"Gunny" Bob said "brownshirt tactics" of pro-Amendment 44 protesters reminded him of "Ku Klux Klan," "Nazi Germany and Hitler's rise to power"

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

On Newsradio 850 KOA's The Gunny Bob Show, host "Gunny" Bob Newman said protesters' tactics at an anti-Amendment 44 news conference reminded him of the "Ku Klux Klan" and "Nazi Germany."

On October 27, Newsradio 850 KOA host "Gunny" Bob Newman criticized protesters who disrupted an outdoor news conference by Gov. Bill Owens and other opponents of a Colorado ballot initiative to legalize marijuana possession. Newman said the protesters employed "brownshirt tactics that reminded me of the old newsreels of the Ku Klux Klan back in the '30s and '40s, that reminded me of Nazi Germany and Hitler's rise to power in the '30s."

Amendment 44 would "mak[e] legal the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana for any person twenty-one years of age or older," according to the Colorado Blue Book.

Newman made his comments in reference to the October 27 disruption of an anti-Amendment 44 news conference on the Capitol steps featuring Owens (R) and Colorado law enforcement officials. As the Rocky Mountain News reported October 28 (an online version of the story appeared on October 27), "Protestors of all ages -- most dressed in green, waving signs and chanting loud enough to drown out what he said -- stood on the capitol steps Friday morning to support the legalization of marijuana while mocking Owens." The News further reported, "The Republican governor lined up with Attorney General John Suthers and about a dozen law enforcement officials to explain why they thought the statewide ballot measure was a bad idea."

On his show, Newman stated that the protest of Owens's news conference reminded him of "the old newsreels of the Ku Klux Klan" and "Nazi Germany." According to Newman:

NEWMAN: Oh, it was ugly on the west steps of the Capitol today. The fascist druggies stripping the governor and some of our finest law enforcement officials of their First Amendment rights, with brownshirt tactics that reminded me of the old newsreels of the Ku Klux Klan back in the '30s and '40s, that reminded me of Nazi Germany and Hitler's rise to power in the '30s.

Similarly, the Rocky Mountain News, in an October 28 editorial critical of the pro-Amendment 44 protesters, reported comments made by Owens, who said, "I have never seen a time when people with a permit for the west steps of the Capitol couldn't be heard. These people in green shirts remind me of their predecessors in brown shirts."

As Colorado Media Matters noted, Owens declared September 16, 2006, "Gunny Bob Day," stating in part that "Gunny Bob airs on News Radio 850 KOA from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, educating and enlightening Colorado citizens on a variety of topics from counter-terrorism to survival tactics."

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