Archive for the 'Colorado 4th Cong. District' Category

Rosen mum as Gardner says he’s ready to allow government shutdown to repeal Obamacare

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Last month, Rep. Cory Gardner said he’d block an extension of the federal debt ceiling to “reduce the size and scope of government.”

Today, Gardner stated on the radio that he’d allow the government to shut down, by holding up annual budget negotiations, in order to repeal Obamacare, explaining that “if the government gets shut down, it’s going to be the President’s decision to do so.”

KOA’s Mike Rosen let Gardner’s salvo go by as if Gardner were talking about the weather.

Rosen: “Perhaps we can talk about some other items on the agenda, such as the current dispute, even with the Republican Party, about whether Republicans, who have a majority in the House, ought to take a stand now, as the continuing resolution question comes up, take a stand on Obamacare, and refuse to fund it, while at the same time, agreeing with a continuing resolution that would allow the rest of the federal government to operate. Have you got a position on that?

Gardner: I want to do anything and everything I can to stop Obamacare from destroying our health care, from driving up increases in costs. Whether that’s through the continuing resolution, I want to defund everything that we can….

Rosen: There’s a political concern that if the Republicans stand their ground on this [repealing Obamacare], they are going to be blamed for shutting down the government.

Gardner: Well, I think if the government gets shut down, it’s going to be the President’s decision to do so. I believe that we don’t need to shut down the government because we ought to just lift this health-care bill out of the way and let America work.

Listen to Gardner saying he’ll shut down government to repeal Obamacare 8.1.13

Rosen should invite Gardner back for a full discussion about the economic and political ramifications of a move by the House Republicans to block funding Obamacare and shut down the government in the process.


Immigration reform without citizenship: A hole for immigrants vs. a path of opportunity

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Mostly lost in the media coverage of the immigration-reform bill is what life would look like for undocumented immigrants if America doesn’t offer them a path to citizenship.

Republicans like Rep. Cory Gardner of Ft. Collins, who oppose giving undocumented immigrants tangible hope of becoming U.S. citizens, should be asked to explain how their version of immigration-reform comports with the basic American image of itself as a place of opportunity for hard-working people who’ve powered our country from the get-go.

Gardner told The Denver Post’s Allison Sherry Tuesday:

“We have to focus on border security first and enforcement of the law, and then we can move onto questions about citizenship. There is no bill right now, so let’s start with the border and then go from there.”

So Gardner wants to create a hole in our country, as opposed to a path, that would hold millions in fear of deportation or, at best, like indentured servants of yesteryear.

Is this what American opportunity looks like for Gardner? Sit tight in your hole; maybe we’ll get back to you?

What does he have to say to President Obama, who told Telemundo Denver last week that immigration reform without an opportunity for citizenship would create a country of “full citizens and people who are assigned to a lower status.” This isn’t “who we are as Americans,” he said.

Journalists who are writing about people like Gardner should flip their perspective and also report that, de facto, GOP opponents of immigration reform favor the creation of an underclass of American workers.

We all know that Gardner’s quest for air-tight border security could be endless.

If so, what is the GOP vision of America with a class of people who are fundamentally unequal to the rest of us–and lack the opportunity that’s at the foundation of our country.  Let’s hear more from reporters about that.

A version of this op-ed was distributed by the Other Words syndicate.


Gardner says he wants to use debt ceiling to slash government, but he isn’t asked about impact on U.S. economy

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

You may recall that when House Republicans blocked the extension of the U.S. debt ceiling a couple years ago, the stock market went into cardiac arrest and America’s credit rating was downgraded.

So are you shocked that Rep. Cory Gardner is on the radio talking about doing it again?

Maybe you’re not shocked, but, still, if you presided over a talk-radio show, your brain might tell you to ask a follow-up question when Gardner says he wants to leverage the debt-ceiling extension to push his anti-government agenda.

