Debate Diary: The Wacky Race for State Republican Party Chair

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

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

The candidates are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Devastated Republicans Grope For Answers They Can’t Handle

Defeated GOP Rep. Colin Larson.

Going into last Tuesday’s elections, Colorado Republicans thought they had hit the bottom of their years-long slide into the political abyss–a process that began in 2004 when Democrats retook the state legislature after years of Republican dominance, and then continued with only a few exceptions for over a decade before accelerating in backlash against Donald Trump in 2018 to the greatest level of political dominance Democrats have enjoyed in this state since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President.

As it turned out, they had much farther to fall. Before Tuesday, local Republicans honestly believed they had a chance at retaking the Colorado Senate and narrowing the House majority, in addition to winning the U.S. Senate race and the state’s newest highly competitive congressional district. Instead, Democrats expanded their legislative majorities, easily defeated every statewide Republican candidate, and claimed the new CD-8 for a 5-3 Democratic majority congressional delegation–a majority that may yet grow to 6-2, in the event Democratic CD-3 challenger Adam Frisch prevails as the final votes are counted in his race against freshman GOP compounding calamity Rep. Lauren Boebert.

Speaking to Colorado Public Radio’s Bente Birkeland, GOP Rep. Colin Larson, who was expected to lead the House Minority in 2023 but was instead defeated in his re-election bid, echoes the total dejection Colorado Republicans are feeling after last week’s historic wipeout:

“Honestly I think Colorado Republicans need to take this and learn the lesson that the party is dead. [Pols emphasis] This was an extinction-level event,” said Republican Rep. Colin Larson. “This was the asteroid that ended the reign of the dinosaur, and in this case, the dinosaur was the Republican party.”

Larson’s pessimism is understandable. He was poised to be the incoming House minority leader after the sudden death of Rep. Hugh McKean. Instead, Larson unexpectedly lost his own race in Jefferson County…

Dick Wadhams.

Former Republican Party chairman Dick Wadhams, who himself was ousted from that job years ago by the Colorado GOP’s then-incipient radical wing, is equally morose about the party’s long-term future in Colorado:

“Frankly, it couldn’t be much worse,” said Dick Wadhams, the former chair of the Colorado Republican Party. Wadhams largely blamed demographic shifts and the national Republican brand.

“And I think we put up very strong candidates who were worthy of consideration by all Colorado voters [Pols emphasis] and yet they were soundly rejected in favor of Democratic candidates,” Wadhams said. “So I don’t know what it’s gonna take for this to come back the other way.”

Here we come to the first major misconception Republicans are wrestling with in the wake of last week’s defeats, and there’s no moving on for them without recognizing this despite the hurt feelings it may cause. The 2022 Republican slate in Colorado was one of the worst ever fielded by the party in its history. Dick Wadhams himself enthusiastically supported Heidi Ganahl and Joe O’Dea, but in retrospect as Republican candidates for U.S. Senate and governor both were totally unqualified dreadful political mismatches for Colorado’s blue-trending electorate. Ganahl and O’Dea’s paths to double-digit defeat were a bit different, with Ganahl inexplicably lurching right immediately after winning the primary while O’Dea took a bit longer to show his true immoderate colors. But in the end, both of these terrible candidates at the top dragged the entire Republican ticket in Colorado down.

Once we’ve established that the top GOP candidates in Colorado failed to live up to the insistent hype from their campaigns and friendly talking heads, we come to the next logical question. Was it the issues too? The Denver Post’s political team caught up with GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown, and to no one’s surprise, the former poster child of the Personhood abortion ban measures remains a true believer:

But others questioned whether the state’s electorate had shifted fundamentally, thanks to liberal-minded out-of-staters moving in. That was the assessment of Kristi Burton Brown, the chairwoman of the Colorado Republican Party, on Tuesday night. Her candidates had run on the correct issues, she said, and would focus on them going forward. [Pols emphasis]

“It’s just not what voters chose tonight,” she said.

There’s no way to sugar-coat this. No one should be more pleased to see the Colorado GOP chair conclude that Republicans “had run on the correct issues” than Colorado Democrats. Kristi Burton Brown’s unshakeable anti-abortion convictions make it impossible for her to recognize that the backlash to the overturning of Roe v. Wade was a major component of Republican failure in this year’s elections. Brown’s inability to recognize this political shift leaves the party unable to change course as long as she remains in charge.

As for the other issue that motivated voters to turn out for Democrats this year, the Republican Party’s ongoing threat to democracy under ex-President Donald Trump? Back to Colorado Public Radio’s story:

“January 6th, we just thought it had fallen from most people’s minds,” [Rep. Colin Larson] said. [Pols emphasis] “That just was not the case. They weren’t willing to look past the party.”

Smart Colorado Republicans knew that Trump was toxic going all the way back to 2016 when they revolted in favor of Ted Cruz. But instead of the Republican Party making a clean break from Trump in the aftermath of the violent January 6th insurrection and Trump’s plot to overturn the 2020 elections, Trump has remained the party’s de facto leader. Republicans like Joe O’Dea and Secretary of State candidate Pam Anderson who tried to triangulate off Trump this year either didn’t try hard enough (Anderson) or failed to persuade swing voters while bringing the wrath of the MAGA base down upon themselves (O’Dea).

