Republican Senate candidate not Buckpedaling on abortion

November 25th, 2015

“My name is Tim Neville, and I’m THE pro-Life candidate running for the nomination to take on and defeat Democrat Michael Bennet in November 2016.”

That’s how Neville, who’s considered the frontrunner in the GOP Senate primary, describes himself in a recent fundraising email.

And judging from the letter (excerpt below), it’s hard to imagine there’s a more anti-choice candidate anywhere on the planet.

Neville even confirms that the Live at Conception Act is a personhood bill, something Sen. Cory Gardner was willfully confused about.

In contrast to Gardner, who was obviously worried women would revolt against his history of Neville-like positions on abortion, Neville brags that “politicians in both parties” opposed his bill that would have “forced abortion providers to offer women the opportunity to see an ultrasound, saving thousands of babies in the process.” (Translation: women would be required to have an ultrasound prior to having an abortion.)

We know Republicans in Colorado like to modify their abortion positions once they face a general-election audience. See, for example, Gardner, Rep. Mike Coffman, Bob Beauprez, Rep. Ken “Buckpedal” Buck.

But unlike those guys, you get the feeling that Neville really  believes he can win over both primary and general election voters by being himself, regardless of the issue. That will set him apart from recent state-wide Republican candidates. And it will make things interesting.

Excerpt from Neville Nov. 16 fundraising email:

…And if the good folks in Colorado send me to Washington, I WILL BE the abortion lobby’s #1 enemy — and I’ll wear that label with a badge of honor.

If elected to the U.S. Senate, I will END ALL taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and abortion providers.

I’m not afraid of the powerful abortion lobby.

During my time in the State Senate, I’ve led the fight to protect innocent unborn children.

I sponsored “The Women’s RIGHT Act” (SB 15-285), which would require abortion clinics to offer women the opportunity to see an ultrasound before murdering an innocent baby.

Studies show that 90% of women who see an ultrasound change their mind about having an abortion and instead choose life.

The baby butchers at Planned Parenthood often mislead women and tell them that their babies are already dead in the womb and that they need an immediate abortion — refusing to show them an ultrasound.

My bill would have forced abortion providers to offer women the opportunity to see an ultrasound, saving thousands of babies in the process. Unfortunately, politicians in both parties teamed up to kill my bill.

I also sponsored “The Women’s Health Protection Act” (HB 15-1128), which would require abortion clinics to adhere to the same medical standards as all other “medical” facilities in Colorado do.

Currently in Colorado, there’s not a single medical standard that abortion clinics must adhere to.

In fact, some of the most disgusting videos of Planned Parenthood murdering, cutting to pieces and selling unborn baby parts were filmed right here in Denver, Colorado, in one of Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics!

My bill would have exposed Planned Parenthood’s illegal selling of murdered baby body parts.

Because of my dedication to fighting to protect unborn children, I received the Colorado Campaign for Life’s Guardian Legislator of the Year Award.

Of course, my ultimate goal is to ENDING the practice of abortion in America once and for all.

But I will vote and fight for any bill or legislation that limits and slows down the murder of unborn children.

If you want a pro-Life champion in the U.S. Senate, can I count on you to sign your “Pro-Life” petition right away and let the abortion lobby know we mean business about ending abortion in America?

If elected to the U.S. Senate, I pledge to you — with every ounce of energy I’ve got — I’ll lead the fight to protect the unborn by:

>>> ENDING all taxpayer funding for not just Planned Parenthood, but for ALL abortion providers nationwide. I’ll fight to make sure not a single dime of taxpayer money is used to murder innocent children;

>>> Introducing a Life at Conception Act, which would federally recognize life as beginning at the moment of conception;

>>> Supporting and confirming ONLY U.S. Supreme Court nominees who you and I can count on to overturn Roe v. Wade;

>>> Working to ban the sale and distribution of chemical abortifacients like RU 486.

As you can see, I’m committed to protecting the Sanctity of Life from the moment of conception to natural passing.

