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

Glenn’s baseless attack on The Denver Post

Monday, August 29th, 2016

The days when journalists wouldn’t respond to officials who insult them, lie about them, degrade them, or otherwise slam their professionalism are fading.

Case in point: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryll Glenn’s ridiculous attacks on The Denver Post.

Glenn said last week he would no longer talk to The Post, explaining on KFKA radio that the newspaper had called him a “liar” and journalists there had become “advocates,” which he finds “totally unacceptable.”

Rather than ignore the unsupportable attack, The Post’s Joey Bunch responded on Twitter:

Bunch: I applied facts to his words until he, not I, said his words were not correct.” [here]

The Post’s John Frank then reported over the weekend:

Glenn did not explain why he is blacklisting Colorado’s largest newspaper, but in an interview Thursday with KFKA talk radio, he appeared to link his decision to the Post’s coverage of his conflicting explanations of a 1983 charge for third-degree assault, which was later dropped…

The coverage of the incident did not call him “a liar.” A campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to questions Friday…

Glenn’s decision — which drew criticism from Republicans and Democrats — and other missteps are disturbing to GOP strategists in Colorado, but many still hope he can regain his footing.

The correction of Glenn is good, but I’d like to see journalist call out officials whenever they attack the press, even if they do so in sweeping terms, like leveling bogus accusations of “liberal media bias.”

This year, GOP Senate President Bill Cadman did so and slid by. U.S. Senator Cory Gardner did it a few times in recent years, with no response from the media.

Glenn also appears to have had a Mike-Coffman moment, when he repeated the same line over and over. Local reporters have been good at spotlighting this behavior. (See this video.)

“My press secretary back there will handle all Denver Post questions,” Glenn told Frank four times when questioned.

You recall, Coffman infamously wondered in 2012 whether Obama is an American, and then he offer a sedcripted and unapologitic apology to 9News Kyle Clark five times in a row.

Fact Check:  Gardner opposed comprehensive immigration reform and backed government shutdown

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Update: After seeing the comments attacking Denver Post editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett, I asked him to comment on my blog post below. I regret not seeking comment from him before posting, but here’s what Plunkett said via email:

Gardner has called for acting on immigration reform. He stood and clapped when Obama asked in is SOTU in 2014 calling for Congress to get it done. He’s for a path to legal status. Yes, he says the border situation has to be secure, and I understand that some use that condition to dodge real reform, but Gardner has for the last two years been more friendly to the issue than others.

I include this piece from Mark Matthew’s in 2014 to show what I mean.

I get it that the use of the word “comprehensive” is too much of a buzzword and it isn’t specific enough. And were I writing specifically about immigration I would have had to have been more detailed. But in the context of a broader editorial about leadership styles, a 10,000-foot view comparison between Gardner’s approach and Cruz/Trump, Gardner is much different. Cruz called for deporting 12 million people in the country illegally, for example.

——-

In an editorial this weekend holding out U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner as the model of the way forward for the Republican Party, The Denver Post claimed Gardner “supports comprehensive immigration reform.”

In fact, Gardner opposed a 2103 comprehensive immigration reform bill, which died in the Republican-controlled House, after it passed by a bipartisan 68-32 vote in the U.S. Senate.

Gardner said at the time immigration reform has to start with border security, and he called for  “additional personnel on the border,” an “e-verify system,” and “additional security, a fence, you name it, on the border.”

Sounds much like Trump, even though The Post’s editorial, titled “How will the GOP rebuild after Trump,” aimed to contrast Gardner with Trump.

Since then, Gardner has called for immigration reform, but the issues section of his website doesn’t list immigration at all. There’s no indication that his position has changed or that he’s for comprehensive immigration reform, in any real sense of the term.

Rep. Mike Coffman, who also opposed the bipartisan U.S. Senate bill in 2013, uses the phrase “comprehensive immigration reform,” but his website says it “must first begin with the comprehensive enforcement of our immigration laws.”

