Archive for November, 2012

Journalists should note that Personhood USA holds Coffman up as poster child for GOP’s future

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Updated at 2:30 p.m. with a comment from Personhood USA

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Given decisive role the abortion issue apparently plays in Colorado elections nowadays, local reporters should pay attention to a statement issued by Personhood USA Monday, showering praise on Rep. Mike Coffman for not backpedaling on his “100% pro-life” position during the last election.

Personhood spokesperson Jennifer Mason wrote that Coffman’s victory is proof that her organization’s (and Coffman’s) uncompromising stance against abortion, even in the cases of rape and incest, leads to Republican victories.

Mason slammed Sen. John McCain’s recent argument that the GOP should soften its stance on abortion in order to win future elections. She believes moderate Republicans are unelectable, and the socially conservative wing of the GOP is growing and represents the future of the Republican Party.

Mason wrote:

In Colorado, where the personhood movement began in 2008, voters shied away from Republican candidates who had flip flopped on the issue. These candidates, following the unproven John McCain formula of “backing away” on abortion issues, lost.

Congressman Mike Coffman, although he did not endorse any state amendments this year including personhood, maintained his 100% pro-life position (without compromising or denying the personhood of children) and won.

There is a lesson to be learned here. The old guard of the GOP is dying. Their moderate candidates are unelectable, their base is unmoved by their attempts to energize the left, and their foundation is crumbling.

There is a Civil War brewing in the GOP, and it’s not pretty. If McCain and his ilk are successful, we are looking at a major defection to a third party, and the ultimate death of the Republican party.

During the campaign, Coffman said he wasn’t “focused on social issues,” and he barely discussed abortion, other than to say he was against all abortion, except to save the life of the mother.

Coffman’s stated exception allowing for abortion, to save the life of the mother, is apparently acceptable to the personhood backers, who argue that if the life of a pregnant woman is in danger due to a pregnancy or for whatever reason, the doctor needs to realize that he or she is treating two patients, the woman and the fetus at whatever stage of development.

As then Vice President of Colorado Right to Life Leslie Hanks told me via email ealier this year:

“If mom’s life is in danger, the doctor has two patients & he should make every effort to save both.”

In other words, the doctor would have two patients in one body to care for.

It’s unclear to me, under a personhood law, how a doctor would decide between saving the fetus or the pregnant woman, if both could not be saved. Would he or she be a death panel of one? How long would the doctor continue treating both woman and fetus if it meant that both were more likely to die if the doctor didn’t make a choice between the two?

Coffman has never stated that he’d always save the woman’s life over the fetus’, just that abortion would be an allowable choice for the doctor to make.

So Coffman’s position, allowing for abortion to save the life of the mother, seems to be consistent with that of personhood backers.

Jennifer Mason said the issue whether to allow abortion to save the mother’s life is one of “semantics” and “splitting hairs.”

“Of course, you try to save the mother first,” she told me, “and then you try to save save the baby. We’re painted all the time as only caring about the baby. But there’s no purpose in that. If the mom dies, the baby dies too. Nobody wants that. We try to save both, but of course the mother’s life has to be prioritized.”

“There is no case where it’s medically necessary to kill the child to save the mother,” Mason said. The surgery for an ectopic pregnancy, she said, requires the removal of the “baby,” which doctors can then try to save. If it dies, this would be an “unintended consequence” and therefore not an abortion, she said.

Will Colorado’s conservative media entities survive post-election?

Friday, November 30th, 2012

After the recent Republican setbacks, I’ve been wondering about the fate of those conservative groups that have been pushing out all that video and verbiage over the last year in Colorado.

So I visited their websites this morning to see what they’re up to, post-election.

It looks like business as usual at Complete Colorado, which is run by Independence Institute staffer Todd Shepherd. It tries to be Colorado’s version of the Drudge Report.

The Colorado News Agency is also a project of the libertarian Independence Institute. It appears to be in tact after the election, “covering Colorado’s State Capitol” and offering its articles to all takers.

The lights are apparently still on at Colorado Observer, which bills itself as providing information from a “fresh perspective,” which fair-minded observers would actually call conservative.

Colorado Peak Politics, the conservative blog, apparently rolls on.

Colorado Watchdog, which is a chapter of a national organization with financial ties to the right-wing Franklin Center, published Colorado-related material this week.

