We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident

I wrote the following to Senator Cory Gardner’s “Share Your Thoughts on Fixing our Tax Code and Growing Wages” page.  Since it requires fully identifying myself, I wanted to post it here as well under my name so that it wouldn’t disappear into the black hole of his email inbox.

Tax Relief for the wealthy is a waste of money and hurts our future

Republicans in Congress have been promoting this tax cut bill as aimed at the middle class, and not to benefit the already well-off among us. And yet the Congress’ own non-partisan analysts have proven that only the wealthy will have permanent tax cuts while the rest face rising taxes in a few years after all the gimmicks the GOP inserted into the bill expire. As any economist not named Laffer will gladly explain to you with hard evidence from both the Reagan and Bush years, trickle-down economics doesn’t work, and you are guaranteeing ballooning the deficit yet again which will grant you the excuse to cut not the bloated, never audited Pentagon budget, but rather the safety net that our elderly and infirm need and deserve. We have full employment and yet Republicans want to halt even legal immigration. Trump is doing everything he can to damage our economy by threatening world trade and our power to control our economic destiny. Can we build a better future for our children by making education a priority? Yes, but not with your bill that disincentivizes education and effectively relegates our young to dead-end jobs at little more than minimum wage.

The American people have given the GOP full control of Congress, the White House and even the Courts. In return, your party has pursued short-sighted, self-destructive, self-serving and backward looking policies that will set our country back for a generation, or more. We elect our representatives to lead, and to build a better future for all Americans. The world has looked to us for leadership for nearly a century, and all the GOP has to offer is ignorance, cowardice and venality — shirking your opportunity to lead, offering just a shriveled, inchoate message of bluster, failed policies and nonsensical reasoning.

The moral, ethical and intellectual bankruptcy of your party is in full display. Voters have started to realize the damage you have wrought, and will be voicing their opinion at the ballot box. Jamming this tax bill through with all the damage it will cause, just because you are desperate to notch a “win” merely illustrates how pathetic the set of values are that you hold so dear.

The depths of my disgust for the actions you and members of your party are taking knows no bounds. You should be ashamed, but your words and actions show you have no shame.  The knowledge that you are not even the worst among your party dismays me the most.

That is what makes me fear for all of our futures.

We can be happy this one isn’t running for governor of Colorado

Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, in one of the most bone headed political strategies of all-time, attempted to get ahead of his opponents by admitting his sexual indiscretion.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/11/17/ohio-governor-candidate-boasts-of-sexual-history-with-approximately-50-very-attractive-females/?utm_term=.3a1681367578

Its safe to say this won’t work.

Colorado Week in Review: 11/17/17

As He Exits Gubernatorial Race, Brauchler Needles Coffman

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This guy to the rescue!

As he exited the gubernatorial race this week, Republican attorney general candidate George Brauchler criticized current AG Cynthia Coffman, telling KCOL radio host Jimmy Lakey that Coffman’s last-minute “decision to abandon her position as attorney general” put the AG’s office at risk of falling into Democratic hands–something he did not want to see happen. And this helped push him out of the gubernatorial race.

“The timing was so important to my decision,” said Brauchler, the district attorney who tried the Aurora theater shooter, on KCOL’s Nov. 14 show. “When she made the decision to abandon her position as attorney general less than a year before the general election, my phone just started going crazy, started blowing up with people who are saying, ‘What are we going to do to hold this seat?’ The idea of one of the progressive, extremist-type candidates on the other side taking that seat — in addition to possibly having the governorship — it would just put us, Jimmy, on a path where — I’m not even sure we’d be on the road to California. We would be California.  And I was convinced — and I believe — that the best role I can play right now for helping my home state is to defend that Attorney General’s position and to make sure it is held by a conservative and not someone who wants to legislate through litigation.”

Political operative and pundit Laura Carno, who served on Brauchler’s advisory committee, underscored the point on Lakey’s show the same day.

“I’m disappointed that a statewide official left an office where she was going to be running for reelection, and that really should be one of the offices that we don’t have to worry about — a popular incumbent running for reelection,” said Carno on Greeley’s KCOL, adding that she also agree with Brauchler that the “numbers” in the gubernatorial race, with new opponents, did not look good. “But now, with Cynthia Coffman moving over to the governor’s race, that puts at significant risk that attorney general spot. And if we’re going to — if we have the potential of having a Gov. Polis – God forbid– we have to have somebody with guts in that attorney general’s office. So, by the end of the conversation, although I started out saying, ‘I have got to talk George Brauchler out of this,’ there was just no other decision. And I appreciate that he moved over to protect that seat. So, that’s how I’m looking at it, and [I’m] disappointed that he was put in that position. But, I get it. I’m supportive. And I’m still a huge George Brauchler fan. I think he’s an eminently decent human being.”