As it turns out, Americans did not forget about January 6th. And as it turns out, overturning Roe v. Wade had dire political consequences for the party who sought that outcome for decades. There’s no “middle ground” for Republicans to stand on with these defining issues. There’s no “retooling” of the Republican Party’s message that can alter the fundamentals. This is not a question of packaging, it’s the product Republicans are offering that Colorado voters want no part of. Without the will to de-radicalize the MAGA base and truly moderate their wedge-issue-driven agenda, Colorado Republicans are glimpsing at long last what permanent minority status looks like.

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The Get More Smarter Podcast Breaks Down the Bluenami

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

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

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Why Republicans Can’t Have Nice Things (Like Election Victories)

Elephant fight!

The Republican Civil War in Colorado will not pause for elections.

While candidates and volunteers were working hard on GOTV efforts this weekend, El Paso County Republicans were busy spending several hours yelling at each other about some other really dumb thing. As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

By an overwhelming margin, members of the county party’s central committee approved a resolution to “censure and condemn in the strongest possible terms” more than 30 current and former elected officials, GOP nominees and party volunteers associated with Peak Republicans, an effort launched this spring by local Republicans who said they couldn’t count on the county party to get behind Republican candidates.

The resolution, spearheaded by El Paso County GOP chairwoman Vickie Tonkins, ordered the Republicans to “cease and desist,” claiming the Peak Republicans aren’t allowed to call themselves Republicans, and demanded they issue a public apology. If they don’t, the resolution added, the county party wants the state GOP to step in and exercise its legal right to prevent any organization from using the word “Republican” in its name without permission.

We wrote last month about this latest idiotic argument that stems from the heavy-handed political tactics of the El Paso County Republican Party, which is full of paramilitary weirdos and fervent election deniers under the heavy hand of Chairperson Vicki Tonkins. The El Paso GOP has been hemorrhaging support for years and does not tolerate dissent; things regularly get so bad at county party meetings that the Colorado Springs Police Department or the El Paso County Sheriff are called to come restore some semblance of order.

El Paso County Republican Chairwoman Vicki Tonkins.

This current issue revolves around 2022 campaigns worried that the official county party wasn’t doing its job on volunteer coordination and GOTV efforts. Concerned about the ticking election clock, many El Paso County Republicans started their own group to make sure that this important election work was being done for both local and statewide candidates. Campaigns for both Senate hopeful Joe O’Dea and gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl have been working with “Peak Republicans” in the last month.

Among those formally censured by the El Paso County GOP on Saturday — for the crime of [checks notes again] using the word “Republican” — were State Sen. Larry Liston; State Reps. Mary Bradfield and Andres Pico; County Commissioners Cami Bremer and Holly Williams; Colorado Springs City Councilman Wayne Williams; and former state lawmakers Lois Landgraf and Kit Roupe. As Luning continues:

Tonkins argued during Saturday’s party meeting that the upstart outfit — run out of an office near Interstate 25 and Garden of the Gods Road — was confusing voters and candidates by “presenting itself” as the county party headquarters, though a lead organizer behind the effort said no one appears to be confused about what they’re doing. [Pols emphasis]

“It’s just a nickname, that’s all it is,” said organizer Jody Richie. The group hasn’t set up a formal organization but is instead acting like a vendor for candidates who want to get their messages out to voters, she said. She added that it appears Tonkins and the county party lack legal standing to tell the Peak Republicans whether or not they can use the name “Republicans,” according to a state law that grants that authority to the state party.

This is not a new complaint about the El Paso County GOP; in 2020, campaigns for former President Donald Trump and then-U.S. Senator Cory Gardner also set up separate local outreach offices.

Dave Williams

Outgoing State Rep. Dave Williams told Luning that this bickering in El Paso County is a continuation of a long-running feud “between the party’s old guard and current county party leadership.” Williams apparently tried dumping the problem on the State Republican Party, to no avail:

“If we’re going to succeed long-term, we do have to figure out how to work together when their side doesn’t win,” Williams added. “What’s disingenuous is they try to play innocent in all this, and that’s not the truth. It takes two to tango. If we really want peace and we really want unity, they’re going to have to step up and demonstrate some leadership…

…[State Republican Party Executive Director] Joe Jackson refuted Williams’ assertion that the state party hadn’t given any direction to the county GOP about its gripe with Peak Republicans.

“It’s unfortunate Rep. Williams feels the need to lie,” Jackson said in a text message to Colorado Politics. “As he well knows, the county party was given guidance to stop their attacks on fellow Republicans and help get out the vote instead. Just because they don’t like the advice doesn’t mean it wasn’t given.” [Pols emphasis]


Again, Colorado Springs Republicans spent a good chunk of the last Saturday before Election Day arguing about who gets to say the word “Republican.”

Absolute lunacy.

Master GOP strategist Colin Larson

Elsewhere, Nick Coltrain and Seth Klamann of The Denver Post wrote an early preview of Tuesday’s midterm elections in Colorado that also included some strange quotes from local Republicans.

State Rep. Colin Larson, a Ken Caryl Republican, predicted a “red riptide” in Colorado, rather than a wave. Even 2010 — an infamously disastrous year nationally for Democrats — was blunted here, he said, and the state’s turned bluer in recent years.

Following a string of electoral setbacks and infighting over recent years, Larson said the Republican Party in Colorado has been “lost in the wilderness for a little while.” But he was critical of the Democrats’ singular control of the state in recent years, pointing to crime and the cost of living. He’s confident that a fiscal conservative streak remained here, citing the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and voters’ refusal to strike it down. A re-focused Republican Party could still make inroads here and shade Colorado purple, he argued, and local legislative races will help signal if that’s possible.

