Search Results for: abortion stapleton

Stapleton Won’t Say If He’d Sign Bills Making Abortion Illegal Or Harder To Get in Colorado

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado’s Republican candidate for governor won’t say if he’d sign legislation making abortions illegal or harder to get in Colorado.

“I’m not going to get into a bunch of hypotheticals on a particular piece of legislation. Roe v. Wade is the law of the land. We’ll see what happens in future,” Walker Stapleton told CBS4 political specialist Shaun Boyd last week.

But Boyd’s hypothetical question isn’t so hypothetical now, with the U.S. Senate poised to add Trump’s conservative nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, paving the way for the gutting Roe v. Wade, which protects abortion rights in America.

In the absence of Roe, state governments would be free not only to pass laws outlawing abortion outright but also to put roadblocks in place to restrict access to abortion.

Such legislation didn’t land on Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk, but here are three examples of bills that were promoted by anti-choice Republicans in the Colorado legislature just this year:

This bill would have banned abortion in Colorado by defining life as beginning at conception

This bill would have forced a women not only to have a vaginal or abdominal ultrasound prior to having an abortion but also to wait 24-hours before having an abortion after she informs a doctor that she wants one.

This legislation would have stopped the use of a method of abortion used for 95 percent abortions performed during the second trimester.

Those bills aren’t hypothetical, but would Stapleton sign them if they landed on his desk?

He won’t say, but Stapleton told Boyd he’s a pro-life Republican, who believes that life begins at conception. Such a belief would align him with anti-abortion activists who oppose some forms of birth control, which could potentially destroy fertilized eggs, or zygotes. But Stapleton told Boyd his anti-abortion stance includes exceptions for rape, incest, and to save a mother’s life.

During a speech to state Republicans in April, Stapleton vowed to protect the “born and unborn.” He’s said he’ll be a pro-life governor.

Stapleton’s Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, is pro-choice, saying that he would not ban any abortion, even late abortions, because “this is a very personal decision for a woman.”

“It’s between her conscience, her god and her doctor… in no way, shape or form should it be the government’s decision to tell a woman what to do with her own body,” Polis told Boyd.

“This is a more real threat than ever before,” Polis told a group at Planned Parenthood, according to CBS4.

‘Pro-Life’ Republican Ganahl Would Take ‘Hard Look’ at Abortion Ban as Governor

(The many, many faces of Heidi Ganahl — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Heidi Ganahl

Indicating that she may be pro-choice when it comes to state policy on abortion, even though she is personally pro-life, the leading Republican candidate for governor in Colorado says may not sign an abortion-ban bill if it landed on her desk as governor, instead promising she’d take a “long hard look” at it.

Instead, the candidate, Heidi Ganahl, says she would pursue policies that facilitate adoptions and access to birth.

“I think that Colorado is a very different state than Texas,” answered Ganahl last week when asked if she would sign a bill outlawing most abortions, as Texas has done. “So I would certainly take a long hard look at any legislation that ends up on my desk.

“I am pro-life, and I think that there are ways that we can reduce the rate of abortion in our state and our country that are important and we need to work on, like making adoptions easier and more accessible for families. Also making birth control more accessible. So, that’s the approach I would take.”

Ganahl, who is a University of Colorado regent, made the comments to Jesús Sánchez Meleán, the editor of El Comercio de Colorado. She answered five policy-related questions during the Dec. 5 interview in English, overdubbed with a Spanish translation.

Enacted Sept. 1 and commonly referred to as a “heartbeat bill,” the Texas law, Senate Bill 8, bans abortions after detection of embryonic cardiac activity — usually at around six weeks’ gestation — while also allowing any private citizen to legally sue any individual who performs an abortion, as well as any individual who aids or abets — or intends to aid or abet — a pregnant person seeking an abortion after a heartbeat can be detected.

Ganahl did not immediately respond to a message seeking to know more about her stance on abortion.


And Now, the Flip Side of the Texas Abortion Ban

UPDATE: Witness this mealy-mouthed nonsense from Maine Sen. Susan Collins:


In other words…SQUIRREL!


Headline via “The Onion” (9/1/21)

As NBC News reports, President Biden is reacting strongly to a new abortion ban in Texas that took effect on Wednesday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene with an opinion:

President Joe Biden said Thursday he is launching a “whole-of-government” response to try to safeguard access to abortions in Texas after the Supreme Court’s decision not to block the state’s near-total ban on the procedure.

In a statement, Biden said he was directing the Office of the White House Counsel and his Gender Policy Council to involve the Health and Human Services Department and the Justice Department to evaluate what “legal tools we have to insulate women and providers from the impact of Texas’ bizarre scheme of outsourced enforcement to private parties.”…

…The president called the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling overnight “an unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights under Roe v. Wade” since the decision nearly 50 years ago.

“Complete strangers will now be empowered to inject themselves in the most private and personal health decisions faced by women,” Biden said. “This law is so extreme it does not even allow for exceptions in the case of rape or incest. And it not only empowers complete strangers to inject themselves into the most private of decisions made by a woman — it actually incentivizes them to do so with the prospect of $10,000 if they win their case.”

Again, via “The Onion” (9/1/21)

As we wrote yesterday, the draconian new anti-abortion law in Texas is a harsh lesson that elections have consequences. The reaction to the law from President Biden and other Democratic politicians — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has vowed to hold a floor vote on a bill that would ensure a woman’s right to an abortion in federal law — is also a reminder that bad policy positions can themselves have serious political reverberations. This could even be the case in deep-red Texas, since a majority of that state’s voters actually OPPOSE the new law.

Republican politicians (and media outlets) often insist that Roe v. Wade is “settled law” and that voters shouldn’t select candidates in a given election based upon their personal beliefs about access to safe abortion and contraception care. In fact, Republican politicians often downplay the issue of abortion because they know that any such discussion can cost them votes. This has been true in Colorado in recent elections, as this Denver Post story from the 2010 U.S. Senate race demonstrates:

As a Republican primary candidate, Ken Buck took absolutist positions on abortion and “personhood” — declaring that if elected to the U.S. Senate he would sponsor a constitutional amendment to ban abortion and backing a proposed state law that would outlaw some common forms of birth control.

Now, faced with televised attacks from incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet over those strident views, Buck is painstakingly trying to modify positions that may not match the beliefs of the unaffiliated moderates who will ultimately decide the contest. [Pols emphasis]

Before the Republican caucuses, Buck answered a Christian family group’s questionnaire and said he supported Amendment 62, the “Personhood Amendment,” on the Colorado ballot.

Buck said Saturday through his campaign spokesman that he will now vote against the measure.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eli Bremer would rather fight you in a duel than answer questions about abortion.

What was true in 2010 remains that way in 2021. As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Eli Bremer wants absolutely nothing to do with questions about the Texas law:

El Paso County Republican Eli Bremer, a former GOP official and Olympian, said in a text message to Colorado Politics that he wasn’t comfortable commenting [Pols emphasis] because it wasn’t clear whether the high court was simply waiting for another case that could establish a clearer precedent to reach its docket.

