BREAKING: Trump Indicted In Porn Star Hush Money Case

UPDATE #2: Former President Donald Trump confirms via TruthSocial that he has been “indicated.”

Remember, Trump doesn’t fix typos, he “covfefes” them! We have to call being indicted “getting indicated” now.

We don’t make these rules.


UPDATE: Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver is understandably stoked:

While Rep. Jason Crow reminds us of the historic sadness of this moment:


As the New York Times reports, Stormy Daniels will have her revenge:

Donald J. Trump was indicted in Manhattan on Thursday for his role in paying hush money to a porn star, according to five people with knowledge of the matter, a historic development that will shake up the 2024 presidential race and forever mark him as the nation’s first former president to face criminal charges. [Pols emphasis]

In the coming days, prosecutors working for the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, will likely ask Mr. Trump to surrender and to face arraignment. The specific charges will be announced when he is arraigned…

Donald J. Trump responded to the news that he had been indicted in a statement, calling the Manhattan grand jury vote “political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history.”

Mr. Trump’s statement echoed what has been an extraordinary and blistering effort to try to prevent the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, from indicting him.

Rep. Lauren Boebert shrieks at the heavens:

It’s the moment former President Donald Trump warned would result in “death and destruction,” calling on his supporters to “PROTEST PROTEST PROTEST.” It’s since been explained to us that these two statements were not expressly related, and Trump attorney Joseph Tacopina conceded Trump was “ill-advised” to have threatened violence.

We’ll update with reactions from all sides as they come in.

Abolishing The Department of Education, Again and Again

Rep. Lauren Boebert don’t need no (Department of) Education.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Nathan Deal reports, Colorado’s queen of the far-right rodeo (better that than the chef) Rep. Lauren Boebert voted this week for a failed amendment to a Republican education bill with itself little chance of passing the Democratic U.S. Senate. Sixty Republican members joined with Democrats to reject the amendment that would fancifully declare the U.S. Department of Education will stop existing at the end of this year:

The amendment aimed to “add a sense of congress that the authority of the Department of Education and the secretary of Education to operate or administer any office or program related to elementary or secondary education should be terminated on or before Dec. 31, 2023.”

The amendment failed by a 265-161 vote, with 60 Republicans opposing it along with all 205 Democrats. After the vote, Boebert posted a video to her Twitter account elaborating on her stance.

“Our public schools should have local control, not a centralized federal government pushing curriculum that’s way, way far away from reading, writing and arithmetic,” Boebert said. “One hundred and 61 Republicans voted to get rid of the Department of Education, but we still had 60 Republicans join every Democrat to defeat that amendment. The unfortunate reality is that our federal government is going to continue to have a big say on pushing drag shows, gender ideology, Critical Race Theory and all this other woke BS.”

Rather than simply taking Boebert’s word for what the federal Department of Education does, Dennis Webb brought the question before local officials at Mesa County’s School District 51. And the reality is, as you already know from the countless times we’ve heard this solution in search of a problem proposed by Republicans, far less controversial:

According to [District 51 Chief Financial Officer Melanie] Trujillo, about 15% of revenue the district receives each fiscal year comes from federal funds…

“Fifteen percent of our revenue is significant and the needs wouldn’t really change. We would still need to provide meals for our students, we would still need additional interventions for our students that are at-risk, and we would still have the special education services that we’re required to provide,” Trujillo said.

Trujillo added that the district currently does not have a solidified contingency plan in place yet should the U.S. Department of Education be shut down in the coming years because of how heavily the district depends on those dollars for programs like Title I and special education. [Pols emphasis]

Much like Boebert doesn’t understand the difference between federal law enforcement and the New York prosecutor working on ex-President Donald Trump’s hush money case, Boebert doesn’t realize that decisions about “pushing drag shows” or other such topics are decided at the local level. That’s why Colorado, the state Boebert represents in Congress, has robust anti-discrimination laws. That’s also how Boebert’s native state of Florida has been able to transform their public school system into a hostile environment for any kid who doesn’t fit with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 1950s-era moral code.

The real losers if the Department of Education were eliminated, as your own local district will be happy to explain if you ask, would be poor and special-needs students. The gap in public perception and reality encouraged by Boebert’s gross misrepresentation of what the Department of Education does has been exploited by a long line of Colorado Republican candidates, including 2022 Senate loser Joe O’Dea.

It’s considered consequence-free red meat to throw to the Republican base, but under scrutiny it’s a terrible idea. The consequences are very real, and not “woke” in any respect.

