Debate Diary: Live-Blogging Clinton v. Trump

DebateDiaryThe big debate is here at last. Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump face off in the first General Election Presidential debate of 2016 at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY.

Tonight’s debate is scheduled to last 90 minutes (commercial-free), broken up into six segments moderated by Lester Holt of NBC News (Holt is a registered Republican, BTW; Trump falsely claimed last week that Holt is a Democrat).

We’ll be live-blogging what could be the most-watched television event in American history, so get your eyeballs ready for the Colorado Pols Debate Diary. For details on the format and rules tonight, check out this guide from the New York Times.

*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
The spin room may not be terribly efficient tonight. Clinton absolutely destroyed Trump in this debate, sounding intelligent, prepared, and even-tempered. No reasonable person who watched this debate could possibly make a case otherwise.

Trump, on the other hand, was easily baited by Clinton into talking about issues that are not good for him. He offered very little substantial information in any of his answers and failed to suppress his temper, while also doubling-down on troublesome topics such as the birther issue and his tax returns. Clinton was masterful in using Trump’s own words against him and baiting Trump into diving down into weird political rabbit holes.

 

8:37 pm
Holt: “Will you accept the outcome of this race?”

Clinton says yes, that she respects Democracy and that “sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”

Trump declines to say whether or not he will accept the will of the voters and instead goes on a rant about illegal immigration.

Finally, Trump says, “If she wins, I will absolutely support her.”

 

8:33 pm
Holt asks Trump about his quote that she doesn’t “have a Presidential look.”

Trump says that he was talking about her stamina. Holt cuts in and says that this is not what Trump said. Trump talks over Holt, but the damage has been done.

Clinton hits back by saying that Trump can talk about stamina when he has traveled to 112 countries, negotiated peace treaties and cease-fire agreements, and testified 11 hours in front of a Congressional committee.

Clinton says Trump tried to switch topics from criticizing Clinton’s appearance because he doesn’t want to talk about all of the terrible things he has said about women. Trump tries half-heartedly to deny these claims, but it’s obvious he doesn’t have a response.

Trump did just say that nobody would disagree with him about saying nasty things about comedian Rosie O’Donnell.

Trump then decries Clinton running negative ads against him. Says he doesn’t deserve it.

 

8:29 pm
Clinton: “Let me say that words matter. Words matter when you run for President, and let me reassure our allies” that we will continue to stand with them. Very strong from Clinton.

“Donald never tells you what he would do [on Iran]. Would he cause a war? Would he bomb Iran? It’s like his plan to defeat ISIS — he says it is a secret plan, but the only thing that is secret is that there is no plan.”

Trump is so completely overmatched here that it’s impossible to suggest that anybody watching this debate might seriously argue that Trump won this debate. It’s not even close.

 

8:27 pm
Holt: “Do you support the current U.S. policy on first-use for nuclear weapons?”

Trump responds with something about B-52 airplanes being too old. Trump says he would certainly not support a “first strike”…then he immediately says that he would not rule anything out. Trump is debating himself now.

 

8:26 pm
Trump again says that other countries should pay the United States for our military support. If he’s trying to make a point, Holt can’t figure it out and is trying to get Trump to move along.

 

8:24 pm
Clinton hammering Trump for saying repeatedly that he “doesn’t care” if other countries develop nuclear weapons.

Trump looks defeated and dejected right now. He is absolutely getting his ass handed to him by Clinton.

 

8:21 pm
Trump says that his temperament is his biggest strength, and that he has a better temperament than Clinton.

Clinton can’t help but smile. This is an absolute disaster for Trump; he wouldn’t have sounded more unbelievable if he had tried to make a case that his hair is completely natural.

 

8:20 pm
“I did not support the War in Iraq,” says Trump. “That is a mainstream media [lie].”

“The record shows otherwise,” says Holt.

This debate has gone so far off the rails for Trump that he should just cause a distraction and make a run for his limousine.

