Archive for the 'KNUS' Category

Media omission: Beauprez blames Republican Governors Association for election loss

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez appeared on KNUS’ Craig Silverman Show Saturday and blamed, among other things, the Republican Governors’ Association (RGA) for his November loss to Democrat John Hickenlooper.

“We would have liked to have had a little more backing from some of our friends,” Beauprez told Silverman. “Notably the Republican Governors Association went dark for three weeks right during the middle of the campaign. That one hurt quite a little bit.”

Beauprez’s opponents would wail at the irony of it, of course, because it was an RGA-funded campaign that arguably allowed Beauprez to prevail against his opponent Tom Tancredo during the Republican gubernatorial primary last year.

Beauprez has rejected accusations, from former Rep. Tom Tancredo and others, that he had any knowledge of the RGA’s surreptitious campaign against Tancredo. But Tanc is so mad about it, he’s started a Stop Chris Christie PAC to fight Christie.

“But didn’t you get in bed with Chris Christie, and then he ultimately rolled over and squished ya,” asked Silverman, in a flashback to the kind of edgy questioning he used to deploy on some Republicans during KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman Show. “I hate to use that kind of imagery. But Chris Christie is a bed you got in, and he ended up betraying you.”

“Getting in bed with Chris Christie, I do reject that metaphor, that analogy, the use of that kind of phrase” responded Beauprez on air. “I’m not a Chris Christie supporter in this election right now. And I had some issues with Chris Christie, but the reality was, he was the chairman of the Republican Governors Association. So was I going to accept the help of the Republican Governors Association, just as John Hickenlooper accepted massive amounts, massive amounts, of money from the Democratic Governors Association? Of course I’m going to do that. So the presumption that I was in lockstep with Chris Christie on everything he ever said or would do or say in the future, that’s simply not fair.”

Beauprez rejected Silverman’s assertion that Beauprez’s opposition to marijuana legalization hurt him in the election.

Beauprez said he didn’t take a position against pot, per se, but instead simply said the future governor would have to deal with the law as passed.

Beauprez also rejected KNUS talk-show host Peter Boyles’ accusation, repeated to Beauprez by Silverman, that Beauprez backed off his suggestion that Colorado should send troops to the Mexican border to help stop illegal immigration.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/craig-silverman-knus-asks-bob-beauprez-why-didnt-you-win-co-governorship

Media omission: GOP recall activists on talk radio circuit opposing Ryan Call

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

In the race for chair of the Colorado Republican Party, activists who led recall efforts against Democrats in 2013 have been on the talk-radio circuit dredging up their attacks on the current GOP Chair, Ryan Call, who’s facing a serious challenge from former gubernatorial candidate Steve House.

On Monday, for example, Mike McAlpine (who led recall efforts against Sen. Evie Hudak) and Victor Head (who helped spearhead the recall against Sen. Angela Giron) were on KLZ 560-AM trashing Ryan Call in no uncertain terms. The pair was also on KNUS’ Peter Boyles Show.

Both activists were responding to Call’s assertions Saturday on a KNUS radio show that he’d backed recall campaigns in Pueblo and Colorado Springs to the tune of $140,000, plus other support.

“Let me start by saying that he objected and opposed to the recalls every step of the way,” McAlpine said on KLZ. ” And only with this $140,000 after a Republican candidate was selected and it was officially Ryan’s job, as state Chair to get someone elected, did he come up with some money.

“This is a man who did not support the grassroots in Colorado,” McAlpine continued. ” And for him to step out now and paint himself as a person who did, as a leader, and to take credit for all the hard work of the volunteers, of the independent Republicans who came down, the independent Independents, the Unaffiliateds is wrong!  It is just wrong!”

“The elections went through,” Pueblo’s Victor Head told the KLZ radio audience, agreeing with McAlpine. “We won. Everyone was happy.  [Ryan Call] is out there taking credit, you know, waving at everybody, saying, ‘Look what we did!’  And we’re standing there like, ‘Well, yeah, we’ve still got this huge bill.’ And there were just regular guys like me who got stuck with it.  And so we eventually had to have this press conference and say, ‘Hey, Ryan basically lied to us, and said he was going to help and he never came through.’ And It was only after we basically dragged him out, kicking and screaming, that he said, ‘Oh, okay.  I’ll go ahead and make good on that promise, and I’ll cover the legal fees — or well, the Party will.’  And you know, that’s just the type of person he is.  He’s not there to really help empower the grassroots of the Party.  He really is in this simply to self-serve, as far as I can see.”

