Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Oct. 20)

Fill out that ballot and get it returned, people! Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 2021. 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 

 

The Washington Post has the latest on efforts by Congressional Democrats to get some sort of big infrastructure deal passed:

President Biden is set to head to Scranton, Pa., on Wednesday to pitch his retooled vision for overhauling federal health care, education, climate and tax laws, even as the future of his signature economic package remains unsettled among Democrats on Capitol Hill.

For Biden and his allies in Congress, the next few days could be critical: Democratic leaders hope they can finally broker a truce to end the public feuding between the party’s ambitious liberals and spending-weary moderates. Some now hope they can reach a deal this week, putting them on track to adopt the full tranche of spending perhaps before the end of the month.

“I think it’s very possible,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said after meeting with House Democratic lawmakers.

A day before the speech, Biden huddled again with the two warring factions and presented the rough outlines for a compromise package that could total between $1.75 and $1.9 trillion over 10 years. The still-fluid price tag is far less than the $3.5 trillion that some Democrats initially envisioned, as the White House seeks to strike a balance between preserving its priorities and cutting costs to satisfy two centrist holdouts, Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

In other words, the path forward is still as clear as mud…as is a proposal to advance some sort of carbon tax.

 

As CNN reports, Senate Republicans are expected to once again vote against new voting rights legislation:

Senate Republicans are expected to block another voting rights bill Wednesday, as some on the left call to change the chamber’s rules to allow the Democratic Party to unilaterally change federal election law.

The Democratic bill, known as the Freedom to Vote Act, would make it easier to register to vote, make Election Day a public holiday, ensure states have early voting for federal elections and allow all voters to request mail-in ballots. The measure would also bolster security on voting systems, overhaul how congressional districts are redrawn and impose new disclosures on donations to outside groups active in political campaigns.

But Republicans have blocked a number of voting rights legislation since Democrats took the House and Senate the past two election cycles.

 

What in the holy hell is going on in Western Colorado?

 

Axios Denver looks at the field of candidates seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in 2022. The story includes a quote from a well-known Republican that is, shall we say, less than inspiring:

“There is no Cory Gardner sitting out there waiting to get in,” said Greg Brophy, a former Republican state senator and lobbyist. “So you have a whole bunch of people, and we are going to see what kind of campaign they can put together.”

Good luck figuring out how to use THAT statement on a campaign mailer.

 

 

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Manchin Takes Aim At Bennet’s Prized Child Tax Credit

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-ish).

As Pat Poblete of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports–while Colorado’s junior Sen. John Hickenlooper reckons with moderate obstinate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia’s deal-killing opposition to the carbon tax Hickenlooper has championed since his 2019 presidential run, Colorado’s other U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is confronted with a threat to the size and scope of his overwhelmingly popular Child Tax Credit from the same Sen. Manchin:

The number of Colorado parents eligible to receive the federal Child Tax Credit could be cut by nearly 70% if congressional Democrats and the Biden administration cave to the demands of one of their Democratic colleagues, according to a new report.

The vast federal program – which sends monthly payments to parents of children 17 years old and younger – has been a top policy priority of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet since the middle of the last decade and was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March as part of a pandemic response package…

Researchers at the self-proclaimed “moderate” Niskanen Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, on Tuesday released estimates based off of Axios’ report showing if Manchin got his way, some 37.4 million children across the country would lose out on federal aid.

And that’s not all:

Colorado would be particularly hard hit based on the projections put together by the Niskanen Center’s Robert Orr and Samuel Hammond. Based on the duo’s projections, roughly 320,000 Colorado kids would be eligible for the credit under Manchin’s proposal, down 67.9% from the roughly 1.1 million currently eligible children.

Sen. Bennet’s goal is to see the Child Tax Credit in its current form extended for a further five years–enough time for the credit to make measurable progress toward the goal of cutting child poverty in half throughout the United States. But because of the perfectly divided 50/50 U.S. Senate, Sen. Manchin now wields a degree of influence over the process that has galled and outraged Democrats across the nation. Manchin, the only Democratic representative left representing a state whose failed economy has embittered a white working-class population, seems to be taking pleasure in his dream-crushing role as he demands a smaller final package for the politically self-serving sake of being smaller.

With the signature priorities of both of Colorado’s U.S. Senators now at Joe Manchin’s mercy, the one thing we say for certain is that both Hickenlooper and Bennet are as frustrated as everyone else over the present state of affairs. What’s happening right now is not why either of them were elected to the U.S. Senate, and it’s not their fault. We can only hope that when the dust settles on a final product, some of the good stuff Colorado’s U.S. Senators have fought for is still in there.

