Colorado Times Recorder https://coloradotimesrecorder.com Mon, 01 Jun 2020 03:57:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 VIRAL VIDEO: Thousands of Denver Protesters Face Down on Ground Chanting “I Can’t Breathe” https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/video-thousands-of-denver-protesters-face-down-on-ground-chanting-i-cant-breathe/24739/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/video-thousands-of-denver-protesters-face-down-on-ground-chanting-i-cant-breathe/24739/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2020 02:59:23 +0000 https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/?p=24739 On Saturday afternoon, thousands gathered at Colorado’s Capitol for a peaceful protest during which protesters laid face down on the ground with their hands behind their backs chanting “I can’t breathe,” some of George Floyd’s last words before he died. The demonstration lasted for 9 minutes, roughly the length of time Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck.

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On Saturday afternoon, thousands gathered at Colorado’s Capitol for a peaceful protest during which protesters laid face down on the ground with their hands behind their backs chanting “I can’t breathe,” some of George Floyd’s last words before he died. The demonstration lasted for 9 minutes, roughly the length of time Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck.

The video, originally posted on the Colorado Times Recorder’s Twitter page, has received over 6.5 million views.

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Denver Police Seized Assault Rifles from Anti-Government Gun Activists at Friday Night Protest https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/denver-police-seized-assault-rifles-from-anti-government-gun-activists-at-friday-night-protest/24690/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/denver-police-seized-assault-rifles-from-anti-government-gun-activists-at-friday-night-protest/24690/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2020 00:19:31 +0000 https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/?p=24690 During a vehicle search near the downtown Denver protest on Friday evening, police officers seized several military-style assault rifles from anti-government gun enthusiasts who call themselves “Boogaloo Bois.”

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During a vehicle search near the downtown Denver protest on Friday evening, police officers seized several military-style assault rifles from anti-government gun enthusiasts who call themselves “Boogaloo Bois.”

Most peaceful protesters had left downtown Denver by the time police searched a car that had been occupied by a group of young men, one of whom was wearing a military-style vest.

They found several semi-automatic assault rifles, numerous magazines and other weapons in the trunk.

CPR reporter Allison Sherry tweeted an image of the seizure:

Chevy McGee, a 20-year-old anti-government gun enthusiast who lives in Fort Collins, claims to own some of the weapons.

In a May 30 Facebook post, McGee shared the same image, writing, “Shout out to Denver PD for stealing our shit last night. None of this left the trunk of our car, and they said they had reasonable suspicion because someone called that’s why they searched it. They cuffed us and let us go after 30 minutes.”

McGee also alleges in the Facebook protest that the officers told him someone called the police after seeing one of his group wearing a military-style plate-carrier vest, which allows the wearer to add ballistic protection. McGee states that neither he nor his associates open-carried their rifles.

“Open carry is illegal in Denver and we did not have enough guys to open carry so I don’t wanna hear it,” wrote McGee on Facebook.

McGee’s Facebook account “NotChevyMcGee” appears to have replaced his previous account using his correct name. It was from that older account that McGee made news earlier this month.

CBS Denver featured a portion of McGee’s May 1 livestream as part of its report on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s arrest of his associate Brad Bunn for possessing pipe bombs.

McGee and Bunn were among a group of gun rights activists who intended to open-carry firearms at the state Capitol during the May Day “Reopen Colorado” protest. Open carrying is illegal in Denver, but they hoped to have so many armed supporters that police officers would decline to enforce the law.

Their plan fell apart due to the FBI and Larimer Sheriff’s raid on Bunn’s house the morning of the May 1 rally.

McGee, who describes Bunn as “one of our boys,” claims he was then followed by law enforcement and, while still livestreaming, drives to his house, where he argues with his mother.

McGee describes himself as a “Boogaloo Boi,” which is a slang term for a gun activist who believes that armed conflict against the government —a “boogaloo”— is inevitable.

JJ MacNab, a fellow with the Program on Extremism at George Washington University and one of the nation’s leading expert’s on anti-government groups chronicled McGee’s livestream via Twitter. The video was deleted when McGee shut down his old Facebook account, but the Colorado Times Recorder was able to confirm the accuracy of MacNab’s description.

