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Colorado GOP Chair Blames ’22 Election Losses on Dems ‘Taking Advantage’ of Illegal Voting

(Big Lie forever — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado GOP Chair Dave Williams is no stranger to blaming Republican election losses on voter fraud without any evidence. An unapologetic 2020 election denier, Williams now claims that his party’s historic losses in last year’s election are also due in part to Democrats intentionally changing rules in order to allow illegal votes.

In an interview with KNUS radio host Peter Boyles last week, Williams said the following:

“The reason why Democrats are finding success is because I think they’re taking advantage of the boundaries and some of the systematic advantages that they’ve put into elections such as ballot harvesting, such as taking advantage of a lack of enforcement of voter rolls being cleaned up, or even signature verification type stuff.”

Williams was speaking about state legislative races. His mention of “boundaries” is a reference to the newly redrawn state House and Senate districts lines, following 2021’s redistricting via independent commission, a process which was generally seen as having been somewhat favorable to Republicans.

Williams’ shift from claiming outright fraud (as he still says about 2020) to saying Democrats “took advantage” of dirty voter rolls and “signature-verification type stuff,” marks a rhetorical move from the extremist fringe to only slightly subtler dog-whistle language of more mainstream conservatives. None of the claims have ever been substantiated, but vague allegations of inaccurate voter rolls or insufficiently strict signature verification processes leave enough wiggle room to avoid sounding conspiratorial while still hitting the main talking points to satisfy most of the deniers — and undermine confidence in Colorado’s election process.

Host Boyles stands apart from many of his fellow Colorado conservative talk show hosts in that he’s frequently called out Republicans, including Williams, who have engaged in election denialism. Yet he didn’t object in the least during this May 3 interview. Neither Williams nor Boyles responded to email requests for comment. This article will be updated with any responses received.

Williams’ comments contradicted his statement from just minutes earlier, when Williams ascribed the Republicans’ Statehouse losses primarily to poor messaging, with his unsubstantiated election meddling claims as a secondary reason.


Punching & Polling: New CO Republican Leader Wants GOP To Be ‘More Like the Tea Party’

(Back to the future — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

New Colorado GOP Chair Dave Williams won his race by uniting the clans.

As the newly elected Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, Dave Williams is making the obligatory rounds of the state’s numerous conservative talk radio shows. For the past two weeks, he’s been introducing himself to the party faithful, sharing his vision for revamping the state GOP, and taking some tough questions from the likes of George Brauchler, Deborah Flora, Dan Caplis, Peter Boyles and other mic-wielding Republicans from both wings of his party.

Yet while Williams makes his case on the radio, some prominent Republicans have either announced they are leaving the party, downplayed the significance of chair’s role, or criticized him directly for election denialism and for his links to fringe elements of the party.

Williams’s first on-air appearance, just hours after his election, was on the KNUS show of fellow election denier Randy Corporon, who was elected by state Republicans to serve on the Republican National Committee. Corporon, who also founded the influential Arapahoe County Tea Party (ACTP), was clearly thrilled at Williams’ win. He encouraged him to continue to court grassroots Republicans and invited him to speak at the next ACTP meeting. Williams replied, “I want to make the Republican Party more like the Tea Party.”

Williams was on less friendly ground a week later when he appeared on the Peter Boyles Show. Boyles, who’s been perhaps the loudest right-wing radio voice against election denialism and Trump (a marked departure from his vehement support of Trump’s racist “birther” conspiracy),  asked Williams about the challenge before him:

Peter Boyles: Can you feel the weight of this? You have to bring this thing like the Phoenix bird, out of the ashes?

Dave Williams: Yeah, for sure. It’s a weighty responsibility, especially when there is no other statewide Republican official that you can point to, Heidi [Ganahl], is no longer a regent. And prior to that was Cory [Gardner]. So now it’s fallen to me, to a certain extent, to be the voice of nearly one million Republicans, and that’s something not to take lightly. Boyles responded by asking Williams how he would win over more moderate Republicans.

Boyles: These guys are right-of-center. They’re not the lunatic fringe; they’re right-of-center guys. And how can you win them? Because elections are won in the middle. They’re not won by the Tina Peters supporters or guys that take rifles and shoot copying machines or wherever the hell that Hanks character did. This is not the stuff that’s going to get you across the finish line. How are you going to do it?

Williams: It starts with figuring out what our marketplace wants. We have to go to the voters, whether they’re Republican or unaffiliated, and we have to start asking them, ‘What are the issues you care about most?’

Williams repeated that same message a few days later on KNUS’ Deborah Flora Show:

“We’re not asking the marketplace what they want,” said Williams. “We’re kind of just kind of shooting in the dark, not really knowing what issues they care about. So we have to invest in good old fashioned polling that kind of tells us what issues do these people care about, and we can then align ourselves on those issues – without compromising who we are – and start to make some gains.”

That answer is the second half of the two-part message Williams pushed on all his radio appearances: First he says the party is going to “go on offense” against Democrats personally by “exposing their corruption.” Second, he says he’s going to rely on empirical data to determine the party’s policy priorities going forward.

His focus on polling data appears to be an attempt to push back against his well-established reputation as a far-right bomb-thrower, often against his own party. Boyles pointed out as much during their conversation, noting, “You’re hanging in a coalition right now of some frankly pretty nutty people.”

