Archive for the 'Colorado Governor' Category

Journalists express frustration during discussion of election news coverage

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The Columbia Journalism Review’s Rocky Mountain Correspondent, Corey Hutchins, has posted highlights of a panel discussion Tuesday, moderated by Compass Colorado’s Kelly Maher and me, on local news coverage of the 2014 election.

Here are three of Hutchins’ eight highlights:

Bored on the Bus

KDVR’s Eli Stokols on covering the modern professional campaign:

“Unfortunately there were very few days where I sat there and I said, ‘Absolutely have to shoot this today,’ because it was so rare that these candidates were actually available, putting out public schedules, doing public events… I rode on the Udall bus, I went up to Fort Collins and Greeley a couple times to find Cory [Gardner] when he was speaking to Republicans there, and you know, you would get the same rehearsed, trite lines from all of them. And when you sat them down in an interview you got the same rehearsed, trite lines from both. And so maybe it is incumbent on us to be better, to push them out of their comfort zone a little bit … I think that’s the tough part of the modern campaign. Campaigns with money are so not reliant anymore on mainstream media to get their message out, especially in a market like this [in Colorado] where there is not such a critical mass of media.”

The Denver Post didn’t want to cover ‘scripted theater’

Post politics editor [Chuck] Plunkett said his paper didn’t want to fall into the trap of covering what he called the “scripted theater” of the campaigns. So in the early spring, he said, he gathered staff for multiple substantive discussions about issues they wanted to address this election season, so they weren’t just “having to chase the Twitter around, having to chase the horse race around.” Some of the issues they decided to focus on were immigration, the ground game, and money, and how candidates evolved on issues. Also, for the first time, the paper held its own recorded debates in its auditorium instead of partnering with a TV station….

Didn’t approve this ad

CBS4’s [Shaun Boyd] provided some levity when she spoke of how she’d recoiled at seeing her on-air reporting appear in a political ad on TV. To her dismay, her station ran the ad on its airwaves. But, she said, other TV stations in Denver didn’t air it because they didn’t want to highlight the reporting of a competitor.

In his post, Hutchins discusses the journalists’ frustration with the scripted answers from the candidates. Riccardi, in particular, talked about how closely the professional candidates stay on their talking points, and he said he hoped to walk away from the campaign trail more often in the future and write about the election from an outside-the-box perspective.

That’s a good idea, but I thought local journalists could have at least tried to break the campaign script more often during the last election on many issues. And even if they didn’t break it completely, they could have spotlighted candidates’ manipulative or repetitive talking points more clearly for voters, like Eli Stokols did in his interview with Senator-elect Cory Gardner.

This would have required more aggressive follow-up questioning by journalists, and it could have been done at more of the public events where reporters questioned the candidates.

The frustration of the journalists on the panel Tuesday was mostly not evident at the candidate debates and interviews, where journalists, with some important exceptions here and elsewhere, took a passive role, without much follow-up.

Here’s part of Tuesday’s discussion about how to address the talking points.

PLUNKETT: We do break the script. A good journalist can get people to talk about more than sometimes we give them credit for. I think when you start to think about the election in general, you remember all those scripted moments, and you’re frustrated by it. It’s annoying. You wish people would just answer the question. And that creates a very human reaction in you, and you react to it, in a hostile kind of way. But I do think, if you think back, there were tons of stories written by lots of people on the campaign trail, and we did get into issues. We did look at important moments.

STOKOLS: I think as a journalist you have to draw out and just explain to people when somebody’s not answering the question, sometimes. Whether you show that in a TV format or in a print format, you just say, you know, “…has refused to answer this question repeatedly throughout the campaign,” or, whatever it is. I think that should be revealing to people, you know, like Chuck said. Sometimes, there’s not a lot more you can do.

Durango Herald’s Peter MARCUS: Yeah, I agree. And I also agree that it is tougher in print. I mean, when I was pushing Cory Gardner on, you know, what the difference is between the state Personhood initiative and the federal bill, you know, it’s weird to write that into the story. It’s like, “The Durango Herald pushed Gardner on…” You know, and how many times can you write that? And are people even understanding what’s going on in the exchange, that you’re on the phone, or conducting your interview in person, we’re just asking the same question over and over in different ways? It gets hard to write it into a story. But more importantly, you can’t make them break the script. I STOKOLS: Well, you know, we have to be a little analytical. I mean, we can’t just sit there. we’re not stenographers.

MARCUS: Right

STOKOLS: So, you know, when you sit there on a campaign bus, and Mark Udall and Michael Bennet are sitting there, and the national reporters are asking, you know, like, “President Obama, he’s not here. Is he killing you?” And they’re like, “Oh, no! It’s fine!” Whatever. And then, you know, they go on background, and they’re like, “Jesus! The President is killing us!”

MARCUS: Right! What do you do? Yeah, what do you do?

STOKOLS: It doesn’t take a lot of analysis to understand, one, what the reality is, and two, why they can’t explicitly say that, or admit that, doesn’t mean we can’t write it, and explain that to the reader or the viewer, that, look, this is a fundamental reality of this campaign, whether it is admitted to or not admitted to, you know, by the candidate.

