On radio, Secretary of State should have been challenged when he implied that getting an ID for voting is easy

February 18th, 2015

Back in January, Colorado’s new Secretary of State, Wayne Williams, suggested that people who register and vote on Election Day should present a “Department-of-Revenue-issued ID.”

Williams made it sound like this would be a snap for voters: “And it’s important to note that in Colorado, ID’s are free, to anyone who’s indigent. Anyone who’s poor, anyone who’s elderly can get a free ID,” Williams told Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner Jan. 11.

Technically, that’s true. But in reality, especially if you’re old or indigent, getting an ID is often neither easy nor free. With the Colorado state legislature debating a bill today requiring IDs for Election-Day registration, now is a good time for Warner to air some of the facts that run counter to Williams’ simple view.

The core problem is that, while an ID itself is free, through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the underlying documentation required to get an ID can be expensive to obtain and time-consuming to assemble.

From reading Colorado’s law mandating free IDs for those over 64-years and the indigent, you might think all you have to do is trot over to your county human services department, pick up the required forms, and then get hooked up with your free ID from DMV.

Not really. At Denver Human Services, you can get a coupon for a free ID if you declare that you are homeless, and therefore entitled to a $10.50 fee waver. But if you don’t have citizenship documents, you have to go to a nonprofit “partner” organization for help, according to Julie Smith, Communications Director at Denver Human Services.

“We recognize that this is a challenge to navigate, especially if you have to obtain a birth certificate,” said Smith, adding that transportation alone is a “big challenge” for people who are homeless.

Metro CareRing is one of Denver Human Service’s partner organizations that helps poor people get their citizenship documents together–at no charge.

“I often refer to our staff person who works on this as, affectionately, a ‘detective’ because people come to us sometimes not even knowing their birth place or all of their birth circumstances,” said Lynne Butler, Executive Director of Metro CareRing, echoing others in the field in Denver. “They might say, they think their mother was incarcerated in the state of New Jersey. Our staff person will begin from a place like that and spend a great deal of time and investigation finding the material and ordering the proper identification documents that come from the state for that birth certificate. So it’s a paper-trail process, and expensive.”

But funding the project now, even without more people potentially requiring IDs for  voting, is thin.

“We’ve had to turn away people,” said Butler, who says her organization provides more documents for the poor than any other  nonprofit in Colorado. “And to think that we might have more people in need of documents now because of [voting requirements] is an alarming thought.”

“Right now, we’re struggling to find the funding that we need,” says Butler. “We had to cut back recently, because some of our funding, in fact our major funder, cut back.” Butler says a “Collaborative ID Project,” with Denver Human Services, Colorado Legal Services, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, and Metro CareRing, work together.

The IDs poor people obtain with the help of nonprofits like Metro CareRing serve many purposes, Butler points out, reflecting the widespread belief that getting an ID is a critical part of anti-poverty efforts, even it’s difficult to get IDs. You need an ID to pick up mail, to rent an apartment, get Medicaid and other public benefits, to open a bank account, to get a job, to see a doctor or get medicine from a pharmacist.  Sometimes you can work around the ID requirements, but people like Butler say an ID is a necessity of life.

And she hopes somehow, someday everybody will have an ID.

But as of today, that’s nowhere near the case. And the resources aren’t there to change that reality any time soon, as the government agencies, including DMV itself, and nonprofits that help poor people get IDs are at or near capacity.

And the number of people with no IDs appears to be in the staggering range–especially when viewed from the comfortable perspective of those who have little or no contact with indigent or poor people.

Last year, in a review of studies on voter-identification issues, the Government Accountability Office found that between 5 and 16 percent of registered voters do not have photo identification. That’s registered voters, potentially hundreds of thousands or more of them among Colorado’s 3.5 million registered voters. Colorado voters must show show a photo ID when they register to vote, if they have one, so Colorado may have fewer registered voters without IDs than other states, but we don’t know for sure.

