Archive for May, 2014

Fox 31 Denver takes new public-policy show out of the “stuffy confines” of a TV studio

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Local TV public affairs shows are usually shot deep inside TV stations, where the light of day and the reality of everyday life can be hard to find.

Fox 31 Denver’s Eli Stokols has dispensed of this problem by staging his new public affairs TV program at The Source, which is a collection of restaurants and food markets with a fresh and local thread.

“We’re trying to do a show about local issues, local politics, local ideas,” Stokols told me. “We want it to be a public conversation. It felt right to locate that conversation in a public space outside the stuffy confines of a TV studio. We want the show to be accessible and more appealing than people in a studio.”

With sides of local beef dangling behind him, Stokols will give newsmakers and others a chance to talk about public policy “outside of the two-minute construct of a TV package.” Sometimes he’ll take the show further on the road, possibly for debates or other relevant events. (Above, Stokols interviews Rep. Ed Perlmutter at The Source.)

“I don’t know that there’s a need for another show with three of four people sitting around talking about the news of the week,” said Stokols, adding that Denver already has a good one on Channel 12.  His half-hour weekly show, which debuts Sunday at 9 a.m. on Fox 31 and is called #COPolitics from the Source, might have that format sometimes, he says, but “what we’ll do more often is take a policy area, bring in some people, and even if it’s not politics per se, have them engage.”

#COPolitics is a Twitter hashtag followed by people interested in Colorado politics, and using #COPolitics in the title is a signal that the show is “an extension of the conversation that takes place on that Twitter feed,” says Stokols, who, among other journalistic activities, is a weekend anchor on Fox 31.

Stokols credits KDVR Fox 31 General Manager Peter Maroney for pushing the idea of a new public affairs show, but convincing the station to get behind an off-site concept took some work, especially because there’s no sponsorship dollars in it for KDVR. But the bosses came around, and station staff stepped up, says Stokols.

Having dumped Zappolo’s People, with the departure of longtime anchor Ron Zappolo, Fox 31 is now jumping into a surprisingly crowded market of local television public-affairs programs, mostly on public television, but also on commercial competitor 9News, which has just re-committed to a monthly show called Balance of Power. The latest installment, airing Saturday at 6 p.m. on 9News and 9:30 p.m. on channel 20, features a debate on fracking between Rep. Jared Polis and oil-and-gas-industry leader Tisha Schuller.

“This is a notoriously difficult area of programming, and it’s only getting harder because of the expanding media landscape, with newspapers jumping in, streaming content available from different providers, and the bread-butter-guys who have been around for a long time,” said 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman, who moderates Balance of Power, along with 9News Anchor Kyle Clark.  “On the other hand, there’s a greater demand for original content. And media companies are realizing that too.”

The 9News show  will most often focus on one topic, broken down into segments, including at least a few minutes of analysis by “political experts” Ryan Frazier (Republican) and James Mejia (Democrat), says Rittiman, adding that 9News is trying hard to make the show look good and keep it “interesting, entertaining, and informative at the same time.”

9News has officially retired the public affairs program YourShow, which solicited topics and questions from viewers and was launched by former political reporter Adam Schrager. “The concept of YourShow was ahead of its time but quickly, with social media, has become part of what we do every day, reaching out to people and making sure they can have their say and get their questions in.” said Rittiman. “That’s worked its way into all aspects of news coverage.”

Public affairs shows on public television include: KBDI Channel 12’s Colorado Inside Out (Hosted by Dominic Dezzutti), KRMA Channel 6’s Colorado State of Mind (Hosted by Cynthia Hessin), Aurora municipal TV Channel 8’s Dateline Aurora, and the Independence Institute’s Devils Advocate (which ludicrously presents libertarian Jon Caldara as moderator).

The Denver Post produces a sporadic video interview show called Spot Live, which is currently being revamped from a square-off between pundits, moderated by a reporter, to one-on-one interviews with newsmakers.

Of the non-commercial TV shows, my favorite is still Colorado Inside Out, even though I have to excuse myself and barf on occasion, which is proof I don’t fall asleep as I watch. In spite of the simple talking-heads format, the show doesn’t bog down as it moves through the views of regular and rotating panelists.