During the course of the argument, McGee describes his rifle as having a short barrel, which is illegal unless the weapon is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). None of the rifles pictured in the Denver Police photo appear to have a short enough barrel to qualify for the ATF restrictions.

Along with his strong anti-police sentiment, McGee expressed his support for the George Floyd protesters and Black Lives Matter movement by posting a photo with signs in front of a Fort Collins police station on May 28.

He also livestreamed his participation in the Friday evening protest in Denver, which primarily consisted of offering water to other protesters and shouting profanity at police officers. No firearms are visible.

In cities without open carry restrictions, such as Salt Lake City, Boogaloo supporters have attended similar protest this weekend while carrying rifles:

McGee did not immediately respond to a Facebook message requesting comment. If reached the Colorado Tiems Recorder would ask McGee how large a group of Boogaloo Bois he believes are needed to open carry in violation of Denver’s ordinance.

An email inquiry to the Denver Police Department about the incident was also not immediately returned. This post will be updated with any responses received.

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More Denver Protests Against Murder of George Floyd, Police Violence Planned Saturday and Monday https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/more-denver-protests-against-murder-of-george-floyd-police-violence-planned-saturday-and-monday/24638/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/more-denver-protests-against-murder-of-george-floyd-police-violence-planned-saturday-and-monday/24638/#respond Fri, 29 May 2020 17:32:09 +0000 https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/?p=24638 Protests are planned Saturday and Monday against institutionalized racism and the murder of Geroge Floyd at Colorado’s Capitol, in the wake of a protest Thursday evening that turned increasingly chaotic.

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Protests are planned Saturday and Monday against institutionalized racism and the murder of Geroge Floyd at Colorado’s Capitol, in the wake of a protest Thursday evening that turned increasingly chaotic.

Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, was killed after an encounter with a white cop who pressed his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck for eight minutes as he begged for mercy and said he couldn’t breathe, a video shows. The murder has sparked protests nationwide.

Another protest at the Capitol is set to take place on Saturday at noon, with thousands on Facebook saying they’ll attend or are interested in attending.

“Please bring your signs, posters, COVID MASKS, and friends/family members … let’s set up a peaceful, civil protest in front of the Capitol building,” the Facebook event page reads. “Our anger is a natural human response to a man being lynched in broad daylight in the middle of the street as he begged for relief of ANY kind, telling them he couldn’t breathe. I fully understand. I have this same rage in my heart. I think millions of us do. It’s too much. Arresting and even convicting is fine. That needs to happen, but we need this police violence and white supremacist violence to stop. #blacklivesmatter Period. This isn’t what I prefer. I prefer peace. But we won’t be peaceful while you literally have your knee on our neck.”

A March starting at the Capitol in Floyd’s honor is scheduled for Monday evening.

Thursday’s protest saw gunshots fired, a protester nearly run over, vandalism at the Capitol, and eventually the use of tear gas and pepper bullets by police.

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‘Cory Gardner, We Need You to Stand Up,’ Says Aurora Teacher https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/colo-educators-double-down-on-gardner/24344/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/colo-educators-double-down-on-gardner/24344/#respond Fri, 29 May 2020 14:45:23 +0000 https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/?p=24344 Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made headlines last month by suggesting that states should consider declaring bankruptcy as opposed to receiving more federal funding during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made headlines last month by suggesting that states should consider declaring bankruptcy as opposed to receiving more federal funding during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a press release last week in response to McConnell’s statement, Cut the Strings, a project of Rocky Mountain Values that advocates for Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to cut ties with McConnell, expressed concern that Gardner may join the Senate leader in blocking federal funding to Colorado, a move that would reduce funding for education.

The press release featured three videos from three current or former educators across Colorado, asking Gardner to cut ties with McConnell for the sake of the Colorado education system, which already suffers from a major lack of funding, they say.

Penny Potts, a Littleton teacher, suggested in her video that a lack of federal funding would lead to teacher and staff cuts, as well as a lack of curriculum resources.