To my way of thinking, if you demand undefined border enforcement first, leaving out the other elements of comprehensive immigration reform, like a path to citizenship, you’re really not for comprehensive immigration reform. It’s not comprehensive.

The Post also claimed Gardner was against the 2013 government shutdown. In fact, 9News’ political reporter Brandon Rittiman determined that in 2014, even though Gardner voted to end the shutdown once it started, “Gardner did vote in line with the Republican strategy that led to the government shutdown.”

Radio interview gives listeners a good overall understanding of U.S. Senate candidate Glenn

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

If you’re still trying to understand Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn, consider listening to the interview of Glenn that aired on Colorado Public Radio last month. It’s one of the most illuminating interviews Glenn of  so far.

Host Ryan Warner touched on a bunch of topics, first explaining that Glenn, who describes himself as an “unapologetic Christian, constitutional conservative pro-life, Second-Amendment-loving American,” is an El Paso Country Commissioner whose low-budget primary victory was fueled by a powerful speech at a Colorado Republican convention and his endorsements from Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz.

A good radio interview gives you an overall sense of the interviewee, in addition to the substance. And Warner’s interview of Glenn shows the candidate’s combativeness and confidence. So you should listen to the interview, not just read it, though you can do both here.

Warner pushes Glenn with admirable persistence on global warming, which Glenn rejects as being caused by humans. Here’s the exchange:

Warner: To get you on the record, you do not agree with the majority of scientists who say climate change has human causes. Is that correct?

Glenn: Well that’s your assumption. You’re bringing an assumption to the table and the premise to your question has me to basically adopt your position and I can’t do that without verifiable data.

Warner: Oh it’s not my position. It’s that the majority of scientists believe that climate change has a human caused component. Do you concur with them?

Glenn: Again, you are bringing facts to the particular issue that I don’t have, been presented to me. You’re saying that the majority of scientists are saying that. That’s your statement.

Warner: Right. Well, that’s a fact. Is it a fact that you agree with?

Glenn: Well that’s the fact that you’re representing and I don’t accept your premise of that question.

Warner: Do you believe that climate change has human causes?

Glenn: Well again, I would, I am a data guy, I would want to see the, a verifiable information of that.

Warner: There’s a lot out there. Have you looked at it?

Glenn: We’ve looked at a lot of things. We’ve also looked at that and we’ve also looked at the economic impact of this policy and how they are disproportionally hurting people when it comes to their livelihood. So that’s really where the focus is. We need to make sure we’re looking at policies like that that we’re looking at both sides of the equation instead of just one. And unfortunately I gotta head into another interview. But I really appreciate this opportunity. I look forward to talking to you again in the future.

Warner: Thanks for your time.

On taxes, Glenn told Warner he supports something like a flat tax.

Glenn: “And then you need to come up with a tax philosophy that’s simplified, something that’s easy for people to understand that allows people to contribute their fair share, in my opinion, probably a flat tax rate is something that we should look at.”

Glenn told Warner he does not believe that suspected terrorists on the government’s “no fly” list should be prohibited from buying guns, because the no-fly list is not accurate enough and could delay or stop innocent Americans from buying firearms.

Glenn backs Trump, yet he would not answer a series of questions from Warner about Trump policies, including whether he supports Trump’s proposal to force Mexico to build a wall on the border. And Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

 

Thanks to journalists who refuse to take the same non-answer for an answer

Friday, June 24th, 2016

Journalists take a lot of hits these days, but we’re all glad they’re out there asking questions.

The final days of the Republican senatorial primary give us an opportunity to thank journalists for asking candidates a question multipile times when the question isn’t answered.

This primary season, we added interviews with former State Rep. Jon Keyser to BigMedia’s video of reporters who refuse to take the same non-answer for a real answer. (The video also includes interviews with Rep. Mike Coffman and Sen. Cory Gardner. Tip of the hat to, among others, 9News’ Kyle Clark and Brandon Rittiman, former Fox 31’s Eli Stokols, and New7’s Marshall Zelinger and Marc Stewart.)