MARCUS: Yeah, you may not get them to break the script. You can write it in, because of what people tell you on background and everything. But you’re not going to quote them on it,

RICCARDI: Yeah, I totally agree. If you’re just waiting on these guys to tell you something, the yield-to-effort is minimal.

Asked why more of gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez’s extreme comments were not covered, some of the journalists on Tuesday’s panel explained that it’s difficult to address an issue if the campaign isn’t focusing on it.

RICCARDI: I also think this is a great example of how campaigns define a lot of what you end up covering. Hickenlooper ran a positive campaign. Hickenlooper did not put these past statements of Beauprez in the public light repeatedly, therefore there were other things that reporters had to focus on with their limited time. Look at how much ink we spilled over Gardner on two measures that will probably never become law. Right? And that’s a direct reflection of the fact that the Udall campaign and their allies put a lot of time, attention to creating points behind those issues. And I think you’re seeing the opposite of it in terms of what happened on the governor’s side. Hickenlooper did not want to make that an issue, and guess what, it didn’t become a big issue. I agree with Chuck, it’s a balancing act [on how much coverage old candidate statements should get]. There’s no—there’s no clean formula for anything in this business. But I also think this is a great example of how a lot of our coverage reflects the choices being by campaigns, for better or for worse.

STOKOLS: Yeah, the governor’s race was about the Governor because the Governor made it that way. I mean, he didn’t come out and do a lot of campaign events, but when he went to the sheriffs, and Kelly’s folks got that on video, that was a huge pivot in the campaign. And there were other things that he did —the comments to CNN earlier in the year, in answering a hypothetical question. There were mistakes that he made that we were sort of forced to cover. Whereas, some of these [Beauprez] statements, they matter on some level, but they have a shelf life. And so, when, you know, you’re running ads based on a 2006 statement, it does seem harder sometimes to rationalize going back and covering this, just because you’ve got a, you know, a 527 or somebody calling you and saying, “Hey, you know, did you see these statements? You should cover these. You should do a story.” Sometimes, you need more than that to be pushed off the ledge, especially when you look around and your colleagues aren’t doing it. It’s not like we all run around in packs, but when you’re going to go out and do a story yourself, and you’re going to be first, and you’re going to rationalize something that is just really aimed at putting another campaign or a candidate on the defensive, you have to be pretty careful about that, I think, in terms of, you know, have we covered this before, right? I don’t know what the exact formula is but–

MARCUS: There is no formula, but I think, for me, a component is also gauging, you know, interest, from outside groups, from the public…You know, at the beginning of the campaigns, a lot of the outside groups were really trying to push these 2006 talking points and comments and things like that. And you could just see, it wasn’t gaining traction — forget in the media, it wasn’t gaining traction on twitter — it wasn’t gaining traction. And it wasn’t because, I’m pretty sure, that these outside groups—and I know some of you are in the room, so I’m sorry — but, you didn’t have that much. The fact that you were going back to 2006, back to 2008 shows that it was—it was all you had. And it wasn’t gaining traction, not because we weren’t covering it—perhaps maybe possibly a little bit, but it really had to do with people’s interests. I didn’t see these statements coming back up. I think the closest we got was “Both Ways Bob” came back for a short minute, there. But, I was just looking around. I wasn’t seeing it gaining traction. It seemed like people were looking to move on, find out what this election was about, and I think that plays into how much attention it gets with the media, as well.

The event, which was sponsored by the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Public Affairs, Compass Colorado, and BigMedia.org, was attended by political operatives and others from both sides of the political divide. There were about 40 people in the audience.

Media omission: Tancredo launches “Stop Chris Christie PAC”

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

If you follow Tom Tancredo you know he makes it clear where he stands on people, like Ryan Call (dislikes him), and places, like Mecca (bomb it).

So, even as Republicans are still warm from hugging each other, it’s no surprise that Tancredo is launching a new campaign to stop New Jersey Gov. Chis Christie’s presidential aspirations.

Tancredo doesn’t like Christie, and you can’t blame him. You recall Tancredo’s promising path to the Colorado governor’s office was upended this summer by his own party, through a vicious ad campaign orchestrated surreptitiously by the Republican Governors’ Association, which is chaired by… Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Tancredo is fighing back now with his “Stop Chris Christie PAC.”

Speaking with Grassroots Radio Colorado (KLZ 560-AM) host Kris Cook Oct. 27, Tancredo said he’s already “filed papers” to create the Stop Christie PAC, allowing him to do “everything” he can to prevent Christie from securing the Republican nomination for president.

“He is no more a Republican than the man in them moon,” Tancredo told Cook. “He is a left wing, east coast liberal.”