“Colorado already struggles with funding our schools every single year, and this will only make it more difficult in our schools, in our classrooms, all across Colorado,” Potts said. “We will probably have larger class sizes than ever before if they’re going to have to continue to cut staff members…”

Zack Martin, a former Denver Public Schools (DPS) teacher, describes in his video the monumental overload on mental health care within DPS.

“In a school that I worked at, the ratio of mental health care providers to students was around 500 to one,” said Martin. “I’m talking about positions like school counselors, school psychologists, and social workers.”

“What specifically concerns me, as we reckon with the fact that the coronavirus pandemic will significantly impact the next academic year, is that those supports will only further be threatened,” continued Martin. “Further shortchanging Colorado’s most vulnerable students, who will need mental health services more than ever when we come back to school next fall.”

In addition to the concern that Gardner might side with McConnell on minimizing any additional federal aid for states, there is also a concern about how dangerous bankruptcy could be for states, if it were somehow legalized and found constitutional.

According to Politifact, bankruptcy could severely impact states in a negative way by reducing their “creditworthiness”: credit markets are typically significant sources of budget funding that might no longer be available to bankrupt states.

Additionally, vendors could decide to not risk working with the state, and the state might be driven to selling assets. An example particularly relevant to Colorado? State park land, a budget issue already presented to the chopping block at the Capitol.

Marie Aberger, spokeswoman for Cut the Strings, gave additional insight into how bankruptcy would hurt education in Colorado.

“While states can’t declare bankruptcy under federal law as you know, we know what happens when cities do so–so it would look very similar,” Aberger told the Colorado Times Recorder. “It would mean cuts after cuts until the budget balances–and Colorado is facing a $3.3 billion budget hole, so that is a lot of cuts across the board, including education.”

“Cities would be forced to lay off employees like teachers and/or cut their pay,” Aberger continued. “This would mean our already large class sizes would grow even bigger (one teacher in the video says her class size average is 28 students to 1 teacher)–and our schools already facing tight budgets would have even fewer resources.”

“On top of this, we’d see services like police and fire protection, garbage collection, road repairs and more reduced or eliminated, which hurts everyone. Morale among residents is severely impacted,” Aberger said. “And all of this would also make it very hard to attract investment to Colorado, which exacerbates the problem going forward.”

So not only would cutting federal aid put even more of a strain on schools in Colorado, but hypothetically replacing the aid with bankruptcy could result in short- and long-term damage to the state.

Gardner recently said he supports federal funding for states, but he has not made any statements about whether he would, if necessary, break with McConnell, who has partially backed off his bankruptcy suggestion.

Aurora teacher Bryan Linstrom had a simple request:

“Cory Gardner, we need you to stand up and cut ties with Mitch McConnell, and fight for our teachers, our students, and our community like we elected you to do,” Linstrom said in his video.

Gardner, who’s voted over 90 percent of the time with McConnell on legislation, laughed off on conservative talk radio last week a request by Democratic lawmakers and others that he not vote for McConnell as U.S. Senate Majority leader if Gardner is re-elected in November.

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Denver Police Use Tear Gas, Pepper Bullets in Clash With Protesters at Colo Capitol https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/denver-police-use-tear-gas-rubber-bullets-in-clash-with-protesters-at-colo-capitol/24571/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/denver-police-use-tear-gas-rubber-bullets-in-clash-with-protesters-at-colo-capitol/24571/#respond Fri, 29 May 2020 06:03:52 +0000 https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/?p=24571 A Denver protest of the killing of Minnesota resident George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers included numerous incidents of violence Thursday evening. Although most of the several hundred attendees left before dark, the conflict continued into the night. Eventually officers deployed tear gas canisters and pepper bullets on smaller but vocal and sometimes antagonistic groups remaining near Civic Center Park.

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A Denver protest of the killing of Minnesota resident George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers included numerous incidents of violence Thursday evening. Although most of the several hundred attendees left before dark, the conflict continued into the night. Eventually officers deployed tear gas canisters and pepper bullets on smaller but vocal and sometimes antagonistic groups remaining near Civic Center Park.

The initial event was a large but peaceful demonstration against police brutality. That changed around 5:30 P.M. with reports of several gunshots into the crowd, State Rep. Leslie Herod was among the first to share that via Twitter. Another widely circulated video showed a car appearing to intentionally run down a protester.

