Search Results for: at least they're not your legislators

At Least They’re Not Your Legislators: WTF Arizona?

You suck, Arizona.

Arizona lawmakers have passed a bill to ALLOW discrimination of a specific group of people.

In another edition of our long-running feature, "At Least They're Not Your Legislators," we take you to Arizona, where…well, we'll let CNN explain:

Arizona's Legislature has passed a controversial bill that would allow business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.

The bill, which the state House of Representatives passed by a 33-27 vote Thursday, now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican and onetime small business owner who vetoed similar legislation last year but has expressed the right of business owners to deny service.

"I think anybody that owns a business can choose who they work with or who they don't work with," Brewer told CNN in Washington on Friday. "But I don't know that it needs to be statutory."…

…In a statement, Anna Tovar, the state senate Democratic minority leader, said: "With the express consent of Republicans in this Legislature, many Arizonans will find themselves members of a separate and unequal class under this law because of their sexual orientation. This bill may also open the door to discriminate based on race, familial status, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability."

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council, in a letter to Brewer on Friday, urged the governor to veto Senate Bill 1062, saying the "legislation will likely have profound, negative effects on our business community for years to come."

"The legislation places businesses currently in Arizona, as well as those looking to locate here, in potentially damaging risk of litigation, and costly, needless legal disputes," council President Barry Broome wrote, adding that four unidentified companies have vowed to locate elsewhere if the legislation is signed.

You know you've gone a bit too far off the deep end when your ultra-conservative, Tea Party-loving Gov. Jan Brewer can't even support you. Partisan politics aside, this is an absolutely disgusting piece of legislation; the very idea that you would specifically allow someone the right to discriminate against a particular group of people is incredibly sad. This is no different than saying business owners have the right to have separate "Whites Only" bathrooms.

At Least They’re Not Your Legislators: “Utah is Crazy” Edition

Utah sheriffs have identified this federal law enforcement vehicle

Utah sheriffs created this sketch of a federal law enforcement vehicle spotted in the forest

We didn't want to let this week get away from us before passing along some incredible, though sadly believable, news from our neighbors in Utah. As the Salt Lake Tribune reported earlier this week, the Utah legislature is doing everything it can to try to get rid of that pesky federal govm'nt and its so-called "laws" (well, except for the 2nd Amendment — they like that one):

Agents in tactical gear and armed with assault weapons asking for your fishing license. Others appearing in camp at night to peer into your cooler, pulling you over for trivial traffic infractions, and arresting you for maintaining a trail.

Confrontations such as these, instigated by federal employees with minimal law-enforcement training and accountability, are common on Utah’s public lands, according to testimony given last week in the Legislature’s latest installment of an anti-federal campaign that appears to be gaining momentum.

Three southern Utah sheriffs leveled these allegations in support of HB155, sponsored by Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, which would bar U.S. Forest Service officers and Bureau of Land Management rangers from enforcing the law in Utah except in emergencies or when a sheriff has given prior approval under cooperative agreements. [Pols emphasis]

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At Least They’re Not Your Legislators

We’ve got a rare treat for you this week with another good story for our ongoing feature, “At Least They’re Not Your Legislators.”

In Puerto Rico, Lajas Mayor Marcos Irizarry is supporting a local farmer’s efforts to build a UFO landing strip on his property, which has not made folks in America’s 51st state very happy. From CNN:

Lajas Mayor Marcos Irizarry’s support for the idea has provoked outrage among islanders who complained it would be a waste of money at a time when the government is encouraging thousands of employees to shorten their work week to cope with a staggering fiscal deficit.

“What nonsense,” said Luis Arocho, 47, sipping coffee with friends in a cafe in historic Old San Juan. “This country is in crisis, and since politicians are incapable of creating jobs, they create fantasies.”

Irizarry quickly clarified that his municipal government would not invest in the project. Instead, he has promised to help Rios get the proper building permits.

Maybe they’re on to something. Why waste money exploring the universe when you can just invite the universe to come to you?

At Least They’re Not Your (Our) Legislators

For another edition of “At Least They’re Not Your Legislators,” we head to Cairo, where we are really glad they aren’t OUR public officials. We’re too delicate for prison. From the Associated Press:

Libya has sent to prison for 18 months a blogger who criticized the government on the Internet, Human Rights Watch says in a report that inspired a series of Web tributes to the dissident Friday.

