Nobody Knows Better Than Colorado How Big Oil Spins Lies

As the Colorado Sun’s Mark Jaffe reports today, three years after the passage of Senate Bill 19-181, legislation reforming the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s mission to prioritize public health over fostering growth of the oil and gas industry, the full effects of the law are becoming apparent. And contrary to the dire warnings from the industry and their Republican allies in the General Assembly that this legislation would “shut down oil and gas in Colorado,” nearly two thousand new wells are moving forward under the new rules this year:

The demise of the oil and gas industry in Colorado — predicted after the passage of legislation and regulations focused on protecting public health, safety and the environment — does not appear to be imminent.

Plans for nearly 1,900 new oil and gas wells are before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in 2022 — some already approved and others in various states of review.

This comes as a relief to the industry and to the chagrin of environmental groups who call it “business as usual” even as Colorado tries to chart a new path to cut ozone and greenhouse gas emissions…

In order to understand the full context of the debate over this legislation, it’s necessary to go back to 2019 when SB19-181 was originally passed and signed into law. Reforming the COGCC’s mission to prioritize public health was a longstanding goal of newly-elected Gov. Jared Polis, who had personal experience with oil and gas drilling adjacent to his property. Colorado Republicans, badly smarting from their historic defeat in the 2018 general elections, hyped this proposed legislation with the industry’s help into what they sold to voters as a mortal threat to the oil and gas industry. The principal political casualty of this effort was former Rep. Rochelle Galindo of Greeley, who resigned under the threat of a recall for which SB19-181 was (at least in polite company) the stated reason.

Dan Haley of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.

A year after the SB19-181 was passed, the COVID-19 pandemic sent oil prices into the negative as storage costs exceeded the value of the product. This indeed brought oil and gas drilling effectively to a halt in Colorado. But in July of 2020, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s Dan Haley actually suggested that SB19-181 was worse for the industry than then pandemic.

In truth, after the high water mark of the Galindo recall, opposition to SB19-181 began to fall apart as the industry realized (and was forced to be honest with investors) that the legislation would not destroy the oil and gas industry in Colorado after all. When the price of oil rebounded this spring over $100 a barrel, so did production in Colorado.

And today, the very same Dan Haley who claimed SB19-181 was worse for the industry than a global pandemic says everything is cool:

“We are hopefully getting to a spot where things are workable,” said Dan Haley, CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, one of the state’s industry trade groups. “Oil and gas companies are learning what’s expected of them.” [Pols emphasis]

So, not worse than COVID then. That’s great! Except, of course, for the years he spent saying otherwise. In a world where attributes like honesty and credibility have value, anyone who lies to your face to this egregious an extent should never again be considered a trustworthy source. But we don’t live in that world, and as surely as Sarah Huckabee is going to be the next governor of Arkansas, Dan Haley will most likely suffer no credibility penalty with the local press for his outrageous falsehoods. And that’s a shame, because few issues are subject to more misinformation today than the price of gas. Do you really think someone who wanted you to believe SB181 hurt the industry more than COVID is going to be honest about why gas prices are so much higher today than the last time oil hit $100 a barrel?

And yes, we know a lot of readers are waiting for us to acknowledge the disappointment among environmentalists that SB19-181 didn’t come closer to the industry’s dire predictions. The reality is that this legislation was never intended to shut down the oil and gas industry, but to reform its practices and prioritize public health–goals that should be laudable even among those on the left who want more. In the industry’s clamorous and factually indifferent opposition to SB19-181, the extreme difficulty of passing even incremental reforms becomes apparent.

Right now, the high cost of gas is central to the Republican Party’s midterm election message–and the forecast is that they’ll take at least one chamber of Congress this fall with it. They’re counting on voters to do the oil and gas industry’s dirty political work.

The rebuttal to that, at least in our state, is simple: no one has lied to you like the oil and gas industry.

Polis is “Clearly Favored” in General Election

Republicans selected Hiedi Heidi Ganahl to be their nominee for Governor this fall against incumbent Democrat Jared Polis and American Constitution Party hopeful Danielle Neuschwanger. Ganahl has thus far seemed uninterested, unable, or unwilling to pivot toward a broader group of Colorado voters, but that may not matter much according to one national projection.

As sees Colorado’s race for Governor, Polis is expected to win re-election in just about any way you look at the race:



Yikes! Those are not encouraging numbers for Ganahl, but perhaps she can channel her inner Lloyd Christmas in the meantime:


As of today, projects that Polis will defeat Ganahl by about 13 points in November.

What Pivot? Ganahl Bashes Media, Says She’ll Be Like DeSantis

Fresh off her victory in Tuesday’s Primary Election, Republican gubernatorial nominee Hiedi Heidi Ganahl made an appearance today on “The Ross Kaminsky Show,” which was guest-hosted by conservative blowhard Jon Caldara.

We would think that Ganahl would want to pivot her narrative toward a broader General Election audience now that the Primary is over, but instead she is still bashing the mainstream media and is now comparing herself to Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

After affirming that she is definitely NOT a “RINO” (Republican in Name Only), Ganahl is prompted to go after the Colorado media and happily obliges.

Take a listen, or read the transcript that follows:


CALDARA: You’re going to have a media that’s in the pocket of the Governor. How do you deal with that?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

GANAHL: Well, I already have been, and I’ve learned that there’s no grace there. They have no interest in putting a fair story out, as evidenced by what happened in my own press conference last night, when the 9News gal just shifted all of this great conversation about the issues that people care about in Colorado to…I’ll let you guess what the question was about. And I was like, ‘you know what, we are moving on. We’re talking about the future. We’re talking about our kids, and crime, and the cost of living.’ They have no interest in talking about that because it’s just a constant ‘gotcha.’

