Heidi Ganahl Needs Help with Stump Speech Math

Heidi Ganahl

University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl is the sole remaining statewide Republican elected official in Colorado. She probably can’t run for re-election in 2022 because her seat will likely be eliminated as a consequence of redistricting, but Ganahl has had her eye on higher office anyway.

Ganahl has been teasing a potential run for Governor since late 2020, doing everything short of saying the words “I am running for Governor” against Democrat Jared Polis in 2022. In fact, Ganahl might even be in some legal hot water because she is doing everything possible to look and sound like a candidate for Governor without fulfilling the required legal obligations that come with being such a candidate. From what we hear, Ganahl is likely to (finally) formally announce a gubernatorial bid shortly after Labor Day. She might want to take that extra time to work on her stump speech.

As Julia Fennell reports for Colorado Newsline, Ganahl was the headline speaker at the Teller Republicans’ “Big Tent Event” in Woodland Park on Saturday. She opened her speech with a predictable quote from former President Ronald Reagan before things went sideways:

Former President Donald Trump won more votes in Colorado in 2020 than Polis won in 2018, Ganahl said.

“So there are about 300,000 voters who showed up in 2020 to vote for Trump that did not vote in 2018 in the governor’s and the other races that year,” she told the crowd. “How about we get those folks out to vote, and perhaps we might be able to win statewide elections again in Colorado, there you go!” [Pols emphasis]

First off, you might have more luck exciting a crowd by NOT telling them that “perhaps we might be able to win statewide elections again in Colorado.” Alas, Ganahl could clean up that line, but her story problem still needs some work.

Republican Donald Trump received 283,806 more votes in Colorado (in 2020) than Republican gubernatorial nominee Walker Stapleton collected in 2018. But even with the higher turnout in a Presidential election year, Trump would have barely defeated Polis. Trump’s 2020 vote total in Colorado was only 15,719 more than what Polis earned in 2018 (a margin of 0.0057%).

Of course, Ganahl also neglects to mention that Democrat Joe Biden received 439,745 more votes than Trump in 2020. Thus, Ganahl’s path to victory in 2022 only works if she manages to keep GOP turnout at Presidential election levels AND figures out a way to depress Democratic turnout back to 2018 totals. That seems totally plausible! (It would also help if more than 30% of Colorado voters could even recognize the name ‘Heidi Ganahl’).

If Ganahl does have a path to victory next November…this ain’t it.

Not that there is a better option; there’s a good reason why Republicans such as State Sen. John Cooke consider Polis to be “unbeatable” in 2022.

It’s Official: January 6th Investigation Eyeing Lauren Boebert

Rep. Lauren Boebert at the January 6th “Stop the Steal” rally.

CNN kicking off the news week with a bang, exclusive word that the select committee investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th will request that telecom companies preserve phone records of a number of Republican members of Congress who were involved in the “Stop the Steal” rally preceding the violence:

It is unclear what means the committee will use to compel the telecommunications companies to cooperate with their request. The committee does have subpoena power, but requesting the information — especially from members of Congress — could lead to a lengthy legal battle.

The committee decided against making public the names of the lawmakers whose records they are targeting, three sources told CNN. But multiple sources familiar with the committee’s work have confirmed for CNN at least part of list including many of the members of Congress included in the request…

It’s a list of names you know, and it’s not hard to understand why they’re on it:

The list is said to be evolving and could be added to as the investigation steps up. As of now it includes Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, [Pols emphasis] Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Paul Gosar also of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Jody Hice of Georgia and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.

This is, we believe, the first time that Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s name has specifically arisen in the select committee’s requests for information. In Boebert’s case, phone records of communications in between her early-morning Tweet on January 6th that “Today is 1776,” her presence for at least part of the “Stop the Steal” rally, followed by Boebert’s highly ill-advised Tweets about Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location while the rioters were flooding into the Capitol could prove highly informative. Who else was Boebert communicating with that day, and what was she telling them?

Given the credulity-straining attempts these members of Congress have already made to distance themselves from the violence on January 6th, there’s little doubt an attempt to compel phone records from telecommunications companies will be met with furious Godwin’s Law-validating resistance. But there’s a huge disconnect between the continuing promotion of the “Big Lie” that directly incited the violence on January 6th by these same members and their denial of any responsibility for the events of that day. That’s at least in part because depending on who the audience is, the message about January 6th from these members is very different.

It should be evident by now, if nothing else, that the idea of appointing any of these people who are now targets of the investigation to the committee doing the investigating was absurd. Plug in your noise-canceling headphones and stay tuned.

The Get More Smarter Podcast: Boebert’s Big Bogus Bonus Bribe

This week on Episode #84 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii dig deep into the ever-expanding weirdness in Mesa County and its on-the-lam Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters.

We also dive into two BIG problems for Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle), who is accumulating serious problems at astonishing speed. Later, we try to understand the karmic significance of running across a chicken strolling down (but not across) the road in front of you.

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

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

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Get More Smarter on Friday (August 27)

We’re almost three-quarters of the way through 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 

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

 

 One day after a bombing at an airport in Afghanistan that claimed the lives of 13 U.S. service members, Marine Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, indicated that more attacks are expected to come from “ISIS-K.” The New York Times explains everything you need to know about “ISIS-K,” the different flavor of ISIS that is responsible for the attack in Kabul.

On Thursday, President Biden promised that the U.S. would retaliate against ISIS-K for the suicide bombing attack that killed more than 100 people in total. From The Washington Post:

In emotional comments at the White House, Biden made clear that the attack would not cause him to rethink his strategy. Rather, he said, it reinforced his belief that the war must end and that the evacuation must proceed. He framed the deaths as the sacrifice of heroes performing a noble mission, and he suggested that any move to cut short the evacuation of Americans and their Afghan supporters would amount to caving to the terrorists.

“I bear responsibility for, fundamentally, all that has happened,” Biden said, addressing the nation hours after the deadly attack. His voice broke as he invoked Scripture, history and personal loss to decry the double suicide bombing at the entrance to the Kabul airport, which stands as the last small acreage controlled by the United States in Afghanistan nearly 20 years after the war began.

Biden promised to track down the killers responsible for the massacre, who he suggested were members of the terrorist group ISIS-K. “To those who carried out this attack: We will not forgive,” he said. “We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”

 

Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) addressed Thursday’s attack in Kabul in an interview with MSNBC. The former Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan reaffirmed his belief that the withdrawal of U.S. forces was the correct decision, but stressed that the U.S. must remember its obligation to Afghanistan allies.

 

 As The Associated Press reports, the U.S. Supreme court ruled that evictions may resume in this country after a long COVID-related moratorium.

In related news, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that it might be time to start thinking about scaling back stimulus efforts as the economy continues to show signs of improvement even amidst another surge of COVID-19 cases.

 

As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, the Vice Chair of the Colorado Republican Party, Priscilla Rahn, has come out in support of efforts to cancel the GOP Primary Elections in order to help ensure that only the most strident right-wing candidates can win the Republican nomination for basically every elected office. This is a terrible idea for Republicans that is opposed by many moderates, but supporters such as Rahn believe that the only way forward for the GOP is to lurch ever rightward.

 

 The Denver Post asks the same question that has been top of mind for many Colorado politicos lately: WHERE IS TINA PETERS?

The Mesa County Clerk and Recorder has been hiding in an undisclosed location for weeks since being investigated for helping to break in to election computers in order to prove some sort of cockamamie argument about 2020 election fraud. Peters and her supporters have insisted that she is on the lam because of concerns for her personal safety, but a recent review of emails received by the Mesa Clerk’s office indicates that this is complete nonsense.

 

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There’s No Threat To Tina Peters (Except The FBI)

Mike Lindell, Tina Peters.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, under criminal investigation over a major breach of election system security in her office that (this goes in the lede of every post now, sorry) did not uncover any evidence of a conspiracy by Dominion Voting Systems to steal the election from Donald Trump, has been in hiding at an undisclosed location provided by “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell for over two weeks now. Mesa County’s all-GOP Board of Commissioners issued a public plea this week for Peters to “come home” and cooperate with the investigation.

