Get More Smarter on Tuesday (April 18)

Happy Tax Day, everybody! It’s time to Get More Smarter! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Colorado Democrats are taking the occasion of Tax Day to push legislation that would make it more difficult for politicians like Donald Trump to refuse to release tax returns. As Marianne Goodland writes for the Colorado Independent:

Two days after an estimated 7,000 people took to Denver’s Civic Center Park to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns, a House committee okayed a bill to require presidential candidates to make their returns public.

The measure, which is sponsored by Democratic Reps. Edie Hooten of Boulder and Chris Hansen of Denver, would require both presidential and vice-presidential candidates to submit the most recent five years of tax returns. Those who don’t submit those documents won’t appear on Colorado’s presidential election ballot, under the bill.

At least eight other states are working on similar legislation to require those tax returns, Hooten said; six are states carried by Trump in the 2016 election. In other states, although not Colorado, the legislation is referred to as the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public Act, or TRUMP Act.

Trump is the first major party candidate in 40 years (since President Gerald Ford ran for election in 1976) to not provide his returns, according to Politifact.

At least a dozen Congressional Republicans also agree that Trump needs to release his tax returns before they will take any sort of action on a Trump tax reform plan.

Meanwhile, the Colorado legislature remains gridlocked over the state budget, with both Democrats and Republicans accusing each other of mucking things up. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn on May 10.

 

President Trump is embracing the idea that today’s special election in Georgia could be a referendum on Trump. It’s true that the special election to replace Republican Rep. Tom Price (now President Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services) is being watched closely as a sign of how voters are feeling about the first 90-odd days of the Trump administration. But as Chris Cillizza explains, Trump may be getting louder about today’s election because he could be getting word that Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is unlikely to surpass 50% of the vote and thus avoid a runoff election with one of 11 Republican candidates.

 

► British Prime Minister Theresa May shocked European political observers — and even those in the United States who even sorta understand how the British election system works — by calling a surprise election on June 8. Here’s a helpful summary from CNN about what happened and why it is such a surprise (and why you should care):

British governments generally last for five years, and the Conservative Party’s administration — then led by May’s predecessor David Cameron — was elected in 2015. The next election was not due to take place until May 2020…

…May, who took over when Cameron resigned in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, wants to seek a stronger mandate in Brexit talks.

The UK government formally served divorce papers on the European Union last month, signaling the beginning of the end of a relationship that endured for 44 years.

But her party only has a slim majority in Parliament, and opposition parties have attempted to throw rocks in her path towards Brexit.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Lamborn Not Spared Constituent Backlash As Primary Looms

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R).

As the Colorado Statesman’s John Tomasic reports, the Brick Tamland of Colorado’s congressional delegation Rep. Doug Lamborn has been holding town halls in across the beating red heart of his El Paso County constituency–and like fellow Republicans across the state and nation with the temerity to stick their heads out during the Easter recess, Lamborn got chewed out but good:

Town hall season in Colorado Springs is not only of interest for the way angry crowds are meeting Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn, it’s also of interest for Colorado election politics watchers looking for pregame action by which to gauge a likely top primary race in the state.

Lamborn is gamely wrestling at town halls across his conservative 5th District with angry constituents alarmed mainly by Trump administration bumbling and the Republican health care reform plan.

He was jeered by an overflow crowd at a meeting in Colorado Springs on Wednesday, as the Gazette reported. The crowd mocked him when he said he supported renewable energy. They pushed him on climate change. They shouted out “Affordable Care Act” whenever he said “Obamacare.”

As Tomasic reports, Lamborn is smiling his way through the recess with the kind of indestructible confidence that can only come from a complete lack of self-awareness. Or perhaps not–Lamborn’s very safe Republican seat means the biggest threat he will likely face would come in a Republican primary, not the general election. Hard-right Republican primary challenger state Sen. Owen Hill is a fresh face, but he certainly doesn’t offer anything to appeal to the independent-left voters Trump has mobilized to resistance at town halls.

Bottom line: Lamborn is the poster child of Congress’ 11% approval rating and a 96% incumbent re-election rate.

Get More Smarter on Friday (April 14)

Have a Good Friday. For that matter, have a good Saturday and Sunday, too. It’s time to Get More Smarter! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) has been all over the news in the last few days following a town hall meeting earlier this week that did not go particularly well for the longtime Republican politician. On Thursday, Coffman made some interesting statements in an interview with Kyle Clark of 9News that included a sharp rebuke to Republicans who continue to complain — with no evidence — about “fake protestors” badgering Members of Congress. Here’s the relevant excerpt:

CLARK: Do you think they’re ‘fake protesters?’

