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.

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.

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zg Z

Death, Taxes, and Doug Lamborn Sponsoring Stupid Bills

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) is dumb mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore!

There are a few things in life that you can always count on — and Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs sponsoring pointless legislation is right at the top of that list.

While Lamborn may not really even use the Internet, he is very attuned to the manufactured concerns of right-wingers everywhere. Lamborn’s congressional office sent out this press release today:

Today, Congressman Lamborn joined House Republican Conference Vice Chairman Mike Johnson in introducing legislation to prohibit federal, state, local governments, and private organizations from using federal tax dollars to expose children under 10 to sexually explicit material.

“I am appalled at the far-left’s crusade to indoctrinate young, innocent children with their ‘woke’ agenda,” said Congressman Lamborn. “This legislation will stop taxpayer dollars from funding programs exposing children under 10 to radical, confusing, sexually-oriented material. I thank Vice Chairman Johnson for his leadership on this critical issue and will continue fighting against dangerous ideologies that harm our youth.”

The “Stop Sexualization of Children Act of 2022” seeks to put an immediate stop to a thing that doesn’t appear to be much of a problem. The bill “prohibits the use of federal funds to develop, implement, facilitate, or fund any sexually-oriented program, event, or literature for children under the age of 10.” And our personal favorite: “The bill prohibits federal funds from being used to host or promote events where adults dance salaciously or strip for children.”

It’s nice that Lamborn has taken a break from trying to prosecute Big Bird, but this legislation is definitely the result of people in Congress who don’t have enough real work in their inbox. According to Lamborn’s press release, there are two whole examples of this problem:

Planned Parenthood, for example, is encouraging legislatures and school boards around the country to implement sexual education curricula that teaches radical gender theory to children under 10. Children should be learning about reading, writing, and mathematics, not radical gender theory.

That’s pretty weak. Here’s the other one, which is at least a tad more specific:

Federal grants from the Department of Health and Human Services were recently used to fund an event in Alaska where a drag queen performed for children. The Department of Defense is funding drag shows for families on military bases, and incorporating radical gender ideology into curricula at DOD schools. HHS and DOD funding should be used to keep our country healthy and safe, not to stage burlesque shows for children.

This is how communism starts, or something.

“The Department of Defense is funding drag shows for families on military bases.” The only mention of this that we could find outside of Fox News or OANN comes from this story in May via The Los Angeles Blade:

A drag queen story scheduled to be held at the library in honor of Pride month at Ramstein Air Base was abruptly cancelled by the command staff of the 86th Airlift Wing on Thursday.

According to Stars & Stripes, the 86th Air Wing’s public affairs sent a statement to a radical-right anti-LGBTQ+ news outlet in Canada, The Post Millennial, which had requested comment to its article about the event and also accused the Air Force of pushing a more “woke” agenda among servicemen…

…The Post Millennial’s story framed its reporting using hard-line right terms and descriptions of the LGBTQ+ community; “Drag Queen Story Hour has become a phenomenon in recent years, with men dressing up in clownish, garish costumes of women to read to children- Many drag queens have sexualized names, like Penny Tration.”

This all seems very silly, but perhaps this is why Lamborn is the political version of an unkillable zombie who is able to defeat all challengers in his right-wing district despite rarely running much of a campaign.

Just wait until he finds out about the “furries” invading Colorado schools.

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…)

New Episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii update the progress of every key race in Colorado now that we’ve passed the 50 day mark until Election Day.

We also talk about the latest embarrassing antics of Republican Reps. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert and Ken Buck — including wontons! — and give an attaboy to local media for taking time to do some important election narrative fact-checking.

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 |

Boebert Pens Angry Letter to Biden on CORE Act

Lauren Boebert drafting her letter to President Biden.

As Kimberly Nicoletti reports for The Aspen Times, supporters of the long effort to pass the CORE Act, which would designate new national monuments and federal lands, are hoping a final decision is just around the corner:

Colorado ski towns could have a national monument right in their backyards, relatively speaking, and supporters hope it happens this fall.

On Saturday, Vet Voice Foundation, community leaders, elected officials, and 10th Mountain veterans — including a 100-year-old 10th Mountain veteran — will gather with the public at the Colorado Snowsports Museum for a rally to support the proposed Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument…

CORE is a 10-year citizens’ campaign that has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives five times but stalled in the Senate. It would safeguard areas including the Thompson Divide, the San Juan Mountains, the Continental Divide and Camp Hale, and the Curecanti National Recreation Area. [Pols emphasis]

CORE Act champions, including Sens. Bennet and Hickenlooper, Rep. Neguse and Gov. Polis, are urging the Biden administration to designate the Camp Hale-Continental Divide region a national monument through executive action.

As readers of Colorado Pols probably know, the CORE Act is something that has wide support across Colorado but has been regularly opposed by some Republicans doing the bidding of the extraction and logging industries. Republicans often pretend that their opposition is because of other interests — including a tortured attempt to claim that the CORE Act would increase wildfires — but those arguments are specious at best.

Speaking of “specious,” Colorado Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert recently drafted a letter to President Biden signed by fellow Colorado Reps. Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn (as well as non-Colorado lunatics such as Reps. Louis Gohmert, Andy Biggs, and Paul Gosar) asking Biden to oppose the CORE Act. The idiocy of this letter is instructive for understanding the lack of legitimate arguments against protecting more than 400,000 acres of public land in Colorado for recreational use. You can read the full letter here (Boebert-AntiquitiesAct-PDF); we’ve broken down the main arguments below.

Mr. Biden,

We write with grave concern regarding new efforts to unilaterally impose severe land-use restrictions on the people of Colorado and across the American West. For years, partisan big-city Democrats – with the full backing and support of the far-Left green energy cartel – have attempted to implement massive new land grabs through the so-called Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act. The CORE Act land grab seeks to impose increased land restrictions on nearly 400,000 acres, 73,000 acres of which would be designated as new wilderness and close numerous forms of outdoor recreation and multiple-use, exacerbating wildfires in the process.