Graham deserves media attention for being the only pro-choice Republican in Senate primary race

Friday, June 24th, 2016

A huge frustration of Personhood USA folks is the familiar pattern of Colorado Republicans winning primary elections with the help of hard-working anti-choice activists and then buckpedaling away from the “pro-life” loyalists once they face the frowns of general-election voters.

See, for example, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) in 2014 and Republican senatorial candidate Ken Buck in 2010. Buck lost anyway, but Gardner (and Rep. Mike Coffman) buckpedaled their way to victory in general elections.

But now Republicans have a candidate who’s breaking free and saying he’s pro-choice from the get-go.

That’s former Colorado State University athletics director Jack Graham, whose website states:

Graham: Although I would never personally support an abortion as a way to deal with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, I do not believe I have the right to impose my choices on others. I support and I believe in a woman’s right to choose; and that our government does not belong in this decision.

It’s hard to imagine Graham buckbedaling on that pro-choice stance if he miraculously wins the GOP primary Tuesday. Why would he? A huge majority of Coloradans support abortion rights.

But Graham’s problem is, can he survive the GOP primary, where anti-choice activists join forces with Tea Partiers and actually win primaries. (See Buck and Maes.)

Graham’s competitors won’t be worrying about losing votes from anti-choice GOP voters because, as I outlined in a post for Rewire today, they’re all pro-life in varying degrees, with Darryl Glenn on top of the heap with the official approval of Colorado Right to Life, meaning he opposes all abortion, even for rape and incest. And he’d give legal rights to fertilized eggs (zygotes).

“I am an unapologetic pro-life American,” Glenn said during a recent televised debate.  “I don’t agree with the decision of Roe v. Wade.”

Graham and his campaign manager, long-time friend Dick Wadhams (See them them together here.), are probably hoping that the “pro-life” vote fragments among Glenn, Robert BlahaRyan Frazier (Listen to Frazier here.), and former state  Rep. Jon Kyser, leaving Graham to snare the three GOP primary voters who are pro-choice.

But, unfortunately for Graham, he already won over the three pro-choice Republicans with his other stands, like his support of gay marriage. And if choice is so important Republicans and determined who they’d vote for, they’d be Democrats! Or marginalized Republicans who aren’t voting in the primary.

So it’s hard to see how Graham wins politically with his pro-choice stance. But if he does, it will be great not to have to see the Buckpedal again. It’s such an ugly dance.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader McConnell says Glenn’s acceptance of a conservative endorsement is like having a “ticket on the Titanic”

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell waded into Colorado politics Saturday, telling KNUS 710’s Craig Silverman that to accept the endorsement of the Senate Conservative Fund (SCF) is like having a “ticket on the Titanic”

So, since Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn has accepted the SCF endorsement, McConnell would preumably say Glenn’s boat is headed toward an iceberg–though McConnell told Silverman he doesn’t know anythig about Glenn.

SILVERMAN:  Who is behind the Senate Conservative Fund?  You know, they were just in the news in Colorado because they have committed to a candidate:  Darryl Glenn, El Paso County Commissioner.  And he is their selection.  Do you know anything about Darryl Glenn?  Or, do you just –.

McCONNELL:  I don’t.  I don’t.  But I can tell you, in Indiana there was a primary the doctor told her that the federal government ever primary between a Senate Conservatives Fund nominee and Congressman Todd Young, the other candidate.  And the candidate of the Senate Conservatives Fund tried to make me an issue in the Indiana Senate primary.  He lost by 34 points.  So, you know, I think any candidate who signs up with the Senate Conservatives Fund has to wonder whether that’s a smart strategy.

SILVERMAN:  Well, who is behind the SCF?  It used to be Jim DeMint.  Is he still the guy there?

McCONNELL:  It was Senator DeMint originally.  But it continues.  I’m not sure who’s running it now.  But they have an outstanding record of defeat, and you’ve got to wonder whether any candidate who is running a smart campaign would want to sign up with those guys.  It’s sort of like a ticket on the Titanic.

