Republican Talk-Show Host Calls for Investigation of Cynthia Coffman

July 2nd, 2015

UPDATE: In response to the request of a commentator on ColoradoPols, I asked Crank if he still holds the opinion below, which he expressed over two weeks ago. Here’s his response.

CRANK: Yes, I still believe that Cynthia Coffman should welcome an investigation by an independent authority.  I don’t know if what she did rises to the legal definition of blackmail or extortion.  Only a legal expert would know that.  There should be an investigation and, if she is cleared, she should apologize for using bad judgement.  If the investigation finds that she participated in an effort to extort or blackmail, she should resign.

I try to hold the same standard regardless of party.  That is more than those on the left usually do.

Amazes me that the folks on the left who are calling for Coffman to resign were eerily quiet about Eric Holder’s gun running operation and the IRS targeting people based on their political views.  Perhaps you should write about that too, unless that just cuts too close to home.

——-

Some of my friends might throw stones at me, but, love him or hate him, Colorado Springs radio-host Jeff Crank tries to hold the Republican Party to basic standards.

When Crank, a Republican, ran for Congress back in 2006, Crank was the victim of GOP shenanigans himself, so he seems to really hate it when the Republican knives come out behind the scenes.

Shortly after the news broke that Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and others had allegedly threatened House in an effort to push him out of his position as state GOP chair, Crank took to the airwaves with this:

CRANK: “Now, to me, if that happened, that’s blackmail,” said Crank, who’s worked over the years for Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, during his June 20 KVOR show. “Could it be extortion? I don’t know what the law says about the threshold for extortion or blackmail, but I’m pretty sure that the Attorney General shouldn’t participate in it. I’m pretty sure of that. In fact, I’m pretty sure that an Attorney General would want to prosecute rather than participate in an effort to blackmail the chairman of the Republican Party.

Now, I just say this. If this happened, Cynthia Coffman, the Attorney General, needs to resign. She’s a Republican, and she needs to resign. Because if this happened, she either at worst, participated in it, and at best, was a witness to it, in her office – in your office, in the Attorney General’s office of the state of Colorado. It’s uh — this is what needs to be investigated. Not whether Steve House did this, that, or the other thing. What is really troubling here to me is that the Attorney General of the state of Colorado, who already played politics once and took the opposite side of her husband in supporting someone for Party Chairman, now shows up and decides that that’s, all of a sudden, — he needs to go because maybe he hasn’t hired somebody. But participates in a meeting like this – was either a witness to, or participated in blackmail. There you go.

Who in the world do people think they are, walking into the Chairman. The Chairman was duly elected as the Chairman of the Republican Party. He can hire or not hire whoever he choses as his Exectuvie Director. Tom Tancredo, who again, has been a friend of mine, supported me when I ran for Congress when he was a member of Congress. I appreciate his support. Tom, of all people, was the guy that everybody in the Tea Party hated because he ran against Dan Maes, left the Republican Party, ran as an Independent, and now he’s trying to tell the Chairman of the Party who he has to hire as the Executive Director. And it’s all unseemly.

But here is the biggest problem I have with this: Cynthia Coffman is the chief law enforcement officer of the state of Colorado. And it’s lonely when you’re a Republican calling out another Republican. And I’m sad to say that. […] But I will say this: I have built a career doing that, and I will call you out if I think you’ve done something unethical, if you’ve done something wrong. And I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. And I think that’s what people respect about the positions that I take—is that I take them and I hold firm to them. And I’ve got to tell you, I need to know more about what Cynthia Coffman’s role was here. If she participated in or saw an attempt to blackmail the Chairman of the Republican Party, she needs to resign. Because if that’s the case, if that happened, she is Eric Holder of the state of Colorado. And I can’t think of anything worse to say about somebody than being the Eric Holder of the state of Colorado. She can’t just sit silently. There has to be an investigation. There should be an ethics complaint filed.

Barring a sentence or two, Crank actually sounds like a real attorney general here, unlike the one we have now.

Former KLZ hosts to sub on KNUS tomorrow, Friday and Saturday

July 1st, 2015

Former KLZ talk-radio hosts Ken Clark, Kris Cook, and Randy Corporon resigned after KLZ management banned Tom Tancredo from the KLZ airwaves, at least temporarily.

Now the trio is set to take the air again, as substitute hosts on KNUS 710-AM.