COFFMAN: You know, I really don’t. You know, God bless the Republican Party for what it does, but I don’t–the fact is that they had to register for the event because we wanted to make sure that the people were from the district. And so, ah, uh, I thought it was a great event, I thought it was very lively, uh, I thought, I felt they were very committed, uh, to their issues, uh granted the audience leans left relative to the district, but they’re the people who are most concerned. With potential changes, mostly to Medicaid. And so I respect the fact that, you know that they were there, they were voicing their views, and they were not shy about it…

…I mean the fact is that, I think that the reality is, that sure there are some organizers there. But the vast majority of these people are simply committed activists in their own right. Uh, and they are not paid. They are simply, this is where their heart is. And I respect that.

Coffman’s answer here is not only a rebuke to the hysterical nonsense coming from partisan Republicans, but a sharp blow to Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) as well. Gardner has been trying to months to make the argument that people who are disappointed with his actions are “fake” or “paid” protestors, and Coffman’s words make this a difficult narrative to continue.

 

► Not all is well for Rep. Coffman, who is still getting poor reviews for his ham-handed town-hall event on Wednesday.

 

► As for Gardner, he is meeting today with employees of CoBank in Greenwood Village. It’s sorta like a town-hall meeting, except that you can’t come. Gardner took a tour of Devils Canyon in Western Colorado on Wednesday; he’ll go anywhere so long as he isn’t likely to run into actual constituents.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Lamborn would “probably” vote to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs).

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO Springs) told a conservative talk-radio host Monday that he’d “probably vote” to get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency, if he had the opportunity, even though he does not think it’s currently “in the cards to get rid of EPA completely.”

“But right now, it’s not in the cards to get rid of EPA completely.  And I would probably vote for that, because I trust states like Colorado to step in and do it anyway,” Lamborn told KVOR radio host Doug Lamborn April 10. “But while we have the EPA, at least have them not destroy jobs, and have multiple layers of bureaucracy, like Waters of the U.S.  That’s a job killer.”

“We had Gina McCarthy of EPA come in front of us,” Lamborn said on air. ” And I told her, ‘You know, in my district and in my part of the world, my part of the country, Gina, people despise you and the EPA. ‘What are you doing wrong that they despise you?’  And she just said, ‘We’re just doing our job.’ She didn’t even understand.”

Lamborn mentioned the Gold King disaster, but he’s also upset over an EPA and Colorado Department of Health lawsuit alleging stormwater violations.

“There is this weird lawsuit that EPA brought against Colorado Springs, even though we’re doing our best to mitigate the storm water issues that affect Pueblo and other downstream users of the water,” said Lamborn, not mentioning the health department’s participation in the suit.

“And, in fact, there are plans – we don’t have a final plan, but there are plans to spend maybe hundreds of millions of dollars to be responsible there.  And yet the EPA sues us, which means money that could have gone to that is going to be tied up with lawyers and paying fines, perhaps.  It doesn’t help solve the problem!”

But Colorado Springs wasn’t adequately addressing the problem itself, according to the he EPA suit, which found longstanding and repeated violations.

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Colorado GOP Barely Even Tries To Justify Syria Hypocrisy

Last night, President Donald Trump ordered a round of cruise missile strikes against a Syrian government airbase believed to have been the origin of an horrific chemical weapons attack on civilians and rebel-held positions in that country. The response from Colorado Republicans and Democrats to this strike was generally supportive on both sides–but as Denver7’s Blair Miller reports, Republican reactions to the strike are markedly different than a very similar situation in 2013, when President Barack Obama unsuccessfully sought permission to attack Syria after another incident where chemical weapons were used against civilians:

The reaction from many lawmakers to Thursday night’s U.S. attack on a Syrian air base that followed a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens earlier this week stands in stark contrast to their reactions when President Obama called for similar military actions in 2013.

Thousands of Syrians were hit with chemical weapons in a strike purportedly ordered by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Aug. 21, 2013.

As the Obama administration wringed its hands over how to respond to the attack, which was a violation of the Geneva Convention that bans the use of chemical weapons, most members of Congress also fretted over how the U.S. government might respond…

On Aug. 28 of that year, then-Rep. Cory Gardner, Rep. Scott Tipton, and Rep. Mike Coffman signed on to a House letter to Obama that urged the president to “consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria.”

“Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution,” the letter said. [Pols emphasis]

Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton, and Doug Lamborn.

As the situation developed in August of 2013, Colorado Republicans hardened in opposition to any use of force against Syria in response to the chemical weapons attack on Ghouta, Syria on August 21st of that year:

Coffman tweeted on Aug. 29 of that year, “Pres. Obama must obey Constitution and come to Congress before any military action in Syria,” a day after saying, “Your Colorado delegation agrees, no to war in Syria and yes to transparency from the President.”

…Gardner tweeted on Sept. 4 and 5 of that year that he was “skeptical” of the U.S. getting involved in Syria. On the 4th, he said, “I am not yet convinced of a compelling & vital national interest.” [Pols emphasis]

As for Rep. Doug Lamborn? You can just imagine:

Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., issued a statement Sept. 12 of that year saying, “Nothing I heard from President Obama tonight convinced me that a military strike against Syria is in America’s best interest,” adding that he had “lost confidence in the president’s ability to lead” and that neither classified nor unclassified briefings convinced him he should vote for or against any possible resolution to authorize military actions in Syria – a resolution that never came.

But as FOX 31 rounded up last night, that was then. This is what Cory Gardner says now:

Tonight, the United States of America took action against a treacherous regime whose actions and allies have shown the world the dark edge of humanity. The use of chemical weapons is illegal under international law and the Administration is well justified taking this long-overdue action tonight against a designated state sponsor of terrorism.

And Rep. Mike Coffman, for whom the War Powers Resolution was so critically important under Obama:

Tonight’s actions in Syria come after Assad’s horrific actions against his own people. America must show leadership and I’m thankful for what appears to be an effective response by our military.

And Rep. Doug Lamborn, who told Obama that striking Syria is not in America’s best interest–does he even remember what he said before?

Syrian President Assad continues to act far beyond the norms of civilized leaders. Unlike the previous administration which walked away from similar outrages, [Pols emphasis] President Trump is willing to send a clear signal of U.S. opposition to crimes against humanity.

In Blair’s story, Gardner makes a feeble attempt to justify this clear contradiction, claiming that the situation is worse now, even though many more civilians died in the 2013 chemical weapons attacks. As for Lamborn and Coffman, they don’t even try to make sense of what they said then versus now.

That’s because they can’t. The hypocrisy on display here is simply too much to explain away. The only real difference between the chemical attack by Syria in 2013 and the latest attack is the fact that a Republican is now President. And that means to these politicians, the lives lost and the moral need to respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction against civilians are all just part of the game.

However you feel about this military action, if that is not outrageous, nothing is.

Owen Hill Auditioning for Same Movie You’ve Seen Before

State Sen. Owen Hill

Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman broke the news on Saturday that state Sen. Owen Hill is mounting a primary challenge against six-term incumbent Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs:

Hill, a 35-year-old Air Force Academy graduate and small business owner, was reelected in November to a second four-year term representing El Paso County’s Senate District 10. He serves as the chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

Hill ran in the 2014 Republican U.S. Senate primary eventually won by Republican Cory Gardner, who went on to unseat Democratic incumbent Mark Udall. Before Gardner entered the race, Hill received endorsements from Ron Paul, the former congressman and presidential candidate, and the Tea Party Express organization.

But Hill, who first ran for office at age 28 — he lost a bid in 2010 in a different state senate district by just 340 votes to Democrat John Morse, then the incumbent Senate majority leader — defies easy political classification.

Hill is an ambitious conservative switchblade enthusiast who has long been looking to move up in the political world — he had been mentioned as a potential candidate for State Treasurer in 2018 — but settling on CD-5 as his ladder of choice is at once an obvious and questionable decision. We suppose that a CD-5 Primary makes more sense for Hill than embarking on a statewide campaign, though it’s fair to question whether it is even possible to defeat Lamborn in CD-5. 

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Worthless)

Despite representing the safest Republican congressional district in Colorado — GOP candidates for President regularly win CD-5 by 20-30 points — Lamborn has only been able to avoid a GOP Primary once since sneaking through a six-candidate GOP circus back in 2006. Of course, this also means that Lamborn has never lost a bid for re-election despite regularly facing difficult opposition from his own party, so you should attempt to read these tea leaves at your own peril.

Republican voters in CD-5 are also not traditionally enamored with the idea of change. Lamborn is only the second person to represent the district in the last 30 years (former Congressman Joel Hefley served CD-5 from 1987-2007). In the past three decades, the Denver Broncos have more Super Bowl trophies than Colorado Springs has had Members of Congress. 

