Get More Smarter on Friday (May 20)

Enjoy the slush. 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 

 

Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, really worked overtime in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election. As The Washington Post reports:

Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona lawmakers after the 2020 election to set aside Joe Biden’s popular-vote victory and choose “a clean slate of Electors,” according to emails obtained by The Washington Post.

The emails, sent by Ginni Thomas to a pair of lawmakers on Nov. 9, 2020, argued that legislators needed to intervene because the vote had been marred by fraud. Though she did not mention either candidate by name, the context was clear…

…The messages show that Thomas, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump, was more deeply involved in the effort to overturn Biden’s win than has been previously reported. In sending the emails, Thomas played a role in the extraordinary scheme to keep Trump in office by substituting the will of legislatures for the will of voters.

Thomas’s actions also underline concerns about potential conflicts of interest that her husband has already faced — and may face in the future — in deciding cases related to attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Those questions intensified in March, when The Post and CBS News obtained text messages that Thomas sent in late 2020 to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, pressing him to help reverse the election.

 

As The Colorado Sun reports for its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, Governor Jared Polis says he may push lawmakers to further delay implementation of a new gas tax depending on the state of the economy.

 

The District Attorney who covers Mesa County — Republican Dan Rubenstein said on Thursday that election conspiracy theories promoted by Mesa County Clerk and Recorder (and Secretary of State candidate) Tina Peters are complete nonsense and without merit. In fact, as The Associated Press reports:

There was “extensive evidence” that Peters’ conclusions were false and no proof found of outside election interference, Rubinstein wrote in a summary to commissioners.

Unfortunately, this probably won’t stop Peters from continuing to issue her “reports.” Her “report #4” is right around the corner.

 

Republicans in Colorado’s Congressional delegation talk a big game about the need to increase production of baby formula, but when it comes time to vote…they vanish. Republicans Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck, and Doug Lamborn voted NO on a $28 million funding bill to increase production. Boebert was also one of only NINE REPUBLICANS TOTAL who voted against legislation intended to make it easier for low-income families to purchase baby formula.

As Denver7 reports:

When asked Thursday why Boebert voted against both measures – despite chastising the administration in a tweet about the formula shortage on May 12 – she claimed the Biden administration and Democrats created the issue. Abbott has maintained no evidence shows its formula and plant caused the death of the infants, but the FDA investigation is ongoing.

“Increasing salaries for FDA bureaucrats without addressing the production and supply chain issues isn’t going to solve the shortage,” Boebert said in a statement. “Democrats should be shamed for offering false hope messaging bills, and not real solutions for moms and dads trying to feed their children.”

Nobody is preventing Boebert from offering up her own solution or legislation.

 

We made a small, but significant, adjustment to “The Big Line” on Thursday. For the first time this cycle, we moved Greg Lopez ahead of Hiedi Heidi Ganahl in the race for Governor. Neither Lopez nor Ganahl are likely to defeat incumbent Democrat Jared Polis, but it’s looking like Lopez might have a better chance of winning the GOP nomination on June 28.

Speaking of Lopez, he has a (not cool) idea for destroying Democracy in order to give Republicans an advantage in Colorado that even they couldn’t screw up.

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

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Boebert-Blessed GOP Prosecutor Debunks Peters’ Conspiracy Theory

GOP Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters (R).

AP’s Colleen Slevin reports on the release of new information from Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein, a Republican, who as part of his criminal investigation into Clerk Tina Peters’ alleged breach of election system security did his due diligence investigating the election fraud claims made by Peters with help from a gaggle of election conspiracy theorists in the orbit of Mike “MyPillow Guy” Lindell–in particular that evidence exists in that stolen data that the 2020 presidential election was in some manner compromised.

The answer, which should come as no surprise, is a resounding no:

Prosecutors in a western Colorado county said Thursday they found no evidence of tampering in the 2020 presidential election as alleged by a clerk who has become a prominent voice among those promoting former President Donald Trump’s false claims of a stolen election.

The Mesa County District Attorney’s Office presented its findings to county commissioners after investigating claims by Clerk Tina Peters, who is under indictment for providing unauthorized access to county voting equipment, a breach that led to a public release of sensitive information.

Peters, who is running for the Republican nomination to become the state’s chief election official, had issued a report in March claiming to have found evidence of “potentially unauthorized and illegal manipulation of tabulated vote data” during the 2020 presidential election and 2021 city elections…

There was “extensive evidence” that Peters’ conclusions were false and no proof found of outside election interference, Rubinstein wrote in a summary to commissioners. [Pols emphasis]

Last fall before Peters’ indictment by a grand jury, freshman GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert held a meeting with DA Rubinstein to discuss the investigation into Clerk Peters, and issued a statement afterward affirming her confidence in Rubinstein’s office to prosecute the case fairly. Taking the time and effort to debunk Tina Peters’ claims of election fraud is an important step, or should be, in helping set the record straight about the 2020 elections as a whole.

The problem, of course, is a majority of Republicans don’t want the record set straight. Unless something big has changed we’re not aware of, that includes Lauren Boebert and a whole slew of Colorado Republican candidates.

It’s a glaring contradiction that has to be resolved.

Cawthorn’s Muckrakers Coming To Rake Boebert’s Muck

Reps. Madison Cawthorn and Lauren Boebert (R).

As the Fox News Channel’s Ronn Blitzer reports:

The group that targeted Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., posting a nude video of him online, says they are next going to target another outspoken Republican member of Congress, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.

American Muckrakers PAC relentlessly went after Cawthorn ahead of North Carolina GOP primary election that Cawthorn ultimately lost.

“I think we’re gonna go after Lauren Boebert in Colorado in a similar way,” the group’s co-founder, David B. Wheeler, told Insider. “I think we’re gonna engage in that race pretty quickly.”

We know what you’re thinking, given the nature of the photos of Rep. Madison Cawthorn that leaked ahead of his primary, but apparently the goods that American Muckrakers PAC has to deliver on Rep. Lauren Boebert are not of a similarly salacious variety. From Business Insider’s original story:

Wheeler said he’s received “interesting information” about the Republican firebrand, whose primary against GOP state Sen. Don Coram is on June 28. The information is “certainly not as salacious as some of the Cawthorn stuff.” It deals, instead, with financial matters, he said, declining to disclose more details…

Our readers are certainly familiar with Rep. Boebert’s lengthy record of questionable financial dealings related to her business, her husband’s business, and her perpetually sloppy campaign finance accounting–all of which would be helpful to Boebert’s primary opponent Don Coram to spend money talking about.

Or something we haven’t heard yet? It will take effort to outdo Cawthorn’s family-friendly erotica, but we’ll be watching.

Uh Oh, “Q*Bert”

The local ABC affiliate in North Carolina reporting tough news for a big name in the 2020 Republican MAGA Congressional class, as far-right Rep. Madison Cawthorn appears to be losing his bid for a sophomore term in Congress:

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn struggled Tuesday to hold on to his western North Carolina seat, facing a stiff challenge from a state legislator in the Republican primary.

