Will Steve House Ever Be Governor? (Answer: No)

houseforgopchairPeter Marcus writes for Colorado Politics:

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve House is unsure whether he will seek re-election next year as he continues to mull a run for governor in 2018.

House, who has served as chairman of the party since March 2015, said he doesn’t want to put the party through chaos if he does choose to enter the gubernatorial race.

“If I were to run for governor, the one thing I would not do is run for chair again,” House told ColoradoPolitics.com.

“Just because I don’t run for chair doesn’t mean I’m going to run for governor. But the one thing I wouldn’t do to the party is run for chair and then drop out and run for governor, because I think that would be too damaging for the party.”

The first and most obvious point here is that the GOP field to run for Colorado’s open gubernatorial seat in 2018 is full of bigger names than party chairman Steve House, such as Treasurer Walker Stapleton. It would be a major surprise for all of the candidates higher up the food chain to pull out or fail to the extent that House might be competitive.

As far as House running again for Colorado GOP chairman, it’s hard to see that working out much better. House’s high-profile clash with Attorney General Cynthia Coffman was enormously damaging to both House’s and Coffman’s reputations, and the unresolved bad blood stemming from that red-on-red battle strongly points to a change of leadership at the earliest opportunity. And all that before even considering the still-unresolved #NeverTrump fiasco, part of a chain of events that could leave Colorado in the proverbial doghouse during the incoming Donald Trump administration.

What was it House did before he got into politics again? That’s probably where he should be looking for his next opportunity.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (December 1)

Get More SmarterDecember? Holy crap! 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…

► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) famously pledged during the 2016 campaign that he would “stand up” to Donald Trump if the Republican nominee were elected President. Well, Congressman, here’s a good opportunity for you — unless you happen to think that Sarah Palin is somehow uniquely qualified to serve as the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Coffman is, after all, the Chairman of the Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee within the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

 

► President-elect Donald Trump begins his post-election victory lap today with stops in the Midwest. From the Washington Post:

The billionaire businessman quipped throughout the campaign that America is going to win so much when he’s president that people are going to get tired of winning. This morning he flies to Indiana to tout the first such win, a deal he cut with Carrier to keep 1,000 jobs in the U.S. that were otherwise going to Mexico. (He’ll tour a plant that will no longer be closing.) From there, he flies to Cincinnati for a blowout rally at U.S. Bank Arena, the first stop of a “Thank You Tour” that will also take him to Iowa and Michigan in the coming days.

► Questions continue to swirl about Donald Trump’s “deal” with Carrier that purportedly will prevent moving 1,000 jobs to Mexico. For Republicans, this is a particularly thorny issue; interfering with the free market is not exactly a core GOP issue.

 

 

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Colorado Christian University Professor: “If any of my students wear a safety pin and ask for a safe space, I will tear it off them and fail them in my class”

“I’m sure at Colorado Christian University, there are a lot of safe spaces right now,” said KLZ radio’s Dan Meurer in introducing an interview segment with guest host Jenna Ellis, an assistant professor of legal studies and leadership at CCU.

“No, there are not, and if any of my students wear a safety pin and ask for a safe space, I will tear it off them and fail them in my class,” replied Ellis, with a partial laugh. “And they know it too. We have no snowflakes on campus.”

“I love Colorado Christian University,” responded Meurer.

Ellis declined a request to explain or discuss her radio comments.

CCU is a private Christian University in Lakewood. It houses the Centennial Institute, a conservative think tank.

Ellis joined CCU last year as affiliate faculty, while still practicing law, and this year she became “full faculty,” as she defelops CCU’s “Legal Studies Program, geared to best prepare students for success and ministry in law school and legal practice,” according to the CCU website.

The university website describes Ellis as a “Christian attorney,” who has “endeavored to contribute to the biblical worldview of law, specifically Constitutional law.

“As a professor of legal studies and leadership courses, Dr. Ellis’s view is that biblical Truth is where we begin, and integrate the learning of law and leadership into our Christian worldview,” states the CCU website.