None of this is to say that Colorado Springs residents don’t deserve better representation in Washington D.C. You can make a solid argument for Lamborn as the single worst Member of Congress in the entire country. Lamborn is an incompetent boob with a special talent for jamming both feet in his mouth on the rare occasion when he actually bothers to show up for scheduled events. As 2016 Republican opponent Calandra Vargas memorably explained:

“Doug Lamborn is the worst. He’s just the living worst. People need to know that Doug Lamborn is the worst. He makes Christians look stupid. He makes Republicans look mean, and he doesn’t offer solutions.”

Those are some exceptionally-strong words from a fellow Republican, but Vargas’ venom didn’t prevent Lamborn from more than doubling her vote total in the June 2016 Primary. Among Republican challengers, Bentley Rayburn came the closest to defeating Lamborn in a 2014 Primary (53-47); two years earlier, Lamborn dispatched GOP opponent Robert Blaha by 25 points.

Recent history hasn’t given us any reason to be surprised that Lamborn has drawn yet another Republican opponent…but history also doesn’t give us any reason to think that 2018 will end any differently for Lamborn. Owen Hill may or may not be a better candidate than Rayburn was in 2014. It’s hard to suggest that it even matters.

Trumpcare’s Day of Reckoning

Watch this space throughout the day as new information becomes available on a potential House vote on Trumpcare.

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1:28 pm: The House punts:

 

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1:23 pm: The House has not even begun the process of moving Trumpcare toward a vote on the floor — which by itself can take several hours.

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12:45 pm: The “Freedom Caucus” may have killed Trumpcare — at least for today. As Politico explains:

President Donald Trump and conservative House Freedom Caucus members failed to strike a deal on the GOP Obamacare replacement Thursday, endangering the prospects of passage and all but assuring any immediate vote on the measure would fail.

Negotiations between Trump and the arch-conservatives opponents of the bill reached at least a temporary standstill after Freedom Caucus members were told recent concessions to the far-right were a final offer. The group rejected that, wanting more.

Trump’s inability to clinch an agreement means that Speaker Paul Ryan does not likely have the votes needed to pass the measure. [Pols emphasis] The Wisconsin Republican can afford to lose only 22 votes on the floor. The House Freedom Caucus, however, has three dozen members, who have vowed to block the bill unless they get what they want. Roughly a dozen centrist Republicans also have come out against the bill.

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11:39 am: The conservative House Freedom Caucus says “no deal!”

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11:30 am: New polling numbers continue to show widespread public opposition to Trumpcare. From TPM:

American voters oppose the GOP health care bill by a three-to-one margin, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday.

The poll found that 56 percent of respondents opposed the American Health Care Act, compared to only 17 percent who supported the bill. Twenty-six percent did not know or had no answer.

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10:02 am: Opponents of Trumpcare are literally lining the halls outside House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office today.

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9:55 am: The Washington Post sets the stage for today’s healthcare battle:

The Republican health-care overhaul faces its greatest test ever Thursday as President Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) work feverishly to persuade enough Republican lawmakers to back the measure and push it to a floor vote.

Late Wednesday, the White House and House leaders were still scrambling to boost support, and signaled at the 11th hour a willingness to rework the measure to mollify conservatives. On Thursday morning, House leaders postponed a 9 a.m. meeting of the entire GOP Conference, signaling that negotiations were still underway.

As of late Thursday morning, 36 House Republicans — mainly conservatives — had announced their opposition to the bill, known as the American Health Care Act.

After insisting for weeks that the changes sought by hard-right members would render the bill unable to pass the Senate, White House officials and GOP House leaders appeared to shift their thinking — and opponents agreed to keep working on a deal with the goal of holding a floor vote in the House by Thursday night.

 

Doug Lamborn’s War on Big Bird Resumes Under Trump

Denver7’s Blair Miller reports, the member of Congress perhaps best known for trying to switch the names of Mt. Democrat and Republican Mountain as a Colorado state senator is back to his other cause célèbre–killing off public television:

Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn introduced two resolutions this week that would strip hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding from National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that he says could be better spent on the U.S. military…

Lamborn pointed to a multi-trillion dollar national debt and his perceived need to go to work “rebuilding our military and enhancing our national security” as reasons for again sponsoring such a resolution.