Bremer, like Buck 11 years earlier, is smart enough to understand that while his right-wing base might be fervently anti-abortion, the majority of people in Colorado absolutely ARE NOT. Colorado voters have consistently rejected anti-abortion measures of all shapes and sizes when given the opportunity (just search for “personhood fail” in the sidebar). The polling data below, conducted in November 2020, affirms this point: More than 70% of Colorado voters are clearly in the “pro-choice” category.

November 2020 polling from Global Strategy Group for Cobalt


Unlike others such as State Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown, Bremer may prefer to stay far away from commenting on this subject. Unfortunately for Bremer, that’s not how this whole “politics” thing works. Recent statewide Republican candidates in Colorado such as Cory Gardner (U.S. Senate, 2020) and Walker Stapleton (Governor, 2018) were unapologetically anti-abortion, and each lost their respective races by an average of 10 points. Neither Gardner nor Stapleton, however, had to contend with a ridiculous abortion ban that is the subject of widespread derision (note the two headlines from “The Onion“).

The Texas law may or may not survive a court challenge, but either way, it is now a must-answer question for politicians in 2022.

Colo Republican Ted Harvey Cites Abortion As a Root Cause of Gun Massacres

(Huh? — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A former Colorado Republican lawmaker is arguing that it’s not guns but video games, music lyrics, divorces, and other issues that are the root cause of gun massacres, like the murders in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

“Something has drastically changed in our society,” Ted Harvey, who represented parts of Colorado Springs at the Capitol from 2001-2015, told KNUS radio Wednesday, explaining that when he was growing up in Texas, citizens carried guns into schools and “there was never significant issues down there.” “The disrespect for life,” said Harvey, who currently heads up the Committee to Defend the President. “We are promoting abortions up to infantacide, after the child has been actually been delivered. And you have the Democrat Party saying you should still be able to kill the child even after its born. You have assisted suicide in states around the country.”

The Democratic Party does not say a child should be killed after birth.

Harvey did not return a voice message asking for evidence for his contention that abortion is a motivating factor for gun massacres.


Abortion Apocalypse Staved Off, No Thanks To Cory Gardner

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

The New York Times reports on the high-drama ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday temporarily blocking a highly restrictive anti-abortion law in Louisiana from going into effect, and revealing in this 5-4 decision the grave danger abortion rights are presently in–despite a persistent unwillingness by reporters locally and nationally to acknowledge this reality:

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a Louisiana law that its opponents say could have left the state with only one doctor in a single clinic authorized to provide abortions.

The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four-member liberal wing to form a majority. That coalition underscored the pivotal position the chief justice has assumed after the departure last year of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who used to hold the crucial vote in many closely divided cases, including ones concerning abortion…


Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh said they would have denied the stay. Only Justice Kavanaugh published a dissent, taking a middle position that acknowledged the key precedent and said he would have preferred more information on the precise effect of the law.

The Louisiana law in question is what’s known in the reproductive rights community as a TRAP law–“targeted restrictions on abortion providers,” meaning regulations intended to reduce the availability of abortions with no clinically proven benefit. This particular law is a requirement that physicians who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a local hospital, which is medically unnecessary and would only serve to severely reduce the number of eligible abortion providers.

The narrow and temporary blocking of this bill from taking effect is thanks to a swing vote from Chief Justice John Roberts, who once again took surprising action to avert what could have kicked off the long-awaited final assault on the Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing abortion rights throughout the United States. This apparently represents a swing from Roberts’ vote on a previous similar case, underscoring his self-appointed role as a moderator on a sharply divided court. With that said, the Court is still expected to hear this case in the fall, and numerous other state-level bills intended specifically to challenge Roe are in the judicial pipeline.

Despite this temporary win for pro-choice advocates, it’s clear that abortion rights are today in greater actual peril than at any point since the Roe decision in 1973. Especially if conservatives get another Justice before President Donald Trump leaves office but even with the Court as it sits today, the likelihood of Roe being thrown out is very high. Trump’s two appointed Justices, both of whom were confirmed with Sen. Cory Gardner’s support and one of which was stolen from Democrats in an unprecedented act of Senate treachery, showed in this trial balloon vote that they are ready to do it. Remember that next time anyone tells you that Gardner “would pose no threat to abortion rights.”

The moral of the story? Even here in Colorado where the voters have demonstrated their support for reproductive choice over and over at the polls, we’re only one election away from passing the same legislation that was blocked yesterday–legislation we see introduced in the Colorado legislature year after year. For reasons we’ve never really understood, local political reporters have been openly contemptuous about covering Republican anti-abortion bills in the Colorado General Assembly in recent years.

That complacency really, really needs to stop. “Token” GOP abortion bills in Colorado are not theater.

They are a warning.

Andrews Deleted Tweet About Stapleton Due To The “Hysteria” It Was Causing

(Smashing choice of words – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Walker Stapleton.

Former Colorado Senate President John Andrews created a mini-frenzy on Twitter yesterday, when he wrote that Walker Stapleton, Colorado’s Republican candidate for governor, told a luncheon crowd of 20 “faith leaders” that Stapleton would be “pro-life, pro-family, and pro-religious freedom.”

“I saw this thing spiraling away unproductively, the way it happens so often on Twitter, and I thought, I have better things to do with my time and better ways to support my preferred candidate for governor,” he said, adding that he knows there are screen shots of his Tweet out there. “I wanted to do my small part toward sanity and civility and pull the plug.”

“What I wrote was that Stapleton told us he is pro-life, pro-family,” he said, “and pro-religious freedom. I’m saying that if someone were to ask him today, ‘Is that so?’, he would treat it as a shrug: ‘Everyone knows that’s so.'”

While that’s generally true, the details about Stapleton’s positions on those topics aren’t fully known.

For example, he’s said he’d be a “pro-life governor,” and will protect the “born and unborn.”

But he wouldn’t tell a television reporter if he’d sign legislation making abortion illegal or harder to get in Colorado.

That’s a question that’s salient given the U.S. Supreme Court’s shift to the right and likely move back from protecting abortion rights.

“I was having words in my mouth,” said Andrews. “Stapleton was having words put in his mouth. I didn’t want to put Stapleton and his campaign team in a position of having to answer to some spittin’ match that Andrews started.”

“I’m proud of the photo [of himself and Stapleton that accompanied the Tweet],” he said, saying it was the “follow-on hysteria” that bothered him.

It Worked! Right-Wing Base Loves Stapleton For Appearing With Tancredo

(Remember, you’re not the only audience – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Political observers were left scratching their heads last week over why Walker Stapleton, who’s  Colorado’s Republican candidate for governor, would appear at a fundraising event with former Congressman Tom Tancredo, whose views on undocumented immigrants (kick them out), Mecca (bomb it), abortion (ban it) and much more don’t align with the swing voter sensibility that most rational candidates aim to mimic in a general election like the one coming up in November.

One explanation: Stapleton has no prayer of winning the general election if his GOP base voters, including the ones who love Tancredo, aren’t enthusiastic about Stapleton. And Tanc is an enthusiasm magnet for the GOP base.

This could explain not only why Stapleton wrapped Tancredo in a tighter embrace last week but also why Stapleton told a radio host again a couple weeks ago that he’d like to campaign with Trump here in Colorado. He said the same thing in June.

If Stapleton’s intent was to fire up his base, it appears to have worked, according to the right-wing focus group of Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden, radio hosts on KNUS 710AM’s afternoon show.  They approved!