As reported by Ken Clark on his Facebook page, here’s the trio’s scheduled KNUS appearances over the next few days:

Ken Clark: ·

The Liberty Lineup is riding the airwaves again! Here’s when we’ll be on 710 KNUS ( www.710knus.com ) in the coming days:

Thursday, 7/2, around 10:15-ish – Kris will be on with Chuck Bonniwell when he fills in for Dan Caplis
Friday, 7/3, 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. – Ken and Randy will fill in for Peter Boyles
Saturday, 7/4, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. – Ken will fill in for Chuck and Julie on Weekend Wake Up
Saturday, 7/4, 9 a.m. to Noon – Randy will fill in for Craig Silverman

I hope you all will listen in, share with your friends and ask *them* to listen in, and especially, if you can, CALL in!! The studio line is 303-696-1971.

The three hosts have been at the center of efforts to air out grievances against Colorado GOP chair Steve House.

You gotta give KNUS credit for giving these people a platform to air out whatever more they have to say–including whatever interviews they want to conduct.

Talk-show hosts should release multi-page document outlining accusations against House

July 1st, 2015

Denver talk-show hosts should release a multi-page document, apparently prepared for last week’s Republican executive committee meeting, detailing concerns about Republican State Party Chair, Steve House.

Tom Tancredo told KNUS 710-AM’s Peter Boyles Monday that House refused to let him or Pueblo Country GOP Chair Becky Mizel distribute the “three-to-four pages” to committee members, even though Mizel sits on the committee.

On Saturday, former KLZ 560-AM host Randy Corporon told KNUS 710-AM’s Craig Silverman that he’d emailed what sounded like the same document to Silverman prior to his interview on Silverman’s show.

Corporon told Silverma on air: I sent you a four-page letter of the problems. You probably haven’t had a chance to see it. Neither did the executive committee, by the way, because Steve House did not allow anyone to distribute the four-page letter of concerns about Steve House for the executive committee (at 56:40 Hour 3).

But neither Corporon nor Silverman responded immediately to my requests for the document.

In the name of transparency, Silverman should place the accusations on the KNUS website post haste.

Corporon should read the document on the KNUS airwaves Friday, when he is guest-hosting beginning at 5 a.m., along with Kris Cook and Ken Clark, the other two KLZ talk-radio hosts who resigned after KLZ management refused, at least temporarily, to allow Tom Tancredo to appear on KLZ.

A counter to one-sided radio interview with former Jeffco Schools communications director

June 30th, 2015

Since she left her job as communications director for the Jefferson County Schools, Lisa Pinto took the highly unusual step, for a low-level public relations professional (alleged), of actually whining about her tenure at Jeffco and drawing media attention to herself.

In an June 19 op-ed in the Colorado Statesman, and an earlier interview on KNUS 710-AM’s Kelley and Company, Pinto slammed the community activists, the teachers’ union, and other villains for making her job miserable and undermining public education in Jeffco. She’s relieved, as she told KNUS below, to now be playing golf and not thinking about politics. (And, she adds, she’s a good golfer!)

Of course, one of the worst aspects of conservative talk radio is its one-sided nature, so I thought it would be worth spotlighting a counter op-ed that appeared in the Colorado Statesman yesterday, by Jim Earley, a Jeffco community activist.

Earley: There is no question that Lisa Pinto’s short tenure as chief communications officer for Jeffco Public Schools was troubled from the start. From the flawed interview process and dubious qualifications, her connections to school board member Ken Witt and others through the Leadership of the Rockies program, her subsequent decision to hire known conservative media consultancy Novitas Communications for $50,000 to assist in what should be her core job duties, to a series of mind-boggling social media debacles, and culminating in a PR disaster when the district refused to host the governor for a bill signing, there’s little doubt that Pinto was not a good fit for the job.

Pinto’s resignation should have been the end of it. Yet, in a guest column published by The Colorado Statesman last week, Pinto combines what can only be considered as sour grapes about her time in Jeffco, with the standard, party line, union-as-thug rhetoric. It stands to reason that with so much controversy surrounding Pinto’s tenure that a little self-reflection ought to be the order of the day; perhaps, as Pinto herself noted, “a CT scan” would do to introspect on what really went wrong.

“… a billion-dollar professional services corporation is going through a necessary turnaround while under attack by a guerrilla group …” Pinto fails to recognize that many Jeffco residents do understand what is happening. Using terms like “guerrilla group” as a connotation for the JCEA is debasing, and serves no purpose other than to vilify teachers, and many Jeffco residents aren’t buying into the petty name-calling.

“This was a lesson for me, not having an ego, trying to do the right thing,” says Pinto at the end of her radio interview. “And I realize there are some things that can’t be fixed.” Not by her. She’s right there.

