When a softball question for Gardner doesn’t make you groan

January 29th, 2015

Most people groan when media figures toss soft-ball questions at public officials, but not all softballs are created equal.

As you’d expect, during a Jan. 27 interview, KNUS talk-radio host Krista Kafer thew a bunch of eye-roll-inducing questions at Colorado’s new Republican Senator, Cory Gardner, like has he been surprised by anything?

But one of Kafer’s softballs was illuminating. She asked, “Who ya hanging out with?”

As his emerging Senate BFFs, Gardner first mentioned some of the most radical right wingers in the chamber.

Gardner spotlighted his budding relationship with Tea-Party leader Ted Cruz of Texas, saying he “sat next to Sen. Cruz over the past several policy meetings that we’ve had, talking about issues like what we’re going to do on health care….” (Cruz, of course, led the charge for a government shutdown to stop Obamacare.)

Gardner also mentioned working with Sen. Rand Paul of Texas, “on a number of bills, whether it’s auditing the Federal Reserve.” (You wonder if the two discussed Paul’s Personhood bill, the Life at Conception Act, which Gardner endorsed while in the House.)

Also cited by Gardner, in answer to Kafer’s question, were anti-environmentalists John Thune (R-SD) and Jerry Moran (R-KS).

You know a Senator by the company he keeps. And in Gardner’s case, his company of obstructionist right wingers reflects what we’ve heard from him in Washington as well. The name of a moderate Republican or Democrat did not come out of Gardner’s mouth.

Good on ya, Krista Kafer, for at least one of your softballs.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/talk-radio-host-asks-gardner-so-who-are-you-hanging-out-with

In covering teen pregnancy-prevention program, reporters should emphasize that IUDs stop pregnancy from occurring

January 27th, 2015

The Ft. Collins Coloradoan advanced a story Monday that Boulder Rep. KC Becker is working on a bill to provide $5 million in funding for a state teen-pregnancy prevention program that, in a privately funded multi-year pilot phase, reduced teen pregnancies by 40 percent and teen abortions by 35 percent–and saved Colorado tens of millions of dollars to boot!

The Coloradoan quoted Sen. Kevin Lundberg, who’s the Assistant Republican Majority Leader, as objecting to such funding because the program relies on the distribution of free or no-cost intrauterine devices (IUDs) and other long-lasting pregnancy -prevention implants, and Lundberg (along with twice failed gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez) believe IUDs cause abortions.

But IUDs work before pregnancy occurs!

“Any statement that IUDs aren’t contraception simply isn’t medically or scientifically accurate,” said Dr. Jennifer Hyer, a Denver Ob-Gyn, in a statement distributed by NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado. “As a licensed, practicing Colorado OB-Gyn I recommend IUDs for my patients all the time. They are among the most effective forms of contraception, especially for at-risk women, because they automatically prevent pregnancy. That’s why Colorado’s program was so successful, and access to long-acting contraceptives needs to continue if we want to keep reducing the teen birth and abortion rate.”

The Coloradoan correctly pointed out that the “definition of pregnancy used by CDPHE and other scientists has pregnancy beginning at the implantation of the fertilized egg.”

The definition of pregnancy is so central to the debate around this teen-pregnancy-prevention bill that the Coloradoan should have been even more explicit, saying that the mainstream scientific community, meaning the scientific establishment of nerdy medical people, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have defined pregnancy as beginning at implantation, not before.

Pregnancy: Is established only at the conclusion of implantation of a fertilized egg.
34 This scientific definition of pregnancy is also the legal definition of pregnancy, accepted by governmental agencies and all major U.S. medical organizations.

So Lundberg’s personal belief that IUD’s work by “stopping a small child from implanting” is not only wrong, but it’s not relevant.  (By “small child” Lundberg was referring to zygotes, or fertilized eggs, which are formed prior to pregnancy, which starts once the egg implants in the uterus.)

