Archive for the 'Talk Radio' Category

On talk radio, Lamborn’s challenger explains why he decided to run

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Progressives who read this blog would be excused for wondering, how could anyone find Rep. Doug Lamborn to be insufficiently tilted rightward? So much so that he should be thrown out?

We can thank KVOR’s Jeff Crank Show for broadcasting the answer, at least according to the guy who wants Lamborn’s job.

Major General Bentley Rayburn, who is challenging Lamborn in the GOP congressional primary in Colorado Springs (CD 5), told Crank on Saturday why he’s running:

Rayburn: You know, the thing that pushed me over the side [into the race]– it was kind of funny, because it was the ‘white board incident’ at the Air Force Academy. [Read about it here.] And the fact that this young man, or woman – I think it was a fellow, wrote a bible verse (Gallatians 2:20) on his whiteboard, just a board mounted outside his room. And it was just a statement of his faith. And yet, within nanoseconds, somebody is complaining about it. It gets to our buddy Mikey Weinstein, who’s been a nemesis of the Academy for a decade. And within, you know, two hours – whether the cadet erased it himself or had it erased is really irrelevant. It was erased.

And in all of this, Doug [Lamborn]– people don’t understand this. Doug has a special relationship with the Academy because he sits on the Board of Visitors. That would be like the Board of Regents for the CU system. And so he’s not only the local rep. He sits on the policy board. Every accredited institution has to have an independent policy board. And he has never spoken forcefully about the religious freedom issues at the United States Air Force Academy, and so many of the other important issues that the school faces.

And I want somebody – not only with the other things, the spending out of control, and everything else. But we have a jewel here in the United States Air Force Academy, and if we’re not going to stand up and make sure that we’re producing the kind of officers that we need – one, who are not offended at the slightest little thing that crosses their path, and two, that know what they believe and have the backbone to stand up for what they believe, then I’m not sure we really need an Air Force Academy or any other academies. But we’ve got to have somebody stand up for the schools, and we are not getting it from Doug Lamborn. He’ll write a letter. [Lamborn issued a letter in support of religion at the Academy.]

At least when Putin invades Crimea, at least Obama writes a strongly-worded letter. But we need somebody that will demonstrate real leadership. And that just happened to be the proverbial straw. Had somebody else stepped up [to run against Lamborn], fine. But that’s what drove me over the edge and made me consider running in the first place.

On radio, with facts absent, Cynthia Coffman attacks Quick for saying he won’t defend CO gay-marriage ban

Friday, April 25th, 2014

KVOR guest host Jimmy Bensberg talked last weekwith Cynthia Coffman, who’s running for Colorado Attorney General.

CYNTHIA COFFMAN: Taking a page from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s playbook, [Democratic AG candidate Don] Quick held a press conference on the steps of state courts building and called on John Suthers to drop his defense of the definition of marriage – BENSBERG: Ugh! COFFMAN: –that’s in the Constitution of Colorado. You know the voters, a number of years back, amended the Constitution and said we want marriage to be the traditional definition of being between a man and a woman. That’s what the voters approved, and Don Quick says he doesn’t agree with that. He doesn’t believe that that is constitutional, even though the Supreme Court of the United States hasn’t said that. And so presumptively, he thinks that the Attorney General should not defend that provision of the Constitution. And you know, that kind of picking and choosing as an Attorney General, what parts of the Constitution you defend, I can’t imagine a better thing to criticize my opponent about, than starting there.

Left out of this loving, tolerant, and legally ignorant conversation is the fact that Suthers’ proactive defense of the federal “Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),” which was filed in the name of protecting Colorado’s gay-marriage ban, was actually an attack on gay couples who wanted to be buried together in military cemeteries or to get spousal benefits under Medicaid, etc. Suthers’ DOMA action looked like a wrong legal tactic, from the perpective of protecting Colorado’s Constitutional amendment. But more broadly, and to the heart of the matter, you want an Attorney General who will make public-minded decisions about what makes constitutional sense, regardless of the politics involved. In the case of defending Colorado’s anti-gay-marriage amendment, Suthers could have decided, as six other state Attorneys General did, that it’s a wrong legal move. Despite what Cynthia Coffman says, nothing forces Suthers to take action. Here’s what the Attorney General Eric Holder told the New York Times:

But Mr. Holder said when laws touch on core constitutional issues like equal protection, an attorney general should apply the highest level of scrutiny before reaching a decision on whether to defend it. He said the decision should never be political or based on policy objections. “Engaging in that process and making that determination is something that’s appropriate for an attorney general to do,” Mr. Holder said. As an example, Mr. Holder cited the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, which forced public school integration in 1954.