Fox31’s Matt Mauro later tweeted video of dozens of protesters surrounding the Capitol building, some of whom smashed cars and vandalized the building.

As night fell, protesters continued circulating around downtown’s Civic Center Park and shortly after 9:00 P.M. Denver police vehicles carrying dozens of officers in riot gear arrived at the intersection of Broadway and Colfax Ave.

Officers marched west down Colfax, advancing on groups of protesters who shouted slogans “No Justice, No Peace” along with taunts and insults.

While a caravan of police vans and officers in riot gear slowly moved several dozen protesters west on Colfax, away past the former Denver Post building, another wall of officers used tear gas and pepper bullets on a larger, rowdier group moving north on Lincoln away from the Capitol. A few protestors threw rocks or other small projectiles at officers.

Tear gas engulfed the intersection of Colfax and Lincoln affecting protesters and bystanders, as well as the residents of numerous tent encampments, some of which appeared following city sweeps of other downtown areas earlier in the week.

Many of the protesters’ signs displayed during the earlier hours of the protest decried police brutality and racism. Among the few still visible after dark, one simply displayed a noose, a doughnut and a badge.

Barricades and police vehicles blocked portions of Broadway, Colfax and other roads around downtown, yet numerous cars maneuvered around the obstacles in order to pass through the park.

Two helicopters started circling downtown as the initially peaceful protest began shortly after 5pm. At midnight, they were still making passes over the Capitol.

Late in the evening CPR reported that the Colorado House, and likely the Senate as well, will not convene on Friday.

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Proponents of 22 Week Abortion Ban Say They Have Enough Signatures to Qualify for CO Ballot https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/proponents-of-22-week-abortion-ban-say-they-have-enough-signatures-to-qualify-for-co-ballot/24558/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/proponents-of-22-week-abortion-ban-say-they-have-enough-signatures-to-qualify-for-co-ballot/24558/#respond Thu, 28 May 2020 23:11:20 +0000 https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/?p=24558 The ballot initiative campaign to ban abortion at 22 weeks announced today that they have enough signatures to qualify for Colorado’s November ballot.

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The ballot initiative campaign to ban abortion at 22 weeks announced today that they have enough signatures to qualify for Colorado’s November ballot.

The Secretary of State still has to review the signatures to determine whether enough are valid, but the Due Date Too Late campaign said in a press release that with 30,000 signatures collected over their 15 day cure period, they’re confident they’ll have more than enough to put the question to voters in November.

In early April, proponents of Initiative 120 failed to meet the statutory threshold of 124,632 signatures, falling nearly 10,000 signatures short, the Secretary of State’s office determined.

Due to COVID-19, the state-mandated cure period was delayed until May 15. The campaign is confident that they’ll be submitting enough signatures on tomorrow’s deadline to act as a buffer for those deemed invalid.

“We are thrilled to take this next step towards protecting lives in Colorado by exceeding our goal of signatures we are turning into the Secretary of State. We are thankful to have this opportunity to work together with communities across the entire state of Colorado. The hundreds of volunteers we have who are so passionate about ending late term abortion are helping to make this a reality,” said Lauren Castillo, spokesperson for the Due Date Too Late campaign.

RELATED: “Proponents of 22-Week Abortion Ban Recommend Miscarriage, Stillbirth Instead of Abortion”

The initiative would impose criminal penalties for doctors who perform abortions after 22 weeks, with no exceptions for rape, incest, fetal diagnosis, or to preserve the patient’s health, only allowing such abortions when necessary to save the patient’s life. It’s a measure that would have national reverberations for abortion access, given that Colorado is one of just a few states that don’t impose gestational restrictions on abortion care.

“Coloradans have been clear on this issue already by rejecting abortion bans at the ballot box 3 times over,” said ProgressNow Colorado Communications Director Fawn Bolak. “Initiative 120 would open the door to ban abortion outright in our state, and the proponents have been upfront about this intention. As we face an unprecedented pandemic, focus should be on expanding access to healthcare services for women and families, not limiting them. If this measure is placed on the ballot, we trust the voters in Colorado to see though this cruel smokescreen, as they have in the past.”