I’m confident and strong in this belief — and I will NEVER waver from my position.

You have my word on that.

State Sen. Crowder sides with Hickenlooper on Syrian refugee policy

November 23rd, 2015

State Sen. Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa) has sided with Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in arguing that Colorado should still welcome Syrian refugees to the state, despite calls by some state lawmakers to ban them from coming here.

Rocky Mountain Community Radio’s Bente Birkeland reports:

Republican State Sen. Larry Crowder of Alamosa says Colorado and the country should not change the refugee resettlement program in the wake of the Paris attacks.

He was one of 10 Republicans not to sign the letter [asking Gov. John Hickenlooper to block Syrian refugees from coming to the state]. He says politicians are reacting with fear.

“When you talk about people who drop everything that they had and run for their lives, what we need to do is start realizing what our responsibility as a world citizen is,” [said Crowder].

Listen here. 

Birkeland mentioned that Hickenlooper supports the existing two-year vetting process for Syrian refugees.

Radio host apparently filing lawsuit connected to random injury of a police officer after a protest at East High School

November 23rd, 2015

After using his radio show, a newspaper column, and misinformation to whip up anger against a peaceful East High School protest last year, KNUS radio host Dan Caplis is now apparently suing the Denver Public Schools, city officials, DPS teachers/administrators, or possibly even students, because he thinks they are somehow responsible for the random and tragic injury to a Denver police officer that occurred after the East-High demonstration.

The issue came up recently, when KNUS host Craig Silverman told Caplis he wasn’t sure if they could discuss the issue on air, presumably due to a lawsuit. And a frequent KNUS listener told me he’s heard Caplis himself mention that he’s representing the police officer.

But Caplis, who’s considering a U.S. Senate run, did not return multiple emails seeking comment. So, unfortunately, I can’t tell you for sure what’s going on–or even if Caplis, a personal injury attorney, is involved in a case relating to the police officer at all.

What I do know is that, in the past, Caplis has falsely stated that the police officer, John Adsit, “was horribly injured while trying to protect the lawbreakers.”

In fact, the tragedy occurred after Adsit had finished escorting East High students on their march down Colfax.

“The bicycle officers were no longer providing traffic control for the march and were returning to service when the accident occurred,” a spokesman for the Denver Police Department emailed me last week.

This is in keeping with initial reporting in The Denver Post, which stated that Adsit was hit by the car as he was returning to his beat after escorting the protesters on their march. I confirmed this fact with Post reporter Jesse Paul.

Unfortunately, subsequent reporting in The Post stated that Adsit was hit as he was escorting East students. That’s why I confirmed the facts with Denver Police before writing this blog post.

Adsit had left the protest when he was hit by driver, Christopher Booker, who was apparently unconnected to the demonstration and who was experiencing a medical problem that apparently caused him to lose control of his vehicle. (Disclosure: My kid goes to East.)

Obviously, we don’t know the exact nature of Caplis’ lawsuit, if there is one. But in a Denver Post column, Caplis suggested that DPS authorities should be held accountable: “Any adults in the DPS system who encouraged students to leave school and illegally occupy the streets should be prosecuted for contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” wrote Caplis.

Actually, these adults should be thanked for educating students and allowing them to exercise their First Amendment rights. That’s what we want from adults in the Denver Public Schools. That’s why the DPS exists.

Coffman’s latest votes against Planned Parenthood are among six he’s cast to defund the organization

November 20th, 2015

If you read Rep. Mike Coffman’s recent explanations for his votes to defund Planned Parenthood, and you also know he used a Planned-Parenthood logo to promote himself in a political advertisement during his last election campaign, you might conclude that Coffman’s turn against Planned Parenthood is a recent change-of-heart.

But left out of media coverage of Coffman’s votes is the fact that he’s voted six times to defund Planned Parenthood over the past eight years, culminating in October’s defunding vote, which he explained by saying:

Coffman: “Until they clean up their act, we should fund critical women’s services through the many other community health partners that operate across my district, the state and all across this country in a way that doesn’t fly in the face of human decency.”