“Now, the local party stepped up, in the face of Ryan,” continued Head. “Ryan actually threatened our county chair down here in Pueblo and said, ‘Don’t you dare help those recall people!’ And she defied him, and of course, you know, the rest is history. We won.  And it’s all grand and happy.  But, that was the big thing we had, was, why are you actually coming out saying what we’re doing is actually a bad idea?  That’s where it really stung.

 

Media omission: Ryan Call changes tune about his opposition to at least one recall campaign

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Appearing on KNUS 710-AM’s Jimmy Sengenberger Show Saturday, Colorado GOP Chair Ryan Call emphasized his support for Colorado’s 2013 recall campaigns, when, in fact, Call flat out opposed at least one recall effort.

“From a tactical perspective, frankly, the worst thing that I could do is to get to the head of the column and say that this is a Republican initiative,” Call told Sengenberger Saturday, explaining why he didn’t take an earlier or higher profile stance in the recall campaigns and pointing out that Republicans would have had a harder time winning over Democrats and independents if the recall campaigns were perceived as GOP-led.

This contrasts with what Call told Fox 31 Denver at the time about his decision not to support the recall campaign of Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak:

Call: “This recall election would undermine our efforts in the governor’s race, the U.S. Senate race and to win a senate majority if voters perceive that Republicans are trying to win a majority through recalls.”

“The job of the Republican Party is to get Republicans elected when there are regular elections,” said Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call. “And there are already a lot of things competing for our time, attention and resources. [BigMedia emphasis]

Hudak recall organizer Laura Woods, now a state senator who went by the name “Laura Waters” at the time, told KNUS radio host Peter Boyles that Call obstructed their efforts.

In a similar vein, shortly after his victory in a Colorado Springs recall election, newly elected State Sen. George Rivera said Ryan Call put “a little cold water on our parade” during recall campaign. Rivera is a Republican.

But at the time, and in his KNUS interview Saturday, Call also said that he supported recall campaigns once a Republican candidate was in place, and he spent state-party resources to support Republican candidates in their recall campaigns.

“The principled purpose and objective of the Republican Party is to support Republicans in elections,” Call said in 2013.

Republicans will decide whether to retain Call as State GOP Chair March 14. He’s being challenged by former GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve House.

Excerpt of comments by Ryan Call on KNUS’ Jimmy Sengenberger Show Feb. 28, 2015. Begins one hour into the show.

Call: Generally speaking, recalls are reserved for fraud or embezzlement or a serious abdication of a lawmaker’s constitutional duties, but it’s important that those recalls, if initiated, be initiated by the citizens and not be driven simply out of a partisan interest. Our job from the party, as I saw it, and this was not my decision alone. This was discussed at length by our state party’s executive committee, and we determined that rather than set the precedent that the state party, as a partisan objective would go out there and try to foment or start recalls, our job was to support the citizens if the recall went forward. And that’s what we did. But there is always a concern. And what we found also, for example, in the work that was done in the recalls of Scott Walker in Wisconsin. When voters believed it was a grassroots-initiated citizen-originated recall election, they were successful. But if there was a perception in the public that this was simply a partisan power grab, that this was done by Republicans in an effort to win back seats or to try to obtain a majority, then Democrats and unaffiliated voters who are so critical if we are going to be successful—support among those key demographics and segments of the electorate completely collapsed. It was important that the strength of the recalls was led by the grassroots, supported by the party as one of many groups and individuals that were out there supporting it. From a tactical perspective, frankly, the worst thing that I could do is to get to the head of the column and say that this is a Republican initiative.

Sengenberger: But I heard some people say that you were actively trying to prevent these recalls from happening. Is there any truth to that?

Call: Not true. Not true. I was actually in very close contact with representatives from the Liberty Call committee…. Think about it, in a county like Pueblo, where Republicans are outnumbered two-to-one by Democrats, if was perceived to be a Republican initiative…

 

 

Talk-radio hosts should seek explanation from Buck on his pro-Boehner votes

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

In standing with House Speaker John Boehner on Friday to avert the shutdown, albeit temporary, of the Department of Homeland Security, Colorado’s new Republican Congressman Ken Buck has apparently had second thoughts about his pledge to shut down DHS if necessary to stop Obama from allowing some immigrants to avoid deportation.

