Archive for January, 2014

Are you a Tea-Party candidate?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

If you’re lucky enough to listen to conservative talk radio, you know that some GOP candidates are staying away from Tea-Party groups and radio shows, others are sliding up close to the Tea Party, and some Republicans are Tea-Party-Pure, fully embracing the Tea Party, without hesitation or protection.

Speaking KNUS’ Peter Boyles show this morning, GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck agreed with guest-host Chuck Bonniwell that establishment Republicans in Colorado are “clueless,” and Buck told listeners that he witnessed a “Tea Party” meeting, at which an unnamed Tea Party leader said that if Rep. Amy Stephens wins the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, “nobody in this room will vote for her, and nobody in this room will work for her.”

But Buck has his own limits as to how far he’ll go in hugging the Tea Party.

On another Tea-Party radio show yesterday, Buck stopped short of allowing himself to be called a “Tea-Party guy.”

On KLZ 560-AM’s  “Wake Up” show yesterday, host Randy Corporon told Buck a story about a consultant advising a Republican candidate to stay away from the Tea Party. But, Corporan said to Buck, “you’re a Tea Party guy, aren’t you?”

Buck flinched.

“You know, I am a Republican candidate,” he answered. “I’m a conservative Republican candidate. I share many of the same values with the Tea Party, and I have to tell you, I am so disappointed when I look at DC and I see the infighting that’s  going on in the Republican Party there–and some of the same tension here in Colorado. It makes absolutely no sense to me. If we fight amongst ourselves in Colorado,  we don’t stand any chance of winning an election against the Democrats. They are much more disciplined and united. And so while certainly I have disagreements with other Tea-Party candidates–heck my wife and I don’t agree on what to eat for dinner–it doesn’t mean we don’t get along. But I certainly believe in the core values of the Tea Party and 9-12 groups in Colorado.

Listen to Buck (on KLZ radio) discuss whether he’s a Tea-Party candidate

Buck doesn’t say he’s a Tea-Party guy, and then he sort of does so when he says he sometimes disagrees with “other Tea-Party candidates.”

So it seems that Buck himself might have Tea-Party identity issues. Maybe he’s not so Tea-Party-Pure, even as he attacks Stephens for ranking low on the Tea-Party scale. Who is Tea-Party-Pure? Which Republicans will say they’re a Tea Party candidate? It’s a good question, and KLZ’z Corporon was smart to ask it.

Partial Transcript of Buck on KNUS this morning:

Bonniwell: I think the establishment Republicans in Colorado are as clueless as they are nationally. They just don’t get it, and having as their candidate someone who would push Amycare. I mean, that’s the best they can do, really? Wow.

Buck: I agree with you, and I don’t just agree with  you because I’m running against Amy. I was at a Tea Party meeting several weeks ago, and Ryan Call was talking about Amy. And the head of the Tea Party grabbed the microphone and said, ‘Let me explain something. If Amy wins the primary, nobody in this room will vote for her, and nobody in this room will work for her.’ We are not going to send Republicans back to Washington DC to act like Democrats. And I think that’s just a very strong part of the conservative ethos.



Media omission: Coffman favors re-deployment of advisory troops in Iraq

Monday, January 13th, 2014

On a Denver radio show Friday, Rep. Mike Coffman affirmed his opposition to the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq, adding that, even now, he’d deploy U.S. military personnel to Iraq, if they were invited, to serve in an advisory role.

Asked by KNUS talk-show host Dan Caplis if he’d support “boots back on the ground in Iraq,” Coffman replied:

Coffman: Certainly an advisory role, but certainly not anything beyond that. And that’s if requested. I think we have to be very careful once out about reentering that particular conflict. I would say, in terms of regular troops on the gound, absolutely not.”

During the interview, Coffman expressed regret that U.S. troops are not on the ground in Iraq today, to help the Iraqi government confront sectarian violence.

