Archive for the 'Colorado State Legislature' Category

Will ousted conservative Jeffco school board member Williams help sink Woods?

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Last year’s recall of Jefferson County school board member Julie Williams is widely considered a huge factor in this year’s Arvada/Westminster state senate race that will likely determine whether Republicans retain control of the state senate.

Jefferson Country voters threw out Tea Party conservatives on their school board, with special ire directed at Williams, who was denounced by both sides. Even Dave Kopel, a researcher at the conservative Independence Institute, said Williams had a lot of “foolish” ideas.

The Jeffco vote was overwhelming, with 60 percent favoring the recall, and analysts believe the voters’ anger may carry over to Jeffco candidates aligned with Williams.

Williams has ties to Republican State Senator Laura Woods, who’s defending the Arvada/Westminster Senate District 19 seat against Democratic challenger Rachel Zenzinger.

State Sen. Tim Neville is Williams’ brother-in-law, and Neville is connected to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which heavily backed Woods’ upset victory in 2014. Woods backed Neville’s failed U.S. Senate bide earlier this year. And Woods and Neville have overlapping connections to other Republican operatives.

Williams makes no secret of her support for Woods, and Woods, who doesn’t return my calls, has apparently accepted Williams’ backing, which makes sense since Woods and Williams align in their support for Trump and guns, among other links.

Here’s Williams’ Sept. 17 Facebook post, obtained from a source, endorsing Woods:

Julie Williams

September 17 at 9:35am ·

Whether you vote top down or bottom up… Vote!
Vote DONALD TRUMP for President
Vote George Athanasopoulos for US Congress
Vote Laura Laura J Woods for State Senator
Vote Susan Kochevar for State Representative
Please tell your friends & neighbors to get out and vote!

Williams endorses Woods on Facebook

State senator apparently had second thoughts about sharing video showing ugly guns

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Colorado State Sen. Randy Baumgardnbaumgardner-gun-video-9-19-2016er has apparently removed a video, which he’d shared on his Facebook page, showing a man frantically firing weapons (apparently a sawed-off shotgun and fully automatic rifles and pistols) that are shady or, at worst, illegal under federal and state laws).

Banned high capacity magaizes are also shown in the video, which you can see here.

Baumgardner is glorifying some of the weapons and magazines used in the two worst gun massacres in Colorado history.

Maybe this occurred to him, because Baumgardner apparently removed the video, called a “Case of Mayhem,” sometime after he shared it over the weekend.

A call to Baumbgardner’s office confirming that he shared the video and seeking his reason for posting it, and an explanation for why it was taken down, was not immediately returned.

The Moffat County Republican, whose Twitter handle is CapitalCowboy, is part of GOP State Senate leadership.

Correction: a previous version mischaracterized ownership of some regulated guns as legal only using loopholes.

How Trump infects Colorado

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Reyher Facebook Post on Electric FenceIf Reporters want a local window into where Donald Trump is aiming with his speech last night, they should connect with Otero County Republican Chair Judy Rydberg Reyher, who apparently posted this meme on her Facebook page this week.

“Why build a Wall? A bad ass electric fence would be way more entertaining,” reads the text.

Ryher’s comment: “Yes it would. And those of us who know have been hit by one know exactly what it looks like, dance and all.”

Why would an elected GOP official post this? Maybe her next meme will be titled, “Why build a Republican Party?” Because she’s trashing her own folks–not just immigrants. You see this and say to yourself, how will Republicans ever lift their party out of the margins?

But the bigger problem for Republicans isn’t Reyher in deep red Otero County. It’s of course the Trump infection that runs down the ballot, to folks like Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Doty, who promises to vote for Trump and says former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is “spot on” after Palin raves about Trump.

And to Arvada Republican Laura Woods, who calls Trump the “people’s candidate” and is aligned with Trump in not wanting to grant citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants born in the U.S.

Doty and Woods are battling Democrats Daniel Kagan and Rachel Zenzinger, respectively, in two of the most important under-the-radar state senate races in memory. At stake is control of state government.

And, for Democrats, there’s a line stretching from Trump to Arapahoe County and Arvada. That’s the story, from Colorado’s perspective, that comes from Trump’s speech last night.

And, if there was any doubt yesterday, does anyone now think the story won’t repeat itself after Trump’s next appearance?

Republican candidate’s Facebook meme: “Hillary Meal Deal, 2 fat thighs, 2 small breasts, and a bunch of left wings.”

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Garcia Hillary Meal Deal 2I called Raymond Garcia, a Republican candidate for Colorado state house, after I saw a couple memes he posted for his Facebook friends.