With most votes counted, election results in the 11th District Republican primary showed the first-term congressman and pro-Donald Trump firebrand slightly trailing state Sen. Chuck Edwards…

Several GOP leaders have turned away from the 26-year-old congressman, with some citing a series of unforced errors, such as calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug” after Russia invaded his country. Cawthorn also infuriated fellow Republicans in Congress when he alleged on a podcast that he had been invited to an orgy in Washington.

There’s no question Rep. Cawthorn’s preeminent edgelady colleague Rep. Lauren Boebert is watching this result with real concern, facing her own Republican primary challenge next month from an opponent looking to cast Boebert as a similarly ineffective self-interested blowhard like Madison Cawthorn. Like Boebert, the argument against Cawthorn is that he has squandered his influence in Congress through self-discrediting antics that did nothing to further the interests of the voters who elected him. We couldn’t honestly say which of the two is worse, but since Cawthorn is going down in defeat first he’ll be the standard Boebert is compared to from now until June 28th.

If the accountability that caught up with Cawthorn tonight is contagious, that’s very bad news for Lauren Boebert. Boebert’s district is very similar to Cawthorn’s in terms of partisan split, both a Cook PVI of R+9, and Boebert has undeniably gone “full Cawthorn” in her first term. Now we’ll see if Colorado CD-3 primary voters, which include thousands of unaffiliated voters participating, are as fed up as those GOP primary voters of NC-11.

Deadly “Replacement Theory” Back To Bite Colorado Republicans

UPDATE: Here’s conservative activist Charlie Kirk, who readers will recall endorsed Colorado GOP candidate for governor Heidi Ganahl with much fanfare recently:

And if that’s not enough for you:

That won’t go over well at Cinco de Mayo.

Ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo.

The New York Times reports in the aftermath of another horrific mass shooting this past weekend–this time in Buffalo, New York, and perpetrated by an avowed white supremacist who followed the by-now familiar procedure of posting his racist political manifesto online and then livestreaming the attack:

Inside a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, a white man with a history of antisemitic internet posts gunned down 11 worshipers, blaming Jews for allowing immigrant “invaders” into the United States.

The next year, another white man, angry over what he called “the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” opened fire on shoppers at an El Paso Walmart, leaving 23 people dead, and later telling the police he had sought to kill Mexicans.

And in yet another deadly mass shooting, unfolding in Buffalo on Saturday, a heavily armed white man is accused of killing 10 people after targeting a supermarket on the city’s predominantly Black east side, writing in a lengthy screed posted online that the shoppers there came from a culture that sought to “ethnically replace my own people.”

Colorado state Rep. Dave Williams (R) with ex-Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

“Replacement theory” was long confined to the fringe of far-right Republican debate over immigration policy, but here in Colorado it’s been openly courted by the GOP establishment for many years. A talking point in various forms of archetype anti-immigrant extremist Rep. Tom Tancredo back in the mid aughts, the Western Conservative Summit hosted annually by Colorado Christian University’s political arm the Centennial Institute later brought in globally prominent anti-immigrant politicians like Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, who built his notoriety on the idea that Muslims are “replacing” the White population of Europe.

It was the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the subsequent revitalization of open racism seen at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that helped mainstream what were once considered views so repellent that even Republicans had no room for them in their tent. At the nation’s largest conservative media outlet Fox News, primetime host Tucker Carlson has referenced the idea hundreds of times since 2016.

And yes, as we’ve noted in this space several times, Colorado’s own far-right blast furnace of outrage Rep. Lauren Boebert has made “replacement theory” a central component of her platform. In April of last year:

BOEBERT: That’s because walls work. Any Democrat who tells you otherwise is an open borders nutjob. The truth is, they want borders wide open. It helped Democrats take over the entire state of California, and now we’re seeing in New York they are paying 15 grand to illegal immigrants. Fifteen grand because you came here illegally.

And by last September, as you can watch in the clip above, embracing the theory by name:

BOEBERT: To top it off, they want to grant amnesty and a path to citizenship to eight million illegal aliens. Yes, there is definitely a replacement theory that’s going on right now. [Pols emphasis] We are killing American jobs and bringing in illegal aliens from all over the world to replace them if Americans will not comply with the tyrannical orders that are coming down from the White House.

Since the mass shooting Saturday in Buffalo, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York has been a focal point of criticism after her own ads accusing Democrats of plotting a “permanent election insurrection” through mass immigration. Stefanik has enjoyed a rapid rise to leadership as a fastidiously loyal servant of Trump’s, and has been cultivating a power base through support for downballot candidates in this year’s midterms including Colorado gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl and CD-8 candidate Jan Kulmann. With Boebert and Stefanik both out there pushing their respective versions of the Buffalo shooter’s manifesto, every Republican they’ve touched should now face questions about it

Because the shooter chose to spell out his motivations in detail, there’s no debating them–any more than it can be debated that the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooter committed his crimes in 2015 sincerely believing that he was stopping the sale of “baby parts.” Or that Trump knew exactly what he wanted when he told his supporters on January 6th to “fight like hell” or they “won’t have a country anymore.”

In all of these cases, responsibility can no longer be rationally denied.

The denial must be willful.

“Monster”–Boebert’s Ex-Employees Confirm The Worst

Lauren Boebert, Jayson Boebert, and Jayson’s little friend.

A feature-length story from Abigail Weinberg writing for Mother Jones published yesterday is getting a lot of attention on both sides of the aisle, an extremely damaging but also insightful look at freshman GOP scandal incubator Rep. Lauren Boebert’s  background and rise to prominence as the owner of the Shooters’ Grill in Rifle.

Ever since she came in like a wrecking ball to Colorado’s political scene back in 2019, Boebert has been dogged by questions about her repeated brushes with the law, carefree attitude about public health, compliance with tax and labor laws–and of course, an infamous 2017 food poisoning incident that sickened dozens of people at an area rodeo. Since taking office, Boebert has come under an unusual amount of scrutiny from federal regulators for persistently sloppy campaign finance accounting, donations exceeding the legal limit, and misuse of campaign funds for personal expenses.

Boebert’s former Shooters Grill employees have a message for you: they were there, and it’s as bad as you thought.

[F]ive former Shooters employees tell me that Boebert frequently failed to pay her employees on time. (Two of the former workers wished to remain anonymous because they feared retaliation; another did not want to be named and publicly associated with Boebert.) “The second the restaurant blew up, her head blew up, and it became something entirely different,” one former waitress says. “And I got to meet a new version of her that is a monster.”

Multiple employees say that they were paid in cash, either out of the register or from Boebert’s husband’s wallet, without any taxes deducted. While many workers were struggling to make ends meet, they say Boebert spent exorbitant sums on breast implants, private schooling for her sons, and a new Cadillac Escalade…

Workers say that once Trump became president, Boebert increasingly intertwined her political views with the restaurant. In 2019, Boebert attended a Beto O’Rourke presidential campaign event in Aurora, responding to the candidate’s proposal to take away assault rifles with, “Hell no, you’re not.” “When she went to confront Beto O’Rourke, that’s when she started selling T-shirts and stuff,” one waitress says, “and then so we lost a lot of our customers.” [Pols emphasis]

…Employees tell me they believed that Boebert’s husband, who works as a consultant in the oil and gas industry, was keeping the company afloat. “There were times when we were waiting for him to get his check, so that way she could get us our check,” one former employee says. According to [former cook Josh] Boyington, “He’s the one who paid the rent, all the bills, everything.”

