Archive for the 'Colorado State Legislature' Category

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.
Page 2
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

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!

Owner of coffee shop next door to recall office regrets talking to Denver Post

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

When the campaign to recall State Sen. Evie Hudak was ramping up in October, Denver Post reporter Kurtis Lee interviewed John Golay, owner of Cuporado Coffee, which is located next door to the now-empty offices of the recall organizers.

Golay told Lee the recall activists had been kind to him and boosted his business.

“But I’m not signing the petition,” Golay told Lee. “The issue of guns is a polarizing issue that blows partisanship up even more, and I hear where they’re coming from. But massacres like Aurora hit a little too close to home. Something had to change.”

Lee’s article amassed over 350 comments, but this one by cowboyxjon caught my eye:

“Now that we know that the owner of Cuporado Coffee supports gun control, we will no longer patronize his business. I encourage the Recall Hudak crew to do the same.”

Last week, I drove out to Cuporado Coffee, located in a strip mall on Simms and 64th Ave. in the Denver suburb of Arvada, to find out if the recall activists had boycotted Golay’s business after Lee’s article appeared.

Golay told me some anti-Hudak folks came by and told him they’d stop patronizing his business because of what he’d said in the newspaper. And some anti-Hudak regulars from the recall office next door stopped buying coffee, he said.

At the same time, his business didn’t see any upsurge in business from pro-Hudak, gun-safety activists, or progressives who might have appreciated his comments, he told me.

Golay explained to the anti-Hudak people that he’d mostly wanted to tell The Denver Post about how he wished schools had more money to help kids who need it, like his own three autistic children. He hadn’t intended to take sides, and he regrets talking to Lee, he told them.

His recall neighbors accepted this, and after an initial tense period of time, business pretty much returned to normal, he said. Per an agreement with the landlord, the people in the Hudak-Recall office used the bathroom in his coffee shop. And they bought coffee.

They also continued to push Golay to sign their recall petition, but he never did.

I told Golay I admired him for that and for his courage in talking to Kurtis Lee in the first place.

He seemed to appreciate my support, but he told me he’d rather The Denver Post had quoted him as saying this:

“Why can’t we take the money on both sides–recalling or not recalling Hudak–and just put it into the local issues that need money–schools and roads. We could make our community better. I see struggling families. I see struggling businesspeople like me who want to make money to feed their families. Just a drop in the bucket would go a long way.”

Golay hasn’t seen anyone from the Recall-Hudak office since it closed.

“They weren’t locals,” he says. “A lot of them were from the mountains. Or Aurora. Most of them didn’t live here. They were hired guns.”

Golay told me he’s not sure his business will survive, and he may be forced to go back to bartending and waiting tables.

He’s not blaming the recall organizers or The Denver Post, but he says having them next door and being quoted in newspaper didn’t make running his business any easier.

John Golay behind the Counter at Cuporado Coffee



Media omission: Name a billionaire who wrote a check to the recall. Charles Koch

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Asked by a caller on Saturday to name a conservative billionaire who donated to the recall campaigns of Senators John Morse and Angela Giron, KVOR radio host Jeff Crank replied, “Charles Koch.”

This caught my attention because Koch’s name hadn’t appeared on any recall donation lists that I’d seen.

You’d think Crank would know about Koch, though it’s not a certainty, because Crank was a Colorado state director and (briefly) chief operating officer of the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, until he left in July to start his own political consulting company, Aegis Strategy.

Via Twitter I asked Crank to explain which recall activities were funded by Koch, and he vehemently denied saying that Koch contributed to the recall campaign at all, tweeting that my take on the conversation was a “total misquote.”

“I mentioned [the] Kochs write checks to defend freedom,” Crank tweeted yesterday. “Didn’t say wrote checks in recall. Listen carefully at 1:55.”

I listened again, and so can you below, and I heard Crank say the Koch brothers are funding “freedom,” but I also heard a caller ask Crank to “name one [billionaire] that wrote a check in the recall!” And Crank replied, “Charles Koch.”

CALLER RON:  It was the billionaires that came after our guns.  So, should we go after the billionaires? 

CRANK:  And it’s also the billionaires that are funding freedom.

CALLER RON:  Name one!

CRANK:  –that are funding—I’ll name ya some!

CALLER RON:  Name one!

CRANK:  Sure!  Charles Koch!  David Koch!

CALLER RON:  Name one that wrote a check in the recall! 

CRANK: Charles Koch.

CALLER RON: Name one that wrote a $500,000 check in the recall.  Name one! 

CRANK:  They didn’t write personal checks. First of all, let me tell you.  Americans for Prosperity, Ron, did a heck of a lot more to help win on those issues than you’ll ever give them credit for! 

