Archive for October, 2016

No pushback from radio host when anti-choice lawmaker insists it’s Dems who want to tell you how to “run your families”

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

You’d assume a news reporter like Fox 31 Denver’s Julie Hayden would challenge someone like State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada) when Woods tells Hayden something like this during Hayden’s radio show on KNUS 710-AM:

Hayden (at 2:45 here): Why is it so important that you get back up there to the state legislature?

Woods: The Democrats desparately want to control everything about our lives. And so they need to control the senate, in order to control your life and mine and every business in this state… If we want to have any liberty, any say in how we run our families, in say in how we run our privately held small businesses, we need to keep the senate in Republican hands.

If you thought Hayden would push back on this, even an itsy bit, you would be wrong. Nothing but nodding acquiescence from her–even though Woods is locked in a tough re-election battle against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger to represent senate district 19.

So I put this out there for Hayden to read on her KNUS show.

Dear KNUS Listeners–

State Sen. Laura Woods of Arvada appeared on our KNUS Show last month and claimed Democrats “desparately want to take control of everything about our lives.”

In fact, in at least one important way, it’s Woods who wants to do this.

She wants to ban all abortion, even for women who’ve been raped or are victims of incest. Woods’ anti-choice stance has been a focus of her political career. She sponsored personhood anti-abortion legislation. She backed a bill requiring doctors to offer women an ultrasound before an abortion.

Woods wants to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding, forcing the womens’ health organization to turn away about 1,000 low-income patients at an Arvada clinic in Woods’ own district.

So, my dear KNUS audience, next time Woods appears on the radio and says Democrats want to tell you how to “run your families,” I’ll tell her to turn off the microphone, go to the bathroom, and look in the mirror.

Thank you.

I’ll be listening to Hayden on KNUS this Saturday to see if she takes me up on my suggestion to read this.

Radio host shows Gardner’s vote for Pence won’t count, but fails to find out if Gardner will still vote for him

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

“Unhappy with Trump? Want to Write In Pence? It Doesn’t Work That Way.”

That’s the title of a story by Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner, who did a nice job fact checking U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner Monday, reporting that if Gardner writes in the name of Mike Pence as his pick for president, as he promised Sunday, his presidential vote won’t be counted at all.

Warner interiewed Suzanne Staiert, Colorado’s deputy Secretary of State, who said on air that as long as Trump is on the ballot, Gardner’s vote for Pence wouldn’t matter.

Warner : And if someone says they’re going to write-in Mike Pence?

Stairt: “They won’t be counted. It’ll just count as an undervote essentially unless the Republican Party makes some sort of change.”

During the interview, Staiert said “a write-in candidate would need to file an affidavit 15 days before the election for votes to count.”

But the CPR piece was later corrected to state, “In fact, the affidavit would have to have been filed at least 110 days before the election.”

So Gardner has settled on Pence waaaay too late. Or maybe not. Maybe he wants to cast a vote that won’t count?

Omitted from the CPR piece was the question on many listeners’ minds: “So who is Gardner going to vote for?”

Warner should bring Gardner on the show to address that question.


TrumpWatch: Where do Colorado Republicans Stand on Trump These Days?

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

I’ve previously chronicled the various positions of Colorado Republicans on Trump, but this time I ran into problems categorizing their stances.  As you’ll see below, there’s Never Trump, Dumped Trump, Maybe Trump, Love Trump, and many more.

It’s confusing to be the bean counter (me), but it’s undoubtedly far more taxing to be them, trying to figure out where they stand on their standard bearer.

In any case, below is my handy guide–and please send me new information and updates, as the list is changing rapidly with each debate and video tape.

I haven’t seen a tally like this in the Colorado media—though it’s been good to see numerous outlets reporting on the shifting loyalties of top GOP officials toward Trump.

Elected Officials Who Jumped Aboard the Trump Train, AND Affirmed Support after The Release of Trump’s Pussy Comments

State Sen. Laura Woods (In January, she called him one of her two favorite presidential candidates. In August, she called him the “people’s candidate,” and last week she affirmed her support and agreed that no presidential candidate is “perfect.”)

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (affirmed support here)

El Paso Country Commissioner Peggy Littleton

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (affirmed support here)

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (affirmed support here)


Elected Officials who Backed Trump, Dumped Him, but Haven’t Said Whom They Will Vote for

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (His spokeswoman said her boss would “absolutely” back the GOP presidential nominee, but Coffman later hedged, and now Coffman says he won’t vote for Trump.)