In an RH Reality Check piece yesterday, I reported:

Under the Family Planning Initiative, about 30,000 IUDs and other long-lasting contraceptive implants were distributed during a five-year pilot program. Participating clinics in 37 of Colorado’s 64 counties serve 95 percent of the state’s population.

The initiative saved $23 million in Medicaid costs since it started five years ago, and continuing the family planning initiative will save $40 million in Medicaid funds, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has estimated.

Republicans hold a one-seat majority in Colorado’s senate, but observers say the teen pregnancy program funds may still clear the chamber, even without the support of Lundberg, who chairs the Health and Human Services Committee. Becker, the state house sponsor, has said her bill has a Republican co-sponsor, who has yet to be named.

Scientists used to think that birth control worked, in some cases, by stopping implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine wall. But scientists now say that not only emergency contraception but other forms of birth control prevent implantation.

 

State representative calls progressive blog “not relevant,” yet talks on and on about it on radio show

January 26th, 2015

During an obscure appearance Jan. 16 on KLZ 560-AM’s nooner show, Freedom 560, State Rep. Justin Everett and host Ken Clark lit into the progressive blog, ColoradoPols, for its recent blog post listing fictitious names for Republican-sponsored bills in the state legislature.

Everett and Clark spent a good chunk of the show bashing the most-excellent Pols post, which, for example, offered names like “The ‘Right to Discriminate’ Act,” SB 15-069 (Sen. Laura Woods) and “The ‘Felons in Child Care’ Act,” SB 15-070 (Sen. Kevin Lundberg).

They read the make-believe names of the bills. They laughed. They got mad at “the left.” They patted themselves on the back.

Everett addressed Pols directly on air: “[Pols is] very good at spinning things to make them into something they are completely not. All these things, especially the guns bills here on ColoradoPols, it should be ‘Restoring Freedom Act.’ That would be a better definition. ‘Restoring Personal Liberties.’ But apparently you guys are pretty far off the reservation, but we’ve known that, and that’s why you’re not relevant. 

So, they choose to dedicate a segment of the show to Pols, and they say the blog isn’t relevant? How does that work?

Maybe they lump themselves in the non-relevant category, too, allowing them, as non-relevant entities, to focus on another non-relevant entity without worrying about their own relevancy?

I doubt it. Those two are awfully head strong to see themselves as lacking relevancy. So maybe they secretly think Pols is relevant? I called and emailed Everett to find out, but he didn’t get back to me, leaving me feeling no more or less relevant than usual.

Even talk-radio hosts should question Buck when he says Obama wants to create a “majority vote” of people “receiving benefits from government”

January 22nd, 2015

Even if you’re a just a talk-radio host, you shouldn’t just say “Yap,” as KHOW 630-AM’s Mandy Connell did yesterday, when your special guest, in this case, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), insults the President.

“He’s a wonderful orator,” Buck told Connell during her morning show yesterday. “And he makes everybody happy. The reality is, that he has no intention of flattening the tax code. He has every intention of making sure that he is creating a majority vote, a 51 percent vote, of people who are receiving benefits from the government that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.”

As I noted, Connell’s reply to this was the utterance of “Yap.” My own thought was more along the lines of WTF.

Where’s Buck’s proof that Obama has a political agenda to create a “51 percent vote” of Americans “receiving benefits from government that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.”

Is he reading Obama’s mind? If Buck has evidence for this wild and insulting accusation, we’d all like to see it. But if he doesn’t, it’s more grossness from our new Representative from Colorado.

Buck isn’t a lonely District Attorney anymore–or a candidate making yet another gaffe that reporters don’t have time to dig into. Now he’s a Congressman who should be held accountable–even by radio hosts–for his insults and baseless mud slinging.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/on-radio-buck-says-obama-wants-to-create-citizenry-dependent-on-government

Good job KLZ for asking Buck if he’d shut down security agency to halt Obama immigration program

January 20th, 2015

Would the Republican-controlled Congress shut down the Department of Homeland Security to halt Obama’s program delaying deportation of undocumented immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens?

Colorado’s own Rep. Ken Buck would do it.

