Two-Timing Thornton: Jan Kulmann For Congress Redux?

Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann (R).

Earlier this summer, defeated 2022 Republican primary candidate for Colorado’s new swing CD-8 seat Jan Kulmann announced with what seemed like finality that she would not be making another run for Congress in 2024, instead campaigning for re-election as Mayor of Thornton. Colorado Community Media’s Luke Zarzecki reported in July:

Thornton’s Mayor Jan Kulmann will not be running for the Republican seat in the 2024 Congressional District 8 race.

“I am not doing it because I am not a partisan politician. That is the lesson I learned running for Congress,” Kulmann said…

Kulmann, who is running for reelection as mayor in the 2023 Thornton election, said she was hoping to bring nonpartisan politics to Congress.

“I thought being a mayor, I could bring non-partisan politics to Congress and I was wrong. Nobody wants that. They wanted a show and that’s not who I am. So I enjoy being the mayor because it has not been partisan,” she said.

Fast-forward to the present day, and it appears this sentiment is out the window. Reliable sources tell us that Jan Kulmann was in Washington recently to meet with the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and despite Kulmann’s pledge to remain with the people of Thornton and eschew “partisan politics,” Kulmann appears to be seriously considering jumping into the 2024 GOP primary for CD-8. Kulmann is unlikely to formally announce a congressional campaign until after she wins re-election as Mayor of Thornton in November, since premature disclosure of a run for Congress could be a huge political headache for Kulmann after promising Thornton voters she wouldn’t.

Sorry about that.

National Republicans circling back to Jan Kulmann in this high-profile swing congressional race is first and foremost a sign of dissatisfaction with the current field of Republican CD-8 contenders–not to mention the new challenge created by a state Republican Party bent on purity testing candidates, which at least in part affected 2022 CD-8 nominee Sen. Barb Kirkmeyer’s decision to herself not run again in 2024. The two “leading” candidates in the race today, Weld County Commissioner Scott James and freshman state Rep. Gabe Evans, are in no way strong enough to deter other primary candidates. Kulmann, on the other hand, has the strong support of oil and gas interests and the well-known GOP political consultants allied with them.

The timing of these alleged discussions is Kulmann’s most immediate problem. A mayor running for re-election on a promise to serve the people of her community first should not be simultaneously running a shadow campaign for Congress just two months after swearing it off. For Thornton voters, Kulmann waiting until after this November’s election to break her promise from July and announce her run for Congress would be a considerable betrayal.

There’s an easy way for Kulmann to prove these new rumors wrong, and that would be to firmly and publicly shut the door on running for Congress next year. Even the smallest hint of equivocation on this question is a sign that the situation has changed from earlier in the summer. The one thing everyone should be able to agree on is that the voters of Thornton deserve straight answers before they receive their municipal election ballots next month.


Who Among You Will be the First to Sign this Pledge?

Sign my…sign.

Early in the summer, Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dave Williams announced that he had formed an alliance of some sort between the Colorado GOP and the Colorado Libertarian Party (LPCO). Nearly four months later, the results of this alliance have proven to be a bit elusive.

The stated goal — from Williams’s point of view, anyway — was about trying to prevent Libertarian candidate “spoilers” from potentially mucking things up for a Republican candidate in a close General Election. Curiously, Williams would later promise to find a Libertarian “spoiler” candidate to run against Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer if she ran again in CO-08 (No, these sentences do not go together, but we all just have suspend our understanding of reality in order to make sense of any of this).

Anyway, in August, the LPCO unveiled a “pledge” for Republican candidates to sign in order to receive the official support of the Colorado Libertarian Party. Williams then started sending out this pledge to Republican candidates — again, a Libertarian Party Pledge coming from an official Colorado Republican Party account — which clearly amused LPCO leaders but thus far hasn’t received much enthusiasm among candidates for top jobs in Colorado.

We already knew that neither of the Republican candidates in the third congressional district — Lauren Boebert and Jeff Hurd — were planning to sign the pledge. This was probably always going to be a harder sell given that a Libertarian candidate named Mark Ellworth Jr was already in the race, but nevertheless…

We also knew that Scott James, a Republican running in CO-08, was doing his best to pretend that the pledge didn’t exist. Last week, via Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, there emerged another confirmation buried somewhat in a larger story about Republican State Rep. Gabe Evans entering the race in CO-08:

Evans told Colorado Politics he won’t sign a pledge released last month by the Colorado Libertarian Party as part of a deal between the state’s third-largest party and the state GOP aimed at avoiding potential spoiler candidates in competitive races. [Pols emphasis]

While Caraveo defeated Kirkmeyer last year by just over 1,600 votes — out of almost 240,000 ballots cast — Libertarian nominee Richard Ward received more than 9,000 votes despite not mounting an active campaign, prompting some Republicans to describe the third-party candidate as a spoiler.

“I think that pledge indicates the level of frustration we’re seeing in Colorado with the left being in complete control of really everything in this state,” Evans said. “But there’s some things there I can’t agree to. Most concerning is ultimately moving toward degrading, getting rid of the intelligence community. I’ve been overseas, I’ve seen the threat that adversaries like Iran, Russia, North Korea and China pose. In 2023, we’ve got a dangerous environment in the international community, so we’ve got to make sure we have the tools to protect our country, protect the homeland.”

He said he has reservations about additional elements contained in the lengthy pledge.

Not the slogan (probably) of the GOP/LPCO alliance.

None of the Republican candidates running in the two biggest races of 2024 will sign the Libertarian Party pledge to complete the alliance that the Republican Party Chairman forged in…um…not steel, or blood…but…we’ll go with “spray-can cheese”?

Surely, someone will sign the “Pledge of Alliance,” right?

Actually, yes — we think it will get plenty of signatures.

As easy as it would be to just make fun of the LPCO pledge for Republicans and laugh at its architect, there are plenty of Republican candidates who would sign this pledge, either 1) Because they can use it as a wedge in a tough Primary campaign, and/or 2) Because they happen to believe most of this stuff anyway.

If this pledge had been around in 2022, at least two major congressional candidates would have signed. Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine absolutely would have scribbled her name as a way to separate her from other Republican congressional candidates in CO-03. And Dave Williams himself would have signed it in his bid to unseat Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn in CO-05. Ron Hanks, a 2022 U.S. Senate candidate, would have signed. The Republican gubernatorial candidate, Heidi Ganahl, would have scribbled her name in crayon.

Heck, Lauren Boebert would have signed it…in 2020 when she was running in a Republican Primary against Scott Tipton.

Plenty of Republicans will join up in 2024. State Reps. Scott Bottoms and Ken DeGraaf will say pretty much anything; they’ll sign basically anything, too, if you include the right key words in bold type (FREEDOM! LIBERTY! LIQUID SILVER!) Most of the Republicans in the House of Representatives now will give serious consideration to inking their name.

As far as we know, the “Pledge of Alliance” has not yet been signed by a Republican candidate, but it will happen. The next questions are much more interesting.

“Gabbin’ Gabe” Evans Mansplains Into CD-8 GOP Primary

Rep. Gabe Evans (R) having a sad with the Colorado House GOP micro-minority last May.

As the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports, freshman Republican state Rep. Gabe Evans of Fort Lupton is the latest to throw his hat in the ring to challenge incumbent Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo in Colorado’s ultra-swing CD-8–hoping in the process that his hat doesn’t immediately get shredded by the Colorado Republican Party’s recent lurch to the hard right, and an intra-party purity testing regime his predecessors did not face:

The state lawmaker is the second Republican to announce a 2024 bid to dislodge Caraveo. Evans will face Weld County Commissioner Scott James in the GOP primary.

Caraveo, who lives in Thornton, beat Republican state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer by less than a percentage point, or roughly 1,600 votes, in 2022.

National Republicans say the 8th District, which was formed during Colorado’s 2021 redistricting process and spans the northeast Denver suburbs into Greeley, is one of their top 2024 targets. Democrats also plan to direct resources to the district to defend Caraveo.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) warmly welcomed Evans to the CD-8 race, turning without hesitation to Evans’ record, albeit only for a single session, in the Colorado House GOP’s micro-minority caucus. As our readers know intimately from watching them in action, the reactionary antics of Colorado’s least influential legislative caucus gave Democrats plenty to work with against any of their number seeking higher office:

Gabe Evans is jumping into the race for Colorado’s 8th Congressional District and bringing his extreme anti-abortion agenda with him. Evans supports banning abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest, putting him far out of step with Coloradans…

“This Republican primary is shaping up to be a race to the far right on abortion. Both Gabe Evans and Scott James are pushing extreme anti-abortion agendas that couldn’t be more out of touch with what Coloradans want. Make no mistake – either of these Republican candidates would be a guaranteed vote for a national abortion ban in Congress.”

