Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Colorado Legislative Candidate Positions & Survey Responses - May 2010

All information below this paragraph is obsolete, having been superseded by updated information accurate as of mid-October 2010, which can be accessed by clicking here.


Here we continue our information about candidates (find State & Federal candidates' information here: http://coloradorighttolife.blogspot.com/2010/05/colorado-state-federal-candidate.html). This information supersedes all previous information (we had published updates in March and April), and includes everything we have to date.

If a candidate you know isn't on this list, please ask them to return their survey, which can be found here: http://www.coloradorighttolife.org/candidate-survey .

The introduction, where we explain Colorado Right to Life's stance and why we are so "hard on candidates" (it's called holding them accountable) is in the other post, linked above. Here's a brief synopsis:


Colorado Right to Life pulls no punches -- if we have doubts about a candidate's sincerity, we'll tell you. The old definition of "pro-life" won't work. Personhood is the new definition -- a Right to Life from the beginning of biological development until natural death. No exceptions for rape or incest (if you have a Right to Life, it is inviolable). We also ask candidates not to "regulate" abortion, because a regulation implies a "right" to do whatever is being regulated (i.e. abortion). Candidates and legislators have been slow to adapt to these new definitions and stands, but they are definitely changing.

Personhood has been an issue in Colorado for only 2 years now -- it was first on the ballot in 2008, and is again on the ballot in 2010 (as Amendment 62 -- plus, it will soon be on the ballot in other states also, such as Mississippi in 2011). Don't accept a candidate who self-identifies as pro-life but who won't support Personhood, or won't respond to the Colorado Right to Life Candidate Survey. Someone who says they are pro-life but they have exceptions, or aren't willing to enact their pro-life principles in law are "pro-abortion with exceptions." Personhood IS the Right to Life -- someone who does not support Personhood does not support recognizing a God-given Right to Life in law!

We do not assume any candidate is pro-life unless they've responded to our candidate survey, or we have some other reason to trust their positions are sincere. CRTL does not officially endorse candidates for any office, but we will let you know which ones are NOT pro-life, and try to offer guidance on the rest. Please, NEVER assume a candidate is pro-life because of their party affiliation! CRTL does not support candidates from any particular political party -- if a candidate from the Constitution Party or even the Democrat Party is pro-life, we will let you know. We do not ever recommend voting for the "lesser of two evils" because we stand on very important principles which we will not compromise for purposes of political expediency.


Personhood -- support for the God-given Right to Life from the beginning of a human's biological development until natural death -- is CRTL's only real standard for judging a candidate's qualifications, though we do challenge candidates on several questions which relate closely to Personhood but which may be considered separate issues.



A final note: Because of our principled stand, many of our past financial supporters consider us extreme. If you appreciate our uncompromising principles in favor of a real, God-given Right to Life for all Persons, no exceptions, please consider supporting us financially. Most organizations do not hold to their principles because it's not profitable. That's not a reasonable excuse, and we will not follow, but there are consequences for standing up for what's right. Donations can be accepted here: http://www.coloradorighttolife.org/donate


Colorado State Senate Candidates

State Senate District 1

Sen. Greg Brophy (R) has a strong record of supporting Personhood (though like many current pro-life officeholders, he also supports regulating abortion -- we will continue efforts to change his mind). He has not returned his CRTL survey, but we hope someone will remind him.


State Senate District 2

Republican candidate Kevin Grantham has responded to our survey, answering 7 of 7 questions correctly! He also advertises his pro-life values on his website (many lukewarm candidates won't do this), citing a pro-Personhood "life at fertilization" standard.

Grantham faces primary opponents, but we have not heard from them.



State Senate District 3

Republican candidate Alexander Lucero-Mugatu has responded to our survey, responding correctly to 6 of 7 questions. His response to question #2, on rape & incest exceptions, makes us think he does not necessarily support prohibiting abortion for rape or incest (which undermines the Personhood of the unborn child), but we will work with him on these apparent exceptions. For now, it remains a red flag, and we hope that a supporter will be able to speak with him about this.