KLZ radio host Randy Corporon gets a moment of respect for putting the question directly to Buck during an interview Jan.14 on his “Wake-Up” show. (Beginning at 1:50:30 here)

Corporon: Republicans in the past anyway have shown a willingness to cave in the face of public pressure and media assaults. When the President says, ‘Hey look, Congress is messing with the security of the United States,’ are you guys in Congress ready to make the case that we’ve put the bills on his desk…and are you going to have a message that keeps you guys standing together and actually lets this thing play out.

Buck: I can tell you this: Ken Buck will. I will make the case, and I will make sure that we are not funding those portions of his executive action that are so repugnant.

So repugnant? Keeping parents together with their American kids?

Buck told “Righty” Corporon the Republican-controlled House is ready to shut down the government to stop this repugnancy (not a word, but I used it anyway to highlight Buck’s own grossness.)

Obama has used his executive authority to temporarily halt deportations of young undocumented immigrants who came here illegally as children. He’s also launched a program delaying the deportation of immigrants whose children are American citizens..

“If [Obama] vetoes the appropriations bill, he is shutting down that segment of government. And that will be on the President,” Buck told Corporon. “He did his best to put that on Republicans last time when we wanted to de-fund parts of Obamacare. With a Republican Senate, this will clearly be on the President’s watch, that he will be shutting down the Department of Homeland Security. “

Buck: I can tell you, I don’t know what the Republicans in the United States Senate will do. And I’m not sure they can get the six votes that they need from the Democrats in the United States Senate to actually move a tough DHS appropriations bill forward. I do think there are the votes in the House to continue down this path.

Buck is in a decent position to know. He’s not only the president of the freshman Republican class in the U.S. House, he’s also on the House immigration subcommittee.  (He got the assignment just after saying, “I don’t owe people who are here illegally anything.”)

Corporon set up the conversation by asking Buck how congressional Republicans could design a bill that would ensure no funds would go toward deferring deportation of select immigrants, while allowing the Department of Homeland Security to carry on its other work, like securing the border that causes Republicans such consternation.

Corporon: If this bill got through both houses of Congress, got on the President’s desk, how would that work to just de-fund only specific areas and activities and programs within the Department of Homeland Security? Don’t you just write them a check?

Buck: No, we don’t write them a check. They receive line-item authority, and the authority may be for a broad area, like processing the applications for work permits. But then Congress can put in that language that work permits cannot be granted to people who’ve lived in this country, or whatever language we want. And so really, the key is, this is an appropriations bill. And we’re arguing about language that will go in the appropriations bill.  When the Senate passes their version, and it will come back, we’ll work on it in conference, and we’ll send the appropriations bill to the President. 

Click here to listen to Buck Call Obama’s immigration programs “repugnant.”

Reporters are still letting Gardner play them on immigration

January 16th, 2015

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner took his slippery interview tactics to the national stage of PBS’ Newshour yesterday, responding to questions with predictions of the future, not answers to the questions, leaving us thinking we got answers from our new Senator. When we really didn’t.

In a re-wind of what we heard from Gardner during his election campaign, the Newshour’s Al Hunt asked Gardner about immigration. Hunt acted as if he’d gotten an answer from Gardner, since he didn’t follow up, but in reality, he’d gotten little or nothing from him.

Hunt: There are some House Republicans who are proposing now, with the Homeland Security authorization, that they would deny funding for Obama’s executive action in November. And some would go and deny funding. And some would go even and deny funding for the DREAMer’s action in 2012. Is that helpful? Is that constructive?

Hunt: …You supported the DREAMers’ action, didn’t you?

Gardner: That will ultimately be part of the solution, but we have to start with a secure border. We have to start with a guest-worker program. Those are things the American people support. They want it to be proven that we can actually handle some of these bigger issues, like border security now.

Hunt: Do you think it’s possible to get some kind of accord that includes some kind of legal status or citizenship for almost all of the 11 million undocumenteds who are here.

