Archive for the 'Colorado 4th Cong. District' Category

Fiscal hawks squawk happily about throwing billions mindlessly at border security

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Conservative talk-radio hosts present themselves as fiscal conservatives, until they land on something they want to mindlessly throw money at.

So Colorado’s newbie Congressman, Ken Buck, was right at home on the radio last week when he disclosed that a bill will be introduced by House Republicans “doubling or tripling” the amount of money to be spent on securing the U.S.-Mexico border.

The current border-security budget is about $12 billion, if you just count border patrol, fencing, surveillance, and ports of entry, according to Marc Rosenblum Deputy Director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute.

“We’ll leave that up to the experts,” Buck told Kafer, explaining how the additional border-security money will be spent and adding that there are “certainly a number of miles of fence have not been built.”

The fact that Buck had no clue what would be done with $12 to$24 billion in additional border security funding, doubling or tripling the current border-security budget, didn’t bother KNUS 710-AM’s Krista Kaffer, a proud fiscal hawk.

Such fiscal prudence!

For what, all these billions of dollars? “There’s very little evidence that the border is out of control,” Rosenblum told me, explaining that if you exclude the recent surge of child migrants, apprehensions at the southwest border have plummeted in recent years to a 40-year low.

Still, in addition to more fence, there are drones, more agents, radios, and more that have been proposed in the past.

Buck disclosed that a “number of bills” will come before the House Judiciary Committee during the next “month, month-and-a-half,” including the border-security measure, “a temporary farm worker program, another guest-worker program,” and a “high-tech visa program.”

“We are considering a border-security bill that will double or triple the amount of money to be spent on border security on our southern border,” Buck told Kafer. “There are certainly a number of miles of fence that have not been built. There’s a question over what’s the most efficient way to secure the border, and I think we leave that up to the experts. But the funding will be there for border security and the guest worker program. And I think the two of them go hand-in-hand.”

“We don’t trust the government,” said Buck explaining why Republicans like him oppose comprehensive immigration reform and want to focus on border security. “If we solve the problem of what to do with the 11 million people who are here illegally, then the government will not have border security and a guest-worker program that works.”

But, in reality, if you only focus on border security and guest workers, you’ll get nothing, because comprehensive immigration reform unites enough Democrats and Republicans to actually pass a bill. Remember the Senate’s comprehensive bill passed last year, only to die in the border-security-crazed House, where Colorado’s Republicans, including Rep. Mike Coffman, opposed the Senate’s comprehensive reform.

So keep trying to throw money at border security, Ken Buck, and see where that takes us.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/congressman-ken-buck-on-kelley-company-may-20-2015

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/congressman-ken-buck-on-kelley-company-may-20-2015

Media omission: Buck intends to weaken DC gun-safety laws

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

After being investigated by Washington DC authorities for having an AR-15 assault rifle in his Washington office, freshman Republican Congressman Ken Buck said he intends to be part a congressional effort to weaken DC gun-safety laws, which are among the nation’s toughest.

Asked on NRA News’ “Cam and Co” Show April 23 if his experience gives him “added impetus” to address DC’s gun laws, Buck replied, “Yes, it does,” noting that the issue falls under the jurisdiction of two committees on which he sits: the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees.

“It’s something I will look at,” said Buck on the podcast, noting that it’s not “on the top of the heap,” but he’s already talked to other Members of Congress about it.

“There is going to be an effort to look at what DC does and to try to rein in the really irrational–if you’re an honest law-abiding citizen, you want to have a means to protect yourself,” Buck said on air, discussing Washington’s gun-safety laws. “And it’s just unbelievable that people in DC believe that honest people should not be able to protect themselves. They should be victimized.”

Buck revealed the presence of the assault weapon in his office last week, when he tweeted a photo of it along with: “My friend Trey Gowdy stopped by the office — had to show him my AR-15 to commemorate the occasion.”

The tweet was first reported by the progressive blog ColoradoPols, which Buck referred to as “knuckleheads” in his NRA news interview.