Asked for a response to McConnell’s attack, Glenn told me:

Glenn: “I understand he feels that way, and I look forward to seeing him at my swearing in. We will prove him wrong.”

When he was endorsed by the SCF last month, Glenn told The Denver Post that he was “very humbled” to receive the endorsement.

Ken Cuccinelli, president of the SCF said of Glenn in a statement, as reported by The Post: “He’s an inspiring leader who will defend the Constitution and stand up to the liberals in both parties.” “We are excited about his candidacy and will do everything we can to help him with this important race,” he added.

Silverman pointed out that McConnell, who’s said that talk radio misleads conservatives and may have contributed to the rise of Trump, cites Colorado’s 2010 Senate race, lost by Ken Buck, in McConnell’s recent book, The Long Game, as an example of what Republicans should not do.

Here’s a partial transcript of McConnell’s June 4 conversation with Silverman.

SILVERMAN:  In your book you write about how Colorado blew it in 2010, with the help of the Senate Conservative Fund.  What were you talking about there, in 2010, and why do you have such animus for the SCF—the Senate Conservative Fund?

McCONNELL:  Well, the Senate Conservatives Fund has been endorsing people who, if they win the primary, can’t win in the general.  We lost three seats in 2010, one there in Denver, with candidates who were unable to appeal to a broader audience in November.

SILVERMAN:  Ken Buck.

HOST CRAIG SILVERMAN:  Boy, I liked when you said that.  And you said you were “perplexed” by Michael Bennet’s vote.  We would use a different ‘P’ word, and that would be “pissed” at Michael Bennet because he undercut a lot of Colorado supporters — people who thought that he was on the side of Israel, but [it] turned out he was on Team Obama.  And I’ll tell you, it was very disappointing.  And that’s why a lot of us feel he needs to be replaced as the United States Senator.  Have you been following this campaign out in Colorado?

U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, MITCH McCONNELL:  Yeah, I know you don’t have a nominee yet, but I’ve certainly been following the competition.  We hope to be able to compete in Colorado.  Obviously, that will depend on getting a candidate who has a shot at winning.

SILVERMAN:  In your book you write about how Colorado blew it in 2010, with the help of the Senate Conservative Fund.  What were you talking about there, in 2010, and why do you have such animus for the SCF—the Senate Conservative Fund?

McCONNELL:  Well, the Senate Conservatives Fund has been endorsing people who, if they win the primary, can’t win in the general.  We lost three seats in 2010, one there in Denver, with candidates who were unable to appeal to a broader audience in November.

SILVERMAN:  Ken Buck

McCONNELL:  We lost two in 2012 in Indiana and Missouri, with candidate who were unable to appeal to the larger audience.  And so in 2014 we took a different strategy and competed with the Senate Conservatives Fund everywhere they backed a candidate, and defeated them in every primary in 2014.  And that’s why we have a new majority.  And of course, your outstanding Senator, Cory Gardner, was a part of all that.  And it reminds everybody that the only way you can make policy is to actually win the election.  So, the nominating process, in order to work for us, needs to produce nominees who can actually win in November.  Otherwise, you’ve wasted your time.

SILVERMAN:  Who is behind the Senate Conservative Fund?  You know, they were just in the news in Colorado because they have committed to a candidate:  Darryl Glenn, El Paso County Commissioner.  And he is their selection.  Do you know anything about Darryl Glenn?    Or, do you just –.

McCONNELL:  I don’t.  I don’t.  But I can tell you, in Indiana there was a primary the doctor told her that the federal government ever primary between a Senate Conservatives Fund nominee and Congressman Todd Young, the other candidate.  And the candidate of the Senate Conservatives Fund tried to make me an issue in the Indiana Senate primary.  He lost by 34 points.  So, you know, I think any candidate who signs up with the Senate Conservatives Fund has to wonder whether that’s a smart strategy.

SILVERMAN:  Well, who is behind the SCF?  It used to be Jim DeMint.  Is he still the guy there?