Media Trackers, which describes itself as “a conservative non-profit, non-partisan investigative watchdog dedicated to promoting accountability in the media and government across Colorado through cutting edge research and communications initiatives,” has posted nothing since Election Day. Prior to that, it posted short videos on a regular basis. No contact information is available on its website.

No sign of recent activity at Revealing Politics, whose short videos, mostly of political events and interviews, reflect a conservative “free-market paradigm.” Its focus is mostly Colorado but it also operates in other states. “Fearless Leader” Kelly Maher did not immediately return an email inquiry.

WhoSaidYouSaid is another conservative entity promoting videos shot at political events in Colorado and elsewhere. It’s still going, for now.

I’ll keep watching these and other conservative “messaging” groups in the state, along with conservative talk-radio shows, and report back on if they survive, as conservatives evaluate what worked and what didn’t this year.

Radio show illuminates, that, for GOP, the road to diversity is rough

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

On KLZ’s Grassroots Radio Colorado , State Representatives Chris Holbert and newly elected Justin Everett said they and their allies have no interest in compromising on civil unions during the upcoming legislative session.

A caller asked the two GOP lawmakers, who was guest-hosting for regulars Jason Worley and Ken Clark, if the new Republicans at the state Capitol would fight harder against civil unions.

“I think that you’ll find that this incoming class is fairly well aligned against that,” replied Holbert. “However…we are in the minority, and I think that you’ll see the majority party move very quickly to pass that type of legislation.”

Holbert’s answer is no surprise, because most new Republican lawmakers, like them, are from safe Republican areas, which wouldn’t be expected to produce moderates.

The incoming Republicans aren’t as old as the people they replaced, Holbert pointed out on air, but they’re mostly ideologically similar.

And here’s the ironic part: the next day on the same radio show, representatives of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives and the Libre Initiative spent two hours  talking about how important it is for the GOP in Colorado to diversify.

The good folks on Grassroots Radio should ask themselves how they can possibly diversify the Republican Party if their leaders won’t budge on something like civil unions.

Don’t leave immigration debate to beltway reporters

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

The Associated Press speculated Saturday that immigration legislation, which House Republicans say they’ll bring up this week, during the lame duck session, could be seen as evidence that the GOP is “serious about overhauling the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system.”

If you know nothing about immigration, then, yes, you might think the House bill, called the “STEM Jobs Act,” is serious. It would grant more visas for foreign students and help green-card-holding immigrants bring their family members here. That’s it.

Immigration reform, if it is serious, needs to deal with the estimated 12 million undocumented people currently in the U.S. The House bill affects not a one of them.

But the GOP’s window-dressing activities in Washington raise the question for reporters of what Republicans here in Colorado have to say about national immigration reform.

It’s not a story that should be left to the beltway press, just because the decision will ultimately be made there. Colorado will be disproportionately affected, and so the views of the local politicians should be heard, even if they’re ignored.

But lately, we haven’t been hearing much talk from GOP legislators here about it, even from the GOP legislators who not long ago considered introducing an Arizona-style immigration bill for Colorado.

Why isn’t there more talk here in Colorado about what national immigration should look like?

One recent murmur I found from came from Rep. Ray Scott of Grand Junction, when he was a guest on KBDI’s Studio 12 public affairs show Sept. 12:

SCOTT:  Probably one of the most impressive programs that I’ve even read about, and maybe you all have read about it as well, is called the “Red Card Solution.”

HOST TAMRA BANKS:  Yes.

SCOTT: …It’s a very thoughtful approach to how to approach immigration issues on the federal level, which obviously drift down to the state level.

Scott gets credit for appearing on Studio 12 at all to discuss immigration issues, because, as Banks told Scott on air, she “called a number of [Scott’s] colleagues who would not talk an hour live about this issue.”

Authored in 2008 by Helen Krieble, a Colorado businesswomen in need of menial labor, the Red Card Solution is basically a guest worker program. Paid for not by taxes but by fees from businesses that want workers and by foreign workers who want jobs, it’s proposed to be a market-driven, non-governmental “private sector initiative,” which would control the borders, provide labor to U.S. business owners, and incentivize job seekers to legally enter and work in the U.S.

Undocumented workers in the U.S. would presumably be required to return to their home countries with their families, in a wave of reverse immigration, and obtain workers’ permits to come back to America for employment. They’d pick up their work permits from U.S.-certified private companies operating in foreign countries.

If that sounds thin on details, it’s not my fault. It is, even though big-thinking Newt Gingrich latched onto the idea. It’s been widely criticized as unworkable.