“Republicans and the new Administration need to demonstrate that we take our fiscal responsibility seriously. American taxpayers do not want their hard-earned dollars funding superfluous government programs just because that is the way things have always been done,” Lamborn said in a statement.

He added that the plan wasn’t about the quality of the broadcasters’ programming.

Public television is an easy whipping boy for Republicans looking to demonize “wasteful government spending,” but supporters argue it’s a (comparatively speaking) very small and worthwhile expense. The education and cultural programming on PBS is held to a higher standard than ordinary entertainment fare–and with the possible exception of pledge drive time, it’s hard to find a cross word about PBS from anybody. PBS survived previous Lamborn-instigated attempts to cut off its funding under President Barack Obama, but under the new administration it’s anybody’s guess.

Perhaps we’ve arrived at a time in history when everything you need to know can be found on reruns of The Apprentice?

Ken Buck Only Member of Colo. Delegation to Back Travel Ban

Rep. Ken Buck presses whatever button President Trump prefers.

Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) has generally refused to answer reporter questions about his position on Donald Trump’s travel ban for immigrants, leaving local news outlets such as Denver7 and the Denver Post to guess about his position on one of the more pressing issues in the country. But Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman will not be denied; as Luning reports, Rep. Buck on Monday offered his unqualified support for the Muslim travel ban:

“Our country has always offered hope for the oppressed and homeless, but hope also requires safety and security,” Buck said. We should not let people into this country unless we can thoroughly vet them. America welcomes Muslims from 190 countries and temporarily bans all individuals from 7 countries. The President’s executive order is a temporary effort that addresses a serious issue with terrorist hot spots.”

Congressman Buck is the only member of Colorado’s Congressional delegation to offer his full support for Trump’s travel ban. Even Colorado Springs Rep. Doug Lamborn made it clear that he opposes Trump’s Executive Order creating the travel ban.

At Least Doug Lamborn Probably Isn’t Your Congressman

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Worthless)

In another edition of our long-running series, “At Least They’re Not Your Legislator,” we take you to the U.S. Capitol, where Republican members of Congress apparently don’t have enough work to do to keep them busy.

As NBC San Diego reports, at least four members of Congress — including Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) — have literally been spending time carrying a painting around the building:

[Congressman Duncan Hunter] personally removed the painting last week from an area designated for finalists in the annual Congressional Art Competition. The piece by David Pulphus, an 18-year-old from Missouri, depicts police officers as pigs, with one aiming a gun at a black panther.

The piece won first place in the Congressional Art Competition in Missouri’s First District. But Hunter said he found the piece offensive, and believes it violates the rules of the art competition.

U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay, D-Mo., and members of the Congressional Black Caucus hung the painting back in place in a hallway in the Cannon Office Building basement Tuesday.

“I do not agree or disagree with this painting but I will fight to defend this young man’s right to express himself,” Clay said. “He is entitled to that protection under the law.”…

After the painting was put back in its position Tuesday, another member of Congress, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., removed it. Clay confirmed to NBC News the piece was put back minutes later. [Pols emphasis]

We’re not going to get into an argument about whether or not this painting by a high school student — which won first place in a Congressional Art Competition in Missouri — is appropriate to hang in the U.S. Capitol. There’s a larger point to address here: Multiple Members of Congress took time out of their day to literally remove this painting from the walls and return it to the office of Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Missouri).

We can only guess at the number of conversations that took place surrounding this topic, and the amount of time spent lugging said painting around the Capitol, at the same time that the Senate is holding confirmation hearings on Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments and plotting a strategy to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. If you are a constituent of Rep. Lamborn who might have been trying to contact the Congressman today, you cannot rest assured that he was busy doing something important.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (January 4)

Here comes the snow! Maybe. Forecasts along the Front Range call for as much as 2 feet of snow in the next two days…which probably means we’ll get an inch of rain. 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…

► The new Republican Congress got off to a curious start this week by attempting to quietly gut the House Ethics Committee before constituents (and Donald Trump) got wind of the plan and expressed their anger. House Republicans quickly backtracked on this idiotic idea, thanks in part to opposition from Trump but largely because voters made their voices heard:

This is a really, really, really, really stupid way for Republicans to start things off in 2017. As Politico explains, this move could sting for awhile:

By early Tuesday morning, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Speaker Paul Ryan and the rest of GOP leadership realized the proposal was about to tank the entire House rules package — and implode the first day of the GOP-led Congress. They convened an emergency closed-door conference meeting around noon to discuss removing the ethics provision — but it was too late. Donald Trump had tweeted his disapproval, and the public outcry had risen to such a crescendo that all anyone wanted to talk about was an obscure House office few people had ever heard of just 24 hours before.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), who added that the ethics snafu was an unforced error. “Sometimes people have to learn the hard way.”…

…The day left some members shaking their heads. Many, including Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), left the chamber Tuesday night crossing their fingers that the drama of the first day would not foreshadow the next two years to come.

