Archive for the 'Colorado U.S. Senate' Category

What’s up with Gardner wanting public postings of the Ten Commandments?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Why are the 10 Commandments so attractive to conservatives that talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt doesn’t blink an eye when gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez says we should “go back” to the 10 Commandments to restore “some order in society.”

Beauprez: “That’s why God gave Moses those 10 Commandments, wasn’t it, to keep some order in society. And I think that’s what we’ve got to go back to.”

Beauprez brought up the Commandments as part of his solution to the immigration tragedy along the border.

If I were Hewitt, I’d have asked how not coveting they neighbor’s wife, not using the lord’s name in vain, and not being an atheist would help the teenage migrants.

Worse is the free pass from real reporters that a candidate for U.S. Senate, Rep. Cory Gardner, gets for his support of “public posting the 10 Commandments.”

It’s one thing for Beauprez to push moral fortitude via the Commandments; it’s another for Gardner to endorse state sponsorship of religious material.
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Where does Gardner want such postings? Courts? Schools? DMV? He deserves to be asked.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/hewitt-doesnt-challenge-beauprez-on-his-longing-for-10-commandments-071614

Intensifying personhood debate should put media spotlight on Gardner, who stood with personhood when it was first launched

Monday, July 21st, 2014

The kickoff rally to oppose Amendment 67, which would add “unborn human beings” to Colorado’s criminal code and wrongful death act, is set for tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. on the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol, exactly 45 minutes after proponents of the Personhood-USA-backed measure stage a counter protest at the same location.

If you re-wind just over six years ago to the State Capitol, you’d find a related news event taking place: the 2008 personhood amendment was picking up its first real legitimacy.

Personhood activists staged a press conference with, as Channel 7 reported at the time, “some of Colorado’s most conservative leaders,” including Bill Cadman, Mike Kopp, and Josh Penry. (Watch it here.)

Also present was then State Rep. Cory Gardner, who you can see on the left of the screen shot below.

Gardner and the others got a shout-out from Kristi Burton, the initiator of the 2008 personhood effort, in a subsequent news release about the event:

Colorado for Equal Rights and State Senator Scott Renfroe organized a press conference in which ten state legislators gave their public support to the Colorado Human Life Amendment. Endorsements were given by State Senators Scott Renfroe, Greg Brophy, David Schultheis, Mike Kopp, Josh Penry, Ted Harvey, and Bill Cadman and State Representatives Kent Lambert, Jerry Sonnenberg, and Corey Gardner.

Colorado for Equal Rights applauds the courage of these state legislators in stepping out and taking a stand for those people who have no voice…the unborn. As Senator Greg Brophy stated, “Clearly it’s always the right time to take the stand for the sanctity of life.”

The underlying politics of this year’s Personhood-backed amendment is obviously a major part of the story. And no one illustrates the shifting politics better than GOP senatorial candidate Gardner.

Tomorrow’s events provide an excellent opportunity for reporters to clarify how Gardner’s position on Amendment 67, which he’s said he opposes, squares with his position on federal personhood legislation, which he cosponsored in July of last year.

Recently, Gardner’s spokesman told The Denver Post that the federal bill is simply an expression of belief, not a proposed law. This is factually incorrect, and journalists should find out directly from Gardner what his own thinking on the legislation is. If it turns out he opposes it, will he un-cosponsor it by making a speech? If he supports it, what does he think the federal legislation would actually do, if anything?

Craig Silverman talks about his new talk-radio show

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Craig Silverman returned to Denver’s radio waves a couple weeks ago, as you may know if you saw my recent blog post criticizing him for failing to challenge senatorial candidate Cory Gardner’s assertion that Sen. Mark Udall is simply “trying to distract voters” by attacking Gardner for his extreme anti-choice record, which isn’t “top of mind for people.”

I’m glad to see Silverman back on the air. He can be an entertaining and/or gutsy interviewer, whose questions have had an impact on Colorado beyond what most people realize. Plus, I appreciate almost any local voice, as we lose more and more of them to the corporate media monolith.