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“Advancing Death for No Other Purpose Than to Advance Death”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

As the Colorado Democrats’ “Safe Access to Protected Health Care” package of legislation moves to House for consideration, Republicans have taken to talk radio to share their views on the proposed bills that target the marketing practices of anti-abortion centers and their use of an unproven pill to reverse an abortion, expand legal protections for patients and providers seeking reproductive and gender-affirming health care, and expand insurance coverage for those seeking reproductive health care.

“What we are doing here in Colorado is really just advancing death for no other purpose than to advance death,” said Rep. Stephanie Luck (R-Penrose) during an appearance on the Dan Caplis Show last Thursday. “I don’t believe that [Democrats] see it in those terms. I think that they see it as their moral imperative to provide women in these situations with this opportunity and with this choice. I think that they have framed it in their minds as the righteous cause.”

Republicans aren’t just taking issues with the protections for abortion, but also those for gender-affirming health care. “I think we should all be very concerned, and I think we stop terming it abortion and call it infanticide because it’s really the murder of babies,” said Rep. Brandi Bradley (R-Littleton) during her Thursday appearance on the Kim Monson Show. “The first one, [Senate Bill] 188, is forcing doctors and insurance companies to accept gender-affirming care, which involves sterilization and abortion. They have to do it. They don’t get a religious exemption.”

Bradley during a protest against a Highlands Ranch drag event.

According to the Colorado House Democrats, the bill, which passed out of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, works to protect health care providers and patients from overreaching interstate criminal and civil threats. “Across the country and even here in Colorado, our fundamental freedoms are under attack from harmful transphobic rhetoric, anti-trans bills, and egregious attempts to limit who we are,” said Rep. Brianna Titone (D-Arvada) in a news release. “Our legislation protects those seeking gender-affirming and reproductive health care from politically-motivated, legal overreach by other states. For many people, having access to gender-affirming care is not only validating, but life-saving. This bill prioritizes patients and providers, protects our privacy and upholds your fundamental rights to reproductive and gender-affirming health care.”

Republicans also took issue with Senate BIll 23-190, which targets the use of deceptive marketing practices by anti-abortion centers. “I do believe that this bill will come after pregnancy centers, they’ll come after them by saying that their advertising is a violation and that it’s removing a choice that the woman can have and that they need to be abolished,” said Rep. Mary Bradfield (R-Fountain), during a Monday appearance on the Centennial Institute’s Frontier Freedom Hour. “Which is a shame because, as I see it, the pregnancy centers do not take anything away. They allow the couple to make their own choices. Either way, if they make the choice for life and really need counseling, help with prenatal care and doctors, and especially after the baby is born, all those care things that can be offered are offered through the centers.”

Democrats argue that anti-abortion centers prevent patients from receiving the appropriate care in a timely manner. “In Colorado and across America, maternal outcomes are declining, and anti-abortion centers that use deceptive advertising to draw in vulnerable people seeking care and misleading them with biased and inaccurate information about abortions and contraceptives are only making the problem worse,” said Sen. Janice Marchman (D-Loveland) in a news release. “People who go to these centers looking for help are often misled and stigmatized – the exact opposite of the safe and essential care we are beholden to protect as elected officials. Our bill will crack down on deceptive practices used by some of these bad actors, and is a proactive step we can take towards a future where Coloradans’ freedom to access essential and affirming reproductive health care is truly protected.”


Who is Gonna Win in Denver’s Slow Turnout Election?

The race for Denver Mayor — and other municipal offices — is down to its final days. Election Day is on Tuesday, April 4, which means that if you still have a ballot sitting on your counter at home, DO NOT put it in the mail at this point (CLICK HERE for more information on where to return your ballot).

Ballot returns thus far in Denver are still not great. Of the 453,512 ballots sent out in Denver, just 40,826 had been returned as of today — a rate of about 9 percent. As you can see from the map below via the Denver Elections Division, Denver voters seem to be holding onto the ballots no matter where they live:

The darker the color, the higher the rate of ballot returns.



We’ve told you how we think the race for Denver Mayor might play out. With so many votes still up for grabs, campaigns with strong field programs look to have a massive advantage heading into the final weekend of the race.

If you’re already tired of this race, the good news is that 14 of the candidates for Denver Mayor will be done on Tuesday. The bad news is that the top two vote getters will move to a June 6 runoff election.

Anyway, it’s time for another poll! As always with our totally non-scientific polls, we want to know who you THINK is most likely to happen. We don’t want to know who you support or might prefer as a candidate — we want your informed political opinion to help us predict which candidates everyone will be talking about one week from today:


Who is MOST LIKELY to Make the Runoff Election for Denver Mayor?