But I’m going to take a page out of [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis’s book and, you know, give them hell back. [Pols emphasis] I’m going to call them out when they’re doing that, and I’m going to do my best to be on conservative radio and people who will get our voice out as much as I possibly can. 

Ganahl is still very salty that reporters continue to ask her if she thinks the 2020 election was fair. As we’ve said many, many times in this space, Ganahl could put this question to bed IF SHE WOULD JUST PROVIDE AN ANSWER. But she won’t. Before the Primary Election, we assumed this was because Ganahl didn’t want to lose the support of MAGA diehards. Perhaps the real reason that Ganahl won’t answer that question is because she truly believes that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.

As the conversation continues, Ganahl gets even more riled up about the mean ol’ media who won’t give her a chance. This is the point where we remind you that Heidi Ganahl had REFUSED to sit down for an interview with ANY legitimate news outlet until mid-June. But, somehow, this is everyone else’s fault:


CALDARA: And on the bright side, there are fewer and fewer people watching those news stations and reading those newspapers. So, that’s a start. And also, by challenging the press I think you actually stand a better chance of earning some press, because even Coloradans are sick of the sympathetic media that runs this town. It’s just…it’s just disgusting. Call them out. I urge you to call them out. It will only help you and your campaign.

GANAHL: Thanks Jon, but I need everybody’s help on that, too. I need people to have my back on social media when I do push back and not do an interview with our buddy Kyle [Clark] because he’s an activist, not a journalist. Instead of, you know, getting upset or angry, have my back. Support me, and I’ll do any other interview they want me to do. But we can’t play their game anymore. [Pols emphasis] We’ve got to push back and have a spine and say, ‘I’m not going to go into your turf. Come to my turf, and play our game.’ 

CALDARA: Incredible.

Incredible indeed. First off, that’s some real galaxy brain thinking by Caldara to suggest that the best way to get media coverage is to attack the media. Good luck with that.

Ganahl takes this thread further by promising that she will never agree to an interview with Kyle Clark of 9News (which is not a great idea, considering 9News is the most-watched local news station in Colorado). She then pledges that “I’ll do any other interview they want me to do.” Again, we remind you that Heidi Ganahl REFUSED to sit down for an interview with ANY legitimate news outlet from the time she launched her campaign in Sept. 2021 until about two weeks ago.

Ganahl was likely surprised to find out that she had won the GOP nomination for Governor, considering that she initially planned not to even make a public appearance on Election Night. Nevertheless, a better candidate running a better campaign would have been more prepared to make the appropriate pivot toward a broader swath of Colorado voters.

If you’re not excited about the prospect of Ganahl continuing into November, you’re not alone. Ganahl just had the first test of the rest of her campaign, and she failed miserably.

Ganahl Plotting to Ensure Polis Victory, Says Neuschwanger

We haven’t heard a whole lot from Danielle Neuschwanger since the former Republican candidate for Governor decided to take her talents to the American Constitution Party for the General Election.

Neuschwanger will be running for Governor this fall against Republican Hiedi Heidi Ganahl and incumbent Democrat Jared Polis. Or, perhaps, Neuschwanger is running against BOTH candidates together. Check out this wacky rant Neuschwanger posted to her Facebook page today:


NEUSCHWANGER: And so, for them to say, ‘you should drop out and get behind the Republican candidate,’ show me a Republican candidate worth getting behind. Because I don’t see one in the GOP Governor race in Colorado.

Yes, I’m talking about Heidi Ganahl. I do not think that she is a quality candidate. I think that she is intentionally going to throw this race to [Jared] Polis. I think that that’s been the plan all along — the same with Joe O’Dea and Pam Anderson — to set him up for a Presidential run. [Pols emphasis] And unfortunately I cannot have Polis for another four years, so the only chance we have is to stay and fight.

So, um, yeah.

Whoa! Heidi Ganahl Won’t Host Election Night Party

UPDATE: Somehow Hiedi Heidi Ganahl found a way to make this all even weirder:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is not exactly projecting confidence ahead of Tuesday’s Primary Election showdown with Greg Lopez:

Heidi Ganahl will spend Election Night singing into an unplugged microphone.

This is a pretty amazing declaration by ANY campaign, let alone one that was supposed to be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for Governor. It is very uncommon for high-profile campaigns to refuse to host an Election Night party to gather and thank supporters. The only other example of this we can think of occurred in 2016, when then-Senate hopeful Jon Keyser made it known that he planned to watch his own defeat in private. Here’s what Republican pundit Kelly Maher said at the time about Keyser’s announcement:

“That’s a really bad sign. The only reason to not have an event is if you have some information that doesn’t point to a favorable outcome.”

As we wrote in 2016, even Scott McInnis held an Election Night party in 2010 when he knew he was going to lose the GOP Primary for Governor.

This is a terrible look for the Colorado Republican Party even if Ganahl ends up winning the nomination tomorrow. That the real action for Republicans on Tuesday will be at some place called “Deep Space” is a joke that writes itself.

What Does Voter Turnout Tell Us About November? Not Much

Voter turnout numbers in Colorado resemble 2018 more than 2020.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The GMS Podcast: Predicting the Primary Election

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

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

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

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Spreading The Wealth Around With…TABOR!

Republicans seethe while Gov. Polis makes TABOR rain.

