Archive for the 'KNUS' Category

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.

Humans not contributing to global warming, Glenn again says

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn reiterated his belief last week that humans are not contributing to global warming.

Asked about the issue by KNUS 710-AM’s Jimmy Sengenberger Show May 7, Glenn, an El Paso Couty Commissioner, said:

Glenn: Climate change, we can debate that until the cows come home, for lack of a better way of stating that. The bottom line is, I do not believe that man is contributing to that factor. We need to stand up for energy independence, and Colorado needs to lead the nation.

Sengenberger: I think this issue is so overblown. But it is something that is very important to Millennials in particular, because they have gone through a college process and a K-12 education where this is something constantly ingrained in them. How can we appeal to Millenials, to young people, in your mind on the issue of energy, to say, ‘We need to be developing our energy infrastructure in this country and in the state of Colorado, not harming it.

Glenn: I agree. And it’s an extensive conversation.  You mentioned education. As conservatives, we cannot just concede education over to the Democrats. We really need to be actively involved. And that’s why I’ve been such a proponent of school choice and the other options that are out there, because the left is clearly out there driving the agenda, trying to shape the minds of the next generation.

Glenn’s position contrasts with the consensus view among scientists worldwide that human activity is contributing to climate change. Interestingly, Glenn’s stance has so little credibility that some journalists argue that it should be ingored as a legitimate opinion in news articles.

Glenn hopes to prevail in Colorado’s June 28 GOP primary and take on Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who believes climate change is already affecting Colorado and who hammered his GOP opponent in 2010 for denying that humans were causing climate change.

Tea Party activist is now “executive editor” at the Colorado Statesman?

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

If all you knew about Jennifer Kerns is her job title of executive editor of the Colorado Statesman, you may have been surprised if you attended last Thursday’s meeting of the North Jeffco Tea Party, where she provided an evening lecture titled, “Brokered Brand: How the GOP continues to compromise its brand and lose elections… and what you can do about it.”

A couple days before her Jeffco speech, Kerns’ Tea-Party conservatism was blaring from KNUS 710-AM, where she subbed for arch conservative Dan Caplis:

Kerns: We can’t forget that we have a big senate race coming up here in 2016, the race against Sen. Michael Bennet, one of the more liberal members of the U.S. Senate, very similar to Mark Udall, except, in my view, there’s one big problem with Senator Bennet, and that is, whereas Mark Udall was concerned about one thing and one thing primarily, your uterus–That was his nickname at least on the campaign trail, given to him by The Denver Post.–Sen. Michael Bennet has many, many interests that he wants to control in your life. And to talk about that a little bit is the executive director of Advancing Colorado, Jonathan Lockwood. … I want to go through some of the attacks you’ve made on Sen. Michael Bennet and rightfully so, given his track record. Let’s start with his support of President Obama’s nuclear deal that gives Iran basically unfettered access to nuclear material… Great work you’re doing, Jonathan Lockwood….

This doesn’t sound like a journalist who, a couple weeks later, would be writing a front-page Statesman article about the Bennet race. But, yes, Kerns authored the April 13 piece, headlined “Bennet will have a fight, but how much of one is TBD.”

The headline was fair enough, but the article hit a low note by repeating an inaccurate conservative attack against Bennet:

“[Bennet's] initial support of transferring prisoners from Guantanamo Bay detention camps was an unpopular sell to many Colorado voters,” Kerns reported.

Bennet never supported transferring GITMO prisoners here, and Kerns was immediately challenged on Twitter by “MissingPundit,” who pointed out that Politifact found it untrue that Bennet supported bringing Gitmo detainees to Colorado.

In response, Kerns called Politifact a “lefty site,” again repeating a conservative talking point that ignores the fact that Politifact won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. Kerns tweeted that Politifact is “lefty” in the same way America Rising is “righty.” In reality, America Rising was established to expose the “truth about Democrats”, while the mission of Politifact is fact checking.

In any case, to the Statesman’s credit, the falsehood about Bennet was later removed from the digital version of the article, but, unfortunately, there was no indication that a correction was made.

Asked to discuss this error and her conservative activism, Kerns, who’s also a favorite of KNUS’ Peter Boyles, referred me to Statesman publisher Jared Wright.

