Archive for July, 2012

Talk-radio hosts should step up their game with Coffman on the line

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Rep. Mike Coffman is still mostly avoiding reporters, after he went into hiding following his comment at a fundraiser that he’s not sure Obama was born in the U.S. but, in any case, he believes Obama is not an American “in his heart.”

But Coffman is creeping into medialand ever so gently, with appearances on some conservative talk shows (though he’s ignoring Steve Kelley on KNUS). He was on Fox 31 in the morning as well, after the Obamacare decision, but 9News hasn’t been on his dance card.

Coffman’s brief interview on KLZ 560-AM’s Grassroots Radio Colorado July 5 shows what he gets when he cherry picks his questioners.

At one point in the interview he describes Democrats in the new CD 6 this way:

I feel pretty good about the race because I grew up in really what is the most Democrat part of the district, in original Aurora and northern Aurora. They are not traditional Democrats. They are blue-collar, working-class Democrats. They do not share the radical environmental views of the Democrat Party in Washington D.C. They are very pro-military. I have a military background. Probably, quite frankly, on some of the class warfare rhetoric, they’re probably going to buy on some of that, as well as certainly strong labor support. But they certainly don’t line up on every issue. And so there are some avenues in there.

(Listen to Coffman on Grassroots Radio Colorao 7-5-12.)

Anyone except the most sympathetic questioner would be curious about what aspects of the “class warfare rhetoric,” as Coffman puts it, appeal to Dems in his district.

Is he referring to the idea that tax breaks shouldn’t be extended for people earning over $250,000?

Is he referring to the notion that Social Security is more than the “ponzi scheme” that Coffman has said it is?

Does Coffman think Democrats in his district go for these types of things? If so, why?

We won’t be hearing answers to these questions as long as Coffman continues to sidestep real reporters, and his fans in the talk-radio world don’t make their shows more interesting by asking a follow-up question or two when Coffman is on the line.

Tracker who misrepresented himself is no longer working for RevealingPolitics, ND blog reports

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Last week I reported that the bio and name of Josh Hursa had been removed from the website of the conservative blog RevealingPolitics after Hursa was accused of misrepresenting himself while tracking North Dakota Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp.

Now, the North Dakota blog that broke the story about Hursa’s misrepresentation, has reported that RevealingPolitics sent two new trackers to North Dakota to video Heitkamp.

The trackers, Caleb Bonham and Drew McCullough, allegedly told that Hursa no longer works with them at RevealingPolitics. So it looks as if Hursa was fired, but we still don’t know for sure.

RevealingPolitic’s Kelly Maher declined again to comment on Hursa’s personnel matter yesterday, adding that she took issue with the NorthDecoder’s assertion that her organization’s funding comes from the Koch Brothers. Maher emailed me:

I’m saddened to read this recent piece as it continues a narrative that is patently untrue regarding our funding and structure. In terms of personel issues, I have to reiterate that we will not comment.

In terms of Drew and Caleb, the fact they were totally transparent, respectful and asked simple and straightforward questions yet Mrs. Heitkamp refused to answer makes it clear she is hoping to run with as little known about her actual stances on issues as possible. It’s sad for the people of that state of North Dakota that Heitkamp chooses not to embrace an attitude of transparency.

Maher is right that Bonham and McCullough are apparently exhibiting the kind of transparency you want in a tracker, unlike Hursa who apparently lied as he tried to gain access to Heitkamp’s inner circle.

When confronted by the NorthDecoder at a Heitkamp event, the trackers readily identified themselves.

The NorthDecoder’s Chad Nodland reported his encounter with Bonham and McCullough, whom he referred to as RevealingPolitic’s “junior varsity team,” on July 3:

On my way to take my 2 year old to the rest room, I encountered two young men sitting in the grass, sort of hiding behind a gazeebo near the picnic shelter. I stopped and visited with them. They told me they were trackers from Colorado. I asked if they worked with “Josh.” They both kind of chuckled and said, “No, Josh doesn’t work with us anymore.”

So it appears that Bonham and McCullough readily answered questions about who they were. If so, that’s the baseline level of ethical behavior you want from trackers.

AP article provides good overview of Hispanic voters

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

The Associated Press distributed a good article, which was picked up widely today, about Hispanic voters, pointing out that “there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to courting the nation’s fastest-growing minority group.”

Hispanics back Obama (65%) over Romney (25%), but, reflecting their varied views on some issues, most are independent (46% today versus 31 percent six years ago).

In fact, Hispanics are the fastest-growing group of independent voters in the country, according to AP, citing a new Pew Poll. Other polls say the same thing.

The trend made me think of the Colorado Hispanic Republicans, who still have the following quote from Ronald Reagan atop their website:

“Latinos are Republicans. They just don’t know it yet.”

It seems they know it less and less with each passing day, if you believe the polls.

I asked the Independent Institute’s Jon Caldara if he thought it was dumb or insensitive to blast this quote to a group of people who are independent and apparently proud of it. The quote kind of reminds me of a parent telling his kid it’s bedtime, but he doesn’t know it.

“I am all about sensitivity,” he said, and I told him that’s exactly why I called him.

“Really, what I suggest they say is, all Latinos are Italian; they just don’t know it yet,” said Caldara. “That’s my suggestion.”

“If you’re looking for something to be offended by, you should look somewhere else,” he said. “It’s a stretch.”

Responding via email, KBNO’s Fernando Sergio, who questioned Obama on his “La Voz del Pueblo” radio show in May, wrote that he appreciates Reagan’s desire to be inclusive but he’s not seeing this attitude much from the GOP today. Sergio wrote:

“Unfortunately President Reagan is dead and those who share his vision, such as Governor Jeb Bush, Senator Mel Martinez or former commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez are in the GOP minority. If Colorado Republicans are indeed willing to embrace the Hispanic community, they will have to make an honest effort to listen and learn. The recent failure to pass the ASSET bill in the state legislature due to stern republican opposition is a clear example of how the GOP simply doesn’t get it. Talk is cheap, if the Republican tent is a welcoming place for millions of Hispanics who fundamentally share the values and principles that the GOP champions, we need to see tangible evidence that President Reagan’s dream is still alive. Colorado would be a great place to start!”

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo told me he understood Reagan’s perspective because Hispanics are “strongly pro-life with strong family values, which are associated with conservative.”

Tancredo thinks Hispanics know the GOP position on social issues but it’s not enough to make them vote Republican. He says their  “acceptence of big goverment” goes against conservatives.

“It’s not that they don’t know that the GOP offers that perspective [on social issues], but it doesn’t balance the scales in terms of big government,” Tancredo said, adding that he doesn’t immigration will make much of a difference in how Hispanics vote.

Officials from Colorado Hispanic Republicans declined comment or did not respond to requests for comment.