The descriptions of the experience of working for Boebert at Shooters’ Grill in this story corroborate reporting that has already been done documenting the precarious state of the Shooters grill business and the Boeberts’ frequent financial problems. Jason Salzman at the Colorado Times-Recorder reported on the liens filed over Boebert’s failure to pay unemployment insurance premiums all the way back in October of 2020, consistent with the long-held suspicion confirmed in this story that Boebert’s employees were being paid under the table. These are the same liens that were paid off right around the same time Boebert charged her campaign in excess of $20,000 for “mileage reimbursement.”

These are in large part things we knew on paper. But the story in the first person is much more compelling.

But even in this highly damaging look at Boebert’s business history, there are signs that it might not matter:

Referring to Democrats, McInnis, the former congressman, says, “​​They’re not saying anything about the radicals or some of the people that they are dealing with on their side. And so I don’t think Lauren’s being radical at all. You know, you got to speak up if you want to be heard…”

“I think she’s going to become a very powerful member of the US Congress,” McInnis says.

As readers know ex-Congressman now Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis has been under siege for over a year by far-right activists who show up every public comment period to rage at the Mesa County Board of Commissioners, and have threatened McInnis with “civil war” with no apparent consideration for the fact that McInnis is a fellow Republican and they would presumably therefore be on the same side. Although some of the MAGA faithful may be worried now that even Lauren Boebert has sold out to Soros, the fringe activists harassing McInnis are Boebert’s base much more than they are Scott McInnis’–or McInnis’ erstwhile friend Scott Tipton’s, or for that matter Don Coram’s who McInnis seems to be writing off. It’s a disappointing cop-out for McInnis that makes it much harder to have any sympathy as he reaps the whirlwind from Tina Peters.

Acknowledging the truth is only the first step. There’s got to be a will to change course.

The GMS Podcast: Falling on Ridiculously Dull Swords

This week in episode 108 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii look back at the 2022 legislative session and highlight some of the more important pieces of legislation to come out of the Gold Dome.

Later, Jason and Ian talk about Joe/John “O’Dancing” O’Dea (it will make sense when you listen); John Eastman; and Tina Peters.

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Let us have it at AngryRants@ .com. Or send emails to jason@getmoresmarter.com or ian@getmoresmarter.com.

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

Get More Smarter on Monday (May 9)

Denver is home to the NBA MVP…again! Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

 

The 2022 legislative session in Colorado is down to its final days. Lawmakers have until Midnight on Wednesday to wrap up a number of important bills.

Axios Denver runs down a list of the most high-profile pieces of legislation still to be finalized. In a separate story, Axios looks at where things stand on perhaps the biggest issue yet to be decided: a change in the law regarding fentanyl possession:

The House is slated for a final vote Monday on the controversial legislation before advancing it to the state Senate, where sponsors Sens. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood) and John Cooke (R-Greeley) will attempt to take it to the finish line.

Why it matters: Fentanyl deaths are soaring in Colorado, outpacing most other states — and many overdoses are occurring as users unknowingly ingest the synthetic opioid laced with other drugs.

What’s new: A GOP-sponsored, zero-tolerance amendment that would make any possession of fentanyl a felony failed on Friday with an unanimous down vote from House Democrats.

The current draft bill now makes it a felony to possess more than 1 gram of fentanyl in any form, while tightening criminal penalties for distributing the drug.

The editorial board of The Denver Post encourages lawmakers NOT to “criminalize addiction” in Colorado.

 

The Colorado Sun breaks down the latest on a Capitol battle over property taxes:

Colorado’s property tax arms race ended Friday morning after conservative and liberal groups moved to withdraw the ballot measures they were pursuing for the November ballot that would have dramatically altered the tax code.

Democratic leaders in the legislature, meanwhile, vowed not to pursue an opposing ballot initiative that would have prevented property tax changes from being made through the statewide ballot.

In exchange, the legislature will move forward with Senate Bill 238 without changes, a measure that, if it is signed into law in the coming days as expected, will reduce projected property tax increases by $700 million over the next two years. The legislation was aimed at heading off an even bigger reduction being pushed by business interests.

The decision by all sides to back down ends a high-stakes game of chicken that threatened to grip the Capitol in the final days of the 2022 legislative session. In jeopardy were billions of dollars in funding for schools and local governments.

 

Why stop with outlawing abortion when you can ban contraception as well? The Washington Post reports on yet another reason to never, ever visit Mississippi:

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) on Sunday refused to rule out the possibility that his state would ban certain forms of contraception, sidestepping questions about what would happen next if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Reeves confirmed that, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, a trigger law passed in Mississippi in 2007 would go into effect that essentially outlaws abortions in the state, although it makes exceptions for rape and for the life of the mother.

When asked if Mississippi might next target the use of contraceptives such as the Plan B pill or intrauterine devices, Reeves demurred, saying that was not what the state was focused on “at this time.” 

Some Republicans are even going so far as to call for a ban on condoms. No, seriously.

 

 Legislation to allow collective bargaining rights for municipal employees is struggling to stay afloat in the legislature’s final day.

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

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Get More Smarter on Friday (May 6)

On Wednesday you could say, “May the Fourth be With You.” Thursday was Cinco de Mayo. Today is just May 6. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

 

The job market in the United States is pretty, pretty good right now. From The New York Times:

April produced another solid month of job growth, the Labor Department reported Friday, reflecting the economy’s resilient rebound from the pandemic’s devastation.

U.S. employers added 428,000 jobs, the department said, the same as the revised figure for March. The unemployment rate in April remained 3.6 percent…

…The U.S. economy has regained nearly 95 percent of the 22 million jobs lost at the height of coronavirus-related lockdowns in the spring of 2020. And labor force participation has recovered more swiftly than most analysts initially expected, nearing prepandemic levels. The labor supply over the past year has not kept up with a record wave of job openings, however, as businesses expand to meet the demand for a variety of goods and services.

 

As Colorado Public Radio reports, Colorado will likely become one of the epicenters for abortion care should Roe v. Wade get overturned:

As Coloradans await the final decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on the fate of Roe v. Wade, abortion rights advocates are preparing for what they consider an inevitable influx of patients from out of state.

According to data from the state health department, that uptick of abortion patients from outside of Colorado is already happening.

From 2017 to 2019, 11% of abortions in Colorado were performed on patients from out of state. In 2020, it went to 13% and was nearly 14% last year, according to the state health department. That accounts for 1,560 procedures out of the state’s total of 11,580 abortions in 2021.

Politically-speaking, the coming battle over abortion rights is a 2022 issue that smart Republicans in Colorado were hoping to avoid.

 

Colorado lawmakers are rushing to close out several important bills with the last day of the 2022 session coming up on Wednesday. Here’s a look at what’s being discussed:

♦ Legislation regarding penalties for fentanyl distribution is near the home stretch;

The Colorado Sun looks at last-minute battles over property taxes;

♦ Denver7 reports on the progress of an election integrity bill, as does The Colorado Sun;

♦ Colorado Public Radio has more on the advancement of a ban on flavored tobacco products;

KDVR reports on legislation dealing with nursing shortages;

Lawmakers hope an 18-month study can help settle longstanding battles over liquor.

