Archive for the 'Colorado State Legislature' Category

Boyles continues to deny that Hudak-recall leader called Tom Mauser a Nazi

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

KNUS talk-radio host Peter Boyles has yet to acknowledge that a leader of the Hudak-recall effort, Mike McAlpine, during an appearance on Boyles’ show, referred to pro-Hudak protesters as Nazis.

Boyles even attacked gun-safety activist Tom Mauser for saying, correctly, that McAlpine called Mauser a Nazi.

I called KNUS recently to talk with Boyles about it, and here’s what he said:

Jason: You accused [gun-safety activist Tom] Mauser of lying about McAlpine saying Brownshirts.

Boyles: I said Brownshirt! I said Brownshirt!

Jason: No, you didn’t. Listen to the tape.

Boyles: Of course I did.

This is so bizarre because the audio clearly confirms that McAlpine called the protesters “Brownshirts,” and he was even called out on it by The Denver Post.

Boyles was apparently unaffected by a Oct. 28 news release from the Anti-Defamation League, calling the Brownshirts comment “deeply offensive” and asking “McAlpine, Boyles, and all public figures and community members to refrain from making inappropriate Nazi analogies in the political arena.”

I thought maybe McAlpine could straighten out Boyles himself, so I’ve been emailing and calling him, asking him to acknowledge his Nazi slur and explain it. Twice I got McAlpine on the phone, and twice he told me to send him emails. (I sent them, and he didn’t respond.)

Here’s what McAlpine told me today.

Jason: So I just want to clear up this issue on the Peter Boyles Show. Boyles is saying that he said that the protesters were Brownshirts, but I heard the tape and it sounded like you said it. And I’m wondering if you said it.

McAlpine: You’d be welcome to send me an email on that, and I’d be glad to respond.

Jason: I did a couple times, and you didn’t.

McAlpine: Ok.

Jason: Real quick. Did you say that the protesters were Brownshirts?

McAlpine: You are welcome to send me an email.

I’ve received a number of emails saying Boyles shouldn’t be allowed to get away with his baseless attack on Mauser, in particular. But he is.

Media omission: Hudak-recall leaders lash out at fellow Republicans for “obstructing” their efforts

Friday, November 8th, 2013

CLARIFICATION 11-10-2013: The Colorado Statesman’s Peter Marcus originally reported that Recall Hudak Too hired two young staffers who are involved in the signature-gathering effort, but Marcus found no evidence at the time (Marcus’ article was published Oct. 28.) that Kennedy Enterprises was on the payroll. He also reported that RMGO promised financial support.

UPDATE 11-9-13: Here’s a some evidence that McAlpine’s organization, Recall Hudak Too, has money for signature gathering. It might be gearing up in case money comes in, of course. But signs point to a paid effort.


The tone of the Hudak-recall organizers was one of forced optimism this morning, as they told KNUS’ Peter Boyles that they’re “just over half way” to their target goal of signatures, and they blamed Colorado GOP Chair Ryan Call and Colorado Republican leaders for obstructing their efforts and turning fellow Republicans against them.

Recall leader Mike McAlpine said Call is “impeding” and “obstructing” the recall, and doing so “to intimidate [Republican] supporters into not supporting a winning issue.”

Sounding hurt, fellow recall organizer Laura Waters said that, thanks to Ryan Call’s comments, “at certain doors and in certain phone calls, we’re even fighting against our own party.”

In numerous morning appearances on KNUS, McAlpine and Waters have avoided attacking fellow Republicans, but on air today, the anger in their voices was deeper and more explosive when they talked about Republicans than it was when they discussed recall target Sen. Evie Hudak.

Listen to McAlpine and Waters on KNUS 11-8-13

Waters got particularly angry when she talked about receiving a fundraising call Monday from the Republican Party telling her that maybe the State GOP would be organizing recall campaigns.

Waters: “[The GOP phone caller] told me that maybe they would be doing some recalls. But what I think is, they were throwing that word [recall] out there. It’s a buzz word that they know will help raise money.”

