Get More Smarter on Friday (Dec. 2)

The United States Men’s soccer team faces Netherlands on Saturday in the World Cup Round of 16, but you’ll have to wake up early to watch the game (8:00 am MST). Now, 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.

 

FIRST UP…

 

Fox 31 News is heavily promoting an interview with Rep. Lauren Boebert that will run on its Sunday political show. During the interview, Boebert doubles-down on her vile comments about the LGBTQ community and then makes a completely absurd statement about Colorado’s “Red Flag” laws that proves — once again — that Boebert has no grasp whatsoever of any policy issues:

The suspect in the Club Q shooting did have a past run-in with law enforcement in Colorado Springs. The suspect’s mother called police after she was threatened with a homemade bomb in 2021. Many, including Boebert, questioned why Colorado’s red flag law wasn’t used.

Derp

“Why did this (person) have a firearm if we have red flag laws in the state of Colorado?” Boebert said. “I’m not in favor of red flag laws. It’s just pointing out the hypocrisy of using this against law-abiding citizens, having this law on the books, which is completely unconstitutional. But then where it could have potentially matter, it wasn’t used.” [Pols emphasis]

Why wasn’t the “Red Flag” law used in Colorado Springs? This isn’t a mystery. It wasn’t used because Republican officials in El Paso County, including District Attorney Michael Allen and Sheriff Bill Elder, openly admit that they refuse to abide by the law.

 

Meanwhile, elected officials in Colorado who actually DO understand what is happening in our state continue to discuss potential new gun safety measures. From The Colorado Sun:

A host of changes to Colorado’s gun laws, from a ban on so-called assault weapons to tweaks to the existing red flag law, are already being considered by Democrats at the state Capitol in response to the shooting last month at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs.

“Pretty much everything is on the table,” said Senate President Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat. “The question now is: What seems like a priority?”

Democrats will return to the Colorado Capitol in early January with expanded majorities in both the House and Senate and facing pressure to act after the state’s latest mass shooting. Five people were killed and more than a dozen others wounded in a Nov. 19 attack on Club Q allegedly carried out by a 22-year-old shooter armed with a semi-automatic, AR-15-style rifle.

Gun policy could be the first big test of Democrats’ expanded majorities at the Capitol next year. Memories of the 2013 recalls of Democratic lawmakers over tougher gun regulations adopted in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting certainly remain, but Colorado is a different state politically than it was a decade ago, and the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate are almost guaranteed until January 2027. [Pols emphasis]

 

The U.S. economy just won’t die, despite what Republicans told you for the last 10 months. From The New York Times:

America’s jobs engine kept churning in November, the Labor Department reported Friday, a show of continued demand for workers despite the Federal Reserve’s push to curb inflation by tamping down hiring.

Employers created 263,000 jobs, even as a wave of layoffs in the tech industry made headlines. That was only a slight drop from the revised figure of 284,000 for October.

The unemployment rate was steady at 3.7 percent, while wages have risen 5.1 percent over the year, more than expected.

The labor market has been surprisingly resilient in the face of successive interest rate increases by the Fed, adding an average of 323,000 jobs for the last six months.

Some economists are still fretting about particular aspects of the labor market, but finding things to be nervous about is sort of a requirement for an economist.

 

Remember when Weld County rancher/oil and gas development land owner Steve Wells made headlines for promising to spend $11 million of his own money to defeat Democratic Gov. Jared Polis?

The Dream Team: Steve Wells and Heidi Ganahl

That was all nonsense.

As The Colorado Sun reports:

Steve Wells, the deep-pocketed Weld County rancher and oil and gas booster who made waves over the summer when he dedicated $11 million toward a longshot effort to unseat Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, ended up spending only about 30% of the money.

Wells has refunded himself about $7 million from the super PAC, Deep Colorado Wells, he formed to defeat Polis and support Republican candidates, leaving about $850,000 in the committee’s coffers for future political spending. [Pols emphasis]

Wells said he always intended to spend the full $11 million but that he stopped at $3.3 million about a month before Election Day after he realized other GOP donors weren’t going to open their wallets in Colorado and as he saw how much money Polis, a wealthy self-funding candidate, was dedicating to his reelection bid.

Sure thing, Steve. We all totally believe you.

 

Click below to keep learning things…

(more…)

Of Whores and Asswipes: The Colorado GOP Fractures Further

The Colorado Republican Party was already in the midst of a massive civil war even before the 2022 election inflicted unthinkable losses on the GOP. What has happened since has taken this internal conflict to an entirely new level. It’s like Infinity War, but in this case there are no heroes — only villains.

In case you missed it, Democrats won every statewide race last month by wide margins and added to supermajorities in the state legislature, where 69 of 100 total elected representatives now carry a ‘D’ next to their name. Democrat Adam Frisch even came within a few hundred votes of defeating Rep. Lauren Boebert in CO-03, a district that Donald Trump carried by 9 points in 2020. The Bluenami that swept through Colorado has resulted in some very grim assessments from longtime Republican fixtures. Soon-to-be former State Rep. Colin Larson of Jefferson County — who was in line to become House Minority Leader before he lost his own re-election bid to Democrat Tammy Storycalled the 2022 election an “extinction-level event” for the Republican Party in Colorado.

So, naturally, right-wing Republicans have decided that the only way forward is to lurch even further to the right. A group of very loud and very angry Republicans rallied on Wednesday outside a Boot Barn store in Greenwood Village to voice scream their frustrations with the Colorado Republican Party and embattled Chairperson Kristi Burton Brown (KBB).

Anil Mathai, ranting outside the Boot Barn on Wednesday.

The “whores” and “asswipes” comments came from Anil Mathai, a former Adams County GOP chairperson, who blamed unnamed political consultants for taking their money and leaving Republicans with no victories to celebrate.

“We have a Republican Party that is full of whores. They listened to the consultants, right? They keep telling you about messaging, right? They are liars — they have done something different. They have not held to the Republican platform, which is conservative. They’ve not held to the U.S. Constitution. And then you wonder why these asswipes can’t win a race.” [Pols emphasis]

This attack on Republican consultants is not without merit, of course, and activists are backing up their barking with official complaints. A Republican named Marcie Little filed a campaign finance complaint even before Election Day accusing a bunch of establishment Republicans of a multitude of misdeeds. The complaint specifically accuses Larson, Restore Colorado Leadership Fund (527), Restore Colorado Leadership Fund IEC, Frank McNulty, Square State Strategy Group, LLC, Daniel Cole, Cole Communications, and Victors Canvassing of various campaign finance violations [Marcie Little Complaint (PDF)].

But let’s get back to the Boot Barn, where Ernest Luning has more for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

“Our Republican Party leadership has failed us,” said Aaron Wood, an organizer of a press conference held across the street from state GOP headquarters in Greenwood Village. [Pols emphasis]

Wood, founder of the conservative Freedom Fathers group, and a dozen others took turns speaking from the bed of a pickup truck in the parking lot of a Western-wear retailer as roughly 100 supporters braved sub-freezing temperatures to hear their pleas to restore the state’s Republican Party to its conservative foundations.

Speaker after speaker at the press conference blasted state GOP chair Kristi Burton Brown, whose two-year term running the state party ends in March.

Through a spokesman, Burton Brown declined to comment. Earlier on Wednesday, she said she plans to announce by the end of December whether she’s seeking a second term as state chair.

Tina Peters is…inevitable.

[Burton Brown was also busy on Wednesday issuing a legally-dubious demand for Frisch to “withdraw” as a candidate from CO-03 in order to prevent a MANDATORY RECOUNT as prescribed by Colorado statute. Frisch has already conceded to Boebert, but rather than staying quiet and enjoying one of the GOP’s rare victories, KBB felt compelled to vomit out a bunch of nonsense.]

In short, right-wing Republicans in Colorado have convinced themselves that the best way to win back voters in our state is to nominate candidates who are MORE extreme than the lot that got pummeled in November. This is sort of like trying to put out a fire by covering it with matches, but it’s also difficult to completely dismiss the idea considering just how poorly Republicans performed in 2022.

The first step for the right-wing base is finding a new leader. While KBB has apparently not yet decided whether she will seek re-election as State Party Chair in 2023 — and we have no idea how she could possibly make an argument for another term — our “Infinity War” theme continues with news that Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters is interested in the job because she believes that Colorado is actually a “red state” (recent election results from 2022, 2020, 2018, and 2016 notwithstanding).

“We are not a blue state. We’re not even a purple state. We are a red state.”

