Media omission: Former talk-radio host Derrick Wilburn is running for vice chair of Colorado Republican Party

March 12th, 2015

A former talk-radio yapper, Derrick Wilburn, is running for Vice Chair of the Colorado Republican Party.

Wilburn once co-hosted a CO Springs radio show called, “Black, White, and Right,” which aired on KZNT 1460-AM. Wilburn, who’s African-American, represented the “black” part, while former congressional candidate Robert Blaha wore the “white” mantel. And both were right–as in tea party, as opposed to “correct.”

To give you an idea of  the depth of Wilburn’s tea-party-ness, during one radio show a couple years ago, Wilburn gave “Almost Human” honors to Republicans generally, and he added that GOP chairman Ryan Call is emblematic of Republicans. So he sounds about as mad at his fellow Republicans as other party leaders leading up to Saturday’s election, and the division has even crept into the marriage of Rep. Mike Coffman and Cynthia Coffman, who might be mad at each other over it.

Maybe Wilburn’s almost-human critique of his fellow Republicans is connected to another gripe: Wilburn says his fellow Republicans aren’t cool.

In an interview last month on KLZ 56-AM’s nooner show, Freedom 560, host Ken Clark asked Wilburn said (Listen below.):

Wilburn: “The problem with the Republican Party in that regard is it’s a brand issue.  You know, there are people who don’t even want to say it in public.  You know, ‘I’m a Republican.’  You kind of say it under your breath, looking around, hoping that nobody hears you.  Now, that’s because it’s not cool and it’s not hip, but it is cool and it is hip to be a Democrat.  To be a Democrat is rushing our state and country into financial insolvency.  But for some reason, it is cool to say that.”

On the other hand, in Wilburn’s own vice-chair race, he faces a former Olympian, Eli Bremer. How cool is that? And another vice-chair candidate, Mark Baisley did a cool thing and joined up with Chairman Ryan Call to create a tea-party-establishment-Republican ticket. And the other vice chair candidate, Debra Irvine, lives in the cool mountains. So there’s some coolness in the GOP.

Baisley’s alignment with Ryan Call displeases Wilburn, as it has talk-radio hosts across the dial.

“I don’t know how anybody can look at the position that Mark Baisley’s taken and say, ‘He’s still the liberty guy,’” said Wilburn on air last month. “It seems relatively apparent to me that he has said to the liberty crowd, ‘No, I’m not. I’m attached to this side of the aisle now.’”

On the radio in 2013, Wilburn was upset at fellow Republicans for failing to adequately support his efforts, as founder and president of American Conservatives of Color and Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, to diversify the Republican Party. He complained at the time that Republican State Chairman Ryan Call had failed to attend one of his monthly meetings, despite such meetings being held monthly for two-an-a-half years.

But Wilburn’s diversity campaigns seem to be a draw among some Republicans, who will be voting in Saturday’s election to choose state party leaders.

“Derrick’s work nationally with people of color (or what ever term you prefer) is the type of work we need here in Colorado to expand the GOP’s presence and membership,” wrote John R. Mitchell, Chairman of the Ouray County Republican Party on Wilburn’s campaign website page. “If we can gain only 5 to 10% of the minority vote, we just about cannot lose any elections. I gladly endorse Derrick for Colorado GOP Vice Chair.”

Wilburn is hell bent on fixing the problem, but, if you believe him and KLZ radio host Ken Clark, few Republicans, except Wilburn, are on board.

Clark: Well, and let’s face it, you were single-handedly responsible for getting Republicans to go to the Martin Luther King [Jr.] parade.  I mean, nobody was even talking about it.  That wasn’t on anybody’s radar until you stepped up and started demanding that they do.  And I was with you when we were at that event that was in Five Points.    What — I can’t even remember what it was called.

Wilburn: Uh, Juneteenth.

Clark: Yeah, Juneteenth.  I was with you when you were down there doing that, and that was interesting.  But it doesn’t seem like anybody else is reaching out.  Derrick?

