One of the biggest election-year hypocrisies hanging out there, waiting for a civic-minded reporter to jump on, is the fact that senatorial candidate Cory Gardner remains a cosponsor of federal personhood legislation, even though he's told the world, both in interviews and even in a paid advertisement, that he's "learned more" about "personhood" and changed his mind about supporting it.
To un-cosponsor the federal personhood bill, called the Life at Conception Act, Congressman Gardner must give a speech from the floor of the House of Representatives. Why hasn't he done this?
Now is the time for the aforementioned civic-minded reporter to jump in and remind Gardner that he's trotted down to the floor of House and un-cosponsored at least one bill before.
Back in 2011, Gardner, along with fellow Colorado Congressmen Coffman and Tipton, cosponsored legislation offering tax credits for natural-gas-powered vehicles.
But the oil-loving Koch brothers caught wind of the legislation, and pressured co-sponsors of the bill to withdraw their names.
As the Sunlight Foundation reported at the time:
But some companies, led by the oil refining conglomerate owned by the politically influential Koch brothers, have campaigned against the legislation, according to a report in The Hill newspaper. Their efforts have resulted in 14 members of Congress withdrawing their support for the bill.
Gardner, Coffman, and Tipton apparently felt the Koch pressure, and speaking from the floor of the House, one by one, they asked that their cosponsorship of the natural-gas bill (HR 1380) be ended. Click at the bottom of the page here, on "Show cosponsors who withdrew."
Here's C-Span video of these exciting acts of remorse and regret. In the first video, Gardner is not pictured, but you hear Gardner say:
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: For what purpose would the gentleman from Colorado like to address the House?
GARDNER: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I ask unanimous consent that my name be removed from [H.R.] 1380."
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Without objection.
Then you see Rep. Scott Tipton make the same request. In the second video, you see Rep. Mike Coffman do it.
If Gardner can do this in 2011, why won't he do it now?
During an interview on with CBS4's Shaun Boyd in April, Gardner went out of his way to distinguish between state and federal personhood proposals, as gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has also done, indicating that he may not take back his support of federal personhood, even though the state and federal measures would do the same thing. And Gardner has defended his anti-abortion record on the radio.
It was only June of 2013 when Gardner first added his name to the list of cosponsors of the Life at Conception Act. Maybe he's fine with it. It's a question that deserves to be asked.