     — Political Supervillain Tina Peters

 

As Luning reports:

A potential candidate for the party position blamed Burton Brown for Republican losses in the November election.

“Our country’s being taken away from us,” said Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who provided the pickup truck the speakers used as a podium. “It starts with the treachery of the GOP in our state. You know, there’s these speakers that are going to talk about the infractions of Kristi Burton Brown, the inactivity of Kristi Burton Brown, to stand up and inform the chairs in every county on how to come against the election fraud.” …

Peters told Colorado Politics after she addressed the crowd that she’s open to running for state party chair.

“If the people ask me to, and if it’s the right thing, then I will do it,” she said. “But it has to come from the people.” [Pols emphasis]

Outgoing State Rep. Dave Williams — who lost a 2022 Primary Election in CO-05 to incumbent Doug Lamborn — is also considering a bid for State Party Chair. Former congressional candidate Erik Aadland is thinking about it as well, since he knows so much about how to win an election and all. But if Peters runs, she’s the odds-on favorite to win; the people who gave her topline on the SOS Primary ballot following last Spring’s Republican State Assembly are the same group of people who are going to show up to cast a vote for Party Chair.

 

 

“Peace Out!”

Peters has probably already decided to run for Chair; what she told Luning is basically the same thing she said before announcing her bid for Secretary of State in February. But she’s also going to be busy next year when her election tampering case goes to trial; coincidentally on Wednesday, news came out that a second former Peters employee named Sandra Brown has made a deal with prosecutors to testify against her old boss. It seems ridiculous that Peters might be running the Colorado Republican Party from a prison cell in 2024…but again, can things really get worse than they were in 2022?

If you’re waiting for some adults to get involved and prevent right-wing activists from blowing up what was already a box full of ashes, you had better get comfortable. Republican State Sen. Bob Rankin of Carbondale announced today that he is resigning from the State Senate as of January 10th. Rankin and former Republican State Sen. Kevin Priola were possibly the last remaining rationale actors in the upper chamber of the state legislature. Rankin is bouncing out entirely, while Priola decided to change parties and become a Democrat. If Rankin and Priola don’t even want to be Republican lawmakers, what sane person would want to be the State GOP chairperson for the next two years?

Colorado Republicans might have been able to prevent this timeline from becoming reality if they had clearly and forcibly rejected Trump and MAGA-ism after the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. Instead, they allowed someone like KBB to ride her support for election deniers all the way to becoming Chair of the State Republican Party. If you’re shocked that right-wing Republicans are now saying that KBB “hates America,” then you really haven’t been paying attention.

Once you give the inmates the keys to the asylum, you can’t very well expect them to lock up.

Colorado GOP and Kristi Burton Brown Beclown Themselves

THURSDAY UPDATE: Adam Frisch claps back as the mandatory recall he couldn’t stop if he wanted to moves forward:

I want to share an update following yesterday’s Secretary of State announcement of a mandatory recount. Since the results were so close, we have been expecting this as a mandatory part of Colorado’s voting process. The recount is one of the measures that protects and helps ensure the sanctity of Colorado elections and the decision to conduct a recount is (rightfully so) not influenced by any campaign or candidate. I have said from the beginning that I will honor the certified results of the Colorado Secretary of State, and Coloradans deserve to have this legally mandated process take place…

The race for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District has become the closest election in the nation this year, and folks have been shocked, especially given this district’s 9 point Republican advantage. With support from so many of you, my team and I are very proud of the race we ran. It clearly shows a rejection of extremism and a lack of focus by the incumbent on the citizens of Western & Southern Colorado by Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike.

My concession remains sincere but has no legal implications – under no circumstances did I want it to stop (which it legally cannot) this recount of votes. If, by some slight chance, there is a big enough vote swing to put us in the lead after the recount, we would be certified the winner and sworn into congress on January 3rd. But the reality is we do not expect the results of this election to change with the recount.

In short, Republicans came out against election integrity and showed their backsides in the process. And it’s another reminder that Lauren Boebert barely held on to her “safe” seat.

—–

Kristi Burton Brown, esq.

Kristi Burton Brown, the Chairwoman of the Colorado Republican Party and the former leader of a local militia group, is bound and determined to do everything in her power to make a complete ass of herself and whatever remains of the Colorado GOP.

Burton Brown (KBB) is theoretically an attorney who has proven as inept at interpreting campaign finance laws and reading Colorado statutes as she is at winning elections. As the State GOP Chairperson, KBB just oversaw the worst election performance by the Republican Party in modern Colorado history. Right-wing activists are nipping at KBB’s heels, but she’s been spending most of her time this week preparing for an absolutely ridiculous demand relating to Congressperson Lauren Boebert, for whom KBB once served as a “policy adviser” (during Boebert’s 2020 campaign).

The Colorado Republican Party sent out the following statement from KBB today demanding that Democratic candidate Adam Frisch stop a mandatory recount in Congressional District 3…even though Frisch has no ability to do any such thing:

 

Not Adam Frisch

According to KBB, Frisch “has the unilateral power to prevent wasting Colorado taxpayer money on a frivolous recount if he would just do the honorable thing and withdraw from the race. So far he has refused to do that.”

WHUT?

Frisch should “withdraw” from a race that has already concluded? The 2022 election is over. All of the votes have been cast. Unless KBB is asserting that Frisch could travel back in time and withdraw as the Democratic nominee in CO-03 BEFORE November 8, 2022, this demand has no merit whatsoever.

But wait! It gets even dumber:

“A recount will be expensive — which is why Frisch is not asking his supporters to donate to it. Rather, be is sticking that bill to the Colorado taxpayers. If recounted by voting machines, the recount effort is estimated to cost taxpayers between $100,000 and $300,000. If recounted by hand, the recount is estimated to conservatively cost taxpayers between $1 million and $3 million.”

Because the final vote margin between Boebert and Frisch is between one-half of one percent of the highest vote cast, a recount IS MANDATORY UNDER COLORADO LAW. Also, all recounts are conducted by machines; Colorado does not do hand recounts, despite what KBB says in the paragraph above. Frisch has nothing to do with this recount, which would be required to take place even if he got hit by a bus this evening. If the situation was reversed, no one would dare suggest that Boebert try to stop this automatic recount, which she would of course demand proceed to the very end. Wouldn’t Boebert herself want to remove all doubt?

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what it says via Colorado Revised Statute 1-10.5-101:

(b) A recount of any election contest shall be held if the difference between the highest number of votes cast in that election contest and the next highest number of votes cast in that election contest is less than or equal to one-half of one percent of the highest vote cast in that election contest. If there is more than one person to be elected in an election contest, a recount shall be held if the difference between the votes cast for the candidate who won the election with the least votes and the candidate who lost the election with the most votes is less than or equal to one-half of one percent of the votes cast for the candidate who won the election with the least votes. A recount shall occur only after the canvass board certifies the original vote count. [Pols emphasis]

Frisch has already conceded the CO-03 race to Boebert. Nobody is claiming otherwise, and nobody expects the outcome to change following a recount. With that said, in an election this close a mandatory recount “shall”–not “may”–be completed in order to ensure the accuracy of the election. Why would any Republican who claims to care about “election integrity” want to interfere with an automatic recount?

Colorado Republicans will elect a new Chair early next year. It might literally be impossible for the GOP to do worse than Kristi Burton Brown. Brown has a remarkable way of guilelessly exposing her party’s many contradictions.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Nov. 29)

The United States Men’s soccer team takes on Iran today at Noon for a chance to advance to the knockout stage of the World Cup. Now, 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.

 

FIRST UP…

 

One of the big questions from the Club Q mass shooting in Colorado Springs revolves around the refusal of local elected officials to use so-called “Red Flag” laws that were intended to help prevent such a tragedy. Governor Jared Polis says he wants to expand the law, as 9News reports:

Polis on Monday called for the expansion of the “red flag” law in Colorado that gives loved ones and law enforcement the ability to take guns away from people who appear to be dangerous.

A roommate, relative or law enforcement officer can ask a judge to remove firearms from someone the court deems to be a “significant risk” to themselves or others. In a statement to 9Wants to Know, Polis’ spokesman said the governor supports expanding the list of those who can request a red flag order – officially known as an “extreme risk protection order” – to include district attorneys and possibly others…

…Despite having the second-most red flag cases in the state, El Paso County has the lowest approval rate in the state among the large Front Range counties. There was an approval in 23% of the county’s 53 cases.