Boebert can’t even bother to address Biden as “President,” but that’s pretty standard childishness from the representative of the third congressional district. The first paragraph is filled with MAGA jargon such as “big-city Democrats” and “far-Left green energy cartel,” and it concludes by claiming that the CORE Act would “exacerbate wildfires.” We’re not sure how the logic works here, but presumably Boebert is concerned that private industry won’t be allowed to rake the forests if the CORE Act is implemented.

This is a good point to stop and remind readers that both Boebert and Buck were among a minority in Congress who just this month voted AGAINST the Wildfire Recovery Act for reasons neither person has bothered to explain.

Boebert’s letter warns that “without local buy-in, any designation of land under the Antiquities Act will be subject to considerable controversy, as well as never-ending litigation.” What the letter does not mention is that there is, in fact, substantial “local buy-in” for the CORE Act.

A small sample of local support for the CORE Act that this letter conveniently ignores.

This is where things get particularly ridiculous. The letter lists 59 “stakeholders” that have formally objected to the CORE Act. Before we get into that list, remember that the CORE Act only deals with public lands in Colorado.

There are a handful of national organizations included in her letter among 59 opposition “stakeholders,” such as the American Energy Alliance; the Independent Petroleum Association of America; Industrial Miners Association; and groups called “Protect Americans Now” and “Less Government.” There are also a number of corporations, such as Encore Energy; Prime Fuels Corp.; and Sabre Gold.

Colorado Reps. Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck, and Doug Lamborn oppose the CORE Act.

The “stakeholders” list also includes four organizations from Arizona; four organizations based in New Mexico; and even one that is from California (California Farm Bureau). How this is relevant is not a question we can answer, though it would be fun to ask Boebert why she thinks California should be involved in decisions that affect Colorado.

There are a handful of groups on Boebert’s list that are actually located in Colorado, among them the Colorado Livestock Association and the Colorado Wool Growers Association. Opposition is also listed as coming from Colorado counties such as Archuleta; Cheyenne; “Freemont” [sic]; Dolores; Mesa; Mineral; and Montezuma. Not mentioned, of course, is the pesky fact that the CORE Act would not designate any new protected land in any of these counties.

Boebert’s letter concludes with these dire warnings:

While Camp Hale and our servicemembers that were stationed there made important contributions to World War II, we don’t support the efforts of extremist environmentalists who are seeking to hijack this historic place to create a new land designation – a designation that literally does not exist – to prohibit timber harvesting and mining on nearly 30,000 acres of land.

A second request made by our colleagues would permanently withdraw 200,000 acres of land in the Thompson Divide – an area blessed with an abundance of natural gas deposits – from energy exploration. Notwithstanding the fact that natural gas prices have surged to a 14-year high, this request is a solution in search of a problem since the area of controversy has already been administratively withdrawn. [Pols emphasis]

Um, okay.

The CORE Act unites and improves four previously introduced bills: the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness, and Camp Hale Legacy Act; the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act; the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act; and the Curecanti National Recreation Area Boundary Establishment Act.

The Antiquities Act grants the President power to determine how much land to protect under historic or scientific interest. Despite protests from Boebert, Buck, Lamborn and friends, President Biden could take executive action to finally make the CORE Act a reality at any time.

Doug Lamborn, Meet the Internet

Brick Tamland and Doug Lamborn (or vice-versa)

Longtime readers of Colorado Pols will remember one of our all-time favorite political quotes, courtesy of the late former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens.

Stevens was well known for his pet projects, including the infamous “bridge to nowhere,” but we’ll always hold a special place in our heart for this amazing explanation of the Internet he provided in 2006:

Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet [email] was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially. […] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. [Pols emphasis] And if you don’t understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Stevens delivered this gem of an explanation in a Senate committee hearing on June 28, 2006. At this same time in Colorado, Republican Doug Lamborn was engaged in a heated 6-way battle for a vacant congressional seat in CO-05 in Colorado Springs (this was back when Colorado still held its Primary Elections in August). Lamborn would go on to win that race, and effectively a seat in Congress, by capturing all of 15,000 votes in the August Primary. He has held this seat ever since.

Lamborn is a political zombie, that strange type of politician who cannot be killed no matter the circumstances. He has survived multiple Primary and General Election challenges over the years; in June, he annihilated State Rep. Dave Williams in a Republican Primary (by 18 points!) despite the fact that Lamborn faces a lawsuit and ethics violations related to a bunch of problems in his office (including allowing his adult son to live in a storage closet in the basement of the U.S. Capitol).

Lamborn’s political survival is all the more remarkable considering a recent nugget unearthed by Colorado Public Radio reporter Caitlyn Kim:

 

It does appear to be possible to donate online to Lamborn’s campaign (theoretically, anyway — we didn’t actually try it), but you’d need to use a different payment processing service THAN ANY OTHER REPUBLICAN INCUMBENT IN THE COUNTRY.

Perhaps other Republicans are doing it wrong and should be following Lamborn’s lead, but we would imagine that you are more likely to raise money online if you use the same platform as all the other GOP candidates, since efforts are often made to direct donors in that direction. Of course, this assumes that Lamborn even WANTS money; he never seems to have any of it in his campaign coffers anyway.

Lamborn may not really understand the Internet, which is just one more thing to add to a long list of things that is beyond Lamborn’s ability to comprehend. In fairness, we also don’t understand how Lamborn has remained in Congress since 2007, so who are we to judge?

In the end, this is just one more nugget to add to the legend of Brick Tamland Doug Lamborn that historians will one day struggle to piece together.

First Time Doug Lamborn Has Ever Cared About Saving Energy

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-eefer Madness).

A conservative Georgia news outlet calling itself Georgia Virtue reports on a letter sent this week by Rep. Buddy Carter, co-authored by Colorado’s own Rep. Doug Lamborn, cautioning that the legalization of marijuana could pose “a threat to the U.S. energy grid.”