Ellis is the author of The Legal Basis for a Moral Constitution: A Guide for Christians to Understand America’s Constitutional Crisis, a book that “discusses why all law is inherently moral and the legal reasons that Christians can advocate for biblical morals within Constitutional law,” according to the CCU website.

After Trump’s victory last month, CCU President Don Sweeting issued a statement, which read, in part, “We acknowledge that the sphere of politics, while very important, is not of ultimate importance. The gospel of Jesus Christ must always be our first message. Our ultimate hope is the kingdom of God.”

The Perfect Chance For Mike Coffman To “Stand Up To Trump”

Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R).

Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R).

ABC News reports, the parade of horribles making up President-elect Donald Trump’s prospective Cabinet took another wild turn yesterday:

Sarah Palin is under consideration for secretary of veterans affairs, a close Palin aide and a top Donald Trump transition official told ABC News.

The Palin aide said that Palin recently told Trump transition officials, “I feel as though the megaphone I have been provided can be used in a productive and positive way to help those desperately in need.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs is the largest government agency, with over 300,000 federal employees and a budget of $182 billion for 2017…

Palin, the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, has not been to Trump Tower in New York City to meet with the president-elect, but she was one of his earliest and highest-profile endorsers. The Palin aide said she has had discussions with the transition team, and the top transition official confirms this.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who resigned from office before completing her term after celebrity called above her responsibilities as governor, has little relevant experience for the important job of VA Secretary–and it’s very difficult to see how she would be a qualified candidate for this position. Depending on how you feel about Palin, one of America’s most polarizing and brash political luminaries, you might find that to be an understatement.

GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, a veteran who has campaigned hard on his efforts to “hold the VA accountable” for cost overruns at the Aurora VA hospital construction site, promised voters in his swing district that he would “stand up to Donald Trump”–a promise already in question after Coffman enthusiastically backed up Trump’s harsh immigration agenda as soon as the election was over.

Well folks, assuming Coffman’s concern for the Department of Veterans Affairs was a real thing instead of just a political affectation to win votes, we expect he’ll have to comment about a perhaps singularly unqualified candidate to run it.

Right?

Denver Post’s Bizarre Backhanded Endorsement of Beauprez

THURSDAY UPDATE: Sen. Cory Gardner adds some Marcomentum to Beauprez’s bid:

—–

Bob Beauprez.

Bob Beauprez.

Moments ago, the Denver Post’s editorial board released…well, the title makes it clear it’s an endorsement of two-time Colorado GOP gubernatorial loser Bob Beauprez for Interior Secretary in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, but the content?

It’s not quite damning with faint praise, but…

We were glad to learn Beauprez had made President-elect Donald Trump’s list for the position that oversees federal lands, even if environmentalists were not.

Beauprez has gotten a bad rap in the environmental community, perhaps deservedly, [Pols emphasis] as a man who subdivided his parents’ farm into a sprawling housing development and golf course in Lafayette. And for his recorded votes in Congress to open up more federal lands for oil and gas leasing while reducing regulation surrounding critical habitats for endangered species.

Remember, folks, this is a newspaper with a longstanding editorial tradition at least somewhat in acknowledgement of fundamentals like science and critical thinking. And we are talking about a politician who says that climate change is a “complete hoax.”

But apparently, says the Post’s editorial board, that’s no problem! Because the world is going to hell anyway.

No seriously, that’s what they say:

It’ll be a stark transition for the nation’s public lands no matter who Trump taps as the next secretary of the interior. [Pols emphasis] For Colorado and the West, that transition will be made a bit easier by having someone in office who we know and trust.

With a few edits, this endorsement of Beauprez for Interior Secretary could made easily made into an editorial opposing his nomination. It’s not the first time the Post’s editorial board has left us scratching our heads as to the decisions that led to an oddly-worded backhanded endorsement, which are sometimes rumored to emanate from a higher level than the editorial board members themselves. If so, that could indicate Beauprez is a more serious candidate for the job than first thought, in which case we’ll be talking about “Both Ways Bob” much more going forward.