“I give Walker Stapleton a ton of credit,” said Hayden, a former Denver TV reporter. “He did not back down one iota. You know, Tom introduced him, gave a great speech…. Congratulations to you, Walker Stapleton!”

Hayden’s advice: Let Tancredo “go out to every event. They need a cheerleader type to rev people up.”

Boniwell, who’s been described as the id of Colorado’s Republican Party, was impressed by the Tancredo-Stapleton event, but he predicted that Stapleton will lose in November.

“It’s over, you know, basically,” said Bonniwell, who’s also the owner of the Glendale/Cherry Creek Chronicle.


Protesters at Walker Stapleton Campaign Event Say They Were the Target of a Nazi Slur

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Reproductive rights activists are saying they were the target of a Nazi slur last month at a campaign event for Colorado’s Republican candidate for governor.

The activists were protesting at the July 13 Walker Stapleton campaign event to raise awareness about threats to abortion rights following the recent announcement that President Trump would appoint Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. The event, which was hosted by the Jefferson County Republican Party, featured Stapleton and U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO).

According to five protesters, following the event, a man they had previously seen walking from the venue to his car carrying a “Walker Stapleton for Governor” yard sign drove up next to them and yelled “Sieg Heil” out the window while holding his arm outstretched in a Nazi salute.

“He was so close we could have touched the car,” said Katie Farnan of the progressive activist group Indivisible Front Range Resistance.

The man, they say, then sped off in a teal Volvo.


Walker Stapleton: The Candidate Nobody is Afraid to Face

Walker Stapleton

Walker Stapleton will almost certainly be the Republican nominee for Governor.

This is almost certainly not great news for Colorado Republicans.

We’re just days away from the June 26 Primary, and the overwhelming favorite for the GOP gubernatorial nomination is running a campaign that has Republican observers positively terrified.

“I’m starting to worry that Bill Owens might be the only Republican governor in my lifetime,” said Dick Wadhams in a recent interview with the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Wadhams is the Republican strategist and former State GOP Party Chair who was pulling many of the strings that helped elected Owens in 1998 (and again in 2002) and Sen. Wayne Allard in 1996 and 2002. Things have not gone well for Republicans (or Wadhams) ever since. Cory Gardner is the only Republican candidate to win a race for U.S. Senate or Governor in Colorado in the last 16 years, and it sure doesn’t look like he’s going to have any company this fall.

As Wadhams recently suggested to Mike Littwin of the Colorado Independent, Stapleton is earning a new nickname: “Walker Stumbleton.”

Congressman Jared Polis remains the likely frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for Governor, and Colorado Republicans have long expressed their desire to challenge the Boulder-area Congressman in a General Election. But here’s something you might not have heard: Stapleton has always been the candidate that Democrats hoped to face in November. It’s not hard to see why…



Anti-Abortion Group: Top GOP Candidates for Governor are Dodging Abortion Questions

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Campaign for Life, a statewide anti-abortion group, says two leading Republican candidates for governor won’t answer specific questions about abortion.

The silence from the two candidates, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and former state lawmaker Victor Mitchell, has led Colorado Campaign for Life to accuse them of being “squishy” on their alleged “pro-life” stand.

In a Facebook post this week, Colorado Campaign for Life asserted Stapleton and Mitchell “mouth Pro-life rhetoric in private” but won’t say whether they believe life begins at conception or whether they support a proposed law mandating women receive an ultrasound and the option of seeing it, prior to having an abortion.

A review of statements about abortion by Mitchell and Stapleton shows that they’ve both signaled their vague support for the anti-abortion cause, even though their campaign websites are silent on the subject.

The “Issues” section of Stapleton’s website, for example, lists “Sanctuary Cities, Retirement, Education, Energy and Land, Transportation, Second Amendment, and Jobs.” Nothing about abortion rights. In a Facebook interview last week, Stapleton said he’d defend the Colorado Constitution’s ban on state funding of abortion. And during a speech to state Republicans in April, he vowed to protect the “born and unborn,” according to the liberal blog ColoradoPols.

Stapleton did not return an email from the Colorado Times Recorder seeking details on his abortion positions.

Mitchell wrote on Facebook last year that Colorado Republicans “should nominate pro-life candidates,” but he reportedly also believes that Roe v. Wade is settled law–a view that’s considered more pro-choice. And he said he doesn’t support more restrictive abortion laws in Colorado, according to a questionnaire he filled out for the Colorado Independent. He contradicted this stance earlier this year when he said he wants to ban late-term abortions in Colorado. Mitchell did not return an email asking for an explanation of this stance.

Two other Republicans in the GOP primary race appear to have hard-line anti-abortion views.

“I believe that only God has the right to take a life, whether in the womb, beginning at conception, or before natural death,” states the campaign website of Greg Lopez, a former mayor of a Denver suburb, on his website. “I am pro-life, without exceptions.”

Another Republican in the primary race, businessman Doug Robinson, has said he voted for Colorado’s personhood amendment, which would ban all abortion, even after a rape. But responding to a questionnaire from the Colorado Independent, Robinson skipped a question asking if he would support more restrictive abortion laws in Colorado.

Surveys show Republican primary voters  to be anti-choice, but with a recent poll showing Stapleton ahead by double digits, his campaign tactics may already be focused on  the general election, where voters overwhelmingly favor abortion rights.

February poll conducted by a GOP consulting firm showed that 47 percent of Republican voters would reject a pro-choice primary candidate.

But polling generally shows Colorado’s general election voters to be pro-choice. A 2014 Pew Poll, for example, found 59 percent of the state’s population wants abortion to be legal in most or all cases.

A Leading GOP Candidate for Governor Says He Once Voted to Ban All Abortion in Colorado

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Mitt Romney’s Nephew.

A leading Republican candidate for governor told a talk radio host Saturday that he voted for a constitutional amendment that, if it hadn’t been overwhelmingly defeated by Colorado voters, would have banned all abortion, even for rape, and possibly some forms of birth control.

Asked by KNUS 710-AM host Craig Silverman if he voted for the “personhood amendment,” which would have bestowed legal rights to fertilized human eggs, also called zygotes, Robinson said, “I sure did, yeah.”

Robinson went on to tell Silverman that although he’s “pro-life” and has been his entire life, his anti-abortion stance would not “be the main focus of my administration.”

“I am pro-life,” said Robinson on air. “I don’t expect this is going to be the main focus of my administration. You know, I’m going to be focused on really making lives better every day for Coloradans, in terms of our roads and our schools, reducing the cost of health care. Those are going to be my priorities.”

Robinson’s opponents in the GOP primary apparently haven’t been asked about their support for a personhood amendment, which was a major issue in the 2014 senatorial election here, with U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner saying he supported a personhood bill in Congress but opposed an nearly identical amendment here in Colorado–even though he’d previously supported state personhood measures in Colorado as well. 

Treasurer Walker Stapleton, the Republican front runner for governor, hasn’t said much about his abortion stance, though he vowed to protect the “born and unborn” during his April speech at the Republican state convention. Republican Greg Lopez didn’t return an email asking about his stance on personhood and abortion-related issues. Democrats in the gubernatorial race are pro-choice.


