The news in Colorado this week included a special session of the General Assembly, a legal fight with President Trump, a tough line on sex offenders and soul-searching by a politician often accused of not having one.
Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo is seeking advice from conservatives as he weighs whether to join Colorado's crowded Republican primary for governor in next year's election.
"Here we are, once again looking at this possibility, and I assure you it is, in my own mind, the possibility — the possibility of running for governor," said Tancredo at a meeting of the Arapahoe County Tea Party Tuesday night in Centennial.
If former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo decides to jump into Colorado's Republican gubernatorial primary, there's one step he won't have to take. Tancredo changed his registration from unaffiliated to Republican two weeks ago "just in case," he told Colorado Politics, although he said he's still weighing whether to get in the race.
Republicans and Democrats split sharply along party lines in response to President Donald Trump’s pardon Friday night of Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of defying a court order to focusing on Latinos in patrols .
A Golden-based political action committee began circulating a petition Tuesday urging Tom Tancredo to run in next year’s GOP primary for governor of Colorado, but the former five-term congressman told Colorado Politics he’s so angry at Republicans that “it won’t take much” to persuade him to run.
The “patriotic immigration reform” organization VDARE is stirring a backlash in Colorado over its ties to the violent rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. VDARE is scheduled to hold a three-day gathering at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs next April.
El Paso County residents, including a Jewish family that lives near the resort and belongs to its country club, are urging the resort and public officials to cancel the conference.
The resort was working on a statement Monday, a spokeswoman told Colorado Politics. This story will be updated when it’s provided.
Peter Brimelow, the editor of VDARE.com, told Colorado Politics Monday that his organization was not involved at Charlottesville “in any way.” Brimelow is scheduled to speak at the Colorado Springs conference.
“We have a totalitarian left in this country,” he said. “They would shut down the president if they could, so they might try to shut us down next April, but they might also find something more interesting to do.”
He did not immediately respond to messages from Colorado Politics Monday.
On June 19 he wrote on VDARE’s website about the growth of non-white populations in the U.S. and abroad.
“This is significant because whites will be the only ethnicity on Earth without a country of their own,” Kessler wrote on VDARE’s website. “Black people will still have the entire continent of Africa. Asians will still control the entire continent of Asia. Jews will have Israel. Even Native Americans will have Reservations. Whites alone slowly being dispossessed.”
Colorado Springs lawyer Jeremy Loew lives near Cheyenne Mountain and belongs to the Country Club of Colorado at the resort.
He is Jewish and wears a Star of David, he said. Loew is asking the resort to break its contract to host VDARE.
“A hate organization doesn’t have any place in Colorado Springs, and it certainly doesn’t have any place at a family friendly resort like Cheyenne Mountain Resort and (among) a membership organization like the Country Club of Colorado,” Loew said.
“These people are advocating hate for blacks, Hispanics and Jews, all of whom are members of the Country Club.”
He said he is fearful for his family going to the swimming pool while the conference is going on, and he worries about inevitable protests and counter-protests in his neighborhood.
Loew said the resort should pay whatever it must to break the contract because, in his opinion, it did a poor job vetting VDARE before making the deal to bring them there.
Tancredo was also scheduled to speak at a VDARE gathering in March 31 to April 2 at Tanaya Lodge in Yosemite National Park, but the resort canceled the contract in January because of VDARE’s political activity.
“We were transparent with Tenaya from the beginning. VDARE.com, we informed them, was a politically-oriented site that leaned controversial,” VDARE’s Lydia Brimelow wrote about the Yosemite cancellation. “There would be protestors. We would have security concerns. They should look us up. We repeatedly mentioned that we selected them because of their position on government property and their responsibility thereby to honor freedom of speech and assembly.”
Jessica Sharp, an education consultant and mom in Black Forest, said she and other members of the left-leaning Colorado Action Network of Colorado Springs will attend the Colorado Springs City Council on Aug 22 to oppose this group’s presence in the city.