McAlpine added that he received an email from the Colorado GOP and Ryan Call “saying by insinuation. ‘Pueblo recall was us; Colorado Springs recall was us; grassroots efforts are us.’ It could not be farther from the truth.”

“Here’s the problem we have,” said Waters. “It seems like it’s just us. It’s us. It’s RMGO.”

Yesterday, I pointed out that the Colorado Statesman and The Denver Post published conflicting information about whether paid staff has been hired to gather signatures for the Hudak recall effort, with the Colorado Statesmen’s Peter Marcus reporting McAlpine as saying that  “his group has not paid a petition-gathering firm.” The Denver Post’s Kurtis Lee, citing anonymous sources, reported that Kennedy Enterprises is on the payroll.

Statesman reporter Peter Marcus defended his reporting in an email to me yesterday, writing that he asked McAlpine if “Kennedy or any other paid gatherers were collecting signatures at all, and that’s when [McAlpine] told me about the two paid staffers. But they’re teenagers, if I remember correctly, so nothing significant.”

Marcus wrote:

I also asked what RMGO has done for them, and they said pledged financial support.

[Recall organizers] also said that paid petition gatherers isn’t off the table. But this was a few weeks ago.

I’ve been pretty hands on. I’ve been to the house they’re organizing at, I’ve been on the street corners with them — there has not seemed to be a paid petition effort. I also live in the district, and I haven’t seen anything but what looks like volunteers on the street. But it’s been a couple weeks now since I’ve really paid attention. Maybe they’ve hired someone at this point.

I don’t know where Kurtis got his info, but it didn’t match what I was told at the time I was writing my story. I’m not sure if he’s actually been down on the street like I have, but I just have had no indication that they’re paying for signatures. I saw how they were organizing at the house they’re working out of in Arvada, and these guys were volunteers. Granted, many of them are not from the district, but there’s nothing illegal there. These recalls have become more than just district issues, I think everyone knows that. If the Democrats can raise millions from Bloomberg and D.C., then I don’t see why recall proponents should be criticized for utilizing help outside the district.

I just checked out their disclosures on TRACER, and they’ve raised about $23,000, with only $358 in non-monetary items. There’s nothing in their expenditures that shows paying for petition gathering. I also don’t see any contributions from RMGO, or any organizations like that. Their effort looks a lot like the one down in Pueblo, which was mostly grassroots.

I also don’t see any expenditures in the RMGO PAC to the recall effort.

They could funnel donations through a C4, but if Recall Hudak Too takes the contributions, they would at least have to list the C4 on their disclosures. So, if RMGO makes a contribution for petition gathering, or any other organization, then it would be listed on the disclosure as a non-monetary contribution, as was the case in Colorado Springs for the recall effort there. I Am Created Equal donated for Kennedy and it was listed as a non-monetary contribution of like $64,000, or something like that.

If Marcus is right, and he makes a convincing case here that paid signature gatherers are not a factor now, you begin to understand the desperation in the voices of Hudak-recall organizers on the radio this morning.

Journos should clear up conflicting reporting on whether Hudak recall campaign is using paid signature gatherers

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

If you’ve been following the effort to recall State Sen. Evie Hudak, you know that conservative honchos, including the Independence Institute’s Dave Kopel and Morse-recall spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns, have expressed skepticism about whether the Hudak recall campaign can collect enough signatures to put the recall measure on the ballot.

The uphill battle to gather signatures would obviously be even steeper without the help of paid signature gatherers from Kennedy Enterprises, which was hired to manage the signature-gathering campaign in the Morse recall effort.

Political journalists should sort out the conflicting reporting over whether Kennedy is involved this time around in the Hudak recall. This is a critical piece of the recall story that shouldn’t dangle in a fog of contradictions.