A Congressman from Georgia spearheaded the initiative to pen a letter to the Biden administration this week, joined by a colleague who says that nationwide marijuana legalization poses a threat to the nation’s energy grid.

Rep. Buddy Carter, a pharmacist from Georgia’s 1st congressional district, wrote the letter with Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado. The duo argued that there are “serious concerns regarding the energy and resource-intensive nature of marijuana cultivation.” The letter also said the practice would pose a threat to the nation’s environmental goals.

Addressed to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Energy Information Administration Administrator Joseph DeCarolis, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, the letter calls for more research, noting that “marijuana cultivation alone accounts for 1% of nationwide energy consumption and uses twice as much water as maize, soybeans, wheat, and wine grapes.”

It’s one of the more unusual angles we’ve seen “nationwide marijuana legalization” attacked from, a misleading premise to begin with since there is no proposal today to federally legalize marijuana–only to allow states to do so if they choose, which some number will choose not to. Either way you don’t hear Lamborn complaining about the massive amounts of electrical power consumed by cryptocurrency mining, in which just the seven biggest mining companies consume enough electricity to power all the homes in the nation’s fourth-largest city of Houston. But when it comes to resources consumed to produce marijuana, Rep. Lamborn suddenly becomes a born-again treehugging environmentalist!

As Congress debates whether to advance marijuana legalization, the American people must have a better understanding of the environmental costs of this rapidly growing industry. If the Administration seeks to reduce emissions and protect our environment as aggressively as it has previously committed, [Pols emphasis] we must have a comprehensive view of where emissions and other pollution occurs, as they will likely only grow.

So does this mean that Rep. Doug Lamborn supports the Biden administration’s agenda “to reduce emissions and protect our environment as aggressively as it has previously committed?” Given how Lamborn trashed the historic climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, we’re guessing not. The best we can conclude from his record is that Doug Lamborn only cares about protecting the environment from marijuana.

There are a lot of very good reasons to upgrade the nation’s power grid, with growing marijuana far down the list. A future of electric cars parked in every all-electric heated home makes the power used for growing legalized marijuana an afterthought.

And it’s a future we’ll have to achieve without Doug Lamborn’s help.

Republicans to Introduce 15 Week Abortion Ban

UPDATE: Wait, really?

—–

What has two thumbs and just screwed Colorado Republicans?

As Inae Oh reports for Mother Jones, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is going to make the final two months of the 2022 election considerably harder for many Republicans candidates in Colorado (and around the country):

Lindsey Graham is set to introduce a new bill to restrict abortion nationally, specifically banning the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy. [Pols emphasis]

This will mark the sixth time that the South Carolina governor has introduced legislation to restrict abortion at the federal level. The plan, which will be introduced Tuesday, has no chance of surviving a Democratic-controlled Senate; even if Republicans seize control of Congress, it would still likely face serious challenges, including an all-but-certain veto from the president.

But what’s interesting here is that by once again proposing nationwide abortion restrictions, Graham is reportedly hoping that the legislation will convince voters that the GOP is willing to make some concessions on the issue—that amid intense outrage, the Republican Party is not as cruel as the Democrats have been portraying. [Pols emphasis] But much of Graham’s logic here weaponizes the stigma, as well as the general misunderstanding of the term “late-term abortions,” and it’s difficult to see newly mobilized voters falling for it in our post-Roe landscape.

If a “15 week” abortion ban sounds familiar, it should: This is the same arbitrary restriction proposed by Mississippi lawmakers that led to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Supreme Court decision in June that essentially overturned Roe v. Wade.

This bears repeating. Senator Graham is introducing a bill to ban abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy — a timeline that has no scientific or medical basis whatsoever — that would create the same abortion restrictions as the Mississippi law that led to the destruction of federal abortion rights in the United States. Graham thinks that this will somehow be helpful to Republicans; he apparently didn’t get the memo that “nuance” is dead when it comes to abortion rights.

Graham’s legislation is a disaster for every Republican candidate in Colorado who is not running in a safe Republican district. Current elected officials, including Reps. Ken Buck (R-Greeleyish) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) have already signed on to the idea of making further abortion restrictions at a national level (so long, “state’s rights”). Here’s a short list of those 2022 candidates in Colorado who will find this to be particularly unhelpful in the weeks before Election Day on Nov. 8:

Joe O’Dea, U.S. Senate

O’Dea has spent the last couple of months diligently trying to take every conceivable position possible on the issue of abortion rights, other than the only one that really matters: Supporting a woman’s right to choose. His latest answer on the subject is that he wants to go to Washington D.C. to “bring balance to women’s rights.”

O’Dea says that he would like to restrict abortions at an equally-arbitrary deadline of 20 weeks of pregnancy. It will be hard for O’Dea to argue that he would oppose Graham’s 15 week deadline given that his own 20 week deadline is not based on any tangible scientific evidence.

John Kellner

John Kellner, Attorney General

Kellner already screwed this up when he said out loud at a candidate forum in August that he considered himself “somebody who supports the Dobbs decision returning this back to the states to make a decision” and later couldn’t answer a ‘yes or no’ question about whether he supported a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions. But Graham’s bill destroys whatever wiggle room Kellner might have tried to hold onto because the concept of “state’s rights” would go out the window.

If a Congress were to approve Graham’s legislation, it’s tough to believe that Kellner would still work to protect abortion rights in Colorado if elected Attorney General. He could just say, Oh, I support state’s rights but Congress changed the law, so what are you gonna do?

♦ Erik Aadland, Congress (CO-07)

Aadland is about as far right as you can get on the issue of abortion rights. He cheered the demise of Roe V. Wade and praised the Texas abortion law that basically made bounty hunters out of regular citizens who even heard the word “abortion” whispered by a neighbor.