Asked to comment on Crank’s radio discussion, Luis Toro, Director of Colorado Ethics Watch, said via email that “Jeff Crank is admitting what we at Ethics Watch have been saying for years: Americans for Prosperity spends money on elections but uses a loophole to keep from having to disclose the money.”

Toro: “They did it in the Colorado Springs mayor’s race when Jeff Crank was the state director. They always say that they are just discussing the issues, not supporting or opposing candidates. They justify themselves by avoiding using words like ‘vote for the recall’ or ‘defeat John Morse.’ So by avoiding the ‘magic words’ and claiming not to have a position on the recall, they could spend as much money as they wanted on ads personally attacking Morse and Giron while at the same time pretending not to have a position on the recall vote. Crank is coming very close here to making a legally significant admission that AFP was spending to support the recall and should have reported where they got the money and how they spent it.”

Last week, the Sunlight Foundation released a list of groups that contributed to the Morse and Giron recall campaigns, and Americans For Prosperity didn’t appear on the list, including its list of TV ad buyers.

But the Sunlight Foundation notes that contributions by Americans for Prosperity wouldn’t have been reported if they were classified as “issue advertising.”

The Sunlight Foundation’s blog states: “Much of the money — how much isn’t really clear — spent by outside groups in the recall race came in the form of undisclosed dollars. There were no limits on contributions to these races and much of the advertising was classified as issue advertising and did not trigger official state reporting requirements. That meant that groups such as the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, on the pro-recall side, and Americans for Responsible Solutions, on the anti-recall slate, were active but did not report their spending to state authorities.”



Transcript of Dec. 14 exchange between caller “Ron” and KVOR radio host Jeff Crank about the political donations of Charles and David Koch

CALLER RON: If you want to show sides, it was the billionaires that came after our guns. So, should we go after the billionaires?

CRANK: And it’s also the billionaires that are funding freedom.

CALLER RON: Name one!

CRANK: –that are funding—I’ll name ya some!

CALLER RON: Name one!

CRANK: Sure! Charles Koch! David Koch!

CALLER RON: Name one that wrote a check in the recall!

CRANK: Charles Koch.

CALLER RON: Name one that wrote a $500,000 check in the recall. Name one!

CRANK: They didn’t write personal checks. First of all, let me tell you. Americans for Prosperity, Ron, did a heck of a lot more to help win on those issues than you’ll ever give them credit for!

CALLER RON: Well, tell us!

CRANK: Because you think it’s – I –

CALLER RON: Tell us!

CRANK: I’ve been telling you!

CALLER RON: There was $500,000 given. $360,000 was the NRA! Where was the billionaires on our side, Jeff?

CRANK: Oh, Ron! Ron, listen! First of all, I’m not even going to get in it with ya, because you just think that –. The only issue you ever want to talk about, Ron, is guns!

CALLER RON: You brought it up with the recall!

CRANK: But you think the only people out there that do anything in politics are the gun people! And you’re wrong!



Asked if he’d photograph a gay wedding, State Sen. says it would depend “on the circumstances”

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Correction: An earlier version of this blog post stated that Sen. Kevin Lundberg would not photograph a gay wedding. In fact, he told me in a telephone interview that it would “depend on the circumstances.”


State Sen. Kevin Lundberg told a KLZ radio audience Dec. 12 that he relates to the Colorado baker who, by court order, must bake a cake for a gay wedding even though the baker says it violates his Christian beliefs.

“I actually do some photography, and I’ve shot a few weddings,” Lundberg said on the radio, explaining that a similar case involved a wedding photographer in another state. “And I can see a very close parallel between baking a cake for a wedding or shooting pictures for a wedding. And I can tell you that there’s no way I could enter into shooting a wedding without doing my best to condone everything that occurred there.” [BigMedia emphasis]

“You’re trying to get the best [photo] shots,” Lundberg continued. “You’re trying to tell the story. And you’re trying to promote the event. You’ve been hired by the couple, by the family, to make this statement. To do a wedding cake, it’s not just a cake. It’s a very strong symbol of the ceremony and the process that’s occurring.”

Lundberg, a Republican, appeared on KLZ to express his displeasure with Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, who told Lundbergduring a legislative hearing last week that his office would continue to side with the gay couple, not the baker, because Colorado’s public accommodation law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“This baker considers it an artistic statement when he’s baking a wedding cake,” Lundberg said on air. “Somebody said, ‘Come on. It’s just a cake.’ Well, the business is actually called Masterpiece Bakeshop.  It’s quite obvious they consider their bakery items a work of art. And if that isn’t something that would qualify under freedom of speech, I’m not sure what would.”