Lindell asserts that he is hiding Peters out of concerns for her safety after playing a starring if not exactly revealing role at Lindell’s so-called “Cyber Symposium” earlier this month. Looking for more information that could perhaps justify that contention, the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby filed an open-records request for Peters’ emails:

Embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters claims that it isn’t safe for her to come home in the wake of investigations into her potential involvement in a security breach in her elections office, but there is no evidence of any actual threats based on numerous emails she has received over the past two weeks.

The results of a Colorado Open Records Act request of those emails by The Daily Sentinel showed that the preponderance of them, 43 of 65, supported her actions in attempts to demonstrate alleged problems with the Dominion Voting System equipment that Mesa and all but two other Colorado counties have used to tabulate ballots for years.

Only 22 were negative, either calling Peters a moron, a traitor to democracy or asking her to resign her position, many of which were laced with profanity…

One of those latter types of messages, you’ve got to admit, is pretty funny:

“You are going to look great in an orange jumpsuit. Enjoy your time in jail. Hope they give you a Mr. Pillow for your bed in your cell.”

It’s “MyPillow” not “Mr. Pillow,” but close enough.

Lindell says he is covering Clerk Peters’ expenses while she remains in hiding, and has promised to pay for her legal defense in any forthcoming criminal case. That’s probably illegal under Colorado’s Amendment 41, which strictly limits allowable gifts to public officials. But Amendment 41 is small potatoes compared to the only real “threat” to Clerk Peters: being brought to justice by actual law enforcement. The moment a criminal indictment is issued in this case, if Peters does not immediately surrender to the appropriate authorities she’ll be a fugitive from justice–and “MyPillow Guy” will be the harborer of one.

We just feel it should be very clear for the record who Tina Peters is hiding from, and why.

“Come Home”–Mesa County Clerk’s Fugitive Follies Escalate

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Tom Hesse reports, the widening scandal involving Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters as local and federal criminal investigations into a breach of security in Peters’ office that resulted in proprietary election system data being leaked to far-right conspiracy theorists is getting worse by the day:

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis pleaded with supporters of County Clerk Tina Peters Tuesday to tell the AWOL local official she needs to return to western Colorado.

“So, if you do, or you know somebody who does, call Tina, tell her to come out of hiding and come home,” McInnis told the audience at a meeting of the Mesa County County Commission…

McInnis said amid all the turmoil, which included Griswold’s office decertifying some local election equipment, they only recently heard from Peters.

“Not until two days ago, through a third person, did Tina communicate with us,” McInnis said, adding that most of the message was in “biblical terms.” [Pols emphasis]

Would-be GOP Secretary of State candidate Rose Pugliese (left) and Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters.

The Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports that Clerk Peters’ whereabouts are unknown, though she is still giving interviews to the man believed to be funding her time on the lam Amendment 41 be damned–“MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell:

It’s not clear where Peters is now, but she may not be there for long. The clerk told Lindell on Monday that she believes her hotel room was burglarized and Lindell said, “I guess we’re going to have to get you moved again.” He vowed to arrange for private security as well…

The actions of Peters and her office are under investigation by the FBI, Mesa County district attorney’s office and Colorado secretary of state’s office. The latter believes Peters allowed an unauthorized man named Gerald Wood to access a secure area at the county election office on May 25 and that the breach led to election equipment passwords being posted online Aug. 2 by Ron Watkins, a leading figure in the QAnon conspiracy theory. Peters denied that Monday.

“I did not post and I did not authorize anyone to post any election data or software or passwords online,” she told Lindell. Peters acknowledged that surveillance cameras were turned off before the breach but said state law does not require them to be on until 60 days before an election.

The main problem here is that Clerk Peters’ defenders need to pick a defense. Peters is either a “hero” for allowing this data to be copied and handed over to conspiracy theorists, or she had nothing to do with the leak as she says now and therefore is not a hero. Obviously Peters cannot be both of these things simultaneously. While it would certainly be better for Clerk Peters’ criminal defense if she had nothing to do with the leak, far too many people have confessed on her behalf for that to be plausible at this point. Her defense about the video cameras is also absurd, since they were reportedly turned back on just a few minutes later.

Especially now that Mike Lindell is promising this week, after every one of his conspiracy theories has imploded under examination including the “packet captures” Lindell began his recent so-called “Cyber Symposium” touting as “absolute proof,” that Mesa County’s stolen elections data is the “smoking gun of all time.”

While speaking to Real America’s Voice host Steve Bannon, Lindell argued that Dominion had illegally removed election data from voting machines in Colorado. He suggested that the company was trying to cover up a fraudulent presidential election.

“You guys, this is the smoking gun of all time,” the pillow executive claimed. “Dominion is caught red-handed.”

It’s clear that Lindell is past caring about the billion-dollar lawsuit he faces from Dominion Voting Systems for pushing the Big Lie where it concerns their company! But if Lindell is truly worried about Clerk Peters’ wellbeing, he should take the advice of lawyers during the “Cyber Symposium” who warned Ron Watkins to stop talking about the data stolen from Mesa County. There was nothing that came out of that event to suggest the stolen data in any way validated conspiracy theories regarding Dominion, and Lindell’s track record of failure suggests no one associated with him is qualified to even analyze it.

And when it comes time to file criminal charges against Clerk Peters, none of this will count for squat.

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis is right about one thing though. Tina Peters needs to come home.

And then she needs to get a lawyer who doesn’t talk to Mike Lindell.

Rep. Ron Hanks Says Wayne Williams Is Part Of The Conspiracy

“Raging” Rep. Ron Hanks (R).

As we discussed yesterday, a protest over the weekend in Grand Junction in support of Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who is under investigation for a breach of election system security that resulted in proprietary data being leaked to far-right election conspiracy theorists was attended by freshman GOP state Rep. “Raging” Ron Hanks of Penrose. Hanks accused Secretary of State Jena Griswold of conducting a “false flag” operation against Peters’ office, asserting “there’s no evidence she did anything wrong”–while Cory Anderson of the so-called “Election Integrity Project” matter-of-factly described Peters’ direct role in copying the data in question.

Clearly, there’s a need for Peters’ defenders to get their stories straight.

On the subject of Peters’ replacement to run Mesa County elections after Peters was ruled incapable of doing so by the Secretary of State, however, Rep. Ron Hanks is coming out strongly against the appointment by Mesa County Commissioners of former SoS Wayne Williams, an appointment currently the subject of a court fight between the commishes and Griswold’s office. Even though Commissioner Scott McInnis claims Clerk Peters was fine with Williams running the elections a year ago when the possibility of a recall arose against Peters, according to Rep. Hanks today Williams might as well be in on the conspiracy:

The appointment of Colorado Springs City Councilman Wayne Williams to any position in Mesa County also seems questionable and ill-advised. As evidence compounds daily that the 2020 elections were replete with fraud, the confidence of the citizens of Colorado will not be restored by empowering a former Secretary of State responsible for bringing the suspect and vulnerable Dominion Voting Systems to Colorado. Williams is also is a consultant to the Runbeck Company, whose role in the 2020 election is under scrutiny by investigators.

Colorado Springs City Councilman Williams has called on Clerk Tina Peters to resign. He has no grounds nor evidence to make such a demand. In doing so, he has discredited himself by presuming Clerk Peters to be guilty – not innocent, as is the American legal standard – based on Jena Griswold’s shaky press conference and her Gestapo-style raid… [Pols emphasis]

It wouldn’t be Ron Hanks if it wasn’t offensive, folks! Hanks of course has no use for the replacement selected by the Colorado Secretary of State, former Clerk (and fellow Republican) Sheila Reiner. Ron Hanks says that even after Peters let some unauthorized rando make copies of secure election system data, turning off the security cameras to hide their actions before handing the data over to the guy a lot of people think is “Q”–data that once again did not produce evidence of anything nefarious–should still be in charge of Mesa County’s elections.

And that makes us wonder how the hell Loren Ron Hanks ever had a security clearance.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (August 24)

Happy “International Strange Music Day.” Please celebrate strangely. 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. 

 

Here’s an unfortunate headline about Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert from Salon.com:

Via Salon.com (8/24/21)

 

On the subject of Boebert’s, uh, gas problem, the activist group Rural Colorado United is calling on the freshman Member of Congress to release her tax returns in the interest of transparency so that her constituents can see any potential conflicts with her elected job.