Asked by KLZ’s Randy Corporon in January whether he would resist “public pressure and media assaults” and refuse to fund DHS along with Obama’s immigration program, Buck said:

Buck: “I can tell you this: Ken Buck will. I will make the case, and I will make sure that we are not funding those portions of his executive action that are so repugnant.”

In another interview, delivered to KFKA guest host Nancy Rumfelt in January, Buck pledged stand firm against any moderating winds that might emanate from House Speaker John Boehner:

Buck: “Speaker and the leadership team know that they cannot count on me when they move to the middle, that I will be voting against leadership’s efforts in certain areas, especially is true when it comes to the fiscal issues, the appropriations bills and the regulatory issues. And I include Obamacare in that. But absolutely. The people in the 4th Congressional District can count on Ken Buck to be with the conservative votes when it comes to the bills that are coming up in the future.” 

Colorado Springs’ Doug Lamborn did what Buck said he’d do, when Lamborn voted against temporary funds for DHS.

Lamborn: “I cannot support funding, even for a short period of time, the President’s unlawful executive action that violates the Constitution,” Lamborn said in a statement, reported by The Denver Post.

Denver TV reporter goes too far in saying Obama “doesn’t like America” and has “contempt” and “disdain” for our country

Friday, February 27th, 2015

It’s obvious to me that journalists should no longer be expected not to express opinions, even on the topics they cover.

But, sometimes, if journalists have opinions that are so extreme, so rude or out-of-step with everyday sensibilities, they should refrain from expressing them. And if they do throw out such opinions, reporters should recuse themselves from covering anything related to their extreme/rude/bombastic utterances.

To my way of thinking, Fox 31 Denver reporter Julie Hayden’s repeated comments that Obama “doesn’t love,” doesn’t even “like America” and, in fact, has “disdain” and “contempt” for our country, fall into the extreme/rude/bombastic category. And Hayden shouldn’t be covering any story related to Obama, federal political issues, and, to be safe, any partisan political topic.

Hayden, who says she once voted for Obama and doesn’t cover the president, has been trashing him on her Saturday morning radio show, “Wake Up with Chuck and Julie,” which she co-hosts with hubby Chuck Bonniwell, on KNUS 170-AM.

On her radio show last Saturday, in the wake Rudy Giuliani’s comments that Obama doesn’t love America, Hayden even presided over a debate on the topic of whether Obama likes America, with Hayden and Bonniwell taking the side that he does not.

“To me, it just seemed so obvious he doesn’t like America, and, you know, I think has disdain for it and contempt,” said Hayden a typical comment (Listen below at 20:50).

Here’s another exchange:

Caller (at 9:40 minutes): It’s not only that he doesn’t love the country. I actually think that he hates it, that he does everything he can to undermine the country at every turn.

Bonniwell: You’re absolutely right.

Hayden: I don’t disagree with you.

Asked via email whether such extreme comments are appropriate for a journalist listed as a “reporter” at Fox 31 Denver, a major Denver news outlet with a five-star reputation for its political coverage (and not linked to the partisan Fox News Network), Hayden offered these thoughts:

Hayden: I believe, like many things “extreme” is in the eye of the beholder.  I do not consider my comment  that I did not think the President likes America to be “extreme”, any more than I consider someone else saying they believe the President loves America to be “extreme.”  I have also said on the radio program that it’s my opinion that Governor Hickenlooper has shown he cares about Colorado.  I don’t think that’s “extreme”, either.  I have also said on the program many times that I supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 and was very disappointed when she dropped out.  And that I voted for President Obama.  I don’t consider those “extreme” comments and I do not think they crossed any kind of journalistic line.

I respect your question and your opinion, but I do not think it crosses a journalistic line for me to express an opinion, one way or another on the President because I don’t cover the President in my television job.  We have been fortunate at Fox 31 Denver to have Eli Stokols as our political reporter and he does a great job.

It would be a different matter if I was a White House correspondent, but that’s not the case.

I would also like to point out that whenever I express an opinion I invite and welcome people with other opinions to comment, too.  In this case, I frequently mentioned that our friend Chuck completely disagrees with me.  I think it would be wrong as a journalist and a talk show host to make it seem like there was only one side to any issue. And whatever the topic, I think we do talk about all sides and take calls and comments from all sides.  We don’t screen out any calls.

I was glad that Hayden, who mostly covers crime and general interest topics, agrees with me that she shouldn’t cover Obama, but local TV news tends to swarm around the hot stories of the day.