A Tripoli court convicted Abdel Raziq al-Mansuri of illegal possession of a handgun and sentenced him to 18 months’ imprisonment on Oct. 19, the New York-based rights group said in an e-mail to The Associated Press in Cairo. “The gun charges are a ruse,” said the Middle Eastern director of HRW, Sarah Leah Whitson. “The authorities went after al-Mansuri because they did not like what he wrote.”

Al-Mansuri, 52, was detained in Tobruk, his hometown, in January after publishing about 50 articles critical of Libyan society and government on a dissident Web site based in Britain, http://www.akhbar-libya.com, the rights group said Thursday. Libyan government officials were not available for comment Friday as the country was celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday that follows the holy month of Ramadan.

Boebert Claimed not to Know Anti-Govt Extremists She Posed With, But Photos Show Otherwise

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Boebert with Cory & Jaqueline Anderson, displays the custom Glock 22 given to her by Bikers For Trump

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) claimed she “didn’t know” the anti-government extremists she posed with on the steps of the Colorado Capitol in 2019, but it turns out she’s known some of them for over a year.

Last week, a photo of Boebert posing with Bikers For Trump and “Three Percenter” militia extremists at a Dec. 2019 gun rights rally in Denver, first reported by the Colorado Times Recorder, went viral due to misinformation stating it was taken in Washington prior to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) said that one of his colleagues saw Boebert giving a tour to a large group prior to the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Boebert denied the accusation, responding with a fiery letter, in which she also insisted she didn’t know the people in the photograph she herself posted.

“Extremists that believe your rhetoric have posted photos of me with people I don’t know at the Capitol Building in Denver, Colorado, following a rally from more than a year ago and claimed these were people that I gave a U.S. Capitol tour to on January 5, 2021,” wrote Boebert in the letter.

While it’s true the photo was misidentified, it’s also true that Boebert indeed knows the people with whom she posed back in December 2019.

Yesterday she accepted a custom Glock 22 from Cory Anderson of the group Colorado Boots on the Ground: Bikers For Trump (BFT). Video of the presentation of the Glock is available here.

Anderson, his wife Jacqueline, and several other BFT members, along with the extremist militia American Patriots Three Percent, stood with Boebert at the state Capitol fourteen months ago. In both photos, multiple members, including Cory Anderson sport “Three Percenter” patches. 

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At Least Doug Lamborn Probably Isn’t Your Congressman

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Worthless)

In another edition of our long-running series, “At Least They’re Not Your Legislator,” we take you to the U.S. Capitol, where Republican members of Congress apparently don’t have enough work to do to keep them busy.

As NBC San Diego reports, at least four members of Congress — including Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) — have literally been spending time carrying a painting around the building:

[Congressman Duncan Hunter] personally removed the painting last week from an area designated for finalists in the annual Congressional Art Competition. The piece by David Pulphus, an 18-year-old from Missouri, depicts police officers as pigs, with one aiming a gun at a black panther.

The piece won first place in the Congressional Art Competition in Missouri’s First District. But Hunter said he found the piece offensive, and believes it violates the rules of the art competition.

U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay, D-Mo., and members of the Congressional Black Caucus hung the painting back in place in a hallway in the Cannon Office Building basement Tuesday.

“I do not agree or disagree with this painting but I will fight to defend this young man’s right to express himself,” Clay said. “He is entitled to that protection under the law.”…

After the painting was put back in its position Tuesday, another member of Congress, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., removed it. Clay confirmed to NBC News the piece was put back minutes later. [Pols emphasis]

We’re not going to get into an argument about whether or not this painting by a high school student — which won first place in a Congressional Art Competition in Missouri — is appropriate to hang in the U.S. Capitol. There’s a larger point to address here: Multiple Members of Congress took time out of their day to literally remove this painting from the walls and return it to the office of Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Missouri).

We can only guess at the number of conversations that took place surrounding this topic, and the amount of time spent lugging said painting around the Capitol, at the same time that the Senate is holding confirmation hearings on Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments and plotting a strategy to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. If you are a constituent of Rep. Lamborn who might have been trying to contact the Congressman today, you cannot rest assured that he was busy doing something important.

At Least You Didn’t Lose Your Constitution

So...many...consonants.

So…many…consonants.

In another edition of our regular feature, “At Least They’re Not Your Legislators,” we take you to Kyrzakhistan Kryzgystuhn Kyrgyzstan, where they seem to have misplaced their constitution. From The Independent (the international one):

Politicians in Kyrgyzstan have lost the country’s constitution.