“If Barbara Kirkmeyer wins,” he said, “and we win one or two statewide races, significantly narrow the (Democrats’) House majority, narrow the Senate majority, then we will signal the course has turned.” [Pols emphasis]

Larson is trying to both simultaneously LOWER expectations for Republicans on Tuesday and make a case that a few smaller victories would mean that Colorado is moving to the red column. You’d need to have a minor concussion for this to even begin to make sense.

Over in the other legislative chamber, State Sen. John Cooke is still using the same talking points from 10 years ago:

“If Democrats continue controlling the state senate, then I think Colorado is lost for a generation,” state Sen. John Cooke, the outgoing Republican leader, said. “It’s California, it’s Oregon.”

He predicted a future that’s anathema to many in his party: a kneecapped oil and gas industry; powerful oversight commissions staffed by the governor’s appointees and confirmed by an agreeable senate; a “war” on rural Colorado.

Colorado will turn into California! The oil and gas industry has been destroyed! There’s a war on rural Colorado!

Republicans keep saying this nonsense, year after year, and Colorado voters keep electing more Democrats. Maybe try something else?

It’s not really a mystery as to why Democrats have been so successful in Colorado over the last 4-5 election cycles. Democrats choose solid candidates who run professional campaigns and do a great job of organizing volunteers and supporters.

Republicans nominate candidates like Ganahl, repeat tired talking points, and spend the weekend before Election Day lowering already shin-high expectations and yelling at each other over trivial nonsense.

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The importance of Colorado’s Secretary of State race

Coloradans have been consistently clear. We are tired of election deniers and conspiracy theorists.

Pam Anderson, the Republican candidate for Secretary of State, kicked off her campaign claiming she was not “that kind of Republican.” But as this year has progressed, Anderson has shown her true colors–defending election deniers like Lt. Governor Danny Moore, and refusing to call out conspiracy theorists she appears on stage with on the campaign trail.

Whether out of political convenience or cowardice, Pam Anderson has aligned herself with insurrectionists and election deniers. Anderson has refused to condemn or return the donations from campaign donors who believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. To placate extremists during her primary campaign, Anderson vaguely promised to conduct superfluous “audits” and other measures sought by election conspiracy theorists. As Jefferson County clerk, when presented with the option of securing JeffCo’s elections by modernizing voting equipment, Anderson instead chose to redecorate her offices. In addition, Anderson’s office mistakenly sent notices to thousands of voters falsely claiming their ballots had not been counted.

The good news is that we have a great Secretary of State already, Jena Griswold, who is unafraid to stand up to election deniers, and has spent the last four years ensuring safe and fair elections in Colorado. Griswold stood up to Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 elections at great personal risk.

As Joe Biden, said the other day, this is about our very democracy and its survival. Unfortunately, Pam Anderson has proven herself unwilling to make the honorable choice and reject the election deniers and insurrectionists.

There are just a few days left in this year’s elections, and the Colorado Secretary of State’s race is one of the most important on the ballot. If you haven’t already returned your ballot, take a moment right now to consult the Colorado Progressive Voters Guide and get it done today. Then check with to find your ballot drop box.

Thanks for helping progressives hold the line in Colorado all the way down your ballot.


Sara Loflin, Executive Director

Get More Smarter Before Election Day!

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

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

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

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CU Poll: Dems Owning 2022, GOP MIGHT Accept Results

Michael Bennet, Joe O’Dea.

Adding to a growing consensus of polling in recent weeks, the University of Colorado’s American Politics Research Lab released their latest Colorado Political Climate Survey, with numbers in line with other recent polls showing Gov. Jared Polis rapidly pulling away in the Colorado governor’s race, incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet prevailing over Republican challenger Joe O’Dea by a healthy twelve points, and Secretary of State Jena Griswold, considered the most vulnerable of the three downballot statewide offices, solidly beating Republican Pam Anderson by a ten-point margin.

Less encouraging for what comes after November 8th, the survey found once again a disturbingly wide partisan gap in trust in the integrity of Colorado’s elections, which until Donald Trump began his campaign to overturn the results of an election he lost enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan confidence:

We asked Coloradans about whether they felt elections both 1) across the country and 2) in Colorado would be conducted fairly and accurately. Overall, 54% of Coloradans agreed they would be conducted fairly nationally (with 20% saying they weren’t sure), while 71% agreed they would be fairly in Colorado. In a pattern often repeated, we see substantial differences by partisanship – 73% of Democrats agreed elections would be fair and accurate when asked about the country as a whole, while only 41% of Republicans said the same. When asked about Colorado’s elections, 92% of Democrats expressed agreement with a statement, but only 57% of Republicans agreed (Independents posted 53% agreement). Most Coloradans agreed (75%) that in Colorado all citizens who want to vote in the elections will be able to do so.

We also asked about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, and the need for electoral reforms in the wake of the 2020 elections (both “across the states” and in Colorado in particular). 63% of Coloradans agree that Biden legitimately won enough votes to be elected President (though this number is polarized by partisanship, with 95% of Democrats agreeing, and only 34% of Republicans agreeing).

What happens when Republicans don’t accept election results.

The whole report is worth reading, which you can find here along with links to past year’s surveys.