For some reason, Trump keeps talking about all of these numerous conversations he supposedly has had with Sean Hannity. No idea why this is relevant.

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Get More Smarter on Monday (September 26)

Get More SmarterApparently there is some sort of Presidential debate taking place tonight. 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…

► Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump is going down! If you don’t have cable TV, you’ll likely be watching the first Presidential debate because you won’t have much of a choice in the matter; the 90-minute, commercial-free battle will be carried live from Hofstra University in New York by every major television network in the country. First pitch argument is scheduled for 7:00 pm Mountain Time. Tonight’s debate is widely expected to be among the most-watched television events in American history, as CNBC explains:

With estimates of up to 106 million tuning into Monday night’s debate, the first faceoff between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump may be one of the most watched presidential debates. Thanks to live streaming, it’s also going to be the most widely available ever.

ABCCBSCNN, C-SPAN, FoxNBC and MSNBC will be broadcasting the debate on TV, while several others have announced plans to stream it online through various social media platforms. Facebook and ABC have announced a partnership, Twitter will run Bloomberg’s feed and YouTube said it will be showcasing feeds from Telemundo, PBS and The Washington Post.

Prior to tonight, the most-watched Presidential debate in history occurred in 1980, when 80.6 million people tuned in to watch Democrat Jimmy Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan. The most-watched television event in American history was Super Bowl XLIX (49) in 2015, when 114 million viewers tuned in to see the game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.

Meanwhile, debate previews are as prevalent as online porn today. Here’s a short list: The New York Times, the Washington Post, “The Fix,” CBS News, NBC News, and PoliticoAs then-Presidential candidate George W. Bush once lamented, Trump seems to be entering tonight’s debate behind “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

We’ll also be live-blogging the festivities tonight here at Colorado Pols.

 

► No, it’s not just you: False statements and flat-out lies seem to be more common in Colorado politics than ever before. In CD-6, Democrat Morgan Carroll is being attacked for opposing legislation that she actually supported.

Incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Coffman is cashing in every last chit he owns in an attempt to stave off Carroll as we enter the final six weeks of the campaign. Carroll reportedly told Arapahoe County Democrats over the weekend that internal polling shows her with a 5-point lead over Coffman…a claim that Coffman’s campaign angrily denounced as a “lie.”

 

► Presidential campaigns use lots of different surrogates to spread their message at this point in the race, but we can’t envision a scenario whereby it would be beneficial to have former Jefferson County School Board President Ken Witt stumping on your behalf less than a year after he was recalled by Jeffco voters. Remember, Witt did an absolutely terrible job while campaigning for himself last fall.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Citizen Legislator

Citizen Legislator

I borrowed the title of this post from the book of the same name written by David Schmidt. While I have not read the book I feel compelled to present this position for your consideration. For me this is a RIGHT of the Citizens to petition the government to enact laws that reflect those governed.

Amendment 71 seeks to reduce the power and capability of the citizens to impact the way government impacts their life. It would require qualified petition signatures of 2% of registered voters from the 35 Senate Districts to achieve ballot status. Additionally it would require a super majority of 55% for passage.

Doesn’t sound unreasonable and that’s what the supporters are counting on! The reality is completely different. If one Senate District fails to get the required signatures it fails. Colorado has more than a few sparsely populated regions where this is a possibility, and the supporters know it. We call this the tyranny of the minority. It’s in the news every day. One complaint and the school district is face to drop a harmless program. One complaint a city punishes the majority. You can fill in your own example and you know it is true and works.

This amendment is neither conservative or liberty advancing. Advertising has been created to portray that some terrible wrong has been committed when it has not.

Supporters rightly point out we are a Representative Republic, where elected officials represent the governed. That’s fine until those elected officials represent “special interest” groups or their own ambitions over the Citizens they represent.