With the state of Colorado in a rare and temporary condition of having plenty of revenue resulting from a quick recovery from the economic disruption of COVID and lots of federal relief money still working its way out the door, state economic forecasters had good news for the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee today–and thanks to a change in the distribution formula for refunds to taxpayers triggered in sunny economic times by the state’s notorious Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights by majority Democrats this year, the JBC’s good news is about to directly impact your bottom line. The Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports:

The big takeaway: State lawmakers are expected to have more money to fund government services in the coming years as revenue continues to exceed the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights cap on government growth and spending, which is calculated through population growth and inflation. When the TABOR cap is exceeded, Coloradans get tax breaks and, if the excess is large enough, which it is expected to be for the foreseeable future, refund checks…

Colorado Legislative Council said the state’s economy also has fared better than expected in the final months of the 2021-22 fiscal year, which ends June 30. As a result, the nonpartisan office expects Colorado taxpayers will get TABOR refund checks of $750 per individual filer and $1,500 for joint filers starting in late August. [Pols emphasis] (People who file their returns after June 30 will have to wait several months longer to receive their refund checks.)

As readers know, TABOR requires the state to refund “excess” revenue over the law’s prescribed limits to taxpayers. In most years when economic conditions were good enough to trigger refunds, the average Colorado resident would receive a tiny sales tax refund check–in 2021 averaging $69 per taxpayer, along with other indirect refund mechanisms like reducing the income tax rate. Senate Bill 22-223, a single-year TABOR refund plan, made the checks equal for everyone, which had the effect of routing much more money to lower income levels. In addition, the law pays out the refund this summer instead of next spring, which is the pretext for Republicans calling the bill an “election season giveaway.”

We don’t know anybody who likes waiting for money. And if it was about the election, the checks would arrive in October.

Does this mean Democrats have suddenly become TABOR fans? Certainly not. But while TABOR remains on the books, redistributing the “excess” revenue the law forces the state to refund irrespective of need to better benefit working families is a far better outcome than giving rich people big checks and regular people checks so small they’re practically an insult. The latest economic forecast doesn’t predict a recession in the immediate future for Colorado, but the lean times will most certainly return–and when they do, TABOR will still be dictating fiscal policy to today’s lawmakers instead of allowing them to do their jobs.

In short, Democrats took one of Colorado’s most regressive constitutional provisions and redirected it to do something relatively progressive: helping many more people in a much bigger way. Republicans can’t really complain about what will prove to be a very popular plan when the checks arrive, even though the formula that made this a much more lucrative stimulus for regular taxpayers wasn’t their idea.

2022 will be remembered as the year TABOR finally did some good despite itself.

GSG/PNC Poll: Ain’t No “Red Wave” High Enough

Gov. Jared Polis (D) eating his opponents’ lunches.

As previewed earlier this week, the Democratic comms and polling outfit Global Strategy Group along with liberal activist group ProgressNow Colorado released their latest Mountaineer quarterly poll–and as long as you’re a Democrat living in Colorado not named Joe Biden, it’s encouraging news:

Democrats still lead Republicans on all partisan metrics, which have stayed remarkably consistent since we last polled in February. Governor Jared Polis and Senator Michael Bennet, who are both well above water in favorability ratings, lead in their respective races for re-election. The Democrats’ lead on the generic legislative ballot has also held steady, even as President Biden’s standing in Colorado has declined further.

While both Colorado Democrats and Colorado Republicans are much better liked than their DC counterparts, Democrats start from a significantly better position, and Polis gives Democrats a popular standard-bearer. While unaffiliated voters don’t have much love for DC Democrats, they loathe DC Republicans, MAGA Republicans, and Trump. Lauren Boebert is only saved from having similar ratings by the fact that two-thirds of unaffiliateds are unfamiliar with her. The situation is much the same in the blue-collar swing suburb of Adams County (which we oversampled).

The continuing drop in approval for President Joe Biden, which the Mountaineer polls have tracked to some dismay among local Democrats, stands in contrast to the resilient popularity of Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado Democrats, whose numbers have held steady throughout Biden’s precipitous decline:

In terms of favorability, Democrats enjoy a healthy presumption of good faith compared to Republicans near and far:

On Monday, GSG Vice President Andrew Baumann leaked the big headline from this poll, double-digit leads held by Polis and Sen. Michael Bennet over their prospective Republican challengers. Those numbers are particularly tough news for Republicans supporting Joe O’Dea and Heidi Ganahl, since grassroots challengers Ron Hanks and Greg Lopez either perform as well or slightly better against the incumbents–shattering the arguments about “electability” O’Dea and Ganahl are making to the GOP base to shake off their hard-right opponents.

With all of this in mind, this poll is not all good news for local Democrats: although they enjoy healthy overall leads and some Democratic base voters are highly motivated to turn out, key traditional Democratic demographics like young and Latino voters are less enthusiastic. That identifies a clear priority for Dems going forward, especially in the state’s new heavily Latino CD-8 where (fortunately for Democrats) Republicans are making little attempt to court this crucial bloc of voters.

Here’s the full memo. If there is a “red wave” coming in November, Colorado looks above the water line.

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

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

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

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

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

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GSG Sneak Peek: Who’s “Unelectable” Again?

Heidi Ganahl.

One of the principal arguments from Republican talking heads furiously sounding the alarm over ads paid for by liberal groups targeting Republican primaries is that the candidates being promoted by these efforts are “unelectable” compared to the brass-backed candidates. In what seems like a frank acknowledgment that the issues nearest and dearest to Republican voters like abortion and re-litigating the 2020 presidential election are toxic in the general election, Republican opinionmakers and consultants are asking their voters to set aside their agenda in favor of “candidates who can win.”