As an oppositional minority uninterested in brokering compromise or even pretending to be reasonable, the House GOP minority was free to take truly radical positions on a wide range of issues from abortion rights to gun safety. The DCCC hasn’t even scratched the surface of that record, kicking off with abortion rights as just the first of a long list of issues on which Evans is vulnerable. Evans’ loquacious car-salesman delivery has been compared to ex-Sen. Cory Gardner, and that frequently put Evans in the position of being a mouthpiece for the House micro-minority during episodes that did not age well.

Historically, Colorado Republican state representatives have a terrible record when it comes to winning higher office. It’s been fourteen years since then-state Reps. Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton traded up to Congress from the Colorado legislature, while Democrats just in 2022 sent two state lawmakers to Washington–the same year numerous GOP lawmakers including Ron Hanks, now-GOP chairman Dave Williams, and state Sen. Barb Kirkmeyer all saw their bids for federal office fall flat.

Rep. Evans now faces the gauntlet of a state Republican Party under Williams openly meddling in the primary process to enforce far-right ideological standards on Republican candidates. Even with the GOP/Libertarian “grand alliance” teetering under its own weight, if Williams decides for any reason that Evans is not conservative enough he has plenty of alternatives. We haven’t heard specifically whether Evans is on Dave Williams’ extensive naughty list, but after Williams embarrassed the caucus by arranging a paid no-show “legislative aide” position to cover the bills we can imagine there being little love between them.

And that, as they say, is the long row Gabe Evans must now hoe. The most likely outcome is Evans joining a long list of overly ambitious fellow Republicans whose reach exceeded their grasp.

Boebert Once Again Substitutes Tweeting For Governing

As Ernest Luning reports for the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog, most of Colorado’s congressional delegation representing both parties signed a letter to the Internal Revenue Service this week, asking as they did last year during a similar brief period of uncertainty to not treat refunds to taxpayers under Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights as federally taxable income:

All but one member of the state’s D.C. contingent signed on to a letter led by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, both Democrats, asking IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel to “resolve the current ambiguity” over TABOR refunds in response to guidance released Wednesday by the agency.

State officials warned the IRS against changing its policy on TABOR refunds following the publication of a notice covering various state income tax refund scenarios, with some emphasizing that it is unclear whether Colorado’s unique situation is covered by the proposed rules.

The fresh controversy comes on the heels of a dust-up in February when the IRS initially told Colorado taxpayers to delay filing their 2022 income tax returns until the agency decided whether to tax refunds issued the previous summer by the state. Within days, the IRS announced there would be no change regarding TABOR refunds after the delegation unanimously called on the agency to stick with the policy in place for decades.

It’s better for this question to be resolved well before Colorado taxpayers approach their filing deadline, which was the cause of much temporary consternation last February–and we expect that the answer from the IRS will once again rule that TABOR tax refunds should not be subject to federal income tax. This letter requesting the IRS clarify its policy on Colorado’s unique tax refund mechanism was signed by every member of the delegation except one, and you already guessed who she is–Rep. Lauren Boebert.

Instead of signing the letter to the IRS with the rest of the delegation, Boebert put out this suspiciously-timed Tweet/X yesterday afternoon announcing her opposition to taxing TABOR refunds, the timing of which strongly suggests Boebert realized she had missed the boat and was attempting to glom on for credit on the fully-expected other side:

Apparently, doing “everything in my power” does not include signing a letter.

Similar to Boebert’s missed vote on the debt-ceiling compromise she had spent days previously railing against, we can’t explain why Boebert didn’t sign this no-brainer letter with the rest of the delegation, making it a unanimous call for the IRS to solve the problem. What we can say is that Boebert Tweeting her viewpoint on the matter is not a substitute for actually doing her job, which would have been to sign the letter with everybody else.

While it’s not likely to affect the outcome thanks to Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Joe Neguse mobilizing the rest of the delegation, it’s yet another case of Boebert substituting performative outbursts on social media for her duties as a congressional representative.

If the IRS does follow Boebert on Twitter, it’s probably not to get her advice.

Meanwhile, Rep. Yadira Caraveo Does The Work

Rep. Yadira Caraveo (R).

We can’t close out the week of news without a mention beneath the din of historic presidential indictments and local Republican existential crises of more positive headlines for Colorado’s freshman Rep. Yadira Caraveo, who as we’ve discussed in this space is following the low-drama high-productivity track that GOP sophomore self-immolator Rep. Lauren Boebert should be following in a competitive seat but can’t. Via today’s Unaffiliated newsletter, Rep. Caraveo was seen this week in deep-red Weld County discussing agricultural labor issues:

U.S. Rep. Yadira Caraveo met Tuesday with a group of agricultural producers and labor leaders to hear their ideas for improving the federal H-2A work program, which lets people from other countries legally enter the U.S. for temporary farm jobs…

While Caraveo, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee, was in Greeley to talk policy, there may have been a political nexus, too.

Weld County was where Caraveo fared worst during the 2022 election. She lost there to Republican state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer by about 18,000 votes — Caraveo picked up 32,000 votes in Weld compared with nearly 50,000 votes for Kirkmeyer…

The Republican candidate is always likely to win in the Weld County portion of the 8th District, but if the Democratic candidate can limit the damage, they can reasonably count on voters in Adams County to send them to Washington, D.C. (And vice versa for the GOP.)

And then on Wednesday, as the Brighton Blade reports, Caraveo’s district was a showcase for the jobs and new energy development coming to Colorado thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law by President Joe Biden a year ago–known in these parts as the BFD Act:

Brighton has seen two major green energy manufacturers announce plans to build. In March, Fremont, Calif.-based lithium-ion battery manufacturer Amprius announced plans to open a factory in the city’s vacant Sears/KMart distribution center on Bromley Lane. The 775,000-square-foot building would be home to 332 net new jobs in Brighton with an average annual wage of $68,516.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade announced in June that VSK Energy Inc. would expand into Brighton, bringing as many as 900 new jobs to the area. The company makes solar photovoltaic modules for energy-collecting solar panels. The company plans to move into the 76 Commerce Center, a row of warehouses along Interstate 76 just north of Brighton’s 160th Avenue, in 2024…

“We wanted to highlight a spot where the bipartisan infrastructure money had gone,” Caraveo said. “With the northern metro area growing so much, investments in this area of the state are particularly important.”

One of the reasons why Republicans fought so hard to stop the BFD Act is that, like the Affordable Care Act or the pillars of today’s social safety net Social Security and Medicare, once the positive impacts take hold and begin delivering tangible benefits battling against the good news becomes politically counterproductive. This is why Democrats like Colorado Sen. John Hickenlooper kept negotiating with Sen. Joe Manchin past the point when others had given up, and helped forge a deal that allowed all sides to claim victory. Because Democrats didn’t give up and were willing to embrace some compromise, hundreds of high-paying clean energy jobs are headed to the heart of Colorado’s most competitive congressional district.

That’s a win for Yadira Caraveo that no one can take from her.

Both of the most capable opponents that Caraveo faced in the 2022 election have decided not to run against her in 2024. In at least one of those cases, it was disarray and internal hostility within the Colorado Republican Party that helped motivate the decision. This is a seat that Republicans have always said they intend to target next year as a top priority, but the candidate to back that up has yet to emerge.

All of which gives Caraveo the space she needs to take this nominally competitive seat off the table, to quote Smith Barney, the old-fashioned way. By earning it.

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Doug and Jean Lamborn

Today in The Colorado Sun, Sandra Fish reports on a practice that is fairly common among Members of Congress and their staff:

Nine of Colorado’s 10 members of Congress have paid at least one of their official office staffers with campaign funds this year, according to a Colorado Sun analysis of Federal Elections Commission filings for fundraising and spending through June 30.

And a 10th — U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn — used campaign dollars to pay a firm registered to his wife.

It’s not unusual — or illegal — for members of Congress to pay their congressional staffers with campaign dollars for campaign tasks. In fact, many staffers perform campaign duties without pay, Insider reported last year, including digital work and accompanying their bosses to events.