Although concerning, these numbers do indicate some recovery in popular confidence in American elections from the prior year’s survey, when only 32% of Republicans believed the upcoming election would be fair and accurate compared to 42% today. The persistently more favorable opinion Colorado Republicans have of Colorado’s election system, even though it features most of the accessibility attributes that Trump attacked in 2020 as avenues for election fraud, is another hopeful sign that local Republican officials will accept the result in the event of the defeat this and every other poll now clearly forecasts.

That’s still way too many Republicans who won’t, and we’ll have to wait and see how they respond.

State Sen. Kevin Priola Gets More Smarter

State Sen. Kevin Priola (D-Henderson).

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

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

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Voting in Person? Public Transportation is Free on Election Day

Here’s a cool program worth highlighting from a press release via the Secretary of State’s office:

Today, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, Regional Transportation District (RTD) General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson, Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Molly Fitzpatrick, and Denver County Clerk and Recorder Paul D. López highlighted two upcoming zero fare days on RTD services throughout the region, removing a cost barrier for people to travel by bus or train and cast their ballot. RTD serves the Denver, Boulder, and Aurora metro communities

RTD services will be zero fare to all users on Friday, October 28, 2022, and Tuesday, November 8, 2022. October 28 marks National Vote Early Day, a nonpartisan day of awareness about the tools available to many Americans – including in Colorado – to vote early. November 8 is Election Day. [Pols emphasis]

Colorado voters can find their nearest ballot drop box or voting center by visiting, and can use RTD’s trip planner to find the best route to get there.

Colorado continues to do a great job of making it easy to vote — however you choose to cast your ballot.

Pam Anderson’s Selective Opposition to Election Deniers

Republican Secretary of State candidate Pam Anderson on Monday evening

Last night, Colorado candidates for Secretary of State took part in one of the few public debates in that contest. The forum televised by 9News featured a lot of detailed discussion about elections and voting that was about as interesting as it sounds, but there was one key exchange between incumbent Democrat Jena Griswold and Republican challenger Pam Anderson that is worth highlighting.

We’ve written several times in this space about Anderson’s selective opposition to election deniers (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE). Anderson, the former Clerk and Recorder in Jefferson County, launched her campaign for Secretary of State by claiming that Griswold was “too partisan” while standing herself up as a true Republican champion of fair elections. Anderson likes to say that it is “critically important” to inform the public “that elections are safe and secure” and that she will be a Secretary of State that “both sides can trust.” This all sounds great, except that Anderson’s deeds do not always match her rhetoric.

The sad truth is that Pam Anderson is totally against election deniers…except when she is not.

On Monday evening, Anderson was asked to explain how it is that she talks about opposing election deniers while also regularly campaigning with election deniers. Her response was pretty bad:



KYLE CLARK: Ms. Anderson, you in fact have campaign alongside election deniers, including the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Danny Moore. But you recently criticized a scheduled event featuring Moore and fellow election denier, FEC United’s Joe Oltmann. You called him ‘reprehensible.’ Can you explain to us why you are comfortable keeping company with SOME election deniers but not other election deniers? [Pols emphasis]

PAM ANDERSON: So, I am a registered Republican and a center point of my campaign is to go to voters where invited to push back on false, misleading information and conspiracy. It’s been a real honor to go and go talk about my campaign for 10 minutes and then answer questions for an hour and 45 minutes. Now, I haven’t seen my opponent doing that. Thirty-second spots saying, ‘Trust me, I’m your government’ isn’t going to get us through this.

I have pushed back against President Trump, former President Trump, candidate President Trump, and anyone who seeks to mislead it [sic]. My opponent won’t even stand up to her party when they spent millions of dollars propping up the candidates, saying exactly what she says she hates. So I’ve done it when it’s difficult. I will continue to do that against either party that misleads our voters.

Anderson’s initial response here is to provide a similar answer to what Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl has said about 2020 election denialism. It’s the Why can’t we just have a conversation? argument. Or Danny Moore’s I’m just saying… explanation.

Pam Anderson (left) with Danny Moore (center) and Joe O’Dea (right)


To his credit, Clark was not satisfied with Anderson’s gibberish about her opposition to multiple iterations of Donald Trump, which will also come into play again in a moment.

CLARK: But I’m trying to understand the difference. Why will you literally stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate, Danny Moore, who is an election denier…but then another election denier, Joe Oltmann, you said that the two of them campaigning together is reprehensible. Where’s the line? [Pols emphasis]

ANDERSON: Actually, when Danny Moore was appointed by the Governor candidate, Heidi Ganahl, I said that I was disappointed in that appointment because of his comments. What I will continue to do is not, um, wag my finger and lecture people about their questions, but talk to them. I don’t think that we…if we vilify people with good conscience, like voters, we should push back on candidates. I’ve reached out to all of them to provide information, opportunities to visit with county clerks, to learn more about elections. And I think that’s made a difference.

I will continue to run my own race, who I am, representing all voters, regardless — in a non-partisan way — not dividing people and vilifying them.

Election denier Heidi Ganahl (left) and Pam Anderson. Also, Lang Sias.

At this point, Griswold asks if she can add a comment.

JENA GRISWOLD: I just want to explain how dangerous this is to Colorado elections and why it’s so personal to me. You know, the “Big Lie” is why Tina Peters breached her election infrastructure. The “Big Lie” is why the Chafee County Clerk works behind bulletproof glass. The “Big Lie” is why a man was just sentenced to 18 months in prison for threatening my life. This has real effects. These lies are destabilizing our democracy. And Coloradans can always expect from me never to campaign with election deniers, to stand up…if there’s a Democratic election denier, I will stand up to them. If there is a Republican, I will stand up to them.

