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

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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



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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.

Republican Candidates Say the Darndest Things

The June 28th Primary Election is just about two months away, and most of the action will take place among Republicans. With primaries for U.S. Senate, Governor, Secretary of State, and Congress (C0-03, CO-04, CO-05, CO-07, and CO-08), there are at least 20 different Republican candidates trying to get their message out to the GOP faithful.

There are so many campaigns and candidates searching for time on a forum dais or a right-wing radio show that it’s difficult to keep track of who said what and when. Rather than go through each race individually, we decided to focus on some of the more, shall we say, interesting comments of the last week or so.


“Hang the rest of them”

Image from Ron Hanks’s U.S. Senate campaign website

Republican Senate candidate Ron Hanks was on KOA’s morning news show this week when the interview with Marty Lenz and April Zesbaugh took an odd turn. Hanks insisted that the Jan. 6 insurrection was conducted by Antifa; when he was challenged on this, Hanks fought back before calling for thousands of Americans to be hanged:

MARTY LENZ: Do you have any regrets about being in and around the crowd the day of the US Capitol riot?

RON HANKS: Not at all. Those were millions of peaceful Americans. It was a peaceful rally. The people I met out there were phenomenal and I think to impugn a million peaceful Americans is folly, and Bennett has done it. But in the spirit of bipartisanship, so has Mitch McConnell. So I have nothing but disdain for the both of them for doing that, for impugning the motives of one million Americans. That’s totally wrong. [Pols emphasis]

LENZ: So, you’re a military man. And I’m not talking about the ones peaceful prior to it. The ones that incurred on the Capitol and broke in and went after Capitol Police. You’re somebody that’s served in the military [and] that looks like that’s an insurrection. Do you see that differently?

RON HANKS: I see the million people I was with. If you are talking the Antifa types that were scaling the scaffolding…[Pols emphasis]

LENZ: No. With all due respect, they were not Antifa. I know you intellectually know that. I know you know that.

RON HANKS: Well, I don’t think you know that.[Pols emphasis]

LENZ: I think that is readily accessible observational reality respectfully to you on that. I think that’s a bridge too far for many people, sir, respectfully.

RON HANKS: Well, fair enough. A million peaceful Americans concerned about their country. That’s who I was there with. Hang the rest of them. That’s a disgrace. [Pols emphasis]

APRIL ZESBAUGH: Ron, we’re going to leave it there today, thanks for joining us.



There’s plenty more after the jump…


First Atlanta’s All-Star Game, Next Disney World?

Magic Kingdom in the city of magic mushrooms?

As the Denver Post’s Molly Burke reported yesterday, the sparring between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and major Florida economic contributor Disney over that state’s controversial new “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, which has led to threats by Gov. DeSantis to take retaliatory action against Disney World, has drawn in Colorado’s Gov. Jared Polis with an offer to welcome Disney to our state:

The Florida governor has also proposed to dissolve the special tax status for Disney World that has been in place for 55 years in retaliation to the entertainment giant’s opposition to what critics have dubbed the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.

In response, Polis tweeted that the two companies could find a home in Colorado, rather than dealing with “Florida’s authoritarian socialist attacks on the private sector.”

“In CO, we don’t meddle in affairs of companies like @Disney or @Twitter,” Polis wrote. “Hey @Disney we’re ready for Mountain Disneyland and @Twitter we’re ready for Twitter HQ2, whoever your owners are.”

Gov. DeSantis’ quarrel with Twitter doesn’t exactly carry the moral weight of Disney’s criticism of the controversial legislation DeSantis signed into law–which as we’ve discussed is meant to confront the “problem” of sex ed to kindergartners that despite Heidi Ganahl’s insistence to the contrary does not actually exist. But for any governor who claims to support economic growth, which last time we checked was most of them, welcoming businesses instead of threatening them seems like the way to go:

After Denver was in the right place at the right time with the right politics to snatch away the 2021 All-Star Game due to Georgia’s passage of vote suppression legislation, we take these kinds of conflicts more seriously than we once did–even if it’s unlikely that a city-sized attraction like Disney World would relocate to a place where it’s freezing half the year. It’s much more likely that Disney will simply hunker down and outlast Gov. DeSantis.

But it’s another chance for Polis to look like the real “pro-business leader” while DeSantis and Ganahl wage war on Mickey Mouse.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (April 21)

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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


Click below to keep learning things…



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

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

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The GMS Podcast: Whose Demon is it Anyway?

Sen. Julie Gonzales and Scott Wasserman

This week in episode 104 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with State Sen. Julie Gonzales (D-Denver) and Bell Policy Center President Scott Wasserman about what Colorado can (and should) do with TABOR refunds and affordable housing funding.