Gardner told KFTM’s John Waters Monday that he sees the upcoming extension of the debt ceiling as an “opportunity to reduce the size and scope of government, and how we can require opportunities to look for savings, look for cuts, and what we’re going to do to grow the economy through common sense tax reform.  I think there’s great opportunities for us to get back on track.” (Listen here.)

Gardner is obviously free to push his anti-government agenda in Congress, as well has his anti-abortion one, but why not ask him why he doesn’t use the budget process for this? That’s where debate about these issues is supposed to take place.

Democrats and Republicans have extended the debt ceiling over 100 times since 1940, with little opposition (until 2011). Reagan did it 18 times; G.W. Bush seven.

Do we really want to risk another credit downgrade, as well as a stock market collapse, to debate budget issues that are properly addressed elsewhere?

It’s a question that Waters should have put to Gardner.

Substance needed behind Gardner’s speculation about Keystone pipeline

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Nothing wrong with a Congressman speculating on what President Obama might do.

But Rep. Cory Gardner’s speculation Saturday, on a national Voice of America show, that Obama will approve the Keystone pipeline later this year in exchange for a “regulatory action on greenhouse gasses” deserves media scrutiny.

The radio host apparently didn’t have the inclination to ask Gardner about his sources for the intel about Obama (presumably he has at least two such sources, and they’re not talk-radio hosts).

Neither was Gardner asked, more generally, for a ray of light into why he thinks Obama might do these things.

This leaves the door wide open for some journalist to ask Gardner for the substance behind his Keystone assertions.

Here’s more of Gardner’s thoughts on the topic:

GARDNER: You know, I actually think that the president will approve the pipeline. I think that sometime later in the fall of 2013 that the president will approve the pipeline. Now, I think there will be a trade-off, because he does have a significant number of his supporters that oppose the pipeline. So I think there is going to be some kind of a quid pro quo, so to speak, — an action that the president will take to try to say, “Well, all right. I’ve approved the Keystone pipeline. I’m also doing this” to try to appease or satisfy the people who [are] opposed to the approval of the pipeline. What that will be? My guess is it will be some kind of a regulatory action on greenhouse gases that could make it even more difficult to develop energy in this country. But I do think he wil approve it, but it’s going to come with something.

Reporters should find out if Rep. Gardner favors secession

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is reportedly sympathetic to a move by county leaders in northern Colorado to secede from the state.

It doesn’t appear that he’s been asked directly if he supports slicing a new state out of Colorado, but based on his statement below, it’s a reasonable question to ask.

Two country commissioners in northern Colorado are talking secession (See here) because they think Democrats who control the state Legislature are waging a war on rural Colorado. They point to new gun and renewable-energy laws as prime evidence for this, even though polls show support across Colorado for these measures.

Instead of condemning secession as contrary to the American way of standing together and working out problems in a non-tantrum-like-manner, Gardner, who represents northern Colorado, said this to the Post Independent last week.

The district that U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. comes from would be split, but Gardner said in a statement on Thursday that he is sympathetic to what commissioners are doing.

“The people of rural Colorado are mad, and they have every right to be,” he said in the statement. “The governor and his Democrat colleagues in the statehouse have assaulted our way of life, and I don’t blame these people one bit for feeling attacked and unrepresented by the leaders in our state.”

Gardner has close ties to Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, who’s a leader of the secession effort. They worked for Colorado Senator Wayne Allard from 2002 through 2005, when Gardner left to run for the CO statehouse.

Gardner says he wants bigger GOP tent, so why is he excluding young immigrants?

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Just after the November election, a chastened Cory Gardner told Fox 31’s Eli Stokols:

Gardner: “Republicans have always talked about having a big tent, but it doesn’t do any good if the tent doesn’t have any chairs in it. Bringing Latinos to the forefront, bringing women in, is absolutely critical.”

So you’d think Gardner, who represents Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, would, over the ensuing six months, at least make room in the GOP tent for the children of undocumented immigrants, who were brought to this country through no fault of their own.