One depicts an image of Hillary Clinton on a bucket of “HRC” Kentucky Fried Chicken with the text, “Hillary Meal Deal, 3 fat thighs, 2 small breasts, and a bunch of left wings.” (“Crispy Commie Recipe.”)

The other was a anti-Hillary version of an anti-Trump statue.

Asked if he’s worried that these posts, which were obtained from a source, might offend people, the House District 1 candidate said:

Garcia: “I can’t help it if somebody gets offended. If they get offended, that’s their deal.”

Delta County Colorado GOP chair Linda Sorenson offered a similar response when asked if her Facebook post, comparing Obama to a Chimp, was a joke. A subsequent outrcry led to her resignation.

Garcia, who hopes to unseat Democrat Susan Lontine in the Southwest Denver district, said he posted the memes “in response to a post that somebody else has put up against Trump.”

“So it’s the exact same thing, but it’s been converted over so it criticizes Hillary instead of criticizing Trump,” Garcia said. “It’s just in response to the posts that I’ve been seeing criticizing Trump.”

I saw the Trump statue he’s referring to, but I can’t find a similar meme about a Trump meal deal. The “Meal Deal” meme has been around since at least 2008, when it was labeled “truly horrible” by a New York Magazine writer.

In any case, whether similar memes exist, I can’t find either Hillary meme posted on Facebook by a candidate seeking a state office.

I  asked if Garcia’s intent was to joke.

“Yeah, just like they did,” he replied.

After I spoke with Garcia Wednesday, he added another post on Facebook, with the text, “I Gave Her 32 Million Dollars Because She Reminds Me of My Favorite Goat.” (See below.)

Garcia Hillary Goat Meme

 

 

Garcia Trump Hillary

Does Doty’s enthusiasm for Palin have anything to do with her backwards worldview?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Doty upside down EarthI’ve been trying to convince journalists to find out why state senate candidate Nancy Doty thinks Sarah Palin gave a “Spot on” speech in Denver, in which the former Alaska governor raved about Donald Trump. (Here’s a funny video to emphasize the point.)

From where I sit as a progressive, the world is pretty backwards if you think Palin is “spot on.”

And it turns out, judging from the recent Doty advertisement on your right, that’s exactly how Doty sees the Earth–transposed, ass backwards, if you will.

So, does the inverted worldview on Doty’s mailer have anything to do with her enthusiasm about Palin and Trump?

Or is Doty’s backwards Earth related to the ability of kids to “count on NANCY DOTY” for a “WORLD CLASS” education?

I doubt it, to be honest, but she’s yet to be questioned about Palin, so we don’t know. And if there’s one thing you learn as a journalist, it’s that you never know what someone will say until you ask them.

Doty’s Arapaho County race against State Rep. Daniel Kagan is key, along with an Arvada state senate contest, in the GOP’s struggle to maintain their one-seat majority in the senate chamber and thereby block Democrats’ hopes of controlling state government next year.

Does Woods want Soros turned over to Russia?

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Does Woods Want Soros Turned Over To Russia?I’m constantly telling my wife there’s no way Trump can win in Colorado, and she tells me I have no credibility, because I’ve said for the last year that Trump won’t win anything, here or anywhere.

How that ruins my credibility, I don’t know, but anyway, it’s a useful exercise to look for examples of politicians who’ve won in Colorado, despite exhibiting Trump-like behavior.

I’m not talking about talk-radio hosts, some of whom are deep on the Trump spectrum. Like Peter Boyles. And I’m not referring to politicians in deep red districts.

I’m talking about politicians from purple districts.

Who comes to mind? State Sen. Laura Woods, who has that same erratic quality as Trump. Woods won once by 650 votes. But can she win again, if she behaves like Trump?

Case in point, Woods recently shared an article on Facebook about billionaire Steyer’s political donations in Colorado, as part of his evil agenda to stop global warming, as well as donations by George Soros.

Woods’ Trumpish behavior came out in the comments, where she “liked” this:

“Russia has a bounty on his head and an arrest warrant in place for Soros. We need someone to turn them over to them.”

Does Woods want Steyer to be turned over to the Russians to be killed? Seriously? Does she think there’s an actual factual bounty? Does she think Soros chould be shipped out? Is this a joke?

Woods and Trump are similar on a lot of issues (guns, immigration, choice), but “liking” the bounty comment is the kind of Trump behavior I’m talking about. Throwing something out there that raises a ton of questions.