Mugatu faces a Republican primary, but we have not heard from his opponents.



State Senate District 5

Republican candidate Wayne Wolf has responded to our survey with 7 of 7 questions answered correctly! He did indicate a possible exception for certain regulations, but it sounds like he is very close to our position, and we can work with him on defining specifics.

Wolf faces a Republican primary, but we have not heard from his opponent.



State Senate District 6

Rep. Ellen Roberts (R) is a pro-abortion Republican who was the lowest scoring Republican in the 2007-08 CRTL Legislative Scorecard, having supported pro-abortion positions on a number of occasions, and even cosponsoring legislation requiring even pro-life medical personnel to promote "emergency contraception" like RU 486 or Plan B -- strong chemical abortifacients meant to kill a developing unborn child. Several Democrats were considered more pro-life than her.

However, Republican Dean Boehler entered the race as a conservative, pro-life challenger. He answered 7 of 7 of CRTL's questions correctly in our candidate survey, and we consider him 100% pro-life.

Democrat Bruce Whitehead is unknown to us, but is assumed to be pro-abortion.



State Senate District 7

Rep. Steve King (R) voted in favor of "emergency contraception" (i.e. abortifacient pills intended to kill an already-concieved human child) in 2007. It's his only black mark we're aware of (we have not yet calculated the 2009-10 legislative scorecard), but this is obviously of serious concern. He has not responded to our survey, and we are unaware of whether he claims to be pro-life or not.

We have not heard from Democrat Claudette Konola, but she is assumed to be pro-abortion.



State Senate District 9

This district features a primary contest between two Republicans of decidedly opposite persuasions.

Rep. Kent Lambert (R) is running for Sen. Schultheis’ senate seat. Lambert is one of the strongest pro-life votes in the legislature, and is pro-Personhood. Sadly he, along with all other current pro-life legislative officeholders, is still supporting regulations, but we hope he will change his mind if he wins this seat. We are hopeful.

His Republican primary opponent, Thomas McDowell’s, only reason to run seems to be that he has a chip on his shoulder about pro-life legislators like Lambert and Schultheis, and he’s made opposition to Christians and socially conservative positions a centerpiece of his campaign. McDowell is petitioning onto the ballot.

We are not familiar with Democrat Nick Werle, and in Colorado Springs we can't necessarily predict his stands.


State Senate District 11

We have tried to reach the candidates in this district -- Republican Owen Hill and Rep. John Morse -- but haven't heard from them. Morse has a pro-abortion record in the legislature. If you know Owen Hill, please have him contact us.



State Senate District 13

Sen. Scott Renfroe (R) is running for re-election. We believe Renfroe is the only current legislator who has run an actual pro-Personhood bill. Renfroe is very supportive of Personhood, and even took time from his busy day to oversee the petitions being turned in to the Sec. State’s office in 2008. Pro-life issues are central to his political philosophy.

We do not know anything about Democrat Ken Storck, but presume he is pro-abortion.



State Senate District 15

Two Republicans and two Democrats are running for this seat.

Rep. Kevin Lundberg (R) is known as a strong leader of Colorado’s pro-life contingent in the legislature. Again, he’s not yet renounced regulations, but in 2008 he was honest about his continuing support for regulations, but also strongly supported Personhood. We remain hopeful that he will change his mind about regulations. He answered correctly on 6 of 7 questions (i.e. except for regulations) in 2008, and we’re waiting to hear from him on his 2010 survey.

A Republican primary challenger is Torsten Eckstein, who has not responded and we know nothing about.

The Democrat Richard Ball is unknown to us, but we assume is pro-abortion.




State Senate District 16

Two Republicans and two Democrats are running for this seat also.

One of the Republican candidates is former CRTL board member Tim Leonard, who has also run for Governor previously on the Constitution Party ticket. In the past, Leonard has supported Personhood. We hope that he will continue to do so. We still await his candidate survey responses, however.

