Archive for June, 2014

Debate question: How far should a governor go in blocking the feds?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

On KVOR’s Jeff Crank show last week, gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo announced his plan, if elected, to form a “10th Amendment Governor’s Caucus,” comprised of “like-minded governors” who would stand Tanc-like and “confront the federal government.”

Tancredo: Right now, there is a leaked memo from the Interior Department, in which they identify millions of acres around the country that they intend, essentially, to take over. To do what Clinton did, if you remember the Escalante. Three hundred and sixty thousand of those acres are here in Colorado.

Well, I’ll tell ya, if I were governor, and if they attempt that, and they are going to have to try enforce it, and they are going to meet opposition in doing so. That is a huge issue.

Listen to Tancredo on on KVOR’s Jeff Crank Show 6-7-14

This is the guy who wanted civility among competing Republicans? Do taunts count as civil? In any case, Tanc’s comment points to a good topic for the gubernatorial debates, which will appear on media outlets: Just how far should a governor go to block the federal government? If court challenges fail, on an issue like the one Tancredo describes above, should a governor take up arms? Sit down in the streets? Or what?



After Cantor’s fall, who’s the tea-partiest of them all? Talk radio tries to find the answer

Friday, June 13th, 2014

After House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s crash, you naturally wonder which Republicans in Colorado’s gubernatorial primary are out-of-the-closet tea partiers. Arguably, they’re all closeted tea party types, at a minimum, but who lets his tea-party flag fly?

Colorado’s gubernatorial race has been spotlighted nationally as the next big test of tea-party strength, post Eric Cantor. So Republican voters may want to know which of the leading candidates self-identify as tea party.

Local talk-radio hosts have been out in front on this story.

In the past, despite his tea-party record, Bob Beauprez has ducked the question in different ways. In one instance, on KOA’s Mike Rosen show, he said:

Caller Doug: My question for Rep Beauprez: Is he more aligned with the traditional Republican Party or more aligned with the tea p?

Beauprez: I’m more aligned with, some people would call them, conservative values, traditional values. I think both of the groups that you highlight, in general, adhere to the same.

On the other hand, Tom Tancredo told KNUS’ Steve Kelley Wednesday:

Tancredo: I love the tea party. I believe they have been a very healthy force inside this body politic, especially for Republicans. I believe it has helped move the party to the right, although it’s been done begrudgingly on the part the party itself. A lot of people resent it and resist it. No, I think they’ve been helpful.

Listen to Tancredo discusses the tea party on KNUS Kelley and Company 06-11-14

Will talk radio boost Tancredo as it did Cantor’s tea-party opponent?

Friday, June 13th, 2014

I’ve been too busy listening to talk radio to notice news reports that talk radio anchored the defeat of GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Politico reported Wednesday:

Brat’s surprise victory is a powerful reminder, as if any were needed, of the immense influence talk radio has over conservative politics — it was not only [Laura Ingraham] boosting [Cantor slayer David Brat] but also Glenn Beck and Mark Levin bringing their considerable influence with the right to bear as well. Since well before the rise of the tea party, establishment Republicans have feared the medium’s command over the conservative base.

National talk-radio hosts not only endorsed Brat, but had him on their radio shows, broadcast in Virginia, numerous times leading up to his primary victory, according to Politico.

Will these national yappers now take aim at Colorado, possibly boosting Tom Tancredo over his more establishment rivals? So far I haven’t seen Laura Ingraham, broadcast locally on KLZ 560-AM, or Mark Levin, on KNUS 710-AM, getting involved in our gubernatorial primary, and I have no idea of their GOP audience compares to Virginia’s. Closest thing was Michelle Malkin’s battle-cry tweet after Cantor’s loss, saying Colorado is next.

But if anyone hears anything about Tanc from Ingraham, Levin, et al. please let me know.

In Virginia, it looks like Ingraham in particular took a high profile stance for Brat, as reported by Politico.