Listen to Lisa Pinto on KNUS 710-AM on 6-17-2015

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/lisa-pinto-explains-dysfunction-of-jeffco-teachers-and-union-in-board-dispute-kelley-co-61715

Media omission: Tancredo says Republicans told him they were “scared” to vote against House

June 29th, 2015

After being banned, at least temporarily, from KLZ 560-AM last week, Tom Tancredo’s familiar voice spiced up the airwaves on KNUS 710-AM this morning, as he chatted with Peter Boyles about the (as of now) failed attempt to oust Steve House as GOP Party Chair.

Tancredo said more high-ranking Republicans want to oust Steve House than you might think, judging from the Colorado GOP’s Executive Committee’s 22-1 vote Friday to retain House as party chair.

Tancredo said he talked to members of the Executive Committee who were scared of “retribution” if they voted against House during the open vote of the committee on Friday.

Tancredo: “There was a motion, as I understand it, to make it a closed vote because people are, you know, let’s face it, the chairman is sitting right there, you’re maybe intimidated to some extent to vote openly,” Tancredo told Boyles, adding later (Listen @7:45 below), “No, truly, we talked to people afterwards who said, Hey, I just couldn’t do it, man. I was scared to do anything. Retribution.”

Boyles: No, they were afraid!

Tancredo: These fantastic jobs these people have, you know? No pay. Yet, it’s their own little bit of heaven, you know?

Republican activist Kathryn Porter, who joined Tancredo on Boyles’ show, agreed, saying:

Porter: The 22-1 vote, I don’t believe that’s how those people in that room felt for one minute. I believe that vote was a mask. It was a façade to give the impression of Party unity. And I can tell you for a fact, we do not have that.

Tancredo told Boyles that the committee refused to review the full accusations against House. Tancredo said he had “three-to-four pages” of concerns about House, with no mention of the alleged affair, ready to distribute to the executive committee, but he was not allowed to hand it out. Neither was Pueblo Country Chair Becky Mizel, who sits on the committee, Tancredo told Boyles. (Alleged tweets about the affair were detailed by Craig Silverman on KNUS Saturday.)

But one of Tancredo’s concerns is, apparently, Steve House’s attacks on former Sen. Ted Harey.

Tancredo: “These are big problems. You call say a senator, I’ve forgotten how many years Ted [Harvey] served — you go to people in the media and to the attorney general and tell them that he’s going bankrupt, that his family is leaving him, and that you’re afraid he might embezzle money. I mean this is a guy of sterling qualities. You might not agree with Ted on stuff. But the reality is he’s an honest guy with a wonderful family. All this was concocted. You say this about people, and you can get yourlself sued, get the Party sued. These were the issues we were bringing to his attention.”

Listen to KNUS 710-AM’s Peter Boyles discuss the GOP coup attempt with Tom Tancredo and Kathryn Porter June 29, 2015

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/tom-tancredo-kathryn-porter-discuss-steve-house-and-gop-tumult-on-peter-boyles-show-62915

Media coverage spotlights gay bashing at conservative summit

June 29th, 2015

Reporters covering the Western Conservative Summit did a good job spotlighting the gay bashing that permeated the event over the weekend.

The Denver Post got the money quote for irony from Sen. Bill Armstrong, president of Colorado Christian University, which sponsored the summit.

“I do think that the homosexual agenda in part is to shut down further discussion of the [morality of the gay] issue. That will not happen,” he told The Post.

Who’s shutting down the discussion? Armstrong is the guy who refused to let the Log Cabin Republicans have its own booth at the event to discuss the issue with participants, saying the pro-gay organization doesn’t fit well with his group.

The Post reported that Rick Santorum, who’s again running for President, shared Armstrong’s views during his Summit appearance.

“Why are we losing the public debate? You can’t win an argument you don’t make,” Santorum said. “We have been bullied into silence, in not standing up for the truth and here’s where we are.”

Of course, the anti-gay side of the discussion was well represented at the event, with presidential hopefuls slamming last week’s Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

And, as I reported today for RH Reality Check, the official registration packets for the Summit contained a booklet titled, “Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality,” published by the Family Research Council.

The “myths” included that “homosexual conduct is not harmful to one’s physical health,” “children raised by homosexuals are no different than children raised by heterosexuals, nor do they suffer harm,” and “homosexual relationships are just the same as heterosexual ones, except for the gender of the partners.”

