Grassroots Radio Colorado, Chris Holbert, Ted Harvey, Kevin Grantham, & Tim Neville, May 15, 2012

Station:   560 AM, KLZ

Show:     Grassroots Radio Colorado

Guest:     Holbert, Harvey, Grantham, Neville


Date:      May 15, 2012

Topics:    Colorado Statehouse, Civil Unions, Senate Bill 93, Senate Memorial 3, Special Session, Hickenlooper, Majority, Frank McNulty, Speaker of the House, Press Corps, Pueblo Chieftain, Patrick Malone, Candidates, GOP, Democrats, CD-5, Tipton, House Committee, Senate Committee,

Click Here for Audio – CLIP 1



[From 5:24, speaking of the Civil Unions bill making its way through statehouse up until final days of the regular session.]

HOST KEN CLARK:  But if the Democrats in the Senate were serious about it and didn’t want to play games with it, wanted  a straight up or down vote, number one they wouldn’t have given us a bullying bill, as it was.  Because if you read this think, it wasn’t about civil unions.  It was about bullying religious institutions into doing what goes against their religious doctrine.  But that being said, they played all these wonderful games with it.  Then, the last night of the session, they try to pull a fast one on Speaker McNulty.  He stood up for it and he said, “Look, we’re at an impasse, we’re done.”  The next day Hickenlooper has to step into the fray and think about this.  He’s been governor for what, two years now?  He has yet to expend a nickel, a penny of political capital, and all of a sudden he goes all in on this one.  I mean, that to me is just remarkable.

REP. CHRIS HOLBERT:  Ken, I appreciate you making that observation, because it’s a story the press hasn’t spent a lot of time explaining to the public.  And that is that the civil unions bill sat in the Senate for 108 days.  It comes over to the House and when we count the 120 day session, that includes holidays and weekends.  That isn’t just workdays.  So we have twelve days to move that bill through the House.  Four of those days, at least were weekend days.  One of those days was the last day of the session where we couldn’t work on that bill anyomore.  And one of those days was Tuesday, last Tuesday when things blew up on the House floor.  So you distill that down and I think you come out with about six or seven days that the House had to move that bill through.  If a listener out there is a supporter of civil unions, please take that into consideration.  We had about six days in the House to move it through three committees and get it to the floor.  And the protest that the Democrats put up on that Tuesday night was — there’s about thirty bills on the second reading calendar, there, — move this one that just came through its last committee, move it to the top of the list.  Can that be done?  Yes, it can.  But it was frustrating to have all of this other important legislation for consideration in the House, and have the demand be, “Put this before everything else.”

[Discussion continues with observation that those thirty other bills died with civil unions, and that for two years the Democrats had majority in both houses of the statehouse, and held the governor’s office, and yet did not pass civil unions through when they had the votes and could have passed it easily.  They didn’t even introduce this bill in those two years.]

SEN.  TED HARVEY (at 8:06):   And the reason why they didn’t do that is, one, because Governor Ritter would not sign that bill, because of his religious convictions as a Catholic.   But also because the voters had said, “No, we do not want civil unions.”  They voted for that in 2006.  This is simply a political ploy to make the Speaker of the House Frank McNulty look bad, and to promote President Obama’s re-election because they have to win Colorado.  And they need some very wealthy, pro-homosexual activists’ money pumped into Colorado to be able to get the victory here in Colorado for the President.  And that’s the only reason why they did it.

KEN CLARK:  Well, namely Pat Stryker and Tim Gill.  I mean, I got no problem naming those guys.  But if you take a look at it from a 35,000 foot perch:   North Carolina, Tuesday, last week just voted civil unions down.  Then you’ve got Barak Obama coming out and saying, “Oh, I support gay marriage.”  Then, the next day, the very next day, and this is happening all over the country.  This war on women, it’s all part of the same assault on the first amendment.  Then the next day, the very next day, Hickenlooper calls a special session.  I can’t prove it, I have no idea, I’m just guessing here, but I just believe somebody from the White House called Hick and said, “Dude, you better do this.”

