Archive for the 'Talk Radio' Category

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.

Former KLZ talk-radio host elected Douglas Country GOP Chair

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Former KLZ 560-AM radio host Jim Pfaff has been elected Chair of the Douglas County Republican Party.

Pfaff says he helped “spawn the ‘Liberty Lineup’ of local shows which now dominate the station.” KLZ now has local shows interspersed throughout the day, whereas Pfaff’s show used to be the only local talk program. Pfaff left the KLZ airwaves after three years in 2011 to become chief of staff for Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas.

I asked Pfaff, who’s never held elected office before if his “Jim Pfaff Show” experience gave him any insights that proved useful in politics.

“It helped me really expand my communications knowledge and skills,” he told me via email. “It’s a great way to learn what messaging is important to people and caused me to look more deeply and accurately at issues. It was a natural extension of my political activities.”

Pfaff has been involved in numerous political campaigns and he founded the Colorado chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

But he’s probably best known for spearheading Focus on the Family’s 2006 efforts to pass Amendment 43, which banned gay marriage in Colorado. At the time, he directed Colorado Family Action, the political arm of Focus on the family.

When voters approved the amendment–and simultaneously defeated a measure allowing civil unions–Pfaff told The Denver Post, “Coloradans are fair, but they have no intention of installing gay marriage or any counterfeit to marriage. This vote makes that clear.”

Pfaff isn’t the only conservative activist in Colorado who’s jumped to talk radio and worked in politics. Jimmy Lakey, who hosts a morning shoe on KCOL 600-AM in Ft. Collins, ran for Congress in Colorado Springs. After he left office, Rep. Tom Tancredo hosted a show on KVOR in Colorado Springs. KVOR’s Jeff Crank was almost elected to Congress. KLZ’s Ken Clark was just elected Second Vice Chair of the Denver Republican Party.

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 shouldn’t let gun misinformation or hyperbole slide by at state legislature

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

ColoradoPols did us a favor yesterday by trotting out some of the ridiculous misinformation delivered in 2013 by opponents of gun safety laws. And Pols pleaded with local reporters to correct such falsehoods if they pop up this year.

As a example of what should be done, I direct your attention to a 2013 Post editorial that corrected GOP Sen. Kent Lambert’s statement, cited in the Pols post yesterday, that that lawmakers had “effectively banned gun ownership.”

Labert’s statement, The Post wrote, was “not supported by the facts.”

Dahh, you say, but as Pols pointed out, that’s what we need when our elected leaders stray from the obvious facts.

And it’s also what we need when elected officials stray into wild hyperbole, that may not be demonstrably incorrect, per se, but should be called out as… wild hyperbole.

Last time around, for example, we heard this from respectable people under the gold dome:

Lambert: And now, you know, with everybody having their guns confiscated or taken away here over the next couple years, almost completely overturning the Second Amendment, what’s going to happen to our crime rate? [BigMedia editorial comment: two years have passed! Every legal gun owner still has her gun.]

And this in 2013:

State Rep. Kevin Priola compared banning some ammunition magazines to putting Japanese-Americans in internment camps during WWII.

And this in 2013:

Rep. Kevin Lundberg said on the radio that Colorado is getting “so close” to the point where he’ll be having his gun pried away from his “cold, dead hands.”

It’s bad when a guy like State Sen. Randy Baumgardner claims falsely, as he did in 2013, that “hammers and bats” killed more people in America in 2012 than guns did.

His facts should be corrected.

But the scare tactics about gun confiscation should be confronted as well,  with the simple fact that it’s been two years now and not a single legal gun holder has lost her weapon.

State representative calls progressive blog “not relevant,” yet talks on and on about it on radio show

Monday, January 26th, 2015

During an obscure appearance Jan. 16 on KLZ 560-AM’s nooner show, Freedom 560, State Rep. Justin Everett and host Ken Clark lit into the progressive blog, ColoradoPols, for its recent blog post listing fictitious names for Republican-sponsored bills in the state legislature.

Everett and Clark spent a good chunk of the show bashing the most-excellent Pols post, which, for example, offered names like “The ‘Right to Discriminate’ Act,” SB 15-069 (Sen. Laura Woods) and “The ‘Felons in Child Care’ Act,” SB 15-070 (Sen. Kevin Lundberg).

They read the make-believe names of the bills. They laughed. They got mad at “the left.” They patted themselves on the back.

Everett addressed Pols directly on air: “[Pols is] very good at spinning things to make them into something they are completely not. All these things, especially the guns bills here on ColoradoPols, it should be ‘Restoring Freedom Act.’ That would be a better definition. ‘Restoring Personal Liberties.’ But apparently you guys are pretty far off the reservation, but we’ve known that, and that’s why you’re not relevant. 

So, they choose to dedicate a segment of the show to Pols, and they say the blog isn’t relevant? How does that work?