El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder has repeatedly made it clear that he opposes the law. In 2019, the county passed a resolution declaring itself a sanctuary from the enforcement of the red flag law. The sheriff has not filed an application for a red flag order, according to court records.

The Colorado Springs Independent has more on questions about why “Red Flag” laws weren’t used by local officials.

Meanwhile, as The Colorado Sun reports in it’s “Unaffiliated” newsletter:

Pressure is building on Democrats in the Colorado legislature to act — once again — after the state’s latest mass shooting. And preliminary conversations are already underway in the House and Senate Democratic caucuses about what gun control steps to take next year…

…Senate President Steve Fenberg said there are already discussions happening around tweaking Colorado’s red flag law, raising the minimum age to purchase certain firearms, enacting waiting periods between when someone purchases a weapon and can access it and improving the background check process.

 

The U.S. Senate will vote today on a same-sex marriage measure. From NBC News:

The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday afternoon on legislation to codify federal protections for marriages between same-sex and interracial couples.

Unless some Republican supporters of the bill flip, the Respect For Marriage Act is expected to pass, one day after it cleared another procedural hurdle by a vote of 61 to 35, receiving unanimous support from Senate Democrats and 12 GOP votes, enough to break a filibuster.

“We’re making a really positive difference in people’s lives by creating the certainty that their ability to protect their families will be lasting,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., the author of the bill and first openly gay American elected to the Senate, told NBC News.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday he’s wearing the same tie he wore to the wedding of his daughter and her wife. “It’s personal to me,” he told reporters.

 

The Washington Post ponders when the “recession” that so many economists predicted might actually arrive:

The overwhelming view among economists and Fed watchers is that the country is barreling toward a recession. And experts have good reason for the doom and gloom: The Fed is in the middle of an all-out effort to bring down dangerously high inflation, hiking interest rates at the most aggressive pace in decades. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell will speak at the Brookings Institution, where he’s expected to set the stage for smaller rate hikes in the coming weeks and months while reinforcing the Fed’s commitment to taming inflation.

Yet the feared recession still hasn’t arrived. Ever since the Fed started aggressively hiking interest rates in March, crucial pillars of the economy have stayed remarkably strong. The economy grew in the third quarter after shrinking in the first half of the year. Gas prices are ticking down. Companies are still eager to hire workers. And for many businesses and households planning for the future, a slowdown just doesn’t seem imminent.

Powell and his colleagues say they will be guided by the economic data, and this week will offer plenty to analyze. New government figures on October job openings come out on Wednesday, and the November jobs report comes out on Friday. But for months, the Fed’s resounding message has made clear that officials will not stop until prices come back down to normal levels, and as a result, the chances of avoiding a recession are slimming.

 

If you thought Republican leaders in one of Colorado’s largest counties might have learned a lesson from the 2022 election…think again.

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

(more…)

Get More Smarter on Monday (Nov. 28)

Happy Cyber Monday! A quick note before we get started: Some of the items in today’s Get More Smarter are a few days old because of the Thanksgiving holiday break. 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 

 

Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is hoping to use a lame duck session in Congress to revive an expanded child tax credit program. As Nick Coltrain reports for The Denver Post:

Bennet has long championed the expanded child tax credit and helped secure its inclusion in 2021’s American Rescue Plan Act. Under that temporary program, parents received $300 per month and per child younger than 6, and $250 per month for children 6 and older. It scaled lower if households made higher incomes.

It only lasted about half a year, however, and expired in January. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, tilted the odds against its continuation in an evenly split Senate. He cited concerns about inflation and that it discouraged people from working.

Despite its short lifespan, the Census Bureau credited it with nearly halving childhood poverty in the country. Its analysis found that the expanded tax credit lifted some 5.3 million Americans, most of whom are children, out of poverty. That doesn’t include the millions more who weren’t in poverty but otherwise benefited from the expanded credits.

Colorado Public Radio has more on what Democrats hope to accomplish in the final weeks of the current Congress.

 

► President Biden is pushing hard for a new Assault Weapons Ban in Congress after another week of mass shootings around the country. From The Associated Press:

“The idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. Just sick,” Biden said on Thanksgiving Day. “I’m going to try to get rid of assault weapons.”…

…A weapons ban is far off in a closely divided Congress. But Biden and the Democrats have become increasingly emboldened in pushing for stronger gun controls — and doing so with no clear electoral consequences.

The Democratic-led House passed legislation in July to revive a 1990s-era ban on “assault weapons,” with Biden’s vocal support. And the president pushed a ban nearly everywhere that he campaigned this year.

Still, in the midterm elections, Democrats kept control of the Senate and Republicans were only able to claim the slimmest House majority in two decades.

The tough talk follows passage in June of a landmark bipartisan bill on gun laws, and it reflects steady progress that gun control advocates have been making in recent years.

Meanwhile, expect to see more pushback against local elected Republicans who refuse to use tools such as “Red Flag” laws that might have prevented the mass shooting in Colorado Springs.

 

Lindsay Datko, the nutball leader of the “Jeffco Kids First” organization that played a significant role in promoting the widely-discredited nonsense about “furries” in schools (which GOP gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl talked about incessantly) is now pushing a new lie via Facebook. The message below is complete nonsense; Colorado Community Media is NOT considering a retraction of this October story from reporter Rylee Dunn.

 

 

Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Congresswoman-elect Brittany Pettersen providing a look behind the curtain about how newly-elected Members of Congress get acclimated to Washington D.C..

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

(more…)

ICYMI, And Lauren Boebert Hopes Donald Trump Did

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

Lost in the holiday week’s news but worth a mention lest it disappear down the memory hole–a week ago Friday, just after accepting Adam Frisch’s concession in this year’s heartbreakingly close CD-3 race, soon-to-be sophomore Ultra-MAGA trainwreck Rep. Lauren Boebert was asked about her support for ex-President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign announced just a few days before. Newsweek’s Andrew Stanton took notice of Boebert’s cagey answer:

Boebert was asked about whether she would endorse Trump during an interview with Denver news station KCNC-TV on Friday. While she maintained she is a “huge supporter” of the former president, she avoided saying she would back his presidential bid.

“He is an amazing friend, and certainly an inspiration. I love his policies. America was stronger than ever under his policies. We had peace through strength, and he was certainly motivation for me to stand up for what I know is right,” Boebert said. “I certainly would not turn my back on President Trump. I am a huge supporter of his.”

But then, after a deep breath and a big smile that suggests Boebert knows she’s taking a big risk:

“I love Governor Ron DeSantis. He is America’s governor, and he has the same policies,” she said, adding that 2024 remains “in the far future.” [Pols emphasis]

Record scratch moment. Trump announced his re-election campaign on November 15th, and it’s safe to say that Trump does not consider the 2024 election season to be “in the far future.” Lines are being drawn right now, and Trump is counting on his cadre of Ultra-MAGA Republicans to remain loyal. A number, including Boebert’s competitor for the far-right spotlight Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, have formally endorsed Trump’s 2024 bid.

A Boebert spokesperson told Newsweek in a statement that “the Congresswoman supports President Trump 100%.”

Unfortunately for Boebert, there’s no way that Trump will interpret Boebert’s “love” for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who has “the same policies” as Trump to be “100% support” for Trump. Readers will recall that defeated GOP Senate candidate Joe O’Dea’s dissing of Trump took many months to arrive on Trump’s radar, coinciding with O’Dea dissing Trump on CNN in mid-October— either while Trump himself was watching, or someone close enough to alert Trump was.

For a candidate who had no idea how vulnerable she was until almost losing a safe Republican seat, Boebert is taking an awful risk by hedging her bet on the 2024 nominee against the man Boebert owes her own position to more than perhaps anyone except Scott Tipton. Although Trump’s campaign launch was greeted with the same disdain as establishment Republicans had in 2015 when Trump descended the golden escalator, Trump remains the leading contender for the 2024 nomination.

And like Joe O’Dea found out the hard way, Trump’s wrath remains a dangerous thing.

Winners and Losers of the 2022 Election (Part 2)

As we wrote on Thursday, we had been waiting to post our annual post-election “Winners and Losers” list until we actually knew all of the election winners and losers (we’re looking at you, Lauren Boebert).

Click here for Part 1 (The “Winners”) of our end-of-cycle analysis, or read on for Part 2 “The Losers.”

 

The 2022 “Extinction Level Event” for Republicans

 

The Losingest Losers of 2022

 

(more…)

Adam Frisch, Morally Victorious, Concedes For Today

CD-3 Democratic candidate Adam Frisch.