Until they clean up their act? There’s nothing in Coffman’s record of six defunding votes to suggest he’d ever support Planned Parenthood. That’s why everyone was surprised that he’d used a Planned Parenthood logo in a campaign ad last year.

But, apparently, not a single reporter asked Coffman about his use of the logo until after Coffman voted in Sept. to defund the organization.

“Using Planned Parenthood’s expression of support is not the same thing as saying it’s a good organization,” said Coffman’s spokeswoman Cinamon Waton told 9NEWS.

This leaves the question of why Coffman used the logo unanswered, but at least Watson confirmed that her boss thinks Planned Parenthood is a bad organization, as he said in July on conservative talk radio.

“It’s just one thing after another with Planned Parenthood,” Coffman told KNUS 710-AM’s Dan Caplis.

That statement of  longstanding opposition to Planned Parenthood is consistent with his record of six defunding votes, the first of which occurred in 2007, when he voted for an amendment, offered by  Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, to a federal budget bill. Pence offered a similar amendment in 2009 to a federal budget bill, and Coffman voted in favor.

Coffman’s next vote to defund Planned Parenthood came in 2011, after House Republicans added a resolution to a federal budget bill, HR 36, stating that funding in the legislation “may be made available for any purpose to Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. or any affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc.” Also in 2011, House Republicans added amendment 95 to a second bill, H.R. 1, allowing Coffman to vote again to defund Planned Parenthood.

Coffman’s next opportunities to defund Planned Parenthood came this year, in September and October, and he took advantabge of them by voting again to rescind federal money.

This issue will clearly return as the election season heats up, and there are still questions left hanging, including the basic question, which Coffman’s spokesman dodged earlier this year, of why such an ardently anti-choice and anti-Planned-Parenthood Congressman would use the organization’s logo in a campaign ad. But more broadly, why has Coffman opposed Planned Parenthood for so long? And with such fervor?

Key Denver Post reporting on Quinnipieac poll cut from print version of story

November 19th, 2015

I was sorry to see that key paragraphs of Denver Post reporter John Frank’s intelligent reporting on the latest Quinnipieac poll were cut from the version of the article that appeared in newspaper’s print edition. Here is the disappeared info:

Moreover, the survey results are likely to face scrutiny given the pollster’s mixed reputation in Colorado. A 2014 Quinnipiac poll put Gov. John Hickenlooper down 10 points to his Republican rival weeks before voting began even though others showed him with a narrow 2 percentage point edge. Hickenlooper won by 3 points.

The survey under-represented Democratic and unaffiliated voters, compared to state registration figures — which may help explain Clinton’s below-average performance in the poll.

To my way of thinking, those two paragraphs, which were in the online article, provided essential context on the poll’s absurd rusults, which showed, in part, Donald Trump thumping Hillary Clinton by an 11-point margin!

At least the print edition included this paragraph:

The poll — a year before the general election — represents a snapshot in time, rather than a reliable indicator of how Colorado will vote in November 2016.

Tipton promoting apparent misinformation that Paris attacker had “Syrian refugee passport”

November 18th, 2015

On Facebook Monday, Rep. Scott Tipton posted the apparent misinformation that “one of the bombers involved in the Paris attacks had a Syrian refugee passport.”

This is almost certainly wrong, apparently a so-called false flag, yet the statement remains on Tipton’s official Facebook page.

Newsweek reported: “Serbian officials told The Guardian that they think both the passport found in Paris and on the man they arrested are fake. A source investigating the case told the AFP that the passport belongs to a Syrian soldier who was killed earlier this year. Officials have not made any public statements on the passport confirming or denying its authenticity.”