 

If you ever find yourself hiding from investigators for whatever reason, our only advice to you would be that you NOT tell “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell about your whereabouts. Lindell can’t seem to keep his mouth shut about “missing” Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, who is being investigated by the Colorado Secretary of State, the Mesa County District Attorney, and the FBI for her role in a serious security breach of the Mesa County election systems.

Meanwhile, someone might want to tell the small band of Peters’ supporters about the bill they’re about to get stuck with:

 

Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has the latest on the Peters saga, which includes the first known public comments from the Mesa County Clerk:

In her first public comments since going into hiding nearly two weeks ago, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters said “a liberal” has been named to replace her as the county’s designated election official.

Naming her predecessor, now Mesa County Treasurer Sheila Reiner, the embattled Republican told My Pillow guy and voter-fraud conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell on his online show on Sunday that she didn’t trust her to take over elections in Mesa County.

Peters either didn’t know, or didn’t say, that the Mesa County Board of Commissioners had named former Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, instead…

…“I am the designated election official (but) I’ve been replaced with a liberal designated election official, and my staff and I are not even allowed into my elections office,” Peters told Lindell when she appeared on his online show, “The Lindell Report,” which can be seen at lindelltv.com. “That’s how bad this has gotten.”

Peters is playing the only card she and her fellow Trumpians know to play: Victimhood.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is back atop the list of concerns for Americans, as a new poll from Gallup explains:

Two months ago, amid positive news about the state of the pandemic in the U.S. and optimism about the future, COVID-19 had fallen to its lowest point (8%) since the beginning of the pandemic. By July, with cases on the rise and concerns about the delta variant growing, 12% of U.S. adults named COVID-19 as the nation’s top problem. Since then, COVID-19 mentions have risen 14 points to today’s 26%.

 

Democratic State Rep. Yadira Caraveo is the first established politician to announce a bid for Congress in the as-yet-undrawn Eighth Congressional District.

In a related story, The Colorado Sun has the latest updates on the redistricting process.

 

 

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Hundreds Of Q-razy Protesters Help Clerk Tina Peters Confess!

UPDATE: Fog of war, Marshall Zelinger clarifying that the call between Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis and Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters was last year, not recently:

Superseding a previous update. Original post follows.

—–

Rep. Ron Hanks (left) with Cory Anderson of the so-called “Election Integrity Project.”

Veteran Western Slope journalist Nancy Lofholm reports for the Colorado Sun from Grand Junction, where this past weekend hundreds of far-right supporters of embattled and presently holed-up Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters turned out to show their love–and their unshakable belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump:

“Our hero, Tina,” as some of her conservative constituents refer to her, was the absent star of a rally organized in her honor by a group called Mesa County Concerned Citizens. She is in hiding because of what some of her supporters say, without evidence, are threats against her life.

Peters has been incommunicado with the media and away from her office since Tuesday, when she was a featured speaker at a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, cyber symposium hosted by MyPillow CEO, Trump supporter and election fraud conspiracist Mike Lindell. Lindell had promised that he would disclose evidence at that symposium that the 2020 election was rigged. No such evidence was presented by Peters or any other speakers.

Leading the faithful at Saturday’s rally for Clerk Peters was the freshman state representative who seems to be everywhere sedition wants to be–Rep. “Raging” Ron Hanks of Fremont County:

Republican state Rep. Ron Hanks, of Penrose, an outspoken Peters supporter, spoke at the rally, calling the clerk a “gold star mom and public servant.” Peters’ son, Remington Peters, a Navy SEAL, died in 2017 when his parachute malfunctioned during an airborne demonstration in New York.

“There is no evidence she did anything wrong,” Hanks said to loud applause.

Hanks asserted, “evidence is mounting daily” that Griswold’s “raid” on Peters’ office was a “false-flag operation” [Pols emphasis] and a way for Griswold to “divert attention from her own derelict criminal actions.”

It’s not like Rep. Hanks has a track record of factual statements that should give him any credibility whatsoever, but let’s be clear: facilitating a breach of security to allow the theft and eventual public distribution of proprietary election system data is a crime, and that is why everyone from the local DA to the FBI is investigating.

But it’s not like it’s necessary to take Hanks’ word. As Colorado Public Radio reports, at least one speaker at this rally readily admitted, even celebrated the crime Clerk Peters is under investigation for:

“One thing you have heard about Tina Peters is true,” said Cory Anderson, who heads the local chapter of the Election Integrity Project, which has been trying to use voter canvassing to prove fraud. “There was a before and after image taken of the Dominion system in clerk Peter’s office. [Pols emphasis] I think we’ll be very glad that happened. Preserving the truth is important to discovering the truth.”

We don’t know if Clerk Peters has retained a criminal defense attorney yet in this case, but if she has that attorney should be aghast at these idiots in essence blaring Peters’ conviction into a megaphone. The data that Peters allegedly stole has already been “analyzed” by crack and quack researchers alike who gave “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell one final chance to prove his theories about the 2020 elections at Lindell’s “Cyber Symposium” earlier this month–and other than Peters herself rushing the stage in a too-late attempt to cover her ass, absolutely nothing nefarious emerged.

In short, the “defense” offered up for the crime Cory Anderson just confessed to on Clerk Peters’ behalf is a conspiracy the data she helped steal doesn’t support. It’s a “whistleblower” too clueless to realize she is sounding a false alarm. Which means it’s not a defense at all, just that usual bit of deranged nonsense a guilty person blurts out before the judge gavels them into silence at their initial hearing.

Great job, freedom fighters! This is certain to end well for all concerned.

Get More Smarter on Monday (August 23)

Happy Back to School Day for some of you. 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, you have one less reason to continue ducking the COVID-19 vaccination:

Federal regulators Monday granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine — a milestone that could help increase inoculation rates and spark a wave of vaccine mandates by employers and universities amid a surge of new cases and hospitalizations fueled by the ferocious delta variant.

The Food and Drug Administration action marks the first licensing of a vaccine for the coronavirus, which has swept the United States in repeated and punishing waves since early 2020, exhausting nursing staffs, filling intensive care units and raising fears among the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

The vaccine has been approved for two doses, three weeks apart, in people 16 and older. It remains available under emergency use authorization for adolescents ages 12 to 15.

“As the first FDA-approved covid-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” FDA acting commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement.

Vax that thang up, people!

 

Rocket surgeons rally in Grand Junction on Saturday (Stina Sieg/CPR News)

The story of “missing” Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters — who allegedly committed a serious crime in her zeal to prove the existence of a fictional crime — took a predictably stupid turn over the weekend. As Colorado Public Radio reports:

More than 100 people rallied in Grand Junction Saturday in support of Mesa County clerk Tina Peters, who is being investigated to determine whether she participated in a security breach of her office’s election equipment…

…An investigation by the Secretary of State’s office found that earlier this year Peters allowed an unauthorized man into a secure area where the election equipment is stored, and that he apparently made copies of hard drives ahead of an update by Dominion Voting Systems, the company that makes the equipment. Someone in the clerk’s office also ordered the cameras that monitor the equipment to be turned off for an extended period of time.

One of the speakers at Saturday’s rally appeared to confirm some of those events.

“One thing you have heard about Tina Peters is true,” said Cory Anderson, who heads the local chapter of the Election Integrity Project, which has been trying to use voter canvassing to prove fraud. “There was a before and after image taken of the Dominion system in clerk Peter’s office. I think we’ll be very glad that happened. Preserving the truth is important to discovering the truth.”

Peters is being investigated by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, the Mesa County District Attorney, and the FBI. Peters is so innocent that she is hiding out in an undisclosed location in Texas.

The Colorado Sun has more on this story, including an amazing quote from State Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Penrose) indicating that he actually doesn’t understand the meaning of the phrase “false-flag operation.”

 

Former President Donald Trump blurted out on Friday that he personally made the decision to relocate the HQ of U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs to Alabama, which is a HUGE slap in the face to Colorado Republicans specifically. Colorado Public Radio looks at whether Trump’s decision can now be revisited.