♦ Barbara Kirkmeyer, Congress (CO-08)

Kirkmeyer has been one of Colorado’s most consistent anti-choice advocates for decades, but even she sees the political danger in talking about her position. Kirkmeyer opposes abortion for any reason. We don’t even need to ask if Kirkmeyer would vote YES on Graham’s bill if given the opportunity. She’s like political Thanos in this regard:

 

To be clear, Graham’s bill is bad for any Colorado Republican trying to finesse a position on abortion rights that is anything other than supporting a woman’s right to choose. Election after election, and poll after poll, have proved Colorado is an overwhelmingly pro-choice state — which is why dolts like GOP Lieutenant Governor candidate Danny Moore are trying to pretend reality is different. From The Colorado Sun’sUnaffiliated” newsletter:

“The Republican Party is not trying to take away anybody’s right to choose,” Danny Moore, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor [Pols emphasis], said last week on Jeff Fard’s interview show in response to a question about abortion. That statement comes despite the GOP’s efforts at the state Capitol and through ballot measures to restrict or outright ban abortions in Colorado. Moore said he thinks voters should decide Colorado’s abortion laws — even though they already have time and again through ballot measures — while criticizing the law passed by Democrats this year enshrining nearly unfettered abortion access in the state. (Heidi Ganahl, Moore’s running mate, wants to roll back Colorado’s new abortion-access bill and believes the procedure should be banned except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of a mother is at risk.)

Danny Moore is apparently unaware that many interviews with politicians are recorded or written down and are easily accessible to anyone with a connection to the Internet.

Lindsey Graham is expected to announce his national abortion ban legislation sometime today.

The GMS Podcast: Asshats in Key States

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii discuss Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea’s pledge to decide what rights women should get to have, and we consider how the breakdown of the national map for Senate Republicans (“Asshats in Key States”) is causing problems for O’Dea in Colorado.

We also talk about the latest state fundraising reports; the deadline for the recall of State Sen. Kevin Priola; and we bemoan the fact that the campaign for Denver Mayor is already well underway even though the midterm election still has eight weeks to go.

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.

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To Hell With “State’s Rights” Say Buck, Lamborn

Rep. Ken Buck (top) and Rep. Doug Lamborn.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this summer overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling guaranteeing abortion rights in all fifty states, Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado celebrated what he characterized as the restoration of state authority to regulate abortion as they saw fit:

The Supreme Court made the right decision in overturning Roe v. Wade, a tragic abortion mandate that has cost over 73 million unborn babies their lives. The power to decide this profound moral question has officially returned to the states, where it will be debated and settled in the way it should be in our democratic society—by the people.

In his statement the same day, Rep. Doug Lamborn likewise heralded the turn of the struggle over abortion rights “to the states.”

While today we are rejoicing, the fight now turns to the states where the American people must go on the offense for life.

But in the same press release where Lamborn said “the fight now returns to the states,” Lamborn contradicted himself by vowing to pursue further federal restrictions on abortion that would apply in all 50 states–no secret, but also making no sense right before celebrating the return of the fight “to the states.” And true to form, as the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler reports, both Lamborn and Buck have signed on to legislation severely restricting abortion rights at the federal level–demonstrating they were lying about wanting states to decide the question at all:

When the Supreme Court in June overturned Roe v. Wade, which in 1973 established a nationwide right to an abortion, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his majority opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson that the legality of abortion would now be up to individual states. “The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion,” Alito said. “Roe and Casey [in 1992] arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”

Many Republican foes of abortion celebrated the ruling as a victory for states’ rights. Yet since Alito’s draft opinion was leaked on May 2, 28 lawmakers have also signed onto a proposed nationwide ban — one that would impose abortion restrictions even in Democrat-led, pro-abortion rights states. [Pols emphasis]

This would seem to be a direct contradiction to the idea that states could chart their own course. Blue states that have less restrictive laws in place suddenly would find those laws overridden by a federal law.

Kessler reports that Rep. Ken Buck signed on as a co-sponsor of the so-called “Heartbeat Protection Act,” which would ban abortions if a “heartbeat” can be detected–an effective ban since this occurs before most people even know they’re pregnant–on May 27, after the Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe was leaked. Rep. Lamborn signed on as a co-sponsor on July 11th, after the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe was published. In both cases they knew that this ruling was coming, and it makes it impossible for them to claim to support returning the question of abortion rights “to the states.”

Will this glaring contradiction hurt Buck or Lamborn in the state’s two safest Republican districts? Of course not. But for fellow Republican candidates like Joe O’Dea trying (and generally failing) to walk a tortuous fine line on an issue expected to turn out voters in force against anti-abortion politicians, Buck and Lamborn’s example is a reminder that there is no longer any tenable middle ground on the issue. With Republicans in control of Congress, this is the kind of legislation that will pass. And a Republican President will sign it.

These are not hypotheticals anymore. Those with nothing to lose have exposed those who do.

Tom Tancredo Endorsement is the Kiss of Death

Tom Tancredo

Republican Erik Aadland announced this week that his campaign for CO-07 has received the endorsement of former Congressman and Presidential candidate Tom Tancredo. This is not much of a surprise given that Tancredo endorsed Aadland for U.S. Senate back in September 2021 (Aadland dropped out of that race to run for CO-07 in December 2021).

Tancredo’s endorsement is a bad sign for Aadland, who is running against Democratic State Sen. Brittany Pettersen for the seat being vacated by the retirement of longtime Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter. We compiled a list of Tancredo endorsements in notable races over the years, and the numbers speak for themselves; of the 22 candidates Tancredo has endorsed going back to 2006, only three went on to win a General Election.

Should Aadland lose in November and Libertarian Brian Peotter fail to win a U.S. Senate seat — which seems pretty likely — this will move Tancredo’s winning percentage on endorsements to somewhere in the neighborhood of 12%.

We can’t say for sure that the list below is a comprehensive look at all of Tancredo’s endorsements over the years; we did the best we could without wasting the better part of an entire day searching for more. The point is the same regardless: Tancredo’s support is a pretty solid way of predicting how a candidate will fare in November.

