As the possibility of yet another work stoppage at the construction site for the new VA Medical Center in Aurora caused controversy ahead of Memorial Day Weekend, ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Rep. Mike Coffman, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, to disclose all correspondence to and from his office regarding the Aurora VA hospital project since taking office in 2009.
As last-minute negotiations with congressional Republican leaders appeared to fail, once again jeopardizing completion of the new Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Aurora, ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, demanded an apology from Rep. Mike Coffman for his years of failure to exercise proper oversight over this project.
ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, joined today with Colorado Senators Lucia Guzman and Jessie Ulibarri, along with the Bell Policy Center, the Colorado Center for Law and Policy, and other concerned stakeholders to deliver a petition to Gov. John Hickenlooper requesting a veto of House Bill 15-1390--legislation that passed in the final hours of this year's legislative session to allow lenders to dramatically increase interest rates on specific kinds of personal loans.
After news stories revealed apparent dishonesty from Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton over legislation to shore up Colorado's Public Employees Retirement Association pension system, ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Stapleton to apologize for abandoning state employee retirees after earlier supporting them.
“For the first time in a decade, conservatives had control of the Colorado Senate this year, and it was a complete disaster,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms.
As Rep. Mike Coffman appeared in Aurora today to grandstand at a U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee field hearing about the troubled VA Hospital project in Aurora, ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, released a new report documenting Coffman's own oversight responsibility over the project, and failure to take action for years despite knowing that massive cost overruns were occurring.
As controversy erupted over the decision by organizers of the Western Conservative Summit to exclude the Colorado Log Cabin Republicans from this year’s conference, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on prospective attendees to cancel their plans to attend.
Responding to the introduction by Colorado Republican Senators of legislation defining a "person" as "an unborn child at every stage of gestation from conception until live birth," ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, condemned this latest attempt to exploit a tragedy to further an anti-abortion agenda.
As progressive Colorado legislators introduced a new bill to close offshore tax loopholes that cost the state millions of dollars in badly-needed revenue, ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, cited polling that shows Colorado voters overwhelmingly favor tax fairness.
As women across America participated in Equal Pay Day 2015 commemorations, ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, reflected on the challenges faced by Colorado women even as conservative lawmakers voted to kill our state's Pay Equity Commission this year.
"Once again, the supporters of the landmark gun safety laws passed in 2013 outnumbered opponents at the Colorado Capitol today," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "Every year, brave supporters of common-sense gun safety in Colorado show up to protect the gains we've made to reduce gun violence. And each year, the gun lobby's crowds get smaller and smaller."
In the wake of a news report showing that Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado is a top recipient of campaign donations from disgraced ex-Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Coffman to immediately return or donate the tainted donations.
After the so-called “kill committee” of the Republican-controlled Colorado Senate voted to kill the state’s Pay Equity Commission for a second time this legislative session, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, condemned the action and promised to hold conservative Senators accountable.
With former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in Colorado hosting events as a prelude to a 2016 presidential campaign, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, released the following statement:
After nearly a week since video surfaced of Colorado Springs Representative Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt’s outrageous remarks on the horrific assault on a pregnant woman in Longmont, ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Republican leadership to call on Dr. Chaps to resign.
After an enormous response to an action alert to members demanding Sen. Cory Gardner remove his name from a controversial letter to the government of Iran, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, announced the relaunch of their Con Man Cory website from the 2014 campaign in order to hold Gardner accountable going forward.
"We didn't agree with Ryan Call on much, but his attempts to rein in the worst excesses of his party were at times commendable," said Runyon-Harms. "Will Steve House have the courage to call out Vicki Marble and Lori Saine the next time they insult African Americans and Hispanics? Will House stand up to Dudley Brown's fringe agenda like Ryan Call did?"
"Working women in Colorado are grateful that progressives in the Colorado House have voted to save the Pay Equity Commission," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "We know that unequal pay remains a barrier for working Colorado women--in fact, the gap between what women and men earn in our state is bigger than the national average and growing."
"There is no politician in Colorado with more experience putting his foot in his mouth over President Barack Obama's patriotism than Mike Coffman," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "To see his party's presidential hopefuls competing to disgrace themselves the same way Coffman did in 2012 must bring back unpleasant memories."
ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, released the following statement:
"The tactics we're seeing this year in Colorado from right-wing legislators are really troubling," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms.
"We knew that Rep. Klingenschmitt would bring bad ideas to the General Assembly," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "But even knowing what Klingenschmitt is capable of, his 'Right to Discriminate Act' is a shockingly terrible proposal. This legislation is so broadly written that it could allow Colorado businesses to discriminate against customers for trivial reasons--or even no reason at all. This bill seems to be an attack on Colorado's LGBT community, which makes sense given Rep. Klingenschmitt's belief that only those who agree with his moral views should receive 'government rewards' like equal rights. But the language is so poorly written that it invites discrimination against practically anyone."
"Today, the far right showed everyone what they intend to do with their one-seat control of the Colorado Senate," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "The so-called 'Parent's Bill of Rights,' if it becomes law, will make it easier for unvaccinated kids to spread preventable diseases. This legislation will make it harder to educate kids about critical subjects like tolerance and personal responsibility. And, worst of all, this legislation could help abusive parents continue to abuse their children--something no one should ever want."
"Two years ago, Colorado passed critical legislation to extend basic job discrimination protections to all Colorado employees," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "We need the Job Protection and Civil Rights Enforcement Act because unlawful discrimination in the workplace still happens, and happens at businesses of all sizes. The solution is not to repeal discrimination protections, as the state senate is trying to do today. It's to put an end to discriminatory practices in the workplace--and encourage employers to treat all of their employees with the dignity and respect they deserve."
"One of the worst attacks we're seeing right now at the state capitol is on public health and education," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "News reports this week show that Colorado has the lowest rate of childhood vaccinations in America. Right-wing politicians like Rand Paul have come under fire for suggesting that vaccines might be responsible for mental health problems in children, even though that theory has been totally discredited by scientific research."
Ragan’s PR Daily, a nationally-known public relations industry trade publication, has awarded its Best Cause Advocacy prize to the Got Insurance? campaign, a joint project of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education.
Do you know what the EITC is? My guess is, if you’re one of the working families who qualifies for the EITC, you know exactly what it is.
Last week, conservatives in the Colorado Senate voted to kill the state’s commission studying the problem of unequal pay for men and women in the workforce.
I want to share a note from Amanda, whose son is the star of a short video to promote full day kindergarten for every child in our state.
"The Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee today voted against the recommendation of nonpartisan staff to continue the important work of the Pay Equity Commission," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "The commission was charged with researching the ongoing problem of pay inequity in Colorado and developing best practices both for private industry and the state of Colorado to ensure women and men receive equal pay for equal work. Republicans disregarded the opinion of witness after witness, the mountain of studies proving that pay inequity remains a problem, and even the state's own experts to come to this terrible decision."
Protest outside Bill Cosby performance a community effort FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Saturday, January 17th, 2015 CONTACT: Amy Runyon-Harms, Executive Director...
Next week, the Colorado Senate gets to work on some important progressive policies that will give more people a fair shot: legislation to cap credit card interest rates, increase transparency for student lending, limit higher ed tuition increases, and provide merit scholarships for top-performing students are all in the works. We’ll keep you up to date on these bills as they move through the legislature.
Responding to the unlawful exclusion of a ProgressNow Colorado staff member from a Republican press event at the Colorado Capitol last week, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization demanded that Senate President Bill Cadman and the Colorado Senate Republicans stop violating Colorado's Open Meetings Law immediately.
"Bill Cadman's private business has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in 'soft money' from political action committees while serving as Senate Minority Leader," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "Now that he is set to take office as Colorado Senate President, the conflicts of interest invited by this relationship are mind-blowing. How can Cadman assure the public that decisions he makes as President of the Colorado Senate will not be influenced by the money he takes from right wing 527s?"
“Ten million Americans gaining health coverage is something worth celebrating,” said Amy Runyon-Harms, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado Education. “Our goal is to encourage more people to enroll in health insurance by sharing stories that highlight the benefits. Everyone should be able to get health insurance and the care they need, when they need it.”
For millions of working people, this holiday will be a struggle. Income inequality is at its highest levels since just before the Great Depression. While the stock market soars and corporate profits roll in, the majority of American families are actually working harder this holiday season and earning less.
