Sen. Michael Bennet Shreds Price on Price of Obamacare Repeal


Jezebel’s Julianne Shepherd reports on a fiery exchange today between Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Tom Price, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Heath and Human Services. The subject was the large budget deficit forecast to be incurred from the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, which you would think good conservatives like Rep. Price would have qualms with:

[W]hen Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) opened up his line of questioning with the kind of genial chit-chat we’ve gotten from the Republicans, you could be forgiven for your surprise, especially from a Democrat who’s held nominees’ feet to the fire for the past few weeks.

Well, it was a ruse. Turns out, his friendliness was a lead-in to an impassioned delivery about the hypocrisy of Republicans in their efforts to repeal ACA last week, and in doing so he contextualized the knotty relationship between the ACA and the budget better than anyone I’ve seen. His vehemence and anger really hammered home how alarming the Republicans’ proposal was—and it also seemed to shake Rep. Price to a tangible degree.

Jezebel has the full seven-minute exchange posted with their story, and we recommend watching the whole thing. The transition from congenial small talk to demanding an answer to this question is remarkable, showing a flash of resolve from the often-reserved senior senator from Colorado that we expect did indeed catch Rep. Price off-guard. That Republicans are suddenly willing to accept huge new deficits from the repeal of Obamacare, when the law was reducing deficits before, is just one of many thorny contradictions they have yet to explain–relying on invective and diversion avoid having to answer the question.

Thanks to Sen. Bennet we now know that on the high cost of repealing Obamacare, Republicans don’t have an answer.

Top Ten Stories of 2016 #3: One Sorry Slate of Senate Candidates

Sen. Michael Bennet and GOP nominee Darryl Glenn in the most anti-climactic race of 2016.

El Paso County Commissioner and 2016 Republican Senate nominee Darryl Glenn may very well have been the worst statewide candidate in Colorado history. Amazingly, there were 12 other GOP candidates who might have been worse. In a year in which Republicans had huge electoral gains across the country, a ridiculously bad group of candidates helped the Colorado GOP to completely botch one of its best pickup opportunities in years.

At one point last spring, there were 13 different Republican candidates seeking the nomination for U.S. Senate. Before you read any further, let’s play a little game: How many Senate candidates can you name?

Robert Blaha, Ryan Frazier, Darryl Glenn, Jack Graham, Jon Keyser, Peg Littleton, Jerry Natividad, Tim Neville, Michael Kinlaw, Tom Janice, Charlie Ehler, Jerry Eller, and Don Rosier. All of these people, to one degree or another, made an effort to capture the GOP Senate nomination in 2016. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet was considered to be the top pickup opportunity for Republicans in the entire country, which caused virtually every member of the Colorado GOP to start dreaming about becoming a U.S. Senator. The only thing Republicans couldn’t find was a top-tier candidate who could actually give Bennet a run for his seat.

It was clear from the first debate of the cycle — held at the University of Denver — that this was going to be a long nomination process for Republicans. Go back and read our “Debate Diary” from February if you forgot just how completely insane this field had become.

The Republican field of candidates for U.S. Senate was such a mess that people like Jerry Natividad were jumping into the race just one month before the state GOP convention. Republican strategists were scrambling trying to find a candidate — any candidate — who could pose a serious challenge to Bennet in November. Eventually, they just ran out of rocks to look underneath.

Jon Keyser, moments before flushing his political future down the toilet in a media interview.

By April, national pundits were already changing their tune on Bennet and moving the race into the “Likely Democratic” range of outcomes. Weeks later, the little-known Glenn inexplicably took control of the GOP Senate race by virtue of being the only candidate to emerge from the State Convention with enough votes to get his name on the primary ballot. State Senator Tim Neville, who once seemed likely to carry the right-wing banner in 2016, never even came close to just earning ballot access.

By May, the GOP field had narrowed to five names: Robert Blaha, Ryan Frazier, Jon Keyser, Jack Graham, and Darryl Glenn. Graham limped onto the June ballot through the petition process, followed by Keyser, Blaha, and Frazier, though the last three had to deal with lingering questions about petition signatures. National Republicans were crossing their fingers that Keyser could put together a decent-enough campaign to get him through the GOP Primary, but his campaign soon imploded in spectacular fashion amid questions about forged petition signatures and the candidate’s absolutely-epic meltdown in front of Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger.