View Results

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Ken Buck’s Theater of the AR-bsurd on CNN


Rep. Ken Buck (R) daring Joe Biden to take his AR-15.

Yesterday afternoon, senior White House correspondent for CNN Phil Mattingly recorded a segment with Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck on the subject of gun control laws generally and the AR-15 rifle in particular–the latter being the overwhelming weapon of choice in American mass shootings, and also a personal trophy hanging on the wall of Rep. Buck’s congressional office, one that Buck recently dared Democrats to “come and take.”

The conversation began with a discussion of “red flag” laws like Colorado’s, which Buck asserts would not have prevented the most recent school shooting in Nashville, since it “hasn’t stopped gun violence in Colorado and it won’t.”

Phil Mattingly [00:01:51] But I think this kind of gets to my question because I wasn’t asking about the guns specifically here. This was an individual that had known mental health issues, was seeing a doctor for those mental health issues and yet was able to get access to guns to use. And you’re saying red flag laws in Colorado- You’ve opposed red flag laws generally, particularly on a national scale in the past- wouldn’t work. So those things don’t necessarily net out. What’s your answer here, then?

Buck: Well, my answer is I don’t know what the law is in Tennessee. If you’re telling me there’s no red flag law.

Mattingly: There’s not.

Buck: I don’t oppose red flag laws that give defendants, in this case, the gun owner, the right to appear in court and defend themselves. The problem, the gun, the red flag law in Colorado is there is no due process… [Pols emphasis]

As anyone who knows how Colorado’s “red flag” law works already knows, Buck is straight-up lying when he claims there is “no due process.” A temporary extreme risk protection order (ERPO) requires a hearing and a judge’s order, and the one-year ERPO comes only after a second hearing. It’s not the first time we’ve marveled at this former prosecutor’s seeming total ignorance about laws he is professionally charged with understanding.

From there, the interview turned to Ken Buck’s beloved piece of wall art–since the bolt of the weapon allegedly isn’t present, as the D.C. District Attorney’s office learned to their chagrin, it’s not a fully illegal assault rifle. But with AR-15s just like Buck’s continuing to cause disproportionate harm in mass shootings happening almost daily, it’s certainly fair to ask Buck whether he stands by his previous bravado.

And that’s where things took a turn for the weird:


Dave Williams’ GOP Gets To Work Wrecking Itself

Colorado GOP chairman Dave Williams.

As Colorado Public Radio’s Caitlyn Kim reports today, with the Colorado Republican Party now firmly under the control of far-right chairman Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams, one of the first orders of business is the long-sought goal of closing the Republican primary to insufficiently “America First” unaffiliated voters:

“The Colorado Republican Committee wishes to explore a lawsuit against the State of Colorado, which would challenge the constitutionality of Proposition 108,” stated the letter, written on behalf of the party by attorneys with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. The legal fund would defray the costs of legal action.

In 2016, Colorado voters approved Proposition 108, which allowed unaffiliated voters, now the state’s largest bloc, to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary. The law does have a provision allowing a party to opt out of the open primary system and instead pick its candidates through a caucus process, but 75 percent of the members of the state central committee must support the move…

“We must work to close the primaries so that only Republicans choose our Republican nominees,” he said. “We cannot afford to let Democrats become unaffiliated so that they then can meddle in our primaries, like they did with (Rep.) Lauren Boebert. We must defend and protect our caucus assembly.”

Williams’ choice of Rep. Lauren Boebert as an example of the supposed harm of semi-open primaries is on the one hand ridiculous, since whatever attempt mounted last year by Democrats in CD-3 to tip the GOP primary to Don Coram failed miserably based on the results. On the other hand, examples Williams didn’t cite of who would benefit from closing the party’s primaries are much more telling: close allies like former Rep. Ron Hanks, who dominated the state assembly before going on to lose to Joe O’Dea. Former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters likewise won the top line at the 2022 GOP assembly. Not to mention Williams’ own dismally failed run against Rep. Doug Lamborn. These are the candidates who would directly, perhaps decisively benefit from excluding unaffiliated voters from the primary. None of them can win a primary under the current rules, and last year none of them did. But after the “establishment” Republican picks all went down in November of 2022, they feel perversely vindicated.

The intent of the proponents of 2016’s Proposition 108 was to encourage “moderation” in both parties by allowing presumably neutral unaffiliated voters to take part in the primary process. But for the ideologically strident far-right activists in control of the Colorado GOP today, that’s the exact opposite of how they want primaries decided, and a threat to their newfound control. At the same time, pursuing a legal challenge against the law instead of simply taking advantage of the existing provision to close the primary with a 75% vote of the central committee is a clear sign that Williams doesn’t have the support he needs to go the simpler route.