Well, new polling–so new the full details haven’t been released–from Global Strategy Group of Colorado voters may be about to put a big dent in that conventional wisdom:

Joe O’Dea.

These poll numbers show Greg Lopez outperforming Heidi Ganahl in a head-to-head matchup against incumbent Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, much the same as Danielle Neuschwanger outpolled Ganahl in a head-to-head from the last GSG poll. In the Senate race, both Joe O’Dea and Ron Hanks perform equivalently against incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet–which perhaps doesn’t give Hanks quite as much to celebrate as Lopez, but still a result that effectively refutes the arrogant presumption from O’Dea’s supporters about their relative electability.

Assuming these numbers are accurate, it’s a huge credibility blow to the recent pushback against Democratic-aligned ads boosting so-called “unelectable” candidates. Ganahl being outperformed by Lopez against Polis, confirming the weakness shown in previous polling, is another sign that outside a few consultants being paid to promote Ganahl, she is totally failing to resonate with voters.

As for O’Dea, he’s got more money to control his fate–but what O’Dea doesn’t have is a message for Republican voters that beats Ron Hanks’ message. If anything, O’Dea is even more vulnerable than Ganahl to being upstaged on his right due to his issue stands authentically repellent to Republican voters.

Again, it doesn’t matter whether the reason is one candidate’s strength or the other’s weakness. In 2022, Republicans don’t have frontrunners in their two top statewide primaries. They have what could be the weakest “establishment” picks in years, up against grassroots opponents with a better chance than anyone gave them credit for.

And that is why Bill Owens is so unhappy.

How Not to Campaign: Another Lesson from Heidi Ganahl

Ganahl is happy to talk to reporters so long as the microphone is unplugged.

Republican Hiedi Heidi Ganahl officially kicked off her campaign for Governor on September 14, 2021. On the day of her campaign launch, Ganahl took questions from reporters representing multiple news outlets — The Denver Post, 9News, The Associated Press, The Colorado Sun, etc. — because getting free earned media coverage is always a smart idea for a campaign.

Most of Ganahl’s interviews that day did not go particularly well for the candidate, but she really can’t blame the media. Ganahl was inexplicably unprepared to answer basic queries such as, “Do you think the 2020 election was legitimate?” She sounded completely ridiculous in one particular interview with 9News reporter Marshall Zelinger, in which Ganahl repeatedly whined, “Why all the divisive questions?”

Ganahl has not agreed to an interview with a mainstream news outlet ever since.

As Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun wrote in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter on May 31:

Will Heidi Ganahl keep lying low? The Republican gubernatorial candidate turned down our request to debate her primary rival, former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez. She hasn’t done an in-depth interview with a nonpartisan news outlet. [Pols emphasis]

Ganahl hasn’t been completely silent during her campaign, but she’s been very selective. She talks to every right-wing radio show she can find and pretends that writing a column for a new conservative website qualifies as “press” coverage:

From a Ganahl campaign newsletter in March.


We’ve never agreed with the strategic rationale behind NOT TALKING TO REPORTERS, particularly when you are running for statewide office and your name ID is in the toilet. What’s even more ham-handed is ignoring media outlets and then trying to blame the media for not paying attention to whatever it is you refuse to say. Eventually this catches up with you. Here’s Kyle Clark of 9News on Tuesday:



CLARK: The Ganahl campaign has denied or ignored every one of our interview requests since September of last year. Ganahl recently complained to conservative talk radio that her priorities are not being discussed.

She said, quote, ‘I’m talking about all of these issues nonstop, but the mainstream media will not cover it correctly.’

We’d encourage you to watch the entire 90 second segment from “Next with Kyle Clark.” It’s a great lesson for other candidates on what NOT to do when you’re running for a major political office.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (June 7)

Technically this is a hockey mask. Congratulations to the Colorado Avalanche for making the Stanley Cup Finals! 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



*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:

*How you can help in Colorado:

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


The Congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection will hold publicly-televised hearings on Thursday evening. In the meantime, more damning details continue to leak out about former President Donald Trump’s role in the attempted coup. From The Washington Post:

Shortly before pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Secret Service agents scrambled to try to secure a motorcade route so then-President Donald Trump could accompany his supporters as they marched on Congress to demand he stay in power, according to two people briefed on witnesses’ accounts to congressional investigators.

The hectic events that day followed nearly two weeks of persistent pressure from Trump on the Secret Service to devise a plan for him to join his supporters on a march to the Capitol from the park near the White House where he was leading a massive rally that he predicted would be “wild.”

The agency had rebuffed Trump’s early entreaties, but the rushed effort on Jan. 6 to accommodate the president came as Secret Service personnel heard Trump urge his rally audience of nearly 30,000 people to march to the Capitol while suggesting he would join them. Their mission was clear, he said: pressure “weak” Republicans to refuse to accept the election results that made Joe Biden the next president.

Witnesses have told the House Jan. 6 committee that, immediately after Trump made that remark, Secret Service agents contacted D.C. police about blocking intersections, according to the people briefed on the testimony. Police officials declined, as they were stretched thin due to their role monitoring numerous protests and later assisting with a growing mob at the Capitol, the people said. A senior law enforcement official told The Washington Post that the president’s detail leader scuttled the idea as untenable and unsafe.


Seven states are holding Primary Elections today. NPR reports on where to look for the more interesting angles. Among them are a ballot measure in South Dakota that could make it harder for the state to approve Medicaid expansion in November. 