The five Senate campaigns muddled along toward June — at one point Blaha’s campaign manager abruptly resigned with just a few weeks remaining, and Keyser’s campaign essentially just stopped functioning altogether. Glenn ended up winning the five-way Primary with 37.5% of the vote, thanks in part to a late surge of support from well-known conservative names such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

National Republicans basically threw in the towel on Colorado’s Senate race soon after Glenn’s surprising Primary victory; it was clear just a few weeks later that nobody was going to make any real effort to assist Glenn, who consistently trailed by as much as 18 points in head-to-head polls with Bennet.

Bennet ended up defeating Glenn by six points in November, a margin much closer than polls predicted in large part because Bennet’s campaign never even really tried to go after the GOP challenger (it’s silly to argue that Glenn could have won this race with more help from Republicans, because any such movement would only have prompted Democrats to push harder). On the plus side, Glenn’s campaign did provide us with one of the most ridiculous political advertisements in recent memory.

Michael Bennet ran a solid re-election campaign in a difficult year for Democrats, but Colorado Republicans will be kicking themselves for years at missing this opportunity to at least run a competitive challenge to an incumbent Democrat.

Trump Confirms ExxonMobil CEO as Secretary of State Choice

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of State

On Tuesday, the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump made official one of the worst-kept secrets in Washington D.C. in the last week: ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is Trump’s pick to serve as Secretary of State.

It has been reported in numerous outlets that Trump and Tillerson could be in for a tough battle on the road to confirmation from the U.S. Senate. From FiveThirtyEight.com:

Russia will soon become an axis of conflict between President-elect Donald Trump and the U.S. Senate. Trump may have a difficult time securing Senate confirmation for Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, his pick for Secretary of State, because of Tillerson’s ties to Vladimir Putin and Exxon Mobil’s business interests in Russia. Furthermore, the Senate may soon launch an inquiry into possible Russian interference in the presidential election, something that Trump opposes.

Russia hasn’t been a focal point for policymaking in the Senate over the past several years outside of a few resolutions passed by unanimous consent. Therefore, there aren’t a lot of votes to indicate which senators might take the most hawkish positions toward Russia. However, we can look at two recent developments to get a sense for which senators might be most willing to hold the line against Trump…

Guess who makes the list of Republican “hawks” on Russia who could take a prominent role in Senate confirmation of Tillerson? Hint: His name rhymes with Mory Fardner:

There aren’t a lot of surprises on that list. It includes three of the most well-known Russia hawks in the Senate — Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John McCain of Arizona and Marco Rubio of Florida — along with Cory Gardner of Colorado, one of the few Republicans to represent a state won by Hillary Clinton. [Pols emphasis] There’s also Portman, Pat Roberts of Kansas and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

Three of those Republicans — Rubio, Gardner and Johnson — are members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which will vote on State Department nominees before their names go to the entire Senate. [Pols emphasis] Republicans will have just a one-seat advantage on the committee, so any GOP defections could potentially scuttle Tillerson’s confirmation.

What do I think about Rex Tillerson? Well, I’ll tell you, but…hey, look over there!

But as James Hohmann writes for the Washington Post, Gardner may be reluctant to oppose Tillerson’s nomination in part because he needs to raise big money from the oil and gas industry:

Cory Gardner will be reluctant to upset the energy industry, not just because he’s from Colorado but because as NRSC chairman he’ll need to aggressively hit up oil executives for money the next two years.

Is Rex Tillerson really a good choice for Secretary of State? Who cares so long as the oil and gas industry says so!

What does Sen. Gardner have to say about Tillerson’s nomination? As the Colorado Springs Gazette reports…not much:

We asked whether Gardner had a position yet on Tillerson and were told by Communications Director Alex Siciliano: “Senator Gardner will carefully consider whomever is nominated for Secretary of State on their merits, and their merits alone.”

Hopefully you weren’t holding your breath waiting for something more substantial from Gardner, who really just wants to make sure that Donald Trump takes him off of his “naughty list” for being completely unhelpful during the 2016 election. If Gardner is concerned about Russia’s growing ties to the incoming administration, don’t expect to hear it from him anytime soon.

 

Guess Who Hasn’t Voted Yet?

TUESDAY UPDATE: As of this morning, still no returned ballots for the Coffmans or Sen. Gardner.

