Archive for the 'Colorado State Legislature' Category

Principles left unexamined in Woods’ on-air suggestion that unaffiliated vote as Republicans in GOP Primary

Monday, July 7th, 2014

The day before the Republican primary, in which Republican Laura Woods triumphed over Lang Sias for the right to take on Democratic State Senator Rachel Zenzinger, Woods made the following comment on the KLZ’s Grassroots Radio Colorado:

WOODS: “…tomorrow, if you’re an unaffiliated voter, and you don’t want more of the same, go down to the polling place, change to a Republican for a day or two, fill out a ballot, and then after the primary, if you don’t want to stay a Republican, you don’t have to stay. You can unaffiliate again. But you can be a part of the change right now by electing somebody who is going to stand up for the Constitution.”

Listen to Woods suggest unaffiliated voters briefly switch parties to help her win GOP primary 6-23-14

There’s nothing illegal about Woods’ suggestion, but the folks down at KLZ, including host Kristina Cook, are all about “principles.”

How principled is it to try to win a Republican primary with the votes of fake Republicans? It doesn’t appear that Woods’ suggestion made any difference in the election, but if I were running the show at Grassroots Radio Colorado, I would have asked Woods about her idea that unaffiliated voters should join the GOP for “a day or two.” But it’s done now.

Woods’ love of vouchers goes unchallenged, as usual

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

I can tell you I’ve heard plenty of love for vouchers on conservative talk radio. I can also tell you I rarely hear a grain of sand fall in opposition.

Typical of the unchallenged statements is the one below, from State Senate candidate Laura Woods from KLZ 560-AM’s Wake Up with Randy Corporon June 2. Waters is fighting Lang Sias in a State Senate primary Tuesday to take on Democrat Rachel Zenzinger.

State Senate Candidate Laura Woods: I am a believer in empowering teachers. I want teachers to be empowered to use the skills that they’ve been given to teach our kids, and mold and shape creative geniuses to come out of our schools. For that to happen, we need to get Common Core out of our schools. I’m in favor of parental choice where school is concerned. I would be very much in favor of a voucher system for schools. And I would support private school, home school, charter school, public school, across the board, evenly, so that parents have the choice in whatever they choose, their kids get the best education possible.

Listen to Laura Woods on KLZ 6.2.14

Her words flow over the airwaves free from any resistance from critical thought.

Here’s a Politico article that Corporon can save in his pocket and pull out next time he has Woods or another voucher lover on his show. Titled, “Vouchers Don’t Do Much for Students,” the article provides a good national glimpse at the problems with vouchers.

But behind the outrage is an inconvenient truth: Taxpayers across the U.S. will soon be spending $1 billion a year to help families pay private school tuition — and there’s little evidence that the investment yields academic gains.

Talk radio does us a service by offering candidates a comfortable place to talk about religion

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

A candidate’s religious or godless beliefs are too often ignored by the dwindling press, so we should be grateful to the radio hosts on KLZ AM-560 for giving candidates the chance to talk openly about how religion guides their lives and decisions.

I mean, it’s a public service to know that State Senate candidate Laura Woods, who’s running for the seat currently occupied by Democrat Rachel Zenzinger,  will look narrowly to the Constitution and the Bible to guide her if she’s elected. And that God directs Woods in a “real sense.”

Conservative talk radio is apparently seen by candidates as a safe and comfortable place to talk openly about God, and it’s a public service for all of us to hear the religious discussions that bless the airwaves there.

I previously reported on gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo’s belief, as stated on talk radio, that God has a plan for him. Woods offered her thoughts on the topic on two recent shows.

On his nooner show on KLZ 560-AM, called “Freedom 560,” Ken Clark had this discussion with Woods on June 4:

Clark: Yeah. So, let’s talk about your candidacy. What is the platform that you’re running on?

Woods: I’m running on a liberty platform. That’s who I am. I believe in the Constitution, the
Bill of Rights, the declaration of independence. And I will stand with those documents every day I’m in office. The Constitution and the Bible will be the two books that I use to govern me in doing that job. So that’s Constitutional conservative, smaller government, lower taxes, conservative.

Listen to Woods on KLZ’s Freedom 560 with Ken Clark 6.4.14

Two days before talking to Clark, in a conversation with righty Randy Corporon on KLZ’s morning show, Woods (who formerly called herself Laura Waters) revealed more about how religion affects her political life:

Corporon: So, let’s talk about you and why you threw your hat into this ring.

Woods: Well, thank you. I decided to get into this race in December, because I sat down with my primary opponent [Lang Sias] for lunch. And I didn’t feel like he was conservative enough to represent this district and to fight for this seat that we had just opened up. Plus, also, when I asked him the question, “Do you want to be our Senator?”, I couldn’t get a straight answer to that question. So, we left that meeting – my husband and I–not really clear if he wanted the job. It’s December. County assemblies are in March. We just started praying about, you know, somebody has got to be in this seat. And I had had people suggest to me it should be me. It was the furthest thing from my mind at the time. But, as we were looking for closed doors, doors kept opening and it just became clear that I wasn’t stepping out to do this on my own. This was God directing me to do it in a real sense. And so I got into the race in early January. And then my primary opponent got into the race after I did — about ten days, two weeks after I did.

