Media omission: Campaign-finance lawsuit turns up Koch activity in Woods/Sias race

December 23rd, 2014

Yesterday, I wrote about a couple of campaign-finance lawsuits, filed by conservative Matt Arnold’s Campaign Integrity Watchdog, which  could possibly expose whether top Republicans in Colorado knew about GOP-funded attacks on gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo.

Arnold has filed numerous other campaign-finance complaints this year on a variety of topics. See them by clicking on “Complaint Search” here and typing “Campaign Integrity Watchdog” in the “organization” line.

One complaint, in particular, illustrates Arnold’s persistence and shows the public benefits of disclosures required by campaign finance laws. Its story starts during this year’s GOP primary after Arnold noticed a website and Facebook ads attacking Republican State Senate candidate Laura Woods. This was clearly direct campaign activity, said Arnold, but the website didn’t disclose who paid for it, as required by Colorado law.

But the website’s host was listed, and after Arnold’s Integrity Campaign Watchdog filed a lawsuit, a judge issued a subpoena requiring the company to disclose who paid for the site. Arnold said the hosting company disclosed that it was working for GOP operative Alan Philp, who’s now associated with Aegis Strategic, a Koch funded outfit set up to elect “winnable” candidates.  Its president is talk-radio host and former Republican congressional candidate form Colorado Springs, Jeff Crank.

The case dragged on all summer, Arnold said, but eventually Philp “fingered Protect and Defend Colorado as responsible for the Woods website.”

So Arnold pursued a case against Protect and Defend Colorado, a registered campaign committee that supported GOP state senatorial candidate Lang Sias and opposed state senatorial candidate Laura Woods.

A hearing is scheduled, and Arnold, who’s not being paid for his work, says he now faces big bad lawyers from Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck, who are representing Protect and Defend Colorado.

“It’a people playing dirty in primaries. I was a victim of it, when I ran for CU Regent,” says Arnold. “So I’m sensitive. When your whole point is to hide behind a proxy server while you’re smearing someone, I think that’s despicable. If you want to criticize someone, man up and do so publicly, but don’t hide behind a shield of anonymity.”

An earlier version of this article referred to Aegis Strategic as Aegis Consulting, and it did not name Jeff Crank as President of the company. Sorry for the error

 

Media Omission: Lawsuits could illuminate if top Republicans knew of GOP-funded anti-Tancredo campaign

December 22nd, 2014

During this year’s GOP primary, top Colorado Republicans, including Colorado GOP Chair Ryan Call and Attorney General John Suthers, claimed to have no knowledge of a GOP-funded campaign attacking Republican candidates Tom Tancredo and Laura Woods.

Matt Arnold, who runs Campaign Integrity Watchdog, has a hard time believing this, and he thinks a couple of campaign-finance lawsuits he’s filed have a chance, even if it’s a bit of a long shot, of  clarifying things. See them by clicking on “Complaint Search” here and typing “Campaign Integrity Watchdog” in the “organization” line.

Arnold’s legal action follows up on revelations in July that the Republican Governors Association (RGA) funneled money through the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) to attack GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo.

The question is, can the discovery process during technical and narrow campaign-finance legal proceedings illuminate broader information indicating, for example, whether Ryan Call knew about RAGA’s involvement in the Tancredo attacks? Like Call, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, who’s on the board of RAGA, has also said he didn’t know about RAGA’s or the RGA’s role in the anti-Tancredo campaign.

Experts told me Arnold will have to be lucky if he can even use the discovery process during legal proceedings to turn up this information. Bu it’s not impossible and will depend on the timeline and substance of the cases, judicial discretion and other factors. Normally, campaign-finance lawsuits, especially if they don’t allege collaboration, are decided rather quickly, leaving little time between the hearing and a trial for much discovery, like depositions and document requests.

One of Arnold’s complaints alleges that Colorado Campaign for Jobs and Opportunity, a state campaign committee, violated campaign finance laws by listing contributions from Campaign for Jobs and Opportunity, a federal superpac that received money from RAGA, as in-kind expenditures.  And the federal Campaign for Jobs and Opportunity also failed to make any disclosure when it contributed to Colorado Campaign for Jobs and Opportunity, as required by state law, according to Arnold.