CBS News reports on some head-scratching poll numbers regarding mass shootings. Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post picks out the strangest figures:

Only 3 percent of Republicans say America would be safer if guns were banned; only 13 percent say it would be safer with fewer guns. A plurality of Republicans are convinced the number of guns has no effect on gun violence.

The kicker is that while only 28 percent of the general population thinks we have to accept mass gun murder as part of living in a free society, 44 percent of Republicans do. It’s an open question as to whether Republicans truly believe that claim or simply deny that there are solutions to maintain their belief in unlimited access to guns. But their willingness to accept tens of thousands of deaths each year from gun-related injuries, including small children, should stun and depress the rational Americans who do not think mass murders of schoolchildren are just a part of life.


There has been a lot of talk lately about the role Unaffiliated voters might play in the June 28th Primary Election. Meghan Lopez of Denver7 has more on the topic, including some comments from a familiar name for readers of Colorado Pols.

Meanwhile, thousands of Democrats are reportedly changing their party affiliation in order to vote out Republican Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert in CO-03. If these numbers are accurate, Boebert could be in real trouble.


The Denver Post looks at eight of the most interesting Primary races to watch in the next few weeks. The Colorado Sun outlines where the four Republican candidates in CO-08 stand on important issues.


Click below to keep learning things…



With Ballots on the Way, Republicans Ramp Up the Crazy Talk

Ridiculous rhetoric. This is the best way to win a Republican Primary in Colorado these days, so with mail ballots on the way to voters, candidates are turning up the crazy to maximum volume.

As Colorado Newsline reports from last weekend’s Western Conservative Summit, the Republican candidates for Governor are sounding increasingly unhinged. Here’s topline candidate Greg Lopez talking about the evil incumbent Democrat Jared Polis:

“Colorado has seen some of the most extreme, most harmful and most oppressive legislation and executive orders in recent history. A dark agenda of government overreach and elitist control is destroying our Colorado way of life.”

Say what?

While Lopez may be trying to turn the Governor’s race into a Star Wars plot, fellow Republican Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is making promises that are patently absurd. From Colorado Newsline:

Ganahl said her plans as governor include reducing the state income tax to zero, cutting the gas tax in half and an effort to “reduce bureaucracy” by 40% in her first term. But as she invoked grim visions of Colorado’s rural areas “decimated” and of a Denver “filthy and filled with needles and crime,” Ganahl distilled much of her agenda into a reversal of many of the policies pursued by Polis and Democrats in the General Assembly over the last four years.

“As your governor, the most important thing I can do is undo as much of the damage as possible,” she said. “On day one, I will undo as much I can.”

Anyone who spends even a few moments considering what Ganahl is proposing would understand the sheer impossibility of her ideas. Repealing the income tax and halving the gas tax would likely cost the State of Colorado BILLIONS of dollars. Ganahl would save some money in the budget by completely gutting the state workforce; perhaps that is part of her plan to cut the income tax, since depriving thousands of people of an income altogether would definitely reduce the amount of income tax they are paying.

Ganahl’s not-so-inspiring message appears to be all about the things she won’t do if elected Governor, but maybe she’s reading the room correctly; Ganahl did win a straw poll victory over Lopez.

Who Will Be the Republican Nominee for Governor in 2022?

It’s been a few weeks since we last asked this question, so it’s time to do it again. Who do you think will end up being the Republican nominee for Governor against incumbent Democratic Gov. Jared Polis? Will it be Greg Lopez or Hiedi Heidi Ganahl?

As The Colorado Sun reported today in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, the GOP gubernatorial race has been surprisingly quiet as we prepare to enter the final month of the Primary campaign:

Will Heidi Ganahl keep lying low? The Republican gubernatorial candidate turned down our request to debate her primary rival, former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez. She hasn’t done an in-depth interview with a nonpartisan news outlet. Both are indications that she thinks she will cruise to the nomination, but she probably can’t stay on this path in the general election if she wants to have any shot at unseating Democratic Gov. Jared Polis.

It certainly seems like Ganahl is trying to stay quiet, probably in an effort to avoid making more gaffes, but does that necessarily indicate that she is in good shape with Republican voters? You tell us…


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


Who Will Be the Republican Nominee for Governor in 2022?

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The GMS Podcast: Does This Look Like it Could be Weird? (feat. Alec Garnett)

House Speaker Alec Garnett (D-Denver)

This week in episode 109 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii recap the 2022 legislative session with House Speaker Alec Garnett. The outgoing Speaker talks about some confusing last-minute negotiations and the ability of Democrats to pass meaningful legislation despite Republican obstruction. Garnett also has some advice for the next person to take hold of the Speaker’s gavel.

Later, Jason and Ian examine the first candidate forum between the Republicans running for Secretary of State: Tina Peters, Mike O’Donnell, and Pam Anderson. You’ll want to hear the clips that made Jason think this might be the single most incomprehensible candidate forum he’s ever witnessed.

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

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

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Gazette Backs Its Own Columnist for Governor

Colorado Springs Gazette columnist Heidi Ganahl

The Colorado Springs Gazette has endorsed Hiedi Heidi Ganahl over Greg Lopez for Governor in the June 28th Republican Primary.

How very (in) kind of them.

It is not unexpected that the overtly Republican Gazette would back the establishment choice for Governor ahead of the June Primary; just last week the Gazette made a similar calculation in backing Denver businessman Joe O’Dea for U.S. Senate instead of State Rep. Ron Hanks. What is unusual in Ganahl’s case is that the Gazette is endorsing someone who has been a weekly columnist for the newspaper for more than a year.