 

 9News explains more about what to expect regarding upcoming TABOR refunds.

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

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Get More Smarter on Cinco de Mayo (May 5)

Happy Cinco de Mayo. Please celebrate responsibly and go easy on Federal Blvd. 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 

 

Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Denver) is among many Democrats calling on the U.S. Senate to act quickly to protect abortion rights in the wake of a “leaked opinion” suggesting that the United States Supreme Court is about to overturn Roe v. Wade. From Denver7:

DeGette, the co-chair of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, implored the Senate to act and pass House-passed legislation protecting people’s right to abortion care, despite it failing to do so earlier this year, after the leak of the draft Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

The House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act last September in a 218-211 vote, with all Republicans voting against the measure and all Democrats voting in favor except for Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas.

But when the motion to proceed to a vote in the Senate came up on Feb. 28, the measure failed to get the 60 votes necessary to proceed in a 46-48 vote, with all voting Republicans voting against the measure along with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V.

As The Washington Post reports, the White House is also working hard to find solutions for protecting abortion rights…though there might not be much they can do:

Officials are discussing whether funding, whether through Medicaid or another mechanism, could be made available to women to travel to other states for an abortion, according to outside advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions, but many doubt whether that is feasible.

 

Meanwhile, you likely won’t hear Republicans saying much about abortion or Roe v. Wade, because they’ve been instructed to focus their talking points on the “leaked opinion” instead. Not all Republicans are following that advice, however; CO-08 candidates Lori Saine and Barbara Kirkmeyer couldn’t hide their glee over a possible court ruling.

 

As Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel notes, the June Primary ballot in Colorado is officially set. 

 

 Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder finally turned over copies he made of his county’s election/voting servers to Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. This has become a big issue in Colorado with advocates of the “Big Lie,” and if Republicans had their way, it would continue in future elections:

 

 

Colorado lawmakers are nearing an endpoint in the discussion over changes to fentanyl possession laws, with the State Senate hearing debate today.

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

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Boebert And The Coup Crew: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Here’s a photo reportedly taken last night at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, where Arizona Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem, another major proponent of conspiracy theories that Trump should have won the 2020 presidential election, of freshman GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado in the company of three of America’s biggest “Big Lie” pushers:

That’s “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell, who as readers know has been spending a lot of time in Colorado recently supporting criminally indicted Republican Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters. Peters is facing a separate ethics complaint over the financial and other support from Lindell to Peters since the controversy over her alleged breach of election system security, including lodging and private jet flights during the month Peters spent in hiding in August and September of 2021.

And then there’s Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, Trump’s coup-torneys who along with then-CU Benson Center visiting scholar John Eastman helped formulate the plan to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory on January 6th, 2021. It looks like Giuliani has given up on the goopy hair dye that famously flowed down his face at a press conference in late 2020–and that’s good.

But this photo raises a whole slew of new questions for those of us who have been following the criminal case against Clerk Tina Peters. In addition to the support Mike Lindell gave Peters while she was on the lam, Lindell claims to have donated over $800,000 to Peters’ legal defense fund. Boebert, on the other hand, has more or less thrown Peters and her former campaign manager Sherronna Bishop under the bus, even thanking the prosecutor for his fair investigation–developments that left Bishop “heartbroken” and some supporters wondering if “Soros has got to her.”

It seems like Boebert and Lindell should have a lot to talk about.

All of these individuals are also under varying degrees of scrutiny by the Select Committee looking into the violence at the Capitol on January 6th. Boebert’s own participation in what’s been described as “early stage” meetings to plan the strategy to flip the election on January 6th, and the extent to which she was considered a potential security risk even by fellow Republicans, has just recently come into focus. Boebert’s trademark audacity, hugging the scandals she should be running from and begging her opponents to call her out in an endless quest for undifferentiated attention, is on full blast.

Now we’ll see if any of the questions raised get answered.

Get More Smarter on Friday (April 29)

Happy International Dance Day! Let’s Get More Smarter, shall we? 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 

 

As the Washington Post reports, Russian billionaires who both owe Vladimir Putin and also in a way own him (that’s how oligarchies work) are getting tired of the war on Ukraine:

Even as opinion polls report overwhelming public support for the military campaign, amid pervasive state propaganda and new laws outlawing criticism of the war, cracks are starting to show. The dividing lines among factions of the Russian economic elite are becoming more marked, and some of the tycoons — especially those who made their fortunes before President Vladimir Putin came to power — have begun, tentatively, to speak.

Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for the latest updates on Russia’s war in Ukraine.
For many, the most immediate focus has been their own woes. Sweeping sanctions imposed by the West have brought down a new iron curtain on the Russian economy, freezing tens of billions of dollars of many of the tycoons’ assets along the way.

“In one day, they destroyed what was built over many years. It’s a catastrophe,” said one businessman who was summoned along with many of the country’s other richest men to meet Putin on the day of the invasion.

Meanwhile, Europe is working furiously wean itself off Russian fossil fuels, and  President Joe Biden has proposed a massive $33 billion aid package to Ukraine.

 

Continuing revelations about apprehension and outrage from Republican leadership against Donald Trump and some of their own members (see: Rep. Lauren Boebert) in the immediate aftermath of the January 6th , 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pressing Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to explain himself–The Hill:

Pelosi said during her weekly press conference that audio of McCarthy raising issues regarding rhetoric from fellow Republicans in the days after the attack was “inconsistent” with his past opposition to efforts such as installing magnetometers at the House chamber entrance.

“It was interesting to me that the leader talked about the concern that he had — if in fact those were his words, which that’s up to you to decide — that he was concerned about his members causing danger here and at the same time complaining that we have magnetometers to keep guns off the floor of the House. It just seemed inconsistent to me,” Pelosi said…

“And they can’t say on one breath, I’m afraid that they’re going to cause danger to other members, and at the same time complained about my having magnetometers on the floor of the House,” she added.

President Joe Biden is reportedly preparing to make good on campaign promises to provide some degree of student loan forgiveness–just how much and how soon remains unknown.

 

In a congressional hearing yesterday, Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck let his inner nativist out to play in a wild race-baited tirade against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

 

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Boebert Sick Of Playing MTG’s Second Fiddle?

Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (left) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene heckle President Biden at the State of the Union address.

A fascinating story in Politico today describes what’s being characterized as a growing dispute between the two train-wreckiest freshman Republican members of Congress, Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia:

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert look from the outside like MAGA twins, both loathed by Democrats for their incendiary right-wing rhetoric. But inside the House GOP, they’re not quite buddy-buddy.

Privately, Republicans say Boebert (R-Colo.) — who’s seen as more of a party team player than Greene — detests being tied to her Georgia colleague. And when the House Freedom Caucus board of directors gathered last month at its usual spot a few blocks from the Capitol, the two tangled over Greene’s appearance at a February event organized by a known white nationalist.

Their confrontation grew so heated that at least one onlooker feared the Greene-Boebert back-and-forth might escalate beyond the verbal cage match had another board member not stepped in to de-escalate, according to a GOP lawmaker who was granted anonymity to describe what happened…

The run-in last month between Greene and Boebert opened a new window into the internal dynamics between two of the group’s highest-profile members, each of whom has their own distinct persona within the party.

