Archive for the 'Media omission' Category

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.

Woods apparently thinks twice about thanking Democrats

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Woods deleted Facebook postRepublican State Sen. Laura Woods of Arvada has removed a post from her Facebook page, in which she thanked alleged “supporters from the Democrat Party.”

It appears that Woods was referring to members of a Facebook group called, “Democrats for Senator Laura Woods,” who joined with Woods at a parade last month. “It was awesome to have you there,” Woods wrote on Facebook.

As I posted last week, none of the group’s members have been shown to actually live in Woods’ district and so they cannot vote for her, with one member registered to vote as far away as Boone, North Carolina.

Another group member, pictured on the site, was registered as a Republican, until asked about his voter registration last week, at which time he registered as a Democrat, saying it was a mistake.

Woods did not return a call seeking an explanation for removing the post.

In addition to possible concerns about the group’s members who can’t vote for her, Woods may worry that promoting Democrats on her site would turn away Trump supporters, whom she says are a key part of her path to victory in her district.

Woods, who’s long supported Trump and forgives him for his lewd comments, told a Denver radio station last week:

“I think if Donald Trump wins my district, I’m likely to,” Woods said on air. “And if Hillary Clinton wins my district, my opponent is likely to win.”

 

Woods forgives Trump for comments about sexually assaulting women

Monday, October 17th, 2016

State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada) has forgiven Trump for his comments about sexually assaulting women, according to an Associated Press story today, raising more questions for local media about the impact of Trump’s candidacy on Woods’ state senate race that will likely determine whether Democrats flip Colorado’s legislature in November.

Woods has made no secret of her longstanding support for Trump, calling him the “people’s candidate,” but her comments to the AP go further in explaining why she’s sticking with Trump: She does not believe she’ll win her district unless Trump carries it.

Here’s what Woods told the AP’s David A. Lieb:

Republicans currently hold a precarious single-seat advantage over Democrats in the Colorado Senate, while Democrats hold just a three-seat lead in the House. One of the most pivotal races is in Denver’s western suburbs, where Republican Sen. Laura Woods faces a rematch against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger, who held the seat in 2014.

Woods says a Democratic-backed political group has targeted her in automated phone calls linking her to Trump. But Woods, a self-described Christian conservative, says she has forgiven Trump for his sexual comments and will not abandon him.

“I think if Donald Trump wins my district, I’m likely to,” Wood said. “And if Hillary Clinton wins my district, my opponent is likely to win.”

The comments could explain why Woods turned to Twitter to defend Trump after the Hollywood Access Video was released, retweeting a Breitbart story headlined, “Criminal Aliens Sexually Assault 70,000 American Women — But Paul Ryan Targets Trump.”

Woods unusual public effort to downplay the seriousness of Trump’s comments can be seen as an attempt to shore up Trump support in her own district, which she sees the key to her defeating Democrat Rachel Zenzinger next month.

Woods’ decision to openly forgive Trump, at least for his comments and possibly for his actual alleged sexual assaults, contrasts with other Colorado Republicans who openly declared after the release of the video that they will not vote for the mogul.

It makes for yet another interesting angle on Woods’ all-important state senate 19 race, which has yet to attract the attention it deserves from legacy media outlets.

woods-defending-woods-by-retweeting-breitbart

Major media outlets should fill information void, when candidates like Doty go into hiding

Friday, October 14th, 2016

It’s getting late in the election season, and major media outlets are still mostly overlooking the most important races in the state—in the swing senate districts that will determine whether Democrats gain control of the state senate and with it the reins of Colorado government.

When the major media bow out, the public is left to rely on campaign information, questionnaires, and small publications to fill the candidate-information void.

The problem is, some candidates easily and quietly blow off information requests, leaving the public with no idea where they stand.

For example, Out Front just came out with a story on the positions of key state senate candidates on LGBT issues.

One focus of the piece was the swing Senate District 26 race between Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Doty, a Republican, and Democratic State Rep. Daniel Kagan.

Kagan answered questions from Out Front, and returned a questionnaire from One Colorado on LGBTQ issues.