Silverman’s show airs on KNUS 710-AM Saturdays, from 9 to noon. He’s the latest talk-radio host to be resurrected by KNUS, which is featuring a local lineup that includes Peter Boyles, Dan Caplis, Steve Kelley, Bill Rogan, Jimmy Sengenberger, Matt Dunn, Krista Kafer, and others.

Silverman answers a few of my questions below about his new show.

Jason: Tell me what the show will focus on.

Silverman: The Craig Silverman Show will focus on current events and entertaining, thought provoking topics. We will look at the week that was, enjoy the weekend, and look forward to the week ahead. I’ll have a regular feature named CRAIG’S LAWYERS’ LOUNGE in which we create a forum for prominent attorneys to relax and tell us their war stories. My first guest was Johnny Carson’s former attorney, Henry Bushkin, who told us about the best lawyering job he ever did for Johnny, and how Johnny packed heat.

For a feature named Call of the Week, I had on famous progressive and regular talk show caller, Frank, the leftie lawyer, whose real name I know. Frank had called Dan Caplis to say how little courage he thinks Governor Hickenlooper possesses, and it bothers him such that he has decided to vote for Bob Beauprez. Wow, that was news! Bob Beauprez may really win. So I had Frank on to accept his award toward the end of the show and he was funny and grateful and it was a nice way to end a terrific debut show. Here is a link to the last hour of my show with Bushkin and Frank. Hour one is here and this is hour two.

Jason: Will you welcome progressive callers?

Silverman: Absolutely. You won’t have to say “ditto” or “you are a great American” to get on our shows. I welcome all callers and, as a lawyer, I appreciate a good argument. I like to banter. Besides, unlike some famous talk show hosts, I don’t know everything. I still have a lot to learn. My point of view is rarely too rigid to accommodate new information and good arguments.

Jason: What do you say to progressives who say there’s no significant difference, on the political spectrum, between you and Dan Caplis?

Silverman: I would say those people must get a mental health check-up. Dan and I have some areas of agreement. Neither one of us wanted Ward Churchill to continue as a Professor at CU. Dan never thought that Barack Obama would be a good President and it turns out he was correct. But I was right about Mel Gibson. Dan is pro-life and I favor a woman’s right to choose (1st trimester please). I support gay marriage. Dan doesn’t. Dan favors cannabis prohibition and I believe the war on marijuana was hypocritical and unsuccessful. I support the separation of church and state, and the separation of state and church. Live and let live. But don’t hurt people.

Jason: You mentioned that you’ll be adding some unusual segments each week, announcing a guest of the week and question of the week from KNUS shows. Are you going to listen to all KNUS shows of Boyles, Caplis, Kelley, to get these?

Silverman: My segments are creative and fun and ideally suited for the weekend. I will announce the weekly winner for Best Guest, Call of the Week, Best TV Bite of the Week, and Best Question. The winner is highly subjective and based strictly on the portions of talk radio and television that come to my attention. People can let me know their nominations and give me links to consider on my Facebook page or twitter @CraigsColorado. I listen to KNUS more than any other media right now because I find the topics interesting and appreciate the quality of its national and local hosts.

Jason: I know you’re happy to be back on the air. But can you give me a sense of just how important and gratifying it is for you to have a KNUS show? What’s driving you to do this? It can’t be the money or the audience on KNUS Saturday mornings?

Silverman: KNUS is the best place to be right now. They are spending more money than the competition, and it shows. Advertising and ratings are strong and growing. The management, staff, and the production teams are top notch and have great attitudes.

If people haven’t checked out 710 KNUS in a while, they should, especially for my show. Peter Boyles has the station cooking with gas and he is not a Christian and he is not a Republican. Neither am I.

As for what drives me, I’m getting paid a fair amount to do something I enjoy, and few things concentrate the mind like live broadcasting. Its stimulating to ponder the great issues of the day. Many of my old advertisers have signed up to sponsor my new show so don’t think this is a non-profit. The audience for 710 KNUS is large and I hope to make it larger. What else do you want to listen to at 9:00 on a Saturday morning? The Mutual Fund Show? An infomercial about how green tea cures cancer? A replay of NPR’s seven a.m. hour. An older than dirt Car Talk segment? Did you know those car guys retired in 2012 and the show is all repeats?

