Updating “The Big Line: 2022” and Statewide Colorado Races

The Republican bench in Colorado can fit inside a phone booth, which is a big reason why 2022 has been such a difficult election cycle to predict for the GOP. That doesn’t mean we won’t give it a try.

Last week, Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman updated the rumor mill on potential statewide Republican candidates in 2022. That gives us as good of a news peg as any to update “The Big Line: 2022.” Here’s how things look for the five statewide races that will be on the ballot in Colorado…

 

U.S. SENATE

Sen. Michael Bennet

Incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet is the first U.S. Senator from Colorado to even seek a third term in office since Gordon Allott in 1966 (remember to credit Colorado Pols when you get this question right while playing “Obscure Colorado Trivia Pursuit”). Bennet dispatched then-District Attorney Ken Buck in 2010 before lucking out with Darryl Glenn as his Republican opponent in 2016, and the trend toward terrible GOP opponents seems likely to continue. 

A few Republicans have officially filed paperwork to run in 2022, including people named Juli Henry, Peter Yu, and Erik Aadland. Since Donald Trump will be “re-appointed” as President before any of these names are likely to end up in the U.S. Senate, let’s just move along…

Former El Paso County GOP Chairman Eli Bremer indicated his interest in a Senate run back in February (as first reported by Luning); that trial balloon was met with a collective shrug from Republicans, but Bremer hasn’t given up on this dream just yet. Aside from Bremer, two names seem to be popping up more than others for Republicans: Clarice Navarro and Dan Caplis (no, seriously). 

Navarro is a former State Representative from Pueblo who resigned her seat in 2017 to take a job in the Trump administration as the Colorado Farm Service Agency’s state executive director. Navarro currently works as Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s District Director, which appears to be a fairly irrelevant position. Boebert political advisers like Laura Carno are advising Navarro on making a bid for Senate, and Navarro is taking a close look at running from what we hear.

Caplis is a silly right-wing radio host and ambulance-chasing defense lawyer who has been threatening to run for one office or another for more than a decade. Last fall, Caplis was talking about challenging Gov. Jared Polis in 2022, but he seems to have since changed his focus to the U.S. Senate. Normally we’d just ignore Caplis, but from what we hear, he is actively trying to put together a staff and is willing to front the money for salaries, which is more than can be said for any other potential Republican candidate at this point.

Bottom Line: After Democrat John Hickenlooper’s convincing 2020 Senate win, national Republicans aren’t going to target Bennet in 2022. Whoever emerges as the Republican nominee will have to do most of the work themselves. Bennet is safe here.

 

 

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Felicidades, (Nominado) Embajador Ken Salazar

UPDATE: Accolades incoming:

—–

Ken Salazar with former President Barack Obama.

Just in from the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter, though it’s been a prevalent rumor for some weeks now:

President Joe Biden has nominated Ken Salazar, a former U.S. senator from Colorado, to serve as the next ambassador to Mexico.

Salazar, 66, is the former secretary of the interior under President Barack Obama and had served as a Democrat in the U.S. Senate for four years before that. He is currently an attorney at WilmerHale and founder of the firm’s Denver office.

Salazar’s nomination will now go to the U.S. Senate, which must confirm him before he can take over the U.S. embassy in Mexico City.

Former Interior Secretary and U.S. Senator Ken Salazar’s expected nomination to serve as ambassador to Mexico was originally reported by Axios back in April, and we’ve been waiting since then to see it made official. Far from a patronage appointment, serving as ambassador to Mexico is one of America’s most challenging diplomatic posts, and we expect Salazar, a leading elder statesman to a whole generation of Colorado Democrats, will be very busy once confirmed.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (June 15)

Happy Global Wind Day; please celebrate responsibly. Let’s 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 an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

New information is emerging showing the depths to which former President Trump and his minions sank in their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. As The Washington Post explains:

President Donald Trump’s staff began sending emails to Jeffrey Rosen, the No. 2 at the Justice Department, asking him to embrace Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election at least 10 days before Rosen assumed the role of acting attorney general, according to new emails disclosed by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in advance of a hearing to probe the causes of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

On the same day as the electoral college met to certify the election results — which was also the day Trump announced that William P. Barr would be stepping down as attorney general — his assistant sent Rosen an email with a list of complaints concerning the way the election had been carried out in Antrim County, Mich.

