Incumbent House Republicans Abandoning Ship

Democrats need to capture 24 seats in 2018 to re-take control of the House of Representatives. With the news today that California Rep. Darrell Issa will retire in 2018 rather than seek re-election, there are now 32 incumbent Republican Members of Congress who are walking away from office after this year.

As CNN’s Chris Cillizza explains:

Veteran Republicans — especially those in potentially competitive seats — are opting to head for the exits rather than remain in a Congress where, if the GOP retains control this November, they would be positioned to continue to wield considerable influence.

Issa and [Ed] Royce joins Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Dave Reichert of Washington as Republican House members abandoning House seats Clinton won in 2016. There’s also a handful of other seats — Charlie Dent’s in Pennsylvania, Dave Trott’s in Michigan, Frank LoBiondo’s in New Jersey — where Trump won but the underlying political realities of the districts suggest Democrats will make a major play to win them this fall.

In each of those cases, the retiring members are simply walking away from Congress. They aren’t running for another higher office. They aren’t leaving to enter the Trump administration. They don’t have cushy, high-paying jobs lined up. They are just leaving.

The average seat loss for a President’s party in his first mid-term election is 23 seats…but since 1962 that number jumps to 40 for a President with an approval rating below 50%. Issa and other Republican incumbents seem to be making the determination that they would rather leave office on their own terms than face losing their seats in what is increasingly looking like a Democratic wave in 2018.

Polis-Backed Candidate Takes Office After Big Oil Felony Fiasco

Eddie Mirick (R).

The Greeley Tribune’s Tyler Silvy bookends a story we’ve been following out of Greeley ever since last November’s municipal elections–Eddie Mirick, a Republican city council candidate lavishly supported by oil and gas “dark money” group Vital for Colorado, will not take office after a judge determined that a felony conviction on Mirick’s record violates the city charter’s qualifications to serve.

Replacing Mirick on the Greeley City Council, as Silvy reports, is his opponent in last November’s elections, Stacy Suniga:

Stacy Suniga’s campaign for a Greeley City Council seat is finally complete more than two months after Election Day, as the council on Tuesday voted to appoint Suniga to the council seat vacated by her opponent, convicted felon Eddie Mirick…

Suniga will be sworn in Tuesday to serve as the city council’s at-large representative until November 2019, when she’ll be able to run for election.

More than 7,000 Greeley residents voted for Suniga on Nov. 7, about 300 fewer than voted for Mirick just days after The Tribune first reported Mirick’s criminal past…

The Greeley City Charter says the council must appoint someone to fill a vacant seat, but it doesn’t prescribe a process.

Just a few months ago, the council took applications and conducted interviews. But with the shadow of the city’s failure to properly vet Mirick still hanging over the council, members chose to immediately appoint Suniga.

Normally-sleepy Greeley city council races became hotly controversial last fall after a local front group wholly funded by energy industry political group Vital for Colorado spent tens of thousands of dollars to blast three candidates who had received $500 each from Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder. With Polis running for governor in 2018, the oil and gas industry seized on his small donations as a proxy experiment–to see if Polis’ brand could be toxified in a town where the industry has a lot of clout.

The industry’s disproportionate spending in favor of Mirick was able to swing this race by 300 votes, after the Tribune reported on the felony conviction too late to change the course of a mail-ballot election in which many voters cast their ballots well before Election Day. But as soon as it became clear that Mirick had no backup for his claims that this felony conviction had been reduced to a misdemeanor, things started to unravel quickly despite the city council’s initial failure to take action.

Today, it’s obvious that both the Greeley City Council and the oil and gas industry’s premiere statewide political action group erred severely in failing to adequately vet Mirick’s record–the industry after supporting him in the election, and then the council for failing to act on news reports documenting Mirick’s unfitness to serve. The first-round appointment of Suniga to the seat and the refund of legal costs to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed due to the city’s inaction are the clearest possible admissions of how badly the city of Greeley dropped the ball.

As for Vital for Colorado? They did their reputation, and their agenda, no favors either.

Gardner Sets “High” Bar For Releasing Justice Nominees

Learning about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind the Obama-era protections at the Justice Department that allowed individual states to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use, Sen. Cory Gardner flew into a rage from the well of the U.S. Senate last week–threatening in explicit terms to hold up every nominee for the Department of Justice unless the Cole Memorandum is reinstated as the operative guidance for U.S. Attorneys on marijuana prosecutions.