Another complaint alleges that the Colorado Republican Party Independent Expenditure Committee (CORE) did not report its website’s attack ads against Democrats during the final 60 days of the last election.

Arnold also alleges in this complaint that CORE illegally “coordinated fundraising activities (contributions), expenditures, and electioneering communications with one or more candidate committees”—opening up a legal process that could illuminate who knew about the anti-Tancredo campaign.

“Through ignorance or not caring, Ryan Call set up his donors to take a fall,” said Arnold, who is not known to defend Democrats very often and normally espouses conservative causes, like Clear the Bench.

“To me, it’s not about partisan politics,” said Arnold. “It’s about integrity. The political class is more interested in making themselves look good than in doing the right thing.”

For his part, Tancredo, who’s so angry at RGA President Chris Christie that he’s started a Stop Chris Christie PAC, praises Arnold’s legal work. Talking with his good friend KNUS’ Peter Boyles Dec. 17, Tancredo said:

TANCREDO: “I’m hoping that what happens with these complaints that have been filed by [Integrity Campaign Watchdog] and by Matt Arnold, I hope that most Republicans will at least find out about it, and remember this when it comes time to vote for leadership in this Party, here in Colorado, which will be, by the way, in February and March.”

Tancredo did not tell Boyles whom he’d back as a replacement for Call, but he did say:

TANCREDO: “Obama was the reason why, across the nation, the Republicans did as well as they did.  And in Colorado, they should have done a lot better, of course.”

“You understand that I believe — this is my personal belief, here–that Ryan Call, the Republican Party chair here in Colorado, is up to his nose in [the RGA/RAGA attacks]. I believe he knew about it,” Tancredo said to Boyles.

On another radio program, KNUS’s Jimmy Sengenberger Show, replayed on Saturday, Suthers responded to Tancredo directly:

SUTHERS: “I’m understanding that on your program, Tom Tancredo accused me of having knowledge of [the RAGA involvement in the Tancredo attacks], and I have no knowledge whatsoever of it,” said Suthers, adding later that he didn’t think it was appropriate for RAGA to attack Tancredo. “I don’t know how it happened. I do think, unfortunately, that some of these organizations are used for conduits. And it appears the governors came to the Republican AGs. I will tell you, it did not go through the executive committee as a whole. Whether the chairman sanctioned it or not, I don’t know. And to this day, I don’t know. And I’ve never had that clarified. I do not know how that happened.”

Buck spokesman unchallenged when he said Buck would have voted against budget bill

December 16th, 2014

Whether you’re a leftist blogger, a right-wing talk-radio host, or a sad-eyed dog, you know by now that a government shutdown would be a blow to the economy.

So if you hear of a politician saying he’d risk shutting down the government by voting against bipartisan budget legislation in Washington, you should ask for his thoughts about the well-known damage from such a vote.

But Fort Morgan KFTM radio host Jon Waters didn’t question former state Sen. Greg Brophy, U.S. Representative-elect Ken Buck’s new spokesperson, today when he stated that Buck would have voted against the Cromnibus bill.

BROPHY: Ken has said he wouldn’t have voted for it. I think he said that publicly on a radio show, so I’m not speaking out of school. I’ve got to be a little careful because I’m not speaking for myself. But, I mean, the whole thing represents absolute failure by Washington [D.C.] to work, and you have to put the blame squarely on Harry Reid’s shoulders….

WATERS: You mentioned that, right at the end, ‘governing by crisis,’ and passing legislation to avert crisis at the eleventh hour, which has been standard operating procedure for a number of years, now.