“I think that there is going to be a lot of tough votes we will have to take and this wasn’t one of the toughest ones, so, I think we should learn from this,” he said. “Once you launch that ship, you’ve got to keep going… We need to go forth with more sense of purpose and direction.”

Fill the swamp! Fill the swamp! Oh, wait, that’s not right…

 

► Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) won’t reveal how he voted on the controversial measure to gut the House Ethics Committee. In other words, Tipton almost certainly supported the effort. Colorado Republican Reps. Doug Lamborn, Ken Buck, and Mike Coffman are all claiming that they opposed the measure. According to reports, 119 Republicans backed crippling the Ethics Committee; we have a sneaking suspicion that this number isn’t going to match public proclamations in another few days.

 

► A media outlet finally got around to asking some of Colorado’s top Republican officials about Donald Trump…though it wasn’t a journalist related in any way to Colorado. Come on, Colorado political reporters! How can you get scooped by something called Gray Television?

As Jason Salzman notes, there may be no more relevant question for Colorado Republicans than to be asked about Trump.

 

 

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

Guess Who Hasn’t Voted Yet?

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

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

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Denver Post likes Doug Lamborn again! But why?

(Go figure – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Doug Lamborn.

Rep. Doug Lamborn.

I haven’t seen U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn behave any better over the past two years than he has previously, but he’s apparently impressed The Denver Post, which endorsed him yesterday, after eloquently calling for his ouster last time.

The Denver Post in 2014:

Under the headline, “Oust Lamborn, restore dignity to Colorado’s 5th CD,” The Post wrote:

Rep. Doug Lamborn last month demonstrated yet again why he should do Coloradans a favor and find another job…Lamborn was at an event in Colorado Springs recently when someone asked him about support for the military “despite the fact that there is no leadership from the Muslim Brotherhood in the White House.” At which point, Lamborn launched into an astonishing statement.

“You know what,” he said, “I can’t add anything to that, but … a lot of us are talking to the generals behind the scenes, saying, ‘Hey, if you disagree with the policy that the White House has given you, let’s have a resignation. Let’s have a public resignation, state your protest, and go out in a blaze of glory.’ ”

We don’t know what part of that response is more outrageous.

Is it the fact that Lamborn failed to rebuke — or distance himself — from someone who effectively called the president an agent of a foreign Islamist group? Rather than evince concern, Lamborn actually smiled and said, “I can’t add anything to that.” Or is the most distressing part his urging generals to politicize serious disagreements they might have with the president by taking them public in flamboyant resignations?

The Denver Post this year:

Doug Lamborn, who has served the 5th CD in the greater Colorado Springs area since 2006, has been the kind of conservative representative befitting of the district, and voters there have rewarded him in primary challenges. While we like more independent-minded representatives, this is a Republican you can count on if what you want is a reliable GOP vote.

This year’s endorsement not only fails to explain why Lamorn redeemed himself, but it articulates why The Post doesn’t like him–as opposed to why it’s endorsing him. Oh well.

Colorado is First Again

(We like making history – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

flag-decorative-transgender02_1Among the big stories of Tuesday night’s primary, there is a story that I think is a bigger deal than it’s coverage would indicate.

As the New York Daily News reports, Colorado tied with Utah as the first states to nominate openly transgender candidates for Congress.

Two women have become the first transgender candidates to gain a major party nominations to Congress after Democratic primary wins.

Colorado’s Secretary of State website still showed one county left to be tallied in Plowright’s race, though she led Donald Martinez by more than 16 points and local media had called the race for her.

On her campaign website the 33-year-old former Microsoft employee describes herself as “an Army veteran, a self-educated woman, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and a passionate social democrat.”

She will face Douglas Lamborn, a Republican incumbent running for his sixth term in the House who has had a series of easy wins for the positions in general elections and easily defeated a primary challenger on Tuesday.

Misty Plowright defeated Donald Martinez in CD-5, and will now go on to face Doug Lamborn in the general election. Neither of the two candidates featured in the article are likely to win their elections in November, but nonetheless, this is a milestone worthy of notice.