In other statements, Brauchler acknowledged that the entrance of former Congressman Tom Tancredo into the gubernatorial race complicated his path to a primary victory, as did Coffman’s late decision to run.

“[Tancredo] also competes for some of the same votes that I’d compete for,” Brauchler told the Colorado Independent.

Unless Brauchler draws a primary opponent, he will likely face one of these Democrats vying for the their party’s nomination: Boulder prosecutor Michael Dougherty, attorney Brad Levin, Denver prosecutor Amy Padden, State Rep. Joe Salazar of Thornton, or former CU Law School dean Phil Weiser.

So, Uh, This Republican Tax Plan…

UPDATE (11:45 am): Republicans in the House of Representatives have passed their version of The Tax Turducken. From the Washington Post:

The House passed its version of the Republican tax overhaul Thursday, notching a key win for President Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). But obstacles remain in the Senate, which is refining its own version of the legislation amid objections from key GOP senators.

The bill passed with 227 votes in favor and 205 against. 13 Republicans voted against the bill. No Democrats voted for it.

—–

This shirt is more than middle class families can expect to receive from the GOP tax plan.

Congressional Republicans are working feverishly (or thereabouts) to pass a massive tax cut for the wealthy before the end of the year, and the House may hold a floor vote as soon as today. There is a lot of information floating around about the House and Senate tax proposals, and it’s a lot to digest (take this list of differences between the House and Senate versions of tax reform, for example). Thankfully, we’re here to, uh, reconstitute that information in a more accessible format.

Here’s what you need to know about the “tax reform” proposals currently getting greased up in Washington D.C.

 

Raising Taxes on the Middle Class

Let’s go right to the Washington Post with today’s big headline:

The tax bill Senate Republicans are championing would give large tax cuts to millionaires while raising taxes on American families earning $10,000 to $75,000 over the next decade, according to a report released Thursday by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ official nonpartisan analysts.

President Trump and Republican lawmakers have been heralding their bill as a win for hard-working Americans, but the JCT report casts doubt on that claim. Tax hikes for households earning $10,000 to $30,000 would start in 2021 and grow sharply from there. By the year 2027, Americans earning $30,000 to $75,000 a year would also be forced to pay more in taxes even though people earning over $100,000 continue to get substantial tax cuts. [Pols emphasis]

Gah!

Republicans are trying to fund massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations by increasing taxes for everyone else. This is not just some ginned-up liberal talking point. Much like Congressional Republican attempts at repealing Obamacare in the first half of the year, one analysis after another is showing that the GOP tax plan will harm infinitely more people than it could possibly help. The talking points write themselves for Democrats.

 

The Tax Turducken

Republicans are cramming as much crap as they can into one massive tax bill, including the big news Wednesday that the legislation will include a provision to roll back the individual mandate in Obamacare. This provision would effectively end healthcare coverage for some 13 million Americans.

Both the House and Senate versions of the legislation already include “Personhood” language, a bizarre attempt to establish some sort of legislative foothold for the anti-choice crowd that has absolutely nothing to do with, you know, taxes. The provisions that are related to taxes, meanwhile, can largely be characterized as handouts to specific lobbying groups.

 

Republican Cracks

Many Congressional Republicans been quiet for weeks on publicly endorsing or refuting aspects of the tax reform proposals. That changed on Wednesday, when Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson announced his opposition to the current versions of both the House and Senate tax plans.

Republican Governors, meanwhile, are worried that an unartful Congressional tax reform plan will only increase the strength of a potential blue wave in 2018. Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott, a potential U.S. Senate candidate, recently expressed his concern that Congress will fail to make any meaningful changes because they are putting all of their eggs in the same proverbial basket. As CNN reports:

Scott was also critical of how Congress is handling tax reform, saying lawmakers should “quit having a grand bargain” and “do what you can get done today.”

“These ideas that you’ve got to have this gigantic change never happens. These grand bargains never happen,” Scott said.

 

Tax Increases to Pay for Tax Cuts

The math doesn’t lie for Republicans: It’s not possible to make permanent tax cuts for corporations and rich people and regular Americans while not completely exploding the national debt, so Republicans will just worry about corporations and rich people for now.

Congress is not allowed to enact legislation that would add to the federal deficit after 10 years, so Republicans have crafted a way around this problem: They’ll just turn off most of the tax cuts for non-rich people in a few years. As Politico explains:

Senate Republicans are on the defensive after proposing to only offer temporary tax cuts to millions of Americans as part of a revised plan to overhaul the tax code.