BROPHY: It has, and I think they like it that way back here, frankly, because it lets them put stuff into a bill that they otherwise may not be able to get passed. It’s a lack of leadership. And so, when there is no clear leadership, and there’s no clear lines of authority, bad things have happened throughout history. And, you know, when you don’t have regular order, you’ve got disorder. And that’s what we’ve had back here, and that’s what the Cromnibus and all the previous omnibus bills represented. And, you know, the Republicans have tried to stop this stuff, and most of the time the media blame them then for shutting down the government. And heck, it’s really Harry Reid and Barack Obama’s fault, but our team takes the blame. So, it’s made some of them gun shy, and that’s arguably why a bunch of the guys voted for the Cromnibus bill. And I think, you know, that maybe some of them are thinking, “Let’s just get this garbage behind us so that we can get on to starting fresh and doing things right, come January — show the people of America what real leadership looks like, what a government that’s here to work for them actually looks like. And it will be transparent and it will be done on time, and it won’t be crisis after crisis, which is where bad things happen. You let people jam stuff through, just because it’s a crisis, and you have to do it.

Some reporters frame Coffman vote as pro-immigrant, when it wasn’t

December 15th, 2014

Rep. Mike Coffman got a lot of credit from Denver media earlier this month when he voted against blocking Obama’s executive order allowing millions of immigrants with family ties in American to temporarily avoid deportation.

The Associated Press, for example, reported Dec. 4 that “Mike Coffman, who has also tacked to the center on immigration, was one of only seven House Republicans to vote to uphold Obama’s order from last month.” And the Durango Herald offered similar reporting.

But Coffman made it clear in a statement after the vote that he thought Obama’s executive order was unconstitutional, and that he was only voting against the legislation because, if passed, the bill would deceive Americans into believing Congress had but a check on Obama’s “overreach.”

So he managed to cast a pro-immigrant vote, even though he maintained and reiterated his anti-immigrant position in opposition to Obama’s initiative.

Some news outlets handled Coffman’s duplicity better than the AP did. The Denver Post and Fox 31 Denver, for example, ran Coffman’s entire statement, at least giving readers the chance to scratch their heads and wonder about it.

The Post’s Nancy Lofholm reported Coffman’s vote against blocking Obama’s program, but informed readers:

[I]n a statement on his nay vote on the Yoho bill, Coffman made clear his vote had nothing to do with support for Obama’s executive orders.

“I voted against H.R. 5797 because, although I strongly believe it is unconstitutional to have immigration policy made through executive orders and without consent of Congress, this legislation will only mislead the American people into believing that we are taking care of the problem when the only way to address President Obama’s overreach is either through the U.S. Supreme Court or through the appropriations process,” Coffman’s statement read

I’m hoping more reporters take notice next time, if Coffman’s position on a bill runs counter to his actual vote on it.

Fact Check: Police officers were leaving East High protest when struck

December 13th, 2014

Denver talk-radio host Dan Caplis implies in a Denver Post op-ed today that an East High School protest should be blamed for the serious injuries suffered by a Denver Police officer struck by a car near the demonstration.

KNUS 710-AM’s Caplis writes that the officer, John Adsit, “was horribly injured while trying to protect the lawbreakers.”

In fact, Adsit was hit by the car as he was returning to his beat after escorting the protesters on their march. The protest was still happening when Adsit was hit, but Adsit was going back to his 16th Street Mall assignment.

This fact was reported by Denver Post reporter Jesse Paul and Tim McGhee, who covered the accident December 3.

Paul’s reporting isn’t crystal clear on the matter, so I emailed him Saturday to confirm that my interpretation was correct. (Disclosure: My kids goes to East.)

Paul confirmed that, yes, Adsit was returning to his beat as the protest continued.

Not that it matters anyway. Adsit was struck by someone experiencing a medical problem. It had nothing to do with the protest. It was a random tragedy.

In any case, Caplis should set a better example for East students and the rest of us by making sure he gets his facts correct. And, of course, he should apologize for the error.

Watchdog reporting needed on Gardner

December 5th, 2014

Yesterday, Rep. Cory Gardner voted to halt Obama’s program to defer deportation of millions of immigrants who have children in our country.

Gardner voted in Aug. (during the election campaign) against halting Obama’s  program to defer deportations of young immigrants.

The two votes weren’t exactly identical, but they’re close enough to  make you wonder how Gardner reconciles the two. Yet, I can’t find a single reporter who asked him directly about the inconsistency.

