Jeff Crank Show, Corporon, Sheets, Thompson, February 15, 2014

Station:   KVOR, 740 AM

Show:      Jeff Crank Show

Guests:    Thompson, Regina;  Corporon, Randy; Sheets, Loren


Date:       February 15, 2014

Topics:     Tea Party Express, Endorsement, U.S. Senate Race, Ken Buck, Amy Stephens, Owen Hill, Recall Organizers, Morse Recall, Hudak Recall, Giron Recall, Donors, PAC, Ken Clark & Jason Worley, Grassroots Radio Colorado, Amy Kramer, Consultants, Political Operatives, ASSET Bill, In-state Tuition, Illegal Immigrants,

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HOST JEFF CRANK:  All right, I’ve – I wanted to talk about the issue – if you saw this week, the Tea Party Express, which is national organization, announced their endorsement of Owen Hill in the U.S. Senate race here in Colorado.  Now, I want to point out that Owen Hill was invited on, via email, to participate in the show. [He] never returned the email to us.  We also invited Amy Stephens, Ken Buck, uh – uh—uh–and others and talk to them about whether they wanted to come on.  They all declined to comment on this.  So, here’s the concern.  You’ve got an outside national group that comes in, didn’t talk to the Tea Party – and here’s my frustration — and I said this a couple weeks ago, frankly about the Owen Hill campaign and others,–they’re trying to steal – steal—what is a movement, and use it for their own personal political ambitions.  Now, we saw that they tried to do that with the recall, and we saw that they were sending out press releases saying that the recall organizers supported Owen Hill and Tom Tancredo.  No, they don’t!  No they don’t!  A few do, but don’t try to say that everybody in that movement supports them.  And don’t try to say that everybody in the Tea Party supports Owen hill!  They don’t! Well, as soon as the Tea Party Express announced that they were supporting them, we got a press release from a good friend, Regina Thompson, president of the Colorado Tea Party Patriots and the Colorado Issues Coalition.  And she said, “This out of state organization, with no local grassroots ties, does not speak with the consent nor consensus of the many, Tea Party, 9/12, and other Liberty groups in Colorado.”  Joining my right now is Regina Thompson.  Regina, thank you for joining us.  How are you?


CRANK:  You’re welcome.  You’re welcome.  So, look, I’m very frustrated by this.  I talked about it a couple of weeks ago.  They’re trying to simply say that all of the recall supporters are supporting Owen Hill and Tom Tancredo, and that now it’s the Tea Party is, in their mind, supporting it.   Here’s my problem – well, I got a couple of them but let me just throw this one out.  He’s already said he’s not going through the assembly.  Now the assembly is the most grassroots process you can have in Colorado.  It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than just party bosses deciding who the candidates are.  Did these people even talk to people in Colorado before making this endorsement?

THOMPSON:  Well, so, here’s the scenario.  I, by a strange fluke, happened to have a conversation with their political director last November.

CRANK:  Okay.

THOMPSON:  And at that time, he told me that they were considering – that they were going to endorse either Ken Buck or Owen Hill in the primary.  Now, we’re a long way – you know, we haven’t gotten past our state process to get to a primary slate.

CRANK:  Sure.  Right.

THOMPSON:  And he and I had an hour-long conversation, you know, and I wasn’t there to tell him – you know, who to endorse, but we talked about the pros and cons, and I explained the problems that the grassroots as a whole had with some of Owen’s voting record.

CRANK:  Sure.

THOMPSON:  Um, but I knew, from the conversation, that he was leaning toward Owen Hill.   He didn’t say, “We’re going to,” but I knew from that conversation that that’s where they wanted to go.

CRANK:  Sure.  Of course.

THOMPSON:  [I] never heard another word from them until this last Saturday.  I happened to go to a senatorial candidate forum and a reporter mentions, “Hey, did you know that that Tea Party Express is going to be holding a press conference on Monday to announce an endorsement?”  And I didn’t know, but someone from Ken Buck’s campaign also mentioned it, and I said, “Well, if Ken Buck’s campaign doesn’t know about it – if Ken wasn’t invited to be there, then they’re endorsing Owen Hill.

