Get More Smarter on Tuesday (September 20)

GetMoreSmarter-SnowNo, Brangelina, say it ain’t so! It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


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

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

His comments have Democrats literally laughing out loud.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Will Former Jeffco School Board Member Williams Help Sink Woods?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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

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

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

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

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

Sen. Laura Woods (R).

Sen. Laura Woods (R).

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

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

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

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


Carroll Punches Trump/Coffman. Hard.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R), Sen. Morgan Carroll (D).

Rep. Mike Coffman (R), Sen. Morgan Carroll (D).

As the Aurora Sentinel reports today, Democratic congressional candidate Morgan Carroll is out with a new TV spot, a shot directly at one of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s most controversial moments of verbal diarrhea–and by extension, whether incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman likes it or not, her opponent:

The gloves have officially come off in the race for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District seat in Aurora, and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump gets a hard left hook from state Sen. Morgan Carroll in a political TV ad being released today.

The one-two punch then aims for Carroll’s Republican incumbent opponent, Congressman Mike Coffman…

This round is over Trump’s infamous public slight to a disabled reporter. In the short TV ad, Carroll says her late father suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and that spurred her career in fighting for disabled workers.

The ad highlights a notorious clip of Trump imitating and mocking New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who is disabled. Carroll’s campaign ad then shifts right to Coffman, who Carroll says tacitly approves of Trump’s antics because he hasn’t outright denounced his remarks and his candidacy.

As you can imagine, Team Coffman is outraged, outraged that Carroll isn’t buying Coffman’s Trump triangulation:

And the reason is simple, as we’ve discussed in this space countless times: Coffman’s “distance” from Trump is a contrivance.

[S]ince Coffman’s never said that he won’t vote for Trump, Democrats continue to taunt him on social media, and now with this ad. [Pols emphasis]

It goes both ways, however. Carroll has backed Hillary Clinton for president, something the Coffman campaign and Republicans tie to her with the same fervor.

“Donald Trump is running against the most corrupt candidate for president in modern political history,” Coffman told Aurora Sentinel reporter Rachel Sapin earlier this month in response to Trump meeting with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto, and then flying to Arizona. There he gave a speech essentially inciting his base in regards to building a wall between the United States and Mexico. “Richard Nixon has nothing on Hillary Clinton. But Trump’s obsession with a hard-edge immigration policy is like a slammed door in the face of millions of voters. His meeting with the President of Mexico was one step forward. His Arizona speech was three steps back.”

Carroll campaign officials say Coffman is being disingenuous about being critical of Trump, having previously backed similar positions on immigration and other issues.

There’s a reason why Coffman is attacking Donald Trump for the same hard-line stance on immigration that he himself campaigned on for years. It’s also the reason why Coffman can’t have a sustained debate on the issue. The reason is that Coffman has spent most of his time in Congress hopelessly at odds with the majority of his constituents, and he can’t defend his record beyond the most superficial questions.

At the same time, Coffman can’t make the only commitment that matters with the election fast approaching: a pledge to not vote for Donald Trump. To do so would alienate too many Republican voters Coffman needs to win re-election. That is all the opening Carroll needs to plausibly assert, as she does in this ad, that Coffman “won’t stand up to Trump.”

And seriously, Richard Nixon? That’s just a talk-radio crock.

There’s no question that, in light of how undeniably effective Team Coffman has been at arguing reporters into a subject change, Carroll needs to be much more aggressive on calling out Coffman’s long “Trumplike” record. For Democrats, this latest ad is a welcome sign she is moving in that direction–and there’s a lot more material where this came from.

Tuesday Open Thread

“Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.”

–Bertrand Russell

State senator shares video showing shady, ugly guns

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oil Executive Favored as Trump’s Interior Secretary

Forrest Lucas

Forrest Lucas

As Politico reports, Donald Trump is likely to choose a well-known oil and gas executive as his Secretary of Petroleum Interior should he win the race for President:

Forrest Lucas, co-founder of oil products company Lucas Oil and an outspoken opponent of animal rights, is a leading contender for Interior secretary should Donald Trump win the White House, say two sources familiar with the campaign’s deliberations.

The Republican businessman, 74, is well known in Indiana, where in 2006 he won the naming rights to Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the Indianapolis Colts football team, for a reported $121.5 million over 20 years. He and his wife have given $50,000 to Mike Pence’s gubernatorial campaigns, according to Indiana state records.

Lucas’ company, Lucas Oil, is a fast-growing manufacturer of automotive oils, lubricants and other additives used in everything from cars to heavy-duty trucks.