Summit organizers did not shut down the pro-gay side of the debate completely. They allowed the Log Cabin Republicans to share a table with the Colorado GOP, and progressive bloggers covered the event. And The Post reported that younger Republicans at the event supported the Supreme Court’s decision.

Still, if you attended the Summit, and opened you ears, you heard gay bashing.

“I have nothing against gay people,” Ben Carson said at one evening session, adding, “Like everybody else, they don’t get extra rights. And they don’t get to change things for everybody else.”

Media omission: Dispute about RNC involvement in Colorado dogged GOP chair in recent weeks

June 19th, 2015

Prior to this week’s coup attempt, state Republican leader Steve House was under fire from Tea Party activists for cozying up too closely with the Republican National Committee (RNC). It seems unlikely that the failed ouster was inspired by disagreements about RNC involvement in Colorado, but I’ll offer up some background about the dispute anyway, in case there’s more to it that I don’t understand.

Plus, the details about the relationship between the RNC and the state Republican Party, which emerge in the radio interview below, show that the state party is an important part of national Republican voter mobilization. This counters the argument you sometimes hear about the irrelevancy of the state party–beyond its role in candidate selection and the caucus process.

In a contentious June 3 interview on KLZ 560-AM, House fought off allegations from host Kris Cook and guest Ken Clark that the RNC was planning to implement voter mobilization strategies in Colorado, without cooperating or working with Republican County Chairs. Both hosts express little or no trust in the RNC, because they don’t think the RNC’s goals (e.g., electing Jeb Bush) align with the state party goals of winning the state house and lower ballot races. And they worry that House is allowing RNC to take control in Colorado.

Also floating around in the background is the 2014 campaign by the Republican Governor’s Association to knock out Tom Tancredo during the GOP primary.

In any case, here’s a few samples of House’s response to Clark and Cook earlier this month. (Listen to the entire interview below,)

House: “I would be screaming loudly if I saw anything in [the RNC's] actions, or our strategy sessions, or conversation, that they’re going to go to Adams County and cut out Anil Mathai. They’re not going to do that. I’m going with them to Adams County […]. “But we also have to hire people who are smart enough and capable enough to execute a strategy that gets us to victory without Jeff [El Paso County GOP staffer] having to hold their hand. The most important part is we’ve committed to the fact that all of these employees that are hired are going to be interviewed by the county leadership, as well. That is absolutely going to happen. And myself.”

House tried to emphasize that the RNC needs the state party and vice versa:

House: “If you think about what happened in ‘14, in ’14 there were 31 field offices created in the state […] called Victory Offices, etc. This time, the decision was made that it was actually more important to have people than offices. So, we may see two, three, four offices in the state. But it’s mostly about the field organization to get out the vote. And, you know, Chariman Priebus and I, and we’ve had conversations along with Matt Pinnel who is the Chair of Chairs, along with Peter Grace who is the APD for our area from RNC, you know, the strategy is, look, you have to execute on the ground so much better than we have in the past to win in a Presidential year. So the strategy in a presidential year is different than it is in the midterm year. And it really involves all these people because the belief is if we don’t enable minority voters, if we don’t get out the vote at a much higher rate, we’re not going to get there. And offices are not going to do that. So, I think it’s coincidence on the primary, Ken. I’ve talked to these guys five times, six times, in the last two days about strategy. I’ve asked the hard questions all along. I don’t believe we’re going to see –. I wouldn’t let it happen! I mean, I really wouldn’t. I mean, we – there’s no reason in the world, and there’s no way the RNC really can run their strategy without involving county Parties in what’s going on, because there’s not enough with 43 or 45 people on the ground to do that. They have to integrate into our volunteer structure and our counties, or there won’t be enough people.

House emphasized that in 2014, the RNC transferred money to the state party to cover the payroll of over 700 people, including staff, walkers, and field directors.

“So it all flows through the Colorado GOP,” he said.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/co-gop-chair-steve-house-debates-strategy-coordination-w-rnc-grassroots-radio-6315

Roberts’ flawed attack on “liberal columnist” spotlights tragic defeat of LARC family-planning legislation

June 18th, 2015

Last month, The Nation magazine’s Katha Pollitt reported that State Sen. Ellen Roberts was opposed to legislation providing funds Colorado’s amazing pregnancy prevention program because Roberts was unconvinced that Obamacare didn’t already pay for the long-acting-reversible contraption (LARC) offered under the family planning initiative.

“Republican Senator Ellen Roberts told me she might have supported the bill if she’d had a good answer for that,” reported Pollitt.