“Some residual force would have maintained at least that military-military, government-to-government ties that we would have had some influence there,” Coffman told KNUS’ Dan Caplis Friday. “Right now we have no influence.”

Listen to Coffman say he favors re-deployment of advisory troops to Iraq.

Coffman didn’t offer details on the size of the “residual force” he had in mind, but back in 2009 he endorsed the Administration’s plan envisioning an American force of up to 50,000 troops remaining in Iraq.

On the radio, Coffman criticized President Barack Obama for withdrawing troops from Iraq. If Obama hadn’t pulled out so many troops, it’s possible a residual force could have been left in Iraq, Coffman said, and the current crisis might have been avoided.

Coffman: I think the Administration was looking for a narrative that we ended war in Iraq.  And the Iraqi government had requested some kind of residual presence, if anything to be symbolic to the Iraqi people that we were still engaged. And that’s, I think, very important, probably to this day, although the decision has been made… But what the Administration kept doing is lowering the number of troops, and obviously insisting, as they should, that Status of Forces Agreement keep U.S. military personnel under U.S. jurisdiction, as we always insist on. The Iraqi government clearly had to expend the political capital to accept that. And they were willing to until the numbers dropped so low that it wasn’t worth it to them to do that. And so the Administration is now saying, ‘Well, we gave them the opportunity, and they didn’t take it, in terms of the Status of Forces Agreement.’ But the Administration just wanted out. And I think we’re suffering some of the consequences of that today.” [BigMedia emphasis]

Under the Status of Forces Agreement, Obama planned in 2011 on keeping 10,000 troops in Iraq. Later, he lowered the number to about 5,000, before the troops were asked by the Iraqis to leave. Based on this, and his statement above, Coffman appears to have been prepared to leave at least 10,000 troops in Iraq or more, if necessary to make it worth it to the Iraqis politically.

Coffman’s announcement that he favors the re-deployment of advisory troops to Iraq appears to be a reversal of a position he took in 2011, when he stated that he supported President Barack Obama’s decision to remove all troops from the country.



Media misinformation: Brophy says Tancredo just writes books

Friday, January 10th, 2014

The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels took us down the GOP-Nightmare-Memory-Loop in an article yesterday pointing out that Sen. Greg Brophy  endorsed former Congressman Tom Tancredo in 2010, calling him a “selfless hero,” but now Brophy says Tancredo is “unprepared” to be governor.

Asked by Bartels to explain his change, Brophy said:

“He was our best choice in 2010, so I worked really hard for him and lent him my credibility,” Brophy said. “No matter how much of an optimist I am, I know not to back a loser twice.”

Discussing Bartels’ article yesterday morning on KNUS’ newly retreaded Dan Caplis Show (7-9 am), Brophy expanded on his comments to Bartels

Caplis: How can you say he’s unprepared now, when you thought he was well-prepared two years ago.

Brophy: I guess that’s in comparison to a guy like me who has experience running his own small business and current experience working on the policy issues that really matter to the people of Colorado.  So it’s a comparison of preparedness, and compared to me, frankly, he’s not ready to debate the issues of the day, because these are things  I’ve been working on for the last half-dozen years, and he’s been writing books [BigMedia emphasis].

Listen here to Brophy explain why Tancredo is no longer prepared to be governor

For the record, and Caplis should clarify on air, if you know Tancredo, you know he hasn’t been bunkered down writing books over the past “half-dozen years,” while Brophy was out riding his bike and battling the left.

First, Tancredo has written only one measly book, Hating America:: The Left’s Long History of Despising (And Slowly Destroying) Our Great Country with Phil Ross (2013). It sounds like fiction, which is easy to write, plus he’s got a co-author, which could have reduced Tanc’s time spent writing to near zero.

Second, if you know Tancredo, you know he’s been rushing from microphone to microphone over the past half dozen years, and for a while he actually had his own Colorado Springs talk-radio show, complete with microphone, giving him plenty of time to polish his debating skills.