One person briefed by the Trump campaign said Lucas is a “front-runner” for the Interior secretary job. The person, who was granted anonymity to talk about private discussions, added that Trump wants a “more business-friendly and business experience-heavy cabinet.”


Glenn: “I Am The Human Equivalent Of A Unicorn”

Darryl Glenn.

Darryl Glenn.

This week’s quotable quote is in a weekend story from the Durango Herald’s Jonathan Romeo, writing about a Southwest Colorado visit by longshot Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn:

“That has been a theme,” Glenn said of his stops in Cortez, Durango and Salida, among others. “They expect their representation to come out more and talk to them. If you aren’t talking with people and understanding their concerns, you can’t do your job.”

Most polls show the current El Paso County Commissioner trails Bennet with less than 50 days until the election, but Glenn, now on his “third or fourth” visit to the Western Slope, said he’s gaining traction.

“We have a lot of support,” he said. “They appreciate the fact I’m willing to come out here and listen. Sometimes people outside of the Front Range feel like they’re being left out.”

Now the problem with this statement from Glenn, by his own account only on his “third or fourth” trip to the Western Slope, is that Sen. Michael Bennet is in no way a stranger to western Colorado or rural parts of the state in general. Bennet serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and has been heavily involved with such Western Slope issues as the battle over oil and gas drilling in the Thompson Divide. Googling Bennet’s name along with “Durango,” “Grand Junction,” or “Western Slope” will return ample proof.

But as we’ve foreshadowed, that’s not the punchline:

“I am the human equivalent of a unicorn,” he said. [Pols emphasis]

It’s been said (famously and recently) that Republicans are not very good at what they derisively call “identity politics”–that is politics that center on one’s race or other superficial identifier. But unless we’re missing something obvious with Glenn calling himself “the human equivalent of a unicorn,” we’re pretty sure he’s trading on the fact that he is a conservative black man running for office.

It’s either that, or Darryl Glenn has joined the Bronies.

Get More Smarter on Monday (September 19)

GetMoreSmarter-SnowToday is the sixth anniversary of September 19th, 2010. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


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

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

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


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


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

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


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Donald Trump Jr. To Talk “Sportmen’s Issues” In Junction

hunt30n-13-webDonald Trump, Jr. kills big stuff.

Donald Trump, Jr. holding an elephant's tail.

Donald Trump, Jr. holding an elephant’s tail.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Amy Hamilton reports, it’s almost too audacious to be believed:

Donald Trump Jr., son of Republican candidate for president Donald J. Trump, will be drumming up support for policies that benefit sportsmen in the West’s public lands during a talk Thursday night at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

The event, called “Autumn Fever — A Campfire with Donald Trump, Jr.,” is expected to attract about 4,000 people, said Marjorie Haun, who is helping to spread the word about the event. The effort is hosted through the Colorado Sportsmen “Make America Great” group.

Haun said the junior Trump is expected to talk about sportsmen issues and “issues specific to western Colorado” rather than directly campaigning for his father.

Hamilton didn’t see fit to mention it, but Donald Trump, Jr. is infamous as a big-game hunter, with photos of Junior and his brother with various dead animals having been made a regular issue both before and during his father’s presidential campaign. The Washington Post reported last month about Junior’s love of putting holes in large mammals:

Americans are nearly split when it comes to hunting animals for sport — 56 percent said they oppose it — and they are particularly against big-game hunting. Eighty-six percent of respondents said they disapprove of it, and six out of 10 said they believe it should be illegal. [Pols emphasis]

Donald Jr. spoke in exhaustive detail about his love of hunting for the enthusiast site Bowsite earlier in the year. He explained that he learned to hunt as a boy from his maternal grandfather during summers spent in Czechoslovakia. He said he has been an active hunter throughout his life, that his preferred form is bowhunting, and that he frequently employs it during the weekends to hunt whitetail deer in New York…

He talked of hunting not just as a pastime, but as an important influence on his character. “I owe the outdoors way too much to try to do the usual apologize and hide thing,” Trump Jr. said. “It’s kept me out of a lot of other trouble I probably would’ve gotten into.”

hunt30n-8-webTo be sure, neither we nor we would say most Coloradans are opposed to hunting properly managed by wildlife authorities: especially when the hunt is actually for consumption in addition to sport. Hunting plays a role in regulating animal populations in the West, and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife does a good science-based job administering hunting in our state.