You might be asking yourself, Why is this legal?

Well, we’d love to answer that question…but we can’t. You could probably argue that all of Ganahl’s columns in the Gazette since she formally became a candidate for Governor should be listed in her campaign finance reports as in-kind contributions. This is one of the many reasons that most respected news outlets in the United States would not give a candidate free press every week and subsequently endorse that same person for elected office.

Notably, the Gazette endorsement NEVER MENTIONS its affiliation with Ganahl, which is quite the glaring omission. And it’s not like they didn’t have enough space to note the potential conflict of interest; the editorial has a hard enough time as it is trying to explain why Ganahl is the best option for Colorado Republicans:

Prominent and respected Republicans — including party patriarch and former CU President and former U.S. Sen. Hank Brown — have lined up in support of Ganahl. But the most important reason for Republicans to stand her up against Democratic Gov. Jared Polis this fall is that she has her feet firmly planted on the ground and understands the meat-and-potatoes issues discussed at the kitchen table in Colorado households. [Pols emphasis]

Ganahl’s lone opponent in the primary, veteran political contender and former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez, just doesn’t offer the lift Ganahl will bring to Republican prospects for the general election ballot. It is lift the party will need to take the battle to Polis.

Support Heidi Ganahl in the June Primary!


Kitchen table, something, something.

Even a vapid endorsement deserves some sort of acknowledgment of the prior relationship between candidate and news outlet; otherwise it’s difficult to take this endorsement at all seriously. Come to think of it, taking Ganahl seriously as a candidate is also a stretch.

Maybe this is what marketing and business executives mean when they talk about “synergy.”

Big Line Update: Governor

Small hat, big dreams.

We made a slight, but significant, adjustment to “The Big Line” today.

For the first time, we have Republican Greg Lopez as a slight favorite over Hiedi Heidi Ganahl in the Republican Primary for Governor.

A lot of things can, and probably will, change in the coming weeks as June 28 draws nearer, but the buzz right now is that Lopez seems to be doing better than Ganahl in attracting GOP support. Ganahl, meanwhile, is trying to dispute reports that she has been largely absent on the campaign trail lately.

There is even a persistent rumor going around that Lopez is currently polling better than Ganahl; we can’t confirm or deny this rumor, but we’ve heard it enough times — from enough different people — that there may be some truth to the idea.

Whatever happens in the GOP Primary won’t change much for the General Election. Both Lopez and Ganahl would be HEAVY underdogs against incumbent Democratic Gov. Jared Polis in November.

Lopez and Ganahl might flip back and forth in the coming weeks, but for today, this is how we see the Primary shaking out.

The GMS Podcast: Falling on Ridiculously Dull Swords

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

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

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

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

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Heidi Ganahl Tosses Anchor to John Kellner

When a particular political party has a strong candidate running at the top of the ticket, it generally benefits all of the other associated candidates down the ballot. When this happens, the common political lexicon is to say that lower-tier candidates are “riding the coattails” of the candidate at the top of the ticket.

But the reverse can also happen, which is what Colorado Republicans have experienced in recent election cycles and seem destined to deal with again this November. Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl was recently a guest on KHOW radio (with Ryan Schuiling filling in as a guest host on The Leland Conway Show), where she proceeded to make a big splash that drenched several other unsuspecting Republicans.

After listening to Schuiling drown for a full minute while trying to downplay national polling showing widespread support for abortion rights, Ganahl was asked about the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA) passed by the state legislature. Here’s her response:

GANAHL: Well, I mean, right, it’s disgusting. I don’t know any, um, many other moms – and I’m a mom of four – that believes that this is okay. We fight like crazy to keep our kids safe and the thought of, you know, letting a child die after birth…or giving birth and letting a child die, is abhorrent to the majority of women I know.

And so, I think we should do every single thing we can to overturn that law, and as governor I will fight to do that. Hopefully I’ll have the legislature to help me do that as well, and a good Attorney General – um, go John Kellner! [Pols emphasis]

You’ll want to add this to your playlist:


Here’s the audio of Ganahl’s entire response on the question, which concludes with her statement that incumbent Democratic Gov. Jared Polis is destroying the State of Colorado.


Ganahl’s extreme position on abortion rights is not a new revelation — she has regularly talked about reversing RHEA but won’t say if she would back legislation to restrict abortion rights — but this is the first time we can recall that Ganahl also tossed this live hand grenade to other Republicans in the legislature and to Republican Attorney General candidate John Kellner.

Perhaps Kellner is completely on board with efforts to overturn RHEA and/or rollback abortion rights in Colorado, but we’d imagine he’d prefer to answer that question himself. Ditto for other Republican candidates running for State House or State Senate in a state where voters overwhelmingly support abortion rights.


The GMS Podcast: The One With the Epic Rant on Abortion Rights

This week in episode 107 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii welcome back Christy Powell once more for the latest news on fundraising numbers for statewide races and one unforgettable diatribe about abortion rights (seriously, it could be its own episode — jump to the 22:45 mark).

But first, Jason and Ian consider the political implications in Colorado of the demise of Roe v. Wade and make sure to update you on where Republican candidates for federal office stand on the issue. We also dive into the big news in the race for Governor and listen to Republican candidate Greg Lopez talk himself into oblivion in an interview with 9News.

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Let us have it at

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Statewide Fundraising: Bad News for Ganahl and the GOP

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Tina Peters at last filed her first campaign finance report, and it was pretty good (relative to her Republican opponents, anyway).