TANCREDO: “You know, to be absolutely fair here, and clear, I have a bone to pick with him in particular, because of what he did during our primary,” Tancredo said on air. “You know, although, I must ad– we have never gotten along. We’ve always argued, especially about immigration. We did so publicly. I have never liked the guy. I have certainly never supported him for anything, and because he was concerned that I would, in fact, go against the [United States] Chamber o f Commerce position on immigration and make it a big deal, and I might win, he chose to spend a quarter of a million dollars of Republican money – Governors’ Association money—

COOK: Right.

TANCREDO: –to attack me, here, in Colorado. And, launder the money through Attorneys General Association.

COOK: And five other organizations.

Tancredo held off promoting his Stop Chris Christie PAC until after Tuesday’s election to avoid hurting Colorado Republicans.

“I don’t want to do anything that’s going to hurt Bob Beauprez or any other Republican in Colorado during–or before this election,” said Tancredo on the KLZ show, which aired before the election on Oct. 27. “But when it’s over with, I guarantee you, I’m going after him.”

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/grassroots-radio-colorado-octo

Partial Transcript of Oct. 27 KLZ-560 Grassroots Radio Colorado Interview with Tom Tancredo. See longer transcript here.

HOST KRIS COOK: Oh, goodie! We’ve got Jeb Bush, going to run for President

FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN, GOP GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, AND GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, TOM TANCREDO: Yeah. Yeah, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, what a pair to draw to.

COOK: It will be a delightful field. My goodness, we have got to do something about this.

TANCREDO: I agree completely, and I intend to.

COOK: [chuckles] Good.

TANCREDO: I totally intend to.

COOK: Good.

TANCREDO: I’m not going to let this one go by and everybody – you know, when — how many times have you said this? “Oh, my gosh! We just don’t have any good ones to pick from, and I don’t like — .” Well, okay, that – probably very true. And if it’s Chris Christie or Jeb Bush either one, let me tell you, I think it’s a debacle in the making for the Republican Party.

And so, I have started – I filed papers a couple of weeks ago, now – probably ten days ago, anyway, –for a Stop Chris Christie PAC . And I’m going to do everything I can to do just that: stop Chris Christie. He is no more a Republican than the man in them moon. He is a left wing, east coast liberal. He masquerades, to the extent that there’s any – even attempt to pretend – any attempt –anything that comes out of his mouth that sounds relatively conservative. It’s a masquerade, because he now is seeking the Republican nomination, he is actually – I read the other day, that he is actually so afraid of the governor of Wisconsin –

COOK: Scott Walker.

TANCREDO: –Scott Walker—that he has almost purposel—well, almost entirely, kind of subverted his campaign. They are not giving him the money he needs, and why? Why? Because, of course, he is a competitor for that presidential nomination.

COOK: [sarcastically] Yeah, Mr. Christie, that is exactly the way to use your position at the RGA

TANCREDO: Yeah.

COOK: I mean, he has proven that he is absolutely unworthy of that role, and any other role in power.

TANCREDO: Well, you know, to be absolutely fair here, and clear, I have a bone to pick with him in particular, because of what he did during our primary. You know, although, I must ad– we have never gotten along. We’ve always argued, especially about immigration. We did so publicly. I have never liked the guy. I have certainly never supported him for anything, and because he was concerned that I would, in fact, go against the [United States] Chamber o f Commerce position on immigration and make it a big deal, and I might win, he chose to have – spend a quarter of a million dollars of Republican money – Governors’ Association money—

COOK: Right.

TANCREDO: –to attack me, here, in Colorado. And, um, and launder the money through Attorneys General Association.

COOK: And five other organizations.

TANCREDO: Five other organizations. You, — God bless you, you were the best interview we ever had on that issue, because you had done your homework and you knew what they had done. Uh, I’m telling you, it’s, I think, unconscionable and I definitely want to make an issue of this, but I want to add somebody to it, and that would be,–let’s – I might start another 527, saying, “Let’s, you know, stop Jeb Bush.” Let’s try to do this before they get a foothold in the–

COOK: Right.

TANCREDO: And get out–get to people, — let them know who they really are. And I mean, I’m totally going to do this. I certainly am for Christie.

COOK: good.

TANCREDO: Um, and we will take our – we will do our first whatever we’re going to do right after the election. I mean, I don’t want to do anything that’s going to hurt Bob Beauprez or any other Republican in Colorado during–or before this election. But when it’s over with, I guarantee you, I’m going after him.

COOK: November – the 2016 election season starts on November 5th, 2014.

TANCREDO: That’s right. That’s right.

COOK: And if you don’t get that, if you don’t understand that, you’ve got to wrap your brain around it. Because if –we cannot do what Republicans always do, which is disappear after the midterm general, and not show up again until the day of the – or the two weeks leading up to the primaries in 2016, that is not the way that this works. If we’re going to win, and if we’re going to win for conservative principles, we have to be out there on the ground. We have to be making those touches with unaffiliated voters. We need to make sure that stuff is happening, and that they understand what the Republican Party really stands for, and what conservative principles are.

TANCREDO: Yeah, well, and our job is to make the Republican Party stand for something.

COOK: [chuckles] That’s right.

TANCREDO: And then—

COOK: It’s a two way street, yeah.