Now Is a Good Time For the CO Springs Gazette To Stifle Itself

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Republicans are saying they want to improve themselves, and a good way to move forward would be for the state’s top-money Republican, Phil Anschutz, to stifle the Colorado Springs Gazette’s impetuous and extremist editorial board, led by editor Wayne Laugesen.

The Gazette board, and especially Laugesen, are a far-right drag on Republicans who need the opposite.

It’s senseless for Anschutz to underwrite the production of rabid anti-abortion, flame-throwing opinions that play an oversized role in defining the Gazette and its affiliated platforms (Colorado Politics, Denver Gazette), which exist, at least in part, to promote conservativism to blue Colorado.

Thanks to the board and Laugesen, the brand of the Gazette is more along the lines of MAGA Trumpism than anything Colorado wants. While a good chunk of the editorial positions aligns with establishment Republicans, the ones that break through and define the platforms are Trumpist.

For those who follow Laugesen, it was no surprise that he turned up at the Jan. 6 insurrection and immediately commented that the culprits were “probably Antifa.”

Before Laugesen attended the Capitol riot (accompanying his wife and there to observe, he claims), the Colorado Springs Gazette had already — quickly and irresponsibly — raised the possibility of election fraud. A Nov. 12, 2020, editorial cited “allegations in multiple lawsuits” — which were all dismissed.

Laugesen, who never disclosed that his wife worked for Trump, sits on the Gazette editorial board along with Ryan McKibben, Chairman, Christian Anschutz, Vice Chairman, Chris Reen, Publisher, and Pula Davis, Newsroom Operations Director. So he’s not ultimately responsible for the self-defeating extremism that pours from the page.

He claims this board is hands-on, developing and approving editorial opinions together. Laugesen told the Colorado Springs Independent, “I have a hand in all editorials as do my five colleagues on the board.”


Maybe Joe O’Dea Can…Nope, Nevermind

UPDATE: As The Washington Post reports in a story about Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker:

With polls showing Republican candidates underperforming the fundamentals in several key Senate races, Walker — for all his previous problems, which were many — hasn’t lagged as badly as some. And just two weeks ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) named Georgia and Nevada as the GOP’s best pickup opportunities, apparently over others in Arizona, Colorado and New Hampshire. [Pols emphasisi]



Joe O'Dea

GOP Senate candidate Joe O’Dea

One of the most persistent — and bizarre — storylines this fall has been the steady stream of national publications writing about Colorado’s U.S. Senate race as though it just might be an opportunity for Republicans to pick up a Senate seat.

Multiple national outlets, from The Washington Post to The New York Times, have published stories in recent months considering whether the underfunded and little-known Republican Joe O’Dea could knock off incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet in November. Every single one of these stories follow the same basic script:

  1. Republicans think O’Dea could upset Bennet in 2022;
  2. Here are a few quotes from Republicans saying that O’Dea could beat Bennet;
  3. O’Dea has some different positions on abortion and Donald Trump (sort of);
  4. Here are some quotes from Democrats saying that O’Dea will NOT beat Bennet;
  5. Bennet is way ahead of O’Dea in fundraising and polling numbers;
  6. Nevermind our original premise because Bennet will probably win.

It’s uncanny, and it’s as pointless as responding to one of those spam text messages that just says, “Hi.”

The latest national reporter to embark on this paint-by-numbers journey is Caroline Vakil of The Hill newspaper:

Republicans are hoping Colorado Senate candidate Joe O’Dea’s move to distance himself from the more extreme elements of the party will help them pull off a win in what could be a potential sleeper race come November.

O’Dea, a construction company executive running to unseat Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), has expressed support for some abortion rights while also bucking his party by suggesting former President Trump shouldn’t run in 2024.

Republicans argue that by branding himself as a moderate, O’Dea will appeal to critical voting blocs in the state, like independents and Hispanic voters, even if some in the party acknowledge he likely faces an uphill climb.

“I think that those same unaffiliated voters that voted so overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates in ‘18 and ‘20 are ready to look at Republican candidates in 2022. And I think Joe O’Dea is the perfect kind of candidate to appeal to them,” said Dick Wadhams, a former state GOP chair. [Pols emphasis]

This quote from former Republican State Party Chair Dick Wadhams is perfectly emblematic of the kind of response that national publications include in their stories about Colorado’s Senate race. Wadhams is quoted because he presumably knows what he’s talking about after spending 400 years in Republican politics, although the last time Wadhams was involved in a winning scenario for the GOP was when Wayne Allard was a U.S. Senator.

If you’re asking yourself, “Who in the hell is Wayne Allard,” then you’re getting what we’re putting down here.

Democrats have absolutely CRUSHED Republicans in Colorado in the last two election cycles, but Wadhams says things will be different in 2022 because…um…well…


Darryl Glenn was a called a “unicorn,” too.

This is all the same fact-free punditry from the same Republicans who keep losing big races in Colorado year after year after year. For example, Axios published a story about O’Dea this summer calling him a political “unicorn,” which is the same thing that some pundits said about Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn when he was running against Bennet in 2016.

There’s absolutely no logical reason to suspect that 2022 will be different for Republicans than 2018 and 2020, particularly when they are running the same program again and again. We learned today, for example, that former Republican President George W. Bush will host a fundraiser for O’Dea later this month. In 2018, Bush showed up in Colorado in October to raise money for Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton, who went on to lose to Democrat Jared Polis by nearly 11 points. Bush isn’t even going to bother coming to Colorado for O’Dea; that fundraiser will be held in his home state of Texas.

In fact, there’s more reason to believe that 2022 might actually be WORSE for Colorado Republicans than it has been in recent cycles. The GOP’s top-ticket candidate, gubernatorial nominee Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, is a complete lunatic whose campaign somehow gets worse the closer we get to Election Day and threatens to drag other Republicans down with it. Even Republican Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert could be in trouble in November, and CO-03 is a district that last elected a Democrat in 2008.

Ganahl isn’t getting any financial help from national Republicans, and neither is O’Dea; the top two Republican campaigns in Colorado are running on fumes. Republicans are pouring millions of dollars into states like Georgia (for Herschel Walker) and Pennsylvania (for Dr. Oz), both of which have terribly-flawed Senate candidates but are still considered more winnable than Colorado. This is the most telling stat of all: National Republicans have spent all of about $100,000 on O’Dea; they’ll spend more than that in Georgia today.

Again, none of these national stories about O’Dea have translated to an increase in support, because nobody actually believes that O’Dea has much of a chance. Polling consistently shows Bennet with an 8-10 point lead, and the incumbent Democrat has outraised O’Dea by orders of magnitude. O’Dea’s campaign has, for several weeks, been buying television ad time on a weekly and sometimes daily basis because it doesn’t have the resources to do anything else.

Thus, The Hill ends up right where all of the other national publications land: In reality.

Indeed, Colorado has not been particularly kind to Republican candidates in recent years. Hillary Clinton won the state against former President Trump by roughly 5 percentage points in 2016, and President Biden won it in 2020 by more than 13 percentage points.

The last time Republicans won a Senate seat in the Centennial State was back in 2014, when Cory Gardner ousted Sen. Mark Udall (D). Gardner later lost reelection to Sen. John Hickenlooper (D) in 2020…

While Democrats — and even some Republicans — believe that Bennet will ultimately prevail in November, they note the political headwinds their party still faces. [Pols emphasis]

Taking a dozen different positions on abortion rights or supporting Trump makes O’Dea different than some other GOP candidates, but it doesn’t make him any better.