In her column, Pollitt provided the widely-known fact that insurance companies are not currently paying for the services and care provided by the LARC program.

About a month later, The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels reported that Roberts, who’s a Republican from Durango, was unhappy with Politt’s column:

Roberts said she should have been aware she was talking to a liberal columnist, and explained more clearly that she already had told GOP leaders if the bill made it to the Senate floor, she would support it.

If Roberts was opposed to the LARC bill because she thought Obamacare already covered the program, as reported by Pollitt, how could Roberts possibly have promised GOP leaders that she would support the bill if it came to the floor? No amount of clarifying to Pollitt could explain this inconsistency, whether Pollitt was radical communist or a hatchet-wielding or blackmailing Colorado Republican.

And, not that it matters, but Roberts had no excuse for failing to know that Pollitt is a progressive columnist. In an email prior to her interview with Roberts, Pollitt actually factually told Roberts she was with The Nation–and Pollitt says she has the email to prove it. Roberts had plenty of time to type the name “Katha Pollitt” in Google.

Pollitt told me via email: When I emailed Sen. Roberts I identified myself as a columnist with The Nation magazine. (I have the e mail.) If she didn’t know we are a liberal publication — and if she would have said something different had she known that — she could easily have found out. It’s not a secret!

I asked Pollitt if she quoted Roberts accurately and she politely responded with, “I quoted her accurately.”

Plus, bottom line, after LARC funds were rejected by a Republican-controlled State Senate committee, Roberts voted against a Hail-Mary budget amendment funding the LARC program. It was defeated on the Colorado Senate floor in a 16-19 vote, with Roberts joining all Republicans and Sen. Pat Steadman, in opposition (Here at page 650). Steadman is a member of the Joint Budget Committee, and it’s an unwritten rule that JBC members always vote against budget amendments. Roberts has supported such amendments in the past, meaning it’s not her policy to oppose them.

So it loooks like Roberts was trying to be both for the LARC pregnancy-prevention program and against it at the same time, just like she recently tried to be both “pro-choice” and “never” pro-choice at the same time– until she got called out on it by ColoradoPols, a progressive blog. Roberts, who may challenge Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet next year, then said she’d made a mistake in claiming she was never pro-choice.

But the overarching tragedy is that funding for Colorado’s LARC program, which helped reduce Colorado’s teen-pregnancy rate by a life-affirming 40 percent and lowered our state’s teen abortion rate by 35 percent, was rejected by State Senate Republicans.

Now, with LARC money running out at the end of this month, Roberts’ flawed attack Pollitt only spotlights that tragedy.

 

Media omission: Tancredo says he, Becky Mizel, and Cynthia Coffman were “selected” by other Republicans to confront House

June 17th, 2015

On KNUS  radio show this morning, Tom Tancredo said he, along with Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and Pueblo Country GOP Chair Becky Mizel, were “selected” by fellow Republicans to demand the resignation of GOP Chair Steve House.

Though Coffman called the meeting, they acted at the “behest of a lot of people,” he told KNUS 710-AM’s Peter Boyles, adding that they were supported by “state legislators who were supportive of him at one time, who are now not.”

Tancredo told KNUS’ Dan Caplis (See transcript below.)

Tancredo: We were strong supporters, and — which is the reason why we ended up being sort of, I don’t know, — selected, asked, whatever you want to say – to confront with him and meet with him, because we wanted – they wanted to — everybody wanted to make sure he understood the seriousness of the issue. And so, I did, but certainly not because I have just a desire to step back into this kind of ugly stuff. I don’t.

Tancredo told KNUS’ Peter Boyles the same thing, in more detail:

Tancredo: I can tell you this:  that the reason that we met with Steve House was to express concerns of a lot of people.  It was not something that I, Cynthia Coffman, and Becky Mizel chose unilaterally to do.  We were asked to do that because we represented the people who were the most supportive of Steve when he ran.  And we certainly were

As you can read below, Tancredo did not specify who selected the group to confront house, nor did he say what the serious issue was, leaving a mystery that will most certainly be revealed, perhaps in multiple versions, in the days ahead.

As Tanc put it to Boyles, the reasons for demanding for his resignation “may very well all certainly come out.”

 

 

Partial Transcript of the Dan Caplis Show, June 17, 2015, with Guest Tom Tancredo

CAPLIS: You know, the question is: Okay, you’ve got this situation, now, with Steve House. You have the stories that have appeared so far. Um, how does this get fixed? You’ve been such a prominent leader in the Party for so many years, you’ve dealt with so many situations, how does this get fixed going forward?