CRANK:  Right.

THOMPSON:  So, over the weekend, I put out, you know, some feelers to the other – I only contacted, because the time was short, the organizations in Colorado that had “Tea Party” in their name, because my problem – you know, I mean, whether I personally had a problem with who they endorsed, my bigger problem was the fact that they were coming in here with the Tea Party name endorsing a candidate, and I didn’t want public confusion over the fact that, you know – because the general public sees the Tea Party as one, big, huge organism.

CRANK:  Sure, of course.

THOMPSON:  You know, we’re all – you know, if you’re Tea Party, you’re all the same. And if these guys come in and say, “Hey, the Tea Party endorses Owen Hill,” I didn’t want to be painted with that particular broad brush.

CRANK:  Sure.  Yeah, and well, here’s a guy, by the way – you mentioned his voting record and we can talk about that a little bit, but, I mean, he voted for in-state tuition for illegal aliens [incredulous], and the Tea Party Express comes in and endorses him! I mean, here’s what – here’s what I think happened.  I’m just going to throw it out there, okay?  I think a big pile of money wound its way out to the Tea Party Express from Colorado, from a donor or two, who are supportive of Owen Hill, and somehow that endorsement just happened to go to Owen Hill.  Am I wrong in that?

THOMPSON:  Well, you know, it cert– I don’t know, but it certainly looks suspicious.  You know, why else would this particular organization — I mean, they introduced him at their press conference as “the Tea Party grassroots candidate.”  I mean, they said, “he is the grassroots candidate” when in fact he’s not.  Um, Amy Kramer, who heads their organization, was being interviewed Monday afternoon on Grassroots Radio up in the Denver area about her announcement.  And the host asked her very specifically, “What organizations in Colorado did you consult with?”  You know, “Who else did you talk to?”

CRANK:  Right.

THOMPSON:  Well, of course, they talked to, uh, you know, Republican Liberty Caucus, and they got the College Republicans on board, and he said, “Well, you know, what grassroots?”  “Well, you know, I’m sure – there were other organiz – there were other people that we talked to.”

CRANK:  Right.

THOMPSON:  He said, “Well, you know, here in Colorado, you know, the grassroots people, you know, for our legislators, we look to certain other organizations that help us, you know, um, evaluate their voting record.”  You know, he said, “Did you look at their CUT [Colorado Union of Taxpayers] scor –at Owen’s CUT score?  Did you check with Principles of Liberty on his voting record in the Senate?”  And you know, very vaguely, [she answered], “I’m sure that we checked various – you know, various other things to make our determination.”  So, it was very, very vague and non-specific.

CRANK:  Sure.  Sure.  Yeah, I mean, listen.  The folks that he’s surrounded himself with are notorious for going out and trying to hijack a movement.

THOMPSON:  Mm-hmm.

CRANK:  They created some group called the Colorado Tea Party Something-or-other last time, and they were about ready to send out a bunch of mail pieces trying to say that the Tea Party had endorsed their slate of candidates.  And here’s what’s wrong with it.  The Tea Party is [sic] started out of a love for country.  It wasn’t started out of love for Owen Hill, or Jeff Crank, or Regina Thompson. It was started out of love of country and it should not be allowed to be hijacked by a bunch of political thugs who want to somehow advance their own personal agenda.  That’s just my view.

THOMPSON:  […]  I just wanted to make a stand and say, “Hey, you know, I’m not saying you’re wrong in endorsing a candidate.  But you can’t use the Tea Party name in Colorado when you have no grassroots movement here, you have no contacts—“

CRANK:  Yeah.

THOMPSON:  You know, you run a bus through here a couple times – you know, every election cycle you might run a bus through the state and hold a whistlestop campaign.”

CRANK:  Right!  Right.