—–

Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) once promised to spill the beans on his choice for President “when ballots go out.” Denver Post reporter Jon Murray followed up with Coffman’s campaign recently to see if and when the Congressman would make his choice at the top of the ticket, and we’re still waiting:

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (November 1)

MoreSmarterLogo-ElectionWe don’t care what your friend says; it’s not socially acceptable to still be wearing your Halloween costume today. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. 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…

► Got ballot? If you don’t — or if you know someone who still hasn’t received a ballot — then you had better do something about it. Go to JustVoteColorado.org to start investigating the problem and contact your county clerk for answers. You can always vote at a polling place as well, whether or not you have received a mail ballot (but only if you haven’t already submitted a completed ballot).

Officials are encouraging voters to drop completed ballots at any number of collection sites rather than putting them in the mail as Election Day nears. Check here for your nearest polling and ballot crop-off locations. The Colorado Independent has more on mail ballots and deadlines.

 

Early ballot returns still favor Democrats in Colorado by nearly 30,000 votes. As we’ve noted in this space on multiple occasions, it is unprecedented for Democrats to be at all ahead of Republicans in early voting.

 

► Local postal workers joined with Governor John Hickenlooper on Monday to dispel the notion from Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump that there could be ballot problems in Colorado — specifically the idea that postal workers could somehow see through envelopes and discard ballots that favored the GOP nominee. Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State, meanwhile, continues to publicly challenge Trump’s suggestion of ballot fraud in our state.

 

► With Election Day just eight days away, campaign surrogates for both major party Presidential candidates continue to make stops in Colorado. Labor Secretary Tom Perez is in Colorado today, along with Chelsea Clinton, to stump on behalf of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will also make another stop in Colorado sometime before Election Day.

On the Republican side of things, Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence will campaign on behalf of Donald Trump in Loveland on Wednesday.

 

► Can’t wait for the results on Election Day? Check out the Halloween edition of the Get More Smarter Show for a sneak preview of the outcome next week.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Darryl Glenn Preparing to Declare Victory in Senate Race

Darryl Glenn in his customary position: Wayyyy in the back.

Darryl Glenn in his customary political spot: Wayyyy in the back.

Let’s be clear from the get-go here: Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn is not going to defeat Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet next week. Not only is Glenn going to lose to Bennet — it’s a good bet that Glenn will lose by more than 20 points, which would exceed the combined margin of victory in the last four U.S. Senate races in Colorado combined.

Reality aside, we fully expect Glenn to declare victory in the 2016 Senate race at some point in the next eight days. Claiming victory against Bennet would be the obvious next step for a candidate who would once again have you believe that a new poll miraculously shows a blowout race to be coming down to the wire.

Here’s an excerpt from another Glenn fundraising email that we received this morning:

BREAKING NONSENSE today from Darryl Glenn

BREAKING NONSENSE today from Darryl Glenn

 

[SIGH]

You may recall that Glenn sent out a similar fundraising pitch just three weeks ago in which he confidently claimed that he was “polling in a virtual tie with Michael Bennet.” Glenn’s campaign appeared to have been pointing toward a Gravis Poll — commissioned by Breitbart — that inexplicably showed the El Paso County Republican with a two-point lead on Bennet (Gravis later showed Bennet ahead by 10). A few days after Glenn’s “virtual tie” claims, Quinnipiac University released new polling data indicating Glenn to be 18 points behind Bennet, which more or less lined up with the rest of the publicly-available polling in Colorado’s Senate race.

Glenn doesn’t actually link to a specific poll in today’s fundraising email, though there is apparently some new data from YouGov indicating a five-point margin between the candidates. We haven’t bothered to look at the methodologies of this new poll because it is so far removed from the trend lines in this race that it defies credibility. According to Real Clear Politics, there are 17 available polls on Colorado’s Senate race dating back to July; 11 of these polls show Bennet with a double-digit lead over Glenn. There were six public polls in this race conducted during the month of October, and even if you include the results of this dubious YouGov poll, Bennet still averages a 12-point advantage over Glenn.

Campaign time is almost up for Glenn, the man we’ve called the “Worst Statewide Candidate in Colorado History.” If he wants to spend his last week as a U.S. Senate candidate pretending to be on the doorstep of victory…well, whatever. Reality will intervene soon enough.

Obama, Clinton Stumping Hard for Congressional Races

Here comes Obama!

Here comes Obama.

As CNN reports, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is increasingly shifting her campaign resources toward helping Democrats in winning close Congressional seats around the country:

After nearly five months of ripping into Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton suddenly has a new list of enemies on the campaign trail: Republican candidates in competitive down-ballot races.