Which is to say, not good at all.

Click below to see the details…

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Ken Buck Campaigns for Mayor of Crazytown

Republican Rep. Ken Buck exists in his own little world nowadays.

If you are a regular listener of The Get More Smarter Podcast, you know that the show often includes a segment called, “What the Buck?” This is a feature about Republican Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley-ish), who has gotten inexorably weirder the longer he has been in Congress.

Buck was never what you would call a political “moderate,” but he also wasn’t always the batshit crazy Congressman that he has morphed into today. Recently Buck has taken another couple of bizarre steps toward political oblivion, including some absolutely horrendous votes and a ludicrous round of questioning in a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Buck has been casting increasingly odd votes that he either can’t explain or doesn’t even try to rationalize. This week, Buck was one of just 20 Republicans to vote NO on legislation called the “Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act.” The bill is a reauthorization of funding for programs that include shelters, mental health care, education and job training for victims of human trafficking. That’s right — Ken Buck literally voted against legislation to assist victims of human trafficking. Reporters such as Kyle Clark of 9News took note of Buck’s silence:

Buck has also recently voted NO on legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriage and NO on a bill designed to protect access to contraception.

It’s not just casting votes where Buck comes off looking awful. This week he tweeted that the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic have been “grossly overstated.” More than 1 million Americans have died from COVID-19 in the last 2+ years; that’s considerably more than, say, the 400,000 Americans who died during WWII.

Just yesterday, Buck raised the bar on his own absurd behavior during a House Judiciary Committee hearing while questioning Matt Olsen, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security:

What the Buck? Accusing George Soros of secretly funding and organizing Antifa is not new for Buck, but he’s generally kept this nonsense to Fox News appearances and avoided wasting everyone’s time during actual Congressional hearings. But this is crazy talk — the sort of lunatic rants you might hear from someone like right-wing blabbermouth Alex Jones.

Not a terrorist

To be sure, Buck has been trending in this direction recently — during a hearing in April, he compared Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to Benedict Arnold and said that he should be impeached for treason — but he seems to be raising his own bar for silliness. We won’t be at all surprised when Buck asks a senior law enforcement official for proof that Big Bird is a terrorist leader.

Buck wasn’t always like this. He was always a staunch conservative, but it was not unusual to privately hear from Democrats who worked with Buck — including other District Attorneys — that he was a decent guy.

After serving as the District Attorney in the Weld County area for many years, Buck was the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in 2010 and came close to defeating Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet. In fact, Buck might be running for another term in the Senate today if not for his epic meltdown on “Meet the Press” just weeks before Election Day in 2010.

In 2014, Buck ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in CO-04, a seat that was being vacated by the U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Cory Gardner, and easily won a Republican Primary (which, in a very-red district, basically ensured his seat in Congress). He has regularly been re-elected in CO-04 ever since, and seems to have settled for (not) doing one job well after a two-year run as State GOP Party Chair.

So what happened to Buck? Perhaps he is jealous of the attention that outspoken Republican Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert has seized for herself, both in Colorado and around the country, and decided that the best way to get a piece of that spotlight was to follow her lead. Buck might also be moving further to the right after he got a scare in the Spring when some guy named Bob Lewis managed to win top-line at the Republican Congressional Assembly (Buck easily defeated Lewis in the June 28th Primary Election).

If Buck was ever truly interested in being a statesman, that dream is clearly dead. Instead he has committed himself to right-wing nuttery and self-interest, where the only thing that matters is getting re-elected for the sake of being re-elected. Buck now exists fully in that strange right-wing netherworld with Boebert and Rep. Doug Lamborn; here he’ll remain, more clown than Congressman, until he decides to retire.

The GMS Podcast: Tiny Guns and Boxes of Dirt (feat. Dave Young)

State Treasurer Dave Young

This week in episode 115 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with Colorado State Treasurer Dave Young about all sorts of topics. Young explains how a State Treasurer impacts your life, from the Secure Savings Act to his idea for an “Infrastructure Bank” program. We also find out more about some of the weird items sitting inside the unclaimed property vault…including the world’s tiniest gun.

Later, Jason and Ian discuss Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl’s strange choice of a running mate and answer a listener question about the selection of a Lieutenant Governor. We also have more on Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea and some terrible votes cast by Colorado Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck, and Doug Lamborn.

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.

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Colorado Republicans Vote NO on Contraception Protections

Earlier this week we wrote about how all three of Colorado’s Republican Members of Congress — Reps. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, Ken Buck, and Doug Lamborn — voted NO on legislation intended to protect same-sex and interracial marriage. This is an important issue now because of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, in which Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas both indicated that the legal logic involved in that decision might lead to removing protections for same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and even contraception.

Well, guess what happened today?

That’s right — Boebert, Buck, and Lamborn all voted NO on a bill seeking to protect the right to contraception. From The Washington Post:

The House passed legislation largely along party lines Thursday that would federally protect an individual’s access to contraception and ensure health-care providers are not penalized for prescribing it, a response to the Supreme Court decision last month that reversed federal protections for abortion access…

…The support for marriage equality by House Republicans on Tuesday shook the Senate into action, spurring Democratic leaders to shift their tone and announce that they will consider that bill on the Senate floor soon. But it’s unclear whether the Senate will also bring up the contraception legislation.

We haven’t seen a rationale for these votes other this perfectly ridiculous statement from Rep. Ken Buck regarding Tuesday’s vote on same-sex and interracial marriage protections:

 

Ken Buck says the Supreme Court considers marriage to be a “settled issue” and he believes them. He’s probably just trolling with this statement, but it’s in pretty bad taste to pretend that anything is settled law after the Supreme Court overturned Roe, which everybody insisted was also “settled law.” It’s also really lame for Buck to be pretending that inflation is the only thing that Congress should be discussing when the only thing Buck is talking about is the Second Amendment.