But at least Rep. Scott had the guts to put it out there. Do his fellow Republicans agree with it? Or do they want something else that offers a path to citizenship, like many Democrats prefer, as part of comprehensive immigration reform?

As the immigration debate heats up in DC, with Republicans saying they want to be reasonable but offering little or no details to back them up, I’m hoping reporters seek out the views of local leaders on both sides of the aisle.

Who will talk about it? Who won’t? And why?

 

Will conservative talkers stand by Tancredo?

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

I wrote earlier this week about how hard it will be for conservative talk-radio hosts to modify their views, even if pressured by more moderate GOP factions to do so. Here’s an example of how this looks on the air:

About a month and a half before the election, on KFKA’s morning radio show, hosts Devon Lentz and Tom Lucero, who are prominent Larimer County Republicans, were more than happy to plug Dennis Lynch’s underground film, arguing, as Lynch put it, that people aren’t crossing the U.S.-Mexico border just “to cut your lawn” but “to cut your throats.”

The tone of the Greeley radio show changed last week when Lentz and Lucero talked to Michael Barrera of the conservative Libre Initiative, which is advocating that Republicans be nicer to Hispanics.

Barrera complained to the talk-show hosts about the nastiness of some Republicans when it comes to immigration:

Barrera: Some of the rhetoric that’s coming from some of the folks on this issue has been pretty bad. Like, you had a guy – a state legislator out of Kansas that came out and said, “We ought to shoot these illegal immigrants like pigs off a helicopter.” That’s horrible!

I would have asked if the “cut-your-throats” comment and Lynch’s fear-mongering movie, which had been so warmly received by the talk show hosts, was in the same ballpark, but who am I?

Barrera: The only thing that [Hispanic voters] did hear, you know, from candidate Romney, who I think is a good man, but you know, mainly his words regarding immigration that they remember were “self-deportation”. They saw him embrace Arpaio [Barrera pronounces it “Air-A-PEE-O] out of Arizona. They saw him embrace Kolbeck out of Arizona. [He] embraced Arizona law which many Hispanics felt was a bad law for immigration. So, they saw him embrace all these things, rather than embrace something like the DREAM Act. When that came up he actually attacked other candidates for supporting the DREAM Act. And even when Rubio tried to come up with his own act, again, he didn’t embrace that, he embraced these other [inaudible]. And so this is what they saw, this is what they remember. And when you feel like you’re not being — you feel like you’re dealing with a candidate you can’t trust, or a candidate doesn’t care about you, you’re not going to vote for him.

Lentz did not say she gets mad when she sees all the Spanish words in the packaging department at Wal-Mart. That’s what she said when Lynch was on the show before the election.

But she asked a good question, saying she thought jobs and the economy were the top issues for Hispanics, not immigration.

Lentz: … in my mind, it’s not just the DREAM Act, it’s continuing to let anybody come into our country that’s going to affect our jobs and our economy because it’s more people we need to supply jobs to and it’s a bigger drain on our entitlement programs, in some cases. How do you make that balance and how do the Republicans back up and say, ‘Are jobs the most important thing to you, because if we don’t have jobs, we don’t have jobs for anybody.’

Barrera said Republicans have to get the “immigration issue behind us,” but his amorphous suggestion of allowing undocumented immigrants to work here legally, as long as they aren’t criminals, didn’t seem to grab Lucero or Lentz.

They didn’t say, “That was phenomenal,” as Lucero had told Lynch when he was fear-mongering about undocumented immigrants just a few weeks back.

And that’s the problem Republicans will have going forward with talk-radio hosts and the GOP base that listens to them.

The problem will be exacerbated by people like Tom Tancredo, who’s a star guest on many Colorado talk shows where he loves to say stuff like:

“We can’t let those who actually believe the answer is comprehensive immigration reform…aka massive amnesty…take us back down that path again. We must stop them cold, as we did before–because we know that will be the end of the line for America,” Tancredo emailed his supporters Nov. 16, as reported by Fox 31′s Eli Stokols.

Tancredo, you recall, was a talk-radio host in Colorado Springs for a long stint after he ran for President, on an anti-immigration platform, and he still loves to make the talk-radio rounds–or any rounds where a microphone is present.

But even if Tancredo disappears, whose ideas do you think are more likely to win over the talk-radio hosts and audience, Barrera’s? Or Tancredo’s?

