Colorado Republicans Straight-Up TERRIFIED of Trump Base

Earlier this week we took note of a sharp rebuke of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump by Bill Owens, the last Republican to serve as Governor in Colorado.

As longtime Colorado political journalist Ernest Luning Tweets this morning, Colorado Republicans are scrambling to convince legislative campaigns across the state to ignore the rebuke from Owens:

Why the sudden concern over a scolding from a Governor who was last in office in 2006? Because Republicans are absolutely terrified about backlash from fervent Donald Trump supporters costing them critical votes in tight down ballot races. Republicans such as Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), and Darryl Glenn (R-Colorado Springs) finally spoke out against Trump last weekend (Glenn, of course, backtracked a few days later) in the wake of a video showing Trump making horrible comments about women. Trump diehards immediately lashed out in response by attacking Coffman, Gardner, Glenn and others for not staying loyal to the GOP nominee for President.

Check out this meme that is making the rounds on Facebook among Colorado Trump supporters:

cofacebooktrump

We’ve long written in this space that Republicans have found themselves in a difficult spot in 2016. If they don’t refute Trump — particularly as he becomes more offensive by the day — then they risk losing Independent and Unaffiliated voters. But if they do rebuke Trump, they may be pushing these same diehard Trump supporters to ignore other key down ballot battles.

 

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (October 12)

MoreSmarterLogo-Hat1Have an easy fast today (Yom Kippur). 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.

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► Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is in Pueblo today to promote early voting and voter registration efforts. As the Pueblo Chieftain reports:

The former secretary of state and U.S. senator is participating in a public voter registration event today at the Colorado State Fairground’s Palace of Agriculture.

“We opened one of our first offices in early summer in Pueblo and now we’re excited for Hillary to campaign here,” said Ernesto Apreza, a Clinton campaign official.

Clinton’s campaign said doors will open to the public at 11:45 a.m. and the event will begin at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday.

 

► Tuesday night was the only televised debate in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race, and we’re guessing that Republican candidate Darryl Glenn is plenty thankful that he won’t have to embarrass himself again. We live-blogged the debate between Glenn and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver), in which the incumbent absolutely crushed his ill-prepared and uninformed opponent. Seriously — it would be hard to perform worse than Glenn did on Tuesday.

Prior to last night’s debate, Glenn’s campaign sent out an email claiming that polling results showed the Senate race to be a “virtual tie.”

[Pause for laughter]

Also on Tuesday night, Glenn further muddied his stance on Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. On Saturday, Glenn dropped his support of Trump before reversing course and sorta re-endorsing Trump on Monday. When pressed repeatedly to clarify his position on Trump, Glenn finally said last night that he had “suspended” his endorsement of Trump, whatever the hell that means.

 

► State Sen. Laura Waters Woods (R-Arvada) is proving in 2016 that she will say anything if it helps her get elected. Woods is now trying to portray herself as a champion for Medicaid…when in truth, she is a fierce proponent of reducing the number of people who can qualify for government-subsidized health care. This is the same Sen. Woods who has falsely claimed that she has “consistently” supported legislation to protect public lands (Woods is actually a proponent of transferring federal public lands to state control).

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (October 11)

Get More SmarterCan Donald Trump completely destroy the Republican Party in just one month? He’s gonna 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.

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► The only televised debate of the 2016 Colorado Senate race takes place tonight at 7:00 pm. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) and Republican challenger Darryl Glenn will take the stage at the History Colorado Center in downtown Denver for an hour-long, commercial-free debate. There is literally nothing that Glenn could do tonight that would vault him into a position to defeat Bennet in November, but for sheer entertainment value alone, we’ll be running a “Debate Diary.”

As of this writing, Glenn is still supporting Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. Glenn announced on Saturday that he was dropping his support for Trump before inexplicably reversing course on Monday and praising His Hairness. While Glenn’s Saturday repudiation of Trump was fairly straightforward, the El Paso County Commissioner apparently decided that he had made a mistake after being bombarded with negative comments from Trump supporters who felt Glenn was abandoning their candidate.

 

Donald Trump says he is removing the “shackles” that have apparently restrained him to this point in the Presidential campaign. Trump is furious that Republicans are abandoning his campaign en masse and is promising to go full scorched tan earth from here on out. For their part, National Republicans are insisting — meekly — that they are totally 100% behind their nominee for President.