The file included a forensic analysis of the Dominion Voting Systems machines the county employed, alleging they were “intentionally and purposefully” calibrated to create fraudulent results, and “talking points” that could be used to counter any arguments “against us.”…

…The claims were false.

The email — one of several previously undisclosed records released by the Oversight Committee Tuesday morning — sheds light on the type of pressure Trump was putting on the Justice Department to take up his crusade against Joe Biden’s 2020 victory.

The good news here is that DOJ official seem to have responded to Trump’s demands with the appropriate level of dismissal:

 

As The New York Times reports, the Biden administration is putting together plans for combatting domestic extremism:

The Biden administration is aiming to bolster information sharing with technology companies, potentially expand hiring of intelligence analysts and improve screening of government employees for ties to domestic terrorism as part of a much-anticipated plan expected to be released on Tuesday detailing how the federal government should combat extremism.

President Biden ordered the review of how federal agencies addressed domestic extremism soon after coming into office, part of an effort to more aggressively acknowledge a national security threat that has grown since the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

The 32-page plan synthesizes steps that have been recommended by national security officials — including bolstering relationships with social media companies and improving information sharing among law enforcement agencies — into one blueprint on how to more effectively identify extremists in the country after years of heightened focus on foreign terrorists.

 

Things are getting weird(er) in Grand Junction, as COVIDiots come out to yell at the Mesa County Commissioners.

 

Governor Jared Polis is holding bill signing ceremonies in Northern Colorado today, with stops in Longmont, Greeley, and Ft. Collins on the schedule.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Hardcore Homegrown COVIDiots Come Out To Play In GJ

600,000 dead Americans makes this an especially funny joke, doesn’t it?

As KREX-TV Grand Junction reports, an undeniable correlation between high infection rates for COVID-19 and low vaccination rates for the eligible population is making itself painfully clear–as one of the state’s most conservative political strongholds, Mesa County, struggles at what everyone hopes is the tail end of the pandemic:

Heather Ross with the Colorado Department of Public Health says there is a reason Mesa County is still seeing high infection rates, “Our county-level data across Colorado shows a pretty striking correlation between high vaccination rates and low infection rates. So, what you’re seeing in Mesa County right now is the opposite; you’ve got a low vaccination rate and a high infection rate,” she says.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the state currently has over 500,000 cases of COVID-19, with Mesa County having the lowest vaccination rate in Colorado’s most populated counties.

While the rate of vaccinations remains low, the number of hospitalized COVID patients is rising. From march 11th to June 9th, COVID hospitalizations have gone up forty percent, according to state and local health agencies. [Pols emphasis]

Mesa County’s 38% vaccination rate, as KREX reports, is dead last among Colorado’s most populated counties. With hospitalization data showing that all but a tiny fraction of COVID patients at this point are unvaccinated, the cause of this correlation is painfully clear–willfully unvaccinated people are directly responsible for the virus continuing to circulate in certain parts of the state. The danger posed by this situation affects all of us, not just those choosing to not get vaccinated, since continued circulation of the virus is what makes the potential emergence of a variant that could threaten vaccinated people possible.

From the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mesa County has been a hotbed of partisan political resistance to measures implemented to control the spread of the virus. Last March, Colorado Senate GOP leaders decried Gov. Jared Polis’ emergency orders by complaining bitterly that Mesa County had seen “just six confirmed cases of COVID-19.” Rep. Lauren Boebert all but orders her loyal social media followers not to take the “experimental vaccine.” Earlier this month, the Colorado Times Recorder reported on a conference organized in Grand Junction by Boebert’s former campaign manager Sherronna Bishop devoted to COVID-19 pseudoscience and featuring an array of, to put it as diplomatically as possible, total crackpots that no responsible person should listen to.

Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland (R).