Yesterday’s final counting of cured and overseas ballots slashed freshman GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert’s already narrow lead over Democratic challenger Adam Frisch into the range necessary to trigger an automatic recount of the results–551 votes at the last count. Although this further delayed the final results in this race, it’s very unlikely that the recount will shift enough votes to change that result.

Recognizing this, Frisch, who nobody outside his team thought had a chance but ran a pitch-perfect centrist campaign well attuned to the district against Boebert’s high-visibility low-productivity record in office, conceded the race this morning to Boebert rather than further expend resources in a futile recount effort. Colorado Public Radio:

The closeness of the race took many in the political world by surprise, given Boebert’s national profile and the fact that Republicans hold a 9 point advantage in the district. It’s Colorado’s most expansive congressional seat, spanning western and southern Colorado and including cities such as Pueblo and Grand Junction.

Boebert’s narrow margin means the state is required to order an automatic recount.

However, no Colorado recount in recent memory has resulted in more than a few dozen votes being reassigned, and those are usual cases of poorly marked ballots where human judges have to try to interpret the voter’s intent (or, recently, because a county found ballots it failed to count the first time)…

“Colorado elections are safe, accurate, and secure,” said Frisch, adding it would be unethical for his campaign to continue accepting money from supporters. “Please save your money for your groceries, your rent, your children, and for other important causes in organizations.”

Although Boebert will get her cacophonous second term in the GOP’s teensy new U.S. House majority, the damage inflicted to her public image from this near defeat has transformed CD-3 from the sleepy GOP-leaning backwater into one of the top pickup targets for Democrats looking to reclaim the majority in two years. Frisch himself has already filed for a rematch, and after coming so close he’ll be a strong if not prohibitive contender for the nomination in 2024. Either way, Frisch has demonstrated Boebert can be defeated in this R+9 district, which was in fundamental doubt after Boebert’s easy defeat of her GOP primary challenger Don Coram.

No one believed it until Adam Frisch proved it. And for that, he’s a hero for Democrats even in defeat.

Winners and Losers from the 2022 Election (Part 1)

We’ve been waiting to publish our annual “Winners and Losers” lists from the election until all of the big races had been finalized. But with the outcome in CO-03 likely headed to a recount, it’s time to just move ahead.

Up first is our list of “Winners” from 2022. This is not merely a list of winning candidates, of course, but a deeper dive into the winningest winners of the election cycle. We’ll post our “Losers” list separately.

 

The Winningest Winners of 2022

 

Reality

Republican candidates lied with impunity in 2022, but Colorado voters chose instead to believe their own eyes about the state of the state in which they live. Colorado schools are not overrun by kids in “furry” costumes. Colorado is not #2 in fentanyl deaths. Denver is not a smoking crater in the ground. Jared Polis did not steal your car. Google is not out to get Joe O’Dea

 

Felix Lopez

Er, maybe not.

In politics, as in life, sometimes your best moves are the ones you DON’T make. Republican Las Animas County Commissioner Felix Lopez was GOP gubernatorial nominee Heidi Ganahl’s first choice to be her running mate and Lieutenant Governor – to the point that Ganahl was teasing an announcement in early July. But Lopez started having second thoughts as an announcement neared and ultimately decided to back out. Ganahl’s candidacy ended up being so historically bad that everyone who was at all associated with her campaign will be forever tainted. Perhaps Lopez is not interested in seeking higher office, but at least now he still has that option.

 

Lisa Cutter and Tammy Story

These Jefferson County Democrats were significantly impacted by redistricting and other political decisions taking place in their respective orbits. 

When Brittany Pettersen decided to seek a seat in Congress, Cutter was the obvious choice to run for Pettersen’s Lakewood-area State Senate seat. The problem for Cutter was that Republican Tim Walsh was willing and able to spend more than a million dollars of his own money to become a state senator himself. Despite a barrage of advertising in SD-20, Cutter ended up winning by nearly 10 points.

Story was a State Senator herself when redistricting changed the political landscape and chopped up her Southwest Jefferson County Senate district. Instead of taking the loss and moving on, Story decided to run for a State House seat in South Jeffco (HD-25) and ended up pulling off an upset (an incumbent State Senator running for State House is incredibly rare). Story’s narrow victory in HD-25 proved very consequential for Republicans, because it ousted incumbent Rep. Colin Larson – who was likely to become the next House Minority Leader if he had been re-elected.

 

Steve Fenberg

Senate President Steve Fenberg has now led his caucus to three consecutive majorities, including an unprecedented 23-vote majority in 2022. Fenberg should remain in charge of the State Senate through 2024 and will be well-positioned for higher office when he’s finished.

 

Jared Polis 

Winning re-election had been a foregone conclusion for months, given the sheer ineptitude of Republican Heidi Ganahl. But winning re-election by 20 points was something that virtually nobody saw coming. Polis is only the fourth major statewide candidate in Colorado to win by 20+ points since 1990. Polis was first elected Governor in 2018 by an 11-point margin; clearly, Colorado voters approve of both Polis and his policies. 

 

Michael Bennet

The incumbent Democratic Senator had been elected twice before, but had never quite reached 50% of the total vote in Colorado (he came really close in 2016). As of this writing, Bennet is on the cusp of surpassing 56% of the total vote, extending his margin of victory over Republican Joe O’Dea to 15 points.

 

Most Colorado Media Outlets

National media outlets played a silly game that we documented repeatedly in which they pretended that Republican Joe O’Dea might knock off incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who ended up winning by 15 points. Most Colorado media outlets did not buy into this nonsense narrative and instead focused on actual on-the-ground reporting to guide their coverage – in this race and every other in Colorado. 

Kyle Clark of 9News

Colorado journalists did a good job asking the relevant questions of candidates, from Heidi Ganahl’s September 2021 campaign kickoff to the fall 2022 debates. For example:

Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun asking O’Dea if he voted YES on Proposition 115, a 2020 ballot measure that sought to make abortion illegal after 22 weeks of pregnancy (a measure opposed by 69% of Colorado voters). This was a great question that clarified O’Dea’s impossible efforts to dance around the subject and take every side of the abortion issue, and it was a question that only a good local reporter would know to ask;

Spencer Soicher of KRDO in Colorado Springs asking Ganahl if she really believed that Colorado schools were being overrun by “furries.” Ganahl doubled-down on her nonsense claims, validating Soicher’s question;

♦ Longtime Denver Post editor Dean Singleton hosting a candidate forum in which he repeatedly pressed Ganahl to provide actual details on some of her loudest claims (including her nonsense proposal to eliminate Colorado’s income tax without a plan for how to make up the resulting $11 billion budget shortfall);

 Multiple news outlets reporting the facts about various residency questions for several candidates.

Kyle Clark of 9News pressing O’Dea to provide proof for his claim that Google was “censoring” his campaign, which led to one of our favorite quotes of the election cycle

♦ 9News, Fox 31, Denver7 and other outlets calling out CD-8 candidate Barb Kirkmeyer’s indefensible lie that Democrats “legalized fentanyl.” In taking apart this falsehood, 9News educated viewers on how reporters evaluate misleading statements from candidates, and what escalates a merely false statement from a “lie” (when a candidate, in this case Kirkmeyer, KNOWS that what they are saying is untrue).

In future elections, we’d like more of this, please. 

There were exceptions to this trend, unfortunately. Shaun Boyd of CBS4 Denver regularly showed that she has no interest whatsoever in trying to get a story correct; she was just about the only local journalist who bought into the nonsense “O’Dea surprise” narrative pushed by Republican operatives. Many of her “truth tests” were flat out wrong on the details and the facts presented. Her ridiculous story suggesting that every school district in Colorado was covering up a non-existent “furry” epidemic should never have made it onto the air. Whether Boyd is just lazy or an outright hack, we would be embarrassed to work with her. 

 

Residents of CO-03

Enough of this, thanks.

Regardless of the final outcome between incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert and Democrat Adam Frisch, voters in CO-03 stood up and declared that they were fed up with Boebert’s silly theatrics and her lack of accomplishments in the district. Multiple stories emerged before and after the election in which voters – many of them Republicans – told reporters that they were embarrassed by Boebert’s antics and just wanted a Representative who would do the actual job required of them.

If Boebert does manage to eke out another term, Republicans would be wise to organize strong opposition in a GOP Primary so that they aren’t facing another election in which they could lose a seat that otherwise favors Republicans by 9 points.  