First, Wright said, he’s obviously aware of Kerns’ conservative background, and he points to her bio, often printed in the newspaper and online, as proof that the newspaper is being transparent about her:

Jennifer Kerns is an executive editor at The Colorado Statesman. She is an accomplished conservative political writer and contributor to several national publications including The Blaze, The Washington Times, and The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal. She also served as the communications director and spokeswoman for the 2013 Colorado recall elections to defend Coloradans’ Second Amendment rights. [and California's Proposition 8, BigMedia addition]

Calling the recall elections an effort “to defend Coloradans’ Second Amendment rights” is biased itself, but Wright said, “All of her stuff [online and print] goes through another editor and the fact-checking process. And there have been a number of times when we said, ‘You need to go get comments from the other side. You need to make sure the other side has its say.”

Wright said it’s “no excuse,” but his small newspaper has been hit with an overlapping staff crisis and vacations recently. A written correction should have been made on Kerns’ Bennet article, in line with the newspaper’s policy, and he promised to look into it.

The short staffing, he said, was partly the reason Kerns was writing the Bennet article in the first place, said Wright. The executive editor job is “more of an executive officer or an assistant to the editorial department,” he said. But Kerns will “pinch hit” as a reporter, as she did when writing the “Hot Sheet” feature when Wright, who usually writes the informative daily political briefing, was away recently.

Wright believes that advocates can make good journalists at a political newspaper like the Statesman, due to their insider contacts and deep political knowledge.

But, I told Wright, Kerns looks like a conservative operative at work at the Statesman, which, two sources say, is under the majority control of conservative power-broker Larry Mizel.

Wright said expects Kerns’ outside political work to end soon, though she’ll still have her opinions, and some of it was on tap before she started.

“I’m fully aware that Jennifer has her bent, probably more than anyone else on our staff,” said Wright, who’s a former GOP state lawmaker, now a registered independent.

“I want to have people who are opinionated,” said Wright, emphasizing his newspaper will be as transparent as possible. “It’s important to have journalists but also to have people who have been very active in politics, and of course the only place you are going to find those people is on one side of the aisle or the other. So as long as we have a balance of those people on the team, I think we’ll be in good shape.”

Who’s the balance for Kerns, who started last month?

“You know, we’ve also got [Statesman Capitol Bureau Chief] John Tomasic,” Wright said. “John will tell you he’s very opinionated on the progressive side and has worked for progressive publications [like the Colorado Independent].”

Kerns has a track record as an operative; Tomasic is a journalist, I told Wright.

He agreed that the two staffers are not comparable “in the way they are currently operating.” He said he might add a writer with a progressive background to his staff. [If you know someone, please see if they want to apply.]

With respect to Tomasic, he said, “There are times when we have to say, ‘John, you have to go talk to the other side. John, sometimes correctly, doesn’t trust the other side, and doesn’t have those contacts. It’s just all of us, working as a team, and keeping each other on track.”

The question is, given what we’ve seen so far, can the team control Kerns?

Clarification: An early version of this post implied that the Statesman is begging for progressive job applicants. This is not what I meant.  Also, the incorrect statement that Tomasic wrote for progressive causes was removed.

Will choice matter in Colorado U.S. Senate race?

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

In a radio interview yesterday, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Robert Blaha said choice is “not going to be an issue” in in Colorado’s U.S. Senate campaign because women are “really smart” and will not be concerned about Blaha’s opposition to all abortion, even for rape and incest (unless the mother’s life is in danger).

For perspective, I dredged up this video of Bennet arguing with then Weld Country District Attorney Ken Buck on the topic of abortion.

Blaha argues that he can turn the issue against Bennet by bringing up his support for partial-birth abortion, a rare procedure performed only when serious medical issues warrant it.

Watch the video above, and read Blaha’s comments below, and tell me if  smart women will side with Bennet or a candidate like Blaha. Reporters should keep the comparison in their pockets for November’s campaign trail.

Robert Blaha on the Dan Caplis Show – KNUS, 710am – April 20, 2016

Blaha: You know, people have got to realize that women — my women, the women I know — are really smart. And they think about far more than just the issues of abortion. That’s one issue of five or six or seven that move them. So, you know, I’m a pro-life candidate. I’m proud of that. I don’t move off of that, and I have an exception for the woman’s life. But besides staying on message, I don’t think you’ve got to back off a bit, because that issue — that singular issue — was a winner in ’10, it was a winner in ’11. It wasn’t an issue in ’12. ‘13 and ’14 and it’s not going to be an issue in ’16. It’s not a winning issue for the far left.

Caplis: Yeah, and I think if handled right, it backfires on him, because –.

Blaha: Exactly!

