Chuck & Julie Show, Tim Neville, September 26, 2017

Station:    KNUS, 710 am

Show:       Chuck & Julie Show

Guests:    Neville, Tim


Date:        September 26, 2017

Topics:    2017 Special Session, Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, Sen. Kevin Grantham, Kent Thiry, Open Primaries, Southern Poverty Law Center, Senate Bill 267, SB17-267, Hickenlooper, Brownstein, Hayak, Farber, Lobbying, John Kasich,

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HOST CHUCK BONNIWELL: It’s 2:00, and we’ve got one of our favorites with us.  State Senator Tim Neville, ranked “A” on the Principles of Liberty [scorecard], which is the only system I trust anymore.  All the rest of them, I believe, have been tainted!


BONNIWELL:  Tim, thanks for joining us!

COLORADO STATE SENATOR TIM NEVILLE:  Hey! Glad to join you, Chuck and Julie!  How are you guys doing today?

BONNIWELL:  We’re great.

HAYDEN:  Good!  We’re good. Hey, wanted to talk to you a little bit about – I saw your column in coloradopolitics[.com] a couple days ago, and, you know  — “Attacks on Free Speech Aren’t Just Confined to College Campuses.”  Yesterday, we had Pam Geller on, talking about, you know, how at Berkeley they were refusing to let her and Milo [Yianopoulos] speak. And they let them kind of come, but locked the doors, and they wouldn’t let the people in.  And you start off with what I think is an interesting point. You wouldn’t think you would need legislation to protect the First Amendment on college campuses, of all places.  But you did, and you did pass some legislation.  Why don’t you tell us, first, what that does, and then why – what is happening that it is even necessary?

NEVILLE:   [chuckles]  Well, I guess what’s happening – like anything else – you have to bring attention to something when basic rights are not being protected, and they haven’t been on college campuses for quite a while. And we also saw that it was going to get worse. We saw what was happening – you know, [I] saw what was happening out in places like Berkeley and other colleges, and realized that there had to be some things happening in Colorado. And when we delved into a little bit more, we started hearing stories about people that were being disenfranchised, or barriers that were being put up that were not reasonable barriers to, uh – or, uh, reasonable reasons for inciting or basically eliminating free speech.

HAYDEN:  Like, can you tell us about some of them?

NEVILLE:  Yeah.  I mean, you know, when someone — something very simple – like, if you’re going to do a registration on campus – a voter registration — and then someone comes along and says, “Well, you’re in a public space. That’s not a problem, but you have to – you know – file for a permit. And we’ll let you know in two weeks.”

BONNIWELL:  [laughing] yeah!

HAYDEN:  Oh!  Well, that’s sounds like – I was –

BONNIWELL:  [facetiously] “We’ll let you know after the registration period ends!”

HAYDEN:  I was in Mexico, one time, and when we parked the car — working on a story.  And the guy is like, “You have to pay the ‘parking the car’ fee.”  You know?

BONNIWELL:  [laughs]

HAYDEN:  “Oh! Okay.”

NEVILLE:  I mean, sometimes they just see you coming. But I think what happens a lot on college campuses is just that administrations run scared. And they have to realize that they have a responsibility to promote free speech. And it can’t be – the other thing that frustrated the heck out of me were these free speech zones. We call them Quarantine Zones.


NEVILLE: First Amendment Quarantine Zones.


NEVILLE:  You know, the idea that, yeah, you can have free speech if it’s in this little zone, probably where no one can hear you, away from everyone else. And it sounds sort of like what you’re saying is happening with Milo and you know, that instance in Berkeley.  I mean, yeah, they’ll put you in a little cage, and uh, “Hey, we’ll have the free speech people right here!” And [inaudible].

BONNIWELL:  Well, that’s really what they did at the Democratic National Convention, because they wanted [inaudible].

HAYDEN: Yeah, they had the pen for the protestors.

BONNIWELL:  Yeah.  “Here you go! Here’s a nice pen for you!” And everybody was thrilled about that. I wasn’t so thrilled with that.