In the long run, the only cure is a majority with a margin that prevents any one Senator from playing God.

The GMS Podcast: Rep. Yadira Caraveo Gets More Smarter

State Representative, Pediatrician, and Congressional candidate Yadira Caraveo

This week on Episode #89 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with State Rep. Yadira Caraveo about her work as a state legislator, a pediatrician, and now, a candidate for Congress in CO-08.

Later, Jason and Ian try to figure out who is the driver of the Republican Senate candidate clown car; we wonder if Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert even knows what she is saying anymore; and we decide that Republican Heidi Ganahl is running the worst campaign for governor in the entire country.

Catch up on previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

WTF? “MyPillow Guy” Crashes GarCo School Board Meeting

Western Slope blogger Anne Landman reports: among all of the bizarre spectacles playing out in school board meetings across the nation this fall as parents respond to continuing measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic based on their political persuasion, last week’s meeting of the Garfield County RE-2 school board earned a spot on the highlight reel simply because of a very special guest star:

In a bizarre scene, “My Pillow guy” Mike Lindell made a cameo appearance alongside Rifle election conspiracist and Tina Peters defender Sherronna Bishop at a Zoomed Garfield County School District RE-2 Board Meeting on October 13.

Bishop appears about three minutes into the meeting, speaking during the public comment period and accusing School Board members of abusing children by “forcing medical devices on them.” She condemns the Board for how her “kid had to wear a mask to his homecoming dance” and how the students were “interrupted” by an adult at the dance who reminded students how to correctly wear their masks. Bishop accused the school board of “assaulting and abusing” children by having them wear masks for protection at school amid the pandemic.

After a member of the school board warns Bishop she has 30 seconds left to speak, a man wearing a shirt and tie moves into the frame with Bishop. He then bends down to where viewers can see his face, and it was the clear the man is Mike Lindell. One of the school board members can be heard in the background saying “Jesse, turn it off!” [Pols emphasis]

It’s worth watching the whole performance starting at about three minutes in with a few technical difficulties. Sherronna Bishop, for any who still don’t know, is the former campaign manager for Rep. Lauren Boebert, and close confidante of embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters under criminal investigation for an elections system data breach in Peters’ office. Bishop accompanied Clerk Peters on “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell’s private jet to South Dakota for Lindell’s “Cyber Symposium” that examined the stolen data in an ultimately fruitless attempt to show the 2020 elections were stolen.

Bishop has also been very active in the Western Slope’s “resistance movement” against every kind of COVID-19 prevention measure, traveling from her home in Garfield County to help rabble-rouse against the all-GOP Mesa County Board of Commissioners and promoting the usual range of far-right quackery instead of scientifically proven best practices. But much like Bishop’s fact-addled failed attempt to convince Mesa County commishes the election was stolen, after a few minutes of incoherent ranting you always come to a moment like this one:

Where nothing makes sense but there’s a lot of yelling, and you agree Jesse should just turn it off.

“MyPillow Guy” and “America’s Mom.” The new Colorado Republican Dynamic Duo? Denver Republicans may want to move on, but the Slope isn’t having it.

Democratic Candidates in CO-03 are Burning Money

Drunken Sailor

There is a clear winner in the fundraising battle in Congressional District 3, where multiple candidates are hoping to win the Democratic nomination for the right to face incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert in November 2022. You probably won’t recognize any of their names, unfortunately. 

The consultants are cleaning up in CO-03.

According to the latest campaign finance reports via the FEC, a handful of consulting firms and individuals are taking home the bulk of the money that is being raised by Democratic candidates in CO-03. Eight candidates (Kerry Donovan, Sol Sandoval, Don Valdez, Debora Burnett, Colin Wilhelm, Gregg Smith, Colin Buerger, and Kellie Rhodes) have combined to raise $2.8 million in the 2022 cycle, which is more than the total amount raised by Boebert thus far ($2.73 million).  

The problem here is that these eight Democrats have already combined to SPEND more than $2 million. That’s a cumulative burn rate of 72%. You don’t need to be a math whiz to understand that these numbers are not sustainable. 

