Buck called Trump a “fraud” but now says will vote for him

August 25th, 2016

After once calling Donald Trump a “fraud,” and then remaining silent on the GOP presidential nominee for months, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck has now thrown his endorsment to the celebrity mogul.

“What we have to do as Republicans, in my view, is we got to get Donald Trump elected, and then we got to hold him accountable,” Buck told Randy Corporon and Steve Kelly on KNUS yesterday afternoon. “We got to surround him with good, sensible people who will give him the best advice on how to move this country forward.”

Earlier this year, however, Buck slammed Trump, after Trump proposed a temporary ban on allowing Muslims to visit the United States. Buck told CBS 4:

“Trump’s proposal violates the Constitution, the values of our nation, the Republican Party platform, and my conscience. He should withdraw from the Presidential race. He is a fraud,” said Buck.

Yesterday, Buck sang a different tune, pointing out that “we have a system of checks and balances in this country which allows Congress and the Supreme Court to rein in the power of the president,” and that’s what Congress may have to do with “either president.”

If Trump doesn’t behave, “there are remedies,” said Buck, calling Buck a “strong person” who has “never been tested in office.”

“We have an unknown entity that we are going to be taking a risk on,” Buck said, adding that Hillary is “known entity” that he wants to reject. “I don’t think anybody can argue that Donald Trump isn’t an unknown quantity, to a cerntain extent.”

“There is one thing I know for sure,” Buck said on KNUS, in what appears to be Buck’s first public endorsement of Trump.  “If I call the White House, and President Clinton is in the oval office, no one is going to take my call. If I call the White House with a President Trump, I have a chance of influencing policy in the executive branch.”

Listen to U.S. Rep. Ken Buck on KNUS Aug. 24

Does Doty’s enthusiasm for Palin have anything to do with her backwards worldview?

August 24th, 2016

Doty upside down EarthI’ve been trying to convince journalists to find out why state senate candidate Nancy Doty thinks Sarah Palin gave a “Spot on” speech in Denver, in which the former Alaska governor raved about Donald Trump. (Here’s a funny video to emphasize the point.)

From where I sit as a progressive, the world is pretty backwards if you think Palin is “spot on.”

And it turns out, judging from the recent Doty advertisement on your right, that’s exactly how Doty sees the Earth–transposed, ass backwards, if you will.

So, does the inverted worldview on Doty’s mailer have anything to do with her enthusiasm about Palin and Trump?

Or is Doty’s backwards Earth related to the ability of kids to “count on NANCY DOTY” for a “WORLD CLASS” education?

I doubt it, to be honest, but she’s yet to be questioned about Palin, so we don’t know. And if there’s one thing you learn as a journalist, it’s that you never know what someone will say until you ask them.

Doty’s Arapaho County race against State Rep. Daniel Kagan is key, along with an Arvada state senate contest, in the GOP’s struggle to maintain their one-seat majority in the senate chamber and thereby block Democrats’ hopes of controlling state government next year.

Tancredo says he’d vote for Morgan Carroll but later changes his mind

August 23rd, 2016

At this point, nothing about Tom Tancredo should surprise me, but my jaw bounced off the floor when he said Saturday he’d vote for state Sen. Morgan Carroll over U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman.

After Tancredo lashed into Coffman for caring about nothing except staying in office, KNUS’ Saturday host Craig Silverman asked Tancredo if he’d vote for Carroll over Coffman, if Tanc lived in Aurora where the Coffman and Carroll are battling each other in one of the closest congressional races in the country.

And Tancredo, whose Congressional seat was won by Coffman (with Tanc’s support) after Tancredo stepped down, said he’d vote for the Democrat.

Silverman: Former Congressman Tom Tancredo says, ‘Vote for Morgan Carroll over Mike Coffman.’ Do I have it right?

Tancredo: You got it right.

But, I told Tancredo in a subsequent phone call, Coffman is much more hostile to immigrants than Carroll.