HAYDEN:  No, no, I covered that, too, and none of the protestors went there. Well, what about – let me ask you – so, what does your legislation – it was a bipartisan, um –

BONNIWELL:  I can’t believe that.

HAYDEN:  Well, which is good. Democrats –

BONNIWELL:  What Democrats? They don’t believe in free speech!

NEVILLE:  [laughs]

HAYDEN:  What does it do?

BONNIWELL:  They don’t! I mean, there’s a few Alan Dershowitzes in the world, but by and large, they believe free speech is whatever is left-wing speech. And anything other than that is hate speech.

HAYDEN: Hate speech!

BONNIWELL: And whatever Tim Neville has to say is clearly hate speech.

HAYDEN:  [chuckles]

NEVILLE:  [chuckles] Well, not that – uh, you know, it was kind of interesting. First, I think the biggest bridge we had to cross was the fact that when we had our first committee hearing and I sat down and I looked at the Democrats on the education committee that I serve with, and I said – finally said in my closing argument, “You know, this isn’t about me. This is about free speech.”

BONNIWELL:  [hearty laughter]

NEVILLE:  And I want you to think about — no matter what my political views might be—I want you to imagine a world that might be drastically changed in another eight years or 16 years, let’s say if — you know, if the people that you feel you do not agree with are in charge. And what if they came down and said that we’re going to limit free speech? So it’s one of those things. You have to understand, you can’t just go by where you’re at right now. You have to take, you know, the long-term view.  And we’ve taken that with free speech. And it has worked pretty good for us for several hundred years. And so why would we not make sure that we empower that more, and take care of some of these issues that we’re seeing on free speech campuses –, or speech campuses now.

BONNIWELL:  Yeah, if you really study it – you know, studying free speech and how it’s violated, and the famous saying, you can’t yell “Fire!”  in a theater.  That comes from a case in which somebody just said, “I oppose the draft!” And they arrested him, and jailed him.


BONNIWELL:  And post-WWI, it came under the Sedition Acts of 1918

NEVILLE:  The Alien Sedition Act. Yeah.

BONNIWELL:  Well, and 1888 was the famous one, of Adams. So if you think that we’ve had 200 years of free speech – MMAAAAAA [imitating a buzzer sound]. We’ve had to constantly fight for it and re-fight for it and re-fight for it. And we’re re-fighting for it again.

NEVILLE:  Well, it’s always the case. And it’s unfortunate that we have to, but when you take a look at this. What people are attempting to do — you know, the other thing, is that we look at the polls and we realize that many millennials believe, uh, that uh —


HAYDEN:  Yeah!


BONNIWELL:  Yeah, yeah —

HAYDEN:  — that it’s okay!

NEVILLE:  Yeah! They’re willing! They’re willing to give away – you know — basically their free speech rights and it’s sort of frustrating, when you think many of these universities were the birthplace of possibly radical free speech in the 60s and 70s. And now they’ve become, you know, the major oppressors of free speech currently.

BONNIWELL:  Well, I like the one where they said, shockingly, millennials would give up voting rights for two years in return for getting rid of their student debt.  And you kind of go, “Are you kidding me?!”  You could go up to about – I tell you what.  If you won’t vote for the next two years, I’ll give you $100,000.”  You know, you’re going to get 99% participation on that!  It’s not just millennials!  Egad!  I mean, people bought votes with beers before!  Forget about, you know, six figures!

HAYDEN:  In Chicago, they did it with garbage cans!

BONNIWELL:  Yeah! Yeah, garbage cans!  For six figures, get rid of your vote?! Egad! Who are they kidding?

HAYDEN:  We’re talking with Senator Tim Neville, who passed some bipartisan legislation regarding protecting free speech.  Do you – at the end of your column, though, you talk about the Southern poverty Law Center and that the thing that — that we’re probably not done here, yet. And let me ask you about that. And you know, if you don’t want to comment about this, I know it, because I’m kind of hitting you off – you know, maybe off guard a little bit.

BONNIWELL:  Nah, go ahead. Go ahead.