TANCREDO: Absolutely. But, if we win this election, –generally speaking, I’m saying, both in national elections and Colorado elections,– if we do well, if we end up winning — winning control of the Senate, and if we do nothing to actually change the direction – not just slow down the movement to the precipice, –

COOK: Right.

TANCREDO: –but change the direction of this country, if we just watch it, for fear that if we really did change it, we’d all get thrown out of office again, well, I’ll tell you, if that’s it, then there’s no need–. Why should we work hard—any of us–for the status quo to be slowed down? We have to see in these people who are running, the willingness [and] the desire –and the ones who win—the desire to change. Because, oh, I tell you, I can—this is the –my nightmare, is a Republican Senate that refuses to either impeach, repeal Obamacare, um, repeal whatever he’s going to do to us in a few months, with regard to immigration.

Dear Jeffco students, sorry if it feels insulting, but you’re “pawns”

Friday, October 24th, 2014

After one of the meetings of the Jeffco School Board, I was driving my teenager home from school, and we heard conservative radio host Kris Cook’s analysis of the meeting:

Cook: “They had students saying, ‘Don’t censor my history,’ and taking umbrage at the fact that we, correctly, labeled them as pawns, because they have been made into pawns. I’m sorry students. I know that feels insulting. But your critical thinking skills are not where you think they are. And that is not your fault. Honestly, you’ve been offered a one-sided view for so long that you don’t know how to assess both sides of a situation and come down on what the truth may be.” [BigMedia emphasis]

I looked over at my teenager, who definitely has enough critical-thinking skills to understand a school-board proposal, and thought, why the crass condescension?

And Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has said essentially the same thing, that teachers are manipulating the Jeffco students.

My kid doesn’t go to the Jeffco schools, but if you’ve ever spent time with teenagers from Denver, Jeffco, or anywhere, or if you’ve ever been a teenager yourself, you know that when they decide to focus on something other than Facebook or Snap Chat, they’re amazing.

So I emailed Cook, who hosts KLZ’s Grassroots Radio Colorado, and I asked why she had such a low view of the intellect of Jeffco teens.

Cook wrote that “no censorship had been proposed by Julie Williams or anyone else on the school board,” and, yet, the “students, by their own admission, were protesting censorship of the AP US History curriculum.”

It is apparent from the students’ statements that they had not read Williams’ proposal prior to making their statements. So where have the students received such a ground of certainty that the proposal was about censoring the curriculum, when such language is in fact the polar opposite of what was proposed?

In order to answer that, I ask myself: who has something to gain by mobilizing the students to protest a censorship that hasn’t even been proposed? The only answer that makes any sense is the union. They have plenty to gain by demonstrating to the school board that they wield the power in Jefferson County as they head into salary negotiations before the August cliff next year. The students have nothing to gain from this (except a day off from school). The parents have nothing to gain. Only the union stands to achieve anything beneficial from this.

Cook went on to write that, prior to the big Jeffco board meeting, students participated in a union-organized rally. And a “supposedly student-to-student Facebook site, JeffcoStandUp” contained pro-union ads and information on how teachers are paid.

Cook is correct that some of the students (and adults) overstated what the board was doing, turning it from a “review” to an actual proposal.

But I disagree that parents and students had nothing to gain from protesting the board’s request for a superfluous review committee that was apparently intended to drive policy changes around curriculum without the support of the Jeffco community.

It’s a huge leap to say all the students are pawns just because they might agree with some of what the union is saying.

That’s like saying Cook or Beauprez is a pawn of school board.

Or that Cook is a pawn of RMGO or one of her advertisers, or Rand Paul, or someone who makes the same arguments as she does on her radio show every afternoon.

Full response of KLZ 560-AM’s Grassroots Radio Colorado host Kris Cook to my question about her comment that Jeffco students are “pawns:”

The students, by their own admission, were protesting censorship of the AP US History curriculum. They felt strongly enough about this to walk out of class and stand on sidewalks holding signs. The curious thing is that no censorship had been proposed by Julie Williams or anyone else on the school board.

Here is the actual text of the “suggested review criteria” from the proposal made by (and later withdrawn by) Williams during the September 4 board meeting:

“Review criteria shall include the following: instructional materials should present the most current factual information accurately and objectively. Theories should be distinguished from fact. Materials should promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights. Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage. Content pertaining to political and social movements in history should present balanced and factual treatment of the positions.”

The students’ statements have morphed “Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder” into “The proposal said that they would try to limit events in our history that have been examples of civil disobedience,” one statement among many documented by JeffCo Truth (see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0lAX5OuIoo). As I’m sure you’ll agree, that is not an accurate restatement of the proposal. It is not in the proposal. It is not suggested by the proposal. It isn’t even insinuated by the proposal.

It is apparent from the students’ statements that they had not read Williams’ proposal prior to making their statements. So where have the students received such a ground of certainty that the proposal was about censoring the curriculum, when such language is in fact the polar opposite of what was proposed?

