Boulder County GOP Leaders Forum

Welcome to the first installment of the Boulder County GOP Leaders Forum, our inaugural quarterly newsletter. The intent of this publication is to provide readers a broader and more common-sense look at the serious challenges we are facing in our Local Municipalities, Boulder County, the State of Colorado, and our Nation.

Contributors will share perspectives on issues which may not be politically partisan in nature, but are intended to provide the reader with a greater understanding and increased interest in the issues and processes that are intrinsic to the election process.

It has been said that the "Pen is mightier than the Sword." This adage supports the notion that words have the power to affect change. It is our hope that you will find the following articles thought-provoking and that, quite possibly, you will be inspired to be the change that you seek.

In this edition you will find the following articles: "Is Objective Truth Dead?" by George Tristan, "Listen, To Engage Your Neighbors" by Rich Keck, "Fear of Public Speaking" by Tara Menza, "From Bondage to Spiritual Faith" by Lid Clements, and finally "Fair Elections Require Protection Against Coercion" by Charlie Danaher

Is Objective Truth Dead?

George Tristan, Chairman - Boulder County GOP

There was a time when debate was a process where people of thought would side on an issue that was rooted in fact, but which differing opinions were formed based on the perception of the rightness or wrongness of the issue. What was not up for debate was whether the issue being argued was based in reality or fantasy...until now. Case in point is Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who could not define what a woman was during her SCOTUS nomination hearings; this was a watershed moment in American History. 

We were witness to a redefining of the most basic of accepted norms, one rooted in crystal clear irrefutable science - until it wasn’t. A woman could not define who she adult female human. This was a moment where the fallacy of transgenderism had found an accidental footing in American politics.

Tens of hundreds of years of science and nature are currently being upended by a socially radical group think, that if left unchecked, will normalize a bastardized reconfiguration of humanity. Business, Education, Sports, the Military and the administration in Washington DC, have given it a green light. Common sense and logic are eschewed from consideration by the brightest and most well-educated in society.

To say that gender is a social construct that is determined based on a self-identifying act of consciousness, versus, a physical and conclusive determination by the doctor who delivered you from your mother’s womb; is as ridiculous as to say that the moon is made of cheddar cheese...literally.

For inasmuch as I believe that systemic racism in America does not exist, at the very least it can be argued that bigotry is alive and well, and from the seeds of bigotry we find that instances of racism, while few, are still a matter of fact and reality. That is not the case with transgenderism, it is invalid and has no basis in fact. “Gender Dysphoria”, formerly referred to as Gender Identity Disorder, is a mental ailment and requires psychiatric treatment, not affirmation. 

Herein lies the dilemma: On one side of the debate is the belief in an infinite number of genders and pronouns; the opposing team is scratching their heads wondering, “How do you have a substantive debate about a subject that has no finding in fact?” An even better question is, why would we afford supporters of transgenderism any legitimacy? What value is there, arguing the merits of more than two genders (sexes), when there are no other sexes in human existence? 

CONCLUSION: It is not possible to have a rational debate with people that espouse an ideology that abandons nature and science. 

Listen, To Engage Your Neighbors

Richard Keck, Vice Chairman - Boulder County GOP

I miss Tucker Carlson’s show. As one of the 3 million adults who watched his show, I find him entertaining, thoughtful, and courageous. Yet, my reflections on the show have reminded me of some important communication lessons.

Putting Tucker’s audience in perspective.

3 million is only 1.2% of the adults in the United States. (Super Bowl 2023 reportedly attracted 113 million viewers.) If this 1.2% viewership rate is extrapolated to Boulder County, and it is probably lower than 1.2% here, 3,155[1] Boulder residents might have been watching Tucker. If we just consider 2020 Trump voters, Tucker was only reaching about 4% of this group of 74 million. As a result of this data, I conclude Tucker has a niche following.

These facts reminded me that Republican voters get their conservative news from many different sources and that these sources have distinct styles. Many have not been attracted to Tucker. Why? There are certainly innumerable reasons; however, I can imagine hearing something like this from a loyal, life-long Republican. 

Tucker is too much for me. I agree with him, and still his tone raises my anxiety. Life is delivering too many challenges to me right now. I don’t need more anxiety. You can count on my Republican vote, but Tucker’s style doesn’t work for me.