We think.

The specifics of what Gardner are said are very important, since he is reportedly meeting with Sessions tomorrow to discuss the situation. After which, depending on how that meeting goes, Gardner will either lift his hold on Justice Department nominees or allow them to stand pending Sessions reconsidering his position.

Transcribed:

GARDNER: I agree with President Trump, that this decision should be left up to the people of Colorado and othere states. And I call on Attorney General Sessions to explain to me why President Trump was wrong in 2016 and what changed their minds. And that they reverse their decision to withdraw and rescind the Cole memorandum. And that they reimplement and reinstate the Cole memorandum. [Pols emphasis] And until that happens, I think I am obligated by the people of Colorado to take all steps necessary to protect the state of Colorado. And their rights.

And that’s why I will be putting today a hold on every single nomination from the Department of Justice. Until Attorney General Jeff Sessions lives up to the commitment that he made to me in my confirmation–my pre-confirmation meeting with him, the conversation we had that was specifically about this issue of state’s rights and Colorado. Until he lives up to that commitment, I will be holding all nominations to the Department of Justice. The people of Colorado deserve answers. The people of Colorado deserve their will to be respected.

Madam chair–Madam President–I yield the floor and not the absence of a quorum.

Now, you can read this statement as Gardner laying out very precisely what Sessions needs to do to see Gardner’s nominee holds released: reinstating the Cole memo. The only problem is that Gardner, being an infamously crafty crafter of weaselly statements, separated his specific comments about the Cole memo from his announcement that he will hold up Justice Department nominees. You could, in a strained but literal reading, see Gardner only promising to maintain the holds until Sessions lives up to some unspecified “commitment.” Was that commitment specifically to preserve the Cole memo?

It all gets kind of, you know, weaselly.

The reason we’re asking these specific questions is simple: the chances that Sessions will actually reverse course and reimplement the Cole memo after meeting with Gardner seem very slim, but the odds that Gardner will come out of his meeting with Sessions tomorrow with those holds intact are even slimmer. Much like Rep. Mike Coffman’s abortive threat to force a vote on protections for undocumented students last summer, the most likely outcome here is, after receiving lavish praise for “standing up” to the Trump administration, Gardner folds without actually accomplishing anything.

And if that’s what happens, those who issued said lavish praise should do a follow-up.

Denver Post Destroys Leftist Plot To Terrorize Gardner Family

I wonder why Colorado Pols didn’t post the latest Denver Post editorial?

On New Year’s Eve, political protesters tarnished their reputation and their cause by harassing a U.S. senator and his family at their home…

The small group of activists were led by some of the same wheelchair-bound protesters who occupied Gardner’s Denver offices for several days last summer. The goal of the Colorado-born ADAPT activists at that time was to protest changes to Medicaid funding during the Republicans’ failed effort to gut Obamacare. Now they are pressing Gardner to support a Senate bill meant to prohibit discrimination against those with disabilities.

Most considered ADAPT’s Obamacare protests a brilliant stroke, but realists must admit it was also politics of the bare-knuckled and vicious variety. We faulted Gardner then for not directly talking to the group one final time before deciding to have them arrested. But the activists weren’t without their fair share of fault in the events that led to the arrest of several protesters. They shut down access for other constituents at the office, greatly inconvenienced other building tenants, forced staff to work night and day to care for them and created unhealthy and disgusting conditions all around.

This most recent protest isn’t a hard call. We cannot condone the kind of treatment ADAPT handed Gardner and his family New Year’s Eve. Elected officials and high-level appointees understand that one of their responsibilities is to endure activist theatrics as part of the package deal of meeting with constituents and the public. Fair enough. Yet government officials and their families are also human beings, deserving of the same respect activists must expect for themselves.

Shame on Colorado Pols and everyone else who condoned this horrible behavior. It’s a relief no one was hurt.

Weed over kids: Cory Gardner’s priorities?

You probably saw it on TV last week. After Trump’s attorney general made another threat to shut down Colorado’s legal marijuana industry, Sen. Cory Gardner spoke out on the floor of the U.S. Senate and threatened to stall Justice Department nominees.

Marijuana is a billion-dollar business in Colorado, and money talks. But here’s the problem: while Cory Gardner says he’s willing to go to extremes to protect the marijuana industry (which is debatable considering his parade of broken promises), 90,000 Colorado kids are in danger of losing their Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage. Uncertainty in Washington has forced Colorado to spend money we don’t have to temporarily cover kids who qualify for CHIP in our state, but that won’t last forever.

