Archive for the 'Colorado presidential race' Category

Beauprez’s “family squabbles” contrast with Schaffer’s vision of possible death

Friday, March 4th, 2016

Failed 2014 gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has a message for his fellow Republicans who might be nervous about the future of their party:

Beauprez: “At the end of all this, tough as it’s going to be, family squabbles can be pretty messy sometimes. But at the end of it, you realize, we are family. You grab hands. You give everybody a big hug and say, alright, let’s go win this thing.” (Listen to more on KOA 850-AM clip below.)

Failed 2008 senatorial candidate Bob Schaffer, on the other hand, had a different take:

Schaffer: “I think it is possible that we may be seeing the final months of the existence of the Republican Party. I really think that’s possible. If it’s going to salvage itself and restore itself and continue itself, it’s got to be something dramatic–and it’s not a Trump thing. Trump is not going to rescue it. And neither are the party insiders, who think business as usual is the way to keep doing business.” (Listen to more on KCOL clip below.)

Beauprez’s thoughts on the Republican crisis were by far the sunneist I’ve seen in Colorado, where most of the top GOP leaders in the state took the astonishing position of refusing to say whether they’d back Trump if he became the actual factual nominee–even after calling him a “fraud” (Buck) or a “buffoon” (Gardner).

After being asked seven times, Gardner said he’d back Trump if he’s nominated. So maybe Beauprez reminded Gardner of his familial obligations?

The story that’s missing now is, which elected Republicans, at any level here in Colorado, actually like Trump, not by default but affirmatively. I’ve seen only such person so far, and that’s State Sen. Laura Wosod (here at 25 min 50 sec). Trump is one of her favorite candidates. Who else is out there? And why?

Partial transcript of Bob Schaffer’s comments on KCOL March 3,

This sounds kind of radical, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I think it is possible that we may be seeing the final months of the existence of the Republican Party. I really think that’s possible. If it’s going to salvage itself and restore itself and continue itself, it’s got to be something dramatic–and it’s not a Trump thing. Trump is not going to rescue it. And neither are the party insiders who think business as usual is the way to keep doing business. But it’s got to be something dramatic and remarkable. It’s got come from the grassroots, maybe from the states or some collection of states that re-centers not the philosophy of the Republican Party but the behavior of the Republican Party. That’s the only way it’s going to be salvaged. If that doesn’t happen, somehow quickly and in some remarkable way, I think it’s possible by the time we are going into a presidential election again four years from now, we’re going to be talking about Democrats and some other party, some other organization. Maybe the Republican Party will be around, but it will be a third party by then. I really think that could be where we’re at right now.

Partial transcript of comments by Bob Beauprez on KOA 850-AMAM March 3.

A lot of us are seeing what used to go on behind those closed doors, behind the curtain.  We’re seeing it played out live and in person. This is serious high-stakes politics. Nothing more serious than a presidential nominee. And people feel passionately about it…. At the end of the day, I fully epect, whoever our nominee ends up being, after all the drama has played out, that conservatives will come together and support that nominee because the alternative to us conservatives is so unacceptable…We’ve been down this road before. Every four years, it seems like we go through this with a nomination process. I remember very well the campaign in 1980, and we all thought, oh my goodness, did you hear what George H. W. Bush said about Ronald Reagan with voodoo economics. And we thought that was appalling. Well, then they come together and are on the same ticket, and they serve very well together and became great friends. Politics is a strange business… But at the end of the day, all these guys want is to do what’s right for the country. And they will fight very hard for the right to be that standard bearer. But at the end of the day, we will come together around one. … At the end of all this, tough as it’s going to be, family squabbles can be pretty messy sometimes. But at the end of it, you realize, we are family. You grab hands. You give everybody a big hug and say, alright, let’s go win this thing. That’s how it will end up, I think.

A list of current (or possibly future) Trump supporters

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Update: On Facebook, U.S. Senate candidate Robert Blaha defends his decision to stand by Trump, if the magnate prevails.

Blaha: Although I may not get my “pick” as a Presidential candidate, I will support whoever the American people vote to be the Republican nominee. We cannot afford to further fracture our party, we must stand together as a Republican Party. We MUST stop our eighth grade locker room act of classless commentary and insane rhetoric.

