Archive for the 'Talk Radio' Category

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.

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.

Media omission: post-caucus battle for delegates looms as Beauprez eyes both-ways path to ballot

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Media figures are trying to figure out if newly recycled gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez will try both ways to get on the GOP primary ballot — through the caucuses and petition process.

On KHOW’s Mandy Connell Show this morning, Beauprez said he’ll petition on the ballot, but he left open the possibility that he’ll go both ways:

Beauprez: “We’re going to petition, and then as soon we know what the makeup of the state delegation is, then we’ll take a look at that as well.”

Translation: Beauprez won’t say whether he’s going both ways until he figures out if he has any hope of going both ways.

And if there’s hope for his favored both-ways approach, which he’s deployed in other situations, Beauprez will presumably begin a furious lobbying process to convince the delegates, chosen at tonight’s caucuses, to support him–instead of one of his opponents.

So we could see a giant and bloody post-caucus battle for delegates among GOP gubernatorial hopefuls.

Media Omission: Gessler “pretty confident” Beauprez will enter gov race

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Radio host Jimmy Sengenberger broke news on his Velocity Radio show yesterday, when his guest Scott Gessler said he’s “pretty confident” Bob Beauprez will enter the gubernatorial race, and Gessler pointed out that Beauprez ran a “pretty disastrous” campaign in 2006.

Gessler (@1 hour 21 min): “I’ve heard the same thing. I’m actually pretty confident Bob Beauprez is goig to be getting into the race. Probably next week is what I’ve heard.”

Just prior to talking with Gessler, Sengenberger, whose internet show airs weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., conversed with Denver Post reporter Lynn Bartels about the possibility of Bob Beauprez entering the gubernatorial race.

Sengenberger: Will that change the race in your mind from a two-man race to possibly a three-man race? Gessler: Maybe. We’ll see how much traction he gets. You know, Bob is well-known. He’s well respected. On the other hand, he ran a pretty disastrous campaign back in 2006, where he lost by about 17 points. Sengenberger: …It was a tough year for Republicans. Gessler: Well, yes and no. John Suthers won his state-wide race. Mike Coffman won his state-wide race. Mark Hillman lost his state-wide race, but just by a little. And Bob lost by 17 points.

Media omission: KOA quotes Tancredo saying Beauprez will run, and Tancredo won’t bow out

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

In a scoop that deserves more media attention, KOA’s morning drive show, Colorado Morning News, broke news this morning when Tom Tancredo told co-hosts April Zesbaugh and Steffan Tubbs that Bob Beauprez told Tancredo during a conversation Saturday that Beauprez will be running for governor.

Tancredo told KOA that he will not be stepping out of the gubernatorial race, even if Beauprez enters.

Tancredo: Yes, I think he is stepping into the governor’s race, or at least that was the conversation I had with him on Saturday. No I will not bow out. And that was not part of the conversation we had. I had called him because I, like everyone else who’s involved politically here, had heard that he was thinking about it very seriously again. And so I called him on Saturday, and I said, ‘Listen buddy, get in! The water’s fine. It will be fun. He’s a great guy and a good friend. And he would add to the whole mix….No, I’m not getting out. There’s certainly no reason to. From my point of view, I’m ahead of everyone I’m running against right now by about 2 to 1. We’ve raised more money, again by about 2 to 1, than anyone else. So I don’t see why I’d be thinking about such a thing. And I’m not. I’m certainly going to pursue it. And do my very best. The addition of another person like Bob Beauprez to this race certainly does not harm my position. It only enhances the debate that will go on, and I think that is a good thing. I think he’s a great guy. I really like him. He’s been a good friend.”

Tancredo praised Beauprez for being the first Republican to support him in 2010 when Tancredo ran as the Constitution Party candidate.

“He had absolutely nothing to gain from doing it,” Tancredo told KOA. “Every Republican and their brother was upset with me…He was the guy that broke the dam.”

Asked by Tubbs who’s “calling the shots” for Republican Party, Tancredo said:

Great question. I haven’t the foggiest idea…It beats me buddy. But, all I can say is they don’t call me and ask about these things.”

Media Omission: Mike Norton calls on Suthers to challenge bill allowing joint tax filings

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

A bill cleared the General Assembly Friday allowing same-sex couples to file joint state tax returns, if they pay federal taxes jointly.

Hick is expected to sign it, presumably because he agrees with backers, like The Denver Post, who point out that the current tax rules make no sense, given that state taxes are based on the federal filings.