THOMPSON:  You know, if Joe Bob’s political PAC had come in, or, you know, Freedomworks, or anyone else — Mainstreet, whoever, and endorsed a candidate, I wouldn’t have said a word.

CRANK:  Right.  Right.  No, I — It just makes sense.  Well, Regina, I know we’ve got to run and I’ve got some other guests on this same topic coming up, but I do appreciate you doing it. And I appreciate you standing up.  You know, far too often this kind of stuff happens in politics, and people get away with it because nobody calls them on it. And we have to call them on it. I’m glad that you did that, and you know, we’ll just keep exposing this stuff for what it is.

THOMPSON:  Thank you.


CRANK:  [After restating his frustration about the Tea Party Express endorsement of Owen Hill in an effort to hijack the good, pure-hearted grassroots movement in Colorado by politicians that have their own self-interest at heart, and not the interests of the movement itself.] And so I’m very disheartened by that, but I’m also going to stand up and expose it.  And that’s unfortunately what’s happening.  And you’re seeing these ads by an outside group, and I can almost guarantee you this:  that a big pile of money from a contributor went to Tea Party Express and now they’re running the ads with that money.  That—I mean, so in other words, you just buy an endorsement from a group.  Rent-a-group, is that what this is about?  Uh, look, joining me right now is Loren Sheets, who’s with the 285 Corridor Tea Party, here in Colorado.  He also formed three new Tea Party groups in Jefferson County.  And Randy Corporon.  Randy is a friend and he’s the chair of the Arapahoe County Tea Party.  And gentlemen, thanks for joining me.  How are you today?

[mumbled, consecutive greetings to Jeff]

CRANK:  Yeah, great.  You know, you heard my rant.  […] Your thoughts on this whole episode with the Tea Party Express –Loren, your thoughts.


CRANK:  Randy, your thoughts.

CHAIRMAN OF THE ARAPAHOE COUNTY TEA PARTY AND KLZ 560 RADIO HOST, RANDY CORPORON:  […] But I was very disappointed seeing any group come out and try and speak for the Tea Party.  Our Tea Party groups don’t endorse candidates.  We present them.  We talk about ideas, and let people draw their own conclusions.  This is co-opting what I think is an increasingly powerful and connected movement here in Colorado.  And I didn’t like this a bit.  And it generated quite a bit of discussion on the Arapahoe Tea Party Facebook page.

CRANK:  Yeah, look, here’s—there’s a history of this, both, I think, in the consultants that are working for Owen Hill.  There’s been a consistent effort over the years to do this – to kind of create groups and kind of hijack names, if you will.  I mean, certainly, they did it in my race by kind of hijacking the name of the Christian Coalition, when I ran for Congress.  But they’ve done it several other times.  They did it last year in Colorado.  They formed a group called the “Colorado Tea Party”.  And they were about ready to send out a bunch of mailers endorsing candidates, and again, it’s just hijacking the name of the Tea Party.  We saw it about three weeks ago, when the same candidate and his consultants sent out a press release saying that the movement – the recall organizers, the people that organized the recalls, were supporting a petition effort to get Owen Hill and Tom Tancredo on the ballot.  Well, you know, I talked to a couple of the real organizers of the recall effort, and they said, “We’re not involved in that!  We’re not supporting either of them.”


CRANK:  [After a commercial break] Well, just to wrap up this story a little bit, you know, there are just unscrupulous people in politics.  I – I – and I don’t – I guess I’m not necessarily saying candidates. Certainly, consultants – I want to point out, either do anything they can to win, or not.  Now, you know, I mean, I look at it this way.  The folks that are supporting – the consultants that are working for Owen Hill right now, were the consultants that were helping Ken Buck last time.  Ken Buck is running against Owen Hill.  I mean, it’s kind of insanity.  […]

CORPORON:  Well, the Liberty movement in Colorado has been on quite a roll since 2013, and rolling right into 2014 with Castle Rock city council knocking back their – eliminating their Open Carry ban in the city, there. And I guess, I’m kind of torn, because there are a lot of politicians who are trying to distance themselves from any affiliation with the Tea Party, so I – those that are willing to embrace the Tea party, and including one who wants to take on the mantel of the Tea Party, at least has my interest.  […] I do not like buying an endorsement, if that’s what happened here.