Wilburn: Well, and it’s a hub and spoke approach. So, the hub is major events. The Juneteenth, the Martin Luther King.  Last week, was Chinese New Year, we should be setting something up for that.  That’s the entry point to the community.  And then, you back that up throughout the rest of the year, by building coalitions, by getting to know the business owners, by becoming members of the Chambers of Commerce, and developing some familiarity.  So, you know, the Republicans — and God bless ‘em! — but they sit around and scratch their heads and say, “How do we do this?”  So, that’s when Dave and me and Casper and the rest of my little crew came around and said, “This is how you do it! And rather than just tell you how, we’ll actually walk it like we talk it, and do it ourselves.”  And we’ve had some effect the last five years.  Now, it’s just time to go to the next level.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/on-radio-wilburn-discusses-co-republican-vice-chair-race

Radio discussion encapsulates GOP discontent in Colorado

March 10th, 2015

An entertaining trio of Tom Tancredo, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, and Republican state chair candidate Steve House appeared on KLZ 560-AM’s Grassroots Radio Colorado Monday, and their conversation encapsulates the riptide of disagreement enveloping the GOP in our state.

Host Kris Cook started by asking Coffman and Tancredo what they’re looking for in a state chair.

“I want someone who’s charismatic,” said Coffman, explaining that she asked House to join the race because she thinks he can unify the Republican Party.

Coffman went on to say that Republicans shouldn’t be surprised that she and Tom Tancredo both support House.

“I don’t know if Tom will agree on this, but I think [Tom and I] share a fair amount in common in terms of what our principles are and what this party should be,” said Coffman. “And I think that’s why we gravitated toward Steve, honestly. I think it’s tempting, and I know when I was campaigning, people were categorizing candidates different ways, including myself, and I would often take umbrage at how I was described as being establishment, because I don’t think of myself as particularly that way.”

“No more shenanigans, that’s what I’m looking for. No more under-handed dealing,” Tancredo told Cook. “I don’t want any more outside pressure from Washington DC and from the establishment in determining the direction of the party in the state of Colorado. I want a clean Republican Party. I look forward to it. I haven’t seen it in so long, you almost wonder whether it can exist.”

Tancredo went into detail about the shenanigans that occurred, in his view, in Costilla County, CO, in the months leading up to Saturday’s GOP State Chair election. A Republican there says her efforts to form a County Committee were reportedly undermined by Chairman Ryan Call, in an effort to assemble votes for Saturday’s election.

House called Costilla County a “good example,” of the problems with the state Republican Party, but he went on to say Republicans aren’t capitalizing on their voter advantage over Democrats and empowering state counties to be “franchises” of the state party.

Tancredo said he wants to “clone” Pueblo Country Chair Becky Mizel, who he said got the highest percentage of GOP turnout across the state?

“What did she get for her effort?” asked Tancredo. “Grief from Ryan Call…She has the chairman of the Republican Party actually in bed essentially with the chairman of the Democrat (sic) Party down there going after her, even legally.”

Cook told Coffman with a laugh that she was going to put her in the hot seat, to which Coffman said, “I’d expect nothing less.”

Cook said that the endorsement by Cynthia Coffman’s husband, Rep. Mike Coffman, of Ryan Call, in contrast to Cynthia Coffman’s endorsement of House, must make for an “uncomfortable Sunday dinner.”

“We talk about that a little,” answered Coffman. “I’ll invoke the marital privilege on some of it. Mike, like a number of his colleagues, feel indebted to the state party because they got elected in a tough year this last election. I happen to think that people like Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman got elected because they are good candidates. And they brought in money from the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. It frustrating for me to hear people play upon fear now and say if we don’t continue with the current party administration then we won’t have that money. It will somehow dry up, mysteriously leave Colorado. Kris that’s just not true. I can say as someone who’s been through an election myself and a number of elections with my husband, and I’ve observed fundraising. That’s not going to happen.”

“The fight we’re having in this state over the direction of the Republican Party is certainly going on in other places and at national level, and they don’t play nice,” observed Tancredo. “I can tell you that.”

From there, the three continued, rehashing the recall elections, trashing Ryan Call, and more.

https://soundcloud.com/libertycast/grassroots-radio-colorado-287

Media omission: Beauprez blames Republican Governors Association for election loss

March 9th, 2015

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez appeared on KNUS’ Craig Silverman Show Saturday and blamed, among other things, the Republican Governors’ Association (RGA) for his November loss to Democrat John Hickenlooper.

“We would have liked to have had a little more backing from some of our friends,” Beauprez told Silverman. “Notably the Republican Governors Association went dark for three weeks right during the middle of the campaign. That one hurt quite a little bit.”

Beauprez’s opponents would wail at the irony of it, of course, because it was an RGA-funded campaign that arguably allowed Beauprez to prevail against his opponent Tom Tancredo during the Republican gubernatorial primary last year.

Beauprez has rejected accusations, from former Rep. Tom Tancredo and others, that he had any knowledge of the RGA’s surreptitious campaign against Tancredo. But Tanc is so mad about it, he’s started a Stop Chris Christie PAC to fight Christie.

“But didn’t you get in bed with Chris Christie, and then he ultimately rolled over and squished ya,” asked Silverman, in a flashback to the kind of edgy questioning he used to deploy on some Republicans during KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman Show. “I hate to use that kind of imagery. But Chris Christie is a bed you got in, and he ended up betraying you.”

“Getting in bed with Chris Christie, I do reject that metaphor, that analogy, the use of that kind of phrase” responded Beauprez on air. “I’m not a Chris Christie supporter in this election right now. And I had some issues with Chris Christie, but the reality was, he was the chairman of the Republican Governors Association. So was I going to accept the help of the Republican Governors Association, just as John Hickenlooper accepted massive amounts, massive amounts, of money from the Democratic Governors Association? Of course I’m going to do that. So the presumption that I was in lockstep with Chris Christie on everything he ever said or would do or say in the future, that’s simply not fair.”

Beauprez rejected Silverman’s assertion that Beauprez’s opposition to marijuana legalization hurt him in the election.

Beauprez said he didn’t take a position against pot, per se, but instead simply said the future governor would have to deal with the law as passed.

Beauprez also rejected KNUS talk-show host Peter Boyles’ accusation, repeated to Beauprez by Silverman, that Beauprez backed off his suggestion that Colorado should send troops to the Mexican border to help stop illegal immigration.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/craig-silverman-knus-asks-bob-beauprez-why-didnt-you-win-co-governorship

Media omission: Klingenschmitt Compares Planned Parenthood to ISIS

March 9th, 2015

State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, who last year suggested that Rep. Jared Polis would “join ISIS in beheading Christians,” has said he’s “very proud” of South Dakota State Rep. Isaac Latterell, who wrote a blog post last month comparing Planned Parenthood the Islamic State.

“I am discerning the spirit of god on this state rep from South Dakota,” said Klingenschmitt in Tuesday’s edition of his online video series called Pray in Jesus’ Name, beginning at about the five minute mark below. “His name is Issac Latterell. And he is taking a stand to protect the innocent, and I am very proud of that.”

“Father, we ask your blessing, on South Dakota, on all of America, Father, that we would stand against terrorism in all its forms, stand against murder of innocents in all of its forms, that we would be consistent in our policy and stop funding the abortion business with American tax dollars,” he said later. “God, wake us up as a nation to stop the slaughter of innocents.”

As I reported for RH Reality Check this morning, the last time Klingenschmitt brought up ISIS, saying Polis wants “to bankrupt Christians who refuse to worship and endorse his sodomy,” Ryan Call denounced Klingenschmitt’s comments.

This, in turn, led Klingenschmitt, a Republican who goes by the name of “Dr. Chaps,” to say his remarks were “hyperbole” and that “some Democrats do not have a sense of humor.”

Ryan Call responded to Klingenschmitt’s comments about Polis by telling KDVR Fox 31 Denver, at the time:

Call: “Gordon, as I’ve said before, does not speak for the Colorado Republican Party. His views do not reflect my personal position or the position of the party.

“But this tired, ineffectual tactic of trying to brand all Republicans based on these comments — the Todd Akin approach — it’s not going to work this time around,” Call continued. “Voters are too sophisticated. They know that one legislative candidate in Colorado Springs doesn’t reflect the views of Bob Beauprez or Cory Gardner.”

Now Call is locked in a battle with businessman Steve House over who will be the next chair of the Colorado Republican Party, with a vote scheduled for Saturday.

Neither Ryan Call nor House has denounced Klingenschmitt’s comparison of Planned Parenthood to the Islamic State.