In order to answer that, I ask myself: who has something to gain by mobilizing the students to protest a censorship that hasn’t even been proposed? The only answer that makes any sense is the union. They have plenty to gain by demonstrating to the school board that they wield the power in Jefferson County as they head into salary negotiations before the August cliff next year. The students have nothing to gain from this (except a day off from school). The parents have nothing to gain. Only the union stands to achieve anything beneficial from this.

This answer has been bolstered by evidence uncovered since I made those statements on Grassroots Radio Colorado. Students participated in and spoke at a union-organized rally before the October 2 school board meeting. The supposedly student-to-student Facebook site, JeffcoStandUp, contained an ad for Boots on the Boulevard II, a union-organized protest. This page also contained a very thorough explanation of how the teachers are compensated – not usual fodder for a student-led movement.

As a result of the above, I believe it is reasonable to state that the students have been made pawns of the union by having an inaccurate interpretation of Williams’ proposal communicated to them. Further, the students did not check this interpretation against the actual proposal. My statements flow from this reasoning. I welcome other interpretations and the opportunity to discuss them with you and your readers.

Has right-wing media–and a special booking agency–killed Beauprez?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The vast collection of bizarre online media programs and bunker-crazy talk-radio hosts has probably cost Bob Beauprez the governor’s office.

Beauprez can’t shake off the digital archive of underground thought that he articulated on these shows beginning after his last gubernatorial loss in 2006 and continuing into this very year. It’s defined him.

Calling Obama “a different kind of American than any I know” on the “Talk to Solomon Show,” saying, on the Talkback with Chuck Wilder Show, that there’s a “growing sentiment” that America might be on the “verge of something very, very bad,” and “folks realize they may need to protect themselves against the government that was supposed to be instituted to protect us,” warning, on the Internet show “Christian Today,” that “I hope and pray we don’t see another civil war but this administration is pushing the boundaries like none I think we’ve ever, ever seen,” expressing his love for the “Tea Party movement,” on KLZ 560-AM’s Wake Up with Randy Corporon, as “the healthiest thing we have seen in very long time in America,” and accusing Americans of being like “sheep” who’d blindly allow the government to implant microchips in their bodies.

It goes on and on, and you can read more here and here. And if you bottom feed on the Internet for a while, you can probably find something new and shocking yourself.

How did Beauprez get there? How did he find all these weird shows?

It’s a good bet that many of them came from Beauprez’s apparent booking agency, called “SpecialGuests.com.”

This outfit’s special guests are truly special, but in the depressing sense, and include a collection of pundits plucked from the right-wing underground. Stars include Gun Owners of America Director Larry Pratt and Phyllis Schlafly, to give you an idea of what’s available today.

On SpecialGuests.com, Beauprez’s description references his right-wing blog, A Line of Sight, which would have certainly attracted the shadowy shows he frequented:

ABOUT YOUR GUEST, BOB BEAUPREZ:

…Since 2007, Bob has published a monthly e-magazine called A Line of Sight (http://www.alineofsight.com/), a public policy and opinion resource on current political issues. Then, in 2009, he authored his first book: A Return to Values: A Conservative Look at His Party…

Bob continues to stay politically active, guest hosting on various radio talk shows, doing numerous media interviews nationally, and maintains a busy public speaking schedule.

Beauprez’s “numerous media interviews,” and the conspiracy-tinged questions he was asked as a “special guest,” are now a special part of his downfall.

Question of the Week: What does Beauprez think the federal personhood bill, which he’s co-sponsored, would do?

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Reporters looking for another source to counter senatorial candidate Cory Gardner’s contention that “there is no federal personhood bill” can turn to gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, who cosponsored federal personhood legislation and acknowledges his own support for it.

And while he’s talking, Beauprez should explain what he thinks his federal personhood bill would do.

Both Gardner and Beauprez do not favor state personhood amendments, even though both candidates cosponsored federal personhood legislation, which would expand the definition of a person in the U.S. Constitution to include the unborn, beginning at the zygote or fertilized egg stage, and thereby banning all abortion and common forms of birth control.

Gardner’s bill is called the 2013 Life at Conception Act. Beauprez’s is the 2006 Right to Life Act. The two bills are essentially the same.

But unlike Gardner, Beauprez thinks federal personhood legislation exists, and his problem, he says, is with state personhood amendments, not the federal bill.

In March, 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman clarified a previous 9News piece, which quoted Beauprez as saying he never supported personhood.

Rittiman asked Beauprez about his support of the Right To Life Act, a federal personhood bill, and Rittiman reported:

Rittiman: “Beauprez has certainly supported the concept of personhood in the form of federal legislation. He says his answer to 9NEWS was meant to convey that he has not supported it at the state level.”

Close Beauprez observers will note that the former congressman is careful, when he talks about his opposition to “personhood,” to focus on the state amendments, while staying silent on federal personhood legislation.

Look, for example, at what Beauprez said in Thursday’s debate in Pueblo:

Beauprez: “I’m opposed to the personhood amendment. I’ll tell you what I’m in favor of.  I’m in favor of innocent lives.”