“She wasn’t just a talk radio host who simply used her program to promote Brat. She took it to another level,” said Chuck Todd, the NBC News political director and senior White House correspondent. “I think she does deserve credit in giving credibility to Brat.”

Of the local radio hosts, KNUS’ Peter Boyles is certainly doing his best for his buddy Tancredo, but god knows if Boyles does anything in the real world but excite electrons.

Colorado Springs talker Jimmy Lakey, who was once a Republican congressional candidate for CD 7 and doubles as Tancredo’s press secretary, posted his ballot on his Facebook page, with “Tancredo” bubble filled in. See below.

So maybe a groundswell of hot air will lift Tancredo over the top?

This post was updated to reflect that fact that KVOR’s Jimmy Lakey is also Tancredo’s press secretary.

Dump ice water on Boyles, please

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Tom Tancredo is best known for being a rattlesnake on immigration issues, but he’s hard right on social issues too (e.g., he supports an abortion ban.).

In this conversation with KNUS’ Peter Boyles last week, Tancredo says it’s not what gay people do that bothers him. He says he doesn’t care. But he does have a problem with gay people forcing hetero people, like him, to break their religious convictions in order to respect, include, or accommodate gays.

TANCREDO: Now, on the one hand, you know, Peter, our whole thing in this campaign and in my life is, essentially, “Look, I want to control just my own life. I don’t want to control yours.” Okay? That’s really and truly the bottom line for me. So, I don’t want to control the lives of people who have a different opinion about their sexuality and that sort of thing.
BOYLES: Pshhh! Who cares!
TANCREDO: I just don’t want them to try to control the lives of people –
BOYLES: Of others.
TANCREDO: –who have deeply held religious beliefs and are trying to, you know, adhere to them. And, so, that’s the only sticking point, here. And if it weren’t for that, I mean, I got no problems with this.

Listen to Boyles and Tancredo discuss why they want gays on an island 6.5.14

So Tancredo is saying, in a circular fashion, that he really doesn’t tolerate gays at all, unless they could be on a planet-within-our-planet by themselves, where they wouldn’t ruffle anyone’s bogus religious convictions.

Would Tancredo say we should defend the right of a bully to punch someone in the nose?  That’s not an exact analogy, but discrimination and bigotry are actually pretty close to violence, especially in the big picture. Just ask a gay person who’s been denied same-sex benefits, a lease, a job, opportunities for advancement, or a cake for their wedding, dear God.

Religion is Tancredo’s recycled strategy to justify discrimination, with Boyles lap dogging it up and throwing fuel on Tancredo’s fire.

Someone in the KNUS studio needs to dump ice water on Boyles.

On radio, Tancredo thrilled with Cantor loss

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

“We love this guy,” said KNUS radio host Peter Boyles, as he introduced gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo and asked him about the demise of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

“If I were a drinking man, I’d have been drunk last night,” Tancredo told Boyles. “I’d have been celebrating like crazy. I still went to bed about 10. It was a wonderful evening. The next domino is when Boehner resigns. And that may come.”

“Who knows how it will play out?” Tancredo told Boyles, amplifying on a statement distributed to reporters. “Who would have guessed that this would have happened? Who would have guessed that the recalls would have gone the way they did? Who would have guessed that Amendment 66 would have gone down in absolute flames? Oh man! I’m telling you, there are so many things happening. And who knows? Maybe after the vote on June 24, people will say, ‘Who would have thought Tancredo could win the Republican primary and then maybe the general election!’ And they’ll say, ‘Can you imagine this guy beat an incumbent Democrat.’ Who knows what’s in the cards?”

“We are extremely excited that this is the silver stake through the heart of amnesty,” said Tancredo on KNUS. “… The battleground for this issue will now devolve, if you will, to the states. We’ve got to do things that will make it uncomfortable for people who are here illegally to be here. You gotta be able to pass things like e-verify…. States can do this, if they have the guts.”

Tancredo agreed with Boyles’ lie that Obama himself could not pass e-verify and get a job due to his phony Social Security number.