His primary opponent is Mark Hurlbert, Boulder DA.

Democrat Jeanne Nicholson is unknown to us, but is presumed to be pro-abortion.


State Senate District 20

Rep. Cheri Jahn (D) and her primary opponent Jonathan Ruchman have not responded to surveys. Jahn has a pro-abortion voting record.

We have not heard from their Republican challenger, John Odom.


State Senate District 22

Sen. Mike Kopp (R) supports Personhood and is 100% pro-life. He's part of the Republican Party leadership, and we're excited to see where he will take the legislature in coming years. We have not received his survey, but we have no doubts he is strongly pro-Personhood.


State Senate District 24

We have not heard from Republican Luis Alvarez. His Democrat opponent, Sen. Lois Tochtrop has a pro-abortion voting record.



State Senate District 30

Sen. Ted Harvey (R) supports Personhood, but also supports regulations. We hope to work with him in the coming year on that issue.



State Senate District 32

Sen. Chris Romer (D) has a pro-abortion voting record. We have not heard from his Republican challenger, Tyler Kolden.



State Senate District 34

We have not heard from the two Democrat candidates, Lucia Guzman or Rep. Joel Judd (D), though Judd has a pro-abortion voting record.

We also have not heard from Republican Derec Shuler, though his website indicates the government should stay out of our lives "especially our personal lives", which is usually code for pro-choice (i.e. pro-abortion).




Almost all of these candidates have been sent e-mails at least once, many of them twice. We've also checked most of their websites. There may be other senate candidates whose websites indicate a pro-life or pro-Personhood position. If you have information on a candidate, please let us know by e-mailing office@coloradorighttolife.org.


Colorado State House Candidates

We will only highlight a district if we have something useful to say. Some districts are currently uncontested, for instance, but if they've returned a survey we will list them. It can normally be assumed Democrats are pro-abortion unless stated otherwise. It cannot be assumed Republicans are pro-life -- many Republicans are not, and even many who claim to be support abortion in many cases. Our assumption is that if a candidate who has received our survey (every Republican should have gotten an e-mail unless they announced late, and many Democrats have too) has not returned it, they are not pro-life (i.e. they're hiding something). State House candidates are not famous for returning surveys, partly because they have small/no staff, and partly because they're usually advised not to return surveys (more experienced candidates know that sometimes exceptions should be made). But we also assume that if they were pro-life, one of their supporters or campaign volunteers would have mentioned they weren't on our list, and asked them to return the survey. Those who are still "no response" after 3 months of trying are "conspicuously absent."

State House District 3

We have not heard from either Daniel Kagan (D) or Christine Mastin (R), though both have been sent our survey. This is a City of Denver district, but is more conservative than most of the city, and Republicans have held this seat before. Mastin is a Tea Party associate, and is "fans" of some pro-life people on Facebook. Can we take that as an indicator she's pro-life? No, but it leaves the possibility open. Please let us know if you know more.


State House District 5

We had previously noted that JJ Swiontek, one of our 2008 "7 of 7" pro-Personhood respondents, had switched parties and was running in the Democrat primary. Unsure of how his stand might have changed during his conversion, but he is apparently no longer running -- perhaps he was eliminated during an assembly.

The remaining Democrats, Mark Thrun and Crisanta Duran, are unknown to us, as is the Republican Ronnie Nelson.



State House District 14

Dr. Janak Joshi is the Republican candidate for this seat. His website indicates that he is pro-life because he is a doctor – if only more doctors felt that way!

We have no information as to whether he supports the Personhood Initiative. If you have information, we would welcome your help. Also, please encourage him to return his CRTL candidate survey so we can establish his positions for sure.



State House District 15

Rep. Mark Waller (R) is running for re-election. In the 2008 race his pro-life credentials were not very well established (his opponent in the primary was pro-Personhood), but he claims to be pro-life. He seems ambivalent about the Personhood Initiative, and we have no reason to believe he is now supportive, or ever will support it.