In coverage of the debate, The Denver Post’s Joey Bunch did the right thing journalistically and informed readers of Beauprez’s support of the 2006 federal personhood bill.

Beauprez’s reference to “personhood amendment” Thursday comports with what he told Rittiman back in June:

Beauprez: “The personhood amendment, and that’s where we have to draw the line, the personhood amendment might have identified the right issue but the very wrong solution.”

Bottom line for reporters: Beauprez hasn’t explained why he still supports federal personhood legislation, even though he’s not on board with state personhood efforts. I’m curious to know what Beauprez thinks the federal personhood bill he co-sponsored would do, if passed, and why he backs it over state personhood.

Beauprez’s thoughts on why Gardner thinks “there is no federal personhood bill” would be of interest to those of us trying to understand Gardner’s mysterious personhood hypocrisy.

Media omission: Beauprez says Jeffco teachers are manipulating students to walk out over merit pay

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

In an interview on KOA 850-AM Tuesday, gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez sharply criticized Jeffco students and teachers who’ve been protesting against a proposed curriculum review, saying the conflict is “really” about merit pay, not the curriculum.

Asked what message he has for “students, parents, teachers, and administrators in the Jefferson County school district,” Beauprez said, “Get back to the task at hand, and that’s instructing the kids.”

“This [protest] supposedly was about curriculum,” Beauprez told KOA, touching on the topic of tonight’s meeting of the Jefferson County School Board, “But I think it’s a long ways removed from curriculum. I think it’s really just a manifestation of the ongoing battle between the school board and the teachers’ union over pay, and in this case, merit pay. The curriculum is a very secondary issue.”

In particular, Beauprez implied that Jeffco students were being manipulated by teachers, calling the student actions a “teacher-encouraged protest.”

Asked what role the governor should play in the dispute, Beauprez aligned himself with the Jeffco Schools’ Superintendent, and he sounded (see below) as if he believes gubernatorial intervention would be justified if the conflict continues.

Beauprez said it’s now “very close to that moment in time when the legitimate requests and needs of the parents and the students are not being met, and teachers are not meeting their contractual obligation to be in that classroom teaching kids.”

The Colorado Indpendent’s Tessa Cheek reported Tuesday that Jeffco parents were upset by simlar, but less strident, comments Beauprez made in a recent speech. Cheek reported:

“What we’ve got going on in JeffCo right now is a bit of a complicated situation,” Beauprez said in a forum at Metro State college on Friday.

“I think the school board, an elected school board, they have a proxy from the citizens of Jefferson County to review that curriculum and to opine about that curriculum,” he continued. “And the remedy — if the citizens, the voters, decide that the school board has made a mistake — the remedy comes pretty quickly, in the next election. That’s the way I think it should work.”

The comment hit a nerve for Shawna Fritzler. She’s a registered Republican with a nine-year-old daughter who attends a JeffCo public school. She’s also the president of her school’s Parent Teacher Association and a citizen-chair of the JeffCo public school’s planning and advisory council. She said she is frustrated to see a top-of-the-ticket politician weigh in during an election year without enough context.

“Bob Beauprez says to take it to the ballot box,” she said. “You want me to wait three more years of my nine-year old’s education? My daughter has to wait for an election? That’s asinine.”

On KNUS radio this morning, conservative Dan Caplis said he believes “all of this theater is geared to the launch of a recall election” of the Jefferson County School Board.

Here is a transcript of Bob Beauprez’s remarks on KOA 850-AM’s Colorado Afternoon News, Sept. 30, 2014

MALE ANNOUNCER/INTERVIEWER: […] evaluations and talk about creating a committee to review the AP History course. Republican gubernatorial candidate, Bob Beauprez joining Colorado’s Afternoon News to talk about the trouble in Jefferson County.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Thanks for joining us, sir. What message do you have to parents, students, teachers, and administrators in the Jefferson County school district? [static, pause, technical difficulties] We seem to be having a problem with getting candidate Bob Beauprez on. We’re a little bit of delay difficulty, here. Some Technical issues here, on Colorado’s Afternoon News, at 5:22

MALE ANNOUNCER/INTERVIEWER: This is an important — you know, an important subject for folks out there in Jefferson County.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Mm-hmm.

MALE ANNOUNCER/INTERVIEWER: Uh, the school board making some big decision. Of course, they’re going to be talking about this again on Thursday night.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Okay, I think we have him now, and I’ll repeat my message, just in case you didn’t hear me. What message do you have to students, parents, teachers, and administrators in the Jefferson County school district, sir?