Boebert, Buck, Lamborn

As far as we can tell, Boebert has not commented on these votes. Neither has Lamborn, though we can never be sure if he’s paying attention to anything or if a staffer is just carting him around “Weekend at Bernie’s” style.

Anyway, we’ll reiterate the same thing we wrote on Tuesday: If Republicans take control of one or more Chambers of Congress in 2023, they’re going to go after same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and contraception. They’ll try to focus on the economy during the 2022 election — and even then only to blame Democrats — but don’t be fooled into thinking Republicans don’t have their own social agenda planned.

Colorado Republicans COULD have voted to protect same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and access to contraception…but they didn’t. What else do you need to see?

Colo. GOP Delegation: ‘NO’ to Same-Sex, Interracial Marriage

As Caitlyn Kim of Colorado Public Radio reports:

Today, Colorado Republican Congresspeople Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck, and Doug Lamborn all voted ‘NO’ on legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriage.

Okay, just so there is no confusion later…

YOU SEE WHAT THEY ARE DOING, RIGHT?

Boebert, Buck, Lamborn

As The Associated Press reports:

In a robust but lopsided debate, Democrats argued intensely in favor of enshrining marriage equality in federal law, while Republicans steered clear of openly rejecting gay marriage. Instead leading Republicans portrayed the bill as unnecessary amid other issues facing the nation. [Pols emphasis]

Tuesday’s election-year roll call, 267-157, was partly political strategy, forcing all House members, Republicans and Democrats, to go on the record with their views. It also reflected the legislative branch pushing back against an aggressive court that has sparked fears it may revisit apparently settled U.S. laws…

…last month, writing for the majority in overturning Roe v. Wade, Justice Samuel Alito argued for a more narrow interpretation of the rights guaranteed to Americans, noting that the right to an abortion was not spelled out in the Constitution.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas went further, saying other rulings similar to Roe, including those around same-sex marriage and the right for couples to use contraception, should be reconsidered. [Pols emphasis]

YOU SEE WHAT THEY ARE DOING…RIGHT?

We don’t need to protect same-sex marriage or interracial marriage or contraception. It’s settled precedent.

This election is about the economy and gas prices. Why are we talking about laws that already exist?

They said the same thing about Roe v. Wade. It was settled precedent…until it wasn’t.

Former Sen. Cory Gardner’s toothy grin

Most Colorado political observers are well aware of the 2014 Denver Post endorsement of Republican Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate and that infamous line:

And contrary to Udall’s tedious refrain, Gardner’s election would pose no threat to abortion rights.

But often forgotten is this line that came just before:

For that matter, his past views on same-sex marriage are becoming irrelevant now that the Supreme Court has let appeals court rulings stand and marriage equality appears unstoppable.

Unstoppable…until it is stopped.

That editorial also noted that Gardner was focused on economic and energy issues, not social issues. But then Gardner got elected and voted for every Republican Supreme Court nominee that came forward. And then Roe v. Wade was overturned. And then…

TELL ME YOU SEE WHAT THEY ARE DOING!!!

Look, we don’t WANT this storyline to continue. We aren’t waiting to someday say, Told ya so! That would be a stupid prize for playing the wrong game.

If you don’t see what Republicans are doing, it’s either because you agree with it or because you don’t want to see it. If it’s the latter, we can sympathize; there are plenty of times where we want to stick our fingers in our ears and shut our eyes so tight that it hurts.

But this? No, this is right there in front of all of us now. There’s no avoiding the flashing neon signs.

You see what they are doing, right?

Sorry Doug Lamborn, Atheism Isn’t A Religion

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R).

The right-wing Washington Times reports on GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn’s latest culture war axe to grind:

A State Department grant of $500,000 to fund the promotion of the rights of atheists and other nonbelievers in the Near East and South-Central Asia has drawn fire from more than a dozen members of Congress who say the goal is to push atheism, which they assert is a component of “radical, progressive orthodoxy” worldwide.

The 2021 grants were designed to allow “members of minorities and marginalized groups — particularly atheists and nonbelievers” to network and campaign for their freedom alongside religious believers, but Rep. Jim Banks, Indiana Republican, and 14 other signers of a letter to President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken say the funds could be used to promote atheism.

“It is one thing for the [State] Department to be tolerant and respectful of a wide range of belief systems, and to encourage governments to respect the religious freedom interests of their citizens,” Mr. Banks writes. “It is quite another for the United States government to work actively to empower atheists, humanists, non-practicing and non-affiliated in public decision-making.”

Atheism?!

And why is that, you ask? From the letter signed by Rep. Lamborn and 14 other Republicans:

To be clear, atheism and “humanism” are official belief systems. [Pols emphasis] As an initial matter, therefore, we would like to know what other United States government programs supported with appropriated funds are being used either to encourage, inculcate, or to disparage any official belief system – atheist, humanist, Christian, Muslim, or otherwise.

Your reaction to the drawing equivalency between atheism, which is the wholesale rejection of religion, with sectarian religion is probably going to hinge on whether you consider yourself personally religious. Athiests would argue that describing atheism as just another “belief system” along with major world religions is an insult, and a rejection of the science and reason atheists embrace instead of religious dogma. As long as atheists aren’t persecuting religious people, it’s hard to see what the argument is against supporting their participation in government like anybody else.

But again, we’re not the target audience. The same people who cheer on Lamborn as he attacks funding for “atheists” abroad also cheered the Supreme Court’s ruling last month upholding religious schools’ access to public funds.

Consistency has nothing to do with it.

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Polster Primary Predictions

Over the years at Colorado Pols we’ve frequently run totally non-scientific polls (like this one) asking readers to tell us who they think will be the victor in a particular race. We do this to get a sense of how perceptions might be shifting in a particular race, but we’ve also found that Polsters have been remarkably accurate at predicting outcomes in past elections. Today we’re gathering up all the various polling results from the last 6-8 weeks for the definitive guide to the future (one that begins at 7:00 pm tonight).

