Get More Smarter on Wednesday (September 14)

Get More SmarterThe 2016 election will be all over in 54 days. 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.


► Colorado Republicans are trying to get excited about Presidential nominee Donald Trump as a new (questionable) poll shows His Hairness leading Democrat Hillary Clinton in our state. John Frank has more for the Denver Post:

Democratic strategist Rick Ridder said the polling trend is a natural phenomenon in Colorado, where party registration is evenly split and independents make it a swing state.

“Anybody who thought Hillary Clinton was going to win the state of Colorado by double digits was dreaming,” said Ridder, a veteran of six presidential campaigns. “The history in Colorado shows that it is difficult for a Democrat or a Republican to get over 50 percent of the vote.”

Meanwhile, Dan Balz of the Washington Post takes a look at Colorado trends from a national perspective:

Make no mistake. Donald Trump is a distinct underdog in Colorado. He’s hobbled by demographic realities here and by a record of statements that have alienated the very groups of voters who will be pivotal in November.

But Democrats here say it’s premature to declare that there has been a permanent shift in the politics of the state. They worry about a lack of enthusiasm for Clinton and warn against complacency born of overconfidence…

…Trump is also potentially hobbled by the absence of a competitive Senate race. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who had a tough race six years ago, appears in a strong position. His opponent, Republican Darryl Glenn, won a crowded primary, but his hard-right conservatism and lack of resources have left his campaign sputtering.


► Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn may very well be the worst statewide candidate in Colorado history. Molly Ball of Atlantic Monthly wonders if we should even still consider Glenn a “candidate” given his lack of movement:

Since winning the primary in June, Glenn has barely mounted a campaign, Wadhams and other Republican insiders told me. He barely speaks to the press, makes few appearances, has few staff, and has yet to run a television ad. Bennet has been on the air with gauzy positive spots touting his bipartisanship since the beginning of the year.

“All he does is go to Republican and conservative events,” Wadhams complained. The deep-red county Glenn hails from is also home to the social-conservative powerhouse Focus on the Family and five military installations, including the Air Force Academy.


► Donald Trump will be in Colorado Springs on Saturday evening for a campaign rally. Let’s get those elevators up and running!


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Get More Smarter on Tuesday (September 13)

Get More SmarterThe Denver Broncos unveiled a new all-orange jersey scheme; come on, that’s exciting! 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.


► Good news for those of you who use money: The U.S. economy is doing very well. As the New York Times reports:

Household incomes for American families rose strongly in 2015, breaking a yearslong pattern of income stagnation. The median household’s income in 2015 was $56,516, an increase of 5.2 percent over the previous year — the largest one-year rise since at least 1967, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

The income gains mark an important turning point in the recovery from the 2008 recession, showing that recent economic gains are being distributed more broadly.

The economic recovery, however, remains incomplete. The median is still 1.6 percent lower than in 2007, before the recession. It also remains 2.4 percent lower than the peak reached during the boom of the late 1990s. The number of people living in poverty also remains elevated, although it shrank last year by 3.5 million, or roughly 8 percent.

Still, most economists saw the report as remarkably positive. In an exuberant tweet, Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, called it “unambiguously the best” such census data “ever.” Household incomes in 2015 were higher than when President Obama entered office, and it is likely that the gains are continuing during his final year in office.

Economic data shows strong gains across several metrics, particularly among the middle class. Middle class incomes grew in 2015 at the fastest rate in modern history.


► The good news keeps coming. Uninsurance rates have reached a record low, as the Washington Post explains:

About 4 million Americans gained health insurance last year, decreasing the nation’s uninsured rate to 9.1 percent, the lowest level since before the Great Recession, according to new federal figures.

The figures, released Tuesday from a large annual Census Bureau survey, show that the gains were driven primarily by an expansion of coverage among people buying individual policies, rather than getting health benefits through a job. This includes, but is not limited to, the kind of coverage sold on the insurance exchanges that began in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act.

The decrease in the share of people who were uninsured slowed from the year before. Between 2013 and 2014, some 9 million people gained coverage — more than twice the increase as from 2014 to last year.

Sorry, Republicans. It looks like you may need to make some changes to those anti-Obamacare talking points.