“I think having any white nationalist presence is a real risk for our community to take, and I don’t expect it to be peaceful,” she said. “I do expect there will be protests.”
She said her main motivation is her 10-year-old.
“I want my son to grow up in a better world than the one we saw last weekend,” Sharp said.
This story was updated to include the Southern Poverty Law Center’s information on Kessler.
Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, one of the country's highest profile advocate for immigration reform — he ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2008 on the platform — said Sunday it's the political left that has stoked the flames of "victim groups" for decades to win their support at the ballot box.
Why raise funds for a county party that has virtually no chance of electing anyone to public office within its own lopsidedly Democratic jurisdiction? The Republican former congressman, sometime gubernatorial candidate and perennial firebrand thought you’d ask. And his explanation rings the bell on his signature issues:
I love Denver, Colorado. As a young man, I worked at Elitch Gardens. It’s an amazing city.
You know that. But here’s the deal, the city is being overrun.
Being overrun by radical liberals, illegal immigrants, and progressive Californians.
Will you fight back?
If we don’t put up a fight in Denver, liberals will overrun our state. No statewide candidate can win in Colorado, without winning 1 out of 4 Denver voters.
I served in Congress for a decade and ran for President – so you may wonder why I’m emailing you asking you to give money to the Denver GOP, because as Tip O’Neill said, “all politics is local.”
We can’t win the Governor’s mansion in 2018 without winning 1 out of 4 votes in Denver. Will you give us $12 right now so we can do that?
I’ve been working closely with the Chairman of the Denver County GOP. We’re putting together a plan, but we’ll need to hire a volunteer coordinator, and afford a walk and call app, so our volunteers can contact voters easiest.
Friend, I need you to give at least $12 right now.
Same ol’ Tancredo; insert cause du jour. Sure.
But it also offers a glimpse at the GOP’s calculus for the 2018 gubernatorial race — and a reminder that a vote is a vote in a statewide election. Doesn’t matter if it comes from hostile territory.
No sooner had U.S. Rep. Jared Polis announced his plans to run for Colorado governor next year than we hear that activist and businessman Ken Toltz will seek Polis’ seat in Congress from the 2nd Congressional District.
Toltz has been a player in Colorado politics for awhile, but he’s perhaps best known as the founder of Safe Campus Colorado, a citizens group opposed to concealed weapons on college campuses. He was one of the founding board members of the well-known Colorado Ceasefire, a gun prevention group.
Toltz was the 2000 Democratic nominee in the 6th Congressional District, when he lost to Tom Tancredo, 54 percent to 42. The leftward tilt to the Boulder County-centric 2nd Congressional District should be a more favorable to a Democrat such as Toltz.
A native of southeast Denver and a third-generation Coloradan, Toltz has lived in Boulder since 2013.
He was a board member for Colorado Conservation Voters, known today as the environmental titan Conservation Colorado, as well as a former board member of the Front Range Economic Strategy Center, which supports a politically left-learning approach to economic development. He also has logged service on the Denver Chamber of Commerce’s Labor Task Force-Metro Denver Network and the chamber’s Public Affairs Committee.
He goes back a ways in Democratic campaign politics. In 1984 Toltz was the deputy national finance director for Colorado Sen. Gary Hart’s presidential campaign, and he’s worked on congressional campaigns for Democratic candidates over the years.
Toltz also worked in the legislative department of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C., then was director of the Washington PAC. He is a founding Colorado member of the National Jewish Democratic Coalition, and remains active with AIPAC and J Street, both of which support closer ties between and U.S. and Israel.
Toltz has served on the boards of the Denver-Boulder Better Business Bureau, the Anti-Defamation League and the Corporate Alliance for Better Air, as well as on the Citizens Advisory Panel for the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.
His business resume is nearly as extensive as his political activism. Toltz is formerly the president of Dependable Southwest Inc., which owned and operated a chain of Dependable Cleaners stores in southwest Denver, Lakewood, Littleton and Evergreen.
He’s also has been in management roles with United Banks of Colorado and Brothers Gourmet Coffees, he said.