Archive for the 'Colorado presidential race' Category

Key Denver Post reporting on Quinnipieac poll cut from print version of story

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

I was sorry to see that key paragraphs of Denver Post reporter John Frank’s intelligent reporting on the latest Quinnipieac poll were cut from the version of the article that appeared in newspaper’s print edition. Here is the disappeared info:

Moreover, the survey results are likely to face scrutiny given the pollster’s mixed reputation in Colorado. A 2014 Quinnipiac poll put Gov. John Hickenlooper down 10 points to his Republican rival weeks before voting began even though others showed him with a narrow 2 percentage point edge. Hickenlooper won by 3 points.

The survey under-represented Democratic and unaffiliated voters, compared to state registration figures — which may help explain Clinton’s below-average performance in the poll.

To my way of thinking, those two paragraphs, which were in the online article, provided essential context on the poll’s absurd rusults, which showed, in part, Donald Trump thumping Hillary Clinton by an 11-point margin!

At least the print edition included this paragraph:

The poll — a year before the general election — represents a snapshot in time, rather than a reliable indicator of how Colorado will vote in November 2016.

GOP chair hinted that he’d assign lousy green rooms to his least favorite candidates

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Prior to last night’s Republican debate, Politico reported that some of the candidates were less than thrilled with their “green-room” assignments. These are rooms where the presidential aspirants waited prior to and after their appearances on the debate stage in Boulder.

New Jersey Govenor Chris Christie’s space was “dominated by a toilet,” while Trump’s room had “plush chairs and a flat-screen TV,” according to Politico.

The unequal room assignments could possibly have been the intentional work of Colorado State Republican Chair Steve House.

On the Colorado GOP Watch Facebook page yesterday, anti-House activist Marilyn Marks posted audio of House hinting that he’d assign shoddy green rooms to candidates he doesn’t like and vice versa:

On May 19, House said the following at a Lakewood, CO, Tea Party meeting (audio here).

House: “I cannot support a candidate before general election. There are certain presidential candidate that I like and those I don’t like. ….
I have a debate in October at CU. I will be dealing with green rooms for 20 or 30 candidates, and some I am going to like, who want red M&M’s, and some I’m gonna say ‘are fools and shouldn’t be there,’ and some will get assigned to showers in the locker room and others to restrooms, because that is just the way the lottery of it. But I can’t FORMALLY pick a candidate in the process until there is general election.”

House has actually dissed Trump in the past, so his giving Trump plush chairs doesn’t quite square with what we know of House’s candidate preferences. But, on her Facebook page, Marks speculates that House may have been trying to “make amends” for his prior public statement about Trump.

In any case, here’s what Politico reported:

During a tense 30-minute meeting at the Coors Event Center, which was described by three sources present, several lower-polling campaigns lashed out at the RNC. They accused the committee of allotting them less-than-hospitable greenroom spaces while unfairly giving lavish ones to higher-polling candidates, such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

The drama began Tuesday afternoon as RNC officials led campaigns on a walk-through of the debate site. After touring the stage, candidates got a peek at what their green rooms looked like.

Trump was granted a spacious room, complete with plush chairs and a flat-screen TV. Marco Rubio got a theatre-type room, packed with leather seats for him and his team of aides. Carly Fiorina’s room had a Jacuzzi.

Then there was Chris Christie, whose small space was dominated by a toilet. So was Rand Paul’s.



Reporter allows Republican to imply that CNBC is responsible for keeping students out of the debate

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Republicans continue to blame CNBC outright, or imply that CNBC is responsible for severely limiting the number of seats available for today’s GOP presidential debate, when, in fact, all signs point to the Republicans as the ones who made the decision to fill only about 1,000 of the 11,000-seat arena at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“The way it was explained to us was, the event was meant for a TV audience, not so much live audience,”  the Colorado Republican Committee’s Brian Lynch told Colorado Public Radio’s Rachel Estabrook, for a piece that aired nationally last night.

Explained to us? By whom?

Lynch doesn’t say, and there’s no indication Estabrook asked him.

We know from a university spokesman that CNBC set the number of seats that could be filled for the event, and the Republicans were in charge of distributing tickets.

What we still don’t know is, how many seats Republicans had to give away. CNBC “did not respond to interview requests” from Estabrook.

But logic says, CNBC would subtract the number of seats needed for its equipment and personnel—and let the GOP have the remainder of the tickets. Why not? I mean, Republicans rented the Coors Events Center.

But, in any case, what’s crazy is, journalists are letting Republicans deflect criticism that Republicans should let more students in—without clarifying who’s, in fact, responsible.