This column is not really about Tucker. Instead, I want to call attention to the diversity of the voters we’re trying to reach in Boulder County. Like it or not, 96% of Trump voters have not been watching Tucker. From my perspective, there are two important lessons to take from this fact:

First, most people don’t communicate with Tucker’s intensity. In the context of sales and persuasion, there is research that suggests matching the communication style of your audience leads to more communication success. This means I should not use my Tucker-like intensity by default. Instead, I should adapt to my audience and their communication style.

Second, we need to communicate with a listen-first bias. When we are greeting a Republican for the first time, we should ask an easy first question, “How do you stay on top of current events?” After listening to the first answer, we can easily follow-up with, “What issue do you focus on the most?”

These answers are critical and should guide the conversation. I believe the answers will help us appreciate the heart of the voter’s conservatism. In my view, the heart of the voter is the path to meaningful engagement. (Let me be blunt. As a volunteer, my heart issue does not matter when engaging a new voter.) If my heart issue is school reform and I meet a Second Amendment Republican, I’m going focus most of the conversation on their heart issue – the Second Amendment.

When I talk about a voter’s heart, I’m trying to understand what cause motivates their involvement. For the sake of brevity, I’m just going to mention a few other heart issues that I’ve experienced: economic freedom, sanctity of life, national security, small government, and anti-communism. 

To build my rapport with a voter, I’ll return to their heart issue in future conversations. I’ll honor and respect their passion by remembering it. I’ll ask them to keep me informed of the issues in the arena they focus on most. Additionally, I will strive to communicate in a fashion that is compatible with their communication style. 

The implication is clear to me: listening is the first step in engagement.

[1] In the 2020 election, Marshall Dawson received 32,635 votes in Boulder County, 1.2% of this figure is 3,155.

Fear Of Public Speaking

Tara Menza, Vice Chairwoman - Boulder County GOP

Today’s political atmosphere in Boulder County seems like a dumpster fire. We need to act fast, but what do we do and how do we do it? We need to start taking a more active role locally in politics. We need to push back on the progressive (communist like) ideology that is permeating into all walks of life here in our backyards. We need to stand in front of city council meetings, school board meetings, county commissioner meetings, legislative committee hearings, and other similar events and speak out against the bad policies and ideas that threaten our way of life. However, many people are afraid of confrontation or don’t understand healthy or appropriate confrontation is desperately needed: simply pushing back and saying, “no, this is not appropriate.” Without each and every one of your voices speaking up, loud and confident, they win.  


I know that for many people, speaking in public is terrifying. The fear of speaking in public is called "glossophobia" and affects around 75% of adults according to NBC News. Some people are so affected by the fear, they are literally debilitated by it. For most of my adult life, I was part of that 75% statistic. I couldn't even fathom getting in front of people to talk about anything, much less politics. You see, I have never been a politically charged person. Talking politics was not something I felt comfortable doing, much less talking about politics in front of people I didn’t know. I was afraid people would think I was dumb, that what I had to say wasn’t important or relative to them, or that I wouldn't even know what to say if I was challenged.

You would think this fear of speaking in public would prevent me from doing something important that would help push back against the ideologies we are facing. Except it didn’t hold me back, I decided to run for state legislator. I won’t lie, I was terrified of getting in front of groups and speaking about difficult topics. After I decided to run for office and realized just how often I would have to get in front of people to talk, I panicked. Before speaking to a group, my hands would start shaking, my palms would get sweaty, I would feel sick to my stomach…I feel an Eminem song coming on here….Never mind, I digress. The key point I want you to know is that if you don’t speak up about your truth, no matter how terrifying it can be or how scared of confrontation you are, then your voice will never be heard, and our culture of politics will never change.


That very first time I spoke in front of a large crowd, I was talking about something I believed in; our freedoms, our way of life, our children, and their future. When I stopped thinking about what people might think of me, and started speaking from my heart, the panic and terror I felt melted away. My audience was enamored with my genuine emotion of the topics I conveyed, and they believed in what I was saying; I made a connection with them. Since that moment, speaking in front of people became easier and more natural, because it’s what I feel and believe in and it’s too important to be hidden by fear or apprehension. Our voices matter, truth and feelings about our governance and society should be something we can discuss freely and openly. It all starts with getting up there one time to begin to feel comfortable speaking in public. I challenge each and every one of you to make a commitment to speak up at a local meeting about a topic that’s on your heart.