At every caucus that I attended there is a resolution to support National term limits. It will never happen because the Congressman and Senators will have nothing to do with it. But we are fortunate that in Colorado we have term limits on State offices. Here’s a question, did those State elected officials voluntarily offer to limit their terms? NO! It was a Constitutional Amendment offered by Citizen Legislators that did that.

Tax Payer Bill of Rights (TABOR) was a Constitutional Amendment offered by Citizen Legislators. It would have never passed in the State House when left up to politicians. Colorado is unique in its Constitutional process. We must preserve this option.

Comments from a previous post focus on an idea that the Front Range provides all the petition signatures, leaving the rest of the State unrepresented. It takes approximately 98,000 signatures to get an amendment to the ballot stage. There is nothing prohibiting the Western Slope or any other area of the state from advancing their own ideas and getting the required signatures. There is not a single area of the State that has a monopoly on ideas! Population density is an advantage, but if you are mad about that and want to show those “front range” people a thing or two then you are playing into hopes of the “special interest” and politicians who want to protect their influence.

Other comments lament the ridiculous nature of the amendment objective. Who will be the arbitrator the objective? The VOTERS. You can expect amendments from the “Right” and the “Left” but the VOTERS will ultimately decide the question. If this is your objection, then you have been sold on the deceptive advertising created by the supporters.

So who are these supporters? When you look at the web site you’ll see, Chambers of Commerce and esteemed elected officials. Officials who in a current capacity would never pass term limits or TABOR. Officials who cherish their influence and power. I’m not a current Chamber member but I know there many members who are outstanding individuals. But as a group they are subject to “group think”. Few would dare to offer opposing opinions for fear of being targeted or ostracized by their peers. Thankfully I am free of that concern.

There are many who will succumb to the pious advertising campaign from the YES crowd, which is unfortunate. When the cause of Liberty is diminished we are all diminished! The current process is just fine. Vote NO on Amendment 71.

Normally I try to keep my post short, forgive for the length. Share this with your friends.

Stickman
“Sandpaper on the conscience of politicians and group thinkers.”

Under-the-Radar Race Gets TV Coverage Because… It’s So Important!

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you’re paying attention to politics in Colorado, you know that few people have any clue about the most important political contest in the state: the state senate race in Arvada/Westminster, where Republican Laura Woods is battling Democrat Rachel Zenzinger.

But the importance of the race apparently isn’t a good enough news hook for many reporters to give it the coverage it deserves, which is a lot.

So Fox 31 Denver’s Joe St. George gets our collective thanks for assembling a TV story about, as he labeled it, the state senate race in Arvada that could be “the most important race you’re not watching.” That was his hook! How great is that?

“At first glance this race doesn’t look very important,” says St. George in his piece, showing Woods and Zenzinger knocking on doors. “…the most important race you likely haven’t talked about….if Zenzinger wins this re-match, Dems may be in complete control [of state government]….

“While this race dominates the headlines,” narrates St. George, flashing images of Clinton and Trump. “This one in Arvada may end up impacting your life more come next year.”

Political insiders know this, yet coverage of the state’s most important race remains spotty (unless you get behind the paywall of the Colorado Statesman–or read the Colorado Independent), so few people know about it, much less where the candidates stand on the issues. St. George provided a bit of this info on the KDVR Fox 31 Denver website, listing, among others, these comparisons of the two candidates.

St. George reported:

In terms of the issues:

Abortion
Woods: Pro-life
Zenzinger: Pro-choice

Gun control
Woods: Against
Zenzinger: Supports common sense measures

Minimum wage increase
Woods: Against
Zenzinger: Supports

(For background, Woods is against all abortion, even for rape and incest, and, on guns, she’s against all criminal background checks prior to gun purchases.)

As we get closer to the election, more reporters will almost certainly inform voters just how important this race is. Good to see St. George leading the way.

Post’s Editorial Page Promotes Coffman and We Lose

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Denver Post editorial/news guy Chuck Plunkett.

Denver Post editorial/news guy Chuck Plunkett.