All of these national stories start out with an interesting premise but end up with the same inevitable conclusion. In that way, at least, they have captured the true essence of O’Dea’s campaign for Senate.

New Poll: Polis Steady, Neuschwanger Outperforms Ganahl (!)

Gov. Jared Polis (D).

Global Strategy Group in collaboration with local liberal advocacy organization ProgressNow Colorado released new polling this week in two parts with some encouraging news for Democrats in Colorado–especially if Democrats are able to capitalize on the increasingly salient issue of abortion, where Republicans in Colorado have a longstanding and well-documented weakness they can no longer live down. The first poll memo from GSG released Tuesday focused on political landscape for abortion rights:

Voters start the survey leaning toward Democrats on the generic ballot by six points. However, when the ballot is re-framed as a contest between a Democrat who supports the proposal to guarantee a woman’s right to choose to get an abortion in Colorado versus a Republican who opposes it, the Democratic margin expands by 15 points, to a +21 margin. [Pols emphasis] This includes gains of double digits across nearly every demographic and geographic groups with particularly massive gains with unaffiliated voters and less-conservative Republicans. It is important to note that the gains are actually larger outside of the Denver metro area than within it – and are also particularly large with white non-college voters – mainly because Democrats have more room to grow with these groups.

Here’s the full report and toplines for this poll.

Today, the second half of GSG’s quarterly report came out with more specific numbers for Gov. Jared Polis , President Joe Biden, Rep. Lauren Boebert, and Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl. Gov. Polis net favorable rating is up to 52% from 49% last October, a sign of stability and even some recovery after hitting a floor during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. Polis’ relatively durable popularity while Biden continues to underperform is a trend that continues to show up clearly in the numbers–and Polis is the one on the ballot in 2022. But where today’s polling gets truly interesting is the matchups between Polis and two potential Republican opponents:

While Polis has solid personal standing, his job rating is even stronger. Moreover, his job approval, both overall and on the coronavirus pandemic, has remained stable, not only since October, but stretching back to September of 2020 – even as President Biden has seen his decline.

Meanwhile, Heidi Ganahl’s name ID is mired at a pitiful 20%, and she is underwater among the voters who know her (8% favorable vs. 11% unfavorable). Among unaffiliateds, her favorability is net negative by a more than two-to-one ratio (5% favorable vs. 11% unfavorable). It’s no surprise, then, that Polis continues to dominate Ganahl in a head-to-head matchup, holding a 16-point margin.

What is surprising, however, is that Ganahl is actually polling worse against Polis than far-right extremist Danielle Neushwanger, [Pols emphasis] who trails Polis by a smaller, but still hefty, 11-point margin (similar to Polis’ margin against Walker Stapleton in 2018).

Here’s Part 2’s full memo and toplines.

If this poll is accurate, it’s further confirmation of the general consensus that Heidi Ganahl’s campaign has totally flopped–so much so that the unknown, under-resourced, and immoderate (to say the least) Danielle Neuschwanger actually polls better against Polis in a head-to-head matchup. That would mean everything Heidi Ganahl has done to raise her name ID over the past year, from her ethically questionable “podcast tour” for months before her formal campaign launch to barnstorming the state in and old but not old enough to be cool RV, has failed or even backfired.

The turnover in Ganahl’s campaign suggests they are already panicking, but if not yet the time is probably now.

Bremer Should Denounce Trump & Join Cheney at the Evil Doers Encampment Outside the Shrimpy GOP Tent

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Please clap.

The Republican challenging U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) made me laugh Tuesday when he told Colorado Politics, “Republicans may be looking around saying, ‘OK, we really want to win,’ as opposed to looking at the litmus, purity test that often is the assembly.”

Republicans are looking around and saying, ‘Ok we really want to win?’

I want to believe Bremer, because it would be good for all of us. But all I see is Republicans, well beyond the assembly, acting as if they really want to lose.

Yes, they say they want to win, but then they dress in multiple layers of ideological straight-jackets (King Trump! Death to Obamacare! Biden wasn’t elected! Abortion is murder! Family leave will kill the economy! And more!) that make it impossible for them to win in Colorado.

if Bremer were right about Republicans in Colorado really wanting to win, he’d join Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney and object to Trump.

But he knows if he did, he’d join Cheney at the Evil Doers encampment far away from the already shrimpy Republican tent.

But this might set him up to win in Colorado someday.

The GOP’s continued love for Trump, and Trump’s love of the spotlight, spells death for statewide candidates like Bremer in next year’s CO election.

But Colorado’s Republicans don’t want to change course.


Republican Claims of Gerrymandering Ring Hollow in Colorado

If you can’t beat ‘em, cheat ‘em! This is the Republican motto for the 2022 election, born out of “The Big Lie” that all good little Republican boys and girls are expected to endorse in order to avoid the wrath of Donald Trump and get around having to admit that the GOP lost both the White House and the U.S. Senate in 2020. 

Confronting your failures and assessing your shortcomings is an uncomfortable undertaking. Expanding your outreach to appeal to a broader swath of voters is difficult work. Adjusting policy positions to appeal to said voters requires engaging in arduous conversations. Preventing far-right candidates from winning Republican Primary Elections, and becoming liabilities in a General Election, demands a lot of organizing and planning. 

Republicans could reject Trumpism and try to understand what Americans actually want, but they seem to have come to the conclusion that it is easier and more comfortable to change the rules than to alter the way they play the game. 

“There is a very real probability that 2018 will be known as the election when it became apparent that the Republican Party no longer has the voter registration numbers to be competitive in Colorado.”

 — Post-2018 election memo from Republican polling firm Magellan Strategies

This is why Republicans are instead focused on trying to make it harder for people to vote in 2022. It’s working in states like Georgia and Texas, but not in Colorado. So the next step in our state is for the GOP to construct a different boogeyman: Gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is a very real and very legitimate issue in American politics. As The New York Times examined in 2019, gerrymandering is particularly egregious in some pockets of the United States:

Currently, rigged maps tend to be most prevalent, and most tilted, in states under Republican control. That is in part because Republicans did exceptionally well in the 2010 elections, giving the party far wider control of state legislatures, which oversaw redistricting after the 2010 census. The national Republican Party had poured money and expertise into state legislative races with the specific aim of gaining control over redistricting; the Democratic Party had not.

Many political scientists consider the House maps in Republican-controlled states like North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio and Texas to have the most pronounced partisan slants. (Pennsylvania was also on the list until its map was redrawn last year.) Among Democratic-held states, Maryland, Illinois and — to some observers — California are regarded as the most tilted. Illinois is especially notable for its “pizza slice” division of metropolitan Chicago, using generous helpings of urban Democrats to offset the heavily Republican suburbs in district after district.

In Colorado, gerrymandering has not been nearly as big of a problem…unless you listen to a small but loud cadre of Republicans who are desperately trying to build a false narrative to convince members of Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commissions that new district lines must be particularly helpful for the GOP in order to make up for the fact that they can no longer figure out how to win elections.



