubernatorial Primary?

With one week remaining until next Tuesday's primary election, here's a poll of our registered users (click here to create an account if you don't have one already) on who will win the Colorado Republican gubernatorial primary: former Congressman Bob Beauprez, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, former state Sen. Mike Kopp, or former Congressman Tom Tancredo. For this poll, we ask that you not vote your preference–we'd like to know who you honestly believe will win the election.

Who will win the Colorado GOP gubernatorial primary?

 

GOP Gubernatorial Candidates (Mostly) Get Bratty

Bob Beauprez, Scott Gessler, Tom Tancredo.

Bob Beauprez, Scott Gessler, Tom Tancredo.

FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports on the continuing reverberations from Tuesday's stunning ouster of U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by an underdog Tea Party-backed challenger:

With precious days left to sway primary voters, three of the four Colorado Republicans seeking their party’s gubernatorial nomination are aligning themselves with the anti-establishment wave that just toppled the second most powerful Republican in the U.S. House, majority leader Eric Cantor.

After Cantor lost his seat Tuesday night to a virtually unknown professor, Dave Brat, due to strong support from anti-Cantor forces within conservative talk radio and beyond, Tom Tancredo, Scott Gessler and Mike Kopp openly celebrated.

“If I were a drinking man, I’d have been drunk last night. I’d have been celebrating like crazy,” Tancredo said on the Peter Boyles Show Wednesday morning after the host referred to Cantor’s defeat as a “bitch-slapping.”

Eric Cantor (R-Toxicity).

Eric Cantor (R-Toxicity).

Jason Salzman has more on Tancredo's jubilation after Cantor's defeat, being a perceived validation of Tancredo's own anti-immigration brand. As for the one Colorado GOP gubernatorial candidate who is conspicuously not celebrating Cantor's defeat–the one Cantor endorsed, longtime Washington, D.C. insider Bob Beauprez? The Denver Post's Joey Bunch reports:

Beauprez characterized Cantor as “colleague and a friend.”

“”We worked together to pass the Bush tax cuts in 2003 and to support Israel,” he said, then referenced his ballot petition signatures. “While I appreciate his endorsement of our campaign, I’ve also been endorsed by more than 23,000 Coloradans who believe that I will be a conservative voice for them as Colorado’s next governor.”

Democrats and Republicans opposing Beauprez in e-mails and on Twitter Tuesday night challenged whether the Cantor loss signaled a distaste for such establishment candidates. Beauprez’s campaign spokesman, Roger Hudson, pointed out that Cantor made tactical campaign mistakes — essentially not campaigning nearly enough — that Beauprez won’t repeat…

One of these responses is definitely not like the others. Beauprez couldn't be in a worse position today, as a friend of Cantor's from Congress who sought and won Cantor's early endorsement in the Colorado gubernatorial race. Today, Eric Cantor's endorsement is the kiss of death in a Republican primary, of even less value than the Mitt Romney endorsement Beauprez was so oddly proud of last month. Rep. Cory Gardner faces similar problems as another erstwhile Cantor ally, which is probably why we haven't heard anything from Gardner about Cantor's defeat. Judging from Beauprez's response, Gardner's not going to have an easy time spinning this one.

What's the opposite of "coattails," again?

Charges Dropped In First of Gessler’s Four Vote Fraud Cases

Scott Gessler.

Scott Gessler.

As the Colorado Independent's John Tomasic reports:

The charge has been dropped in what’s believed to be the first voter fraud case set for trial since Secretary of State Scott Gessler urged district attorneys statewide to prosecute people who purportedly are cheating Colorado’s election system.

Mike Michaelis was scheduled to be tried today for allegedly procuring false information on a voter registration form. Michaelis, 41 and now in construction, registered voters in 2012 on behalf of Work for Progress, a nonprofit that, as its website states, campaigns “for social justice, a fair economy, consumer protection, clean energy, and the environment.”

On a voter registration form submitted to Michaelis by Aurora resident Lydie Kouadio, a box was marked saying she is a U.S. citizen. Gessler’s office determined she isn’t. Her name was among 155 voters the Secretary of State deemed to be suspicious. Last June, Gessler sent prosecutors lists of residents in their districts for possible prosecution…

Winnowing down from Secretary of State Scott Gessler's original breathless claim that "thousands" of noncitizens had voted illegally in Colorado elections, we are finally at the bottom line after countless man-hours spent by his office, county clerks, and local law enforcement in pursuit of this alleged epidemic of vote fraud–four incidents where Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler, far and away the state's most partisan political district attorney, managed to put together enough of a case to file charges.

And now there are three.

