Romanoff Posts Awful Q4 Fundraising Numbers

Andrew Romanoff

Former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, one of many candidates seeking the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in 2020, filed his Q4 2019 fundraising report this afternoon…

It’s not good.

Romanoff reported raising about $313,000 in the last three months of 2019, leaving his campaign with roughly $686,000 cash on hand to start 2020. He also reported spending about $352,000 in Q4, which puts his burn rate somewhere south of terrible and well beyond anything sustainable.

These numbers would be fine if Romanoff were a candidate for Congress, but they are catastrophic for someone seeking a U.S. Senate seat in what is expected to be one of the most competitive races in the country in November. Here’s how Romanoff’s numbers compare to some of the other fundraising reports from the last quarter:


Romanoff can probably list a number of reasons as to why his fundraising has been so poor, but it doesn’t really matter why he is having trouble raising money. In 2020, you cannot win a U.S. Senate seat with a couple hundred thousand dollars.

Democratic frontrunner John Hickenlooper is putting together the necessary resources to win a tough U.S. Senate race after joining the field in late August. Romanoff has been a candidate for twice as long but has raised only about one-fifth of what Hickenlooper has reported.

Tomorrow is the first day of February in an Election Year. Romanoff is out of time.


Get More Smarter on Friday (January 31)

Happy Nauru Independence Day; please celebrate responsibly. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.


► It appears that we are nearing the inevitable conclusion of President Trump’s acquittal at the hands of Senate Republicans who refuse to see anything wrong with anything wrong. On Thursday evening, Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander — who is not seeking re-election — was nevertheless unable to summon the courage to support a call for more witnesses in the Senate trial. Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced that she WOULD support a call for witness testimony, but without Alexander’s support there probably aren’t enough Republicans to make that happen. CNN’s Chris Cillizza breaks down how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kept his caucus together on avoiding new witnesses.

As The Washington Post reports, the end is near — though it may be drawn out a bit longer still:

While many Republicans have expressed hopes that the expected failure of a vote to call new witnesses would mean a rapid end to Trump’s impeachment trial, officials are warning that might not be the case.

A longer schedule could mean the trial stretches beyond Monday’s Iowa caucuses, further complicating the campaign schedules of the four senators seeking the Democratic nomination who are sitting as jurors.

A senior administration official and two congressional officials said Friday it was unlikely that senators would rush immediately to a verdict after the witness vote fails. They requested anonymity to speak candidly about internal discussions.

The administration official and a congressional official raised the possibility that the Senate could take up a new procedural resolution laying out rules for the trial’s endgame — which could include time for closing arguments, private deliberations and public speeches by senators.

The Senate passed such a supplemental resolution in the middle of the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

Perhaps no Senate Republican is more emblematic of the GOP’s blind loyalty to Trump than Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner. As Greg Sargent of The Washington Post revealed on Thursday, there is significant evidence that Gardner has known for years that former Vice President Joe Biden did nothing unethical in relation to his dealings with Ukraine, which invalidates a key Trump argument about why $391 million in foreign aid was withheld from the country.

You’ll be seeing a lot of the hashtag #CoverUpCory over the next year.


► Jason Salzman of the Colorado Times-Recorder takes an impeachment-related comparison of two of the most endangered Republican Senators in 2020: Gardner and Susan Collins of Maine. You can probably guess who ends up looking better.


► Monday is the deadline to change your voter affiliation in Colorado if you want to cast a vote in the March 3 Democratic Presidential Primary. There will probably not be chaos.


► As Jim Anderson writes for the Associated Press, legislation to repeal the death penalty in Colorado moved a step closer to passage with a vote in the State Senate.


► We’re still waiting for end-of-year fundraising reports from several federal campaigns, most notably those of Sen. Cory Gardner and Democratic Senate challenger Andrew Romanoff. If both campaigns wait as long as possible to file their reports, you probably won’t hear anything about the numbers until Saturday.


Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)


WHOA: Gardner Already Knows Trump Defense is Bogus

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Cory Gardner.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner made headlines across the country on Wednesday when he announced that he would not support calling new witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial. As we’ve discussed at length in this space, there has never been any real reason to believe that Gardner would could be dissuaded from covering up for President Trump’s misdeeds. But Gardner isn’t just ignoring any evidence in the Senate trial about President Trump’s extortion attempts with Ukraine; he already KNEW that allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden were completely without merit.  

As Greg Sargent outlines today in a devastating story for The Washington Post, Gardner has known for years that there was nothing even remotely suspicious about Biden’s dealings with Ukraine.

You should really read Sargent’s entire story, but we’ll summarize as best we can. Stay with us here, because this is a significant development.

President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner.

First, you need to understand one of the primary defense arguments regarding Trump’s withholding of foreign aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into Biden. Writes Sargent:

A core claim from Trump’s team has been that Trump had at least some reason to suspect there was something untoward about Joe Biden’s efforts as vice president to oust a Ukrainian prosecutor.

They’ve cited two facts — that Biden threatened to withhold loan guarantees from Ukraine to leverage that ouster and that Biden’s son Hunter sat on the board of Ukrainian company Burisma — which they claim presented a potential conflict of interest. That made Trump’s suspicions reasonable, they say.

Gardner knows this isn’t true, but how do we know that? Because he was present at multiple Senate hearings – in 2015 and 2016 – in which it was openly discussed that Biden was following stated U.S. foreign policy goals in pressuring Ukraine to dismiss prosecutor Viktor Shokin. As Sargent explains:

But, crucially, the public record at the time also shows that the ouster of Shokin, including the use of loan guarantees as leverage, was U.S. policy — and that at least some Republican senators knew all of this as it was happening.

Gardner was in attendance at this Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on October 8, 2015, in which an assistant secretary of state named Victoria Nuland explained that it was U.S. foreign policy – supported by the International Monetary Fund — to target Shukin as part of an effort to rid the Ukranian prosecutor general’s office of corruption.

Gardner was also present at this Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on March 14, 2016, at which Nuland updated Senators on efforts to oust Shukin.