“It’s totally legal for staff at a congressional office to work on political campaigns,” said Delaney Marsco, senior legal counsel for ethics at the Campaign Legal Center. “They’re not bound by similar restrictions that executive branch employees would be bound by with the Hatch Act,” which prohibits them from political involvement. [Pols emphasis]

Members of Congress using staffers for campaign duties, and paying them accordingly, is a pretty standard practice; after all, these staffers are already vetted and are more than familiar with the candidate and the issues, so it makes plenty of sense to employ them for campaign-side purposes. The bigger issue is normally whether or not official staff get paid at all for doing other work outside of their official duties.

In fact, the only member of Colorado’s congressional delegation who has not recently paid an official staffer with campaign funds in order to do non-official work is Colorado Springs Rep. Doug Lamborn. Some of this is because Lamborn doesn’t really do anything beyond the bare minimum required of a Member of Congress, but what Lamborn is doing with some of his campaign funds is much more unethical:

Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican, has paid Triple Star Services, a company registered to his wife, Jean, more than $19,000 in 2023 for campaign consulting. Lamborn has paid his wife or her business out of his campaign account consistently during his 16 years in Congress. 

Lamborn to Lamborn expenses — just in the last couple of election cycles

According to Open Secrets, “Triple Star Services” (otherwise known as “Jean Lamborn”) has been well taken care of over the years. Lamborn has been paying his wife for “bookkeeping services” since he was first elected in 2006. As the Investigative Research Center reported in 2020:

Since 2015, Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado) has paid Triple Star Services LLC, a bookkeeping firm run by his wife, Jean Lamborn, more than $130,000 from his campaign account. Prior to the formation of the LLC, public records show that payments were made directly to Mrs. Lamborn…

In 2013, the Lamborn campaign responded to an inquiry from USA Today about paying his spouse from campaign coffers. A spokeswoman told the newspaper, “Congressman Lamborn and his wife would much prefer to hire this out to someone else but haven’t found the right person for the job.” Seven years later — in August of 2020 — The Colorado Sun asked for comment on the continued arrangement. The campaign reportedly refused to comment. [Pols emphasis]

According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records Triple Star Services LLC, has performed “campaign management,” “strategic consulting,” “bookkeeping,” “data management,”  “office management” and “accounting” services for Congressman Lamborn’s political operation.

“Congressman Lamborn and his wife would much prefer to hire this out to someone else but haven’t found the right person for the job.”

   — Lamborn spokesperson Catherine Mortensen responding to USA Today in 2013

That quote is just marvelous. Who else in the entire United States could POSSIBLY do this kind of bookkeeping work other than Jean Lamborn?

None of this is particularly new; we’ve taken note of this family arrangement on previous occasions. In recent years, the Lamborns have even started ordering official staffers to run their own personal errands.

What Rep. Lamborn is doing is similar to an arrangement that former Congressman Scott McInnis had with his wife for many years, though McInnis took the practice to another level by continuing to pay his wife for bookkeeping services even after he had retired from Congress.

Doug Lamborn is an unkillable political zombie for reasons that nobody can really explain, so it’s unlikely that more news about the Lamborn slush fund will hurt his re-election chances in 2024. We just wanted to take a moment to unbury the lede from today’s Colorado Sun story; what Lamborn is doing with his campaign account is absolutely NOT the same as what the other members of Colorado’s delegation are doing with their accounts.

Scott James Launches CO-08 Campaign Into Brick Wall

Weld County Commissioner and new CO-08 candidate Scott James shown here trying to hold in a fart.

The Colorado Democratic Party today announced a new campaign effort — dubbed “The Horizon Project” — to protect incumbent Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo in CO-08 (Northern Colorado). According to a press release:

The Colorado Democratic Party, in collaboration with Attorney General Phil Weiser, is launching an unprecedented new effort to train and deploy organizers in Colorado’s Eighth Congressional District (CO-8). This unprecedented investment of resources and training will put skilled organizers on the ground over a year ahead of the 2024 General Election, and in advance of this fall’s critical elections across the district…

…Despite our great successes in 2022, thousands of registered Democrats who typically vote in every election did not vote that year. This program will be especially dedicated to ensuring that these voters are reactivated in time to participate in local elections this fall, and also prepared to vote in 2024’s election.

This is a well-timed kickoff considering the recent movement that we have seen in CO-08 on the Republican side of the ledger. Earlier this week, 2022 Republican candidate Barbara Kirkmeyer announced that she would NOT be running for Congress again in 2024 despite losing to Caraveo by less than 2,000 votes last November. Kirkmeyer decided to bow out of the race in part because Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dave Williams threatened to find a Libertarian candidate to oppose Kirkmeyer if she had decided to run.

Kirkmeyer was the second of the several 2022 Republican candidates to decide not to run again in 2024, joining Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann on the sidelines. Kulmann provided a particularly lame excuse to Colorado Community Media regarding her decision to skip the race in 2024:

“I am not doing it because I am not a partisan politician. That is the lesson I learned running for Congress,” Kulmann said…

…“I thought being a mayor, I could bring non-partisan politics to Congress and I was wrong. Nobody wants that. They wanted a show and that’s not who I am. So I enjoy being the mayor because it has not been partisan.”

There will be no Caraveo/Kirkmeyer rematch in 2024.

This is, of course, very silly. Kulmann is the very definition of a “partisan politician” — she finished behind Kirkmeyer in last June’s Republican Primary, for crying out loud — and there’s no way she actually believes that nonsense line that SHE could bring “non-partisan politics to Congress.”

Anyway, all of this brings us to Weld County Commissioner Scott James, who announced this week that he is running for the Republican nomination in CO-08. As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

The veteran radio personality and chairman of the county GOP filed paperwork for the seat hours after Republican state Sen. Barb Kirkmeyer, who narrowly lost the election to Caraveo last year, announced that she won’t seek a rematch and will instead run for reelection to the legislature.

“I am running for Congress because I believe in my fellow Coloradans,” James said in a statement. “I believe in our rugged individualism and the dreams we have for our families. I believe in our commitment to freedom and the rule of law. I believe we deserve a government that is as good as the people it is elected to serve.”

James co-hosts Scott and Sadie, a popular weekday morning radio show on Big 97.9 FM, a country music station that broadcasts in northern Colorado. He won reelection last year to a second term on the county commission after serving four terms on the Johnstown town council and one term as the town’s mayor. [Pols emphasis]

Make sure you read that last paragraph before we move along any further…

Got it? Okay, here’s what James said next:

“I’m not a politician. I’m just a guy who has been given a gift to communicate and a calling to serve.”


James was elected to the Johnstown City Council in 2002 and was re-elected three more times before winning a race for Mayor and then running for Weld County Commissioner. He won a second term as Commissioner in 2022.

This is a ridiculous statement to make, but James is quite skilled at saying stupid crap.

As Luning continues:

Caraveo’s campaign declined to comment on James’ candidacy, but Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Shad Murib didn’t hesitate to lob some attacks.

“Scott James has said that women having the freedom to make their own health care choices caused ‘the rapid decline of civilization,’ and even supports sheriffs skirting their responsibility to enforce life-saving gun safety laws,” Murib told Colorado Politics in a text message. 

Murib was referring to remarks James made as a talk radio host more than a decade ago and James’ support for a resolution declaring Weld County a “Second Amendment sanctuary,” allowing its law enforcement officers to refuse to enforce certain state gun laws. [Pols emphasis]

You are cleared for…gah! Abort! Abort!

James has had a long career as a radio host, and he is currently a morning DJ/host on Big 97.9, a country music station in Northern Colorado. As former Republican candidate George Brauchler can tell you, running for office after spending years spewing idiotic statements on the radio normally ends up biting you in the ass.

Here’s what The Colorado Sun had to say about James in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter:

We’re sure plenty more will come out about James as the 2024 election cycle heats up. Democratic consultant Logan Davis posted on Twitter, in reaction to James’ campaign announcement, that Republicans “still haven’t figured out how to vet.” Some Democratic leaders were already starting to circulate opposition research on Thursday.

From what we hear (and what everyone else hears, apparently), James is gift from the opposition research gods. This alone would be bad enough news for Republicans, but James’ kickoff statements seem to indicate that he is always more than willing to say whateverthefuck pops into his head.

This is not would we would call a recipe for electoral success for Republicans. Then again, neither was selecting Dave Williams to be the Chair of the Colorado Republican Party.

Perhaps the Colorado GOP can go with a new slogan for 2024: “Together, Into the Abyss!”

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 12)

Stay cool out there, friends. 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.




State Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer will not run for Congress in CO-08 in 2024, eliminating the possibility of a rematch between her and Democratic incumbent Yadira Caraveo (Kirkmeyer lost to Caraveo in 2022 by about 2,000 votes). Kirkmeyer was no doubt at least partially swayed by the efforts of State Republican Party Chairman Dave Williams to publicly attack her again and again

We linked on Tuesday to a detailed Twitter thread from Kyle Clark of 9News about the escalating infighting among Colorado Republicans. Take a look at the “replies” section of the official Colorado Republican Party Twitter account for a look at how toxic things have become. Reporters such as Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun are noticing:


Via POLITICO (7/12/23)

As POLITICO reports, Congressional Republicans appear intent on attacking a once-sacred cow — defense spending — if it allows them to throw punches on abortion rights and the LGBTQ community:

The House will begin debating its Pentagon policy bill on Wednesday, but Republican infighting that could still kill the must-pass legislation is far from over.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his conservative detractors are working to hammer out a deal to hold votes on several controversial amendments that will allow the National Defense Authorization Act to proceed toward a final vote in the House. The impasse over OK’ing amendments that would strike down a host of Pentagon policies aimed at diversity in the ranks has some Republicans questioning whether the defense bill can even pass this week as planned.

To make matters more complicated, Democratic votes are likely needed to pass the final bill because many conservatives often oppose the measure no matter which party is in power. In cutting a deal with hardliners to advance the bill on the floor, McCarthy runs the risk of alienating Democrats and putting passage of the legislation in peril…[Pols emphasis]

…McCarthy and conservative dissidents are in a tug-of-war over how many tough votes to take on amendments. The GOP’s right flank wants to include contentious issues such as Pentagon abortion policies, medical care for transgender troops and diversity programs.

The House Republican caucus is now just Lord of the Flies. As we see in a separate POLITICO story, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is worried about another pointless takeover by rival factions such as the House Freedom Caucus. Congressman Chip Roy (R-Texas) is even threatening to vote against debate on the defense policy bill, which would prevent the legislation from even making it to the House Floor.


All of those Republicans braying about “Bidenflation” are going to need a new talking point. As The Washington Post reports:

Government data released Wednesday showed a notable drop in inflation: Prices rose 3 percent in June compared with the year before, and 0.2 percent compared with May, the smallest 12-month increase since March 2021. That marked progress from the last inflation report, when prices rose 4 percent compared with the previous year.

There is a ways to go, especially on major categories such as rent. But encouraging signs were scattered throughout the Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Goods prices, from used cars to meats, saw declines compared to the month before. Categories that bulged over the past year, such as airfares and hotels, are also cooling off as demand settles back to normal.Meanwhile, wages have grown faster than inflation for four straight months. Average hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent from May to June, outpacing inflation by 0.2 percent, according to a separate BLS report released Wednesday…

Meanwhile, wages have grown faster than inflation for four straight months. Average hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent from May to June, outpacing inflation by 0.2 percent, according to a separate BLS report released Wednesday. [Pols emphasis]

Via The Washington Post (7/12/23)


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Kirkmeyer Out In CD-8 After Williams’ Friendly Fire

Sen. Barb Kirkmeyer (R).

Breaking news this morning from Colorado Public Radio’s Caitlyn Kim and Bente Birkeland, reporting that 2022 CD-8 Republican nominee Barb Kirkmeyer will not be coming back in 2024 for a rematch:

“My passion has always been for Colorado. In 2024, I believe the best way for me to serve our great state is to run for reelection to the State Senate,” she said in a press release. Kirkmeyer added that despite encouragement from supporters to run for Congress again, she made the decision after “careful consideration and deliberation.”

CO-08 is Colorado’s newest, and most competitive, congressional seat, with Democrats only holding a one point advantage. In 2022, Caraveo won by just over 1,600 votes, or .69 points. A Libertarian candidate in the race snagged over 9,000 votes, and was considered by many Republicans, including Kirkmeyer, to be a spoiler who contributed to the Democratic victory…

The 2022 CD-8 race, in which Libertarian candidate Dan Ward pulled in multiples of the margin of victory but Kirkmeyer also arguably lost on her own after running a dishonest and mean-spirited campaign, was cited as one of the biggest reasons why the Colorado Republican Party’s much-ballyhooed “deal” with Colorado Libertarians to cooperate in avoidance of spoiler situations was necessary. But it didn’t take long after the deal was publicized for Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams to make it clear that it would only be operative with Republican candidates Williams personally approved of–and that doesn’t include Barb Kirkmeyer.

Yesterday, Williams once again turned his party-branded ire on Kirkmeyer yet again:

Kirkmeyer’s announcement comes only a day after she publically butted heads with the controversial and combative leader of the Colorado Republican party, Dave Williams.

The two got into a back and forth on Twitter after she retweeted a letter from the Colorado Log Cabin Republicans that criticized Williams for his homophobic and transphobic comments on Pride month.

“Here’s to finding a more constructive path to reach our goals!” Tweeted Kirkmeyer.

At this point, it doesn’t matter if Kirkmeyer denies or downplays the hostility of the Colorado Republican Party’s chairman affecting her decision not to run for CD-8 again in 2024. That’s going to be the story. The 2022 nominee in one of the nation’s most competitive congressional races who lost by a very small margin was just bullied out of another run by the chairman of her own party.

Dave Williams claims he is intentionally not raising money for the Republican Party, and so far in his time in office has spent the undeniable majority of his time–and almost all of his earned media–attacking fellow Republicans instead of Democrats. When Williams does focus long enough to not eat his own, his outlandishly extreme appeals over wedge issues embarrass fellow Republicans to the point of apology.

If Williams was a deep-cover Democratic plant on a years-long mission to wreak maximum havoc within the Republican Party, we’d think we’d know about it. What we can say either way is the destruction Williams is accomplishing could only be done from inside.

Today, the biggest obstacle for Colorado Republican candidates is their own chairman.


Podcast: Climb Rocks, Pass Bills (feat. Dr. Erik Murdock)

We’re right behind you, Dr. Erik Murdock! Not literally, but in terms of public policy.

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, it’s a floor fight! Our 8th favorite Member of Congress from Colorado helps prove what we’ve been saying for years: Elect a bunch of clowns, and you’ll get a f***ing circus. The new Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party is hands down the best one the GOP has ever had in Colorado…at least as far as Democrats are concerned. And Republican Mike Coffman, the Mayor of Aurora, is trying to become king of the third largest city in the state, or something.

Our guest this week is Dr. Erik Murdock, Interim Executive Director of The Access Fund. We talk about the CORE act, the PARK act, and how legislation around rock climbing may be the key to bipartisanship in Washington.

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

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GOP Chair Threatens Kirkmeyer With CD-8 Libertarian Spoiler

(Dave Williams’ reign of terror marches on — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Republican Party chairs aren’t supposed to show a preference for candidates within their own party. Yesterday, however, Colorado Chair Dave Williams flat-out warned state Sen. Barb Kirkmeyer, who lost a nailbiter in last year’s race for Colorado’s new 8th Congressional District (CD8), that if she runs again, she’ll face not only incumbent Democrat Yadira Caraveo but a Libertarian Party candidate as well. That could lead to a repeat of the scenario from 2022 in which Libertarian Richard Ward earned several thousand more votes than the 1,500 vote difference between Caraveo and Kirkmeyer.

What makes Williams’ threat so notable is that it stems from an agreement he himself negotiated with the Libertarian Party. Per the terms of this deal, Williams has promised his Republican Party will run candidates who are sufficiently conservative as to meet with the approval of a far-right faction within the Libertarian Party called the Mises Caucus.

Williams: “I can assure you that if Senator Kirkmeyer wishes to run for Congressional District 8 again, I am fairly certain the Libertarian Party will likely field a candidate.”

Goodman: “You can bet on it!”

Republican candidates who don’t “pass muster” with the Mises Caucus may face an additional “spoiler” Libertarian candidate who, as last year’s CD8 race proved, have demonstrated an ability to draw enough votes to impact the election results.

Williams has framed this agreement as a way to prevent potential future spoiler candidates from blocking Republican wins. In this case, however, he appears to be weaponizing the agreement to prevent a Republican he (or perhaps the Libertarians) consider insufficiently conservative, from entering the GOP primary in the first place. Colorado Libertarian Party Chair Hannah Goodman acknowledges she can’t prevent someone from running, but says the delegates at the party’s state convention could vote against a nomination. She then noted that she is a Mises member and that since her caucus has supermajority control of the state party’s voting members, she is confident of being able to them “voting their principles.”


Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann Vaguely Afraid of Some Guy

Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann, a Republican up for re-election this November after losing last years’ CD-8 Republican primary to Barb Kirkmeyer, is apparently deeply concerned about the actions of an unknown individual who seems to have taken an interest in her campaign. Why, you ask? Well, it’s not exactly clear, but here it is for the record:

That’s all we know about the situation–an individual who “posts pretending to be a supporter” when apparently he isn’t, and was allegedly seen at some kind of public event where he was photographed (above). There’s nothing else here to substantiate Kulmann’s claims of “intimidation” by this anonymous person, and if Kulmann didn’t learn this running for Congress last year, candidates for office attract all kinds of attention–some of it from opponents, who have a wide latitude to engage with public figures without it being considered harassment or stalking or whatever it is Kulmann is suggesting but not fully alleging here.

Of course, if this person is engaged in any kind of bonafide illegal activity, we wouldn’t condone that either. Generally speaking we’ve found the best response to vague allegations of this kind is to throw a giant spotlight on the situation and see what the deal really is. If it turns out this person does work for an opponent of Kulmann’s and is simply assigned to “bird-dog” Kulmann on the campaign trail, we’re sorry to say that’s one of the least controversial explanations possible.

So let’s all find out together now.

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It’s Not Your Hippie Uncle’s Libertarian Party Anymore

This morning, the Colorado Republican Party led by politically radioactive chairman Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams announced an agreement brokered with the Colorado Libertarian Party, as long as certain ideological qualifications are met by Republican candidates, to not field Libertarian candidates where they might serve as spoilers for Republicans in tight races:

2022 Libertarian CD-8 candidate Dan Ward.

On the surface, this might seem like a positive development for beleaguered Colorado Republicans, who blame the narrow defeat of last year’s inaugural CD-8 congressional race by Barb Kirkmeyer at least in part on Libertarian candidate Dan Ward. But under the hood this agreement isn’t nearly as encouraging, and has more to do with an ideological shift to the hard right within the national Libertarian Party–one that Dan Ward didn’t participate in. As the Daily Beast reported last November:

Earlier [in 2022], the right-wing Mises Caucus won control of the Libertarian Party’s national leadership. The takeover resulted in bitter rifts and accusations of bigotry, with some state-level Libertarian parties moving to disaffiliate from the national party. The leader of a now-dissolved Virginia Libertarian party, Holly Ward (no relation), previously told The Daily Beast that Mises agendas like secession were a departure from the party’s previous platforms…

Dan Ward has also taken issue with the party’s direction, putting him at odds with state-level leadership, McMahon said. (The Libertarian Party of Colorado did not return a request for comment.) [Pols emphasis]

“Dan is part of a resistance movement within the Libertarian Party,” McMahon said. “We have openly protested the messaging that has been coming out of the Libertarian Party that they call edgy. We don’t think it’s edgy. We think it’s racist, we think it’s sexist… We think it’s obnoxious.”

2022 Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Brian Peotter.

Traditionally, the Libertarian Party has served as a home for a relatively small percentage of politically active individuals who care more about personal freedom than anything else, including winning elections. Being a Libertarian allowed one to short-circuit debates about unpleasant social wedge issues while still finding agreement with conservatives on a minimally regulated economy with low taxes. But more recently, the party has been challenged by an influx of what are basically right-wing ideologues masquerading as small-government freedom lovers. This described the 2022 Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in Colorado Brian Peotter, who ran to the right of pseudo-centrist Republican Joe O’Dea and campaigned on ending abortion rights.

In short, what we have here is not a Republican Party moderating to appeal to freedom-loving Libertarians. The Libertarian Party, or at least its controlling faction, has veered ideologically right and also (at least in Peotter’s case) toward Donald Trump’s “Ultra MAGA” cult of personality. And while that might ease an internal conflict on the right, what it won’t do is produce candidates who are any more electable in Colorado. 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark summed it up well:

Today’s Libertarian Party has lost its contrarian soul, and become a faction in a larger conservative power struggle. This left Libertarians ripe for exploitation by both the corporate and MAGA wings of the Republican Party, and at least in Colorado, they’re choosing the MAGA side. But despite the takeover of the Libertarian Party organization by right-wing ideologues, ordinary Libertarians have never been proven to be reliable Republican voters in the absence of a Libertarian candidate.

If there are any old-school Libertarians left to fight, today’s “deal” should be your dealbreaker.

Rep. Yadira Caraveo Doing All The Things

Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D).

Some call it negativity bias–we would argue it’s a natural consequence of limited resources and a target-rich environment–but we’re regularly accused in this space of focusing on political misdeeds and deplorable behavior from one side of the aisle, at the expense of coverage of the positive work being done by the majority of Colorado’s federal elected lawmakers.

In 2023, the unheralded workhorse of the Colorado congressional delegation so far has been freshman Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo. In just a few short months, Caraveo has enjoyed above-average success in moving legislation even as a minority member. We wrote earlier this month about Rep. Caraveo’s co-sponsorship of legislation to protect interstate abortion rights. A bill co-sponsored by Caraveo to research the threat of the narcotic “tranq” passed the House earlier this month. At the same time, as Colorado Public Radio reported last week, Caraveo’s seat on the House Agriculture Committee places her front and center in the debate over the next Farm Bill:

Agriculture is big business in Colorado, generating $47 billion annually for the state’s economy and employing more than 195,000 people. And as Congress begins writing the next iteration of the Farm Bill, Colorado lawmakers like Caraveo are doing their best to make the case for the state in this massive piece of legislation.

As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Caraveo will have a more direct role than most of her colleagues. She said meetings like this are vital as she helps craft the nation’s food policy for the next five years…

There are a lot of members from the Midwest, the Southeast and California on the House Agriculture committees, but hardly any from the Rocky Mountain West or even the greater Southwest.

In addition to agriculture policy, Caraveo is also co-sponsoring with most of the delegation the newly-reintroduced Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act, a long-sought effort to protect hundreds of thousands of acres of public land in Colorado:

Sen. John Hickenlooper and Rep. Diana DeGette, Jason Crow, Yadira Caraveo and Brittany Pettersen will co-sponsor the legislation.

Previously, the House of Representatives has passed the CORE Act five times with bipartisan support, but the bill has been unable to get through the Senate. Sen. Bennet and Rep. Neguse first introduced the CORE Act to Congress in 2019…

The dynamics in the current Congress are different than when the CORE Act was last up for a vote. Republicans have a majority in the House, while Democrats hold a narrow majority (51-49) in the Senate. In previous votes, support for this public lands legislation has followed party lines, with Republicans, including Rep. Lauren Boebert, voting against it.

Rep. Lauren Boebert couldn’t care less about protecting some of the most iconic mountain wilderness areas in her district, but the CORE Act enjoys solid bipartisan support in polling. It’s not the first time we’ve noted the irony of the majority of the delegation stepping in to do what should be Boebert’s job–much like they did with appropriations requests that Boebert refused to vote for in the previous Congress, but still took credit for with constituents.

The antics of unserious politicians like Boebert do tend to hog the limelight, particularly now that she’s been proven to be one of the most vulnerable Republicans in Congress. It’s the polar opposite of Rep. Caraveo’s growing list of understated accomplishments. Most of the news coverage about Caraveo in the past few weeks has focused on Republican spending on her competitive seat and the silly proposition of 2022 U.S. Senate loser Joe O’Dea running against Caraveo–not the productive work Caraveo is doing every day in Congress.

We can all try harder to give credit where due, and we should.

Caraveo, Senate Dems Fight For Interstate Abortion Rights

Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D).

Colorado’s U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet announced last week the reintroduction of the Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act, which would protect abortion providers from lawsuits originating in anti-choice states and prohibit federal support for such actions:

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Senate colleagues to reintroduce the Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act. This legislation would protect abortion providers in states like Colorado — where abortion remains legal — from Republicans’ attempts to restrict their practice and create uncertainty about their legal liability.

“It’s outrageous that states have passed laws that threaten doctors with lawsuits and jail time for providing abortion care where it is legal,” said Bennet. “In the wake of Dobbs, Colorado has become a safe haven for women seeking reproductive health care, and this bill ensures doctors in Colorado and other states where abortion is legal can continue to care for their patients without fear of prosecution.”

“The Dobbs decision endangers women and their doctors,” said Hickenlooper. “Reproductive health care rights belong to women and we’re fighting to keep it that way.”

Axios reports today in their roundup of newly-introduced legislation that the companion bill in the House is sponsored by all four Democratic doctors in Congress, including freshman Rep. Yadira Caraveo of Colorado:

The Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act was reintroduced by the House’s four Democratic physicians — Reps. Ami Bera, Kim Schrier, Raul Ruiz and Yadira Caraveo.