Soon after taking office in 2011, Gessler, a longtime Republican election lawyer, claimed there were 16,000 noncitizens registered to vote in Colorado. Soon after, he said he identified 11,805 people as potentially fraudulent voters because they used noncitizen identification for drivers’ licenses with which they registered to vote.

Those figures, he said, backed up his claims that there was a “gaping hole” in the state’s voting system.

But Gessler’s numbers were off — way off – even as he alerted a congressional panel about Colorado’s purported rash of voter fraud.

Far from being a major systemic problem, the "illegal voters" Gessler actually uncovered amount to far less than the number of ballots and voter registrations Gessler's office routinely loses. Gessler's original insistence that many thousands of illegally registered voters were lurking in the rolls has become one of the most thoroughly discredited claims put forward by a Colorado politician in recent years. It's tough to understand why the near-total failure to substantiate a problem Gessler warned about in such certain and ominous terms has not ended his political career.

Perhaps it has, but we can't write that eulogy until after the primary.

Mario Nicolais Gets Two Ads For The Price of One

An interesting twist on the usual primary wrangling–check out the mailer below, sent by a GOP message group in support of Democratic HD-24 primary candidate Kristian Teegardin to Democratic primary voters:

teegardinmario

This mailing raises eyebrows for a couple of reasons. There's the obvious question about a Republican aligned and operated group getting involved in a Democratic primary. In this case, we think that can be adequately explained by Teegardin's Democratic opponent, Jessie Danielson, who worked for the progressive America Votes organization and is a natural enemy of the Scott Gessler vote suppression "integrity" set. One such friend and political ally of Gessler is the registered agent of the group in question, GOP attorney Mario Nicolais.

As one of the principal election law attorneys for local Republicans, Nicolais' name appears as the registered agent for lots of Republican-aligned political groups–for example, the organization that attacked Republican county clerks over election reform legislation using photos of voters with African-American faces Photoshopped out. In this case, though, there's an added bonus: Nicolais is a Republican candidate for the Colorado Senate in SD-22. SD-22 and HD-24, the House district Teegardin is running in, overlap for much of the town of Edgewater west of Sheridan Boulevard! It's not a huge overlap, but it's the first instance we've ever seen of a mailer sent to voters in one district with the name of another candidate for the same voters as the registered agent.

Building name ID among Democrats wouldn't help Nicolais in his heated primary against Rocky Mountain Gun Owners-endorsed Tony Sanchez, of course, in fact we could easily see meddling in a Democratic primary being used against Nicolais with SD-22 primary voters. We'd say that any one of the pieces of this story by itself isn't terribly remarkable, but the combination of these storylines makes, at the very least, for some interesting trivia.

For HD-24 Democrats and SD-22 Republicans especially.

Dem Coalition Goes Up with Ads Targeting Beauprez & Tancredo

As Eli Stokols of Fox 31 reports:

A newly-formed group called “Protect Colorado Values” is about to hit the airwaves with two different ads focused on the two Republican front-runners, Tom Tancredo and Bob Beauprez.

Both appear to be attack ads, but a single viewing of the two spots makes it clear what the group, a partnership between the independent expenditure committee of the Democratic Governors Association and other Colorado-based progressive donor organizations, is trying to do.

Simply put, the one-two punch is a thinly-veiled effort to help Tom Tancredo win the GOP gubernatorial nomination…

…A similar situation played out in 2010, when Democrats spent $500,000 near the end of a Republican primary to help finish off the scandal-tarnished Scott McInnis.

Republicans, left with Dan Maes as the party’s gubernatorial nominee, struggled to regroup and split further when Tancredo, running on a third party line, entered the race but failed to convince Maes to drop out.

As we wrote yesterday, the four Republican candidates for Governor are struggling to find the resources to promote their own campaigns, which makes this an ideal situation for other interested groups to get involved. By any estimation, Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo are the clear favorites for the Republican nomination for Governor, which makes them both the obvious targets in this case. It's not like the DGA and a coalition of local donors is going to spend a lot of money going after Scott Gessler or Mike Kopp.

This is not an unprecedented move; in fact, it is quite precedented. Stokols cites Democrats spending $500k in the 2010 Republican Primary, but the most well-known example in recent history is the decision by President Obama’s campaign in late 2011 to start running negative ads against Republican Mitt Romney – long before the Primary had been decided. With Republican candidates drawing attention to themselves as much as possible, Obama’s team reasoned that it was a good time to try to build the narrative they wanted around potential opponents such as Romney. Democrats appear to be doing the same thing in Colorado — taking advantage of a wide-open TV ad market to begin defining both Beauprez and Tancredo.

GOP Candidates for Governor: What’s Left in the Bank?

UPDATE: And…here comes our first 527 Committee, "Republicans Who Want to Win," which is supporting Beauprez.