► There’s big news from the Colorado Independent in one of the most competitive house districts in the state. Republican Katy Brown, who is running against Democrat Jeff Bridges in HD-3, has a deep history with the Fraternity Sorority Political Action Committee (FratPAC) that she would rather not discuss.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


FratPAC: GOP House Candidate Has Some ‘Splaining To Do



The Colorado Independent’s Susan Greene blows the lid off what could be a most damaging story in Colorado House District 3, the open swing-district race between Democrat Jeff Bridges and his Republican opponent Katy Brown:

Katy Brown, the Republican vying for Colorado’s highly competitive House District 3 seat, touts her experience as a web developer, Cherry Hills councilwoman and community service volunteer. Yet she has erased from her public profile one of her pet causes: championing fraternities’ and sororities’ political agenda in Washington. [Pols emphasis]

Brown served from 2012 through December 2015 on the board of the Fraternity Sorority Political Action Committee, also known as FSPAC, or FratPAC. The group describes its role as “helping position the fraternal community [to] influence legislation that will preserve the fraternity and sorority experience for future generations of student leaders.”

…FSPAC spent much of 2015 pushing for the Safe Campus Act, a bill introduced by three House Republicans that would have made it tougher for universities and colleges to suspend or sanction students accused of sexual violence. The measure would have restricted schools from investigating sex assault cases unless police are involved. It also would have extended due process rights to fraternities and sororities so that, as FSPAC wrote, “entire organizations cannot be suspended without cause.”

Victims’ groups and college administrators’ guilds condemned the police reporting requirement, saying it would intimidate some sex assault victims and prevent them from coming forward. Some critics denounced the bill for giving more protections to frat boys than to rape victims. Ultimately, some sorority and fraternity advocacy groups backed off their support of the bill, saying it was too divisive. It’s unclear whether FSPAC formally withdrew support for the Act, and the organization did not respond to inquiries for this story.

Katy Brown (Alpha Chi Omega).

Katy Brown (Alpha Chi Omega).

The fight over what just about everyone agrees is a major problem with sexual assault on college campuses has raged back and forth with national stories meant to persuade that either the problem is very widespread as experts and victim advocates suggest, or that the problem is exaggerated–and complicated by “personal moral failings” and deception of alleged victims.

In early 2015, Rolling Stone retracted a feature-length story on sexual assault at the University of Virginia after significant problems with the victims’ story were uncovered. Anecdotes like the UVA case are regularly used to discredit all claims of sexual assault, and undermine the larger movement to address the problem.

And that’s the side Katy Brown was on.

Since the UVA scandal, which resulted in the bill supported by Katy Brown’s FratPAC to “protect” alleged rapists on campus, other cases of extremely lenient sentences, like that of convicted Stanford University rapist Brock Turner, and more recently University of Colorado’s Austin Wilkerson, have moved public opinion back toward respect for victims and anger at a status quo that lets rapists walk free.

In a highly educated swing district like HD-3, Brown’s long record as a board member of FractPAC could be a very serious liability. The brief moment of glory the “men’s rights movement” enjoyed when the UVA story was retracted does not change the fact that sexual assault is a major problem on college campuses. As a longtime board member of FratPAC, Brown fought not just against cracking down on “rape culture” on college campuses, but also proposals against hazing pushed by the families of hazed dead students.

If this doesn’t take the shine off Brown’s fluffy-positive “crypto conservative” campaign, we don’t know what will.

Oops! J. Paul Brown Trips on 527’s Yard Sign

GOP Rep. J. Paul Brown, running for re-election in Southwest Colorado’s HD-59, was delighted last month to see one of “our” yard signs on display in the district:


The problem with Brown referring possessively to this sign as his own are the words you can barely make out in the lower right of this photo–where the sign says it is “not authorized by any candidate or any candidate campaign.” You see, this sign isn’t from J. Paul Brown’s campaign at all! It was paid for by a 527/IE organization registered in Brighton called Restore Colorado Business. And even in today’s Citizens United free-for-all world, keeping 527s separate from actual campaigns is important. As in, you know, legally important.

We’d hate to think that Brown recognized this sign because he was illegally coordinating with an “independent” 527. On the other hand, there are no laws against stupid.

Get More Smarter on Friday (September 9)

Get More SmarterThe 1-0 Denver Broncos look like they found their quarterback for the (near) future. 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.