If you listen to NPR’s story last night, you’re left thinking CNBC is responsible, especially becuase it’s not commenting.

The question remains, how many tickets did CNBC make available to Republicans for distribution? And why is CNBC mum as Republicans to blame it?

CNBC still won’t help explain why the GOP has turned a 11,000-seat arena into a bunker

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

You have to admire the Republicans for going to Boulder for their debate Wednesday.  It took some serious conservative backbone to descend on a town that stands for so much that Republicans do not.

But then what happened? Republicans rented a giant 11,000-seat auditorium for their debate and are treating it like a big giant bunker, keeping Boulder out.

Showing their generosity and love of the youth vote, Republicans are giving students a whopping 100 tickets for the debate, even though it will be held on the campus of the University of Colorado. A total of only 1,000 tickets total are being distributed, with most apparently going to insiders and operatives.

This has left journalists asking how many tickets do Republicans have to distribute, if they wanted to give out more? And’s who’s responsible for allowing so few people in?

The Republicans won’t tell, and you wouldn’t expect them to, given that they don’t want to offend the students, who are signing petitions and clamoring to attend. Everyone knows Republicans don’t need to give young people more reasons not to like them—beyond the existing turnoffs of the GOP positions on choice, gay marriage, climate change, etc.

And CU won’t give out the ticket number either, only saying CNBC, which is airing the debate, set the audience size and the Republicans are in charge of ticket distribution.

So, in an ironic twist of journalism, the answer to the question of how many tickets are theoretically available resides within a news enterprise. That would be CNBC.

And CNBC, modeling the behavior journalists hate most, isn’t commenting. And in so doing, CNBC is covering for Republicans, allowing them to shift blame elsewhere and more easily avoid divulging how many tickets are available and why they aren’t being distributed.

So you have the Republican National Committee saying only that the debates are designed for television–and the leader of the Colorado Republican Party even blaming the “networks” for narrowing down the number of available seats to a “very small number.”

Any CNBC reporter, or any self-respecting journalist for that matter, would want to report the truth.

But in an upside down twist on journalism, CNBC has it, if they’d only tell. It knows how many people Republicans could have allowed in their bunker in Boulder.

Kopel’s praise of ProgressNow makes TV show more interesting

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Dave Kopel, research director at the right-leaning Independence Institute, slapped a pat on the back of left-leaning ProgressNow Colorado, on the latest edition of Colorado Inside Out, agreeing with the state’s top online progresive organization that Republicans should let more people, especially students, view their debate in Boulder Wednesday.

“I think ProgressNow is correct that it is ridiculous that they have this 10,000-seat arena, and they’re only letting a 1000 people in,” said Kopel on Colorado Public Television’s Colorado Inside Out Oct. 23 (@31:34 here).  “If you want to do it in a TV studio with hardly any audience, go ahead and do that.  But if you’ve got it there, it should be opened up to the public.”

He’s right. It’s crazy ridiculous to limit the seating to 1,000 people, with only 100 tickets going to students at the University of Colorado, where the debate is taking place.

Kopel has clashed with ProgressNow, especially on gun issues, so it’s good to see him call out the truth as he sees it, in his role as pundit on the TV show. If you watch the show regularly, you know Kopel doesn’t always align himself with conservatives. Recently he’s praised Democrat Morgon Carroll and dissed conservative school board member Julie Williams.  It makes the show, which can get a bit sleepy sometimes, more interesting.


Colorado is a good place to ask Cruz and Rubio about their support for federal personhood legislation

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Before Wednesday’s Republican debate in Colorado, home of the personhood movement, it’s worth a quick review of the top GOP candidates’ positions on personhood laws, which would ban abortion by giving legal rights to zygotes (fertilized eggs).

The Personhood Alliance, a national anti-choice organization, has made this quick review easy by publishing a micro website with the abortion positions of the top six Republican presidential candidates.

Surprisingly, among the candidates listed on the website, only Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are on record as personhood supporters. Both pledged to co-sponsor federal personhood legislation, called the Life at Conception Act, but neither of them actually did so.

I wondered if Rubio and Cruz went to Washington and discovered there was no such thing as federal personhood legislation.

Of course, that’s what Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner said last year about the Life at Conception Act, even though he was actually factually a co-sponsor of the House version. On the Senate side, the legislation was sponsored by a fading GOP presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul.

Unfortunately neither Rubio’s nor Cruz’s office returned my call, so I can’t tell you why they have yet to hop on the federal personhood bill, as promised.