Two of these Democratic candidates are no longer running; Donovan suspended her campaign after redistricting produced an unfavorable map, and Smith disappeared almost as quickly as he materialized in the first place (check out this Washington Post story from Dave Weigel for more on Smith). But the top two remaining Democrats in the field (Sandoval and Valdez) are burning through nearly 9 out of every 10 dollars they raise. 

That’s a lot of cash that is vanishing into the pockets of consultants. 

Sandoval has about $49k in the bank after paying more than $41,000 to “Middle Seat Consulting” for “fundraising consulting” and $13,000 to “The Strategy Division” for “fundraising consulting” and “management services.”

Valdez has just $29,182 in the bank as of September 30, 2021, because he’s written checks for more than $63,000 to a digital consulting firm called “Break Something” and and more than $12,000 to “Sterling Strategies” for “communications consulting services.” 

Sandoval and Valdez are both spending thousands of dollars on merchant fees for “Act Blue,” which is a necessary expense. Neither are spending unusual amounts on staffing, though at their current fundraising rates, salaries are quickly becoming a luxury item. 

The biggest overall winner is a Colorado firm called “Ascent Digital Strategies,” which collected more than $550,000 for digital fundraising services. Only Boebert spent this kind of money with a single consulting firm, shelling out more than $350,000 to “Rock Chalk Media” for direct mail and advertising expenses. 

How does this happen? If you are running against someone as well-known and as disliked (around the country) as Boebert, you’ll get a fair amount of money just from emails and social media posts that target donors who are simply irritated with the incumbent Republican. When the early money comes easily, it’s tempting to think it will always flow that fast.

It’s also true that you have to spend money to make money with online fundraising, but some of these exorbitant expenditures are difficult to rationalize. If the majority of your contributions are being used to raise more money, you’re basically just running in circles. Most of the money raised by a given campaign SHOULD be stuffed inside a mattress in order to pay for television and digital advertising closer to the election date (Primary or General Election).  

Obviously, this can’t continue if Democrats are to have any hope of defeating Boebert in 2022. In fact, it might be time to resurrect our “Drunken Sailor Awards,” a feature we ran on Colorado Pols in 2017-18 to look at how much money the top candidates for public office were spending in a given fundraising period.

Manchin, Tester Knock Down Hick’s Carbon Tax Aspirations

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D).

Politico reporting in their Congress Minutes brief today on news that will disappoint progressive Democrats who are hoping to see aggressive action to combat human-caused climate change in the budget reconciliation bill:

Key moderate senators are resisting efforts to impose a carbon tax as part of their climate action plan, sending progressives back to the drawing board.

Sen. Joe Manchin plainly told reporters Tuesday morning that “the carbon tax is not on the board at all right now.” And Sen. Jon Tester said separately “you might have problems with me on a carbon tax.”

“I just don’t think you can implement it. I use a lot more fuel than [a trucker does], and we’re both going to get the same check and it’s going to make us whole? It’s just not going to work. So I’ve got some issues with the carbon tax myself.” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) told POLITICO.

Although a tax on carbon pollution gained new impetus in recent days after moderate obstinate Democratic Senators led by Sen. Joe Manchin shot down a previous incentive-based plan to encourage carbon reduction, it’s worth remembering as Colorado Newsline’s Chase Woodruff reported at the end of August that we’re talking about a longstanding proposal from Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, who ran for President in 2019 on a platform of (among other things) taxing carbon:

As negotiations over a high-stakes budget bill begin in Washington, D.C., Colorado Sen. John Hickenlooper told constituents in a virtual town hall on Monday that a carbon-pricing mechanism to combat climate change tops his wish list for the legislation.

“The thing I’d like more than anything is to get a price on carbon,” Hickenlooper said. “It would be so much more efficient if there was some sort of a fee, and a dividend of some sort, that would allow us to incentivize and motivate all of these entrepreneurs all over the country … to find cleaner ways of delivering energy.”

…Hickenlooper made a carbon tax central to the climate plan put forward by his ill-fated presidential campaign in 2019. As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, he could play a key role in drafting and negotiating the $198 billion clean-energy component of the Democrats’ reconciliation bill.

Although Sen. Hickenlooper took plenty of heat from his left during a gubernatorial administration in which oil and gas development increased significantly, here we have Hickenlooper clearly positioned to the left of the obstructionist Democrats representing energy-producing states on a major climate change policy proposal. It’s a reminder that Colorado’s Democrats are not the problem in these fraught blue-on-blue negotiations, and might join those disappointed on the wrong side of whatever compromise emerges.