How about this…. If we had the same intensity we are displaying in tearing ourselves apart in communicating Our ideas, Our Passions and Our Vision we would never have arrived at this pathetic dead-end.

Shame on those in power who not only allow the carnage, but, wield the hands that encourage it! This is a defining moment in Republican history, our own Gettysburg is now upon us !

Washington – you are a voice for the people, not the voice in spite of the people.


While we wait to hear whether Rep. Doug Lamborn, and Sen. Cory Gardner respond to 9News’ question about whether they’d support Trump, if he were the GOP nominee, it’s worth it for reporters to take a wider look at local support the magnate has among muckety-muck Republicans.

    • Former Rep. Spencer Swalm is an “out-of-the-closet” endorser of Trump.
    • State Sen. Laura Woods has said Trump is one of her two favorite prez candidates, but she’s backing Cruz.
    • Rep. Mike Coffman “refused to speculate” to 9News today on whether he’d back Trump if he’s the Republican nominee, but campaign spokeswoman Kristin Strohm told the Colorado Stateman Feb. 2, “Will Mike Coffman support the Republican nominee over Bernie or Hillary? The answer is obviously yes. And he believes strongly it is going to be Marco Rubio.”
    • These GOP U.S. Senate candidates also told the Statesman they’d back Trump as nominee: businessman Robert Blaha, El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, Jack Graham, El Paso County Commissioner Peg Littleton, State Sen. Tim Neville, former Rep. Jon Keyser, activist Charlie Ehler, and Ryan Frazier.

Please send me any additons to this list.

But for the time being, these are the people Reporters can turn to for answers to the perplexing question of, Why would a respectable person support Trump? It’s a serious and urgent question that needs to be aired out locally, as 9News is trying to do with limited success.

Trump prevails in Adams County but CO GOP mostly silent on the reality-show star

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

At last night’s caucuses, local Republicans generally didn’t hold preference polls on the presidential race but there were exceptions, like Adams Country, a swing district that might possibly serve as a barometer of how Colorado would have gone on the red side.

Thanks to The Denver Post for reporting the GOP results from Adams County:

Even though the state Republican Party canceled the straw poll, Adams County officials decided to hold an “unofficial” count.

The precinct didn’t entertain speeches from the candidates’ supporters — “You know who the candidates are,” the organizer said. Instead, the neighbors wrote a last name on a pink slip and submitted it to the secretary.

The final vote count: Trump six, Cruz four, Rubio four and Carson one.

This is obviously only an anecdote, but it’s been hard to gauge Trump’s actual factual support in Colorado, because so few party leaders have endorsed him–or repudiated him.

On the favorable side for the reality-show star, other than caucus-goers in Adams Country, the closest thing we have to official Trump support is State Sen. Laura Woods, who’s said Trump is one of her two favorite candidates but then endorsed Cruz. Plus, vocalists on conservative talk radio, like KNUS 710-AM’s Peter Boyles, have endorsed him.

The GOP Trump haters are also largely in the closet–with exceptions.  In a beautifully written editorial today, titled Donald Trump’s Victories Point to GOP Crisis, The Denver Post reminds us that Sen. Cory Gardner called Trump a “buffoon” last year, and Rep. Ken Buck was more generous, calling him a “fraud.”

“Surely they wouldn’t support a buffoon or fraud if he’s nominated,” The Post opined. “If not, they should say so now.”

Yet, for the most part, Colorado Republicans have been silent on Trump, perhaps agreeing with Rep. Mike Coffman who said Trump “is not going to be the nominee.”

Surely, Coffman doesn’t think that now. But what do he and his fellow Republicans think of Trump and, by extension, the folks in Adams County who are backing him?

CO Republicans will back Trump but still aren’t endorsing him

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

I’ve been searching for a Colorado Republican candidate or elected official who’s endorsed billionaire Donald Trump.

I thought I found my guy in Gerald Eller, a Colorado native and disabled Army veteran, who’s one of the dozen or so Republicans seeking to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet.

I noticed Eller liked a “Donald Trump Supporters” page on Facebook.

But he told me he’s not endorsed Trump.

