Archive for the 'Colorado State Legislature' Category

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.

BAUMGARDNER:  Yeah.

CLARK:  Okay? And you were ranked number one by Principles of Liberty.

BAUMGARDNER:  Yes.

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.

BAUMGARDNER:  Right.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

Media omission: State Republicans try to edit out internal dissent

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Do you remember this headline from The Denver Post Spot blog back in September?

“Upset Republicans propose chicken protest at Colorado GOP meeting Saturday”

It referred to an idea hatched by a group of Republicans to bring boxed chicken to a GOP gathering as a protest against State GOP Chair Ryan Call, who joined Democrats in criticizing a Republican legislator for talking about the “chicken” eating habits of the “black race.”

The protest never happened, but Ryan Call was so upset that the idea for such a protest would land in the hands of The Denver Post that he angrily passed out copies of The Post story at the Sept. meeting of the Republican Party’s Executive Committee and announced that he never wanted to see another article like it again.

During an hour-and-24-minute discussion about the chicken protest, Call angrily reprimanded CO GOP Secretary Lana Fore-Warkocz, who was accused, over her objections, of leaking the chicken-protest story to The Post. Never undermine the Republican Party again, she was told.

That is, according to the unedited, unofficial meeting minutes, written by Fore-Warkocz in her capacity as party secretary, and given to me by credible sources.

But the  Colorado Republican Party’s official minutes of the meeting, which are an edited version of Fore Warkocz’s notes and were also given to me by credible sources, tell a different story:

Official Republican Meeting Notes: “Certain matters concerning recent disclosures in the press, and the airing of disagreements between certain officers and members of the Executive Committee were candidly discussed. Officers and members of the Executive Committee were reminded of the importance of trust, unity, confidentiality and our role as leaders and members of the Executive Committee, and of our duties with respect to the Republican Party, but no formal action was taken.”

The unofficial meeting notes paint a different picture.

State GOP Secretary Fore-Warkocz’ Meeting Notes: “Chairman Call made it clear that I signed up to defend ALL Republicans, including McCain and Boehner, and if I didn’t like that, to check my bags at the door. Chairman Call said that folks like Jason Worley, Ken Clark, the Brattens, Debbie Healy and the Arnol’s are no friends of this party. Again, I was instructed to never undermine the family or the Republican Party again.”

Fore-Warkocz explained in her minutes that she had actually argued against the chicken protest.

But this didn’t stop Ryan Call from telling Fore-Warkocz that “trust and honesty” had been broken and from ordering Fore-Warkocz to notify him “immediately” if she’s invited to another meeting involving dissent (gasp) within the GOP.

“Senator Bill Cadman reiterated Chairman Call’s comments, and I was reprimanded for another 20 minutes,” according to Fore-Warkocz’ version of the meeting.

Fore-Warkocz’ notes state:

“[Committee member] Ellyn Hilliard explained that Ken [Clark] and Jason[Worley] are in it for the ratings and to not speak to them. I explained that I hadn’t.”

(Side note: As a media critic I was floored that anyone would think KLZ talk-radio hosts Ken Clark and Jason Worley are in it for the ratings! No one defends Sen. Vicki Marble for the ratings! You can defend Mylie Cyrus for the ratings. But talking on the radio about chicken or Marble or barbeque doesn’t do much for you. Unless you’re gunning for Tea-Party ratings, which still don’t do much for you.)

At the end of the executive committee meeting, Ryan Call presented a new branding campaign for the Republican Party.

The bold initiative replaces “Grand Old Party” with the smooth-and-easy phrase “Great Opportunity Party.”

“New brochures were presented, and all were very impressed with the new marketing materials,” according to the official minutes.

I get it. Dumping the word “old” will make the Republican Party young!

Just like whitewashing the notes from a contentious GOP meeting will make the Party get along?

Media omission: Gessler confirms Democrats will retain Hudak seat at least through next general election

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Speaking on KOA’s Mike Rosen Show Wed., Secretary of State Scott Gessler said that Colorado Democrats will hold State Sen. Evie Hudak’s seat at least until the next general election in Nov. 2014.

Rosen: So, all things being equal, the Democrats will retain their 18-17 majority in the State Senate through the 2014 session….

Gessler: “That’s correct. Unless someone wants to recall another state senator. But not that I’m advocating for that at the moment. But yeah, currently, that’s the way things are going to work out.  And the Democrats will retain their 18-17 majority. They will cling to it.”

Gessler’s comments, which were not reported by real journalists, are important because recall organizers pledged last week to forge on with signature gathering, hoping that somehow, some way, their efforts would lead to a recall election in Hudak’s Westminster district. Gessler’s comments appear to officially close the door on the Hudak recall campaign.

Media omission: Exposing criminal signature gatherers is “just another tactic of the left,” says Hudak recall organizer

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Yesterday on KNUS, a Hudak-recall leader said that facts, documented Wed. by Fox 31′s Eli Stokols, that a criminal is collecting signatures to put the recall measure on the ballot, are “just another tactic of the left.”

Yet, reporters should know, the two recall leaders, Mike McAlpine and Laura Waters, pledged not to hide from the public, and to be “up front” about the situation.

Here’s part of what they said at 48 min in the second hour of the Peter Boyles show Nov. 13.

Boyles: Laura and Mike, what are you going to do about this?

McAlpine: Well, we’re going to be in a position, Peter, where we have to check on this. We need to make sure everything is above board. We’ll do what’s right.

Boyles: You literally have to. This makes the case that the left wants to believe…. What you must do is confront this. We’ll call Dudley this morning This is, as my grandma used to say, is the fly in the ointment.

Waters: When we saw the piece last night, we immediately looked through our volunteer records. We did not recognize the man…. What we’re seeing this is that people in the community are recognizing this as just another tactic of the left.

McAlpine: …Most of us live in the area and work this out of passion for change…Anybody who’s interested can hear the truth from us. We’re not going to hide behind a series of veils. We’re going to be up front about it.

If exposing the criminal backgrounds of signature-gatherers is just an empty tactic, then you have wonder what’s not just a tactic. What’s meaningful? Boyles didn’t ask.

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.