Caplis: and I think you are one of a number of candidates in the field who have the high intelligence and the verbal skills to, you know, just turn it on Bennet in a hurry, because he is the true extremist. And when you have the verbal skills you do, you know, you can pin him down. He supports late-term abortion through labor and delivery. And at that point he goes from looking like some kind of moderate to some kind of monster, so–.

Blaha: And, you know, I’m a — because of what I do for a living –I’m a stats guy. I am a data guy. I’m a numbers guy. You know, we can look at poll after poll, we can look at anything. When Michael Bennet and his ilk want to explain why it’s okay to kill somebody in their third term, near the end of a birth. When they can explain that to America and they can get America to embrace that, then I’ll worry about whether, you know, — whether he’s got a better position than I. Because he doesn’t. His position, actually, is the extreme position. Our position is not.

Gardner says he might not back Cruz or Trump, if one of them is the GOP prez nominee

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

As Colorado Republicans appear to be lining up behind Sen. Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner is saying he may not support Cuz–or billionaire Donald Trump–if one of them becomes the Republican nominee.

“Look, any of these nominees are going to have to earn my support,” said Gardner on KNUS 710-AM’s Dan Caplis show yesterday (here at 1:40), when asked if he’d support Trump, if Trump were the GOP nominee.”But the fact is I don’t think it’s going to be Donald Trump.”

Gardner said it was “nonsense” to think the ultimate GOP nominee will be anyone “other than the nominees that are going to be before the voters at the state convention this weekend.”

“I think it should be somebody who’s put themselves forward over the past year and a half, if not longer, before the people of Colorado. They are the ones who have skin in the game. They are the ones who will ultimately be our nominee.”

Gardner has waffled on whether he’d support Trump, if Trump were the nominee. On the radio yesterday, Gardner again criticized Trump.

As far as I can tell, Gardner has not stated whether he’d back Cruz, if Cruz were the nominee.

Reporters should take note of talk-show host’s line of questioning on abortion

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

KNUS 710-AM’s Craig Silverman has been doing us all a favor by interviewing Colorado’s Republican U.S. Senate candidates, but his interview with El Paso Country Commissioner Peggy Littleton Saturday stood out, because he dug in with follow-up questions.

Silverman: If Roe vs. Wade is overturned then states will have the right to criminalize abortion. Do you think abortion is a form of murder?

Littleton: [no answer]

Silverman: Are you pro-life or pro-choice, Peg Littleton?

Littleton: When we look at life, Craig, we have to consider that all life is valuable. And it is a decision of those people who chose to have an impact on their own lives. I personally am pro-life. I would always prefer that people choose life. But I would never judge them for making a decision that I have no impact on. I’ve never been in a position where I had a 14 or 15- year old who was raped or was a victim of incest. I would never put myself in a position to make a judgment call for someone else. And I will just leave it there. So let’s go back to why I would be the next Senator who would be best.

Silverman: No, No! I’m sorry. I just feel like you’re ducking and diving a little bit. I don’t know why you’re all over Trump for saying that he’s pro-life and he thinks a woman should suffer a sanction. Why would you give immunity to a woman under such circumstances? It’s not a 14- or 15-year-old who’s been raped. Let’s talk about a 32-year-old career woman who has an unintended pregnancy and says, ‘You know, this is not the right time or place.’ And she goes to Planned Parenthood and has an abortion. Or uses the morning-after pill. So, do you think she should she be sanctioned for that?

Littleton: I will not sanction the right of people to do what they feel is in their best interests. That is not my judgment call. But I’d like to get back to some the reasons why I would be the best choice for the next U.S. Senator that would be able to take Michael Bennet out of the Senate, if we could, please.

Silverman: Well, I’m afraid that I am going to control the questioning. And if I feel you dodge the questions, it’s going to make me ask them over again.

Silverman has a valid and important line of questioning here–trying to clarify who should be punished (the woman? the doctor?) if abortion becomes a crime. And why.

“Trump’s interchange with Chris Mathews had just happened, and my show thrives on being current,” Silverman told me via email when asked to explain why he was asking Littleton tough follow-up questions, when he’d let other candidates slide on the issue. “Beyond that, I had a fresh take on the subject before Peg came on, from this interesting link provided me by one of my longtime pro-life listeners.”

Reporters should put Silverman’s line of questioning to all candidates, as the election season heats up. It helps people understand what’s at stake if abortion were to be outlawed or restricted. And what potential lawmakers think about it.