As I wrote Friday for RH Reality Check (here), Personhood Alliance spokesman Gualberto Garcia Jones thinks Cruz is more likely to fully embrace personhood than Rubio, illuminating the limits of Rubio’s careen rightward.

But, still, both Cruz and Rubio are personhood backers, which could prove to be a major vote getter as they work through the GOP primary but also a serious liability if one of them actually wins the nomination and confronts more diverse voters.

In any case, reporters looking for local angles for GOP debate stories might ask Cruz and Rubio  why we need to give zygotes legal protection under the good old 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Why is CNBC covering for the Republican National Committee?

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

The Colorado Republican Party is blaming CNBC for severely limiting the number of seats available at its Oct. 28 presidential debate at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

But CNBC, which you’d think would advocate for maximum transparency and public access, hasn’t accepted the blame. Instead, strangely, it’s not commenting. What gives?

“We don’t actually know how many seats there are going to be yet,” said Colorado GOP Chair Steve House, discussing the upcoming presidential debate on KFKA’s Stacy Petty show Sept. 23.“The Coors Events Center holds 11,000, but networks are going to narrow that down to a very small number because, for some reason, they think that people might act out, right?”

CU is also blaming CNBC, sort of. In a statement about the limited seating, CU Chancellor Phillip P. DiStefano said: “The debate is being produced and led by CNBC. They determine the audience size, debate format and other aspects of the event. The Republican National Committee is in charge of ticket distribution.”

DiStefano said CNBC determines the audience size, but he was mum about the actual factual audience size set by CNBC for the event. It could have 1,000. It could have been 10,000. What was the number that the RNC was working with?

We know the CU’s Coors Events Center holds 11,000 people. The RNC is reportedly distributing just 1,000 tickets, with 100 going to CU students. So did CNBC determine the 1,000 number?

A CNBC spokesman declined to comment to me this morning, as it’s done before about this matter, making CNBC look like it’s covering for the RNC. That’s not an appealing role for a journalistic entity.

CNBC’s silence allows the RNC to get away with not taking responsibility for the limited seating, especially because House, the local Republican leader, is flat-out blaming CNBC.

Here’s an example of what the RNC is saying:

“These debates are designed for a television audience and the millions of people who will tune in,” said Fred Brown, an RNC spokesman, according to the Durango Herald. “We look forward to the attention an event of this scale will bring the university.”

Any CNBC reporter, or any self-respecting journalist for that matter, would find that spin revolting. But normally, a journalist couldn’t do much about it. In this case, however, the information to expose the spin resides within the journalistic outfit itself. That would be CNBC.

I’m hoping CNBC will do journalism a favor and start explaining what’s going on here.


With collapse of Rand Paul, Dudley Brown may be cash cow for Tim Neville

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Journalists have raised doubts about whether State Sen. Tim Neville, who’s expected to announce his campaign against Sen. Michael Bennet today, can raise the $10 million or more required to unseat the well-financed Democratic uncumbant. It’s a reasonable question, for sure, but recent political shifts could be opening bank accounts for Neville that were locked just months ago.

Colorado’s own Dudley Brown has had close ties to the collapsing presidential campaign of Sen. Rand Paul (See joint photo.). Paul has signed fundraising appeals for Brown, which so pissed off the National Rifle Association (NRA) that the NRA didn’t even invite Paul to an NRA Leadership Forum, which was attended by 12 GOP presidential hopeufls in April.

Brown may now be looking for a new gun-loving federal candidate prop up with millions of dollars. And that lucky candidate could be Neville, whose close ties to Dudley are not in dispute as you can read below if you need to.

But does Dudley have that kind of money? Well, he’s president of the National Association of Gun Rights (NAGR), which raised over $16 million in 501c4 political-attack funds, according to its lastest-available federal filing. It’s impossible to know how much of that dark money could be diverted to Colorado’s Senate race, but the money is big. And for what it’s worth, back in 2013, Dudley said his organization would spend at least $1 million on campaigns.

Dudley is also executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), which played a key role in organizing recall campaigns and in mobilizing voters in senate primaries in Jefferson County. It’s credited for pushing State Sen. Laura Woods to actual victory last year. So there’s that.

Everyone knows Brown loves Neville, and vice versa, and it goes beyond their mutual dream of eliminating all background checks on anyone who purchases any gun anywhere, in this life or the next.

Tim Neville’s son, Joe, was hired as the lobbyist for RMGO, and less known is the fact that Joe Neville is also director of political affairs for NAGR.