“We all know how much money will be coming into Colorado for issues and campaigns,” said Colorado Inside Out host and producer Dezzutti via email. “Most of that money is spent on ads that are not meant to educate voters, but rather persuade by any means necessary. The only way Colorado voters can cut through the fog of incessant attack ads is to look to quality public affairs programs that are willing to go beyond the 30 second sound bite. Fox31’s new show affirms that need and shows that Colorado voters are ready for more alternatives to the constant 30 second ad bombardment. As the producer and host of Colorado Inside Out, now in its 22nd season, we are excited that another Denver TV station is stepping up and providing this kind of critical analysis that Colorado voters need and deserve.”

Colorado Inside Out’s panelists have a sense of humor, which goes a long way.

That’s a quality Fox 31’s Stokols admires in two of his favorite interviewers CNN’s Jake Tapper and CBS’ Bob Schieffer.

“Those  guys to me don’t take themselves too seriously,” says Stokols. “They take their job very seriously. They don’t take themselves quite as seriously. And that’s the way I try to approach it. When I anchor the news, I do it with a smirk on my face. Journalism is very important, but you don’t have to be a pompous fake to get your point across.”

That is, as long as anyone is watching.

Would TV-host Caldara be able to distinguish McInnis from Beauprez?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Heard on the latest “Devil’s Advocate” show, hosted by libertarian/conservative Jon Caldara:

Caldara: Now, let’s assume for some reason, you couldn’t run for this primary. You got struck by lightning. Who would you throw your support behind? Who would you like to see win that primary? …

Tom Tancredo: I would like to see Bob Beauprez, Scott McInnis, or Mike Kopp win it.

Caldara: Oh, what a politician’s answer. And you were just telling me what an un-politician you are.

It’s an innocent mistake for Tanc to confuse Scott McInnis with Scott Gessler. We all err. But it points to a problem for Caldara, not to mention the pack of Republicans running for governor.

Caldara is seated directly in front of Tancredo’s nose and the name “McInnis” comes out of Tanc’s lips and over Caldara’s head. He probably wouldn’t have noticed if Tancredo had confused Bob Schaffer with Bob Beauprez or Frank McNulty with Mike Kopp. They blend together, don’t they?

You have to think Caldara would have raised an eyebrow if McPlagiarist had walked into the TV studio and tried to present himself as Tom Tancredo, but who knows. But if McInnis tried to pass himself off as Beauprez, it’s almost a certainty Caldara wouldn’t have noticed any difference. Is there one, besides the mustache or lack thereof?

Double-speak becoming part of the required context for reporting on Gardner

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

In her “Reality Check” spots about political ads, CBS4’s Shaun Boyd doesn’t just render verdicts on the truthiness of political advertisements but also offers contextual information for viewers, telling us, “Here’s What You Need to Know.”

Evaluating the veracity of an ad stating that Gardner sides with big oil because, as the ad states, he’s voted “to keep billions in handouts for big oil companies, even as they make record profits,” Boyd reported last week that Gardner indeed “opposed repealing tax breaks that have been in place for oil-and-gas producers for more than 100 years.” But she found the statement that Gardner is on the side of big oil “misleading” because Gardner has also supported wind energy.

Here’s What You Need to Know:  Last year, on a talk radio show, Gardner suggested last eliminating the Energy Department altogether:

Gardner: “In fact, Energy Department is something we ought to look at and see whether or not they are actually justified to be there anyway.”

I couldn’t believe it when I heard Gardner say it, but no one else seemed to care at the time, except radio-host Amy Oliver, who lapped it up lovingly.

And that points to the context that Boyd should have added to her piece on the League of Conservation Voters’ ad: Gardner talks about energy policy in radically different ways depending on the audience.

You say, all politicians pander. Okay, but eliminating the Energy Department? Who besides former GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry tries to say that.