The measure is supported by the Colorado Republican Party.

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Immigrant Advocates Urge Passage of Bill Allowing State Inspections of ICE Detention Centers https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/immigrants-rights-advocates-urge-passage-of-bill-allowing-state-inspections-of-immigrant-detention-centers/24534/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/immigrants-rights-advocates-urge-passage-of-bill-allowing-state-inspections-of-immigrant-detention-centers/24534/#respond Thu, 28 May 2020 18:45:18 +0000 https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/?p=24534 In response to news that two detainees at an immigrant detention facility in Aurora have contracted COVID-19, immigrant rights groups and medical professionals are calling on state lawmakers to pass a bill, introduced at the Colorado legislature this week, to allow the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to inspect Colorado facilities that house non-citizens, including facilities in Aurora and Westminster.

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In response to news that two detainees at an immigrant detention facility in Aurora have contracted COVID-19, immigrant rights groups and medical professionals are calling on state lawmakers to pass a bill, introduced at the Colorado legislature this week, to allow the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to inspect Colorado facilities that house non-citizens, including facilities in Aurora and Westminster.

At a socially-distant rally and news conference, advocates discussed the importance of the bill, co-sponsored by Colorado state Rep. Adrienne Benavidez (D-Denver) and House Majority Leader Alec Garnett (D-Denver).

“I am urging our legislature to allow state oversight of immigration detention facilities,” said Lilly Cervantes, a doctor, speaking via a Zoom connection and adding that “anything we can do to protect our most vulnerable is important.”

Another doctor echoed Cervantes sentiments.

“I am deeply distressed,” said Danielle Loeb, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado. “Immigrant centers in Colorado need oversight immediately.”

“The people detained in these facilities are our friends, neighbors, husbands, wives… our patients,” said Loeb. “We desperately need to pass this policy so that our public health agency can have the same oversight over these facilities as prisons, jails and other penal institutions. This is a low bar.”

Speakers at the event repeatedly said that immigrant detainees should not have their lives put at risk at the detention facilities.

“Being in detention should not be a death sentence,” said Ana Rodriguez of the Colorado People’s Alliance.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says all individuals in ICE custody are “treated with dignity and respect, and provided the best possible care,” according to the agency’s inspection guidelines. Its facilities are currently visited by a member of Congress or staff once per week.

The protest event, which was sponsored by Doctors for Camp Closures, Colorado People’s Alliance, and American Friends Service Committee, included an art installation depicting tight quarters at detention cells and showing how immigrants “are not being treated with basic care.”

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Betsy Devos Wants to Rob Poor School Districts https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/betsy-devos-wants-to-rob-poor-school-districts/24539/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/betsy-devos-wants-to-rob-poor-school-districts/24539/#respond Thu, 28 May 2020 18:27:55 +0000 https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/?p=24539 Times of great adversity not only bring out the best and worst in society, but they also flush out some of the stinkiest and slimiest creatures. Think of war profiteers, hucksters who prey on poor hurricane victims, or Betsy DeVos.

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Times of great adversity not only bring out the best and worst in society, but they also flush out some of the stinkiest and slimiest creatures. Think of war profiteers, hucksters who prey on poor hurricane victims, or Betsy DeVos.

Even in the Trump Kakistocracy, DeVos stands out as an especially loathsome plutocrat, constantly trying to weasel her far-right corporatist agenda into law.

As Trump’s education secretary, the billionaire heiress has been an out-of-control wrecking ball of America’s public schools, constantly conniving to drain tax dollars from public education into for-profit private schools — including some she personally invests in.

Worse, she keeps trying to rig the rules so fly-by-night for-profit colleges can more easily defraud their low-income students to enrich Wall Street investors who own these educational chains.

Now, the devilish DeVos is using the national coronavirus relief program as a way to impose her ideological agenda on American education, quietly pushing school districts to use some $58 billion in COVID-19 education money to fund wealthy private schools at the expense of lower-income families.