There’s little public-facing sign of a split between MTG and Boebert at this point, and joint antics like their widely-condemned heckling of President Joe Biden during the State of the Union address this year have linked the two figures firmly together. Despite this, as we’ve reported for over a year now throughout Boebert’s first term in office, MTG has consistently managed to earn more press coverage and more financial support than Boebert–the latter being a significant problem, since Boebert represents a district substantially more competitive than MTG’s.

Both Boebert and MTG rose independently to prominence, each benefiting from the scrambling of politics as usual by Donald Trump that tossed such quaint notions as “experience” and “qualifications” out the window. Neither owes the other anything for their respective rises to power, and it wouldn’t surprise us if Boebert imagined herself to be, as bizarre as it sounds, the more sophisticated of the two. But with Boebert on her own mission to push the bounds of decency at least one each news cycle, is MTG really the one giving the fringe a bad name? Or is this Boebert attempting to triangulate against the brand she helped build ahead of the June 28th primary?

When it comes to Congress’ greatest embarrassment, perhaps there can be only one.

Boebert’s Fearful Pot Shot At Don Coram’s Petitions Dismissed

Rep. Lauren Boebert, state Sen. Don Coram.

As the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports, a lawsuit filed on behalf of freshman GOP going calamity Rep. Lauren Boebert via the state’s usual-suspect gaggle of Republican lawyers seeking to have Boebert’s Republican primary opponent Sen. Don Coram tossed off the ballot has been thrown out of court:

A lawsuit filed by a group that includes a man who has tried to discredit Coram and another who has donated to Boebert’s campaign alleged that 390 of the 1,568 petition signatures submitted by Coram and accepted by the Secretary of State’s Office were flawed. If the judge agreed, Coram would have fallen below the 1,500-signature threshold he needed to meet to make the primary ballot.

But Myers, in a 14-page ruling, found that only 19 of the signatures accepted by the Secretary of State’s Office should have been rejected, not enough to disqualify Coram from the primary.

Like we wrote a week ago, Boebert’s legal team in the case seeking to toss Coram off the June 28th primary ballot was a who’s who of big-name Republican lawyers, including former DA-turned right-wing radio host George Brauchler and former Deputy Secretary of State under the notorious Scott “Honey Badger” Gessler Suzanne Taheri. Participation in this lawsuit to clear Boebert’s field by these high-profile GOP lawyers signals that Boebert has been fully embraced by the party brass, warts and all, to the extent that they are actively intervening to prop her up. And, needless to say especially now that the case has been dismissed, it signals fear–that Coram could either oust Boebert or inflict enough damage during the primary to help Democrats do it in November.

Despite Boebert’s attempt to deny voters the choice, Don Coram will have his day.

“Security Risk”–GOP Leadership Blasted Boebert Post-January 6th

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

Another round of shocking disclosures today in the New York Times from the authors of the forthcoming book This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future, revelations from which have upended intra-Republican politics by demonstrating the extent of division within Republican leadership in the immediate aftermath of the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021 seeking to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential elections.

Houser Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s credibility was severely damaged in the first round of reporting about these discussions when his blanket denials were countered with audio proving the Times’ reporting was accurate. In that first story, it was also reported that McCarthy and his leadership team were not just angry with Donald Trump, but a number of fellow members of Congress who had helped incite the rioters leading up to and on the day of January 6th including Colorado’s GOP freshman tempest in a Teapot Dome Rep. Lauren Boebert.

Today, the Times has more details from those discussions–and Boebert can’t possibly be happy:

In the phone call with other Republican leaders on Jan. 10, Mr. McCarthy referred chiefly to two representatives, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Mo Brooks of Alabama, as endangering the security of other lawmakers and the Capitol complex. But he and his allies discussed several other representatives who made comments they saw as offensive or dangerous, including Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Barry Moore of Alabama.

The country was “too crazy,” Mr. McCarthy said, for members to be talking and tweeting recklessly at such a volatile moment…

According to today’s story, Republican leadership went through a list of Republican members of Congress who had made statements in the leadup to January 6th that could be reasonably construed as inciting or at least morally supporting the violence that ensued that day. Since January of 2021, the only participant in these calls who has remained consistent about what happened is Rep. Liz Cheney–who as readers know was ousted from leadership just weeks after this phone call after McCarthy and most of the Republican Party went crawling back to Trump.

But on January 10th, it was Liz Cheney who called out Lauren Boebert by name, and no one disagreed:

On the leadership call, Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Scalise and others discussed several other lawmakers who had made provocative comments around Jan. 6, including Mr. Moore and Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas. Ms. Cheney, who was on the call, suggested Ms. Boebert was a security risk, pointing out that she had publicly tweeted about the sensitive movements of other lawmakers during the Jan. 6 evacuation. [Pols emphasis]

There’s been tremendous debate since January 6th, 2021 about whether Rep. Boebert’s Tweet in the midst of rioters storming the U.S. Capitol announcing that Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been removed from the House chambers was a deliberate attempt to provide intelligence to the rioters, or just an incredibly foolish but not malicious breach of operational security. During this call on January 10th, we can see that Boebert’s actions were being taken deadly seriously by Republican leaders with the trauma of the insurrection still fresh in everyone’s minds.

There are probably few people in this country who have been more personally burned by Rep. Lauren Boebert’s treacherous embrace of Trump’s assault on democracy than Rep. Cheney, who in 2020 hosted a fundraiser for Boebert and embraced her as an up-and-coming regional star. As for Boebert? She’s not available for comment to reporters, but she’s full of cryptic piss and vinegar on Twitter:

If McCarthy does survive what should be these caucus-rending leadership-ending revelations, it’s because Boebert and the MAGA wing of the party have already won. McCarthy prostrated himself before Trump not long after he was caught on tape calling for Trump to resign, and then helped purge Rep. Cheney from leadership when Cheney wouldn’t go along. Nothing changed between January 6th and McCarthy’s subsequent about face except the will to oppose Trump within the GOP, even after the horror of insurrection inside the U.S. Capitol, simply evaporated.

Except for the audio, folks. Audio is forever.

Lauren Boebert Holds Kevin McCarthy’s Fate In Her Hands

A ball in a sling.

The last 24 hours have seen a story about GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s initial reaction to the violent insurrection on January 6th, 2021, in which McCarthy at least for a while placed the blame squarely on ex-President Donald Trump and allegedly promised colleagues he would urge Trump to resign, explode into a major political crisis after McCarthy’s denials he said any such thing were crushed by damning audio (above).

This morning, Politico is asking the question: is Kevin McCarthy toast?

On Thursday night, NYT’s Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns delivered an absolute stunner of a scoop: an audio recording of a phone call on Jan. 10, 2021, in which McCarthy is heard clearly and unambiguously saying that Trump should resign…

What happens on the tape: McCarthy essentially conspires with Rep. LIZ CHENEY (R-Wyo.) about how to get Trump to step down as president after the Jan. 6 insurrection. On the call, Cheney — now Trump’s Enemy No. 1, but at the time, the House GOP’s No. 3 leader — asks McCarthy if Trump is going to resign. McCarthy responds: “I mean, you guys all know him, too — do you think he’d ever back away? But what I think I’m going to do is I’m going to call him … The only discussion I would have with him is that I think this [impeachment resolution] will pass and it would be my recommendation you should resign.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik.