While they want to make a host of business tax cuts permanent, they would make reductions in tax rates, expansions of the standard deduction and child tax credit, and other provisions expire after 2025.

As Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) told Politico about the individual tax cut provisions: “I’d like to make them permanent, but we’ll just come back at them again [later].”

In other words, middle class Americans can get bent while the GOP tax cut for the wealthy adds $1.5 TRILLION to the federal deficit in the next decade. Neat!

 

No Relief for You, Colorado

Check out some of these numbers from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy regarding how the Republican tax proposals will (not) benefit Coloradans:

♦ Roughly 18% of Colorado families, most of them middle-class families, will ultimately see their taxes increase as a result of the legislation.

♦ About 75% of the tax cuts will go to the top 20% of Coloradans (46% of the total will benefit just the wealthiest 1% of Coloradans).

♦ The number of households in Colorado that will benefit from repealing the estate tax is about 70. That’s 70 total – not a percentage.

♦ At least 235,000 Coloradans would lose health insurance coverage by 2025 if the GOP tax plan passes.

 

Americans Aren’t Buying What GOP Is Selling

Results from a new poll out Wednesday from Quinnipiac University follow the same trend as their predecessors in recent weeks. Voters now disapprove of the GOP tax plan by a greater than 2-to-1 margin:

American voters disapprove 52 – 25 percent of the Republican tax plan. Republican voters approve 60 – 15 percent, with 26 percent undecided. All other party, gender, education, age and racial groups disapprove. [Pols emphasis]

Perhaps most troubling for Congressional Republicans is the fact that Americans aren’t accepting the GOP narrative of middle class tax relief:

The wealthy would mainly benefit from this tax plan, 61 percent of American voters say, while 24 percent say the middle class will mainly benefit and 6 percent say low-income people would mainly benefit.

American voters say 59 – 33 percent that the Republican tax plan favors the rich at the expense of the middle class.

Only 16 percent of American voters say the Republican tax plan will reduce their taxes, while 35 percent of voters say it will increase their taxes and 36 percent say it won’t have much impact on their taxes.

Said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll:

“The sentiment from voters: The GOP tax plan is a great idea, if you are rich. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.”

And there you have it.

Bad Policy, Clever Politics for Victor Mitchell

Victor Mitchell

Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell today released a new online ad to jumpstart an idea he has been pushing for a few months now: Going after elected officials who campaign for a new job while maintaining their old position. From a press release:

The Victor Mitchell campaign has unveiled a new web-video explaining his support for a new law that would require Colorado candidates holding full-time state or local elective offices to resign before seeking a higher office. “Taxpayers should not be forced to continue to pay the salaries of officeholders who are seeking promotion to a higher office,” says Mitchell, the businessman and former state legislator. “Campaigning is almost a full-time job these days and we can’t expect an officeholder to run for a different office without neglecting their current office responsibilities.”

“This law would not prevent anyone from seeking any office they choose. It would merely prevent neglect of duty and taxpayer subsidies of campaigners,” continued Mitchell. “I don’t like corporate welfare, and I don’t like welfare for politicians, either.”

“In the same spirit that “Term Limits” has constrained political careerism and TABOR has promoted financial accountability, Resign-To-Run will help keep the political insiders accountable to the people that elect them,” contends Mitchell. “Don’t expect the establishment to embrace this new idea, but I am already seeing that the people of Colorado believe it’s a welcome check on political ambition.”

The web video itself is very well done and could be an effective message for Mitchell. Take a look:

We actually like the strategy of what Mitchell is trying to do here, but we have to point out the unworkability of the policy idea. Requiring elected officials to resign from office if the are running for another elected office isn’t going to solve the alleged problem here of officials who aren’t getting their work done. Frankly, it could make the situation worse.

But, of course, this is an advertisement designed to help Mitchell win a Republican Primary, and to that end it will probably work well. Mitchell doesn’t have the name ID of many of the other top GOP candidates, so he needs to differentiate himself in some way. He does that here with what he doesn’t say: That Republican gubernatorial candidates such as State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman –and, before he dropped out of the race on Monday, Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler — are part of the problem while Mitchell is seeking the solution (though in Stapleton’s case, he could just say that he was never showing up to work in the first place).

Positioning yourself as a regular Joe Businessman running against a bunch of career politicians is a tried and true political tactic. With public polling showing consistently that people aren’t particularly happy with their elected officials, this could be the kind of spark that gets Mitchell’s campaign going.

Another Colorado Democrat Accused of Sexual Harassment

While the national media busies itself with Republican indiscretions, in Colorado’s it’s a different story!