Officials in New Orleans, for example, say her plan would put 77 percent of their school relief allocation in private entities, and Pennsylvania says more than half of its school relief money would flow from the “most disadvantaged to more advantaged students.”

In addition to perverting the disaster program into a slush fund for her privatization agenda, DeVos has tried to pervert logic into Orwellian Newspeak. If the public money went primarily to public schools, her political staff explained, it would place wealthy, non-public schools “at a disadvantage.”

Yes, in DeVos World, the needs of the poor rich must come first, so they’re not discriminated against by the… you know, the actually poor.

“Kakistocracy” is government by the very worst people in society, and now it has a proper name: Betsy DeVos.

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. Distributed by OtherWords.org.

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Sen. Gardner, a Longtime Abortion Foe, Still Hasn’t Taken a Position on CO’s Potential 22 Week Abortion Ban https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/sen-gardner-a-longtime-abortion-foe-still-hasnt-taken-a-position-on-cos-potential-22-week-abortion-ban/24365/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/sen-gardner-a-longtime-abortion-foe-still-hasnt-taken-a-position-on-cos-potential-22-week-abortion-ban/24365/#respond Thu, 28 May 2020 14:39:20 +0000 https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/?p=24365 Colorado’s Republican Senator, Cory Gardner, who built his early political career on a platform of opposition to abortion, hasn’t yet taken a position on a potential ballot initiative that would ban abortions at 22 weeks in Colorado.

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Colorado’s Republican Senator, Cory Gardner, who built his early political career on a platform of opposition to abortion, hasn’t yet taken a position on a potential ballot initiative that would ban abortions at 22 weeks in Colorado.

And, according to an online database showing who has signed the petition to place Initiative 120 on the November ballot, Gardner hasn’t signed.

The initiative provides no exceptions for rape, incest, or to preserve the patient’s health, only allowing for abortions after 22 weeks if they’re necessary to save the patient’s life. It’s a measure that would have reverberations well beyond the state of Colorado, considering that Colorado is one of just a few states without gestational limits on abortion care and thus serves patients from all over the world.

In March, Gardner told the Colorado Sun that he hadn’t seen the ballot question and declined to take a position. Gardner hasn’t commented on the initiative since and didn’t return a phone call from the Colorado Times Recorder seeking to know whether he’s now reviewed the initiative or decided whether he supports it.

Gardner has, however, recently supported even stricter limits on abortion, voting for a Senate bill to ban abortion at 20 weeks in February. Prior to that, he voted at least 10 times to defund Planned Parenthood. And last year, when asked whether he supported an Alabama law that banned all abortion, Gardner said banning abortion should be “up to the states” — a position that’s consistent with overturning Roe v. Wade.

Gardner, who faces a tough re-election in a state that keeps getting bluer, can be notoriously difficult to pin down, often skirting questions from reporters and claiming not to have seen certain policy proposals when asked whether he supports them.

“Senator Gardner might try to hide his dangerous anti-choice record in Colorado, but in Washington, he’s voted for abortion bans and confirmed judges backed by Trump and McConnell that threaten Roe v. Wade,” said Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll in a press statement. “His record tells Coloradans all we need to know: Gardner wants politicians to be in charge of personal health care decisions and to restrict women’s reproductive rights. Colorado trust women to make their own decisions.  Voters won’t be fooled by Cory Gardner’s deception.”

Proponents of Initiative 120 are in the final days of the qualification process for Colorado’s November ballot, and have until Friday to collect an additional 10,000 signatures after the Secretary of State’s office determined in early April that they failed to meet the statutory threshold of 124,632 signatures.

Pursuant to Colorado law, ballot initiative campaigns are granted a 15 day period to cure any insufficiency. Due to COVID-19, Initiative 120’s cure period was delayed, and began May 15.

The online database showing who has signed the Initiative 120 petition has not been updated to include signatures gathered during the cure period.

U.S. Reps. Doug Lamborn and Ken Buck, both staunch anti-abortion social conservatives, have signed the petition. But no other members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation appear to have signed, including one other Republican, Rep. Scott Tipton.

Tipton, who has in the past voted for legislation to ban abortion at 20 weeks and to defund Planned Parenthood, hasn’t taken a public position on the initiative, and didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Updated 5/29 to include a statement from Morgan Carroll.