Having made a liar of McCarthy before the eyes of the whole world, what happens next?

How do MAGA die-hards like Reps. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-Ga.) and MATT GAETZ (R-Fla.) react? They’ve already suggested they could oppose McCarthy for speaker. Does this reporting spark a rebellion?

One senior House Republican aide told us Thursday night that there’s already some grumbling among the rank and file over a report by Burns and Martin that McCarthy wanted to get some of his own members kicked off Twitter — and you can expect that to dominate GOP conversations when lawmakers return to Capitol Hill next week. (On MSNBC, J-Mart teased that they have audio of McCarthy saying this, too.) [Pols emphasis]

The specific lawmaker cited in yesterday’s New York Times story in reference to McCarthy’s desire to kick other Republican lawmakers in addition to Trump off social media, as readers know, was Colorado’s own Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert. These are conversations that McCarthy was having with now-exiled Rep. Liz Cheney, who McCarthy treacherously helped oust and replace with ardently pro-Trump Rep. Elise Stefanik just weeks after. It’s even been suggested that Stefanik may have been behind the leak of this story to the New York Times in order to backstab McCarthy and replace him in line to be the next House Minority Leader or Speaker. Stefanik is also cultivating a base of support by throwing cash and love at Republican women candidates across the country including here in Colorado, another sign of her growing personal ambitions.

It’s considered a given that these developments are a big problem for McCarthy’s leadership aspirations in 2023. The question at this point is whether McCarthy can even hold on to his current position through November after being publicly shamed and exposed as a traitor to the MAGA cause. We’re watching Boebert’s Twitter feed as closely as reporters who have asked Boebert for comment are watching their inboxes.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “if you strike at a king, you must kill him.”

Liz Cheney learned this lesson the hard way, and for all his spinelessness Kevin McCarthy may yet.

The GMS Podcast: Get Off the People’s Lawn! (feat. Christy Powell)

This week in episode 106 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii welcome back Christy Powell, last week’s wildly-popular guest host, for a new segment breaking down the latest questionable spending in fundraising reports for federal campaigns in Colorado.

Later, we listen in as Republican gubernatorial candidates Greg Lopez and Hiedi Heidi Ganahl explain how THEY would have gotten control of the May 2020 riots in Denver [Spoiler Alert: They would have basically used a stern voice with protestors]. We also do our best to decipher a celebratory video from CO-08 Republican candidate Lori Saine.

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Let us have it at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (April 21)

Go Nuggets! 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 

 

As The New York Times details for the first time, Republican Congressional leaders were (at one point) adamant about getting tough with former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 insurrection. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was also apparently already sick of Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert.

CNN’s Chris Cillizza, meanwhile, takes note of a particularly damning quote from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about Trump:

Mitch McConnell knew that what happened on January 6, 2021, was deeply wrong. And that blame for the riot that day lay at the feet of then-President Donald Trump.

We now have definitive proof of that fact, thanks to a new excerpt published Thursday from the forthcoming book “This Will Not Pass” by New York Times reporters Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin.

“The Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us,” McConnell told two associates just days after the insurrection, referring to the effort to impeach Trump in the Democratic-led House, according to the Times’ reporters. [Pols emphasis]

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in Mariupol, Ukraine on Thursday. Russia has recently refocused its attacks on the Eastern part of Ukraine. 

 

► Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on a lawsuit filed by a handful of Republicans hoping to keep State Sen. Don Coram from appearing on the June Primary ballot against Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert.

 

 Democrats in the state legislature are trying to improve price transparency at hospitals and cut down on “surprise billing.”

 

Republican Senate candidate Ron Hanks is apparently getting tired of just talking about the”Big Lie,” so he’s going back to the classics. As The Colorado Times Recorder explains:

Hanks (R-Cañon City) says he would vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if he was elected to be Colorado’s next senator.

Hanks was answering an audience question during an April 3 event called the Rally for the Colorado Red Wave at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison.

Hanks also took another shot at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

“Yeah. I’m gonna get rid of McConnell. The Government needs to be out of our healthcare in my view.”

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

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McCarthy Wanted To Pull Boebert’s Plug Post-January 6th

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

Blockbuster allegations coming to light today in the New York Times that could shake apart the fragile peace between Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the fractious crew he’d like to continue leading as Speaker of the House in 2023 if Republicans prevail this November–but more likely not after ex-President Donald Trump and the MAGA faction in Congress read what you’re about to:

In the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building, the two top Republicans in Congress, Representative Kevin McCarthy and Senator Mitch McConnell, told associates they believed President Trump was responsible for inciting the deadly riot and vowed to drive him from politics. Mr. McCarthy went so far as to say he would push Mr. Trump to resign immediately: “I’ve had it with this guy,” he told a group of Republican leaders…

On a phone call with several other top House Republicans on Jan. 8, Mr. McCarthy said Mr. Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6 had been “atrocious and totally wrong.” He faulted the president for “inciting people” to attack the Capitol, saying that Mr. Trump’s remarks at a rally on the National Mall that day were “not right by any shape or any form.”

During that conversation, Mr. McCarthy inquired about the mechanism for invoking the 25th Amendment [Pols emphasis] — the process whereby the vice president and members of the cabinet can remove a president from office — before concluding that was not a viable option. Mr. McCarthy, who was among those who objected to the election results, was uncertain and indecisive, fretting that the Democratic drive to impeach Mr. Trump would “put more fuel on the fire” of the country’s divisions.

As seems to be the fashion these days for good or ill, these explosive allegations are contained in a new book forthcoming from Times reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, titled This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future. Kevin McCarthy’s spokesman issued a few carefully-worded half-denials in response to the key allegations in today’s story, claiming McCarthy “never said he’d call Trump to say he should resign.”

And for the record, McCarthy also denies he wanted to see Rep. Lauren Boebert booted from social media along with Trump in the aftermath of January 6th:

During the same Jan. 10 conversation when he said he would call on Mr. Trump to resign, Mr. McCarthy told other G.O.P. leaders he wished the big tech companies would strip some Republican lawmakers of their social media accounts, as Twitter and Facebook had done with Mr. Trump. Members such as Lauren Boebert of Colorado had done so much to stoke paranoia about the 2020 election and made offensive comments online about the Capitol attack.

“We can’t put up with that,” Mr. McCarthy said, adding, “Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?” [Pols emphasis]

Will the original “Ganahl Gal” finally get some backup? Or does Ganahl agree that Boebert should be 86’ed from social media?

It is difficult to imagine a more problematic story to come out for McCarthy if his goal is to retain control over the Republican House minority. McCarthy can issue strained denials all he wants–if Boebert believes this, and the MAGA faithful believe that McCarthy was talking 25th Amendment to get rid of Trump after the attack on the Capitol…

He’s got to go, right? This is an offense that Trump and his faithful surely cannot allow to stand. At the very least, if you were still wondering why McCarthy steadfastly refused to reel in his most embarrassing caucus members like Boebert while they dragged the discourse among sitting members of Congress through the gutter, it just might be that they’re ready to turn on McCarthy the moment an opportunity presents itself.