I know how hard it is to get up and speak in front of people; but I need you to know this, sometimes it takes coming out of your comfort zone to come into your true self and realize that your voice has meaning and speaking up can make a difference.

From Bondage to Spiritual Faith

Lid Clements, Advisor - Faith Based Outreach

I’ll be honest. At the forefront of my core values is that of the eternally intrinsic value and dignity of human life by God’s design which, by the way, was His finishing “icing on the cake” touch in creating all things perfect. Simply put: He made man. He made woman. He said, “be fruitful and multiply” – the family unit. Yes, mankind failed, but His original intent has never faltered.

When we stand with Him for LIFE from conception > the womb > birth > youth > adulthood > golden years > final breath on this earth, we stand with Him on very good ground. His pursuit is relentless. In that we’re created in His image, would He expect any less of us? 

Burdened greatly by the egregious legislation that besets our Colorado, and the door opened even further as a “destination abortion” location, we’re now met with abortion up to birth (and, if more liberally interpreted, even on the birthing table), the easily-attained abortion pill threat, limitations on life-giving pregnancy centers, yet the abortion doctors are given legal immunities.  The future landscapers, geeks, doctors, ballerinas,, snuffed out. 

How do we seek to undo such disturbing digression from God’s original design, balancing the necessary with a heart of compassion and love, when the facts - yet the truth - are inextricably connected?

In other matters, any compromise still invokes the same value and dignity of our lives. It’s the sum of who we are: Free-thinking individuals well able to govern ourselves, as recognized by the founders of our constitutional republic. The tyrannical rule of their forefathers was to be no more! Why, then, are we now met with the slow erosion of parental rights; tamping down of property rights, free speech, guns; regulations; a stay on energy resources; on and on??

From Bondage to Spiritual Faith, to Great Courage, to Liberty, to Abundance, to Complacency, to Apathy, to Dependence, to Bondage [1]

We’ve been on a disturbing path…..and could be somewhere between the edge of bondage to rising on the cusp of spiritual faith and great courage as builders and warriors! 

Let’s go for it!

[1] Tytler Cycle, attributed in part to Alexander Tytler, Professor, Edinburgh University in the late 1700s, in his critical assessment of the cycle of government

Fair Elections Require Protection Against Coercion

Charlie Danaher, Advisor - Communications & Messaging

Over the last couple decades, there’s been lots of fuss over the ability to use mail-in ballots. The idea being that, if someone could have their ballot mailed to them, we’d see more participation, and thereby conclude there was less “disenfranchisement.” Although this change has made the voting process more convenient by not needing to travel to a poll, I believe it undermines a more fundamental requirement of fair election. That is true privacy.

You see, nearly 2000 years ago, the Athenians came to know the importance of people being able to cast their vote without any outside influence. At the time, all citizens had to worry about the Roman aristocracy employing bribes and threats to influence the vote outcome.

Nearly every Western country followed suit and eventually adopted secret ballots. With France starting in 1795, the UK in 1872, and the US in 1884.

Private voting at a polling place was the norm – except for rare exceptions, such as during times of war – until about 25 years ago. Additionally, an exception was allowed for votes to be cast using an absentee ballot, assuming someone had a specific reason for requesting an absentee ballot.

Along with increased convenience, however, a seldom-discussed problem has accompanied the mail-in ballot, that being domestic coercion.

While domestic violence has become more openly discussed, other forms of abuse remain hidden. According to a CDC survey, 42% of both women and men report being physically abused by a partner in their lifetime. Even today it’s not well known that many people experience coercive control by a partner, 49% of women and 46% of men.

A significant minority also confess that in their lifetime a partner “made decisions that should have been yours to make”, affecting 26% of women and 21% of men. Moreover, there exists another form of domestic abuse that still is not acknowledged in the US which exposes a flaw in our democracy.

The Center for American Progress states, “Survivors of intimate partner violence must be able to make their voices heard in elections. To do this, they need access to election information and materials, along with the ability to register to vote and vote safely in person at polling places or other designated voting locations.”

So, while we might cheer the increased convenience of mail voting, let’s not be so naïve as to think that there’s no downside to it.

For more information on this topic, see

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