Still, you’d have to think the percentage of unregistered voters (over a half million in Colorado) without IDs would be higher, potentially in the tens of thousands.

The Department of Motor Vehicles issued a total of 23,458 free ID cards in 2014, with nearly 18,000 of those going to people over 64, according to data supplied by the Department of Motor Vehicles. About 2,000 were distributed at no charge to a holder of a county coupon, most likely indicating homeless or indigent status. Another 1,800 were issued at no cost to the Department of Corrections.

So when you explore the world of getting identification cards for the poor, what you find out is that it’s a huge problem without a simple fix, especially with current resources. A Loyola University study found that while some votes would be voided by a photo ID, tens of thousands of people without IDs would be disenfranchised. This confirms a Brennan Center for Justice study citing research that voter-identification “laws disproportionately harm minorities, low-income individuals, seniors, students, and people with disabilities.”

Here in Colorado, if a law passed requiring a person to have an ID to register to vote on Election Day, it would clearly be impossible for some people to get an ID card, if they decided to vote on Election Day itself. And it might be impossible even if they planned months in advance or longer.

So, when Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams hits the media circuit and implies it’s easy for poor people to get an ID, reporters should be sure to offer up the other side, invisible as it is to most of us.

Post closes last Colorado bureau and loses reporter Nancy Lofholm

February 17th, 2015

Another in a string of highly regarded journalists to leave The Denver Post in the last few years, Nancy Lofholm walked away from the newspaper Feb. 6, after The Post closed its Western Slope bureau, which Lofholm directed.

Before coming to The Post 17 years ago, Lofholm worked for several Colorado newspapers, including the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and the Montrose Daily Press. She’s freelanced for, among other publications, the New York Times, USA Today, and the LA Times.

“At the risk of sounding like a news Neanderthal,” Lofholm told me via email, “I will reveal that my life in journalism really began in 1968. I was the editor of my high school newspaper and was invited to ride through Nebraska on Bobby Kennedy’s campaign train. It was a smoke-filled, highball-sloshed, bloodshot-eyed scene. I was utterly hooked. My life’s mission became peeking behind curtains and describing for readers what I saw. ”

Here are Lofholm’s answers to questions I emailed her.

Jason: Why are you leaving? Will you continue as a journalist?

Lofholm: The powers-that-be at The Denver Post decided to close the Western Slope bureau and focus coverage on the Denver/metro area. I opted  to not transfer to Denver. I had been covering news on the Western Slope for more than three decades (17 of those years for The Post).  I had no desire to leave my home, friends and significant other behind to start over in Denver at the age of 64. After a brief bike-riding and sunset-savoring breather, I will continue in journalism. Some good opportunities are opening up and I intend to take advantage of them to keep up some coverage of this side of the state.

Jason: What are a couple of your best memories of The Post? Worst?

Lofholm: My best memories are of the early years when The Post created six bureaus around the state. It was part of a “We Are Colorado” campaign.  Top executives and editors at The Post traveled around the state in a bus and handed out coffee, cookies and tchotchkes to trumpet The Post’s commitment to being a strong statewide newspaper. Having that as a mission gave us in the bureaus so much opportunity to be creative in our coverage.

We had supportive state editors, like the exceptional Joe Watt, who really understood and appreciated the color and diversity of rural Colorado. We had a great cohesive team of talented reporters who could come together on wildfires, fugitive chases and plane crashes. Our team also was encouraged to produce the lively dailies that took readers along as we explored every interesting nook and cranny of Colorado, from a snowplow on Red Mountain and a gold mine near Victor to a corn factory-on-wheels at Olathe and a rodeo chute in Leadville.  At least one of us was on Page 1 nearly every day.

The hours were long. The deadlines were demanding. But it was all centered on the best of newspaper reporting and storytelling and on delivering what readers valued. I loved every bit of it. I will always feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of that.