Jason: Please explain briefly how you got your start in radio, when you joined Caplis, when that ended, and anything else about your media career.

Silverman: I have been part of Colorado media for decades now. I worked for the Denver DA’s Office from 1980 to 1996 where I was a Chief Deputy District Attorney. I handled many big cases that were covered by the media and I was accordingly asked to do commentary on other cases. I was the first Colorado attorney to be a guest commentator on Court TV in their studios in New York and I commented frequently for the LA Times and numerous other media outlets about the botched prosecution of OJ Simpson. It was during that trial and while I was Chief Deputy DA that I would leave my government job at 5:00 and rush over to Channel 9 to analyze the OJ case with Ed Sardella, Adelle Arawakawa, and Scott Robinson. Then, I would run over to the radio studio of The Dan Caplis Show to add further commentary on that incredible OJ case. In 1996, I ran as an unaffiliated/independent candidate for Denver District Attorney against incumbent Democrat Bill Ritter. I lost but it was a hell of a campaign that received extensive coverage from the local media and newspapers. The Rocky Mountain News endorsed me. The Denver Post did not like me, especially because I had successfully prosecuted a death penalty case (People v. Frank Rodriguez).

My campaign theme was that Politics and Prosecution are a Poor Mix but I lost and I was pressed into private practice. I quickly partnered with my good friend and former Denver DA’s office colleague David Olivas and we have had the law firm of Silverman & Olivas, P.C. for almost 20 years now.

I lost the election in November of 1996 and in December of 1996, the tragic murder of JonBenet Ramsey happened and I was called by members of the media to comment on the case. Peter Boyles had me on regularly. I was on ABC’s Nightline which led to the people at Rivera Live seeing me and liking me and then having me on that hugely successfully CNBC show many dozens of times. I was hired in 1997 to be the legal analyst for KGMH Channel 7 and I did that for ten years until the radio show interfered.

Since Jon Benet, there have been other fascinating Colorado situations including Oklahoma City Bombing Trial, Columbine, and the Kobe Bryant case. I have appeared hundreds of times on various national television shows, and in local and national newspapers, discussing these and other legal matters.

During the Kobe Bryant case, I was up in Eagle covering the situation for Channel 7 and also as a paid legal analyst for 850 KOA. Alex Stone and I were roommates up there and Dan Caplis was hosting a Saturday morning show on KOA. I was a regular guest again with Dan and he started doing some fill in work on KOA’s evening talk shows and then, Ken Saso passed away, and Dan Caplis was the evening talk show host in his absence. I was a regular guest and Kris Olinger who was a great program director liked Caplis and Silverman and came up with the idea for us to do an afternoon drive time show on 630 KHOW. We did the show for 8 years from the summer of 2004 to the summer of 2012 and we won every available award at one point or another for our broadcast excellence. We broadcast live from the Democratic National Convention and we each penned daily columns for the late great Rocky Mountain News during that DNC week.

Some people like a certain Jason Salzman thought I should be more liberal to counteract Dan’s conservatism but that was never what we were meant to be. Besides, I could not play the part of a complete progressive because I am not. I am liberal compared to Dan Caplis but conservative compared to Jason Salzman. I defy easy categorization.

What I am is a trial lawyer who likes to put on a winning show. That is what I’ll try to do every Saturday. It will be like nothing like Colorado talk radio listeners have ever heard before and I hope everybody will enjoy it.

Radio show should air rebuttal to Gardner’s comment that Udall is “trying to distract voters” with abortion/contraception ads

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

On a Denver radio show over the weekend, GOP senatorial candidate Cory Gardner accused his Democratic opponent, Sen. Mark Udall, of “trying to distract voters” by spotlighting Gardner’s stances on abortion and contraception, which “aren’t top of mind for people.”

I would have enjoyed hearing Gardner say that to room full of women, but, alas, Gardner’s words fell on talk radio, which skews male and old. And Craig Silverman, who hosted the KNUS 710-AM show on which Gardner made the comments, didn’t offer any words of rebuttal, from himself or any critic, male or female.

A response from a Planned Parenthood representative–or anyone–from Texas, where new anti-choice laws will reduce the number of abortion clinics to eight statewide by Sept. 1, might make a particularly good radio debate on this topic.