Make no mistake: as much as the Colorado GOP leadership elections themselves, the weighty decision of whether to close off the party from unaffiliated input in their primaries is a crucial inflection point for the party’s immediate and long-term future. Closing the primary would insulate and empower far-right candidates like Hanks and Peters, but then those candidates would have to stand in the general election where they would face certain annihilation at the hands of Colorado’s leftward-trending electorate. There has rarely been a clearer proposition for short-term gain and long-term pain.

If Republicans are more interested now in ideological purity than victory, and that seems to be Dave Williams’ bent, closing the primary makes sense. It’s catastrophic to anyone who wants Republicans to be competitive in future Colorado elections.

Maybe there really aren’t any left.

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Oltmann Hosts John Tiegen’s Election Pre-Denial Crew

Colorado Springs Mayor candidate John Tiegen.

This evening, Colorado’s premiere election conspiracy theorist and would-be mass political hangman Joe Oltmann is hosting a panel of nether-right election denialists, pastor Matthew Trewhella famous for calling violence against abortion providers “justifiable homicide,” and Colorado Springs mayoral candidate John “Tig” Tiegen to talk about being big bad tough guys who “stand in the gap” against…

In the case of discredited New Mexico professor David Clements, as the Washington Post reported last fall, the “gap” is local elections officials.

Clements’s strategy is to target his message locally: to county commissioners and clerks, jobs that are lower profile but that wield an outsize role in administering America’s decentralized election system. If local jurisdictions fail to certify their votes, it could throw the outcome of an election into chaos, raising doubt about the results and giving ammunition to losing candidates who refuse to accept their defeats.

Clements is one among a tightknit circle of Trump supporters who travel the country as self-appointed election fraud evangelists. [Pols emphasis] They embrace the instructions of leaders like former Trump adviser turned podcaster Stephen K. Bannon, who has urged election deniers to run for local races and sign up to be poll workers in what he calls his “precinct-by-precinct” takeover strategy.

It’s easy to laugh at what appears to be a traveling sideshow cashing in on lingering doubts among Republicans despite any evidence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. But keep in mind how both the Colorado Republican Party and the local El Paso County GOP have been taken over by far-right activists who wholeheartedly agree. Clements’ “precinct-by-precinct” takeover looks very much the strategy adopted in Colorado by grassroots activists led by new chairman Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams.”

Similarly, last summer NPR profiled Clements’ friend and frequent speaking tour circuit companion Seth Keshel:

On a quiet Tuesday night in Howard County, Md., dozens of people gather in a community center and listen to Seth Keshel’s 10-point plan.

“Captain K,” as he’s known in election fraud circles, is a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, and he is walking through his go-to presentation: comparisons of vote totals from the past few election cycles, which he falsely claims prove President Biden’s win in 2020 was illegitimate. His 10-point plan to “true election integrity” includes banning all early voting and requiring all American voters to re-register.

In short, on a stage in Colorado Springs you’ve got two devoted nationally-prominent election deniers, a pastor who says killing abortion providers is justifiable, and the local gun store owner who personally invented the Dominion Voting Systems conspiracy theory and fantasizes about building “gallows all the way from Washington, D.C., to California” to hang politicians in both parties he doesn’t like.

And a candidate for Mayor of Colorado Springs.

If this doesn’t make you at least a little worried about how militia commander John “Tig” Tiegen might respond to his likely defeat in next month’s city election, consider paying closer attention.

Of Course Lauren Boebert Now Supports Earmarks

It has been said that hypocrisy is not a bug, but a feature of the modern Republican Party. We saw it in 2022, when Republicans promoted candidates across the country (Herschel Walker in Georgia, Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania, and even Joe O’Dea in Colorado, to name a few) who expressed ideas that were contradictory to their own self-professed beliefs or to other Republican ideals in general.

Nevertheless, there are some examples of hypocrisy that are more egregious than others. Few politicians embody the many problems of the Republican Party more than Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle), and hypocrisy is one of her greatest, uh, strengths.

After spending years bemoaning the very idea of congressional earmarks as corrupt and wasteful, Boebert is now suddenly embracing the idea of bringing pork back to her district. As Charles Ashby reported last week for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:

Despite long being vehemently opposed to congressional earmarks, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert is accepting requests for them.

Over the past two years, Boebert has called such earmarks “corrupt” and “a waste of taxpayer money,” and something only “swamp creature” career politicians would request.

Regardless, staffers for the Silt Republican have sent emails to local officials saying the congresswoman would accept their requests if they made them by today, but isn’t promising if she will submit anything specifically.