And the worst: Seeing those bureaus shuttered one by one and The Post’s interest in news outside of Denver dwindle. The last few years had been very painful because of that lack of interest. I was forced to ignore so much news from this side of the mountains and was told the slice-of-life stories from over here were “too west slopey” for The Post.

Jason: One of your beats is immigration. Any advice for reporters trying to do a fair and accurate job on this topic?

Lofholm: Ignore the extremists on both sides of the issue. And get to know the real people at the heart of this difficult topic – the Dreamers, the farmworkers, the detained, the deported and the newly minted citizens.  Only through understanding and telling their stories can you illustrate why the immigration system is so badly in need of a fix and why so much of the emotional rhetoric is off-base.

Oh, and never expect ICE to give you a straight or timely answer to your questions

Jason: Would you advise a young person to pursue journalism?

Lofholm: Absolutely. I advise that all the time – with the caveat that they shouldn’t expect to get rich or to relax.

If young people have a passion for journalism, they can deal with whatever an industry in huge flux will throw at them. The demand for solid reporting and lively, well-written stories won’t go away. It may seem to be lost at times in the constant shuffle of priorities, the new instant nature of news  and the dazzle of digital platforms, but it will always be important. My advice is to keep that at the core of journalistic ambitions.

And, of course, be able to tweet, shoot videos, upload stills and text updates to editors – all while reporting and observing news events.The young do that so well!

Jason: Anything to say about the future of journalism in Colorado?

Lofholm: It will be very interesting. I say that knowing that ‘interesting’ is entirely too weak a word for what might happen in Denver. Will the Rocky revive? What will the hedge funders do with The Post? What is Phil Anschutz up to? What about that scrappy upstart, the Colorado Independent?

As all that sorts itself out, I think the small papers around Colorado will hold their own. Talented and dedicated people at papers like the Silverton Standard & Miner, the Dove Creek Press, the Durango Herald and many more will carry on, and their communities will be the better for it.

Jason: Or on The Post’s decision to close what appears to be its last in-state bureau?

Lofholm: Sad. Colorado needs a statewide newspaper, but The Post has not filled that need well in this half of the state for some time. Home delivery is nearly non-existent, and the busy digital product has some readers in areas of slow connectivity throwing up their hands in frustration. Those who are still dedicated to The Post are wistfully asking  “What about ‘Denver & the West’? Will it now be ‘Denver & the Metro’?”

Jason: Anything you want to add?

Lofholm: I would have liked to have continued working for The Denver Post for a few more years. I still have that fire, curiosity and energy to devote to journalism. I see good stories everywhere. I leave with a fat file of story ideas that certain editors at The Post had nixed but that I know will  be the basis for some freelance opportunities.

At this point I feel like I have new freedom to produce some good work.

Losing a Denver Post paycheck has not caused me to lose my passion for journalism.

Former KLZ talk-radio host elected Douglas Country GOP Chair

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.

Media omission: Ken Buck undecided in GOP state chair race

February 12th, 2015

Colorado’s newbie congressional Representative, Ken Buck, can’t decide who’s the better man to lead Colorado’s Republican Party: current Colorado GOP Chair, Ryan Call, or challenger Steve House, a businessman and former gubernatorial candidate.

Speaking on KLZ’s morning show yesterday, Buck said (at 8 minutes below):

Corporon: The party organizational meetings have been going on here in Colorado. And there seems to be a movement afoot to challenge the leadership of Ryan Call at the head of the Republican Party. In your own county, 13 of the 13 elected officials to the county, and the bonus members, have all come out in support of Steve House…Have you had any time to think about this race?