What if Gardner had been speaking to employees at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which is funded by the Energy Department? Would Gardner have talked to them like he did to Oliver, KFKA’s anti-wind-energy radio host, who doubles as a staffer for the libertarian Independence Institute? Would he go there and say we need to have a conversation about how to save money, and junking the Energy Department should be part of it?

Double-speak is something reporters naturally look for. With Gardner, it’s getting to the point where it’s part of the context for whatever he’s talking about, starting with personhood, of course, and heading out from there to global warming, taxes, immigration, and more.

Tancredo threatens not to debate Hick, unless reporters are kept on a short leash

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Unbiased observers, like ColoradoPols and Mike Littwin of the Colorado Independent, have concluded that Tom Tancredo has been winning the GOP gubernatorial debates by not showing up.

But Tancredo is apparently willing to put his winning streak on the line by debating Hick, if Tanc wins the GOP primary.

That is, if the topics are okay with him and if journalists asking questions are screened and kept on a short leash.

Tancredo: I saw the other day that [national GOP Party Chair] Reince Priebus is saying, “You know what? We’re not going to do that anymore. We’re going to change—either we’re going to have fewer, change the format.” And I intend to do exactly the same thing if I am the nominee. We will establish what we believe to be the most effective way of, quote, “debating”, even with Hickenlooper. And it will be on a single topic. We will have, what—two or three debates on individual topics. We will help determine who are the people going to be that are asking questions. Or else, we won’t do those debates either. Because, when you give the media the free rein in this sort of thing, it does not work good—it does not work well for Republicans.

Another way of saying what Tancredo said: When Republicans have to answer questions from reporters, it doesn’t work out well for them. But it works out well for Democrats?

Obviously, it can work out either way for either party, as you know if you follow political debates. It depends mostly on the abilities of the candidates, and showcasing those abilities (or lack thereof) is the point of a debate.

Republicans like Tancredo like to think professional journalists are out to get them, but a guy like Sengenberger–or any reporter who happens to see Tancredo–should correct him.

Ross Kaminsky discusses his column about Gardner, Tancredo, and immigration politics

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

American Spectator columnist Ross Kaminsky was the only media figure who reported on a private meeting last month between Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner and “a small group of Republicans” to discuss immigration policy.

“The roughly 10 people in the room,” Kaminsky wrote in his much-discussed column about the meeting, “included representatives of business, of the media (me), prominent former Colorado politicians and party leaders, and — perhaps most interestingly — two evangelical Christian pastors.”

What I’d have given for an invitation to that meeting, which sources tell me occurred at the Denver law firm of Holland & Hart. (At least I get to sniff around there for a June 10 fundraiser for my kid’s East High debate team. Email me if you want to donate.)

Impressed with Kaminsky’s access and the debate his piece generated, I called to find out more about the meeting and his role as media representative.

“I was there partly in my capacity as a media person and partly because the people who organized the meeting know my views on immigration and wanted me to express them to Congressman Gardner,” Kaminsky told me. “So I was there in a dual role.

“They wanted me to write about it. I wanted to write about it. The only stipulation given to me was not to name the meeting participants, other than Congressman Gardner. And I thought that as long as I could describe their function in life–a minister, a political operative–that it wasn’t really important what their names were. So I was fine with that. I didn’t think it impacted the substance of my article.”

I asked Kaminsky if he had any insight into why the meeting was private.

“One thing that came up in the meeting, which I think is true, is, when you’re talking about immigration, it seems people will give very different answers in small private groups than they will in public, especially on the Republican side,” replied Kaminsky, who’s registered as an independent. “I think there are a lot of Republicans who are becoming more sympathetic to immigration reform but are a little bit afraid to say it in public. It might be the equivalent of a pro-life Democrat. So I think the purpose of the meeting was not to hide stuff, because if it was I wouldn’t have been invited, right? I think the organizers felt like getting a small group together would allow a more honest conversation. And I think it happened that way. I think that analysis was right.”

Kaminsky told me Gardner mostly listened, but he added:  “[Gardner] did offer short comments, generally, after each person spoke. When he responded to a person’s comment, it was not just some broad platitudes and generalities. He responded in short but detailed answers that related directly to what the person said. He was really paying attention.”