Don’t forget Nugent called Colorado the “poster child” of “moral dereliction”

Friday, March 28th, 2014

I wrote a blog post a while back regurgitating rocker Ted Nugent’s appearance on KNUS Peter Boyles’ show, where Nugent said Colorado is the poster child of “moral dereliction” and the Republican Party has “no balls” because someone cut off “their scrotum with a rusty shiv.”

Exciting stuff that logged me 50,000 listens on SoundCloud.

The thing is, Nugent, who also called Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” is featured in at least three fundraising appeals for GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo.

A couple weeks ago, Denver Post reporter Lynn Bartels asked Tancredo about his association with Nugent:

“Every time somebody asks me about it, I always say, ‘The thing about Ted Nugent that I like is he has given me the ability to say something that I have hardly ever before uttered in my life and that is the following — ‘” Tancredo said, but couldn’t finish his sentence he was laughing so hard.

“He has given me the ability to say, ‘I wouldn’t go that far,’” Tancredo said, cracking up.

After he calmed down, Tancredo noted Nugent had apologized for the remark. Critics said it was a half-hearted apology, and Nugent then went on to attack Obama, calling him a lying, law-breaking racist who engages in Nazi tactics. The apology came after Nugent was criticized by a number of Republicans, including Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona.

But Nugent has yet to apologize to Colorado!

Nugent: “If ever there was a poster child for apathy, disconnect, laziness, and abandonment of We the People, and moral dereliction, it is Colorado.” 

I’ve been trying to get Boyles to play Nugent’s Colorado insult to Tancredo on air and get his response. It would make great radio.

Meanwhile, here’s a March 25 conversation between Tancredo and Boyles with Tancredo’s take on the conversation he had with space reporter Bartels.

BOYLES: [inaudible] Only you!

TANCREDO: Oh, it’s just great! — A very successful fundraising activity where we gave away an AR-15, and that raised a really big sum of money for us, more than we’ve ever raised before. And, thanks a lot, of course, to Ted Nugent who sent out [laughing] the little email for us. Uh, but, the fellow that we want to give a shout out to at Gunsmoke is a fellow by the name of Brian Midol [spelling?] who indeed is providing the AR-15 for us. [laughing]

BOYLES: Yeah, that’s great! Tom, do this, real quick, can you do – we have got a little bit of time here. But do this, — about the Lynn Bartels phone call – and we—I love—

TANCREDO: Oh, yeah! Yeah!

BOYLES: I’ve known Lynn a thousand years, at The [Denver] Post, Bartels called you.

TANCREDO: [laughing] She calls me up and she says, “Tom,” she says, “I–“ Is this okay? She said, “Tom, I, uh, we’re getting all these emails. Every time you send out something by Ted Nugent, we get all these emails from Republicans and Democrats, saying, ‘This guy is terrible! He said these horrible things! He called the President a mongrel – a lying mongrel!’” And all this stuff. And I said, “Oh, Lynn! I am so glad you called me because I have this great line to use! [laughing] I thought, — when this first happened, I thought of it. And then I thought, ‘Who am I going to tell this to?’ And then here you are, you’ve given me a call.” And I said, “Why this really works out for me, is that, –and why I really like Ted [Nugent] for doing this,– is because –.”

BOYLES: For the first time in your life –.

TANCREDO: Yeah, “For the first time in my life I’m able to say something, that never before have I been able to utter!” And she says, “What’s that?” And I said, “[citing Nugent's comment that Obama is a mongrel] ‘Well, I wouldn’t go that far!’” [laughs]

 

Waller’s promise to be activist AG, in contrast to his opponent, raises questions about other candidates

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Love him or hate him, Scott Gessler has brought an activist’s style to his job as Secretary of State, while others in his position, including Republicans, have tried to stay out of the partisan fray. Ditto for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.

So going into November, when we’ll be voting for a new AG and SOS, the question is, do we want to elect an AG and SOS in the Gessler/Suthers mold. Or do we want more passive, traditional office holders, regardless of their political party?

It’s an important question for media figures to tease out of the candidates, and reporters can take a cue from State Rep. Mark Waller who addressed the issue spontaneously when asked Sat. by KNUS’ Jimmy Sengenberger what sets him “apart” from his primary challenger, Cynthia Coffman.