Birther talk-radio host fails to test depth of CO State Senator’s birther-related views

Tea-party radio host celebrates Cantor loss

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

As news spread last night that Tea-Party Republicans in Virginia ejected House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Arapahoe Country Tea Party activists–here in Colorado–at their monthly meeting were hearing from gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo. And Bob Beuprtez was a no-show.

Celebrating Cantor’s victory with theme music (“We Are the Champions“) and bravado on the air this morning, KLZ radio-host Randy Corporon talked about last night’s Arapahoe County Tea Party meeting:

“Bob Beauprez didn’t show up. But Tom Tancredo did. He was an unannounced visitor. He’s been hitting a lot of Tea-Party and Liberty groups as the meetings pop up. And so…with Bob Beauprez not showing up at the Arapahoe Tea Party meeting, Tom Tancredo had some extra time to get his message out there.”

Corporon, who’s Chairman of the Arapahoe County Tea Party group, said on air that people at the meeting discussed “how to take advantage of the monumental event” of the Cantor defeat, and they decided that they need to get the message out to Republican candidates that “what happened to Eric Cantor can happen to you.”

Bob Beauprez wasn’t there to hear the message, but Tancredo was.

Listen to Randy Corporon celebrates Cantor defeat on KLZ 6.11.14


Pundit who first noticed Beauprez’s support of Obamacare mandate is still unhappy about it

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Colorado political writer Ari Armstrong was apparently the first media figure to notice, back in 2007, Bob Beauprez’s unqualified support for the central tenet of Obamacare, the requirement that everyone have health insurance. That’s called “the individual mandate.”

Armstrong, who writes from a pro-free-market perspective, wasn’t happy with Beauprez’s position on the individual mandate back in 2007, writing at the time:

Armstrong: Some of Beauprez’s proposals (none of which are original to him) are fine, such as reducing the tax distortion that has entrenched employer-paid insurance. But his call for mandatory health insurance overwhelms anything positive he might have to say. “Both Ways Bob” simply does not understand the nature of individual rights, the meaning of free markets, or the proper purpose of government.

Now that Beauprez’s Obamacare position has blown up into a major issue in the GOP gubernatorial primary, I asked Armstrong if he sees any lessons for the Republican Party, flowing from his original piece.

Armstrong: As for the Republicans, the lesson is that they should stop advocating policies that violate individual rights. Republicans hardly ever even mention individual rights, much less work toward a government that protects people’s rights. As a consequence, the typical Republican politician is an ineffective, unprincipled compromiser who surrenders the moral high ground every time he opens his mouth. That is why Beauprez likely will lose, and that is why he deserves to lose.

Here are more of Armstrong’s thoughts on the topic today, in response to my questions, including whether he thought Beauprez was making a policy recommendation in 2007.

Armstrong: Obviously Beauprez intended his remarks as a policy recommendation. The title of his article is, “Health Care Reform—The Battle is Joined: A Case for Patient First Health Care Reform.” In the article, Beauprez explicitly calls on government to force people to buy health insurance. On the issue of mandatory coverage, Beauprez anticipated the position of Hillary Clinton and of post-election Barack Obama. (Of course, prior to his election, Obama opposed the mandate of Clinton’s plan.)

It is worth noting that Beauprez was hardly alone in this. (He’s not an original enough thinker to come up with something like that on his own.) Many conservatives, and even some libertarians (see Reason magazine), supported an insurance mandate. It was only after ObamaCare became so unpopular (a result that quite shocked many Republican leaders) that conservatives and libertarians finally got consistently on board with the idea that forcing people to buy any product is wrong.

I do not know whether Beauprez has changed his mind on this or not. If he has retracted his support for an insurance mandate, I am not aware of it. Of course, I am not one of those people who pretends that any time a politician changes his mind, that’s a bad thing. If a politician is wrong, he should change his mind.

Armstrong was way out in front on this story in 2007, we’ll see where the issue goes now.