And then last night, as the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, a mob of angry Mesa County residents confronted their fellow Republican county commissioners, warning of not just civil war but holy war. We’re not experts on the subject, but we do believe that holy war is way worse than civil war:

Comparing government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic with “medical tyranny” and the vaccine for it with a Nazi-like “medical experiment,” a group of Grand Valley residents descended on the Mesa County commissioners Monday to denounce efforts to combat the coronavirus and call for the county to be made a “constitutional sanctuary.”

Not doing so could lead the nation into a holy war, or at least a second civil war, they said…

In calling on the county to do more, one person referred to their efforts as “a holy war,” while another said the post World War II Nuremberg trials made clear the immorality of forced medical experiments, saying the vaccines developed to combat the virus were part of that.

All said they didn’t trust the state and local governments in their efforts to deal with the public health crisis — some even questioned whether it constituted a pandemic — while one person claimed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was a private group earning a profit on the sale of the vaccines.

The description in this story of Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland, who our long-time readers know is herself a hard-right red-meat slinging conservative activist, futilely trying to reason with these unhinged people threatening violence over something as simple as a privately-funded $500 drawing to incentivize getting voluntarily vaccinated, might evoke sympathy if you don’t know the players involved. But don’t weep for Rowland: virtually every Republican holding power today in Mesa County has at one point or another either openly cultivated support from the fringe right or made peace with it enough to operate. These are their people. This is the Republican base.

While all three commissioners told the speakers that they were sympathetic, they defended [Public Health Director Jeff] Kuhr’s and the county’s actions in dealing with the pandemic as best they could…

If 600,000 dead Americans aren’t enough to make these “sane Republicans” who we keep hearing do exist stand up and reclaim their party, seeing with their own eyes the disastrous consequences of not doing so, we have no idea what it will take to motivate them.

Tuesday Open Thread

“Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce.”

–Molly Ivins

Save the Filibuster…So Republicans Can Kill it First!

Senate Minority “Leader” Mitch McConnell

For anyone who still believes that good-faith bipartisanship remains possible in the U.S. Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would like to assure you otherwise.

As The Hill reports:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled Monday that Republicans, if they win back control of the upper chamber, wouldn’t advance a Supreme Court nominee if a vacancy occurred in 2024, the year of the next presidential election.

“I think it’s highly unlikely — in fact, no, I don’t think either party, if it were different from the president, would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election,” McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt.

McConnell was asked if a GOP-controlled Senate would take the same tack in 2024 that it did in 2016, when they refused to give Merrick Garland, former President Obama’s final Supreme Court pick, a hearing or a vote on his nomination to fill the vacancy created by the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia…

…McConnell declined to say what Republicans would do if a justice stepped down in mid-2023 and Republican controlled the Senate.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens,” McConnell said, asked by Hewitt if the nominee would get a fair shot.

Via POLITICO (6/14/21)

This is the same Mitch McConnell who said earlier in May that he was “100 percent focused” on stopping the administration of President Joe Biden — regardless of the policies presented by the White House. McConnell is saying unequivocally now that he would prevent the advancement of a Supreme Court nominee by President Biden, just as he prevented the advancement of Merrick Garland in 2016 and rammed through the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett — the kind of nomination that was supposedly done “too close” to an election.

As Sahil Kapur of NBC News points out:

It is ludicrous for Democratic Senators such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to continue to protect “institutions” of the Senate — such as the filibuster — when there is absolutely no question that Senate Republicans don’t give a rat’s ass about tradition or fair play or hypocrisy or anything else. If Democrats don’t push for changes to the filibuster or the 60-vote rule in the Senate, it’s only matter of time before Republicans do it themselves.

Mitch McConnell would probably even tell you as much if you asked.

How Is Hurting The Unemployed A Winning Strategy?

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs).

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, late last week Gov. Jared Polis rejected a call from Colorado’s three Republican members of Congress to cut off supplemental federal unemployment funds based on the incorrect assumption that those funds are operating as a disincentive for workers to return to their their pre-pandemic jobs:

U.S. Reps. Lauren Boebert of Silt, Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs and Ken Buck of Windsor said in a joint letter to Polis on Friday that the added benefit is prompting some people to prefer to stay on unemployment, a stance that is not supported by state labor officials.