"Congressman Cory Gardner claims he is 'incredibly disappointed' in the President for taking action on immigration, but Coloradans have waited for years while Gardner and conservatives have done nothing," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "Gardner pays lip service to immigration reform, but his votes simply don't match his rhetoric. It's time for Gardner to answer the President's charge not with more hot air, but with action to address an issue Gardner and Republicans in Congress have neglected for too long."
"Tonight was not a win for Colorado," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "Tonight was a win for ideological extremists and wealthy special interests who don't care about our state's future. After years of recession, Colorado families are finally getting back on their feet, and our state is headed in the right direction--but we are now at the mercy of irresponsible radicals who want to drag us backward."
"We know how Chris Christie runs the state of New Jersey: with intimidation, cronyism, and reprisals for his political opponents," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "After Christie's repeated trips to our state to campaign for Bob Beauprez, Coloradans deserve an answer: will Beauprez govern like Christie?"
“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.”
One day after Citizens United released its film trailer for "Rocky Mountain Heist," ProgressNow Colorado Education and Common Cause Education Fund have launched www.dontbefooledcolorado.org, a website dedicated to exposing the truth about Citizens United and how citizens can fight back against corporate money in politics.
“Since his last run for governor, Bob Beauprez’s has made many statements that prove he has no place in public office,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “With ballots being mailed to Colorado voters next week, now is the time to make sure everyone in our state knows what Beauprez stands for. We believe that if the voters simply realize what Beauprez has said in recent years, they’ll stop him from doing even more damage to our state’s reputation as governor.”
Businesswomen gathered at local restaurant Maria Empanada owned by Lorena Cantorovici to discuss the economically crushing policies that Cory Gardner has supported in Congress. While he has tried to hide or even run from his votes, the record is clear: Cory Gardner’s positions hurt women and families in Colorado.
"Republicans across Colorado are running from their support for banning abortion and even birth control," said Runyon-Harms. "In tonight's debate, Beauprez let his true colors show under pressure. Women know that, despite the insistence otherwise, the far right has an ugly agenda to roll back women's reproductive rights. In the last few years, new restrictions on women have passed all over the nation. And now we know it's on Beauprez's mind too."
Reporter Eli Stokols didn’t accept Gardner’s answer at face value. He explained to Gardner that the federal bill’s sponsors, health experts, and even Factcheck.org all agree that Gardner’s federal Life at Conception Act has the same language and would have the same far-reaching effects as the Personhood abortion bans that Coloradans have rejected by over 70% of the vote two times before.
"Bob Beauprez's casual dismissal of the real consequences of sexual assault, which includes unwanted pregnancy, is totally unacceptable," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "Like Todd Akin, Beauprez thinks that pregnancies resulting from rape or incest are 'few in number.' His statement is baseless and offensive to every woman who has ever been put in this horrible position."
A new poll of likely Colorado voters reveals that they are more concerned about tax fairness than a variety of other major issues currently being debated in the U.S. Senate race between U.S. Senator Mark Udall and U.S. Representative Cory Gardner. The poll of 652 likely voters was conducted by Public Policy Polling for ProgressNow Colorado and Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund (ATFAF).
"Amendment 67 would create barriers for women to get the health care services they need," says Cathy Alderman, Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado. "In Colorado currently, women do not have to be in fear of being charged with a crime when they are getting life-saving health services. And doctors in Colorado are able to do their jobs: protect women's health. Amendment 67 would reverse that."
"First Don Suppes calls a white supremacist website an 'interesting read,' and now he's hatching conspiracy theories to explain it away," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "If Suppes really contacted authorities to report this supposed 'hacking,' he needs to produce evidence. It's extremely hard to believe that Suppes, who has repeatedly make fringe claims both in public and on Twitter, had his account hacked months ago and never noticed until he was called out publicly."
"We have come together today as a community uniting against a career politician who has disgracefully used his public office for his own personal gain and who has a pattern of corruption," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms at today's press conference. "These aren't Colorado values, and we're here today to make sure voters know about Mike Coffman's shady past."
"Cory Gardner is slipping in the polls because Colorado voters are learning what he really stands for," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "The Cory Gardner you see on television who supports green energy and birth control is not the politician we've known for years. Gardner's attempts to ignore his far-right record to win a statewide election are failing, and his campaign has nowhere to go from here but down."