Archive for the 'KNUS' Category

Talk show host asks right question about GOP circular firing squad but doesn’t answer it

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Sometimes KNUS 710-AM’s Dan Caplis doesn’t shy away from the simple questions, and sometimes, honestly, they’re the best ones. Take this query that he put to Jeff Hays, who’s campaign to lead the Colorado Republican Party.

Caplis (@8 min): “What can you do as GOP chair to make sure that we don’t get a circular firing squad, where whoever wins the primary has been so crippled in the primary that they can’t win the general? What can you do about that as chair, if anything?”

Hays: “Well, we can use the infrastructure of the party. And that’s something that needs to be made more robust and more capable to communicate to folks, ‘Let’s give everyone the respect they are due.’ There are certainly going to be points of contention and disagreement. That’s fine. But we can disagree without being disagreeable. When we treat each other with better respect, when Republicans win, the state wins and the nation wins.”

Caplis: “Well said. I hope we can keep the conversation going.”

If you’ve watched the Colorado Republican Party’s string of spectacular self-immolations (Schaffer, McInnis, Maes, Buck, Beauprez, Keyser, etc, etc.), you know how good Caplis’ question is.

But the fun here is in the follow-up, which Caplis dropped.

I mean, Hays is already under serious attack by an opponent, George Athanasopoulos, for bringing Obamacare to Colorado by backing former Rep. Amy Stephens, who sponsored the bill (SB 200) that established Colorado’s insurance market, Connect for Health Colorado. How can Hays’ bloody history of sparring with the right wing of the GOP possibly be forgotten?

There’s almost nothing Hays can say that’s not loaded, even in answering a simple question like Caplis’.

Take, for example, Hays’ simple promise to “use the infrastructure of the party.” I’m sure I’m not the only one who reads that and thinks about the state GOP’s failed Independent Expenditure Committee, which some in the GOP thought would be used against their own. The phrase brings to mind the attacks on the current Chair Steve House for allegedly opposing Trump in the primary.  Then there’s the Republican Governors Association’s attacks on Tancredo, etc, etc.

In short, when it comes to the GOP in Colorado, you can’t tiptoe lightly enough. You have to walk on water. Can Hays do that? Can Athanasopoulos?

Trump isn’t going to make the divisions among Republicans in Colorado go away. Exactly the opposite. The right wing of the party is empowered by Trump’s victory. Listen to talk radio these days! And the establishment remains skeptical, especially in light of Hillary Clinton’s solid win here.

So the next GOP chair has his or her work cut out for them. Ask Steve house. Or Dick Wadhams. Or poor Ryan Call.

Radio host drops the ball in interview with Gardner, who signals support for Tillerson

Friday, January 13th, 2017

In an appearance on KNUS 710-AM Thursday, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is “somebody that a president should be able to have on his cabinet.”

Gardner also said he was “very impressed” with Trump’s education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos (SSSP).

But Caplis dropped the ball by not challenging Gardner on his comments about Russia.

Gardner: “One of the biggest threats that we had created ourselves is the fact that the U.S. presented weakness over the last eight years. And when we present weakness, we embolden our enemies.  As a result, we’ve seen an emboldened Russia, we’ve seen an emboldened Iran, we’ve seen emboldened terrorists around the globe, and you know, from the Middle East to North Korea.   So, that’s got to change.  And I believe it will change based on the conversation [in hearings] with Rex Tillerson yesterday and what we’re hearing out of the new administration,  that it will be a strong, engaged U.S. foreign policy that shows that the United States will be an active strength and will support our friends and will take it to our enemies.”

Right now we’re having a conversation about whether the next president is actually subject to blackmail by the Russian government, and the next president seems to be entertaining a new policy of capitulating to the Russian position on sanctions, Syria, and Ukraine.

Talking to Caplis, Gardner is saying that an emboldened Russia is a problem, and it’s Obama’s fault for not being tough enough.

But Gardner just participated in a hearing with a nominee for Secretary of State who admitted that he hasn’t talked with Trump about Russia, and this is what Gardner has to say?

You could be Gardner’s very best friend, like Caplis seems to want to be, and still ask Colorado’s U.S. Senator more pointed questions about Tillerson, Trump, and Russia. But Caplis was mum.

 

 

Billboard prompts CO Springs radio host to say atheists should go after Muslims not Christians

Monday, December 12th, 2016

In a ironic twist, a billboard promoting atheism has prompted a Colorado Springs radio host to attack the religion of Islam.