► Republicans across the country are having trouble (again) with Presidential candidate Donald Trump, this time because of the GOP nominee’s proclivity for praising one Vladimir Putin. As Politico explains:

Donald Trump’s extraordinary embrace of Russian President Vladimir Putin has put his campaign on the defensive for a second straight day, coming after the Republican nominee praised the Kremlin strongman and appeared in an interview on a TV network backed by Moscow.

Trump’s warm words for Putin have raised the hackles of fellow Republicans and put his allies in the awkward position of claiming their party’s standard-bearer is not really praising the Russian leader. It has particularly alarmed the GOP’s hawkish national security wing, which hews almost universally to its longstanding view of Russia as an implacable foe of the United States.

Trump inflamed the situation Thursday evening by criticizing U.S. foreign policy during an interview broadcast on RT America, a television network owned by the Russian government that often toes the Kremlin’s line. He even dismissed U.S. officials’ concern that Russia may be seeking to disrupt the Nov. 8 election as “pretty unlikely,” though he went on to say that any such interference would be “inappropriate.” (Trump’s campaign manager said the interview was meant as a “favor” to host Larry King, whose show is syndicated and broadcast on RT.)

If we’ve learned anything from 1980s action movies, no American wants to be seen cozying up to the Russians. As Chris Cillizza writes for “The Fix,” Trump’s political love affair with Putin may be the last best chance for Republicans to walk away from the GOP nominee:

It’s a totally inexplicable position for the Republican nominee to take.  Hell, it’s an inexplicable position for any politician in either party running for any office to take.  You can tell that in the tortured ways in which Trump’s backers within the GOP are trying to deal with his bromance with the Russian leader…

…This is not an issue in which Republicans can retreat behind the old Trump’s-the-nominee argument.  Trump isn’t speaking for the vast majority — or even a healthy minority — of voters within the Republican party. Backing a candidate who repeatedly flirts with Russia and its leader is not the sort of thing that you can just write off to being a good soldier for the party in the post-election analysis.

If you are a Republican elected official considering whether to jump off the Trump train, it’s now-or-never time.  You go along with Trump’s views on Putin’s Russia and you don’t get to run away from him if he goes down in flames over the next 60 days.

Colorado Republicans such as Rep. Mike Coffman and state Sen. Laura Waters Woods have missed their exit on Trump before…will they take this final off-ramp?


► Colorado House Democrats continue to significantly outraise their Republican counterparts, according to the latest campaign finance reports. 


Get even more smarter after the jump…


House Democrats Continue Outraising Republicans

We’ve been keeping track of fundraising numbers for state legislative races as they become available. In the latest round of available finance reports (through 9/6/16), Democrats continue to outraise Republicans by a significant margin.

For this round of reporting, we organized the numbers based on total contributions during the last reporting period (August, basically). As you can see from the chart below, 12 of the top 15 candidates are Democrats.

Note that these contributions and cash-on-hand numbers don’t necessarily match up for each race; some candidates have obviously already spent a sizable sum on direct mail or other forms of advertising.



Get More Smarter on Thursday (September 8)

Get More SmarterIt really doesn’t matter if you’re ready for some football, because it’s happening anyway; the Denver Broncos kick off the NFL season tonight at home against the Carolina Panthers. 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.


► NBC News and talking puppet Matt Lauer hosted a “Commander-in-Chief” forum on Wednesday evening that was widely panned by critics because of Lauer’s apparent unwillingness to ask difficult questions of Republican candidate Donald Trump. From CNN Money:

The “Today” show co-host was criticized for spending too much time on Clinton’s emails, lobbing softball questions to Trump, and neglecting to fact-check the Republican nominee when he falsely claimed to have opposed the Iraq War in 2002.

“This #NBCNewsForum feels like an embarrassment to journalism,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote on Twitter.

“Lauer has done great interviews. But that’s one of the weakest, least incisive performances I’ve seen from a presidential forum moderator,” tweeted Will Saletan, a writer at Slate.

Lauer’s journalistic indifference didn’t prevent Trump from making a number of questionable statements, however. As the Washington Post reports:

Donald Trump defended his admiration for Russian President Vladi­mir Putin at a forum here Wednesday focused on national security issues, even suggesting that Putin is more worthy of his praise than President Obama.

“Certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader,” Trump said. “We have a divided country.”…

…He reaffirmed his view that having men and women serve alongside one another is the root of the military’s sexual-assault problem. He said recent intelligence briefings have convinced him that Clinton and other Obama administration officials did not heed the advice of experts. And he praised Putin, noting among other things the Russian president’s “82 percent approval rating.”

Trump’s comments are a problem for Republican candidates such as Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora), who face new scrutiny over whether or not they agree with Trump on foreign policy issues specifically.

Trump also made some bizarre claims about his visit to Mexico last week.


Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson is confused by the word “Aleppo” (hint: it’s a big city in Syria).


► “This is the race of Coffman’s career.” That single quote is a pretty good summary of a CD-6 preview from Corey Hutchins of the Colorado Independent. Elsewhere, the Denver Post reports on Democrat Morgan Carroll’s first TV ad of the cycle.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Jason Munoz Takes Aim At Clarice Navarro Over Trump

Donald Trump, Rep. Clarice Navarro.

Donald Trump, Rep. Clarice Navarro.

The Pueblo Chieftain’s Jon Pompia reports from this weekend’s Chicanos Against Trump rally in Pueblo–a story that steadfast Donald Trump supporter Rep. Clarice Navarro has to find at least a little troubling:

The day’s list of speakers included elected Democratic officials — City Councilman Larry Atencio, state Reps. Daneya Esgar and Joe Salazar — as well as political hopefuls, including Jason Munoz (Colorado House of Representatives for District 47) and Garrison Ortiz (board of Pueblo County commissioners, District 2.)

…As the challenger to incumbent Clarice Navarro, Munoz — a fifth-generation Coloradan — was critical of her support for Trump.

“My opponent is too busy flying to New York City to help Donald Trump get elected than to stay in the district to help solve the issues and problems our people face,” Munoz said. [Pols emphasis]

“I hope to encourage all of you to talk to your neighbors, talk to your friends, talk to everyone you can, and ask them to observe: who’s the better candidate, myself or my opponent?”

Ever since she emerged as one of Trump’s national go-to Latino apologistas, Rep. Clarice Navarro has done as much or more to put her House seat in play as anything her underdog opponent Jason Munoz has done. Munoz got off to a slow enough start in this race that he wasn’t really considered a serious challenger to Navarro until she raised her own profile by defending Trump on a national stage–but then outraised Navarro in the July reporting period. Navarro’s continued support for Trump, even after last week’s highly controversial address on immigration, is politically very hard to understand.

But if it proves to be her undoing on Election Day, there will be no denying that.

How You Like Donald Trump Now, Clarice Navarro?

SATURDAY UPDATE: Rep. Clarice Navarro responds–doubling down for Team Trump:

So be it, Representative. Let the record show she declined a life jacket.


Donald Trump, Rep. Clarice Navarro.

Donald Trump, Rep. Clarice Navarro.

Kurtis Lee, formerly of the Denver Post now writing at the Los Angeles Times, reports on the reverberations from Donald Trump’s much-discussed speech on immigration this week–a speech that has Trump’s supporters cheering, running for the exits, and/or some combination thereof:

Donald Trump has held photo ops with his National Hispanic Advisory Council and in recent weeks boasted about his increasing support from this crucial voting demographic.

But that was before his speech on immigration this week.

On Thursday, several who sit on the council announced their resignation, citing Trump’s refusal to truly listen to their views on immigration reform.

Jacob Monty, a Houston-based immigration lawyer who was a member of the council, said in a Facebook post that he gave Trump a plan that would “improve border security, remove hardened criminal aliens and most importantly, give work authority to millions of honest, hard-working immigrants” in the country.

“He rejected that,” wrote Monty, announcing his resignation from the council after Trump’s speech. “So I must reject him.”

Donald Trump.

Donald Trump.

The revulsion being expressed by many of Trump’s Latino supporters over his speech this week is notably not shared by his Colorado Latino surrogates even if they can’t bring themselves to fully embrace it–as Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner reports:

Colorado businessman Jerry Natividad, a state co-chair of Hispanics for Trump, said he and other Hispanic community leaders from across the nation were hoping to see a “very aggressive, but sensitive immigration reform package.”

“We didn’t see it” last night, Natividad told Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.

Still, Natividad said he supports many — but not all — of the stances Trump has taken on immigration…

Natividad told CPR News a few months ago that he didn’t care for some of Trump’s rhetoric, but would vote for the Republican nominee after drinking a glass of bourbon.