Overall, if you review Tancredo’s last six years, it looks like he’s been running for office constantly, including running for president. And that’s not counting all the years he spent running for office when he was in Congress.

Tanc’s book is a throwaway, in more ways than one. You can say a lot about Tancredo, but it’s inaccurate to say he’s been writing books over the past six years, isolating himself, ivory-tower-like, from the debate.


Journalists should have corrected Caldara’s declaration that AG letter proves him innocent

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Much of the media coverage of the Colorado Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute Jon Caldara, President of the libertarian/conservative Independence Institute, for voter fraud featured a quote from Caldara that the Attorney General’s decision proved his innocence.

For example, there’s this memorable Caldara quote from The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels’ story: “I told you what I did was legal,” Caldara said Thursday, adding “neener-neener-neener.”

Bartels and others reported that the AG’s letter did not “condone” Caldara’s stunt, but no journalist corrected Caldara’s mistaken belief that AG letter is proof of his innocence.

While the letter did say there is “arguable ambiguity within some of the new legislation,” and Caldara should not be brought to trial, it certainly did not say Caldara’s actions were legal, and reporters should have said so categorically.

I asked Luis Toro, Director of Colorado Ethics Watch, for his comments on whether the Colorado Attorney General’s letter was proof of Caldara’s innocence.

Toro: The AG’s office did not declare Caldara innocent. The prosecutor correctly noted the ethical obligations of a prosecutor when making a charging decision.  These include an obligation not to file charges without sufficient evidence to support a conviction.  Evidence that could raise reasonable doubt included signing a lease at an address in the district, changing his driver’s license to the Colorado Springs address, and actually staying at the address where he claimed to reside when he voted through Election Day. Caldara’s lawyering up and extensive preparation to raise reasonable doubt only proves that gaming the system is not as easy as he pretends. His attempt to prove that anyone in Colorado can show up anywhere on Election Day, claim to reside in a district, and legally vote ended up proving the opposite…”

The real reason not to charge is, in the prosecutor’s words, Caldara’s “choreographed actions that were designed by him to create a record that he used to support his stated intention that at least on September 7, 2013 through September 10, 2013 he was an El Paso County resident and thus was permitted to be a registered elector.” Caldara only proved that without elaborate “choreographed actions” and top-notch legal representation, someone who shows up on Election Day and falsely claims residence in a given district will be charged and convicted.

I asked Caldara if he thought that he inadvertently proved the opposite of what he intended, that, in fact, you can’t just show up on election day and vote.

Caldara: “You can read that into it, if you like, but you would be reading in your own wishes,” he told me. “It doesn’t say that at all. It says that for what I did, prosecution would be unwarranted and not viable. That’s all it says. Now, the AG’s office can opine about anything they wish, and that doesn’t change the fact that the conclusion is, that prosecution is unwarranted and not viable. And I knew I would be under extra scrutiny, so I took the extra step of simply signing a simple little lease and changing my driver’s license address online. It doesn’t take a lawyer to do any of that. And I know that there are those who say this can only be done with top legal work, I think the AG’s work has given us a very tight blueprint of what becomes unwarranted and not viable to prosecute. It doesn’t take a lawyer to do any of that.”

Toro had this to say about the Attorney General’s reference to “arguable ambiguity within some of the new legislation”:

Toro: The “arguable ambiguity” line doesn’t mean much. If something is “arguably ambiguous” it is also arguably not ambiguous. Defendants often argue that a criminal law is ambiguous, with mixed results.