Second Colorado lawmaker now faces sexual harassment complaint

Thomas Cavaness stood in the back of a darkened room at a political campaign event one night in early 2012 when he felt someone reach over and grab his inner thigh near his crotch.

The hand belonged to Paul Rosenthal, then a state House candidate who is now in his third term as a Colorado lawmaker, according to a formal complaint Cavaness filed this week and obtained by The Denver Post. Rosenthal is the second state lawmaker in a week to face accusations of sexual harassment.

The same evening, Cavaness said Rosenthal touched the small of his back, letting his hand slip to his buttocks, and later tried to kiss him as he left.

Why can’t Democrats in Colorado keep their hands to themselves? I hope Colorado Pols gets to the bottom of this before they write any more blogs about what Cory Gardner will do about Roy Moore. Democrats have your own problems.

Former Denver Mayor Webb shows integrity by removing fake news from his Facebook page

webb fake news 11-17Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb gets serious praise for removing fake news from his Facebook page, which falsely quoted Trump as saying:

“If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.”

Webb not only removed the post, which had received hundreds of “likes” and “shares,” but he posted a note on his Facebook page copping to his mistake and apologizing.

What more could you want from a community leader?

For this, I officially dub him a Warrior Against the Fact-Free World.

It’s great to remove fake news in silence, but Webb went further by acknowledging his error and thus showed by his example how we can all fight fake news. Anyone can make a mistake and post fake news, no matter how hard we try not to. Webb’s action encourages others to act responsibly if they’re in the same boat.

Contrast how Webb handled the situation with the many Colorado officials who refuse to remove fake news, defined as social-media post that looks like news and has been proven false by Factcheck.org, Politifact, Snopes or a credible news outlet.

Current or former lawmakers who’ve refused to remove fake news include former State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt of Colorado Springs, State Sen. Tim Neville of Littleton, State House Republican Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock,  State Rep. Ray Scott of Grand Junction, and former State Sen. Laura Woods of Arvada (most recently here). They are all Republicans.

On the positive side, a growing number of officials, from former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo on the right to Webb on the left, have readily removed fake-news, once they become aware of the rot on their social-media feeds. Yay for that.

Victor Mitchell Hits Cynthia Coffman on Abortion

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell stated on Facebook that the Colorado Republican Party “should nominate pro-life candidates” and to do “otherwise is to abandon our values.”

Mitchell’s comment on Facebook came in response to a news report Friday that Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who’s also running for the GP gubernatorial nomination, is pro-choice.

The report, by CBS4 political specialist Shaun Boyd, prompted KNUS radio host Dan Caplis to denounce Coffman and to speculate that she lied about her pro-choice stance during her campaign for attorney general.

Caplis’ hostility reflects the opinion of what appears to be a sizable segment of GOP voters who participate in primary elections. Their position on the abortion issue precludes many pro-choice Republicans from running at all.

In fact, one pro-choice Republican, Ellen Roberts, dropped out of consideration for the U.S. Senate race in 2015 after denying that she’d described herself as pro-choice, when in fact she had done so on the floor of the Colorado Senate.

In taking a pro-choice stance, Coffman could be targeting an unknown number of unaffiliated voters who could participate in this year’s Republican primary. But in doing so, she risks alienating anti-abortion Republicans, who’ve demonstrated their grassroots abilities to push much of their agenda into the GOP platform in Colorado and who’ve seen it adopted by most GOP elected leaders here.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (November 15)

Koningsfeest is a fun word to say. 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…

► Senate Republicans have decided to push ahead with legislation to cut taxes for rich people that also now includes a repeal of the individual mandate connected to Obamacare. As the Washington Post reports, this kitchen sink tax bill is a big gamble:

Congressional Republicans are reaching for a booby-trapped bag of cash as they scramble to try to pay for their tax overhaul. 

House and Senate Republicans are moving to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate — a surprise turn that would yield more than $300 billion in much-needed revenue even as it revives the toxic politics of the GOP’s summertime drive to gut the landmark law.

Senate GOP tax writers incorporated the high-stakes maneuver into the latest version of their plan (see full text here), released late Tuesday night. They applied the new revenue to making permanent the deeply-slashed 20 percent corporate rate at the heart of the tax plan; doubling the child tax credit to $2,000; and expanding access to a deduction for pass-through businesses. But the updated bill sunsets individual rate cuts at the end of 2025 to help the package comply with strict budget rules — a move that Democrats seized on to blast the GOP for prioritizing corporate interests over working people. 