“Good for Mike Coffman.” That’s the first line of an August Denver Post editorial, and, as it turns out, it’s an excellent summation of the The Post editorial page’s singular stance toward Coffman over many years.

I just finished reviewing five years of Post editorials mentioning Coffman, and, of the 43 editorials citing the Aurora Republican Congressman during that period, including two endorsements, he’s been criticized only four times, while being praised in 34 editorials. The newspaper has lauded him mostly on issues related to the Veterans Administation but also on immigration, Selective Service, Afghanistan, marijuana, the federal budget, and more.

Yet, during these five years, Coffman has run seriously afoul with the broad positions/principles taken by The Post: on Planned Parenthood (Coffman voted twice to defund just last year, after putting the organization’s logo in a campaign ad the previous year.) and on immigration (Coffman opposed a 2013 bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill, and he reiterated his opposition to birthright citizenship, even stating so in an interview with a Post editorial writer.).

In 2013, Coffman threatened to shut down the government instead of raising the debt ceiling. Nothing from The Post. And nothing from The Post when Coffman belittled global-warming science in 2013.

The Post was silent in 2012 when Coffman said Obama was not an American “in his heart,” and Coffman strangely told 9News’ Kyle Clark five times:  “I stand by my statement that I misspoke, and I apologize.”

Coffman’s positions over many years have been at odds with stances The Post has taken. But the newspaper has been mostly silent.

To be fair, a more cursory analysis shows that The Post doesn’t criticize U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet much either, and he was also endorsed by The Post.

The difference? Bennet’s policy positions, on the issues mentioned above and others, align very closely with The Post’s, while Coffman’s do not.

You can’t blame Post editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett for much of this, since he took over the job exactly three months ago, but I called him anyway for his take on whether the newspaper deliberately refrains from criticizing Coffman, even when his positions clash with the newspaper’s editorial views.

“I think this is an election year stunt, not a genuine analysis,” he told me, arguing that there was no news hook for my blog post and I was not focusing on The Post’s treatment of other elected officials. “You’re picking Mike Coffman, when Morgan Carroll is struggling. Why is that? It looks like you’re trying to aid Morgan more than you are legitimately trying to critique an institution.”

I explained to Plunkett that as a progressive media critic, I look for instances where news outlets tilt rightward. That’s my bias, and with the election coming up, now is a valid time to analyze The Post’s editorial-page approach to Coffman, which I found inexplicable.

“As a journalist, I think trying to analyze a newspaper’s position over time is very tricky, especially if you only look at one particular angle,” Plunkett told me. “There are all kinds of things that go into thinking about an editorial or an endorsement or what have you.”

“You’re right,” Plunkett acknowledged, “when a newspaper endorses someone, that same board is going to be, understandably, more protective of that person.”

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (September 22)

Get More SmarterHappy “Autumnal Equinox,” everybody! Try saying “Autumnal Equinox” three times fast. 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…

► Last week some polls showed Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump apparently gaining momentum on Democrat Hillary Clinton. This week, it seems, that narrative is no longer accurate. A new poll from Colorado Mesa University and Rocky Mountain PBS shows Clinton with a 44-35 lead over Trump in Colorado — right about where Clinton had been polling prior to last week’s outlier results.

 

► Opponents of Obamacare in Colorado are unabashedly cheering the news that health insurance premiums are expected to rise in 2017, but that’s only a piece of the story. Insurance premiums are not rising 20% across-the-board, as Charles Ashby notes for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

 

► Republican State Senator Randy Baumgardner is running into some trouble as he campaigns for re-election. As journalist David O. Williams reports, Baumgardner is having trouble answering questions about repeated instances of using state resources for his own benefit through the Colorado Department of Transportation:

The Rocky Mountain Post obtained the results of a Colorado Open Records Act request filed with the Colorado Department of Transportation last spring revealing that Randy and Lori Baumgardner were involved in three different incidents of personal use of state property.