TANCREDO: The best way, and I think perhaps the only way for it to get it, quote, fixed is for the Executive Committee of the State Party to take some action that would bring the whole issue to a vote of the Central Committee, the entire Central Committee. There is a process that is, you know, laid out in the by-laws of the state Party if there is a vacancy. But only if that vacancy occurs, can that process go forward. So, the – you know, it is to a large extent, it is up to Steve as to how he wants to handle it. And he says he wants to stay. Well, you know, that certainly can be a way to handle it. I do not know – I do not believe that is the best way, but I have no ability to change it. I’m not on the Central Committee. I’m not on any committee of the State Republican Party. But, uh –.

CAPLIS: Tom, can the Central committee remove him?

TANCREDO: No.

CAPLIS: Wow! So, once you’re it, there’s no recall?

TANCREDO: Oh! I’m sorry! Central Committee! Yes, yes. That can happen.

CAPLIS: Yeah, okay. Okay.

TANCREDO: There is two parts. One is the Executive Committee, and it’s a, you know, a group of, I don’t know — 10 to 15, 20 or 25 people, something like that.

CAPLIS: Yeah.

TANCREDO: Um, they can take action. They can call for a vote of no confidence. That’s one thing that could happen. Um, then – but, but then, if nothing –if Steve chooses not to resign, it’s my understanding – and Danny, believe me, I – most of this – I [inaudible] have been around a long time and it is true, but not in really in Party politics – at least, in the bowels of the Republican Party, if you know what I mean.

CAPLIS: Sure.

TANCREDO: And so, the way I understand it, if he chooses not to step down, then really, there’s nothing else, I think, that could happen, except if somehow a vote of the Central Committee can be held, they can remove him. And it takes, I think, 70%.

CAPLIS: Wow! I mean –.

TANCREDO: Yeah, so, it’s kind of a convoluted process.

CAPLIS: What a situation! I’ve got to tell you, if you write a book, I’m going to buy it! I’ll be the first guy in line to buy it! I’ll be that guy at Barnes & Nobles [sic] who camps out to stand there first and buy it. Because when you think of everything you’ve been through, including trying to salvage things [clears throat] when Dan Maes wouldn’t cooperate and do the right thing and step aside, I mean, you’ve been in so many of these interesting situations, it just seems to me this is one that really does need to be fixed in a hurry, with everything going on.

TANCREDO: Oh, and with that I certainly agree with.

CAPLIS: But, uh, wow!

TANCREDO: But Danny, um, as I say, I assure you, with God as my judge, and he is, that um, this is nothing that I or anybody else wanted to do, um, or have happen.

CAPLIS: Yeah.

TANCREDO: We were strong supporters, and — which is the reason why we ended up being sort of, I don’t know, — selected, asked, whatever you want to say – to confront with him and meet with him, because we wanted – they wanted to — everybody wanted to make sure he understood the seriousness of the issue. And so, I did, but certainly not because I have just any desire to step back into this kind of ugly stuff. I don’t. Like I say, riding my motorcycle with Peter – that’s a nice day. Not this kind of stuff

CAPLIS: Mm-hmm. That would be a nice day. That would — But, you know, you have so much hard earned credibility, and clout, and influence, I’m just hoping that you’ll be able to use that, given this current mess to help clean things up, because Lord knows, it’s going to be tough enough in the ’16 cycle. And I know you know that better than anybody because you’ve been in the arena. You’ve been in these races. You’ve been in these fights. So, I’m just am, uh –.

TANCREDO: Yeah, [I] hope it’s done quickly, certainly would be the best thing for the Party. And–and I don’t know – I don’t—I mean, I don’t have a candidate. It’s not as if I –. I don’t know where it goes from now. I don’t know who gets to, you know — elected. I don’t even know who we would get into the arena. I hope that we will make better decisions than we’ve made in the past.

CAPLIS: Yeah. Wow! And, uh, I know you’re limited on what you can say this morning. I appreciate the chance to talk with you about this. And I know you’ll do everything you can do to try to make sure this ends well, and quickly, so the focus can turn back to the races.

Partial Transcript of the KNUS Peter Boyles Show, June 17, 2015, with Guest Tom Tancredo

BOYLES:  What is the truth about this Chairman Steve House story?