The AG’s letter in its entirety:

W. Suthers Attorney GeneralCynthia H. CoffmanChief Deputy Attorney General

Daniel D. Domenico

Solicitor General

STATE OF COLORADODEPARTMENT OF LAWCriminal Justice Section Ralph L. CarrColorado Judicial Center1300 Broadway,-9th FloorDenver, Colorado 80203

Phone (720) 508-6000

Wm. David Byassee, Esq.
Jackson Kelly PLLC
1099 18th Street, Suite 2150
Denver, CO 80202
RE: Caldara Election Complaint
Dear Mr. Byassee:

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of my decision regarding a complaint that was made in September 2013 against your client, Jon Caldara. Following my office’s three-month investigation into the allegations that Mr. Caldara violated one or more statutes, I have determined that no criminal charges will be filed against him at this time. This decision is being made after a comprehensive review of the currently known facts and after an examination of the applicable state statutes. It is important to note that this decision is being made based on the specific known facts in this matter when compared to the applicable state law. Furthermore this decision, which follows the above referenced factual and legal review, is being made in accordance with the ethical standards required of prosecutors who administer the prosecutorial function.

As you might be aware on or about September 9-10, 2013 the Office of the Attorney General and two separate District Attorney offices received a citizen complaint. The citizen’s complaint alleged that Mr. Caldara, a long time Boulder County resident and elector, violated one or more Colorado statutes when he participated as a newly registered elector in an El Paso County recall election on Saturday, September 7, 2013, during an early voting period. The day of the actual election was Tuesday, September 10, 2013. Based on the fact that the complaint named Mark Barker, a current Deputy District Attorney in the El Paso County DA’s Office, as being an individual who was supposedly involved with Mr. Caldara and his alleged behavior, the District Attorney for the 4th Judicial District (El Paso and Teller Counties) requested that the Attorney General’s Office investigate the complainant’s allegations.
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Regarding the events surrounding this particular election the investigation most clearly demonstrates that Mr. Caldara had multiple goals leading up to and through the election on September 10, 2013. One of Mr. Caldara’s key goals was his intent to make a public statement about one or more issues that he perceived to exist regarding new election related legislation which resulted from the passage of HB 13-1303.

Mr. Caldara’s stated focus on HB 13-1303 and its potential impact on the election process in Colorado was well documented in the public record during the months leading up to the election in El Paso County in September 2013. It appears that Mr. Caldara’s assertion was, that as of May 10, 2013, the Colorado Revised Statutes (most notably § 1-2-217.7, C.R.S.) permitted him, as a registered Colorado voter, to move from one jurisdiction in Colorado to another jurisdiction in this state and then either update his address or register to vote. Additional relevant statutes at issue that must be read in concert include, but are not limited to, §§1-2-101,
1-2-102(1)(f), 1-2-201(3)(a)(V), 1-2-204, 1-2-205 and 1-2-216(4)(a)(I), C.R.S.. As a result, a reading of these various statutes demonstrates an arguable ambiguity within some of the new legislation. This arguable ambiguity was clearly examined in your client’s specific investigation. In Mr. Caldara’s specific case, which is limited by its unique facts and the applicable statutes, a key issue is present. The issue is what does it mean for a resident of Colorado to demonstrate or assert that his or her intention, as a supposed prospective elector, is to make a new county or precinct a permanent residence at the time that he or she is either updating their address or registering to vote?

With Mr. Caldara voicing his opinions about HB 13-1303 and the laws which arose from the bill, it appears that Mr. Caldara then interpreted the new legislation and began to choreograph a series of calculated actions in preparation of the approaching September 10, 2013 recall election in El Paso County. The evidence acquired by the Attorney General’s investigation includes information that prior to Mr. Caldara actually appearing at the El Paso County Citizens Service Center on the morning of Saturday, September 7, 2013, that he had already taken various actions in an attempt to demonstrate his stated intention of becoming a qualified elector in State Senate District 11 (Colorado Springs, El Paso County), including the following:
– On September 6, 2013 Mr. Caldara entered into a residential lease agreement with Deputy District Attorney Mark Barker to rent a bedroom with access to a bathroom and with kitchen privileges at Mr. Barker’s home, which is located at 2045 Broman Ct., Colorado Springs, CO 80906;
Page 3
– He had changed his home address for his State of Colorado issued Driver’s License from a Boulder County residential address to 2045 Broman Ct., Colorado Springs, CO 80906.