Randy Baumgardner worked for the state highway department for 11 years starting in 2000, and his wife Lori still works for CDOT. Lori Baumgardner received multiple Performance Documentation Forms for incidents that also involved her husband, including the improper use of a fuel card PIN number in 2009, using CDOT sand on their ranch in 2014, and earlier this year using CDOT office photocopy machines to duplicate their tax returns.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Raise The Bar: Lower Liberty

Colorado voters will will get the opportunity to limit Liberty in the November election. Amendment 71 will alter the method used to change the Colorado Constitution.

Special interest groups have joined forces to make it more difficult for Citizens to address the way Government impacts their life. When you look at the list of supporters, it’s filled with groups that contain the name “Chamber of Commerce”. The next large group of supporters is ” elected officials”.

The beef these groups have with the current method is that it is too easy for “Outside” special interest groups to promote Constitutional changes. It appears they prefer “Inside” special interest groups control this turf. The political class is also miffed that Citizens can bypass the legislative wisdom possessed by the “elites” in the State House.

Supporters also list, what they claim is problematic with the current process. 1. Rural areas are disproportionately impacted because of population density, Denver produces all the necessary ballot signatures for amendments. 2. The State Constitution has too many amendments that sometimes conflict. 3. It only takes a simple majority to pass.

Of course the real reason this is an issue is money. The “Supporters”, or more commonly known as “Special Interest” don’t want to have to spend money to protect the piece of the pie they have carved out for themselves. The harder it is to institute change/reform the better they sleep at night.

Our Constitutional process is just fine. Don’t let the “Special Interest” put one over on you with Amendment 71 and lower the bar for Liberty. Vote “No” on 71.

Stickman
“Sand paper on the conscience of politicians and group thinkers”

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (September 21)

Dad says to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Dad says to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Enjoy the last day of summer before the Autumnal Equinox. We really just wanted to write the phrase, “Autumnal Equinox.” 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…

► Issues of race relations and police brutality continue to boil across the country. As the Washington Post reports:

A riot in North Carolina overnight is a fitting bookend to three months of heightened tensions between the police and the people. From Louisiana to Minnesota to Texas, a host of incidents have again and again put racial tensions back on the front burner of the presidential campaign. They’ve also inspired the national anthem protests that have roiled the National Football League.

The killings of unarmed black men at the hands of police and the murders of cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge did not lead to a period of national healing or sustained soul searching.

The stories might have disappeared from the front pages, but the incidents have continued. Temporarily-bandaged wounds are re-opening around the country this week, as frustrations boil over.

Tuesday’s riot in Charlotte came after a police officer shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott while responding to an incident that was completely unrelated to the victim.

 

► The campaign for Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is responding to new allegations that Trump uses funds from the “Trump Foundation” to pay for personal or business-related expenses. As Chris Cillizza writes for “The Fix,” that response isn’t working particularly well:

On Tuesday morning, the Washington Post published a story headlined: “Trump used $258,000 from his charity to settle legal problems.” Written by David Fahrenthold, who has written extensively about the Trump Foundation, the piece details how Trump directed more than $250,000 of the charity’s money to help pay fees related to his businesses. Those payments could qualify as “self-dealing” and violate laws governing how the leaders of non-profit organizations can use the money they receive in donations .

On Tuesday night, Trump communications director Jason Miller issued a statement disputing David’s reporting. Sort of. Actually not really…

…And then there is the name-calling — the assertion that Dave is a “biased reporter” who is intentionally misleading the public to distract from the problems with the Clinton Foundation. “Bias” is a nasty word tossed around all took often these days about reporters — almost always with too little and, by that I mean no, proof of the claim. A reporter isn’t biased because you don’t like the facts he or she has uncovered or those facts don’t comport with your broader vision of this race.