It emerged during a debate over planned changes to the law that nobody in the central Asian country knew where the original document was.

The most recent version of the constitution was approved by referendum in June 2010, when changes were made to give more authority to parliament and diminish the power of the president.

On 19 October members of the Kyrgyz parliament queried the exact location of the original copy of the document during a debate on whether to allow another referendum to take place in December, which could result in the consistution being amended again.

For anyone here in Colorado unhappy with the “Raise the Bar” ballot measure (also known as Amendment 71), things could be a lot worse.

Yes, Folks, They’re Going To Waste Your Time

UPDATE: See House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino noting for the record how manifestly stupid this was, as highlighted by Media Matters’ Political Correction blog this afternoon (right):

As the body’s minority leader, Democrat Mark Ferrandino, explained, without cooperation from the Democrat-dominated state Senate, whose approval is needed to make Colorado’s call for an unprecedented constitutional convention official, the resolution amounts to “a letter to Santa Claus.”

—–

As the Durango Herald’s Joe Hanel reports:

State House members used their first vote of the year to pummel each other over a politically heated issue – repeal of President Barack Obama’s national health-care law.

House Resolution 1003 calls for a constitutional convention – America’s first since the days of Ben Franklin [Pols emphasis] – in order to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare…

The fight – the first floor debate of the 2012 session – was purely symbolic. It was a House-only resolution and did not seek approval from the Democratic-controlled Senate.

But, with at least four legislators running for Congress, the vote served as a reminder of how national politics will color the session. Minutes after the vote, the conservative group Compass Colorado was out with a news release headlined “Sal Pace Reiterates Support for Obamacare.”

We’ve already covered a number of utterly useless time-wasting pieces of legislation introduced this year by Republicans in the Colorado General Assembly–there’s Majority Leader Amy Stephens’ “Hickenlooper Gun Confiscation Prevention Act,” Sen. Greg Brophy’s welfare whiz-quiz bill, and the bid to reinstate the archaic Arveschoug-Bird spending limits of yesteryear. As silly and backward as these proposals may be, they at least affect some part of actual Colorado law–that is, the stuff Colorado legislators have some authority over.

This nonsensical resolution, asking for nothing short of a federal constitutional convention to repeal “Obamacare,” places the absurdity we can expect from this year’s General Assembly into a higher orbit. Even if you oppose the federal health reform bill passed in 2010, as some do, this is the kind of bug-eyed crazy talk you normally get from supporters of Lyndon LaRouche. And even if they had not envisioned a completely wacky “solution” in their resolution, didn’t we just reject a statewide “Obamacare repeal” initiative in 2010? So much for “the will of the voters?”

Anyway, here’s proof positive that those of you who predicted a session full of thoughtless partisan grandstanding over substance this election year…well, you’re right so far!

For good measure, a release from Protect Your Care Colorado follows debunking some of the wilder claims made yesterday about the Affordable Care Act. But this wasn’t about facts.

Hyper-partisan Hyperbole Dominates House Debate on Health Care Repeal Resolution

(Denver) – After a torrent of misleading statements about health care reform, the House passed a resolution today which called for a national constitutional convention to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“Today’s resolution demonstrates how hyper-partisanship drowns solid facts and analysis about how health care reform is already helping thousands of Coloradans gain access to quality care.

What will Rep. Balmer and Speaker McNulty tell the 291,000 children who can no longer be denied coverage based on a preexisting condition? Or the 620,000 Colorado Medicare beneficiaries who now have access to free preventive care services like cancer screenings and mammograms?” said Courtney Law, spokesperson for Protect Your Care Colorado.

Top Five Misleading Statements Made Today about the Affordable Care Act

STATEMENT: Rep. Looper: Seniors will be hit hard by the Affordable Care Act.

FACT: 3.8 million Americans who hit the Medicare prescription drug “donut hole” received $250 tax-free rebates, and will likely receive a 50% discount on brand name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole this year. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole completely. Taken together, the changes in the law will save seniors enrolled in traditional Medicare more than $3,500 over the next 10 years.

STATEMENT: Rep. Balmer: Federal health care reform will lead to job loss.

FACT: According to a 2011 Colorado Trust study, “In 2019, state economic output should be nearly 1% higher than it would be without reform and there will be roughly 19,000 new jobs as a result of the coverage expansion.”