 

TANCREDO:  Well, I can tell you this:  that the reason that we met with Steve House was to express concerns of a lot of people.  It was not something that I, Cynthia Coffman, and Becky Mizel chose unilaterally to do.  We were asked to do that because we represented the people who were the most supportive of Steve when he ran.  And we certainly were.  Cynthia, the Attorney General, was of course, you know, his—she made the nominating speech.  She was an incredibly gutsy—and is an incredibly gutsy person, to stand up when a lot of people would think that it’s not the right thing – or it’s a scary thing for an incumbent.  But, she did.  And we all believed that we had something better than we were dealing with in the form of Ryan Call.  And the issues that we had to bring to Steve’s attention were serious, and were such –were of such a nature that, um, a meeting of this sort was necessary.  What was not necessary was for it to become, uh, a public discussion of things that are untoward.  Uh, he could have done, and stayed with the course which he set out on, which was to resign. Ten minutes after our meeting, he sent out an email to that effect.  And that would have pretty much ended it.  It would have been a quiet and um, — and certainly a less ugly situation than we now face.  But all I’m telling you is that there was nothing that – you know, the three of us weren’t sitting around one day and say, “Hey! I know what!  Let’s go and tell Steve that he’s got to quit!”  This came about as a result of lots of folks, including state legislators who were supportive of him at one time, who are now not.  And they are not for reasons that may very well all certainly come out.  But, certainly – you know, it’s one of those things — I hate to say it just because it sounds so legalese, but things may end up in court.  You’d better– we have to be very, very careful how we proceed in this nature.  We are not saying – you know, all of these things that are in the paper are his allegations about what happened.  They’re his.  I mean, he is making the statements.  We are not.  All I’m telling you is that, um, I, like you, supported him, wanted him to succeed. It is certainly apparent to us that we may have made the wrong choice.  But anyway, we’ll see where it goes.  I don’t know – I mean, we did what we had to do, um, and as I say, at the behest of a lot of people.  It certainly wasn’t just us.  I want to reiterate that, because that’s the way it’s being portrayed, that either I, or Becky Mizel who’s the state chair in Pu—I mean, the county chair in Pueblo–.

BOYLES: Who we—We like her a lot. We like [inaudible]. 

TANCREDO:  Oh, my gosh!  She is absolutely the best.  And Cynthia Coffman, you know?  Um, I got a text message from Channel 9 news last night saying – the allegation was from Steve, that Cynthia wanted to meet with him, and that Becky and I crashed his – this meeting [chuckling] for the purpose of, quote, blackmailing him.  Well, I mean, it was Becky—it was – excuse me, Cynthia who called the meeting.  And she did so because, as I say, we were — the three of us were his primary supporters.  And so we wanted to impress upon him the concerns of a lot of people, and the fact that this was serious, and that um, the best thing – we believed—for him to do was resign.  And he agreed. And, I mean, he did so by, as I say, ten minutes afterward.  Then, whatever happened happened, and he chose to renege.  So, it’s a – it’s—it just didn’t have to be this way, but what can you do?  Um, the — the issues are serious, and that’s really all I can say about them.  They certainly are not things that, you know, are trivial in nature, or – or have anything to do, by the way, with, um, personalities or, uh, motives that are, um, of the highest order.  Nobody is looking to be – [starts to laugh]  I don’t intend to be Chairman of the Republican Party!  I guarantee—somebody said to me, “Why don’t you do that?  You’re a unifier! You unify everybody against you!”

BOYLES:  Ha!  Yeah, sure!  [laughing]  That guy in Lebanon said, “Forever – for ever —whatever you do, don’t help us!”

TANCREDO:  [laughing]  Right!

BOYLES:  Ha! That was a great line!  “Whatever you do, for God’s sake, don’t help us!”

TANCREDO:  I mean, there are no ulterior motives, here.  What in the world would Cynthia Coffman, who is – I mean, her credibility, her reputation.  I mean, do you think it would be easy for her, especially?  She is the Attorney General of the state of Colorado.  She was his nominating speech!  And do you think it is an easy thing to do to then have to take this step – meet with him to discuss these kinds of issues? You think anybody wanted to do that?  I assure you, and I told him when we were there, “I would rather be almost anywhere than here, tonight, to do this!” And so, I don’t know how it will play out.  I certainly have no idea.  This –now it is essentially up to the executive committee of the state Republican Party to take whatever action they wish to take, if any.  I mean, they could do nothing.

BOYLES:  I mean, like I said, and I know we’re on a time frame.  Danny [Caplis] is standing by.  But, when we first met Steve, he came in the studio, spent time with us, we supported him.  And his dumping Ryan Call, I was jazzed, I thought his move –

TANCREDO:  Yeah, me too!