Boebert Makes “So-Called Candidates,” Like Gardner, Look Awful to Boyles

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Lauren Boebert (R-ifle).

One funny side effect of congressional candidate Lauren Boebert’s rise to fame is that she makes other Republican Party candidates in Colorado look awful–at least in the eyes of conservative hardliners who must vote nonstop if Cory Gardner has a prayer to win in November.

Don’t take it from me. Hear it from the king of the bottom-feeding right-wingers himself: KNUS radio host Peter Boyles.

“This young woman brings the most excitement to the Republican party in the state of Colorado since I don’t know when,” said Boyles on air Monday.

But instead of turning this into a plus for the Republicans, Boyles contrasts Boebert with “so-called candidates” like…Cory Gardner!

“We’ve been through Bob Beauprez and Bruce Benson and the Coors brothers and, I mean, [Walker] Stapleton and this–Cory Gardner,” said Boyles. “You have infused more excitement, more speed, into the Republican party than any of those other so-called candidates.”

In other words, life would be great if only Gardner vanished, poof, and Colorado had Boebert all day every day, on every harvestable mail-in ballot in the state.

Boyles explained that no other worthless top Republican was in Denver last year, as Boebert was, carrying her gun and telling Beto O’Rourke “hell no” she wouldn’t give up her gun if his dangerous idea of a mandatory buyback of all assault weapons became law.

“I did that because I didn’t see anybody else doing it; I didn’t see anyone standing for freedom,” said Boebert on air, triggering Boyles.

“I didn’t see Cory Gardner standing there, or Mike Coffman, or Walker Stapleton, or any of the above–the establishment,” Boyles yelped.

“And you’re not a big woman–I’ll say tiny woman, but I don’t mean to offend anyone,” said Boyles, who says he’s “in love with” Boebert. “You’re not very tall.”

You may find that offensive but the Republicans who must go to the polls and vote for Gardner mostly don’t. It’s refreshing to them, harmless, and its message is clear.

Gardner, in Boyles own words, is a “weenie,” a weak, word-sloshing piece of political scrap, destined of course for a high-paying lobbying job with a reciprocal smile and a pat on the back, thank you very much.


Colorado Week in Review: 5/17/19

Your deliberately oversimplified glance at what happened in Colorado this week.

Why Can’t Colo Republicans Win? Bad Campaign Tactics? Or Bad on the Issues?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Republicans are standing chest-deep in blue water that crashed here in November.

They’re soaking wet, the water isn’t receding, and they’re frustrated, trying to figure out what went wrong, so they can dry out and win again in their lifetimes.

But pretty much all they’re talking about is changing their campaign tactics. More digital ads. Fewer mailers. Better mailers! More money.

GOP operative Mark Hillman, a former Colorado Treasurer, wants Republican donors to pony up big bucks like progressive groups allegedly get.

Former State Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton) wants fellow Republicans to stop spending money on certain failed political consultants–and instead spend their money on other failed political consultants. Former State House Speaker Frank McNulty has the same idea, but he’s likely thinking of the opposite consultants.

State GOP chair candidate Ken Buck wants to identify more Republican voters and increase turnout.

What they’re not talking about are the issues.

Aren’t Colorado Republicans going to have to change substantively to make more people like them? Specifically, to get more love from Unaffiliated voters, whose support they must have to win in Colorado?

Yes, say moderate Republicans I spoke with, on and off the record, over the past week.


After the wave: what you can do to fight back this week (November 13)

It was an historic night.

One week ago today, Colorado struck back at the polls against Trump and the Republican takeover of Washington, D.C. Colorado’s congressional delegation has a Democratic majority again for the first time since 2010, helping progressives take back the U.S. House of Representatives. We elected the first openly LGBTQ man governor of any state in American history. We recaptured the Colorado Senate. Progressives won the Attorney General’s office, the Secretary of State, and the State Treasurer’s office, too.

We did this. YOU did this. Because of your resistance, because of all of your work, all of your door knocks and all of your phone calls, Colorado’s future is a bright and deep blue.

Cory Gardner’s time is almost up. As chairman of the Republican Senate campaign organization, Gardner closed ranks with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell in the 2018 campaign. But after Colorado rejected the Party of Trump in historic fashion this year, Gardner’s collusion with Trump will be his undoing. We’re counting down until Cory Gardner’s time runs out at Check it out and share it with your friends.

Modernize your resistance with the RiseUp app! To everyone who has found these weekly update emails to be a useful resources and told us so, thank you. We’ll keep them coming. But there’s another easy way to get the latest information and progressive action alerts in real time. Download the RiseUp app today for your iPhone or Android and never miss another chance to make your voice heard.

Thanks again for everything you have done to resist the far right and make history in this year’s elections. The fight is far from over–here are some ways to take action for the week of November 13:

Coloradans For Immigrant Rights General Monthly Meeting

Join us the Second Tuesday of every month for our general meeting where we report back on our projects. Currently, Bird dogging during the congressional recess, the Crossing South Resource, and Sanctuary Everywhere efforts.

Where: AFSC & Coloradans For Immigrant Rights, 1420 Ogden Street, Suite 201, Denver
When: Tuesday, November 13 at 5:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Putin: A Russian Journalist’s View

Julia Ioffe, writer for The Atlantic Monthly, will share her views — as a Russian expat — on the impact Putin is having on her home country. If you watched coverage of the Trump-Putin Helsinki meetings, you’ve seen her on most major networks and cable channels.

Where: The Warwick Hotel, downtown Denver
When: Tuesday, November 13 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

Denver Concerned Citizens: Hear 2 Candidates for Denver Mayor: Calderon & Tate

Join City Park Friends And Neighbors (CPFAN) and give a warm welcome to Denver Mayoral Candidates, Lisa Calderon & Penfield Tate. Candidates will have 45 minutes each to address the gathering and to answer questions. A social hour will follow from 8 – 9 PM. Parking in rear of church.

Where: Messiah Community Church, 1750 Colorado Blvd., Denver
When: Tuesday, November 13 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Change The Name Stapleton: Gregg Deal: White Supremacy & The History of This Land

Attendance is free of charge. The event is funded by the Strengthening Neighborhoods Grant, through The Denver Foundation. Event will be held in the Greenberg Commons. As you enter the school, turn right toward the High School (red doors). The Commons is the main space that you will enter upon going through the doors.

Where: DSST: Stapleton High School, 2000 Valentia Street, Denver
When: Tuesday, November 13 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

Genocide and Slavery Roundtable Conference

What can be done when we see acts of Genocide or Slavery lead to social death, stripping victims of names, cultural traditions, and other forms of identity in a way that allows crimes against humanity? How can we raise awareness before these tactics are used to justify economic gains by one part of society at the expense of another?

Where: Address upon RSVP
When: Wednesday, November 14 at 10:30am

Click here to RSVP.

Denver Streets Congress

The Streets Partnership hosts the Denver Streets Congress to build and engage dialogue with the public about how to support people-friendly streets in Denver.

Where: Parr-Widener Room (389) 1437 Bannock St, Denver
When: Wednesday, November 14 at 11:30am

Click here to RSVP.

Warm Cookies of the Revolution: Bring Your Government: F*ck, Chuck, or Marry Edition!