NEVILLE:  No, that’s fine.

HAYDEN:  But what do you think of – I know. You’re like, “Hit me! Hit me!”  Um, what do you think about Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, and what he did with that VDare group – and whatever group it was, where he just said – and it was kind of vague, is was what he meant by this –

BONNIWELL:   “I’ll withdraw all city services to your event.”

HAYDEN:  “We’ll withdraw city services.”  What do you think about something like that?

NEVILLE:  Well, he takes an oath to uphold the Constitution. So —

BONNIWELL:  No, no, no, no!  John Suthers –.

NEVILLE:  –he shouldn’t be violating his oath.

BONNIWELL:  No, John Suthers never –

HAYDEN:  You’d think he’d know about that, as a former Attorney General.

BONNIWELL:  No, he didn’t take that one.  He got — He skipped that day.

NEVILLE:  [laughs]

BONNIWELL:  [laughs]

NEVILLE:  No, I mean, he was a former Attorney General! You’re exactly right, Julie. And he has the responsibility to provide law and order, and protect. And I think he’s even, you know, passed a few taxes to supposedly do that down there.

BONNIWELL:  Fees!  No, no!  They’re not taxes!  They’re fees!  They’re just simply fees!

HAYDEN:    [laughs]

NEVILLE:  [laughs] Fees!  Excuse me!  Whatever.


HAYDEN:  Sewer – we’ve had that on the show –.

NEVILLE:  [inaudible] controls the Supreme Court!

BONNIWELL:  Yeah, right!  And getting to that, which is interesting. Now, the governor has called a special session — which I guess will start next week – to fix a quote/unquote “typo”. And it’s doing two things. Was it really a typo? Or does it  really go to debt reduction, which we know is –

HAYDEN:  We’re talking about the Hospital Provider Fee and the –.

BONNIWELL:  Hospital Provider Fee.


BONNIWELL:  And it has gone – it has also brought another thing. And it has caused – at least [among] portions of the grassroots Republican Party, [to be] just livid about the portrayal of Grantham, Jerry Sonnenberg. And I understand there is this special award that is being given out now —  they’re getting it together for the dinner.  But they call it the John Kerry “I voted for it before I voted against it” [Award], in order to give Owen Hill his special John Kerry statue.  People are outraged at what the Republican Party did, in the last seconds, sleazily, in the dark of night. And now it’s being brought up to everybody, of how much the Republicans at the legislature sold them down the drain. Forget about seven-and-a-half years of saying, “Golly gee! Repeal and replace?  Oh, we didn’t mean that!” “Oh, we love TABOR, we love smaller — oh, forget about that! We just got one by, and we called it Rural Hospital Help!”  I mean, is it – do any of the legislators feel the hatred some people are feeling for them?

NEVILLE:  Well, no. We just feel love. I mean, it’s only just pure, unadulterated love that we feel all the time we are –.

BONNIWELL:  [laughs] I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!

HAYDEN:  [laughs] That Chuck just expressed there!

NEVILLE:  Yeah. No, here’s what I can tell you.  That — I mean, there was a tremendous amount of frustration around Senate Bill 267. I know I voiced my frustration. I felt it was unconstitutional in so many different ways. It was bad policy. It violated the ‘single-subject’ [clause], the $600 million versus $200 million a reset on Taxpayer Bill of Rights. It was bad in so many ways. And it passed and now all of a sudden, of course, what goes wrong when you do a 70 page strike below in the dead of night and the next day you try to rush it through the Appropriations Committee and on to the floor, to pass it in the last three days. What could go wrong, right?

HAYDEN:  Yeah.

BONNIWELL:  Nothing! Not a thing. Not a thing.

NEVILLE:  [Inaudible – “Anything could go wrong”???].

HAYDEN:  So, what’s — .

NEVILLE:  I think that the governor’s call– you know, as I – you know, somebody asked me what I thought about it.  And I said, “Well, the governor has the right, has the constitutional right, to call a special session.  You would think he would do it for something that is extremely important to all Coloradans. And so, just remember: this started out as the Rural Sustainability Bill.