Clinton’s pivot is an unmistakable sign that she and her top aides have never felt more confident about victory on November 8…

…Determined to capitalize on her opponent’s her opponent’s recent struggles, Clinton has picked up her pace of campaigning, and in the final two weeks of the 2016 race, she will crisscross the country to vouch for Democrats in tough congressional races.

Her ultimate goal is to secure a Democratic-controlled Senate — crucial to a Clinton administration’s ability to set an aggressive first-term agenda.

President Barack Obama is also turning up the heat in several competitive Congressional battles around the country. Obama directly criticized Republican Rep. Darrell Issa at a fundraiser in La Jolla, California on Sunday. Here in Colorado today, Obama formally endorsed Democrat Morgan Carroll in CD-6. As the Aurora Sentinel reports, here’s the full statement of Obama’s endorsement:

“I’m proud to endorse Morgan Carroll for the United States House of Representatives,” Obama said. “Over the last eight years, we’ve made tremendous strides towards making our nation safer, stronger, and fairer, but it’s clear that to continue this progress, we need to send more commonsense leaders like Morgan Carroll to Congress to get things done for the middle class. Morgan Carroll is a champion for Colorado families — fighting for good-paying jobs and better wages, and isn’t afraid to take on the tough fights, like defending a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions, passing tough campaign finance and lobbying reform laws, making sure we keep our sacred promises to our nation’s veterans and their families, and addressing the crushing burden of student loan debt felt by so many Colorado students. Morgan Carroll is the kind of tough and smart leader who will build on all we’ve accomplished and take our nation forward, and that’s why I know Coloradans can count on Morgan Carroll.”

Coffman is touting  his own list of endorsements, though they are decidedly less interesting than President Obama’s backing:

Coffman rolled out his own partisan praise last week, announcing the endorsement of area Republican mayors and county commissioners.

We wrote last week that the worst-case-scenario for Republicans was that disaffected GOP voters just wouldn’t bother voting at all. But if Obama and Clinton are confident enough about the top of the ticket with two weeks left that they are going to focus their efforts on down-ballot races…well, the worst-case-scenario for Republicans might have changed significantly.

Darryl Glenn Holding Onto 18-Point Deficit in Senate Race

Darryl Glenn in his most accurate campaign metaphor.

Darryl Glenn (R-Rear)

If you are a Republican or a supporter of Senate candidate Darryl Glenn, here’s the good news: Glenn isn’t losing by 20 points (yet).

Just one week after Glenn laughably claimed that he was running in a “virtual tie” with Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver), Quinnipiac University released new polling data on Colorado’s Senate race that pretty much confirms what everyone else already knew:

Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet leads El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, the Republican challenger 56 – 38 percent, widening a 52 – 43 percent lead September 23…

…Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet has a 62 – 30 percent lead among independent likely voters. He gets Democrats 95 – 1 percent, while Republicans go to Darryl Glenn 90 – 9 percent.

Bennet also leads among men, women, white and non-white voters. [Pols emphasis] 

Sure, Sen. Bennet may have a lead among people of every sex and race, but there’s no indication that Glenn has lost support among asexual reptiles.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (October 18)

Get More SmarterIf the 2016 election is as rigged as Donald Trump claims, can we just go ahead and declare Hillary Clinton the winner and save everyone a few weeks of yammering? It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. 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…

► Your ballot is in the mail (probably). Election officials began mailing out ballots on Monday, which means Coloradans could be casting their 2016 votes as soon as Wednesday. For voting information or to check your registration, go to JustVoteColorado.org. If you would prefer to vote at a polling place rather than via mail balloting, check here for your nearest polling location. Denver7 also includes a good list of election-related information.

 

► Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is in Colorado today, making campaign stops in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction, just as a new poll shows Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton maintaining a healthy lead in our state thanks in part to a big boost from Unaffiliated voters. Trump will have to deal with plenty of questions today about his absurd claims that the election is being rigged against him; election officials (from both political parties) across the state condemned Trump’s fraud allegations in no uncertain terms.

Why is Trump so freaked out? Perhaps because he is on pace for an historic beatdown on Election Day.

Elsewhere on the top stump, Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence will be making a stop in Durango on Wednesday. On Monday, Clinton’s former Primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, wrapped up a two-day visit to Colorado aimed at encouraging GOTV and voter registration efforts.