How it works: 3 presenters tell you about government programs they want to keep, get rid of, or flirt with. Kalyn Heffernan (Wheelchair Sports Camp), James Roy II, Jamie Perkins. 2 comedians make you laugh. Andrew Orvedahl, Janae Burris. 1 lightning round where you offer your perspective.

Where: McNichols Building, 144 W Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Thursday, November 15 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice: In Our Own Words: Women, Religion and Choice

We are pleased to invite you to explore women’s and abortion rights from a faith-based perspective. Two nationally regarded religious scholars will discuss their books and beliefs. Join us to hear and meet: Dr. Monique Moultrie. Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University, author of Passionate and Pious: Religious Media and Black Women’s Sexuality, and Dr. Rebecca Todd Peters, Presbyterian Minister and Religious Studies Professor at Elon University in North Carolina, author of Trust Women: A Progressive Argument for Reproductive Justice.

Where: Iliff School of Theology, Shattuck Hall 2201 S. University Blvd, Denver
When: Friday, November 16 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

A History of Race and White Supremacy in the U.S.

How did we get here? How did racism emerge as a such a pervasive social structure in the U.S.? What is the reality of “race”? It’s a question many of us have asked at one time or another, and it has a clear answer. Race is a social construct, a tool for oppression. In short, racism is real, but race is not. Race also has a definitive origin story, and one that every anti-racist or social justice activist should know. Join this training to learn a brief history of racial classification in the U.S., and how it influences our mistaken perception of race today, and its implications for anti-racist work in the future.

Where: Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, Colorado 5001 Pennsylvania Ave, Boulder
When: Saturday, November 17 at 10:00am

Click here to RSVP.

Colorado Lynching Memorials: Preston Porter Jr.

You are invited to attend a memorial of remembrance and mourning organized by the Colorado Community Remembrance Project, in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative, to honor the life and death of Preston Porter Jr. who was killed by a lynch mob just outside of Limon in 1900. Porter was accused of a murder, coerced into confessing, and was burned at the stake by members of the community.

Where: 1000 1st St, Limon
When: Saturday, November 17 at 2:00pm

Click here to RSVP.

Impact – Sack Lunches for the Homeless

It doesn’t take much, just everyone pitching in $10, or $20 bucks making up some lunches and going and handing them out downtown. I can tell you the simple act of kindness towards another human being really changes your perspective. It really is just about having a small impact on someone’s life that trust me they appreciate!

Where: Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, 2635 Welton St, Denver
When: Sunday, November 18 at 12:30pm

Click here to RSVP.

Thank you for helping make Colorado the progressive success story that made the whole nation proud this year. We’ll see you after the Thanksgiving holiday!

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (September 26)

The news is 30-40% Kavanaugh today. It’s time to 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 a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.



► And then there were three.

A third woman has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct on the eve of Thursday’s hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. From the Washington Post:

A third woman came forward Wednesday to accuse Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, saying he was physically abusive toward girls in high school and present at a house party in 1982 where she says she was the victim of a “gang” rape.

The woman, Julie Swetnick, a Washington resident, is represented by lawyer Michael Avenatti, who revealed her identity on Twitter and posted her photograph.

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee released a copy of the testimony that Kavanaugh is expected to deliver on Thursday.


What do 11 Republican Senators do when they are worried about saying something awful when a woman testifies about sexual assault? They hire a woman to do their work for them. As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN:

Senator Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee…confirmed what had been rumored for days — that Rachel Mitchell, a deputy county attorney in Maricopa (Arizona) County, was coming on as outside counsel and would handle the bulk of questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers…

…Every one of the 11 Republican senators on the current Judiciary Committee are deathly afraid of becoming the next Specter or Heflin — a man who looks either condescending, clueless or both when talking to a woman about her own story of experiencing sexual misconduct. The party, writ large, has massive concerns that even a single moment in which one of their senators looks to be out of touch or bullying could trigger even larger problems for Republicans at the ballot box in 41 days time. Less than 3 in 10 women said they approved of the job President Donald Trump was doing in the latest CNN-SSRS poll, and the party is looking at a major gender gap on the generic congressional ballot…

…Desperate times call for desperate measures. And that’s exactly what this move by Grassley is.

As James Hohmann writes for the Washington PostPresident Trump’s comments about Kavanaugh’s second accuser likely played a role in this decision by Grassley.


► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) on Monday appeared to support the idea of investigating claims of sexual misconduct levied at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. On Tuesday, Gardner stood next to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a press conference in which Senate Republicans all but guaranteed that Kavanaugh would be confirmed to the highest court in the land.

What will Gardner say today?



Get even more smarter after the jump…


Get More Smarter on Friday (September 7)

Take THAT, glass ceiling. It’s time to 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 a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.



► President Trump is flipping out over that anonymous Op-Ed published by the New York Times on Wednesday afternoon. On Friday Trump said that the Justice Department should try to identify the author because it is a national security concern, but as the Washington Post writes, “It is unclear what law he believes was broken.”

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that the White House has identified 12 potential suspects who might have authored the Op-Ed.

Who do you think is the author of the infamous Op-Ed? Cast your vote in our poll.


► Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is suing Purdue Pharma L.P. over the company’s marketing and distribution of the dangerous painkiller Oxycontin. This will be a big issue in the race to succeed Coffman in November; Republican candidate George Brauchler has been reluctant to say much about the opioid epidemic because his campaign is heavily-funded by the pharmaceutical industry.


► Hey, look: Tom Tancredo’s support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton is becoming more problematic by the day. It turns out that making racist public comments isn’t very helpful for Stapleton. Whodathunkit?


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Get More Smarter on Thursday (September 6)

Do you know what happened on this day in history? Not much, apparently. It’s time to 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 a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.



► President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is in his third day of Senate hearings, and things in Washington D.C. are getting pretty heated. Kavanaugh has generally refused to offer answers on consequential questions: he won’t say whether he believes the President is obligated to respond to a subpoena or could be legally indicted for a crime; he won’t divulge his opinion on Roe v. Wade; and he won’t say how he might deal with the question of pre-existing conditions as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (the Washington Post has a detailed list of important questions Kavanaugh is dodging).

Today’s hearings took a new turn when Democrats — led by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker — started to push back on the lack of available information on Kavanaugh. From Politico:

Democrats have fumed for weeks over the withholding of hundreds of thousands of pages of documents from Kavanaugh’s years in the George W. Bush White House, including a massive tranche of records that lawyers working for Bush had limited only to Judiciary Committee senators. That secrecy collapsed in dramatic fashion Thursday as Democratic senators vowed to begin releasing records they said were unfairly shrouded and highly relevant to the confirmation.

One of those confidential documents, obtained by POLITICO, shows Kavanaugh leaving the door open to the high court overturning Roe v. Wade. “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since [the] Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so,” President Donald Trump’s nominee wrote in 2003.

That characterization is a distinct contrast with the more measured view of Roe as precedent that Kavanaugh offered on Wednesday. But the day before the document leaked, Kavanaugh was asked on about the exact sentiment he shared back in 2003 and portrayed it as merely a restatement of legal scholars’ opinion, “different from … my position as a judge.”

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) are publicly backing up Booker’s decision to release the documents in question.