So it’s no surprise that Hayden reported this story the day before the 2012 election on Romney-Obama voter turnout efforts. This piece looks fair to me, but what would Hayden’s next story about Obama look like? About immigration? About women? The environment? Net neutrality!

And lots of crime stories, the staple of TV news, connect to partisan politics.

“To me it’s very bad that we have a president that doesn’t like America,” said Hayden on air (at 12:20 below). Let’s hope she doesn’t use her journalism job to do something about it.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/fox-31-reporter-julie-hayden-claims-obama-does-not-love-america

Coffmans’ split endorsements in GOP-state-chair race titillate Republicans on the radio

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Conservative talk radio is the front line in the battle over who will be the next chair of the Colorado Republican Party. (That is, for the tea-party wing of the party. The front line for the moneyed side of the party might be in buildings on 17th street or something.)

In any case, Steve House, who’s challenging current GOP chair Ryan Call, has appeared on at least nine shows over the past few weeks, including programs on KNUS (Peter Boyles), KLZ (Randy Corporon, Ken Clark, Kris Cook) and KFKA (Amy Oliver).

In contrast, I can’t find a single appearance by Call on conservative talk radio in the past month.

Even when the candidates themselves aren’t on their shows, the conservative yappers talk on and on about race to be the GOP chair, as if it’s the epic battle that will decide the future of the Republican Party in Colorado.

One of the developments in the race that titillates the Republicans is the split endorsements of Mike and Cynthia Coffman. Congressman Coffman is backing Ryan Call, the current chair. And his wife, Cynthia Coffman, who’s Colorado’s Attorney General, has thrown her weight behind challenger Steve House.

Below is an example of the kind of erudite discussion you find on conservative radio about the Coffman situation and relationship, such as it is. (Recall that they apparently don’t live together.) It occurred on Valentine’s Day on KNUS’  “Weekend Wake Up” Show with Julie Hayden and hubby Chuck Bonniwell. The guest is conservative political operative Laura Carno (who’s been crusading for powdered alcohol recently):

 Bonniwell: This leadership race for the chairmanship of the Republican Party is going wild! It’s just going wild out there. And you can read all about it in ColoradoPols, which is sad because it’s a left-wing site… It’s a battle royale with Cynthia Coffman, who’s the Attorney General, urging Steve House to run, and then her husband, Congressman Coffman, opposing him, saying, ‘Re-elect Ryan Call.’ It’s just an amazing fight.

Carno: Yeah. It’s going crazy. …I thought that the Coffman angle was absolutely fascinating.

Hayden: You have to wonder!

Carno: Cynthia Coffman is backing one guy. Congressman Coffman is backing another guy. And what does that household look like?

Bonniwell: It’s one of two things: They say, ‘You go on one side. I’ll go on the other side. And we’ll all be covered.’ Or they’re screaming at each other. One of the two.

Carno: Right. It’s a house divided, in some manner. It would just be interesting to be a fly on the wall with those conversations. Interesting Valentine’s Day.

Unchallenged on talk radio, Coffman blames Obama for ISIS; calls for “boots on the ground” against ISIS

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

When U.S. troops were withdrawn from Iraq in 2011, Rep. Mike Coffman called it a “great day,” but in the ensuing years, he’s complained that America shouldn’t have withdrawn all its forces from Iraq. This line of thinking reached a crescendo Saturday, when Coffman appeared on a Denver radio stationand blamed Obama for creating “the situation with ISIS in Iraq” by withdrawing American troops too early.

Coffman: The fact is, the President has created the situation with ISIS in Iraq, because what he did against recommendations of the Pentagon was he left no residual force whatsoever in Iraq in 2011 because he was so desperate for the political narrative going into the 2012 election that he’d ended the war in Iraq. And by not having any residual force, we lost that military-to-military relationship with the Iraqi security forces. And in doing so, we also lost that government-to-government relationship. And we had no influence. And as a result, the roots of representative government weren’t deep enough. And the Al-Abadi government out of Baghdad reverted to their worst sectarian tendencies, pushed the Sunnis out of the government, and essentially created the opening for ISIS, for this jihadist element to come in and fill that void. And they did.