That money is part of the $1.2 trillion COVID-19 relief plan that Congress approved in March, which provided direct aid to state and local governments and extended unemployment benefits to those who don’t qualify for regular state aid or have exhausted their state benefits…

Since May, the Republican governors in at least 25 other states, including Utah, Wyoming and Nebraska, have discontinued giving out that money, with some also ending other state or federal benefits in an effort to encourage people to return to work.

Polis and Democratic governors around the nation, however, have resisted that. Instead, Polis instituted a Colorado Jumpstart Incentive Program last month offering those still receiving unemployment insurance money a one-time benefit of up to $1,600 if they ended receiving that aid and returned to work by the end of this month.

Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle).

Last month as Republican governors began to swear off the federal supplemental unemployment benefit, Rep. Lauren Boebert chimed in by suggesting that if we just “take away unemployment bonuses” the economy would quickly reopen. And as Ernest Luning at the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports, Boebert along with Reps. Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn are unanimous today that it’s time to financially flog those deadbeat American workers back to their shifts:

“We must get Coloradans back to work,” Lamborn said in a statement. “I am extremely concerned that what was meant to be a temporary supplemental to help Americans through forced lockdowns has now been weaponized by Democrats in an attempt to raise the minimum wage.”

As we wrote in May, Republicans are relying on mistaken and meanspirited assumptions about the American workforce in order to justify cutting off the expanded unemployment benefits for their own constituents. The reality is that there is no evidence the additional unemployment funds are keeping workers from rejoining the labor pool. The biggest reason, going back to the Grand Junction Sentinel’s report Friday, is that it’s against the law:

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Get More Smarter on Monday (June 14)

Happy Flag Day; please celebrate responsibly. Let’s 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 an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

As The Washington Post reports, Congress returns to session this week with the looming presence of a proposed deal on infrastructure legislation:

At the center of the debate is an infrastructure compromise brokered by 10 Senate Democrats and Republicans. The bloc, largely composed of moderates, now faces the new, tough task of selling their deal to both fellow lawmakers and the White House, just days after talks between President Biden and another group of GOP leaders reached a political impasse.

“We’re talking to folks, one by one, and just asking folks to be open,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) in advance of the new plan’s release.

Some Democrats already have expressed discomfort with the early details of the nearly $1 trillion, five-year package, arguing it should be bigger and more robust in scope. Republicans, meanwhile, signaled there may not be widespread support for it within their own party, either. And the White House said at the end of last week it has “questions” about lawmakers’ approach, as fresh concerns emerged over the potential changes to the gas tax that could help finance the new proposal.

But congressional Democrats have said they are not willing to wait much longer in courting Republicans. They’ve already started laying the groundwork to proceed on infrastructure potentially on their own, relying on a process known as reconciliation that might allow them to advance their favored fixes with only 51 votes, not the 60 that are typically required in the nearly deadlocked Senate.

 

Colorado lawmakers passed 502 new pieces of legislation in the 2021 session. The Colorado Sun narrows down the list to 65 bills you should know about.

 

 Israel will have a new Prime Minister for the first time in 12 years.

 

Governor Jared Polis is holding bill signing ceremonies across the Denver Metro area today. Among the bills that will get his signature are SB21-251 (General Fund Loan Family Medical Leave Program); HB21-1253 (Renewable And Clean Energy Project Grants); and HB21-1265 (Qualified Retailer Retain Sales Tax For Assistance).

In related news, Alex Burness of The Denver Post explains how bills that didn’t make it through the 2021 legislative session may be returning in 2022:

Before the 2021 session ended Tuesday, the party coalesced on policies that will be felt for years to come in the state’s tax code and transportation system, at marijuana dispensaries and gun shops, in courtrooms and classrooms. Lost in the mix were several big-ticket proposals on things like policing, school discipline and workplace harassment.

“In the grand scheme of things, obviously these are very important issues and they’re very personal to a lot of people and it feels very urgent,” Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat, said of the few big Democratic policies that died this year. “Grand scheme of things, getting some of these bills done and making sure we get the policy right over the course of two or three years I think is probably better than rushing something before it’s ready in one year.”