 

Non-Republican Polling Outfits 

Lots of Republican pollsters made fools of themselves in 2022. Meanwhile, polling from Global Strategy Group (including the “Mountaineer”) and the University of Colorado did a good job of accurately measuring what was really happening in our state. The Colorado Sun covered this well in a recent edition of its “Unaffiliated” newsletter. 

 

Colorado’s Election System

Colorado’s all-mail ballot system worked perfectly once again. It is both easy to cast a ballot in Colorado and difficult to vote fraudulently. You can track your ballot in Colorado through its entire life cycle, from when it gets sent out in the mail to when it is received by your county clerk. The only people who want more restrictions on voting are those who want fewer people to cast ballots. 

This Tweet from former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was “liked” and “shared” by several Colorado Republican “leaders.” What critics of Colorado’s voting system are really saying is that they believe we should change the voting age to “middle-age white people” so that Republicans might be able to win elections in Colorado.

 

 

Mike Lynch 

It’s tough to find a Republican “Winner” from 2022, but we’ll go with Lynch after the Northern Colorado Republican was elected House Minority Leader following another awful Election Day for the GOP. We debated about whether to put this in the “Losers” category, however, because being the House Minority Leader in a Republican caucus in 2023 is like “winning” a basket full of rattlesnakes infected with COVID. 

 

Women in the General Assembly

For the first time in state history, more than 50% of the members of the Colorado legislature are women. That’s pretty cool. 

 

Yadira Caraveo

Caraveo’s victory in the newly-formed CO-08 was considered by some national prognosticators – including Nathaniel Rakich of 538.com – to be a YUGE surprise. Given how blue Colorado has become, we’re not sure Caraveo qualifies as a “biggest upset,” but defeating Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer in a close race is still an impressive victory.

 

Brittany Pettersen

It’s no easy task to follow a beloved politician such as retiring Rep. Ed Perlmutter, especially when the district is redrawn in a significant fashion. No matter. Pettersen ran a virtually flawless campaign and cruised to a 15-point victory over Republican Erik Aadland. She’ll be safe here for the next decade. 

 

First New CD-3 Numbers In Days Inch Toward Recount Range

UPDATE 3:45PM: In one high-drama day of counting across CD-3 of remaining ballots, incumbent GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert has seen her lead cut by more than half to only 557 votes–well inside the margin for an automatic recount.

—–

UPDATE 2:30PM: Closer and closer, but the remaining ballots are also shrinking:

—–

Following last night’s deadline to cure ballots with signature or other issues that prevented a small percentage of votes from being tabulated in Colorado’s extremely close CD-3 race, we’re getting our first updates as county clerks begin processing those ballots as well as remaining overseas and military ballots. And the first updates are moving the needle ever so slightly in Democratic challenger Adam Frisch’s direction:

A clearly nervous Lauren Boebert late Tuesday night.

And with that, Colorado’s political watercooler class can resume mashing our refresh buttons on the Secretary of State’s election results page. We’re watching first to see if the count brings Frisch to within approximately 800 votes, the floating margin based on the final tally that would trigger an automatic recount of the race. That’s enough to keep the uncertainty going into next week, although the outcome will no longer decide control of the U.S. House.

The next benchmark from there would be an outright Frisch victory, which would exceed realistic expectations but is not impossible. Either way, by transforming what should have been an easy ride for freshman GOP scandal-o-matic Rep. Lauren Boebert into a contest that has occupied post-election headlines due to the race coming in so unexpectedly close, Adam Frisch has changed the game in CD-3 for as long Boebert remains in office. After Boebert easily defeated her 2022 primary challenger Don Coram, conventional wisdom took CD-3 off the table leaving Frisch to take Boebert on more or less on his own.

Now that Frisch has shattered Boebert’s invulnerability, she’ll be a top target in 2024 even if she hangs on in 2022’s final count. Boebert has underperformed in two general elections relative to the district’s partisan lean. After these results, Boebert is officially a liability to Republicans and a pickup opportunity for Democrats.

We’ll update as the results trickle in.

CD-3 Voters With Faulty Ballots Suddenly Extremely Popular

Lauren Boebert checking to see if this tarantula cured its ballot.

As Denver7’s Colette Bordelon reports, in the rush to “cure” ballots by close of business today in Colorado’s unexpectedly close CD-3 race between Democrat Adam Frisch and Republican incumbent freshman locus of outrage Lauren Boebert, voters who had a temporarily disqualifying error on their ballot, usually unsigned or an issue with their signature not matching official records, have become the subject of a nationwide campaign to “encourage” them fix the problem and have their vote counted. And like anyone who finds themselves suddenly on the receiving end of large numbers of text messages, phone calls, and door knocks from salesman, missionaries, and/or political campaigns, it’s certainly a jarring experience:

In Pueblo County, some campaigns are annoying their constituents by aggressively pursuing voters who need to cure their ballot. Tactics include calling, texting, reaching out to relatives, and in a few instances, showing up at voter’s homes…

Ortiz said there were 725 Pueblo voters who needed to fix signature discrepancies. At last check, he said around 300 ballots still needed to be cured.

“People’s interest in the curable ballots, they’re only interested in that when there’s a close race like this one. A lot of times, there’s nobody calling these people, and so they’re not used to it. They’re not used to the attention that they’re getting, just like my elections department is not used to the attention they’re getting,” said Ortiz. “My post was a warning out there to campaigns, letting them know that we’re getting a lot of complaints.”

So first of all, it needs to be restated that only a tiny fraction of voters are being contacted by the campaigns about problems that prevented their ballot from being counted. “A lot of complaints” can’t add up to more than the number of problematic ballots, and voters who are upset about being contacted can rest easy in the knowledge that races are rarely close enough to provoke this kind of attention–and correcting signature issues on a ballot helps prevent the problem from happening the next election.

Having gone through all the trouble of completing and returning a mail ballot, it’s hard for us to imagine anyone not wanting to ensure their ballot counts–especially in this extremely close congressional race that could decide the majority in Congress. Just like with voting by mail, the best way to make the phone calls and text messages chasing your ballot stop is to deal with the issue as quickly as possible.

With all of that said, it’s possible that campaigns employing “crowdsourcing” techniques to direct volunteers en masse at this small pool of voters is an excessively brute-force strategy, and that could be a useful subject of study in the aftermath. All we can say today is, neither campaign wants to lose this race due to any action they could have in retrospect taken.

There’s a hard limit to all of this, just a few hours away.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Nov. 15)

It’s been a few months since we posted one of these news roundups. Now that the election season is over, 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 

 

Former President Donald Trump is expected to announce a new bid for the White House today at an event at Mar-a-Lago. Many Republicans don’t seem particularly thrilled about the idea, as NBC News reports:

“Personalities come and go,” said Dave Ball, the GOP chair in Pennsylvania’s Washington County, who has supported and defended Trump. “Sometimes you have overstayed your welcome. You’ve got new people, new faces come, and you have to change with the times sometimes.”

In interviews, more than two dozen state GOP leaders, elected officials and operatives said Trump’s heavy involvement in midterm contests up and down the ballot doomed them in swing states, leaving intact the Democrats’ blue wall in Pennsylvania and the industrial Midwest and costing them a winnable Senate seat in Nevada. Trump loomed large in the minds of voters, exit polls showed, and in many key races, voters rejected his hand-picked candidates.

Those Republicans, including those who supported him in the past and others who tolerated him but rarely spoke out publicly, said they increasingly see Trump and Trumpism as losing propositions and would prefer he not run for president again in 2024. Trump is preparing to do just that, with a Tuesday announcement expected at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Trump had wanted to announce his 2024 Presidential run before the midterm elections, but advisers apparently talked him out of that decision.

 

Trump has invited a bunch of MAGA Republicans in Congress to join him at Mar-a-Lago this evening for his big announcement. But before that can happen, Republicans need to gather to vote in leadership elections. California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy is expected to be elected House Speaker, though his power has been significantly diminished already after struggling to net more than a mere five seats that were required for Republicans to gain control of the House of Representatives. 

As The Washington Post explains, the right-wing of the right-wing is promising to make McCarthy’s ascension quite the headache:

If McCarthy doesn’t get 218 today, it will show he is working from a position of weakness as he tries to secure more support in the coming weeks. (Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) announced Monday evening on Newsmax that he will be nominated by his colleagues to challenge McCarthy.) 

Members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus are asking for concessions on conference rules and seats on key committees in exchange for their votes. [Pols emphasis]

The biggest rule change far-right members want is to reinstate a rule called the motion to vacate, which allows any member, at any time, the ability to submit a motion to remove the speaker. McCarthy doesn’t want to make this concession since the rule could be held over his head by recalcitrant members whenever they don’t get their way.