Of particular interest is the response from a Colorado Republican lawmaker who has emerged as one of Trump’s go-to apologists with Latinos, Rep. Clarice Navarro of Pueblo. Navarro has been questionably vocal in her support of Trump while representing a heavily Latino district. Any comment on Trump’s speech, asks Kurtis Lee?

Last month, Trump held a roundtable meeting with members of the council, where they discussed creating jobs and the Republican presidential nominee’s plans on immigration.

Among those who attended was Colorado state Rep. Clarice Navarro, who said she left feeling optimistic about Trump.

“I’ve always felt he does care about the Latino community, and now it’s on us to get him elected,” she said at the time.

On Thursday, she could not be reached for comment. [Pols emphasis]

Latino supporters of Trump have broadly described a feeling of deep betrayal over Trump’s hard-line speech on immigration this week, except for some weird self-loathing stuff about “taco trucks on every corner” from the head of Latinos for Trump, Marco Gutierrez. Up to now, Navarro has practically dared her opponents to make Trump an issue in her race–boasting of her close contact with and him writing an op-ed in USA TODAY defending both Trump’s personal character and agenda.

Well folks, push has now come to shove.

GOP House Candidate: I Only Want Big Oil Money

UPDATE: We would be remiss if we didn’t add one bit of additional HD-50 history to this discussion: back in 2010, another Republican running for this seat sent a fundraising pitch that raised eyebrows for remarkably parallel reasons:

In a letter to Colorado lobbyists dated September 13th, Boswell opened with “Well, we’re getting down to the nut-cutting,” and went on to declare “I am going to win this race. The opportunity for you to align yourselves and your clients with the next Representative of House District 50 is now.”…

…The fundraising letter was one of three Boswell sent to lobbyists, but as this third letter notes, “maybe I’ve not sent out all the right signals.” That’s obviously still a problem for him. [Pols emphasis]

Bob Boswell lost in 2010 to Rep. Jim Riesberg, who was succeeded by Rep. Dave Young after Riesberg was appointed state Insurance Commissioner.

Obviously, Honeycutt hopes his own “nut-cutting” (see below) goes a little better.



HD-50 GOP candidate John Honeycutt.

HD-50 GOP candidate John Honeycutt.

‘Tis the season for intensive fundraising by candidates at every level, and each election cycle we generally find ourselves treated to a variety of…imaginative fundraising pitches. Today’s fascinating example comes courtesy of John Honeycutt, the Republican House candidate in Greeley’s House District 50, challenging Democratic incumbent Dave Young:

TO: 27 SELECTED Lobby Professionals (Energy Sector)
CC: Lois Landgraf
FROM: John Honeycutt, Greeley GOP House District 50 candidate.

I’m seeking assistance ONLY from energy-relevant organizations. [Pols emphasis] Your name appeared alongside one or more of the organization’s listed below in a listing I was provided. If you (i.e., your lobby efforts) are not affiliated with one of these organizations, I included you on this email in error. I apologize.

Assuming I correctly identified your efforts to be affiliated with one or more of this companies, I’m requesting your assistance. You can review my background and positions at honeycutt dot us.

But for your quick review, I am pro-oil, pro-gun, pro-life. Of these, the only aspect I’m seeking assistance from are energy-related companies. [Pols emphasis]

Not this dude.

Not this dude.

Strange word choice aside, this is probably the first time we’ve ever seen a candidate declare that they are only seeking contributions from one industry, thus explicitly promising to be that one industry’s devoted toady in the legislature. For everybody not employed by that industry it’s kind of, well, unseemly.

Or at least it probably should be.

Thanks in advance if you’re interested in helping my campaign. My staff consists of one other person besides myself. We have been street-level handing out cards since my primary. We’ve met over 1,200 people combined and are not spending much money. Upcoming I have need for funding a social media campaign, a robo-call initiative and one or two “street blitzs” (sandwiches and t-shirts).

Social Media needs – $700 (targeting primarily UNC students)
Robo calls – $2,000 (targeting primarily Latino/Hispanic voters)
Street blitz – $40/person x 30 people = $1,200 (targeting primarily city of Evans)

$3,900 is needed.

No doubt Rep. Dave Young appreciates the heads-up on John Honeycutt’s old-school strategery, but seriously–$2,000 for robocalls targeting Latinos in HD-50? If you’re paying more than a few hundred dollars for robocalls into a much larger district than this, to say nothing about any kind of demographic filter, you’re getting ripped off. As for “blitzing” the city of Evans with 30 people making a whopping $40 apiece for their efforts…well, okay, but we’d say find some volunteers for that, and plow some more cash into the one thing he mentioned that might really be helpful–Facebook ads.