Media omission: how Coffman’s obstructionism in Congress has hurt vets

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

In responding to media reports, led by the Aurora Sentinel, that he voted against funds to reduce delays at Veterans Administration hospitals, Rep. Mike Coffman told reporters in a statement that he opposed the legislation because it cut cost-of-living increases for some military retirees.

But as Fox 31 Denver’s Eli Stokols pointed out, Coffman didn’t mention anything about veterans when he cast his vote against the Murray-Ryan compromise spending bill, which contained the increased funds for the VA. Coffman issued a statement at the time saying he was opposed to breaking Pentagon spending caps.

Local media reports haven’t pointed out what else was at stake in the omnibus spending bill: the continued operation of the federal government. Coffman’s vote against this compromise spending legislation was not only a vote against VA hospitals but also a vote for shutting down the government. And as everyone who was watching at the time knows, this was the overarching concern, and Coffman apparently hasn’t been asked about how his vote for the shutdown affected veterans.

By voting for a shutdown, Coffman reduced or jeopardized a slew of veterans benefits. For example, the reviews of benefit claims of thousands of veterans were delayed; over 7,500 Veterans Benefits Administration employees were furloughed; and compensation to millions of veterans and pension benefits to hundreds of thousands of veterans and their spouses were threatened. And beyond the VA, veterans rely on lots of services like HUD housing and Labor Department training, which were affected.

Also left out of media coverage were Coffman’s votes against increased VA funding in 2009 and 2011. These large bills would have provided nearly $200 million ($119 million in 2009 and $42 million in 2011) for the VA hospital in Aurora. Coffman has been upset at the delays in constructing this hospital, even though he’s opposed funding for it in the years prior to his own criticism of mismanagement.

What’s been left out of the VA coverage, in the big picture, is a discussion of how GOP obstructionism in Congress, particularly in the House and with the support of Coffman, has exacerbated the problems for veterans.


Radio host at least had his history correct in denouncing attack on Tancredo

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Gessler launched an ad yesterday attacking his rival Tom Tancredo as a loser because Tanc lost his 2010 campaign for governor.

The conservative radio world isn’t buying Gessler’s attack.

In a conversation with Tancredo a couple weeks ago, here’s what KNUS’ Dan Caplis had to say on the topic:

CAPLIS: I like Scott, but I thought his shot on you was very unfair…And here’s why. I agree with you. I think it was the best race you ever ran—-that race for governor. I think you did something very noble in trying to bail out, you know, a terrible situation, created by the Scott McGinnis / Dan Maes mess.

TANCREDO: Yeah. Yeah.

CAPLIS: And it’s so interesting. People forget. I mean, you ran a very good race, and, full disclosure, I think I contributed to your campaign. If I didn’t, I meant to. But I know that I publicly supported you.

TANCREDO: There’s going to be another chance. You’ve got another chance.

CAPLIS: [laughs] That’s good! I like that! But here’s my point. You jumped into this mess. And I remember, there were national political experts on Election Day predicting you were going to win that race! …And honestly, Tom, I think in that race, if it had been under normal circumstances, and you had just been the nominee of the GOP, and you’d have had the infrastructure in tact from day one, etc., I think there’s a real good chance you win that race.

TANCREDO: I do too.

In his 2010 gubernatorial run, Tancredo lost by 14 points in three-way race. If he’d gotten Maes’ 10 points, he’d have been within about 4 points of Hick. Still a loser, but still.

For a variety of reasons, I don’t think Tancredo would have beaten Hick, even if Maes dropped out, but Caplis has his historical facts correct here, for a change.

And if you’re going to get into a spitting match about who’s the bigger loser, Tancredo or Beauprez, Beauprez wins for once. (The Gessler ad also calls Beauprez a loser.)

In 2006, Beauprez lost by 17 points in a head-to-head race against Bill Ritter, with no Dan-Maes distraction.

Don’t get me wrong. Anybody who calls Obama a “radical,” as Tancredo does in his own political ad below, is an intellectual loser in my book, so I personally agree with Gessler, who’s a radical himself.

But Caplis had it mostly right in his analysis of Gessler’s attack of Tanc, if you look at the numbers and the historical facts.