Kaminsky, who’s a talk-show host on 850 KOA, favors immigration reform, he says, but not the comprehensive variety, and without a path to citizenship (except possibly for young immigrants). Kaminsky wants a bite-sized approach, as he would with any legislation. In his column, Kaminsky’s argued, among other things, that hard-line self-deport immigration policies, like those of Tom Tancredo in particular, will poison Republican candidates in Colorado.

Kaminsky complimented Gardner for favoring a guest-worker program, and he’s not troubled by the fact that Gardner opposed a guest-worker program back in 2008 in the state legislature that would have created a guest-visa program for agricultural workers.

“People change, things change,” replied Kaminsky. “And you know what, staying cynical, even though I like Cory, politicians frequently do what’s best for politicians. Even the ones who I think are good people, they are always balancing, how do I make sure I keep my job versus what’s best for the country. And I think that of all of them. I don’t think Mark Udall is a bad person. I’ve met him. He was very pleasant to me, and I enjoyed talking to him. I just disagree with him. Whether it’s him or Cory Gardner, their just considering their futures.”

In his column, Kaminsky accused Democratic Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of having “no interest in actually dealing with the question; they, like their party leaders, want a wedge issue more than they want a solution.”

Given that 68 Senators passed comprehensive immigration reform in bipartisan fashion, with 32 Republicans opposed, how is immigration reform, as accomplished via the Senate bill, a wedge issue? (Gardner has made no secret of his opposition to the Senate immigration bill, even though he supported comprehensive reform after the last election.)

“I think there’s a continuum here,” Kaminisky said. “I don’t think it’s exactly fair to say that I think it’s just a wedge issue. I do think, on balance, they would prefer to have the issue than any solution that’s actually politically conceivable at this time. I think there are reform measures that Democrats would accept and give up having the issue, but I think what they would accept would include a path to citizenship that’s shorter and easier than would have any chance of getting through the House of Representatives at this time. I don’t give politicians a lot of credit for voting for something that has no chance of passing… This is true on the Republican side as well. They know it would have absolutely zero chance in the House of Representatives and therefore their consideration is not so much for the policy as it is about their own personal political situation. I don’t think a vote for the Senate bill proved that they would rather have a solution than the issue.”

Kaminsky agreed with me that, along the way, media coverage made it appear as if the Senate bill might pass the House, and it certainly would have had it come to a full vote, but Kaminsky never thought House passage was possible.

Kaminsky told me he wrote his column, which was titled Changing Immigration Politics in Colorado, to try to change the Republican Party.

“To me the most interesting part was those two evangelical pastors from different churches and how surprised they were in the rapidity of the change in the views of the people of their congregations, how fast and how far those views have been changing,” Kaminisky said. “And for these guys to say that they think that evangelicals, both in the leadership of churches and within the congregations, are more likely to support reform than oppose it, I thought was pretty amazing.”


Gazette sees big differences among GOP rivals who are largely the same

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

The Colorado Springs Gazette tried to make an argument this week that gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo stands further out of the mainstream than his rivals, Bob Beauprez, Mike Kopp, and Scott Gessler.

Even if you missed last night’s 1950’s revival at Colorado Christian University and you haven’t read the clown-car series on ColoradoPols, you know that’s a tough case to make when you start looking at specific issues. Women, immigration, environment, energy, etc. There ain’t that much difference among them on the craziness meter.

Just spin the radio dial, for example, and up pops Beauprez, saying something wild, like agreeing with a talk-show host that Obama is a Muslim. John McCain had the guts, you recall, to eloquently reject the suggestion that Obama was an Arab. But not Beauprez, as of Sept. 30, 2013, on the Charles Butler Show, Genesis Communications Network.

Butler: I conclude that Mr. Obama has never lost his Muslim beliefs or his Muslim leanings. At the end of the day here’s a principle in Islam called Taqyyia. And I believe that is what Obama has been practicing for the last thirty-some years, is Taqyyia. And it’s an Islamic principle where you can deceive a non-Muslim into thinking that you are non-Muslim, in the interest of pushing, putting forth Muslim interests. And I’m looking at Mr. Obama and everything he’s done, and the media doesn’t cover it this way but when you look at the facts, everything he has done thus far has been to support and destabilize stable regimes for Muslim rule, whether it’s Muslim Brotherhood, whether it’s Hezbollah, he’s supported those things.