KNUS host Jimmy Sengenberger missed a chance to make things interesting by arguing that, if anything, Bush is responsible for ISIS. But Obama? Even if you accept the premise, which I don’t, that the absence of a U.S. “residual force” in Iraq created ISIS, the fact is that Obama actually tried to negotiate an agreement allowing U.S. forces to remain. Respected New York Times reporter Michael Gordon summarized what happened:

Mr. Obama sought to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement that would have allowed United States troops to stay in Iraq after 2011. Initially, the Obama administration was prepared to keep up to 10,000 troops in Iraq. Later, the Obama administration lowered the number to about 5,000. Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki indicated that he might be willing. But the Iraqis did not agree to an American demand that such an agreement be submitted to their Parliament for approval, a step the Obama administration insisted on to ensure that any American troops that stayed would be immune from prosecution under Iraqi law…. After the talks broke down, the Obama administration withdrew the remaining American troops in December 2011, the deadline set for withdrawing all American forces from Iraq under the Status of Forces Agreement.

Blame game for ISIS aside, Coffman is so mad about the situation he’s ready to put “boots on the ground” in the war against ISIS–even though about a year ago he was for U.S. advisers in Iraq but dead set against the boots idea, telling KNUS’ Dan Caplis, “I would say, in terms of regular troops on the ground, absolutely not.” Now Coffman is saying U.S. soldiers on the ground in Iraq are required:

Coffman: Certainly, as an Iraq war veteran, I wouldn’t want to see U.S. forces on the ground as the maneuver ground element. I want I want to see indigenous forces on the ground, but we’re going to need special operators from time to time to take out high-value targets. We are going to need to give them air logistical and advisory support, and that is going to take some elements of boots on the ground. That’s just the way it is. And he’s trying to make everything fit into a political narrative. And it’s insane…I’m going to fight him on closing Guantanamo Bay as well.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/clip-mcoffmanseng21415

(CORRECTION: This blog post previously stated that Coffman wanted to “boots on the ground” in Iraq. Actually, he wants the boots in the war against ISIS.)

Upheaval in Colorado GOP heats up but remains largely under media radar

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Pueblo County’s Republican Chair, Becky Mizel, isn’t known for pulling her punches, but she hit particularly hard at her fellow Republicans in a recent interview on KNUS’ Peter Boyles Show.

The fight roiling the state GOP is reaching a frenzy leading up to the March 14 vote on whether to retain Republican State Chair Ryan Call, and Mizel, who says “people are leaving the Party,” thinks a leadership change “at the top” is required to align the money wing of the party with the “majority of the GOP that thinks like we do.”

Mizel told Boyles (hear it below) that she’s been “calling around to counties all over the state,” and she’s found out that progressives are out-organizing Republicans, with  groups like Colorado WINS and ProgressNow “well-established,” even in “counties like Ouray,” not known to be a lefty outpost.

The GOP’s zeitgeist, embodied in Mizel, is largely flowing under the media radar, even though the stakes are high. A shift in leadership at the state party could have a huge impact not only on the amount of money raised by Republicans in Colorado but also where GOP money flows. It’s a story that deserves more attention.

Mizel: That’s what I really hate about the GOP. There’s that segment of the GOP that controls all of the money, the messaging, and the data. But then there’s the majority of the GOP that thinks like we do. And so, it’s really kind of a sad thing. And people are leaving the party. If we don’t do something to change the leadership at the top, I don’t think there’s not a 3rd party strong enough to win. And so, we’re destined. And the other thing, I’ve been calling around to the counties all over the state, Peter, and, boy, I can tell you, the Democrats have all of their people in place through groups like Colorado WINS and ProgressNow. They are well established in counties like Ouray and Silverton. We don’t even have a clue! Our Republican leadership comes in. They could care less. They only caring about the top of the ticket. They want to control messaging. They want to control dollars. They think your candidates aren’t good enough It’s all about getting the RNC candidates in. It’s not about the county-up. And so we just have to start taking control from the Grassroots up…And people are leaving the Party.

Boyles: Well, they should.

Mizel: I’m not saying the Party is great. But it’s their vehicle to get other people elected.

Boyles: …I’ve said this many, many, many times:  if the Republican Party puts Jeb Bush as the Presidential hopeful, I WILL vote for Hillary Clinton.  I swear to God, I will!  I mean, if that’s the best that they can do, and I think it is what they’re going to do.  But as an aside, he is– did you see that great line, that “The Bush family really believes in No Child Left Behind.  They’re going to run Jeb.”  I thought it was a great line.  What can people do to help you dump Ryan Call?