 

► Here come the Trumpians! Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is sending his daughter, Ivanka Trump, as the featured guest at a Denver-area fundraiser for the candidate today. On Thursday, Donald Trump, Jr. will talk “sportsmen’s issues” on the Western Slope, and Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence will make (another) stop in Colorado Springs. Trump himself was just in Colorado Springs on Saturday.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Texas Oil Industry Fights Self-Governance In Colorado

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The headline in the Denver Business Journal almost tells the story:

Colorado oil and gas industry backs tighter rules on changing constitution

But it misses the opportunity to take a deeper dive into which companies, and where they operate from, are working to “Raise the Bar” in Colorado via Amendment 71.

For that we can go to TRACER–Colorado’s campaign finance tracker, to see that the major contributor is the questionably named “Protect Colorado” (registered with the Secretary of State as Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy Independence) set up by former Denver Post journalist Karen Crummy. 

Wow, a cool million from this innocuous-sounding group in just the last filing.

Hmmm. It seems a curious journalist might want to poke around a little more, rather than just quote Greg Brophy, as the DBJ article does:

“We’ve received funding from a whole bunch of businesses and trade groups, all of whom in the past have been subject to constitutional amendment proposals and have had to fund the defense against all these constitutional amendments,” said former state Sen. Greg Brophy, a co-chairman of the Raise the Bar campaign. 

That’s true, contributions have come from numerous special interest groups, but the majority of dollars comes from oil and gas companies, a large number of whom are not based in Colorado at all. 

Rather they are headquartered in Texas. For instance Pioneer Natural Resources of Irving Texas put in $100,000 according to company disclosures. Noble Energy (Houston Texas) has put up quite a bit of financial backing for the dubiously named “Protect Colorado.”  And Anadarko (The Woodlands Texas) has contributed millions of dollars to make it more difficult for Colorado citizens to self govern. 

It may indeed be that Colorado’s Constitution is too readily amended. However the root of that issue may not be ballot rules, but rather that the deck is stacked, it seems to many, against local communities.

The cause may be that the State Legislature and “Blue Ribbon Task Forces” fail to address a clear and present need to make sure that oil and gas operations don’t unduly impact or harm local residents.

If that is the case then “Rigging the Bar” may seem a useful tactic to the out-of-state interests that want Colorado citizens to sit down and shut up. But over time it could very likely prove to be be a losing strategy.

More Bad Journalism News, But with a Silver Lining

(Bad AND sad! — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Local journalist Corey Hutchins reports in his “Colorado Local News and Media” newsletter (subscribe here) on the upsurge in shifts among Colorado political reporters:

“…Denver Post political reporter Joey Bunch announced he was leaving to join The Gazette in Colorado Springs, which is beefing up its statewide political profile. But then, Gazette political reporter Megan Schrader announced she was leaving The Gazette to join The Denver Post’s editorial board. This comes after Jim Trotter’s recent move from Rocky Mountain PBS to The Gazette, and Woody Paige also leaving The Denver Post for the Colorado Springs paper.

If that wasn’t enough, The Colorado Statesman, a POLITICO-like subscription-based trade journal, effectively laid off its editorial department— just 50 days out from the election. I’m told the paper slashed half its budget. Some of the writers will still write, but on a freelance basis, and they’ll focus more on the weekly print paper than on the website, which was frequently updated. Also on the cutting room floor in Colorado: four people at BizWest Media’s Fort Collins and Boulder offices got laid off and the publication will shift to a monthly print schedule.

Whew, head spinning? Let this stop you. Former Denver Post journalist Tina Griego has returned to Colorado after four years on the East Coast, and is now an editor at The Colorado Independent. Check out her first essay about the new, gentrified, displaced Denver she found upon her return.”

No one in their right mind likes Republican Larry Mizel’s “secret” ownership of the Statesman, but cutting veteran news reporters there is obviously bad and sad.  And so is the further shrinking of The Post’s dedicated political news staff.

Usually bad journalism news has no silver lining, but this time the good news is Schader’s and Trotter’s moves and Griego’s return. Also, Post Editor Lee Ann Colaciappo informs me that the newspaper is advertising for a political writer and hopes to fill Bunch’s position soon. So let’s be thankful for that.