But first, we talk about a demon named Ba’al and why you should never use words like “sacrifice” and “altar” when you are a candidate for Congress and your name is Tim Reichert.

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Heidi Ganahl Straight Up Lies About Sex Education

Heidi Ganahl just says whatever

In case you haven’t been watching Fox News regularly or keeping up with the latest in Republican cancel culture, we need to lay out some context before we get to the meat of a story that includes Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Hiedi Heidi Ganahl.

Republicans want to cancel all things Disney because that company spoke out against the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law recently enacted in Florida. Greg Sargent explains for The Washington Post — in a column featuring Boebert — about what has Republicans so salty these days:

Boebert, Vance and others are angry that Disney has come out against Florida’s new law restricting classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity. They are upset about a leaked video that showed a Disney executive talking about inserting pro-gay material into Disney content. Some have lobbed the vile charge of “grooming” at the Florida law’s critics, Disney included.

In response, the culture warriors want the government to rescind all policies that economically privilege Disney. Laura Ingraham insists that for woke companies such as Disney, “everything will be on the table” if Republicans take power.

In case this argument wasn’t clear enough, Arizona right-wing Republican Rep. Andy Biggs, who is the keynote speaker at the Colorado Republican Party’s big “Centennial Dinner” later this week, recently Tweeted out an image of Disney’s logo with a Soviet Union-style twist.

During a press briefing at the White House on Monday, this issue came up through a question from Fox News reporter Peter Doocy. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded with a question of her own that left Doocy speechless:

DOOCY: So, if you guys oppose this legislation that bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in K through 3, does the White House support that kind of classroom instruction BEFORE kindergarten?

PSAKI: Do you have examples of schools in Florida that are teaching kindergarteners about sex education?

Doocy could not answer this question because there aren’t any examples of public schools teaching sex education to kindergarteners. Schools don’t teach kids about sex education in grades K-3, just like they weren’t ever teaching K-3 students about Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl has talked often about how much she was inspired by the 2021 gubernatorial campaign of Republican Glenn Youngkin in Virginia, particularly with how Youngkin used CRT as a bogeyman to scare parents into supporting his platform. The CRT thing isn’t really working here in Colorado, however, so Ganahl was eager to grab onto the next big lie about woke schools.

Listen to what Ganahl said on The Dan Caplis Show late last week when prompted to talk about sex education in Colorado schools and Democratic Gov. Jared Polis:


GANAHL: Oh, geez, Dan, I have a list running of I think about 44 different things that are just disgusting and terrible that he’s led the path for in Colorado, whether it’s the abortion bill or teaching our kids sex ed in kindergarten…

“Teaching our kids sex ed in kindergarten.”


Polis isn’t responsible for sex education being taught to kindergarteners in Colorado BECAUSE IT DOESN’T HAPPEN. Schools don’t do this for a lot of different reasons, including one that is very obvious: It would be functionally ridiculous to teach kids about sex education (or CRT) when they just learning the alphabet and how to color between the lines on worksheets.

One of the things that made Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law so ridiculous is that students in grades K-3 aren’t being taught sex education anyway:

The Florida Department of Education told PolitiFact that sexual orientation and gender identity are not included in the curriculum taught in the state’s kindergarten through third-grade classrooms.

Similar nonsense claims in Colorado were debunked in 2019 when the state legislature passed a bill that included changes to sex education curriculums. It is up to individual school districts to decide how and when to incorporate sex education into the curriculum, but schools are not required by state law to even discuss the subject. Colorado does require that sex education must be age-appropriate, so what Ganahl is describing couldn’t happen anyway.

There are plenty of real issues that can, and should, be discussed in the 2022 race for Governor, but Heidi Ganahl would rather just make things up instead.

On Brand: Republicans Want You To Vote In Fear

Rep. Tom Sullivan with members of Moms Demand Action and Colorado Ceasefire.

The Denver Post’s Nick Coltrain reported Friday and we wanted to be sure got a mention:

People won’t be able to flaunt their firearms within 100 feet of a polling place under a law signed by Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday.

House Bill 1086, dubbed the Vote Without Fear Act, makes it a misdemeanor to openly carry firearms near ballot drop boxes, buildings with polling locations or vote counting facilities during elections. The open carry of firearms is otherwise legal in much of Colorado. The law still allows for permitted Coloradans to carry concealed firearms, and exempts on-duty law enforcement officers and people who open carry on property they own that’s within the buffer zone.