Maybe they lump themselves in the non-relevant category, too, allowing them, as non-relevant entities, to focus on another non-relevant entity without worrying about their own relevancy?

I doubt it. Those two are awfully head strong to see themselves as lacking relevancy. So maybe they secretly think Pols is relevant? I called and emailed Everett to find out, but he didn’t get back to me, leaving me feeling no more or less relevant than usual.

Media omission: Republicans propose discrimination-restoration law

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Last year, conservative talk-radio hosts wrapped their loving arms around a baker for discriminating against a gay couple by refusing to bake them a wedding cake.

The baker said his cake-selling preferences flowed from his religious views, but, as a judge nicely articulated, it was actually factually illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Radio hosts did live broadcasts from the cake shop, hot bigotry was served to anyone listening, and the baker was fined by the great State of Colorado.

Now Colorado Republicans are proposing a law, like they did last year, allowing student clubs to violate campus anti-discrimination policies and still receive university benefits (funds, facilities, etc.). Sponsors include Tim Neville and Laura Woods on the State Senate side, and son Patrick Neville and Stephen Humphrey on the House side.

Similar legislation, allowing raw discrimination against women, gays, or potentially any of us, is under consideration across the country. One, for example, could allow restaurants to refuse service to LGBT people. Or pharmacists to stop filling prescriptions for birth-control pills. Another would permit adoption agencies to reject potential same-sex parents.

Collectively, these bills are referred to as religious-freedom-restoration bills, but a more accurate name is discrimination-restoration legislation. Political observers expect CO Republicans to introduce broader discrimination restoration bills this session, beyond the narrow university-focused proposal currently on the table.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers was on the radio last month, urging listeners, who were upset about the bigoted baker, to push their legislators to enact bills that allow discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.

Suthers: I think what’s different, Jimmy, and 1964 and the time of the Civil Rights cases is, if a black person when into a restaurant in the South in 1963 and was refused service, he couldn’t walk into a restaurant next door and get service, for the most part.  Everybody was refused service. That’s not the atmosphere we have today. We have this guy, who as a matter of his religious beliefs, would prefer not to do that. We have plenty of guys down the street who are perfectly willing to do it. I just don’t think it’s the same atmosphere. I think the legislature ought to be sensitive to that fact. But the Colorado legislature, with the majority at certain points in time, has not been.

I asked Denise Maes, Public Policy Director of the American Civil Liberties of Colorado, which brought the initial complaint against the baker who refused service to the gay people, to respond to Suthers’ comment:

Maes: The Attorney General is arguing that one should be able to break the law and discriminate because others “down the street” aren’t or won’t.  He misses the entire point and ignores the damage done both to the people who are discriminated against and the business community at large.  No one wants to live or do business in a state where discrimination is the law of the land.

Totally agree.

Suthers himself agrees that, as of now, the law of land forbids the cake-baker-type of discrimination. That’s why, as AG, he pursued a case against the baker, Suthers said on the radio. Below, Suthers explains how he sees Colorado law now. It’s a nice articulation of the way things stand. The problem is, Suthers wants to toss this out the window.

Suthers: We have a law in Colorado, our Public accommodations law. And a couple years ago when Democrats were in charge of both houses, they inserted sexual orientation along with race and gender as protective classes. And so in Colorado, essentially, sexual orientation has essentially the same protection as race in terms of anti-public discrimination laws.

So, if you have a business, whether it be a motel business, restaurant business, cake shop, and hold yourself out to the public, you must abide by this public accommodations law. And in this case, it was alleged, that a gay couple who’d been married in another state, wanted to have a celebration in Colorado, went into this cake shop, were very frank with the owner about what they wanted to do, and he refused to bake them a cake, despite the fact that they could have walked a blocked and got the cake at another bake store….it does appear this individual violated the public accommodations law, so the case was brought…”

Sengenberger: “We’re talking about First Amendment freedom of religion, and if gay activities are in violation of that, and they want to run their business in accordance with their religious views, do they not have legal protection?”

Suthers: “Only if the practice is part of the practice of religion. Therein lies the problem, Jimmy. The reason why I think the state is going to win this case throughout is that baking cakes is not the exercise of religion. If you told the Catholic Church they had to marry gay couples, then you’re violating the First Amendment. It’s complicated, and there is a long line of cases about it, but sadly enough, I think the State is going to win this case.”

Suthers nails it, doesn’t he? The only problem is, he actually wants to make baking cakes a religious activity! And not just baking but everything. Taking photos of a wedding, issuing marriage licences, counseling gay students. Suthers wants religion to be everywhere and in everything, allowing discrimination against anyone anywhere. That may sound extreme, but the potential is seriously there.

It’s what discrimination restoration bills, like the one proposed here in Colorado, would do.