You’d think Gardner would get on board with Colorado’s ASSET law, which allows colleges to offer these so-called “Dreamers” the normal in-state tuition rate.

But on Monday, the same day that Gov. John Hickenlooper signed ASSET into law, Gardner told KNUS’ Steve Kelley, that he still opposes Colorado’s new policy of granting in-state tuition to the Dreamers, because Gardner does not believe the U.S. borders are secure enough, and that’s his first priority.

Kelley: Comments on Colorado, now. The Governor, last Friday, rescinded a bill, repealed a bill on notification of illegals. This all ties together, by the way, the Boston bombings and all of these are connected. Obviously, you deal with these things on a federal level, but as a state, now, we’ve repealed this notification thing. And then, in-state tuition for illegals in Colorado, you must have a comment on that.

Gardner: I think we’re actually doing everything backwards. The solution has to come from the federal government on border security with an immigration policy that actually works to identify those who want to come into this country legally, who want to work here legally. But we can’t start putting in place in-state tuition, whether it’s other things that are being in placed [sic] by the states, without actually addressing the root problem that will only continue more illegal immigration into this country. And so, that’s why we’ve got to have a policy that actually works, and I believe it starts with border security.

Gardner, who’s long opposed ASSET, isn’t the only GOP muckety muck who promised to be nice to Hispanics after the 2012 election collapse. Who can forget former GOP lawmakers Josh Penry’s and Rob Witwer’s clarion call for a more loving Republican Party or a dead one. They wrote of the Dreamers: “These kids grow up in households where parents work hard and attend church on Sunday. These are American values. But yes, some of these kids — through no fault of their own — were not born American citizens.”

If Kelley won’t ask a guy like Gardner about the substance of his promise to open the GOP tent to Hispanics, I’m hoping real journalists won’t forget next time they’re standing in front of Gardner and others like him.

Reporters should note GOP response to anti-Hispanic comments by fellow Republicans

Monday, April 1st, 2013

You get the feeling that some Republicans are trying to sneak Hispanics into the GOP tent through the back tent flaps, for fear that welcoming them though the tent’s front door will offend the dwindling number of Republicans already in the tent.

That’s what I was thinking when KFKA morning show host Devon Lentz insulted the entire country of Mexico last week, and Rep. Cory Gardner, who was a guest on the program, acted as if he’d heard nothing rude or inappropriate.

“We’re going to deal with this immigration thing,” said Lentz, who’s a former Larimer Country GOP official. “Except that, how do we also keep from advertising in countries like Mexico that when you come here, here’s how to get on the food stamps, here’s how you take advantage of this system, and get housing assistance, and food assistance?  How do we at least keep from advertising how to take advantage of our system?”

Who knew the hard-working people from Mexico are out to freeload on America? Are Italians similarly inclined? Brits?

Rather than throw that question back at Lentz or, perhaps, even praise Hispanics’ current contributions to our nation, Gardner said:

“Well, and those are questions that are being asked regularly to the administration about how they’re doing it, and what they’re doing, and how they’re marketing various programs.”

Gardner has said he wants Hispanics in the GOP tent, but with Lentz lurking around inside, and Gardner refusing to stand up for a country like Mexico, will Hispanics want to enter?

It’s a question reporters should discuss with the Gardners of the GOP. Can they make progress if they don’t stand up for Hispanics when fellow Republicans insult them? Kind of like John McCain did when he defended Obama after a woman said he was an Arab she couldn’t trust.

On the radio, Gardner told Lentz: “But I think we all recognize that the values that make this country great.  And those are the two values that I talk about that we have to balance in any Immigration reform.  And that is the first, balance the first value—that this country is and must remain a beacon of hope for the world.  And the second value, that we are a nation of laws. And so, any immigration policy must meet those two stated values.”

Got it. Beacon of hope. Nation of laws.

How does that square with making sure not to tell Mexicans how to get food stamps and housing assistance?