 

 The Denver Post answers questions about whether you should start thinking about a third “booster” shot for COVID-19.

 

 

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“Single-Handedly”–Trump’s Final Insult To Colorado

Rep. Doug Lamborn and He Who Must Not Be Named.

A late-breaking story yesterday confirmed what everybody in Colorado politics knew from the beginning, but only one side of the aisle was politically able to admit–as the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports, ex-President Donald Trump boasting to an Alabama radio show ahead of a rally there tonight that he “single-handedly” made the decision to relocate the U.S. Space Command headquarters from Colorado Springs to that state in the final days of his presidency:

In the final week of Trump’s presidency, the U.S. Air Force announced that Space Command’s headquarters would be relocated from Peterson Air Force Base to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala.

Democratic and Republican officials in Colorado have opposed the move ever since and alleged it was Trump who did it. Huntsville is in the district of U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican and staunch Trump ally who led attempts in January to stop the certification of President Joe Biden‘s victory over Trump in the 2020 election…

“Space Force — I sent to Alabama,” Trump said. “I hope you know that. (They) said they were looking for a home and I single-handedly said, ‘Let’s go to Alabama.’ They wanted it. I said, ‘Let’s go to Alabama. I love Alabama.’”

For those who have been getting this wrong like Trump, the U.S. Space Command is not the same entity as the U.S. Space Force. Space Command is a multi-service organization under the Department of Defense, while the Space Force is a separate branch of the military. But be assured, everyone in Colorado Springs where Space Command is currently located knew what Trump was talking about–and as the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Tom Roeder reports, the anger in Colorado’s biggest conservative stronghold is palpable:

“We have maintained throughout the process that the permanent basing decision for U.S. Space Command was not made on merit. The admission by former President Trump that he ‘single-handedly’ directed the move to Huntsville, Alabama, supports our position,” [Colorado Springs Mayor John] Suthers said via email.

Even the area’s doggedly pro-Trump Rep. Doug Lamborn, who voted to challenge the 2020 election results in order to keep Trump in office, is slamming Trump openly:

Colorado Springs U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn said Trump’s announcement shows national security wasn’t his top concern.

“When a decision is based on politics and personal preference, national security comes in second,” said Lamborn, [Pols emphasis] a longtime Trump supporter who broke with the president over the basing decision.

Lamborn’s affected surprise from learning that Trump made his decisions as President based on “politics and personal preference” is truly one of the most laughable “belated” realizations we’ve ever read. During Trump’s entire term in office, as Doug Lamborn and everyone else who lived through the last four years knows, personal loyalties and politics guided basically all of Trump’s decision-making. Gov. Jared Polis admitted to holding back his criticism of Trump’s disastrous mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to not jeopardize desperately needed aid to the state. Sen. Cory Gardner’s widely-mocked attempt to secure a small number of ventilators for Colorado after federal officials appropriated an order for many more is another example of cronyism poorly substituting for leadership.

And in their gushingly fulsome endorsement of Sen. Gardner’s re-election last year, the Colorado Springs Gazette’s editorial board even tried to spin Trump’s corrupt management style as an asset to Gardner–and by extension all of Colorado:

“I turned to the president and said, ‘If you want, while the governor is here, you can tell us the permanent home of Space Command is Colorado Springs.’ The president smiled and said, ‘We should talk about that,’ just as he walked into the Oval Office,” Gardner said.

Two days later, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett told Gardner that Space Command will remain in Colorado for at least the next six years. The decision almost guarantees it will remain permanently in the Springs, as no one can defend a scenario in which taxpayers fund six more years of investment into the new combat command only to start over somewhere else.

Because of Gardner, more than anyone else, Colorado will reap the economic and cultural rewards of hosting Space Command and Space Force for years — and likely generations — to come. Gardner has relentlessly advocated for Colorado with the president [Pols emphasis] and multiple Pentagon officials.

As we all know in Colorado now, Trump only rewards loyalty when it suits him. Despite their steadfast loyalty, once Gardner and Lamborn could do nothing more for Trump the largesse for Colorado was over. Trump’s inherently corrupt transactional leadership style meant that at some point, as Doug Lamborn bitterly laments today, “politics and personal preference” would inevitably win out over what’s right. Corruption wasn’t a bug. It was a feature of Trump’s leadership.

And until Colorado Republicans accept that, they’re making excuses for corruption they participated in–and complaining only because they ended up the losers.

Get More Smarter on Friday (August 20)

Happy “World Mosquito Day.” Please celebrate by turning on your bug zapper. 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. 

 

MSNBC takes note of Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s no good, very bad week:

It’s not unusual for members of Congress to have family members who work in a variety of capacities for assorted industries, many of which relate in some way to federal policymaking. In this instance, the fact that the Coloradan is married to energy consultant is not, in and of itself, notable.

What makes Boebert’s situation controversial are the relevant details: she’s spent much of her first year on Capitol Hill pushing proposals to benefit the energy industry without disclosing the fact that her husband made nearly $1 million through energy consulting.

If you need a refresher on Boebert’s week from hell, you can start here to continue along with the story of her newfound reported wealth. This here is an entirely separate problem than the one involving her husband, Jayson’s, “employment.” Both stories involve potential campaign finance violations, but the issue with her husband’s lavish oil and gas consulting fees is the one that is likely to open up a whole new can of worms for the Rifle Republican.

If you only want to read one story on Boebert’s recent troubles, make it this one from The Washington Post.

 

More than 100 people rallied in Denver on Thursday to celebrate “Afghan Independence Day” and bring attention to the needs of incoming Afghan refugees following the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Department of Homeland Security says that Afghan refugees are being offered the COVID-19 vaccine before they travel elsewhere in the United States.

The Denver Post has more on what you can to do help Afghan refugees coming to Colorado.

 

Republican State Rep. Matt Soper appears to have been coaching people about how to get involved in Colorado’s redistricting process, unintentionally unmasking the presence of several Republican operatives in the process. As Evan Wyloge reports for The Colorado Springs Gazette:

On the video training, Rep. Matt Soper, a Delta Republican, lamented the fact that the independent redistricting commission system is designed to elicit input from non-political, everyday people talking about their communities, and not from incumbent lawmakers who want to keep a safe seat for themselves.

“It’s been really frustrating because throughout the process,” Soper, who led the training, said, “I’ve heard over and over again, they don’t want to hear from incumbents.”

The state constitution prohibits drawing districts to protect incumbent lawmakers.

And here’s where Soper sucks in other Republican operatives:

In the video, Soper also told the training participants that a set of high-profile lobbyists who work for an organization whose donors are secret have been advocating for the GOP lawmakers’ interests, even though the group’s representatives have said they aren’t working for Republicans.

“The Colorado Republican Party, the House Republicans and Senate Republicans hired Alan Philp, Greg Brophy and Frank McNulty to represent our interests,” Soper told the training participants. [Pols emphasis]

Frank McNulty is a former Colorado House Speaker. Greg Brophy is a former Colorado House and Senate member. Alan Philp runs a political consulting firm and is a registered lobbyist for the organization that the three are working under, called Colorado Neighborhood Coalition.

Whoops!

In a response, Philp laughably told the Gazette that he doesn’t know Soper.

The Unaffiliated newsletter of The Colorado Sun has more on this story. We’d link to it for you if there WAS a link, because here’s one of the best parts:

Delta County Republicans were told by GOP officials to “take one for the team,” Soper said during the virtual meeting. “That was just a slap in the face. And it really just shows we’re a divided Republican Party as well.”

 

Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has the latest on the massive elections fraud scandal in Mesa County:

It may come down to the courts to decide who has the legal authority to name a temporary designated election official in Mesa County, the Board of Commissioners or the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

That legal question has put both elected agencies at an impasse as a result of Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s declaration Tuesday that Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is unfit to serve because of her alleged involvement in an election security breach. Currently, Griswold’s office, District Attorney Dan Rubinstein and the FBI are investigating the matter, which could lead to criminal charges.

Elsewhere, The Huffington Post picks up the story of “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell apparently providing safe harbor in Texas for Tina Peters.

 

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It’s Official: “MyPillow” Guy Harboring Maybe-Fugitive Tina Peters

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell.