Instead,  the Associated Press, Durango Herald, Fox 31 Denver, the Grand Junction Sentinel,  and The Denver Post all apparently relied on Gardner’s self-serving statement saying, in part, that “we owe it to generations past and generations to come to find a solution to our broken immigration system.”

It’s possible some reporters asked to speak with Gardner himself, but they didn’t report this. If so, they should have.

But it’s not too late to insist on talking to Gardner, if you’re a journalist who has access to him, to cover the basic journalistic function of calling out public officials on their inconsistencies between what’s done on the campaign trail and what happens in office.

A baby step in the right direction was provided during a Gardner interview Dec. 3 on SeriusXM’s new show, Yahoo! News on POTUS

Host Olivier Knox had the presence of mind to ask Gardner whether his “campaign talk” about making birth control pills available over the counter “can translate into legislative action.”

Gardner replied:

It needs to translate into policy action. The FDA has their approval process when it comes to prescription, over-the-counter move. I will certainly continue to support and urge, whether it’s legislative action. We’ve got to figure out the best policy option, the best way forward in making sure we have the continued fight for over-the-counter contraceptives, which I continue and will continue to support and push for. And so, we’ll be talking to the FDA and talking about how best to make that happen. It’s something Gov. Jindahl first proposed, ACOG, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, supported the move to over-the-counter contraceptions and it’s something we’ve got to encourage to happen here.

I give Knox credit here for asking the question, even though I’d have pressed Gardner to clarify his plan for implementation of a major campaign promise. Will he seek legislation if necessary? How long will he press the Administration? Etc.

Ditto for Gardner’s plan on immigration. If he’s against deferring deportations, then what’s he for? And how does it comport to his campaign promises?

I’m hoping we get this type of watch-dog attitude from reporters going forward on Gardner.

Media omission: Two CO State Senate leaders suggest helping to pay for TX border security program

December 4th, 2014

As House Republicans are poised to vote to stop Obama’s executive order to halt deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants, two Colorado State Senators are saying Colorado should contribute tax dollars to Texas Governor Rick Perry’s efforts to secure the southern border.

Calling Obama’s action “nuts” and arguing that “you’ve got to first secure the border,” Assistant Republican Majority Leader Kevin Lundberg said in a recent radio interview that Texas has “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.”

Tea Party radio host Ken Clark, who asked Lundberg about immigration during the interview, aired Nov. 19 on KLZ 560-AM, responded enthusiastically to Lundberg’s idea to give state money to Texas.

“Senator, that is something I would definitely applaud funding. I think that is very important,” Clark told Lundberg on air. “I think it affects all of us, even here in the state of Colorado. Senator Marble, what say you?”

“…I agree. It’s exactly the way I feel,” responded State Sen. Vicki Marble, who’s the new Republican State Senate Caucus Chair.

Both Marble and Lundberg told Clark they believe Texas is demonstrating to the federal government how to secure the border.

“We could secure the border if the federal government would show some backbone, even as the state of Texas has,” Lundberg told Clark.

“If people could just go down [to Texas] and see, and have the opportunity to see what we saw and do what we did, they would understand,” Marble told Clark. “This is so critical. And I agree with Senator Lundberg on what he said about the steps to take. I believe it is very necessary.”

Lundberg said Texas legislators asked him, during a November fact-finding mission to the Texas, if Colorado could help pay for Texas’ border security efforts.

Listen to Marble and Lundberg here:

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/co-state-senate-leadership-backs-spending-co-tax-money-on-border-security

Partial transcript of the discussion on KLZ 560-AM Nov. 19:

HOST KEN CLARK: It was interesting, because we were able to see firsthand just how simple a problem this is to solve and how we don’t have any will on the federal level to solve this problem. Senator Lundberg, I’ll start with you.

SENATOR KEVIN 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 the 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’s 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 I would definitely applaud funding. I think that is very important. I think it affects all of us, even here in the state of Colorado. Senator Marble, what say you?

SENATOR VICKI MARBLE: Senator, that is something I would definitely applaud funding. I think that is very important. I think it affects all of us, even here in the state of Colorado. Senator Marble, what say you?