Tipton: The risks posed to our national security by admitting tens of thousands of refugees from a war-torn region that is currently the global hotbed for terrorist activity are very real. The U.S. should immediately stop accepting Syrian refugees…

While most of these people are innocent and victims themselves, all it takes is one ISIS terrorist posing as an asylum seeker to come to the United States and inflict harm…

Given that at least one of the bombers involved in the Paris attacks had a Syrian refugee passport, the threat is very real and the risk is high. [BigMedia emphasis]

Tipton’s post incited these ugly comments, which is another reason he should remove it ASAP.

Esther Scaman: Keep up the good work Scott! Keep all those bastards out of our country! I say pack n carry at all times! And for those opposing you I’ll thank you for them since they are like their president putting America in harms way and won’t accept the truth if it slapped them in the face!!!

Patricia R. Lang: Much like it was in Viet Nam, one can not tell the refugee from the terrorist bent on destroying our country and our way of life. It is sad but all Syrian refugees much be stopped from entering the United States of America

Tipton was on KVOR’s Richard Randall show Tuesday, talking about this topic, but he did not refer to the Syrian passport. Another guest on the show, Andy Pico, a GOP Colorado Springs City Councilman, spread the same apparent falsehood that the Paris attacker was a Syrian refugee. (Listen here.)

Pico, along with Tipton, should walk this comment back in some public venue–because it poisons reasonable debate about the refugees. And reasonableness regarding poor Syrian refugees is under severe attack.

A Colorado governor who fought bigotry–and won in the end

November 18th, 2015

During WWII, the U.S. government forced Japanese Americans  from their homes on the West Coast and moved them to interior states. Kansas Gov. Payne Ratner, reflected the opinions of many governors when she responded at the time with, “Japs are not wanted and not welcome in Kansas.”

With at least 22 Republican governors saying they’ll try to keep Syrian refugees out of their states, Denver University’s Seth Masket wrote a blog post yeserday reminding us of this and pointing out that Colorado Governor Ralph Carr “stood out” among his fellow governors at the time and declared that the forced relocation of the Japanese Americans under Executive Order 9066 was unconstitutional. He also welcomed them to Colorado.

Masket didn’t mention Hickenlooper, who has welcomed Syrian refugees, but the loose parallel between the two Colorado governors isn’t lost on anyone reading Masket’s post, titled “The governor who didn’t give in to fear … and paid a price for it.

Masket: “Obviously, the relocation of American citizens of Japanese ancestry is not the same as accepting refugees from another country,” writes Masket, who’s an Associate Professor of Political Science at DU. “But there are clear parallels, particularly in the political incentives governors are confronting. It’s not just that it’s easy to demagogue against foreign invaders; it’s that it’s sometimes politically risky not to. The governors refusing to take in Syrian refugees today may or may not know Ralph Carr’s name, but they have surely imagined his fate, and they don’t want the same for themselves.” [BigMedia emphasis]

Masket cites the Principled Politician, former 9News reporter Adam Schrager’s much-acclaimed biography of Carr. The book shows the respect Carr has now, in hindsight, even though his stance during WWII ended his political career.

I asked Schrager, who retweeted Masket’s post, about the similarities–or lack thereof–between Carr’s stance and the situation today.

Schrager: There are some similarities and some differences with the Syrian refugee situation as it’s not a true apples-to-apples comparison, primarily because the “refugees” in question in 1942 already lived in the U.S. They simply weren’t citizens, and as students of Executive Order 9066 will point out, even citizenship did not matter to President Roosevelt and, at that time, to the U.S. Supreme Court, which originally upheld the de facto jailing of American citizens of Japanese descent in addition to those who weren’t.

The other major difference between the times is that Gov. Carr was basically alone in his stand. Nowhere in the country at that time do you find a politician of equal stature both agreeing to help the U.S. government “win the war” by housing/incarcerating people of Japanese descent as well as defending the Constitutional rights of Americans citizen with that heritage to remain free. One of the things that’s always struck me about Gov. Carr is how lonely he was, going against friends and relatives, who didn’t understand where he was coming from. As inflammatory as some may believe the rhetoric is today, consider that Wyoming Gov. Nels Smith said in 1942, “If anyone of Japanese descent were sent to his state, they’d be found hanging from every pine tree.” (Source:

In today’s situation, while there are a number of politicians who are “refusing” to allow Syrian refugees into their states, there are also a number who are more accepting.

