Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler made the rounds on conservative talk radio last week to stir up opposition to expected legislation that would give us more options when it comes to voting, stuff like providing a mail-in ballot for every eligible voter.
Gessler wants to stop legislation that would, basically, make sure Colorado uses modern technology and election procedures to give people more ways to cast a ballot and to participate in our elections.
And even if everyone voted, what's wrong with giving people safe and easy voting choices? The bill in the State Legislature not only mandates the mail-in option, but also allows us to drop off our ballots at service centers and, if pushing buttons is your thing, to vote in person on election day or prior to it.
On KNUS' morning talk-radio show Thursday, Steve Kelley played an audio clip of Obama criticizing Romney's response to the Libya attack, saying Romney has a "tendency to shoot first and aim later."
Steve Kelley, the host of the show, had Mitt Romney's son Josh on the phone, and, it's only natural to try to personalize things a bit. Plus, they say international relations isn't so different than what goes on within families, on the playground, between neighbors, or what have you.
So Kelley asked Josh Romney if his father shot first and aimed later, when it came to disciplining Josh!
It was a fair question to ask a grown man stumping for his father, but Josh dodged it rather ominously, saying "We don't talk about that much."
"He was tough but fair," Josh told Kelley, after some awkward banter.
I'm not saying Mitt shouldn't have spanked his kids, or Obama shouldn't have spanked Sasha and Malia, if he did. (I never spanked my kids, but I'm a deeply wimpy progressive weenie.)
But you'd think Josh would have laid it out on the table.
Why don't the Romneys talk about this much? What's the big deal? I wish Kelley would have finished the conversation.
Last month, after Rep. Mike Coffman said he didn't know whether President Obama was an American "in his heart," KNUS morning show host Steve Kelley wanted to talk to Coffman.
He told his listeners May 25 that, maybe, Coffman's comments weren't "worthy of a major apology," and he wanted to talk to the Congressman about it.
But Coffman, who'd been on Kelley's show "many, many times," wasn't returning phone calls, and Kelley was getting increasingly pissed.
So Kelley, a conservative talk-radio host who's been amping up his attacks on Obama in recent months, took a stand that you wouldn't expect to hear on rightie radio.
Kelley said on air that he'd give Coffman four more days to call back. After that, since Coffman was refusing to return calls during a tough time, Kelley wouldn't accept Coffman's requests, as he had in the past, to come on the radio show and promote himself and his agenda.
Kelley: When Mr. Coffman's people call and say look, he's got an initiative, he's got this, he'd like to come on the air--
Kelley's Co-host: A ribbon cutting ceremony.
Kelley: Yes. The answer is no. Thank you very much. You weren't willing to come in during a heated time. You're not coming on to tout and pump yourself up. I don't care what party you are. I don't care if I happen to agree with your politics. You're not going to - you know, that's not how you manipulate and use the media, at least, you're not going to here.
Conservative talk radio hosts don't have too many kind words for Metropolitan State College these days, after Metro's decision last week to offer a reduced tuition rate to undocumented students.
Everyone knows this issue potentially alienates Hispanic voters in a swing state where Hispanics could decide the election.
Still, the conservatives on the radio, many of whom define themselves as partisan Republicans, are attacking Metro with abandon.
For example, KNUS Steve Kelley, who denounced Metro, had Rep. Cory Gardner on his morning show Friday, and he put the question to him. Gardner replied:
Gardner: I read that in the paper this morning, and of course I oppose in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. I think it's the wrong policy. It sends the wrong kind of message to people who are in the country illegally. And I think we got to work on border security before anything else. And I think Metro State has it backwards.
KNUS' Kelley was open-minded about the issue compared to Devon Lentz on KFKA's "AM Colorado" June 5.
Lentz is a KFKA host and the temporary chair of the Larimer County Republican Party.
LENTZ: Are their parents being kicked out of this country yet? And besides the fact that my taxpayer dollars are educating them in the public schools, that their parents are not paying into the school system. Not okay with this one. Oh, so many levels...
I think I'm missing something here. Why are we continuing to reward illegals in America? Why? That's what we are doing. We are continuing to reward them. So, yeah, I get the whole 'they're innocents, they're minors', they got their education. I don't care if they've been here for 3 years and graduated from high school, or if they've been here 10 years. They're on my dime in the school system. Their parents are not paying in. I'm not looking to backhand minors that didn't have a choice in this country, but at what point does even the schools system learn that this 6th grader coming in and their parents are here illegally. Why are they being allowed in the school system to begin with?
Both Kelley and Lentz were mixed up on the facts related to this issue, and I'll get to the fact-checking in a future post, but clearly the conservative talk radio world isn't holding back.
You have to wonder whether Rep. Mike Coffman admires their passion.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers was all over the media last week, talking about what a terrible thing it would be if the federal government forced Americans to buy health insurance.
But in an email back in 2010, Suthers told The Denver Post's Vincent Carroll that it wasn't the federal health insurance mandate itself that bothered him, from a legal perspective, but how the mandate was instituted.
"The way to constitutionally mandate health insurance would be to incentivize the states to do it," Suthers wrote.
There's nothing wrong with a lawyer wanting things done in accordance with how he sees the law, but let's be clear that Suthers' federal incentives, if they're devised to "mandate health insurance," as Suthers suggests, are simply a more polite form of Obama's Commerce-Clause mandate.
On a Denver radio program, "Kelley and Company" Wed., Rep. Mike Coffman called Social Security a Ponzi scheme and aligned himself with Gov. Rick Perry over Mitt Romney and other candidates in the race to be the GOP presidential nominee.
That's news, if you ask me, especially the Ponzi scheme part, but it has yet to be picked up by other media outlets. I think Social Security is a hot topic, being the third rail of politics and all, but journalists could spice up this angle on the topic by interviewing Ponzi scheme experts, like Bernie Madoff. (Maybe not him, but his ilk.) Do they think Social Security is a Ponzi scheme?
Here's what Coffman told Steve Kelly, host of "Kelly and Company," on KNUS-710 AM:
I am obviously going to support whoever the nominee is. But I have to admit to you philosophically I am closer to Perry. Obviously, I hope he gets better on the debate stuff. I think he did good. I think he did better on Social Security. I think obviously it is a Ponzi scheme, but he has to say he is going to fix it. And he did that in the last debate where he didn't do that in the first debate. Now I think that was positive. [BigMedia emphasis]