There’s a lot more we could say about Mr. Honeycutt, his “community outreach,” and his amateurish game plan–but he already said he doesn’t want our help! So good luck and stuff.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (August 30)

Get More SmarterS-I-E-M-I-A-N. It’s going to take some practice to spell that name correctly on the first try. 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.


► Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett Packard and a major Republican donor (not to mention a former GOP candidate for Governor in California), is in Colorado today to help raise money…for Democrat Hillary Clinton. From the Denver Post:

Whitman will meet with Colorado business leaders for breakfast at the Crawford Hotel to discuss Clinton’s jobs plan, which includes investing in technology companies and helping small businesses succeed.

“As a proud Republican, casting my vote for president has usually been a simple matter,” Whitman said in a statement. “Not this year. The reality we face is that Donald Trump is unfit to be president. And that is why more and more Republicans are doing what I did and supporting Hillary Clinton”…

Whitman ran unsuccessfully for governor of California in 2010 and was a finance co-chairwoman for Mitt Romney’s presidential run in 2012. Like Romney, she has been one of Trump’s chief critics within his own party, likening him to a fascist who lacks the temperament to be president.


► Two proposed ballot measures dealing with fracking have failed to qualify for the November ballot. Measures to set mandatory drilling setbacks and to allow for more local control in oil and gas drilling decisions did not meet the necessarily signature threshold to be included on the ballot.

Proponents of the fracking measures are still considering potential legal challenges, but it would appear that the number of statewide initiatives this year will remain at seven (along with two additional measures referred to the ballot by the state legislature).


► Make sure to check out the newest episode of The Get More Smarter Show, featuring an interview with Congressman Jared Polis (D-Boulderish).


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Get More Smarter on Friday (August 26)

Get More SmarterWe’re still waiting for the day when pigs fly, but now we can all say we were alive for the moment when pizza took flightIt’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.


► Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took the gloves off in a speech in Reno on Thursday. As CNN reports:

The speech that Hillary Clinton delivered on Thursday was the one that many Democrats had been waiting for.

It was a blistering attack on Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric that left no gaffe or alleged dog-whistle unmentioned, framing him as a vessel for hate speech, a champion of conspiracy theories, and a representative of the far-right fringe of the Republican Party…

…There was little subtlety in Clinton’s speech. In a moment that drew gasps and jeers from the Reno audience, she read a series of recent headlines from the Breitbart website. Among them: “‘Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” and “Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage.”

► The campaign for Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump announced a bunch of new made-up “coalitions” in Colorado. This isn’t particularly strange on its own, but it gets weird when you consider whose name is included as a co-chair of the Colorado Education coalition for Trump: Former Jefferson County School Board President Ken Witt.


► Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) referred to Trump as a “fraud” not long ago; now, Buck is endorsing Trump for President!


► Make sure to check out the newest episode of The Get More Smarter Show, featuring an interview with Congressman Jared Polis (D-Boulderish).


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Rep. Clarice Navarro Celebrates Her Love For Donald Trump

Donald Trump, Rep. Clarice Navarro.

Donald Trump, Rep. Clarice Navarro.

As Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has nosedived in popularity since claiming the party’s nomination last month, the vocal and very public support Trump has received from a particular Republican state legislator in Colorado, Rep. Clarice Navarro of Pueblo, has struck us as a potential major liability in her own re-election campaign. House District 47’s population is about 35% Hispanic, after all, and Trump has worked so hard to aggrieve Hispanic voters–and most everybody else, but especially Hispanic voters–that it’s almost like it was a deliberate goal.

We took note last weekend of a photo that Rep. Navarro in fact sent to us of herself with Trump, the second such picture she has distributed publicly, with a note reaffirming how she is proud to support Trump so there. Today, Rep. Navarro tripled down with a guest op-ed in USA TODAY:

Latino voters are American voters. They want the laws followed, a safe America and a future of hope. While we may not have loved the delivery of some of Mr. Trump’s comments, his vision for “making America great again” is what matters.