REP. HOLBERT:  I don’t think that’s a stretch of the imagination at all.

SEN. HARVEY:  I don’t think there was a phone call.  I think that they were in the office!

[Laughter]  [Unidentified speaker]:  Could be!

REP. HOLBERT:  One of the things that I’ve reminded people who’ve been upset about civil unions on one side or the other, is that as a Republican, as a member of the Liberty movement, I think our objective is to get more votes than Barak Obama.  And I believe that our opposition’s objective is to distract us from our goal.  And we saw that with Sandra Fluke – is that how you say her last name?

SEN. HARVEY:  I’m not even going to attempt it, so …

— and the manufactured war on woman.   Uh, we saw that with Trayvon, tragic incident in Florida

SEN. HARVEY:  Yeah!  We have our first, no… our first white Hispanic now!

REP. HOLBERT:  And now we have this with gay marriage and civil unions.  Some take exception when we call it gay marriage, but… I really see this so-called civil unions bill is that it really amended the stature pertaining to marriage.  And  I know Speaker McNulty has taken a lot of  grief for calling it gay marriage, but, …  Pointing to the FOX report that we saw today,  I think seven percent of voters nationally in this poll identified gay marriage as their top issue.  You know, I’d think this is probably not going to be the deciding factor.  It’s the economy, as Bill Clinton reminded us,. Um. It’s the economy.

[Ken Clark talks about his three major objections to the bill:  adoptions, religious and health professionals being required to serve civil union couples, and removing marriage definition from the state constitution.  The panel discusses the evolution of amendments in the Senate (Sen. Shawn Mitchell’s amendments) and how the Looper’s amendments from committee in the house, and how they where eliminated from the bill at the end of regular session.  Ted Harvey then talks at length about how he believes this civil union bill is really gay marriage disguised.  He cites the use of the term spouse in various parts of the bill.  And he points to the stipulation in the bill that marriages from other states be recognized in Colorado as part of the civil union bill make it plain that this bill is legitimizing and legalizing “gay marriage”]

[And then after the break at 13:50]

KEN CLARK:  But as a result of Speaker McNulty putting the civil unions bill in the quote unquote kill committee, there’s been some fallout.  And so today in Colorado Peak Politics, there was a headline – and this is a reporter from the Pueblo Chieftain, political beat writer, asks Speaker McNulty if he’s okay with being a bigot.  This is a beat reporter — an issues reporter.  This guy isn’t an op-ed reporter.  And you know, it’s not very often that I’m going to defend Frank McNulty on Grassroots radio but this is one of those times.  Last night, the political reporter fro the Pueblo Chieftain, Patrick Malone – Patrick, if you’re listening, I dare you to call in – forgot his job for a minute and suddeny thought he was an activist or an editorial writer and not a reporter in crossing the line.  Malone asks Speaker Frank McNulty who blocked the civil unions bill if he was concerned ‘at all that this seals your legacy as a bigot.’  Anybody?

[Laughter among panelists]

SEN. HARVEY:  It doesn’t surprise me.  I mean honestly, I was going to bring in pom-poms this week and hand them out to all of the capitol hill reporters, because they have been not objective reporters, they have been cheerleaders on this issue since day one.  On the floor of the house … I’ve been around the capitol a long time. I’ve never seen press conferences been done on the floor of the house.  And they were all screaming and yelling, “Why won’t you let this come to a vote?  Why won’t you let this come to a vote?”  And it was embarrassing to watch the press corps lower themselves to that level.

KEN CLARK:  Well, it gets even worse!  You’ve got Rep. Don Coram’s son.  They’re writing articles about him talking to the press now, as well,  and a conversation he had with his father. If that’s not scrapting the bottom of the barrel … and this is just the beginning guys.  I mean this is just the beginning.  I have a feeling that they are going to pull out all the stops, because Representative Holbert, you called it exactly right.  This is all nothing but a distraction. 