Vice confirming an unverified report we noted two days ago: drain-circling 2020 election conspiracy theorist Mike “MyPillow Guy” Lindell, fresh off his disastrous so-called “Cyber Symposium” which revealed absolutely no election fraud last week in South Dakota, is presently harboring Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters at an undisclosed location while the combined federal and state investigation into the breach of security in Mesa County’s elections systems continues:

Lindell told VICE News that he had initially taken Peters to Texas following his three-day Cyber Symposium last week, where the Colorado official was a star attraction. But a disgruntled member of Lindell’s own security team leaked Peters’ location earlier this week and so she was moved to another, unknown, location.

“She’s worried about her safety, these people are ruthless,” Lindell told VICE News on Wednesday evening, referring to Dominion Voting Systems—which is suing the MyPillow CEO for $1.3 billion—and to Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who has opened an investigation into Peters’ actions.

On Tuesday, the FBI announced it was working with the District Attorney’s office in Colorado “on the forensic review and analysis of county voting systems to determine if there was a potential federal criminal violation,” FBI Denver office spokeswoman Courtney Bernal told the Denver Post.

We don’t know at this point to what extent (if any) Clerk Peters is cooperating with the investigation proceeding back home in Mesa County, or the whereabouts of Sherronna Bishop, Rep. Lauren Boebert’s former campaign manager to traveled to Lindell’s event with Clerk Peters. Investigators have reportedly obtained a search warrant seeking access to a wide variety of communications in various formats and also Peters’ physical cell phone. The continuing disclosures about Peters’ personal role in allowing unauthorized access to and duplication of Mesa County’s election system data, going so far as turning off security cameras protecting the equipment, all appear to implicate her directly in the felony offenses alleged.

Bernal did not respond to VICE News’ request for comment on whether the office had been able to speak to Peters, or if Lindell could face prosecution for his role in both promoting the stolen data and preventing Peters from being questioned.

The one thing we can say with certainty is this impasse will not be allowed to go on for long. The Secretary of State’s office, the Mesa County DA, and the FBI all on the ground in Grand Junction have no obligation to coddle anybody involved, whether subjects of the investigation or someone who might at some point soon be harboring a fugitive from justice–which is, in case Mike Lindell wasn’t aware, also a crime.

Stay tuned, we’re pretty sure the exciting part of this made-for-TV crime drama is about to start.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (August 19)

Happy “World Humanitarian 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. 

 

Where is Tina Peters?

That’s the question everybody is asking lately about the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder who is facing multiple investigations over a breach of election security in May. Peters might be hiding out in Texas at the moment, harbored (at least in part) by “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell.

In related news, former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams thinks Peters should resign from her position, but the State Republican Party in Colorado can’t figure out what to say:

Click here to read more about the weird story of Peters and some of her fellow conspiracy-minded Western Slope cronies.

 

Yahoo! reports on new polling related to the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan:

Amid the swift and sudden collapse of Afghanistan this week — and widespread coverage of the chaos that has engulfed the war-weary country as the Taliban seized control again — support for both the long-planned withdrawal of U.S. forces and for President Biden’s handling of foreign policy has declined significantly, according to a new Yahoo News poll.

At the same time, more Americans still favor the U.S. withdrawal than oppose it — and there are early signs that the political fallout for the president could be limited in the long run. [Pols emphasis]

Biden’s polling slide on foreign policy is largely due to unease from Republican voters.

 

 Colorado organizations are preparing to assist in relocating Afghan refugees to our state.

 

The 2022 election is fast approaching, so why do Colorado Republicans STILL not have serious candidates for most of the major statewide races on the ballot next November?

 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) continues to use her campaign account as her own personal slush fund. Federal investigators are looking into some strange reimbursements from her last campaign finance report.

Meanwhile…

 

Let’s not make any effort to come up with new explanations here. There is a term for this already: It’s called “lying.”

 

 

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Mesa County Commissioners Have Got A Lot Of Nerve

Clockwise from bottom left: Scott McInnis, Cody Davis, Janet Rowland, and Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters.

Colorado Public Radio reporters Megan Verlee and Bente Birkeland have the latest on the continuing election equipment security breach scandal in Mesa County, where Clerk Tina Peters is under both local and FBI investigation after passwords and data from election systems was stolen and leaked to far-right conspiracy theorists, in a fruitless attempt to uncover supposed election fraud:

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced Peters will be barred from overseeing the election, due to evidence that she facilitated a major security breach in her office. Peters is accused of helping unauthorized people copy the hard drives of sensitive election equipment and release that information on the internet.

Griswold named Mesa County’s former clerk Sheila Reiner — who is now the county treasurer — to step in for the next election. To assist Reiner, Griswold named an advisory panel that includes state Rep. Janice Rich, who is also a past Mesa County Clerk, former Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, and Ouray Clerk and Recorder Michelle Nauer.

Reiner and Rich are Republicans, Buescher is a Democrat, Nauer ran as a Republican but the Grand Junction Sentinel reports she recently switched to unaffiliated.

“The people of Mesa County deserve safe and secure elections. I am confident that with these appointments, voters in Mesa will be able to exercise their constitutional right to have their voices heard in our democracy,” said Griswold in a release announcing the appointment.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell.

But as 9NEWS reports, all-GOP Mesa County Board of Commissioners is pushing back against Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s orders, and seeking to appoint none other than former Secretary of State Wayne Williams–who Griswold ousted from the job she holds today back in 2018:

Just after Griswold’s announcement, Mesa County commissioners began a meeting in which they discussed nominating a supervisor of their own.

“There’s an immediate need, in my opinion, an immediate need, to counter what the Secretary of State is doing. Our position is she is out of her lane, this is our territory, not her territory,” said Commissioner Scott McInnis (R).

The Mesa County Commissioners ultimately voted to have former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who was defeated by Griswold in the 2018 election, run Mesa’s November 2021 election. Williams is currently a Colorado Springs City councilman.

That’s right–instead of allowing the Secretary of State to appoint the immediate past Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner, a widely-respected Republican official with a long history of integrity under fire from Republican election conspiracy theories, the Mesa County commissioners are choosing to undercut the Secretary of State and snub the clear best choice to oversee Mesa County elections–in favor of a much more overtly partisan Republican who lives 300 miles away and is already busy serving as a Colorado Springs city councilor.

It’s most likely going to come down to a court fight, and the Secretary of State insists she has the authority to appoint the replacement in addition to the authority everyone agrees she has to remove Clerk Peters from her election management responsibilities. Either way, it’s politically extremely risky for the Mesa County’s all-GOP commissioners to be pushing for what could easily be interpreted as a crony appointment over a highly qualified local they don’t happen to like as much. Whether they like it or not, Mesa County is now at the epicenter of a nationwide scandal involving fellow Republicans who refuse to accept that Donald Trump lost the election–and are now committing crimes of their own while trying and failing to prove it:

Peters’ appearance at Lindell’s event and the information she allowed to be leaked to other conspiracy theorists was intended to show that election equipment supplied and maintained by Dominion, which Mesa and most other Colorado counties use, are somehow faulty. Her evidence, however, offered no such proof.

If Cody Davis, Janet Rowland, and Scott McInnis don’t want themselves to be forever tainted by the crimes Tina Peters is alleged to have committed in pursuit of the “Big Lie,” we suggest a lot less territoriality and a lot more cooperation.

Hola FBI: Mesa County Elections Breach Probe Goes Federal

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Whoa.

—–

UPDATE: Fugitive from justice, anyone?

It seems to us as though Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters ought be in Colorado where so many people want to talk to her, for example the Mesa County DA and the FBI. On the upside, if Peters is on the lam she can’t complain much about being relieved of her elections duties.

How will it end? Your guess is as good as ours, but it’s getting crazier by the minute.

—–

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell.

CNN updates with the latest developments in the investigation into a security breach in the Mesa County clerk’s office that resulted in passwords and data from Dominion Voting Systems election computers being publicly distributed by Ron Watkins, who is alleged to be in large part behind the “QAnon” conspiracy theory movement.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who fled the state last week while search warrants were executed on her office to attend Mike Lindell’s thoroughly discredited “Cyber Symposium,” could get a one-way ticket to Club Fed before all is said and done:

The FBI Denver field office has joined a Colorado district attorney’s investigation into the County Clerk’s office and how voting machine logins from the county wound up in a QAnon-affiliated video, an FBI spokeswoman told CNN.

