Gardner Faces Hard Questions Over Tom Tancredo Ties

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 30th, 2014
CONTACT: Amy Runyon-Harms, Executive Director at amy@progressnowcolorado.org

DENVER: As conservative Rep. Cory Gardner released his first campaign ad in Spanish days before the election, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Gardner to renounce his anti-immigrant record and longstanding ties to anti-immigration extremist, former Rep. Tom Tancredo.

“Five days before the election is too late for a total makeover,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “Gardner’s strategy from the beginning has been to toe the Tea Party line against immigration reform, while at the same time conning voters into believing he’s not anti-immigrant.”

“The truth is, Gardner has allied himself with anti-immigrant extremists like Tom Tancredo whenever it has suited his political ambitions,” said Runyon-Harms. “Cory Gardner has no business asking Colorado Latinos for their vote until he explains why he has partnered with their enemies–and voted against their interests–for most of his political career.”

THE FACTS: CORY GARDNER AND TOM TANCREDO

Tancredo recorded a robocall for Gardner before the CD4 assembly in 2010, vouching for Gardner’s conservative credentials against his Republican rivals. Tancredo also co-signed a letter to the delegates. [“GOP to fill primary ballot Friday,” Fort Collins Coloradoan, 5/10/10]

Tancredo maintained his endorsement for Gardner in 2010 over the American Constitution Party candidate, even though Tancredo was running on the third party ticket. [Fort Collins Coloradoan, 8/30/10]

Gardner signed a letter for Tancredo demanding that the state Department of Local Affairs cease funding to the city of Denver over violations of sanctuary city laws. Tancredo delivered the letter at a press conference in front of the state capitol on October 17, 2008. [Rocky Mountain News, 10/17/08] A copy of the letter, referring to “illegal alien criminals,” can be found on the Minuteman website.

Gardner voted against a state seasonal guest worker program in 2008, which was opposed by Tancredo. [House Journal, 4/22/08, HB08-1325; Colorado Springs Independent, 5/30/12]

Gardner was in the hardline minority during the 2006 immigration special session, objecting to new sanctions for providing public services to illegal immigrants due to exemptions that the laws spared children. Said Gardner, “By exempting anyone under the age of 18 from the provisions, I think we could actually be encouraging people to come here at an earlier age. It could even open the door for in-state tuition for those 18 and under.” [“Brophy, Gardner: Immigration reform special session a failure,” Fort Morgan Times, 7/18/06]

Gardner supported a ballot initiative on illegal immigration, instead of the special session compromise signed by Gov. Owens. [Fort Morgan Times, 8/1/06]

Gardner joined a coalition of state lawmakers, called the State Legislators for Legal Immigration, in 2007. Among the demands of this group were “sealing” the borders and securing the country against “unlawful invasion.” [Greeley Tribune, 5/21/07]

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