The Senate introduced an identical bill.

The bill would protect doctors in states with legalized abortion from being punished for providing abortion services to patients from other states.

The issue of protecting abortion providers from out-of-state legal action has taken on particular importance in Colorado, where patients from neighboring states where abortion has been restricted or outlawed have flooded into our state seeking care since the repeal of Roe v. Wade last year. There are sound legal arguments against these kinds of interstate civil suit laws to allow ideological activists to wage legal war on abortion providers in other states. What we don’t have today is a judicial system that can be counted on to agree, and the Republican-controlled U.S. House has no interest in weakening the newfound power of anti-abortionists in the post-Roe world.

What this does create, however, is a political opportunity for freshman Rep. Caraveo to make the case for her re-election in her swing district, in turn crucial to Democratic aspirations of flipping the U.S. House–so the fate of timely bills like this one is no longer a foregone conclusion. The backlash over Roe’s repeal played a big role in shutting down traditional midterm gains Republicans expected to reap last year, and despite ominous signs that Republicans are set for more punishment over the issue in 2024, they are dogmatically prevented from changing course.

What will make for good policy in 2025 is even better politics until then.

Caraveo Fights For SNAP Benefits McCarthy Wants To Cut More

UPDATE: Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) hits back at House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt ceiling “plan”:


Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D).

Danielle Kreutter at Denver7 reports on new legislation being introduced by freshman Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo to extend by another year the expanded SNAP food benefits, more commonly known as food stamps, that millions of Americans have relied on to stay fed during the COVID-19 pandemic:

“I knew that these emergency allotments were going to end at some point. I think, like so many people, it took me by surprise that they were ending before the Emergency Declaration for COVID,” said Democratic Congresswoman Yarida Caraveo of Colorado.

She will be introducing the “Keep Families Fed Act” on Monday.

“It says that the emergency allotment will continue one year past the bill’s passage. And importantly, it requires the USDA to submit a strategy to every state SNAP agency to say, ‘Here are resources and guidance so that you can make the public aware and have them prepare for the end of the extension,'” Caraveo said.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R).

The reduction in SNAP benefits that took effect in March has reportedly resulted in a spike in demand at food banks and other charitable relief services. The demand for food relief remains as strong as ever, but unfortunately the narrow Republican House majority is headed in the exact opposite direction from Rep. Caraveo: even more cuts to food benefits. In fact, Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s proposal to allow the nation’s debt limit to be increased in transactional exchange for further SNAP cuts is so politically toxic that as Politico reports, Senate Republicans want nothing to do with it:

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s new debt limit negotiating proposal set to be unveiled Monday morning will include broad moves to restrict food assistance for millions of low-income Americans. His GOP colleagues in the Senate aren’t optimistic any of those measures will survive…

Cutting spending on federal food assistance programs is a perennial Republican target, and House conservatives are eager to make it part of any agreement to raise the debt ceiling, which the country must do later this year to avoid a default crisis. But Senate Democrats have said such measures are dead on arrival in the upper chamber, and with the help of key Senate Republicans, they have killed off a series of similar House GOP efforts over the years — including a 2018 push involving McCarthy and his current top debt limit lieutenant Rep. Garret Graves (La.). The early response from Senate Republicans this time around does not bode well for a different outcome in 2023…

Asked about the prospects for such measures in the next Congress, Sen. John Boozman (Ark.) the top Republican on the Agriculture Committee, which oversees SNAP, said in an interview a week after the 2022 midterms that the effort “would be difficult to pass in the Senate with 60 votes,” a nod to the threshold needed to overcome a Senate filibuster.

With McCarthy set to meet a brick wall with his demand for further SNAP benefits cuts, the path forward for Caraveo’s bill to extend the pandemic-era expanded benefits for another year is unclear–but if Republicans were to decide in response to the horrible press McCarthy is earning to defer the issue for another year, Caraveo’s proposal would be a great way to do so without necessarily caving on principle. After all, it’s a temporary extension with provisions for a better-planned eventual end of the extended benefits.

In Colorado, Rep. Lauren Boebert’s CD-3 saw the highest rate of food stamp reliance even before the COVID-19 pandemic–and the only district in Colorado in 2019 above the national average of 10.7% of households. Boebert’s stump speech during her rise to fame regularly included disparaging the “government cheese” she claims to have received as a child. In reality, it’s Boebert’s own constituents who will disproportionately go hungry if McCarthy gets his way and Caraveo does not.

The one thing we can say for sure is these cuts hurt real people in ways that voters can see in their families and communities. Proposing to cut food benefits is politically treacherous for Republicans–especially after the party voted for massive tax breaks for wealthy Americans during the Trump administration. Conversely, Rep. Caraveo is on very solid ground politically to fight for expanded food stamp benefits for as long as possible.

It’s a fight that McCarthy has already lost, morally if not yet officially.

Podcast: Republicans “Don’t Care” About Gun Violence Concerns

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, there have been two shootings in or near East High School in Denver in less than 40 days, and Colorado Republicans are just flat-out saying that they really don’t care about your feelings on the subject. This is what happens when the people who think more guns are the answer and the current situation is just fine take full control of the Colorado Republican Party.

In addition to being the party of endless gun deaths, the GOP is also now the party of…weakening child labor laws? The Affordable Care Act is old enough to be bar-mitzvah’d; we ask if it’s memorized its Torah portion yet. Twice impeached former President and current GOP nomination frontrunner Donald Trump is about to be arrested and/or indicted for paying hush money to a porn star; after all these years, will the leader of the party of Law and Order finally see some?

And the unofficial third host of the Get More Smarter Podcast is back with a new stack of horribles from listening to the state legislature so we don’t have to! Christy Powell joins us once again to play our confusing Republican legislative, “Legislating With Crayons.”

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Let us have it at Or send emails to or

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Surreal Senate GOP: Democrats “Limiting Women’s Choices?”

You know it’s BS and I know it’s BS and here it comes anyway.

Today, the Colorado Senate Democratic majority passed three important pro-choice bills over the fervent objections of the shrunken GOP minority. These three bills, to protect abortion rights in Colorado from out-of-state legal pursuits, limit “surprise billing” for abortion care, and regulate so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” set up to steer patients away from abortion for religious reasons, build on the landmark Reproductive Health Equity Act passed last year to formally protect abortion rights in the state following the repeal of Roe v. Wade.

But if all you knew about these three bills consisted of the press release sent out by Colorado Senate Republicans this afternoon, you would have no idea what these bills actually do:

Senate Bill 188 identifies a problem that it doesn’t solve and instead unnecessarily reiterates that gender-affirming health care and reproductive health care services are legal in Colorado.

“Unnecessarily reiterates?” If these same Republicans had their way, abortion would be illegal in Colorado. And the “problem” identified by the bill is other states taking legal action against Colorado abortion providers. Any comment on that?

Senate Bill 189 prioritizes abortions over other medical issues by requiring individual and small group health insurance plans to cover the complete cost of an abortion. Democrats rejected proposed amendments from Senator Jim Smallwood that would have included cost coverage for treatment of other life threatening diseases such as cancer.

Again, there’s nothing in this legislation that “limits women’s choices,” in fact it requires insurance companies to cover abortions without surprise bills for out-of-network providers. If Republicans want similar protections for other health conditions, propose a bill to do that (we’re not holding our breath).

That’s two out of three bills, and we still haven’t seen any evidence of Democrats “limiting women’s choices.” Apparently the justification for this mind scramble script-flipping comes in Senate Bill 23-190, which cracks down on so-called “crisis pregnancy centers.”

Senate Bill 190 suppresses abortion alternatives and marginalizes pregnancy resource centers by declaring the advertising and administration of abortion reversal medication a “deceptive trade practice.”

There is absolutely nothing in Senate Bill 190 that “suppresses abortion alternatives.” Everyone knows that if you don’t want to have an abortion you most certainly don’t have to, and as the fervently anti-abortion Sen. Barb Kirkmeyer herself pointed out yesterday, Planned Parenthood offers detailed educational resources on healthy childbearing in addition to abortion care. But when a patient arrives at a crisis pregnancy center instead of Planned Parenthood, their choices are inherently limited by not offering the option of an abortion.

This is such a plainly self-owning argument that we were momentarily taken aback, trying to figure out what we missed. After careful review, we’re forced to conclude it really is as outrageously dishonest as it looks.

