Archive for February, 2013

How to stop the loop of bouncing sound waves on Grassroots Radio Colorado

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The good folks on Grassroots Radio Colorado have a strong opinion on gun safety issues. They like to bounce it off guests like Sen. Vicki Marble, who bounces it right back at them.

From there, it goes out over the radio, where it ricochets off canyon walls or wherever it’s heard. And then it returns into the studio from the mouths of callers, who utter similar if not identical sounds to hosts Jason Worley and Ken Clark.

The obvious way to add excitement and air to this closed loop would be to bring in fresh ideas that don’t match the sounds bouncig around the KLZ offices.

To do this, bring in someone to counter folks like Marble, who appeared on the show Tuesday.

Here’s what Marble had to say about gun safety:

Marble: Pretty soon, we’re going to be left with a pea shooter if we don’t take a stand…

I can honestly say, the bottom line on gun control, it’s advocating for criminals! That’s basically what gun control is. It’s criminal advocacy. Because it’s taking away the gun rights from law-abiding citizens and leaving us defenseless. And the criminals! It’s going to be open season for them…

And the bottom line. You know, all the gun laws they make are not going to stop crime. All the guns that they have made so far have not stopped crime and drugs. Basically, our jails are full, and crime is doing a pretty good business.

In reality, none of the gun safety proposals in the State Legislature would reduce the talk-show crowd to arming themselves with pea shooters and microphones, if they’re law-abiding citizens. Nothing would stop citizens in good standing from buying a gun or owning one. Defenseless? What?

For the sake of safety and decency, why have a one-sided conversation about guns, even on conservative talk radio?

Reporters should cover GOP news conference that didn’t happen

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Republicans sitting on the State House’s Health Insurance and Environment Committee apparently didn’t hear the post-election groaning of Josh Penry, Rob Witwer and others as they begged Republicans to be more inclusive and tolerant.

They voted 6-5 (party line) today against killing a measure that would have banned nearly all abortions in Colorado, with no exception for a woman raped by her father, for example.

Reporters groping for evidence of a post-election move to the middle by Colorado Republicans should look elsewhere. In fact, this legislation shifts the Colorado GOP further to the right on abortion than it’s been in years.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Humphrey, was apparently the most restrictive anti-abortion legislation Colorado has seen since 2007, when Sen. Kent Lambert and Scott Renfroe sponsored a similar abortion ban modeled after a South Dakota measure. Doug Lamborn’s attempts to ban late-term abortion in the late 1990’s and early 00’s look moderate by comparison to Humphrey’s bill today.

Still, Republicans Conti, Humphrey, Joshi, Landgraf, and Stephens voted against killing Humphrey’s legislation, with Conti voting both ways by joining Democrats (McCann, Schafer, Fields, Ginal, Primavera, Young) in also voting against passage.

Reporters should track down Rep. Kathleen Conti and get her thinking on the measure, because voting both ways might constitute a more inclusive tack and be a sign of a both-ways moderation strategy that’s in the works.

As it is, in the absence of Republicans inside or outside the Capitol speaking out against the abortion ban, and with the party-line GOP support of the measure in committee, reporters have to wonder if there’s any real passion for change among Colorado Republicans, even among those advocating for it.

Why aren’t Penry and Witwer organizing a news conference, for example, denouncing Rep. Humphrey’s bill, crying out for GOP inclusiveness, and pointing to a poll just released by Project New America and Keating Research showing that 62 percent of Colorado voters agree that, ‘A woman should be allowed to have an abortion based on her personal values and her doctor’s advice.’

As it is, reporters should cover the absence of news conferences like that one.

Brownie should explain his tweet that he was #shocked at rumor of “fighting” at Superdome

Monday, February 4th, 2013

The Gawker’s Max Reed reports:

On August 31, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, FEMA public affairs officer Marty Bahamonde emailed his boss, then-FEMA chief Michael Brown, to make sure he understood how dire the situation had become in the Superdome, the New Orleans football stadium that was housing thousands of evacuees. “[T]he situation is past critical,” he wrote in one of several emails he’d sent colleagues outlining the emergency. “We are out of food and running out of water.” The stadium was overcrowded and undersupplied; there had already been three deaths, and Bahamonde expected more to die “within hours.”

