Tomorrow is Administrative Professionals Day, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Colorado Republicans are getting (rightfully) blasted for proposing legislation that would jail Colorado teachers for escalating their push to increase education funding. Mother Jones is just one of numerous national news outlets to pick up this story:
The bill, which is seen as a long shot to make it through the state Legislature, came just days after hundreds of Colorado educators rallied in Denver, joining educators in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona in protesting for better pay and funding for public schools. Gardner told the Denver Post on Monday that the idea for the proposed legislation emerged after the strike in West Virginia, and he noted he was open to changes in the penalty for teachers who strike, adding it was “probably most important” that unions are penalized for sponsoring a strike.
“It’s a wise thing to do, in some shape or form, in the state of Colorado because we have one district that’s already voted to strike. We have others discussing a strike,” Gardner told the Post. “Strikes are not good for children.” On Twitter, Colorado Senate Democrats slammed the bill as “anti-worker trash.”
Colorado teachers are among the lowest-paid in the entire country. 9News has a list of school districts that will be closed for students at the end of this week because of planned teacher protests.
► The White House is defending President Trump’s nominee for VA Secretary amid what looks to be an uphill battle for confirmation. From the Washington Post:
Ronny L. Jackson, the White House physician and a former combat surgeon, was scheduled to testify before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on Wednesday. But the hearing has been delayed because of concerns about his qualifications and oversight of the White House medical staff, as well as other allegations about Jackson’s conduct that have been shared with the committee.
“We’re gonna have a hearing at some time in the future, but not Wednesday,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), the chairman of the panel.
Should Jackson’s nomination fail, perhaps Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman can be a nominee so that he can later call on himself to resign. In the meantime, perhaps Trump’s administration can come up with some sort of vetting process.
► If you’re having a difficult time keeping track of the number of sexual harassment allegations now levied against Sen. Randy Baumgardner, you are not alone. If you believe that Senate President Kevin Grantham or Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert are ever going to actually do something about these allegations…well, you might be on your own there.
► Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) may be finishing out his political career in 2018 after a Colorado State Supreme Court ruling tossed his name off of the June Primary ballot. Lamborn is apparently appealing the decision to a federal court, but it is unclear whether a higher court will consider his arguments. The Colorado Secretary of State’s office is supposed to finalize the Primary ballot by Friday, April 27.
This is a complete embarrassment for Lamborn even if he ultimately makes it onto the Primary ballot. Lamborn is a six-term Congressman, yet his re-election campaign struggled to collect 1,000 valid petition signatures.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► If you have any idea what Gov. John Hickenlooper is thinking these days, please let us know. Hick has really dialed up the nonsense rhetoric recently, and then he goes and does…this. As 9news reports:
Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law Monday that will end Colorado’s practice of secretly transferring some prisoners out of state and denying victims information about where going. The Governor signed the bill behind closed doors, despite lawmakers’ request to have a public bill signing, so that victims could attend and celebrate a policy change they helped usher in.
The governor’s office also didn’t inform the four bill sponsors, who found out about the signing from 9Wants to Know phone calls.
“It’s unfortunate the bill was signed into law without the victims in attendance,” said Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, one of the bill’s co-sponsors. “This bill was motivated by their right to be informed. Here we are again, with victims being kept in the dark, and the governor signs it without notifying them or the bill sponsors.”
Hickenlooper continues to tease the idea of a Presidential run in 2020, but at the rate he’s going, he’ll be making an announcement in a room the size of a closet.
Pruitt is expected to propose a rule Tuesday that would establish new standards for what science could be used in writing agency regulations, according to individuals briefed on the plan. The sweeping change, long sought by conservatives, could have significant implications for scores of decisions on everything from the toxicity of household products to the level of soot that power plants can emit.
The rule, which Pruitt has described in interviews with select media over the past month, would only allow EPA to consider studies for which the underlying data are made available publicly. Advocates describe this approach as an advance for transparency, but critics say it would effectively block the agency from relying on long-standing, landmark studies linking air pollution and pesticide exposure to harmful health effects.
The move reflects a broader effort already underway to change how the agency conducts and uses science to guide its work. Pruitt has already changed the standards for who can serve on EPA’s advisory committees, barring any scientists from serving if they received EPA grants for their research while still allowing those funded by industry.
► There appears to be overwhelming opposition to a proposal from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to rollback the Bureau of Land Management’s Methane Waste Rule.
► Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul made a late decision to support Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo on Monday. Esquire calls bullshit on Paul’s “maverick” image:
Nowhere was this more evident than late Monday, when Paul performed a perfect two-and-a-half with a twist into the tank and voted to send Mike Pompeo’s nomination out of committee favorably. Now, any reasonable person would have watched Paul inveigh against this nominee for three weeks only to turtle at the last moment because of “assurances” he got from the White House and see someone who combines Rubio’s invertebrate approach with Collins’s sweet-tooth for magic beans.
But, as this Time account makes clear, Republicans are so desperate for someone who is neither full-on Never Trump nor a liberal lion in a sheep suit that they see Paul’s obvious bow to expedience as a sign of a truly independent spirit. Or something. With John McCain hors de combat, could it be that we have the new…maverick?
President Trump apparently flipped Paul with a couple of conversations.
► Democrats don’t expect to be successful in a special Congressional election in Arizona today, but strategists will be paying close attention to the margins for an indication of how things may turn out in November.
► Colorado Senate Republicans killed a “net neutrality” bill on Monday.
► As Joey Bunch reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, a committee of Senate Republicans in Colorado took action on two anti-LGBTQ measures:
The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee passed a rule on adoptions that the gay rights organization says is designed to allow discrimination against same-sex couples. It also voted down a bill that would have banned licensed therapists for practicing conversion therapy for minors questioning their sexuality.
Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, who sponsored Senate Bill 241, said discrimination isn’t always a bad thing.
“Some uses of discrimination are not illegal,” he said. “We identify what is illegal, because it’s wrong.”
Tell us more about this “good kind” of discrimination, Sen. Lundberg.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► A squirrel named “Furry Boi” has won a seat on the student senate at the University of California-Berkeley. Internal polling suggests that the squirrel currently holds a 5-point lead in a hypothetical 2020 matchup with President Trump.
► As CBS4 Denver reports, efforts to change the name of Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood are moving ahead:
Stapleton, built on the old Stapleton Airport, has a name that dates back to 1923. That’s the year in which Benjamin Stapleton was first elected as Denver’s mayor. Historians said Stapleton did a lot for the community but was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Denverites weighed in on the name of the east Denver neighborhood after a panel of historians versed crowd members on the KKK’s history.
Ben Stapleton’s great-grandson, Walker Stapleton, is a Republican candidate for Governor in 2018.