Can Republicans control the extremists on talk radio? Nope

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Wayne Laugesen, the Editorial Page Editor at the conservative Colorado Springs Gazette, made the point last week on Rocky Mountain PBS’ Colorado State of Mind that the “general public” thinks conservative talk radio “is part of the GOP.”

And for good reason. You find the top GOP candidates, like Mitt Romney, holding forth on Denver talk radio, while avoiding TV or print media. As elections get close, you hear talk radio hosts acting as if they are part of that famous well-oiled Republican get-out-the-vote machine. You see GOP leaders say something in Washington, and then you hear it again on KNUS radio in Denver.

And when something outrageous trickles out of the talk radio world and into the headlines, it rapidly becomes linked to conservatives. See Rush Limbaugh. At the local level, see Mike Rosen, Brownie, Steve Kelley, Tom Lucero and Devon Lentz, Amy Oliver, Jeff Crank, the whole gang.

It’s pretty obvious that Republicans would like to figure out a miracle way to stop the hatred and extremism on talk radio so they can be better polish up the image of their party, especially among Hispanics.

“The talk on immigration comes out on talk radio anymore as just general hostility toward Latino culture,” said Laugesen.

But does anyone really expect conservative talk radio hosts to change their tune anytime soon? No, because if they did, they’d lose their audience, which listens to the shows precisely to hear the extremism they love.

The conservative talk-radio audience has been nurtured to want the extreme talk. That’s how the shows built what little audience they have. It worked.

As explained here, they captured a market niche alienated from the reasonable news media. Talk radio listeners like to connect with people who share their fringe views. (This is a generalization, I know, but still.)

How is that going to change anytime soon? It can’t, because if conservative talk radio moderates itself, it will die. Its core audience will change the channel.

But there’s hope, if you’re a Republican like Laugesen. The conservative white, aging, male audience of talk radio is on the way out. But chances are they’ll stick around long enough, with their extremism stuck to them, to make it all the more difficult for the GOP to re-invent itself.

View Laugesen video here.

Laugesen: A lot of Republicans will say, we’re not against Hispanics at all, we’re against illegal immigrants. Okay, we get that, but that’s not how it comes across. It’s not how it comes across on talk radio, which is, right or wrong, is viewed by the general public as part of the GOP, a big part of the GOP. The talk on immigration comes out on talk radio anymore as just general hostility toward Latino culture. So I think that’s really hurt Republicans. In 1984 you had Ronald Reagan who actively sought the Hispanic vote, and he got 40 percent of it. Later on in 2004, you had George Bush, who spoke Spanish, and was very good about courting the Hispanic vote got 44 percent. So it was going up. And–

Host Cynthia Hessen: And talk radio kind of talked it away?

Laugesen: Talk radio and a lot of politicians pandering for the white vote, apparently. I don’t know what their thinking is. Let’s try to be more conservative than the next guy by talking more critically about immigration, illegal immigration.

KNUS host Kelley was being “flip” when he said he’s “not sure” his show will continue

Friday, November 16th, 2012

You expect some conservative political organizations to shut down post election, but what about conservative talk radio shows?

I’ve wondered, because some  of them seem like part of the GOP political machine, blasting the same lines into the echo chamber that you hear from Republican candidates.

Going all out, KNUS’ morning host Steve Kelley even swung in a swing for 32 hours just before the election, prior to Romney’s big rally at Fiddler’s Green, breaking a record in the Guiness Book of World Records and trying, unsuccessfully, to swing the vote to Romney in the swing state of Colorado.

After putting his butt on the line like that, I was surprised to hear Kelley say KNUS (710 AM) might be considering putting his butt on the street by canceling the show.

“If you like the show,” Kelley told listeners Tuesday during his Kelley and Company morning show, “tell the management, because we’re not sure we’re going to continue.”

Asked about the ominous statement, Kelley said he was being “flip.”

“It’s a flip statement, of course,” Kelley told me. “I hope we can be viable. We’re not doing badly, but we’ve got work to do still. I’m recovering from two years of unemployment and blowing through my 401K just to survive.”

“My point is this,” said Kelley, whose best known in Denver for his long stint at KOA radio. “I’m a victim of the poor economy in a substantive way. I’ve been on the good side of things when money was not a big deal, and now I’m pay check to pay check.”

“It’s a politically oriented station, but the reason I’m on the air is to hit all fields,” he said. “If we talk about something other than politics, that’s good for me too.”