BONNIWELL:  [laughs]

NEVILLE:  So, I’m trying to figure out why you call a special session for the Scientific Cultural Facility District, which is a very small amount.  But the other big one is RTD–Regional Transportation. I’m not sure how that relates to rural Colorado and  — you know, helping rural Colorado sustain itself.  It’s more like — as I called it — the governor calling a special session to make Colorado safer for more government.

HAYDEN:  Well, is he doing that – we’re talking with Senator Neville, Colorado legislator. Is he doing this, do you think, to maybe –

BONNIWELL:  Because he just hates Jerry Sonnenberg.

HAYDEN:  Yeah! To expose –

BONNIWELL:  And he wants to expose Jerry Sonnenberg, so if everybody didn’t hate Jerry Sonnenberg before, they’ve now learned to hate Jerry Sonnenberg.

HAYDEN:  I mean, is he playing politics, here? I know that would be shocking, but — .

NEVILLE:  Well, I believe that the governor and his staff are always playing politics — or almost always. I mean, I think there are times when they realize that politics is — the way politics is played is beneficial if they do something that may be positive. But in this case I think it’s purely politics. Where was the governor all these months when we realized that there was an issue with this bill and the funding. That was that was found out at the end of May. Where was he? He was gone. He was working with John Kasich.

HAYDEN:  He was drafting the healthcare bill.

NEVILLE:  Yeah, that’s right!  That’s right.  And his beloved ‘not interested in political aspirations’ Lieutenant Governor, Donna Lynne, who is running for Governor. And she is from Kaiser Permanente.

NEVILLE:  Right. But not [inaudible]. No, no.  But now to come back and ask us to come back and violate the Constitution once again, because when I read the Constitution – I think it’s Article 10, section 20 of the Constitution — it says, it states basically that if you have to pass a tax or if you’re going to start collecting the tax, or —  it has to be approved by the people of Colorado. It doesn’t matter if it was a mistake made by bureaucrats in the dead of night, trying to push something through. But that tax is not being collected currently. It’s not being collected. So, it’s a new collection of a tax.


NEVILLE:  And the way I read that is it would require a referendum to the voters Colorado to be passed. And so, that’s what I see. And I don’t think the legislature has the power to wave its magic wand and — unless it’s violating the Constitution again, and I don’t want any part of that.

HAYDEN:  Well, will that come up in the special session, then?  I mean, is this going to be sort of a rubber stamp thing?  Or is this a chance – at least, for people like you –

BONNIWELL:   — to sell out by –

HAYDEN:  Well, no! But, you know, to fight to put a stop to this before it starts?

NEVILLE:  Well, you know, everybody has a vote, and there is a hundred of us. And so, trying to understand what everyone is going to do – but I do believe that – I’ve talked to many people and I have not heard anybody that has an appetite in the Republican Party for a special session and to violate the Constitution one more time.

BONNIWELL:  Well, so he called the session, do you have to go through committees –


BONNIWELL:  — or can you just have a vote of the assembly, separately?

HAYDEN:  Or just not show up?

BONNIWELL: Or can you just – yeah, I just — because we watched the Texas special session. They had to go through the committees and then down to floor. They had to go through the whole legislative process.  Does that apply here, or the rules don’t apply?

NEVILLE:  It does.


NEVILLE:  It does.  So, someone will probably present a bill — or multiple bills, based upon the call — and you know, of course, that is varying opinions of what that call actually covers.  And then we’ll go through the process, just like we do anywhere. If they start in the Senate, then they have to go to the House – [or] House to the Senate. And, you know, we’ll see where those bills go.

HAYDEN:  Now, can they bring up other stuff?

BONNIWELL:  Yeah. Are they limited by the call by the Governor?

NEVILLE:  They are limited by the call.

BONNIWELL:  Is Owen Hill going to get a chance to vote for it before he votes against it, again?