Please encourage Rep. Waller to return his CRTL survey, and to support the Personhood Initiative (Amendment 62).


State House District 16

Democrat Janet Tanner is assumed to be pro-abortion, though in Colorado Springs districts that cannot necessarily be assumed.

Incumbent Rep. Larry Liston (R) has a record of voting pro-life, though he was one of our "rogue" Republicans who for some reason supported the 2007 bill on "emergency contraception" (which can kill a child on her 1st, 2nd or 3rd day of development). We are concerned about that vote, which we'd love an explanation for.



State House District 17

Republican Mark Barker has signed the Personhood petition, supports Personhood, and regards it as one of the most important principles to be upheld by an officeholder. He defeated a pro-abortion opponent, Kit Roupe, at the recent assembly.

We do not yet have Barker’s candidate survey (he has not had much time to respond), but we expect to get a favorable reply back soon. Please encourage him to return the survey when he can.

Democrat Rep. Dennis Apuan is known to be pro-abortion.

State House District 18

Republican candidate Karen Cullen seemed unfamiliar with pro-life concepts, and didn’t exactly jump to call herself pro-life when quizzed at a candidate forum several weeks ago. She flatly refused to support the Personhood Initiative (a Constitutional amendment) because she believes in “a clean Constitution."

It is possible that she was entirely misunderstood, and she may believe she is pro-life. If so, it is important that she establish this by returning her candidate survey. Also, we hope that she will be open to dialogue, and will realize the relative moral importance of maintaining a “clean Constitution” versus saving the lives of tens of thousands of unborn children who are being murdered. Perhaps some people who know her can talk her into changing her mind!


State House District 28

Rep. Jim Kerr (R) is running for re-election. He has always called himself pro-life, and seems to have been sincere in meaning well. While CRTL has been concerned that he was not strongly pro-life in the past, and he did also support the 2007 “emergency contraception” legislation, we are encouraged to note that he signed the 2010 Personhood Initiative petition (one of at least 4 legislators to join the 2010 effort who did not publicly support the 2008 effort!) which seems to indicate he has shifted to be more solidly pro-life. Please pray for Jim and his stance on these issues, and encourage him to return his CRTL candidate survey.

Democrat Steve Harvey is assumed to be pro-abortion.



State House District 32

Kaarl Hoopes (R) has signed the Personhood Initiative petition, and appears to be very strongly pro-life. He defeated a pro-abortion opponent at the assembly, Andrew Goad.

Please encourage Kaarl to return his candidate survey when he can.


State House District 35

Republican candidate Edgar Antillon indicated he would be responding to our survey, but he never did. We're not quite sure how to read that. He says he is pro-life, but we cannot confirm whether he's a "casual pro-lifer" or a serious pro-lifer without his responses. Please encourage Antillon to return his survey!


State House District 43

While incumbent Rep. Frank McNulty has not returned his candidate survey, he has told a supporter he does support Personhood. Please encourage him to return his survey!

Democrat Gary Semro is assumed to be pro-abortion.


State House District 44

Republican Chris Holbert quickly returned his survey with “7 of 7” pro-Personhood answers marked. We consider him one of the most strongly pro-life candidates in this race, and despite his tough primary race he took time to attend a legislative/candidates breakfast with CRTL. We appreciate his strong stance and his deep commitment.

Two Republicans are opposing him in the primary -- David Casiano and Polly Lawrence -- neither of which has responded to our survey. Lawrence talks about alot of issues on her website, for instance, but not abortion. We have no reason to believe either is pro-life, and we're sure if they are someone will tell us. We've made a second attempt to contact them.


State House District 46

The only Republican running in this district is Steven Rodriguez, who quickly answered CRTL’s survey with a “7 of 7” pro-Personhood response.

Democrat Sal Pace is assumed to be pro-abortion.