“Because of new changes to the House rules, Congresswoman Boebert will now be accepting Community Project Funding submissions,” Raven Finegan, the West Slope field representative to Boebert, wrote in a March 6 email to the Mesa County commissioners.

This is quite the flip-flop from Boebert, though a staffer was quick to point out that the Congresswoman might still flip back in the other direction:

“Please note, the congresswoman is not committed to submitting any Community Project Funding requests, and if she does they will be limited to known priorities with a significant impact on Colorado’s Third Congressional District,” Finegan added.

Um, okay.

In other words, Boebert was always opposed to earmarks but will now support them until she doesn’t.

Boebert claims that her earmark flip-flop is because of a change in House rules that would require floor votes on specific budget requests, or something, but that doesn’t change the fact that she spent the previous couple of years unambiguously trashing the very idea of an earmark (see HERE, HERE, and HERE for just a few examples).

Boebert’s explanation for her 180-degree shift was not well received by the editorial board of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, which opined a few days later on her hypocrisy in an editorial titled, “Wait, earmarks are OK now?”

We were left scratching our heads this week after learning that U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert has flipped her stance on congressional earmarks. She had been vocally opposed to the practice as recently as a few months ago. So what changed? [Pols emphasis]

According to reporting by The Daily Sentinel’s Charles Ashby, Boebert has come around to the practice of members of Congress submitting funding requests for their districts. This comes after years of our congresswoman calling earmarks “corrupt” and “a waste of taxpayer money,” and something only “swamp creature” career politicians would request.

The stated reason for her change of heart is that the new Republican House majority changed the rules around how it would handle earmarks.

The Sentinel editorial board found Boebert’s explanation for her sudden embrace of earmarks to be rather weak:

We’re confused by this argument. Boebert’s previous position was that these earmarks were part of the problem in Washington that needed to be torn down. Congress didn’t need to just tweak some rules here and there. This was a corrupt practice and it needed to go. [Pols emphasis]

“The American people are tired of the D.C. way. At a time when our projected deficit for 2021 is $2.3 trillion, it is wrong that career politicians want to line their own pockets by using earmarks to pay off campaign donors and special-interest groups. Tax dollars are not politicians’ personal wallets, and they should stop treating them as such,” Boebert stated in 2021 when earmarks were reintroduced by House Democrats…

Boebert on the other hand has never been wishy-washy on this subject, which is why this turn is so odd. In the previous Congress she went so far as to vote against bills she agreed with because they contained earmarks. These were bills that she later touted as achievements, but her stance on earmarks meant she could not vote for them. [Pols emphasis]

Boebert’s change of heart on earmarks is pretty easy to explain once you get past the sheer hypocrisy of the decision. After winning re-election by a mere 546 votes in a district that she should have won easily, Boebert is clearly feeling the heat to produce SOMETHING for the people of CO-03 beyond an ever-growing pile of idiotic tweets; constant (and often confused) criticism of the Biden administration; and bringing pictures of human fetuses to a hearing on endangered species. She’ll never get any legislation passed in the comically-inept House Republican caucus, so her best shot at producing real, tangible results for the good people of Congressional District Three is to try to bring home some bacon.

Boebert seems to understand that her angertainment brand of politics does not impress the non-MAGA voters in her district, but she doesn’t really WANT to change her habits even if she knew how. In the aftermath of her narrow re-election victory, Boebert pledged to “take the temperature down” on inflammatory partisan politics in Washington DC. She broke that promise within a matter of weeks.

Frankly, Boebert does more to help Democrats (albeit inadvertently) than she does for Republicans. Her constituents can only hope for leftover scraps from their elected representative, and that’s why Boebert is suddenly in favor of an earmark process that she long derided as “pork” and “corruption.” Boebert is hoping that CO-03 voters will forget that she ignored them for the last three years so long as she can get the federal government to write a couple of checks to support local interests ahead of the 2024 election; then she can get back to focusing on what meaningless words she’ll mutter at the next Turning Point USA conference.

“Caucus of One”: Mike Lynch and The Art of Losing The Deal


Colorado House Minority Leader Mike Lynch (R).

The biggest political news of the last week in Colorado has been the end after weeks of increasing obstruction by the Republican micro-minority in the Colorado House of the Democratic supermajority’s patience–leading to the invoking this past weekend of the body’s longstanding Rule 14 to limit debate on an individual piece of legislation, thus putting a hard cap on the minority’s ability to filibuster.