Beauprez: That’s why so many of our allies, Israel for the primary among them, but that’s why so much of our status around the world, our respect among our friends around the world–

Butler: Am I telling the truth, Bob? Or am I off on this? Help me out, here

Beauprez: Absolutely.

That’s a Gazette “standard bearer of fiscal and social conservatism” talking?

Reporters shouldn’t tolerate Coffman’s immigration platitutes anymore

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Fox 31 Denver’s Eli Stokols reported this morning that Rep. Mike Coffman will stage a press conference today calling on his Republican colleagues in the House to pass the Enlist Act, which would offer a young undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship through military service.

News coverage about Coffman’s bill, which has been rejected by Republican leadership, will naturally touch on broader immigration reform, as Stokols’ piece did this morning, quoting Coffman thusly:

“There’s got to be a path down the middle,” Coffman told FOX31 Denver in an interview last week. “Let’s secure our borders, enforce our laws, let’s have immigration policies that are going to grow the economy, but let’s also be compassionate and keep families together.”

Reporters need to stop letting Coffman throw out these platitudes without asking him, what’s his specific plan? He doesn’t support the bipartisan immigration bill passed by 68 Senators, so Coffman is siding with 32 Republican opponents, led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. What’s Coffman’s specific problem with the Senate bill? What amendment(s) would he offer to fix it, to try to move it out of the House, where it’s stalled.

In his piece this morning, Stokols quoted the spokesperson for Coffman’s Democratic opponent Andrew Romanoff, who pointed out that Coffman opposes the Senate immigration bill.

That’s a good start, contrasting Romanoff’s position in favor of the Senate immigration bill to Coffman’s opposition to it. That’s something concrete for confused observers to latch onto. But it’s not enough.

We need to know what Coffman’s broader immigration proposal is, and if he can’t produce one, then it’s time for reporters to say, as a factual matter, that Coffman has no comprehensive immigration proposal, despite his rhetoric about favoring one.

Media omission: What’s Beauprez’ explanation for flip on individual mandate? And how will it play in GOP primary?

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Last week, ColordoPols reported that gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez agreed, in no uncertain terms, that the federal government has the right to require you, dear citizen of the United States, to have health insurance. It’s called the “individual mandate” and, of course, it’s the foundation of Romneycare and, later, Obamacare.

But once Mitt Romney became irrelevant, Beauprez changed his mind, with no explanation. And reporters, who’ve pretty much ignored the Pols story, have yet to ask him for one, even though there was ample coverage of Mitt Romney’s endorsement of Beauprez.

Someone should ask Beauprez about it, because this is supposed to be the election when Republicans are so hot mad about Obamacare (and guns) that they’re going to submit mail-in ballots it droves.

As to how the Romney flip is playing out within the GOP base,, which frequently critiques the GOP establishment, had this to say last week:

Perhaps the most concerning and disturbing revelation concerns Beauprez’s position on the individual healthcare mandate, the lynchpin to Obamacare and Amycare (Colorado’s version of the Obamacare exchange.)

In a 2007 op-ed discovered by the far-left blog ColoradoPols, Beauprez clearly and unequivocally supported the imposition of an individual healthcare mandate. Beauprez equated the mandated purchase of health insurance with car insurance. This, of course, was closely related to his endorsement of Mitt Romney for President in the 2008 election. Beauprez would later distance himself from supporting the individual mandate—yet another “both ways Bob” moment.

Beauprez is no stranger to controversy over fundamental policy questions. During his 2006 primary run for governor, Beauprez was accused by his primary opponent Marc Holtzman of joining far-left Democrats and big-government Republicans in supporting referendum C. Referendum C permitted the state legislature to spend above the limits imposed by the Tax Payer Bill of Rights, and ended the tax payer refunds which became so popular. Beauprez was accused of supporting and then opposing Referendum C, which is how he was tagged with the nick-name “both ways Bob” in the first place.