In Woods’ case, however, despite the fact that her race against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger is probably the most important contest in the state, few reporters are asking Woods to explain herself. And she’s not talking to me.

Of course, Woods has been loving Trump since she first heard him speak at Boulder’s Republican presidential primary debate—and just she recently told The Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning that Trump is “the people’s candidate.” That’s high praise. Is she modeling herself after him?

What is Trump’s impact on races that will determine control of Colorado state government?

Monday, August 8th, 2016

This is the moment for reporters to dig into Donald Trump’s impact on state legislative races in Colorado, and no races are more important than those in swing state senate districts, like Republican Laura Woods’ contest against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger and the race between GOP Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Doty and Democratic state Rep. Daniel Kagan.

Both Woods and Doty have said they’ll back Trump, with Woods enthusiastically calling Trump the “people’s candidate.”

But reporters have yet to question Doty in any substantive way about her support for Trump. We have more than a hint that Doty thinks highly of Trump, because Doty called Sarah Palin’s July 12 endorsement speech of Trump “spot on,” and Doty said she “really enjoyed hearing Trump himself speak.

“I thought Sarah Palin was right on, just spot on! She was very, very good – brought a clear message that people need to get on board.  And I really enjoyed hearing [Donald] Trump,” Doty told KNUS 710-AM host Julie Hayden when asked for her “thoughts” on the speeches.

If Republicans lose their one-seat majority in the state senate, Democrats will likely control state government. So the stakes are high for Doty and Woods.

In a light-hearted attempt to encourage reporters to ask Doty about her “spot-on” Sarah comment, I offer this video:

Libertarian presidential candidate’s spokesman responds to Woods’ “gun grabber” comment

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

In a post yesterday, I reported that Arvada State Sen. Laura Woods referred to Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and his running mate as “gun grabbers.”

Woods’ comment was confusing because Johnson is an uncompromising gun proponent, opposing virtually every gun-safety proposal out there, including proposals to stop suspected terrorists, whose names appear of the federal “no-fly” list, from buying guns.

Informed of Woods’ gun-grabber comment, Joe Hunter, a spokesman for Johnson, said Woods may be upset about Johnson’s willingness to have a “conversation” about how to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

“There is no gun grabbing going on here,” said Johnson, adding that Woods’ attack may be “coming from” her opposition to Johnson’s statements about guns and the mentally ill.

Hunter: “Johnson has acknowledged that when someone is clearly mentally ill and clearly capable of doing harm to others and him or herself, [Johnson] has said we should have a conversation about how to handle that, about what to do about that.”

Woods still won’t return my call seeking to know if this is, in fact, why she called Johnson a gun grabber, so we’re forced to speculate.

Woods, who’s running against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger to represent the Arvada/Westminster senate district, stated on Facebook:

Woods: “Dana Kirsch (sp?) Said Johnson isn’t any different than Obama on 2A. How is that a libertarian idea? I’ll never vote for him.”

A search for what “Dana Kirsch” wrote about Johnson, Obama, and the Second Amendment turned up nothing, but I struck gold with “Dana Loesch,” a right-wing gun extremist and talk radio host who tweeted a sentence very similar to Woods’ comment on Facebook:

Loesch: “I’ll post the audio of my past interview with Gary Johnson on 2A. His answers were in line with Obama’s positions on the issue.”

Loesch: “I see a lot of people talking Gary Johnson but after I interviewed him on 2A I found he’s not much different from Obama on gun laws.”

So, it’s pretty clear Woods was actually referring to Loesch, who is also upset with Johnson’s willingness to have a conversation about guns and the mentally ill.

So, by extension, it looks like Woods’ beef with Johnson is about guns and the mentally ill. She sides with Loesch in wanting no conversation about that topic.

I can’t figure out any other reason Woods would be mad at Johnson over his stance on guns, and she won’t return my call to settle the matter.

Why is Laura Woods attacking a candidate who, like her, opposes gun safety laws

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Woods Calls Libertarian a Gun GrabberIn a Facebook post last week, State Sen. Laura Woods referred to Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and his running mate as “gun grabbers.”

A Republican from Arvada/Westminster, Woods has made no secret of her hard stance against all gun safety laws, including her opposition to Colorado billls requiring mandatory criminal background checks on people purchasing guns.

She also opposes a Colorado law limiting the number of bullets a person can load into a gun at one time. Woods wants gun to be allowed to hold, for example, 100 bullets if the shooter wanted.

And on Woods’ website, she emphasizes her belief that all people should be allowed to openly carry a gun in public, without concealing it and without obtaining a permit. Woods’ website explains that she favors passing bills enacting this extreme pro-gun position, called “constitutional carry” legislation.