Coloradans can also expect me to very clearly state I will never vote for someone trying to take away our right to vote. That’s another distinction between my opponent and me. She refuses to say that she will not support Donald Trump if he runs again.

CLARK: (to Anderson) Is that the case?

ANDERSON: That is absolutely false. I’ve said as a principled election official that I won’t tell you who I will vote for but I will continue to push back. I will also tell you that there is no nuance for me, ever, on this issue. [Pols emphasis]


It’s a really bad look to spend three minutes providing nuanced answers about your opposition to election deniers and THEN proclaim “there is no nuance for me, ever, on this issue.”

What might be worse is talking at length about your opposition to Donald Trump and THEN refusing to say whether or not you would support Trump in 2024. Why would you do this?

In fact, Anderson’s answer reminds us of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012. From CNN:

Asked on his charter plane whether Donald Trump’s questioning of President Barack Obama’s birthplace gave him pause, Romney simply said he was grateful for all his supporters.

“You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said. “But I need to get 50.1% or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

Anderson doesn’t really have the political courage she claims to possess. People who oppose election deniers don’t campaign with election deniers, just like people who oppose white supremacists don’t take pictures with Klan members. It’s not more complicated than this.

Likewise, people who say they oppose conspiracy theories don’t promote conspiracy theories in order to win elections…which is exactly what Anderson did in April 2022 when she claimed that she would “crack down on ballot harvesting” despite the fact that “ballot harvesting” isn’t a real thing that actually happens.

Pam Anderson may be perplexed that others find it odd that she claims to oppose election deniers but regularly campaigns with them. Colorado voters will likely be less confused.

MAGA World Turns On Joe O’Dea, Colorado GOP Ticket

Now that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea has presented himself on vengeful ex-President Donald Trump’s radar after O’Dea vowed to campaign against Trump in 2024 on national television while Trump happened to be watching, what was once grudging acquiescence to O’Dea among Trump loyalists has flipped like a switch to full-on hostility:

Looming large.

As the Washington Post’s Liz Goodwin reported this weekend from Castle Rock, the Republican rank-and-file is both very much aware of and not happy with O’Dea’s dissing of the Dear Leader:

Barbara Hildebrand left the rally for Senate candidate Joe O’Dea and other Republicans here this week in a cloud of frustration.

“I’m really upset about what [O’Dea] said about Trump,” Hildebrand said as she made a beeline for the door. [Pols emphasis] “I’m an ultra-MAGA … Hasn’t he seen the rallies that Trump has? I mean, those are a lot of people. And he’s alienated them…”

“The idea that you can make up enthusiasm with the unaffiliated by distancing yourself from the base — I’ve never seen it work,” said Randy Corporon, a Republican National Committee member and local conservative talk radio host who said he is worried some Republican voters in the state will leave the Senate race blank on their ballot in protest. A libertarian candidate, who has been endorsed by one of O’Dea’s more conservative primary rivals, also could siphon off some GOP votes.

Earlier this month, as readers know, O’Dea’s vanquished primary opponent Rep. Ron Hanks announced his endorsement of the Libertarian candidate in the U.S. Senate race, Brian Peotter, largely due to O’Dea’s tepid support for Trump. After Trump’s displeasure with O’Dea went public, Peotter is getting a fresh burst of attention from MAGA loyalists like election conspiracy theorist Ashe Epp–here writing for ex-shock jocks Chuck Boniwell and Julie Hayden’s Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle:

U.S. Senate — In the Senate race, it’s incumbent Michael Bennett, or Pro-Choice, Never Trumper Joe O’Dea. President Trump came out against Joe O’Dea in October in response to the candidate’s recent attacks against 45.

Pro-Life Libertarian Brian Peotter is also running for Senate in Colorado, and he is the top polling Libertarian in America. Despite Peotter’s popularity, he is being restricted from debating, an obvious attempt to limit his exposure to the people.

And once you’ve opened the door to undervoting and/or voting third-party in protest, why stop at the U.S. Senate race?

The Post endorsement tells you everything you need to know about the Secretary of State race: A vote for either major party candidate in this race is effectively a vote for the fraud-denying establishment. Soros (Griswold) or Zuckerberg (Anderson) — that’s the “choice.”

The uniparty wants you to believe these are your only choices, though the American Constitution Party has put up Amanda Campbell and the Libertarians are running Bennett Rutledge. Either is a vote for change.

And in the governor’s race:

Then of course, there is the Governor race, where incumbent Democrat Jared Polis is facing off against Republican CU Regent Heidi Ganahl. There is zero excitement for either candidate across the state.

The American Constitution Party is running Danielle Neuschwanger in this race. Remember, the Governor’s results determine major or minor party status in Colorado, and voters need another party choice in our state. Bonus points for banishing the Republicans to minor status with less than 10%.

Even in the attorney general’s race, Epp writes, “there are options.”

During the Republican Assembly and Convention in the spring, former Republican Stanley Thorne won a spot on the primary ballot for AG, but the Republican establishment — led by Kristi Burton Brown, George Brauchler, and Kellner himself — kept Thorne off the ballot. Thorne has qualified for “write-in” status, and voters can simply write “THORNE” into the space indicated on their ballot.

In the last two U.S. Senate elections, Libertarian candidate performance declined from 3.62% in 2016 to 1.74% in 2020. Current polling shows Brian Peotter substantially outperforming those results, and Peotter’s very conservative (especially for a Libertarian) message means he’ll siphon support almost entirely from Joe O’Dea.