State House District 49

Rep. BJ Nikkel (R) is running for election to a seat she was appointed to mid-term – 1 year ago. She is one of the “new faces” on the steps of the Capitol at pro-life events, and she is supporting Personhood. We haven’t received her survey yet, but we’re hopeful that she will develop into a strong pro-life leader.

Democrat Karen Stockley is assumed to be pro-abortion.


State House District 54

There are no fewer than 4 Republicans running in this race -- David (Larry?) Cox, Robert Hislop, Duncan McArthur & Ray Scott. They've all been e-mailed if they had available contact information. Surely at least one of these guys is pro-life, but we don't know. Does anyone know them???


State House District 57

Republican candidate Randy Baumgardner responded to our survey, answering 6 of 7 questions correctly (he may have missed question #2 on rape/incest exceptions, or he might have avoided answering -- we're following up to find out for sure).



State House District 65

Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg (R) is running for re-election, so far unopposed. He is another of the strongly pro-life legislators who is pro-Personhood. We haven't gotten a survey from him this year, but he did respond "7 of 7" as 100% pro-life. He's also attended CRTL events, and we have no doubt of his sincerity.



Remember – because CRTL believes “pro-life” regulatory measures promote the impression that abortion is approved by the state, and may have unintended consequences which could support abortion and undermine the concept of a Right to Life, CRTL does not believe “pro-regulation” legislators fully understand the Personhood concept, though we still believe they are sincere and well-meaning in their pro-life convictions.


There may be other house candidates whose websites indicate a pro-life or pro-Personhood position. We have not had much time to research this, as we’ve been focused on the ballot initiative signature gathering process. If you have information on a candidate, please let us know by e-mailing office@coloradorighttolife.org.


If you have any questions about this information -- or if you have information to add -- please contact Donna at Colorado Right to Life (303-753-9394) or at office@coloradoRTL.org. Please don't be angry with her, if that's why you're calling, because she didn't collect or post this information. We are very interested in correcting any errors of fact or judgment on these pages, so please help us make this as correct as it can be (we will require verification of some type if your information contradicts the information we have).

11 comments:

kevink said...

This answers the question for at least one of the candidates http://www.rayscottforcolorado.com/index.php?pageID=&id=28

Signed the mesa county right to life reagan conservative question.

Kevin Jones said...

Looks like SD6's Dean Boehler is being targeted by Democrats who want to kill off any future talent. They claim Boehler is "too extreme for Colorado."

His primary opponent is apparently more to their liking.

teresa7575 said...

Kevin Grantham is the ONLY pro-life candidate in the Senate District 2 primary.

Candidate Matt Heimerich responded to a radio interview questioner who asked his position on abortion: "Um, I support a woman's right to make a choice about her and her family's reproductive, um, uh, systems and how they do their family planning." (KRLN, Canon City, June 25, 2010)

The other challenger, Talon Canterbuy, was also pro-choice and withdrew from the race in April.

Robert said...

My name is Robert Ramirez and I am the Republican candidate for houose district 29 in Westminster. I am pro life, I signed initaitive 62. I am sorry for not returning the survey, I just found it this morning. I can be questioned about my views at robert@ramirezforcolorado.com

Lynne said...

I'm going to ask this again.

Do you know what an ectopic pregnancy is?

How, precisely, do you propose to deal with those in the context of "No abortions even to save the mother's life"?

Ed said...

Lynne, Amendment 62 and/or Personhood would not keep women from being treated, or lives being saved, in cases of ectopic pregnancy. Here's the easy answer:

A note on "life of the mother exceptions": Many pro-lifers get stuck on the “life of the mother” exception, because it’s the most compelling of the “hard cases” exceptions some regulations are meant to address (how many times have we heard politicians recite the line, "I oppose abortion except for rape, incest, and the life of the mother"?). But we need not fall victim even to the life of the mother objection. The Personhood movement cares deeply about the lives of both, mother and child, especially since if the mother dies before the baby comes to term, the child will obviously die too. However, that doesn’t mean we need a “life of the mother exception” in law. Instead, the anti-abortion statute should be absolute. The life of the mother is saved by a doctor trying to save both lives (and thereby “do no harm”), not by a doctor trying to kill one patient in order to save the other. It’s the same concept as separating cojoined twins. The goal should always be to preserve both lives. This is not always possible, because of relative viability, and so sometimes one of the patients dies. The measure of crime or not is intent. If ever the doctor attempts to kill one patient, rather than save him/her, that’s where it becomes homicide.