The major similarity is that, in both times, state leaders, must have known then and currently know now, they really have no authority in this area. It’s the federal government which determines immigration policy and politics aside, there’s really not much a state can do to stop a resettlement inside its borders. Sure, they can try to stop funding, but courts at the highest levels of our country have determined that even illegal immigrants are entitled to emergency care, education, etc. From reading the sentiments of 1942 leaders, including people like Earl Warren, there’s no doubt in my mind they were legitimately afraid and their comments reflect that. However, a sober approach and a conversation with their states’ respective attorneys general, would have alerted them to the realization they were powerless to stop what the federal government was proposing.

My gut reaction when I heard about this actually surrounded a couple of other situations in recent history, both of which I have little knowledge of, but I think might prove to be a more direct correlation to the topic of Syrian refugees, but even they don’t seem to fit exactly. The first also dates back to World War II when the federal government actually created Prisoner of War camps throughout the interior of the country to house mostly German and Italian soldiers captured overseas. I wonder how communities back then reacted to that.

The second and maybe slightly more relevant surrounds the resettlement of the Hmong, also largely here in the Midwestern part of the country, after the Vietnam War. Again, I have no direct knowledge of any type of xenophobia related to that situation, but I’d imagine—even though in that case you had people who had fought with us—I’m guessing there were fears of welcoming people who looked like those we had spent years fighting to communities.

In his blog post, Masket quotes Carr:

“The Japanese are protected by the same Constitution that protects us. An American citizen of Japanese descent has the same rights as any other citizen… If you harm them, you must first harm me. I was brought up in small towns where I knew the shame and dishonor of race hatred. I grew to despise it because it threatened [pointing to various audience members] the happiness of you and you and you.”



Seeing strong support for tax increase, CO Springs mayor open to extending it after five years

November 16th, 2015

Americans for Prosperity and other conservative operaatives in Colorado Springs got pissy with Republican Mayor John Suthers for thowing his support behind a sales tax to fix the city’s pot-hole-ridden streets.

But his proposal won, by a 2-to-1 margin.

Now, some of Suthers’ conservative critics will be unhappy to hear that Suthers may extend the sales tax beyond its five-year duration, if needed.

Talking on KVOR radio after the vote, Suthers didn’t rule out extending the tax, telling host Richard Randall:

Suthers: We’ll do a reassessment of our road conditions in four years, give a full report of the the public, and say, this is where we are. Do we need to do anything further? My hope is that we will significantly expand our road investments through the general fund over the next five years, and this may not be necessary to extend. If it is necessary, can we lower it dramatically? We will evaluate that in four years based on the progress we make.

Listen to Suthers KVOR 11.5.15

Poking the eyes of his opponents, Suthers told Randall that his polling showed clear support for the tax increas from the get go, and so he wasn’t surprised by the overwhelming support for it in Colorado Springs, despite the “noise” against it.

Suthers: We polled throughout…. When you just have community hearings, you don’t really get a clear view of how the public as a whole looks at an issue.  Sometimes you get how interest groups look at a particular issue. So we went to the public and said, where are your priorities between storm water and roads? How would you want to pay for it? Would it be sales tax or property tax? What kind of duration should the tax be? All that sort of thing.  And I was very gratified. The number held the pretty clearly, with all the noise that we heard over the last month about, oh, they are going to spend the money on something else.  Or they could find the money elsewhere. It really didn’t move the needle at all. The numbers stayed very consistent. So I wasn’t surprised, because we had been doing some polling throghout. and that’s how the community felt about it. Listen to Suthers KVOR 11.5.15

Klingenschmitt says Gardner is doing the “Bob and Weave Dance”

November 13th, 2015

Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt likes to come out swinging at his various targets, including, now, his Republican opponent for state senate, Rep. Bob Gardner.