Meanwhile, Trump’s son, Eric Trump, spent some time in our state working to convince Coloradans that his father is just a friendly “Alpha Male” whose reputation has been sullied by the invented actions of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

 

► Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton visits Pueblo on Wednesday to promote GOTV efforts and voter registration drives. As the Colorado Independent reports:

“At a public voter registration event, Clinton will lay out the high stakes of this election for Coloradans as well as her vision for an America that is stronger together, with an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top,” says the statement from her Colorado campaign.

“Clinton will also urge supporters to make sure they’re registered to vote. Colorado has the highest percentage of registered voters of any state in the country and voters can visit iwillvote.com to check their registration status.” This will be the first Colorado campaign stop for Clinton since early August. Her campaign has also cut down on advertising in this purple swing state in the lead-up to the Nov. 8 election. In Colorado, ballots start going out to voters in the mail Oct. 17.

 

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Get More Smarter on Monday (October 10)

MoreSmarter-ThanksgivingHappy Thanksgiving to our friends in Canada. 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.

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As you may have heard, there was a Presidential debate on Sunday night in St. Louis, Missouri. Donald Trump (literally) stalked around the room lobbing fact-free grenades toward Hillary Clinton. Trump supporters no doubt enjoyed the full-fledged attack on Clinton, but Trump didn’t do nearly enough to overtake Clinton as the winner of the debate. The big loser from Sunday night is the Republican Party in general, as the Washington Post explains.

 

► It’s too soon to know how Sunday’s debate may have influenced voters, but Trump’s latest scandalous news is not trending well for the Republican nominee. From NBC News:

As Donald Trump’s campaign reels over tapes of the presidential candidate’s sexually aggressive comments about women in 2005, the Republican nominee now trails Hillary Clinton by double digits among likely voters, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. 

The poll, conducted on Saturday and Sunday but before the second presidential debate, shows Clinton with 46 percent support among likely voters in a four-way matchup, compared to 35 percent for Trump [Pols emphasis]

…And among all registered voters, Clinton’s lead is 13 points, her largest advantage over Trump since the poll began testing the pair last September.

House Speaker Paul Ryan never seemed particularly happy aboard the S.S. Trump in the first place, but Ryan is now heading for the lifeboats. As the Washington Post reports, Ryan informed colleagues today that he will no longer campaign for Trump or defend the GOP Presidential nominee:

In a conference call with GOP House members Monday morning, Ryan said he is “only campaigning for House seats and promoting our agenda,” according to multiple participants on the call who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic.

Ryan’s move underscores the dilemma Republicans now face, even as Trump and his allies were buoyed by an assertive Sunday debate performance that brought the campaign into new and dark territory. They can remain in line with their nominee, which will please their base but could alienate swing voters critical to maintaining their hold on Congress, or renounce him and offend Republicans eager for a direct confrontation with both Clinton and her husband.

Trump is not pleased with Speaker Ryan, to say the least.

 

► Trump lost a lot of Republican support this weekend in the wake of revelations about an old interview in which Trump demonstrated his, ahem, views on women. Here in Colorado, Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) made it clear that he will STILL vote for Trump, while Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) made a clumsy statement about asking Trump to drop out of the race; Coffman’s spokespeople spent Saturday furiously clarifying with media outlets that Coffman had indeed decided not to vote for Trump.

Oh, and Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn is also dropping his support for Trump after waiting a long time to see what everyone else would do, first. Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is also abandoning Trump. Gardner backed Trump later this summer after his two previously-endorsed candidates, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, both flamed out against Trump. The kiss…of death.

 

► Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton returns to Colorado on Wednesday for her first state visit in several weeks. Clinton will be pushing early voting and voter registration efforts less than a week before mail ballots are sent out in Colorado.

 

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Get More Smarter on Friday (October 7)

MoreSmarter-RainSome politicos think GOP Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence could defeat Hillary Clinton if he were at the top of the Republican ticket. That’s silly. 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.

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Donald Trump’s campaign for President will long be remembered (among other things) for his unprecedented habit of flat-out lying about issues and denials of statements that were uttered by the man himself. Trump may be the Master of Misrepresentation, but as we have seen here in Colorado, spreading blatantly-false information has become something of a habit for Republicans and GOP-friendly organizations.

The most “knowingly-false” campaign ad in Colorado this year — and really, the most egregious example we’ve seen in a long time — is in Senate District 19 in Arvada. There is a law in Colorado prohibiting spreading “knowingly-false” information in order to influence an election; if these fictitious “China Girl” attacks on Democrat Rachel Zenzinger aren’t prosecuted, then we might as well just light Colorado Revised Statutes 1-13-109 on fire.