“I support all of them,” said Eller, when asked about Trump. “I like all the Republican presidential candidates, even the ones who aren’t running anymore.”

So, here in Colorado, the closest we apparently have to an elected Republican who’s endorsed Trump is State Sen. Laura Woods, of Westminster, who told a radio host that her two favorite candidates were Trump and Cruz.

But Woods later she tweeted that she’d decided, for “no specific reason,” that Cruz was her top presidential candidate.

Other Republican candidates in high profile races told the Colorado Statesman last month that they’d back the GOP nominee, including Trump.

Included in the group is Rep. Mike Coffman, who brushed off questions about Trump in December with, ““He’s not going to be the nominee.”

Woods names Trump as a favorite prez candidate

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

As Trump surges, reporters should tell us about the support, or lack thereof, the magnate gets from local Republican muckety mucks.

We’ve seen coverage of politicos lining up for Clinton (Hick), Cruz (Buck), Rubio (Gardner), Sanders (Salazar), and others. And the Colorado Statesman has reported that top U.S. Senate and congressional candidates in Colorado will support their party’s nominee.

But there’s one Colorado Republican who’s openly saying Trump is one of her two top presidential candidates.

That would be State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Westminster), whose November election will likely determine whether Democrats control Colorado state government next year.

On the radio last month, Woods named Trump as one of her two favorite candidates.

Here’s what Woods had to say about Trump on KNUS 710-AM’s Saturday morning show, hosted by Chuck Bonniwell and Fox 31 Denver’s Julie Hayden:

BONNIWELL:  Well, have you decided who you like in the primaries – the Republican primaries for president?

WOODS:  For president. I have narrowed the field –.  You know, I attended the debate in Boulder, and it really helped me to see that anyone of these up on that stage would be better than the 3 running on the other side of the ticket.   […]  So, I at least wrapped my mind around the fact that, you know, — whichever Republican gets the nod, I will vote for that Republican. But my favorites are Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

BONNIWELL:  Yeah! Those are mine to.  That’s who I like, too.

HAYDEN: That’s everybody’s favorites when you get right down to it. Well, not everybody’s, but….

Let’s be clear that Trump has vocal supporters in Colorado, like KNUS 710-AM’s Peter Boyles, and other notorious vocalists on conservative talk radio. But Woods stands out among folks who can be held accountable by voters for what they do or say.

Listen here to Woods on KNUS Jan. 16.

Colorado Republicans are not irrelevant! Close GOP prez primary puts spotlight on Colorado

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

The irrelevancy of the Colorado Republican Party on the GOP presidential nomination process has apparently been exaggerated.

It’s been previously reported that after state Republicans eliminated their caucus straw poll last year, Colorado delegates could not pledge support to specific candidates prior to the Republican National Convention. In other words, Colorado GOP delegates would have to attend unbound to a candidate.

But this apparently isn’t true.

Republicans in Colorado can still pledge support for a Republican presidential candidate, if they state their intention to do so on a form that’s required to run for one of the 34 elected national-delegate spots. (Three additional Colorado delegates are determined by the Republican National Committee.)

The form, titled “National Delegate Intent to Run Form” must be submitted 13 days prior to the April 9 Republican State Convention or the April 8 Congressional District Convention, where delegates are selected for the national Republican Convention.

The form states:

I intend to stand for election as a candidate for National Delegate at the following convention(s):

□ Congressional District Convention – Congressional District #_

□ State Convention…

Full Name (please print): ___________________________

□ Pledged to Support Presidential Candidate: _____________

□ Unpledged.

As the University of Georgia’s Josh Putnam writes on his blog about the presidential nominating process:

That pledge is much more important than is being discussed.

Colorado has been talked about as a state that will send an unbound delegation to the national convention. That would only be the case if all the delegate candidates who file intent to run forms opted to remain unaffiliated with any presidential campaign. If those delegate candidates pledge to a presidential candidate and are ultimately elected to one of the 34 delegate slots (not counting the party/automatic delegates), then they are functionally locked in with that candidate if that candidate is still in the race for the Republican nomination.

They would be bound to those candidates at the national convention because the Colorado Republican Party bylaws instruct the party chair to cast the delegation’s votes at the national convention “in accordance with the pledge of support made by each National Delegate on their notice of intent to run”. Anywhere from 0 to 34 delegates could end up bound from the Colorado delegation to the Republican National Convention.