“There were some knuckleheads back in Colorado that decided they wanted to cause some problems, and so they forwarded the picture to the Attorney General here in DC,” Buck said, when asked how Washington authorities became aware of the assault weapon in his office.

It appears that Buck did not break Capitol-Police rules by having the weapon in his office, but the Metropolitan DC Police have apparently not commented. The Washington DC Attorney General looked into the matter and referred it to the DC police,

“As conservatives, we are more cautious [with their weapons], because we understand that there is a double standard,” Buck said on air. “But in this case they ate crow, and I hope they continue to eat crow for a long time. I hope other Congressmen see that they can have a gun in their office and follow the lead.”

“I have a very patriotic AR15 hanging in my office. It hangs directly above my Second Amendment flag,” Buck said in a statement, as reported by The Denver Post.

 

Even talk-radio hosts should question Buck when he says Obama wants to create a “majority vote” of people “receiving benefits from government”

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Even if you’re a just a talk-radio host, you shouldn’t just say “Yap,” as KHOW 630-AM’s Mandy Connell did yesterday, when your special guest, in this case, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), insults the President.

“He’s a wonderful orator,” Buck told Connell during her morning show yesterday. “And he makes everybody happy. The reality is, that he has no intention of flattening the tax code. He has every intention of making sure that he is creating a majority vote, a 51 percent vote, of people who are receiving benefits from the government that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.”

As I noted, Connell’s reply to this was the utterance of “Yap.” My own thought was more along the lines of WTF.

Where’s Buck’s proof that Obama has a political agenda to create a “51 percent vote” of Americans “receiving benefits from government that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.”

Is he reading Obama’s mind? If Buck has evidence for this wild and insulting accusation, we’d all like to see it. But if he doesn’t, it’s more grossness from our new Representative from Colorado.

Buck isn’t a lonely District Attorney anymore–or a candidate making yet another gaffe that reporters don’t have time to dig into. Now he’s a Congressman who should be held accountable–even by radio hosts–for his insults and baseless mud slinging.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/on-radio-buck-says-obama-wants-to-create-citizenry-dependent-on-government

Good job KLZ for asking Buck if he’d shut down security agency to halt Obama immigration program

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Would the Republican-controlled Congress shut down the Department of Homeland Security to halt Obama’s program delaying deportation of undocumented immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens?

Colorado’s own Rep. Ken Buck would do it.

KLZ radio host Randy Corporon gets a moment of respect for putting the question directly to Buck during an interview Jan.14 on his “Wake-Up” show. (Beginning at 1:50:30 here)

Corporon: Republicans in the past anyway have shown a willingness to cave in the face of public pressure and media assaults. When the President says, ‘Hey look, Congress is messing with the security of the United States,’ are you guys in Congress ready to make the case that we’ve put the bills on his desk…and are you going to have a message that keeps you guys standing together and actually lets this thing play out.

Buck: I can tell you this: Ken Buck will. I will make the case, and I will make sure that we are not funding those portions of his executive action that are so repugnant.

So repugnant? Keeping parents together with their American kids?

Buck told “Righty” Corporon the Republican-controlled House is ready to shut down the government to stop this repugnancy (not a word, but I used it anyway to highlight Buck’s own grossness.)

Obama has used his executive authority to temporarily halt deportations of young undocumented immigrants who came here illegally as children. He’s also launched a program delaying the deportation of immigrants whose children are American citizens..

“If [Obama] vetoes the appropriations bill, he is shutting down that segment of government. And that will be on the President,” Buck told Corporon. “He did his best to put that on Republicans last time when we wanted to de-fund parts of Obamacare. With a Republican Senate, this will clearly be on the President’s watch, that he will be shutting down the Department of Homeland Security. “

Buck: I can tell you, I don’t know what the Republicans in the United States Senate will do. And I’m not sure they can get the six votes that they need from the Democrats in the United States Senate to actually move a tough DHS appropriations bill forward. I do think there are the votes in the House to continue down this path.