Congressman Mike Coffman and supporters have now received four consecutive negative fact-check stories from media outlets regarding baseless claims against Democratic challenger Morgan Carroll.

On Thursday, we noticed yet another ridiculous claim in a mail piece attacking SD-25 candidate Jenise May; the mail piece in question criticizes May for casting a vote in 2016 that cannot be true…because May wasn’t a legislator in 2016.

 

► Donald Trump has been off the rails for sometime now, so it’s difficult to come up with a suitable metaphor to illustrate just how ridiculous His Hairness has become. As the Washington Post explains, Trump was getting pretty squirrelly during an event in New Hampshire on Thursday:

He attacked Hillary Clinton, alleging with no evidence that when the Democratic nominee says she is preparing for debates, she is actually “resting.” He went after Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who does not support him. He knocked journalists John Harwood and John King, as well as the media in general and even the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Trump also denied that he was using the event to prepare for Sunday night’s debate in St. Louis, which will operate under a similar format.

The gathering was hardly a preview of the spontaneous questions Trump and Clinton are expected to face from voters and moderators Sunday night. It was closed to the public; the campaign invited people to attend and submit written questions in advance. Some added words of encouragement for Trump to their questions.

Remember, Trump said all of this in front of a friendly, pro-Trump audience and was not prompted by any difficult questions. Apparently, this is part of Trump’s “debate prep” before Sunday night’s second rhetorical battle with Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Much is at stake in Sunday’s debate in St. Louis, Missouri; Trump has been plummeting in the polls after a poor performance in the first debate, and he may not be able to recover from another bad night.

 

► Hurricane Matthew is closing in on the Eastern United States as experts warn of potentially catastrophic damage. The storm was approaching Jacksonville, Florida as of this morning.

 

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Watch: Rep. Clarice Navarro Confronted Over Trump Support

We were just forwarded this video clip showing an absolutely painful confrontation between Republican Rep. Clarice Navarro of Pueblo and an undocumented Latino living in Colorado–we don’t know exactly when or where this was filmed, but it’s pretty bad for her:

We took the liberty of making an animated .GIF of the moment when Rep. Navarro realizes she is on camera and being asked an extremely uncomfortable question about her emphatic but controversial Latino-apologetic support for Donald Trump–who in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past year and weren’t aware, isn’t ingratiating himself with Latino voters all that well:

navarrocaught

That, dear reader, is what panic looks like.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (October 6)

MoreSmarter-RainWet enough for ya? 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.

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Donald Trump is dropping in the polls, and it’s causing significant panic among Republicans who worry about the downballot effect of Trump’s slide. From the New York Times:

For his party, Mr. Trump’s reversal in fortune comes at the worst possible moment: Having muted their criticism of Mr. Trump in hopes that he could at least run competitively through Election Day, Republicans must decide in the next few days, rather than weeks, whether to seek distance from his wobbly campaign.

Should Mr. Trump falter badly in his second debate with Hillary Clinton on Sunday in St. Louis, Republican congressional candidates may take it as a cue to flee openly from their nominee, said two senior Republicans involved at high levels of the campaign who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss private party strategy.

Mr. Trump has already slipped perceptibly in public polls, trailing widely this week in Pennsylvania and by smaller margins in Florida and North Carolina — three states he cannot afford to lose. But private polling by both parties shows an even more precipitous drop, especially among independent voters, moderate Republicans and women, according to a dozen strategists from both parties who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the data was confidential.

 

President Barack Obama’s approval rating is back to its highest mark of his Presidency, as CNN reports

 

► Another day, another gut-punch of a fact check for Congressman Mike Coffman’s re-election campaign. From Politifact:

Coffman accuses Carroll, who has worked as a lawyer handling disability, employment, workers’ compensation and personal injury cases, of being sleazy and shady with conflicts of interest. But there’s no evidence she violated state ethics laws.

We rate this claim False.

Coffman is going to be hearing that last sentence in his dreams. This is the fourth fact-check of a Coffman/CD-6 advertisement — in just the last few weeks — to be trashed by a media outlet for being untrue.

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (October 4)

Get More SmarterDonald Trump has left Colorado (maybe); you may return to your normal activities. 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.

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► Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump was in Colorado for a pair of campaign stops on Monday. Trump visited Pueblo and Loveland, where he set out to spin the news that he doesn’t really pay income taxes as some sort of call to action, or something. From the Denver Post:

Donald Trump confronted questions Monday about whether he paid income taxes by blaming loopholes in the system and bragging about his business acumen.