Doty, however, did not.

“I reached out to [Doty] by email and gave her a few phone calls as well, which she never returned,” said Ryan Howe, Digital Content Director for Out Front.

Howe told me he didn’t report Doty’s refusal to respond, in part, because Doty also refused to return a questionnaire from One Colorado, a LGBTIQ rights group. And Howe’s story referenced One Colorado’s endorsement of Kagan, Howe pointed out.

One Colorado Political Director Laura “Pinky” Reinsch told me Doty did not respond to three email requests to return her organization’s questionnaire.

Major media would obviously have a better shot at getting Doty’s attention.  But with no coverage, voters are forced to grasp at shards of information and infer a candidate’s stance, in this case on LGBT issues.

While Kagan’s LGBT views are clear in his responses, one thing we know about Doty is she once gave money to Rick Santorum, who’s aggressively opposed to same-sex marriage, saying it’s unnatural, among other awful things.

“For me, when you say the states have the right to define marriage, it’s like saying, well, the states have the right to redefine the chemical equation for water, it can be H3O instead of H2O,” said Santorum earlier this year.

The point is, the down-ballot state senate races are really important, and we need the major media outlets to make sure the basic information is on the table for voters.

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.

Ousted Jeffco school board member Julie Williams promotes Trump, Woods

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

williams-on-trump-50-shades-10-16If you’ve been tracking ousted Jeffco school board member Julie Williams, you know she’s been keeping her hand in politics with occasional salvos on Facebook.

One of her Facebook causes has been to promote Republican state senate candidate Laura Woods of Arvada, urging people to vote not only for Woods but for Trump and others.

Now Williams is back on Facebook defending Trump’s ugly comments about sexually assaulting women. She shared a Facebook meme, popular among Trump supporters, that somehow equates 50 Shades of Grey to Trump’s comments.

The meme reads, “IF AMERICAN WOMEN ARE SO OUTRAGED OVER TRUMPS’ USE OF NAUGHTY WORDS, WHO IN THE HELL BOUGHT 80 MILLION COPIES OF 50 SHADES OF GREY?”

There’s no logic in equating the book with Trump’s comments, and Williams isn’t on the ballot.

But how could her tenure on the school board and her continued craziness not be an under-the-media-radar factor in the upcoming election. I wish we’d see more coverage of this dynamic there.

It’s hard to imagine that Trump, Woods, or any candidate will gain much by Williams’ Facebook crusading. Exactly the opposite.

 

Woods’ de-funding plan would force Planned Parenthood to turn away 1,000 patients in Woods’ own district of Arvada

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada/Westminster) has, in part, focused her political career on trying to stop women from having access to an abortion, even if they were raped. Or even for a teen who was raped by her father.

Woods’ unabashed goal is to eliminate a woman’s right to choose, no matter what the circumstances that led to the pregnancy.

As part of her anti-abortion crusade, Woods wants to eliminate all government funding for Planned Parenthood, the women’s health organization that mostly provides basic family planning and health-care services, but also offers abortion services.

By law, Planned Parenthood cannot spend the money it gets from the federal government on abortions.

Instead, Planned Parenthood uses the tax money to provide low income Medicaid patients with basics like HIV and STD tests, birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and such. None of the money goes for abortion.

So, to translate the political rhetoric into reality as we see it in Woods district, what would de-funding Planned Parenthood mean for Arvada?

If Planned Parenthood’s clinic in Arvada were to lose its government funding, as Woods wants, then about 1,000 low-income patients, covered by Medicaid and another federal health program, who rely on the clinic for cancer screenings, STD tests, women’s health care, and other basics, would have to be turned away, according to Whitney Phillips, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman.

“At Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains we believe that people should be able to get the care they need regardless of their zip code,” said Whitney Phillips in an e-mail. “Without access to Planned Parenthood in the Arvada community, nearly 1000 low-income residents would be forced to seek the care they need elsewhere. People come to PPRM for high-quality, non-judgmental, confidential care that patients may not be able to receive otherwise. Planned Parenthood serves a vital role in these communities and may be the first and only place patients can go for the care they need.”