WALLER: You know, I think there are a couple of things that set us apart. Number one, we view the role of Attorney General’s office a little differently. You know, [Cynthia Coffman] has said a couple of times that she feels that I’d be more of an ‘activist’ Attorney General, if I were to become the AG, meaning that I would engage more upfront on the development of legislation and fight against bad legislation that’s moving forward. And I would be more. You know, I would take the role as an elected official more seriously and place more focus that way, on the office. Whereas, you know, the way she sees the office, it’s more of a nonpartisan office, where it’s the role and responsibility of the Attorney General to be the the lawyer for the state. So, I think we see those roles a little bit differently…. See, I’m an old military guy, Jimmy. I deployed to Bagdad, Iraq in 2006 where I prosecuted insurgents. I led other lawyers and paralegals there. You know, if I can lead lawyers and paralegals during a war in Bagdad, Iraq, I’m very confident I can do it in the state of Colorado, as well.

Listen to Waller discuss his promise to be activist attorney general

What about Democratic AG candidate Don Quick and the SOS candidates, Dem Joe Neguse and Republican Wayne Williams?

Do they see themselves in the Gessler/partisan mold? Or would they take the more nonpartisan approach of former GOP SOS Natalie Meyer, as explained here?

Where was the radio discussion of how Tancredo’s high-school graduation requirements align with his immigration position?

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Just after gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo departed from from KNUS’ Peter Boyles show this morning, where Boyles told his listeners, “If there’s a god, [Tancredo] becomes governor,” Tancredo talked about immigration with Dan Caplis, whose KNUS radio show starts right after Boyles’.

Caplis: If you had that power, right now, what would you do with the folks who are already here?

Tancredo: …I think everyone who applies for a job in this country should have to be here legally and should have to prove that. Now, certainly, would there be hardships? I have no doubt. But a decision was made when the person came here illegally. I mean, that decision brought with it a lot of ramifications. One is that indeed you may end up having to leave at some point in time. And that means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Leave I-don’t-know-what behind, you know, familiar relationships and all that sort of thing. But you have to determine that you are ok with the idea that people who are here illegally would have to go home. [BigMedia emphasis]

Tancredo isn’t shy about discussing his proposed e-verify solution to the immigration problem, whereby employers would have to run the Social Security numbers of potential employees through a national database prior to hiring them, but Tancredo usually doesn’t mention the “hardships” involved for the undocumented immigrants.

Below, in a 2011 video shot during Tancredo’s 2011 presidential run, Tancredo said, “All you have to do is restrict the ability of an employer to give a job to somebody who is here illegally. People self deport when that happens. It happened in Arizona.”

Today on the radio, Tancredo again said that his e-verify solution “in effect” is “self-deportation,” but his heart peeked through when he talked about the “hardships” of leaving “familiar relationships,” which obviously include children, fathers, mothers, nieces, uncles, neighbors, teachers, entire communities in the most personal sense and beyond. Those are the human hardships involved.

Ironically, Tancredo began his interview with Caplis by saying that, as governor, he’d mandate that, as a high-school graduation requirement, all Colorado students be able “to articulate an appreciation for western civilization, American exceptionalism, and the Constitution.”

Absent was a discussion of how destroying the families and communities of undocumented immigrants fits in with Tancredo’s proposed high-school-graduation criteria.

CO Springs talk-radio host hates the terms “Italian American” and “African American”

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Obviously, as a political culture, we’ve moved beyond civility–not that we were ever so civil. But it’s hard to deny that America does embrace differences more than it did historically.

Given how rude America is, you wouldn’t expect Colorado Springs talk-radio host Jeff Crank to be nice on the radio. But we can expect a baseline of inclusiveness without senseless divisive rhetoric.

So what’s to gain from Crank’s attack below, delivered Sat. on KVOR, other than to foment division?

[Congresswoman] Sheila Jackson Lee who is a –she’s a doofus! I mean, I don’t know any other way to say it. She’s – she’s a member of Congress – a female member of Congress – a Congresswoman. Uh, she happens to be African American. Actually, she’s black. I can’t stand the term African American. I hate it. I hate ‘Italian- American,’ ‘African American.’ I hate all of that! We’re Americans! She happens to be black. And if that offends her, I didn’t intend to do such, but if you’re that sensitive, get a life.

You can let this slide by, and maybe that’s the best thing to do, but you can also say there’s no reason for it, especially if you’re a Republican like Crank, who twice ran for Congress and was inches away from winning.

As left-leaning operative Brad Woodhouse reminds us in a Hill opinion piece title “New Year, Same Old Party,” Crank-like rhetoric is driving the GOP itself into oblivion, despite the party’s recognition of the “eye-rolling” that Republicans evoke.