BOYLES:  –with the Log Cabin Republicans, to get them to the Western Conservative [Summit], I thought it was Kissinger, Machiavellian, brilliant move.

TANCREDO:  Yeah, we talked about it.

BOYLES:  Yeah!  I thought that was just great!  And now this!  And if everything that John Ransom has said is true is true, and others have said is true is true, if he is start, stop the story now, and walk away.  And, Steve, with all the respect in the world,  I’m sure you on the – listening to us now,– walk away because, it’s almost like that crazy woman who keeps trying to insist she’s black, and she keeps the story alive by saying crazier things the next day.  And all she has to do to stop all of this right now – and she did some weird Obama thing, “No one saw me born.”  There’s a weird birth certificate.  I’m thinking, “Oh, my God!”

TANCREDO:  [laughing]

BOYLES:  I mean, it’s like Barack Obama story stuff! And so, as I told you, the only thing the Lebanese asked me, “Is he a Muslim?”

TANCREDO:  [laughs]

BOYLES:  Sure!  Why not?  But, I’m saying the same thing. It’s like, um, walk away.  And um, we’ll see.  I know that the beat goes on.

TANCREDO:  Yeah, [inaudible] I don’t know where it goes from here.  But we did what we could do.

BOYLES: I’ll give you a call.  Since I can’t sleep, maybe we’ll go ride motorcycles!

TANCREDO:  Yeah!  Believe me, it was such a nice day yesterday

BOYLES:  Yeah, it was great!

TANCREDO:  And to ride afterwards, after all this crap, it was very therapeutic.

BOYLES:  All right.  I’ll give you a call!  We’ll go ride this afternoon.  They want to talk to you on hold.

TANCREDO:  All right.

BOYLES:  I love you!  Allright!  Congressman – former Congressman –.

TANCREDO:  Take care, bud!

Radio interviewers should have questioned Coffman when he compared Veterans officials to ISIS

June 16th, 2015

On Friday, after Rep. Mike Coffman suggested that if leaders of the Veterans Administration were put in charge of ISIS, they would be too incompetent to keep track of beheadings, neither of the radio hosts who conducted the interview questioned Coffman about whether Coffman’s comments were appropriate.

Instead, Steffan Tubbs and April Zesbaugh, the co-hosts of KOA 850-AM’s Colorado’s Morning News, reacted this with:

Tubbs: I don’t know what they’re putting in your orange juice back there.
Zesbaugh: [laughing] He’s on a roll! …It felt like a little stand-up there from the Congressman for a little bit.

Asked whether he thought he took Coffman’s comments too lightly, Tubbs emailed me:

Tubbs: “I was surprised by the Congressman’s remark at the very end of our interview, thus my comment. If someone is concerned with what Congressman Coffman said, they should contact his office.”

Tubbs, who’s a serious advocate (on and off the air) for American troops, was right to express his surprise at Coffman’s comments, which have been criticized by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

But he also should have questioned Coffman directly about the appropriateness of the remark. Tubbs has shown he’s not shy of asking tough questions, once asking Coffman,who was avoiding reporters at the time, about Coffman’s comment that Obama is not an American “in his heart.”

As it is, in part because Coffman wasn’t questioned during the KOA interview Friday, we’re now only hearing from a Coffman spokesman who told Buzzfeed that Coffman’s VA-ISIS comments were, “a controversy only with liberals and the Washington outrage machine. His sarcastic point was obvious – the VA is an organizational disaster.”

During the KOA interview, Coffman said:

Coffman: It’s too bad we can’t take VA leadership and export it and give it to some of our adversaries around the planet. Let them suffer under the VA’s leadership. Can you imagine if the VA was in charge of ISIS? They’d probably say, “Well, you know it wasn’t quite 2,000 that we beheaded – it was really 24 is the accurate number. We’re sorry that, in fact, they were all our own terrorists that were beheaded because they got missclassified in the system as Christians. I mean, that would be [chuckles] the VA, that would be the VA in charge of ISIS.

Yesterday, the Department of Veterans Affairs issued a statement saying Coffman’s comments “do not belong in our public discourse.”

“Veterans and VA employees find [Coffman's comments] highly offensive,” said the VA’s statement on the matter. “(VA) Secretary (Robert) McDonald has spoken to Representative Coffman,”

Tubbs and Zesbaugh should have Coffman back on their morning show to discuss the controversy over the Congressman’s “sarcastic point,” as his spokesman put it.