This bears repeating: Cory Gardner has known for years that there was no basis for the Trump administration to allege that Joe Biden was involved in any sort of illicit dealings with Ukraine.

Cory Gardner KNOWS that there was no reason for Trump to seek a Ukrainian investigation of Biden, let alone to withhold foreign aid in exchange for such an investigation…which means Gardner KNOWS that Trump’s actions were a blatant abuse of power.

We’ll let Sargent bring this home:

The bottom line is that it was not legitimate for Trump to claim Biden’s effort to oust Shokin was linked to Hunter’s Burisma gig to justify his corrupt demand of Zelensky. To allow Trump to make this legitimate simply by saying there might have been such a link is to concede to him the power to rewrite reality with disinformation, all to justify his extortion of a foreign power to help him cheat his way through the next election.

GOP senators who know better might be prepared to concede that power to him. But we don’t have to.

#CoverUpCory isn’t just a fun hashtag. It’s the truth.


Time’s Almost Up To Join “Operation Chaos 2020” In Colorado

As the Denver Post’s Jon Murray reports, it’s game time in the Colorado Democratic Super Tuesday presidential primary! If you’re a bored registered Republican who wants in on the party-raiding action “for the lulz,” the deadline is fast approaching:

Colorado voters have a lot of options if they want to help nominate a major-party presidential candidate this year — but some may need to act fast to meet an upcoming deadline.

The last day to change a party affiliation — or to withdraw a party allegiance to become an unaffiliated voter — is Monday, Feb. 3. To do so, visit

Colorado’s change to presidential primaries from a caucus process offers more voters the chance to participate, but their options will depend on their party affiliation, or lack thereof. Registered as a Republican, but want to help choose the Democratic nominee to take on President Donald Trump? You can do that by becoming unaffiliated. [Pols emphasis]

It’s a little surprising to see the Denver Post be so frank about how Republicans can employ Colorado’s newly restored presidential primaries, enabled by the passage of Proposition 107 in 2016, in order to monkey-wrench the opposing party. But the idea is nothing new. Back in 2008, AM radio host Rush Limbaugh hyped a campaign he called “Operation Chaos” to boost Hillary Clinton’s losing primary challenge to Barack Obama.

This year, the prevalent rumor is that Republicans are mobilizing in open primary states like Colorado to support Sen. Bernie Sanders, who according to their rationale is President Donald Trump’s most desired opponent for a “showdown” between capitalism and the dreaded S-word. Sanders won Colorado’s Democratic caucuses in 2016, but our Super Tuesday primary in which Republicans can cross over if they think ahead, and more importantly the plurality of unaffiliated voters who will almost all return the Democratic primary ballots they now automatically receive, makes that past experience useless to predict future results.

In the end, we believe unaffiliated voters taking part in the Democratic primary in good faith will be the more decisive factor, not Republicans or even conservative unaffiliated voters helping Trump pick his opponent. “Operation Chaos” always sounded more fearsome on the radio than it played out in practice, mostly because the average voter just doesn’t have the time or interest in activist shenanigans.

As for the thinking behind which candidate Republicans should “chaos” for, we’ll leave that to readers.


Cory Gardner vs. Susan Collins

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who’s one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the U.S. Senate, announced yesterday that he would not vote for more impeachment witnesses, including John Bolton.

As Gardner was officially siding with Trump, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who’s also atop the list of vulnerable Republicans, continued to act as though she was on the verge of approving Bolton and possibly other witnesses.

Despite their different stances on the impeachment trial, Collins and Gardner both come from states that voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump (Colorado went for Clinton by 4.9%, and Maine by 3%.).

This sets them apart from other vulnerable Republican senators (Iowa’s Joni Ernst, Arizona’s Martha McSally, North Carolina’s Thom Tillis), who all represent states that backed Trump in 2016 (Iowa by 9.4%, North Carolina by 3.7%, Arizona by 3.5%).

So you might think that Gardner and Collins would mostly vote together, especially on key legislation.

But that’s not necessarily the case. Even though Colorado is even bluer than Maine, at least based on the 2016 election, Gardner generally votes to the right of Collins in the Senate.

Overall, Gardner votes with Trump 89% of the time, Collins 67%.



Get More Smarter on Thursday (January 30)

On this day in 1933, Adolf Hitler was sworn-in as Chancellor of Germany. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.


► Why was #CoverUpCory trending nationally on Twitter on Wednesday? Because Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) announced — after months of dodging the issue — that he opposes calling witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump.

Earlier this week, Gardner said that he had “approached every aspect of this grave constitutional duty with the respect and attention required by law, and with the seriousness our oath requires.” He apparently forgot to add the part, “but only for two weeks.” Gardner really just wants this all to go away.

Meanwhile, the Senate impeachment trial continues today, with Republicans looking to wrap things up in the next couple of days as long as they can prevent four elephants in their ranks from voting to hear from new witnesses.


President Trump’s attorneys presented a brazen new strategy on Wednesday in the Senate impeachment trial. As Aaron Blake writes for The Washington Post:

A decade after being acquitted of murder, Alan Dershowitz’s former client O.J. Simpson questionably planned a book and a TV special titled, “If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened.”

On Wednesday, Dershowitz assisted in a novel defense for his current client, President Trump: If he did it, it’s still okay. [Pols emphasis]

As The Post’s Erica Werner, Karoun Demirjian and Elise Viebeck write, Trump’s legal team advanced an exceptionally broad defense of Trump’s actions at Wednesday’s Q&A session of the impeachment trial. The most striking parts of that defense came when they entertained the idea that Trump was indeed out for personal political gain when he asked Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a political rival, and his son Hunter Biden — despite long-standing denials that he was — and suggested even that that would be aboveboard.

It was almost as if they are girding for what might come from former national security adviser John Bolton.

In a separate story, The Washington Post points out that Trump’s attorneys notably refused to answer two very important questions.