Voting machine logins from Mesa County were featured in an August 3 video posted on a QAnon-affiliated Telegram ​channel about 2020 election fraud claims.

In a press conference last week, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold blamed Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters for the leak, saying the secretary of state’s office could not establish a verifiable chain of custody ​for the machines, and that Peters brought a “non-employee” to a May 25 “trusted build” meeting where closely guarded voting machine login credentials were visible to attendees. Griswold said her employees had been misled to believe that the “non-employee” in question was a county employee.

The FBI joining the case is important for two reasons: first and foremost obviously they are investigating potential violations of federal law. But there’s also been some concern expressed as this scandal has developed that fellow Republican Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein might not be as eager to press charges against Peters out of partisan loyalty. The FBI in addition to Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s close eye on the situation should go a long way toward encouraging Rubinstein to faithfully execute his responsibilities.

Meanwhile, as the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, the usual-suspect far-right mobs who have been showing up to Mesa County Board of Commissioner meetings to threaten civil war over having to wear facemasks turned out in force yesterday to defend Tina Peters:

Earlier on Monday, a large group of Mesa County residents asked the county commissioners to condemn Griswold for her investigation and to stand behind Peters, saying the clerk is a hero for trying to uncover cracks in the state’s election system…

Monday’s appearance by two dozen local residents, many of whom were part of an effort in June calling on the county to declare itself a “constitutional sanctuary,” questioned the results of the 2020 election, all offering anecdotal evidence to support their claims.

When these same angry mobs were threatening civil war over public health orders to control the spread of COVID-19 a few weeks ago, the all-Republican Mesa County Board of Commissioners found itself in the strange position of having to argue against the message of the area’s representative in Congress, Rep. Lauren Boebert. After all, Boebert’s regular attacks on preventative measures and the “experimental vaccine” directly fueled the fire of the mob who showed up to threaten Mesa County commissioners. It’s difficult to have sympathy for Republicans who have benefited from this same irrational political movement when it turns and bites them as it has in Mesa County, but the conflict was and remains highly revealing.

Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland (R).

In that spirit we turn to Commissioner Janet Rowland, who can best be described as distastefully conservative, yet nonetheless rebutted yesterday’s mob questioning the results of the 2020 elections so perfectly we couldn’t have written it better ourselves:

“There is an ongoing investigation, not just by the Secretary of State, but by our own elected district attorney, Dan Rubinstein, who I’m guessing most of you voted for,” Rowland said…

“When I hear questions about the election results being compromised in Mesa County, what I hear is you are saying (U.S. Rep.) Lauren Boebert wasn’t legally elected in Mesa County,” Rowland said. [Pols emphasis] “(Rep.) Janice Rich, (Rep.) Matt Soper, (commissioners) Janet Rowland, Cody Davis, none of us were legally elected, there was fraud. That’s what I hear. I’m having a hard time understanding that.”

Folks, Janet Rowland is not just right. With one simple counterpoint, Rowland has effectively refuted every Republican–especially every Republican elected to office in 2020–who claims without evidence that the 2020 elections were stolen. Because if we can’t trust the system in one case, how can we trust it in any case? Boebert has no answer for this, neither does Rep. Matt Soper who baselessly second-guessed Dominion Voting Systems hardware after his preferred candidates lost the Grand Junction City Council elections last spring–despite his own victory the prior November being counted on Dominion machines.

By the time this is over, Mesa County’s Republican commissioners, simply by being forced to confront the byproducts of Republican misinformation in their jurisdiction, could do more to undo the GOP narrative in 2021 than any Democrat possibly could. For whatever reason, this deep-red county is where the rubber of Republican rhetoric is meeting the road–and it is not going well.

Every American should know what’s happening here.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (August 17)

Happy birthday to you if your birthday is today. 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. 

 

The big political news continues to revolve around the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and the swift takeover of that country by the Taliban. While the Taliban takeover was not unexpected, it did happen quicker than many analysts had suggested.

Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora), a former Army Ranger who served two tours in Afghanistan, was among those on Monday who were critical about the process of withdrawal. As The Denver Post reports:

“I’m not going to mince my words on this: We didn’t need to be in this position,” the Centennial Democrat said during a news conference. “We didn’t need to be seeing the scenes we’re seeing at Kabul’s airport with our Afghan friends climbing aboard C-17s.”

“We should have started this evacuation months ago,” Crow added. “Had we done that, tens of thousands of folks could have been brought to safety. It could have been done deliberately and methodically. That was a missed opportunity.”

The collapse of Afghanistan’s government over the weekend has left tens of thousands Afghans who translated for or otherwise helped U.S. soldiers desperate for a way out of the country. Those who remain fear they will be killed by the Taliban, a terror group that controls the country.

Compared to Crow’s criticism of the process of the American withdrawal in Afghanistan, other Colorado Republicans have been busy doing their best to blame the very idea of withdrawal on President Bidennevermind that this contradicts everything they themselves have said in the previous couple of months.

Denver7 provides a list of resources for military veterans and families impacted by the unfolding situation in Afghanistan.

 

 If there is a “deep end” to be found in the rhetoric about Afghanistan, you’ll find Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) frantically trying to be the first to reach the very bottom.

 

Were it not for the situation in Afghanistan, the big story today would be news that the federal government is for the first time requiring mandatory water reductions for some users of the Colorado River. Arizona will be hit hardest, losing 18% of its allocation of Colorado River water beginning in early 2022.

As Colorado Public Radio explains, Monday’s decision comes at the same time that Gov. Jared Polis and other Western Governors are asking the Biden administration for additional federal resources because of severe drought in 99% of western states.

 

ANYONE entering a Jefferson County school will be required to wear a mask after a new decision Monday by the Jefferson County Public Health Department.

9News tries to keep up with the various mask requirements for school districts across the state.

 

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters had better find herself one hell of a lawyer:

 

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Has Boebert Finally Gone Too Far?

“The Taliban are the only people building back better.”

Freshman GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, as readers know painfully well by now, seeks by design to be one of the most outrageous voices contributing to the din around every major news story. On any available subject, Boebert can be consistently depended upon to offer a shocking statement more or less entirely for its shock value, in hope that sheer bombast will lead to either news coverage or at least an avalanche of social media attention–attention which Boebert does not bother to distinguish between support and condemnation. Generally speaking, it’s all the same to her.

But yesterday, as Newsweek’s Jack Beresford reports, Boebert appears to have miscalculated the response to the Tweet you can see above, which unambiguously expresses support for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan while American officials try desperately to evacuate thousands of allies and American citizens from the country:

GOP congresswoman Lauren Boebert has been criticized for appearing to express support for the Taliban and also mocking footage showing several Afghans clinging to a U.S. military plane on Monday.

Boebert has been a vocal critic of President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan in a move that has seen Taliban insurgents seize control of much of the country over the past week.

However, her latest tweets have not sat well with many on social media, who were quick to take the freshman Representative to task over her choice of words.

Huffington Post:

There are grave concerns the Taliban will roll back basic human and democratic rights, especially for women, and oversee a return to the extremist Islamic rule that Afghans lived under from 1996 to 2001.

Boebert, a major cheerleader for Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential election lies, has faced scrutiny over her role in inspiring the violent insurrection led by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Her critics slammed her for the Taliban-friendly quip after she helped foment a domestic terrorism incident.

They also recirculated a notable February tweet in which Boebert called out Biden for delaying the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan: “We need to end the endless wars,” she said at the time.

As with so many Republicans savaging the Biden administration for what everyone agrees was a more troubled exit than anyone hoped for, Rep. Boebert has a long record of hypocritical statements enthusiastically supporting former President Donald Trump’s similar promises to pull American troops out of Afghanistan–including Trump’s boast just a month ago that his actions had forced the Biden administration to stay on track to withdraw against their wishes. Republicans aren’t even trying to reconcile these contradictory viewpoints as they pile on the administration today.

