Dan Caplis Show, Kristi Burton-Brown, May 20, 2019

Station:    KHOW, 630 am

Show:       Dan Caplis Show

Guests:    Burton-Brown,

Link:        https://www.spreaker.com/user/9808592/190520-kristi-burton-brown-on-why-shes-l

Date:       May 20, 2019

Topics:     Vice Chair of Colorado GOP, Recall Tom Sullivan, House District 37, Broken Campaign Promises, Petition, signatures, No Knock Raids, Proposition 112, National Popular Vote, Senate Bill 181, Parental Rights, Arapahoe County, Swing District, Republican District, California, Undervotes, Coal Jobs, Oil and Gas Jobs, Steel Jobs, Red Flag Bill

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HOST DAN CAPLIS [00:00:01] Let’s go to the VIP line. Kristi Burton Brown [is] kind enough to join us. [We have] been talking to Kristi on air for a long, long time even though she is very young. That’s because she’s been doing great things since she was very, very young. She joins us today, not in her capacity as vice chair of the Colorado GOP, but personally, and it’s in that capacity that she’s leading the recall effort against Tom Sullivan, a Democrat state Rep[resentative] in District 37. Kristi, welcome back to the show!

NEWLY ELECTED VICE-CHAIR OF THE COLOLRADO GOP & FILING AGENT ON THE SULLIVAN RECALL PETITION, KRISTI BURTON-BROWN [00:00:30] Thanks so much for having me, Dan. [It is] always fun to be on with you.

CAPLIS [00:00:32] Yeah, it is!  It’s fun to have you.  And I talked to John Caldara earlier about his opinion piece in The [Denver] Post where — you know, and as Jon said, he’d be very happy to see Tom Sullivan recalled, just doesn’t think it’s doable for the reasons he laid out.  [He] thinks the resources are better spent in other recall efforts. So, tell the folks why you’re involved in this. I know you don’t get involved in causes lightly, and once you’re in, you’re all in. So, tell folks about that.

BURTON-BROWN [00:00:59] True, Dan, that’s true!  Yeah, the reason I filed this recall in House District 37 is I live here. I’ve lived here for a decade, ever since I got married. I’m a mom. I raise my kids here. I’ve been watching the legislature very closely this session. I saw what Tom Sullivan did as our representative.  And he did not listen to the families and the parents in our district. He broke campaign promises. This — this — Dan, this goes far beyond the red flag bill. If you look in the language in the recall petition, that is not all this is about.  This is about broken promises, a record of slamming down the voices of parents who go to the Capitol, and overreach by the Democrats, including Representative Sullivan.

CAPLIS [00:01:41] Now, what broken promises do you see that you’d consider most critical?

BURTON-BROWN [00:01:47] I think one of the main ones, Dan, is the ones affecting our jobs in Colorado. Representative Sullivan, he ran on this specific promise:  He said that he would help Colorado families — and this is a quote from his campaign website — “get and keep good paying jobs.” That’s what he said. That’s what he campaigned on in my neighborhood. But he voted for [SB] 181, which will take oil and gas and steel jobs out of this state. He voted to take coal jobs out of the state. And as you know, when jobs and industries go away from Colorado, all of our families are affected, no matter what district we live in. And it is key for a district that has young families like House District 37 that our representative doesn’t take away jobs from families in Colorado. He said he wouldn’t. But he did it anyway.

CAPLIS [00:02:33] Yeah, and Kristi, during the campaign — and this is one thing I want to talk to you, get your general philosophy on this. I know there are some folks from the camp of, “Hey! Wait a second! If there is a chance to successfully recall somebody who’s bad on the important issues, we want to go recall him no matter what.” There are other folks who say, “Well, even if we can recall him I don’t believe in recalls unless he’s violating a promise.”  To your last point, did he comment — do you remember, do you know? —  Did he comment at all on, say, [Proposition] 112 or on oil and gas industry during the campaign?  Was that a focus?

BURTON-BROWN [00:03:09] You know, I don’t think there was a focus that he campaigned on, to my knowledge. He just talked about jobs in general, and said that was one of his key issues, was not taking away jobs from families in Colorado. And then he went and did it anyway.