“Where we couldn’t borrow a phone call a year ago, we’re full lines now.”

Denver Post should have reported differing views on exit poll showing decline in gender gap

Friday, November 16th, 2012

I’m late getting to this, but I’ve been hearing conservatives trying to make themselves feel better about their election collapse by saying they successfully cut the gender gap in Colorado.

I’m thinking they might have scanned every word in The Denver Post, searching for something good, and found this sentence in a Nov. 6 article:

Although many polls nationally predicted a significant gender gap, Colorado exit polls showed women and men split equally.

Later, Democratic consultant Craig Hughes tweeted:

Craig Hughes@CraigHughesinCO

Dear Media: The Colorado exit polls are simply not accurate. Trust them at your own risk. Thank you. #copolitics

I asked Hughes to amplify, and he sent me these thoughts in an email.

First, we know the exits originally said that Colorado was tied at 48% for each candidate – when final results are tallied, Obama will carry Colorado by over 5%, so that’s a significant miss.  Second, the exits show that Obama’s Colorado margin was bigger among men (+5%) than women (+3%) which runs contrary to every single public and private poll conducted over the past two years.  In reality, Obama almost certainly carried women with a double digit margin.  Third, the exits list “NA” for voters aged 18-29, even though they make up 20% of the electorate, a larger portion than voters 65+.  Given those sample sizes, how is it they are unable to show results for voters aged 18-29?

Fourth, there are also exit poll results published by Latino Decisions that show Obama received 87% of the Latino vote, while the networks survey shows 75%.  I’d say 75% seems about right, but that’s a pretty big discrepancy.

If people want a look at what the electorate likely was, I’d suggest looking at the poll by Keating Research conducted just prior to the election that showed Obama +4%.  His numbers are more reliable to me than anything I have seen out of the exit polls in this, or previous, cycles (again, ask President Kerry about exit poll reliability).

So if you happen to be one of those Republicans who was feeling good because of those 18 encouraging words in the Denver Post, about women liking you more than before, I’m sorry I had to be the one, with the help of Hughes, to set the record straight.

Radio host doesn’t ask State Senator for the names of legislators who “just don’t like Christians”

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

On the radio Monday, State Sen. Greg Brophy said there’s “element” of “folks who just don’t like Christians” in Colorado, and “they are well represented at the State Capital right now.”

Citing Obama’s victory, as well as the passage of a measure legalizing and taxing marijuana, Brophy said on the radio:

BROPHY: “That’s what leads me to say that we’re kind of a Libertarian/Left state. You know, and geez, I hate to say this, but it sure seems like there is an element of an anti-Christian bent in Colorado which probably does also play into that Libertarian/Left side of things…and they’re well represented at the State Capital right now.”

KFKA radio’s guest host Krista Kafer didn’t ask Brophy to reveal his list of anti-Christian folk up at the State Capitol. So I called him to find out whom he was thinking of.

Brophy referred me to an opinion piece he wrote arguing that Senate Democrats were attacking hospitals for their religious convictions. They passed a bill, which did not clear the House, that would have required hospitals to post services that they elect not to provide due to religious, not medical considerations (e.g., abortion and some contraception services), but Senate Democrats rejected an amendment requiring all hospitals to list services they don’t provide, Brophy wrote.

If you remember,” Brophy told me, “when I was [on the radio], I said I don’t want to say this because it’s kind of a harsh thing to say, but I think it’s an accurate observation.

So it’s based on that? Or are there other things?

“That’s a very public observation that’s been out there,” Brophy said. “Other stuff is certainly more subtle. You never can tell for sure, Jason, what someone’s thinking or what motivates them. You can only tell what they do. And when I wrote that op-ed I specifically went into what they did.”

I thought it was ironic that Brophy was raising the specter of anti-Christian bigotry at the State Capitol, given his comments about gays in the same KFKA interview Monday.

Brophy said he believes civil unions are one thing, but it would go too far to require an adoption agency, for example, to award a child to a traditional couple over gay couple based on the adoption agency’s alleged religious beliefs about the morality of homosexuality.