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/pueblo-county-republican-chair-discusses-gop-leadership-2-3-15

Reporters should ask Neville what his reality-based alternative to Obamacare is

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Conservatives are still wondering around, from interview to interview, saying they want to dump Obamacare. And here’s “the key thing,” as articulated by freshman Colorado State Senator Tim Neville on the radio Saturday:

Neville: “The key thing is the Republican Party, and those of us up in the Senate and the House, need to make sure we have something to replace it, and we’re working on a little bill along those lines this year.”

Neville didn’t spill the beans on his Obamacare alternative right away, but he circled back to it later in the interview, aired on KNUS’ Weekend Wake Up.

Turns out, he was referring to his bill requiring hospitals to list the prices of common procedures, when third parties aren’t paying for it.

Neville @10:45 below: “Going back to the health care, what do we have that’s going to replace this? I have a pretty moderate bill requiring transparency and requiring–and I hate to require any business to do anything–but allowing people to actually get prices so that if they want to pay for a health-care procedure, they actually have an opportunity to get a price instead of having to go through the billing department. And if they don’t have insurance, they really don’t know what they are going to get charged, if they just want to pay for their procedure. We have so many people in high-deductible plans–$6,000 deductibles or higher–and so many people who have decided, ‘I’m not going to mess with it.’

…”If we allow the forces of the marketplace to be unleashed, I’m a huge fan of high-deductible programs, health-saving accounts that are tax-deductible, and the ability for people to have skin in the game to make important decisions, rational decisions.”

A price list, so people without insurance know exactly how much they probably can’t pay? Skin in the game!

Maybe the idea has merit, but Neville is overflowing with audacity to frame this bill as anything related to the Obamacare alternative that conservatives are desperately seeking. And of course, if he says it in front of a real reporter, or even if he doesn’t, he should be asked about it.

In Neville’s case, the anti-Obamacare passion runs deep. He said Saturday that he challenged fellow Republican Jim Kerr for the Jeffco Senate seat after Kerr went “off the rails” and supported the bill (SB-200), which established Colorado’s market-based health-insurance exchange and had the support of the business community and GOP leader Rep. Amy Stephens, among others, at the time.

Neville, beginning at 4:50 below: “Senate bill 200 was what put me over the edge to be involved in politics, when I was running for a vacancy. There was a Republican legislator that wanted to move up from the House to the Senate. I actually campaigned for him, considered him as a friend. But he kind of got off the rails, along with the other people who voted for 200. And people weren’t getting it. Sometimes you can send a message with a phone call or a letter and sometimes you’ve got to have a little bit more involvement…. One of my first bills was to repeal the state health care exchange, and, of course, it fell one vote short.”

You wouldn’t expect KNUS talk-show host Chuck Bonniwell, who interviewed Neville Saturday, to ask about the GOP’s real alternatives to Obamacare, but other reporters should pick up the slack, whether it’s Neville or Sen. Cory Gardner.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/on-radio-state-sen-tim-neville-discusses-healthcare-13115

When a softball question for Gardner doesn’t make you groan

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Most people groan when media figures toss soft-ball questions at public officials, but not all softballs are created equal.

As you’d expect, during a Jan. 27 interview, KNUS talk-radio host Krista Kafer thew a bunch of eye-roll-inducing questions at Colorado’s new Republican Senator, Cory Gardner, like has he been surprised by anything?

But one of Kafer’s softballs was illuminating. She asked, “Who ya hanging out with?”

As his emerging Senate BFFs, Gardner first mentioned some of the most radical right wingers in the chamber.

Gardner spotlighted his budding relationship with Tea-Party leader Ted Cruz of Texas, saying he “sat next to Sen. Cruz over the past several policy meetings that we’ve had, talking about issues like what we’re going to do on health care….” (Cruz, of course, led the charge for a government shutdown to stop Obamacare.)

Gardner also mentioned working with Sen. Rand Paul of Texas, “on a number of bills, whether it’s auditing the Federal Reserve.” (You wonder if the two discussed Paul’s Personhood bill, the Life at Conception Act, which Gardner endorsed while in the House.)

Also cited by Gardner, in answer to Kafer’s question, were anti-environmentalists John Thune (R-SD) and Jerry Moran (R-KS).

You know a Senator by the company he keeps. And in Gardner’s case, his company of obstructionist right wingers reflects what we’ve heard from him in Washington as well. The name of a moderate Republican or Democrat did not come out of Gardner’s mouth.

Good on ya, Krista Kafer, for at least one of your softballs.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/talk-radio-host-asks-gardner-so-who-are-you-hanging-out-with