As NBC News reports, legal experts are aghast at Dershowitz’s logic:

Dershowitz argued Wednesday that if a president engaged in a quid pro quo arrangement for their own political benefit, it is not impeachable because all politicians believe that their elections are in the public interest…

…Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Berkeley, law school, said he thought Dershowitz’s argument was “absurd and outrageous.”

“It means that a president could break any law or abuse any power and say that it was for the public interest because the public interest would be served by his or her election,” he said.

And Sanford Levinson, a University of Texas law professor, said Dershowitz’s argument was “on its face, preposterous.”

And yet…Senate Republicans are eating it up.
► Fundraising reports for federal campaigns are due to be filed before the end of the day on Friday, January 31. While many candidates for federal office in Colorado have already made their end-of-year and Q4 2019 fundraising numbers public, we’re still waiting to find out results from the campaigns of Sen. Cory Gardner and Democratic Senate challenger Andrew Romanoff. If both campaigns wait as long as possible to file their reports, you probably won’t hear anything about the numbers until Saturday.


► The Colorado State Senate is again debating legislation that would end the death penalty in Colorado. House Majority Leader Alec Garnett discusses this bill and other hot items under the Gold Dome in this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast.



Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)


The Get More Smarter Podcast: #CoverUpCory

This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, your regular (relatively) host Jason Bane is joined by Alan Franklin and producer extraordinaire Ethan Black to discuss the latest impeachment news — we had to come back and record twice just to keep up — as well as #CoverUpCory Gardner, John Bolton, and next week’s Iowa caucuses. Later, House Majority Leader Alec Garnett joins us to update the latest news on the Colorado legislative session and to provide his “lock of the week” for those of you laying down bets on the Super Bowl “Big Game” this weekend.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at

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


BREAKING: Cory Gardner Lied To Everybody

After the reports in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post went up yesterday that Sen. Cory Gardner was urging fellow Republican U.S. Senators to reject additional witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump–most notably including Gardner’s friend John Bolton, whose explosive testimony could sink Trump’s presidency–Gardner’s communications team swung into action to refute the story:

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Team Gardner appears to have prevailed on the Wall Street Journal to edit their story from the original:

Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Martha McSally of Arizona and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who face competitive races in the fall, warned colleagues in the meeting against backing more witnesses, people familiar with the matter said. The senators said a drawn-out trial could lead to more Democratic attacks and hurt their re-election chances, the people said. [Pols emphasis] None of the three senators’ offices immediately responded to requests for comment.

To read in the revised version now available:

Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Martha McSally of Arizona and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who face competitive races in the fall, addressed their colleagues in the meeting, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Gardner said a longer trial would lead to more Democratic attacks, according to a spokesman, [Pols emphasis] and Mr. Tillis called impeachment a sham. Ms. McSally’s office said she doesn’t comment on what happens in private meetings.

It’s important to be clear on this point: the pushback from Gardner’s communications people yesterday was that he was not arguing in internal meetings against additional witnesses, but rather simply complaining that “a longer trial would lead to more Democratic attacks.” The specific reference to arguing against witnesses was removed after the WSJ talked to Gardner’s spokesperson.

That’s important to have clear in your mind as the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Ernest Luning reveals what you hopefully already knew: that was all a bunch of bullshit.

“I do not believe we need to hear from an 18th witness,” [Gardner] told Colorado Politics in a statement. [Pols emphasis] “I have approached every aspect of this grave constitutional duty with the respect and attention required by law, and have reached this decision after carefully weighing the House managers and defense arguments and closely reviewing the evidence from the House, which included well over 100 hours of testimony from 17 witnesses.”

If Cory Gardner had simply said this yesterday instead of lurching into media damage control mode with his trademark noncommittal pablum, this wouldn’t be quite as embarrassing. But for some reason, Gardner felt the need to keep up the pretense of an open mind last night, seeking corrections and “clarifications” that look totally absurd with this new statement in hand. Obviously, Gardner never had any intention of supporting new witnesses. He has no intention of fairly evaluating the evidence against Trump, because he doesn’t even want to see it.

The stark reversal from working over reporters to “clarify” his statements to admitting everything in less than 24 hours is another tremendous blow to Gardner’s credibility, which has been in the late-night TV punchline netherworld for some months now following his disastrous broken-record encounter with local reporters back in October. At this point, Gardner is a nationwide poster child for the servile dysfunction of the once-proud Republican Party under Donald Trump.

There’s no coming back from this, folks. Say hello to #CoverUpCory.


Cory Gardner Can’t Take The “Road To Redemption”

Donald Trump, Cory Gardner.

The Denver Post’s editorial board has followed a long and winding road with Colorado’s junior U.S. Senator Cory Gardner: from their controversial endorsement of Gardner in 2014, through the agonizing and lengthy process of calling Gardner out in the countless instances in which Gardner broke promises and voted against most of the paper’s stated editorial values. Last March the Post rescinded their 2014 endorsement, saying “Gardner has been too busy walking a political tight rope to be a leader.”

Yesterday evening, however, the Post in their long-suffering good faith threw Gardner one more lifeline:

The road to redemption is before Gardner now in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Will Colorado’s native son stand for what is right? Will he rise above the party machinery and the right-wing talk radio that are exerting maximum pressure on Republicans to not foil their best chance at maintaining power for another four years?

If ever there was a time for Gardner to forsake Trump loyalists and special interests, this is the moment. He should remember that his power actually flows from the voters of Colorado who elevated him to this high office. It wasn’t the conservative base who chose him to be a senator from Colorado, but the swing voters in the middle who tipped the scales in his favor against an incumbent Democrat. Gardner should listen to what those constituents are saying.

Trump has abused the power of his office and threatened our republic and our democracy from within. Any remaining shadow of a doubt that could have been cast in defense of Trump’s elaborate and months-long scheme has been washed away by former national security adviser John Bolton…

This editorial went to print just as the stories from the Wall Street Journal and shortly after the Washington Post broke Gardner’s meeting with fellow Republican Senators, in which Gardner was very frank about the political risk to Republicans of allowing the trial to be extended for any reason including additional witnesses. President Donald Trump is scheduled to deliver the State of the Union address next Tuesday, and the thought of delivering that address under the cloud of ongoing impeachment is rightfully political nightmarish for the GOP.