Last night, 9NEWS’s Marshall Zelinger delved a little deeper into the circumstances leading up to Democrats using the so-called “nuclear option” to put an end to endless stall tactics from a GOP minority with no power to stop these bills from passing. As it turns out, House Minority Leader Mike Lynch had been in the process of leveraging his minority’s obstruction into concessions on some of the proposed legislation in negotiations with Democratic leadership. Had that effort been successful, Republicans could have called their whole obstructive effort a win for gun rights. But it was not to be:

“We had a few deals on the table to stop the filibuster on that bill,” [Rep. Javier] Mabrey said.

“One was to change some of the language that made the standard of proof a little higher for someone that was taking on these lawsuits. The other was to cut out the conceal portion of it, so if somebody has a product that helps conceal a gun, then they would be cut out of it,” said House Minority Leader, State Rep. Mike Lynch, R-Wellington…

“Of the 50-plus amendments that we had, we had distilled it down to three that they could agree with, and we could agree with,” Lynch said. “This was substantive changes that really did help industry here in the state.” [Pols emphasis]

When Republican lawmakers refused to stop unlimited debate, the Democrats used Rule 14, which limits debate.

How does Lynch explain the failure of his own caucus to fall in line?

“How that went down on our side is somewhat irrelevant, but we had folks that wanted more out of the deal,” Lynch said. “I’ve learned from my leadership training throughout the years, it’s never good to throw your own team under the bus. That is a leadership challenge for me to take care of and I plan on doing that. [Pols emphasis] We’re not going to lose any good deals like that, I will say.”

Obviously, the failure of the Republican caucus to abide by the agreement made by their Minority Leader is extremely relevant, and the real “leadership issue” that Lynch faces rather than not throwing his “own team under the bus.” If Minority Leader Lynch has no authority to enforce agreements with his caucus, there is simply no point for majority Democrats in negotiating with Lynch. Zelinger and 9NEWS host Kyle Clark summed up the problem at the end of the video clip you can watch above:

Kyle Clark: Nobody envies Mike Lynch’s job. The dude has got the smallest caucus in Republican history at the Capitol, and he can’t keep them in line. He’s got people going rogue on him.

Marshall Zelinger: He doesn’t say rogue, he says everyone is their own person, they all have their own ideas, they’re all elected individually. But it is his job, if you’re going to negotiate something like this, it’s his job to be like “Look, we got these things that they didn’t have to give us. But we’ve got to do this,” and that means stop talking. And if someone doesn’t want to stop talking, why would the Democrats be then like “let’s hear you out for this next bill?”

Clark: Yeah. Instead of a caucus of like a dozen, it’s like a caucus of one. Caucus of one. Caucus of one. [Pols emphasis]

By holding together after extracting everything they possibly could from their filibuster in terms of both base-pleasing grandstands and measurable policy changes, Republicans could have emerged from this fracas claiming a measure of victory.

Instead, it’s a lesson in how to reduce what little influence you have left to no influence at all.

Tuesday Open Thread

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

–Upton Sinclair

The Quarter Zip Fleece: Who Wears It Better?

After embattled fabulous fabulist freshman Rep. George Santos made the look infamous, we didn’t expect to see it start a trend. But here today was Sen. Jim Smallwood staying warm and fleece-y in the well of the Colorado Senate:

We’re not knocking the sweater itself, but maybe not as a suit vest? If Gov. Jared Polis can retire the polo shirt/bow tie combination he fearlessly rocked in Congress until GQ intervened, perhaps we can put an end to what’s become known as the “George Santos look.”

Honestly, that ought to do it. No Republican should want to remind you about George Santos.

Republicans Play Out String on Filibuster Stunt

Students and parents at the State Capitol last week

Colorado Republicans are apoplectic after Democrats finally got tired of the GOP’s pointless stall tactics over common sense gun safety legislation – just a week after another school shooting in Colorado – and enacted a rule to limit discussion so that the process of legislating could resume. This was the second House Republican “filibluster” of the month, which took place just weeks after House Republicans held a press conference lambasting Democrats for moving too slowly in discussing a variety of legislative matters.

None of these narrative pieces fit together with any logical consistency, but that’s never the point for this generation of Colorado Republicans. 

As Seth Klamann reports for The Denver Post:

Colorado lawmakers passed two gun reform bills Sunday after three days of Republican filibustering that only ended after House Democrats dusted off a rarely used rule to accelerate votes and end what they described as stall tactics…

…The weekend widened the chasm between the Democratic supermajority and the historically small Republican minority in the chamber. The House worked late into Friday evening having made little progress on SB23-168 — the lawsuit bill — despite attempts to reach a deal on amendments to end a Republican filibuster. Lawmakers returned Saturday morning and pivoted to the red-flag law, hoping to simultaneously negotiate a deal to pass the lawsuit measure.