Coffman opposed a 2013 bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill, which included a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and Coffman still stands against the measure. Coffman is opposed to birthright citizenship, which allows children of undocumented immigrants born on U.S. soil to be citizens. Coffman is also against a provision in the Voting Rights Act that requires some jurisdictions to provide dual-language ballots.

I told Tancredo I couldn’t see how he’d favor Morgan Carroll, who, for example, has attacked Coffman for opposing the bipartisan immigration bill, and she supports a path to citizenship.

But didn’t Carroll vote against the “Dream Act” in Colorado, Tancredo asked, reminding me that he’d referenced this on the radio, when he said, “Who knows, we may have something better [with Carroll].”

I told Coffman that Carroll had initially voted against providing in-state tuition for undocumented students in Colorado, but she later joined state lawmakers in passing the measure.

So, today, even with Coffman’s shifts on immigration, Coffman is much more in Tancredo’s immigration camp than Carroll, who’s now as immigrant-friendly as they get, I told Tancredo.

“With that in mind,” Tancredo said after hearing this, “I guess I’d write somebody else in. That would probably be my fallback position.”

So Tancredo changed his mind. He wouldn’t vote for Carroll.

“My point is this, more than anything else,” said Tancredo. “… I am absolutely convinced that [Coffman] is a fraud. If Trump were [running] even in the district, or if [Trump] were ahead, I know that Mike Coffman would be putting ads on TV talking about how wonderful Trump is.”

But does Tancredo think Coffman is sincere about his past and present opposition to the comprehensive immigration bill that Carroll supports?

“No. I don’t think there’s anything sincere about Mike Coffman,” said Tancredo, whom Coffman once called his “hero.” “Nothing that I have observed over the last several years would lead me to that conclusion, except his sincere desire to remain in Congress. So I guess I would say that’s a caveat there.”

How many conservatives can Coffman piss off before he loses an election?

August 22nd, 2016

A couple weeks ago, former Rep. Tom Tancredo skewered Rep. Mike Coffman in his weekly Breitbart column, writing thet the “only thing authentic about [Coffman] is his passionate desire to keep that House Member pin on his lapel.”

In a subsequent KNUS radio interview with guest host Matt Dunn, Tancredo said, “as a conservative, we would lose nothing” if Coffman lost his seat. And Tanc went further:

Tancredo: [W]hen he won the election, I was of course a supporter and was happy about the fact that he would be succeeding me in that office because of what he promised me, because of our discussions about the issues, especially immigration. And of course all those things have gone by the wayside, and done so because he feels that he has to give up those principles — if he ever held them. I don’t know if he has any real set of principles upon which — you know, that certain bedrock – I don’t know that they exist at all…As his district changes, so does he. He sort of morphs into a different person.

…I’ll tell you this: if Trump were polling well in his district, you would be hearing nothing but accolades from Mike Coffman about Donald Trump. So, it isn’t – it doesn’t really have anything to do with Trump’s positions, his faux pas, his – whatever. It’s got nothing to do with that. It’s got everything to do with Mike wanting to keep that little pin on his collar – I mean, on his lapel, on his suit, that indicates you’re a Member of Congress. Because that’s more important to him than anything else. And I’m just sick of this stuff! I’m sick of it because it’s a seat we could still retain by somebody better. And you know, you just think to yourself, “What a — what a waste!” [Aug. 11, KNUS Peter Boyles show]

Keep in mind that Coffman once called Tancredo his “hero.

Tancredo’s comments deserve wider media attention because they raise the question, again, of how many conservatives Coffman can piss off and still win a narrow majority in his district.

Harber to produce weekly TV interview shows on election topics

August 19th, 2016

Denver television fixture Aaron Harber will again produce an extensive series of TV interview shows, called Your Decision 2016, focusing on Colorado election races, ballot initiatives, and related issues beginning no later than Sept. 25 and ending Nov. 6.