SenCory Gardner (once called Trump a “buffoon,” then said he’d vote for him (after being asked seven times), and then dumped him.


Candidate Who Jumped OFF the Trump Train, But Is Now Reconsidering

El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn


Elected Officials Who’ve Expressed their Support for Trump but Not Necessarily Confirmed it since the Pussy Video

State Rep. J Paul Brown

Former State Rep. Greg Brophy  (if Trump is nominee)

State Sen. President Bill Cadman (if Trump is nominee)

A reporter characterized State Rep. Don Coram as a Trump fan

State Sen. Vicki Marble (Facebook)

State Rep. Patrick Neville.

State Sen. Tim Neville.

State Rep. Clarice Navarro (here and here and elsewhere)

State Rep. Dan Thurlow.


Elected Officials Who Were Undecided Along the Way

State Rep. Kathleen Contiwho’s said, “I’m hearing growing support for [Libertarian] Gary Johnson.”

State Rep. Justin Everett

State Sen. Kevin Grantham.

State RepYuelin Willet


Former Elected Officials Backing Trump

Former Colorado Senate President John Andrews

Former Rep. Bob Beauprez

Former Rep. Jon Keyser (He reiterated  his support here.)

Former CU Regent Tom Lucero

Former State Rep. Spencer Swalm (an “out-of-the-closet” endorser)


Former Elected Officials Who Will Not Vote for Trump

Former State Sen. Shawn Mitchell (also left GOP, posting on Facebook, “Whores don’t merit unwavering loyalty.”).


Candidates Backing Trump

George Athanasopoulos (Running against Perlmutter)

Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Doty

House District 1 candidate Raymond Garcia

Casper Stockham, who’s the Republican challenging Rep. Diana DeGette.

House District 14 candidate Jeff Williams


Notable Republicans Who said, “We May Be Seeing the Final months of the Existence of the Republican Party”

Former Rep. Bob Schaffer


Colorado GOP Officials Who’ve Left Republican Party

Vice Chair of Rio Grande County GOP Patrick Crowder

Chair of House District 43 Republicans Craig Steiner.

Activist Jennifer Raiffie (Facebook)

Woods’ long ride on the Trump train could hand the state senate to the Dems

Monday, October 10th, 2016

State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada) first tiptoed onto the Trump train in January, when she called Trump one of her two favorite presidential candidates.

Then Woods jumped fully on board in August, when she called Trump the “people’s candidate” and said “running away” from him wasn’t even a consideration.

In case you’re wondering whether Trump’s shocker room talk, from the Access Hollywood video, will push Woods out of the Trump train, you will want to know that Woods is apparently staying on board.

Over the weekend, Woods, whose race against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger will likely determine control of the state senate and with it state government, liked a Facebook post of Sen. Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction).

Scott, who’s a regional field coordinator for Trump’s campaign, wrote:

I have no intention of dropping my support for Trump. Here’s why.

I’m trying real hard to remember a perfect President or for that matter anyone that has run for political office.

As Alexander Haig once said, no one has a monopoly on virtue. I don’t agree with all of Trump’s positions or comments by any means. I support his economic plan, ending the war on fossil fuels, his stance on defense, immigration, the 2nd amendment and trade issues….

Scott’s Facebook post, which I obtained from a source, has “likes” from about 50 people, including Woods and Peggy Littleton, the failed GOP U.S. Senate primary candidate.

So it looks like Woods is still comfy in her seat on the Trump train. But will voters be comfortable with her in it?

In a news post for today, I discuss one advertisement linking Woods to Trump, and offer an interview with one expert who thinks the tactic could work, helping to push Woods out of office in November.

Woods likes Scott's Facebook post

Malkin errs in repeating Gessler’s debunked claim that 5,000 noncitizens voted

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

In a column that’s running across the country, syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin incorrectly writes:

Former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler identified nearly 5,000 noncitizens in Colorado who voted in the 2010 general election. Gessler’s office uncovered upwards of 12,000 noncitizens registered to vote. Liberal groups who oppose stronger election system protections attacked him for trying to verify citizenship status — because God forbid public officials sworn to uphold the rule of law actually do anything to enhance the integrity of our election system!

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby showed in 2013, Gessler did not identify 5,000 noncitizens who’d voted:

But since making those claims, Gessler’s office said it has been able to identify only 80 non-citizens statewide who were on the voter rolls over the past nine elections, representing 0.0008 percent of the more than 10 million ballots that have been cast in those general elections, and those ballots don’t include primary races or local elections that were held during that time.