Republicans are the only ones “limiting women’s choices” on abortion. To claim otherwise is not just false but madness.

Barbara Kirkmeyer: Finding New Ways to Look Stupid

That key around Kirkmeyer’s neck does not open a box of logical arguments.

Republican lawmakers in Colorado have spent the majority of their minority’s time in 2023 objecting to pretty much any legislation proposed by Democrats. It matters not whether the legislation is significantly objectionable or only moderately disagreeable — the response is the same on every issue of consequence.

In the State Senate on Tuesday, Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer of Weld County took her remonstrations to another level. Kirkmeyer was speaking on the Senate Floor in opposition to SB23-190 (“Deceptive Trade Practice Pregnancy-Related Service”), a bill that seeks to crack down on so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” — which are often funded by religious organizations — that advertise an array of services but actually only exist to sermonize against abortion and/or offer quack science alternatives such as non-existent drugs that claim to “reverse” abortions. 

Over the course of about 25 minutes, Kirkmeyer barfed out a mouthful of completely ridiculous false-equivalency arguments that were a) Completely nonsensical; b) Either plainly false or an embarrassing example of Internet illiteracy; and c) Laughably hypocritical.

Let’s get right to the meat of her argument, in which Kirkmeyer narrates her attempted navigation of the Planned Parenthood website:


KIRKMEYER: It took me…three clicks. Three clicks on Planned Parenthood before I even got to the word ‘abortion.’ And when you go on to Planned Parenthood, what it says on their opening page is, ‘Maybe you want the facts on how pregnancy happens, or you’re pregnant, and want to know about your options, or want to know how to have a healthy pregnancy.’ This is Planned Parenthood…

…Yet when you go on their page, you have to go to three clicks. You go to a page that says, ‘Explore related topics.’ There’s this list. That list doesn’t say abortion. Number 11 on that list says ‘pregnancy options.’ And when you tap on ‘pregnancy options,’ then you finally for the first time read the word ‘abortion’ on the Planned Parenthood website. But again, nowhere on that list, when it says, ‘explore related topics,’ after it says it is about how to have a healthy pregnancy, does it say ‘abortion.’ It doesn’t show up. 

So if we’re talking about deceptive practices, this is a [sic] agency, Planned Parenthood, who in their 2020-21 report provided evidence that it continues to prioritize abortion.

In fact…so…again, this bill wants to imply that crisis pregnancy centers are deceptive. And what I’m saying is, Planned Parenthood is deceptive. [Pols emphasis]

Kirkmeyer’s argument hits a problem right from the start. Kirkmeyer points out that Planned Parenthood encourages healthy pregnancies and tells patients the whole truth about different reproductive health options. That’s horrible! Er, wait…

Then Kirkmeyer claims that the Planned Parenthood website is deceptive because it takes her “three clicks” to find a mention of the word ‘abortion.’ We conducted that same experiment ourselves; it took us precisely NO CLICKS to discover the word ‘abortion’ right there on the home page of


The home page of, which doesn’t mention the word ‘abortion’ at all (except for the four different times that it does).


It should serve as no surprise that Kirkmeyer is providing false information about Planned Parenthood. After all, she was perhaps the most egregious liar of all the 2022 Colorado candidates during her campaign for Congress in CO-08 (where she eventually lost to Democrat Yadira Caraveo).

But here’s the kicker…

As multiple news outlets reported in August 2022, the hardline anti-abortion rights Kirkmeyer scrubbed all mention of the word ‘abortion’ from her campaign website after winning the Republican nomination for Congress in CO-08 (where being a hardliner against abortion rights was a political necessity).

Literally two weeks after Kirkmeyer told Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun that she had been “very transparent” about her positions on the issue of abortion rights, her campaign website in CO-08 had become noticeably opaque on the subject. As Axios Denver reported in August 2022:

In a newly created Colorado battleground district, Republican Barb Kirkmeyer listed defending “the Sanctity of Life” on an issue page of her website, according to a July 5 archived version of the page. An old version also included a video of her speech at the 2022 March for Life event. Both references now appear to be gone.

To use Kirkmeyer’s own words from Tuesday’s Senate debate: “So if we’re talking about deceptive practices…”

If Republicans are ever going to crawl back into the good graces of Colorado voters, the first step might be to stop being so cravenly untrustworthy and patently ridiculous. For example, don’t say stupid crap that people can fact check for themselves with a quick Google search.

Debate Diary: The Wacky Race for State Republican Party Chair

A free-ranging debate between six candidates for Colorado Republican Party chair last Saturday was sponsored by the Republican Women of Weld County, a group that does a pretty good job of wrangling Republican candidates for all sorts of different candidate forums. The moderators were Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun and Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman. 

The venue was Ben’s Brick Oven Pizza in Hudson, Colorado, where about two dozen old white people gathered to hear the six candidates for State Republican Party Chair lay out whatever it is that they think can prevent the no-longer-slow death of the Colorado GOP following a 2022 election beatdown of epic proportions.

The candidates are:

♦ Erik Aadland, who ran for U.S. Senate on a platform of election denial in 2022 before switching horses to CO-07, where he was thoroughly dismantled by Democrat Brittany Pettersen.

♦ Casper Stockham, who ran for State GOP Chair in 2021 and lost. Stockham has also run (and failed to win) races in CO-01, CO-06, and CO-07 in recent years. Statistically-speaking, this might be Stockham’s year if only because you’d think he’d have to win something eventually. 

♦ Aaron Wood, who is fairly new to organized politics but is certain that everyone else, especially outgoing party chair Kristi Burton Brown, is doing it wrong.

♦ Tina Peters, the former Mesa County Clerk and Recorder who is a betting favorite to be in prison before the end of this year for a long list of alleged crimes related to breaking into her own election computers in an attempt to find the little ballot-eating smurfs that live inside the server. 

♦ Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Willams, the far-right “edgelord” former State Representative from Colorado Springs who got his butt kicked by America’s least charismatic Rep. Doug Lamborn in a Republican primary for Congress last summer.

♦ Kevin Lundberg, a former State Representative and State Senator who has won more races himself than the rest of this field combined. Unfortunately for fans of sanity, Lundberg was a right-wing lunatic years before it was popular to be a right-wing lunatic–so it’s not like he’s bringing a different perspective to the race.

Let’s start with the obvious: there are no winners in this pack. As former State Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams observed recently, “every one of these six candidates would drive the party into deeper oblivion with their conspiratorial, exclusionary and politically naïve agendas that are already repelling a rapidly changing Colorado electorate.”

As you’ll discover, every one of the candidates who participated in this debate proved Wadhams right.

Let’s get to it. Anything not included in direct quotes is paraphrased in the interest of time.


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Sabato’s Crystal Ball Pegs Colorado’s Top 2024 Races

Lauren Boebert sweating potential defeat on Election Night 2022.

In the battle for the U.S. House majority in 2024, political prognosticator of record Larry Sabato says the initial landscape is a tossup–an easy call to make in a chamber where a tiny majority flipping between the sides is the general rule. Major unknown variables in the presidential race make hard predictions more than a year and a half out from the election speculative at best. But in Colorado, Sabato has the two most competitive congressional races “leaning” toward the incumbents:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R, CO-3), an in-your-face conservative who only barely won in a clearly GOP-leaning district in western Colorado, has not moderated her behavior at all in the aftermath of her near-loss. [Pols emphasis] But observers on both sides of the aisle think she should be favored anyway because a more engaged and larger 2024 presidential electorate could help her stabilize her vote. This is something we sometimes hear from operatives: Near-miss upsets can occur precisely because a race isn’t heavily engaged with national money, perhaps lulling an incumbent (and maybe even voters themselves) into a false sense of security…

In the respective Leans columns, we gave the benefit of the doubt to a handful of incumbents, including Reps. Don Bacon (R, NE-2) and Tom Kean Jr. (R, NJ-7) on the GOP side and Reps. Yadira Caraveo (D, CO-8) and Gabe Vasquez (D, NM-2) on the Democratic. The former pair will likely have to create some distance between themselves and the GOP presidential nominee in their blue-trending districts, but Bacon has shown the ability to do that and Kean may be able to after knocking off Tom Malinowski (D) last cycle. Caraveo and Vasquez overcame a tricky political environment to each snatch surprising albeit narrow victories. With Democrats likely to carry their districts for president again, we give them an edge to start. [Pols emphasis]

Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D).