Either way, in this case not only is the Post again making an endorsement contrary to their stated editorial position on the pertinent issues, they’re straining their credibility to the breaking point to do it.

Thursday Open Thread

“There is a strong tendency to get used to and accept very bad things that would be shocking if seen with fresh eyes.”

–Ray Dalio

Darryl Glenn’s Unfortunately-Named Consulting Firm Highlights Old Problem

Crossfit champion and political enthusiast Darryl Glenn.

Workout warrior/political enthusiast Darryl Glenn has some advice for you.

You may have missed the news earlier this week that El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, fresh off his “campaign” as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, is opening his own political consulting firm. As the Colorado Springs Gazette reported on Monday:

The El Paso County commissioner said DLG Esquire Attorney at Law will focus on assisting strategic policymakers, business and neighborhood leaders in “implementing innovative solutions to growing community challenges.”

“My experience as a county commissioner has taught me that the best ideas often come from our neighbors, church groups and community. But turning a great idea into a reality takes knowledge and ability,” Glenn said in a statement. “That’s where DLG Esquire comes in. Our team takes an idea and gives it life.” [Pols emphasis]

Glenn’s firm will help clients navigate the initiative, social enterprise and campaign processes, according to a news release.

We can all agree that “DLG Esquire” is a horrendous name for any business that isn’t an escort service; try telling your boss that you want to hire “DLG Esquire” for any reason and make sure to let us know how that conversation turns out. Of course, if you’re interested in paying Darryl Glenn for political advice (or to come up with advertising ideas) then the name you write on your check is probably the least of your problems.

But there is a larger issue at play here regarding outside employment for full-time elected officials in El Paso County. Back in 2011, the Colorado Springs Independent ran a well-sourced story trying to understand why full-time elected officials in Colorado Springs are allowed to moonlight in any capacity…and guess who showed up with a quotation?

Just because El Paso County’s elected officials are paid $87,300 a year doesn’t mean they can’t have second jobs. Several do. Two own law firms, another runs a bed and breakfast, and yet another works in real estate.

No law or policy bans such moonlighting, or even requires officials to divulge those outside interests, although the four officials referenced above have done so. And with no mandate for disclosure — unlike in city or state government — there’s no way for voters to know when county elected officials might encounter a conflict of interest between their public and private roles…

Commissioner Darryl Glenn, who took office last month, says county officials should have to report private interests and assets, like City Council members must, and also disclose potential conflicts. (“I don’t have any,” he says.) Similarly, state officials are required to report sources of income and ownership on personal financial disclosure forms.

Glenn still has his hand in two businesses. He helps his wife run the Ultimate Fitness Zone “in the evening and on weekends.” And he retains ownership of Glenn Law Firm PC, despite serving as the commission’s liaison to the court. He says he has “restructured” his role in the firm and no longer takes cases, leaving his wife as sole litigator, “because I have to interact with the chief judge.” [Pols emphasis]

Need a key vote from an El Paso County Commissioner? It wouldn’t be a bad idea to hire Glenn’s consulting firm in the meantime; go ahead and try to argue that this isn’t a blatant conflict of interest.

Some Colorado municipalities do have policies in place that discourage outside employment when you are being paid a full-time salary for a full-time job, but this is a policy that should be implemented and enforced at a statewide level. While it’s true that the term-limited Glenn won’t be serving on the El Paso County Board of Commissioners for much longer, it’s completely absurd that he is allowed to operate a political consulting firm while simultaneously casting votes on behalf of residents of one of Colorado’s largest counties.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (November 30)

Get More SmarterThere are 24 shopping days until Christmas.  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…

► President-elect Donald Trump continues to talk in vague terms about separating himself from his business affairs once he is sworn-in as President in January. Trump Tweeted on Wednesday that documents “are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations.” Uh, ok.