The Post notes that House Republicans are not nearly as excited about the idea of trying to repeal the individual mandate within a tax reform bill that has already been taking on water for weeks. Earlier this month Republicans were hammered for trying to insert “Personhood” language into the tax bill as well. Chris Cillizza of CNN writes that Republicans are risking the entire 2018 election on this new maneuver.

 

► “Tax reform” legislation in the House of Representatives remains on track to potentially get a floor vote as soon as Thursday, which could theoretically allow the House and Senate enough time to reconcile both versions before the end of the year. From CNBC:

The GOP aims to pass a plan to chop tax rates for businesses and individuals by the end of the year to fulfill a key campaign promise. Lawmakers argue that changing the tax code will spark economic growth and boost job creation and wages.

This week, the Senate is marking up, or debating and amending, its version. The chamber wants to approve the bill after Thanksgiving.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday described the current plans as a “work in progress.” He said he expects the two chambers to pass separate legislation before going to a conference committee to craft a joint plan.

In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, McCarthy contended that the House and Senate can quickly reconcile the differences and get a final bill to Trump’s desk by the end of the year.

President Trump is expected to visit Capitol Hill on Thursday to drum up support for cutting taxes for rich people.

Meanwhile, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) has an idea for a real reform to the tax code that makes a lot of sense and therefore probably has no chance of succeeding.

 

► Just when you thought the saga of Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore couldn’t get any weirder…it does. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now suggesting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions could be a Republican write-in candidate in next month’s special election in Alabama. Of course, the entire reason that this special election is even taking place is because Sessions left his Senate office earlier this year to become Attorney General.

Moore continues to resist pressure to withdraw from the race, and Sessions has given no public indication that he would want to return to his old job. There’s a word for what’s happening in Alabama right now (hint: it rhymes with “Blusterfuck”).

Also, Colorado Republicans have a lot of explaining to do about embracing Moore during a visit to Denver last Spring.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

Radio hosts hopping mad at report that Cynthia Coffman is pro-choice

(Them’s fighting words – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

On KNUS 710-AM Friday, host Dan Caplis announced, the “big news from Channel 4” that “Cynthia Coffman is now pro-choice.”

In fact, in a report Friday on Coffman’s entrance into Colorado’s gubernatorial race, CBS4 political specialist Shaun Boyd reported that Coffman “is pro-choice and pro-gay rights.”

“It looks like the Coffman campaign has not tried to correct that,” observed Caplis. And indeed the report remains uncorrected today.

Yet, Caplis could not accept that Coffman is pro-choice, but if she is, he said, he won’t support her.

“She would not be the Republican attorney general of Colorado if she had come out as pro-abortion,” said Caplis. “She would not be in that position.”

“If she is now, as Channel 4 reports, pro-abortion, was she pro-abortion then and lied about it in order to get elected attorney general.” Caplis continued.  (Listen here, Nov. 10 hour one.)

CBS4 did not air footage or audio of Coffman saying she’s pro-choice. Instead, it was reported by Boyd, who did not immediately return a call for comment.

Another KNUS radio host, joined Caplis to denounce Coffman’s position.

“If she’s willing to waver on, for me, a fundamental foundational principle, just because she thinks Colorado has gotten more and more blue, I can’t support her,” said KNUS’ Randy Corporan, who’s a founder of the Arapahoe County Tea Party. “… I’ve been around her many times over the years, where all sorts of different conversations have come up, and I’ve never left with the impression that she was anything but pro-life.”

Craig Silverman, Caplis’ guest co-host Friday, speculated on air about the impact of Coffman’s pro-choice stance on her dissolving marriage with U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO).

Silverman: She running while she’s in the middle of a divorce with Mike Coffman. Is Mike Coffman pro-life?”

Caplis: “He’s a champion, a total champion for life.”

Silverman: “Do you think this is part of the reason they are getting divorced?”

Caplis: “I have no eartly idea.”

In the 2016 Colorado Senate race, former Colorado State University Athletic Director Jack Graham took a pro-choice stance, but lost to anti-choice Darryl Glenn, an El Paso County Commissioner who denounced Roe v. Wade. All other candidates in that primary took staunch anti-abortion positions.

Other Republicans in Colorado, like U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, have taken extreme anti-choice stances as they build their careers and during GOP primaries, and have tried to look more moderate, by abandoning personhood abortion bans, for example, during the general election.

The State of the Race (for the State): November 2017

Tom Tancredo and Cynthia Coffman are in, and George Brauchler is out. There’s been lots of upheaval in the 2018 race for Governor in the last couple of weeks, so lets reset the field as we near the end of the year. Here’s our latest look at the State of the Race (for the State).

 

LOOKING GOOD

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) remains the frontrunner in the race for governor.