We have over 70 days before the election, and there is so much more to come. I don’t believe that this election has even started until the debates begin…

Again, after a recent meeting with Mr. Trump, I found him to be consultative, compassionate, and a man who understands the challenges we face, not just as Latinos, but as Americans. We are desperate for a new direction, and a Clinton presidency will only offer a four-year extension of the Obama administration. We deserve better now, and our children deserve better for their futures. That’s not solely a Hispanic or Latino vision; that is an American vision and hope.

And there you have it, folks! Rep. Clarice Navarro of Pueblo is now one of Donald Trump’s biggest apologists. Also, “consultative” is a stupid word.

In terms of Navarro’s political career, this either ends miraculously well…or very, very badly.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (August 25)

Get More SmarterIt was darn near…chilly this morning. 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.


► Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence is apparently a big supporter of “Official English.” When he was a Member of Congress, Pence was a frequent co-sponsor of legislation designed to make English the “official” language of the federal government. Republican Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) has also regularly co-sponsored “Official English” legislation.


► Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump will stop in Aspen today for a fundraiser hosted by prominent Colorado Republican Larry Mizel. Meanwhile, new polling from Pew Research suggests that the majority of Americans are not big fans of Trump’s immigration policies. From the Washington Post:

Large majorities of those surveyed said they believe that undocumented immigrants fill jobs U.S. citizens don’t want, are as honest and hardworking as U.S. citizens and are no more likely than U.S. citizens to commit serious crimes — sound rebukes of Trump’s rhetoric on immigration.

Even some of Trump’s own supporters reported positive views of undocumented immigrants on some issues. They expressed negative views of undocumented immigrants on other issues, including whether undocumented immigrants commit more violent crimes than U.S. citizens.

A majority of those surveyed also rejected one of Trump’s signature policies: building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has vowed to get Mexico to pay for the wall, and the proposal has become such a big part of Trump’s presidential campaign that supporters chant “build the wall” at his rallies.

It’s no wonder that Trump is sorta kinda walking back some of his rhetoric on immigration reform.


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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (August 23)

Get More SmarterOn this day in history…it turns out not much happened. 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.


Congressman Mike Coffman’s re-election campaign is mashing the panic button. On Monday, Coffman’s campaign started attacking Democratic opponent Morgan Carroll with bizarre claims that she is not a supporter of immigration reform; in 2013, in fact, Carroll was a co-sponsor of the ASSET bill in Colorado, also known as “Colorado’s DREAM Act.” Of course, it is Coffman who has been wishy-washy on immigration issues throughout his entire career, and Monday’s blatant attempt to confuse the issue was another indication of Coffman’s political worries this election cycle. 

Perhaps Team Coffman is lashing out in anger over the fact that former CD-6 Rep. Tom Tancredo — a man Coffman once called his political “hero” — is making a point to dump on Coffman whenever possible. On Monday, Tancredo clarified earlier statements that he might consider voting for Carroll (though he doesn’t actually live in CD-6 anymore) while making sure to rip Coffman again. “I don’t think there’s anything sincere about Mike Coffman,” said Tancredo in an interview with Jason Salzman.


► Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is sorta-kinda taking a new approach to the issue of illegal immigration. As the Washington Post reports:

After spending a few days reflecting on his immigration stances and consulting with Hispanic supporters, Donald Trump on Monday detailed how he would deal with the millions of immigrants illegally living in the United States: Enforce laws that are already on the books and continue to do what President Obama is doing, although “perhaps with a lot more energy.”

This strategy marks a sudden change for the Republican nominee, who has presented himself as a politically incorrect outsider who is not afraid to take extreme measures to combat illegal immigration, such as deporting 11 million people or constructing a massive wall along the Southern border. For more than a year, Trump insisted that all illegal immigrants “have got to go” and that he would create a “deportation force” to carry out the task.

Trump struck a starkly different tone during an interview with Bill O’Reilly that aired on Fox News on Monday night. Trump said he would separate the country’s undocumented immigrants into two groups: The “bad ones” who would be kicked out of the country as soon as he takes office and “everybody else” who would go through the same process that the Obama Administration is currently using.

On Monday, Trump told O’Reilly that the first thing he would do as President would be to “get rid of all the bad [illegal immigrants.]” That sounds so easy! Why didn’t anyone think of that before?


► Trump is expected to attend a high-dollar fundraiser in Aspen on Thursday, but contrary to national media reports, Trump will not make a separate appearance in Colorado to deliver a big speech on his immigration reform proposals.


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