Buck is in a decent position to know. He’s not only the president of the freshman Republican class in the U.S. House, he’s also on the House immigration subcommittee.  (He got the assignment just after saying, “I don’t owe people who are here illegally anything.”)

Corporon set up the conversation by asking Buck how congressional Republicans could design a bill that would ensure no funds would go toward deferring deportation of select immigrants, while allowing the Department of Homeland Security to carry on its other work, like securing the border that causes Republicans such consternation.

Corporon: If this bill got through both houses of Congress, got on the President’s desk, how would that work to just de-fund only specific areas and activities and programs within the Department of Homeland Security? Don’t you just write them a check?

Buck: No, we don’t write them a check. They receive line-item authority, and the authority may be for a broad area, like processing the applications for work permits. But then Congress can put in that language that work permits cannot be granted to people who’ve lived in this country, or whatever language we want. And so really, the key is, this is an appropriations bill. And we’re arguing about language that will go in the appropriations bill.  When the Senate passes their version, and it will come back, we’ll work on it in conference, and we’ll send the appropriations bill to the President. 

Click here to listen to Buck Call Obama’s immigration programs “repugnant.”

Media omission: On radio, Buck says the “middle” is not where he’ll be in Congress

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

You can’t win if you’re Rep. Ken Buck and you go on Tea-Party radio, just after you’ve voted to retain Tea-Party anathema John Boehner as Speaker of the U.S. House.

You’ve already been called out for treason on Facebook, and you have to say that’s wrong. On the other hand, you have to show that you understand why liberty listeners hate Boehner so much.

Under tough questioning by guest-host Nancy Rumfelt on KFKA last week, here’s how Buck threaded the needle.

Buck (at 12:40): “I want to face people.  And especially the people that thought they were being cute in putting ugly things on my Facebook.  You know, if you want to say something nasty to me, say it to my face.  Don’t put something on Facebook.  What happened yesterday was just a disgrace.  You know, go to Trey Gaudy’s town hall meeting and call him traitor. Say that he committed treason. It’s just ridiculous.  And yes, we voted for John Boehner.  We thought it was the best path forward, but it is not an act of treason.  And it’s just silly to use those terms.”

But don’t even think Buck will slide toward the middle:

Buck (at 6:50 below): “Speaker and the leadership team know that they cannot count on me when they move to the middle, that I will be voting against leadership’s efforts in certain areas, especially is true when it comes to the fiscal issues, the appropriations bills and the regulatory issues. And I include Obamacare in that. But absolutely. The people in the 4th Congressional District can count on Ken Buck to be with the conservative votes when it comes to the bills that are coming up in the future.”

Listen to Ken Buck on KFKA’s Amy Oliver Show, Jan. 7, 2015, guest hosted by Nancy Rumfelt.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/clip-buckamyoliver10715hr2-0001

Buck spokesman unchallenged when he said Buck would have voted against budget bill

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Whether you’re a leftist blogger, a right-wing talk-radio host, or a sad-eyed dog, you know by now that a government shutdown would be a blow to the economy.

So if you hear of a politician saying he’d risk shutting down the government by voting against bipartisan budget legislation in Washington, you should ask for his thoughts about the well-known damage from such a vote.

But Fort Morgan KFTM radio host Jon Waters didn’t question former state Sen. Greg Brophy, U.S. Representative-elect Ken Buck’s new spokesperson, today when he stated that Buck would have voted against the Cromnibus bill.

BROPHY: Ken has said he wouldn’t have voted for it. I think he said that publicly on a radio show, so I’m not speaking out of school. I’ve got to be a little careful because I’m not speaking for myself. But, I mean, the whole thing represents absolute failure by Washington [D.C.] to work, and you have to put the blame squarely on Harry Reid’s shoulders….

WATERS: You mentioned that, right at the end, ‘governing by crisis,’ and passing legislation to avert crisis at the eleventh hour, which has been standard operating procedure for a number of years, now.