Showing off his media skills, Klingenschmitt posted an entertaining video today, labeling Gardner a “liberal” and featuring Gardner doing the “Bob and Weave Dance.”

Klingenschmitt: My opponent for the race for State Senate District 12, Bob Gardner, has just started performing this Bob and Weave Dance to perfection! Here’s a quick example. If you’re following this Colorado Springs election, you know we’re both Republicans. And I’m actually conservative and Bob Gardner is a liberal who pretends to be a conservative.

Klingenschmitt’s undercover video features Gardner saying he supports the principles of liberty, but Chaps points to the Principle of Liberty website, which lists Gardner as receiving an F in 2013 2014.

“Don’t believe ratings systems that are odd, distorted,” Gardner says in Chaps’ video.

Chaps calls that the Bob and Weave Dance–and he wants an apology from Gardner for allegedly calling Chaps a liar.

He concludes with, “Unlike you, Mr. Bob-and-Weave Gardner, I don’t dance.” (But we know Chaps does throw poop.)

County Commissioner again accuses Obama of promoting charter schools with ties to Turkish cleric

November 13th, 2015

A Colorado Springs county commissioner, who’s considering entering the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, is again alleging that President Obama backed a national education program, in part, as a way to establish U.S. charter schools linked to a Turkish Islamic cleric.

“One of the reasons that President Obama was actually looking at and amenable and actually kind of agreeable to, if you will, Common Core was, that would be a way to influence and infiltrate and open up charter schools to able to have the Fethullah Gulen charter schools, which were bringing teachers over from Turkey,” said El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton Monday on KLZ 560-AM.

Littleton did not cite her evidence for this, but it reflects what she said at a conservative conference in March, as reported by Scott Keyes of ThinkProgress.  It’s not clear what Common Core, which is an education curriculum, has to do with establishing charter schools in the United States.

Followers of the reclusive Gulen, many with Turkish ties, have opened charter schools worldwide over the past decade, including over 100 in the U.S.  They focus on math and science, in keeping with Gulen’s notion that devout Muslims should not teach religion but science instead. “Studying physics, mathematics, and chemistry is worshipping God,” he sermonizes, according to a CBS investigation.

CBS discussed allegations that the Gulen schools are exploiting foreign-born teachers and the charter-school system for profit–and that the schools are secretly “promoting an Islamic agenda.”

CBS interviewed a teacher who claimed she was exploited, but CBS couldn’t confirm these accusations regarding Islam, reporting that “we looked into this and Islam is not taught at all.”

But Littleton implies that religious education is taking place at a Colorado charter school, which she allegedly visited, with ties to Gulen.

Littleton: “When I went in, it was apparent to me that the some of the pictures and things had been taken off in the walls. And they practiced, you know, some of the Muslim practices that are taught in the Koran, is what I observed when I was there.”

In March, Littleton told ThinkProgress that these charter schools teach students to “hate Americans.” This may or may not connect with her belief, expressed at a Alliance Defending Freedom Conference in July in Colorado Springs, that churches should prepare to “respond biblically” to disasters like “martial law.”  Anyway, when I hear back from Littleton, I’ll ask her about this, too.

Already in the race for the GOP nomination to take on Democrat Michael Bennet are state Sen. Tim Neville, businessman Robert Blaha, El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, former Aurora city counilman Ryan Frazier, former Parker mayor Greg Lopez, and El Paso County conservative Charles Ehler.

Three Republicans, including Littleton, are considering the race. Talk-radio host Dan Caplis is “very serious” about a run. And Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith is thinking about entering the race.

State Sen. Ray Scott is rumored to be a likely candidate. Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg has stated that two or three other candidates are considering the race.

Arapahoe County DA Charles Brauchler, Rep. Mike Coffman, and State Sen. EllenRoberts all considered running for the GOP nomination, but have withdrawn.

Here’s Littleton discussing Obama and education on KLZ Monday: