Warning: KLZ talk-radio host Ken Clark tells me the following blog post is a “hit piece consisting of lies and deceit in order to continue to manipulate the public and your readers at the expense of an elected official who is simply trying to protect her constituents.” If only this were true….
The elected official Clark refers to is Republican State Sen. Vicki Marble. At issue is a searing falsehood Marble delivered to Clark on his nooner Freedom 560 show on KLZ 560-AM Nov. 19:
Marble: “Those illegals infiltrate into the system, of the United States, and they bring the disease. They bring whatever from across the border — things we haven’t seen in decades and thought we eradicated. Our whole country is at risk.”
A lengthy search (still in progress) for a factual basis backing up Marble yielded nothing, and I asked Clark why he didn’t correct her on air:
Clark: The evidence is overwhelming that we are facing a health risk due to our administrations failure to protect our boarders and as a result are continuing to put our citizens at risk. Senator Marble is 100% correct when she states this fact and by failing to accept the truth and the evidence you are simply attempting to attack a public servant rather than seek the truth. She has been briefed by the Colorado Center for Disease Control as well and is privy to information that is not public, maybe you should try to get some information from them. [BigMedia emphasis]
I asked the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment if there was any evidence that undocumented immigrants are bringing any disease, much less ones that we thought were eradicated, into Colorado.
“CDPHE is not aware of any such evidence,” was the simple answer from Mark Salley, CDPHE spokesperson.
Clark provided me with numerous links, none of which named a specific illness thought to be eradicated and brought to the United States by undocumented immigrants.
You can find Marble’s comment at the 2:45 mark on this audio recording:
Like other people, undocumented immigrants get sick with chicken pox, scabies, lice, and even tuberculosis, but, again, there’s no evidence that they are spreading these illnesses in our country. There’s speculation, yes, but nothing much more.
Marble’s comment goes beyond the usual Tea-Party regurgitation of this speculation by accusing immigrants of introducing eradicated diseases, raising the specter of polio, lepers, etc.
This summer, Tea Party activists were up in arms about diseases allegedly being brought by migrant children crossing the border into the U.S. These concerns were shown to be basesless.
The New York Times reported in July:
Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said there have been only three cases of tuberculosis reported among the undocumented children who have come into Texas. More than 1,000 cases are reported annually in Texas.
She also said that while there have been cases of scabies among the children, “it’s not outside the norm of what we would expect and not exotic to the United States.”
What does seem to spread in the United States is not diseases from immigrants but falsehoods from talk-radio hosts. KNUS host Peter Boyles broke the misinformation back in September that undocumented immigrants are spreading disease in Colorado. And now the rot has jumped to KLZ.
Maybe it’s time to fumigate the offices at both KLZ and KNUS?
Here’s a transcript of the conversation between Clark, Marble, and State Sen. Lundberg on Nov. 19, 2014.
CLARK: There are a lot of national issues that are affecting us here in the state of Colorado, things that the President is doing are absolutely appalling and unfortunately does affect us here. We’ve got a situation where we’ve got—we’ve got respiratory diseases cropping up in Colorado. Not many people are talking about that. We’ve got the scare of Ebola going on. We’ve got an open border with an insurgent of — a surge of insurgents coming across that border into the Unitded States. And we have potential for amnesty being granted this week. I’ll start with you, Senator Lundberg. What can we do, in the state, to combat some of these things? [pause] Senator Lundberg, are you with me? [pause] Do I still have Senator Lundberg? Senator Marble, are you there?
MARBLE: Yes, I am.
LUNDBERG: Ken, I was on —
MARBLE: Oh, there he is!
LUNDBERG: Sorry! I was on mute.
CLARK: Oh, okay! We’re back.
LUNDBERG: Got some quiet, yeah. When it comes to the immigration issues, we are held hostage by federal policy in almost every respect, even though we could get tougher with our requiring people to be here legally before they enjoy all of the benefits of living in Colorado. You know, we tried that back in 2006 with a special session and supposedly came up with some legislation that toughebned things up, but they only went a teeny little direction down the right path. You know, with just the Senate, we’re not going to make much progress — we can talk about it, we can pass bills, we can run resolutions, and get those though the Senate, but it’s not going to become law until we take the next step and take the House back, as well.
CLARK: Well, I would agree with you. Senator Marble, could you respond to that as well?
MARBLE: I’d just like to say that without leadership in the Governor’s position, we’re never going to see reforms here in the state of Colorado, as far as illegal immigration goes. What has happened in the state of Texas has been because of the actions taken by Governor Perry. And he put together a very good, multi-level layer of agencies to protect the United States from illegal immigration. And I say “to protect the United States”, not just Texas, because those illegals do not stick around once they cross the border. Those illegals infiltrate into the system, of the United States, and they bring the disease. They bring whatever from across the border — things we haven’t seen in decades and thought we had eradicated. Our whole country is at risk. The illegals, they migrate to other states at will, and that’s why I say, if we don’t have a governor step forward and take leadership, like that of Governor Perry of Texas, we don’t have a snowball’s chance in you-know-what of doing anything.
CLARK: Well, and what is interesting, though, is I was a part of a coalition that went down to the border. Both of you were in that coalition, as well. In fact, I believe I was your guest. I went down with you guys. And it was interesting because we were able to see first hand just how simple a problem this is to solve, and how lack of will — we don’t have any will on the federal level to solve this problem. Senator Lundberg, I’ll start with you.
LUNDBERG: You’re right! We could fix it. We could secure the border, if the federal government would show some backbone, even as the state of Texas has. Now, I’ll have to tell you, I was down in Texas this last weekend discussing this very issue with some members of the Texas legislature, and they did suggest that maybe Colorado could help foot the bill for security that Texas is providing. They’ve spent probably $100 million in the last several months, helping to show that you can secure the border. I’m all for Colorado stepping up and being a part of the solution. It’s just that, not being a border state, we don’t have quite the prerogative they do. And yet, we can’t let this rest. This is a big issue that is not going away. Indeed, the President, maybe in the next twenty-four hours, will start rushing down the other direction towards more and more amnesty. That’s nuts! That’s just going the wrong direction! You’ve got to first, secure the border. We can do it. We need to do it. In the Colorado Senate, we need to talk about it, and we need to promote it. But, we’ve got to realize that we can’t do it on our own.
CLARK: Senator, that is something Ix would definitely applaud funding. I think that is very important. I think it affects all of us, even in the state of Colorado. Senator Marble, what say you?
MARBLE: Well, unfortunately, I can’t hear what Senator Lundberg is saying, so i have no idea what that was. I just —. I don’t know—.
LUNDBERG: The audio is a little low for us hearing one another.
CLARK: [Clark paraphrases Senator Lundberg’s remarks]
MARBLE: I agree! It’s exactly the way I feel, and what I saw, and was my take-away from the Texas trip, down in McAllen. It is a crucial point. And beyond — if people could just go down and see and have the opportunity to see what we saw and do what we did, they would understand. This is so critical. And I agree with Senator Lundberg on what he said about were the steps to take. I believe it is very necessary.
Here’s Ken Clark’s entire email response to my request for a statement:
Clark: Pretty quick search of some of the news out there, pretty easy to find and most of the stories have imbedded links to the reports and documentation that back up the assertions. The evidence is overwhelming that we are facing a health risk due to our administration’s failure to protect our borders and as a result are continuing to put our citizens at risk.
Senator Marble is 100% correct when she states this fact and by failing to accept the truth and the evidence you are simply attempting to attack a public servant rather than seek the truth. She has been briefed by the Colorado Center for Disease Control as well and is privy to information that is not public, maybe you should try to get some information from them.
Jason, I have been to the boarder, so has Senator Marble, we have both seen first hand and have spoken with the people on the ground about what they/we are in fact facing. Denying these facts in a not so veiled attempt to discredit a siting Senator further demonstrates your bias when it comes to journalism. I would hope that you will start to seek and report the truth as this situation will continue to escalate based upon recent events. Now, Like Gruber, you have decided to put together a hit piece consisting of lies and deceit in order to continue to manipulate the public and your readers at the expense of an elected official who is simply tying to protect her constituents.
Protecting our borders is a national security issue first and foremost. Most of the good folks down on the border realize this, they are concerned about terrorism, they’re concerned about disease. they are concerned about the unknown factors coming across that border on a daily basis. The administration has been involved in a cover-up of where these people are headed throughout the United States since the beginning. And I believe every citizen of the United States has a right to know.
Let me know if you need me to do any more research for you.
This post was updated 11/25/14 with links from Clark that I left out of my original post.