We’ll get into the details below, but first, here’s the slate of candidates that readers of Colorado Pols predict will be successful tonight in key Republican Primary races:

♦ U.S. Senate: Ron Hanks
♦ Governor: Greg Lopez
♦ Sec. of State: Tina Peters
♦ CO-03: Lauren Boebert
♦ CO-05: Doug Lamborn
♦ CO-07: (We forgot to poll on this race)
♦ CO-08: Lori Saine

 

U.S. SENATE

In the race for the Republican Senate nomination, Polsters have never wavered over the course of three polls (1, 2, 3) in picking Ron Hanks over Joe O’Dea:

GOVERNOR

Over the course of three polls (1, 2, 3), our readers shifted from favoring Hiedi Heidi Ganahl to betting on Greg Lopez:

SECRETARY OF STATE

We only polled once on this race, but Polsters were overwhelmingly confident that Tina Peters would defeat Pam Anderson and Mike O’Donnell:

 

CO-03

Polsters didn’t vary much in their predictions over the course of two polls (1, 2), giving the edge to Lauren Boebert over Don Coram:

 

CO-05

We polled just once in this race, with Doug Lamborn the clear favorite over Dave Williams:

 

CO-08

Over the course of two polls (1, 2) our readers stuck with Lori Saine over Barbara Kirkmeyer, with Jan Kulmann and Tyler Allcorn trailing far behind:

 

Will readers of Colorado Pols be correct in their Primary predictions? We’ll find out tonight!

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What Does Voter Turnout Tell Us About November? Not Much

Voter turnout numbers in Colorado resemble 2018 more than 2020.

Political pundits often attempt to connect voter turnout numbers in a Primary Election as some sort of harbinger of things to come in a General Election. Most of the time there is little correlation between the two elections, and that is particularly true in 2022.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office released ballot return numbers on Friday indicating that Republican ballots are being returned in larger numbers than Democratic ballots. Should this trend continue through Tuesday evening, we’d expect some in the GOP to attempt to spin a narrative that Colorado Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting in 2022 than Democrats. There are two very significant problems with this story, however:

First off, the 2022 Primary Election in Colorado is very different than in years past. Republicans have contested races in three of the five major statewide races (U.S. Senate, Governor, Secretary of State) and in four Congressional districts (CO-03, CO-05, CO-07, and CO-08). Democrats, meanwhile, have NO contested statewide races and a competitive Primary in only one Congressional district (CO-03). For many Democratic voters, there are no races on their ballots for which a choice is even available. There’s little incentive for Democrats to even bother submitting ballots when there is nothing to be decided.

The second issue that is skewing ballot return numbers involves Unaffiliated voters. As Colorado Newsline explains:

This year’s preliminary ballot-return data shows that unaffiliated voters are largely responsible for the GOP’s turnout edge so far. Nearly 30% of the Republican primary ballots returned as of June 24 were cast by voters not affiliated with any party — double the number reported at the same point prior to the state’s previous midterm primary election in 2018. [Pols emphasis] Colorado law allows the state’s 1.7 million unaffiliated voters — a larger group than either its 1.1 million active registered Democrats or its 956,904 registered Republicans — to vote in either party’s primary election in a given year, but not both.

In other words, more voters are casting Republican ballots in the Primary Election — but that’s not an indication that Republican voters are more enthusiastic about participating in this year’s elections.

Primary Election turnout is generally not all that indicative of what might happen in November anyway, but this is particularly true in 2022. To borrow a quote often attributed to Sigmund Freud, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

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The GMS Podcast: Predicting the Primary Election

This week in episode 112 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii make their final prognostications in advance of the June 28th Primary Election with the help of Armin Thomas of Split-Ticket.org.

We’ll also discuss calls from The Denver Post to shutter the Benson Center for Western Civilization Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado…thanks to its association with coup plotter John Eastman. And Eastman pal/gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl goes on TV with her first advertisement just eight days before Election Day.

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.

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The GMS Podcast: Heidi Ganahl Won’t Let Greg Lopez Lose

This week in episode 111 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii catch up on a whole bunch of political news.

We’ll go through the latest updates on the big political races in Colorado as the Primary Election draws near and explain why Republicans are flipping out over television ads that are filling the airwaves their candidates left open. We also take a look at the Jan. 6 insurrection investigation; Rep. Lauren Boebert’s latest scandals; Tina Peters’s non-sequiturs; and Rep. Ken Buck’s commitment to absurdity.

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 |

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Who Will Be the Republican Nominee in CO-05?

Doug Lamborn and Dave Williams

Our readers are traditionally pretty good about projecting the outcome in key races, so tell us what will happen in Colorado Springs in two weeks. Who will advance from the June 28th Republican Primary in CO-05 to become the de-facto Congressman in November? (since this is a heavy Republican district, the Primary winner will almost certainly cruise to victory in the General Election).

Can incumbent Doug Lamborn earn his ninth term in Washington D.C., or will State Rep. Dave Williams be the first in a long line of attempted challengers to actually defeat the man who is perhaps the dimmest bulb in Congress?

(Note: There are two other candidates running for the Republican nomination, but the winner is going to be either Lamborn or Williams).

Click below to cast your vote!

 

*Remember, as always with our totally non-scientific polls, we want to know what you legitimately THINK will happen — not what you hope will happen or which candidate you support personally. If you had to bet the deed to your house that your prediction would be correct, how would you vote?

 

 

Who Will Be the Republican Nominee in CO-05?

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The Silliest Season

Dave Williams

There are exactly two weeks to go until the June 28th Primary Election, which means that things are starting to get predictably silly as campaigns pull out every trick at their disposal (including some that were probably best left in the bag).