The House Freedom Caucus includes Colorado Rep. Ken Buck and Congresswoman-in-limbo Lauren Boebert.

 

Speaking of Boebert, the next big update on a potential outcome in her close battle with Democrat Adam Frisch will come tomorrow (though CO-03 seems headed for a recount anyway). Both campaigns are rushing to “cure” ballots, as Colorado Newsline explains. A bunch of military and overseas ballots are also expected to arrive in Colorado by Wednesday.

 

Colorado Republicans are still struggling to understand how they got wiped out in last week’s Bluenami. The latest local story, via Fox 31, is mostly about blaming Trump for their losses. Republicans have also reached that grieving stage wherein everybody pretends that there were moral victories that were won. 

As we wrote on Monday, the Colorado GOP seems to be struggling to comprehend some fairly obvious shortcomings.

 

Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast for a deep dive into last week’s election results with Seth Masket of the University of Denver’s Center on American Politics.

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

(more…)

The Get More Smarter Podcast Breaks Down the Bluenami

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk once again with Seth Masket, Director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver, to break down the massive Bluenami that overtook Colorado on Election Day.

And, no, we still don’t know who won the race in CO-03 between Republican Lauren Boebert and Democrat Adam Frisch.

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

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

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

Pueblo Republican Who’s Recruiting Poll Watchers for Boebert Race Is an Election Denier

(This could be interpreted as problematic — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Christy Fidura w/ Lauren Boebert & Matt Gaetz at the Pueblo GOP Lincoln Day Dinner

In a race that may determine control of the U.S. House of Representatives, election workers across Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District are still counting votes to determine if dark horse Democrat Adam Frisch will upset Congresswoman Lauren Boebert.

In Pueblo, the largest city in the district, the local Republican recruiting GOP poll watchers to oversee the tabulation is an election denier.

Christy Fidura, who uses the name “Chrissy Ruckus” on Facebook, has repeatedly promoted election fraud conspiracies online, given trainings to conservatives on how to “stop the steal,” and even attended MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s most recent election fraud conspiracy conference in August.

In addition to being involved with the Pueblo Republican Party, Fidura runs the grassroots conservative group Pueblo County Patriots, which is filled with election denial conspiracies.

Last April she recruited members of her group to attend an election fraud conspiracy presentation held by the U.S. Election Integrity Plan (USEIP) and the Republican Study Committee of Colorado

Part of Fidura’s pitch to her members was that those attending “will be trained on how to clean these voter rolls up locally to ensure Election Integrity in the future. Those that are trained will lead teams in Pueblo.”

(more…)

Counting To Determine Lauren Boebert’s Fate Grinds On

UPDATE #2: Watch out, Lauren Boebert is throwing fellow Republicans under the bus:

The problem couldn’t possibly be Boebert. That’s inconceivable!

—–

CD-3 Democratic candidate Adam Frisch.

UPDATE: The latest statement from Adam Frisch as counting goes on:

The race to represent Colorado’s third congressional district is still too close to call with thousands of ballots, including from the military and overseas, remaining to be counted. On Thursday, Rep. Boebert’s opponent Adam Frisch issued the following statement:

“Everyone in this district deserves to have their voice heard, regardless of political affiliation, and I am confident that each and every valid ballot will be counted,” Frisch said. “In particular, we must honor and respect those who serve our country by ensuring that every military ballot is taken into account. Every vote matters in this incredibly close race and thousands of votes in Pueblo County and from military and overseas voters remain, and a considerable number of curable ballots remain as well. It is crucial for our democracy to count every vote and I have full confidence in the 27 county clerks in this district to conduct a fair count. While I remain confident, I will ultimately respect the results of this election regardless of the outcome.”

“The closeness of this race is a testament to the fact that the people of Western and Southern Colorado are growing tired of the angertainment industry that Boebert is a part of and want a representative who will fight for bipartisan solutions to the issues facing their families, their businesses, and communities,” Frisch added.

Boebert is lagging far behind expectations in CO-3, a district that election prognosticators and pundits widely considered to be safe for Boebert, particularly after a redistricting process that favored Republicans. The district favors Republicans by 7 points and elected President Trump by a 15 point margin in 2016. Voters in the district haven’t elected a Democrat to Congress since 2008. The historically close race points to the ability of Frisch, a conservative businessman, to build a coalition of Republican, Democrat, and Unaffiliated voters.

—–

The Pueblo Chieftain’s Anna Lynn Winfrey has the latest on ballot-counting in Colorado’s CD-3 race, where Democratic challenger Adam Frisch has led incumbent freshman GOP carnival of crazy Rep. Lauren Boebert by a steadily narrowing margin…until this morning:

Republican incumbent Lauren Boebert has now taken the lead from Democratic challenger Adam Frisch as thousands of votes are still being counted in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.

A new batch of data from Otero County, a rural community east of Pueblo, put Boebert up over Frisch by 386 votes.

Frisch was leading Election Day and maintained a razor-thin margin over Boebert through Thursday morning. Before the Otero County results were uploaded, Frisch was leading by only 62 votes.

Even though Boebert has pulled narrowly ahead with updates from small but deep-red Otero County, this thing is far from over:

Results from approximately 7,000 additional ballots are expected today from Pueblo County, the largest in the district by population. Frisch is up in Pueblo, with 54% of votes.

7,000 more ballots to drop in Pueblo could be enough if the current margins hold to flip the race back to Frisch. There is also reportedly some number of ballots yet to be counted in Pitkin County, Frisch’s home base and breaking heavily in his direction. Yesterday, 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark asserted that his team’s analysis of the remaining ballots to be counted indicates Frisch will prevail:

The sweeping victory for Colorado Democrats this year reached by what any reasonable pre-election analysis would have considered the best-case scenario with the secession concession of Republican Barb Kirkmeyer in Colorado’s brand-new CD-8. Even with Adam Frisch running a strong campaign and polling within striking distance, few expected Frisch to actually be in a position to oust Boebert in this Republican-leaning district. Whatever happens now, Frisch has blown away Boebert’s presumption of invulnerability after easily beating her Republican primary challenger Don Coram.

If Boebert survives this incredibly close race in what was supposed to be an adverse election year for Democrats, she’ll be a top target in 2024 now, perhaps from Frisch himself. But if Boebert does lose–and accepts the loss, of course–it’s the capstone achievement in an already historic election for Colorado Democrats. There would be nothing more Democrats could realistically have won in Colorado this year.

It would also be the end of an embarrassment to all of Colorado, without partisan distinction.

We’ll update with new developments as they come in. Stay tuned.

These Election Questions Are Still Awaiting Answers

UPDATE 6:00PM: CD-8 GOP candidate Barb Kirkmeyer concedes secession defeat to Yadira Caraveo.

—–

Several Colorado races are still waiting to be decided today, including the final margins for control of the State Senate and State House.

Here’s what we’re watching (results current as of 11:42 am):

A clearly nervous Lauren Boebert late Tuesday night.

CONGRESS

Democrat Adam Frisch remains ahead of Republican incumbent Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert in CO-03.

Democrat Yadira Caraveo is also still leading Republican Barb Kirkmeyer in CO-08.

Remarkably, these two seats could actually play a significant role in deciding whether or not Democrats retain majority control in Congress.

The race in CO-03 has narrowed, but Frisch is still leading Boebert by 2,449 votes (50.4% to 49.6%).

In CO-08, Caraveo is ahead of Kirkmeyer by 3,451 votes (49% to 47%).

We should know more after about 2:00 today, but from what we hear, Democrats crunching the numbers are feeling pretty confident that both Frisch and Caraveo will maintain their leads.

 

STATE SENATE

Democrats will maintain majority control of the Senate — a scenario that was certainly not a foregone conclusion entering Election Day. The question now is about how much Democrats might grow that advantage.

We’re keeping a close eye on SD-3 (Pueblo), SD-11 (Colorado Springs), SD-15 (Fort Collins), and SD-24 (Adams County).

In SD-3, Democrat Nick Hinrichsen has a 2,933-vote lead over Republican Stephen Varela (53% to 47%).

In SD-11, Democrat Tony Exum leads Republican Dennis Hisey by 1,978 votes (51% to 44%).

In SD-24, Democrat Kyle Mullica is ahead of Republican Courtney Potter by 5,043 votes (55% to 43%).