Demonstrating the same brazen bigotry of KNUS host Peter Boyles, not to mention Trump, KVOR 760-AM host Richard Randall said Thursday that if athiests have a “problem with religion,” they should after Islam.

Without acknowledging how un-Christian he was sounding, Randall said he’d respect atheists a “whole heck of a lot more” if they put up a billboard saying, “skip Ramadan this time of year,” and telling Muslims “they should abandon their religion.”

Christians, he said, are “a great bunch of people to pick on. Why? Because they are Christians.”

“Why would our religion [Christianity] irritate somebody?” asked Randall on air, suggesting that the atheists should have spotlighted Islam instead of a Christian holiday. “We’re not the religion throwing people off of buildings if they are gay. We’re not beheading people.”

“If they have a problem with religion, why don’t they start there [with Islam]?” Randall asked, failing to note any distinction between Islamic militants and the religion of Islam.

A caller said atheists spotlight Christmas because they aren’t “familiar with the Muslim religion [sic]”

The billboard, sponsored by the American Atheists and located along I25 in CO Springs, reads, “Atheist Christmas, The More the Merrier.” It also features a series of texts, made to appear like they were sent by teenagers, stating:

“U going to church this Xmas?”

“LoL. No way. I don’t believe that stuff anymore.”

“What’ll your parents say??”

“They’ll get over it. :-P”

A caller suggested the billboard, which is protected by free speech, should be removed by the government because it’s distracting drivers. It’s a safety issue, she said.

The bigotry of talk radio hosts would be bad enough if we didn’t have a bigot president-elect who’s proposed creating a Muslim registry. But since we do, we need to be ready to respond if Randall, Boyles, Trump, or anyone else in these hateful times goes after our Muslim neighbors.

In case we need to respond, ProgressNow Colorado has set up a “rapid response” network so we can help if needed. Sign up here.

Brauchler announces possible gubernatorial run in 2018

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

In an interview on KNUS 710-AM Saturday Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler announced he’s considering a run for governor in 2018.

Asked by host Craig Silverman what he thought about going for the governor’s job in 2018, Brauchler said:

Brauchler: “I am going to consider it, Craig, of course. I am going to look hard at it. And I have been really encouraged by a bunch of different people across the spectrum… It’s surreal for people to be saying, ‘Hey, you should consider taking a stab at the biggest statewide office in Colorado.’ That’s kind of bizarre.”

When Brauchler announced his decision in September, 2015, not to run for U.S. Senate, he told The Denver Post he “”had gone pretty far down the road” toward running but had decided against it for family reasons.

But now, looking ahead to 2018, he said:

Brauchler: “It’s something I would definitely consider. I wouldn’t say no. I love this state. I’ve been here almost every minute of my life. And I want my kids to want to be here. I want other kids from across country to move to Colorado and have the same opportunities I had. And I’m concerned that that may not be the case. So for those reasons, yeah, I will definitely consider it.”

Brauchler is the first candidate, Democrat or Republican, to announce a possible gubernatorial run.

Listen to Brauchler on KNUS 710-AM here:

Why it’s a bad idea to explain how you’d cheat the election system, especially if you’re CO’s Secretary of State

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Appearing on KNUS 710-AM Oct. 22, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams explained to host Chuck Bonniwell and co-host Julie Hayden how he’d commit election fraud, if Williams were a bad guy, an “unethical Democrat,” as Boniwell put it.

Bonniwell: What would you do if you were a nefarious person trying to cheat the Colorado System? …This is what I would do. I’m not going to. I’m not saying I would do it. But if I were an unethical Democrat trying to rig the system, what would you tell them? How would you do it? You wouldn’t do it, but just to help [inaudible]. What would you do to corrupt the system?

Williams: If I were advising someone, it would not be through the system of online voter registration, because you got to have a driver’s license for that. The easiest way to do that in Colorado is you go in with a non-verifiable ID, a utility bill, and register to vote using that. And you cast a ballot with that. That’s why I think we need photo ID. I have testified asking the legislature to pass photo ID when I was a county commissioner, when I was a county clerk, when I was secretary of state. And they’ve never done it.

Williams said 50 Colorado voters, who registered and voted same day, later did return a post card from the address provided, raising questions about who they were and where they went. But this is light years away from proving that fraud was committed, and it’s consistent with how many citizens live. That is, they move a lot.