Democratic candidates are outraising Republican counterparts not named Walker Stapleton by significant margins. Democrats Jared Polis, Cary Kennedy, Mike Johnston, and even Donna Lynne are running strong campaigns as we enter the campaign doldrums of the Holiday Season. Things should start to shake out a bit once we cross into 2018, because there just isn’t room for all four of these candidates to mathematically make the ballot through the caucus/assembly process; remember, any candidate who does not petition onto the ballot must get at least 30% of the vote at the state assembly for ballot access.

Polis has the name ID and the resources to go the caucus route, so at least one of the other three major Democratic candidates will need to spend a great deal of time and money on gathering petition signatures if they hope to see their name on the June Primary ballot. It’s hard to envision a scenario where Lynne does not go the petition route; the bigger question will be about what Kennedy and Johnston decide. Right now, all four major Democratic candidates are essentially rowing in the same direction. Expect that to change in January.

On the Republican side, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and former Congressman Tom Tancredo have pulled away from the rest of a crowded pack. Stapleton is sweeping up one major Republican donor after another, and he likely ends the year with the largest amount of contributions among Republican candidates. Stapleton raised more than $300k just from major donors (contributions of $1,000 or more) in the last six weeks, and wrote himself a $250k check. This doesn’t count the hundreds of thousands of dollars being funneled into a pro-Stapleton PAC, either.

Ed Gillespie, Tom Tancredo, and Donald Trump

Tancredo, meanwhile, seems to be establishing himself as the [quote-unquote] insurgent candidate for Republicans. We learned from last Tuesday’s election results that incumbency won’t save Republicans in 2018. We saw that the Republican brand is in tatters. And Tuesday’s Democratic wipeout confirmed something many had long expected: That Trumpism doesn’t exist without Donald Trump. Tancredo is not an establishment Republican like failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, nor is he a diehard Trumpian whose political fortunes will be tied to President Twitterer. In 2018, Tancredo may be embraced by national Republican factions – rather than openly opposed – and his strong name ID among Republican voters means that he doesn’t need to compete dollar-for-dollar with Stapleton.

 

LOOKING LOST

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman

Cynthia Coffman finally entered the GOP field for Governor after nearly a year of publicly teasing the idea. Even with Brauchler out of the race, it’s difficult to see how she might have a path to the GOP nomination in June. Longtime Republican operative/consultant Dick Wadhams told CBS4 Denver that Coffman’s entry into the race probably helps Tancredo more than anything else:

“Tancredo starts off with anywhere from 20 to 23 percent — a rock hard political base,” Wadhams said. “So the more the rest of the vote is divided up by these other Republican candidates, it helps him.

“Now, the challenge for the other candidates is for somebody to break through.”

Coffman is essentially running for Governor because she doesn’t want to be Attorney General any longer; if she’s going to run another statewide race in 2018, she figures that she might as well try for the top prize. Unfortunately for Coffman, she has neither the fundraising chops nor the conservative bonafides to be a top contender in a Republican Primary. Coffman has never been good at raising money; when she was first campaigning for Attorney General in 2013, she failed to surpass $100k in donations in her first four months in the race. It’s fair to say that Coffman would have entered the race for Governor long ago if she knew that the money would be there to sustain a campaign.

As for her conservative credentials, Coffman has lots of explaining to do to a right-wing base about why she issued a ruling in support of legislative efforts to reclassify the Hospital Provider Fee (HPF). Coffman may have been doing her legal duty with the HPF decision, but that won’t make diehard Republican voters feel any better. If you don’t think Coffman doesn’t already realize this problem, take a look at how she answered some straightforward budget questions in an interview with the Durango Herald:

Coffman deflected a question about the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and Gallagher Amendment, which limit tax collections and have been blamed for hampering the state budget and dozens of local government budgets, including special districts.

“We would need to set a longer conversation,” she said. “I don’t want to give it short shrift.”

Nothing demonstrates leadership by refusing to answer questions about the state budget.

Oh, and then there’s the whole “Coffmangate” scandal that will be rehashed repeatedly.

 

STILL LOOKING AROUND

Things aren’t going well for the first 3 GOP candidates for Governor: Victor Mitchell, Mitt Romney’s Nephew, and George Brauchler.

Colorado Springs entrepreneur/pastor/author Barry Farah was supposedly going to enter the Republican gubernatorial field back in August, but he seems to have vanished since those initial reports. Farah is either playing a complicated political shell game, or (most likely) he just decided that there was no place for him in the 2018 field.

