10/10/2014 12:48 pm ET Updated Dec 10, 2014

Gardner's Chance to Learn About Bill He Co-Sponsored But Thinks Doesn't Exist


Colorado senatorial candidate Cory Gardner can learn about federal personhood legislation, which he falsely claims does not exist, when Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky visits Denver later this month.

Paul, a likely GOP presidential contender, is the sponsor of a federal personhood bill, called the Life at Conception Act, that mandates the same bans on abortion and contraception as Colorado's personhood measures, which Gardner disavowed in March.

Gardner co-sponsored the House version of the Life at Conception Act last summer but has recently denied the existence of the legislation, saying repeatedly that there is no federal personhood bill.

Paul, who argues that the Life at Conception Act would overturn Roe v. Wade, will be in Denver for a gathering on Oct. 23 and 24. It's sponsored by the "Colorado Renewal Project," called "Rediscovering God in America," with "Special Guests Senator Rand Paul, Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman James Lankford, and [talk-radio-host] Dennis Prager]."

During a Denver Post sponsored debate Tuesday, Gardner's opponent, Sen. Mark Udall, asked Gardner directly if he'd co-sponsor the Senate version of the "Life at Conception Act," if Gardner were elected.

"Again, the bill in the House is a statement that I support life," replied Gardner. "I have not seen the bill in the Senate. Believe it or not, not everybody in the House reads bills in the Senate that have only been introduced and not heard by committee."

Paul's Senate version of the Life at Conception Act is essentially identical to the House version of the bill cosponsored by Gardner. Paul explains here how the Life at Conception Act is part of a "bold and aggressive campaign to end abortion on demand."

The "Rediscovering God in America" event is referred to as a "Pastors' Policy Briefing," so it appears it will cover abortion policy, as well as prominent anti-abortion legislation, such as the Life at Conception Act, which is among the most popular anti-abortion measures in Congress with 131 co-sponsors like Gardner.

It appears that another "Rediscovering God in America" event was held in Denver in 2008, sponsored in part by Colorado for Family Values, which has ties Colorado's failed personhood initiatives via Colorado Republican operatives Mark and Jon Hotaling, according to an article in the Daily Kos.

The Daily Kos article also identifies another sponsor of the 2008 event as the Christian Family Alliance of Colorado, which praised Gardner during his first run for Congress for supporting personhood initiatives and for favoring the posting of the 10 Commandments in public buildings.

Other speakers at this year's event include Former Congressman Bob McEwen, Pastor Ken Graves, Pastor Jason Taylor, Dr. Don Wildmon, Gail McWilliams, and others, according to a promotional web page.

The event will take place at the Westin Westminster starting at 3 p.m. Oct. 23 and closing at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 24. The intended audience appears to be pastors and church leadership.

The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza wrote this week about the liabilities of Rand Paul's support for federal personhood. He cited the heat Gardner has taken on personhood as portending trouble for Paul.

Paul has said, "The same judges who wrote Roe v. Wade actually admitted this. Of course, science has long-held that life begins at conception. That's why I'm cosponsoring the Life at Conception Act, which -- by legally defining that life begins at conception, -- would simply bring the legal definition of 'life' in line with the biological definition, in effect overturning Roe v. Wade."