Klingenschmitt’s comments begin at about the five minute mark here:

 

Anti-choice talk-radio host steps up accusation that “pro-choicers” want to kill “newborns”

March 4th, 2015

Infanticide is rare in America and has few advocates, yet anti-choice activists are leveling an accusation that more and more “pro-choicers” favor this form of murder.

American Right to Life, a national anti-choice organization, is stepping up a campaign accusing pro-choice activists of favoring the killing of “newborns and toddlers.”

“An increasing number of well-known leaders and organizations who are pro-choice are also coming out publicly in favor of killing children, not only before they are born, but also after they are born,” Bob Enyart, board member and spokesman for American Right to Life, told me via email.

American Right to Life is promoting an online document, titled “Pro-Choicers who Want to Legalize Infanticide.“ It’s a list of about 10 articles and videos, some of which date back a decade or longer, that contain statements favoring infanticide.

The people cited on American Right to Life’s website are not leaders of pro-choice organizations, and they aren’t obviously linked with the pro-choice movement at all.

One article on the list is authored by a Michael Tooley, a University of Colorado philosophy professor.

Enyart, who is a also Denver talk radio host, has been trying to focus media attention on Tooley for years, but he says his organization has never confronted the professor directly, though Enyart has staged protests at the Boulder campus.

Tooley’s 1972 paper, titled “Abortion and Infanticide”, argues that “an organism possesses a serious right to life only if it possesses the concept of a self as a continuing subject of experiences and other mental states.”

“This is obviously a matter for detailed psychological investigation, but everyday observation makes it perfectly clear, I think that newborn baby does not possess the concept of a continuing self, any more than a newborn kitten possesses such a concept,” wrote Tooley. “If so, infanticide during the time interval shortly after birth must be morally acceptable.”

Tooley, Princeton-educated atheist, did not respond to multiple email and phone messages over the past several months seeking comment. He doesn’t seem to hide from public questioning, though, as he debated the existence of god, for example, at a Veritas Forum at CU Boulder in 2013. I could find no statement in recent years from Tooley about infanticide.

But Tooley’s silence on the matter hasn’t stopped Enyart, who’s also spokesman for Colorado Right to Life. As part of his campaign to pass a personhood amendment in Colorado, Enyart narrated a radio spot citing Tooley’s article and accusing pro-choice activists of favoring infanticide.

In the ad, Enyart says, without evidence, that support for killing newborns “is widespread and even taints the White House.” On its website, American Right to Life urges the public to notify it of the “godless effort to expand abortion services to newborns and toddlers.”

Asked to comment on Enyart’s accusation, NARAL Pro-Choice America Director Karen Middleton said via email:  “Anti-choice extremists are repeatedly losing at the ballot box because Colorado voters believe women have a right to make their own personal, private medical decisions. I can only think such increasingly bizarre, out-there statements from Mr. Enyart stems from his frustration at the fact Coloradans believe the argument is over and No Means No. Voters don’t agree with him. Respect them, get over it, and stop yelling.”

Personhood measures, which would effectively ban abortion by granting legal rights to zygotes (fertilized eggs), has been rejected so many times in Colorado, among other states, that personhood advocates have suggested a more localized approach to pushing through the extreme anti-choice policy.

The murder rate for infants is low in America. Key risk factors include mental illness afflicting the parents, lack of prenatal care, teenage pregnancy, and paternal care giving.

In some campaigns to limit abortion, anti-choice activists associate the term “infanticide” with abortion procedures, including “dilation and extraction,” which is used for abortion after 14 weeks.

The anti-choice group’s focus on infanticide comes in the wake of a national report showing that a wave of anti-choice laws has “emboldened” abortion clinic protesters, and that threats of violence against clinics have doubled since 2010.

Media omission: GOP recall activists on talk radio circuit opposing Ryan Call

March 3rd, 2015

In the race for chair of the Colorado Republican Party, activists who led recall efforts against Democrats in 2013 have been on the talk-radio circuit dredging up their attacks on the current GOP Chair, Ryan Call, who’s facing a serious challenge from former gubernatorial candidate Steve House.

On Monday, for example, Mike McAlpine (who led recall efforts against Sen. Evie Hudak) and Victor Head (who helped spearhead the recall against Sen. Angela Giron) were on KLZ 560-AM trashing Ryan Call in no uncertain terms. The pair was also on KNUS’ Peter Boyles Show.

Both activists were responding to Call’s assertions Saturday on a KNUS radio show that he’d backed recall campaigns in Pueblo and Colorado Springs to the tune of $140,000, plus other support.

“Let me start by saying that he objected and opposed to the recalls every step of the way,” McAlpine said on KLZ. ” And only with this $140,000 after a Republican candidate was selected and it was officially Ryan’s job, as state Chair to get someone elected, did he come up with some money.

“This is a man who did not support the grassroots in Colorado,” McAlpine continued. ” And for him to step out now and paint himself as a person who did, as a leader, and to take credit for all the hard work of the volunteers, of the independent Republicans who came down, the independent Independents, the Unaffiliateds is wrong!  It is just wrong!”

“The elections went through,” Pueblo’s Victor Head told the KLZ radio audience, agreeing with McAlpine. “We won. Everyone was happy.  [Ryan Call] is out there taking credit, you know, waving at everybody, saying, ‘Look what we did!’  And we’re standing there like, ‘Well, yeah, we’ve still got this huge bill.’ And there were just regular guys like me who got stuck with it.  And so we eventually had to have this press conference and say, ‘Hey, Ryan basically lied to us, and said he was going to help and he never came through.’ And It was only after we basically dragged him out, kicking and screaming, that he said, ‘Oh, okay.  I’ll go ahead and make good on that promise, and I’ll cover the legal fees — or well, the Party will.’  And you know, that’s just the type of person he is.  He’s not there to really help empower the grassroots of the Party.  He really is in this simply to self-serve, as far as I can see.”

“Now, the local party stepped up, in the face of Ryan,” continued Head. “Ryan actually threatened our county chair down here in Pueblo and said, ‘Don’t you dare help those recall people!’ And she defied him, and of course, you know, the rest is history. We won.  And it’s all grand and happy.  But, that was the big thing we had, was, why are you actually coming out saying what we’re doing is actually a bad idea?  That’s where it really stung.

 

Media omission: Ryan Call changes tune about his opposition to at least one recall campaign

March 2nd, 2015

Appearing on KNUS 710-AM’s Jimmy Sengenberger Show Saturday, Colorado GOP Chair Ryan Call emphasized his support for Colorado’s 2013 recall campaigns, when, in fact, Call flat out opposed at least one recall effort.

“From a tactical perspective, frankly, the worst thing that I could do is to get to the head of the column and say that this is a Republican initiative,” Call told Sengenberger Saturday, explaining why he didn’t take an earlier or higher profile stance in the recall campaigns and pointing out that Republicans would have had a harder time winning over Democrats and independents if the recall campaigns were perceived as GOP-led.

This contrasts with what Call told Fox 31 Denver at the time about his decision not to support the recall campaign of Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak:

Call: “This recall election would undermine our efforts in the governor’s race, the U.S. Senate race and to win a senate majority if voters perceive that Republicans are trying to win a majority through recalls.”

“The job of the Republican Party is to get Republicans elected when there are regular elections,” said Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call. “And there are already a lot of things competing for our time, attention and resources. [BigMedia emphasis]

Hudak recall organizer Laura Woods, now a state senator who went by the name “Laura Waters” at the time, told KNUS radio host Peter Boyles that Call obstructed their efforts.

In a similar vein, shortly after his victory in a Colorado Springs recall election, newly elected State Sen. George Rivera said Ryan Call put “a little cold water on our parade” during recall campaign. Rivera is a Republican.

But at the time, and in his KNUS interview Saturday, Call also said that he supported recall campaigns once a Republican candidate was in place, and he spent state-party resources to support Republican candidates in their recall campaigns.

“The principled purpose and objective of the Republican Party is to support Republicans in elections,” Call said in 2013.

Republicans will decide whether to retain Call as State GOP Chair March 14. He’s being challenged by former GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve House.

Excerpt of comments by Ryan Call on KNUS’ Jimmy Sengenberger Show Feb. 28, 2015. Begins one hour into the show.

Call: Generally speaking, recalls are reserved for fraud or embezzlement or a serious abdication of a lawmaker’s constitutional duties, but it’s important that those recalls, if initiated, be initiated by the citizens and not be driven simply out of a partisan interest. Our job from the party, as I saw it, and this was not my decision alone. This was discussed at length by our state party’s executive committee, and we determined that rather than set the precedent that the state party, as a partisan objective would go out there and try to foment or start recalls, our job was to support the citizens if the recall went forward. And that’s what we did. But there is always a concern. And what we found also, for example, in the work that was done in the recalls of Scott Walker in Wisconsin. When voters believed it was a grassroots-initiated citizen-originated recall election, they were successful. But if there was a perception in the public that this was simply a partisan power grab, that this was done by Republicans in an effort to win back seats or to try to obtain a majority, then Democrats and unaffiliated voters who are so critical if we are going to be successful—support among those key demographics and segments of the electorate completely collapsed. It was important that the strength of the recalls was led by the grassroots, supported by the party as one of many groups and individuals that were out there supporting it. From a tactical perspective, frankly, the worst thing that I could do is to get to the head of the column and say that this is a Republican initiative.

Sengenberger: But I heard some people say that you were actively trying to prevent these recalls from happening. Is there any truth to that?

Call: Not true. Not true. I was actually in very close contact with representatives from the Liberty Call committee…. Think about it, in a county like Pueblo, where Republicans are outnumbered two-to-one by Democrats, if was perceived to be a Republican initiative…

 

 

Talk-radio hosts should seek explanation from Buck on his pro-Boehner votes

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.

Denver TV reporter goes too far in saying Obama “doesn’t like America” and has “contempt” and “disdain” for our country

February 27th, 2015

It’s obvious to me that journalists should no longer be expected not to express opinions, even on the topics they cover.

But, sometimes, if journalists have opinions that are so extreme, so rude or out-of-step with everyday sensibilities, they should refrain from expressing them. And if they do throw out such opinions, reporters should recuse themselves from covering anything related to their extreme/rude/bombastic utterances.

To my way of thinking, Fox 31 Denver reporter Julie Hayden’s repeated comments that Obama “doesn’t love,” doesn’t even “like America” and, in fact, has “disdain” and “contempt” for our country, fall into the extreme/rude/bombastic category. And Hayden shouldn’t be covering any story related to Obama, federal political issues, and, to be safe, any partisan political topic.

Hayden, who says she once voted for Obama and doesn’t cover the president, has been trashing him on her Saturday morning radio show, “Wake Up with Chuck and Julie,” which she co-hosts with hubby Chuck Bonniwell, on KNUS 170-AM.

On her radio show last Saturday, in the wake Rudy Giuliani’s comments that Obama doesn’t love America, Hayden even presided over a debate on the topic of whether Obama likes America, with Hayden and Bonniwell taking the side that he does not.

“To me, it just seemed so obvious he doesn’t like America, and, you know, I think has disdain for it and contempt,” said Hayden a typical comment (Listen below at 20:50).

Here’s another exchange:

Caller (at 9:40 minutes): It’s not only that he doesn’t love the country. I actually think that he hates it, that he does everything he can to undermine the country at every turn.

Bonniwell: You’re absolutely right.

Hayden: I don’t disagree with you.

Asked via email whether such extreme comments are appropriate for a journalist listed as a “reporter” at Fox 31 Denver, a major Denver news outlet with a five-star reputation for its political coverage (and not linked to the partisan Fox News Network), Hayden offered these thoughts:

Hayden: I believe, like many things “extreme” is in the eye of the beholder.  I do not consider my comment  that I did not think the President likes America to be “extreme”, any more than I consider someone else saying they believe the President loves America to be “extreme.”  I have also said on the radio program that it’s my opinion that Governor Hickenlooper has shown he cares about Colorado.  I don’t think that’s “extreme”, either.  I have also said on the program many times that I supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 and was very disappointed when she dropped out.  And that I voted for President Obama.  I don’t consider those “extreme” comments and I do not think they crossed any kind of journalistic line.

I respect your question and your opinion, but I do not think it crosses a journalistic line for me to express an opinion, one way or another on the President because I don’t cover the President in my television job.  We have been fortunate at Fox 31 Denver to have Eli Stokols as our political reporter and he does a great job.

It would be a different matter if I was a White House correspondent, but that’s not the case.