Republican protests over their inability to stall gun violence prevention legislation looks particularly bad after another horrible school shooting today in Nashville, Tennessee, that killed at least three children and three adults. But even before today’s tragic events, the Colorado GOP struggled to make a coherent argument in their own defense. 

The latest Republicans “filibluster” came after two days of pleas from students and parents who came to the State Capitol from across the Metro Denver area to beg lawmakers to act quickly on enacting more gun safety measures. Republicans tried to avoid those discussions; those who could not – including State Sen. Larry Listoncomplained bitterly about the experience.

Last weekend’s “filibluster” also took place just days after State Rep. Scott “There is No” Bottoms told a church congregation in Colorado Springs that Republicans were unmoved by personal stories of being impacted by gun violence:

“[Democrats] will say, ‘You’ve got your side of the argument and it’s the Constitution, but we’ve got real, live people on our side.’” said Bottoms. “And we’re like, ‘We don’t care.’”

In other words, Republicans spent the last week making it VERY clear that they had no interest in even discussing gun violence prevention proposals. Democrats nevertheless gave Republicans plenty of time to talk about their opposition. Republicans were not interested in negotiating a compromise, so eventually the adults needed to move along with the business that Colorado voters elected them to pursue. 

As Klamann explained further in the Post:

By Saturday night, Republicans showed no sign of slowing their filibuster. Several Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. Javier Mabrey, a co-sponsor of the lawsuit bill, said their side had reached repeated deals with Republican leaders to end debate and pass the bills. But those deals were broken, Mabrey and others said, prompting the majority to enact rule 14 and hasten the bills’ passages… [Pols emphasis]

…“I think that voters expect the people they elect to accomplish what they tell them they’re going to accomplish,” Mabrey said. “I don’t think that obstruction is popular. And this is democracy. Elections have consequences.”

Indeed they do. Colorado voters have rejected Republican candidates by wide margins in each of the past three election cycles. In 2022, Democrats won every statewide race by double-digit margins and expanded their majorities in the state legislature. In the State House, a 46-19 Democratic majority has relegated Republicans to the smallest minority in a century.



Republicans tried to flip the script over the weekend in an attempt to turn their own filibuster stunt into a greater grievance related to their own ineptitude. Again, from the Post:

The move drew howls from Republicans. Several already had stickers ready to protest the limitation. Rep. Scott Bottoms, a Colorado Springs Republican, would later call it “fascism” and likened it to a biblical stoning. Dave Williams, the GOP’s newly elected state chair, called Democratic leaders “vile tyrants” in a late Saturday statement. Minority Leader Mike Lynch said Democratic leaders had given in to the “radical fringes” of their caucus.

The language from Republicans was as Trumpian as it gets. New State GOP Chair Dave Williams took time out from forwarding information about the extremist gun group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) to send two separate FUNDRAISING EMAILS blasting Democrats with absurd rhetoric. Here’s a sample from Williams’ second email:

As you may have heard, the reprehensible Democrats manipulated House Rules, twice, to silence your elected Republican lawmakers from debating against them on their anti-gun bills because Democrats got triggered and wanted to go home early to try and salvage the rest of their weekend…

…Christian Pastor, Rep. Scott Bottoms, fought back and called out the Democrats for being fascists while reading scripture to them. 

It was a powerful rebuke and the marxist Democrats know it… 

…Rep. Scott Bottoms is a true America-First Patriot who faithfully serves others, even if it costs him personally. All Republicans should rally around him as he fights to protect Colorado from extreme Democrats who are attacking his Christian faith.

We probably don’t need to tell you that nobody was “attacking” Bottoms for his “Christian faith.” 

As to the first sentence above – where Williams asserts that Democrats just wanted to go home for the weekend – Republican Rep. Ryan Armagost messed that one up. The freshman Republican from northern Colorado took to Twitter to complain about Democrats enacting a rule to limit discussion despite the fact that ARMAGOST WASN’T EVEN THERE. 




Earlier this month, House Minority “Leader” Mike Lynch presided over a press conference that generated the following headline from the political website of the Colorado Springs Gazette:


Via the political website of the Colorado Springs Gazette (3/9/23)


Literally one day later, House Republicans started their first attempted filibuster of gun violence prevention legislation. 

Step One: Accuse Democrats of moving too slow in a legislative session limited by law to 120 days.

Step Two: Slow down that same legislative session with pointless filibusters.

Step Three: Yell and scream after Democrats get tired of listening to your time-wasting antics.

Step Four: Send fundraising emails about your new victimhood.