NEVILLE:  [chuckles] I don’t – I don’t know, Chuck. You’ll have to ask Owen what is up with that. But you know, I just – I kind of look at it like this:  I hope that, you know, it’s a new day.  And you know, you serve with all your friends, and I’m sure that they think I’m on the wrong side of things occasionally.  But, you know –

BONNIWELL:  Never!  Never.

NEVILLE:  [laughs] I appreciate that. But when you’re given the opportunity for another vote, just — you know — do the best you can, and let’s go from here. But, you know, again, I don’t think that — I think the Governor is wasting a lot of the taxpayers’ time and money.

BONNIWELL:  Well, it’s amazing –.

HAYDEN:  Well, particularly, because they go back in session in January, right?

NEVILLE:  That’s correct.

BONNIWELL:  Well, let me ask you about another one. We covered it in our newspaper, and we’ve covered it here at 710 KNUS, but it hasn’t been covered by the government controlled Denver Post, or the government controlled channels on 4, 7, and 9. [That is] the amazing deal where the Governor has taken taxpayer money to hand out to the Brownstein firm — $17,500 a month – in order for them to quote/unquote “lobby” —

HAYDEN:  — for his healthcare bill.

BONNIWELL:  — for his healthcare bill he came up with, with Kasich, as well as some vague things about National Service.  Is it really that bad? Is it just a huge slush fund that that you all control down there, [that] you can throw to Norm Brownstein and his minions?

NEVILLE:  Well, I haven’t gotten into that – to take a look at that fund. So, I’ll do some boning up on that. Chuck. But, when it comes to the entire budget, people wonder why we don’t have the money and then they talk about tax increases to take care of things like roads. It’s not a question of not having funds and not having money coming in to the state government. It’s a question of basically having politicians that won’t prioritize and actually provide some stewardship to basically fund the right things.  [inaudible]

BONNIWELL:  But is it okay for the Governor to hand over – Is it okay for the Governor –

NEVILLE:  No! no!

BONNIWELL:  – just to give $17,500 a month to Norm Brownstein because he sort of longs to?  And apparently, Doug Freidnash  — former partner of Norm Brownstein – was big and hot on it!  You know?  “Shove the Brownstein some money, buddy!”  Um–.

HAYDEN:  Well, to lobby –. Are you familiar with what we’re talking about?  David Sirota did a story in – was it International Business Times?


HAYDEN:  — where he talked about –.

NEVILLE:  I hadn’t read the article, yet. No.

BONNIWELL:  Well, you should read it.

HAYDEN:  Okay. Yeah. Well, what he says is — what he revealed through chasing campaign contributions – so, the Brownstein law firm, which contributed heavily to get Hickenlooper elected in the first place, is also a big lobbyist for the healthcare industry.


HAYDEN:  Coincidentally, they get Hickenlooper to sponsor this healthcare thing that he and Kasich are proposing. In the meantime, the Governor’s office is paying Brownstein –

BONNIWELL:  17-5 a month!

HAYDEN:  — a month! – to promote the healthcare bill that they gave him to promote, in the first place.  And it’s like, “WUT?”

NEVILLE:  So, he’s on a retainer to represent the Governor? Is that what [inaudible]

BONNIWELL:  Yes. Mm-hmm. [then, correcting Neville] Well, yeah, the state of Colorado.

HAYDEN:  To represent the state of Colorado –

BONNIWELL:  The state of Colorado and Washington D.C.

HAYDEN:  Pushing for this legislation –


BONNIWELL:  I mean, it just seems so corrupt and dishonest.  It seems so much of a payoff to, “Okay. Yes, you raised money for my gubernatorial run. Now, I’ll hand you $17,500 a month to – wink, wink –

HAYDEN:  — to lobby for a proposal that you gave me in the first place, and are already are lobbying for for the healthcare industry.  It’s like they spent, like, $70,000 a month. And I go back to exactly what you said –.

BONNIWELL:  Not a month. To total

HAYDEN:  To total, since March. It’s like, like – I’m sure you guys in the legislature could find something else to do with the $17,500 a month that might actually benefit people, besides lobbyists.

