Colorado GOP Sen. Larry Crowder vs. Koch group on Twitter

Andreas Eldh

Republican Sen. Larry Crowder has introduced a new word into the rhetorical battle against the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity, their state-based prime political arm in Colorado.

Basically, the term means someone you’re not too fond of. And Crowder, a farmer from Alamosa who is up for re-election this year, doesn’t seem too fond of the Colorado chapter of Americans for Prosperity at the moment.

It all started when the group posted a tweet that mentioned Crowder, along with some commentary by AFP and a link to a recent story by The Colorado Independent.

That’s a pretty uncharitable reading of the story, though. The story quoted Crowder telling a group of business leaders during a Wednesday roundtable in Centennial that he was speaking out about a controversial issue despite being up for re-election.

The Senator tweeted back at AFP.

Then, the winds of southern Colorado began to gather in cyberspace for a veritable tweet storm:

And then:

And then came what is soon to become known in Colorado political lore as “The hoonyocks tweet.”

In a phone conversation, Crowder declined to go into detail about his feelings for Americans for Prosperity. But he did confirm the Twitter handle is his own, and that he is the author of the tweets.

Crowder was the only Republican in Colorado to vote for Medicaid expansion, and as a recent story in The Independent detailed he’s been stepping out on one of the most controversial issues at the legislature, a healthcare-related program called the hospital provider fee. You can read more about what that is and the politics and policy surrounding it here.

“We obviously have a few differences of opinion on a few issues, including the hospital provider fee and Medicaid expansion,” says Michael Fields, a spokesman for the Colorado chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

Asked whether he thought his group’s original tweet about Crowder was a proper characterization of the senator’s comments in The Independent story, Fields said, “I don’t think elections should have anything to do with why certain policy decisions are made one way or the other.”

Fields pointed out that last year there were 307 lobbyists on one side of the hospital provider fee debate and only one group on the other— AFP. He said the group has 127,000 activists who have done at least something for AFP in Colorado.

“So we’re very grassroots based here in Colorado, and we have activists in his district,” Fields said about Crowder’s commentary on out-of-state billionaires and Koch puppeteering.

A couple weeks ago, Fields and Crowder met in person one-on-one at the Capitol to discuss the group’s policy agenda, and the hospital provider fee came up, Fields said. He described the meeting as cordial.


[Photo credit: Andreas Eldh via Creative Commons in Flickr]


  1. ANY time the Kochs are involved, you can bet you and I will be taking the short end of the stick. ALEC and it’s insanity is one of their pet projects. The damage they have done and continue to do is not acceptable.

    Kudos to the man for standing up to the vermin. Grass roots organization? Don’t make me spit. The Kochs stand for the LEAST American things possible, and they promote anarchy as a result of their policies. The reason this country is in the shape it’s in is largely due to their influence. And I don’t mean that in a positive way at all.

    The removal of ALL private money in elections is the ONLY way to eliminate the undue influence of money from our political system. Undoing Citizens United (possibly the single most CORRUPT decision in the history of the SCOTUS) is the first step.

    To those who work for the Kochs and their political hit machine, you are disgusting. You’ve sold your soul and your state out for money. You work for evil, and I cannot forgive that. No one should.

  2. If AFP and ALEC are grassroots organizations, I’m a little green person from Mars. Good for Larry Crowder for standing up for his constituents and not becoming a Koch subsidiary!

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