As I reported today on RH Reality Check about Gardner’s comment that Udall is “trying to distract the voters with issues that, quite frankly, aren’t top of mind for people:”

Gardner’s statement reflects comments he made during his first congressional campaign in 2010, when he defeated Betsy Markey, a pro-choice Democrat trying to hold her seat in a Republican-leaning congressional district.

In response to Markey’s attacks on his hardline anti-abortion positions, including his support of Colorado’s failed “personhood” amendment in 2008, Gardner said at the time, “Right now the only person talking about social issues in this campaign is Betsy Markey.” He promised reporters not to pursue an anti-abortion agenda if elected to Congress.

After winning the election, however, Gardner co-sponsored bills to redefine rape, defund Planned Parenthood, and to define a “person” in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to include all human development, beginning at the fertilized egg (zygote) stage.

Media omission: Federal personhood bill, co-sponsored by Gardner, aims to ban abortion just like state version

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

A spokesman for senatorial candidate Cory Gardner told The Denver Post today that the federal personhood bill, co-sponsored by Gardner in July of last year, “simply states that life begins at conception” and would not change contraception laws.

“The federal proposal in question simply states that life begins at conception, as most pro-life Americans believe, with no change to contraception laws as Senator Udall falsely alleges,” [Gardner spokesperson Alex] Siciliano said.

In fact, the federal “Life at Conception Act” aims to make personhood federal law, applicable to all states, including Colorado and banning all abortion, even for rape, and common forms of birth control.

Here’s how: The full title of the Life at Conception Act is: “To implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.”

You may be surprised that the 14th Amendment, Section 5, allows Congressto pass legislation to re-define the definition of a “person” under federal law. This skirts the normal, lengthy process for amending the U.S. Constitution. The 14th Amendment, Section 5, states:

“The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

Anti-abortion activists have seized on this provision of the 14th Amendment to push federal legislation that would define a “person” as beginning at the fertilized egg (or “zygote”) stage. They argue that by passing such legislation, they are enforcing the due-process and equal-protection guarantees of the 14th Amendment. Hence, the Life at Conception Act states in part:

To implement equal protection for the right to life of each born and preborn human person, and pursuant to the duty and authority of the Congress, including Congress’ power under article I, section 8, to make necessary and proper laws, and Congress’ power under section 5 of the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Congress hereby declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being. …

The term “human being” is defined in the billas “all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization…”

The terms “human person” and “human being” include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.

So, to summarize:  The Life at Conception Act aims to redefine the definition of a person in the Fourteenth Amendment, and apply the 14th Amendment’s protections to zygotes, hence banning all abortion, even for rape, as well as common forms of birth control that endanger, or even potentially endanger, fertilized eggs. It would give legal protections to fertilized eggs. In a word, personhood.

Reporters should not let Gardner, or his spokespeople, mislead the public about the aim of the federal personhood bill that he co-sponsored last year.

Media omission: Gardner un-cosponsored legislation in 2011, showing how how can un-cosponsor personhood legislation now

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

One of the biggest election-year hypocrisies hanging out there, waiting for a civic-minded reporter to jump on, is the fact that senatorial candidate Cory Gardner remains a cosponsor of federal personhood legislation, even though he’s told the world, both in interviews and even in a paid advertisement, that he’s “learned more” about “personhood” and changed his mind about supporting it.

To un-cosponsor the federal personhood bill, the Life at Conception Act, Gardner must give a speech from the floor of the House of Representatives. Why hasn’t he done this?

Now is the time for the aforementioned civic-minded reporter to jump in and remind Gardner that he’s trotted down to the floor of House and un-cosponsored at least one bill before.

Back in 2011, Gardner, along with fellow Colorado Congressmen Coffman and Tipton, cosponsored legislation offering tax credits for natural-gas-powered vehicles.

But the oil-loving Koch brothers caught wind of the legislation, and pressured co-sponsors of the bill to withdraw their names.

As the Sunlight Foundation reported at the time:

But some companies, led by the oil refining conglomerate owned by the politically influential Koch brothers, have campaigned against the legislation, according to a report in The Hill newspaper. Their efforts have resulted in 14 members of Congress withdrawing their support for the bill.