It looks like Beauprez’ previous support of the individual health-care mandate resulted from his you-endorse-me-I’ll-endorese-you, relationship with Romney. But you wonder what good Romney does for Beauprez anyway.

OGREeXposed bluntly tweeted last week:

A @MittRomney endorsement for @bobbeauprez just turned away as many Rs as it attracted. Bob is living in 2006. #copolitics

Ken Clark, co-host of KLZ’s Grassroots Radio Colorado, emailed me:

Romney’s endorsement of Bob Beauprez simply means that Beauprez has aligned himself with the establishment arm the the GOP which is really not a surprise.  Beauprez was one of the first in Colorado to not only endorse, but to speak on the behalf of Romney’s failed presidential run.  It further illustrates the divide between candidates whom act upon principle as opposed to what ever seems to be expedient in the moment.  Beauprez endorsed the Romney campaigns  rule changes at the 2012 convention which was nothing more than an attempt to remove the voice of the Grass Roots and the Ron Paul supporters from the political process and control who would be the nominee.  They would like nothing more that to shut the liberty groups down and have us follow them blindly into oblivion, I’m sorry but that simply will not happen.

Rob Douglas, columnist for the Steamboat Pilot, pointed out via email that Romney could become a valuable fundraiser for Beauprez. In similar vein, Eli Bremer, former chairman of El Paso county Republican Party, wrote me that this could help Beauprez, because the “Republican primary electorate around the country in 2014 seems like they are much more serious about evaluating the traits that traditionally make for good general election candidates.”

Douglas added:

On the surface, Mitt Romney’s endorsement of Bob Beauprez might be expected by the casual observer. After all, Beauprez was an early and unwavering supporter of Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign and Beauprez worked hard for the campaign here in Colorado.

But I think Romney’s endorsement goes deeper than political payback. Given the fairly small number of endorsements by Romney so far this cycle, I believe he is exercising discretion in picking candidates to support. That tells me Romney is a true believer when it comes to Beauprez. And, if you look at the personal and professional similarities between the two men, you can see why there’d be a natural affinity. Both have succeeded in business and politics. And while both also experienced the sting of defeat, they continued to find ways to advocate for their beliefs.

Asked if the Romney endorsement would help Beauprez, former state Sen. Norma Anderson said, “It depends. For those that supported Romney in the presidential election it will help. For those who didn’t, it won’t. That’s usually how it works.”

For context: compromise immigration laws backed by Romanoff in 2006 deflected hard-line anti-immigration initiative backed by Coffman

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Back in 2006, then State Treasurer Mike Coffman stood in font of 200 people on the steps of the state Capitol as they launched a ballot initiative that would have stopped Colorado from providing services to all undocumented immigrants, even children.

Coffman led the group in reciting the pledge of allegiance, and then handed the microphone over to a string of speakers from an organization called Defend Colorado Now, which was organizing the extreme anti-immigrant initiative.

After the rally, Coffman told a reporter from the Longmont Daily Times- Call that he supported Defend Colorado Now’s ballot initiative.

Coffman “said afterward that he supports Defend Colorado Now’s ballot initiative,” reported the Daily Times-Call April 28, 2006.

The history of Defend Colorado Now’s initiative is worth dredging up for reporters, for context, as Republicans step up their attacks on former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff for his role is passing legislation in direct response to the ballot initiative.

If you were around in 2006, you may remember a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including then Gov. Bill Owens and Romanoff, agreed on compromise legislation to stop the hard-line initiative from being placed on the ballot.

A set of 2006 laws, passed during a special session by the Democrat-controlled Legislature and signed by Republican Owens, softened the draconian approach of the Defend Colorado Now initiative, known also as Amendment 55.

The Denver Post reported in July of 2006:

Former Mayor Federico Peña likes the special-session legislation better than the proposed Amendment 55, which would have prohibited undocumented immigrants from receiving state services that are not mandated by federal law.

“It’s far better than the negative consequences of 55,” he said.