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Gardner Slams COVID Relief Act as ‘Focused on Special Pet Political Projects,’ While DeGette Calls It a ‘Big, Bold Action to Protect our Communities’ https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/gardner-slams-covid-relief-act-as-focused-on-special-pet-political-projects-while-degette-calls-it-a-big-bold-action-to-protect-our-communities/24425/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/2020/05/gardner-slams-covid-relief-act-as-focused-on-special-pet-political-projects-while-degette-calls-it-a-big-bold-action-to-protect-our-communities/24425/#respond Thu, 28 May 2020 14:27:02 +0000 https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/?p=24425 Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner continues to dodge questions about whether he will support the historic $3 trillion relief package that House Democrats passed last week, but the Republican slammed the HEROES Act in a recent interview on KOA radio, saying the bill was “focused on special pet political projects.”

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Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner continues to dodge questions about whether he will support the historic $3 trillion relief package that House Democrats passed last week, but the Republican slammed the HEROES Act in a recent interview on KOA radio, saying the bill was “focused on special pet political projects.”

“I think what you see now in the House is a partisan approach. That’s not what we need,” Gardner said. “The only thing that’s going to come out of the Senate and the House together in a way that can get on the president’s desk is bipartisan. That’s what we need.”

The HEROES Act includes another round of direct cash payments of $1,200 to taxpayers, an extension of unemployment benefits, tens of billions of dollars for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, stronger labor protections for employees as businesses start to reopen, over $150 billion in relief for rent, mortgages, and utility bills, student-loan forgiveness, and more. The bill also includes oversight measures as money is distributed to ensure state, local, and tribal communities receive assistance.

Gardner’s office did not return a call seeking to know which elements of the bill he considers “special pet projects” and which parts he favors.

But GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a Gardner ally, wasn’t shy about singling out the HEROES Act’s help for marijuana businesses as a gift to special interests, calling it the “cherry on the top” in a bill laden with pet projects.

Meanwhile, Colorado Democrats heralded the passage of the legislation.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) praised her colleagues after the bill passed by a close vote and urged the Senate to act quickly.

“This is not a time to think small. Now more than ever, we must come together and take big, bold action to protect our communities from this unprecedented crisis,” DeGette said in a statement.

Likewise, Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) took to Facebook to explain why he voted in favor of the legislation: “This is a desperately needed bill to help stabilize our country, provide supports for Americans … We have to think big and act boldly during this very difficult time.”

Colorado Democrats all voted in favor of the HEROES Act, which would provide $9.8 billion for the state. In fact, the Seventh Congressional District, which Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) represents, could receive $903 million if the bill passes.

Perlmutter backed efforts to provide $500 billion to state and local governments, as well as banking the relief for Colorado’s cannabis industry that was mocked by McConnell.

“This critical funding will ensure our cities and states can respond to this crisis, backfill lost revenue, and avoid harmful cuts to frontline workers such as first responders, teachers, and public health workers,” Perlmutter said in a statement.

Gardner told CNN that he backs $500 billion for states and cities, and he thought he has a “good meeting” with Trump recently to discuss it.

But he has another idea for addressing the economic devastation brought on by COVID-19 — a “Rehire America” package, which he described during his interview with KOA radio:

This is not focused on lobbyists,” said Gardner on KOA, contrasting his Rehire America proposal with the CARES Act. “It is not focused on special pet political projects. It’s focused on rehiring workers. Getting workers paid. Getting them back into their jobs. We have millions and millions and millions of people across this country who are suffering in ways they never thought possible. We have to get them back to work. We have to get this economy up and running again.”

Gardner’s co-sponsored legislation last week to allow employers more time and freedom to spend funds from the Paycheck Protection Program as they wish.

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO), meanwhile, slammed his Republican colleagues who planned to vote against the HEROES Act — which would require employers to use the funds they receive from the program to rehire any laid off or furloughed employees.

“This bill is about helping all of America, and in particular, the American heroes who are standing up for us every day,” Neguse said on Twitter. “They continue to stand up for us — it’s time for us to stand up for them.”

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