Listen to Littleton on KNUS 710-AM’s Craig Silverman Show April 2:

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/us-senate-candidate-peggy-littleton-on-the-craig-silverman-show-april-2-2016

Medicaid no longer for the “truly needy” and should be cut back, says State Sen. Laura Woods

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

If you follow my blog, you know I’ve been pointing out how Republicans are falsely blaming Colorado budget problems on healthcare costs for the elderly, disabled, and other poor people.

What’s worse, after scapegoating Medicaid spending on healthcare for the poor, Republicans haven’t said how they’d cut it. Or do something else to ease the budget pressure. And reporters are letting them slide.

But one state Republican recently said she’s ready to cut Medicaid. That’s State Sen. Laura Woods of Westminster.

During a radio interview in January, Woods said Medicaid used to be “for the truly needy,” but it’s not anymore. So she wants families to be poorer to qualify for Medicaid. Currently, a family of four qualifies if it earns less than around $34,000 per year–or 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

Woods agreed with KNUS 710-AM radio hosts, who suggested reducing the earnings threshold for qualifying for Medicaid.

Host Chuck Bonniwell: Well, you can change the 137 percent back to 100 percent [of the federal poverty level], I suppose.

Co-Host Julie Hayden: Right. I mean, it can’t stay the way it is, right?

WOODS: Right.

Woods told Bonniwell that “this rolling back [the] 137 percent is exactly the kind of compromise and agreement that we would push to the government, and say, ‘You know what? You want compromise, let’s talk.’”

But Woods said a healthcare cut must be done with “a lot of forethought” because “you’re sort of taking away their birthday. You’re taking away Santa Claus.”

It’s a “very difficult thing to do,” said Woods. It’s unclear whether Woods, who doesn’t return my calls, was thinking it would be tough politically to cut Medicaid or humanity-wise. The Christmas line, popular among conservatives discussing government excess, usually signals their belief that the poor are exploiting safety-net programs.

The reference to Christmas and birthdays makes it sound as if Woods thinks when poor people save money on heathcare, they turn around and spend it on nonessentials. GOP Sen. Greg Brophy, who alleged that Medicaid recipients spend their money on air conditioning, cigarettes, and Lotto, made the same allegation, which is not supportable, as far as I can tell, not to mention gross. (Or does everything come back to the War on Christmas?)

In any case, Woods incorrectly stated on air that the imperative to chop Medicaid is clear, since it is “this driver of our state budget pushing our budget over a cliff, and it’s simply not sustainable.”

During her radio interview, Woods mistakenly said a family of four “making between $70,000 and $90,000 a year qualify for Medicaid.” As you can see here, she is wrong. She may have been thinking of the threshold for a family of four to receive health-insurance tax credits under Obamacare. (Plus, Medicaid expansion under Obamacare has been paid by the feds, and many of the people covered by Obamacare in Colorado are adults without children.)

So next time Republicans are bashing Medicaid, but they aren’t saying what part of Medicaid they want to cut, reporters can turn to Woods. Hopefully, she’ll have her facts that allegedly support her opinion straightened out by then.

Weekend Wakeup with Chuck & Julie, Laura Woods, January 16, 2016

WOODS: Medicaid started out where a family of four making $20,000 a year — there’s no way they could afford healthcare. And that’s what Medicaid was for. It was for the truly needy. But when we’ve raised the poverty level so that 137 percent of the federal poverty level, I think now families of four that make somewhere between $70,000 and $90,000 a year qualify for Medicaid.

HAYDEN: What?!

BONNIWELL: Wow!

WOODS: So you look around and you say, — exactly your question: “Why is anybody uninsured under Obamacare? And yet we’ve got this this driver of our state budget pushing our budget over a cliff, and it’s simply not sustainable.

HAYDEN: No. That’s what it seems to me. And it’s not – I mean, there’s really not much you guys can do about – I mean,

BONNIWELL: Well, you can change the 137% back to 100%, I suppose.

HAYDEN: Right. I mean, it can’t stay the way it is, right?

WOODS: Right.

HAYDEN: You know, because I think what we saw– and maybe I’m wrong, but this whole – Connect for Colorado, when that major insurer just went, like, bankrupt and dropped all of those people, from what I gather only a fraction of those people actually signed up the new health care because it’s such a disaster. It’s it’s so expensive. So, am I right, then? Then all of those people – they’re going to go back in to the Medicaid, right?

WOODS: Yes. And –

HAYDEN: S0, it’s going to get even worse.