In fact, voter fraud has been shown to be an almost nonexistent problem in states like Colorado that don’t require photo idea. A recent Loyala study gives you the details. In the wake of Trump’s accusations about voter fraud, media outlets across the country have confirmed that voter fraud is a nonissue in the U.S.

And Williams didn’t discuss the flip side, namely that photo ID laws stop legitimate voters from casting ballots. In nine states that passed such laws, it’s estimated that over 3 million voters will be affected.  That’s the real issue here.

If you look into it (I did here), you know it’s really hard for many Colorado citizens to obtain a photo ID, and a photo ID law would almost certainly stop many folks from voting.

To his credit, Williams went on to say on air that Colorado does a good job at preventing election fraud, and he’s told other media outlets election fraud is not a problem in Colorado.

In light of all this, it seems that, if you’re Colorado’s secretary of state, and you’re asked how to commit voter fraud, your fact-based-PR-person, Lynn Bartels, should whisper in your ear, “Don’t explain how almost no one does it! Say, it’s a non-issue, and tell the conservative radio hosts to focus on encouraging everyone to vote!”

Singleton rips Donald Trump

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

On KNUS over the weekend, former Denver Post owner Dean Singleton called Donald Trump “an intellectual nutcase” and a “demagogue,” who “never had a chance to win.”

“The problem for the country is, [Trump] is going to take the Senate with him…” said Singleton, who nevertheless stated on air he’s voting for his friend Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. “The Republicans are going to lose the Senate, for certain.”

Singleton said, “I’m voting for Hillary Clinton, because she’s the only competent person running.”

Bush cousin Stapleton doesn’t denounce Trump

Monday, October 24th, 2016

In an appearance on KNUS 710-AM’s Kelley and Kafer Oct. 11, Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton chose not to disavow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump–as Stapleton’s second cousin, failed presidential canidate Jeb Bush, has done.

Asked by host Steve Kelley for a “quick comment” about the “top of the ticket,” Stapleton stopped short of denouncing the mogul:

Stapleton: “Well, you know, I think it’s a messy situation. It’s an unfortunate situation. I think it’s a lost opportunity to expose the many, many flaws that Hillary Clinton has.  I think she’s a very duplicitous individual. And I just wish we could find a way to pull it together. And in the last month of the campaign, we should be uniting Republicans, not dividing Republicans. So, I’m pretty frustrated, as you might imagine, with the ‘macro’ — I guess — state of affairs on the national level, which is why I am really redoubling my efforts to focus here in Colorado on what’s at stake on the ballot this election cycle.”

The radio appearance marks the second time Stapleton, who’s mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate in 2018, has passed on a chance denounce Trump. Last week, the Colorado Independent’s Marianne Goodland posted a story about the reaction of Colorado Republicans to Trump, and Stapleton did not return the Independent’s request to comment.

Other Replicans rumored to be considering future runs for statewide office,  Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and District Attorney George Brauchler, did not returns calls and/or emails from The Independent.

With Trump unlikely to disappear from the national Republican stage after the upcoming election, the current stance of future Republican candidates toward Trump could prove important next year and beyond.

Stapleton is the second cousin of former President George W. Bush and of failed presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who sparred with Trump repeatedly during the Republican presidential primary. Jeb’s and W’s father, and Stapleton’s first cousin, is former President George Herbert Walker Bush, with “Walker” as the linneage connecting Walker Stapleton to the Bushes.

Jeb Bush has stated that he will not vote for Trump, and neither will his mother Barbara Bush.

Jeb Bush, whom Stapleton supported of course, wrote on Facebook:

Jeb Bush: The American Presidency is an office that goes beyond just politics. It requires of its occupant great fortitude and humility and the temperament and strong character to deal with the unexpected challenges that will inevitably impact our nation in the next four years.

Donald Trump has not demonstrated that temperament or strength of character. He has not displayed a respect for the Constitution. And, he is not a consistent conservative. These are all reasons why I cannot support his candidacy.

The reaction of Colorado Republicans to Trump has spanned the full spectrum, from enthusiastic support to denunciation.

Talk radio host shows how badly we need journalists to focus on key state senate race

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

With Colorado’s largest media outlets (TV and print) mostly AWOL when it comes to covering the most important race in the state this election season, we’re left to talk radio hosts, bloggers, and other shoe-string entities to offer voters the basic information they need to vote and understand what’s at stake Nov. 8.

So, how’s that working out? Not well.