“The unfairness of the tax laws is unbelievable,” Trump told a packed ballroom at the Pueblo Convention Center in the first of his two campaign stops in Colorado. “It’s something I’ve been talking about for a long time, despite frankly being a big beneficiary of the laws.

“But I’m working for you now. I’m not working for Trump.”

Trump’s remarks were his first about a New York Times report about his 1995 tax return that showed a deduction for $916 million for losses that may have allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years.

Instead of denying the report, he made his pledge to overhaul the tax code the central theme of his 50-minute speech and touted his tax “skills” as the reason he managed to survive the economic downturn in the mid-1990s.

Yes, Trump has mad brilliant tax skills. Also, it appears that free speech doesn’t really apply in Loveland.

And on another note, a new poll shows Hillary Clinton with an 11-point lead over Trump in Colorado.

 

► The candidates for Vice President square off in their only primetime debate of the cycle tonight at Longwood University in Virginia. Politico previews the showdown.

Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine will return to Colorado on Monday to introduce a GOTV concert headlined by Dave Matthews.

 

► National Republicans continue to express concern about Rep. Mike Coffman’s seat in CD-6. The Congressional Leadership Fund is dropping $1.3 million in the final two weeks of the 2016 election in a bid to help Coffman stave off defeat from Democratic challenger Morgan Carroll. Coffman and friends have been having trouble coming up with an attack on Carroll that is not completely debunked by local media outlets, so every dollar counts. As Sandra Fish reports for Colorado Public Radio, there is no shortage of campaign cash in two key Colorado races:

Colorado TV viewers can expect to see more than 83,000 ads consuming nearly 29 days of airtime in October at a cost of $30 million.

Of that, more than $12.8 million is being spent on two congressional races. In the 6th Congressional District in Aurora and suburban Denver, former Democratic state Senate President Morgan Carroll is trying to unseat GOP Rep. Mike Coffman. In the 3rd CD in southern and western Colorado, Republican Rep. Scott Tipton faces former state Sen. Gail Schwartz.

The first debate of the CD-6 race, hosted by Univision, takes place today but won’t air publicly until Saturday. We’re keeping a list of the most notable debates this month as Elected Day draws ever closer.

 

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Western Attorneys General Push Back on States Taking Public Lands

Rep. Scott Tipton (R).

Rep. Scott Tipton (R).

UPDATE: The Associated Press updates its own reporting with news that Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt was the lone dissenting vote among those at the Conference of Western Attorneys General.

—–

We noted earlier today that Democrat Gail Schwartz is reportedly demonstrating quite a surge in her race to defeat incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) in CO-3 (Western Slope, Southern Colorado, Eastern Plains). Should Schwartz end up knocking off Tipton in November, it will likely have a lot to do with the issue of public lands and whether or not they should be controlled by Federal or State governments.

Tipton may have fatally wounded his re-election chances due to a couple of highly-publicized decisions on both public lands and oil and gas development — including credible accusations that Tipton essentially ran with legislation that was nearly a word-for-word copy of a proposal drafted by industry lobbyists. Tipton has generally supported the idea of taking public lands away from the Federal government and moving control to state agencies, but a recent decision by the Conference of Western Attorneys General could significantly hamper these arguments. From the Associated Press:

A new legal analysis from a group of Western attorneys general casts doubt on many of the arguments Utah has put forward in its push to gain control of millions of acres of federal land.

The report, based on two years of work , doesn’t address every argument Utah has floated, but it points out decisions by the Supreme Court and other federal courts that could put Utah on shaky ground if it sues the U.S. government for control. The analysis was drafted by lawyers from seven Republican attorneys general, three Democrats and one independent.

It was obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.

The Conference of Western Attorneys General, made up of the top law officers in 15 western states and three U.S. territories, voted 11-1 to approve the report at their annual meeting in Idaho this summer.

Critics say it’s one more sign that a lawsuit, which could cost up to $14 million, has little chance of succeeding.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has been on the record supporting efforts to make changes to how public lands are overseen and operated, though it is unclear whether she was the sole dissenting vote from The Conference of Western Attorneys General. Regardless, this is a pretty devastating opinion for proponents of state-based public land controls that could prove a significant problem for Tipton’s re-election efforts.

Get More Smarter on Monday (October 3)

Get More SmarterL’Shana Tovah. 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.