The problem, of course, is that Gardner has relied on the evasion that he was carefully considering all the evidence in order to deliver an impartial verdict throughout the process–in contrast to so many other Republicans who have never made any pretense of impartiality. Gardner has been noncommittal to the point of headline-making absurdity when questioned by reporters about the impeachment process, but now we know despite Team Gardner’s attempts at ex post facto spin that he’s been in the tank for Trump the whole time.

Even without these latest news reports blowing the basis for the Post’s extension of the benefit of the doubt to Gardner one more time out of the water, we seriously doubt this editorial was written with any real expectation that Gardner would vote to convict the President. This is about setting the stage for Gardner’s ultimate day of reckoning, in which the Post exhorts a majority of Colorado voters to end Gardner’s political career.

On that day, the conscience of the Post’s editorial board will be at peace after many troubled years.


Oof! Grinning Gardner the Butt of National Jokes

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has had a rough couple of weeks months thanks to his transparent inability to even pretend that he’s anything more than a rubber stamp for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump on the topic of impeachment.

Gardner’s obsequiousness has made him a national punchline; on Tuesday David Leonhardt of The New York Times wrote a column referring to Gardner as “(R-Invisible),” calling him “a Trump loyalist who doesn’t want to admit it.” And last night, Gardner was the punchline in a skit on “The Tonight Show” about Republican Senators resorting to an “excuse generator” to explain their opposition to calling witnesses in a Senate impeachment trial. Take a look:

“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon poked fun at Republican Senators Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, and James Lankford before setting up the kicker:

FALLON: Next, when they asked Ben Sasse, he said, “Sorry but…I signed up for…smile lessons.”

Next, when they asked Cory Gardner, he said, “Sorry but…I’m teaching…smile lessons.” [Pols emphasis]

This is particularly brutal for Gardner because his smile is the one thing that he and his supporters have promoted above all else. He’s a nice guy! Look how much he smiles!

Before Gardner made inaccessibility his brand, the “smile” was his secret weapon. It was always disingenuous, but it wasn’t always so obviously fake in that used-car salesman kind of way. Gardner’s smile is pasted on his face in order to distract you from whatever double-cross he’s working on at the moment, and his ridiculous posturing around Trump’s dealings with Ukraine have laid that bare. Try saying “We have a trial” over and over again without cracking a smile — it’s impossible.

Even casual observers are seeing Gardner and his smile for what it really is, making him easy fodder for national columnists and late night television. When what was once your greatest political weapon becomes an open joke, your political career is in big trouble.

Via “The Tonight Show” (1/28/20)


Gardner’s Annual Ski Weekend Fundraiser Features Corporate Heavyweights

Skiing in Colorado is pretty expensive these days, but even the priciest day on the slopes isn’t nearly as expensive as skiing with Sen. Cory Gardner’s family and friends.

The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, slope-side at Beaver Creek. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

For $2,500 per person or $3,000 per family ($5,000 for corporate PACs), lobbyists and political consultants could bring partners and kids to join the Senator, his family and his staff at the Ritz Carlton hotel, slope-side at Beaver Creek, one of Colorado’s fanciest ski destinations. This year was Gardner campaign’s fifth annual ski trip fundraiser.

The fundraiser has its own logo.

Unfortunately for the guests, Gardner himself was unable to be there in person. According to one attendee, lobbyist Travis Brown, impeachment hearings kept Gardner “chained to his desk” over the weekend. His campaign spokesman did not return an email asking to confirm the reason for his absence.

In his absence, attendees were able to mingle and chat with Gardner family members, campaign staff and, of course, each other. Over 70 people (not counting partners and children) are listed on a guest list obtained by the Colorado Times Recorder.

In addition to household names like Coca-Cola, Facebook, FedEx and MillerCoors, representatives from the energy and health care industries comprised the largest portions of the event attendance list. Companies included Koch Industries, BP America, Duke Energy, Xcel Energy, Next Era Energy (the nation’s largest electric utility holding company).

United Health, Humana, and the Federation of American Hospitals were among the members of the for-profit health care industry. A lobbyist for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade association for companies with health plans governed by Medicare and Medicaid, was also on the list. AHIP is a co-founder of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, the advocacy group behind a six-figure ad campaign opposing a proposal to add a state option to Colorado health insurance exchange.

Another notable name on the guest list: Facebook’s Director of Public Policy and chief Senate lobbyist Myriah Jordan, who in 2016 signed a public letter opposing the possibility of then-candidate Trump’s presidency calling him “fundamentally dishonest” and predicting he would “use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe.” Jordan did not immediately respond to a Facebook message asking to confirm her attendance.

The Beaver Creek weekend fundraiser was paid for by Gardner For Colorado, a joint fundraising committee comprising the Gardner campaign and his leadership political action committee, Project West PAC. Four of the top ten combined contributors to Gardner’s 2020 campaign and Project West PAC were on the guest list: DISH Network ($77,000), NextERA Energy ($56,500), Xcel Energy ($52,150), and Deloitte, LLC ($46,250).

A phone call to Gardner campaign fundraiser Katie Behnke was not immediately returned.

To see the full attendance list, grouped roughly by industry, click here for the original article on the Colorado Times Recorder.


Cory Gardner Just Double-Crossed Somebody

UPDATE (7:15 pm): The Washington Post confirms earlier reporting from the Wall Street Journal:

Several Republican senators up for reelection this November and facing tough campaigns — including Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) — indicated during the meeting that they were ready to vote against witnesses and proceed to the final vote, according to two people familiar with the discussion who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private meeting.


UPDATE #3 (5:45 pm): That sound you hear is Gardner’s office campaign spokesperson FRANTICALLY trying to claw back Gardner’s two-faced “opinions” on calling impeachment witnesses.

Wait, what? Gardner’s CAMPAIGN is “clarifying” something he supposedly said in a private caucus meeting? How does that work?

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)

UPDATE #2: We changed the headline of this post to reflect the bigger story here. Our original post follows below.