In that event we will all need to focus on the good stuff that doesn’t get cut, and remember to not blame the wrong people.

We say these things because when we get to what they call “nut-cutting time,” no one else remembers to.

Lauren Boebert’s Silence Roars, Too

As readers know, Colorado’s leading far-right freshman outrageophile Rep. Lauren Boebert is a devoted believer of what’s become known as the “Big Lie” that the 2020 elections were stolen from Donald Trump. During the leadup to the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, Boebert did her part rallying the faithful to come to Washington, infamously Tweeting on the morning of the insurrection that “Today is 1776.” Boebert has of course never once conceded that the 2020 elections were legitimate.

Last week, the “Big Lie” went indirectly on trial in a Denver courtroom as a defamation lawsuit filed by a former employee of Dominion Voting Systems against the Trump campaign, multiple attorneys including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, and local conspiracy theorist Joe Oltmann–whose evidence-free claim to have overheard a phone call in which the Dominion employee in question promised to steal the election inspired the entire narrative that Dominion machines had been somehow compromised. Oltmann’s attorneys made no attempt last week in court to prove this call had actually taken place, only arguing that if Oltmann believed it had taken place, that was a defense against defamation. And then everyone above Oltmann’s level in the case simply pointed to Oltmann as the source they were repeating uncritically.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

The disconnect between the acknowledgment in court that a factual basis underpinning the “Big Lie” does not exist and the rhetoric of Oltmann and others who continue to insist the 2020 election was stolen, especially in the wake of last week’s hearings, is getting untenably wide. Here’s Joe Oltmann ranting over the weekend, since the admission in court that there’s no evidence to support his allegations:

“They attack relentlessly those who stay focused yet that focus exposed the massive evidence of fraud and the result is a majority of Americans know the election was stolen,” Oltmann said. “Stay focused. MTG, Boebert, Gaetz, and all those who know what happened and how fraudulent the election was need to focus on the one thing that makes us a great nation… our voice. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS. We fix that, we fix EVERYTHING else.”

Take note: this is Joe Oltmann name-checking Rep. Lauren Boebert as one of the Republican politicians in office who know “how fraudulent the election was” and calling for Republicans to “Fix 2020 first”:

The message is simple: Future elections, including 2022, are compromised or worse until doubts held about 2020 are decisively put to rest.

It’s a message we know that GOP U.S. Senate candidate Ron Hanks will agree wholeheartedly with, along with Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters under criminal investigation for allowing unauthorized access to Dominion Voting Systems hardware–an alleged crime that, once again, did not end up validating any of the underlying allegations. Clerk Peters’ chief confidante over the last few months of developing controversy has been Sherronna Bishop, Rep. Lauren Boebert’s former campaign manager.

But there’s a problem: for reasons no one has yet conclusively determined, Lauren Boebert has refused so far to join in the defense of Tina Peters or Joe Oltmann. After an exchange of barbs on Twitter with Secretary of State Jena Griswold last summer that did not go well for Boebert, Boebert has remained dead silent as the news broke that Clerk Peters is under local, state, and now federal law enforcement scrutiny. Not a word from Boebert while Peters went into hiding for weeks after attending “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell’s joke of a “symposium” alongside Boebert’s former campaign manager Sherronna Bishop. Nothing while Mesa County’s Republican commissioners pleaded for Peters to return to Colorado and assist in the investigation.

Obviously, if Joe Oltmann is going to invoke Lauren Boebert in his defense, Boebert should be asked whether she supports Oltmann. And that in turn is a fine segue into asking Boebert about the national news playing out in her own district involving Boebert’s former campaign manager, “MyPillow Guy,” and the FBI.

There’s a reason Boebert went quiet about this, and we want to hear it.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Oct. 19)

Return those ballots, people! Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 2021. 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 

 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is running the worst gubernatorial campaign in the entire country. She’s making national headlines today for another bad reason: Hosting an in-person event with a conservative speaker who was literally TRYING to get infected with COVID-19. We wrote about this story on Monday, but here’s more from The Washington Post:

Days before he announced he had tested positive, Prager was in Colorado, where he spoke at a campaign event for Heidi Ganahl, a Republican running for governor. Officials with her campaign told KUSA they were not aware of Prager’s plan to get infected with the coronavirus.

“We are reaching out to all those who attended to make sure they are informed,” Ganahl’s campaign told the station in a statement. “We encourage those who attended … to get tested and follow CDC guidelines if they experience any Covid-like symptoms.”