STATEMENT: Rep. B. Gardner: The Affordable Care Act will lead to the rationing of health care.

FACT: Page 490 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act states,”(ii) The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care.”

STATEMENT: Rep. Holbert: The Affordable Care Act will mean fewer people are covered.

FACT: The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 32 million more people will have insurance in 2019 because of the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act has already helped 2.5 million additional young adults get health insurance

STATEMENT: Rep. Stephens: Families cannot afford the Affordable Care Act.

FACT: A recent study done by Families USA stated that, “On average, each household in Colorado will be $995 better off in 2019 due to the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.”

The Congressional Budget Office said the Affordable Care Act would save over $100 billion over the next ten years, and over $1 trillion in the following decade.

###

At Least Your Parents Aren’t Paying Your Mistress

In another edition of our long-running “At Least They’re Not Your Legislators” posts, we take you to Nevada, where, well, according to a post from “The Fix” yesterday:

Nevada Sen. John Ensign has acknowledged that his parents paid his mistress and her family $96,000 in April 2008, according to a statement made by his attorney moments ago.

“After the Senator told his parents about the affair, his parents decided to make the gifts out of concern for the well-being of long-time family friends during a difficult time,” said Paul Coggins, counsel to Ensign…

…Ensign’s acknowledgment comes less than 24 hours after Jon Ralston, the king of Nevada political reporters, sat down with Doug Hampton — the husband of Ensign’s mistress — and made a string of allegations including that Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn had tried unsuccessfully to force Ensign to end the affair.

Ensign has insisted he has no plans to resign his office, telling the Las Vegas Sun today that “I always planned on serving and working hard — working harder than I ever worked — and I’m going to continue to do that.”

As we have written before (in relation to one Mark Sanford), stories like this one often spiral out of control of the person at the center of the storm. Ensign had weathered the initial bad press surrounding his affair but this detail may be too much.

We hadn’t really said much about Ensign’s affair(s) here before, but this is too much to pass up because of its sheer weirdness. His parents paid his mistress? How does that conversation even get started?

Uh, mom? Dad? Can I borrow some money?

At Least He’s Not Your Party Official


For another edition of our ongoing feature “At Least They’re Not Your Legislators”, we head to Utah, where the truth about illegal immigration is finally revealed.

As The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Utah County GOP Chairwoman Marian Monnahan says District 65 Chairman Don Larsen’s resolution – asserting that illegal immigration is the devil’s plan to destroy the nation by “stealth invasion” – “in no way” is endorsed by the Republican Party…

…Party faithful will get the chance to discuss Larsen’s resolution Saturday at the county’s GOP convention. Monnahan notes Larsen, not the party, paid to print and distribute 1,300 copies of it for the gathering.

Larsen, who did not return a phone call or an e-mail seeking comment Thursday, is urging the closing of national borders to illegal immigrants to “prevent the destruction of the U.S. by stealth invasion.”

“In order for Satan to establish his ‘New World Order’ and destroy the freedom of all people as predicted in the Scriptures, he must first destroy the U.S.,” his resolution states. “The mostly quiet and unspectacular invasion of illegal immigrants does not focus the attention of the nations the way open warfare does, but is all the more insidious for its stealth and innocuousness.”…

…Satan has popped up in Utah County politics before. Last year, failed congressional candidate John Jacob of Eagle Mountain blamed the devil for his flagging campaign.

Senate Majority Leader Curt Bramble, R-Provo, says he hasn’t yet read Larsen’s resolution, but he, too, expects it to fizzle. “The majority of Republicans believe that illegal immigration is probably the most critical issue facing Utah today,” said Bramble, who will chair Saturday’s convention. “I don’t think there is going to be a great deal of people attributing the problem to Satan.” 

(h/t to Square State for the link).

At Least She’s Not Your Candidate for Governor

In another edition of “At Least They’re Not Your Legislators”, we take you to Alabama, where a third party candidate for governor is campaigning on her cleavage. Seriously.

Loretta Nall, the Libertarian Party’s write-in candidate for governor of Alabama, is campaigning on her cleavage and hoping that voters will eventually focus on her platform.

“It started out as a joke, but it blew up into something huge,” said Nall, a 32-year-old with dyed blond hair.