CORRECTION: An early version of this post incorrectly stated that The Post’s staff of political writers would be shrinking further due to Bunch’s departure. 

New Era Colorado: Young Voters To The Rescue


Student organizing group New Era Colorado is out with a new video today that’s quickly going viral with tens of thousands of views in just a few hours–the launch of their This is Why We Vote campaign to mobilize young voters for the upcoming elections:

Faced with an election which is anything but usual, New Era Colorado has launched an innovative campaign encouraging young voters to show up in large numbers this November. The campaign, This is Why We Vote, focuses on a Colorado-centered video, which puts issues firmly at the center of why young people will make their voices heard this election.

“This election shouldn’t be about a candidate’s recent gaffe; it should be about our future,” says New Era Colorado Executive Director, Lizzy Stephan. “There are some very serious issues at stake in this election, like whether we’re going to seize our last opportunity to address climate change or the fate of millions of hardworking undocumented immigrant families who don’t know what the future holds. This is what our generation cares about—this is why we vote.”

The video, which can be viewed at ThisIsWhyWeVote.org, is centered around a poem read by Toluwanimi Obiwole, a prominent spoken word artist in Colorado and Denver’s first Youth Poet Laureate. Toluwa, a previous intern at New Era Colorado, was born in Nigeria, raised in Colorado, and is currently pursuing an ethnic studies degree at the University of Colorado…

Research shows that young people are less likely to vote out of party loyalty or the appeal of a candidate, but instead vote in order to create change on the issues they care about. A line in the video “we know that protest can coexist with process” is a nod to the theme of the millennial generation generally endorsing acts of both civil disobedience as well as political participation.

Young “millennial” voters are emerging as a potentially decisive bloc in this year’s presidential elections. Despite attempts to inject a sense of “weakness” for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in favor of Donald Trump in the conventional wisdom, polls focused on younger voters show Trump very weak with them.

With Trump seemingly no more able to win over young voters than any other demographic besides old white guys, the focus for GOTV messages to these voters must be one of values overcoming a natural tendency toward complacency. Cynicism among young voters in this crazy, ugly election is probably the biggest obstacle to getting them to make the effort.

We like this video for placing its message about the noise–and talking about the values that motivate us to participate in political team sports to begin with.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (September 20)

GetMoreSmarter-SnowNo, Brangelina, say it ain’t so! 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…

► Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn is losing the last of his marbles. As Peter Marcus writes for the Durango Herald, Glenn really has no idea what’s going on in Colorado:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn says national GOP interests have largely passed him over this election because he’s guaranteed a win.

His comments have Democrats literally laughing out loud.

The comment from Glenn came last week in an interview with The Durango Herald, when Glenn was asked about his lackluster fundraising and dismal polling. He is down by double digits against Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet in several polls.

“I look at it as a compliment,” Glenn said of the lack of national interest. “They know I can beat Michael Bennet on my own.”

A spokesman for Bennet’s campaign could hardly contain himself.

“Can you quote me laughing?” asked Bennet spokesman Andrew Zucker.

Glenn’s comments were reported by the Herald just a few days after he also told the newspaper,  “I am the human equivalent of a unicorn.”

 

► Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson is ignoring repeated requests from Donald Trump to write some big checks to the campaign:

Mr. Adelson had once dangled the possibility of giving as much as $100 million to pro-Trump “super PACs,” an infusion that with a stroke would have given Mr. Trump a financially competitive network of outside groups to back his presidential campaign.

But with less than two months remaining in the campaign, the mercurial casino magnate — who entertained but ultimately rebuffed pitches from an array of Republican candidates during the party’s nominating contest this election cycle — appears to be focusing instead on Republicans in the House and Senate.