In  in an article Oct. 28, the Colorado Statesman’s Peter Marcus reported:

Statesman: “Contrary to some reports, McAlpine said his group has not paid a petition-gathering firm. In Colorado Springs, proponents used Kennedy Enterprises.”

Marcus was likely referring to reporting by The Denver Post’s Kurtis Lee, who reported Oct. 23:

Post: But sources close to the recalls confirmed Tuesday that McAlpine is using Colorado Springs-based Kennedy Enterprises, the firm that paid volunteers to gather signatures in the Morse recall.

Of course, it’s possible that McAlpine had hired Kennedy Enterprises, but dropped the consulting firm after reading accusations, published in The Post’s story, that Kennedy has not required “background checks of employees” sent door-to-door.

It’s also possible that Rocky Mountain Gun Owners or some other political group allied with McAlpine is the one paying Kennedy to gather signatures.

We don’t know but it’s important for journalists to lay out the facts on the table.

With Boyles’ encouragement, Tancredo says he’s “not sorry” for flipping off protesters

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

On Sunday, ColoradoPols posted a video of GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo flipping off protesters gathered in opposition to the recall of State Sen. Evie Hudak.

Tancredo discussed the birdie video on KNUS’ Peter Boyles show Tuesday, and Boyles had the chance to encourage his friend Tancredo to apologize for un-gubernatorial behavior.

Instead, Boyles essentially begged him not to apologize and was quite pleased when Tancredo said bluntly, “No, I am not sorry.”

Tancredo: Really and truly, I mean, I am not happy.

Boyles: Do not say you’re sorry! Do not, Tom.

Tancredo [laughing]:  Happy is what I said.

Boyles: Please don’t say you’re sorry.

Tancredo: No, I am not sorry.

Boyles: Don’t say you’re sorry.

Tancredo: It’s just that these people have been harassing these folks for days now. It’s lucky it didn’t turn into something else, to tell you the truth.

Boyles: That’s good.

Listen to Boyles and Tancredo discuss the flipping-off incident

Later, Tancredo reiterated his non-apology in a great story on Channel 4.

Obviously, Boyles should apologize himself to Tancredo for begging him not to apologize, and then they both should swear off future craziness like this, right?

Good questioning in radio interview raises more doubts about secession

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, who’s been pushing for rural counties to secede from Colorado, admitted in a radio interview last week that “first and foremost” his secessionist campaign aims to let the world know “there’s a problem,” and, aside from secession, he’s got “ideas and suggestions to move this ball forward,” including ideas about how urban and rural leaders  “communicate with each other.” 

But wait! Conway is allegedly so fed up with the State Legislature that he’s ready to walk away from Colorado. How could there possibly be any middle ground left?

That’s what Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner, who interviewed Conway Oct. 29, asked him. And here’s Conway’s response:

Conway:  …I have conversations with a lot of folks who much more liberal than I am, come from a different party than I belong to.  And you know what I found?  When you sit down and you actually engage in a dialogue with people, the thing you quickly find out is there are about 80% of the things you can agree upon.   But what happens is, we spend all of our time on the 20% that we disagree on.  And we don’t spend any time on the 80% of the issues that we agree upon.  

Warner:  Sean, you know what surprises me is that you’re someone who believes so strongly in coming to the table, but you’re someone who’s advocating for leaving the table.  I’m trying to square those two things about you.

Warner put it nicely, and gently.

Another way of putting it is, do you really walk away from the table when you agree with your opponents 80 percent of the time? Shit, I don’t even agree with my allies that often. Or my wife.

I don’t agree with myself 80 percent of the time.

For reporters, Conway’s 80-percent statement again raises questions about why he’d lead a fight for secession, which is clearly an extreme move, the nuclear option. It smells overwhelmingly like a media stunt, no? Why doesn’t Conway try harder to get along?

These are questions that should come up tonight as the secession election results are analyzed.