Williams did not respond to emails requesting comment on his two-point plan; both what evidence of moral and ethical corruption he expects to find on Democrats as well as any details about the upcoming polling project. This article will be updated with any response received.

“Establishment” Republicans have already made similar public statements, such as former chair Dick Wadhams, who previously wrote off the entire field of candidates and then told the Colorado Sun that if Williams delivers on his campaign promises, particularly his offer of a leadership role to Tina Peters, the party would “have no credibility.”


Neville Laments & Stokes Division Among Statehouse Republicans

(No peace among the losers – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Outgoing House Minority Leader Patrick Neville chose not to run for a second term leading the Colorado House Republicans, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t still willing to speak his mind publicly. Whether on social media or talk radio, Neville, who’s never been one to be shy about sharing his opinions, is letting everyone know how he feels.

In the past week he’s called out House colleague Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta) on Facebook and given an on-air interview in which he pulled the curtain back on conservative donors’ attempts to influence Republican political strategy.

Douglas County Rep. Kim Ransom’s re-election to the Joint Budget Committee was one of the caucus’ several contested elections on Monday. She narrowly defeated Soper, who challenged her incumbency on the basis that his law background would make him more effective.

Soper expressed his disappointment on social media in a since-deleted Facebook post lamenting his defeat as a loss for the Western Slope and describing Ransom as a “Denver-metro career legislator.” Soper promised to fight for rural Colorado, even if that means “[battling] the Republican caucus.” He posted his statement along with a picture of himself and Rep. Neville, a choice which angered the former House Minority Leader.

Neville called Soper’s post “outrageous,” and made it clear he supports Rep. Ransom. Addressing Soper, who is 36 years old, as “young man,” Neville, 37, disputed his characterization of Ransom as a “career legislator.” He also noted that in 2018 the caucus spent “major dollars” on legal fees defending Soper (from claims he didn’t actually live in his district) and expressed betrayal over Soper’s statement:

“So much for unity, Matt. We spent major dollars defending you legally two years ago. Now you pull this? I guess we know where you stand now.”


Research & Rhetoric: How Republicans Manufactured a Political Attack on John Hickenlooper

(Read this – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Even in its purest form, political opposition research is by its nature a fishing expedition. Researchers scour public records for evidence of lawbreaking or wrongdoing by their target. Any evidence found can then be used for legal action, media pitches or paid advertising.

When a political goal is prioritized over factual accuracy, however, then the endeavor is less about catching fish and more about slinging mud. How much mud depends on how much those paying for it can afford.   

In the case of former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), a trio of conservative attack groups sprung into existence to turn what might have been a standard political hit based on public records into a red herring about September 11th.

The groups have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into amplifying a single misleading news headline that created a false impression that an obscure line item in the governor’s budget has something to do with the terrorist attacks of 2001.

That misnomer about 9/11 has not been repeated by the mainstream media since first appearing in print last fall, but that has not stopped the groups from airing that attack for weeks.

The catalyst for these relentless ads? A political research project that started over two years ago.

In spring of 2018, more than a year before then-Gov. Hickenlooper would declare his candidacy for the presidency, national GOP opposition research firm America Rising requested records of all his out-of-state travel expenses while in office. He wasn’t the only target; the Republican firm was looking for dirt on all the Democratic contenders. Furthermore, his name was already in the mix as a potential challenger to Sen Cory Gardner. As a former Governor, Hickenlooper traveled extensively to promote Colorado’s interests across the nation and overseas. Within a week, the state produced 161 pages of records. 

Seven months later, Republican lawyer and former Speaker of the Colorado statehouse Frank McNulty, who had already been working with the same public records of travel documents obtained by America Rising, filed paperwork for a nonprofit organization, the Public Trust Institute (PTI). 


Bunny Boilers and Primary Challengers: Gardner’s Shutdown Statement Angers GOP Base

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado’s conservative activists are furious at U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s call to end the government shutdown without funding for President Trump’s wall. County GOP officials and Tea Party leaders are talking openly about the need for a primary challenger in 2020.

One official went so far as to joke about boiling a bunny on Sen. Gardner’s stove.

Jefferson County Republican Vice Chair Steve Dorman vehemently disagreed with a post written by a member of the Arapahoe Tea Party group that stated. “Sorry, we need to accept Cory Gardner.”

Dorman replied “this betrayal is too huge. I don’t care about 99.9% of the time. And yes….the wall and border security are very important.”

In another comment, the JeffCo GOP Vice Chair added “I don’t want him to come home and find a rabbit’s head boiling on his stove….but…….”
The author of the original post replied, “That’s a good idea.”JeffCo GOP Vice Chair wants to boil Sen. Gardner's bunny

Though presumably tongue-in-cheek, this quip is particularly dubious in light of a threatening video of a beheading Gardner’s wife received via text message back in October.

Pueblo County Republican Party Treasurer George Mayfield posted his call for a primary on the group’s Facebook page,

Our RINO U.S. Senator Cory Gardner just announced that he would vote to re-open the complete federal government, with no money for a wall. I think it’s time that he gets ready for a primary in 2020. He won’t win in blue Colorado by trolling for Democrat votes.

Pueblo GOP Treasurer: Primary Gardner in 2020

On Friday, Anil Mathai, chair of the Adams County Republicans, agreed with radio host Peter BoyleS that Sen. Gardner is a “useful idiot,” or easily manipulated pawn, presumably of establishment conservatives.