Send a message to Cory Gardner now: tell him to stand up for Colorado’s kids.

If 2017 taught us anything, it’s that Gardner’s priorities are hopelessly out of whack. Gardner spent all of last year trying repeatedly to destroy the Affordable Care Act and slash taxes for the wealthiest Americans, despite the fact that poll after poll showed that’s not what Coloradans wanted. Gardner claimed to support health insurance for children, but Republicans in Washington have refused to take action to fund CHIP for the long-term.

If Cory Gardner can shut down Justice Department nominations over marijuana, why can’t he do as much for 90,000 Colorado kids who need health coverage? Tell Gardner to do the right thing—even when there aren’t campaign donations and a billion-dollar industry at stake.

Thanks for helping us hold Gardner accountable to his promises. We’ll make sure he gets your message.

James Dobson: Pray For Our P—y Grabber-In-Chief

James Dobson.

Dr. James Dobson, the founder of Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, has been somewhat less in the spotlight since retirement from his world-famous religious right political advocacy organization, having lost some amount of clout after unsuccessfully employing the full weight of the Almighty against the election of Barack Obama–even asking supporters to pray for rain on Obama’s address to the Democratic National Convention at Denver’s Mile High Stadium.

Yes, that really happened.

But since the election of President Donald Trump, who as we all know restored the sacred covenant between church and state as only a man who “grabs ’em by the p—y” can, Dobson is back on the scene–and as Right Wing Watch reports, intervening on President Trump’s behalf with the same higher authority:

On Friday, James Dobson joined Intercessors for America for the organization’s monthly prayer conference call, during which he called on conservative Christians to engage in a day of fasting and prayer against efforts to impeach President Trump.

Dobson said that he “felt sorry for this man” when he and other Religious Right leaders met with Trump in the Oval Office last month because “so many people obviously hate him … He faces the combined opposition from the mainstream media, from members of Congress—both Democrats and Republicans, not all of them, but many of them—the entertainment industry, [and] the special interest groups who seem determined to bring him down.”

Dobson warned that “this country will be in serious trouble if they’re successful in impeaching this man” and is therefore urging Christians to pray and fast in order to protect Trump.

“I’m calling for a nationwide movement to pray for him,” Dobson said. “I’m calling for a day of fasting and prayer. I hope that Christian people from coast to coast will join in that time; the date is your choosing, but we do need to be praying for our president.”

 

Yes, faith is sacred and you can believe whatever you want. And if you believe praying for the success of the vulgar womanizing rich guy who’s trying to cut aid for the poor is what Jesus would do, you’re allowed. We have no doubt Dr. Dobson is a Christian first and a partisan Republican second, or at least he believes fervently he is.

It’s not a prayer we would offer though, particularly not under a thunderstorm.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (January 9)

We can’t promise that reading this will make you as brilliant as Donald Trump, but it’s a start. 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…

► The Colorado legislature kicks off its 2018 session on Wednesday. The Denver Post previews the upcoming action with a list of the eight biggest issues on tap for the next 120 days. Among them: PERA reform, addressing sexual harassment under the Gold Dome, and long, long, long battles on transportation funding.

Elsewhere, the Pueblo Chieftain examines a likely slate of bills targeting heroin abuse.

 

► The Senate Finance Committee begins confirmation hearings today for Alex Azar, the former pharmaceutical company executive nominated by President Trump to be the new Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Azar is expected to face pointed questions from Senate Democrats about his role in driving up drug prices while at the helm of Eli Lilly.

 

► Republican and Democratic leaders are scheduled to meet with President Trump at the White House today to discuss DACA reforms as another funding deadline to keep the federal government running looms on the horizon. From CNN:

Republican and Democrats involved in negotiations over the must-pass January spending deal say that DACA — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — has become the key to unlocking any funding agreement and some are frustrated with how negotiations are unfolding. Republicans charge that Democrats have all but halted talks on spending caps until there is a resolution on DACA, which gives undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children a chance to stay, work or study in the US without fear of deportation.

“Seems to me that Democrats are holding that deal hostage for a DACA negotiation and we are meeting at the White House tomorrow on a bipartisan basis with the President to see what that might look like,” said the Senate’s No. 2, Texas Republican John Cornyn. “But I think that’s going to make the January 19 date pretty hard to hit.”