Corporon: Oh, very, very interesting. So, when he realized that there was going to be competition, somehow, he decided to step up and jump in.

Listen to Woods on KLZ Wake Up with Randy Corporon! show 6.2.14

I’ve got nothing against anyone who turns to religion or God to guide their lives. And I’ve got nothing against people who turn to godless reason. But regardless, media figures like the hosts at KLZ are doing us a favor when they provide a platform for discussion of how candidates make decisions. Voters should know.

Journalists should note that Archbishop believes “godlessness” in Colorado is comparable to Nazi Germany

Monday, April 21st, 2014

In a recent radio interview, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila compared Colorado’s “godlessness” to Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia and said it portends a government that will “eventually fall.”

Citing the growing number of atheists and agnostics here, Aquila also said godlessness in Colorado engenders a “lack of respect for the goodness of the human person.”

Soon after making this bigoted comment against atheists like me, Aquila became the face of opposition to a bill, killed last week, that would have barred state and local governments from interfering with reproductive healthcare decisions.

An April 15 rally, led by Aquila, galvanized opposition to the bill and got saturation local media coverage.

Reporters cited a letter, signed by Aquila, which called on Catholics to “pray for the conversion of the heart and mind of those who support such irrational, unscientific, and a denial of conscience legislation.”

Fair enough. His opinion. But if Aquila is going to jump up and down about science, journalists should cover Aquila’s unscientific views, including his anger at the media for failing to cover Satan, who is “real.”

KNUS’ Dan Caplis asked Aquila on April 3 what’s surprised him here in Denver, since he took over as Denver Archbishop in 2012.

Aquila responded that the “godlessness that is present here [in Colorado]” has been a “very real challenge.”

AQUILA: [Godlessness] opens up all sorts of opportunities for evangelization, for helping people and reaching out to them, but it’s also a real challenge in terms of seeing the lack of respect for the dignity of human life, the lack of respect for the goodness of the human person.

CAPLIS: What forms do you see this godlessness – this secular godlessness taking?

AQUILA: I think in terms of, first of all, the numbers that claim to be atheist today, or agnostic, certainly are up in percentage of people. Also is the almost just total pushing of God from the public square. And we know that was not true 50 years ago. That God was, and certainly in the founding in this — of our democracy and all, God was very much a part of that. And very much — it was religious beliefs that this country was founded upon. And when you look at history, when you read the founding fathers’ statements, even when you read the Declaration of Independence, there is the recognition of a creator. And when you look at the buildings that were built a hundred years ago – a hundred and fifty years ago, whether it be the Supreme Court or other buildings in Washington D.C., they have the Ten Commandments on them.

CAPLIS: Right.

AQUILA: And people did not blink an eye at that. And when one studies history, whether it be salvation history or whether it be history – even in the last hundred years, we can see when a country or a people remove God from the equation, they eventually fall.

CAPLIS: Right.

AQUILA: And whether it was Nazi Germany, whether it was Stalin, whether it was other governments.

Caplis concluded his Aquila interview with a great suggestion for a future show that might help fill in the media gap left open after last week’s one-dimensional coverage of Aquila:

AQUILA: Well, you are known as a man of action, and very much appreciate your time. I’m hoping we can get together on a regular basis. I’d love to – for example, I’d love to do one show just on the devil – heaven, hell, the devil. And get your take on that. As you say, it’s something we don’t talk about a lot. Probably, people like me don’t want to think about it a lot. But it would be one of those things that would really be great to dig into as we head into the political season. You know, just talk about – and I’ve heard you speak so eloquently and bravely on this before, — you know, the obligation of people to carry their faith in all aspects of their life, including the political process. [I] would love to do a show just on that.

Tancredo, Woods, etc., remain talk-radio heroes, no matter what’s happening in the real world

Friday, March 7th, 2014

In the alternative reality constructed each morning on KNUS’ Peter Boyles show, they’re busy reliving the glory days of the recall campaigns.

Recall spokespeople Laura Woods and Jennifer Kerns have been on the show re-telling stories about how “grassroots” Republicans fought off establishment Republicans and won.

One of Boyles’ favorite things to do is to point out that most of the Republicans who’ve risen up in recent weeks weren’t the ones getting down and dirty during the recall effort.

On Tuesday, for example, Boyles asks Woods for the names of specific Republican candidates and elected officials who were with her:

Woods: Well, I just want to preface by saying, as a candidate [for SD 19] now, I’m not endorsing these guys, but I’ll put on my recall hat and I’ll talk to you about who was out there on the lines with us. We clearly had Victor Head. He wasn’t a candidate then, but he is now. And then we had senator candidates Tim Neville and Tony Sanchez walking the streets, knocking doors, gathering petition signatures. Tom Tancredo was out there, as was Greg Brophy. We had the sheriff candidates, Jim Shires, Jeff Schrader, John Berry, all out there at times. Ken Buck was in the office at times. And Owen Hill was sitting in our office making phone calls. So, there were a lot of candidates, none of whom were involved in this back room deal—other than Ken Buck to move, you know, from the Senate race to the House race.

