TV host: Legislator Bradford is a patriot

O’Reilly praises Bradford for targeting sex offenders

Conservative TV host Bill O’Reilly named state Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Collbran, a “patriot” Wednesday night for her efforts to toughen sentences for sex offenders that target children.

“Colorado is one of just eight states that have failed to pass mandatory sentences for child rapists” O’Reilly said during his “Patriots and Pinheads” segment. “State Rep. Laura
Bradford is leading the movement to protect the kids out there and we’re hoping she is persuasive enough to get the law passed.”

O’Reilly said Bradford’s sponsorship of House Bill 1144, which increases Colorado’s mandatory minimum sentences for sex offenders that target children 14 years old or younger to 20 years, earned her the distinction of being a “patriot.”

Bradford told The Daily Sentinel she was glad O’Reilly brought “awareness” to her bill, but she does not think the television spot alone will help her bill survive its hearing today.

“I don’t think it’s going to change any minds,” Bradford said. “I am well aware of the opposition and the strength of the opposition to this particular bill. I’m not kidding myself. It’s probably not going to pass.”

The lawmaker tasked with overseeing the hearing on Bradford’s bill, Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, too, said she does not think O’Reilly endorsement of House Bill 1144 will affect the hearing.

“I’m not going to let a talk show, radio host influence how I vote on a bill that is very important to the state of Colorado,” she said.

Levy said she also expects the bill’s price tag, which could be “enormous” given the number of new prison beds it could require the state to build, to factor into the debate.

To learn more about Bradford’s bill or to listen to its hearing before the House Judiciary Committee this afternoon, visit http://www.leg.state.co.us.


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