Polis, a Democrat, at the bill signing ceremony called voting “one of our most sacred rights as Americans,” and said this law will help keep Coloradans from feeling intimidated when they vote. He noted that Colorado already limits other rights, such as prohibiting people from advertising on behalf of a candidate, within that 100-foot area.

Unattended ballot drop boxes to collect mail ballots have proven convenient and very popular with Colorado voters, but they create a novel opportunity for intimidation by individuals taking advantage of Colorado’s highly permissive open carry gun laws. It’s true that opportunity has always been there to intimidate voters since the state adopted mail ballots and drop boxes, but it’s only in the last couple of years that the prospect of militant political activists actually doing something like this one a large scale has made the urgent need for a law evident.

And of course, like almost every piece of gun safety legislation passed in Colorado in recent years, the Vote Without Fear Act passed without a single Republican voting in support:

Republicans argued it would be an infringement of the Second Amendment right to bear arms, unfairly penalize people who accidentally enter the 100-foot zone with otherwise legal firearms on their hips, and questioned why it doesn’t apply to other weapons, such as clubs being brandished.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl who praised the recent highly controversial door-to-door armed “canvassing” by the so-called U.S. Election Integrity Project (USEIP) likewise opposed the bill, calling it Democrats’ “latest tactic to water down our rights.” But the Supreme Court has repeatedly held even in the much-cited Heller decision affirming basic gun rights that reasonable restrictions on guns are not incompatible with the Second Amendment. And if we can’t regulate guns in order to protect the right to vote, there’s an argument we’ve lost sight of what those rights are all about.

Some of us, it appears, already have.

You Will Never Make The Fearmongers Happy

Heidi Ganahl: eating her own to own the libs.

Last week, as most area news outlets reported, Gov. Jared Polis and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers unveiled legislation meant to crack down on the distribution of the deadly synthetic opioid drug fentanyl, which in recent years has been mass-produced and in some cases substituted to users without their knowledge for other drugs with lethal consequences. The rapid proliferation of fentanyl and corresponding sharp rise in overdose deaths have turned policy toward the drug into a political hot button–and in Colorado, we’ve been covering as the conflict developed this legislative session, an attempted partisan election-year wedge.

But as Marianne Goodland at the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports and we’ve been watching the whole session as the issue has developed, the partisan grandstanding over fentanyl doesn’t comport with reality past or present:

In a rare bipartisan press conference in the 2022 session, Gov. Jared Polis, legislators, families who have lost loved ones and district attorneys on Thursday announced a comprehensive bill to confront the state’s burgeoning fentanyl crisis, arguing its passage would make streets and homes safer.

The bill will focus on both heightened penalties for fentanyl distribution – but not possession – and more resources for a state education campaign and treatment for those addicted to the compound drugs that now often contain fentanyl.

Thursday’s press conference introducing what’s become known as the “fentanyl bill” featured Republican sponsors of the legislation, including Rep. Mike Lynch of Wellington and Sen. John Cooke, the former Sheriff of Weld County, as well as prosecutors from both sides of the aisle in support including Republican Mesa County DA Dan Rubinstein. Denver7:

Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley, a former Weld County sheriff who is one of the sponsors of the bill, said bringing those cutoff points down was “critical if we are going to go after the people responsible for these deaths.” Several district attorneys from both parties also said they supported the changes.

“Through this legislation, we will be able to respond aggressively to dealers taking lives when distributing this deadly drug,” said Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein, a Republican…

“This is not a partisan issue. This is a leadership issue,” Lynch said at the news conference. “It’s where we come together as a state to find and fix problems, and I’m honored to be a part of it.” [Pols emphasis]

But just as we saw with Republican Rep. Shane Sandridge’s brave stand against misinformation from fellow Republicans about the 2019 bipartisan sentencing reform bill that reduced possession–but not distribution–of most drugs to a misdemeanor below a specified quantity, partisan usual suspects are simply refusing to acknowledge this year’s bipartisan effort to address fentanyl. That’s resulting in some rather…awkward situations:

Folks, if you’ve ever met Sen. John Cooke, the former Weld County Sheriff who would on most days gladly bend fold and spindle reality to “own the libs,” you know how preposterous it is to refer to Cooke as a “far-left lawmaker.” But that’s what GOP gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl just did! Hopefully they can make amends, or the next Weld County Lincoln Day dinner could be a dicey affair.

Moving past the laughably misplaced partisan fingerpointing over another bipartisan effort, the fixation for opponents remains on undoing perhaps the most important concept behind the 2019 reform bill, which was separating the medical problem of drug addiction from the crime of drug dealing. And this bears a moment of discussion.