 

► Democrat Gail Schwartz seems to have the momentum in her CD-3 challenge of incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Durango). Schwartz doubled Tipton’s fundraising haul in Q3, and has picked up endorsements from the Durango Herald and the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Here’s an excerpt from today’s Sentinel endorsement:

Republican Scott Tipton wants a fourth term in the U.S. House representing the people of Colorado’s sprawling 3rd Congressional District.

We think Democrat Gail Schwartz is a better alternative.

That should say something. In the past three general elections, we’ve endorsed Tipton twice, along with Mitt Romney for president in 2012 and Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate in 2014 — all Republicans.

But in an era of unprecedented partisanship and gridlock on Capitol Hill, we need lawmakers who can put the needs of the district over party interests — or their own…

…We think Schwartz leans left far less than Tipton leans right. We think it’s time a more moderate representative got a crack at advocating for the interests of the district.

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Debate Diary: Live-Blogging the U.S. Senate Showdown

Sen. Michael Bennet and GOP challenger Darryl Glenn aren't even close to being tied in the polls -- but they both HAVE ties.

Sen. Michael Bennet and GOP challenger Darryl Glenn aren’t even close to being tied in the polls — but they both sometimes wear ties.

The first — and only — televised debate in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race takes place tonight at the History Colorado Center in downtown Denver (hosted by 9News).

Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet is well on his way to a blowout victory over Republican Senate nominee Darryl Glenn — nevermind Glenn’s ridiculous claim today that the race is a “virtual tie.” But this is the only televised Senate debate of 2016, and we can’t pretend we aren’t interested to see what kind of absurdities come out of Glenn’s mouth as he tries to convince voters that he isn’t actually the worst statewide candidate in Colorado history.

That’s reason enough for us to roll out another Debate Diary. Let’s get ready to bumbllleeee…

*NOTE: The most current update appears at the top of the page. As always, unless it is in direct quotes, consider all statements paraphrased in the interest of time.  


Final Thoughts
This was the Denver Broncos versus Bell Middle School in football. Michael Bennet answered questions directly, provided context and detail, and looked and sounded like…a Senator. Darryl Glenn could not have been more overmatched. He was petulant and silly, insisting on pushing irrelevant points to the detriment of his own time that could have been used to answer questions. Bennet is going to defeat Glenn by a wide margin in November, and as we saw in this debate, he very well should.

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Bennet Trending Toward Historic Blowout in U.S. Senate Race

History may be made in Colorado's U.S. Senate race.

History may be made in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race (Michael Bennet, left, and Darryl Glenn).

As we mentioned today in writing about the new Monmouth University poll, Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) continues to widen his polling lead over Republican challenger Darryl Glenn.

According to Monmouth, Bennet now leads Glenn by an eye-popping 18-point margin (53-35), with Bennet picking up five more points since the last Monmouth poll in July. To put this in perspective, the total margin of victory in the last four Colorado Senate races works out to 18 points.

In other words, polling numbers show Bennet beating Glenn by at least as much as the margin in the last four Senate races combined.

That’s absolutely ridiculous…for Darryl Glenn.

Darryl Glenn Just (Awkwardly) Talking to the People

Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn is not the most accessible candidate in Colorado. Glenn easily (and surprisingly) won the June Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate nomination, but since then he’s been harder to track down than an Hispanic female supporter of Donald Trump.

Glenn likes to spend his campaign time speaking only in front of friendly audiences, which is why he has shunned most Colorado reporters and is rarely seen outside of highly-partisan right-wing events. With just a few weeks left until ballots drop in Colorado, Glenn is turning to Facebook to spread his anti-collaboration message.

Glenn is answering questions during a “live” town hall event on Facebook that was scheduled to begin at 3:00 today. Glenn has been in Washington D.C. this week, and he took some time during his travels to shoot an incredibly-awkward video promoting his Facebook outreach.

Here’s Glenn standing in front of The Capitol Hill Club (?) in Washington D.C., pretending not to be reading off of a script or teleprompter or something. Enjoy!

“I look forward to being your next Senator…[pause]…In Colorado.”

DO NOT Mess With Lily Tang Williams

Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Lily Tang Williams.

Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Lily Tang Williams.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, they’ll have three podiums on stage for next Saturday’s Club 20 U.S. Senate debate in Grand Junction–a development that might make the night’s nominal marquee event, well, more interesting than it was:

Thanks to a slight increase in the number of registered Libertarians statewide last month, the party’s candidate for U.S. Senate reached the threshold to qualify to participate in this weekend’s Club 20 debates.