WOODS: It is going to get even worse, and this rolling back 137% is exactly the kind of compromise and agreement that we would push to the government, and say, “You know what? You want compromise, let’s talk about –.” But you know, you’re sort of taking away their birthday. You’re taking away Santa Claus. I mean, I don’t know, this a very difficult thing to do, and it has to be done with a lot of forethought and –

HAYDEN: But, I would say, that you want to be careful because you’re right – you don’t want to hurt families. If a family is making $90,000 a year, there’s a good chance that they probably have some other way to get insurance rather than free from the rest of us.

WOODS: You know, I agree with that. And I think that even if it’s not $90,000. You know, $50,000 a year, you can afford something on –.

BONNIWELL: Well Obamacare gives you subsidies.

HAYDEN: Right! Exactly! I mean, you have the whole–.

WOODS: At that level, right. Obamacare would give you subsidies.

HAYDEN: And you can’t be – so, then the other thing is when the governor and all that group that’s going– that’s pushed by the Denver Post – going around trying to convince people to get rid of TABOR, which isn’t going very well, I don’t think.

BONNIWELL: I haven’t heard much from them. I want to ask Laura Woods about that. I mean, you know, we heard Dan Ritchie, who is, you know The Denver Post’s favorite Republican because he is not really a Republican and therefore you can – he can front whatever left wing agenda they’ve got going, around on a listening tour, and they picled that out from my guess, probably […]–what’s her name? The famous listening tour lady. But once you go, you know, you already know what you want, and you go on a listening tour and, “Hey! They want exactly what we wanted!” But what has happened to those guys?

WOODS: Well, I actually don’t know what has happened to those guys, but I do think it has morphed into ideas like let’s rob the hospital provider fee –

BONNIWELL: Yeah.

WOODS: –to further fund our programs because there aren’t general fund dollars to do that.

BONNIWELL: Right.

WOODS: I think, you know, TABOR is the one piece of legislation that Colorado can lean on and depend on and stand behind as a bulwark to prevent us from becoming what California has become.

BONNIWELL: Right.

WOODS: And the conservatives in our state get that. And you know, I battle this every at every town hall I go to, every meet-and-that greet I go to where I’ve got one of my counterparts from the other side of the aisle on the stage with me and we’re back and forth over, you know, I’m standing to defend Tabor – they’re just saying we have just got to get rid of Tabor. So, it comes up. We had Andy Kerr, the senator from Littleton –or Lakewood–try to sue the state over TABOR to say is unconstitutional. That lawsuit was thrown out. So, –.

HAYDEN: […] Chuck and I talk all the time about ways to generate more revenue, but in the meantime, we’re stuck with the budget that we have. And–.

WOODS: Well, that’s what businesses and families are faced with right now.

HAYDEN: Exactly! And the government should do the same thing.

On radio, GOP U.S. Senate candidate flubs pot quiz and more

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jack Graham, who’s the former Athletic Director at Colorado State University, appeared on KNUS 710-AM Saturday, spreading uncorrected falsehoods about marijuana and Islam.

During a segment on policy issues, KNUS host Craig Silverman asked Graham about Amendment 64–but he failed to correct Graham’s obviously incorrect answers.

Graham: I’m very very concerned about it. I don’t like the fact that the state of Colorado is standing out like a sore thumb, as functionally the only state in the country that’s legalized recreational marijuana. We have attracted lots of vagrants to our state. There are lots of crime issues associated with that. Marijuana is not a consequence-free drug. I’m concerned about it. At the same time, there is a grassroots movement to legalize marijuana across this country. I just don’t like the state of Colorado sticking out the way it’s sticking out.

In fact, pot is currently available for recreational use in the states of Washington and Oregon. Alaska and the District of Columbia have also legalized it, as well as some municipalities. More are expected to approve it in the coming years.

I also can’t find data supprting the view that pot attracts vagrants to Colorado. And while there are crime issues associated with pot, the crime rate has not increased.

Graham went on to say he wouldn’t join efforts to repeal Amendment 64, saying it’s “not a senatorial issue.”

This again, is incorrect. Colorado lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been trying to move legislation through Congress, allowing the marijuana industry to conduct banking operations without fear of federal prosecution. The U.S. Senate could vote on bills such as this.

On Islam, Graham said 15 to 25 percent of the world’s 1.7 billion people who practice Islam are have been “radicalized” and do “awful, horrible things.”