UPDATE: Numerous news outlets are reporting that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his caucus today that Republicans do NOT have the votes to block calls for witnesses. And as The Wall Street Journal reports:

…at a meeting of all Republican senators late Tuesday, GOP leaders told their conference that they don’t currently have the votes to prevent witnesses from being called, people familiar with the matter said. Republicans had hoped to wrap up the trial with an acquittal of the president by this week, but Democrats have said he should appear under oath to offer a firsthand account of the president’s motivations for freezing aid to Ukraine—a matter at the heart of the impeachment case…

Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Martha McSally of Arizona and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who face competitive races in the fall, warned colleagues in the meeting against backing more witnesses, people familiar with the matter said. The senators said a drawn-out trial could lead to more Democratic attacks and hurt their re-election chances, the people said. None of the three senators’ offices immediately responded to requests for comment. [Pols emphasis]

But…that can’t be true, right? Gardner was just telling The Denver Post that he has “approached every aspect of this grave constitutional duty with the respect and attention required by law, and with the seriousness our oath requires.”


John Bolton, still popping up everywhere.

White House attorneys today rested their arguments in the “defense” portion of the Senate impeachment trial against President Trump. The big question now is pretty much the same as the big question a week ago: Will the Senate approve testimony from new witnesses regarding Trump’s alleged demand to withhold foreign aid money from Ukraine until it agreed to investigate a political rival of the President?

Senate Republicans are still divided on this question, though there are new signs of movement. Maine Sen. Susan Collins now says that she is “very likely” to support calls for witness testimony, which would likely include that of former National Security Adviser John Bolton. New polling released today from Quinnipiac University finds that 75% of Americans want to hear from witnesses in the impeachment trial, including 49% of Republicans.




Cory Gardner says He Cherishes America’s Public Lands. His Actions say Something Else.

(This is a user-created diary. Get started by clicking “Register” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Gardner Arctic Refuge Ad ScreenshotBy Adam Kolton, Executive Director, Alaska Wilderness League Action

In 2017, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado — a self-proclaimed champion of public lands — was uniquely positioned as a western Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to stand up and prevent the giveaway of one of our nation’s most iconic, cherished and biologically rich landscapes to the oil and gas industry.

Not only did he fail to that, but Gardner cast one of the swing and decisive votes that led to the inclusion of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling language as part of the 2017 Tax Act, ending more than 60 years of bipartisan efforts to safeguard the region. He did so despite a large majority of Colorado voters opposing drilling in the Arctic Refuge. And he did so despite more than 100 local Colorado businesses, including outdoor businesses like Osprey, MountainSmith, Alpacka Raft and Backpacker’s Pantry, imploring him to oppose the provision mandating oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Refuge.

Because of Senator Gardner’s double talk on public lands and role working with the Trump administration and its oil industry allies to allow drilling in this national treasure, Alaska Wilderness League Action has launched a campaign to send a clear message to Senator Gardner: It’s time for his actions to match his words.

Cory Gardner has Failed Colorado, the Arctic Refuge and our Public Lands



Gardner Finally Sees Doors Closing on His Career


As you may have heard, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) doesn’t want to talk about the impeachment of President Trump.

For more than six months now, Gardner has gone to ridiculous lengths to avoid reporter questions on the subject, fleeing from questions on foot, moving walkways, or via his favorite escape method: Capitol Hill elevators. On the rare occasion that he finds himself cornered by a reporter, Gardner vomits out nonsense answers like, “We have a trial” before he scurries away.

We’ve taken note on numerous occasions of Gardner’s proclivity for diving into little-used elevators instead of answering pretty standard questions from local and national journalists alike. Gardner’s most recent elevator escape led to this fantastic GIF on Monday that perfectly encapsulates the last few months for Colorado’s junior Senator.

It would appear, however, that Gardner has finally come to understand just how bad this all looks for him.

Politico’s Burgess Everett elaborates on this Tweet in an “impeachment update” report today:

10:25 A.M.
Cory Gardner avoids elevator moment

Sen. Cory Gardner, who is up for reelection this fall in Colorado, made sure to avoid any ridicule on social media on Tuesday morning.

Asked a question on witnesses, the GOP senator noted the last time he answered he was mocked for allowing the Senate elevator doors to close before he gave a complete answer.

“Last time I got in elevator, one of you guys filmed me and really made fun of. So I’m going to stand here and answer that question. And just ask that you don’t film me!” Gardner said with a laugh. [POLS EMPHASIS]

As to whether he will vote to hear from new witnesses, Gardner was noncommittal: “We’re in the middle of the trial. I’ll continue to listen to the arguments put forward.”

This sounds a lot like a guy who realizes that he has really screwed up here. Gardner wanted to get through the Trump impeachment trial without becoming part of the story, but his painfully obvious attempts at ducking the subject have had the exact opposite effect.

Via The New York Times (1/28/20)

Gardner’s revelation today comes on the same day that David Leonhardt of The New York Times singled out Colorado’s Junior Senator for his invisibility:

Gardner has not expressed skepticism about the obvious lies Trump’s lawyers are telling. Gardner doesn’t seem concerned about Trump perverting foreign policy for his own personal interests. And Gardner has shown no interest in hearing all the relevant evidence by calling witnesses to testify…

…Gardner is making a bet. Even though many of his constituents — most, perhaps — believe that Trump has violated his oath of office, Gardner has evidently decided that he can safely ignore them.

In November, Colorado’s voters will get a chance to prove him wrong.

We’ve said for a long time that inaccessibility is the Gardner brand. The Yuma Republican appears to now understand that he made a huge marketing mistake.


Allard: Gardner Doing ‘Right Thing’ on Impeachment

(Better with a laugh track – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Sen. Wayne Allard (left) and Sen. Cory Gardner

Colorado Republican Wayne Allard, who served in the U.S. Senate during the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, says Sen. Cory Gardner, a fellow Republican, is doing the “right thing” by holding off on his impeachment decision.

Gardner can “explain why he voted one way or the other” after he casts his vote, said Allard.