Gardner, Coffman, and Tipton apparently felt the Koch pressure, and speaking from the floor of the House, one by one, they asked that their cosponsorship of the natural-gas bill (HR 1380) be ended. Click at the bottom of the page here, on “Show cosponsors who withdrew.”

Here’s C-Span video of these exciting acts of remorse and regret. In the first video, Gardner is not pictured, but you hear Gardner say:

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: For what purpose would the gentleman from Colorado like to address the House?

GARDNER: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I ask unanimous consent that my name be removed from [H.R.] 1380.”

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Without objection.

Then you see Rep. Scott Tipton make the same request. In the second video, you see Rep. Mike Coffman do it.

WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj7VRXfTKg0&feature=share&list=UUSj-lO7VwQBYZBK-56FXN7w

WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMq3Ya_OjFw&list=UUSj-lO7VwQBYZBK-56FXN7w&feature=share&index=2

If Gardner can do this in 2011, why won’t he do it now?

During an interview on with CBS4′s Shaun Boyd in April, Gardner went out of his way to distinguish between state and federal personhood proposals, as gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has also done, indicating that he may not take back his support of federal personhood, even though the state and federal measures would do the same thing. And Gardner has defended his anti-abortion record on the radio.

It was only June of 2013 when Gardner first added his name to the list of cosponsors of the Life at Conception Act. Maybe he’s fine with it. It’s a question that deserves to be asked.

Context in Associated Press story helps readers understand nuances of immigration issue

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

An Associated Press article last week reported on the clashes between Sen. Mark Udall and his Republican opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner, on immigration issues. The AP piece, by Nicholas Riccardi, not only presents the two candidates’ current positions on the topic but also adds info about what the one of the  candidates is not saying.

Gardner last week said that he did support citizenship for people here illegally who served in the military. But he would not give any more specifics about who else should be granted citizenship.

Information about what  candidates aren’t willing to say allows readers to make meaningful comparisons.

It helps voters distinguish, in this case, a narrow immigration position, like Gardner’s, from a broader one, like the comprehensive immigration reform supported by Udall. (Reporters covering Rep. Mike Coffman should also point out his unwillingness to offer a specific immigration plan, beyond vagaries–unlike his Democratic opponent Andrew Romanoff, who’s a backer of the bipartisan Senate bill.)

Riccardi’s piece clearly states that Udall supports the bipartisan immigration bill passed by the Senate, and Gardner does not.

Gardner has long opposed any immigration reform, even reduced college tuition for undocumented young people, until unspecified border security measures are in place.

Gardner attacked Udall for supporting a 2005 bill that would have made it a felony to be in the United States illegally, Riccardi reported.

For context, as he did with the two candidates’ current immigration stances, Riccardi should have contrasted Gardner’s own positions back then to Udall’s.

Gardner, for example, was part of an organization called State Legislators for Legal Immigration, according to a May 22, 2007 Greeley Tribune article. Among other extreme immigration positions, Gardner’s group wanted to prohibit the children of undocumented immigrants from attending school, even elementary school, and from receiving all other public assistance.

This comports with Gardner’s 2006 vote in the state legislature against providing any benefits, including preventative care, like immunizations, to undocumented children as well as adults. At the time, Gardner was allied with the lawmakers in Colorado who thought the tough compromise legislation, passed during the special session in 2006, didn’t go far enough.

Double-speak becoming part of the required context for reporting on Gardner

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

In her “Reality Check” spots about political ads, CBS4′s Shaun Boyd doesn’t just render verdicts on the truthiness of political advertisements but also offers contextual information for viewers, telling us, “Here’s What You Need to Know.”

Evaluating the veracity of an ad stating that Gardner sides with big oil because, as the ad states, he’s voted “to keep billions in handouts for big oil companies, even as they make record profits,” Boyd reported last week that Gardner indeed “opposed repealing tax breaks that have been in place for oil-and-gas producers for more than 100 years.” But she found the statement that Gardner is on the side of big oil “misleading” because Gardner has also supported wind energy.