Also noteworthy — and a bit unexpected — is the race in SD-15, where Democrat Janice Marchman is ahead of incumbent Republican Sen. Rob Woodward by 2,137 votes (52% to 48%).

If Democrats hold on to leads in these four seats, they will expand their Senate majority from a 21-14 margin to a 23-12 advantage.

 

State Rep. Colin Larson, the man who was to be House Minority Leader

STATE HOUSE

There are several races in the State House that are still undecided. The most interesting to watch are in HD-16 (El Paso County), HD-19 (Northern Colorado), HD-25 (Jefferson County), HD-43 (Douglas County), and HD-50 (Greeley).

Of this group, HD-25 is of particular interest. Incumbent Republican Rep. Colin Larson is currently losing to Democrat Tammy Story by 1,596 votes (51% to 47%). Following the death of former House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, Larson was widely viewed as the person most likely end up as House Minority Leader. Now it looks like he won’t be in the House AT ALL.

HD-19 is another surprise, with Democrat Jennifer Lea Parenti leading incumbent Republican Rep. Dan Woog by 1,639 votes (51% to 46%).

In HD-16, Democrat Stephanie Vigil is leading Republican Dave Donelson by just 737 votes (50% to 47%).

In HD-43, Democrat Bob Marshall is ahead of Republican Kurt Huffman by 823 votes (51% to 49%).

In HD-50, incumbent Democratic Rep. Mary Young leads Republican Ryan Gonzalez by 426 votes (50% to 47%).

Democrats already held an unprecedented majority in the State House with a 41-24 margin. Should the above results hold, Democrats will control a beyond-unprecedented 46-19 super majority in the lower chamber. 

By the time the counting is complete, Democrats may well hold a total of 69 of the 100 legislative seats in both chambers combined.

Get More Smarter Before Election Day!

This week on a special pre-election episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii make their final prognostications for the 2022 Election.

We also talk again with Andrew Baumann, senior vice president of research at Global Strategy Group and the lead pollster for the quarterly “Rocky Mountaineer” poll in Colorado, about what to watch out for on Election Night once numbers start trickling in nationally. Later, Jason and Ian show off what they’ve learned from Republicans in 2022 by attempting to repeat — from memory — stump speeches for Senate candidate Joe O’Dea and gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl.

Remember, friends: Vote early, not often. If you’re still holding onto your ballot, DO NOT drop it in the mail; instead, take your completed ballot to one of many drop boxes in your area. For more information, head over to GoVoteColorado.gov.

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

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

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

Will Lauren Boebert “Pull a Trump” If She Loses?

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

Democratic CD-3 candidate Adam Frisch, battling to restore the honor of the Third Congressional District after two years of freshman GOP doe in a China shop (would still break lots of stuff) Rep. Lauren Boebert, is projecting confidence going into the last few days of voting, sending out a release yesterday asking the next logical question in the event Frisch does pull off an underdog victory in this GOP-leaning district–will Lauren Boebert concede?

With Election Day less than a week away, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has still declined to say she’ll accept the results of the Nov. 8 election even if she loses against challenger Adam Frisch. Frisch has been outpacing Boebert in fundraising and closing in on Boebert in the polls, with a recent Keating Research poll showing Frisch in a statistical tie with Boebert. Frisch has also recently been endorsed by Republican leaders in the district including state Sen. Don Coram of Montrose, who ran against Boebert in the 2022 Republican primary election, and former Republican Colorado House Speaker Russ George.

As Election Day approaches, Frisch is demanding that Boebert commit to accepting the election results regardless of the outcome.

“I call on Boebert to commit to accepting the results of the November election regardless of the outcome,” Frisch said. “I am fully committed to affirming the results of the Nov. 8 election as the will of CO-3 voters. It is essential to our Democracy that candidates on both sides of the political spectrum reaffirm trust in our elections. Our elections are secure and every Coloradan can rest assured that their vote will be counted.”

“It’s highly concerning that Rep. Boebert has refused to say that she would accept the election results if the voters of Colorado’s 3rd congressional district decide to send me to Congress,” Frisch said.

Boebert is far from the only Republican candidate running in 2022 to be cagey about whether she’ll accept the results. The most prominent example of this is Arizona gubernatorial candidate and leading election conspiracy theorist Kari Lake, who has made such a point about not promising to accept the results that it might scare some voters into voting for Lake just to avoid the worst-case scenario. There are plenty of others. After Donald Trump opened the door to violently rejecting election results Republicans don’t like, next Tuesday is a major test of American democracy all over the country.

As for Boebert? We can say with some confidence that she doesn’t expect to lose.

And that could spell trouble if she does. You’d be a fool to discount the possibility completely.

The Invisible Face of the Colorado Republican Party

Rep. Lauren Boebert screaming at President Biden during the 2022 “State of the Union” speech.

Colorado Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert will likely be a bit nervous on Election Night as she waits to find out if recent polling numbers showing Democrat Adam Frisch gaining ground in CO-03 prove to be accurate.

As we’ve noted before, Boebert is unquestionably the face of the Colorado Republican Party — and that’s probably the case even if she were to lose re-election. As Kyle Clark of 9News recently told Chuck Todd on “The Chuck ToddCast:”

The Colorado Republican Party is at a low point for statewide power since before World War II. They desperately are looking for a win. Ever since Cory Gardner left the scene, they’ve had NOONE. Lauren Boebert is the face of the party here. [Pols emphasis]

Two years after Boebert was first elected to Congress, it’s worth taking a look at why she is still the face of the Colorado Republican Party. Boebert is incredibly unpopular statewide; the latest polling numbers from “The Rocky Mountaineer” show that her approval ratings in Colorado are 19 points underwater (26% “favorable” vs. 45% “unfavorable”). More Coloradans believe in UFOs than Boebert.

Via “The Rocky Mountaineer” (Oct. 2022)

 

In her home state, Boebert is so toxic that the two main newspapers in her district that are making endorsements — The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and The Durango Herald — are backing her opponent. The Denver Post recently ran this headline along with its endorsement of Frisch in CO-03:

Via The Denver Post (Oct. 31, 2022)

“We beg voters in western and southern Colorado not to give Rep. Lauren Boebert their vote.”

The Denver Post editorial board (10/31/22)

As The Denver Post editorial board writes:

We beg voters in western and southern Colorado not to give Rep. Lauren Boebert their vote.

Boebert has not represented the 3rd Congressional District well. Almost exclusively, she has spent her time and efforts contributing to the toxic political environment in this nation…

…We grieve that this is who represents our great state in Congress – a state known for our moderate positions and our policy-first approach to politics.

Rejecting all Boebert has come to represent – angry rants without offering real solutions — is important for the 3rd Congressional District, Colorado and this great nation. Frisch is a solid candidate who will stand in for the district in an honorable way.

Go ahead and try to find a more harshly-worded endorsement in Colorado in the last decade. We’ll wait…

 

Filling a Vacuum with a Vacuum

Invisible Cory Gardner

Cory Gardner left the Colorado Republican Party without another face.

Of course, much of Boebert’s name ID in Colorado is the result of a complete lack of other options for the GOP. The last remaining statewide elected Republican in Colorado is CU Regent Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, who is a week away from losing the gubernatorial race to incumbent Democrat Jared Polis by somewhere between 10 and 20 points. Former Senator Cory Gardner is locked away in a wood-paneled bunker in Yuma muttering about crypto currency. After Boebert, the most visible Republican in Colorado could well be Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, but her new office in 2023 is likely to be behind bars. 

Boebert’s Republican colleagues in Colorado’s congressional delegation are Doug Lamborn and Ken Buck. When he’s not violating ethics rules, Lamborn spends most of his time looking for silly legislation to co-sponsor. As for Buck, the former State Party Chairman desperately wants to be seen as a MAGA Republican leader, but he can’t figure out anything to do for attention other than to keep talking about investigating longtime Democratic bogeyman George Soros for funding Antifa, or something.

 

Where’s Boebert?

Rep. Lauren Boebert (second from right) with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago this month.

As far as we can tell, Boebert has not endorsed a single Republican in Colorado in 2022 — likely because no GOP candidate wants to be associated with the former Rifle restaurant owner. Boebert does endorse MAGA Republican candidates around the country, even if those candidates don’t bother to spell her name correctly; outside of Colorado, Boebert is more of a curiosity than a political leader.