That March 9 story from reporter Marianne Goodland includes a rather embarrassing quote from Rep. Gabe Evans (R-Fort Lupton) that did not age well:

“What conversations are we not having while we’re arguing about firearms?”


Republicans have long suspected that Democrats might eventually limit their filibuster attempts when it became obvious that the GOP had no intention of actually negotiating on proposed legislation. As Jesse Paul wrote for The Colorado Sun on March 16:

House Minority Leader Mike Lynch said his caucus would “fight that with all we’ve got” if Democrats were to limit debate.“I think that’s an issue that deserves national coverage,” he said. “For a state legislature to be a bully and shut down what tools we’ve got, I think that’s a big deal.”

In the House and Senate, the chamber could limit second-reading debate to as little as an hour through a simple majority vote. 

Wasting time and forcing Democrats to put a stop to it was ALWAYS a pre-planned stunt by Republicans, though they have had a hell of a time trying to keep their rhetoric straight. In response to a question from The Denver Post, Lynch even acknowledged that he is at the mercy of the nutballs:

Asked about his own caucus’s right wing, whom Democrats said had scuttled negotiations, Lynch acknowledged that “we suffer from the fringes.” 

Nevertheless, Lynch told the Post that the Republican response to being called out for their own stupid delay tactics will be…to initiate more stupid delay tactics:

He indicated Republicans will now ask for more bills to be read at length over the remaining six weeks of the session — meaning their entire text read aloud, eating up more valuable time — as a response. 

Remember: This is the same guy who stood in front of a podium a few weeks ago blaming Democrats for moving too slowly in conducting legislative business:

House Minority “Leader” Mike Lynch (R-udderless) blames Democrats for slow pace of legislative session one day before first GOP filibuster.


This is all nonsense. All of it.

These are the actions of a small minority of Republicans who cater exclusively to the right-wing MAGA fringe of the GOP and have no ideas about anything. What happened over the weekend has nothing to do with fascism, marxism, antidisestablishmentarianism or any other rhetorical “-ism.” It is political theater and nothing more.

The story here isn’t that House Democrats enacted a rule that limits Republicans from wasting everyone’s time for no policy-related purpose. The real story is that House Republicans rendered such a rule to be necessary.

Lauren Boebert Pays Respect To January 6th Insurrectionists

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

As NBC News reported, not that you can call it a surprise:

Members of the House Oversight Committee on Friday toured a Washington, D.C., jail where some Jan. 6 defendants are being held and offered contrasting descriptions of conditions inside the facility.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who spearheaded the visit, painted a picture of constitutional violations and overall mistreatment, while her Democratic counterparts said the defendants were being treated fairly with nothing out of the ordinary…

GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who was also on hand for the tour, was seen exchanging a hug with Micki Witthoeft, the mother of Ashli Babbitt, a Jan. 6 rioter who was shot by police as she jumped through a broken window while members of Congress fled.

Earlier this month when Fox News host Tucker Carlson unleashed widely-discredited selective footage attempting to recast of the violence of the January 6th, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol as “mostly peaceful chaos,” Boebert seized on Carlson’s false depiction of events and claimed the hundreds in custody and facing charges stemming from the events that day were wrongly imprisoned. Ironically, the fate of Ashli Babbit, who was killed by Capitol police at the front of a crowd smashing its way into the House chambers, runs directly counter to Carlson’s peaceful narrative–not that logical inconsistencies have ever much troubled Boebert.

Though clearly intended as theater, fortunately a couple of Democrats tagged along on the House Oversight Committee’s field trip to D.C. jail to set the record straight:

Rep. Jasmine Crockett of Texas, a former public defender, described the visit as “political theater,” adding that she “didn’t see anything that was alarming.”

California Rep. Robert Garcia told reporters that the defendants were “being treated very fairly appropriately,” adding that Republicans were “treating these insurrectionists like they’re pseudo celebrities.”

It’s in Boebert’s interest as much as the January 6th rioters facing justice to downplay every part of the events of that day, from the violence to the incitement of that violence from Republican politicians like Donald Trump and Boebert herself. Part of that effort involves manufacturing sympathy for those facing criminal charges, and bemoaning prison conditions they celebrate as “deterrent” when applied to “ordinary” criminals.

The moral of the story is that yes, jail sucks–but so does rioting at the Capitol because you don’t like how the last election went. And as part of a larger strategy to derail the certification of Joe Biden’s victory and keep Trump in office, which Boebert supported and even wielded as a threat in reference to her “constituents outside the building right now,” the rioters were doing something worse than merely rioting.

They were carrying out an insurrection. Right up to the moment of failure, Boebert was part of it.

Every time Boebert wants to remind voters of this, get out of her way and let her.