The problem with this response from the Ganahl campaign is this: There is video evidence of Prager flat-out telling Ganahl that he was hoping to get infected with COVID-19.

Here’s more from 9News:

 

The Denver Post updates the latest COVID-19 numbers in Colorado:

Colorado’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to rise over the weekend, but it’s difficult to predict whether that trend will continue.

On Friday, more people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Colorado than at any point since late December. The number of hospitalizations continued to increase, reaching 1,101 people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Monday afternoon.

New cases appeared to fall last week, however. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 12,885 cases in the week ending Sunday — a decrease of roughly 2,500, if it stands. The state’s data has lagged in recent months, though, with late reports sometimes erasing any signs of progress.

“We’ve been in a period of uncertainty with the trends in the data,” said Talia Quandelacy, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. “It’s hard to tell what some of these trends are showing.”

The bottom line seems to be the same as it has been: We’re still not yet getting a handle on turning back the coronavirus pandemic as too many Coloradans continue to refuse to get vaccinated. Westword has more on Colorado’s COVID numbers.

In related news, Larimer County is reinstating a mask requirement for residents in indoor public areas. As Colorado Public Radio reports, one of the safest places to be in Colorado, in terms of a high-percentage of people who are vaccinated, is on college campuses.

 

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection plans to move forward today with holding former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt for refusing to respond to a Congressional subpoena.

 

As The Associated Press reports, Texas has approved a new gerrymandered congressional map that dilutes minority representation.

 

 

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If You Went to See Prager, You Had Better Get Tested

TUESDAY UPDATE: It’s getting worse for Hiedi Heidi Ganahl as her campaign bizarrely denies what Dennis Prager said directly to Ganahl’s face a week ago Saturday, in an attempt to shirk responsibility for potentially exposing everyone in the audience to COVID-19–Washington Post:

Days before he announced he had tested positive, Prager was in Colorado, where he spoke at a campaign event for Heidi Ganahl, a Republican running for governor. Officials with her campaign told KUSA they were not aware of Prager’s plan to get infected with the coronavirus. [Pols emphasis]

9NEWS’ Erin Powell:

In a statement to 9NEWS, Ganahl’s campaign said they did not know of Prager’s plan to intentionally get COVID [Pols emphasis] and did not know he tested positive before Prager announced it on his show. They plan to contact people who attended the event…

All you have to do is watch the clip of video below in which Dennis Prager matter-of-factly informs Ganahl that he’s “been trying to get COVID for a year and half” to know that this is a flat-out lie. It’s a lie that comes after days of Prager knowing he was infected, even receiving monoclonal antibody treatment, while the Ganahl campaign was supposedly never informed of Prager’s diagnosis to begin contact tracing.

Prager naturally claims that in addition to treatments he received that do have clinical backing for their use against COVID, he also took the “quack combo” of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. Apparently the goal here was to make every bad decision possible with respect to catching and treating COVID-19 so Prager could announce on his radio show that bad decisions in his case did not kill him.

For Heidi Ganahl, trying to convince blue Colorado that she can be trusted to lead, this is a disaster limited only by the lack of attention being paid in this early stage of the 2022 elections. It’s baffling to us that Ganahl brought this polarizing Republican blowhard in to brand her stumbling campaign early with exactly the partisan division Ganahl claims she doesn’t want. Now she’s a poster child for COVIDiocy along with Dennis Prager.

God help Heidi Ganahl if somebody from last week’s event gets sick.

—–

UPDATE: From ill-advised campaign event to full-blown public health crisis, reports Ernest Luning of the political blog once known as the Colorado Statesman:

A spokeswoman for Republican Heidi Ganahl’s gubernatorial campaign says the Coloradan’s campaign is getting in touch with supporters who attended a recent event in Colorado Springs that featured Ganahl talking on stage with conservative radio host Dennis Prager, who announced Monday that he tested positive last week for the virus that causes COVID-19 and had been attempting to get infected.

Prager said Monday on his radio show that he was broadcasting from his home because he has COVID-19 and has been “steadily improving” since testing positive “last week” for the coronavirus, adding that he has undergone monoclonal antibody treatment…

“The campaign was not aware Dennis had contracted Covid until the announcement on his show,” Swearingen said in a text message.

Wait a minute–Dennis Prager tested positive “last week” and has already had a course of monoclonal antibodies, but the Heidi Ganahl campaign didn’t know anything about it until his announcement on the radio today?