McCONNELL:  It was Senator DeMint originally.  But it continues.  I’m not sure who’s running it now.  But they have an outstanding record of defeat, and you’ve got to wonder whether any candidate who is running a smart campaign would want to sign up with those guys.  It’s sort of like a ticket on the Titanic.

Keyser says “liberal media is not going to give up”

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser has proven to be a horrible media critic, threatening a reporter with his dog and saying the media is out to get him, without offering any evidence for his anger.  In fact, I can’t identify a single question from reporters that’s been unfair to Keyser or unreasonable given the facts on the table.

If anyone doubts this, I offer the following exchange between Keyser and KNUS 710-AM’s Dan Caplis, beginning at 28:50 May 18 Hour 2 here.

Caplis: Obviously you’ve been getting a lot of questions over the way you handled an interview with a particular reporter from Channel 7. Give folks your perspective of that conversation through your eyes.

Keyser: The interview that you’re talking about, it actually took place during the middle of a debate. We were in a debate, a candidate debate. We took a five-minute stretch-your-legs break, and then of course this guy  [Denver7’s Marshall Zelinger] came and shoved a camera in my face. We were in the middle of the debate!

You know, I think it takes a lot of discipline to stick you your guns and say, ‘Here’s what I know. I know that I’m on the ballot. The Secretary of State has looked at that. A judge has looked at that again and again.’

And it takes a lot of discipline to not give the left what they want, which is — it’s not the 24-hour news cycle anymore–it’s something that will feed into the 24-minute news cycle.

They wanted me to misspeak, or they wanted to have me say something that they could run with or that would hurt me later. But I was focused on not stoking that fire, because, frankly, that is a very serious thing. And we wanted to make sure that we had the truth, that we knew exactly what happened. And that takes a little while sometimes. Now that doesn’t satisfy 24-minute news cycle.

But, you know, I think it was important that I stood in there, and frankly, we got to have a Republican who can stand there and take the punches, because the liberal media is not going to give up. They are not going to give me a free pass. That’s for sure. So, I’ve got to be able to stay on message, stay disciplined and be able to take the punches. And I’ve shown again and again that I can. I’ve answered more questions in the four months that I’ve been running for the United States Senate than Michael Bennet has in 4 years…

Caplis: This reporter who went to your home during the day?

Keyser: Yeah, certainly I think there are boundaries. And like any dad, I’m protective of my family. And if it seemed in that interview that I was agitated or somewhat upset, it’s because I was! It’s because I’m a dad. I’m very protective.  He scared my kids. My baby cried for another hour after they left. Nobody’s jumping out of Michael Bennet’s bushes to ask him questions.

Keyser fails as media critic

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Republican Senate candidate Jon Keyser is adopting the Douglas-Bruce style of media criticism.

You recall Bruce, who authored Colorado’s TABOR amendment, once kicked a newspaper photographer at the capitol. Keyser didn’t kick, but he threatened a bite or two when he told Denver7’s Marshall Zellinger:

Keyser: “He’s a great dog. He’s bigger than you are. He’s huge. He’s a big guy. Very protective.”

At last night’s Denver Post debate, Keyser continued to be a low-information media critic. After complimenting The Denver Post for its coverage of his campaign’s forged ballot-access signatures, including one from a dead person, Keyser said:

Keyser:  “But frankly, there are a lot of media outlets in this state that have really done lots of heavy lifting, carried the water, for liberals on this to disguise Michael Bennet’s record and get us talking about anything that doesn’t involve Michael Bennet…

There’s big problem here in the media, because, there’s a double standard that exists. You know, frankly, I don’t know of anybody jumping out of the bushes to ask Michael Bennet questions about Iran or his support of closing Guantanamo Bay…

If he continues to criticize the media, Keyser would do well to focus on very specfific facts and stay away from misniformation and dogs and threats. For example, no one needed to jump out of the bushes to ask Bennet about Iran, because he took questions about it.