Media omission: Recall leader’s acknowledgement of “slow week” may confirm Kopel’s prediction that Hudak-recall a “tall hill to climb”

Friday, November 1st, 2013

On Channel 12′s “Colorado Inside Out” Friday, , the Independence Institute’s Dave Kopel, whose gun connections run deep, said it’s a “tall hill to climb” for the Hudak-recall campaign to collect 19,000 signatures required to trigger a vote on the recall measure.

Today, speaking on KNUS radio, Hudak-recall spokeswoman Laura Waters (appearing with her colleague Mike McAlpine) confirmed Kopel’s prediction, saying that her campaign has been struggling up hill of late.

Waters @32:00: Well, we’ve had a little bit of a slow week, a little bit of weather, a little big of distraction, a little bit of opposition. And so we’re a little bit behind right now in our numbers where we want to be. The rumor mill is floating that we’re turning in our petitions next week. That could not be further from the truth. We’re not ready. We’re not there yet.

Listen McAlpine and Waters on KNUS 11-1-2013

On Channel 12, during the top-rated (by me) public affairs show, “Colorado Inside Out,” Kopel said: “It’s tough because Hudak was elected in a presidential-election cycle year. The minimum number of signatures you need as a fraction of the votes you got is much higher. It’s a tall hill to climb.”

Kopel, whose libertarian Independence Institute opposes Colorado’s new gun-safety laws, said it’s up to Dudley Brown’s Rocky Mountain Gun Owners to perform the “large feat” of collecting the signatures.

Kopel: “We will see if his organization [Rocky Mountain Gun Owners] has the on-the-ground competence to do large feat of signature gathering,” said Kopel.



Reporters should note that Hudak-recall leader registered to vote in Hudak’s district the day after the recall-petition drive officially started

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Reporters covering the Hudak-recall campaign should note Wednesday’s Spot blog post by the Denver Post’s Kurtis Lee, reporting that a “leader in an effort to recall Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak registered as a voter in the lawmaker’s district Oct. 5 — a day after organizers were certified by the secretary of state to begin gathering signatures to have the recall placed on the ballot.”

Lee wrote:

Mike McAlpine was a registered Republican from Boulder, but on Oct. 5 he changed his voter address and party affiliation to unaffiliated, according to Colorado voter records. His new address is the same Arvada address as Laura Woods, the woman who on Oct. 4 had the recall petition format certified by the secretary of state.

McAlpine could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

The newly registered Arvada voter — and Hudak constituent — told The Denver Post in a recent article, “We’re not being heard. We have legislation without any real representation.”

Reporters should also note that McAlpine wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill Boulder Republican before suddenly becoming an extroverted unaffiliated voter in Arvada.

McAlpine was a Boulder Republican precinct leader as recently as February, 2012.

This might explain McAlpine’s apparent ties to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Association Director Dudley Brown, a well-known GOP operative. McAlpine’s new Arvada voter-registration address, 7034 Carr Street, was cited in an email from Brown as the staging ground for the first day of Hudak-recall convassing.

In a “A Personal Note from Dudley Brown,” Brown emailed supporters:

“The Recall Hudak Too group will be starting to gather signatures TOMORROW, Saturday, October 5th [BigMedia note: This is the same date McAlpine registered to vote in Hudak's distict]. Here are the details: Recall Hudak Too, Saturday, October 5th, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., 7034 Carr Street [BigMedia note:This is McAlpine's voter-registration address], Arvada, CO 80004.

Bottom line: Going forward, journalists reporting on the Hudak recall should state, when quoting spokesman McAlpine, that McAlpine registered to vote in Hudak’s district the day after the Hudak recall officially started.

It’s obviously relevant information because it brings into question the legitimacy of McAlpine’s complaints about Hudak, since he hasn’t even been one of her voting constituents. This information deserves to be kept front and center in recall campaign coverage.

Boyles bullies Mauser into retracting Mauser’s factual statement that Hudak-recall leader called Mauser a Nazi

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

In an editorial Monday, The Denver Post slammed  Mike McAlpine, a leader of the Evie-Hudak-recall campaign, for calling pro-Hudak protesters Nazi “Brownshirts,” which, The Post pointed out, is “particularly ill-suited because Hudak  is Jewish.”