Gardner, who once worked for Allard, faces “a lot of misinformation out there,” as he decides how to vote on the impeachment of Trump, and he’ll have to “sift through that,” Allard told the Colorado Times Recorder Friday.

“I think Senator Gardner is doing the right thing to hold off until he’s got the facts in hand, and then he can cast his vote and explain why he voted one way or the other,” said Allard.

Unlike Gardner, who’s been silent on impeachment to the point of avoiding reporters who are chasing him through the halls and elevators of Congress, Allard published an impeachment diary in the Rocky Mountain News at the time. In multiple entries, Allard commented on all facets of the trial.

Denver Post columnist and ProgressNow Colorado director Ian Silverri lauded Allard’s impeachment diary as a “terrific time-capsule of insights into the mind of a Republican Senator deliberating whether to vote to convict a president in real-time.”

Gardner’s critics insist that the Gardner, who’s up for re-election in November, should at least take questions about the impeachment process, including queries about key procedural questions, like whether he wants to hear from former Trump adviser John Bolton.

In Friday’s inerview, Allard recalled listening to the proceedings and deciding that there was “no doubt that Clinton perjured himself.” And this was what “drove” his decision to convict, Allard said, not concerns about obstruction of justice.



Gardner’s Votes to Privatize Medicare under Scrutiny in Wake of Trump’s Comments

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner standing behind President Donald Trump.

In the wake of Trump’s comments last week that he’s willing to “look” at federal spending on entitlements, a progressive group is putting renewed scrutiny on U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) stance on Medicare and Social Security, including Gardner’s statement during his last Senate race that he would vote in the Senate to privatize Medicare, as he’d voted to do during his House tenure.

“At some point they will be,” Trump said, when asked if entitlements were on his agenda. “At the right time, we will take a look at that.”

Specifically, Trump stated his willingness to look at curbing Medicare spending.

“When you take a closer look at the records of the Senate’s most vulnerable Republicans, the takeaway is clear: Donald Trump just made their reelections infinitely harder,” said Zach Hudson, a spokesman for American Bridge in a news release, spotlighting Gardner, among other senators. “Their long track records of voting to cut Medicare and Social Security are now fair game and will receive renewed scrutiny, and that’s a recipe for disaster for these incumbent Senators.”

In the news release, Hudson pointed to a series of votes, like this one, by Gardner during his four years in the U.S. House, from 2010 to 2014, for the so-called Ryan budget, which would have, among other things, privatized Medicare. Hudson also listed multiple votes, like this one, by Gardner to raise the age of eligibility for Medicare and Social Security, even though he’d once promised not to do so.

In his comments last week, Trump did not specify how he’d address Medicare spending.

Asked during his 2014 senate race against Democrat Mark Udall if he would vote again in the U.S. Senate for the “Ryan Budget,” Gardner signaled his willingness to do so. And he offered a strong defense of his Ryan-budget vote.

“Well, I would vote for a bill [Ryan budget] that allows us to balance the budget, that protects Medicare, and that’s what I did, Senator Udall, was voted for a bill that protects Medicare, that protects retirees and their social safety nets,” Gardner said on C-Span.

This isn’t surprising coming from Gardner, who made no secret of his admiration for Ryan himself.

“This is a guy [Ryan] who understands the budget and the economy perhaps better than anybody other than Mitt Romney,” Gardner once said.

A call to Gardner’s office, seeking a reaction to Trump’s comments, was not returned.


John Bolton: Cory Gardner’s (Latest) Moment of Truth

The tipping point?

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton (no relation we assume) reports on the latest bombshell to explode in the faces of Republican Senators hoping to put the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to bed without witnesses or evidence which has emerged since the House passed the articles of impeachment last month:

The Senate was headed into the second week of the trial facing a pivotal vote on the subject, and it looked like Democrats would almost certainly not win the four GOP votes needed to subpoena new witnesses.

But that was before a report Sunday night in The New York Times.

The report, based on an unpublished manuscript by Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton, said Bolton in his forthcoming book claims the president tied $391 million in aid to Ukraine to his requests for that country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Democrats immediately pounced on the news, with the Democratic impeachment managers saying there was no excuse for GOP senators not to vote for witnesses.

Ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton’s frank disclosure that Trump deliberately and personally linked the release of aid to Ukraine with the investigation of Trump’s political opponents is consistent with the testimony of so many other witnesses during the House investigation. But to have the heart of the first article of impeachment against Trump validated by a former member of Trump’s Cabinet is, or at least would be at any other time in history, game-changing–the equivalent of the “smoking gun” Watergate tape that surfaced in early August of 1974 and sank Richard Nixon’s presidency in a matter of days.

Senate Republicans today are reportedly in chaos as they try to get a handle on this latest damning news. A press conference by a number of GOP Senators firmly in Trump’s camp was cancelled this morning, and we’re waiting for statements about Bolton to start trickling out. For Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, for whom every jot and tittle of this impeachment trial is a perilous choice of evils, what to do about Bolton is even more difficult a question. Gardner is one of a small group of GOP Senators singled out by Bolton’s political action committee for supporting a “a strong, clear, and dependable U.S. national security policy.” Back in 2014 when Gardner was running for his Senate seat, he welcomed Bolton’s endorsement with words that are now back to haunt him:

I’m excited that Ambassador Bolton has endorsed my campaign and appreciate his confidence in my message to Coloradans. We share a commitment to freedom and a desire to ensure America is respected throughout the world. As crises in the Middle East and Ukraine deepen, [Pols emphasis] we need strong leadership at home to prepare us for the further global challenges that lie ahead.

Well folks, it does appear that the crisis in Ukraine has deepened. And John Bolton is ready to talk.

How can Cory Gardner possibly vote to not allow him?


Crow Steals The Show; Trial of Cory Gardner’s Life Begins

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Cory Gardner.

