The Colorado Rockies are 5-3 going into tonight’s home series against San Diego, currently one of the worst teams in baseball. Here’s hoping baseball will matter in Colorado this summer. 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…
► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) has already drawn a Democratic challenger for 2018. As Brian Eason writes for the Denver Post, Jason Crow brings a solid military background to the race:
An Army veteran, the 38-year-old Crow served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, first as a paratrooper and then as a Ranger, before returning to Colorado for law school. Today, he’s a partner at the Denver law firm Holland and Hart, where he advises businesses on compliance issues involving government regulations.
Calling the country’s politics broken, Crow said he wants to focus on the issues that matter to working families and to break through the divisive partisanship that increasingly has come to define Congress and Washington.
► With Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s decision to run for Governor in 2018, the race to succeed him in CD-7 is underway. State Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood) has already announced her bid, and state Senator Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood) will formally kick-off his campaign on Wednesday.
► Voters in Kansas get the first chance to use the ballot box to voice their displeasure with President Trump today. Republicans are nervous about a special election in Kansas’ 4th Congressional District, where Democrat James Thompson is making a late surge to defeat Republican Ron Estes in a fight for the seat that opened up when former Rep. Mike Pompeo was confirmed as Director of the CIA. As Chris Cillizza explains for CNN:
The race was clearly moving in Democrats’ favor over its final days. Noted nonpartisan political handicapping site The Cook Political Report moved the race from “Solid Republican” to “Lean Republican on Monday. “Republicans familiar with recent polling describe extremely high Democratic intensity and very low GOP enthusiasm in what is likely to be a very low turnout special,” wrote Cook House analyst David Wasserman.
A loss here would be a huge problem for Republicans — especially considering that they appear to be no better than an even-money bet to hold Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s now-vacant seat in another special election next Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th district.
President Trump carried this district by 27 points last November, so even a close race would be a major concern for the GOP.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Republican lawmakers across the country are bracing for another difficult few weeks of town hall meetings. Believe it or not, Republicans in other states actually do talk to their constituents from time to time.
► Democrat Cary Kennedy kicked off her campaign for Governor of Colorado on Monday via Facebook Live. It didn’t go well.
► What is going on with the Denver Post these days?
► The Trump administration is beginning to backpedal on tough talk about repealing Obamacare. As the Washington Post reports:
The Trump administration has now quietly announced that it will refrain from taking an important step that could have pushed the ACA’s individual markets toward collapse. Specifically, The Post and the New York Times report that the administration will keep on paying so-called “cost-sharing reductions” to insurance companies to cover their reimbursement of out-of-pocket costs for about 7 million lower-income customers.
If Trump stopped the payments on his own, it could cause insurers to flee the exchanges, which would melt them down, potentially leaving at least 10 million people without coverage. Trump could do this right now. Here’s how: House Republicans had sued the Obama administration to block the payments, and last year a federal judge ruled that they are invalid but kept them going, pending the former administration’s appeal. Trump could drop that appeal, which would cause the payments to stop. But the Trump administration has decidednot to do this — at least for now — and to keep the payments going.
Trump and Congressional Republicans may finally be acquiescing to reams of polling data showing that a majority of Americans would blame the GOP for any future problems with health care in this country.
► Denver Judge Neil Gorsuch was officially sworn-in as the newest member of the Supreme Court on Monday.
► President Trump could make a slight improvement to the employment rate in the United States if he would just get around to filling some of the many federal jobs that are still vacant nearly 100 days into his Presidency. From Politico:
Hundreds of key jobs across the federal government remain vacant as a result of an overworked White House personnel office that is frustrating Cabinet secretaries and hampering President Donald Trump’s ability to carry out his ambitious legislative agenda.
The process is bogged down as a result of micromanaging by the president and senior staff, turf wars between the West Wing and Cabinet secretaries and a largely inexperienced and overworked staff, say more than a dozen sources including administration insiders, lobbyists, lawyers and Republican strategists.
► Senator Cory Gardner’s State Director is taking a job with Boeing at the end of this month. Andy Merritt will take over for Chuck Poplstein on April 26. The odds of Sen. Gardner actually holding a town hall meeting in Colorado probably won’t change, unfortunately.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Ed Perlmutter talks with 9News about his decision to run for Governor in 2018.
► What do Colorado Republicans think about how to proceed in Syria? That depends, apparently, on whether or not their party controls the White House.