With Mr. Caldara having created a record of his supposed intention to make El Paso County his sole legal place of residence, he went to the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Citizens Service Center September 7, 2013 while accompanied by members of the media. The evidence then shows that Mr. Caldara apparently was given a registration form that he filled out and self-affirmed by signing. It should be noted that Mr. Caldara failed to fully complete this registration form when he did not list the date that he had supposedly moved to 2045 Broman Ct., Colorado Springs, CO 80906. This particular field on the form was a required field and at the top of the form it stated that if the registrant did not provide all of the required information, the application to register to vote would not be complete. Nonetheless Mr. Caldara was in fact registered to vote by the election staff. After Mr. Caldara provided the election staff with a Driver’s License he was given a Paper Ballot (Ballot #01343) for the Senate District 11 Recall Election. The evidence then shows that while Mr. Caldara did submit a ballot on September 7, 2013 he apparently did not cast an actual vote in the particular election. Furthermore, the acquired evidence shows that Mr. Caldara apparently stayed/resided at 2045 Broman Ct., Colorado Springs, CO 80906 on Election Day, September 10, 2013.

On Wednesday, September 11, 2013, the day after the recall election Mr. Caldara left the Broman Ct. address in Colorado Springs and went to his work in Denver. It should be noted that September 11, 2013 was the beginning of the multi-day series of rains that caused the unprecedented flooding that devastated parts of the Front Range, including in Mr. Caldara’s long time hometown of Boulder. In the subsequent weeks after the floods had occurred Mr. Caldara made a public statement that he was reclaiming Boulder County as his home of record. The additional issues created by Mr. Caldara’s post flood statement about Boulder County again being his home is another obstacle in confirming or disproving the veracity of Mr. Caldara’s self-affirmation that, at least on September 7, 2013, his intention was to use the leased residence on Broman Ct. as his sole legal residence. It should be noted that Mr. Caldara then changed his county of residence for voting purposes back to Boulder County in November 2013.

It is imperative to note that the Office of the Attorney General does not condone Mr. Caldara’s choreographed actions that were designed by him to create a record that he used to support his stated intention that at least on September 7, 2013 through September 10, 2013 he was an El Paso County resident and thus was permitted to be a registered elector. Various factors cause me to hesitate when examining the veracity of Mr. Caldara’s intention of being an El Paso County resident on September 7, 2013. In particular I noted Mr. Caldara’s use of a lease agreement with Deputy District Attorney Mark Barker and the circumstances
Page 4
surrounding this lease as being questionable. While the legitimacy of Caldara/Barker lease arrangement is suspicious, when the available evidence and the applicable law, including arguable ambiguities, are reviewed and compared to the ethical standards for commencing a prosecution, I have determined that a criminal prosecution is not warranted or viable at this time.


Robert S. Shapiro
First Assistant Attorney General
cc: Dan May, Esq.
District Attorney
Office of the District Attorney
105 E. Vermijo Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Caplis aims for “action radio” on his new KNUS show

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

At a time when radio stations are dumping local talk shows in favor of national yakkers, Denver’s KNUS is heading in the opposite direction, filling its lineup with local flotsam and jetsam tossed from competing stations.

KNUS’ latest addition is Denver Attorney Dan Caplis, a social conservative with decades of experience on the Denver airwaves, most recently at KHOW, where he was paired with fellow attorney Craig Silverman.

For his first broadcast Monday, Caplis interviewed GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo as well as former state GOP chair Dick Wadhams. He said he’d put any callers with differing opinions at the front of the line.

“For 20 years, it’s been my policy to take callers who disagree first,” Caplis told me later after I asked him if he was serious about wanting to talk to progressives. “People want a battle of ideas. All I want from a caller is to answer the question directly.”

Caplis’ first show made a news bit when Wadhams said Republicans need a fresh face in the gubernatorial race, and Wadhams thinks the face of GOP candidate Mike Kopp has the best chance of defeating Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2014.

Will Caplis’ show focus on politics?