 

► Remember Donald Trump’s promises to “drain the swamps” of political patronage in Washington D.C.? This is probably not what you had in mind. Even when he does go a different direction with top political appointments, Trump ends up filling his own swamp with strange creatures. From the Associated Press:

President-elect Donald Trump has filled more top posts on his economic team — picking former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary and financier Wilbur Ross to lead the Commerce Department.

Mnuchin is confirming that he and Ross are joining Trump’s Cabinet, pending confirmation by the Senate.

Mnuchin was Trump’s top fundraiser during his Presidential campaign.

 

► House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had little trouble winning re-election to her post as head of the Congressional Democrats. From the Washington Post:

Pelosi easily toppled Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), a seven-term lawmaker who launched an upstart bid to lead House Democrats two weeks ago in response to the party’s disappointing November election results…

…Pelosi vowed to expand the number of seats at the leadership table to stave off defections and leave her firmly in charge of a caucus ruled by an “iron fist,” as Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) once described her leadership style.

There are 194 members of the House Democratic caucus, and four nonvoting delegates are allowed to vote in caucus elections. On Wednesday, 197 of the 198 members showed up. Pelosi won with 134 votes, compared with 63 votes for Ryan in a secret-ballot election held in the committee room of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Colorado Democrats had been split on their choice for Minority Leader. Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) publicly backed challenger Tim Ryan, while Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) and Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) remained quiet on their choices and presumably backed Pelosi for re-election.

 

► Former Congressional candidate and outgoing state Senator Morgan Carroll plans to make a bid to lead the Colorado Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump supporter and former Congressional candidate George Athansopoulos is pushing to become the next head of the State Republican Party. Current State GOP Chair Steve House has not yet decided whether or not he will seek re-election early next year.

 

 

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Caption This Photo: President-elect Donald and an Unhappy Mitt

Here’s the photo making the rounds as meme fodder today, from President-elect Donald Trump’s dinner with 2012 GOP presidential loser Mitt Romney at the Jean Georges restaurant in the Trump International Hotel:

You’ll recall that Gov. Romney was one of Trump’s most vicious critics during the Republican primary, calling Trump a “fraud” and charging that Trump’s “promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”

Now that Trump is President-elect, that crow looks wonderful.

In Trump era, what to do about Muslim haters on Colorado talk radio?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Peter Boyles.

Peter Boyles.

Bigotry toward Muslims is part of the hot air on some Colorado talk-radio shows, so much so that you get inured to it and kind of accept it.

But now that Trump is about to be president, the air seems a lot hotter, and it’s impossible to ignore right-wing bigotry as fringe craziness.

How can you not worry about the safety of Muslims in our community when you listen to, for example, KNUS radio’s Peter Boyles, who’s a notorious birther and bigot?

At this moment, with Trump on the White House doorstep, can we/ should we/ pretend not to hear Boyles’ hatred? And what to do about it?

In an on-air discussion yesterday morning with a fellow bigot named Tim Furnish, Boyles denounced Islam and said Muslims are incapable of respecting the U.S. Consitution and the fundamental values of the United States, due to their religious beliefs, essentially saying there is no place for Muslims in our country.

FURNISH: There’s a real incompatibility between Islam and Western-style government democracy. There just is.

BOYLES: It doesn’t work! They don’t work!

FURNISH: They don’t work together. This incompatibility is not extremist. It is intrinsic to Islam.

BOYLES: Agreed.

FURNISH: … Islam has never come to terms with, as they say, modernity. Islam has never come to terms with the idea of a secular state that has not imposed a religion –even the majority religion–on people. Because at the heart of Islam–going back to Mohammed himself, the Quran, the Hadith, so-called sayings of Mohammed, and 1400 years of Islamic practice– is that where there is a majority of Muslims, Islamic Law must be instituted. And where there is a minority of Muslims, they should fight – at first, maybe peacefully and then later through jihad – for the imposition of Islamic Law. This tension will not go away.