From what we can see, Boebert is the only Republican who took the additional step of praising the Taliban.

The vitriol in American politics has grown immeasurably in recent years, most of it coming from the right as Trump smeared and slandered his way to power. But when partisan hostility grows so intense that one side starts cheering on a foreign enemy posing an immediate threat to thousands of Americans and our allies, something has got to give.

Or this isn’t the country it used to be.

Go Ahead and Ignore Republicans on Afghanistan

President Biden spoke this afternoon from the White House regarding the situation in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of American forces from that country and the subsequent takeover by Taliban forces. As The Washington Post reports:

In remarks at the White House Monday afternoon, President Biden acknowledged that the collapse of Afghanistan’s government and security forces took place more rapidly than expected — but maintained that withdrawing U.S. troops from the country was the correct decision.

“The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated,” Biden said. “So what’s happened? Afghanistan’s political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed, some … without trying to fight. If anything, the developments of the past week reinforced that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision.”

He added: “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”

Meanwhile, both around the country and here in Colorado, Republicans are crowing about the perceived failures of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. It’s the kind of back seat driving/Monday morning quarterbacking that Republicans have long favored as opposed to offering up any sort of actual policy proposal of their own.

Former President Trump is accusing Biden of having “surrendered” to the Taliban — and even, absurdly, calling on Biden to resign as President — while insisting that he would have handled the withdrawal of military forces differently. Never mind that it was the TRUMP ADMINISTRATION that negotiated the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan back in December 2020

In fact, here was Trump in July 2021 (yes, LAST month):

 

Nobody would argue that the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan is going well, but it’s likely that the swift Taliban takeover in the region was going to happen whenever America finally left Afghanistan. As The Washington Post explains, the complete failure of the Afghan security forces to offer any real resistance to the Taliban was not a huge surprise. 

Yet in their zeal to pin all of the negative effects of the withdrawal on Biden, Republicans are again completely ignoring their own history. For example, here’s Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle):

In that last Tweet, Boebert quotes right-wing talking head Jack Posobiec, whom Reddit users already discredited over the weekend.

Appearing on Fox News over the weekend, Boebert’s Colorado colleague, Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), haughtily condemned the Biden administration over the Afghanistan withdrawal:

We are a strong country with a weak President…

…President Biden was misleading the American people and putting Americans at risk, and foreigners at risk, inside Afghanistan with just a foolhardy plan.

This is interesting, considering that just a few months ago Buck was clamoring for a full withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. Here’s what he wrote in a letter co-signed by Rep. Barbara Lee in March of this year:

“We support your administration’s pledge to advance a negotiated end to this war, and we believe that meeting the May 1 deadline is vital to this effort…But it is long past time for the United States to end its military role in a complex conflict that predates our initial invasion two decades ago.”

Congressman Buck has long been an adherent of taking every side on every issue, so his mealy-mouthed talk on Afghanistan is no huge surprise. This is all illustrative (again) that Republican politicians largely have absolutely nothing useful to add to the problem.

Republicans are going to say something today that is completely different than whatever they said yesterday, and if the situation changes tomorrow…then they’ll say something else. It’s as predictable as it is useless.

The Sad Continuing Decline Of Rep. B.J. Nikkel

Longtime readers will recall former GOP state representative Betty June “B.J.” Nikkel of Loveland, whose star briefly shined in the mid-2010s as a social-issue reasonable conservative Republican after she signed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of LGBT marriage equality–and might have been a contender for higher office had the Colorado GOP as a unit become more tolerant (it of course did not).

Unfortunately, former Rep. Nikkel’s sensible shine started to fade after she became a devoted supporter and Colorado chair of Women for Trump in 2016. Throughout Trump’s single term in office, Nikkel’s social media relentlessly broadcast every kind of Trump agit-prop and nugget misinformation, leading in the days after the January 6th insurrection to the inevitable:

Twitter may have shut down Nikkel’s account when it became too insurrectionist for their terms of service, but apparently Facebook’s standards are lenient enough that Nikkel is allowed to keep her platform there. And checking in last week while “MyPillow” conspiracy guy Mike Lindell’s flop sweat-laden “Cyber Symposium,” which revealed precisely zero promised proof of election fraud last week, we see that Nikkel was cheering on this most epochal of nothingburgers:

Is any of this unique? No. But in Nikkel’s case, because of her once-reasonable record it’s more than a little bit sad. There may be something to the theory that being rejected by the Colorado GOP due to Nikkel’s adverse position on LGBT rights made her more susceptible to Donald Trump’s insurgent (at least in 2016) message. But to still be clinging to this discredited dead-ender denial over Trump’s defeat last November tells us Nikkel won’t be coming back to reality anytime soon, maybe ever.

All these years later, Nikkel is a cautionary tale: even some of the “good ones” went off the deep end for Trump.

The Get More Smarter Podcast (ft. Rep. Ed Perlmutter)

This week on Episode #83 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) about all of the work he and his fellow Democratic Members of Congress are doing to bring back federal money to their districts for community projects and infrastructure improvements.

Later, we look into the news that Joe Biden is still the President of the United States despite the efforts of “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell, with some bizarre (and probably illegal) help from Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters.

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

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

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Get More Smarter on Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th — the only such day of 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 

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

 

The U.S. Census Bureau released a trove of new demographic data from the last decade on Thursday. The big national takeaway is that the number of white people in the United States fell for the first time in the country’s recorded history. More specific to Colorado, the Greeley metropolitan area is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, and the City of Denver is one of the 10 cities in the U.S. with the biggest population gain over the last decade.

The Denver Post elaborates on the Colorado-centric aspects of the data release:

Colorado fits right in with several of the biggest nationwide trends shown by the data, including continued migration south and west, away from the midwest and northeast. The state and country are also less white overall. A record low of about 58% of people nationally now identify as non-Hispanic white, the census reports.

The Washington Post also highlights the growth in Colorado’s northern Metro area.

 

President Biden and Vice President Harris are still in office at this moment and do not appear to be close to resigning their positions. Today, of course, is the day that adherents of “The Big Lie” (including “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell) predicted would be the end of the Biden administration.

It has now been 283 days since the November 2020 election. Move it along, people.

For more on how Lindell’s “cyber symposium” worked out, check out Aaron Blake’s column in The Washington Post titled, “The spectacular implosion of Mike Lindell.”

 

 Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is in some pretty deep doo-doo. As the Colorado Secretary of State’s office outlined on Thursday, it appears that someone in the Mesa County Clerk’s office turned off security cameras at exactly the same time that screenshots from the electronic voting software were captured. As a result, Mesa County will have to go to considerable expense to replace all of its election equipment. Peters, naturally, is invoking “Nazi Germany” in her self-defense. As The Denver Post explains, Peters addressed the issue publicly while attending Mike Lindell’s “cyber symposium” in South Dakota:

“My job looks like it’s on the line but you know what? The people of Mesa County elected me, not the secretary of state,” Peters said.

“If those passwords were compromised, why can’t they just change them? How many of you have had to change your email password before? Is that a big deal? You just change it. We’re not in the middle of an election right now,” she said. “It’s not like some secret people came and did something nefarious.”

Um, well, actually…

Peters repeatedly referred to a search Tuesday — in which secretary of state’s office employees and Mesa County district attorney’s office employees investigated the election equipment, cameras and visitor logs — as a “raid.”

“This is not Nazi Germany. We cooperate together. We have bipartisan judges. Why couldn’t we have bipartisan judges in there in that room when they were raiding my office?” she told the crowd.

Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Sentinel has more on Peters’ vague comments from Thursday.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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MesaGate: When The “Truthers” Turn The Cameras Off

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (R).

The Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports from a press conference held this morning by Secretary of State Jena Griswold, in which Griswold disclosed damning new details about the recent security breach in Mesa County election systems that resulted in confidential information being leaked to far-right conspiracy theorists–and ordered all affected elections equipment in Mesa Country immediately decertified:

The Mesa County Clerk’s Office allowed an unauthorized person into sensitive areas where its election equipment is located, had turned off surveillance cameras that were supposed to be monitoring those machines and failed to show proper chain of custody after new software was installed, The Daily Sentinel has learned.