Lily Tang Williams, who’s running against Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and GOP rival Darryl Glenn, will be on stage at Two Rivers Convention Center on Saturday…

Williams’ appearance at the debates won’t mark the first time a third-party candidate was allowed to participate, but the first for a statewide race in recent memory.

Even in 2010, when Democrat John Hickenlooper was running against Republican Dan Maes for governor, the third-party candidate, former GOP congressman Tom Tancredo, didn’t qualify because he had joined the American Constitution Party, which didn’t meet the 1 percent threshold.

Lily Tang Williams’ inclusion in Saturday’s U.S. Senate debate is very good news for her campaign and Libertarians in general–a minor party enjoying some added support this year as Donald Trump renders the Republican ticket toxic for a substantial number of voters who would otherwise trend GOP. But it’s also more good news for incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, since whatever support Williams attracts to her campaign will logically be subtracted from GOP nominee Darryl Glenn.

In terms of what to expect from Williams in Saturday night’s debate, she has a reputation as a fiery witness in testimony on legislation at the Colorado state capitol–especially gun legislation, which generally sees Williams testifying with room-silencing passion and intensity about growing up in communist China. The story is not always very relevant to, you know, the legislation being debated, but don’t even try to interrupt her.

Anyway, look for Williams to liven up Saturday night’s big debate in Grand Junction. Considerably.

Colorado Senate Race Now “Safe Democratic” Seat

Per CenterForPolitics.org

CenterForPolitics.org

Nationally-known political pundit Larry Sabato, Jr. has updated his regular “Crystal Ball” rankings for the U.S. Senate races, and look at what has happened to Colorado:

Today we add one further alteration: We are moving Colorado from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic. This also does not affect the Electoral College total, though it does push a competitive state further toward Clinton. Public and private polling, plus our own survey of key Democrats, Republicans, and independent journalists suggests that the GOP is not very competitive in Colorado this year. That includes the Senate race too, which we are moving from Likely Democratic to Safe Democratic. [Pols emphasis] Sen. Michael Bennet (D), a very close winner in 2010, should be able to run ahead of Clinton against an underfunded Republican opponent, El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, who national Republicans appear to have written off.

This isn’t a huge surprise, of course, but it is noteworthy to see that there is a consensus opinion forming that Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver), once the top incumbent target of Senate Republicans, is no longer even considered vulnerable in 2016.

Lame Duck Sessions, the TPP, and Michael Bennet

Even though the 2016 Democratic Party platform will have a weak statement against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, I am not convinced that some of our members of Congress, particularly Senator Michael Bennet will heed their advice.  In spite of the fact that virtually every labor and environmental group opposes the deal, President Obama wholeheartedly supports it.  In fact, he’s its biggest promoter and wants its passage in order to solidify his legacy.  So do all of the Republicans who currently control both houses of Congress.  And that’s what makes me think that they will attempt to pass the TPP during a lame duck session after the election.  That way, those who are leaving Congress cannot be held accountable and those who remain will be the furthest away, in time, from their next election.  There will be plenty of time for people to forget.  In Bennet’s case, six years.

Bennet has been a supporter of TPP from the start.  And recently, he was reminded of that fact when he became the only member of the Congressional delegation from Colorado that did not receive the endorsement of the AFL-CIO.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet issued surprise rebuke from AFL-CIO

He was also one of only thirteen Democrats in the Senate who voted with Republicans to fast track the bill by voting for the TPA.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/tpa-trade-bill-democrat-vote-tally-119331

Based on what I have seen from Sen. Bennet’s actions in the past, I have to think that he would gladly vote for passage of the TPP during a lame duck session.  I hope he has the good sense to change his position and vote NO if it does come to a vote.  But I doubt that he will unless the folks who sent him to Washington in the first place let him know where they stand.  I stand opposed to the TPP and, since the TPA rules do not allow it to be amended in any way, it should not come to a vote at any time, particularly during a lame duck session.  And if it does, Sen. Bennet needs to vote NO.

If anybody reading this post has a chance to ask Sen. Bennet whether he will vote for or against the TPP during a lame duck session, please let it be known what he says.  I would love to hear that this is a non-issue.  But in the meantime, if you have the same sneaking suspicion that I do, that Sen. Bennet will vote to pass the TPP during a lame ducks session, please take a minute to add your name to Sen. Bernie Sanders petition by following this link.

https://go.berniesanders.com/page/s/tpp-dnc?source=em160629-v2-full