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► Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump had a very tough weekend, and he looks to right his sinking campaign ship with two stops in Colorado today. Fresh off of a campaign event in Virginia, Trump will be in Pueblo at 3:00 before another scheduled event in Loveland around 5:00 or 6:00 pm. As John Frank reports for the Denver Post, Trump needs to do well in Pueblo if he is going to have any chance of winning Colorado.

As the Washington Post notes, Trump’s week of self-destruction could be difficult to overcome:

Donald Trump is scrambling to rescue his campaign after a week in which the Republican nominee’s White House hopes were effectively set ablaze by his own erratic behavior and the discovery that he may not have paid federal income taxes for as many as 18 years.

Reeling from a New York Times report that Trump may have canceled out years of income taxes by declaring a $916 million loss on his 1995 return, his allies mounted a vigorous defense Sunday by arguing that the revelation was proof of the businessman’s ­“genius.”

Trump is scrambling to win over voters in Colorado, which is just one of many problems his campaign is facing as we begin the month of October. Trump’s bizarre off-script rant at a Saturday event in Pennsylvania capped a week that could very well decide the Presidency. As Politico explains:

And yet … here the most outrageous and detested presidential nominee in recent memory sits, teetering but never quite falling into the clown chasm of political doom; the aggregators have Clinton back up as a 65-to-70 percent favorite to win, but in no battleground does she currently enjoy the double-digit dominance she had just after the convention. She is doing most everything right while he is inventing brand-new wrong (like enlisting the jowly duo of marital cheaters, Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich, to defend his fat-shaming of Miss Universe and attack the Clintons’ marriage). You can’t make this stuff up. But Donald Trump can, and he still gets his 38 to 43 percent in virtually every national poll…

…The unloved candidate trumps the hated one, the polls say. We are getting into the homestretch of this horserace to the glue factory of American Exceptionalism — and the events of the next week to 10 days will likely be Trump’s final shot at repairing his damaged candidacy.

 

► Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson is also in Colorado today. Johnson will speak at 7:00 pm at the South Denver (Parker) campus of the University of Colorado. Johnson’s visit comes at a bit of an awkward time for his campaign; on Friday, his running mate, Bill Weld, said publicly that Democrat Hillary Clinton is the most-qualified candidate for President. From CNN:

Libertarian vice presidential hopeful Bill Weld said Friday that he’s “not sure anybody is more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States,” the latest misstep in what’s been a painful week for the third-party ticket.

Weld’s praise of the Democratic presidential nominee was made in an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd. He quickly added: “I mean, that’s not the end of the inquiry, though. We were two-term governors and I think Gary is very, very solid.

Whoops!

 

► Republican Mike Coffman continues to rack up negative fact-check stories following several wildly-exagerrated attacks on Democratic challenger Morgan Carroll. Either Coffman or the NRCC have now managed to get smacked down by four separate Colorado media outlets.

 

 

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Clarice Navarro Stands Up For Trump. It Does Not Go Well.

Donald Trump, Rep. Clarice Navarro.

Donald Trump, Rep. Clarice Navarro.

The Pueblo Chieftain’s Peter Strescino reports on this week’s debate between Colorado House District 47 GOP incumbent Rep. Clarice Navarro and her Democratic opponent Jason Munoz. With Navarro having taken on a nationally prominent role as a Donald Trump surrogate, much attention was focused on this debate to see how her constituents would respond.

If this story is any indicator, not real well:

“I proudly support the Republican nominee,” said Navarro, who has tweeted photos of her and Trump together. “There’s absolutely no reason I would support Hillary Clinton. She left Americans to die in Benghazi…”

“My nominee has the business experience we need to turn around the country,” Navarro said as groans and mentions of bankruptcy came fast and hard from the packed Occhiato Center on the Pueblo Community College campus. [Pols emphasis] “(Trump) asked me what we can do best to support Colorado and more specifically Southern Colorado.”

Navarro pitched less government and lower taxes before the exchanges and Munoz, perhaps finally feeling comfortable said, “I’m curious, if Donald Trump wins and my opponent wins, is she going to help Donald Trump expand government to deport all the people he talks about? And if so, how is that investing in the community?”

Navarro said, “My opponent is not aware we have seasonal and migrant workers in our district. I have voiced my concern and discussed this specifically. And I don’t think that deporting 11 million people is possible.”

Got that? Navarro supports Trump–just don’t blame her for the stuff he says that offends people in heavily Latino HD-47. Like how we’re going to deport millions of brown people once Trump becomes President.

Do we know how this race between an underdog Democratic challenger and an entrenched Republican incumbent will end? No. Is Rep. Clarice Navarro doing herself any favors by embracing Trump to the bitter end? No–and that’s a much easier question to answer.