This morning, impeachment manager Rep. Jason Crow of Aurora appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation, where he was questioned about whining complaints from supposedly “swing” Republican Senators–incensed over fellow manager Rep. Adam Schiff reading a CBS News report stating that GOP Senators were warned their heads would (metaphorically we hope) wind up “on a pike” if they voted against the President. Vox covered this latest round of faux outrage yesterday:

After lawmakers left the trial, several continued to voice their concerns. “I thought he was doing fine with moral courage until he got to the head on a pike. That’s where he lost me,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski. “Nothing like going through three days of frustration and then cap it off with an insult,” said Sen. James Lankford. “He has basically offended every Republican senator in there tonight,” added Sen. John Barrasso.

Even though Rep. Schiff said that he hoped the allegation in the CBS story was not true, apparently the mere suggestion that the Trump administration would have made such a statement–which of course would not have been at all out of character–was enough to make Republican Senators howl with indignation. But as Crow picks up the story on Face The Nation today, do hurt feelings matter more than Senator’s constitutional obligations?


“This isn’t about how people are feeling about this issue,” Crow told “Face the Nation.” “Everybody sitting in that chamber has taken an oath to be an impartial juror.” [Pols emphasis]

Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, who are considered critical votes in the debate over calling witnesses, have criticized impeachment managers Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler for portions of their presentations…

However, Crow said he didn’t believe the impeachment managers had “overplayed” their hand. While he “can’t read people’s minds,” he said he hoped Republicans would vote to call allow deliberations over witnesses.

“The president deserves a fair trial. The American people deserve a fair trial. And the senators who are going to have to make a really important decision here in the coming days need to have all the evidence and the full picture in front of them,” Crow said.

Over the last few days, House impeachment managers have rained historic fire on the Trump administration, making a compelling case that the President should be removed from office for manipulating foreign policy for domestic political benefit–and then obstructing Congress’ investigation into his actions. The GOP’s interim response has been that the presentation was “boring” old evidence they’ve already seen from the House proceedings–but after Sen. Cory Gardner and Senate Republicans voted repeatedly to block new evidence from being introduced that argument is ludicrous. There doesn’t even appear to be much desire to refute the facts of the case against Trump at this point, let alone justify the GOP’s contradictory position of complaining about “boring old evidence” while voting against considering new evidence.

The powerful indictment of Trump delivered by Schiff, Crow, and the rest of the impeachment managers last week isn’t going to be derailed by lame Republican complaints about a news report that few if anyone even find implausible. For Sen. Gardner, there’s just nothing to work with in this latest weak sauce of a defense, and that’s exactly what Rep. Crow drove home today on Face The Nation. If Gardner, who voted to exclude the new evidence Republicans disingenuously now complain isn’t being presented continues to stick to this untenably contradictory party line, he will pay dearly in November when Colorado voters render their own verdict.

At some level, we believe Gardner is aware of this. Gardner is seeing the same poll numbers that Democrats see. His actions in the coming week could tell an important story: whether Gardner still has the will to fight the most uphill U.S. Senate battle of 2020, or whether he is already resigned to the fate the polls forecast.


Tipton, Gardner Celebrate “Dirty Water Act”

Ricardo Lopez Jr. of the Pueblo Chieftain reports:

On Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army finalized the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which replaces the Waters of the United States Act approved by the Obama administration in 2015.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis immediately denounced the move, calling it a plan “to gut federal clean water protections.”

The revised definition identifies four clear categories of waters that are federally regulated under the Clean Water Act: the territorial seas and traditional navigable waters; perennial and intermittent tributaries; certain lakes, ponds, and impoundments; and wetlands that are adjacent to jurisdictional waters…

“In Colorado, we value our clean water. Our rivers, streams, and lakes serve as the lifeblood of our communities and help support our thriving outdoor and agriculture industries,” Polis said Thursday. “Our administration will continue to reject attempts by the Trump administration to gut proven ways to protect our health and environment.”

The Grand Junction Sentinel’s Dennis Webb:

Federal agencies on Thursday finalized a new clean-water rule that supporters including U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton say provides much-needed regulatory certainty.

But opponents, including the administration of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, say it will result in the weakest protections since the passage of the Clean Water Act nearly a half a century ago…

Last April, the Polis administration and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser submitted joint comments on the rule proposal that was finalized this week. Their letter said that as with many western states, the large majority of Colorado’s stream miles are intermittent or ephemeral. [Pols emphasis] The state said the proposal would shrink federal jurisdiction far below guidance issued in 2008 by the George W. Bush administration “to a smaller number of Colorado waters” than what presidential administrations have required since the Clean Water Act’s passage. While many ephemeral waters aren’t jurisdictional under the 2008 guidance, the new rule categorically excludes them from jurisdiction, “regardless of their connection to downstream waters,” the state wrote.

Although the new rule is intended to resolve “uncertainty” over the extent of the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction, meaning continued special-interest grumbling and court challenges since the Obama administration passed the 2015 “Waters of the United States” rule, this rollback is particularly bad for arid Western states. The seasonality of precipitation and overall scarcity of water here compared to states east of the “20 inch isohyet” means many ephemeral waterways which most certainly can contribute to water pollution in “navigable” bodies of water covered by the Act will lose their federal protection.

It’s a classic case of choosing economic interests over environmental protection, and it works against both Rep. Scott Tipton’s and Sen. Cory Gardner’s claims to be different from other Republicans on conservation–or at least attuned to how these issues differ in the state they represent from other regions of the country. The only people this new rule should make happy are those who benefit financially from being able to pollute small bodies of water with impunity.

And it’s hard to imagine that being a majority of Colorado voters.


Another Painful Elevator Escape For Cory Gardner

CNN’s Manu Raju is the latest reporter in Washington to make a run at the nation’s most elusive U.S. Senator, Cory Gardner of Colorado–and in the few literal seconds they had together, Gardner actually revealed quite a bit about where he stands in the ongoing impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

That is, with Trump:

The key thing to note here that Gardner is committing only to consider the testimony from “witnesses that we’ve heard from in the House”–not any of the damning new evidence that emerged since the House passed the articles of impeachment, and not even the testimony being freely offered by potentially explosive witnesses like ex-National Security Adviser and alleged friend of Cory John Bolton. For anyone trying to do the math to get Democrats to a majority needed to introduce new witnesses and evidence now or later in the trial, this is a strong signal that Gardner will not be breaking ranks with the President.