“It’s a mess,” said one person directly involved in the negotiations.

Colorado Senators Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) and Michael Bennet (D-Denver) are both expected to attend today’s White House meeting.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

(more…)

Be prepared for GOP “smears” against Tancredo, say conservatives

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tom Tancredo.

“This election, I promise you, establishment Republicans will be digging up any dirt on Tom,” said KNUS radio host Chuck Bonniwell during a show last month, referring to Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo.

“Not even digging it up. Just making it up!” added co-host Julie Hayden, a former Fox 31 Denver reporter.

“Yeah, making it up,” said Bonniwell.

Making stuff up? Would establishment Republicans go that far to stop Tanc?

If you take a look back at the various attacks on Tancredo in 2014, you’ll find that most of them were not made up completely.

But one notorious ad was pretty much a fabrication. It was a radio attack spot, leveled by Make Colorado Great Again (MCGA), a group backed by former Colorado Christian University President Bill Armstrong. MCGA was supporting one of Tancredo’s primary opponents, Republican Mike Kopp. The radio ad stated:

Anti-Tancredo ad: “Tom Tancredo supports legal marijuana. But Tancredo goes even further. Tancredo says we should consider legalizing all drugs. Yes, drugs like heroin, PCP and cocaine.”

Tancredo said at the time that the pot ad, written with the help of former Colorado Republican Chair Dick Wadhams, wasn’t true.

Tancredo had discussed legalization of other drugs previously, but Tancredo never mentioned those drugs specifically and, in any case, never advocated that we consider “legalizing all drugs.”

(more…)

Tuesday Open Thread

“We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future.”

–John F. Kennedy

Stapleton Touts Fundraising Record in Governor’s Race

Walker Stapleton

As Joey Bunch reports today for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, the campaign for Republican Walker Stapleton is leaking out fundraising numbers that would represent a record haul for a candidate for Governor in Colorado:

Stapleton will report about $750,000 for the quarter, the most any of the 18 candidates has raised in any quarter so far…

…Walker’s campaign roll call of donors for the quarter includes corporate titans, small business owners and household names — Phil Anschutz (disclosure: He owns Colorado Politics and lots of other stuff), real-estate mogul and philanthropist Larry Mizel, beer magnate Pete Coors, car king Greg Stevinson and Dan Ritchie, a civic mainstay in Colorado who has led the University of Denver and the Denver Center for Performing Arts, after he was CEO of Westinghouse Broadcasting.

Stapleton seeded his campaign with $250,000 of his own money when he finally announced his gubernatorial intentions in late September, so it is likely that an official announcement of his Q4 fundraising numbers is intended to portray that the campaign has more than $1 million in the bank.

If Bunch’s reporting is accurate, Stapleton’s Q4 numbers would represent a record quarter for any statewide candidate in Colorado. This doesn’t include the $785,000 that Bunch says has been raised by “Better Colorado Now,” a political action committee that exists solely to promote Stapleton’s candidacy for Governor (Stapleton waited until late September to announce his campaign in part so that he could exploit a campaign finance loophole that let him assist in raising money for the “Better Colorado Now” PAC).

The nearly $2 million set aside to support Stapleton isn’t going to scare off Tancredo, but Stapleton’s fundraising numbers are certainly geared toward shooing away the rest of the GOP field. As Bunch noted today:

Stapleton’s haul in the last quarter would be more than [Doug] Robinson, [Victor] Mitchell and former candidate George Brauchler had raised in outside donations, combined, in previous quarters. And [Cynthia] Coffman’s finance co-chairman during her 2014 run for attorney general, Lanny Martin, is part of Stapleton’s PAC, too. [Pols emphasis]

The fact that Stapleton appears to be the candidate of choice for the moneyed Republican establishment is certainly no surprise; the June Republican Primary has long been setting up as a battle between Stapleton (and his money) and the more grassroots campaign of firebrand Tom Tancredo.

Campaign finance reports for Q4 are due to be filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office by January 16.

Top Ten Stories of 2017 #2: The Resistance and the Coming Wave

If you’d have asked us what the mostly likely scenario for the 2018 elections was just before Donald Trump unexpectedly won the presidency in 2016, here’s a short version of how we would have summarized it: President Hillary Clinton, having won the popular vote comfortably but with a bellicose Republican Congress obstructing her every move, would preside over further losses for Democrats in the 2018 midterms in Congress and in state races across the country. Looking ahead from there to the 2020 election, and subsequent all-important redistricting and reapportionment that will draw the maps determining control of the nation for another decade, this would be for Democrats a very bleak scenario.