BROPHY: It has, and I think they like it that way back here, frankly, because it lets them put stuff into a bill that they otherwise may not be able to get passed. It’s a lack of leadership. And so, when there is no clear leadership, and there’s no clear lines of authority, bad things have happened throughout history. And, you know, when you don’t have regular order, you’ve got disorder. And that’s what we’ve had back here, and that’s what the Cromnibus and all the previous omnibus bills represented. And, you know, the Republicans have tried to stop this stuff, and most of the time the media blame them then for shutting down the government. And heck, it’s really Harry Reid and Barack Obama’s fault, but our team takes the blame. So, it’s made some of them gun shy, and that’s arguably why a bunch of the guys voted for the Cromnibus bill. And I think, you know, that maybe some of them are thinking, “Let’s just get this garbage behind us so that we can get on to starting fresh and doing things right, come January — show the people of America what real leadership looks like, what a government that’s here to work for them actually looks like. And it will be transparent and it will be done on time, and it won’t be crisis after crisis, which is where bad things happen. You let people jam stuff through, just because it’s a crisis, and you have to do it.

Journalists deserve credit for documenting Gardner’s previous broken promises to modify abortion position

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Before being elected to Congress four years ago, Rep. Cory Gardner, who’s now running for Senate against Democrat Mark Udall, backed off campaign promises to ban abortion, much like he did agai Frniday when he un-endorsed the personhood amendment.

But, as documented by the Ft. Collins Coloradoan, Gardner subsequently broke his promises and co-sponsored multiple anti-abortion bills, including legislation banning abortion outright. Gardner’s history raises the question of whether Gardner’s latest twist of his abortion stance can be trusted.

In 2010, just after winning the GOP primary to run against Rep. Betsy Markey, Gardner promised journalists at the Ft. Collins Coloradoan that he wouldn’t introduce anti-abortion legislation, despite promising to do so at a campaign event.

The Coloradoan posted audio of a meeting between Gardner and Coloradoan editors in 2010:

Coloradoan Editorial Page Editor Kathleen Duff: You say you’re not running on social issues, so you’re not, for instance, planning any legislation.

Gardner: Correct.

Duff: And you haven’t crafted anything.

Gardner: [laughs] Correct. No. No.

Coloradoan Executive Editor Bob Moore: Although I’ve been at Tea Party events where you were at where you were specifically asked if you would introduce legislation on abortion, and you did say yes.

Gardner: Bob, I don’t recall that.

Moore: Yeah. At one, you even mentioned some legislation you had already introduced in the state legislature, too.

Gardner: I don’t recall that.

Moore: I can go back and dig it out. [He did. He posted the audio here.]

Gardner: Be that as it may, I am running to balance the budget…

After this exchange, Moore called out Gardner on his flip flop, in an article headlined, “Despite tea party pledge, Gardner says he won’t carry abortion bill.”

And later, Moore called out Gardner again, after he went to Congress and broke his promise not to focus on social issues or introduce anti-abortion legislation.

Moore reported Feb. 4, 2011:

During the 2010 campaign, Gardner sought to downplay abortion and other social issues, though he readily described himself as pro-life.

In a September meeting with the Coloradoan editorial board, Gardner said he wouldn’t introduce any legislation on social issues.

“I am running to balance the budget, cut spending and get this economy back on track,” he said.

Since being sworn in a month ago, Gardner has co-sponsored two abortion-related bills – [Rep. Chis] Smith’s bill to further restrict federal funding for abortion, and a bill aimed at Planned Parenthood that would bar federal family planning grants to any organization that performs abortions.

Smith’s bill aimed to save money by no longer allowing federal dollars to be spent on regular old “rape” but only for “forcible rape.” After an outcry, the proposed redefinition of “rape” was dropped.

Unfortunately, Moore had already left the Coloradoan when Gardner went further, with his co-sponsorship of federal personhood legislation, called the “Life at Conception Act,” which would ban all abortion, even for rape.