I would also like to point out that whenever I express an opinion I invite and welcome people with other opinions to comment, too.  In this case, I frequently mentioned that our friend Chuck completely disagrees with me.  I think it would be wrong as a journalist and a talk show host to make it seem like there was only one side to any issue. And whatever the topic, I think we do talk about all sides and take calls and comments from all sides.  We don’t screen out any calls.

I was glad that Hayden, who mostly covers crime and general interest topics, agrees with me that she shouldn’t cover Obama, but local TV news tends to swarm around the hot stories of the day.

So it’s no surprise that Hayden reported this story the day before the 2012 election on Romney-Obama voter turnout efforts. This piece looks fair to me, but what would Hayden’s next story about Obama look like? About immigration? About women? The environment? Net neutrality!

And lots of crime stories, the staple of TV news, connect to partisan politics.

“To me it’s very bad that we have a president that doesn’t like America,” said Hayden on air (at 12:20 below). Let’s hope she doesn’t use her journalism job to do something about it.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/fox-31-reporter-julie-hayden-claims-obama-does-not-love-america

Fact check: Did GOP state chair abandon two candidates in close races?

February 25th, 2015

It’s not easy to fact check some of the allegations flying around in the contest between Ryan Call and challenger Steve House to become chair of the Colorado Republican Party. But it’s worth a try, especially when the salvos appear in the media.

On public television Friday, for example, the Independence Institute’s Dave Kopel reported an “allegation” that Call could have put two state legislative candidates “over the top” if he’d helped them pay for advertising during the “last couple weeks” of their campaigns, as they were “fighting hard” for a victory. But Call refused, and they lost.

Kopel (Watch at @1:30 here): House’s particular claim against Call is that Call refused to provide the support for two candidates who ended up losing very close state legislative races, Tony Sanchez, who was almost elected to the state senate, and Susan Kochevar, who almost won a house race, and her win would have put the House in Republican hands. So the argument is that they were close. They were fighting hard, and Ryan Call wouldn’t do a mailer for them in the last couple weeks that could have put them over the top. I don’t know the details of that. But that would be the allegation. Certainly, any chair of major party has to be able to work with all the groups of the party, the sincere moderates, the squishy moderates, the hard-core ideological people—and then have strategies to help them all get elected. [BigMedia emphasis]

Yes, you’d want a major party chair to work with all sides, but is the allegation true? Did Call screw his own party up?

Kopel, a Democrat who made the statement on Channel 12′s Colorado Inside Out, told me via email that he was “just summarizing House’s campaign speech” and does not know “know what went on” in the Kochevar and Sanchez races.

Asked about Kopel’s statement, Sanchez did not respond, but Kochevar emailed me a Feb. Facebook post in which she wrote that she lost by 1,500 votes, and she “did not receive any money from the state party.” Kochevar was selected by a vacancy committee in July, after Robert Ramirez dropped at the last minute.

Sanchez lost to Sen. Andy Kerr by about 1,000 votes.

“Shortly after Dec. 31 [after the election], I received a phone call from Ryan Call informing me that if I did not fire my campaign finance company, the Republican Party would not have campaign funds for a future campaign.  I perceived this as a threat. I find it reprehensible that a party chairman would threaten a viable candidate,” Kochevar wrote on Facebook. “My campaign finance reporting was handled by Campaign Integrity Watchdog, which is owned by Matt Arnold. Steve House will not let personal grudges interfere with party success. He understands limited govt and will unify all factions within the party.”

Call did not return an email seeking comment, but his backers say the GOP state chair invested strategically, with limited funds, in the most promising races statewide. The decisions were tough, but in the end the GOP did better than it’s done in a decade or more, they say. In Jeffco itself, the thinking goes, Larry Queen had a better shot than Sanchez and Kochevar, who were both expected to receive big-time support from RMGO. And both Sanchez and Kochevar were seen, with no grudges involved, as weaker candidates.  I’m not saying I agree with this logic, but I’m offering it in the absence of a statement by Call himself.

In any case, it appears that the allegation, repeated by Kopel, that Call did not do invest in the Sanchez and Kochevar campaigns, even as the races appeared to be close, is true, at least in Kochevar’s case. What role personality clashes played or whether a marginal amount of increased cash would have made a difference in the races is not known.

Republicans vote March 14 on whether to retain Call for a third two-year term.