Although both Democratic CD-8 Rep. Yadira Caraveo and CD-3 Rep. Lauren Boebert are in districts Sabato considers leaning toward their respective parties, there’s a very big difference between Caraveo’s strength in her closely divided district versus Boebert’s struggles in an ostensibly R+9 partisan leaning CD-3. Boebert has underperformed relative to the district’s partisan breakdown in two consecutive general elections, effectively negating the district’s built-in GOP advantage in the 2022 election decided by only 546 votes. When Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says Boebert doesn’t have the support in her own district to engage in shenanigans like the scrambling of Kevin McCarthy’s confirmation, this is what she’s talking about.

As for the effect the presidential race in 2024 will have on these down-ballot contests, we’re inclined to agree that Caraveo will be helped by the Democratic presidential leanings in her district. The much greater potential for divisive chaos in the Republican presidential primary–assuming the resurgent Joe “Dark Brandon” Biden runs again as expected–makes predicting the impact of that race on Boebert’s future much more difficult. What we can say is that Boebert’s continuing vulnerability requires a bigger investment than Republicans should have to make to hold this seat. It’s up to not just Boebert’s constituents but also Republican donors to decide whether what they get back from Boebert is worth the investment.

Two races with similar ratings, but under the hood very different dynamics at work.

Republicans, Thiry Want Inmates to Return Asylum Keys

UPDATE: As expected, Senate Bill 101 failed to make it out of the Senate State, Military and Veterans Committee on Thursday and is now officially dead. Republican State Sen. Larry Liston was the only ‘YES’ vote.


Former DaVita CEO Kent Thiry is making it rain for GOP consultants once again

There is an effort underway by the likes of “Unaffiliated” voter enthusiast Kent Thiry and Republican State Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer to scrap the party caucus system that has played a significant role in turning the Colorado Republican Party into a barn full of drooling nitwits.

As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” (no relation) newsletter:

The former DaVita CEO’s next political act, which may be his most transformative yet, comes on the heels of his acquittal in April on federal criminal charges alleging that he worked with business competitors to prevent the hiring of each other’s employees.

“I’m passionate about democracy,” Thiry told The Colorado Sun in a recent interview. “And it takes work to keep a democracy working.”

Thiry, who is registered as an unaffiliated voter, is pushing the legislature to make changes to Colorado’s primary processes, but he indicated he’s willing to pursue ballot measures if the General Assembly doesn’t act…

…Thiry supports Senate Bill 101, which would end Colorado’ caucus and assembly process of selecting primary candidates and make signature gathering the only way to make the ballot. It would also let unaffiliated voters sign partisan candidate petitions. [Pols emphasis]

Senate Bill 101 is sponsored by Kirkmeyer and Republican State Rep. Mary Bradfield of Colorado Springs. Kirkmeyer was the Republican nominee in CO-08 last November, eventually losing a close race to Democrat Yadira Caraveo. But in order to even make it to the General Election, Kirkmeyer had to first win a Republican Primary Election that turned into an all-out brawl over which candidate was the most MAGA of them all. To be clear, Kirkmeyer holds plenty of extremist views, but she had to let her right-wing freak flag fly more than she probably would have preferred in order to become the official Republican nominee.

Kirkmeyer understands that Colorado voters largely reject right-wing views; outside of a few bright red districts here and there, a Republican path to victory in a General Election is now closer to “none” than “slim.” But Republican candidates who try to soften their right-wing viewpoints have a hard time even making it onto the ballot, let alone winning a Primary Election. Last weekend we learned another lesson on the extent of the problem for the GOP when El Paso County Republican Party Chair Vickie Tonkins was re-elected to a third term despite significant effort from the establishment to kick her out.

The MAGA Republicans are firmly in control of the Colorado Republican Party, and they aren’t going to let anyone just take their keys away. Take a look at this email dated Feb. 4, 2023, from former Republican State Sen. Kevin Lundberg:


Email from former GOP State Sen. Kevin Lundberg to Republican supporters


Thiry and Kirkmeyer can talk all they want about fairness and equality and protecting democracy, but right-wingers such as Lundberg know what is really happening here: Establishment Republicans are looking for a way to bypass the base in future elections so that they can still sound like reasonable candidates in a General Election.

Senate Bill 101 isn’t something that most people are clamoring for; it is opposed by grassroots Republicans, the Colorado Democratic Party, and the Colorado Libertarian Party, among others. This is a bill, and potentially a future ballot measure, that was created in order to fix a problem that Colorado Republicans created for themselves.

It’s not a mystery as to how the Colorado GOP lost control to the right-wingers. The roots of the problem date back to at least the Tea Party movement that preceded the 2010 election, but it wasn’t until the 2020 election that the GOP establishment in Colorado decided to hand everything over to the most MAGA members of the Republican Party. Nationally, the GOP largely stood with President Donald Trump after he blamed his re-election loss on claims of election fraud, and they mostly refused to budge even after the insurrection on January 6, 2021. Here in Colorado, Republicans such as Kristi Burton Brown and Scott Gessler ran for the role of State Republican Party Chairperson by explicitly campaigning on their support for Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud.

Kristi Burton Brown (KBB) won the 2021 election for GOP Chair by effectively capturing a larger percentage of crazy people than Gessler. The downside to recruiting all of these nuts to take part in the race for GOP Chair was that it put many of them in local party leadership positions. The completely bananas 2022 State Republican Party Assembly demonstrated what happens when a major political party caters almost exclusively to its right-wing base.

Establishment Republicans need Kent Thiry and Senate Bill 101 to solve a problem they can’t fix on their own. Unfortunately for them, this legislation is destined to be killed in committee as soon as this week.

The GMS Podcast: Have Republicans Reached the End of the End?

Christy Powell and Alan Franklin (he’s older now)

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, Ian Silverii is on vacation, so Jason Bane sits down with returning guests Christy Powell and Alan Franklin to take a closer look at the 2022 election in Colorado and what it portends for the future of this state.

We talk about how Republicans completely hosed themselves in 2022; whether or not the Colorado GOP is even salvageable; and what Democrats need to be careful about with their new super-duper majorities in Colorado. We also touch on some news about exporting QAnon and whether failed Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker was tanking all along.

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

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Barb “Kirkliar” To Help Write Colorado’s Budget

Coming soon to the Joint Budget Committee.

As Colorado Newsline’s Sara Wilson reports, the Colorado Senate GOP minority caucus has selected Sen. Barb Kirkmeyer of Weld County to replace retiring Sen. Bob Rankin on the General Assembly’s powerful Joint Budget Committee:

Senate Republicans elected Kirkmeyer to the position by acclamation on Friday. She was the only nominee for the position.

“I deeply appreciate your support and your vote of confidence that I can handle this job,” Kirkmeyer said Friday. “To all my colleagues … There are areas that I know you are all experts in and I would appreciate it if you would attend JBC meetings. Give me information and tell me what’s going on.”

…Kirkmeyer ran this year to represent Colorado’s 8th Congressional District but was defeated by Democrat Yadira Caraveo. Her current term in the state Senate ends in 2025.

Sen. Barb Kirkmeyer (R).

In the closing days of Kirkmeyer’s losing campaign against now Rep.-elect Yadira Caraveo, Kirkmeyer released a controversial and brazenly false campaign ad campaign accusing Democrats in the Colorado legislature of having voted to “legalize fentanyl.” When questioned about this outrageously false accusation, Kirkmeyer’s campaign manager Alan Philp responded that Kirkmeyer’s campaign was delighted to be “haggling” over whether fentanyl was illegal or not, despite the simple irrefutable fact that fentanyl is not now and has never been legalized without a prescription in Colorado.

Kirkmeyer’s brazenly false ad, which her campaign aggressively defended and fellow Republicans doubled down on in the final days before last month’s election, became the subject of a meta-debate in the Colorado press about how to deal with politicians who lie not just with impunity, but as part of a deliberate strategy to shock and corral swingable low-information voters. 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark used the moment to explain the difference between a merely false statement and a knowing, deliberate lie–the difference being that Kirkmeyer knew as a lawmaker who participated in the debate over the legislation in question that what she was saying was not true.

Well folks, as it turns out, a politician willing to lie like a rug until the bitter end is precisely what Republicans want on the Joint Budget Committee! We have to call that a change for the worse, unless you can show us video of Bob Rankin telling a lie of the same magnitude. Rankin wasn’t perfect, but he possessed a degree of integrity that would have made the strategy of lies Kirkmeyer employed against Caraveo unthinkable.

Yes, there is a lot of lying in politics. But politicians don’t all lie, and liars in politics are not always rewarded.

In this case, 2022’s biggest lying loser got one hell of a consolation prize.

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.