Gun-safety activist Tom Mauser, who lost a child at Columbine, was one of those protesters, and, appearing on Boyle’s show Friday (Audio 1 at 30:00), he objected to being called a Nazi. McAlpine originally delivered the “Brownshirts” comment on Peter Boyles KNUS show Oct. 21.

Continuing his free-fall from respectability, Boyles told Mauser that McAlpine did not level the “Brownshirts” attack, and then Boyles bullied Mauser into retracting his statement that McAlpine used the term “Brownshirts”, even though McAlpine did, in fact, say on Boyles’ show that pro-Hudak protesters were “Brownshirts.”

After enduring Boyles for too long, Mauser departed from the show, and guess who joined Boyles? McAlpine!

Boyles told McAlpine all about his conversation with Mauser, telling McAlpine directly that the “word ‘Brownshirt’ was never used by you.” (Click on Audio 2 here)

Not a word emerged from McAlpine’s mouth to correct Boyles, even though Laura Waters, another leader of the Hudak recall campaign, told Boyles: “Thank you for that clarification.  It wasn’t [McAlpine who said "Brownshirts."]

Boyles hasn’t responded to my emails asking for an on-air correction.

If he made one, I haven’t heard it, and his treatment of Mauser was so gross, and it’s even worse if you hear the audio (Audio 1 beginning at 30:00), you might want to join me in trying to get Boyles to apologize: Email him:

You can see the entire transcript of this exchange by clicking here, and I’ve pasted some of the worst of it below:

BOYLES:  Would you retract that from Mike [McAlpine]?  That’s all I’m asking.  [audio thud]  Tom?

MAUSER:  Would I retract it?

BOYLES:  Yeah.  Would you retract that he didn’t say that.

MAUSER:  He did say “Brownshirts”.

BOYLES:  No, he didn’t.

MAUSER:  What did he say?

BOYLES:  Well, I don’t –. Hey, I – a caller said “brownshirts.” I remember it.  You want to get Mike [McAlpine] – call Mike up.

MAUSER:  Oh, okay, Oh, it was a caller that said it?

BOYLES:  Yeah.  A caller said it.  He didn’t say it….

Boyles tells Mauser toward the end of the exchange:  You know what you’ve turned into?  You’ve turned into one of those people I can’t speak to anymore because you keep coming up with things that aren’t true!…

Later  in the show, with McAlpine and Laura Waters (Click on Audio 2 here):

Boyles: …We had quite a knockdown, drag out with tom Mauser this morning

Boyles tells McAlpine: First of all,  I need to make this clear, because I was making it clear to [Mauser], the word “Brownshirt” was never used by you and “goon” was never used by you.   And his first accusation was you said those things.  And I said no, that you had not said those things.  That in fact, the word “goon” was me, and I think a caller – when we were naming the crew of people to help, and somebody used “brownshirt”, but it certainly wasn’t you.

WATERS:  Thank you for that clarification.  It wasn’t.

BOYLES:  And he came in loaded for bear {?}  to talk about “Brownshirt”  And I said, “First things first.  I said ‘goon’ and ‘Brownshirt’ was made by a listener.”  And I asked him to make an apology to you, and it took a couple of minutes.

Media omission: Spokesperson for successful recall campaigns says Hudak recall an “uphill climb”

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Political reporters should have noted that the spokeswoman for two recent recall-election campaigns in Colorado said Sunday that a new recall effort targeting Democratic State Sen. Evie Hudak is an “uphill climb.”

Speaking on KNUS radio’s Backbone Radio Sunday, Kerns said:

“…I think that’s going to be an uphill climb to get [the 20,000 Hudak-recall signatures] qualified but, hey, I will not do what others did to us in the two recalls. I will not be a naysayer. And I do really wish them the best in qualifying that recall.”