Gardner: I think at some point that will be one of the solutions that is reached. But right now, I think Republicans should put forward a bill that starts with border security, addresses a guest worker program, because without a workable guest-worker program you do not have border security. Let’s put those pieces in place, make sure they work, and then move forward to additional solutions that must be part of the overall fix to immigration.

You’d might from reading this that Gardner supports the DREAM Act, as well as offering legal status to undocumented immigrants. But he doesn’t. Except for momentarily (during the election campaign) voting against halting the deportation of Dreamers, he’s been against the DREAM ACT throughout his career. He even opposed offering in-state tuition rates to undocumented young people, brought into our country illegally by their parents.

Gardner smiles and says he’s in favor of immigration reform, that he wants a “solution,” but his record is nearly void of evidence that he’s done anything about it, and he even opposed the bipartisan Senate immigration bill. Most recently, he opposed Obama’s action to halt the deportation of undocumented immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens.

Gardner fooled Hunt into thinking he got answers. And he fooled Breitbart into thinking he’s too moderate on immigration. What a mess.

Reporters can cut through Gardner’s obfuscation by pressing the senator about what he’ll do, specifically, to advance immigration reform. Will he vote for the DREAM Act? Will he vote for a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants? What does he favor? What will he do?

Media omission: On radio, Buck says the “middle” is not where he’ll be in Congress

January 15th, 2015

You can’t win if you’re Rep. Ken Buck and you go on Tea-Party radio, just after you’ve voted to retain Tea-Party anathema John Boehner as Speaker of the U.S. House.

You’ve already been called out for treason on Facebook, and you have to say that’s wrong. On the other hand, you have to show that you understand why liberty listeners hate Boehner so much.

Under tough questioning by guest-host Nancy Rumfelt on KFKA last week, here’s how Buck threaded the needle.

Buck (at 12:40): “I want to face people.  And especially the people that thought they were being cute in putting ugly things on my Facebook.  You know, if you want to say something nasty to me, say it to my face.  Don’t put something on Facebook.  What happened yesterday was just a disgrace.  You know, go to Trey Gaudy’s town hall meeting and call him traitor. Say that he committed treason. It’s just ridiculous.  And yes, we voted for John Boehner.  We thought it was the best path forward, but it is not an act of treason.  And it’s just silly to use those terms.”

But don’t even think Buck will slide toward the middle:

Buck (at 6:50 below): “Speaker and the leadership team know that they cannot count on me when they move to the middle, that I will be voting against leadership’s efforts in certain areas, especially is true when it comes to the fiscal issues, the appropriations bills and the regulatory issues. And I include Obamacare in that. But absolutely. The people in the 4th Congressional District can count on Ken Buck to be with the conservative votes when it comes to the bills that are coming up in the future.”

Listen to Ken Buck on KFKA’s Amy Oliver Show, Jan. 7, 2015, guest hosted by Nancy Rumfelt.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/clip-buckamyoliver10715hr2-0001

Talk-radio host blames grieving family for being booted from church funeral service

January 14th, 2015

One line of thinking, on talk radio, in response to the funeral of a lesbian woman being booted from New Hope Ministries in Lakewood is: blame the grieving friends and family!

Check out this excerpt from KNUS’ Kelley and Company, with hosts Steve Kelley and Krista Kafer yesterday:

KRISTA KAFER:  Well, at first blush, it sound like those that wanted to put the picture [of the lesbian married couple kissing] up really are the ones that are at fault here.  You know, churches have rules.  I mean, – we have had a conversation for the last week about, you know, the Muslim church is saying you have to cover your hair if you want to come in.  Organizations, places have rules about how you – you know, you go into certain schools, for example, you can’t wear t-shirts that have emblems on them or messages on them.  Different organizations have different rules about what you can publicly display.  They did not want a picture of her proposing to her wife.  They didn’t think that was appropriate because it is antithetical to the scriptures.    This is a Christian church.  That would be antithetical.  Why would you necessarily want to have that up?  I can understand that they’ve got these rules, and they ask that people abide by them.