“The majority of voters really start paying attention after Labor Day, so our focus is to try to make people aware of this over the course of the next four or five weeks and then start the programming,” said Harber. “Our goal is not just to provide the programming as a public service. Our goal is to reach thousands of voters, so they have a place to go for fact-based and mutually respectful and civil discussion, which seems to be in short order in the political world today.”

Harber will soon begin solidifying topics for 14-to-18 half-hour shows. He aims to cover not only the major races and state-wide ballot initiatives but also key down-ballot state legislative races, such as state senate contests that could determine whether Democrats take control of Colorado government.

Harber plans shows on Colorado’s U.S. Senate race and the Aurora Congressional race (U.S. House District 6) between U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman and his Democratic challenger State Sen. Morgan Carroll.

At least two shows will be offered each week. They will air on KCDO-TV Channel 3, Saturdays at 9 to 9:30 p.m. for one show and Saturdays 9:30 to 10 p.m. for another show. (The two shows will be air again on KCDO from 11 a.m Sundays to 12 a.m. and later on Sundays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.) The two programs will also be broadcast on COMCAST Entertainment Television Mondays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. (with repeat shows during the week on COMCAST and on ION Television), and the two shows will also be downloadable on COMCAST XFINITY ON DEMAND service).

The different venues offer “voters lots of chances to see the programs,” says Harber.

“With these six prime-time spots, we really want to take advantage of the opportunity to be on the air when a lot of people are watching television,” said Harber.

Harber’s show joins other Denver TV candidate-interview shows that have made a demonstrable impact on Colorado politics in recent years: 9News’ Balance of Power and 7News’ Politics Unplugged. Unfortunately, Fox 31 Denver dropped its interview program when longtime political reporter Eli Stokols left the station for a job at Politico.

There’s also the Get More Smarter Show, hosted by progressives Jason Bane and Alan Franklin, and Devil’s Advocate, “moderated” by Jon Caldara of the right-leaning Independence Institute. (Caldara’s show broke news last month when U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn backtracked on his previous pledge to ban all abortion, even for rape.)

In 2014, Harber’s election shows were rolled out in partnership with The Denver Post. Harber has a regular public-affairs TV program as well as the focused election programming.

“Paid surrogate” of Trump allegedly threatened to put a bullet in the head of fellow Republican

August 18th, 2016

Unrah Facebook post 1Progressives can argue, yes, but you wonder how recent Trump backer Cory Gardner would respond to fellow Republican Kendal Unrah, who outlined what she sees as the Trump campaign’s strategy to force Republicans to back Trump:

Unruh: “According to what the delegates [at the Republican National Convention] experienced, their strategy is: 1) threaten their job 2) threaten their position 2b) threaten them 2c) threaten their future 3) threaten their family 4) threaten to put a bullet in their head (from a paid surrogate). The victim wouldn’t release it for frear of further endangerment. #unity in their handbook means ‘Support Trump or we hurt you.” [BigMedia emphasis]

Unruh, a long-time Republican, led a group of Colorado RNC delegates who tried to stop the Trump nomination at the last minute.

Did Gardner himself face any of this treatment, prior to his first or second Trump endorsement? Threats to his family, future? And the bullet in the head part by a paid Trump surrogate? That’s not confirmed, but WTF?

Unruh made other comments about Trump’s supporters on Facebook (See them pictured with this post.), which drew support from State Sen. Chris Holbert.

Holbert: “Somebody forgot to tell Trump supporters about that strategy [to unify the Republican party]… Offering Trump’s own words to Trump supporters often leads to said Trump supporter demanding that Trump never said what Trump actually said.

Former Republican state legislative candidate Brian Vande Krol weighed in with:

Vande Krol: Isn’t [Trump] supposed to unify the party, instead of just hoping they unify on their own?

Seriously, you wonder what Trump and Company said to Republicans like Cory Gardner and U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, who’s also said he’d vote for Trump despite misgivings, to get their support.