Caplis says politics will be part of his show, but his content will be determined largely but what’s happening on the ground.

“I don’t want to sit around talking about this stuff; I want to affect the outcome,” he told me, citing Boyles’ recent focus on Masterpiece Bake Shop, which got into trouble for turning away a gay couple seeking a wedding cake.

Caplis promises “lots of investigative reporting and the use of public records to expose corruption.”

At KHOW, Caplis and Silverman dove deep into the JonBenet Ramsey case, and Caplis took the national spotlight for supporting Broncos QB Tim Tebow. They also had a major impact on the 2010 election, with their frequent and intelligent interviews of political candidates.

A Caplis interview with Rep. Mike Coffman might come into play during the upcoming election. Coffman asked Caplis to clarify, on air, that Coffman opposes all abortion, even for rape and incest.

The show’s interviews will likely be diminished without Silverman’s edgier questioning of conservative guests and with most progressives refusing to appear.

“We did smart, tough talk radio,” Caplis said, adding the he hopes Silverman will be a regular part of his new show. “Craig asked tough questions of Republicans, me of Democrats. I will continue to invite Democrats, but I doubt they’ll accept because, frankly, they don’t have the answers–with the impressive exception of [Boulder Congressman] Jared Polis. He comes on.”

Caplis calls it a “brilliant” move of KNUS, which owned by Salem Communications, to scoop up talk-radio hosts, like Boyles, Kelley, and him, who have name recognition in the Denver market.

“There’s a demand,” he said. “It’s a very smart move on their part to go live and local.”

He has a point. The market for a brand runs deep. Twinkies was even scooped up by some big company. Boyles, Kelley, and Caplis have their followers.

I asked Caplis if he had a contract or any expectation of how long his newest gig would last.

“In the words of Chris Brown on ESPN, ‘We’re all day-to-day,'” Caplis replied. “I only want to do the show if it’s succeeding. I have other things to do in life.”

It looks to me like progressive Keith Olbermann said the day-to-day line first, but it doesn’t matter. It’s true, especially in radio.



If you pay attention to talk radio, you wonder who will be the target of the Colorado Republican Party’s Super-PAC?

Monday, January 6th, 2014

One of the biggest political stories of last year has got to be the escalating war between the Republican Party establishment, the so-called “country-club Republicans,” and the  Tea-Party wing.

Trying to predict how this story will play out in 2014 may be crazy, given what we’ve seen since the Tea Party’s inception, but it’s still worth attempting to identify the weapons both sides have at their disposal and how they might use them this election year.

Here in Colorado, one of the major battlefields in the GOP’s civil war is conservative talk radio (e.g., Grassroots Radio Colorado on KLZ, Peter Boyles on KNUS) and websites like OGRE eXposed.

Against the backdrop of strife you hear on the radio and elsewhere, when the Colorado Republican Party takes the unusual step of setting up its own Super-PAC, reporters shouldn’t assume that its target will be Democrats but also, perhaps, its own.

The state GOP organization, per its by-laws, is not supposed to support any individual Republican candidate prior to the primary election.

But in a recent petition to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, the state GOP acknowledges that its Super-PAC would be completely independent from the State Party, possibly allowing the state party to skirt the mandates of its organizational bylaws and get involved in primary races, opposing candidates of its choosing, GOP or Democrats.

“The Colorado Repubican Party’s (CRP) petition argues that the Super-PAC (“independent expenditure committee”) will not be the CRC or ‘one of its committees’ because the Super-PAC will be independent,” said Colorado Ethics Watch Director Luis Toro via email. “The Petition says that after the State Party Chair appoints the executive director and management committee, neither the State Party Chair, or any other officer or agent of the CRP, nor any committee will have ‘any degree of management or control over the development of any of the plans, projects, activities or expenditures of the [Super-PAC].’ Page 17 of the Petition. So no one in the Party could enforce any rule against the Super-PAC that would prohibit it from intervening in primaries.”