That is a real wildcard in the delegate count in Colorado and nationally.

So, the pledge option on the “intent-to-run” form for delegates opens the door for a showdown among Republicans who have bound themselves to different candidates.

It also opens the door for fierce competition among the presidential candidates to push supporters to the caucuses, where they will vote for State-Convention delegates or Congressional-District-Convention delegates who are committed to pledging their support to a specific presidential candidate. (Ron Paul supporters managed to do this in 2012.)

The intent-to-run form also presents a public-relations opportunity for presidental candidates whose supporters are selected as county assembly delegates on caucus night–and then quickly announce en masse that they’ve decided to bind themselves voluntarily to a particular candidate.

Putnam writes on his blog that the March 1 Republican caucuses put a “premium on organizing — turning out as many supporters as possible for the precinct caucuses and then getting those supporters through to the county assemblies. It is only that group of county assembly participants who are eligible to be national convention delegates…. if a campaign is able to corner the market and move through to the next step a bunch of its supporters, that candidate will have a decided advantage in the delegate allocation process. They would dominate the pool of potential candidates and maximize the number of delegates the campaign eventually wins.”

Putnam writes:

Rather than being a state with no preference vote that no one pays attention to, Colorado becomes a real delegate prize for the campaigns who are able to organize there. Those that gain an organizational advantage — and that is much more likely in a low turnout election without the incentive of a presidential preference vote — have a real opportunity to get something out of the Centennial state. It will not necessarily entail candidates coming into the state over the course March and into April (because forcing delegate candidates through to the county assembly level is the true mark of winning there), but it may make the media outlets pay continued attention to Colorado as the process there resolves itself. And since there is no preference vote guiding the delegate allocation process from step to step, a candidate could dominate in Colorado and come out on April 9 with a significant majority of delegates.

…In the conventional sense, candidates will not necessarily come to Colorado to drive up support for a March 1 vote that will not happen. That is doubly true in light of the fact that Colorado shares its precinct caucuses date with primaries and caucuses in 13 other states. Functionally though, with delegates potentially on the line, Colorado is certainly not a non-event.

Colorado Republican Chair Steve House apparently affirmed this process here.

So, bottom line, Colorado could see a major fight among the Republican presidential candidates to influence the vote for 34 National-Republican-Convention delegates, who will be selected at the April 9 GOP state convention and April 8 GOP congressional district convention.

Republican sources tell me that only Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are showing any sign of a ground game here in Colorado. But this may change in the coming weeks.

Letter-to-the-editor offers psychological profile of Trump

Saturday, December 19th, 2015

In response to my recent post, revealing another instance where Rep. Mike Coffman appears to resist criticizing Donald Trump, I received this letter:

Dear BigMedia:

The following psychological profile excerpt is a nearly one-to-one match with the qualities/behaviors that Trump supporters find attractive, in their own words:

“[N]ever allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”

And the last bits — repetition of a big lie until enough people believe it — are not things Trump’s supporters would expressly agree with, but are near indisputable, given the well-established pattern of Trump making a false insinuation followed by his supporters adopting and propagating the falsehood as truth.

Now, there is already a well-developed narrative comparing Trump’s recent escalation of rhetoric to the template used by Hitler/Goebbels, etc.  What I have noticed is that the comparisons depend upon the writer’s subjective opinion about how close a comparison between the two can be justified.

And perhaps a pundit has already made this connection (and you may already have guessed as much), but the excerpt above is from a report prepared by the Office of Strategic Services in late-1943/early-1944, entitled “A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler. His Life and Legend”.

This sort of punch-line feels more compelling than the high-school-essay-type position, “I believe Trump is like Hitler because…”

Because this profile was a contemporary analysis of a living Hitler/enemy-of-America, it creates a brutally effective frame for understanding how/why Trump is building his support in the manner he has.

In other words, even if folks who are on the fence about Trump don’t trust any 2015-era critics making comparisons based on 60+ year-old history, they may be more persuaded when they recognize Trump in the words written by America’s best-and-brightest intelligence officers when America regarded this sort of leader as a mortal enemy.



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?