But the religious right, as represented below by former U.S. Attorney Mike Norton, is pissed. Norton got his back slapped blindly by KNUS’  Dan Caplis recently for saying the bill is a violation of Colorado’s ban on gay marriage:

Norton: You know, [we] have a constitutional amendment that was passed by the people of the state of Colorado in 2006, that really didn’t state anything new. It simply reaffirmed what has been the historic position of the people of Colorado, [and] the people of this nation, in fact, the western world, that marriage of a man and a woman is a foundational social relationship that is important for the survival of any society.

Listen to Norton here.

Even Amendment 23 isn’t that extreme, and it’s out there. But why not extremify extremism if no one, like Caplis, is going to call you on it?

In any case, the legislation is about tax law, not marriage. But Norton, who’s married to failed GOP Senate candidate Jane Norton, doesn’t get it:

Norton: “And I mean, everyone is in favor of marriage equality, but we have to pretty much know what a marriage is, before we can define whether it is equality. And by tradition, and throughout history, marriage is defined as a union of a man and a woman, and it exists for a single purpose, and that is to bear and raise children. There is no question that children do better when they are with a man – a husband and a wife, a father and a mother. Moms and dads are different. And children need both moms and they need dads, as well.”

Asked what he could do if the bill becomes law, Norton pointed out that Attorney General John Suthers joined a lawsuit challenging a court decision striking down Utah’s gay-marriage ban.

Norton: “So, I’m hopeful that John Suthers will look at…this law as an assault on Colorado’s marriage amendment and take steps. I think that’s a possibility.”

Where’s the evidence for radio host’s accusation that Hill backers paid for Hill’s Tea Party Express endorsement?

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Colorado Springs radio host Jeff Crank thinks the Tea Party Express, which claims to be “the most aggressive and influential national Tea Party group in the political arena,” endorsed senatorial candidate Owen Hill in exchange for big donations from Hill’s Colorado backers.

On his KVOR radio show Feb. 15, Crank said:

Crank: “Here’s what I think happened.  I’m just going to throw it out there, okay?  I think a big pile of money wound its way out to the Tea Party Express from Colorado, from a donor or two, who are supportive of Owen Hill, and somehow that endorsement just happened to go to Owen Hill.”

Crank, who used to work for Americans for Prosperity, went on to say that the Tea Party Express is “running the ads with that money” in support of Hill. Click here to see a Tea Party Express ad touting its endorsement of Hill.

“So, in other words, you just buy an endorsement from a group,” Crank said on air. “Rent-a-group.”

“You know, far too often this kind of stuff happens in politics, and people get away with it because nobody calls them on it,”  Crank continued. “And we have to call them on it.”

If you listen to Crank’s show, you know that, indeed, he regularly calls out fellow conservatives on their bad behavior. I admire him for it.

But these latest salvos are of such a serious nature that even though he’s just a talk-radio host, as opposed to a real journalist, Crank should have provided concrete evidence of his accusations before leveling them.

Via twitter, I asked Crank for his proof that cash donations led to Hill’s Tea Party Express endorsement and for the names of the Hill donors he had in mind. I’ll update this post if he responds. See Crank’s extended comments on the topic, along with audio, here.

Crank, who twice ran for Congress as a Republican, apparently made the allegation based, in part, on his personal knowledge of the people involved.

“The folks that [Hill has] surrounded himself with are notorious for going out and trying to hijack a movement,” Crank said on air.

Crank: : “Yeah, look, there’s a history of this, both, I think, in the consultants that are working for Owen Hill. There’s been a consistent effort over the years to do this – to kind of create groups and kind of hijack names, if you will. I mean, certainly, they did it in my race by kind of hijacking the name of the Christian Coalition, when I ran for Congress. But they’ve done it several other times. They did it last year in Colorado. They formed a group called the ‘Colorado Tea Party.’ And they were about ready to send out a bunch of mailers endorsing candidates, and again, it’s just hijacking the name of the Tea Party. We saw it about three weeks ago, when the same candidate and his consultants sent out a press release saying that the movement – the recall organizers, the people that organized the recalls, were supporting a petition effort to get Owen Hill and Tom Tancredo on the ballot. Well, you know, I talked to a couple of the real organizers of the recall effort, and they said, ‘We’re not involved in that! We’re not supporting either of them.’”

On his Saturday show, the president of the Colorado Tea Party Patriots Regina Thompson told Crank that the Tea Party Express endorsement of Crank “certainly looks suspicious.”

And Loren Sheets, President of 285 Corridor Tea Party added that it’s “very likely” that money was involved in the Hill endorsement.

“You know,” Thompson continued on air, “Why else would this particular organization? I mean, they introduced him at their press conference as ‘the Tea-Party grassroots candidate.’ I mean, they said, ‘he is the grassroots candidate’ when in fact he’s not.”

So maybe if Crank doesn’t have evidence himself, he can get it elsewhere.