And Neville may owe his first legislative victory to Brown, who went all in to help Neville win a 2011 vacancy committee appointment, to replace Sen. Mike Kopp. In a mean campaign, Neville beat his neighbor, then GOP State Rep. Jim Kerr.

Later, during his during his 2014 campaign against Democratic encumbant Sen. Jeanne Nicholson, Neville was endorsed by RMGO PAC and boasted about his ties to RMGO .

Neville stated on his website: “As a proud member of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, I was honored to defend your Second Amendment rights in the Colorado State Senate last year… I was proud to sponsor ‘Constitutional Carry’ legislation and be recognized by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners as the strongest defender in the legislature of your Second Amendment rights.”

That kind of talk may translate into the cash Neville needs to have a shot at Bennet. At least in theory. But money is just one obstacle for a conservative like Neville in Colorado.

Singleton calls Hillary Clinton an “outstanding public servant”

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

On Craig Silverman’s KNUS morning show Saturday, former Denver Post owner William Dean Singleton said Hillary Clinton has been an “outstanding public servant” and would be a good president.

“I believed that she should have been president in 2008,” said Singleton, who’s also a former chair of the Associated Press. “I thought she was the best qualified person running and was disappointed when she lost the nomination to President Obama. I think she would have been an excellent president then, and I think she would be a good president now. She’s not the only good candidate out there, but I believe she would be a very good candidate.”

Singleton, who got to know Clinton as first lady and then when she ran for president in 2008, defended Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, telling Silverman that Clinton has been an “outstanding public servant.”

“I don’t think there’s anything phony about Hillary Clinton,” said Singleton on air. “I think she’s an outstanding public servant. And she knows how to work across party lines. She knows how to bring people together.”

You may wonder why I’d waste cheap blog space on Singleton, but he still votes on The Post’s editorial board, and I’d say he represents the opinion of mainstream businesspeople in Colorado as well as anyone.

In retrospect, Singleton said he thinks Bill Clinton was an “excellent president on the merits of his work.”

“My two favorite candidates are Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush,” he said, after trashing Donald Trump, saying he’s got the biggest ego he’s ever seen.

On Colorado politics, Singleton said he thinks Walker Stapleton will run for governor in 2018

Media omission: Tancredo launches “Stop Chris Christie PAC”

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

If you follow Tom Tancredo you know he makes it clear where he stands on people, like Ryan Call (dislikes him), and places, like Mecca (bomb it).

So, even as Republicans are still warm from hugging each other, it’s no surprise that Tancredo is launching a new campaign to stop New Jersey Gov. Chis Christie’s presidential aspirations.

Tancredo doesn’t like Christie, and you can’t blame him. You recall Tancredo’s promising path to the Colorado governor’s office was upended this summer by his own party, through a vicious ad campaign orchestrated surreptitiously by the Republican Governors’ Association, which is chaired by… Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Tancredo is fighing back now with his “Stop Chris Christie PAC.”

Speaking with Grassroots Radio Colorado (KLZ 560-AM) host Kris Cook Oct. 27, Tancredo said he’s already “filed papers” to create the Stop Christie PAC, allowing him to do “everything” he can to prevent Christie from securing the Republican nomination for president.

“He is no more a Republican than the man in them moon,” Tancredo told Cook. “He is a left wing, east coast liberal.”

TANCREDO: “You know, to be absolutely fair here, and clear, I have a bone to pick with him in particular, because of what he did during our primary,” Tancredo said on air. “You know, although, I must ad– we have never gotten along. We’ve always argued, especially about immigration. We did so publicly. I have never liked the guy. I have certainly never supported him for anything, and because he was concerned that I would, in fact, go against the [United States] Chamber o f Commerce position on immigration and make it a big deal, and I might win, he chose to spend a quarter of a million dollars of Republican money – Governors’ Association money—

COOK: Right.

TANCREDO: –to attack me, here, in Colorado. And, launder the money through Attorneys General Association.

COOK: And five other organizations.

Tancredo held off promoting his Stop Chris Christie PAC until after Tuesday’s election to avoid hurting Colorado Republicans.

“I don’t want to do anything that’s going to hurt Bob Beauprez or any other Republican in Colorado during–or before this election,” said Tancredo on the KLZ show, which aired before the election on Oct. 27. “But when it’s over with, I guarantee you, I’m going after him.”

Partial Transcript of Oct. 27 KLZ-560 Grassroots Radio Colorado Interview with Tom Tancredo. See longer transcript here.

HOST KRIS COOK: Oh, goodie! We’ve got Jeb Bush, going to run for President


COOK: It will be a delightful field. My goodness, we have got to do something about this.