Those are the conclusions that the Secretary of State’s office just announced today, prompting Secretary of State Jena Griswold to officially decertify all of the county’s election equipment…

That means that 41 individual scanners, servers, tablets and other election equipment that the clerk’s office owns cannot be used. How much it would cost the county to either replace them or find a way to get them re-certified is unknown. Altogether, they are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Everything reported so far points to Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ direct involvement in the breach of security in May during an update of election hardware that resulted in passwords being leaked to the right-wing blog Gateway Pundit by way of infamous 8chan founder and suspected QAnon puppeteer Ron Watkins. But perhaps the most damning evidence yet directly implicating Peters’ office was disclosed in today’s report:

The order says that Peters or someone else in her office order that those cameras be turned off before that installation occurred. They were not reactivated until sometime in August, “which is inconsistent with the department’s understanding of the normal course of business practice in Mesa County.”

As with every criminal investigation, there are degrees of culpability to consider. It would be one thing for an outside operative to steal sensitive information without Clerk Peters’ knowledge. Just providing that unauthorized person access to breach security is bad enough, of course, but the question now becomes whether or not Peters allowed or even intended for that third party to leak it.

Turning the cameras off strongly suggests either Peters or someone in her office was in on the whole thing.

Again, and it’s necessary to say this every time so there’s no confusion: these passwords could not have been used to change the results of any election. These are by all accounts local-only passwords for hardware not even connected to the Internet, which means no one outside the room could do anything with them to tamper with election results. That’s why it’s so important to know who’s in the room.

At this point, there’s no question that the criminal investigation underway by Mesa County’s Republican DA Dan Rubinstein is necessary–and we hope Rubinstein can carry it out impartially. Rather than proving election fraud, which nothing they uncovered proved, Clerk Peters and her unhinged band of conspiracy theorist friends may have shown once again how far Republicans are willing to go to prove that election fraud is possible despite any evidence it is actually occurring.

Far enough to make criminals of themselves.

CO GOP Selects Member of QAnon-Linked Conspiracy Group That Organized Jan 6 Caravan As Its ‘Election Integrity’ Chair

(The asylum is under new management – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

One of USEIP’s map for its Jan 6 caravan featured white nationalist meme Pepe the Frog.

The chair of the Colorado Republican Party’s new committee to safeguard the state’s elections is also a member of and working closely with a QAnon-linked election fraud conspiracy group.

The group, the U.S. Election Integrity Plan (USEIP), was founded in Colorado last November. It not only promotes the debunked “Big Lie” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, but coordinated a caravan of protestors from Denver to Washington D.C. for the January 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol, providing routes, racial maps of the city, and a forum where attendees discussed tactics and weapons to bring to the event, which they expected to be, as President Trump called it, a “wild protest.”

Colorado’s Republican Party leader, Kristi Burton Brown appointed USEIP member Emily Brake, a Boulder County GOP member, earlier this year to run the party’s “Election Integrity Operations Action Committee.” Brown herself has questioned the validity of the 2020 election results both nationally and in Colorado.

USEIP organized several election fraud conspiracy rallies at the Colorado Capitol in late 2020 and early this year. and also coordinated a caravan of members. Its planning for the caravan to attend the “Stop the Steal” January 6 rally in Washington DC included not only logistical support such as carpooling, routes and lodging options, but also discussion of which weapons would be best suited for carrying during the event.

In a USEIP chat room, member Theresa Watson, who also serves as the Boulder County GOP Chair, referenced videos about how to use a “tactical pen,” which is a heavy metal pen intended not to be used as a writing instrument but as a weapon for stabbing an opponent.

“A tactical pen is a good equalizer to carry in a crowd,” posted Watson. “Jason Hanson, former CIA agent has a good quality one — I’d avoid Amazon and Walmart versions –and he has many videos about how to use and getting away quick. Plus things you thought you’d never need to know.”

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Holy Symposium: Mesa County Clerk Scandal Explodes

UPDATE: Sure thing, folks:

We’ll update. Maybe. It had better be good.

—–

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters with “MyPillow Guy” conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell.

Yesterday’s Colorado political news headlines were dominated by an investigation ordered by Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s into an alleged serious breach of election systems security in Mesa County, in which passwords to access Dominion Voting Systems workstations was leaked and eventually wound up posted to a right-wing blog falsely claiming they could be used to remotely log into (and therefore tamper with) election systems.

Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who has previously made bizarre and unfounded claims about elections systems in support of ex-President Donald Trump’s contention the election was stolen despite having certified her own county’s results last November with no issues, issued a statement in response to Secretary of State Griswold’s demand for record that vaguely suggested she was involved in this breach–saying “The citizens of Mesa County have been critical of election integrity” and “I will do everything in my power to protect their vote.” Whether Peters’ vow to “protect their vote” was by finding out how this breach occurred or facilitating the breach was left unclear.

Until last night, as the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports:

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters made a surprise appearance at Mike Lindell’s symposium Tuesday, an event that purports to be looking into allegation that the 2020 president election was rigged. She said state officials were “raiding” her office while she was in flight to the South Dakota event.

Peters, who faces possible criminal charges for security breaches, told the symposium audience that whoever entered her office in Grand Junction Tuesday could have accessed whatever they wanted, and implied that they were planting false evidence.

Peters was the featured speaker at Lindell’s symposium, [Pols emphasis] an event that the My Pillow company and fervent supporter of former President Donald Trump promised would provide a smoking gun to prove that the election was rigged, regardless of a massive amount of evidence to the contrary.

Rumored 2022 GOP Secretary of State candidate Rose Pugliese regrettably shows her support for Tina Peters in 2018.

Heidi Beedle of the Colorado Springs Independent reported via Twitter that at least two additional Colorado-based “Big Lie” peddlers of note traveled to South Dakota to appear at “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell’s “Cyber Symposium” with Clerk Peters: including “Insurrectionist Man of Mystery” freshman GOP Rep. Ron Hanks and Sherrona Bishop, a close associate of Rep. Lauren Boebert. As the Washington Post’s Joseph Marks reports this morning, no evidence of election fraud is emerging from Lindell’s so-called “symposium” despite Lindell’s insistence that a bombshell was forthcoming:

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell yesterday kicked off a “cyber symposium” that promised digital proof of his outlandish claims the 2020 election was hacked.

But by the end of the first day, all he’d provided was a smattering of data that amounted to nothing, according to experts in attendance…

“This is a big fat nothing and a distraction,” Harri Hursti, a longtime election security expert who attended the conference to fact check any technical evidence, told me. Hursti is among the most prominent critics of voting machine security but has slammed election-fraud claims by Donald Trump and his supporters for lacking any hard evidence.

…Lindell began the day claiming the conference itself was the victim of hacking. Throughout the lengthy day, he alleged bombshell evidence would soon arrive that never materialized. [Pols emphasis]

Was Clerk Peters the “bombshell” Mike Lindell promised? If so, she failed to deliver the goods. This nonetheless represents a major escalation by the “Big Lie” conspiracy theorists in Colorado, who are now rallying around Peters despite no evidence Peters has done anything other than commit a crime, and capitalizing on her situation to win face time with Mike Lindell. But make no mistake, nothing Peters is doing here will help her in a potential criminal defense, which it looks like she’s going to need:

Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein has launched a criminal investigation. He said he hasn’t spoken to Tina Peters, the Clerk and Recorder for Mesa County, in quite some time.

Politically, this escalating scandal could become a debacle for Colorado Republicans looking to take back statewide offices in 2022. Former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, a longtime ally of Clerk Peters (photo above right), faces tough questions about Peters (and the 2020 elections in general) that could be enough to dissuade her from running for Secretary of State–or render her unelectable if she does run.

As we’ve said repeatedly, it’s hubris for Colorado Republicans to participate in this baseless relitigation of the 2020 elections. Colorado, with our proven record of secure and accessible elections overwhelmingly trusted by the voting public, is the wrong battlefield for “Big Lie” dead-enders. If the obsession with second-guessing 2020 becomes the face of the Colorado GOP in 2022, a third consecutive disaster awaits them at the polls.

As for “MyPillow Guy,” hopefully he holds on to enough of his money to help Clerk Peters make bail.