But that’s not where it will end. Now that the former President has shattered Republican unity at the top of the ticket, the collateral damage from that disunity could factor in races all the way down the ballot–at least to the extent that alternative MAGA-approved candidates exist to reap the benefit. This continuing spoiler threat from what should have been inconsequential minor candidates in late October, as it has been ever since Danielle Neuschwanger turned her longshot run for the GOP nomination into a personal vendetta against Heidi Ganahl, is just more proof of the fundamental weakness of the Republican ticket in Colorado this year.

Trump fracturing what’s left of the GOP coalition may turn mere defeat for Colorado Republicans into a landslide.

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

Andrew Baumann

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

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

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

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PNC/GSG Poll: Colorado Democrats on the Cusp of Glory

The Denver Post’s Seth Klamann reports today on the latest Mountaineer poll from Global Strategy Group and liberal activist group ProgressNow Colorado–numbers that cannot be spun any way positively for Republicans three weeks out from the 2022 midterm elections, and the downward trajectory for Republicans in the gubernatorial race in particular opening the possibility of a rout on Election Night that Colorado Democrats could scarcely have dreamed of at the beginning of the year.

If the Global Strategy Group poll is to be believed, Republicans have a lot of catching up to do over the next three weeks. About 52% of likely voters surveyed said that, if Election Day were tomorrow, they would vote to re-elect Gov. Jared Polis, compared to 34% who said they would vote for CU Regent Heidi Ganahl; another 8% said they were undecided. It’s a larger lead than FiveThirtyEight’s analysis, which still gives Polis a sizable 16-point advantage.

Respondents were also asked about Ganahl’s repeated comments about children allegedly identifying as cats in schools across Colorado, a claim that school officials thoroughly rejected. The poll showed that 71% of respondents said the claim wasn’t an important issue at all.

A message sent to Ganahl’s campaign Tuesday was not returned. A Polis spokeswoman told the Post the governor was “working hard to earn the support of Colorado voters.”

The poll gave Bennet an 11-point lead over challenger Joe O’Dea among likely voters, with 7% undecided. It’s a stronger projection than FiveThirtyEight, which has Bennet up eight points as of last week, or polls aggregated by Real Clear Politics, which gives the Democrat a 7.7-point average lead. The race has received national attention as one that Republicans believe they can win in what they hope will be a wave election repudiating President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats up and down the ticket.

It’s the latest in a spate of recent polls showing that Heidi Ganahl’s campaign for governor has unrecoverably tanked. Multiple polls now have Ganahl losing to Gov. Jared Polis in the 15-20% range, and three weeks out from the election there’s just no realistic hope of turning those numbers around.

The situation is little better for U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea, who before this poll was locked 7-10% behind incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet. Despite months of national press phoning in stories insisting that Colorado’s U.S. Senate race could become competitive, there is nothing to suggest that has actually happened. If anything, O’Dea is losing ground as the election nears.

Down the ballot there’s even more good news for Democrats, with incumbent Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Attorney General Phil Weiser holding solid leads over their Republican challengers:

The poll showed comfortable leads for both Attorney General Phil Weiser and Secretary of State Jena Griswold, both Democrats. Weiser had a seven-point lead over challenger John Kellner among likely voters, but with a sizable 12% of respondents undecided. The poll found Griswold with a 10-point lead over Republican Pam Anderson, with 10% of respondents reporting they’re undecided.

Although the poll didn’t survey the Treasurer’s race, the Attorney General and Secretary of State races have by far seen the most attention of the downballot statewide races. If these numbers are accurate both Weiser and Griswold are successfully weathering shrilly negative campaigns waged against them. Griswold in particular has been the subject of intense opprobrium from the state’s political elite and pundit class, and should take comfort from the durable show of support indicated in this poll.

You can read the full poll memo from Global Strategy Group here. Given the overall consistency of this latest poll with so many other recent surveys, the only way we can see at this point for Republicans in Colorado to have a shot at winning on November 8th is not just for this poll to be wrong, but all of the polling from every responsible pollster who has polled Colorado to be wrong. The unexcludable lingering possibility of exactly that is why we don’t expect Democrats to become complacent over these good polling numbers in the final few weeks of the 2022 campaign.

We expect them to close the deal.

Newspaper Endorsement Roundup for 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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



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The GMS Podcast: It’s Voting Time! (feat. Alec Garnett)

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii sit down once again with House Speaker Alec Garnett to talk about the next generation of House leadership and his predictions for the 2022 election.

Later, we update you on everything you need to know about the latest in the major campaigns in Colorado. We also talk about a judge’s ruling on the Republican recall effort targeting State Sen. Kevin Priola, and together we listen to some bizarre videos courtesy of Republican Hiedi Heidi Ganahl’s campaign for governor.

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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Inside Pam Anderson’s Inch-Deep Case For Election

GOP “Unity Tour.” Highlighted from left: Secretary of State candidate Pam Anderson, Lt. Gov. candidate Danny Moore, U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea.

GOP Secretary of State candidate Pam Anderson.