REP. HOLBERT:  That’s right.  Our goal is to get more votes than Barak Obama and their goal is to distract us from our goal.  And they’re very good at that.  But, we just have to stay focused.  And I wish that the press would have come out to the Lincoln Day dinner in Douglas County last Saturday night, because Speaker McNulty didn’t just get a standing ovation.  There were people jumping up and down and patting him on the back and I’ve never been so proud of Frank McNulty in my life.  But I am proud of my Speaker

KEN CLARK:  Well, I’ve got to tell you, I normally don’t defend the guy.  But I’ve got to on this one.

SEN. KEVIN GRANTHAM:  Ken, I kind of wonder if Patrick Malone would have made the same statement, or did even ask the same question to Rep. Carrol when she was running her Senate Bill 93, wondering whether she is going to have a legacy… or she’s worried about her legacy as a bigot for what she’s doing to hospitals and to private religious hospitals.  Doesn’t that make her a bigot as well?”

KEN CLARK:  Remind our listeners what Senate Bill 93 did.

SEN. GRANTHAM:  SB 93 was going to require religious institutions—hospitals, to post the services they do not provide, which is targeted specifically at catholic hospitals and is targeted specifically at abortion issues and other life issues.  This is an attack on their ability to simply provide or not provide, and it was directed at those religious institutions because of their religion.

[An introduction of Senator Grantham and his district follows.  And then at 17:39]

KEN CLARK:  All right.  Very good.  So, Senator Neville, you haven’t spoken up yet so I’m going to get your take on all of this.

SEN. TIM NEVILLE:  Well, that’s unusual that I haven’t spoken up yet.  [laughter]

KEN CLARK:  And what district do you represent

SEN. NEVILLE:  Senate district 22, which is South Jeffco, no matter what these guys tell you, it’s still the best district.  It’s the Liberty District, so…South and West Jeffco

KEN CLARK:  So what’s your take on all this train wreck?

SEN. NEVILLE:  Well, I’ll tell you, I’m extremely proud of what the House did and what the Speaker did, and I believe that we can all stand behind him.  And I believe that there’s a huge miscalculation that the left has made on this issue.  And I think it’s starting to take place in the polls and the data that’s coming out.  And if they thought that this was a winning issue, they’re in for a rude awakening.

[Ken Clark talks about ColoradoPols speculating on how the death of civil unions in kill committee could lead to change of majority in house.  Holbert talks about the issue in polls mentioned earlier in this interview, and speaks to what he views as some of the legislative successes from this session of the statehouse, despite the “distractions” and divisive tactics (as he views it) from the left.]

SEN. HARVEY (26:35) [Remarking on the “hypocrisy” of the Democrats complaining about political and procedural maneuvering on civil unions when they’ve been guilty of same previously.  Also remarking on the complicity and bias of the press]  And then to have the media totally ignore what the Democrats did on redistricting, and was just … they played along with the Democrats to get it to go to the Supreme Court and have the Court draw the maps, here they are with pom-poms in their hand, cheering all the way on this issue.

[Talk continues regarding the Special Session, including bills that were passed, bills that died, and the cost of the special session to taxpayers.]

SEN. HARVEY (37:53) [On backfiring democratic stategy]:  Well, I think… I don’t like to repeat the negative and talk about what their talking points are.  And what my talking points are is that this is an attack on religion.  This is [an] attack on the right of conscience, and the ability of people to exercise their faith the way that they believe is best for them.  And I think that the people of faith are seeing this for what it is, and it’s a direct attack on them and they are now not sitting on the couch, not sitting in the pews, and just trying to live their lives and take their kids to school, and go to work and do those kinds of things.  They are truly scared of what this is we’re talking about.  We’re talking about an entire party in the United States that thinks it’s okay to force people of religious faith to do something against their religion. And that’s never happened in the United States before.   You heard Kevin [Grantham] talking about Senate Bill 93 where it forced hospitals to put on their door a yellow star, for all practical purposes.  To say, “this is who we are, and we have to tell you who we are.”  Never in American history have we had a major political party say that that’s okay.  And that is what you are seeing right now. And people of faith across the country  are rising up and saying, “No, not in our country.”