Buck: Sure, I’ve had time to think about it. Cory Gardner is the highest-ranking elected official in Colorado. He is supporting Ryan Call. Ryan, while not very successful two years ago, was successful this last election in getting things done and has agreed to step down after two years. On the other hand, Steve House is a good friend of mine. I respect the way he ran in the governor’s race. And I thought he did a good job and brings a lot to the job. At this point, I have talked to both of them and not made a decision on what I am going to do. [BigMedia emphasis]

Corporon: I want to encourage you to watch very carefully…the wave that’s going on in these organizational meetings. In Arapahoe, 15 or 23 people came out in favor of House. In Denver, 10 of 13. …Adams County Republicans, 10 of 13 supporting Steve House. There are people who really feel that the Republican Party under-performed here in Colorado compared to the wave…

The GOP will select a state chair March 14.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/ken-buck-remains-undecided-on-gop-state-chair-race

Media omission: McInnis resurrects political career with election as country commissioner

February 11th, 2015

It appears that the entire front-range media missed one of the most exciting election stories of 2014: the resurrection of failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis!

McInnis, who was taken down by wizard Dan Maes in the 2010 Republican primary, won a seat in November on the Mesa Country Board of Commissioners.

If you call his office, you get a message saying:

“Thank you for contacting commissioner Scott McInnis. Although he is unavailable to take your call, your call is important. Please leave your name, phone number, and a brief message. Thank you.”

A quick check revealed that this exact phone message (except the name “Scott McInnis”) was plagiarized, but McInnis probably had nothing do do with it, as the message was delivered in a woman’s voice.

Back in 2010, McInnis was caught by The Denver Post for plagiarizing portions of short articles he wrote on Colorado water issues, commissioned for $350,000 from the Hasan Foundation.

The price tag prompted Post columnist Ed Quillen to write that he wanted to engage McInnis as “my literary agent, since he knows how to cut some sweet deals.”

He blamed his water-article plagiarism on his ghost writer, Rolly Fisher, but McInnis eventually took some measure of responsibility for it.

Last year, during his county-commissioner race, McInnis washed his hands of any wrong-doing for the plagiarism, telling the Grand Junction Sentinel he regretted admitting to any mistakes about the plagiarism.

“I’ve used ghost writers my whole career. I would have said I didn’t make the mistake. I wasn’t dishonest then and I’m not dishonest now.”

Barring any recalls for un-commissioner-like behavior, which may or may not include plagiarism, he’ll serve until 2019.

Upheaval in Colorado GOP heats up but remains largely under media radar

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

Reporter puts representative’s eight-hour gun delay in proper context

February 7th, 2015

The Colorado Statesman’s Marianne Goodland offered up a good tidbit of reporting in an article published yesterday, in which she aired out State Rep. Patrick Neville’s complaint that his gun purchases were twice denied because he failed a background check.

But Goodland put the problem in context by also reporting that Neville’s denial, due to a clerical error, was resolved in fewer than eight hours.

Goodland also reported the testimony of Ron Sloan, Director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation:

Sloan cited statistics showing that almost 6,000 sales and transfers were halted because the buyer failed the background check. Some of the checks failed, Sloan said, because the buyers had convictions for crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, sexual assault, burglary and drug offenses.

So, in a post last week, I was wrong to write that no gun was denied to anyone who was legally entitled to one. It appears, in Neville’s case, an eight-hour delay occurred, due to a clerical error.

Isolated mistakes like Neville’s will inevitably happen, but is it worth it to keep thousands of real criminals from buying guns? That’s the question that flows from the facts reported by the Statesman. Are we willing to tolerate Neville’s rare nnninconvenience to keep guns out of the hands of murderers?

Reporters should ask Neville what his reality-based alternative to Obamacare is

February 5th, 2015

Conservatives are still wondering around, from interview to interview, saying they want to dump Obamacare. And here’s “the key thing,” as articulated by freshman Colorado State Senator Tim Neville on the radio Saturday:

Neville: “The key thing is the Republican Party, and those of us up in the Senate and the House, need to make sure we have something to replace it, and we’re working on a little bill along those lines this year.”

Neville didn’t spill the beans on his Obamacare alternative right away, but he circled back to it later in the interview, aired on KNUS’ Weekend Wake Up.

Turns out, he was referring to his bill requiring hospitals to list the prices of common procedures, when third parties aren’t paying for it.