If Keyser keeps going after reporters like he’s doing, he risks creeping into the media’s doghouse. And no candidate wants to be there.

Keyser coverage should focus on key point even Republican allies aren’t standing up for Keyser

Friday, May 13th, 2016

UPDATE: Everett and Holbert continue going after Keyser.

—————
Never afraid to withhold his opinion when it comes to U.S. Senate candiate Jon Keyser, Rep. Justin Everett (R-Littleton) unleashed these Facebook posts this week:

Everett: “Sadly this is classic Keyser, saw this quite a few times in the year we served together in the legislature. Again, this guy is not ready for prime time…

A couple things here:
#1 – Again Keyser is not ready for prime time and his validity as a candidate will dog him for the rest of the campaign
#2 – Clearly the Secretary of State has a flawed review process; I may be working on legislation to address this next year
#3 – Go through the caucus and assembly process. Less expensive and you’ll KNOW if you’ve made the ballot.”

Everett was a supporter of Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton), another GOP U.S. Senate candidate who failed to make the Republican GOP primary ballot.

But Everett’s attack highlights the absence of any GOP support for Keyser in the copious media coverage of his refusal to answer questions about forged signatures on his ballot-access petition.

What you do see are Republicans like Everett and Rep. Chris Holbert, who wrote on Facebook of Keyser:

Holbert: “Sweat, shuffle around nervously, evade the question, and blink a lot nervously. Nailed it!”

The GOP response is key, at least for now, because it’s Republicans who will determine whether Keyser faces Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in November.

And the signs, beyond the attacks from Keyser’s expected GOP critics, aren’t looking good–as in there are literally no signs of GOP support for Keyser.

The Republican audience at yesterday’s debate at the Foothills Republican Club didn’t respond well to Keyser’s spin, as reported by The Denver Post’s John Frank:

The debate’s first four questions involved the petition issue, and Keyser refused to answer all of them.

“Here’s the important thing. I’m on the ballot, and I’m going to beat Michael Bennet,” Keyser said in a line he repeated five times in two minutes.

The response drew groans from the crowd and a shot from GOP rival Darryl Glenn who said the issue is important to the candidate’s integrity.

“If you are going to stand for the rule of law, if you are going to raise your hand and support the constitution, then you need to follow the law,” Glenn said to applause. “That’s the issue.”

So at this point, it looks like no one is supporting Keyser, not even any of Keyser’s allies. That’s a key point that journalists should document in more detail as we move forward.

 

Keyser said he’d “double- and triple-checked” his petition signatures and “everything”

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

With Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser still not talking to reporters about multiple forged signatures on his ballot-access petitions, I had no choice but to look back at previous statements Keyser made about the signature-gathering process. And reporters should be interested in what I found.

Recall that he claimed, on conservative talk radio May 2, to have “double- and triple-checked our petition signatures.”  Listen below.

In fact, in one interview on KOA 850-AM, he twice said he the phrase “double- and triple-checked,” indicating he’d put some thought into it. He said his campaign checked “everything” related to the petition process, which you’d think would include forgeries and signature gatherers with criminal histories of forgery.

This leads to the question for Keyser, if he ever talks to reporters about this: How could he possibly have double- and triple- checked his signatures if at least 10, according to 7News, are forgeries?

Why did Keyser say he double- and triple-checked the signature, as well as the entire “petition process and everything?” Did someone mislead him? Was he making this up? Why didn’t he verify what he was saying before he said it?

Keyser told KOA’s Mandy Connell on May 2:

Keyser: “It was an interesting week. It wasn’t too dramatic for us. We had double- and triple-checked our petition process and everything. And actually, I’m a reservist still in the United States Air Force, and I was gone on reserve duty. And I knew that we had double- and triple-checked our petition signatures. But we had a secretary of state that said we had a problem. We were a few signatures short in one of the congressional districts. But we knew we were okay. We were very confident about that. It took a couple days, but I’m on the ballot now and ready to beat Michael Bennet.” [needless to say, BigMedia emphasis]