 

More news is available right after the jump…

 

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Boebert Among Republican Study Committee Leaders Who Met With Trump

(Holding coup oops sorry court – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) met with former President Trump last Thursday at his county club in New Jersey.

Boebert’s presence at Bedminster hasn’t been made public, but her mother Shawn Bentz posted pictures of Trump calling her while standing next to her daughter.

Boebert’s office did not immediately return a call requesting comment. This article will be updated with any response received.

According to the New York Post, RSC leaders discussed their policy agenda and political strategy for the 2022 midterm elections:

Ten of the RSC’s members, including task force chairs and members of the group’s steering committee, attended the gathering, where Banks said they laid out their policy vision, which was modeled after Trump’s agenda while he was in office.

New York Post, June 10, 2021

Formed in 1973, the RSC is the House’s oldest conservative caucus. Along with fellow Coloradan Doug Lamborn, Boebert is an ex officio member of the group’s Steering Committee. She is also a member of the even more conservative Freedom Caucus, which Tea Party created in 2015 because they believed the RSC was too cozy with House Republicans’ establishment leadership.

Prior to the Jan. 6 insurrection, Boebert’s mother Shawn Bentz was very active on social media, posting QAnon conspiracies and videos. Boebert herself said she first heard of QAnon from her mother, whom she described as “a little fringe.” Bentz has since deleted those posts and instead largely shares pictures of her famous child.

UPDATE: Boebert has since tweeted a photo of her and Trump, but didn’t explain any context about the meeting.

 

“Recall Polis 2021” Sets Sights On Double #Fail

Checking in as we periodically do on what’s promised to be a third recall campaign against Gov. Jared Polis, there’s a lot of chatter suggesting that another petition drive is in the offing at the end of the month. Readers will recall that the Recall Polis 2021 campaign has promised a 400% bigger effort than the 2020 recall campaign, which is good because Recall Polis 2020 was much less successful than the Recall Polis 2019 campaign was and…well, the math gets complicated but you get the idea. There’s just not much reason at this point to take any of this seriously.

Especially now that their “400% bigger operation” just doubled their workload:

That’s right, folks! Rather than waiting for the general election at its regular allotted interval in November of 2022, this is now apparently a campaign to recall both Gov. Jared Polis and Secretary of State Jena Griswold. We haven’t seen the campaign’s list of grievances against Griswold specifically as of this writing, presumably Scott Gessler is still writing that up at his billable rate of $450 an hour. But to be clear, the signature requirement to qualify a recall question for the ballot against a sitting Secretary of State is the same as recalling Gov. Polis–and the previous two petition campaigns against Gov. Polis came nowhere close to the 630,000+ valid voter signatures required for a recall to move forward. We’ll never even know how far short the second effort fell because they never turned in their signatures to be verified.

As for why they decided to add Secretary of State Griswold, greatly increasing the logistical hurdle they’ve never once come close to successfully reaching for the much higher profile governor himself?

In the timeless words of Forrest Gump, “stupid is as stupid does.”

Weekend Open Thread

“Many a calm river begins as a turbulent waterfall, yet none hurtles and foams all the way to the sea.”

–Mikhail Lermontov

Colorado’s Eighth Congressional District Taking Shape

This proposal from COHCC places an 8th CD in the North Metro area (the pink map).

As The Colorado Sun explains in “The Unaffiliated” newsletter, the Colorado Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (COHCC) is pushing for a congressional redistricting map that places a new 8th CD in the North Metro area:

The group wants the new district to be drawn in north metro Denver and be 35% Hispanic.

The district would include Berthoud, Greeley, Firestone, Dacono, Frederick, Fort Lupton, Longmont, Erie, Northglenn, Brighton and Thornton. In a video, the Hispanic Chamber noted the Interstate 25 corridor north of Denver had the highest growth in the state in the past decade, based on 2019 population estimates.

The chamber said the common interest among those cities includes balancing public health with the economics of oil and gas development.

The city of Aurora would remain in the 6th District, under the Hispanic Chamber’s plan.

A zoomed-in look at the Congressional redistricting map proposed by COHCC.