SENATOR VICKI MARBLE: […] I agree. It’s exactly the way I feel, and what I saw, and was my take-away from the Texas trip down to 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 the steps to take. I believe it is very necessary.

More on why we know immigrants aren’t spreading disease

December 1st, 2014

Last week I reported that Tea-Party radio hosts Ken Clark (KLZ 560-AM) and Peter Boyles (KNUS 710-AM), along with Colorado’s GOP State Senate Caucus Chair Vicki Marble, believe undocumented immigrants are spreading disease in America.

How do we know that Marble is wrong when she says undocumented immigrants “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.”

There’s no credible evidence for this, like there wasn’t for attacks on immigrants throughout American history, but how do we know these kinds of things?

“You have to assume that if [undocumented immigrants] get sick they are going to get medical care or die,” said Dr. Michelle Barron in the infectious disease department of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “There is a long list of diseases that hospitals must report to the health department. Tuberculosis. Measles. Let’s say you came to the emergency room after traveling in Russia, and you have measles. That’s considered 24-hour-reportable. You would then be contacted by the health department and asked questions about vaccinations and where you’ve been. They would identify how big of a scope this would be.”

“Public health departments actually report these things,” Barron continued. “There’s public reporting. The information wouldn’t be hidden in the background because of a political agenda. It’s part of the reporting that has to happen. If there is a trend, that would be investigated.”

And, she added, if a serious disease outbreak occurred, it would be “all over the news,” not left to the investigators on talk radio only.

But what happens if we can’t find the immigrants, I asked.

“The public health department has lots of experience hunting people down,” she said. “They will go to your door. There are always the few people who won’t talk or answer the door, but they have their networks of people who will talk, even in homeless communities. Homeless people don’t want to get disease either. They will talk. The public health department is more savvy than people realize.”

How to convince skeptics like Clark and Marble?

“Really and truly, you have to trust that the health care workers are doing the right thing,” said Barron. “If you have already decided what you feel about this, no matter what evidence you are presented with, you are not going to believe it.”

For more information, including a transcript of the Marble interview, click here.

Marble invites Tea-Party radio host to report from Senate chambers

November 26th, 2014

I criticized conservative KLZ talk-radio host Ken Clark yesterday for spreading misinformation about undocumented immigrants, but one thing Clark and I agree on is that the Colorado General Assembly should figure out a way to be more open to non-journalists who report or comment on the happenings there.

And it looks like the new Republican leadership in the Colorado Senate may be planning to shake things up, and help guys like Clark get more access.

I’m not sure what the fairest way to handle access and/or press credentials is, but whatever Senate Republicans do, I hope it’s even-handed.

Judging from this interesting conversation on the topic (below), there are hints it will be fair (a promise to give everyone a “even shot” and hints that it won’t be (a personal invitation to Clark to report from the Senate “chambers”).

The discussion occurred Nov. 19 on KLZ’s 560-AM’s nooner show, Freedom 560, among Clark, Sen. Kevin Lundberg, Assistant Majority Leader, and Sen. Vicki Marble, GOP Senate Caucus Chair. The topic was Clark’s desire to have more access at the Capitol:

CLARK: Well, and I’m going to ask you one more question, and this is on a personal note, because as you are both painfully aware, I have been personally kicked off the floor of the House. I’ve been personally kicked off the floor of the Senate, and I was denied press credentials, because — whatever. They came up with a whole bunch of different excuses, and the press credentialing is controlled through the Senate. So, I guess I can assume that you guys aren’t going to kick me off the floor of the Senate this year.

LUNDBERG: [laughs] Ken, I have no intention of doing that. We need that transparency that allows everybody on, including incredibly popular radio hosts who talk about political issues every day of the week.

CLARK: Senator Marble?

MARBLE: I agree. I think you should have a seat right next to the [Senate] President, Bill Cadman.

CLARK: [laughs] We’ll see if Bill goes for that!

LUNDBERG: Well, I’m just going to give you an even shot with everybody else, Ken.