STEVE KELLEY:  [reading from, or referring to a report of the incident]  […]  [Gary] Rulando, who is the pastor, says it’s a shame that Collier’s friends are using her death to push an agenda.  But her friends are angry.  They believe more than 100 people – including Collier’s family—will show up to this rally.  Uh, arg, I – you know, somebody died, here, and you — [sigh of exasperation]

KAFER:  I think the blame, obviously, is with the friends for pushing an agenda.  They could have had a very dignified funeral at this church.  The church has specific rules in accordance with their scriptures, and you have to remember that the church  exists because of those scriptures.

KELLEY:  We’ve got to call this church!  We have to understand what are some of the nuances to this.  Was she a member of the church?  About this video, or was she – was the family a member of this church?  And why – and I don’t want to be critical of a family, especially after the loss of their relative – but why would you not make that known? I don’t know, logistically, if you’re going to say – if you’re going to look at a video and she’s proposing to another woman, and so forth.  And then the church, I think, has a responsibility as well, to have vetted this to some extent duri— right before the service is to begin, to have this –

KAFER:  Maybe that’s when they got the video.  Maybe  they hadn’t had a chance to vet it beforehand.  And again, I think the fault lies with the friends.  And there is a bit of a trend, here, where people want to force Christian institutions – be it the church, be it Christian owners of a business like Hobby Lobby, be it Jack the Baker – where you want to force other people  to condone, celebrate, you know, go along with – more that go along with – actually celebrate and be part of decisions that they disagree with.

KELLEY:  Something that is antithetical to their belief system, or whatever.  And everybody is entitled – at least, this was a free country.  I don’t know over the last six years, anymore.  Chad, can we make an attempt to reach out to this pastor Rulando at this church?  Okay? And, this would be the New Hope Ministries in Lakewood.  Let’s get a call out there and talk about — and respectfully, if you would ask about the Vanessa Collier funeral and this related rally, here.  Since he was willing to talk to 9news, I can only imagine that he would be willing to talk to us here at 710 KNUS.

KAFER:  Don’t you see a trend?   I mean, they would like to force this church to air that video.  Right?  Or to have aired that video during the funeral.  I see individuals and organizations out there that want to push an agenda, and want to force businesses to, you know – ‘celebrate’ is not the right word, but to condone, to actively push or promote,–

KELLEY:  To accept, basically, in essence.  “Accept.”

KAFER:  Yeah and it—well, and it’s more than – it’s actually ‘promote’.  It’s not – I mean, this church was willing to say, “You know what?  I understand she was not living a Biblical lifestyle, but we want to honor her life.  We want to make sure that we have a beautiful funeral for her, and they made that choice.  But please, please keep this side of her life — .  We can’t promote it.  It’s antithetical to our scriptures.  We can’t have this piece in the video.  We want to send the whole video, but – or air the majority of the video – but we can’t have this picture because it promotes something that is antithetical for our very existence.  The reason that church exists is because of those scriptures.

KELLEY:  This is – it’s similar but much different than Jack Phillips at the Masterpiece Cake Shop.

KAFER: Well, similar in the sense that he has many people who have same sex attractions, many homosexual customers that come in and buy cookies and cakes.  But he says, “You know what?  I don’t want to actively promote same sex marriage because that is not the Biblical definition of marriage.  And I feel it that it would be antithetical to my mainstream Christian values.”

KELLEY: In the context of weddings.  So, here we are – weddings and funerals, two of the highest esteemed ceremonies in humanity, arguably.  I mean, you have various brisses and so forth.  But, in essence, culturally, weddings and funerals.  So, here we are with Jack Phillips saying, “I’m not going to participate.  I’m not going to use my God-given talent because it’s my – it violates my internal faith system.” And he has been roundly criticized, and threatened basically to be run out of business through regulation.  And he has had to—uh, he is not acquiescing, by the way.  It would be helpful, in the context of this too, but now we have a funeral—

KAFER: Well, I —

KELLEY: –where a church is saying, “No! You’re going to have to edit this video.  We cannot.”  How does this promote sexual—I mean, sexual promiscui—or homosexuality? — playing a video at this woman’s funeral?