CAPLIS [00:03:24] And it seems to me that National Popular Vote — and I don’t claim to be a political scientist, but just as a guy — it seems to me that National Popular Vote, all these Democrats who voted to give the influence of Colorado away to California, each and every one of them deserve recall on that, alone. But that brings me to the question of — do you know?– did that even come up in his campaign? Did he take a position on National Popular Vote in the campaign?

BURTON-BROWN [00:03:49] I don’t really think it’s something that most of the Democrat reps campaigned on. And I know you’re familiar with this, Dan. You see it happen all the time. But that’s one thing the Democrats do consistently in Colorado, is they campaign using slogans they think people want to hear, they talk about issues — you know — people are talking about, all the while knowing what they’re actually going to do when they get up there. And then when they have the power, right slam down everything they wanted to do.

CAPLIS [00:04:14] Yeah, there’s no question about that. No question!

BURTON-BROWN [00:04:17] The National Popular Vote is name politician. You call ahead in their important thing in this recall is, of course, the mainstream media and the Democrats want to talk about how this is all about red flag bill, gun control. But we actually have to look beyond that and say, “What were the other things he voted on?”  No legislator has the right to be a single issue politician, no matter how extremely tragic their personal story [is], no one can go govern on one issue alone and say that gives them the right to stay in office. And then secondly, while he did campaign on the red flag bill, he did not go door to door in my neighborhood and tell people he was going to vote for a no-knock raid to be included in this bill, where again, we have young families in my district. If someone says you’re a threat and the judge agrees on practically no evidence whatsoever, they can come to your house in the middle of the night, your children are going to be terrified, and come in your house, they take away your property.  And there’s not anything you can do to defend yourself. The burden of proof actually goes on you! He did not campaign on no-knock raids like that, or I guarantee you he wouldn’t have won the district. He didn’t campaign on it, but he went and did it.

CAPLIS [00:05:28] And I completely agree with you on substance. I guess the question, Kristi, — and you know your district, I don’t. But the question is, does that get too complicated? Does it get too detailed? Because I think if the polling is correct, you know, there’s general support in Colorado across party lines for the concept of a red flag bill, but that means so many different things to so many people. This abomination, this assault on multiple constitutional rights, you know, that the Democrats imposed on Colorado under the guise of a red flag bill, you know, outrageous! But does that get too complicated for a recall election?

BURTON-BROWN [00:06:05] You know, here’s why I don’t think it does. [It’s a] very valid question, but here’s why I don’t think it does. Recalls, by nature, require you to go door to door and talk to citizens. And as we’ve been doing that — we have volunteers who are already doing that — and they just went down a street, didn’t pay attention to who is Republican, Democrat, unaffiliated — went down the street and talked to everyone who would answer their door, got 20 signatures, right off the bat, extremely fast. This was the first day we were collecting signatures. And how they did it — and people were actually really interested in hearing how Representative Sullivan voted. And they literally went down a list and said, “Did you know he did this?” and, “did you know he voted against parental rights in this way?”  And people were really engaged and interested. The thing is, it creates this conversation with the voters that they’re lacking from the politicians, who go — you know — cram their agenda down their throats at the Capitol, but don’t come home and tell people what actually went on. So when you go door to door and have that opportunity to talk to people and actually educate them on what happened, that’s the kind of conversation I think our party needs to have.

CAPLIS [00:07:06] I’m surprised and impressed that many people answered the door!  But, um–.

BURTON-BROWN [00:07:10] I know, right?

CAPLIS [00:07:10] Hopefully, that’s a time we live in, now. So, Kristi, a lot of it I think seems to come down to, can you win this?  And by the way, do you agree with the premise that if you lose the recall, it strengthens Sullivan’s hand, it strengthens the hand of those behind the red flag bill, behind national popular vote, etc.?