Here’s What You Need to Know:  Last year, on a talk radio show, Gardner suggested last eliminating the Energy Department altogether:

Gardner: “In fact, Energy Department is something we ought to look at and see whether or not they are actually justified to be there anyway.”

I couldn’t believe it when I heard Gardner say it, but no one else seemed to care at the time, except radio-host Amy Oliver, who lapped it up lovingly.

And that points to the context that Boyd should have added to her piece on the League of Conservation Voters’ ad: Gardner talks about energy policy in radically different ways depending on the audience.

You say, all politicians pander. Okay, but eliminating the Energy Department? Who besides former GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry tries to say that.

What if Gardner had been speaking to employees at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which is funded by the Energy Department? Would Gardner have talked to them like he did to Oliver, KFKA’s anti-wind-energy radio host, who doubles as a staffer for the libertarian Independence Institute? Would he go there and say we need to have a conversation about how to save money, and junking the Energy Department should be part of it?

Double-speak is something reporters naturally look for. With Gardner, it’s getting to the point where it’s part of the context for whatever he’s talking about, starting with personhood, of course, and heading out from there to global warming, taxes, immigration, and more.

Ross Kaminsky discusses his column about Gardner, Tancredo, and immigration politics

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

American Spectator columnist Ross Kaminsky was the only media figure who reported on a private meeting last month between Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner and “a small group of Republicans” to discuss immigration policy.

“The roughly 10 people in the room,” Kaminsky wrote in his much-discussed column about the meeting, “included representatives of business, of the media (me), prominent former Colorado politicians and party leaders, and — perhaps most interestingly — two evangelical Christian pastors.”

What I’d have given for an invitation to that meeting, which sources tell me occurred at the Denver law firm of Holland & Hart. (At least I get to sniff around there for a June 10 fundraiser for my kid’s East High debate team. Email me if you want to donate.)

Impressed with Kaminsky’s access and the debate his piece generated, I called to find out more about the meeting and his role as media representative.

“I was there partly in my capacity as a media person and partly because the people who organized the meeting know my views on immigration and wanted me to express them to Congressman Gardner,” Kaminsky told me. “So I was there in a dual role.

“They wanted me to write about it. I wanted to write about it. The only stipulation given to me was not to name the meeting participants, other than Congressman Gardner. And I thought that as long as I could describe their function in life–a minister, a political operative–that it wasn’t really important what their names were. So I was fine with that. I didn’t think it impacted the substance of my article.”

I asked Kaminsky if he had any insight into why the meeting was private.

“One thing that came up in the meeting, which I think is true, is, when you’re talking about immigration, it seems people will give very different answers in small private groups than they will in public, especially on the Republican side,” replied Kaminsky, who’s registered as an independent. “I think there are a lot of Republicans who are becoming more sympathetic to immigration reform but are a little bit afraid to say it in public. It might be the equivalent of a pro-life Democrat. So I think the purpose of the meeting was not to hide stuff, because if it was I wouldn’t have been invited, right? I think the organizers felt like getting a small group together would allow a more honest conversation. And I think it happened that way. I think that analysis was right.”

Kaminsky told me Gardner mostly listened, but he added:  “[Gardner] did offer short comments, generally, after each person spoke. When he responded to a person’s comment, it was not just some broad platitudes and generalities. He responded in short but detailed answers that related directly to what the person said. He was really paying attention.”

Kaminsky, who’s a talk-show host on 850 KOA, favors immigration reform, he says, but not the comprehensive variety, and without a path to citizenship (except possibly for young immigrants). Kaminsky wants a bite-sized approach, as he would with any legislation. In his column, Kaminsky’s argued, among other things, that hard-line self-deport immigration policies, like those of Tom Tancredo in particular, will poison Republican candidates in Colorado.

Kaminsky complimented Gardner for favoring a guest-worker program, and he’s not troubled by the fact that Gardner opposed a guest-worker program back in 2008 in the state legislature that would have created a guest-visa program for agricultural workers.