Unrah Facebook post two

 

 

Radio host would “rather have David Duke” than Hillary Clinton

August 15th, 2016

The collapse of Trump is being taken especially hard by radio hosts who don’t like Hillary. Here, Dan Meurer, who’s heard on KLZ 560-AM’s afternoon drive show, says he’d rather have David Duke as president.

Duke, a former leader of the KKK, a racist, and holocaust denier, is a Republican running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana.

Here’s what Meurer said on KLZ Aug.10:

MEURER (in discussion around presidential race, and Trump and Hillary’s (-10.9)  unfavorability): […] I do NOT want that woman as president, and I don’t know how else to say it.

I would rather have Gary Johnson, but he can’t win.  I would rather have David Duke, but he’s not running.  I mean, I would rather have anybody but her. 

CO-HOST: ANDY PETH:  (scoffing) David Duke!

MEURER:  I’m serious!  I would!  I mean Louis Farakan could be president over Hillary Clinton And she is a criminal!  I mean, he is more than twice – almost three times –.

PETH:  You don’t cast your vote as a statement.  You cast your vote as a number.  Votes are strategic decisions to affect outcomes. [Listen below.]

Asked if he were joking about favoring Duke over Clinton, Meurer told me via email:

MEURER: If you ask me they’re both despicable human beings that are in favor of eugenics and are hardcore racists. One is out in the open with their hate (Duke) the other is as stealthy as possible (Clinton). Hilary is calculating and smart. Duke is not. Duke is less dangerous because he is so far over the top that he poses no threat to the minority population because he could never gain a following of any size, unlike Hilary who has millions behind her. Point being I can’t stand either one. But this whole question of choosing the lesser of two evils… I’m just glad I don’t have to make that choice.

Coffman still supports dropping bilingual ballot requirement

August 15th, 2016

It’s difficult to write about what Rep. Mike Coffman actually believes these these days, because it’s so hard to sort out how he sounds like he’s changed from how he’s actually changed.

So a tip of the hat to The Denver Post’s Joey Bunch, who did a good job sorting through some of Coffman’s stances, such as they are, over the weekend.

One item deserves clarification.

FBunch reports, accurately, of Coffman:

This is a candidate who in 2011 introduced legislation to repeal portions of the 1973 Voting Rights Act to permit local jurisdictions to decide if ballots could be printed in English only. He noted that English proficiency is a requirement for citizenship. Immigrant advocates saw it as a way to disenfranchise voters.

As of the last election, that’s still Coffman’s position. He still wants to repeal portions of the Voting Rights Act that require bilingual ballots to be provided in areas with large percentages of voters who are not proficient in English.

Saying it’s too expensive, Coffman would eliminate the requirement for offering ballots in languages other than English and, instead, trust local officials to decide whether bilingual ballots are needed, even though the shallowest reading of American history (including a cursory understanding of politics today) reveals that local officials should not be trusted with this decision that affects the basic right to vote.

Coffman once suggested that immigrants “pull out a dictionary” if they’re having trouble understanding an English ballot.

Now, in a classic example of how he’s sounding nicer without changing his policy stance, Coffman is saying he “would hope that every voter will be able to get the information that he needs in a language he can understand.”

But the Voting Rights Act? We don’t need it telling people what to do on bilingual ballots.

Coffman’s sketchy vision of Aurora with no Planned Parenthood

August 11th, 2016

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman is telling reporters again this week how he’s standing up for “vulnerable and underserved” people who need healthcare.

But as they contemplate Coffman’s news release, reporters should recall that the Aurora Congressman voted six or seven times, depending on how you count, to defund Planned Parenthood.

Those votes are, at the end of the day, less about Planned Parenthood than about the low-income women the organization serves, because, dah, if you defund a healthcare organization, you’re pushing its patients out the door too.

To bring the point home, if it lost federal funds, the Planned Parenthood clinic in Coffman’s own district of Aurora would have to turn away 2,200 patients who currently rely on the clinic for basic health care services like HIV and STD tests, birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings and more, according to a Planned Parenthood.