Case in point, Republican State Sen. Laura Woods’ appearance this morning on KHOW 630-AM’s Ross Kaminsky show.

Kaminsky is smart enough to know that the Woods’ Arvada race against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger is probably the most important election contest in Colorado, with control of state government likely riding on the outcome. Yet, he sits silent or cheerleads as she makes outrageous statements, without offering context or fact-checking.

At one point, for example, Woods made the off-the-moon claim that her opponents who criticize her for forgiving Donald Trump for lewd comments are attacking Woods’ religious freedom. Woods is a longstanding Trump supporter.

“I’m being called out because I’ve chosen to forgive Donald Trump’s comments [about sexually assaulting women] and support him continually,” Woods told a loving Kaminsky. “So, that’s an attack on religious freedom.”

How’s that work? If you’re against Trump and his offensive bravado, you’re against religious freedom?

Kaminsky, who talked at length about attacks on Woods and spending on the Arvada race without mentioning Woods’ record on public lands or her moneyed backers, asked Woods what would happen if she lost her seat.

Woods said, under Democrats, “oil and gas and mining in our state shut down, those people put out of work.”  Shut down!

“[Democrats] are going to tell parents, you know, they have to vaccinate all of their children,” Woods continued on air.

How could Kaminsky have let this fly into his ears without words of horror coming out of his mouth?

Woods is known to be against basic public health protections when it comes to vaccinations. She wants to make it easier for parents to forgo vaccinating their kids—putting public health at risk. Voters need to know about where she stands.

Woods bragged about helping a couple get Medicaid health-care benefits, and Kaminsky failed to ask Woods how Woods’ story squares with her efforts to cut Medicaid health-care for the poor in Colorado.

Woods concluded the interview by calling Bill Clinton “a rapist,” to which Kaminsky responded not by pointing out the falsehood but instead with, “pretty courageous of you to say so, as someone running for office.”

“I wish you all the best,” concluded Kaminsky, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment. “And happy to have you back on the show anytime. Thanks again for everything you do for us in the state senate.”

No Democrats eligible to vote for Woods are found on “Democrats for Senator Laura Woods” Facebook page

Friday, October 14th, 2016

woods-image-of-group-of-alleged-democrats-for-senator-laura-woodsArvada State Sen. Laura Woods is known to be on the far-right fringe of Colorado’s Republican Party, aligning herself, as documented by the Denver Post, with the most conservative lawmakers in the state.

She’s wants to ban abortion, even for rape. She’s opposed to criminal background checks before gun purchases, and she wants to slash health care funding for the poor, among other positions rub most Democrats the wrong way.

What’s more, she likes Trump so much she calls him the “people’s candidate.”

So it was surprising to hear Woods on the radio claiming “a lot” of Democrats will be voting for her.

Woods: “I’ve met a lot of Democrats who have said they‘re going to vote not only for Trump but for me as well. So, there’s even a Facebook page, Democrats for Senator Laura Woods. Wow.”

Wow, it’s true, there is such a group on Facebook, but the page does not support Woods’ statement that Democrats are going to vote for her. Not even close.

For starters, Clifford Battista, one of just eight people pictured as Democrats on the page, was a registered Republican until I asked him about his voter registration earlier this week, at which time he switched and became a Democrat, saying his Republican registration was a mistake. In any case, he doesn’t live in Woods’ district.

Neither does Robin Austin, another man pictured as a Democrat on the Facebook page. He’s actually a Democrat, but registered in Boone, North Carolina, where he owns a home, though he visits here frequently and it’s “conceivable” he will move to Colorado, he told me.

Three women who appear in photos carrying “Democrats 4 Laura” signs on the Facebook page also do not live in Woods’ district, where she’s battling Democrat Rachel Zenzinger in a race that will likely determine which party controls Colorado’s senate.

They are Luanne Fleming and her daughter, Leah Fleming, both Democrats, who reside in Aurora, and Athena Roe, an El Paso County Democrat.

I was unable to identify one man and two women among the eight people presented as Democrats on the Facebook page.

Asked if any of “Democrats for Senator Laura Woods” pictured on the Facebook page can actually vote for Woods, Luanne Fleming, who told me she posts on the page, said she doesn’t think any of them live in Woods’ district.

“There is one in her district, and he’s not on there, and he supports her,” said Fleming. “And his name is Marty. I haven’t gone over to get his picture or to put anything up there about him. I’m just so busy. So there is one who is from the district.”