“People change, things change,” replied Kaminsky. “And you know what, staying cynical, even though I like Cory, politicians frequently do what’s best for politicians. Even the ones who I think are good people, they are always balancing, how do I make sure I keep my job versus what’s best for the country. And I think that of all of them. I don’t think Mark Udall is a bad person. I’ve met him. He was very pleasant to me, and I enjoyed talking to him. I just disagree with him. Whether it’s him or Cory Gardner, their just considering their futures.”

In his column, Kaminsky accused Democratic Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of having “no interest in actually dealing with the question; they, like their party leaders, want a wedge issue more than they want a solution.”

Given that 68 Senators passed comprehensive immigration reform in bipartisan fashion, with 32 Republicans opposed, how is immigration reform, as accomplished via the Senate bill, a wedge issue? (Gardner has made no secret of his opposition to the Senate immigration bill, even though he supported comprehensive reform after the last election.)

“I think there’s a continuum here,” Kaminisky said. “I don’t think it’s exactly fair to say that I think it’s just a wedge issue. I do think, on balance, they would prefer to have the issue than any solution that’s actually politically conceivable at this time. I think there are reform measures that Democrats would accept and give up having the issue, but I think what they would accept would include a path to citizenship that’s shorter and easier than would have any chance of getting through the House of Representatives at this time. I don’t give politicians a lot of credit for voting for something that has no chance of passing… This is true on the Republican side as well. They know it would have absolutely zero chance in the House of Representatives and therefore their consideration is not so much for the policy as it is about their own personal political situation. I don’t think a vote for the Senate bill proved that they would rather have a solution than the issue.”

Kaminsky agreed with me that, along the way, media coverage made it appear as if the Senate bill might pass the House, and it certainly would have had it come to a full vote, but Kaminsky never thought House passage was possible.

Kaminsky told me he wrote his column, which was titled Changing Immigration Politics in Colorado, to try to change the Republican Party.

“To me the most interesting part was those two evangelical pastors from different churches and how surprised they were in the rapidity of the change in the views of the people of their congregations, how fast and how far those views have been changing,” Kaminisky said. “And for these guys to say that they think that evangelicals, both in the leadership of churches and within the congregations, are more likely to support reform than oppose it, I thought was pretty amazing.”

 

Once eager to be talk-radio guest, Gardner now always has “an excuse” to decline interviews, radio-host says

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

“Before, whenever we wanted Cory, we made a call, and we got Cory,” said KNUS radio-host Dan Caplis on air Monday. “Now, there’s always an excuse.”

Caplis, who’s usually big on personal responsibility, blames Gardner’s “handlers” for ducking his show, not Gardner himself.

“It’s like, ‘Wait a second handlers!’ Let Cory be Cory. Let Cory loose,” Caplis told listeners Monday. “And let him go out and work this state retail.  You know, don’t be afraid of protecting or scripting every sentence, every paragraph the guy says.  He’ll be a very fine U.S. Senator.  Just trust him to be Cory. And maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s just an initial impression, but my impression is that he may be over-managed at this point. [BigMedia emphasis]

Chuck Bonniwell, who was a guest-host on another KNUS show Monday, joined Caplis on is show briefly, saying:

“[Gardner] ought to at least come on the ‘Dan Caplis Shows’ of the world, where he’s going to get a positive reception, he’s going to be treated with respect, and he’s going to do well.  And they ought to at least do those.  And they can’t even do that, which is amazing, just amazing!”

Gardner last appeared on Caplis’ show just after Gardner announced his senatorial run against Democrat Mark Udall. But since then, silence.

“What I’m worried about is, as great as I believe Cory is, it’s because I’ve had a chance to get to know him,” said Caplis on air. “You know, Cory and I would give speeches at different dinners. We’d do interviews on air, et cetera. Most of the people in this state don’t know Cory yet. How are they going to know how good he his unless they get a chance to get to know him?”

In the weeks after announcing his campaign, Gardner has faced questions from the media, including talk-show hosts, about his vacillating positions on abortion and immigration.

Journalists and talk-show hosts alike do the right thing when they tell us about their difficulties landing public officials for interviews. Caplis said on air that his criticism is an “initial concern,” but “we have had a hard time getting Cory on the show, since the original interview.” He’s hoping things will change soon.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/caplis-criticizes-gardner-for-ducking-show