Would these patients be able to get care elsewhere?

No one’s studied the full impact in Colorado if Planned Parenthood lost federal funding, leaving some 80,000 low-income people statewide in need of a new clinic.

In Texas, defunding Planned Parenthood would result in, among other things, a 27 percent increase in births among women who use injectable contraception, according to one study.

In Arvada, health-care providers would likely be able to absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients, according to Marc Williams, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

But it’s not guaranteed. And patients might, at a minimum, have to go to the wider Jefferson County area to get care, Williams wrote me, which spotlights one of a handful of hardships that Arvada residents might face if Woods had her way, and Planned Parenthood were de-funded.

Because low-income people rely on public transportation, the location of a clinic, while theoretically not an insurmountable barrier to access, may in reality determine whether a patient gets health care at all.

Waiting lists or delays at other clinics are also an unknown.

Possibly more serious, especially from the perspective of women seeking birth-control or family-planning services, is the preferences of patients served currently by Planned Parenthood.

Some women seek out Planned Parenthood, specifically, because the organization prides itself on respecting women’s privacy and being sensitive to the medical as well as social needs of patients.

Maybe Woods, who isn’t returning my calls, has an alternative for these women, and other patients, who’d be turned away if Woods succeeded in defunding Planned Parenthood.

If so, she hasn’t talked about it. Her priority appears to be on attacking Planned Parenthood first and worrying about its patients later, if at all.

With control of Colorado’s state senate likely riding on the outcome of Woods’ senate district 19 race against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger, reporters who have access to Woods should find out if she’s thought through the ramifications of her plan to defund Planned Parenthood.

What principles allow Coffman to be who he is?

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo’s string of attacks against U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman raise questions again about what underlying principles motivate Coffman, who’s a Republican from Aurora.

Tancredo now says he doesn’t know if Coffman has “any real set of principles” at all.

But reporters haven’t really explored the question, about how Coffman can go from being, for example, opposed to all abortion, even for rape, to being okay with some abortions. Or from embracing Tancredo as a “hero” to apparently ignoring Tancredo’s criticism of him. Or from saying the Dream Act is a “nightmare” to allegedly supporting it.

It’s time for reporters to help us understand the set of principles that allow Coffman to act this way.

To illustrate the point, I offer this video.

Will ousted conservative Jeffco school board member Williams help sink Woods?

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Last year’s recall of Jefferson County school board member Julie Williams is widely considered a huge factor in this year’s Arvada/Westminster state senate race that will likely determine whether Republicans retain control of the state senate.

Jefferson Country voters threw out Tea Party conservatives on their school board, with special ire directed at Williams, who was denounced by both sides. Even Dave Kopel, a researcher at the conservative Independence Institute, said Williams had a lot of “foolish” ideas.

The Jeffco vote was overwhelming, with 60 percent favoring the recall, and analysts believe the voters’ anger may carry over to Jeffco candidates aligned with Williams.

Williams has ties to Republican State Senator Laura Woods, who’s defending the Arvada/Westminster Senate District 19 seat against Democratic challenger Rachel Zenzinger.

State Sen. Tim Neville is Williams’ brother-in-law, and Neville is connected to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which heavily backed Woods’ upset victory in 2014. Woods backed Neville’s failed U.S. Senate bide earlier this year. And Woods and Neville have overlapping connections to other Republican operatives.

Williams makes no secret of her support for Woods, and Woods, who doesn’t return my calls, has apparently accepted Williams’ backing, which makes sense since Woods and Williams align in their support for Trump and guns, among other links.

Here’s Williams’ Sept. 17 Facebook post, obtained from a source, endorsing Woods:

Julie Williams

September 17 at 9:35am ·

Whether you vote top down or bottom up… Vote!
Vote DONALD TRUMP for President
Vote George Athanasopoulos for US Congress
Vote Laura Laura J Woods for State Senator
Vote Susan Kochevar for State Representative
Please tell your friends & neighbors to get out and vote!

Williams endorses Woods on Facebook