This is inaccurate. In fact, less than one percent of the world’s Muslims are at risk of becoming radicalized, according to one 2015 intelligence estimate–and the key phrase there is “at risk.” They aren’t all doing awful things. A tiny minority.

On abortion, Graham said the government shouldn’t fund “morning-after pills.” He did not say whether he’d want the government to supply such pills to women who’ve been raped.

After Silverman told Graham he’d heard Graham was self-funding his campaign, Graham said, “I’m not self-funding, Craig. I deposited $1 million into my account when we started this process, because I wanted to make sure we were adequately funded. And $1 million is not enough money to run this campaign, and part of this process is raising more money. And we are in that process right now, looking for small, individual donations from people who know us and respect us and want me to be in the U.S. Senate. So it’s a combination—”

Graham, who hopes to take on Democrat Michael Bennet, told Silverman that his anger over the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran drove him to enter the race.

Gardner denies plotting to stop Trump at secetive meeting

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

In a radio interview this afternoon, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner denied that he traveled to a meeting at a swanky Georgia resort over the weekend in a last ditch effort to stop Donald Trump from becoming the GOP presidential nominee.

“These conspiracy theories about what took place there are way over the top, spurred by a Huffington Post liberal outlet that thinks people are going to be gullible enough to believe it was something that clearly it wasn’t,” said Gardner of the meeting, hosted by the American Enterprise Institute.

The “main topic at the closed-to-the-press confab” was how to stop “Republican front-runner Donald Trump,” according to the Huffington Post article, by Ryan Grim, Nick Bauman, and Mark Fuller.

“This is absolutely nuts that the liberal Huffington Post has conservatives questioning what’s happening,” said Gardner on air. “I mean, this is an organization that ends every story with, ‘Editor’s note: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist.’ This is from the Huffington Post, so it’s pretty crazy what people are saying right now.”

Gardner, who supports Sen. Marco Rubio, described the event as an annual meeting, and he said he was on panels addressing China and the freshman class in the U.S. Senate.

“To think that anything else was discussed by me is absolutely untrue,” Gardner said on KNUS 710-AM’s Kelley & Kafer Show March 9, referring to the Trump discussion (at 4 min below).

“That’s unfortunately, probably the best way to describe it, as a wonky, nerd forum,” said Gardner. “I know they’ve talked about the tech CEOs. And yes, Tim Cook was there talking about the encryption issue in front of Congress right now, and the very real challenge of balancing privacy with security. And again, this is an annual conference that’s been going on since 1982. To think that there was some other kind of purpose for it is simply not true and a flat-out lie.”

Correction: an early version of this post incorrectly stated that Karl Rove presided over a discussion of how to stop Trump.

Tancredo thinks he might be useful to Cruz later

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

In a Feb. 2 radio interview with KNUS 710-AM host Peter Boyles, former Rep. Tom Tancredo said GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz never took him up an his offer to start an organization backing Cruz.

It was last year, after Tancredo had just penned a Breitbart column announcing his departure from the Republican Party. Tancredo was Rep. Steve King’s guest on an Iowa hunting trip, shooting “a lot of pheasants,” with Cruz and others, Tanc told Boyles:

TANCREDO:  So, we’re there at this hunt… And I just wrote the column that week that I had left the Republican Party, but that I was going to start a Colorado Independents for Cruz thing.  And he got [the article] — somebody had sent it to him.  And so, we’re in Iowa and about to go down to dinner, and he says to me, “Hey!  I saw that article! I really appreciate it!  Boy, we’re going to get back to you.  I told my people,” you know, “follow up on that!”  Of course, he never did.

But why, you wonder? Cruz is with Tancredo on immigration, notwithstanding Sen. Marco Rubio’s twisted attempts to make Cruz look immigrant-friendly. Tancredo and Cruz align against choice, against gun safety laws, etc. So I called Tancredo to find out. Why doesn’t Cruz want him?

Tancredo told me he can only speculate, but he assumes the Cruz campaign doesn’t think he’s needed at this point.

“My outreach is to Independents, right, for Cruz,” he said. “Well you can’t vote in the Republican primary here, you can’t go to the caucuses, unless you are a registered Republican. So the only value I would add, if any, is after Cruz is nominated.”

“Who would I talk to, the Jefferson County Republican Party?’ said Tancredo. “I don’t think they will invite me, for some reason.”

That makes sense, I told Tanc.

Still, Tancredo has gone ahead and set up a Facebook page, which he and others update regularly, called CO Independents for Ted Cruz.

“Not Just for Republicans,” is the headline.