UPDATE: As of 3:41 pm, Peters has yet to file a campaign finance report.


The deadline to file Q1 fundraising reports in Colorado was midnight on Monday, May 2, which means we have our first good look at how much support the various campaigns for statewide office have generated…

…Except for Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, who as of this writing has yet to submit her first fundraising report as a candidate for Secretary of State. On the one hand, it is perfectly on-brand for Peters to miss her first fundraising deadline, since she clearly operates on the idea that laws are meant for everyone else. On the other (much larger) hand, candidates for SECRETARY OF STATE should probably follow the same rules they will be expected to enforce if elected.

We’ll update this post if and when Peters decides to file a fundraising report. In the meantime, here’s a breakdown of how the rest of the statewide candidates fared in Q1.

As you read these numbers, remember something that we often repeat here at Colorado Pols: Fundraising isn’t just about money — it is an indicator of the level of support for a particular candidate. People generally don’t give money to candidates if they don’t believe they can win. 



This has not been a great week to be Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl. You could say that about most weeks since Ganahl first announced her candidacy last September, but this has been a particularly rough couple of days for the current CU Regent.

Ganahl has long been the presumed frontrunner for the Republican nomination for Governor and the chance to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. Jared Polis in November, but her entire campaign has been what you could charitably call “underwhelming.” Over the weekend, Danielle Neuschwanger became the gubernatorial nominee of the American Constitution Party (ACN), which is a massive blow to whichever Republican candidate wins the nomination in June. On Monday, Ganahl essentially confirmed the weakness of her candidacy with another poor fundraising report.

Ganahl’s fundraising has been historically bad for a Republican gubernatorial candidate — a trend that continues with the first quarter of this year. There’s no positive way to spin the fact that the presumed GOP frontrunner begins the month of May with just $200k in the bank. It’s not fair to compare fundraising numbers with Polis, who will self-fund his re-election campaign to whatever tune he deems necessary; but as you’ll see with other fundraising numbers below, Ganahl’s totals don’t even look that great compared to campaigns for lower-profile offices.

The rest of the campaign finance numbers in this race aren’t all that relevant, since we wouldn’t expect either Greg Lopez or Neuschwanger to be raising a lot of money.



Incumbent Democrat Phil Weiser continues to raise boatloads of cash for his re-election bid, which has allowed him to already book a lot of television advertising time (hence Weiser’s large Q1 expenditures).

Republican John Kellner didn’t get a full quarter in which to fundraise — he didn’t really begin his AG campaign until February — but these are poor numbers nonetheless. Strong candidates often raise a good deal of money in their first quarter because that’s when they are first hitting up the donors with whom they have a close relationship. Kellner’s weak fundraising may also be an indication that he will be relying almost entirely on the assistance of the Republican Attorney General’s Association (RAGA) for most of his advertising expenditures.



Incumbent Democrat Jena Griswold is setting new records for fundraising for a candidate for SOS. Similar to Weiser, this is allowing her to reserve a bunch of advertising time in advance.

We wrote about Republican Pam Anderson’s anemic numbers in an earlier post. If Anderson is going to win a Republican Primary in June, she’s likely going to need a significant expenditure from an outside group or PAC to boost her name ID. We still don’t know who Mike O’Donnell is, but it’s a bad sign for Anderson that his cash on hand numbers are nearly seven times larger.



Much like his Democratic colleagues (though to a lesser extent), incumbent Dave Young is raising enough money that he can start to book advertising spots in advance, which generally saves campaigns a good deal of money.

Republican Lang Sias, meanwhile, is raising the kind of money that would be great for a State House race but is not particularly impressive for a statewide campaign. Sias has been doing this long enough that he should have plenty of contacts for fundraising purposes; of course, he’s also been losing for long enough that those contacts may not be returning his phone calls. These weak fundraising numbers could be a sign that Sias is counting on a third-party expenditure to raise his name ID…or it might just be a reminder that he’s Lang Sias.

Danielle Neuschwanger Scrambles GOP Race for Governor

Clockwise from top left: Dan Maes, Heidi Ganahl, Danielle Neuschwanger, Tom Tancredo

There was some VERY big news over the weekend regarding the 2022 race for Governor in Colorado. As first noted by the Colorado Times Recorder and subsequently confirmed on Saturday, Danielle Neuschwanger will continue her campaign for Governor — but as the candidate of the American Constitution Party.

When last we saw Neuschwanger, she was threatening to sue (and, somehow, incarcerate) State Republican Party Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown after Neuschwanger failed to make the 30% threshold required for ballot access at the Republican state assembly on April 9. Neuschwanger has been adamant that she was robbed in the “Great ClickerGate Conspiracy,” but she isn’t waiting any longer for that ball of red string to be unraveled. Instead, Neuschwanger is doing the only thing that would have been worse for Colorado Republicans than a bitter Primary fight: A vote-sucking General Election challenge.

Buoyed by polling data suggesting that she outperforms Republican Hiedi Heidi Ganahl in a hypothetical November matchup against incumbent Democrat Jared Polis, Neuschwanger refuses to go away despite finishing in third place at the GOP assembly behind Ganahl and top-line candidate Greg Lopez. This is nothing short of disastrous for Colorado Republicans.

The last time something like this happened was in 2010, when Tom Tancredo ran for Governor under the banner of the American Constitution Party (ACN) because establishment Republicans were horrified that some guy named Dan Maes was able to become the official GOP nominee for Governor. What makes this situation different is that Tancredo ran on the ACN ballot with the unofficial blessing of GOP bigwigs. Presumably, Republicans are much less enthusiastic about Neuschwanger’s ACN candidacy, but that doesn’t make it any less impactful.