BOB BEAUPREZ: Well, get back to the task at hand, and that’s instructing the kids. And that’s what people pay their taxes for. That’s what parents expect. That’s what children deserve. And frankly, that’s what, I know, that teachers took the job for. They want [to teach] children, or else they wouldn’t be there. This has been an on-going dispute, I think, between the teachers’ union and the school board over the merit pay schedule and particularly the pay as it relates to teachers that might find — might be found not quite measuring up to the standards that the school board expects them to achieve. Now, let me be clear. I’d like not to have to take sides on this one, but I do believe that the school board — an elected school board, any elected school board — they have a proxy from the voters and particularly the parents who send them there, to make sure that they’re speaking out and exercising judgment on their behalf. And that would include, from time to time, reviewing curriculum. This supposedly was about curriculum. But I think it’s a long ways removed from curriculum. I think it’s really just a manifestation of the ongoing battle between the school board and the teachers’ union over pay, and in this case, merit pay. The curriculum is a very secondary issue. When it crosses the line, is when instruction of children –uh, the students– starts being impacted, and clearly it is. You know, when you’ve got to close the high schools because of a supposed sick-out — we all get that joke — there’s something seriously wrong.

MALE ANNOUNCER/INTERVIEWER: So what role, if any, does the governor have in a situation like this?

BOB BEAUPREZ: Well, I’d like to leave it to local control as long as you possibly can. Uh, but we’re right up against now that the counting of students for the sake of reimbursing on a per capita basis, the amount of money that the state reimburses –sends back — to the school districts to fund education. That’s always an issue, and there never seems to be enough. But if we’ve got a sick-out, if we’ve got schools closed because teachers don’t show up, or we’ve got a whole lot of students missing because they’ve decided to walk out and join in the teacher-encouraged protest, that’s a whole different matter. So, at some point, I don’t know where that line is– I think a governor would know it when he sees it, but you’re starting to get, in my opinion, very close to that moment in time when the legitimate requests –needs–of the parents and the students are not being met, and teachers are not meeting their contractual obligation to be in that classroom teaching kids.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Thank you for your time, sir. That’s Bob Beauprez, candidate for governor. As for the count day tomorrow, across the state, the state department of education’s website show that there is a count day window that extends from 5 days before count day to 5 days after count day.

MALE ANNOUNCER/INTERVIEWER: And it’s important, because each student brings with them about seven thousand dollars. And so, [if] you lose the count — maybe even ten kids — you’re looking at a lot of money, there.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Yeah. Yeah. […]

Listen to Beauprez’s remarks from the KOA interview: 

 

Media omission: Beauprez responds to Making Colorado Great ad

Friday, September 26th, 2014

In his first response to Making Colorado Great’s ad, now airing on Colorado TV, gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez said if the ad were true, “somebody would have probably prosecuted me and put me behind bars.”

Appearing this morning on KNUS 710-AM radio’s Dan Caplis show, Beauprez said:

Beauprez: “Dan, you’re a lawyer, you understand this. The most recent [ad] essentially accuses me of bank fraud. That’s a very, very serious violation. If there was a shred of truth to it, there would be an FDIC investigation. Somebody would have probably prosecuted and put me behind bars, if there was any truth to it, whatsoever. Of course, there is none. That doesn’t matter to Michael Huttner who put the ad together, and the Democratic Governors’ Association, who’s paying for it. You know, it’s just implications, but I think people are seeing it as just grossly over the top, and really a pretty sad indictment on the desperation of John Hickenlooper.”

Caplis told Beaprez that he hopes Gov. John Hickenlooper will be blamed for the ad, even though the ad was produced by Making Colorado Great, which is by law separated from the governor.

Beauprez: “Well, I hope so, too. I mean, the stuff that they’re implying, directly accusing me of in the ad is just totally false. [It] couldn’t happen, frankly, in a bank sale that is so scrutinized by regulators, multiple exams, total disclosure. I mean, it’s absolutely ludicrous, the claims that — and I wasn’t even in the bank! I was in a management role in the bank, and still they say this. Yeah, anywhere else in the real world, somebody would be answering to the lies that they perpetrated. This is the crazy world of politics.”

Listen to Beauprez’s thoughts on Making Colorado Great’s ad

A never-ending news story for good reason: McInnis regrets apologizing for plagiarism

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Fortunately for someone like me, who will never get enough of the 2010 election cycle, failed gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis will never stop talking about it.

A great article today in the Grand Junction Sentinel states that McInnis has a big regret about how he handled the plagiarism scandal that torpedoed his gubernatorial campaign: apologizing for it, since he says he did nothing wrong at all.

McInnis, who’s running for a Mesa County Commissioner, told the Sentinel he “should have dug [his] heels in” and “brought up more about the Hasan family.”

The Sentinel’s Emily Shockley reports:

“I didn’t plagiarize, period,” [McInnis] said. But, at the behest of political advisers, he did make apologies for the situation ever happening. That situation involved a researcher ghost-writing the articles in question, which turned out to have several sections lifted from an old work by current Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs Jr.

“I would have dug my heels in and I would have brought up more about the Hasan family,” McInnis said.

“I’ve used ghost writers my whole career. I would have said I didn’t make the mistake. I wasn’t dishonest then and I’m not dishonest now.”

If he’d done that, maybe we’d have heard more from McInnis’ ghost writer, Rolly Fischer, who spoke so eloquently to Channel 7′s John Ferrugia at the time, before he went into hiding.

If McInnis had thrown his researcher even deeper under the bus, and dug in deeper, it would have made an already great news story even better.

