Tensions at a Colorado Springs town hall with Gov. Jared Polis erupted Saturday to the point that security guards had to intervene, and a middle-aged woman reportedly was injured.
The question-and-answer session at Sierra High School started cordially. Polis recapped notable advances in his agenda for free all-day kindergarten, reduced health care costs and affordable college.
He fielded questions from two Sierra High students on all-day kindergarten and ensuring that students will be prepared to apply and pay for college. Polis focused on equity — how all Coloradans of all backgrounds, political beliefs and family upbringings deserve to have equal access to tools for success.
Reporters then asked about public option health care, the governor’s role in revitalizing southeast Colorado Springs and state support for capital projects at schools with a volatile tax base.
But as soon as a moderator began to read questions submitted by the audience, noisy cheers and boos resounded through the auditorium.
Asked how the diluted sex education bill passed Friday can accommodate people with strong religious values, Polis emphasized school districts’ power to set educational agendas as they choose.
The bill focuses on teaching what consent means and closes a loophole that allowed abstinence-only curriculum, the governor said, eliciting boos and shouts of “Liar!” and “Wrong!” from some in the crowd.
When Polis said he wants a flexible cap on money the state can take under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, the critics yelled more.
But Polis did not falter. He spoke through interruptions, whether praise or rebukes.
“We all love this state. It doesn’t matter where you fall on the political spectrum,” he said. “We have more in common than we think.”
Polis’ final words to the audience, vowing to build “a Colorado for all,” generated mostly rapturous cheers and applause, but a few chanted “Recall Polis.”
As the governor left the stage, Harrison District 2 security guards tried to eject a protester whose scarf read “Recall Polis.” Some bystanders said she was hoisting it like a sign, which broke the town hall rules. Her acquaintances, who asked not to be identified, said it was merely wrapped over her shoulders.
They said the guards grabbed her arm and pushed her to the ground, a claim corroborated and discounted by others nearby.
The guards declined to comment, deferring to school district spokeswomen Christine O’Brien and Jennifer Rexrode. Neither was immediately available.
Paramedics later assessed the woman, whose name could not be confirmed. She was limping as a friend helped her out of the auditorium.
Before the town hall, 10 protesters lined the roadside with signs calling for Polis to be ousted from office.
One of them, Sid Gordon, lambasted the governor, saying, “He’s not listening to conservatives at all. I moved here in 1992 and saw the state go from red to purple to blue. We need to get it back to purple … and stop copying California and New York.”
He said he never was involved in politics until Polis was elected, but he takes issue with the red flag bill and new restrictions on oil and gas development.
GOPUSA Editor: The woman’s name is LaDonna Robertson and it was not hard to find that out. Her 10 yr. old granddaughter was sitting beside her and was terrified when her grandmother was drug across her. You can see her in the video trying to help her grandmother.You will hear the guard go on to threaten another attendee that he will get the same thing the woman got if he doesn’t leave.
Copyright Freedom Newspapers, Inc. May 4, 2019
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