CRANK:  Yeah, I do think that’s what happened here.  Loren, I don’t know if you agree with that assessment or not, that this was just simply a – you know, I mean, they’ve got to have money to be running these ads.  They aren’t just going to come in and run ads based on [inaudible].  And why Colorado? Why this U.S. Senate race?  We have U.S. Senate races all over the country.  Why this one, unless there was some money that went there.  You may not want to go there, but your thoughts, Loren.

SHEETS:  No, I think that’s very likely, that’s what happened.  And you know, and I guess the thing is, when we look at this, we look at, again, accountability, transparency, and we want to know about the candidate’s record.  And had Owen Hill come out and said, “I am the Tea Party candidate” and defended that himself, that’s one thing.  But to have an external organization come in as a representative of the Tea Party, when they don’t even really have a presence here and to just use that name, that’s a completely different issue.  And I think if Owen Hill was trying to defend his record as a Tea Party candidate, then we could have a discussion about what his record is. Those are the types of discussions that the Tea Party wants to shine a light on.

CRANK:  Yeah, and they – you know, I found it interesting, they didn’t mention that vote to provide in-state tuition to illegal aliens in that endorsement ad.  I don’t know why. [laughs] I’m kidding!  I’m kidding!

SHEETS:  Well we look at a couple of different measures of how candidates perform.

CRANK:  Sure.

SHEETS:  We look at the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, we look at Principles of Liberty, are two of the big yardsticks that we use.

CRANK:  Yeah.

SHEETS:  And in both of — by both of those measures, Owen Hill – well, he was certainly in the lower half of the Republicans, in terms of scores on both of those.

CRANK:  Right.

SHEETS:  So, the intent here isn’t necessarily to throw Owen under the bus or anything else.  But I think that if Owen Hill was coming in saying, “I’m the Tea Party candidate,” and could make that case, and he was doing that as himself and not as the Tea Party coming in from outside the state, it would be a completely different case.

CRANK:  Yeah.  And you don’t want to throw Owen Hill under the bus, but I can tell you this:  he didn’t have any problem, and his campaign operatives didn’t have any problem throwing the Tea Party movement under the bus on this one.  They took that – took those ads, thought it was great, and you know, didn’t care that anybody didn’t talk to any of the grassroots here.  I’ve got to run, guys!  Thank you so much!  Thanks for all you’re doing!  Randy Corporon from the Arapahoe [County] Tea Party, Loren Sheets from the 285 Corridor Tea Party, thanks a lot for joining us today.


[Regina Thompson calls back at 1:42:20

  • Comment on Owen Hill
    • An earlier caller said that Hill is saying he didn’t read the ASSET bill
      • And for that reason he didn’t know what he was voting on
      • When he voted “yes”
  • I had coffee with Hill last fall
    • That was the one thing we talked about: ASSET
    • He very clearly read the bill
    • He had an elaborate case supporting his reasons for supporting ASSET
      • Very convoluted reason
      • But there was no indication that he had not voted for it
    • He said he voted for it because he didn’t see where the State constitution precluded him from doing so
      • So that’s why he did it
    • If he says he didn’t vote for the bill, he’s being dishonest
    • Jeff says, I don’t know if the caller meant to refer to Hill’s vote on ASSET, I think he meant the instate tuition bill for illegals
      • Regina:  That IS the ASSET bill
      • JC:   oh, okay, I understand what you’re saying
      • Regina:
        • We have a Udall lies website, exposing Udall’s lies
        • Maybe we need a Owen Hill lies website
          • If he’s going to make these kind of comments
          • b/c that’s not accurate
          • he read the bill and he knew what was in it]