Boebert shows up at events in Colorado from time to time, often bringing one of her MAGA buddies (such as Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz) along with her. But Boebert’s political base is not in Colorado — it is made up of national MAGA Republicans who donate small sums of money in response to her latest vile social media post. In the last couple of months, you’d have a better chance finding Boebert speaking about her bizarre version of Christianity in another state than running across her somewhere in her own congressional district. It speaks volumes that Boebert is spending as much time at Mar-a-Lago in Florida as she is in Colorado in the final weeks of the 2022 election cycle.

 

The Face of 2024

Colorado Republicans have a lot of problems that aren’t likely to get much better a week from today. But one of the issues that should be at the top of the GOP’s post-election list should be figuring out a different figurehead before 2024.

Boebert is unquestionably the current face of the Colorado Republican Party at the moment, but there’s no good reason as to why. Boebert is extraordinarily disliked in her home state, which might account for why she is rarely here. Her brand is irrevocably toxic to local media outlets, and while she has shown a talent for raising money, she does virtually nothing to help her fellow Republicans in Colorado.

Boebert’s re-election is a Catch-22 for Republicans; if she does win another term and Republicans control a majority in the House of Representatives, she and her fellow “Freedom Caucus” members will spend more time breaking things than governing. If you thought Boebert was a distraction in her first term, just wait until she gets handed a larger microphone.

The person most associated with the Colorado Republican Party is also one of the people who is the least helpful to the GOP. We’d call this “odd,” but it’s actually a pretty good explanation for how Colorado Republicans ended up where they are today.

Lauren Boebert All In For Mentor Sarah Palin

One of the many oddities about freshman Colorado GOP walking talking cautionary tale Rep. Lauren Boebert is that she doesn’t generally endorse candidates in Colorado races–or it could be that Republicans don’t want Boebert’s endorsement. Either way, Boebert’s absence from the local Republican campaign circuit in 2022 has been as notable as her lack of tangible results for her constituents in two years of high-visibility low-productivity service.

But when it comes to Boebert’s arguably closest predecessor in the role of right-wing low-information bombast projector, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, like her congressional bestie Rep. Matt Gaetz, Boebert has nothing but ride-or-die loyalty–even if Palin’s campaign bungled the rollout:

So, there are a few problems with this endorsement message, starting with the painful misspelling of Rep. Boebert’s name. The big one that’s confusing us is, can someone explain why “Mama Grizzly” Sarah Palin and the Rep. Boebert of Silt, Colorado are depicted against the New York City skyline? Does everything in the “Lower 48” look like New York City to Alaskans or something? And isn’t New York City a “no-go zone” overrun with Islamist terrorists and rainbow fentanyl?

Boebert may not be much help to Colorado Republicans, but she knows who her mentors are.

State Sen. Kevin Priola Gets More Smarter

State Sen. Kevin Priola (D-Henderson).

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii are joined by State Sen. Kevin Priola of Henderson, who made lots of news this fall by switching parties from Republican to Democrat. Senator Priola talks about how he ended up leaving the Republican Party, how he plans to vote in 2022, and what it feels like to be rooting for a different team this election cycle.

Later, we update listeners on all the latest news from the top races in Colorado, including GOP gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl’s closing “argument.” We also discuss the relentless disgusting editorializing from The Colorado Springs Gazette; and we introduce a new segment for the show that we’re just calling “That’s Bullshit!”

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

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

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

How Dare You Compare These Two…Wonderful People?

Former state Sen. turned ubiquitous GOP political operative Greg Brophy is incensed that Democrats are likening two Republicans in a campaign mailer–two Republicans who Brophy claims to support:

In short, Brophy supports both freshman GOP train wreck-a-thon Rep. Lauren Boebert and state house candidate Paul Archer, but Democrats comparing Archer to Boebert directly is “intellectually inept!”

Why do you suppose that is? Is there something about Rep. Boebert’s public image that Brophy doesn’t want associated with Paul Archer’s House run in culturally upscale Centennial? What might that be, specifically? And if there’s something about Boebert so unthinkable when applied to Paul Archer, how can Brophy continue to support Boebert?

We’re not the ones asking you to uncritically accept cognitive dissonance. That’s Brophy.

Why isn’t this a compliment? The floor is open if you want to take a guess.

Boebert Sets Women’s Rights Back Approximately 2,000 Years

TUESDAY UPDATE: As the Denver Post’s Conrad Swanson reports, freshman GOP perpetual outrage machine Rep. Lauren Boebert is taking the rare step of walking back this latest pronouncement, at least a little, after making unambiguously bad headlines across the nation:

“She meant to say weaker both times, not lesser,” Boebert spokesman Ben Stout said in an email. [Pols emphasis] “Congresswoman Boebert was explaining that while men and women are different, they complete each other in a beautiful way.”

That’s how the Bible verse reads (below), but it doesn’t seem much better overall, does it?

Saturday’s original post follows.

—–

As readers know, we have a general policy of not responding to freshman GOP mother of all train wrecks Rep. Lauren Boebert’s nonstop firehose spray of provocateur outrages, crafted as they are to provoke us into amplifying with outrage Boebert cannot distinguish from praise.

But there are moments, and they do seem to be coming with increasing frequency as Boebert’s next reckoning in the November elections fast approaches, when to simply ignore what Boebert is spewing would do our readers and all of society a disservice–since this is the manifestly twisted thinking that powers her vote in Congress:

Boebert: We are created equal, we’re not the same, women are the lesser vessel, and we need masculinity in our lives to, to balance that, that so-called weakness, you know, just us being more frail and, uh needing that strength in our lives…

Lauren Boebert and her “greater vessel” Jayson Boebert.

If you’re not aware that Boebert is in part quoting the Bible in referring to women as the “lesser vessel,” this will all come across as misogynistic in the extreme–and depending on your reverence for Scripture it might anyway. It is true that in 1 Peter Chapter 3, you’ll find a reference to women being the “weaker vessel,” but all this stuff Boebert tacks on about women needing a big strong hairy (inferring the hairy part) man in their lives to “balance” women’s “weakness” is male chauvinist claptrap that appears nowhere in the text.

Boebert’s interviewer Brad Stine, who unbeknownst to us until today bills himself as “America’s Conservative Comic,” had some facial expressions during Boebert’s commentary that say more about what’s going on here than we can decently write:

We don’t know about you, but the whole experience leaves us ready for a nice hot purgative shower! The only thing we can add is that this is the same Lauren Boebert Colorado Republicans from Joe O’Dea on down have not just tolerated but actively accommodated and praised, O’Dea in particular remarking recently how he has “respect” for the way Boebert “likes to use her voice.”

Imagine O’Dea trying to justify a lightning round of actual Boebert quotes.

Podcast: The Blue Wave Cometh (feat. Andrew Baumann)

Andrew Baumann

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk once again with Andrew Baumann, senior vice president of research at Global Strategy Group and the lead pollster for the quarterly “Rocky Mountaineer” poll in Colorado. Baumann explains why the latest poll numbers here look so darn good for Democrats and whether any of that could change in the final weeks of the 2022 election.

We also update you on the latest news from the election season, including a conversation on (some) of the 11 statewide ballot measures in Colorado; we discuss how much longer the Colorado Springs Gazette will be taken seriously given its absurd editorial department; and we offer an important tip for all potential candidates for future office.

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

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

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

Newspaper Endorsement Roundup for 2022

Sen. Michael Bennet is endorsed by every major newspaper making a decision in Colorado.

Several Colorado newspapers have decided against making endorsements in political races in 2022, including The Pueblo Chieftain, The Ft. Collins Coloradoan, and The Greeley Tribune.

The Colorado Springs Gazette, meanwhile, has turned its candidate endorsement process into a ridiculous partisan pit of repetitive Republican talking points. The Gazette has completely given up on even pretending to be nonpartisan by endorsing only Republican candidates — even those, such as GOP gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl — for whom it is virtually impossible to make a coherent argument of support.

The good news is that there are still a handful of Colorado newspapers that are making thoughtful, considered endorsements of candidates in 2022. We rounded up the endorsements in some of Colorado’s top-tier races that are available as of this writing, including some notable lines. Included in our list below are The Denver Post, The Durango Herald, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, and The Aurora Sentinel.

Two statewide candidates — Sen. Michael Bennet and Attorney General Phil Weiser — picked up endorsements from all four newspapers. Governor Jared Polis will undoubtedly join that list once The Denver Post makes its endorsement.

Also noteworthy: Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert failed to receive a single endorsement other than the rubber-stamp backing of The Colorado Springs Gazette. The two most important newspapers in CO-03 both backed Democratic challenger Adam Frisch instead of Boebert.

 

(more…)