There was no response. A few hours later, Brown’s press secretary emailed some FEMA employees, instructing them to book Brown on Joe Scarborough’s MSNBC show, and to make sure he had enough time to get a good meal at a restaurant, since “restaurants are getting busy” in Baton Rouge. The next day, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco sent in the national guard on local school buses to begin evacuation. On September 2, two days after Bahamonde’s ignored warning, President Bush told Brown he was doing “a heck of a job.” Three more people died before the stadium was fully evacuated on September 4. A week later, Brown resigned.

Anyway, he’s not ignoring the Superdome anymore! The stadium hosted the Super Bowl last night, and Brown was watching:

Reed quoted Brown’s tweet:

Someone just told me there was fighting going on in the NOLA Superdome.

Brown, who once agreed with a caller who said it was hard to “feel sorry” about New Orleans residents who didn’t evacuate before Katrina, is now the solo host of KHOW’s afternoon drive slot, after his co-host, author David Sirota, departed last month.

Recently, he said on air that he doesn’t have “any sympathy” for undocumented students who graduate from high school but don’t have the opportunity to attend college for the same in-state tuition rates available to their peers.

Brown’s comments and history haven’t aliented him from the Colorado GOP. He was the keynote speaker at the Denver Republican Lincoln Day dinner, and leading Colorado Republicans appear on his radio show.

Brown should explain his tweet on air today.

Gessler reportedly agrees to measure that would eliminate “inactive-failed-to-vote” designation in CO election law

Monday, February 4th, 2013

I reported last week that Secretary of State Scott Gessler was in Glenwood Springs recently telling a local reporter that he’d been working with Denver County Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson to solve their disagreement about whether voters who’ve missed just one general election should be sent mail-in ballots like other registered voters.

Carbondale-based radio station KDNK quoted Gessler saying that if the State Legislature approves a “solution” that Gessler claimed to have hammered out with Johnson, then “the issue will probably ultimately go away.”

This seemed like a strange statement, given that Gessler is in the midst of suing Johnson to stop her from mailing ballots to voters who’ve missed just one election.

So I called Johnson’s office to get its reaction.

Alton Dillard, a Spokesperson for the Denver Elections Division, told me that Gessler and Johnson agree on a measure to get rid of the “inactive-failed-to-vote” designation entirely, thereby allowing to voters who’ve missed just one election to receive mail-in ballots.

This is “essentially” the same proposal, with a few tweeks, that was considered by the Legislature last year, as Senate Bill 101, but was blocked, Dalton said.

Under the proposal, voters could still be put on “inactive” status if their ballot or another piece of voter communication was returned, Dalton said, adding that voters would have a number of options to return to active status.

This year, the inactive-failed-to-vote measure is believed to be included in a larger bill with a number of election-related provisions, Dalton said, but he’s not seen this legislation.

Dalton emphasized that the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office has a “great relationship” with the Secretary of State’s Office, though the two government entities “continue to work through some philosophical disagreements.”

Away from “people who are paid to be angry,” Gessler announces break-through agreement with Denver. But is it real?

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Aspen’s KDNK radio reported this week on a visit from Secretary of State Scott Gessler to Glenwood Springs where Gessler hoped to get feedback from locals on how the last election went for them.

KDNK reported that Gessler was “getting away from the usual talking points and what he called ‘people who are paid to be angry.'”

KDNK didn’t ask Gessler if he was also getting away from people who are unpaid and angry, but maybe a reporter can put that question to our Secretary of State once he returns to Denver.

Trouble is, Gessler probably lumps reporters into the “paid-to-be-angry” category of people, given that he thinks The Denver Post has been on a “jihad” against him, and Gessler is a frequent critic of professional journalists (but talk radio hosts, not so much).

KDNK reporter Erik Skalak reported Gessler’s comments on a 2011 lawsuit Gessler filed against Denver County Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson. A judge ruled against Gessler, allowing Johnson to send election ballots to voters who had skipped the last general election. KDNK reported:

“I think the judge was just wrong in his analysis,” Gessler told KDNK. “I really do. That said, you know, so the Clerk and Recorder in Denver and I have sort of been the two people opposing one another. And I’ve been in conversations with her for a long time, ever since the lawsuit, even before the lawsuit, on how we can sort of find a way to move forward on that. And I think we’ve hammered out a solution. So even though we’re still at the District Court Trial, if we’re able to get this solution through the State Legislature, the issue will probably ultimately go away.”

KDNK didn’t get a comment from Johnson, and I’m hoping reporters will join me in finding out if this solution is real–or just more Gessler loose mouth.