What Donald Trump Jr. does in Africa, killing threatened animals to take crass trophies like an elephant’s tail, bears no resemblance to any kind of hunting that most Coloradans would find acceptable. And that makes Junior’s trip to Junction to discuss “sportsmen issues” more than a little questionable in our minds.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see protesters outside Junior’s event Thursday who agree.

Monday Open Thread

“Insanity is knowing that what you’re doing is completely idiotic, but still, somehow, you just can’t stop it.”

–Elizabeth Wurtzel

DC Oil & Gas Lobbyist Says Colorado’s Air is Clean Enough

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a recent Denver Post column, Matt Dempsey from the Washington-based Center for Regulatory Solutions attempted to undermine a new report that highlights the public health threats due to ozone pollution from the oil and gas industry.

A DC-based political consultant complaining about clean air rules while working on behalf of an organization that has taken more than $100,000 in contributions from the American Petroleum Institute in recent years is probably not a surprise. But there are several factual problems with Dempsey’s argument that deserve closer scrutiny.

The oil and gas industry has an ozone problem, and it’s a lot bigger than what we know.

Colorado’s made progress in cleaning up our air. That much is clear, but it doesn’t mean that our air is yet as clean as it should be.

Ozone pollution is serious. It can trigger asthma attacks and worsen other lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. At-risk populations are most likely to be affected including children, the elderly, and minority communities.


Weekend Open Thread

“In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand.”

–John C. Maxwell

Conservationists Launch Big Campaign Against Laura Woods

Sen. Laura Woods (R).

Sen. Laura Woods (R).

Remember last weekend when we noted with no small amount of surprise a new ad campaign from far-right GOP Sen. Laura Waters Woods of Arvada, in which she claimed with (literally) no factual basis that she has “consistently supported public lands?”

It looks like that was a bigger mistake than even we imagined. A press release from Conservation Colorado today:

Conservation Colorado, the state’s largest environmental organization, today announced that it will be making an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in Jefferson County’s Senate District 19 to educate voters about incumbent Senator Laura Woods’ dismal record on protecting Colorado’s open spaces, public lands, and way of life before they cast their votes this fall. The campaign spending will come in the form of mailers, digital ads, and canvassers.

Pete Maysmith, Executive Director of Conservation Colorado, stated:

“When it comes to protecting our open spaces and landscapes, Laura Woods is flat out wrong. She is trying to convince voters that she supports protecting our public lands. But the reality is that she has repeatedly thrown her weight behind Cliven Bundy-style efforts to turn our lands over to private interests, which could make it easier for them to be split up and sold off to out-of-state oil companies. Woods is not being straight with her constituents; her voting record is out of touch with our values as people who enjoy all that our amazing state has to offer. Former Senator Rachel Zenzinger, on the other hand, understands that the outdoors are part of our Colorado way of life and must be protected for future generations. Zenzinger will once again represent the citizens of Arvada and Jefferson County well in the state Senate in 2017.”

John Gale, a hunter and angler from SD-19, echoed:

“Sportsmen and women in Colorado know that our wild public lands and waters support the most robust populations of fish and wildlife we have. They provide quality access to every American for hunting and fishing and other recreational opportunities. But Laura Woods has let hunters and anglers in our district down by aligning with special interests operating on the fringes of popular opinion to comprise our outdoor heritage and take away western traditions like hunting and fishing that mean so much to our families. I urge sportsmen and women to cast their vote for someone who supports their values– and that person is not Laura Woods.”

Woods recently has been scrambling to defend herself on public lands by paying to promote ads on social media touting her “solid” voting record on the issue, despite offering absolutely no proof for her claims. In fact, she has voted the wrong way on every single bill that would protect public lands that Conservation Colorado has scored in its annual scorecard since she has been in office (for reference, here are the 2016 and 2015 scorecards).

Hunters, hikers, families, and everyone in SD-19 who enjoys the outdoors deserve to know what, exactly, Woods believes is her “solid” record on protecting our lands when all of the evidence points to the contrary.

As the state’s most competitive state senate race, SD-19 was always going to get a lot of attention from both sides. With that said, Woods did herself no favors by trying to claim without even an attempt to factually demonstrate that she is a supporter of public lands. If anything, Woods’ far-out right wing politics put her much closer to the Cliven Bundy “sagebrush rebel” side of the public lands debate: that is, so far from the position of true conservationists it’s simply laughable.

Or it should be. As it stands now, conservationists will have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars just to set the record straight with the voters in Sen. Woods’ district. And that’s no laughing matter. If there’s an upside, it’s that Woods has given conservationists a wealth of material to work with.

And enough to be highly motivated to see her defeated.