Like right now, for example. We’ll be on watch for the fallout.

Welcome to the Establishment, Lauren Boebert

Rep. Lauren Boebert, state Sen. Don Coram.

Two years ago today, Republican Rep. Scott Tipton was assumed to be cruising to another term in a solidly-Republican district in CO-03. In April 2020, there was little reason to think that unknown upstart Lauren Boebert could pose a serious challenge to the six-term Congressman from Cortez.

Two months later, Boebert would go on to defeat Tipton in a Republican Primary by a nearly 10 point margin after Tipton basically forgot to campaign for re-election. Boebert’s bombastic style — yell loudly and often, but accomplish nothing — was a hit with the right-wing base in Colorado who delighted in her regular appearances on Fox News and OANN and Mar-a-lago. Today, Boebert is the undisputed face of a Colorado Republican Party that doesn’t mind a healthy dose of racism as long as the underlying goal is trying to “own the libs.”

Boebert is now facing her own Republican Primary opponent in State Sen. Don Coram, a more moderate Republican from Montrose who bristles at Boebert’s pointless combativeness. Boebert has significantly more resources and name ID than Coram, which makes her the favorite in the June 28th Primary Election, but she is apparently worried enough that she is calling on the establishment Republican lawyers in an effort to keep Coram off the ballot:

Coram was informed by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office last week that his campaign had collected enough petition signatures to qualify for the June Primary ballot. He did cut it a little close, however; Coram needed 1,500 valid signatures for ballot access and was credited with 1,563.

George Brauchler

A lawsuit has now been filed to challenge Coram’s signatures by four CO-03 residents (David Laird, Dale Ruggles, Mandy Roberts and Byron Roberts). They are represented by none other than Maven Law Group, the go-to Republican law firm that includes former State Senate candidate Suzanne Staiert Taheri and former District Attorney/Attorney General candidate George Brauchler. It’s not clear who might be footing the bill for this legal challenge, but Boebert’s most recent fundraising report did include a $10,341 payment to Maven Law Group.

You might recall that Staiert Taheri was the lead attorney on a 2020 ethics case — headed up by Maven — targeting then-Senate candidate John Hickenlooper for the sole purpose of trying to damage Hick’s candidacy against incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner. This effort failed to sufficiently harm Hick, but a lot of establishment Republican types put a great deal of time and money into manufacturing the “controversy.”

The more sane Republicans in Colorado have been keeping their distance from Boebert since her 2020 election; thus it was presumed that Coram’s candidacy in CO-03 would have the support of Colorado Republicans who didn’t want to keep plummeting down the endless rabbit hole inhabited by Donald Trump acolytes and “Big Lie” believers. This lawsuit changes that calculation.

From a strategic perspective, there’s no benefit for Republicans in preventing Coram from challenging Boebert in June. The third congressional district is a pretty solid Republican district, so whoever wins the GOP Primary is likely to cruise to victory in a General Election.

So why do this? Trying to keep Coram off the ballot is a message from the Republican establishment that Lauren Boebert — warts and all — is now part of the club. Apparently, nothing else matters so long as you can raise money and get your face on Fox News on a regular basis.

Coram may be standing by his principles, but Republican lawyers don’t accept that as currency.

Federal Fundraising Numbers to Watch: Q1 2022

Quarterly fundraising reports for federal campaigns were due by midnight on Friday. Since many of you had signed off for the weekend long before that time, we’ll break down everything you need to know below…

U.S. Senate

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet maintains his sizable fundraising lead over the rest of the field of Senate hopefuls.

The numbers for Ron Hanks are interesting for a non-obvious reason. Yes, Hanks isn’t raising diddly squat for his campaign, but it also appears as though he’s not really trying to fundraise. Only 11 individual contributors appear on Hanks’s fundraising report; Bennet, by comparison, has hundreds of individual contributors. We suppose it’s possible that Hanks is just really bad at fundraising, but the limited number of contributors suggests that Hanks is intentionally choosing to do other things with his time. Hanks may be hoping for more unsolicited donations now that he is the top line candidate on the June Primary ballot, which is sorta what happened for 2016 Republican Senate nominee Darryl Glenn. Hanks also knows that if he wins the GOP Primary, he’ll get national fundraising help to some degree.

Joe O’Dea does appear to be raising money in the traditional manner — just not a lot of it. His numbers would be pretty good if he were running for a seat in the House of Representatives, but this is a weak quarter for a Senate candidate. Again, fundraising is likely to be a lot easier for O’Dea now that the GOP field is down to just he and Hanks, but this isn’t a great sign for a candidate who has more of a name ID problem than his Republican opponent.

Three other former Republican Senate candidates committed the cardinal sin in politics of losing with money in the bank. Gino Campana ($625k), Eli Bremer ($150k), and Deborah Flora ($209k) all failed to qualify for the June Primary ballot via the assembly process, which puts an end to their 2022 campaigns but does not zero out their candidate bank accounts.

 

CO-03

Incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert continues to raise a lot money…but she’s also spending a good deal of her coin as well. Her opponent in the June Primary, Don Coram, isn’t doing well on the fundraising front and will likely need to rely on spending from third-party groups to boost his name ID and/or weaken Boebert.

As for the Democrats, Sol Sandoval continues to burn through her money at an alarming rate. Sandoval’s fundraising hasn’t been bad — she has pulled in more than $800k for her campaign thus far — but she has also spent more than $700k. The “poop guy,” Alex Walker, raised nearly $130k in just about one month, which would put him on a decent trajectory if he were able to maintain this pace. Adam Frisch, meanwhile, is sitting on $1.66 million in the bank — most of it coming from people named Adam Frisch.

 

CO-05

Challenger Dave Williams had a decent fundraising quarter, though he has a long way to go in order to catch up to what incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn has in the bank. Lamborn’s $82,955 Q1 is pretty weak, but it’s not much less than what he normally raises in a given quarter. Money likely won’t play that big of a role in the June Primary, which will mostly be a battle over a smaller group of consistent Republican voters.

 

CO-07

Democrat Brittany Pettersen turned in a solid first fundraising quarter, trailing only Boebert for the lead among candidates for the U.S. House in Colorado. Republican Tim Reichert technically reported more money in contributions, but $500k came in the form of a personal check. [Side note: Reichert laughably claimed in a press release that “70%” of his donations came from Coloradans…a figure that includes 100% of all Tim Reicherts in the state].

The other two Republicans in the race are struggling on the money front. Erik Aadland had a not-completely-terrible contribution number, but he spent most of it and now has very little left in the bank. Laurel Imer, meanwhile, would likely be trailing her opponents in a race for the STATE House of Representatives.

 

CO-08

This entire list might qualify as the biggest surprise of the first quarter. Congressional district eight is a brand new congressional district with no incumbent in the way, yet no candidate is really crushing it on the fundraising front. Democrat Yadira Caraveo has the most in the bank, and she should be able to build on that lead now that she doesn’t have an opponent in the June Primary.