KAFER: I think they had rules and the family and friends weren’t willing to actually accept those rules.  You have to remember that tolerance means that we are able to coexist peacefully with those with whom we disagree.  Um, tolerance does not mean that we get to coerce people into promoting things that they disagree with.

 

Media omission: Republicans propose discrimination-restoration law

January 13th, 2015

Last year, conservative talk-radio hosts wrapped their loving arms around a baker for discriminating against a gay couple by refusing to bake them a wedding cake.

The baker said his cake-selling preferences flowed from his religious views, but, as a judge nicely articulated, it was actually factually illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Radio hosts did live broadcasts from the cake shop, hot bigotry was served to anyone listening, and the baker was fined by the great State of Colorado.

Now Colorado Republicans are proposing a law, like they did last year, allowing student clubs to violate campus anti-discrimination policies and still receive university benefits (funds, facilities, etc.). Sponsors include Tim Neville and Laura Woods on the State Senate side, and son Patrick Neville and Stephen Humphrey on the House side.

Similar legislation, allowing raw discrimination against women, gays, or potentially any of us, is under consideration across the country. One, for example, could allow restaurants to refuse service to LGBT people. Or pharmacists to stop filling prescriptions for birth-control pills. Another would permit adoption agencies to reject potential same-sex parents.

Collectively, these bills are referred to as religious-freedom-restoration bills, but a more accurate name is discrimination-restoration legislation. Political observers expect CO Republicans to introduce broader discrimination restoration bills this session, beyond the narrow university-focused proposal currently on the table.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers was on the radio last month, urging listeners, who were upset about the bigoted baker, to push their legislators to enact bills that allow discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.

Suthers: I think what’s different, Jimmy, and 1964 and the time of the Civil Rights cases is, if a black person when into a restaurant in the South in 1963 and was refused service, he couldn’t walk into a restaurant next door and get service, for the most part.  Everybody was refused service. That’s not the atmosphere we have today. We have this guy, who as a matter of his religious beliefs, would prefer not to do that. We have plenty of guys down the street who are perfectly willing to do it. I just don’t think it’s the same atmosphere. I think the legislature ought to be sensitive to that fact. But the Colorado legislature, with the majority at certain points in time, has not been.

I asked Denise Maes, Public Policy Director of the American Civil Liberties of Colorado, which brought the initial complaint against the baker who refused service to the gay people, to respond to Suthers’ comment:

Maes: The Attorney General is arguing that one should be able to break the law and discriminate because others “down the street” aren’t or won’t.  He misses the entire point and ignores the damage done both to the people who are discriminated against and the business community at large.  No one wants to live or do business in a state where discrimination is the law of the land.

Totally agree.

Suthers himself agrees that, as of now, the law of land forbids the cake-baker-type of discrimination. That’s why, as AG, he pursued a case against the baker, Suthers said on the radio. Below, Suthers explains how he sees Colorado law now. It’s a nice articulation of the way things stand. The problem is, Suthers wants to toss this out the window.

Suthers: We have a law in Colorado, our Public accommodations law. And a couple years ago when Democrats were in charge of both houses, they inserted sexual orientation along with race and gender as protective classes. And so in Colorado, essentially, sexual orientation has essentially the same protection as race in terms of anti-public discrimination laws.

So, if you have a business, whether it be a motel business, restaurant business, cake shop, and hold yourself out to the public, you must abide by this public accommodations law. And in this case, it was alleged, that a gay couple who’d been married in another state, wanted to have a celebration in Colorado, went into this cake shop, were very frank with the owner about what they wanted to do, and he refused to bake them a cake, despite the fact that they could have walked a blocked and got the cake at another bake store….it does appear this individual violated the public accommodations law, so the case was brought…”

Sengenberger: “We’re talking about First Amendment freedom of religion, and if gay activities are in violation of that, and they want to run their business in accordance with their religious views, do they not have legal protection?”