LISTEN TO SUTHERS ON KNUS’ JIMMY SENGENBERGER SHOW, AIRED DEC. 20, 2014. (@ 1:36:00)

CORRECTION: An early version of this post named Patrick Neville as Tim Neville’s brother, instead of as his son.

Media omission: Battle over Colorado Republican Party leadership looms

Monday, January 12th, 2015

On KLZ 560-AM’s “Wake Up with Randy Corporon” Friday, former Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve House officially announced his bid to dislodge Ryan Call from his job as Chair of the Colorado Republican Party.

“My phone rings all the way until 10 o’clock at night with people calling me the last three or four days, saying ‘I’m glad you’re going to do it. It is time for a change,’” announced House, whose intention to run against Ryan Call was reported by the Colorado Statesman last week.

Call has weathered a barrage of criticism over his two terms as state chair, mostly from the “liberty” or “Tea-Party” wing of the state GOP for not doing enough to support “grassroots” Republicans.

In November 2013, for example, now State Senator Laura Woods, who was using the name “Laura Waters,” blasted Ryan Call for obstructing the recall effort against Democratic State Sen. Evie Hudak.

On KNUS Peter Boyles’ radio show at the time, Woods, who was organizing the Hudak recall effort, indicated she hadn’t voted for Call as GOP chair, and she said that, thanks to Ryan Call, “at certain doors and in certain phone calls, we’re even fighting against our own party.”

This year, Woods, with heavy support from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and despite opposition from committees like Protect and Defend Colorado, squeaked by Republican Lang Sias in the GOP primary. She went on to narrowly Democrat incumbent Rachel Zenzinger to take the Westminster State Senate seat, which Woods has to defend again next year, making it a key battleground for control of the Colorado Senate.

The GOP central committee is scheduled to vote on the Call-House contest March 7, but this may change to accommodate the schedules of Republican congressional representatives, House said on air. Call is running with Vice Chair Mark Baisley.

On KLZ, House emphasized the need to help Republican County Chairs respond to the on-the-ground needs of candidates immediately, without obstruction–and with adequate resources.

“Every single county in this state, and there are some that do a great job, needs to better funded, more stable, more capable of training and recruiting candidates so we can win races,” said House on air, adding that Ryan Call has improved things a bit but not enough. “We’re not going to win races from the top down.” He added he will not take a salary.

And, music to the ears of talk-radio hosts like “Righty” Corporon, House offered to set up a regular time to be on KLZ radio and elsewhere to take phone calls and discuss issues.

“Office hours with the chairman will be a big thing for me,” said House, promising to make himself available in multiple venues and platforms to interact with Republicans.

Radio-host Corporon told listeners that Ryan Call has refused to go on his radio show, despite promises to do so.

“I’m blessed in part because I live in a country that has a constitution that is a framework for a just society in my opinion,” House told Corporon. “We don’t adhere to it the way I really want to adhere to it. But it gave me opportunity. So if you start to see that under threat, if you see that this state may not live under conservative principles, constitutional principles, capitalism, you have to get involved to defend the lifestyle you’ve been given.”

Pueblo GOP County Chair called in and endorsed House, because, she said, he believes in “bottom-up, not top-down, management.” House also appears to have the support of  State Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

 

Buck spokesman unchallenged when he said Buck would have voted against budget bill

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Whether you’re a leftist blogger, a right-wing talk-radio host, or a sad-eyed dog, you know by now that a government shutdown would be a blow to the economy.

So if you hear of a politician saying he’d risk shutting down the government by voting against bipartisan budget legislation in Washington, you should ask for his thoughts about the well-known damage from such a vote.

But Fort Morgan KFTM radio host Jon Waters didn’t question former state Sen. Greg Brophy, U.S. Representative-elect Ken Buck’s new spokesperson, today when he stated that Buck would have voted against the Cromnibus bill.

BROPHY: Ken has said he wouldn’t have voted for it. I think he said that publicly on a radio show, so I’m not speaking out of school. I’ve got to be a little careful because I’m not speaking for myself. But, I mean, the whole thing represents absolute failure by Washington [D.C.] to work, and you have to put the blame squarely on Harry Reid’s shoulders….

WATERS: You mentioned that, right at the end, ‘governing by crisis,’ and passing legislation to avert crisis at the eleventh hour, which has been standard operating procedure for a number of years, now.