In August of 2012, the state GOP set up its Super-PAC, called the Colorado Republican Party Independent Expenditure Committee, and spent over $85,000 on state legislative races, according to the GOP petition, filed by Richard Westfall.

Now the GOP is worried that “one or more persons or organizations” will file a lawsuit claiming its Super-PAC violates Colorado’s election law.

And so it is petitioning the SOS to make a formal determination that it can spend unlimited amounts of cash from any source, including corporations, because, as the petition states, the GOP plans to use its Super-PAC to raise funds “with no contribution limitations on either amount or permissible contributor.”

In response to the state GOP Super-PAC petition, Colorado Ethics Watch filed a petition, as described on its website, asking the Secretary of State “to conduct a full rulemaking proceeding so that the ultimate decision will apply to all parties alike and so that all interested citizens may have a full and equal opportunity to have their voices heard during the process. Ethics Watch urged the Secretary to issue a proposed rule that would prohibit political parties from using independent expenditure committees to circumvent restrictions on political party fundraising in Colorado law.”

The key question here is whether a political party, like the state GOP, should be allowed to set up a Super-PAC, and the Secretary of State has scheduled a hearing to address the GOP’s Super-PAC petition tomorrow, Jan. 7, at 1:30 p.m.

Absent will be answers about what Tea Party activists can do to ensure that the State GOP doesn’t use its Super-PAC against them.

Toro said this question is outside of his expertise, but he wrote:

Presumably the by-laws could be amended to clarify that the Super-PAC can’t support or oppose candidates in a contested primary. But if the Super-PAC were to be subject to state party rules it wouldn’t be very independent, would it?

So this leads back to the battle cry you hear from the Tea Party folks on the radio. They often say they have to take over the Republican Party. They say it’s the only way they win the war.


Unchallenged in radio interview, Coffman worries pot legalization could keep Fortune 500 companies out of CO

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) delivered a major buzz kill on the radio Wednesday, saying he’s worried that pot legalization might keep Fortune 500 companies out of Colorado and drive down the state economy.

“I worry, ‘What about that Fortune 500 corporation that wants to move to Colorado?'” Coffman said on KOA’s Colorado Morning News (@3:45). “And the chief executive officer has young kids, and to say, ‘Do I want my children exposed to a culture where this is acceptable for adults? And will that influence their behavior as kids?'”

Without the cloud of marijuana in the mix,  you’d think a big CEO would move his or her company  to Colorado based on bottom-line considerations, but unfortunately KOA co-host April Zesbaugh didn’t delve into the facts underlying Coffman’s fear of Fortune-500 flight.

Overall, Coffman said he’s worried that pot legalization could be a bummer for Colorado’s economy, and unfortunately he wasn’t asked about the benefits.

“So we are really charting into an unknown world, and I certainly worry about the effect on this economy,” Coffman said (at 4:05 in the interview).

Listen to Coffman discuss his concern that pot legalization will drive down state economy 12-31-13

Also in the KOA interview, Coffman said he was concerned that military recruitment might be hurt by Colorado’s new pot law, because potential enlistees could be rejected due to their use of marijuana.

What’s more, he said current military personnel might get tripped up by the law.

“In terms of the military, we have a fairly significant military population [in Colorado],” Coffman said on KOA. “The military has screening tests that they spring, quite frankly, on their uniform folks every now and then. And if they test positive for drugs, to include marijuana, that’s really an issue that leads to a discharge.”

Coffman wasn’t asked what he could do, legislation-wise, to address this.

Coffman is considered one of the most endangered incumbents in the nation. His Colorado House district was re-drawn in 2010, and he defeated a weak Democratic opponent in 2012 by a slim two-percent margin. This year, analysts agree, he faces a much tougher challenger in Democrat Andrew Romanoff. Observers also point out that lower voter turnout, compared that of the presidential year in 2012, could work in Coffman’s favor, if voters stay home November.