The compromise legislation, backed by Romanoff, was more immigrant-friendly than the Defend Colorado Now initiative, supported by Coffman. This fact makes a mockery of GOP attacks on Romanoff for pushing compromise immigration bills, which are credited for keeping Coffman’s hard-line initiative off the ballot. (Amendment 55 was rejected by the CO Supreme Court on a technicality but was expected to be resurrected the following year.)

The Defend Colorado Now initiative, which was also backed by Tom Tancredo, would have denied all non-emergency state services to undocumented children, preventing them, for example, from getting vaccinations.

In contrast to some of the cruelest provisions of the ballot initiative supported by Coffman, Romanoff’s bill (HB-1023), passed during the special session in 2006, protected undocumented kids by allowing people 18-years or younger to receive state services without presenting identification.

Another law (HB-1002) supported by Romanoff specifically allowed state funds to be used for children, regardless of their “immigration status,” to receive preventative care as well as treatment, for communicative diseases, such as HIV and tuberculosis.

The immigration-enforcement laws passed in 2006 were widely considered to be tough, and were described as such both locally and nationally. There were new identification requirements, police reporting procedures, and tax provisions.

Some pro-immigrant groups and lefties like me criticized the new laws. And so did the Tom Tancredos of the world.

But no one would say, then or now, that the laws backed by Romanoff were worse for immigrants than the initiative favored by Coffman would have been.

That’s the context through which reporters should see Republican attacks on Romanoff’s 2006 immigration legislation.

Media omission: Tancredo says he’s heard Republican governors trying to raise money to attack him

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

CORRECTION: I missed a May 7 Denver Post article, by Lynn Bartels, reporting that Tancredo “has been told conservative outside groups will spend money to make sure he doesn’t win the primary for governor, rather than helping him afterward.”


Reacting to Lynn  Bartels’ Denver Post article today reporting that Republicans are trying to push him out of the GOP gubernatorial primary, Tom Tancredo told KNUS talk-radio host Peter Boyles that he’s heard the Republican Governors’ Association (RGA) is “trying to raise money for a 527 to attack me during the primary.”

In response to Boyles’ assertion that the “Coors brothers and Bruce Benson and the power elite and the Chamber of Commerce” don’t want the “kinds of things” that he does, Tancredo said, “I actually think that there are some of these guys that would rather have a Democrat elected here.”

Prompted by Boyles, Tancredo also said that before his primary opponent Bob Beauprez entered the race, Beauprez told Tancredo the Chamber of Commerce and Republican governors encouraged Beauprez to run.

“You know, and I told [Beauprez] at the time, ‘Look,’ – because he was saying, ‘You get out of the race. I’ll get in.’ And I said, ‘Bob, I have 7,000 contributors.’ You know what, Peter? It’s now over 10,000 individual contributors to my campaign. [Do] you know what the average is? Sixty-seven dollars. God love these people. I’ll take their endorsement any day over Mitt Romney’s. I’ll tell you that right now.”

“And I said, ‘I’m not going to – you can’t expect me to get out of this race, because – just because — why? We had coffee? Just get in!’ I told him. ‘Get in! Run! You might be the guy that knocks us all off of the block and you make it, and God bless you, and if you can beat Hickenlooper, hey, I’m with you, buddy! But I don’t think you can. I don’t think any of these other guys can either. I’m closer to Hickenlooper in the polls than any of them.”

“And, I have more independent supporters than they do,” Tancredo told Boyles. “Now, Peter, if you want to run – win a race in Colorado, are you going to do it with a traditional Republican campaign, traditional Republican candidates? Or are you going to do it with somebody that’s going to try to bring independents and unaffiliateds on board. I think I can.”

“I am running as a Republican,” said Tancredo on air. “I either win or lose! You know, this idea that this is somehow this is , what–subversive—for me to run? Give me a break! I have as much, I think, opportunity and chance of winning this race as anybody else. Why shouldn’t I give it a shot? Maybe they’re all right. Maybe I can’t. Maybe it’s all – all the stuff they say is true. Well, then, if they believe that, there’s a way to handle that. You can just vote for someone else.”