After two contentious debates in the last week between the candidates running for Colorado Secretary of State, this often-overlooked but crucial downballot statewide race is finally getting its share of attention this week. Incumbent Secretary of State Jena Griswold is facing off against former GOP Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson in a race that has pitched between allegations of “partisanship” against Griswold and Anderson campaigning as a Republican for the state’s chief elections official in the immediate aftermath of GOP-engineered attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

In an in-depth interview with Ryan Warner of Colorado Public Radio, Anderson was finally confronted about campaigning with election deniers as part of the Republican ticket in Colorado this year, and Anderson’s response was unconvincing to say the least:

WARNER: One theme you have touched on now is taking the politics out of being Secretary of State, and out of elections, frankly, or the administration of them. While you have been clear that there was no widespread fraud, and that the 2020 election is legitimate, your opponent has criticized you for not doing more to stand up to Republican candidates who have spread misinformation. Two prominent ones that come to mind are the GOP candidate for Lieutenant Governor Danny Moore and the 7th Congressional District candidate Erik Aadland. Does it make you uncomfortable that The Big Lie is being parroted by prominent candidates in your own party?

ANDERSON: It makes me uncomfortable that my opponent is mischaracterizing what I’ve done. [Pols emphasis] The center point for my campaign is standing up against the lie, standing up against the conspiracy, which I have done not only to the candidates that I’ve run with on the same ticket …

WARNER: You’ve had those conversations?

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Gone into the room and pushed back on this false information. Provided accurate information like the loss but not stolen report, that demonstrates under the rule of law, the accuracy of the outcome of the election. I will continue to stand up and push back regardless of the source, Republican, Democrat, or unaffiliated for accurate evidence-based elections.

The problem is that there is absolutely zero evidence of Anderson having “pushed back on false information” while appearing on stage with election deniers including Lt. Gov. nominee Danny Moore, GOP conspiracy theorist attorney Randy Corporon, and plenty of others. We know that Anderson is not having these conversations, because she said herself that she doesn’t want to “divide or ostracize people” in reference to election conspiracy theories held by her campaign donors and supporters.

Every time Pam Anderson appears on the “GOP Unity Tour” with election deniers and does not call them out, publicly, on that stage, Anderson is making a liar of herself. If combating election misinformation really was Anderson’s “center point,” she would drive the election deniers she shares the stage with off the stage like Jesus throwing the moneychangers from the temple. How else would the audience know or care that Anderson disagrees with them?


Get More Weiserer (feat. Attorney General Phil Weiser)

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk at length with Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser about his re-election campaign, law enforcement issues in Colorado, and why you should brace yourself for the next Supreme Court docket.

Later, we talk more about Furry Lago and Hiedi Heidi Ganahl’s decision to take her conspiracy theory a step too far; we update on the latest in several top races in Colorado; a majority of Republican candidates in the United States are full-on election deniers; and why a lesson from Aurora should inform voters about crime narratives being pushed by Republican candidates. Also, the one and only Christy Powell returns for another legendary rant.

*We’re about to hit 50,000 downloads of the Get More Smarter podcast, which is as amazing to us as it might be to you. Thanks to each and every one of you for listening, for subscribing, and for sharing the show with your friends. Ever since we started, Colorado has gone from purple to bright, bright blue. Coincidence? Probably, but we’re gonna take the credit anyway. 

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Who Will Win the Race for Secretary of State? (10/1)

Jena Griswold, Pam Anderson

Who ya got in this one?

Click here to see the results from the last time we asked this question. Click below to vote anew.

Will incumbent Democrat Jena Griswold win re-election, or will Republican challenger Pam Anderson get the ‘W’?


*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 Win the Race for Secretary of State? (10/1)

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Here Come the Political Ads!

We are six weeks away from Election Day and three weeks from ballots going out in the mail. This means that top-tier campaigns that plan to use television as a significant part of their advertising strategy are hitting the airwaves with gusto.

Click after the jump to see all the latest television ads running in Colorado, nearly all of which are from Democrats (we’re listing ads from campaigns, not dark money or third-party spots). We’re also not ignoring ads for Republican candidates — there just aren’t many of them to even discuss.

If we missed any new ads, please drop them in the comments section…



New Episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast

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

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

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

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

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GOP Makes Asses Of Selves Over Totally Innocuous PSA

Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D), former Secretary of State Wayne Williams (R) in a PSA against election misinformation.

Ernest Luning of the political blog formerly known as the Colorado Statesman reports on a new controversy involving Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold–or at least Republicans looking for anything in the way of traction in this sleeper downballot race would have you believe it’s a controversy, because by any objective non-election year hyperbolic standard, it’s not:

The Republican nominee for Colorado secretary of state on Tuesday called on the Democratic incumbent to stop airing TV ads aimed at combatting election misinformation, charging that the ad campaign is promoting Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s reelection bid.

The ads, which first ran online in June ahead of Colorado’s primary election, feature Griswold and the Republican she unseated four years ago, former Secretary of State Wayne Williams, urging viewers to “get the facts about election security” at a state-run website set up to debunk false claims about voting.

“One thing we both know is that Colorado’s elections are safe and secure,” says Williams after the two introduce themselves.

So, the first thing to understand about the ad above, which as you can see for yourself contains nothing you could plausibly call electioneering on behalf of Secretary of State Griswold, is that former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams did not take part to boost Griswold’s campaign. Williams is on record having endorsed Griswold’s opponent Pam Anderson–but that’s irrelevant because this ad is not electioneering communications by any standard we can recognize. Williams co-starring in this public service announcement against election misinformation makes it even harder to claim what Republicans are claiming.