 

► Democrat Morgan Carroll is out with a new television ad that takes a huge swing at Republican Rep. Mike Coffman over his wishy-washy attitude about Donald Trump.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Will Former Jeffco School Board Member Williams Help Sink Woods?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Recalled Jeffco school board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk, Julie Williams (WNW).

Recalled Jeffco school board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk, Julie Williams (WNW).

Last year’s recall of Jefferson County school board member Julie Williams is widely considered a huge factor in this year’s Arvada/Westminster state senate race that will likely determine whether Republicans retain control of the state senate.

Jefferson Country voters threw out Tea Party conservatives on their school board, with special ire directed at Williams, who was denounced by both sides. Even Dave Kopel, a researcher at the conservative Independence Institute, said Williams had a lot of “foolish” ideas.

The Jeffco vote was overwhelming, with 60 percent favoring the recall, and analysts believe the voters’ anger may carry over to Jeffco candidates aligned with Williams.

Sen. Laura Woods (R).

Sen. Laura Woods (R).

Williams has ties to Republican State Senator Laura Woods, who’s defending the Arvada/Westminster Senate District 19 seat against Democratic challenger Rachel Zenzinger.

State Sen. Tim Neville is Williams’ brother-in-law, and Neville is connected to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which heavily backed Woods’ upset victory in 2014. Woods backed Neville’s failed U.S. Senate bide earlier this year. And Woods and Neville have overlapping connections to other Republican operatives.

Williams makes no secret of her support for Woods, and Woods, who doesn’t return my calls, has apparently accepted Williams’ backing, which makes sense since Woods and Williams align in their support for Trump and guns, among other links.

Here’s Williams’ Sept. 17 Facebook post, obtained from a source, endorsing Woods:

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State senator shares video showing shady, ugly guns

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado State Sen. Randy Baumgardnbaumgardner-gun-video-9-19-2016er has apparently removed a video, which he’d shared on his Facebook page, showing a man frantically firing weapons (apparently a sawed-off shotgun and fully automatic rifles and pistols) that are shady or, at worst, illegal under federal and state laws), unless you work the loopholes.

Banned high capacity magaizes are also shown in the video, which you can see here.

Baumgardner is glorifying some of the weapons and magazines used in the two worst gun massacres in Colorado history.

Maybe this occurred to him, because Baumgardner apparently removed the video, called a “Case of Mayhem,” sometime after he shared it over the weekend.

A call to Baumbgardner’s office confirming that he shared the video and seeking his reason for posting it, and an explanation for his taking it down, was not immediately returned.

The Moffat County Republican, whose Twitter handle is CapitalCowboy, is part of GOP State Senate leadership.

Get More Smarter on Monday (September 19)

GetMoreSmarter-SnowToday is the sixth anniversary of September 19th, 2010. 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…

► Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump may be riding a small wave of momentum at the moment, but as Chris Cillizza explains for “The Fix,” the Presidential math is still not in his favor:

There is no doubt — as I have written in this space — that Trump is on the march in swing states. But what gets lost is that a) Trump was way behind so his recent gains have made him competitive rather than dominant and b) the electoral map simply favors any Democrat over any Republican.

The latest Fix analysis of the map represents that dual reality. Yes, Trump is in better shape in our latest map than he was when we last handicapped the 2016 race in mid-August. But, he remains considerably behind Clinton in the race for 270 electoral votes.

 

Authorities have arrested a man in connection with two bombings (in New York and New Jersey) over the weekend. Law enforcement officials say they do not believe that the bombings are part of a larger terrorist plot.

 

► Donald Trump was in Colorado Springs on Saturday making his usual ridiculous political promises, and now here comes the rest of the Trumpians. Donald Trump, Jr. will be campaigning for his father at an event on the Western Slope of Colorado on Thursday. Junior has been making some off-the-wall comments lately, and we’re curious how he’ll address “sportsmen issues” given his personal history of killing defenseless animals around the globe.

Elsewhere, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, will be the guest of honor at a fundraiser in Denver on Wednesday.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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