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Ballots are beginning to criss-cross in the mail in advance of the June 24th Primary, so it's time for candidates to empty their campaign warchests into various forms of voter outreach. The most recent fundraising reports were made available on Monday, covering the last two weeks of May, and they offer an interesting look at what the four Republican gubernatorial candidates might be able to do to (or not do) as the Primary comes to an end.

Here's how each of the Republican candidates for Governor compare in terms of resources as of June 2, 2014 (Note: All expenditures listed are for the two-week period of 5/15-5/28)

Tom Tancredo
Tom Tancredo.

Expenditures: $73,700
Cash On Hand: $63,412
Bottom Line: If Tancredo can bring in enough money to air his motorcycle-riding TV ad, this race should be in the bag.
 

 

Bob Beauprez
BeauprezExpenditures: $69,900
Loans: $100,000
Cash On Hand: $115,995
Bottom Line: This is the moment of truth for Beauprez. If he can self-fund his campaign — and he thinks it will matter — now is the time to write that check (and $100k isn't enough).

Scott Gessler
Scott Gessler. Expenditures: $12,608
Cash On Hand: $69,142
Bottom Line: If Gessler has any hope at winning the June 24th Primary, it's going to come from outside PACs or 527 Committees. Gessler doesn't have the resources to win based on what he's got in his campaign account.

Mike Kopp
Former State Sen. Mike Kopp (R). Expenditures: $26,737
Cash On Hand: $30,034
Bottom Line: Do you know what kind of candidate goes on a week-long bicycle tour in June through some of the least-populated parts of the state? The kind that doesn't have any money and knows he won't can't win.
 

 

 

Citizens United: We are “The Media”

UPDATE: Victory! Thursday, June 5, 2014, Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert denied  Citizens United's petition to "be the media", i.e., to run political ads masquerading as documentaries, without disclosing donors.

From Brandon Rittiman's reporting on 9news:

The Colorado Secretary of State's office ruled that an upcoming documentary featuring state politicians "is an electioneering communication" and that it does not fall under any of the exemptions to state laws requiring political groups to disclose financial donors when running ads that mention candidates within 60 days of an election.

Practically, this means that Citizens United will have to disclose that it is a political organization in any TV ads running 60 days before the election. CU can still run a planned film documentary which "focuses on left-leaning groups and their influence on Colorado politicians and policies", according to David Bossie,  President of Citizens United.

Luis Toro, director of Colorado Ethics Watch, which challenged the Citizens United petition, said that CU could sue Secretary of State Gessler in Federal Court and get an injunction. It's all speculation at this point, stated Toro. David Bossie signalled his intent to take the case back to the Supreme Court, which has ruled in favor of Citizens United.

CitiCartoon by Kip Lyall at http://kiplyall.blogspot.com/2011/12/cartoon-citizens-united.htmlzens United,  the conservative "non-profit" which won a landmark Supreme Court decision allowing for unlimited dark money in politics, wants to spend big on political attack ads in Colorado without disclosing any donors.  

 

 

 

As an end-run around campaign finance laws, Citizens United is claiming to be a media organization,  composed of independent journalists just like Michael Moore, according to CU President David Bossie, quoted in the  9News interview below. CU  petitioned the Secretary of State to determine that its proposed political films should not be considered "electioneering" or "political expenditures".

Colorado Ethics Watch  pushed back in a hearing  through the Secretary of State's Office, which is  no friend to Colorado Ethics Watch.  That makes this decision pleasantly surprising.

(more…)

Bob Beauprez Still Losing, According to Poll from Bob Beauprez

Republican Bob Beauprez

Hee, hee

There is a certain amount of buffoonery associated with Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez that almost makes us wish his name was always on the ballot. He's like a cartoon character that keeps standing on the big X on the sidewalk, even though he knows it will result in a piano falling on his head. He just can't help himself.

It happened again yesterday afternoon when new poll results were released at the behest of the Beauprez campaign. Only Bob Beauprez would go out of his way to remind you that he's not winning.

According to survey results released by Magellan Strategies — a Republican polling outfit commissioned by Beauprez's campaign — Tom Tancredo is still leading the GOP field for Governor. From Fox 31:

The survey of more than 900 likely Republican primary election voters, conducted May 28th and 29th, shows Tom Tancredo atop the field with 27 percent support. Beauprez, who didn’t enter the race until late February and has been spending a lot of his own money to try to consolidate the anti-Tancredo vote behind his campaign, is polling at 25 percent, within the poll’s three percent margin of error.