Republicans Victor Mitchell and Mitt Romney’s Nephew are still plugging along as candidates. Both men have the financial resources to make a serious run at the nomination, but thus far neither has been able to grab much of a foothold of support to reach top-tier status. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see both candidates out of the race by the beginning of 2018…nor would it be a shock if one or both made a late push to get into contention.

The longest-running candidate on the Democratic side, meanwhile, is businessman Noel Ginsburg, who officially joined the race last December. But like the Denver Broncos, Ginsburg is going nowhere fast; unless something changes, he is largely inconsequential in this discussion.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

Colorado’s next Governor is going to come out of the current field of candidates. There is really no other potential candidate lurking who could make a serious bid for the job at this late date.

What you can do to fight back this week (November 13)

Last week, shocking allegations of widespread sexual harassment in the Colorado state capitol broke. One lawmaker, Rep. Steve Lebsock, has been asked to resign by House leadership (and ProgressNow Colorado), and more elected officials could be implicated soon.

It’s not about politics. No woman should feel unsafe in our state’s capitol, and no woman should fear retribution or negative political repercussions for coming forward to call out abuse. Whether it’s the President of the United States or a construction worker on the street, sexual harassment of women in our society must stop. Men in positions of power must stop using their status to subject women to degrading behavior and avoid accountability for their actions.

From raising awareness of the right of women to live lives free of harassment and abuse to protecting access to contraception in the face of demeaning far-right attacks, the past year has been a story of both struggle and hope for the future. Even though the threat to these basic rights is more real now than perhaps ever before, the resistance in all its forms—brave women standing up to oppressive men, and the whole country standing up to Trump’s regressive agenda—gives us real hope that progress will come. We can do better. And we must.

This Wednesday, join us in defense of contraceptive rights. Donald Trump and Mike Pence demonstrated their disregard for and disrespect of women’s rights by rolling back birth control coverage under the guise of religious liberty. Last month, Coloradans protested Mike Pence’s fundraiser in Denver because of his backward views on reproductive rights. Let’s again make sure they know where Colorado stands. There will be sister rallies that will take place in Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, and Washington, DC.

Where: 1961 Stout St, Denver
When: Wednesday, November 15 at 10:30am

Click here to RSVP.

And here are more ways to take action for the week of November 13:


A Very Special Tuesday With Coffman – Say No To Trump’s Tax Scam

Come join us for a very special Tuesday at Congressman Mike Coffman’s Aurora office while we ask him to resist the #TrumpTaxScam. Inspired by other demonstrations, we will be graced by the presence of the “Monopoly Man” and the “Koch Brothers,” and will deliver a giant payout check to the office to demonstrate how far away the GOP is in terms of prioritizing what matters to Americans – healthcare investment, student loan deductions, and other vital middle class protections.

Where: 3300 S Parker Rd, Aurora
When: Tuesday, November 14 at 12:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


It’s not just the South Part 2: Denver and the KKK

This is our second “It’s Not Just the South” program, and there’s no more apt description for a discussion of the Ku Klux Klan and Colorado. Largely thought of as a Southern movement, the Klan in fact controlled Denver politics for a number of years in the 1920s.

Where: The Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Pl, Denver
When: Tuesday, November 14 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Governor’s Town Hall-Pueblo, Colorado

Please join Gov. John Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov Donna Lynne for our Pueblo Town Hall at the Union Depot, November 14th at 6:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Where: Union Depot, 132 W. “B” Street, Pueblo
When: Tuesday, November 14 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Out Boulder County: Major! A Documentary Screening

Join Out Boulder County for a screening of MAJOR! to kick off Transgender Awareness Week 2017! Get your tickets early, this event will sell out. A panel of local transgender leaders in the Boulder County community will follow the screening. MAJOR! explores the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years.

Where: Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St, Boulder
When: Tuesday, November 14 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


One Colorado: Webinar: Working with and Supporting Transgender Students

This webinar will provide attendees an overview of gender, the experiences of transgender students in Colorado, and things peers, parents, and educators can do to make our schools and communities safe and welcoming for transgender young people.

Where: Webinar
When: Wednesday, November 15 at 3:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado5050: Winning With Women

When women run for office, they win just as often as men win. So why aren’t there more women in office? Because they don’t run. We are going to demystify the process of running by holding an event that will feature a panel discussion of elected women officials along with a networking session. In the panel discussion, we will hear how women decided to run and what their experiences were both on the campaign trail and in office. After the panel discussion, we plan to move into an intentional networking session – like speed networking.

Where: All Saints Episcopal Church, 3448 N. Taft Ave., Loveland
When: Wednesday, November 15 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Out Boulder County: Sharing Transgender Stories/ Compartiendo historias transgénero

Come to OBC on Main on November 15 from 7 to 9 to listen to an amazing panel of transgender community members. They will share stories that many of you have never heard before and at the end of presentations there will be opportunities to ask questions. Be prepared to be enlightened and to leave the evening with information that will make you a better ally.