If we’d been in that room a week ago Saturday, we’d be very upset. That’s days of potential spread.

—–

We took note last week of an event with Republican gubernatorial Hiedi Heidi Ganahl featuring the right-wing lunatic rantings of Dennis Prager. Remember Prager arrogantly telling Ganahl how he’s “been trying to get COVID-19 for a year and a half?”

 

Well folks, if you were in attendance at Ganahl’s event on Oct. 10 in Colorado, you should get tested for COVID-19. Prager may have been spreading more than just right-wing disinformation:

Prager said again today’s he been trying his damndest to catch and spread the Rona, which should come as wonderful news to everyone he hung out with in Colorado Springs last weekend:

“It is infinitely preferable to have natural immunity than vaccine immunity and that is what I hoped for the entire time. Hence, I so engaged with strangers, constantly hugging them, taking photos with them, knowing that I was making myself very susceptible to getting COVID,” Prager said, according to MediaMatters.org.

Schadenfreude later. Public health first. Get tested.

Tuesday Open Thread

“Nothing is as dangerous as an ignorant friend; a wise enemy is to be preferred.”

–Jean de La Fontaine

Heidi Ganahl Fundraising is Even Worse than We Thought

Will sing for campaign contributions

Last week we noted that Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl was poised to submit a very rough fundraising report for her first quarter as an official candidate. According to Ganahl’s own campaign, the perceived Republican frontrunner had raised just $137,000 — or $13,000 less than little-known U.S. Senate candidate Erik Aadland collected in Q3.

Ganahl’s campaign filed its official report with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office on Friday, however, and the news is actually worse than it first appeared last Wednesday.

Team Ganahl has just $125,000 cash-on-hand, which is not good…but the campaign would only have $75,000 in the bank if not for a $50,000 loan from the candidate.

You read that correctly: If not for a personal loan from Ganahl herself, her campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination would have less than $100k in the bank. It might be for the best, then, that Ganahl’s campaign manager is already looking for another job; regular salaries are a luxury that Team Ganahl can’t really afford at the moment.

Deep Benches Matter: Dylan Roberts Cuts In On SD-8

Last week, Colorado’s Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission adopted new maps for the General Assembly’s 65 House and 35 Senate seats. Despite some last-minute attempts to subvert the process on the part of a few Republican commissioners and a group of usual-suspect Republican lobbyists currently the subject of an investigation by the Secretary of State for illegally attempting to influence the process, by most initial analysis the new maps (pending their necessary approval before the Supreme Court) will position the Democrats to maintain their majorities in the House and Senate.

As the Vail Daily’s Scott Miller reported last week, one Democrat set to take advantage of the new map is Rep. Dylan Roberts of Eagle County, drawn into a revamped SD-8 that draws Roberts’ home in Eagle County and east along the I-70 corridor east as far as Gilpin County with the whole northwest corner of the state:

Dylan Roberts, an Avon Democrat, is the current representative for House District 26. He plans to run in 2022 for the Senate District 8 seat…

The new Senate district will be even more diverse, with economies in the district depending on mountain resorts, gambling, agriculture and mining.

Whoever the new Senator is for that district will have to both work with other Western Slope legislators in an Eastern Slope-dominated legislature, and recognize and work for issues that all 10 district counties have in common, Roberts said. That includes workforce housing, transportation and water.

Rep. Dylan Roberts (D).

With Rep. Roberts moving into position to claim the competitive but Democratic-leaning new SD-8, Republican incumbent Sen. Bob Rankin is set to inherit outgoing Sen. Kerry Donovan’s SD-5 seat through the end of his term in 2024–when this closely competitive seat becomes a major pickup opportunity for Democrats. It’ll take time for the effects of these map changes to sink in, and of course we won’t really have a hard data point until after they’re used in an actual election. But this undeniably provides more long-term opportunity for Democrats than Rep. Roberts simply succeeding outgoing Sen. Kerry Donovan in today’s SD-5.

A few such opportunities, and good candidates ready to take advantage of them, is how bigger majorities are grown. Any other outcome would not be consistent with the solidifying Democratic majority of the electorate in Colorado clearly demonstrated in this state in recent election cycles. There simply aren’t enough Republicans to go around without some serious gerrymandering–and although Democrats might have preferred more control over the process in line with the majority control they presently hold in Colorado, in the end, these are maps upon which Democrats can continue to fight and win.

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