Talk show host lets Gardner appear to agree with Palin without asking him for clarification

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

On Fort Morgan’s KFTM radio this week, host John Waters missed a chance to pin down Rep. Cory Gardner about whether he agrees, in retrospect, that Sarah Palin was right that Obamacare put the fate of Americans in the hands of “death panels,” with the power to decide who lives and who dies.

Remember Palin said her own child with Down Sydrome would “stand in front of Obama’s death panel” for a verdict.

As you can see below, Gardner neither stared down this craziness nor embraced it. Gardner managed to leave the casual conservative listener with the impression that, yes, he agrees with Palin. And unfortunately Waters didn’t ask him to clarify.

It’s a pattern with Gardner that a right-wing host like Waters should want to dig into. In front of conservative groups, Gardner presents himself as one of them, but when a mainstream audience is peeking in, he moderates. Where does he really stand?

Will Gardner stand behind his support for the personhood ban on abortion, for rape, for example, even as he says he wants more women in the GOP tent?

Will Gardner continue to stand with the Tom Tancredos of the GOP in opposing in-state tuition for young undocumented immigrants? Or a borader path to citizenship?

These are the questions I’d be asking if I were Waters. Instead, Waters lets Gardner slide:

Host: I remember, Cory, three or four years ago when Sarah Palin came out and talked about “death panels” that would be put in place as part of Obamacare, she was absolutely crucified and vilified in the media because of this assertion of death panels. And now it’s come out that she was absolutely right.

Gardner: Well, you have this Independent Payment Advisory Board that was set up to look at how healthcare is going to or is not going to be delivered. It’s not a decision that’s going to be made between a patient and a doctor but it’s a decision that’s going to be made between the bureaucrat and the health care provider, and what they can do and what they will not be able to do, particularly the case for Medicare. The Board is an unelected group of bureaucrats. It actually has a bipartisan opposition, both Republicans and Democrats have tried to repeal the IPAD board, but so far without luck.

Listen to Cory Gardner on KFTM 3-11-2013

In case you’re wondering, the 15-member Independent Advisory Payment Advisory Board, appointed by the president and the U.S. Senate and established under Obamacare, would recommend Medicare cost-savings measures, which could be rejected by Congress. explains:

The health care law directs a new national board — with 15 members who are political appointees — to identify Medicare savings. It’s forbidden from submitting “any recommendation to ration health care,” as Section 3403 of the health care law states. It may not raise premiums for Medicare beneficiaries or increase deductibles, coinsurance or co-payments. The IPAB also cannot change who is eligible for Medicare, restrict benefits or make recommendations that would raise revenue.
What it can do is reduce how much the government pays health care providers for services, reduce payments to hospitals with very high rates of re-admissions or recommend innovations that cut wasteful spending. Some argue that because the IPAB can reduce the money a doctor receives, this could lead to an indirect form of rationing. But the board wouldn’t make any health care decisions for individual Americans. Instead, as PolitiFact Georgia reported, it would make broad policy decisions that affect Medicare’s overall cost.

Border security aside, would Gardner support a path to citizenship?

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

It’s obvious that KHOW’s Michael “Heck’ve-a-Job” Brownie is not a journalist.

But his conversation with Rep. Cory Gardner yesterday on the immigration issue is instructive to reporters who interview anyone, Republican or Democrat, on the topic.

They key issue in this debate is the path to citizenship. Will one be offered to undocumented immigrants? How long would they have to wait to become citizens, and what will their rights be during this period? How many new citizens should our country accept and by when? Is anyone concerned that a long waiting period would create an underclass of pseudo Americans?

Brownie doesn’t bother to get Gardner’s views on the citizenship issue at all, much less the details.

Instead, Brown’s focus was border security (surprise!) and how to avoid getting “rolled over like President Reagan did back in the 80’s?”

This is a real issue, but it’s one that the players appear to agree on.