Her campaign is offering T-shirts and marijuana stash boxes adorned with a photo of her with a plunging neckline and the words: “More of these boobs.” Below that are pictures of other candidates for governor _ including Republican incumbent Bob Riley and Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley _ and the words: “And less of these boobs.”

Her Web site has a cartoon of someone stuffing bills down the front of her low-cut top. And for $50 donation she apparently offers to show a cartoon of herself flashing her breasts.

At Least You’re Not Running for County Commissioner


In another belated installment of “At Least They’re Not Your Legislators,” we take you to Arapahoe County, where you should be thankful you aren’t running for county commissioner. From the Rocky Mountain News:

Greg McKight, one of three Republicans running for District 2 County Commissioner in Arapahoe County, says he’s been the victim of politically motivated crimes in recent days.


Wednesday he found the head of a bird on his porch.

 

Kevin McCasky

At Least He’s Not Your Judge

And now, for another edition of “At Least They’re Not Your Legislators,” we take you to the Philippines, where a judge was disbarred for consulting imaginary mystical dwarfs (or is that dwarves?) The best part…it took THREE YEARS for an investigation to determine that this guy was, you know, a sandwich short of a picnic.

From Reuters News Service:

MANILA, The Philippines – A Philippine judge who claimed he could see into the future and admitted consulting imaginary mystic dwarfs has asked for his job back after being sacked by the country?s Supreme Court.

?They should not have dismissed me for what I believed,? Florentino Floro, a trial judge in the capital?s Malabon northern suburb, told reporters after filing his appeal.

Floro was sacked last month and fined $780 (40,000 pesos) after a three-year investigation found he was incompetent, had shown bias in a case he was trying and had criticized court procedure, a ruling showed.

He told investigators that three mystic dwarfs — Armand, Luis and Angel — helped him carry out healing sessions during breaks in his chambers.

At Least He’s Not Your Candidate

Feeling frustrated with Colorado’s crop of gubernatorial candidates? Well, it could be worse. In another edition of “At Least They’re Not Your Legislators,” we head to Minnesota:

Yesterday I added the name of Jonathon Sharkey to the lengthy list of candidates running for Minnesota Governor in 2006. Sharkey — the candidate of the Vampyres, Witches and Pagans Party — previously was a political activist and GOP congressional candidate for office in New Jersey and elsewhere under his former semi-pro wrestling name of Rocky “Hurricane” Flash. Anyways, I had mistakenly described Sharkey on the Minnesota page as a “Wiccan Dark Priest.” Because of this I quickly received the following email from Sharkey’s campaign: “Thank you very much for placing Jonathon’s name for the race for Governor. However, he is a Satanic Dark Priest, not a Wiccan. Wiccan’s do not believe in Christianity at all. Satanist are against the Christian God … Can you please update this as soon as your time allows, to avoid the Wiccan Communities becoming angry at Jonathon.” We certainly don’t want to offend the Wiccans, do we. FYI: Sharkey has also filed paperwork with the FEC to run for President in 2008 as the VWP nominee.

(Thanks to Poli Hack for the tip)

At Least He’s Not Your Mayor

The hits keep on coming in our ongoing feature, “At Least They’re Not Your Legislators.” From the Associated Press:

The mayor of Las Vegas has suggested that people who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television. “In the old days in France, they had beheadings of people who commit heinous crimes,” Mayor Oscar Goodman said Wednesday on the TV show “Nevada Newsmakers.”

Goodman said the city has a beautiful highway landscaping project and “these punks come along and deface it.”

“I’m saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb,” the mayor said. “That may be the right thing to do.” Goodman also suggested whippings should be brought back for children who get into trouble.

Well played. Here’s the best part, however:

Another panelist on the show, state university system regent Howard Rosenberg, said cutting off the thumbs of taggers won’t solve the problem and Goodman should “use his head for something other than a hat rack.”

Cutting off taggers’ thumbs “won’t solve the problem.” How about cutting off taggers’ thumbs is crazy? Who are you, and how did you get on TV?

At Least They’e Not Your Legislators

We’ve got another good entry for our ongoing feature, “At Least They’re Not Your Legislators.” This story comes from the fine state of Georgia.

State Rep. David Graves, charged with drunken driving for a second time, was denied by a judge Tuesday in his contention that his position as lawmaker means he cannot break the law while the Legislature is at work.