These are low-income women and men on Medicaid and women who are part of a federal cancer-screening program. So Planned Parenthood would have to raise private money to continue serving them.

Would safety-net organizations in Aurora be able to absorb all these patients, who’d be joining about 80,000 other low-income people statewide that Planned Parenthood could no long serve?

It’s a complicated question, and it’s one you’d think Coffman would have figured out in detail before his multiple votes against Planned Parenthood–and run his plan by his affected constituents to get their feedback. But he didn’t, so I’ll outline some of the issues for reporters.

There’s no exhaustive analysis of what would happen to Planned Parenthood patients in Colorado if the organization lost federal funding. A credible study of the impacts in Texas show disastrous consequences, including a 27 percent increase in births among women who used injectable contraception.

Urban Aurora is obviously different than Texas, but, still, it’s not fully certain that the network of Medicaid-friendly health centers in Aurora have the ability to readily absorb the 2,200 patients that could be cut out of Planned Parenthood, according to my interviews with a number of analysts. Even if it were, there are problems.

First, there’s the issue of where alternative care, if it were available, is located. For low-income people, who often rely on public transportion, access to healthcare can be dependent on its location.

Wait times are another unkonwn. Under Coffman’s anti-Planned Parenthood proposal, the influx on new patients at existing clinics could lengthen lines.

And there’s the preferences of the patients, particularly women who seek birth control and related care, who are served.

Does it matter to Coffman that patients may want to stay with Planned Parenthood, because they feel comfortable there?

I’m biased, I admit, but who could argue with Planned Parenthood folks who say that many women seek out Planned Parenthood, instead of other Medicaid-friendly clinics, because they want privacy. As women, they want a place where their medical and social needs are the top priority.

In any case, what’s Coffman’s plan for these women in his district? What does he have to offer them? What does he have to say to them?

Coffman has a vision of Aurora with no Planned Parenthood. Will he run his plan, if he has any, by the 2,200 women who now attend the Aurora Planned Parenthood clinic to see how they feel about it?

 

 

Does Woods want Soros turned over to Russia?

August 10th, 2016

Does Woods Want Soros Turned Over To Russia?I’m constantly telling my wife there’s no way Trump can win in Colorado, and she tells me I have no credibility, because I’ve said for the last year that Trump won’t win anything, here or anywhere.

How that ruins my credibility, I don’t know, but anyway, it’s a useful exercise to look for examples of politicians who’ve won in Colorado, despite exhibiting Trump-like behavior.

I’m not talking about talk-radio hosts, some of whom are deep on the Trump spectrum. Like Peter Boyles. And I’m not referring to politicians in deep red districts.

I’m talking about politicians from purple districts.

Who comes to mind? State Sen. Laura Woods, who has that same erratic quality as Trump. Woods won once by 650 votes. But can she win again, if she behaves like Trump?

Case in point, Woods recently shared an article on Facebook about billionaire Steyer’s political donations in Colorado, as part of his evil agenda to stop global warming, as well as donations by George Soros.

Woods’ Trumpish behavior came out in the comments, where she “liked” this:

“Russia has a bounty on his head and an arrest warrant in place for Soros. We need someone to turn them over to them.”

Does Woods want Steyer to be turned over to the Russians to be killed? Seriously? Does she think there’s an actual factual bounty? Does she think Soros chould be shipped out? Is this a joke?

Woods and Trump are similar on a lot of issues (guns, immigration, choice), but “liking” the bounty comment is the kind of Trump behavior I’m talking about. Throwing something out there that raises a ton of questions.

In Woods’ case, however, despite the fact that her race against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger is probably the most important contest in the state, few reporters are asking Woods to explain herself. And she’s not talking to me.

Of course, Woods has been loving Trump since she first heard him speak at Boulder’s Republican presidential primary debate—and just she recently told The Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning that Trump is “the people’s candidate.” That’s high praise. Is she modeling herself after him?