Republican Lori Saine, who earned top line on the June Primary ballot, seems to be taking a similar approach to that of Ron Hanks in the U.S. Senate race; Saine only has about 30 total contributions, which indicates that she isn’t putting any real time or effort into fundraising. Saine has good enough name ID in a four-way Primary that being a top fundraiser isn’t as important as it might be for other candidates.

Fellow Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer dropped the biggest turd of the bunch, though perhaps her low numbers indicate that she expects outside groups (such as Americans for Prosperity) to do the heavy lifting on her behalf. Meanwhile, Jan Kulmann’s numbers are fairly weak for someone who touts strong connections to the oil and gas industry. Tyler Allcorn produced a better quarter than we would have expected, though it helps to be able to write yourself a big check; still, Allcorn’s numbers indicate that he may have enough resources to play a spoiler role in June.

 

The GMS Podcast: For a Better Circus, Add More Clowns

This week in episode 105 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii guest host Christy Powell spend an entire episode breaking down the fantastic disaster that was last weekend’s Republican Party state assembly. Which other Republicans are dancing alongside Secretary of State nominee Tina Peters?

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Let us have it at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

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Don Coram’s On The Ballot–And Taking The Fight To Boebert

Rep. Lauren Boebert, state Sen. Don Coram.

As Colorado Newsline’s Sara Wilson reports, yesterday afternoon the Secretary of State’s office announced that state Sen. Don Coram’s petitions were approved and he will appear on the June 28th Republican primary ballot in a two-way showdown against freshman GOP trainwreck that keeps on wrecking Rep. Lauren Boebert:

State Sen. Don Coram will face incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert on the June primary ballot in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, election officials confirmed Tuesday.

The Montrose Republican had 1,563 valid signatures accepted on his petition, surpassing the 1,500 signature threshold. He will be Boebert’s only opponent in June after Marina Zimmerman failed to qualify via party assembly and decided not to pursue a write-in campaign.

Coram thanked people who signed his petition for what he called a “grassroots campaign.”

And via the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby, after some initial lip service to ignoring Boebert’s vitriol even as Boebert fearfully launched full-blast pre-emptive (not to mention factually deficient) attacks back in January, Coram is promising to take on Boebert’s “lies” directly–meaning he’s going to run against Boebert, not passively alongside:

Coram announced back in January during a Grand Junction press conference that he would seek the GOP nomination against Boebert, who was first elected to Congress in 2020.

The Montrose resident said he did that because he disliked how Boebert has conducted herself since getting into office.

“I look forward to setting the record straight on the lies Lauren Boebert and her supporters have peddled,” Coram said in a statement. “I will make the case to primary voters as to why I am the most qualified candidate to represent them and their families. Enough is enough. Let’s make Lauren’s first term in Congress her last.” [Pols emphasis]

That’s the fighting spirit anybody who wants Boebert ousted in 2022 needs to see–but can it be done? The answer lies in two further questions: whether Republicans in CD-3 are growing fatigued with Boebert’s high visibility, low productivity representation, and whether the district’s plurality of unaffiliated voters who will receive Republican primary ballots will turn out in enough numbers for Coram to overcome Boebert’s base strength.

To be clear, this is not a call for Democrats to re-register as independents in order to participate in the Republican primary, the so-called “Operation Chaos” gambit popularized by the late Rush Limbaugh which history shows is an empty threat. But there’s an argument that Boebert’s extremism is exactly what Proposition 108 was passed by Colorado voters in 2016 to address, by allowing unaffiliated voters to participate in either party’s primary.

And yes, this is why John Eastman and a hard-right faction of the Colorado GOP sued unsuccessfully to keep unaffiliated voters out of the 2022 primary after failing to get the party to take that step on its own. Their failure could be most consequential in the CD-3 Republican primary, while in the CD-5 primary between incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn and far-right challenger Rep. Dave Williams unaffiliated voters are more likely to protect the incumbent. In both cases, unaffiliated voters would be acting as checks against extremism.

And that’s exactly what Don Coram wants to be. In this R+9 Republican leaning district, Coram represents the best mathematical shot at undoing Colorado’s foremost bipartisan embarrassment, and he’ll have his before Democrats get their own.

Boebert Proves that “Fentanyl” is Mostly a Talking Point for 2022

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) has absolutely no idea what she is talking about when it comes to the Fentanyl issue being discussed at the state legislature this week. Boebert’s confusion will not likely come as a surprise to anyone reading these words, but it is instructive nonetheless.

 

Boebert is off by about 180 degrees here. As Faith Miller of Colorado Newsline Tweeted in response:

[Click here for that link]

As anyone who has been following the discussion can tell you, Colorado lawmakers are doing the complete opposite of what Boebert is accusing. The legislation being discussed would INCREASE penalties for Fentanyl distribution. The argument serious people are having is about whether changing the penalties for Fentanyl possession in any way will help cut down on illegal (and deadly) Fentanyl use in Colorado.

Perhaps Boebert is intentionally lying about the situation in order to pick up a few more re-tweets, though we’d argue that the simpler explanation is more likely: Boebert probably doesn’t really have any idea what is true and what is not. She just knows that she is supposed to cram the words “Fentanyl” and “Democrats” together in a negative sentence because that’s a message Republicans think can help them in 2022.

We don’t doubt that there are some Republicans who really do want to solve this problem, but it’s beyond clear that the bigger concern for most in the GOP is keeping the narrative alive so they can hammer it with television ads in the fall.

Sometimes even Boebert tells the truth…just not necessarily on purpose.

In Which Boebert Hugs Her Own Scandals A Bit Too Tightly

We’re not even sure what it was specifically in reference to, another culture-war petrol bomb chucked into the Twitterverse by freshman GOP outrage transshipment agent Rep. Lauren Boebert this weekend because, well, it was Saturday:

As our readers and anybody who wants to do the Googling to discover knows, there’s a small problem with Boebert condemning anybody on this planet for sexual “grooming” behavior. It’s actually not a small problem, in fact it’s a very large problem, consequentially if not physically. And for whatever reason, yesterday’s random outburst from Boebert has provoked an unusually high-profile clapback reminding Boebert of the nature of her problem:

In response to Boebert’s Tweet decrying the “far left’s” “grooming bullcrap,” Boebert was treated to hundreds upon hundreds of responses linking to the Salon story from last August that thoroughly documented Jayson Boebert’s conviction for public indecency after exposing his genitals to young women at a bowling alley in western Colorado in 2004. It wasn’t the first story on that incident, but it remains the most thorough and highest-circulation retelling.

By now you’re probably asking yourself if you haven’t already: what kind of idiot would invite this withering re-examination of their own record upon themselves by accusing their opponents of something they themselves carry as baggage?

The answer, as we’ve explored a few times, is that Boebert deliberately chooses lines of attack that closely parallel her own scandals as a strategy to confound her critics. Sexual impropriety is just one particularly lurid among many such examples, including Boebert’s payday loans out of her campaign account and railing against the January 6th insurrection investigation Boebert is more or less a target of.

It’s a strategy that works for awhile, like it often did for Donald Trump, until it doesn’t.

And on the issue of “grooming” kids, it has stopped working for Lauren Boebert.