Instead, America. Instead…

Donald Trump’s first year in office has set the Republican Party up for a vastly greater fall in the 2018 midterms than anything Hillary Clinton would have precipitated for Democrats as President. The combination of an historically personally unpopular President with a Republican agenda overwhelmingly perceived by the electorate as hostile to their interests has put the Democratic Party in a better position to recapture both houses of Congress than they’ve enjoyed in many, many years. President George W. Bush’s unpopularity resulted in a complete loss of power for his party between 2006 and 2008, yet Republicans would kill to have the numbers they had going into those elections today.

Today, generic Democratic candidates are polling higher than they were in 2006. Higher even than the advantage Republicans enjoyed going into the 1994 “Republican Revolution,” and high enough to put longstanding Republican incumbents in grave danger. The GOP’s sole “victory” in 2017, passage of a massive tax cut primarily benefitting the richest 1%, is expected in every public poll to cost Republicans support after failing miserably to sell the plan effectively top the American people.

“Cardboard Cory.”

Along the way in 2017, there were a host of indicators that the upsurge in popular anger over Trump and the Republican agenda was something bigger than we’ve seen in recent American history–to include the 2010 “Tea Party” movement that helped Republicans retake Congress in 2010 and plunge the nation into six years of political stalemate. The January 21, 2017 Women’s March (photo top), in which millions of Americans turned out to rally against Trump’s sexism including over 200,000 in Denver, was the largest single-day protest in the history of the United States. A “town hall meeting” staged by the Denver Indivisible group featuring a cardboard cutout of Sen. Cory Gardner was gobsmackingly attended by almost 2,000 people. Huge protest marches in Denver week after week punctuated every controversial action taken by the Trump administration, and every Republican legislative action in Washington. The failure of most Colorado Republicans to hold town hall meetings to explain themselves became a huge liability, underscoring the anger of constituents once they finally relented and held a few.

At this point, there is little we can see that Colorado Republicans can do to avoid major losses in 2018. There are some radical scenarios, to include the destruction of the Trump presidency at the hands of majority Republicans in Washington, that could hypothetically ameliorate the situation. But short of something like that that, with the GOP brand indelibly linked to the least popular President in modern American history, a man who has stunned the globe with his routine demonstrations of instability and incompetence…

Take the midterm wave we can chronologically predict, and add the storm of the century.

At Least He’s Not Your State Representative

Kansas State Rep. Steve Alford

In another edition of our long-running series, “At Least He’s Not Your Legislator,” we take you to Kansas, where a Republican lawmaker adds a racist tone to a conversation about legal marijuana.

From the Garden City Telegram:

During Saturday’s Legislative Coffee session at St. Catherine Hospital, State Rep. Steve Alford, R-Ulysses, made an ostensibly racist comment when citing domestic Jim Crow-era drug policies.

When Zach Worf, president of the Finney County Democrats, argued that legalizing marijuana could be a financial boon to cash-strapped Kansas, Alford told him he should look to the 1930s, the latter part of the prohibition era, for a history lesson. Alford said that a reason for the tightening grip on potential intoxicants at that time was to shield Americans from the consequences of drug abuse by “African Americans.”

“Basically any way you say it, marijuana is an entry drug into the higher drugs,” Alford said. “What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas (and) across the United States.

“What was the reason why they did that?” he continued to a crowd of about 60 people, none of whom were black. “One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that. [Pols emphasis] And so basically what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to do a complete reverse with people not remembering what has happened in the past.”

No word on whether or not Alford is friends with Colorado State Sen. Vicki Marble, who thinks African-Americans eat too much chicken.

What you can do to fight back this week (January 8)

After almost a year of Trump in the White House, the resistance is shifting: not away from Trump, but toward every conservative politician who helped elected him and has enabled his disastrous first year as President of the United States. We’ve proven successful at slowing down Trump’s agenda, and stopping much of it in its tracks, but the next fight in the battle to take our country back happens this November.

In today’s resistance against Trump and the conservative agenda, ordinary people are the leaders. The Indivisible movement, the Women’s March, and everything else that has made a difference this past year has been about individual Americans stepping up to fight back. We couldn’t do any of this without you, and no one ordered you to fight back against Trump. We resist together because our nation and our shared values require nothing less of us. It’s that simple.