► President Trump is in full “witch hunt” mode as the White House struggles to contain damning information indicating that Trump is not in contact with all of his marbles. The New York Times on Wednesday afternoon published an anonymous Op-Ed reportedly written by a “senior official in the Trump administration” that reveals an internal “resistance” working diligently to try to prevent Trump from destroying us all. Trump is characterizing the anonymous Op-Ed as “treason” and is reportedly stalking the White House looking for scalps.

As Aaron Blake writes for the Washington Post, it’s hard to argue that we are NOT dealing with a serious threat to Democracy. Stephen Collinson of CNN believes we have crossed a new threshold with Trump:

It’s impossible to know in the moment when a presidency begins to dissolve. But after a devastating 48 hours, it’s already clear that Donald Trump’s will never be the same. [Pols emphasis]

Whatever your view of Trump, his behavior and his presidency, Washington is watching the opening act of a stunning attempt to topple the elected leader of the nation.
Damaging twin portraits of the President in a New York Times op-ed and Bob Woodward’s new book are using the words of current top officials to fracture the mythology of vanity and bombast, conmanship and intimidation of Trump’s personality cult.

In an attack from an enemy within, top officials who see Trump up close, including one calling the band of renegades the “resistance,” are finally daring to say — albeit under Washington’s invisibility cloak of anonymity — what outside critics have long believed.

They warn the President of the United States is not only unfit to be the most powerful man in the world, but is a venal mix of ignorance and ego, pettiness, malignancy and recklessness that is putting the republic and the world itself at risk.

The most popular parlor game in Washington D.C. is trying to figure out the identity of the anonymous Op-Ed author (Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo say they didn’t do it). As Politico reports, this is just the beginning.


President Trump is touting the support of…wait, what?


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Get More Smarter on Friday (August 24)

At least you’re not Jeff Sessions. It’s time to 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 a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.



► This can’t be good news for President Trump, as the Washington Post reports:

Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer for the Trump Organization, was one of the executives who helped arrange $420,000 in payments to Donald Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen to help reimburse him for hush money he paid an adult-film star.

Weisselberg was granted immunity by federal investigators in New York in exchange for his truthful testimony about his role in the payments, according to people familiar with the discussions. [Pols emphasis]

Weisselberg is the person identified in court filings as “Executive-1,” who prosecutors said helped authorize $420,000 in payments to Cohen, one person said. He testified last month before a grand jury investigating Cohen.

In addition to being the longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, Weisselberg is also one of two trustees of the trust that controls the president’s assets.

Weisselberg’s name is not as well known — publicly, at least — as other Trump “advisers” like Michael Cohen, but his cooperation with the government could be devastating for Trump. As NBC News reported late last month, Weisselberg “knows where all the financial bodies are buried within the Trump organization.”

News of Weisselberg’s cooperation is the latest blow for Trump in what has been a terrible week for the White House. The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that David Pecker, chairman of the company that publishes the National Enquirer, has also been granted immunity in exchange for his cooperation.

From NPR:

Pecker…was granted immunity in exchange for giving prosecutors information about Cohen and Trump’s knowledge of those payments, according to The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets.

The Enquirer allegedly used a tactic known as “catch-and-kill” — when a publication buys the rights to a damaging story for the purpose of sitting on it and keeping that story out of the news.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the magazine even had a location where records of these payments were stored: a safe full of documents, not only relating to Trump, but similar “catch-and-kill” deals with other celebrities.


► Arizona Republican Senator John McCain is discontinuing treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer, his family announced on Friday. From CNN:

Although McCain’s colleagues had braced for the worst following his cancer prognosis a year ago, Friday’s announcement left them shaken. It effectively closes a tumultuous Washington career that included two unsuccessful presidential runs and saw McCain emerge as a singular political figure, an icon of the Senate and latterly as a vehement critic of President Donald Trump.

“Last summer, Senator John McCain shared with Americans the news our family already knew: he had been diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma, and the prognosis was serious. In the year since, John has surpassed expectations for his survival. But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict. With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment,” the family of the Arizona Republican said in a statement.

As CNN explains further, this latest news about McCain hit hard on Capitol Hill.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Get More Smarter on Tuesday (July 10)

If you’ve ever wondered if you could really fry an egg on the hood of your car, today would be a good day to try. It’s time to 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 a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.



► President Trump on Monday evening nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, setting up what is expected to be a very tense confirmation battle in the Senate. CNN breaks down where Kavanaugh stands on a number of key issues. Fox 31 Denver has reaction to Kavanaugh’s nomination from Colorado elected officials.

As Aaron Blake writes for the Washington Post, Kavanaugh got off to an…interesting start with his first public comments on Monday evening:

Almost immediately, he made a thoroughly strange and quite possibly bogus claim.

“No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination,” Kavanaugh said.

It may seem like a throwaway line — a bit of harmless political hyperbole. But this was also the first public claim from a potential Supreme Court justice who will be tasked with interpreting and parsing the law down to the letter. Specificity and precision are the name of the game in Kavanaugh’s chosen profession. How on earth could he be so sure?

There have been 162 nominations to the Supreme Court, according to U.S. Senate records, over the past 229 years. (The Supreme Court began in 1789.) For Kavanaugh to make such a claim, he would have to have studied not just those confirmations, but the often-secretive selection processes that preceded them. These things, quite simply, are not a matter of public record or even all that well documented by reporters.


► If the Denver Post were still publishing editorials, perhaps they would be inclined to offer a “my bad” for their 2014 endorsement of Republican Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate.


► The nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is drawing mixed reviews from social conservatives, as reports:

The selection of Brett Kavanaugh as a replacement for retired Justice Anthony Kennedy has been met by mild disappointment by some Republicans who were hoping for a more exciting (and base-invigorating) pick, someone they would be certain would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

As National Review’s David French wrote Monday night, “I’ll defend [Kavanaugh] vigorously from unfair critiques tomorrow, but tonight I join many conservatives in a slight sigh of regret. There was a better choice.”

French was referring to Amy Coney Barrett, who was viewed by many conservatives as a choice more likely to overturn Roe v. Wade. But Kavanaugh, meanwhile, gives some on the right pause because of what they view as insufficiently anti-abortion arguments made in two cases and an opinion in another case that helped shore up the Affordable Care Act. But most Republicans view Kavanaugh as a solid anti-abortion vote, pointing to his decisions on other cases and his lengthy tenure in conservative legal circles.

As Robert Barnes writes for the Washington Post, Kavanaugh represents a conservative shift for SCOTUS, but perhaps not a “lurch” to the right.


► President Trump issued a very controversial pardon of two Oregon ranchers who sparked a standoff with federal agents six years ago. From CNN:

Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven Hammond were granted executive grants of clemency by Trump, according to a White House statement. The father-son duo are cattle ranchers and were convicted in 2012 of committing arson on federal lands in Oregon…

…Dwight Hammond has served approximately three years in prison, and his son Steven has served four years, according to the White House.

The Hammonds said they started a fire on their property in 2001 to protect it from wildfires and reduce the growth of invasive plants, but that the fire got out of hand, CNN affiliate KTVZ reported. Prosecutors said in 2016 they set fires to cover up evidence of poaching…

…The perceived unjust sentence for the Hammonds inspired Ammon Bundy to lead an armed standoff in early 2016, when a group of armed men broke into the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.


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