In his summary-judgment ruling against the Masterpiece baker, Colorado Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer addressses Lundberg’s argument as well as others in favor of the baker that you find floating around the talk-radio airwaves. Read his decision here. The complaint against the baker was initially filed by the ACLU of Colorado.

“Some legislators would insist, ‘Keep your religion out of the State House,’” Lundberg told KLZ guest host Stacy Petty, going beyond the wedding-cake issue. “Well, I would say to them, ‘Keep your worldview out of the State House.’ And what do we have left? Nothing.”

Obviously, Lundberg sees religion everywhere, even if he’s not looking through his camera lens at a gay wedding.

Full story of Magpul’s gruesome CO connection to Sandy Hook has yet to be told

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Update 1/2/2013: A new chapter in the Magpul story unfolded today when the company announced, in a news release, that it’s moving its Colorado operations to Wyoming and Texas.

If company executives talk to reporters about the move, it would be a good time to bring up the unpleasant subject of Sandy Hook, where the shooter used a 30-round magazine made in Colorado.

Magpul declined to talk to reporters about the Newtown shooting when Connecticut State Police originally reported that a Magpul magazine was used.

And Magpul said nothing after photos were released Dec. 27, as part of a police report, showing its 30-round magazine at the crime scene. In the photos, you can read “Magpul Industries” and “PMAG 30″ on the magazine.

Maybe reporters in Wyoming and Texas will have better luck than journalists here in extracting a comment from Magpul about Sandy Hook and the magazines in these photos:

Police photo showing Magpul magazine used at Sandy Hook


















Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre, where 20 children were gunned down at Sandy-Hook Elementary School by a shooter using a 30-round bullet holder made in Colorado.

Erie-based Magpul Industries hasn’t commented on the fact that the Newtown shooter used its 30-round magazine at Sandy Hook—or on the possibility that the gunman might not have had a 30-round mag at all if a 15-round magazinelimit (opposed vehemently by Magpul) had been in place in Connecticut or nationally.

But Magpul has been anything but silent on gun-safety issues over the past year or so, as Colorado journalists have reported in bits and pieces. Here’s a quick look at what we know of the larger Magpul story.

Before it was known that a Magpul magazine was used at Sandy Hook, Magpul lobbied hard against Colorado’s proposed legislation to limit magazine capacity to 15 rounds, testifying in the same Feb. 12 and March 4 legislative hearings as Jean Dougherty, sister of the slain Newtown psychologist Mary Sherlach.

Opponents of Colorado’s gun-safety legislation embraced Magpul and promoted the company as their ally. During the debate about the magazine bill, Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman stated that a Magpul magazine had been used by Navy Seals to kill Osama bin Laden. Sen. Greg Brophy offered up his Capitol parking space to a Magpul promotional truck.

After the magazine limit became law, Magpul contributed 20,000 30-round magazines, decorated with a skull & crossbones, to a June 30 fundraising event for recall campaigns targeting State Senators John Morse and Angela Giron.

Of the 20,000 magazines donated by Magpul, 1,500 were given away, and the rest sold at the fundraiser for $10 each, with all proceeds going to an organization called Free Colorado, a newly formed 501c4 nonprofit advocating gun rights, with registered agent Katherine Kennedy who’s the agent for many Republican 527 and independent expenditure groups. Free Colorado announced that all funds from the Magpul rally would be spent specifically on the recall efforts of Morse and Giron.

At the event, held in Glendale, gun extremist Dana Loesch arrived in a Magpul helicopter to give away the free magazines and thrill the crowd.

Free Colorado kept its promise, running its own television ad against Morse and Giron. Television-station information reveals that Free Colorado purchased over $100,000 worth of cable and broadcast time for political ads targeting the recalls.

Of course, Magpul threatened to leave Colorado, if the Legislature passed gun-safety legislation, including a 15-round mag limit. The bills became law in March, but Magpul showed no signs of re-locating its manufacturing operations or, apparently, its political activities, though the company told the Boulder Daily Camera in October that the move is still planned.

So the Sandy Hook anniversary is coming up tomorrow, and as I wrote above, nothing has been heard from Magpul about its connection to the shooting. It appears that in March, a Magpul executive made rather crude references to Sandy Hook in online discussion forums, and the company issued a formal statement on its website after the shooting. And Magpul executive Duane Liptak, during a radio interview with Denver’s own Mike Rosen, addressed speculation about the possible use of a Magpul magazine at Sandy Hook.

There’s a lot for Magpul to reflect on, beyond its gruesome connection to Sandy Hook. I’m hoping a determined journalist has more luck than I’ve had getting through.