Crank can look at our country and see “all Americans.” And others can affirm their heritages whatever they might be. Why can’t Crank let it be. And we can all get along. Why does Crank need to do this?

Can Tancredo really ride a joint into the governor’s office?

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo thinks he can ride his support for pot legalization into the governor’s office.

That’s what he said Tuesday on Michael “Heck’ve a job” Brownie’s KHOW talk show, when Brown asked him how he can “grab the unaffiliated” voters in the general election, if he wins GOP primary.

Tancredo: “One thing, admittedly, makes a lot of my more conservative friends mad at me, and that is my support for Amendment 64 [pot legalization]. But that translated into a lot of support among people who aren’t necessarily the typical Republican voter.”

No one pointed out that it’s Tancredo’s conservative friends who will be deciding whether he wins the Republican primary and is able to enter into an orbit where unaffiliated voters matter to him. [Then we can discuss how it plays among suburban women.]

Tancredo’s other explanation for his popularity among unaffiliated voters: “I am sort of the anti-Republican Republican.”

Ironically, being the anti-Republican Republican might help Tancredo among Republicans, but still, I was waiting for Brownie to ask, “Do you think unaffiliated voters might possibly remotely maybe find other reasons not to like you, like the fact that you’re anti-choice (anti-abortion, even for rape), anti-undocumented immigrant (round ‘em up and throw ‘em out), anti-environment (global warming is “Bull“), etc., etc. (and that’s a big fat etcetera, etcetera).”

Talk show host’s political insight shines with his “two-whacks” Gardner theory

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

To the people who tell me I should get hazard pay for listening to conservative talk radio, I prove you wrong by offering this intelligent insight from KHOW radio host Dan Caplis, delivered during a discussion about why Rep. Cory Gardner would take on Sen. Mark Udall in November:

Caplis: “My guess is, there’s a big-picture plan in play, and if should Cory lose, and I think he will likely win, but nothing is for certain, the campaign keeps rolling into ’16 and he beats Michael Bennet… So I think Cory gets two whacks at it here.”

Since I heard Caplis’ “two-whacks” Gardner theory last month, I’ve shared it with the three people I know who’ve heard of Gardner and are already paying attention to the Senate race, and everyone nods their heads in enlightenment. Of course. So I’ve decided to share it here, with a big hat tip to Caplis.

On the radio, Caplis didn’t get into the details on why Gardner would need two whacks, or even more, to win but it makes a ton of sense when you think about it.

First, there’s the simple fact that Gardner is essentially an untested candidate, with no state-wide campaign experience, who’s prevailed in safe elections in districts that welcome his far-right positions on everything the environment and Medicare and to women’s issues and gay rights.

He was first launched into elected office with no election at all, after he was appointed in July 2005 to a State House seat (HD63) left vacant by Greg Brophy, who ran for state State Senate. The next year, Gardner ran unopposed in the Republican primary, and his Democratic opponent had no hope in the safe GOP district that voted 73 percent for Gardner. Two years later, in 2008, Gardner was completely unopposed in both the GOP primary and general election.

Gardner briefly faced a handful of GOP opponents when he first ran for Congress in 2010. But they failed to gain the requisite 30 percent at the District Assembly, where Gardner successfully positioned himself to the right of his competitors on personhood, gay rights, and even the posting of the 10 commandments in public buildings. His opponents dropped out, and Gardner was left unopposed at the primary ballot box.

Going into the general election, Gardner was the overwhelming favorite to defeat Rep. Betsy Markey, who was seen as lucky to be holding the seat at all in the conservative district. Democrats, you recall, seemed to be praying that a third-party candidate could somehow propel Markey to victory, but the prayers weren’t answered, as Gardner won with 51 percent of the voter over Markey’s 40 percent. And, oh yeah, 2010 was the big Tea-Party wave year.

Gardner himself was probably surprised that his CD4 seat actually got even more conservative due to the 2010 redistricting process, setting up Gardner to win re-election in 2012 with 56 percent of the vote.

When I first heard Caplis two-whacks theory, I didn’t know all these details about Gardner’s softball campaign history, but I still thought Caplis had it right just based on Udall’s appeal and war chest, as well as all the uncertainty we see on the 2014 political landscape.

Everyone watching Gardner had this question in the back of their minds: Why would Gardner risk the end of his political career on one iffy election and, at the same time, forsake a political path that looked like it really could be heading toward Speaker of the House? Two whacks increases the odds and takes the pressure off.