Tom Tancredo, Dan Maes, and John Hickenlooper at a 2010 gubernatorial candidate forum.


It’s unlikely that Neuschwanger’s candidacy will have the same effect that Tancredo had in 2010, when his presence reduced Maes to just 11% of the General Election vote and damn near cost Republicans their “major party status” on future ballots in Colorado. The Tancredo/Maes dynamic allowed Democrat John Hickenlooper to cruise to victory in what was otherwise remembered as the Tea Party wave election (the final vote percentage in the 2010 race for Governor: 51% for Hickenlooper, 36% for Tancredo, and 11% for Maes).

Neuschwanger’s name on the November ballot may not cripple the Colorado Republican Party as it almost did in 2010, but she undoubtedly will take votes away from Ganahl or Lopez (whomever becomes the GOP nominee after the June Primary) in a race in which Republicans already faced an uphill battle in trying to oust a popular incumbent in Polis. And that might be enough to essentially end this race before it even gets started.

The 2022 Governor’s race had been dropping in priority for Republicans amid Ganahl’s silly campaign and the hopeless follies of Lopez (who won first place at the GOP assembly mostly for promising to pardon Tina Peters). When you add Neuschwanger’s ACN candidacy, it’s hard to argue that beating Polis is not a lost cause for Republicans.

We swear, we didn’t know this was going to happen when we recently concluded our “Worst Campaigns in Colorado (This Century)” bracket challenge. The worst, it seems, is yet to come.

Recall Polis People Ask for More Time to Fail

When last we caught up with efforts to “recall” Governor Jared Polis and Secretary of State Jena Griswold, the crack grassroots organization pushed by right-wing activist Lori Cutunilli was trying to entice people into the depths of an underground parking garage with vague promises of booting one or more statewide elected Democratic officials out of office.

We’re checking back on the subject now because it has been 60 days since the “Recall Polis-Griswold” group began gathering petition signatures for the latest iteration of this particular lost cause. Today, April 25, the “Recall Polis-Griswold” committee was supposed to officially submit a minimum of 630,000 petition signatures in order to trigger a recall election for Polis and/or Griswold. Based on the following message posted to Facebook today by Cutunilli, it seems unlikely that anyone will be marching into the Secretary of State’s office with anything other than lost time.

Recall Polis-Griswold update posted to Facebook today.


We’re not sure exactly how long of an extension the “Recall Polis-Griswold” committee requested, but the details aren’t particularly important. Whether they are seeking another 60 or 90 days, they’re never going to come up with enough signatures to get an actual recall election underway before our regularly-scheduled 2022 election takes place.

For now, Cutunilli and friends might just have to hope that Polis and Griswold get re-elected in November, which would give them four more years to keep this nonsense train rolling.

Heidi Ganahl is Very, Very Silly

Last week, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis made national headlines for jokingly suggesting that he would offer “asylum” to Mickey and Minnie Mouse in the wake of news that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was going after the Disney company for being critical of his “don’t say gay” bill.

DeSantis asked his Republican friends in the Florida legislature to dissolve a special improvement district that was created to bring Disney World to Orlando, Florida a half-century ago. Republican lawmakers obliged, and DeSantis signed the bill into law within a matter of days. Polis was rightly concerned about the idea that any government would sanction a private company for disagreeing with policy ideas. As he wrote in a widely-quoted Tweet on April 19:

Polis later suggested that Colorado would be happy to host Disney — or other companies that are being attacked by DeSantis over cultural grievances — should they wish to relocate to a different state.

All of this apparently riled up Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, who explained her beef in a Friday appearance on The Leland Conway Show on KHOW Radio (in which Ganahl was presented as a “gubanoral candidate”). Ganahl is so daft that she took Polis’s comments on Disney seriously:

LELAND CONWAY: I imagine, Heidi, [that] you see a lot of hypocrisy here.

HEIDI GANAHL: Oh my goodness, do I, Leland. Thanks for having me today. You know, as usual, Jared Polis is an out-of-touch failure and a hypocrite. You know, the media will not ask – and I don’t mean your media, the mainstream media – will not ask the hard questions of Polis. They’re allowing him to get away with the perception that he is innocently courting Disney, and very libertarian-ish [Pols emphasis], and this idea that he stays out of the business of corporations and small business is ridiculous. He’s almost destroyed small business owners across Colorado with all of his regulations and taxes and fees. 83 new ones, to be exact, since he got elected.


Ganahl is correct that the “mainstream media” has not asked Polis about “innocently courting Disney,” but she has the rationale all wrong. The reason Polis isn’t being asked about courting Disney is not because there is a big conspiracy brewing with the mainstream media; Polis isn’t getting these questions BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE understands that Polis was trolling DeSantis and making a joke in order to make a point.

Sorry to break it to you, Heidi, but Jared Polis is not really offering asylum to fictional mouse people.

Ganahl is such a ridiculous candidate that she grasps at anything she thinks can give her some sort of advantage in the culture wars 2022 election. Perhaps Ganahl doesn’t actually believe that Polis is trying to convince Disney World to rebuild in Colorado, though it’s entirely possible that she truly does think this is a real thing. The point here is that Ganahl is willing to entertain any absurdity if it allows her to criticize the incumbent Governor.

Heidi Ganahl is a non-serious person who wants to be elected to a very serious job. Unfortunately for Ganahl, silliness is not a good qualification for any public office.