This proposal from COHCC seems to be gaining some traction in the redistricting discussion. According to a press release from COHCC, “The district prioritizes communities of interest that may be subject to federal legislation around growth and transportation and the intersection of oil and gas development with air- and water-quality concerns.” The group’s website explains the new 8th CD thusly:

This 8th CD is designed as a minority-influence district, with Latinos comprising nearly a third of the voting-age population, and should be competitive for both parties…

…We believe it is critical to avoid any attempts to “pack” minority voices into a single district under the guise of creating a majority-minority district.

The nonpartisan staff for Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission will release a first look at a potential new map on June 23.

Depart Dudley, For KBB Never Knew Ye

Colorado GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown in 2021.

The conclusion of this year’s historically productive session of the Colorado General Assembly was marred, as readers know, by a failed attempt by the hard right wing of the House Republican minority to remove Minority Leader Hugh McKean from his position immediately following adjournment. Freshman Rep. “RagingRon Hanks led the rhetorical assault on McKean, but as the Denver Post’s Alex Burness explains, the same old factional split with which the House GOP started out the session is what’s driving the ongoing conflict:

To the 24 caucus members gathered, Hanks complained they were ineffective, unwilling to fight the Democrats in the majority and generally rudderless. He called for the ousting of the caucus leader, Loveland Rep. Hugh McKean. Over about 45 minutes, the Republicans snapped at one another, cursed, fought over the basic rules of how the meeting should be run — all in front of the media and House GOP staffers.

Recall that McKean became the leader because the caucus decided to move on from former leader and current Rep. Patrick Neville of Castle Rock, who has a record of going after his own colleagues and has been accused by former and sitting Republican lawmakers of mismanaging campaign funds.

The pro-Neville faction, of which Hanks is a part, appears to be even more out of power than a year ago. Other than Lauren Boebert, the far-right, no-compromise culture-war stuff just hasn’t worked on voters, which is one big reason the Colorado GOP is out of power…

Yesterday afternoon, Colorado Republican Party chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown weighed in with a statement co-signed by almost all of the House Republicans who voted 15-8 against ousting McKean, calling out infamous “no compromise” gun-rights organization Rocky Mountain Gun Owners by name in a turnabout that makes the head spin:

Together with Representatives Baisley, Bradfield, Carver, Catlin, Geitner, Holtorf, Larson, Lynch, McKean, Pelton, Pico, Rich, Soper, Van Beber, Will, and Woog, the Colorado GOP urges our fellow Republicans to dismiss false accusations that any member of our House caucus is anti-gun. Every Republican elected to our State House is an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment and will continue to defend each Coloradan’s constitutional right to defend themselves and their families.

This session, Democrats shamefully voted to endanger Coloradans’ concealed carry permits and take away their right to self-defense. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners should join in defending lawful gun owners against the real opponents of the Second Amendment — the Democrats.

Kristi Burton Brown’s public rebuke of RMGO is especially noteworthy since just two years ago in 2019, KBB and RMGO were allies in the disastrous failed recall campaign against Rep. Tom Sullivan of Centennial. The hubris of the Sullivan recall helped break the back of the larger campaign mounted by Republicans following the 2019 legislative session to target vulnerable lawmakers and Gov. Jared Polis for recall campaigns, but it didn’t hurt KBB personally as she ascended to the post of party chairwoman. If anything, the failed recall gave KBB some juice with the conservative grassroots.

Despite the fact that McKean survived the attempt to remove him from his Minority Leader post, the underlying conflict between the “suits” wing of the Republican Party and the activist base who the Neville clan still very much aspires to speak for is not going away. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s low-information big-MAGA energy helped propel KBB past her opposition for party chairwoman, but since then KBB has gone off-message in some troubling ways for conservatives: suggesting that a focus on abortion doesn’t win elections, that there’s no “loyalty test” to former President Donald Trump in today’s Republican Party, and now siding with the corporate wing of the party over her erstwhile RMGO allies.

All we can say is that either KBB has learned a lesson, or she’s about to.

Because this isn’t over, and RMGO has never once in our experience gone away quietly.

Friday Open Thread

“When you’re focused on your enemy, then you are ignoring your allies.”

–Stacey Abrams

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