So, to recap, Gardner had pledged at a Tea Party event in 2010 to introduce federal legislation to ban abortion, but before he did it, he promised he wouldn’t.

The Coloradoan’s documentation of Gardner’s multiple flips and flops on abortion issues shows how journalism serves to hold politicians accountable for what they say at different times to different audiences.

 

 

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.

Denver Post correct on insurance cancellations, while KNUS and Gardner got it wrong

Monday, February 24th, 2014

On KNUS’ Kelley and Company a few weeks ago, Rep. Cory Gardner said:

Gardner: “I would gladly bring Barack Obama and take him around the state of Colorado, introduce him to the 335,000 Coloradans who lost their health insurance thanks to Barack Obama’s bill that Mark Udall passed.”

Gardner would have a tough time with these introductions because 335,000 such people do not exist. It’s not true that 335,000 Coloradans lost their health insurance thanks to Obamacare.

I wondered how Gardner could make this egregious mistake, because The Denver Post reported that the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) wrote a letter specifically to Gardner, informing him that 335,000 Coloradans were sent letters stating that their health insurance policies were cancelled. They were advised of other health-insurance options, one of which, for 92 percent of these people, was to renew their existing policies or choose from other options.

I thought, maybe The Post got its facts wrong about the letter to Gardner. So I contacted DORA, and Communications Manager Vincent Plymell confirmed that DORA sent Gardner a letter stating that “92% [of 335,484] were offered the opportunity of early renewal and continue their plans into 2014.”

Just to make sure I wasn’t missing something in Gardner’s logic, I asked Plymell what “early renewal” meant:

Plymell: “‘Early renewal’ meant that instead of renewing their policies when the policies expired, they could renew early.  These would have been non-ACA compliant plans.”

Asked via email about the price for the renewals, Plymell wrote, “Some may have been at the same price, but as is common with renewals of policies in general (early or not), many would have been for higher premiums.” He added:

Plymell: Remember that for people receiving cancellation letters, they were required to be told by the carriers about all of their options – early renewal, if it was a possibility (and for 92% it was), other plans from that carrier, switching to another carrier, or Connect for Health Colorado.  If people didn’t like the renewal price, they had other options for coverage in 2014.  Also remember that prior to the plans for 2014, people with individual plans (as opposed to employer plans) did not tend to explore those options, because they did not want to have to apply again and go through underwriting, which could mean they could be denied or have their particular conditions excluded.  Going into 2014, they could realistically explore those options because they could not be denied for health reasons or have their pre-existing condition excluded from coverage.

So it looks like The Denver Post got it right, while KNUS and Gardner somehow missed the boat.

KFTM omits discussion of the real relationship issues undermining immigration reform

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner announced last week that Republicans probably won’t do anything on immigration reform, because “there’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws.”

This prompted Sen. Charles Schumer to suggest that Congress pass an immigration bill this year, with the stipulation that it not go into effect until 2017, after Obama leaves office. It was a creative idea, but Boehner rejected it, leading to ridicule by Comedy Central’s John Stuart. See below.

On KFTM radio last week, Colorado’s own Rep. Cory Gardner sided with Boehner about being unable to trust the president to enforce U.S. law, but he added a new twist. It was a relationship issue.

Gardner: I think there is need for reform but the bottom line is the President has to show a willingness to make sure that the law is enforced and to be able to work with Congress. And really, it’s unfortunate that the fact, this president put no effort into building relationships with Congress over the past four years on either side of the aisle. It’s really starting to hurt his policy efforts now.

Listen to Gardner discuss immigration KFTM 02 10 2014

Omitted was any consideration of the ideas that the relationship-management issues involved in immigration reform had more do to with the relationship between the Tea Party and establishment Republicans, not between Obama and Congress. Especially in light of the fact that the Senate already passed a bipartisan immigration-reform bill.

KFTM should bring Gardner back to find out which relationship strategies might have worked on him.