After years of critics demanding that Gessler forward names of suspected non-citizens whom he said were on the voter rolls, his office referred a list of 155 suspected non-
citizen voters in July to 15 district attorneys across the state, recommending prosecution and issuing a strongly worded statement saying the list was proof the state’s election system is “vulnerable.”

A check by The Daily Sentinel with those district attorneys over the past two weeks, however, revealed that none of the referrals led to criminal prosecutions, though some still are under investigation. The analysis also showed that although some of the non-citizen voters did cast ballots in at least one election going as far back as 2004, the preponderance of the other voters actually were citizens who legally had the right to vote.

Yet, despite Ashby’s readily-available piece, Malkin has written a column that’s basically premised on the 5,000-voting-noncitizens falsehood.

If I were Malkin’s editors at Creators Syndicate, I’ll pull the piece. It can’t really be corrected adequately.

Take two: Doty now says she’s against the hospital provider fee

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The Colorado Independent’s Marianne Goodland reported earlier this year that Republican state senate candidate Nancy Doty had yet to formulate a stance on whether state lawmakers should reclassify the hospital provider fee as an enterprise fund, freeing up over $300 in tax money for roads, schools, and other projects. Goodland reported:

The hospital provider fee isn’t a subject that has come up on the campaign trail, Doty indicated, and although she comes from a strong financial background, she admitted she isn’t quite up to speed on the issue and needs to spend more time looking into it.

“The ironic thing is that we’re talking about money that will solve all the issues once the transfer takes place. I don’t know if that’s the answer,” she said.

Doty’s “strong financial background,” referenced by Goodland, includes being chief financial officer under Gov. Bill Owens.

So how could she not have an opinion on the hospital provider fee, given that it’s one of the top issues facing the state legislature?

Especially now that conservatives have started attacking State Rep. Daniel Kagan, who’s Doty’s Democratic opponent in senate district 26 race, for supporting reclassification of the fee. Surely, Doty is aware of these attacks.

I decided to confirm that she still holds no opinion, as reported by the Independent.

I talked to Doty last week prior to an event at Las Brisas restaurant in Greenwood Village, and she declined to comment on the recent attack on Kagan over the hospital provider fee.

“I haven’t done that, so it’s not my campaign,” Doty said.

Asked if she had a position, Doty said, “I’m against it.”

I didn’t get to ask Doty for details, as she was about to speak at her event, so I don’t know when or why she formulated her stance on the issue. But it raises lots of questions about why she’d be opposed to a tax-free source of funds for roads, schools, etc. etc.

She may have struggled with her stance against the fee in her role as board member of the South Metro Chamber of Commerce, which voted–apparently over Doty’s opposition–to support legislation reclassifying the hospital fee as an enterprise under the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights (TABOR).

The Kagan-Doty race is widely seen as one of the most important state contests this year, with Republicans holding to a one-seat majority in the Colorado senate. A Doty victory would almost certainly thwart the Democrats efforts to take over the state senate chamber, even if State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada) loses her race to Democratic challenger Rachel Zenzinger.

So, needless to say, it’s important for the public to know Doty’s positions on major issues, like the hospital provider fee, especially when she’s told a reporter that she has no position.

Now we know.

Colorado Republican Chair says media “set up” Machado to distract Trump

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Steve House FB postColorado Republican Party Chair Steve House wrote on Facebook this week that the “media” worked with Democrats to “set up” former Miss Universe Alicia Machado to go after Trump.

House: I’ve gotten a lot of text messages, emails and direct comments about Donald Trump taking on the former Miss universe. She was of course set up in my mind by the Democratic party and the media to go after Trump to potentially distract him, if you will.

When are Republicans going to stop blaming the media for their self-inflicted wounds? I mean, shortly after the debate, Trump called Machado “disgusting” and accused her of having a “sex tape,” whatever that means. Was Trump’s late-night outburst set up by the media as well?

(FYI, KNUS host Craig Silverman claimed to have watched the forementioned sex tape, which does not exist.)

It’s true that Machado was a Clinton media surrogate before Clinton brought her up in a debate. And it looked as if Clinton communications folks had told some journalists that the Machado info was coming.

But of course a campaign is going to leak info to reporters, cooperating with them if you will, but House’s post implies journalists were willfully working with reporters to distract Trump, as if they wouldn’t have done the same to Hillary. That’s not supportable.