TANCREDO: I agree completely, and I intend to.

COOK: [chuckles] Good.

TANCREDO: I totally intend to.

COOK: Good.

TANCREDO: I’m not going to let this one go by and everybody – you know, when — how many times have you said this? “Oh, my gosh! We just don’t have any good ones to pick from, and I don’t like — .” Well, okay, that – probably very true. And if it’s Chris Christie or Jeb Bush either one, let me tell you, I think it’s a debacle in the making for the Republican Party.

And so, I have started – I filed papers a couple of weeks ago, now – probably ten days ago, anyway, –for a Stop Chris Christie PAC . And I’m going to do everything I can to do just that: stop Chris Christie. He is no more a Republican than the man in them moon. He is a left wing, east coast liberal. He masquerades, to the extent that there’s any – even attempt to pretend – any attempt –anything that comes out of his mouth that sounds relatively conservative. It’s a masquerade, because he now is seeking the Republican nomination, he is actually – I read the other day, that he is actually so afraid of the governor of Wisconsin –

COOK: Scott Walker.

TANCREDO: –Scott Walker—that he has almost purposel—well, almost entirely, kind of subverted his campaign. They are not giving him the money he needs, and why? Why? Because, of course, he is a competitor for that presidential nomination.

COOK: [sarcastically] Yeah, Mr. Christie, that is exactly the way to use your position at the RGA


COOK: I mean, he has proven that he is absolutely unworthy of that role, and any other role in power.

TANCREDO: Well, you know, to be absolutely fair here, and clear, I have a bone to pick with him in particular, because of what he did during our primary. You know, although, I must ad– we have never gotten along. We’ve always argued, especially about immigration. We did so publicly. I have never liked the guy. I have certainly never supported him for anything, and because he was concerned that I would, in fact, go against the [United States] Chamber o f Commerce position on immigration and make it a big deal, and I might win, he chose to have – spend a quarter of a million dollars of Republican money – Governors’ Association money—

COOK: Right.

TANCREDO: –to attack me, here, in Colorado. And, um, and launder the money through Attorneys General Association.

COOK: And five other organizations.

TANCREDO: Five other organizations. You, — God bless you, you were the best interview we ever had on that issue, because you had done your homework and you knew what they had done. Uh, I’m telling you, it’s, I think, unconscionable and I definitely want to make an issue of this, but I want to add somebody to it, and that would be,–let’s – I might start another 527, saying, “Let’s, you know, stop Jeb Bush.” Let’s try to do this before they get a foothold in the–

COOK: Right.

TANCREDO: And get out–get to people, — let them know who they really are. And I mean, I’m totally going to do this. I certainly am for Christie.

COOK: good.

TANCREDO: Um, and we will take our – we will do our first whatever we’re going to do right after the election. I mean, I don’t want to do anything that’s going to hurt Bob Beauprez or any other Republican in Colorado during–or before this election. But when it’s over with, I guarantee you, I’m going after him.

COOK: November – the 2016 election season starts on November 5th, 2014.

TANCREDO: That’s right. That’s right.

COOK: And if you don’t get that, if you don’t understand that, you’ve got to wrap your brain around it. Because if –we cannot do what Republicans always do, which is disappear after the midterm general, and not show up again until the day of the – or the two weeks leading up to the primaries in 2016, that is not the way that this works. If we’re going to win, and if we’re going to win for conservative principles, we have to be out there on the ground. We have to be making those touches with unaffiliated voters. We need to make sure that stuff is happening, and that they understand what the Republican Party really stands for, and what conservative principles are.

TANCREDO: Yeah, well, and our job is to make the Republican Party stand for something.

COOK: [chuckles] That’s right.

TANCREDO: And then—

COOK: It’s a two way street, yeah.

TANCREDO: Absolutely. But, if we win this election, –generally speaking, I’m saying, both in national elections and Colorado elections,– if we do well, if we end up winning — winning control of the Senate, and if we do nothing to actually change the direction – not just slow down the movement to the precipice, –

COOK: Right.

TANCREDO: –but change the direction of this country, if we just watch it, for fear that if we really did change it, we’d all get thrown out of office again, well, I’ll tell you, if that’s it, then there’s no need–. Why should we work hard—any of us–for the status quo to be slowed down? We have to see in these people who are running, the willingness [and] the desire –and the ones who win—the desire to change. Because, oh, I tell you, I can—this is the –my nightmare, is a Republican Senate that refuses to either impeach, repeal Obamacare, um, repeal whatever he’s going to do to us in a few months, with regard to immigration.