For a great example of this, let’s head down to Colorado Springs and the increasingly-bitter Primary battle for CO-05 between incumbent Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn and challenger Dave Williams. According to a press release issued last week, Williams is really salty about a political ad from Lamborn:

Today, State Rep. Dave Williams announced he will be filing a criminal complaint with the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s office against Doug Lamborn for violating Colorado Revised Statute 1-13-109…

…Knowing that his campaign is failing, Doug Lamborn spent tens of thousands of dollars to broadcast an outrageous and wildly fallacious attack ad on television against Rep. Williams that tries to deflect from Lamborn’s failed record and numerous House Ethics Committee investigations.

Rep. Williams said, “Because Lamborn knows he’s in danger of losing his failed 16-year career in Congress, while facing ever-expanding congressional ethics investigations, it’s no surprise he would bald-face lie about my pro-life record and steadfast support for Trump to cover his own tracks on funding Planned Parenthood, CRT, and betraying President Trump himself.”

This is all fairly standard nonsense that you typically find when Election Day is drawing near. Here’s where things get a little unusual:

Rep. Williams’ wife, Emily, further expressed her shock and disbelief that Lamborn, a self-described Christian, would stoop so low not only because Rep. Williams has steadfastly fought for the issue of life in the State House but also due to their recent personal tragedy that their family is still recovering from.

Mrs. Williams said, “This isn’t just politics, it’s personal now and after trying for so long to have children ourselves, while suffering multiple miscarriages, disgusting lies like this from Lamborn are a hypocritical slap in the face because my husband knows firsthand that all life is precious.” [Pols emphasis]

It is pretty odd to see a campaign issue a press release quoting the candidate’s spouse. Did Lamborn run some sort of negative ad that featured Emily Williams in an inappropriate manner?

Well, no (click here to watch the ad).

Screenshot of TV ad generating complaints from Dave Williams

 

Colorado Public Radio has more on the official complaint filed on Friday by the Williams campaign:

Williams alleges that ads running on television and radio that claim Williams was fired by former President Donald Trump’s Colorado campaign and that he introduced a bill at the statehouse to divert dollars from traffic violation funds away from local police to help “pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and groups supporting defund the police like “Black Lives Matter” are lies.

As near as we can follow, Williams is upset that the ad accuses him of providing funding for “pro abortion groups,” which Williams thinks is out of bounds because his wife, Emily, has had “multiple miscarriages.” We certainly sympathize with the Williams family, but it’s pretty flimsy to connect that personal history to an ad that mentions abortion funding.

In addition to filing a complaint about the ad with the El Paso County DA, Williams’s campaign also responded with its own ad going after Lamborn for, among our favorite of the incumbent’s transgressions, allowing his son to live in a storage closet in the basement of the U.S. Capitol:

 

Two more weeks, everybody. Just two more weeks.

Will Republican Voters Split the Primary Ticket? Probably Not

CO-08 candidates clockwise from top left: Saine, Kirkmeyer, Kulmann, Allcorn

Ballots for the June 28th Primary Election are already being returned after being mailed out to voters early last week. Most of the action this month is on the Republican side, where there are an exceptional number of GOP battles that need deciding. In fact, we can’t recall a recent time when Colorado saw this many competitive Primary races for high-profile offices in the same election cycle.

We’ve heard persistent rumors recently that the race for the Republican nomination in CO-08 is essentially now a two-candidate battle between Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine and State Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer. Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann continues to generate little interest, and not a lot of people have ever heard of a “Tyler Allcorn.”

Much of the discussion in GOP circles still centers around the “Big Lie” — the idea that the 2020 Presidential election was “stolen” from former President Donald Trump. As we’ve written many times in this space, years of Republican support for the “Big Lie” is a big problem for the Colorado GOP. And while the “Big Lie” is rapidly falling apart amid the Congressional hearings investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, it’s unlikely that these discussions will change a lot of minds before most of the votes are cast in the June Primary Election.

Rumors about a Saine/Kirkmeyer showdown in CO-08 got us thinking about what sort of crossover impact might or might not happen in other top GOP battles. In short, our question is this: To what degree might Republican voters split their ticket between “Big Lie” adherents and those who dance around the topic?

 

For example, if a voter supports Saine in CO-08, should we assume that they are also going to back Ron Hanks for U.S. Senate, Greg Lopez for Governor, and Tina Peters for Secretary of State? The question works no matter which order you list the candidates; if you like what Peters is selling, is it safe to assume that you are also backing Hanks and Lopez? This is definitely a bet we’d be comfortable making.

Sure, there are going to be exceptions to this (or any) rule of thumb, but in general it makes logical sense that “Big Lie” believers are going to back the “Big Lie” candidates.

What happens with the Republican candidates who dance around the “Big Lie”? This group, which we call the “Big Lie Fence Sitters,” don’t explicitly say that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump but spend a lot of time talking about non-existent voter fraud and questioning the security of our elections in broad terms. A voter who leans toward believing the “Big Lie” could potentially talk themselves into backing a “Big Lie True Believer” in one race and one of these candidates on the next line.

Then there are the Republicans whom we call “Big Lie Non Believers.” Senate candidate Joe O’Dea, Secretary of State hopeful Pam Anderson, and CO-08 challenger Jan Kulmann have been (relatively) clear that they don’t believe the 2020 election was fraudulent. All three of these candidates also flirt with the idea that our elections need greater security or transparency, but overall they stay away from suggesting that Democrat Joe Biden is not the “legitimate” President of the United States.

Again, there will be exceptions, but it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for someone who likes Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters to also back O’Dea (as one example).

This brings us back to the rumors in CO-08 that the Primary outcome will come down to Saine or Kirkmeyer. If the race does shake out this way, this is almost certainly bad news for the likes of O’Dea and former Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Pam Anderson. If something similar is happening in CO-07 as well, then O’Dea, Anderson, and Ganahl are all in serious trouble.

Perhaps Republican Primary voters in Colorado will decide in large numbers to dismiss the “Big Lie” and vote in a different direction, though that would be at odds with everything the Colorado GOP has been advocating since November 2020. No Republican candidate has long enough coattails for others to ride out this storm.