BOYLES: Yeah, it’s, “First – first—“.

FURNISH: And you cannot make Western democracy work with Islamic ideals. They are incompatible.

BOYLES: “First we crawl, then we walk, then we run.”

FURNISH: Right.

BOYLES: That’s why — I mean, it’s happening before your very eyes. Hillary Clinton got all twisted up about all of the stuff, and went after Trump. Trump is telling the truth.

If you’re saying Islam “doesn’t work” with “Western-style government democracy,” and you’re agreeing that even a minority of Muslims in a country will eventually wage jihad, then you’re basically saying Muslims have no place in the United States. Worse, you are saying all Muslims are a constant threat. How else to interpret this?

Elsewhere in this interview, Boyles said Muslims aren’t the ones who are the victims of a McCarthy-like attack. It’s Peter Boyles who’s actually under attack, according to Boyles!

“Progressives,” Boyles said on air, “They hunt for victims.”

(more…)

Wednesday Open Thread

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.”

–Louis L’Amour

Morgan Carroll Runs For Colorado Democratic Party Chair

Sen. Morgan Carroll.

Sen. Morgan Carroll.

As the Denver Post’s Mark Matthews reports, Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio announced today that he will not seek another term, creating an opening for one of the most important jobs on the left side of the aisle in our state:

Rick Palacio, the chair of Colorado’s Democratic party, announced in an email Tuesday that he won’t seek re-election to the position he’s held for six years.

With a “new year also comes new beginnings, so I’m reaching out to you to let you know that when our party reorganizes this spring, I will begin a new adventure and I won’t be seeking re-election as your party chair,” he wrote.

Palacio did not specify in the email what he plans to do next, and in a follow-up phone call declined to say what’s ahead for him. But he said he wants state Sen. Morgan Carroll, who lost a bid this year to unseat U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, to take his place.

What we’ve heard is that Sen. Morgan Carroll is in, and is busy as we write consolidating support among the party faithful. Carroll may not be the only candidate to throw her hat in, with the last unsuccessful challenger to Palacio, Dave Sabados, and Bennet for Colorado outreach director Lily Griego both rumored to be interested. With that said, Carroll is certainly the biggest name in the mix, and her years of experience as a legislative candidate make her a highly qualified choice–perhaps enough to clear the field entirely.

We’re sure to have more updates as the party chair election gets closer, so stay tuned.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (November 29)

Get More SmarterToday is just Tuesday. Not “black” or “cyber” — just Tuesday. 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…

► President-elect Donald Trump continues stocking up on middle-aged white dudes for his cabinet. On Tuesday, Trump announced that Georgia Rep. Tom Price — a fierce critic of Obamacare — has been selected to serve as the new head of the Department of Health and Human Services. As the Washington Post reports:

As HHS secretary, Price would be the nation’s top health official and the incoming administration’s point person for dismantling the sprawling 2010 health-care law, which Trump promised during his campaign to start dismantling on his first day in the Oval Office. The 62-year-old lawmaker, who represents a wealthy suburban Atlanta district, has played a leading role in Republican opposition to the law and has helped draft several comprehensive bills to replace it. The GOP-led House has voted five dozen times to eliminate all or part of the ACA but has never had a chance to accomplish its goal as long as President Obama has been in the White House.

Elsewhere, Trump selected former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to serve as his Transportation Secretary. Chao served in the cabinet under the administration of George W. Bush and is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, which probably turned out to be a decent reference to call upon.

 

► President-elect Troll Trump continues his habit of late-night (or early morning) Twitter rants:


This is one of those Trump Tweets that you have every reason to be concerned about; flag-burning may not make you the most popular kid in the neighborhood, but it has repeatedly been ruled by the courts to be a consitutionally-protected form of free speech (via the First Amendment).

Speaking of First Amendment issues, Trump is also mad at CNN — again — for its habit of doing journalism.

 

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