Featured Event: Official Women’s March On Colorado: One Year Anniversary

We believe that social justice, human rights, and equality for women and all marginalized people nationwide are shared American values. We firmly believe that there is still much work to do, and that real change will only happen when women are an active and respected part of the conversation. Until we have socioeconomic justice, and are active participants in a government that works for all of us, there is a reason to march. We will gather beginning at 8:30 AM. in Civic Center Park. The pre-rally will begin at 9 AM at the Civic Center Park Amphitheater, followed by the March at 9:30 AM and rally at noon. The map is posted at www.marchoncolorado.org.

Where: Denver’s Civic Center Park, Colfax and Bannock, Denver
When: Saturday, January 20 at 9:30am

Click here to RSVP.

Thank you for everything you do week after week. Here are some great ways to fight back for the week of January 8th:


Stop Vouchers in Colorado

Public, taxpayer dollars for public education must stay in public schools
Oppose any changes to the Colorado School Finance Act or public school funding in Colorado that would use public, taxpayer dollars for vouchers, tax credits, or Education Savings Accounts.

Where: Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Tuesday, January 9 at 10:00am

Click here to RSVP.


ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Take Steps Today For Lasting Change

The tenets of environmental justice hold that all people everywhere should have access to a healthy and thriving environment. Further, all people should be able to live in freedom from environmental dangers. But is this achievable on a planet (and in a country) where people continue to buy huge houses and cars, produce multiple children and purchase products with no thought to their production cycle or packaging? Daily we hear threats to environmental protections in the United States and beyond, what can we do as concerned and committed citizens to protect humanities’ right to a healthy environment?

Where: Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver, 2148 S High St, Denver
When: Tuesday, January 9 at 1:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Common Cause: 2018 Legislative Preview

If you live in Denver, you’ve likely seen the shiny, golden dome of the Colorado state capitol building. But what actually happens there? How are bills introduced, debated and passed? And how does Colorado Common Cause participate in this process? Come learn about what takes place under the “golden dome”–and get a preview of the bills that Colorado Common Cause will tackle this session–at our 2018 Legislative Preview.

Where: The Irish Snug, 1201 E. Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Tuesday, January 9 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Stand with Faith Winter and all the others against Rep. Lebsock

January 10th is the start of the 2018 Legislative session and Rep. Steve Lebsock has refused to resign after being accused of serial sexual harassment. Faith Winter and the 11 others that have come out showing immense bravery telling their experience of sexual harassment at this legislators hand need our support to show we stand with them, we believe. This will be a picket style protest with signs. We can legally walk the sidewalk surrounding the Capitol as long as we do not block traffic and continue moving. This is a great way for us to all get our steps in and give our support to these brave women.

Where: Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 10 at 9:00am

Click here to RSVP.


New Era Colorado: 8th Annual Opening Day Happy Hour

Join New Era for our 8th Annual Opening Day Happy Hour at Prohibition! The 2018 legislative session kicks off on Wednesday, January 10th, so come grab a drink with us at Prohibition and get the inside scoop on what to expect. We’ll be providing appetizers and if you’re a monthly donor, check in with us at the door for a free drink. If you have yet to join, there’s no time like the present: www.neweracolorado.org/Players Make sure to let us know you can make it so we get enough apps for everyone. See you there!

Where: Prohibition, 504 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Wednesday, January 10 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! Lecture & Book Signing at The Temporary

Amy Goodman is an American broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter, and author. Since 1996, Goodman has hosted Democracy Now!, an independent global news program broadcast daily on radio, television and the Internet. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Thomas Merton Award in 2004, a Right Livelihood Award in 2008, and an Izzy Award in 2009 for “special achievement in independent media”. In 2012, Goodman received the Gandhi Peace Award for a “significant contribution to the promotion of an enduring international peace”.

Where: The Arts Campus at Willits, 360 Market St., Basalt
When: Friday, January 12 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Gentrification Summit: Our Communities Are Not For Sale

If Denver is to truly be a “world-class city” it can’t be just for those who can most afford it. With displacement accelerating at lightening speed due to policies promoted by politicians indebted to wealthy developers, or businesses that are more interested in remaking neighborhoods rather than integrating into them, we need urgent solutions that will not take years to implement. We will not wait another election cycle to take back our city. The time to resist is now! This citywide summit will bring together progressive organizers, emerging leaders, and impacted residents who have actively and creatively resisted gentrification in their communities, as well as those who want to learn strategies to take back their neighborhoods.