And it’s not surprising anyone in the know:

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

At the same time, Gardner’s continuing refusal to take a concrete position even as he votes with the President is politically self-destructive in its own right. Although this time Gardner had the mercy of a closing elevator door, he’s already become a nationwide metaphor for the total inability of Republican Senators to conduct effective oversight of their own President–or even answer the most basic questions about the case against him.

Yesterday, GOP Senators were told bluntly: “vote against the President and your head will be on a pike.” For Cory Gardner, on trial for his future as much as Trump himself, the doublespeak that served him so well winning statewide office has run head-first into the reality of who he truly serves–and it is hurting him now worse than saying nothing at all.

It’s just too easy to read between the lines.


Trump: You’re Goddamn Right I Ordered The Code Red

Oops, he said shortly afterward.

Rolling Stone’s Peter Wade reports while anyone paying attention picks their jaw up off the floor:

President Trump said he’s happy with the way the impeachment trial is going thus far because his administration has not released “materials” that would hurt his cause.

“When we released that conversation all hell broke out with the Democrats,” Trump said. “Because they said, ‘Wait a minute, this is much different than [what Adam Schiff] told us.’”

The president continued, “So, we’re doing very well. I got to watch [the impeachment trial] enough. I thought our team did a very good job. But honestly, we have all the material. They don’t have the material.” [Pols emphasis]

President Donald Trump’s gleeful apparent admission that the White House did not provide materials requested by investigators would seem to validate the second of the two articles of impeachment currently before the U.S. Senate–obstruction of Congress:

The House of Representatives has engaged in an impeachment inquiry focused on President Trump’s corrupt solicitation of the Government of Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 United States Presidential election. As part of this impeachment inquiry, the Committees undertaking the investigation served subpoenas seeking documents and testimony deemed vital to the inquiry from various Executive Branch agencies and offices, and current and former officials.

In response, without lawful cause or excuse, President Trump directed Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officials not to comply with those subpoenas. President Trump thus interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the “sole Power of Impeachment” vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.

In other words, exactly what Trump appears to have just admitted to! Will it make a difference to Republicans like Sen. Cory Gardner that Trump just yucked it up about stonewalling Congress from the information they needed to investigate allegedly impeachable offenses? We’d say it takes a certain amount of contempt for one’s own authority as a lawmaker to simply ignore this brazen disregard for Congress’ subpoena power.

Then again, it would hardly be the first time Gardner has had to debase himself for Trump’s benefit.


Crow Impresses on First Day of Impeachment Trial

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), who sits dutifully behind President Trump’s legal team on the floor of the U.S. Senate, has been getting hammered in national news outlets for his blind obedience to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Team Trump despite an oath to be an “impartial juror” in the President’s impeachment trial.

Colorado Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora), meanwhile, is earning rave reviews for his performance as one of seven House “impeachment managers” prosecuting the case against Trump. Here’s NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent Kasie Hunt on Tuesday:

In Gardner and Crow, Colorado has two high-profile connections to the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. The contrast couldn’t be more stark.

From The Daily Caller:

Tuesday’s session lasted almost 13 hours, according to CNBC. Crow, a former Army Ranger, spoke late into the evening and noted that despite the late hour, it was morning in Ukraine, where soldiers were fighting Russia and depending on U.S. aid. He previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The American people deserve answers,” Crow said Tuesday. “I remember what it feels like to not have the equipment you need when you need it. Real people’s lives are at stake. That’s why this matters. We need this information so we can ensure that this never happens again. Eventually, this will all come out.”

“We will have answers to these questions. The question now is whether we will have them in time, and who here will be on the right side of history.”

— Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora)

Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post has more on Crow’s performance from Tuesday:

Crow took to the Senate floor in the evening to argue for a subpoena of documents from OMB, where testimony and media reports suggest officials were concerned by Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine.

“We know these documents exist and we know the only reason we do not have them is because the president directed OMB not to release them,” Crow said, referring to what he claims are key documents that reveal how the president’s controversial order was enacted. “Because he knows what they would show.”

Crow went through a timeline of events related to the withholding of aid to Ukraine in the summer of 2019, punctuating his remarks on several occasions by saying, “The American people deserve answers.” Crow talked about his own combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the importance of military aid to soldiers in wartime.

“Who knew what, and when? OMB documents would shed light on OMB’s actions as the president’s scheme unraveled,” the congressman said.

Crow’s background as an Army Ranger who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan allows him to frame the withholding of military aid from Ukraine in a very personal manner; there aren’t many Members of Congress who could have the same impact, as you can see from this CNN clip below:

One member of Colorado’s Congressional delegation is standing up for what he believes and making a passionate case for his colleagues to follow. The other is Cory Gardner.

Kudos to Jason Crow.


The Get More Smarter Podcast: Colorado’s Critical Role on Choice

This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, Ian Silverii has a baby (well, not on the podcast), so Alan Franklin joins Jason Bane to talk about Sen. Cory Gardner getting hammered by national reporters; how Jon Caldara getting canned from The Denver Post epitomizes a larger problem for Colorado Republicans; and how Big Potato picked up a smashing victory. Later, journalist Madeleine Schmidt joins Alan and Jason to discuss her reporting for Jezebel about Colorado’s important role as a safe-haven for women facing difficult decisions about abortions later in pregnancy.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at

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Where’s Cory? Right Next to Team Trump

As multiple news outlets have reported, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is widely expected to follow along with the wishes of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump’s scurrilous legal team on all issues related to Trump’s impeachment trial underway in the U.S. Senate.

Lest there be any doubt, check out where Gardner has been seated today: He literally could not be any closer in proximity to Trump’s legal team. Gardner’s typical seat in the Senate chambers is at the back of the room; Gardner is instead squatting in the seat reserved for Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe.

U.S. Senate chambers, January 21, 2020