BURTON-BROWN [00:07:30] You know, I think that premise is debatable because there’s so much else we get out of attempting a recall here. Voters seeing that our party, our volunteers are going around and actually talking to voters — which is something they’ve expressed they don’t think the Republican Party does — and so we’re gonna go out and talk to people, just because a lot of people on the ground are Republicans who are trying to recall him. And we get a lot of voter I.D. data and know which unaffiliateds, which Democrats are mad about which issues the Democrats have been doing. So, there’s a lot to gain on this, whether or not a recall is successful. I think one of the key things that has to be looked at though is, what are the demographics of House District 37? I’ve lived here for a decade. We’re a Republican district. We’re really not a swing district. Our Republican — we’ve always had a Republican representative since I’ve lived here, and long before. Usually they win by 9 percentage points. And there was a pretty big undervote, actually, in 2018, when Representative Sullivan won. Three thousand people — three thousand vote undervoted. Anyway, it’s pretty easily winnable. This is a strong Republican district. I’m not too afraid of the prospect of winning here.

CAPLIS [00:08:37] How much did he win by, Kristi?

BURTON-BROWN [00:08:38] He won by about 3 thousand votes.

CAPLIS [00:08:44] You broke up on me a little bit, sorry.

BURTON-BROWN [00:08:47] — along with 5,000 votes.

CAPLIS [00:08:47] About five –. And I assume that the President not winning in that district, you think, had more to do with the President and difficulties he had with women in some parts of the country?

BURTON-BROWN [00:09:01] Well, you know, I think there’s a lot of issues you can look at in 2018 –.  And, sorry, if I wasn’t clear, Sullivan won by 2 or 3,000 votes.

CAPLIS [00:09:06] Right. Oh! He did, okay. Okay.

BURTON-BROWN [00:09:06] Wist won by 5,000 votes.

CAPLIS [00:09:06] Oh, okay! Okay!

BURTON-BROWN [00:09:06] And that’s a far more typical spread in our district, is 9 percentage points for the Republican.

CAPLIS [00:09:09] Yeah, yeah. Gotcha.

BURTON-BROWN [00:09:18] So, ’18 was just a weird year in our district and all across Arapahoe County, for a multitude of reasons.  But this district is solidly Republican.

CAPLIS [00:09:26] Yeah.  Well, I got to tell you — you know, God love you, for fighting. I mea, I think this is a tough one, in the sense I think people on both sides of this have good arguments for and against.  And you know, it’s not like me to straddle the fence. I’m trying to figure out — for what it’s worth, which is probably nothing — where I’m at on this. But God love you for fighting because I understand that argument about, “Wait a second! What’s being done to this state is so bad!”  We’ve just got to be out there fighting where ever we have a chance.  And I understand your argument as to why you have the chance. In the last minute we have together, Kristi, I do think that there’s a very legitimate question as to whether the absolute horror that the Tom Sullivan suffered with the loss of his son is going to be the kind of factor in a race like this that just makes it impossible to succeed in a recall. And I’m sure he’d give everything he has, including his life, to have that not be a factor, to have his son back. But given the reality on the ground, what do you think of that?

BURTON-BROWN [00:10:28] Yeah, and without a doubt, this is one of the worst things any parent could have happen to them. As a fellow parent, I mean, I think the only thing I can say is how sorry I am that that happened to him. That’s an incredible tragedy. That said, I don’t think anyone’s tragic story gives them the right to be a single issue legislator. And I think that’s something that people of my district really identify with because we have kids, too. And we want a representative who governs in a whole perspective, for our kids on a lot of issues, and for our families to keep jobs, and for our vote to stay here and not go to California. [Burton-Brown’s phone signal breaks up, causing her preface to this comment as being unintelligible.]  And that’s what we want our legislators to do, no matter how much we identify with his story.

CAPLIS [00:11:13] Well, Kristi, [we] really appreciate the time. And again, I haven’t polled on this or anything else but I would have to believe that National Popular Vote — you know, that vote to actually give away our influence to another state, that’s something everybody understands, everybody across party lines understands, and so I would hope that that — in and of itself — would allow a recall in any close district to succeed. But [I] wish you the best!  Feel free to drop in any time. We always love having you on our air.

BURTON-BROWN [00:11:41] Thanks, Dan. I really appreciate it.