Where: Shorter Community AME Church, 3100 Richard Allen Ct, Denver
When: Saturday, January 13 at 9:30am

Click here to RSVP.


Warm Cookies of the Revolution: Change the Rules: Civic Board Games

If you enjoy meeting new and interesting people, or having a great time with people you already know, then come on out and play some games and see how we can change the rules to either make things more realistic or to create new possible solutions. Bring your own board game or we’ll have lots of new and classic games (and also some funky vintage games provided by the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, & Toys), as well as great treats.

Where: McNichols Building, 144 W Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Saturday, January 13 at 4:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


From Denver to Washington, D.C., 2018 is going to be loaded with opportunities for every one of us to stand up for what we believe in. We’ll do our best to keep you updated, so please watch for breaking news alerts through the week. Thanks again!

It’s Official: The “Centrist Project” Thinks You’re Stupid

Don’t be fooled again.

A featured story today from the former Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning announces the rebranding of what has been known up to now as the “Centrist Project” into a vehicle to openly support the candidacies of several “unaffiliated” candidates for the Colorado General Assembly:

The nonprofit formerly known as the Centrist Project, a group working to elect nonpartisan officials nationwide, on Monday unveiled a slate of four unaffiliated Colorado candidates running this year for the Legislature in the opening salvo of its assault on the two major parties’ unbroken rule of the state’s government. It also announced it’s changing its name to Unite America and will call the state-focused organization Unite Colorado.

The slate includes challengers against the No. 2 Republican in the Senate and a House Democrat — Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker, in Senate District 30, and state Rep. Matt Gray, D-Broomfield, in House District 33 — and two candidates for open House seats currently held by Democrats, in El Paso County’s House District 18 and Adams County’s House District 31. Those seats are represented by state Reps. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, a candidate for an open Senate seat, and Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, a candidate for attorney general, respectively.

We’ll start with a fundamental point, long suspected about the so-called “Centrist Project” but proven now with this announcement: this organization is fielding candidates in swing Democratic-held House districts in order to split the Democratic vote and elect Republicans. That is the only raison d’être that makes any sense based on the easily predictable outcome. From everything we can see, the inclusion of a challenge in Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert’s beet-red GOP district is a diversion meant to distract from the principal goal of this organization–to peel off swing voters who would otherwise vote for Democratic candidates in what’s shaping up to be an historic Democratic wave election.

We’re not going to impugn the motives of individual candidates or the (in some cases disaffected) former Democratic staffers working on this campaign. We’re simply being frank about what the results of this effort will be, and they are obvious enough that we have to believe at some level the backers of the “Centrist Project” are fully aware of it. From a beleaguered post-Trump GOP operative’s point of view (see: Rep. Mike Coffman’s phalanx of ex-College Republican staffers), this kind of “unbranding” of a campaign with a clearly partisan motive probably sounds like a really slick idea.

But as Luning continues, that gnawing feeling in your stomach that something isn’t right about this is dead on:

“It doesn’t really matter to voters of that bloc where you stand on the issues, [Pols emphasis] or even if you align with them on issues. It matters that you’re fundamentally different than the people in office now.”

That’s Nick Troiano, a failed congressional candidate from Pennsylvania who’s now fronting Colorado’s Centrist Project, and who describes himself as “a motivated 24-year-old fiscal conservative who adheres to the core Republican values of limited government and personal responsibility.” Troiano is running candidates in three swing Democratic House districts, campaigns in which the only “successful” outcome will be to peel off enough otherwise Democratic voters to elect Republicans.

But don’t worry, because it doesn’t matter where you stand on the issues–or even if voters agree!

Even though the quote is older than yesterday, we’re shocked that Troiano allowed himself to go on the record so cynically. The so-called Centrist Project is being sold as a “post-partisan” campaign, but by the executive director’s own admission, what we’re really talking about here is a post-values campaign. The politics of ignorance. The politics of branding and slogans over reality. In every possible way, an insult to the voters this campaign is meant to appeal to.

And we’re sorry, but it’s also the politics of President Donald Trump.

One can only hope the voters in these districts can see through the deception to the cynical bottom line.

That quote will help.