Listen to Kerns say Hudak recall effort will be an “uphill climb”

I hate it when someone’s obviously a naysayer, and then they say they’re not a naysayer.

That’s the worse kind of naysayer, but probably the kind journalists should pay attention to, especially given Kerns’ credibility of having been on the front lines, from start to finish, of both successful recall campaigns in Colorado.

Kerns also said:

Kerns: The district of Evie Hudak is much more metropolitan, in the Denver metropolitan area, as opposed to Colorado Springs and Pueblo. So you’re going to have much more of that metropolitan Democrat Denver involvement…. A couple of other things I think they will find challenging in the Hudak recall is not only is that district more metropolitan Denver, but those 20,000 signatures are due Dec. 3, and we are quickly approaching Nov. 1.

Talk-Radio Host Matt Dunn: That’s a lot.

Kerns: So they have 30 more days to get those.

Partial transcript of appearance by Jennifer Kerns on KNUS Oct. 27

Kerns: I think this one is going to be a little bit of a tougher climb than the first two recalls were. For example, more signatures will be required just to place this on the ballot.

Dunn: A lot more.

Kerns: A lot more, about 20,000 signatures required, just to qualify this for the ballot. That’s not even including then the campaign that has to be run against her. So that, I think, is the first challenge. The district of Evie Hudak is much more metropolitan, in the Denver metropolitan area, as opposed to Colorado Springs and Pueblo. So you’re going to have much more of that metropolitan Democrat Denver involvement…. A couple of other things I think they will find challenging in the Hudak recall is not only is that district more metropolitan Denver, but those 20,000 signatures are due Dec. 3, and we are quickly approaching Nov. 1.

Dunn: That’s a lot.

Kerns: So they have 30 more days to get those. Now I know they’re working hard. they’re out there. They’re on street corners. They’re in shopping centers. They’ve got the support of groups like the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. But I think that’s going to be an uphill climb to get that qualified but, hey, I will not do what others did to us in the two recalls. I will not be a naysayer. And I do really wish them the best in qualifying that recall.\

Listen to Kerns say Hudak recall effort will be an “uphill climb”

Raise your hand if you think Boyles objected when his guest called recall opponents Nazis

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Speaking on a radio show yesterday, Mike McAlpine, one of the leaders of the effort to recall Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak, called Hudak supporters Nazis.

“I mean, these people – the Brownshirts — have been doing it for decades and decades,” McAlpine told KNUS’ Peter Boyles yesterday morning, referring to Hudak supporters he encountered over the weekend in the Westminster area. “You and I recognize it.” (Listen to McAlpine on Peter Boyles Oct. 21 @ 1:30)

Raise your hand if you think Boyles, who surely knows how the paramilitary “Brownshirt” Nazis helped Hitler gain power, objected.

Seeing no hands raised, I’ll tell you that Boyles chose to respond with a breathless: “Yeah! Yeah!”

Boyles offered to create a “goon squad” to support the Hudak-recall petitioners. He’ll post photos on the KNUS website to identify recall opponents and where they live, he said.

“Look, I’ve said this a thousand times: If the progressive gets his/her hands on the helm you can start to say goodbye to 1st amendment, 2nd amendment, the 4th amendment, the 5th amendment,” Boyles said on air.

As for evidence of Nazi activity in Westminster against Hudak opponents, there is none. Over the weekend, “Alan” on ColoradoPols posted a video of a discussion among activists and police during which recall supporters could cite no evidence of voter intimidation, much less Nazi brutality.

On Boyles’ show this morning, McAlpine again made accusations of voter intimidation but there was no documentation, other than an inconclusive photo on Boyles’ web page, which could be interpreted any which way.

McAlpine said that after his complaints on Boyles’ show Monday, and to the Secretary of State’s Office, police are responding more quickly to his complaints.

That’s good. Because Boyles spent a lot of air time today promoting his goon-squad idea. You wish you didn’t have to take Boyles seriously, but you do.