Rough road, even for conservatives, on KLZ’s Grassroots Radio Colorado

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

If you want to convince the hosts of KLZ’s Grassroots Radio Colorado that you’re a true conservative, you have to do more than just say you’re categorically opposed to raising the U.S. debt limit, as U.S. Senate candidate Randy Baumgardner did just before Christmas, saying on the radio that he’d “definitely not be in favor of extending” the debt ceiling.

Clark told Baumgardner that, for his radio show, conservative credentials are established by a website called Principles of Liberty, based on votes cast in the State Legislature. We rely on them, Clark told Baumgardner.

Clark reminded Baumgardner, a Republican, that Principles of Liberty gave Baumgardner a disappointing D+, fourth worst among Colorado Senate Republicans last year.

“And, you know, you’re five away from being a Democrat!” Clark told Baumgardner, who’s widely considered an arch conservative. “Why would the Liberty people want to support you in your campaign?”

Baumgardner’s answer illuminates the rough road confronting conservative candidates as they face the stomping of feet and gnashing of teeth on radio stations like KLZ, 560-AM. Here’s Baumgardner’s response to Clark:

BAUMGARDNER:  Well, I tell you, um, I am a conservative.  And maybe [the Principles of Liberty score card], you know, doesn’t always reflect [that].  One of the things that you find there, and I guess it comes down to what your word’s worth, what you’re made out of, because there were things that I didn’t felt like I voted any different in the Senate than I did in the House.  Okay?  And my rankings were very good in the House. In fact, I had a 92 or a  93 percent in the House.  In fact, [I] was top—I believe, top of Principles of Liberty when I served in the House of Representatives.

CLARK:  You know, I’m going back – to be fair, I’m going back to 2012.


CLARK:  Okay? And you were ranked number one by Principles of Liberty.


CLARK:  You got an A+ ranking with a 94 percent in 2012.

BAUMGARDNER:  Yeah.  And I’ve had conversations with Principles of Liberty that –. First of all, maybe it was the consent calendar because –.

CLARK:  Well, but everybody voted on the consent calendar.

BAUMGARDNER:  They did.  They did, but the Principles of Liberty said that everybody’s numbers were 10-15% lower than they normally were.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know what it was, but the only thing that I can say is that when you give your word—and there was a couple of bills that changed, and I went to the Senator and I said, “Look, this is not what I bought into. Can I get out of this?”  And they said, “No, you said you’d be on with me.”   So if your word means anything, you stick to that.  And that’s where I am.  If that’s what they want to judge me on, that’s fine.  But I own what I vote, and I’ll talk about anything that they want to talk to me about.  So, that–.

CLARK:  That is an amazing difference from one year to the next…. My point is, Senator Lundberg is number one, Senator Baumgardner is number twelve, with everything being equal.


CLARK:  All right?  Now, if you go back to 2012, yeah, I mean, you were top of the heap.  That is an anomaly.  I need to figure that out.

BAUMGARDNER:  Yeah.  Well, and I do too.  And that was the conversation that I had with Principles of Liberty  – ‘cause I said I didn’t feel like I voted any different than I did when I was in the House.  So, I don’t know….

WORLEY:  We’ll figure it out.

BAUMGARDNER:  And when [Principles of Liberty organizer] Rich Bratten comes to me and said, “Randy, what’s going on?”  And I said, “Rich, I don’t know!” So, we had those conversations, and yeah, I don’t kn0w.  I mean, I wish I had an answer, but the only thing that I can come up with is that there was a couple of votes that I had given my word on to other senators.  And if they won’t let you out of that, you have integrity and your word.  That’s all you’ve got down there.  And if you lose that, and if they say, “Well, you didn’t do as well”, well, you know what, maybe I can strive to do a little better to not give my word to those people as easily.  But I try to look at things, but as they change, again, if they say, “No, you can’t be out — I’m not going to let you out of my commitment to me,”  then if, as a person, as someone that stands up and says I gave my word, I’m going to stick to it.  Thanks guys!