The solution? Apparently, it’s voting Wayne Williams off the GOP island:

Williams explains that his decision to appear in a $1 million taxpayer-funded television ad to promote Jena Griswold’s candidacy less than three months before the election is the equivalent to when Democrat Bernie Buescher co-wrote an op-ed with Williams in 2016.

Not only that, but Republicans should actually be thanking him for inspiring confidence in Colorado’s elections and increasing Republican turnout.

He’s being serious in this interview, folks. It isn’t a joke.

There is a joke here though, of course, and the joke is Wayne Williams. [Pols emphasis]

Wayne Williams and ex-deputy Suzanne Taheri in happier times.

Now folks, we don’t want anyone to be confused into thinking Wayne Williams is some kind of high-minded statesman when it comes to elections. Before winning office in 2014, Williams helped spread all kinds of nutty falsehoods about Colorado’s then-new vote by mail system, only becoming a defender of Colorado’s election system after taking charge of it and realizing that none of the Republican talking points were based in reality. Williams’ former deputy Secretary of State, Suzanne Taheri, is the GOP attorney whose dubious “ethics watchdog” group filed the weak-sauce complaint over this ad, which actually gave us some pause engaging this story–wondering if Williams was preparing to burn Griswold some way or get burned himself.

As of now, we’re pretty certain that Williams has been thrown under the bus.

Either way, the reason why Williams is defending appearing in this PSA with his former opponent against election misinformation is simple: there is absolutely nothing objectionable about its content. This is an ad that Pam Anderson should herself have been happy to help film instead of criticizing, assuming that as Anderson claims she is as dedicated to stamping out election misinformation as Secretary of State Griswold is.

But at the end of the day, it appears that Pam Anderson is more interested in winning an election than combating election misinformation.

If this was some kind of test, Pam Anderson is the one who failed.

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Who Will Win the Race for Secretary of State (8/12)

Jena Griswold, Pam Anderson

It’s poll time, Polsters.

This week we’re asking you to predict the outcome in the race for Secretary of State in 2022. Will incumbent Democrat Jena Griswold win re-election, or will Republican Pam Anderson find a way to finish in first place?

*As always in our completely non-scientific polls, we want to know what you THINK will happen — not what you want to happen or which candidate you personally support. If you were placing a sizable wager on the outcome of this race, which candidate would you choose?


Who Will Be Elected Secretary of State in 2022? (8/12)

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Tina Peters Recount Goes Just Like You Thought it Would

Former Republican Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters found out the results of her $250,000 recount attempt today. Peters needed about 89,000 votes to change in order for her to be declared the GOP nominee for Secretary of State instead of Pam Anderson.

She gained a total of 13 votes instead. But so did Anderson, so the margin doesn’t change.

Recount report from Colorado Secretary of State’s office

Republican Recount Requests Reach New Low

Several absurd recount requests filed by sore-loser Republicans are scheduled to be completed on Thursday. But many of these candidates, including former Secretary of State candidate Tina Peters, are now trying to stop the recounts that they have already paid for because they don’t like how the recounting is being recounted…or something.

This is all very confusing, which is fitting since the original logic behind these recount requests never made much sense in the first place. We’ll do our best to explain all of the bizarre angles involved in this pointless process.

First up, as Quentin Young reports for Colorado Newsline:

A group of Republican candidates for state and local offices, including Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who lost their Colorado primary elections in June are asking a court to halt a ballot recount process that they paid to initiate.

The group, members of the Colorado Recount Coalition, filed a lawsuit Monday in Denver District Court that seeks to stop the recount in El Paso County and order that county’s clerk, Chuck Broerman, a Republican, to hand over records to the secretary of state, Jena Griswold, a Democrat, so that she may conduct the recount.

Every candidate in the group besides Peters is running for a local or state office in El Paso.

The same group of candidates except for Peters filed another lawsuit late last week in El Paso District Court against Broerman and Griswold claiming that for each of the candidates about half the fee they were required to pay for the recount was for a purpose that was “unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious.”

There are two different “lawsuits” at issue here (we put “lawsuits” in quotes because, as Newsline reports, neither the Colorado Secretary of State’s office nor the Attorney General’s office have been served notice about the second lawsuit).

We’ll get to the second “lawsuit” in a moment. The first lawsuit complains that non-automatic recount requests are too expensive. As Pam Zubeck writes for The Colorado Springs Independent:

A bunch of losers in the Republican primary election aren’t fading away gracefully and instead filed a “petition for relief” with the El Paso County District Court on July 29, griping about the cost of a recount and demanding they be given that service without paying the full freight.

Recounts are funded by candidates unless the margin is within a half-percentage point of the number of votes cast for the winning candidate.

But none of the disgruntled candidates came anywhere close to that margin, losing badly — by up to 30 percentage points or more.

In any event, the petition calls the recount costs “unreasonable” and thusly alleges those costs “chill Petitioner’s First Amendment rights.”

Nope, not in here.

This is preposterous, of course. The First Amendment does not guarantee that candidates who get blown out by their opponents can demand that taxpayers foot the bill for recounts that have no chance of changing the results of said election. It’s also a bit silly that candidates such as Peters, WHO ALREADY PAID FOR THE RECOUNT with money raised since the Primary Election, are crying foul now. It’s hard to argue that the cost for a non-automatic recount is prohibitive when the very people making that request have been able to come up with the money in short order [more on that later].

This lawsuit ties into the second suit, which is just a continuation of an effort by Peters and friends to demand that a recount be conducted by hand because sentient voting machines are selecting winners instead of counting ballots (or something to that effect).