BROPHY: “But isn’t there a happy medium here where you can also have an adoption agency that says, “All things being equal, we would prefer to have a male-female married couple work with our adopted children – all things being equal.” I mean, I think most people believe that too, and I would hope that we could find a happy medium. I suspect that we will end up settling this question at a U.S. Supreme Court level within just a couple of years, because there are some cases that are testing this. For instance, say, if you run a Bed and Breakfast and want to cater to folks who are on, you know, bible study-based family vacations, and you refuse to rent a room to somebody who isn’t married, or who is in a same-sex marriage, you can be sued for discrimination. And your– that’s a direct contradiction between the civil rights protection and the religious liberty protection.

We heard a lot about religious liberty during the election, as Republicans argued that restrictions on abortion and women’s health should be accepted as religious freedoms instead of as a war on women.

Brophy’s comments, about gays and Christian haters, leave me thinking that he’s not going to back away from the election rhetoric. He didn’t talk about Republicans working with each other or with Democrats, but instead about Republicans picking sides within their own party and fighting, building a movement of social conservatives prior to the next primary.

BROPHY: “And there’s an element, there’s a leg, or an element of the Republican Party that has always been rather embarrassed by the Christian conservative component of the Republican Party. I don’t know what to do with them. I mean, you know, we form our coalitions in U.S. politics before the primary and so, pick your side. And as for me, I’m going to be on the side that argues for fiscal restraint, and that argues for religious liberty and individual liberty, limited government and less spending by the government, but either people buy that argument or they don’t.”

If I’m a reporter, and I hear Brophy, I’d be watching to see if the election collapse had any impact at all on him and like-minded Republicans. It appears it did not.

Reporters should ask the Colorado GOP, where’s the burrito?

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The headline on an Associated Press story last week, juxtaposed to the GOP comments in the article, tell you all you need to know about how it’s one thing for Republicans to promise to be nicer to Hispanics, as Josh Penry and Rob Witwer did recently, and another thing for them to stop pushing policies that do nothing but alienate Hispanics from the GOP.

First, the headline of the AP story:

“Colorado Democrats Plan To Pass Tuition Aid For Immigrants”

Then, the GOP response toward the end of the story:

Arvada Republican Rep. Libby Szabo said it was too soon to tell whether her party would support the tuition legislation.

“One thing I learned in my first legislative session is that I don’t comment on anything I have not seen,” she said.

Szabo, who was elected to be her party’s assistant House minority leader Thursday, made her gender and her Latino background part of her pitch for the leadership post, saying, “I am a woman Latino, and I think it would speak big if we didn’t just talk about reaching out to them, but we said we are going to put someone in leadership who is actually one of them.”

So Szabo couldn’t even commit her own support to the state version of the Dream Act, much less the members of her party who organized opposition this summer when Metro State University dared to lower tuition rates for undocumented kids.

Instead, Szabo makes a parody of herself by saying, look at me! I’m proof positive that the GOP likes Hispanics!

So here’s the point of this blog post: Reporters shouldn’t let Republicans get away with saying they support Hispanics without asking for those ugly specifics, which go beyond good looks and leadership positions.

As The Denver Post’s Alicia Caldwell said during an excellent discussion of the election on Rocky Mountain PBS’ Colorado State of Mind Nov. 9, “You have to change policies as well as faces.”

As my colleague Michael Lund pointed out, polling shows Hispanics, to the extent you can generalize, care most about jobs and the economy, as well as education, immigration, and healthcare–and the Colorado GOP doesn’t offer them much on these fronts. Project New America polling also showed that basic concern and the poor matters.

The question is, what will Colorado Republicans offer Hispanics in any of these areas?

Will Republicans offer anything on the economy except de-regulation and tax cuts?  On healthcare, will the Colorado GOP stop trying to block implementation of Obamacare? On education, will they finally get behind the reduced tuition bill that Szabo is noncommittal about? Will they support a pathway for citizenship both for undocumented children as well their parents? Do Republicans think they need to become Democrats to win over Hispanics?

If Republicans aren’t pressed, we’ll get the kind of rhetoric Penry and Witwer offered up this weekend in The Post:

We’ve forgotten that politics is a game of addition, not subtraction. And here’s some more math: 50,000 Latino kids turn 18 every month in this country. These kids grow up in households where parents work hard and attend church on Sunday. These are American values. But yes, some of these kids — through no fault of their own — were not born American citizens.

We’ve seen the arc of the immigration debate, and through our own personal experiences, we’ve also seen that it must now be resolved at all costs. This is a human issue, with moral (and biblical) implications. It’s time to bury the hatchet and forge bipartisan agreement on immigration reform.

Great, a reporter should say to Penry and Witwer, but where’s the burrito?