NEVILLE:  Well, agreed. And I think that’s one of the things I love about serving on the legislative audit committee. We often have an opportunity to get into that.


NEVILLE:  So, that may be something we need to take a look at. Just a thought, there.

HAYDEN:  All right!

NEVILLE:  You know, because – it’s like anything else. You know, people say, “Well, this is legal.” Well, it’s not a question of everything being legal. It is the question of it being, you know, being proper. You know, proper stewardship of every dollar.

BONNIWELL:  Well, I’m not even sure – I’m not sure it’s even legal. But our crack Attorney General spends all her time getting a divorce, and figuring out who not to sue. So, we don’t need to worry about her getting in on the deal. I’m just – I’m not – Oh! Let me ask you one other question.

HAYDEN:  And then we’ll let you go.

BONNIWELL:  One more question:  What do you think about this wonderful deal where the Republican Party said, “No, no, no! We must bend to the will of the people and Kent Thiry! Oh, no! We don’t want to have our own primaries. No, no, no! We want primaries in which we have squishes elected!”  I mean, they didn’t even have the guts – they didn’t even have the guts to sue, saying 75 – you can’t impose supermajorities –

HAYDEN:  You’re talking about the special election Saturday.

BONNIWELL:  Yeah! Special election Saturday – that was an exercise in cowardice.  And every elected official they talked to – now, of course, it was The Denver Post – said, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no! I think we ought to have this open money pit primary, where no real conservative will ever get elected.”

HAYDEN:  So, Senator – [laughs] – what do you think?

BONNIWELL:  Not to editorialize my questions.

NEVILLE:  [very hearty laughter]  That’s what I love about –.

HAYDEN:  [facetiously, referring to Chuck]  He’s for it!  No —.

NEVILLE:  No, that’s good!  You know, I went down on Saturday and it was interesting because I had another event.  We didn’t know what day and time they were going to call the Executive Committee. Yeah, so, I had a commitment at the State Capital with the Pillars Fund and the Pillar Project. And from a priority standpoint I tried to go with that. But I had my — went down there and [asked] if they were going to make the call while I was going to be there, and actually called the subject. People had asked me how I was going to vote and I said, “Well, I’m going to vote consistently where I was when we saw these similar proposals come through the state legislature and I voted ‘no’.


NEVILLE:  I mean, Republicans should choose Republicans, and Democrats should choose Democrats.

BONNIWELL:  There you go!  There you go.

NEVILLE:  And it’s very easy for people to change parties, even in the last moment. So, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. A lot of people were trying to spin it different ways, but that’s why came down to. And, the other thing, too, Chuck and Julie, when you take a look at primary states, the more you put cost into –. Now, it really comes down to, Do you have to then basically almost run to general elections to get elected to all of this?


HAYDEN:  Yeah.

BONNIWELL:  What is going to happen is you’re going to sit at home, and if you’re smart, of course, you’re going to unregister from the Republican Party. Because then you get – and the Democratic Party, for that matter – because then you get two ballots.  And you kind of go, in my case, “Would I rather screw around with the Democrats this time and vote, you know – screw them up, or I’d like to vote for who I want in the Republican one.”  Everybody’s going to deregister. They’re going to deregister because that’s so much more fun to do. And I don’t think that the long-term things that that that sleazy Kent Thiry has imposed upon us are just beginning, are just beginning.  But, you know, [facetiously] I’m neutral!  I’m neutral on that one.

NEVILLE:  [hearty laughter] You’re not opinionated. You don’t’ have a strong opinion on it.  No, I think the funny thing is, though, that sometimes these people that have these manipulations, they’re sometimes surprised by the outcome. So on this, I’m not quite sure what the outcome is going to be.

HAYDEN:  that’s a Good point! That’s a good point! Unintended consequences!

BONNIWELL:  Senator, it’s always great to talk to you. You’re one of my heroes.

HAYDEN:  thank you very much!

NEVILLE:  You guys, too!  Hey, I appreciate it!  Keep the faith!