But the strange part is, Libertarian Johnson, whom Woods called a gun grabber, seems to be just about as far from a “gun grabber” as you could possibly imagine, having once told Slate Magazine, “I don’t believe there should be any restrictions when it comes to firearms. None.”

Johnson recently told USA TODAY he supports gun sales to suspected terrorists who can’t fly on airplanes because they’re on America’s terrorist watch list. And Johnson opposes a ban on automatic weapons.

Yet, Woods thinks Johnson is a gun grabber?

That’s a term used to describe someone who is believed to favor government confiscation of guns from ordinary citizens.

What could Johnson possibly say that would make him sufficiently opposed to basic gun safety to meet Woods’ standards for gun craziness?

Woods wants total-freedom-to-own-and-buy-guns, but so does Johnson, as you’d expect from a Libertarian, who sees these safety measures as an intrusion on privacy. Woods doesn’t return my calls, so I’ll leave it to another reporter to find out what she’s thinking.

Meanwhile, Woods’ views on guns will likely not fly so well in her Arvada/Westminster swing district, where she faces a challenge from Democrat Laura Zenzinger.

An overwhelming 80 percent of Coloradans support background checks for all gun purchases, and 60 percent support limits on the number of bullets allowed in a gun’s bullet holder, called a magazine, according to a Denver Post poll.

“I’m really disappointed in you, Senator. Promoting the lie that Gary Johnson is a gun grabber,” commented Stacy Petty, a former conservative talk-radio host in response to Woods’ Facebook post. “You need to check your facts before you post.”

But Woods holds to her extreme stance on guns, despite its apparent unpopularity, just as she stands behind her extreme position against abortion, even for a women who was raped.

“If you’ve looked at my voting record at all, what you will know is I’m an independent thinker,” Woods told Denver Post reporter John Frank in January.

“Republicans like Laura Woods see their party falling apart, and they are doing everything they can to trash anyone else who might potentially take away votes from whatever consevative base they might have,” said Hans Romer, the Libertarian candidate running against Woods and Zenzinger. “Laura Woods is playing politics.”

The outcome of Woods race against Zenzinger will likely determine control of state government, political analysts say, as Republicans hold a slim one-seat majority in the state senate. Democrats already control the governor’s office, and it’s likely they’ll retain control of the state house, after November’s election.

Stacy Petty Calls out Laura Woods

This post was updated with a comment from Romer.

Woods’ strategy of standing behind her right-wing positions deserves more media scrutiny

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Woods shares video opposing abortion for incest

State Sen. Laura Woods continues to differentiate herself from Colorado Republicans, like U.S. Senator Cory Gardner and Rep. Mike Coffman, who’ve tried to disavow their extreme anti-choice records–or dodge questions about abortion.

Woods, on the other hand, has embraced a personhood abortion ban, with no exceptions for rape and incestthroughout her political career, starting in the 2014 primary and general election and continuing at the Capitol, where she not only sponsored a abortion-ban legislation but also a bill requiring women to be offered an ultrasound prior to having an abortion (and also to wait 24 hours before having the procedure).

Today, as in July 21, 2016, the stakes are higher than ever. Woods’ district will likely determine control of Colorado state government, and Woods isn’t doing the Buckpedal–or whatever you want to call the dance senatorial candidate Ken Buck, Gardner and Coffman have performed as they tried to distance themselves from right-wing positions they’d taken during their careers.

Woods, a Republican from Westminster/Arvada, isn’t trying to hide her opposition to all abortion, even for incest, even though political observers say it will hurt her in November.

Take, for example, the video Woods shared on Facebook this week from LiveAction, a anti-choice group.

It shows a woman who’s asked the question, “Do you support aborting the child if it was a case of incest?” (at 2:55 here)

“Yeah,” she replies.

Then the woman is pictured watching a video of an abortion, which convinces her that abortion should not be allowed in cases of incest.

Woods does not return my calls, so I can’t talk to her about the video or whether she thinks her no-compromise stance against abortion, even for incest, will help her hold back a challenge from pro-choice Democrat Rachel Zenzinger in November.

But, judging from other interviews, it appears that Woods thinks she need not take middle-of-the-road positions to win in her swingiest of swing districts, where she won by 650 votes in the Republican wave year of 2014. She’s vowed to stand by her conservative principles.

Woods’ anti-Buckpedal dance, which you could call a form of political chest thumping, deserves more media scrutiny than it’s getting.