But even with the two-whacks carrot, Caplis pointed out on air that really intense national pressure was required to push Gardner into the Senate race:

Caplis: I think what happened, my guess, is that there was so much pressure on Cory nationally because, as you know, the control of the U.S. Senate may very well depend on who wins this Colorado Senate seat.

This is quite a different story than what Gardner has been telling talk-radio audiences, that he decided to jump in the Senate race when he found out his health-insurance premium would jump due to Obamacare–a sob story that’s been debunked.

Caplis’ national-pressure explanation, coupled with his two-whacks theory, makes more sense than Gardner’s. It’s an example of how Caplis, in between repeating GOP talking points and obsessing on trivialities, provides a lot of political insight on his KHOW show.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/dan-caplis-explains-two-whacks

Tancredo’s thoughts on God’s “plan” spotlight need for more candidate questions about religion

Monday, March 10th, 2014

“I happen to believe in something else,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo told KNUS radio host Jimmy Sengenberger last month. “And that is, there is a plan for all of us. God has a plan. I happen to believe that, okay? Do you, Jimmy, believe that God knows who’s going to be the governor next time in Colorado?”

God himself does,” Sengenberger replied. “We don’t. But God does.”

God knows that, right,” said Tancredo. “He knows right now. Therefore, it’s in his hands, right? And I put it there. And I say to myself, ‘I will do everything I can do. I will work as hard as I can. I will be as available as I can. But at the end of the day, it’s in his hands, and it will be determined.’ And so I have to tell you this also. If it works out that I am not the candidate…it’s ok with me. I am at ease with it. I am at peace in my own heart, because, frankly, it’s the way it should be. God has a plan.”

I’m an atheist, and so I obviously don’t agree with Tancredo/Sengenberger that God has a plan, but I admire how Tanc’s belief manifests in a Buddha-like attitude toward his political campaign.

In any event, you realize, after hearing Tanc talk, how little media focus there’s been, in recent CO elections, on the personal religious beliefs or habits of candidates.

During the last election, we read in The Denver Post that Joe Coors was on the golf course in San Diego (16th hole) when God told him to “Go home. Go home.”

The personhood amendment, which would ban all abortion, even for rape, forces a discussion about when life begins and why–which can lead to religion–as we saw in the video of Rep. Cory Gardner saying he circulated personhood petitions in his church.

But the attitude among reporters seems to be that religion is somewhat off limits in political discourse these days, particularly beyond the broadest identifiers, unless it’s relevant to a specific point in a debate–about banning abortion, for example.

But I enjoyed hearing Tanc talk openly about God. It was illuminating. And I’m sure most people would like reporters to bring up the subject more often, maybe in the context of how religion does or doesn’t guide their actions and decision-making.

Tancredo, Woods, etc., remain talk-radio heroes, no matter what’s happening in the real world

Friday, March 7th, 2014

In the alternative reality constructed each morning on KNUS’ Peter Boyles show, they’re busy reliving the glory days of the recall campaigns.

Recall spokespeople Laura Woods and Jennifer Kerns have been on the show re-telling stories about how “grassroots” Republicans fought off establishment Republicans and won.

One of Boyles’ favorite things to do is to point out that most of the Republicans who’ve risen up in recent weeks weren’t the ones getting down and dirty during the recall effort.

On Tuesday, for example, Boyles asks Woods for the names of specific Republican candidates and elected officials who were with her:

Woods: Well, I just want to preface by saying, as a candidate [for SD 19] now, I’m not endorsing these guys, but I’ll put on my recall hat and I’ll talk to you about who was out there on the lines with us. We clearly had Victor Head. He wasn’t a candidate then, but he is now. And then we had senator candidates Tim Neville and Tony Sanchez walking the streets, knocking doors, gathering petition signatures. Tom Tancredo was out there, as was Greg Brophy. We had the sheriff candidates, Jim Shires, Jeff Schrader, John Berry, all out there at times. Ken Buck was in the office at times. And Owen Hill was sitting in our office making phone calls. So, there were a lot of candidates, none of whom were involved in this back room deal—other than Ken Buck to move, you know, from the Senate race to the House race.

The good old recall days are gone, and the good old folks are threatened, in Boyle’s mind, by back-room-dealing evil-doers, like Bob Beauprez, Cory Gardner, and Ryan Call.

But on Boyles’ radio show, regardless of what’s happening in the real world, the heroes are still Woods and Tancredo, and the like, and nothing can change that, unless the show is abruptly canceled by Salem Communications Inc., which is as inevitable as a gaffe from you know who. Or someone flipping the bird at you.