Here's the breakdown from the poll:

Tom Tancredo: 27%
Bob Beauprez: 25%
Scott Gessler: 13%
Mike Kopp: 10%
Undecided: 25%

Beauprez is obviously trying hard to consolidate support among likely Republican voters, a task made all the more difficult by his historically-awful 2006 campaign for Governor. Clearly Team Beauprez thinks it needs to convince GOP voters that Beauprez is not a complete disaster as a candidate — though it might be wise to listen to a different group of consultants at this point. Magellan Strategies is the same group that Beauprez paid in March to conduct a survey showing that Gov. John Hickenlooper would absolutely kick the shit out of him in November (results that ended up in the hands of Politico).

Who’s the Biggest Loser of them All?

Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Gessler launched an ad yesterday attacking his rival Tom Tancredo as a loser because Tanc lost his 2010 campaign for governor.

The conservative radio world isn't buying Gessler's attack.

In a conversation with Tancredo a couple weeks ago, here's what KNUS' Dan Caplis had to say on the topic:

CAPLIS: I like Scott, but I thought his shot on you was very unfair…And here’s why. I agree with you. I think it was the best race you ever ran—-that race for governor. I think you did something very noble in trying to bail out, you know, a terrible situation, created by the Scott McInnis / Dan Maes mess.

TANCREDO: Yeah. Yeah.

CAPLIS: And it’s so interesting. People forget. I mean, you ran a very good race, and, full disclosure, I think I contributed to your campaign. If I didn’t, I meant to. But I know that I publicly supported you.

TANCREDO: There’s going to be another chance. You’ve got another chance.

CAPLIS: [laughs] That’s good! I like that! But here’s my point. You jumped into this mess. And I remember, there were national political experts on Election Day predicting you were going to win that race! …And honestly, Tom, I think in that race, if it had been under normal circumstances, and you had just been the nominee of the GOP, and you’d have had the infrastructure in tact from day one, etc., I think there’s a real good chance you win that race.

TANCREDO: I do too.

In his 2010 gubernatorial run, Tancredo lost by 14 points in three-way race. If he’d gotten Maes’ 10 points, he’d have been within about 4 points of Hick. Still a loser, but still.

For a variety of reasons, I don't think Tancredo would have beaten Hick, even if Maes dropped out, but Caplis has his historical facts correct here, for a change.

And if you're going to get into a spitting match about who's the bigger loser, Tancredo or Beauprez, Beauprez wins for once. (The Gessler ad also calls Beauprez a loser.)

In 2006, Beauprez lost by 17 points in a head-to-head race against Bill Ritter, with no Dan-Maes distraction.

Don't get me wrong. Anybody who calls Obama a "radical," as Tancredo does in his own political ad below, is an intellectual loser in my book, so I personally agree with Gessler, who's a radical himself.

But Caplis had it mostly right in his analysis of Gessler's attack of Tanc, if you look at the numbers and the historical facts.

Here's more of the conversation on KNUS from May 16:

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Mike Kopp Boldly Bikes BFE

kopptour

FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports–it's a beautiful ride, so why not?

Spandex generally isn’t a good look for politicians–for anyone, really–but that’s not inhibiting Mike Kopp, who launching a statewide bike tour this Friday in an effort to connect with voters in every corner of Colorado ahead of next month’s GOP gubernatorial primary.

Kopp, a former state Senate Minority Leader, won top-line on the primary ballot at April’s state GOP assembly but remains an underdog in the party’s four-way gubernatorial primary.

Tom Tancredo, Bob Beauprez and Scott Gessler have all raised more money and have higher name identification with voters than Kopp.

In response to Bob Beauprez's growing stack of big-name endorsements, Scott Gessler's late fundraising surge and upcoming TV campaign, and Tom Tancredo's built-in base of fanatical support, rapidly-fading GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike Kopp is embarking on a 430-mile bicycle tour of some of the most remote areas of the state! Now, don't get us wrong, it's really beautiful country out there riding from Grand Junction to Holly by way of Gunnison, Pueblo, and La Junta, maybe the most beautiful stretch to ride a bicycle to be found anywhere until you get to Pueblo–but he's avoiding the largest population centers in the state, the Denver and Colorado Springs metro areas. Otherwise known as "where the votes are."

It depends on what the motivation is, folks. Despite Kopp's victory at the state GOP assembly, which sources say had more to do with maneuvering by candidates petitioning on the ballot to deny support to Scott Gessler, his chances of actually winning the nomination are slim and shrinking fast as the other candidates hog the spotlight. Kopp doesn't have enough money to compete, but he does have enough to mount a campaign swing through the hinterland. Which happens to be at the perfect time for a bicycle enthusiast to ride through the Rockies.

In 2010, Dan Maes paid his personal bills with his gubernatorial campaign. Kopp has no need to do that, of course, but if he's going to lose anyway, why not have a nice expense-paid ride through the Rockies–with only a pretense of being "campaign related" necessary?

You only live once, so we say ride on.