Lynne said...

The problem is, I have seen this approach used in a Catholic hospital, and the actual process they followed was to allow the ectopic pregnancy to progress in the hopes that it would not rupture.

What this means in practice is that for most women, it either becomes invades and damages the mother's abdominal organs, or ruptures. Which I can attest is not only extremely dangerous, it also hurts as if you'd been gut shot, and frequently results in complete infertility afterwards.

But by making all abortions illegal, no exception, you encourage that approach. I don't see anything to be gained; the number of ectopic pregnancies to survive to viability is so small worldwide that there aren't enough of them to make up a statistic, and the approach of not terminating early results in nothing more than terminating later and at much greater harm to the mother. You are taking the absolute position at a real cost to real people -- and ectopic pregnancies are not rare.

Lynne said...

Pah, spelling. That is supposed to be, "becomes invasive and damages the mother's abdominal organs."

Lynne said...

Also, medical reality: there are situations, even beyond that of ectopic pregnancy, where the life of the mother can only be saved by deliberately terminating a pregnancy, such as 2nd trimester eclampsia; even waiting to see if the pregnancy can remain viable means that the woman can die quite suddenly. There are also issues such as, what happens if the mother is diagnosed with an aggressive cancer during pregnancy? It does happen, to more than just 1 or 2 women. Chemo during pregnancy is a death sentence for the developing baby, but forcing the woman to wait may well mean a death sentence for her. Are you saying it's not up to her, and that it is better to mandate by law that she sacrifice her life? Do you prosecute her for murder if she doesn't want to risk her own life?

Also, in all of these cases, by making the "any abortion is murder" case, you open the door to any doctor who helps with an abortion, no matter how medically necessary, being actively prosecuted for murder. We don't have enough doctors anyway; how does this help anything?

This absolute position may seem an "easy answer" to you, but it's not an easy answer if you're trying to make it work in the messy complications of the real world, I'm afraid.

Ed said...

Lynne, I've never heard of circumstances where doctors would wait in cases of ectopic pregnancies, even at Catholic hospitals. I'm sure that's not common, and it's certainly not in line with the standard which myself and other Personhood supporters follow, which I quoted above.

As for other reasons, abortion is never medically necessary, except as is laid out in the policy I posted above. My wife is a nurse practitioner and she swears this as a medical professional. An abortion takes hours or days to perform, whereas a C-section can be performed in mere minutes, preserving the life of both child and mother.

An abortion is TRYING to kill the baby, premature delivery is trying NOT to kill the baby. Sometimes the patient (the baby) dies, and that can't be helped. The key is that the doctor is not trying to cause harm to the baby.

I've known people who have saved their babies despite preeclampsia by having their symptoms treated, and I'm told that is not that unusual or dangerous. They keep the baby until it can be delivered prematurely, and then hope it will survive.

In cases of aggressive cancer, there's nothing wrong with treating the mother for her cancer (because they baby is essentially suffering from the same life-threatening condition), though I would strongly caution against chemotherapy and radiation therapy for either the baby OR the mother because their long-term remission rates are really low and they are likely to cause follow-on cancers, but that's a subject for another discussion. Basically what I'm saying is there are alternative treatments for cancer which have better remission rates and won't necessarily cause harm to the baby (or the mother).

As with any death, a doctor would only be liable to criminal charges if there were evidence he intended to kill the baby instead of follow his oath to cause no harm.

Yogesh Kumar said...
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