Gardner argued for “putting a policy in place that doesn’t just delay a problem or create a problem in ten to twenty years. And I don’t know that we’re there yet with the policies that have been put forward. But that’s a very serious point that you bring up and something that is going to have to be addressed and people have to feel satisfied with it, [that] it’s not just delaying a bigger problem.

Gardner sounds like border security is all that’s needed. So let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that his can be done. Would Gardner, who opposed offering citizenship to undocumented immigrants just three years ago, please offer up some details on what an acceptable path to citizenship would look like?

Transcript of Rep. Cory Gardner’s comments on immigration on KHOW’s Michael Brown Show, Jan. 30, 2013.

BROWN: What’s happening on the Hill with immigration, and what’s your personal feelings?

GARDNER: Well, my personal feeling — you know, my family—our last name used to be ‘Gardiner’ [spells it out]. They moved to England so that they could get into soup lines, that—to get food. They took out the ‘I’ in our last name to get into those lines. And I would like to believe that every single one of us, if we were living in a world that faced civil unrest, that faced murders, that faced mob control, –we would do anything and everything we could to get our families into the greatest country on the face of the Earth, the United States. But we have got to make sure that we have a system that is based on law, that is legal, that has border security, that promotes fairness. And I want to make sure that any proposal that we have, that comes forward out of Congress, meets the requirement [inaudible] of fairness, border security, to make sure that we are not penalizing people who are actually trying to get through the system legally.

BROWN: One of the things that came up last night, and I don’t even know if you can answer this in the next minute in a half, but, what’s different, and what assurances would I or anybody else who think the this issue at least ought to be addressed, that we’re not going to get rolled over like President Reagan did back in the 80’s?

GARDNER: Well, and that’s where we [inaudible] do the right job of putting a policy in place that doesn’t just delay a problem or create a problem in ten to twenty years. And I don’t know that we’re there yet with the policies that have been put forward. But that’s a very serious point that you bring up and something that is going to have to be addressed and people have to feel satisfied with it, [that] it’s not just delaying a bigger problem.

BROWN: Do you have any opinion or thoughts on how we can literally secure the borders?

GARDNER: I think there are a number of ways that we can secure the borders. We are doing it right now with additional personnel, and do we need additional personnel on the border; whether we need some kind of electronic enforcement; do we need a better system of knowing who’d coming in and out, those can be done electronically, those can be done physically, with personnel on the border. But they’re all parts of a broader solution that I think needs to be put in place.

Will the GOP base bite back if their leaders flip on a path to citizenship?

Monday, January 28th, 2013

With an immigration-reform compromise coming soon, including some path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, the question is, how willl the GOP base respond?

On the Democrats’ side, immigration reform moves their leaders more closely in line with their base voters.

But on the GOP side, if you recall the last GOP primary and the name Rick Perry rings a bell, things are different. The GOP base is in the Tancredo camp, for the most part.

Just a few days ago, on Friday’s KRMA-TV Channel 6’s “Colorado State of Mind,” you had Colorado State Sen. Ted Harvey trashing a path to citizenship:

Harvey: The problem is, we did that once. Ronald Reagan  did it in the 1980s. When he gave amnesty to about 10 million people, saying, “All right, this is the last time we’re going to do this. We’re going to stop the illegal immigration. And we’re going to allow this population to be normalized.

Well, that didn’t work. We now have upwards to 50 million illegal immigrants in the United States looking for help. And it is a tough situation. You know, a lot of these kids have been here a long time. They think of themselves as American. But if we do this, it’s just going to encourage an entire ‘nother generation. Just like the Reagan policy did. And that’s something that is not good for America. We are a country of laws.” (BigMedia emphasis)

So how will a guy like Harvey, and GOP activists who share his views, respond to fellow Republicans, like Rep. Cory Gardner, who told Fox 31’s Eli Stokols he’s reviewing an immigration compromise, despite Gardner’s history of opposition to proposals involving a path to citizenship?

That’s the story to watch for, as the immigration compromise unfolds. How will it be received by the GOP base?