Neville @10:45 below: “Going back to the health care, what do we have that’s going to replace this? I have a pretty moderate bill requiring transparency and requiring–and I hate to require any business to do anything–but allowing people to actually get prices so that if they want to pay for a health-care procedure, they actually have an opportunity to get a price instead of having to go through the billing department. And if they don’t have insurance, they really don’t know what they are going to get charged, if they just want to pay for their procedure. We have so many people in high-deductible plans–$6,000 deductibles or higher–and so many people who have decided, ‘I’m not going to mess with it.’

…”If we allow the forces of the marketplace to be unleashed, I’m a huge fan of high-deductible programs, health-saving accounts that are tax-deductible, and the ability for people to have skin in the game to make important decisions, rational decisions.”

A price list, so people without insurance know exactly how much they probably can’t pay? Skin in the game!

Maybe the idea has merit, but Neville is overflowing with audacity to frame this bill as anything related to the Obamacare alternative that conservatives are desperately seeking. And of course, if he says it in front of a real reporter, or even if he doesn’t, he should be asked about it.

In Neville’s case, the anti-Obamacare passion runs deep. He said Saturday that he challenged fellow Republican Jim Kerr for the Jeffco Senate seat after Kerr went “off the rails” and supported the bill (SB-200), which established Colorado’s market-based health-insurance exchange and had the support of the business community and GOP leader Rep. Amy Stephens, among others, at the time.

Neville, beginning at 4:50 below: “Senate bill 200 was what put me over the edge to be involved in politics, when I was running for a vacancy. There was a Republican legislator that wanted to move up from the House to the Senate. I actually campaigned for him, considered him as a friend. But he kind of got off the rails, along with the other people who voted for 200. And people weren’t getting it. Sometimes you can send a message with a phone call or a letter and sometimes you’ve got to have a little bit more involvement…. One of my first bills was to repeal the state health care exchange, and, of course, it fell one vote short.”

You wouldn’t expect KNUS talk-show host Chuck Bonniwell, who interviewed Neville Saturday, to ask about the GOP’s real alternatives to Obamacare, but other reporters should pick up the slack, whether it’s Neville or Sen. Cory Gardner.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/on-radio-state-sen-tim-neville-discusses-healthcare-13115

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

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.

When a softball question for Gardner doesn’t make you groan

January 29th, 2015

Most people groan when media figures toss soft-ball questions at public officials, but not all softballs are created equal.

As you’d expect, during a Jan. 27 interview, KNUS talk-radio host Krista Kafer thew a bunch of eye-roll-inducing questions at Colorado’s new Republican Senator, Cory Gardner, like has he been surprised by anything?

But one of Kafer’s softballs was illuminating. She asked, “Who ya hanging out with?”

As his emerging Senate BFFs, Gardner first mentioned some of the most radical right wingers in the chamber.

Gardner spotlighted his budding relationship with Tea-Party leader Ted Cruz of Texas, saying he “sat next to Sen. Cruz over the past several policy meetings that we’ve had, talking about issues like what we’re going to do on health care….” (Cruz, of course, led the charge for a government shutdown to stop Obamacare.)

Gardner also mentioned working with Sen. Rand Paul of Texas, “on a number of bills, whether it’s auditing the Federal Reserve.” (You wonder if the two discussed Paul’s Personhood bill, the Life at Conception Act, which Gardner endorsed while in the House.)

Also cited by Gardner, in answer to Kafer’s question, were anti-environmentalists John Thune (R-SD) and Jerry Moran (R-KS).

You know a Senator by the company he keeps. And in Gardner’s case, his company of obstructionist right wingers reflects what we’ve heard from him in Washington as well. The name of a moderate Republican or Democrat did not come out of Gardner’s mouth.

Good on ya, Krista Kafer, for at least one of your softballs.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/talk-radio-host-asks-gardner-so-who-are-you-hanging-out-with