Media omission: Would Beauprez sign Gardner’s personhood bill?

Friday, September 26th, 2014

In the wake of this week’s revelation that Bob Beauprez once said he’d sign a bill outlawing abortion in Colorado, even for a 16-year-old who was raped, you have no choice but to ask yourself this bizarre question:

If Beauprez were governor, and Rep. Cory Gardner’s federal persohood bill successfully overturned Roe v. Wade, as it’s intended to do, freeing up the Colorado legislature to send an abortion-ban bill to Beauprez’s desk, would he follow through on his promise to sign it?

Yup, there are numerous hypothetical leaps there, and the leaps are significant, but they are smaller than you might think, and outlawing all abortion, even for rape and incest, is actually factually what both these candidates (Beauprez and Gardner) have pushed for throughout their political careers.

So I’ll quickly explain the steps involved in the question.

First, the federal personhood bill, co-sponsored by Gardner last year, would have to clear Congress, which is not so far-fetched when you consider that Republicans could take over the U.S. Senate this year. Then the Supreme Court, whose pro-choice majority is already questionable, would have to overturn Roe, based on the new legislation and other factors. Then, and possibly the biggest hurdle, Colorado Republicans would have to get their act together and take power under the dome. (This is already a reality in numerous other states, where Republican majorities would quickly ban abortion if Garnder’s bill had it’s intended effect.)

Do me a favor and don’t roll your eyes at this blog post, because all you have to do is think of Texas and look at all the places in America where abortion rights are already restricted or threatened. Here’s a great summary. It could even happen in Colorado. This is an issue that matters.

Bottom line: Along with their anti-abortion allies across the country, gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez and senatorial candidate Cory Gardner could theoretically work together to ban abortion in Colorado and/or in other states. Gardner could push for the federal legislation allowing Beauprez to sign a state bill making personhood a reality.

Proving Post’s Carroll even more right, Beauprez says, in newly discovered audio, that citizens stock guns to protect themselves from own government

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Over the weekend, Denver Post Editorial Page Editor Vincent Carroll pointed out that gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has shown a “tendency in recent years to voice support for the fringe issue du jour on the right, whether it’s northern Colorado secession or repeal of the 17th Amendment permitting the direct election of senators.”

I just found yet another instance of Beauprez voicing “support for the fringe issue du jour on the right.” This time, Beauprez was on a right-wing radio show Dec.21 2012, a week after the Sandy Hook massacre. And the hot topic was the stockpiling of guns and ammo.

Host Chuck Wilder asked Beauprez, who’s running against Gov. John Hickenlooper, if he thought people were buying guns and ammo to protect yourself against the bad guys or to protect yourself against the government which might say, ‘Only the government is going to have guns?’”

Beauprez responded by saying there’s a “growing sentiment” that America might be on the “verge of something very, very bad,” and “folks realize they may need to protect themselves against the government that was supposed to be instituted to protect us.” 

Listen to Beauprez say Americans are stockpiling guns for possible use against the government

Beauprez’s use of the word “realize” indicates his agreement with the sentiment, I’d say.

Beauprez’s comments extend the theme, expressed by the Republican candidate previously, of impending civil war in America. On the Internet show “Christian Today,” Beauprez once said:

Beauprez: I hope and pray that, that we don’t see another revolution in this country, I hope and pray we don’t see another civil war, but this administration is pushing the boundaries like none I think we’ve ever, ever seen.

For more of the objectively fringy comments, like the ones Carroll mentioned, read Susan Greene’s recent piece in the Colorado Independent.

Partial transcrirpt of the  “Talkback with Chuck Wilder Show”, Dec. 21, 2012, on the digital Cable Radio Network.

Beauprez: I don’t mean to minimized this tragedy. It is a horrible tragedy. But the rush of politicians to somehow blame the gun when there is a whole lot going on than the weapon. If you are going to ban guns, you’re going to have to ban a whole lot of other things, baseball bats, kitchen skillets. 

Chuck Wilder: Some people, you know, they will look for a giant conspiracy. And that’s why, you know, all the K-Mart stores have already sold out of their assault weapons that they sell. That’s why, right now, what was it, 6,000 or 8,000 a day are joining the NRA since last Friday.

Baeuprez: We’ve got that going on in Colorado, the rush to apply for concealed-weapon permits, the gun training businesses are overwhelmed with people.

Chuck: You’ve got to ask yourself, Bob, and I’ll ask you. Do you think it’s to protect yourself against the bad guys or to protect yourself against the government which might say, ‘Only the government is going to have guns?’ You know what I’m saying?

Beauprez: I think a lot of the rush right now for people to get what firearms they want or need, to load up on ammunition, to get better trained, because, at a minimum, they think it’s going to be much harder to do very soon. You’re absolutely correct, there is a growing sentiment within this country that we might be on the verge of something very, very bad. And folks realize they may need to protect themselves against the government that was supposed to be instituted to protect us.”

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/bob-beauprez-says-americans-stocking-guns-for-possible-use-against-own-govt