BROPHY: It has, and I think they like it that way back here, frankly, because it lets them put stuff into a bill that they otherwise may not be able to get passed. It’s a lack of leadership. And so, when there is no clear leadership, and there’s no clear lines of authority, bad things have happened throughout history. And, you know, when you don’t have regular order, you’ve got disorder. And that’s what we’ve had back here, and that’s what the Cromnibus and all the previous omnibus bills represented. And, you know, the Republicans have tried to stop this stuff, and most of the time the media blame them then for shutting down the government. And heck, it’s really Harry Reid and Barack Obama’s fault, but our team takes the blame. So, it’s made some of them gun shy, and that’s arguably why a bunch of the guys voted for the Cromnibus bill. And I think, you know, that maybe some of them are thinking, “Let’s just get this garbage behind us so that we can get on to starting fresh and doing things right, come January — show the people of America what real leadership looks like, what a government that’s here to work for them actually looks like. And it will be transparent and it will be done on time, and it won’t be crisis after crisis, which is where bad things happen. You let people jam stuff through, just because it’s a crisis, and you have to do it.

Watchdog reporting needed on Gardner

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Yesterday, Rep. Cory Gardner voted to halt Obama’s program to defer deportation of millions of immigrants who have children in our country.

Gardner voted in Aug. (during the election campaign) against halting Obama’s  program to defer deportations of young immigrants.

The two votes weren’t exactly identical, but they’re close enough to  make you wonder how Gardner reconciles the two. Yet, I can’t find a single reporter who asked him directly about the inconsistency.

Instead,  the Associated Press, Durango Herald, Fox 31 Denver, the Grand Junction Sentinel,  and The Denver Post all apparently relied on Gardner’s self-serving statement saying, in part, that “we owe it to generations past and generations to come to find a solution to our broken immigration system.”

It’s possible some reporters asked to speak with Gardner himself, but they didn’t report this. If so, they should have.

But it’s not too late to insist on talking to Gardner, if you’re a journalist who has access to him, to cover the basic journalistic function of calling out public officials on their inconsistencies between what’s done on the campaign trail and what happens in office.

A baby step in the right direction was provided during a Gardner interview Dec. 3 on SeriusXM’s new show, Yahoo! News on POTUS

Host Olivier Knox had the presence of mind to ask Gardner whether his “campaign talk” about making birth control pills available over the counter “can translate into legislative action.”

Gardner replied:

It needs to translate into policy action. The FDA has their approval process when it comes to prescription, over-the-counter move. I will certainly continue to support and urge, whether it’s legislative action. We’ve got to figure out the best policy option, the best way forward in making sure we have the continued fight for over-the-counter contraceptives, which I continue and will continue to support and push for. And so, we’ll be talking to the FDA and talking about how best to make that happen. It’s something Gov. Jindahl first proposed, ACOG, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, supported the move to over-the-counter contraceptions and it’s something we’ve got to encourage to happen here.

I give Knox credit here for asking the question, even though I’d have pressed Gardner to clarify his plan for implementation of a major campaign promise. Will he seek legislation if necessary? How long will he press the Administration? Etc.

Ditto for Gardner’s plan on immigration. If he’s against deferring deportations, then what’s he for? And how does it comport to his campaign promises?

I’m hoping we get this type of watch-dog attitude from reporters going forward on Gardner.

More on why we know immigrants aren’t spreading disease

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Last week I reported that Tea-Party radio hosts Ken Clark (KLZ 560-AM) and Peter Boyles (KNUS 710-AM), along with Colorado’s GOP State Senate Caucus Chair Vicki Marble, believe undocumented immigrants are spreading disease in America.

How do we know that Marble is wrong when she says undocumented immigrants “bring the disease. They bring whatever from across the border — things we haven’t seen in decades and thought we eradicated. Our whole country is at risk.”

There’s no credible evidence for this, like there wasn’t for attacks on immigrants throughout American history, but how do we know these kinds of things?

“You have to assume that if [undocumented immigrants] get sick they are going to get medical care or die,” said Dr. Michelle Barron in the infectious disease department of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “There is a long list of diseases that hospitals must report to the health department. Tuberculosis. Measles. Let’s say you came to the emergency room after traveling in Russia, and you have measles. That’s considered 24-hour-reportable. You would then be contacted by the health department and asked questions about vaccinations and where you’ve been. They would identify how big of a scope this would be.”

“Public health departments actually report these things,” Barron continued. “There’s public reporting. The information wouldn’t be hidden in the background because of a political agenda. It’s part of the reporting that has to happen. If there is a trend, that would be investigated.”

And, she added, if a serious disease outbreak occurred, it would be “all over the news,” not left to the investigators on talk radio only.

But what happens if we can’t find the immigrants, I asked.

“The public health department has lots of experience hunting people down,” she said. “They will go to your door. There are always the few people who won’t talk or answer the door, but they have their networks of people who will talk, even in homeless communities. Homeless people don’t want to get disease either. They will talk. The public health department is more savvy than people realize.”

How to convince skeptics like Clark and Marble?

“Really and truly, you have to trust that the health care workers are doing the right thing,” said Barron. “If you have already decided what you feel about this, no matter what evidence you are presented with, you are not going to believe it.”

For more information, including a transcript of the Marble interview, click here.