Where: OBC on Main, 630 Main Street, Longmont
When: Wednesday, November 15 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Conservation Colorado: Moments that Define Us: Stories of Our Public Lands

Please join Conservation Colorado, REI, and Colorado Mesa University’s Outdoor Program for an exciting evening of public lands inspired storytelling! The event will feature unique voices from within the Grand Valley and their stories of self discovery, adventure, and inspiration on our public lands. Stories will range from humorous to thought provoking, and they will help us to celebrate and better understand the incredible value of the public lands in our own backyard. This is a great opportunity to learn more about our public lands, the many ways we benefit from them, and the common values we share because of them.

Where: Colorado Mesa University Dominguez Hall Room 110, Grand Junction
When: Wednesday, November 15 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Transgender Day of Remembrance

Join us for a time of honoring, recognition, and remembrance. There will be refreshments, speakers, a candlelight vigil, and community.

Where: CSU Pride Resource Center, Lory Student Center 232, Fort Collins
When: Thursday, November 16 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Pueblo Ready for 100%: From The Ashes Documentary

Come watch a documentary that educates on the devastating effects of coal, and what we can do to create a clean energy future instead!

Where: Rawlings Public Library, 100 E Abriendo Ave, Pueblo
When: Thursday, November 16 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Professionals of Color Networking Event

This brand new networking event is for Professionals of Color in the Denver Metro area who are seeking to expand relationships and connections. We believe that the most robust and vibrant connections are made when genuine relationship is the foundation; here, we seek to provide the environment to make those relationships.

Where: Coffee at The Point, 710 E 26th Ave, Denver
When: Friday, November 17 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Out Boulder County: Legal Name Change Workshop

Changing your name can seem like a daunting process but it is easier than you think. We will have experts on hand to walk you through the process and answer questions- plus you get to hang out with a bunch of other super cool trans folk.

Where: First United Methodist Church of Boulder, 1421 Spruce St, Boulder
When: Saturday, November 18 at 3:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Warm Cookies of the Revolution: Boogie Down family dance party with The Reminders!

BOOGIE DOWN with the whole fam-dam-ily. Rock out with us this Sunday morning to Colorado’s own hip-hop superstars, THE REMINDERS! This program is for everyone: come on date, bring your mother, kids aged 0-99, come all by yourself, bring your book club, just make sure to come ready to dance and have fun.

Where: McNichols Building, 144 W Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Sunday, November 19 at 11:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Remember to watch your inbox for breaking news alerts! We’ll be back after Thanksgiving to keep the resistance going. Thanks as always for everything you’re doing to fight back.

“B” Is for Believe

I believe the Bible is the inspired word of GOD and that His son Jesus was crucified, and rose on the third day and sets at the right hand of GOD.

My belief in GOD does not preclude that others may choose a different faith or a different God. Free and peaceful worship is an American ideal that has benefited the world and is ingrained in our society as the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.

Lundberg Is Endorsed by “Fervent Homophobe” on Southern Law Poverty Center Hate List

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud), who’s running for state treasurer, is touting his endorsement by David Barton, who’s on the anti-LGBT hate list of the Southern Law Poverty Center (SPLC), which monitors “hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States.”

The SPLC includes on its anti-LGBT list groups and individuals who “often link homosexuality to pedophilia, claim that same-sex marriage and LGBT people in general are dangers to children, that homosexuality itself is dangerous, support the criminalization of homosexuality and transgender identity, and that there is a conspiracy called the ‘homosexual agenda’ at work that seeks to destroy Christianity and the whole of society.”

The SLPC describes Barton as a “fervent homophobe”:

…Barton has claimed that gay people die “decades earlier” than others and have more than 500 partners apiece in their lifetimes. On his WallBuilders radio broadcast, he’s flagrantly misled listeners by saying that the “leading pediatric association in America” has cautioned educators against providing education about homosexuality. But the American College of Pediatricians that Barton referred to has only a couple of hundred members and is, in fact, a right-wing breakaway group from the 60,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics, which is the real “leading pediatric association in America.”

Lundberg did not return calls seeking comment, but in recent months some Colorado conservatives have attacked the SPLC as left-leaning.

Republican in the state-treasurer race include state lawmakers Justin Everett and Polly Lawrence, Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn, and Brett Barkey, a district attorney. Democrats include State Representatives Steve Lesbock and Dave Young, and businessman Bernard Douthit, also a Democrat.