CLARK: Well, Senator Lundberg and Senator Marble, it was you two that went to bat to make sure that that [ban] was revoked, and it didn’t last very long. I think on the floor of the Senate, it was maybe a fifteen minute ban. That was it, because you guys raised holy hell and got that reversed. So, I appreciate that, I really do. I’m not holding out any hope for what might happen to me on the floor of the House. I will wear Kevlar. I will make sure that I am well protected. So, that will be good.

LUNDBERG: [laughs] Say no more.

CLARK: I think it’s going to also be imperative—and I’ll leave you with this, and I’ll give you each the last word. Senator Marble, I’ll start with you. It is going to be imperative that when you guys have bills that are coming through the Senate that you let people like me, Rich Bratten, Randy Corporon, Kris Cook, John Rush, —people know what is coming through. And I will be down there, fighting the battles with you guys on a daily basis. but it’s imperative that you reach out to us and make sure that we know the good things that you guys are doing so we can spread the word. And Senator Marble, how are you going to do that?

MARBLE: By keeping in very close touch with you, which, having you down at the Senate — you know — chambers, and having you at the Capitol everyday isn’t going to be very hard. If you don’t have the information, then it’s our fault. And I definitely can’t wait for the people of the state of Colorado to have a front and center seat with you, right there, giving the play by play. It’s about transparency, and believe me, we could not applaud your efforts of making everything transparent more. I thank you so much.

CLARK: Well, you know, that’s just kind of what we do. I go down there to watch how the sausage is made, and it ain’t pretty. It’s not. Senator Lundberg?

LUNDBERG: Ken, you’re right! It’s a pretty ugly process. And, as it Winston Churchill observed, it’s the worst form of government except for everything else. And so, it’s got it’s wrinkles and warts that we have to look past and work beyond. But my goal is to —as it always has been— to make sure people can see as much of what is happening as possible. I continue to publish during session, a weekly email report that if anybody goes to my website — KevinLundberg.com —they can sign up directly, there. And of course, Ken, any time I can be on the air and talking with you, I’d be glad to, as well as everybody else there at KLZ. And I’ll admit, I talk on a few other radio stations as well, because I want the entire state to know what we are doing.

Listen to Clark, Marble and Lundberg talk about about press access at state Capitol 11-19-2014

Radio host mum as Sen. Marble delivers falsehood that immigrants bring “disease” thought to have been “eradicated”

November 25th, 2014

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:

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/state-sen-vicki-marble-claims-immigrants-bring-eradicated-disease-to-us

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.

http://www.westernjournalism.com/obama-adminstrations-immigration-policy-responsible-new-mystery-virus-causing-paralysis-children/

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/immigration/item/19260-disease-rampant-among-illegal-immigrants-housed-in-u-s-facilities

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/6/diseases-still-problem-illegal-immigrant-families/?page=all

http://www.examiner.com/article/cdc-admitted-disease-imported-as-states-data-reveals-illegal-immigrant-links

http://krqe.com/2014/07/09/report-claims-illegal-immigrants-carry-deadly-diseases/

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/08/07/Feds-Bend-CDC-Rules-for-Sick-Illegal-Immigrants

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/06/illegal_immigrant_flood_bringing_disease_outbreaks.html

http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21PR-Immigrants_Health_Schools_090214.html

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/08/01/unaccompanied-illegal-immigrant-kids-exposed-federal-agents-to-lice-scabies/

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/06/24/potential-for-a-public-health-disaster-illegal-immigrant-surge-leaves-officials-with-no-idea-which-diseases-are-coming-across/

http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2014/07/illegal-alien-minors-spreading-tb-ebola-dengue-swine-flu/

http://toprightnews.com/?p=3650

http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/mystery-virus-found-where-illegal-alien-kids-sent/

http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/31/dhs-report-tuberculosis-and-scabies-spreading-in-migrant-holding-facilities/

http://www.oig.dhs.gov/assets/Mgmt/2014/Over_Un_Ali_Chil.pdf

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Border-agents-in-Texas-warned-not-to-talk-to-media-5550807.php

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/14/border-patrol-media_n_5495545.html

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/06/13/Border-Patrol-Agents-Threatened-with-Criminal-Charges-for-Speaking-to-Reporters

This post was updated 11/25/14 with links from Clark that I left out of my original post.