The good old recall days are gone, and the good old folks are threatened, in Boyle’s mind, by back-room-dealing evil-doers, like Bob Beauprez, Cory Gardner, and Ryan Call.

But on Boyles’ radio show, regardless of what’s happening in the real world, the heroes are still Woods and Tancredo, and the like, and nothing can change that, unless the show is abruptly canceled by Salem Communications Inc., which is as inevitable as a gaffe from you know who. Or someone flipping the bird at you.

Recall organizer, “Waters,” abandons radio name to run for State Senate as “Woods”

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

One of the leaders and spokespeople of the campaign to recall State Sen. Evie Hudak was a woman allegedly named Laura Waters.

During the height of the Hudak recall campaign, “Waters” was on 710 KNUS Peter Boyles show almost daily, attacking Hudak and whipping up the radio crowd to join the recall fight.

Now “Waters” is running for Hudak’s former Colorado Senate seat, SD 19. In current the GOP primary, she’s battling Lang Sias, who lost to Hudak in 2012, for the right to take on Democratic State Sen. Rachel Zenzinger.

But she’s no longer calling herself “Laura Waters.” She’s referring to herself as “Laura Woods.”

Regular Boyles listeners like me were confused, and Boyles didn’t explain things. So to fill in the media gap, I called Waters/Woods to find out what’s up.

“There’s no secret to it,” Woods told me last week. “It’s just protection of family because of what went on down in Pueblo with those recalls. And I didn’t want to put my family at risk then. But you can’t run for office under a different name.”

Woods didn’t offer specifics on what happened, security-wise, in Pueblo that frightened her.

Woods has the endorsement, over her primary opponent Sias, of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which worked closely with Hudak recall organizers last year.

Herpin thanks Boyles for being “fair and balanced,” and then Boyles calls Stokols a “Butt Boy”

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Minutes after State Sen. Bernie Herpin thanked KNUS talk-radio host Peter Boyles for being “fair and balanced,” Boyles called Fox 31 reporter Eli Stokols a “Butt Boy.”

Herpin and Boyles were angry over Fox 31 Denver coverage of Herpin’s statement that it was “maybe a good thing” that the Aurora m0vie-theater shooter had a 100-round magazine.

Asked by Boyles’ about Stokols’ coverage, Herpin said this morning, “As a media person you know it’s their job to sensationalize the news to attract readers and viewers and followers on their blogs.”

“Fortunately, we have people like you that stand up for us, that provide both sides of the story in a fair-and-balanced way,” Herpin told Boyles. “And I thank you for that.”

“Well, you’re kind,” responded Boyles, who really truly expressed his “love” Herpin earlier in the interview.

Listen to Herpin says Boyles is fair and balanced 02-13-14

After I tweeted Boyles’ conversation with Herpin, “Missing Pundit” responded with “Live from Kenya,” referring to Boyles’ birther obsessions.

Herpin stopped short of apologizing for his comment about the 100-round magazine, telling Boyles, “I certainly meant no disrespect to people.”

Boyles’ substantive criticism of Stokols’ reporting was that Stokols didn’t include the full context of Herpin’s quote until the lower portion of Stokols’ post. There, Stokols wrote: “Herpin was trying to say that larger magazines are less reliable, more prone to jamming up.” And then he provided Herpin’s full comment with video.

That doesn’t sound like reporting from a Butt Boy, whatever that means.

Boyles should play his Nugent interview for Tancredo

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

From the moment after KNUS Peter Boyles’ introduced him, rocker Ted Nugent delivered a bizarre series of insults and slurs on Denver radio this morning, saying the “media in this country is basically Joseph Goebbels’ propaganda ministry” and singing his “New American National Anthem,” which consisted only of the cry of a sheep:  “baa-aa—aa—aa, baa-aa-aa.”

“It breaks my heart to have to say these things,” Nugent said. “But we have to say these things. Because if you don’t get rid of the bad and the ugly, the good will continue to be strangled.”

“Ted, what has happened to the Republican Party?” asked Boyles.

“Someone extracted their scrotum with a rusty shiv,” Nugent said. “They have no balls.  I don’t know where this ‘Let’s be Mr. Rogers with a Lawrence Welk soundtrack tie adjusting’ mantra came from, but my god! If there’s a life-support system attached to the GOP, it’s flat-lining.”

Nugent, who’s a leading opponent of gun-safety laws, like those passed in Colorado, said he’s spoiled because he lives in Texas, which, he said, should “not be confused with Colorado, [which is] the suburb of San Francisco.”

“It’s true!” replied Boyles.

“If ever there was a poster child for apathy, disconnect, laziness, and abandonment of We the people, and moral dereliction, it is Colorado,” Nugent said, praising recall activists for sending the state in a better direction.

Here’s a suggestion for Boyles, who has Tancredo on his show all the time: How about playing Nugent’s interview for Tanc, and discussing it line-by-line. And then, at the end, finding out if Tancredo is proud to be endorsed by Nugent.

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;
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- 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
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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

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!