Suthers: “Only if the practice is part of the practice of religion. Therein lies the problem, Jimmy. The reason why I think the state is going to win this case throughout is that baking cakes is not the exercise of religion. If you told the Catholic Church they had to marry gay couples, then you’re violating the First Amendment. It’s complicated, and there is a long line of cases about it, but sadly enough, I think the State is going to win this case.”

Suthers nails it, doesn’t he? The only problem is, he actually wants to make baking cakes a religious activity! And not just baking but everything. Taking photos of a wedding, issuing marriage licences, counseling gay students. Suthers wants religion to be everywhere and in everything, allowing discrimination against anyone anywhere. That may sound extreme, but the potential is seriously there.

It’s what discrimination restoration bills, like the one proposed here in Colorado, would do.

LISTEN TO SUTHERS ON KNUS’ JIMMY SENGENBERGER SHOW, AIRED DEC. 20, 2014. (@ 1:36:00)

CORRECTION: An early version of this post named Patrick Neville as Tim Neville’s brother, instead of as his son.

Media omission: Battle over Colorado Republican Party leadership looms

January 12th, 2015

On KLZ 560-AM’s “Wake Up with Randy Corporon” Friday, former Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve House officially announced his bid to dislodge Ryan Call from his job as Chair of the Colorado Republican Party.

“My phone rings all the way until 10 o’clock at night with people calling me the last three or four days, saying ‘I’m glad you’re going to do it. It is time for a change,’” announced House, whose intention to run against Ryan Call was reported by the Colorado Statesman last week.

Call has weathered a barrage of criticism over his two terms as state chair, mostly from the “liberty” or “Tea-Party” wing of the state GOP for not doing enough to support “grassroots” Republicans.

In November 2013, for example, now State Senator Laura Woods, who was using the name “Laura Waters,” blasted Ryan Call for obstructing the recall effort against Democratic State Sen. Evie Hudak.

On KNUS Peter Boyles’ radio show at the time, Woods, who was organizing the Hudak recall effort, indicated she hadn’t voted for Call as GOP chair, and she said that, thanks to Ryan Call, “at certain doors and in certain phone calls, we’re even fighting against our own party.”

This year, Woods, with heavy support from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and despite opposition from committees like Protect and Defend Colorado, squeaked by Republican Lang Sias in the GOP primary. She went on to narrowly Democrat incumbent Rachel Zenzinger to take the Westminster State Senate seat, which Woods has to defend again next year, making it a key battleground for control of the Colorado Senate.

The GOP central committee is scheduled to vote on the Call-House contest March 7, but this may change to accommodate the schedules of Republican congressional representatives, House said on air. Call is running with Vice Chair Mark Baisley.

On KLZ, House emphasized the need to help Republican County Chairs respond to the on-the-ground needs of candidates immediately, without obstruction–and with adequate resources.

“Every single county in this state, and there are some that do a great job, needs to better funded, more stable, more capable of training and recruiting candidates so we can win races,” said House on air, adding that Ryan Call has improved things a bit but not enough. “We’re not going to win races from the top down.” He added he will not take a salary.

And, music to the ears of talk-radio hosts like “Righty” Corporon, House offered to set up a regular time to be on KLZ radio and elsewhere to take phone calls and discuss issues.

“Office hours with the chairman will be a big thing for me,” said House, promising to make himself available in multiple venues and platforms to interact with Republicans.

Radio-host Corporon told listeners that Ryan Call has refused to go on his radio show, despite promises to do so.

“I’m blessed in part because I live in a country that has a constitution that is a framework for a just society in my opinion,” House told Corporon. “We don’t adhere to it the way I really want to adhere to it. But it gave me opportunity. So if you start to see that under threat, if you see that this state may not live under conservative principles, constitutional principles, capitalism, you have to get involved to defend the lifestyle you’ve been given.”

Pueblo GOP County Chair called in and endorsed House, because, she said, he believes in “bottom-up, not top-down, management.” House also appears to have the support of  State Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.