If Republicans are blaming the media now, you can only imagine what they’ll be saying after Election Day. You recall how Gardner blamed the media for the 2012 GOP election loss:

Gardner: “When the American people were watching the news with their family at the dinner table, they saw a media that is gung-ho for the President. So not only were we running an election against the President of the United States, we were running an election against TV stations around the country and inside people’s living rooms.

Who knows what the GOP will say this year?

Woods’ de-funding plan would force Planned Parenthood to turn away 1,000 patients in Woods’ own district of Arvada

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada/Westminster) has, in part, focused her political career on trying to stop women from having access to an abortion, even if they were raped. Or even for a teen who was raped by her father.

Woods’ unabashed goal is to eliminate a woman’s right to choose, no matter what the circumstances that led to the pregnancy.

As part of her anti-abortion crusade, Woods wants to eliminate all government funding for Planned Parenthood, the women’s health organization that mostly provides basic family planning and health-care services, but also offers abortion services.

By law, Planned Parenthood cannot spend the money it gets from the federal government on abortions.

Instead, Planned Parenthood uses the tax money to provide low income Medicaid patients with basics like HIV and STD tests, birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and such. None of the money goes for abortion.

So, to translate the political rhetoric into reality as we see it in Woods district, what would de-funding Planned Parenthood mean for Arvada?

If Planned Parenthood’s clinic in Arvada were to lose its government funding, as Woods wants, then about 1,000 low-income patients, covered by Medicaid and another federal health program, who rely on the clinic for cancer screenings, STD tests, women’s health care, and other basics, would have to be turned away, according to Whitney Phillips, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman.

“At Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains we believe that people should be able to get the care they need regardless of their zip code,” said Whitney Phillips in an e-mail. “Without access to Planned Parenthood in the Arvada community, nearly 1000 low-income residents would be forced to seek the care they need elsewhere. People come to PPRM for high-quality, non-judgmental, confidential care that patients may not be able to receive otherwise. Planned Parenthood serves a vital role in these communities and may be the first and only place patients can go for the care they need.”

Would these patients be able to get care elsewhere?

No one’s studied the full impact in Colorado if Planned Parenthood lost federal funding, leaving some 80,000 low-income people statewide in need of a new clinic.

In Texas, defunding Planned Parenthood would result in, among other things, a 27 percent increase in births among women who use injectable contraception, according to one study.

In Arvada, health-care providers would likely be able to absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients, according to Marc Williams, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

But it’s not guaranteed. And patients might, at a minimum, have to go to the wider Jefferson County area to get care, Williams wrote me, which spotlights one of a handful of hardships that Arvada residents might face if Woods had her way, and Planned Parenthood were de-funded.

Because low-income people rely on public transportation, the location of a clinic, while theoretically not an insurmountable barrier to access, may in reality determine whether a patient gets health care at all.

Waiting lists or delays at other clinics are also an unknown.

Possibly more serious, especially from the perspective of women seeking birth-control or family-planning services, is the preferences of patients served currently by Planned Parenthood.

Some women seek out Planned Parenthood, specifically, because the organization prides itself on respecting women’s privacy and being sensitive to the medical as well as social needs of patients.

Maybe Woods, who isn’t returning my calls, has an alternative for these women, and other patients, who’d be turned away if Woods succeeded in defunding Planned Parenthood.

If so, she hasn’t talked about it. Her priority appears to be on attacking Planned Parenthood first and worrying about its patients later, if at all.

With control of Colorado’s state senate likely riding on the outcome of Woods’ senate district 19 race against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger, reporters who have access to Woods should find out if she’s thought through the ramifications of her plan to defund Planned Parenthood.

Republican candidate’s Facebook insults continue

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Raymond Garcia Facebook Post

We all know politics is fertile ground for jokes and insults. That’s what we do, like it or not.

It’s hard to say what jokes or insults are appropriate for a political candidate to make, especially now that we’ve experienced Trump. Voters ultimately decide.

But it’s clear that Colorado Republican state house candidate Raymond Garcia has crossed a line by sharing and commenting on the Facebook meme below, which I obtained from a source.

Just because Garcia, who’s challenging State Rep. Susan Lontine in House District 1, has been called out previously for extreme Facebook posts does not mean he should be ignored by reporters. Hence this blog post.

This time, Garcia’s comment on Facebook is, “OMG, this is perfect!!!”