Here’s more of the conversation on KNUS May 16:

TANCREDO: So, [the 2010 gubernatorial race] was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed it. And I do not regret a single minute of it. So, I’ll tell you, this is what happens. This is what we’ve tried to avoid. It’s why I tell them all the time, “Let’s not debate.” And I’ll tell you another thing. Scott, listen to me carefully, here, because I told this to [CO State Senator Greg] Brophy, too. And this is the truest thing I can tell you about politics. In a multi-candidate race, when one person attacks another, goes negative on another, both those candidates go down in polls. Because the votes go to another one of the people that are out there.

CAPLIS: Hmm. Hmm. Interesting. Because there’s that other option.

TANCREDO: That’s right, another option. You get mad at the people who are attacking, and then you think–. But you also get mad at the guy that is being attacked, and so it goes to number three or four.

CAPLIS: [laughs] You know, you –.

TANCREDO: You’ve got to remember, this will not help you, Scott! I guarantee you!

PETER BOYLES: In our lives, we’ve all seen this, where there is a husband or a wife who is cheating in a relationship. The third person goes to one or the other and tells, “Joe, Mary’s cheating,” [or] “Mary, Joe’s cheating.” At the end of the day, both of them hate the guy [inaudible]. And that’s what this is about.


CAPLIS: And what is so interesting to me, is Scott has so many positives things to talk about.

Media coverage of Coffman’s attacks on Romanoff’s 2006 compromise immigration laws should note Coffman’s support of hard-line ballot initiative

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Fox 31 Denver’s Eli Stokols reported yesterday that Rep. Mike Coffman has launched a web ad attcking his Democratic opponent, Andrew Romanoff, for supporting tough immigration legislation in 2006.

But Stokols omitted the fact that Romanoff’s compromise legislation came in response to a hard-line immigration ballot initiative that was endorsed by Coffman. The Coffman-backed initiative, called Defend Colorado Now, would have stopped Colorado from providing services to all undocumented immigrants, even children. One of the 2006 Romanoff-backed laws, for example  (HB-1023), specifically allowed children 18-years or younger to receive state services, like vaccinations.

Stokols piece fails to note the transparent hypocrisy of Coffman attacking Romanoff passing immigration laws, even though Coffman favored a more extreme anti-immigrant ballot initiative, which triggered the need for the compromise laws pushed by Romanoff. And Coffman’s measure would have been enshrined in the state Constitution, if it passed, which seemed likely at the time.

Stokols should have included a comment (or a no comment) by Coffman addressing his 2006 support of the extreme Defend Colorado Now initiative.

Coffman’s web ad spotlights a 2010 quote from Democratic State Sen. Jesse Ulibarri, who’s now backing Romanoff, criticizing Romanoff for the laws passed during the 2006 special session. In his piece yesterday, Stokols reports Ulibarri’s current thinking on the 2006 special session:

Ulibarri also told FOX31 Denver that he now has a better understanding, thanks in part to being a state lawmaker himself, of Romanoff’s choice back in 2006 than he did when he penned the 2010 Op-Ed, noting that the legislation passed was an effort to avoid a ballot measure that would have made it a felony for undocumented immigrants to have access to public services, including emergency room care, in the event of a health emergency.

“As Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives at the time, Andrew was faced with the choice of doing nothing and allowing undocumented children and many Coloradans to be denied emergency room care or finding an option to prevent an incredibly heinous law from being enshrined in our Constitution,” Ulibarri said.

“Speaker Romanoff fought to keep this measure off of the ballot by brokering a compromise during the special legislative session. This compromise made Colorado law consistent with federal law that denied certain public services to undocumented immigrants with exceptions for children, public health and safety. And while I don’t agree with the bills that were passed, I understand why the deal was made.”

That’s good context on Coffman’s ad. Just as important would have been an explanation from Coffman on why he supported the proposed constitutional amendment that Romanoff worked with Republican Gov. Bill Owens and others to stop.