Get More Smarter on Friday (September 30)

Get More SmarterDid anybody happen to catch the month of September? Apparently, it’s already over. 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.

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► The re-election campaign of Republican Rep. Mike Coffman is coming unglued with just a few weeks left until ballots drop in Colorado. Both Coffman and his counterparts at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) are getting throttled by media fact-checkers for a series of negative ads against Democrat Morgan Carroll that would need to improve just to be labeled a “half-truth.”

How did Coffman’s campaign respond to three straight troublesome fact-check stories? Like you might expect, saying this is “why no one takes fact checks seriously.” Perhaps a Coffman spokesperson was misquoted; they probably meant to say, “We don’t take facts seriously.”

 

► Donald Trump should probably take a break from Twitter. Or, better yet, maybe he should just stop trashing a former Miss America contestant for being overweight. From Politico:

While Hillary Clinton is riding high after the first presidential debate, Donald Trump is jumping down into the gutter.

In the wee hours of Friday morning, the impulse-control-deficient Republican nominee let loose a torrent of tweets, calling former Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado “disgusting” and accusing her of having a sex tape.

Trump may or may not win the Presidency, but he’s going to make damn sure to offend everyone in America before he’s finished campaigning. Even some of Trump’s campaign staffers can’t take it anymore.

 

► This has been a pretty awful week for Donald Trump, as the Washington Post explains:

The narrative that the race was tightening, and that the GOP nominee could really win, had taken hold going into Monday night. The days since have brought a stream of reality checks, as Trump’s preternatural unwillingness to ever admit he was wrong keeps him on the defensive. Since the first 20 minutes of the debate, when he was most on message, the national conversation has been all about issues that are unhelpful to his cause.

In a campaign where Trump’s charisma helped him rise to the top, his inability to resist picking on people—no matter how small or insignificant—is his Achilles heel. And by taking the bait, Trump lunged right into Hillary Clinton’s “artfully designed trap.”…

…Whether or not Trump wilted under the bright lights of the Hofstra stage, with 86 million watching, his messy messaging afterwards has only made things worse. First he blamed a faulty mic. Then he started declaring himself a “landslide” winner. But the attacks on Alicia Machado, in particular, cement his image as a schoolyard bully to undecided voters and reinforce concerns among GOP elites that he cannot avoid picking unwinnable fights. “It is a beauty contest,” Trump said on Fox News, offering the latest excuse for his misogynistic fat-shaming. “You know, I mean, say what you want, Bill (O’Reilly), I mean, they know what they’re getting into. It’s a beauty contest!”

Trump will try to get back on track next week with campaign stops in Colorado. Trump will appear at events in Loveland and Pueblo on Monday. The GOP Presidential candidate is scheduled to speak in Pueblo at 3:00 pm before an appearance in Loveland optimistically-set for “around 5:00 or 6:00 pm.”

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (September 27)

Get More SmarterHappy National Voter Registration Day! 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.

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► The first Presidential debate of the 2016 General Election is in the books. After 90 minutes of debating at Hofstra University in New York on Monday, Democrat Hillary Clinton was the clear winner over Republican Donald Trump. We live-blogged Monday’s debate, so click here to check out the blow-by-blow action.

If you’re looking for more reaction from last night’s debate, most pundits agreed that Clinton walloped Trump. As the Washington Post reports, Trump is already making excuses for a terrible performance:

The consensus that Donald Trump badly lost the first debate gelled overnight. Liberals predictably panned the GOP nominee’s performance on Long Island, but some of the harshest reviews are coming from conservative thought leaders who had been starting to come around.

Trump’s surrogates in the spin room were downbeat, and the candidate himself has already begun making excuses: “They gave me a defective mic,” he complained to reporters during a gaggle. “Did you notice that? My mic was defective within the room. I wonder, was that on purpose?” There was no clear problem with his microphone during the debate, Jose DelReal notes.

The only problem with Trump’s microphone on Monday was that it kept amplifying Trump’s actual words. For more on the debate, just use the Google; reaction is not difficult to find. You can also check out Politico’s five takeaways from Monday evening. The Associated Press also fact-checked some of the more notable comments from the debate.

Trump’s “stamina” attacks on Clinton fell flat on Monday in part because His Hairness was dealing with case of the sniffles.

 

► Aurora Democrat Morgan Carroll continues to hit hard at Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman. Carroll’s latest TV ad ties Coffman to Trump with some very effective examples.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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