“They are mostly the probate families that are helping her,” said Fleming, referring F.A.C.E.U.S., a group that, with Woods’ help in the legislature, has been pushing for reforms in the probate court system. “She’s one of the very few people who came to our aid.”

Austin, the North Carolina voter, was drawn to “Democrats for Senator Laura Woods” for the same probate-related reason, because she’s fighting the “corrupt judiciary,” he told me.

Asked how he felt about Woods relying on a Democrat from North Carolina to show she has Democrats voting for her, Austin said, “I don’t think it’s her choice who she is relying on. I think it’s my choice. Who I support.  And I support her.”

Battista, who was mistakenly registered as a Republican until I called him this week, was also drawn to Woods for her position on the court system, which has overriding importance to him. He told me he’d noticed some problems with his primary ballots, but he’s been too busy to check on his voter registration in recent years. He meant to separate from the Republican Party in about 2011, he said. He’s an active union member, and he worked for Athena Roe, who was a Democratic candidate in El Paso County, he said.

It’s unclear whether Woods, who does not return my calls, has other evidence to back up her claim of Democratic support in her Arvada district.

But Facebook posts touting Democratic support should be viewed with a skeptical eye by reporters and others.

“I want to thank all of my supporters from the Democrat party who showed up to walk with us in the parade today,” wrote Woods in a Facebook post Sept. 12, referring to members of “Democrats for Senator Laura Woods” who posted photos of the parade on their Facebook page.

“You are very welcome,” commented “Democrats for Senator Laura Woods, District 19” on Facebook.

But it appears that “Democrats for Senator Laura Woods” won’t be thanking the Arvada lawmaker with their votes, despite what you might think from looking at their Facebook page and listening to Woods on the radio.

——-

The above photo is a group pictured on the Democrats for Semator Laura Woods Facebook page. They are, from left to right, 1) Robin Austin, the Democrat from North Carolina, 2) Luanne Fleming, a Democrat from Aurora, 3) unknown man, 4) in back, unknown woman, 5) Charles Battista of Denver 6) Athena Roe, a Democrat from El Paso County.

On KNUS 710-AM Sept. 17, Woods discusses her alleged voters from the Democratic Party, as evidenced by the Facebook page “Democrats for Senator Laura Woods.”

Below, Leah Fleming, a Democrat from Aurora, is pictured with Laura Woods on the “Democrats for Senator Laura Woods” Facebook page.

woods-image-of-woods-with-leah-fleming-of-aurora

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Correction: This blog post initially stated that Woods represents a district in northwest Denver. It’s not in Denver.

No pushback from radio host when anti-choice lawmaker insists it’s Dems who want to tell you how to “run your families”

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

You’d assume a news reporter like Fox 31 Denver’s Julie Hayden would challenge someone like State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada) when Woods tells Hayden something like this during Hayden’s radio show on KNUS 710-AM:

Hayden (at 2:45 here): Why is it so important that you get back up there to the state legislature?

Woods: The Democrats desparately want to control everything about our lives. And so they need to control the senate, in order to control your life and mine and every business in this state… If we want to have any liberty, any say in how we run our families, in say in how we run our privately held small businesses, we need to keep the senate in Republican hands.

If you thought Hayden would push back on this, even an itsy bit, you would be wrong. Nothing but nodding acquiescence from her–even though Woods is locked in a tough re-election battle against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger to represent senate district 19.

So I put this out there for Hayden to read on her KNUS show.

Dear KNUS Listeners–

State Sen. Laura Woods of Arvada appeared on our KNUS Show last month and claimed Democrats “desparately want to take control of everything about our lives.”

In fact, in at least one important way, it’s Woods who wants to do this.

She wants to ban all abortion, even for women who’ve been raped or are victims of incest. Woods’ anti-choice stance has been a focus of her political career. She sponsored personhood anti-abortion legislation. She backed a bill requiring doctors to offer women an ultrasound before an abortion.

Woods wants to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding, forcing the womens’ health organization to turn away about 1,000 low-income patients at an Arvada clinic in Woods’ own district.

So, my dear KNUS audience, next time Woods appears on the radio and says Democrats want to tell you how to “run your families,” I’ll tell her to turn off the microphone, go to the bathroom, and look in the mirror.

Thank you.

I’ll be listening to Hayden on KNUS this Saturday to see if she takes me up on my suggestion to read this.