Graves, a Republican from Macon, Ga., tried to use a centuries-old provision in the state constitution to argue that he should not be prosecuted for a DUI he received in Cobb County in February. The arrest was made during Georgia’s 2005 session of the General Assembly.

Cobb State Court Judge Irma B. Glover denied Graves’ request to use the “legislative immunity” defense. Graves’ attorney, William C. “Bubba” Head, immediately filed a motion to appeal the decision to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Graves – chairman of the House committee overseeing laws governing the alcohol industry – has said that on Feb. 15, he and other committee chairmen went from the Capitol to a dinner meeting, where they conferred about the status of legislation and plans for the next legislative day. His lawyer argued that Graves should have been granted immunity from arrest because he was leaving a gathering that was tantamount to a committee meeting, according to legal filings…

…The provision, which dates back to 1789 and was written to protect lawmakers from political intimidation, holds that a lawmaker cannot be arrested during sessions of the General Assembly, legislative committee meetings or while they are in transit. It does allow arrests for “treason, felony, or breach of the peace.”

Graves also is awaiting trial on another DUI charge from March 2004, when authorities said he ran a red light. If convicted on one or both charges, Graves could face fines, jail time and perhaps the loss of his House committee chairmanship.

Poor guy. That’s probably the kind of defense you get when you hire a lawyer named Bubba Head.

At Least He’s Not Your King

For another edition of our running series “At Least They’re Not Your Legislators,” we take you to Swaziland, Africa, where King Mswati III is seeking a 13th wife (when he should be seeking another vowel).

From Reuters News Service:

More than 50,000 bare-breasted virgins vied to become the king of Swaziland’s 13th wife Monday in a ceremony that critics say ill befits a country with the world’s highest HIV/AIDS rate…
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Colorado Election Fraud Group Is Training Conspiracists in Other States to Knock Doors in Search of ‘Phantom Ballots’

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Photos of voters’ homes taken by election conspiracist volunteers trained with USEIP resources

Election conspiracists in Colorado who pioneered a field campaign that involves volunteers, some of whom are potentially armed, going door-to-door in search of phantom ballots, are now helping to export that tactic across the country, perhaps in as many as 30 states.

More accurately, volunteers for the U.S. Election Integrity Plan (USEIP) aren’t “looking for fraud” that they believe may have occurred, rather they are intent on “exposing fraud” they are convinced took place. Their certainty comes in large part from the man behind the pseudo-science underlying this conspiracy, Dr. Douglas Frank.

On Sept. 13, he explained the conspiracists’ reasoning and motivation for door-to-door canvassing to his followers on Telegram, which is currently the favorite social media platform of extremists and conspiracists who’ve been removed from mainstream platforms.

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Get More Smarter on Monday (Sept. 27)

The Denver Broncos have started the season 3-0 for the first time since 2016. We won’t remind you how that season ended. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

 

A government shutdown in the middle of a pandemic that already has the nation’s economy on thin ice? That seems like a horrible idea, but Senate Republicans are hell bent on making it happen. From The Washington Post:

Senate Republicans on Monday prepared to block a bill that would fund the government, provide billions of dollars in hurricane relief and stave off a default in U.S. debts, part of the party’s renewed campaign to undermine President Biden’s broader economic agenda. [Pols emphasis]

The GOP’s expected opposition is sure to deal a death blow to the measure, which had passed the House last week, and threatens to add to the pressure on Democrats to devise their own path forward ahead of a series of urgent fiscal deadlines. A failure to address the issues could cause severe financial calamity, the White House has warned, potentially plunging the United States into another recession.

Ahead of the planned Monday vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) staked his party’s position — that Republicans are not willing to vote for any measure that raises or suspends the debt ceiling, even if they have no intentions of shutting down the government in the process. GOP lawmakers feel that raising the borrowing limit, which allows the country to pay its bills, would enable Biden and his Democratic allies to pursue trillions in additional spending and other policy changes they do not support.

The Republican Party platform in 2020 was basically just “do whatever Donald Trump wants.” In 2022, the platform appears to be, “oppose everything.”

 

Maps, maps, maps!

Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commissions COULD finalize at least one proposed map today. Fox 31 Denver notes some late comments considered by commissioners on Friday, and Megan Verlee of Colorado Public Radio ponders the next steps in the process. John Aguilar of The Denver Post, meanwhile, focuses in on what the new CO-08 might look like when the lines are drawn in pen.

 

On Sunday, The Washington Post published an in-depth story on Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and her election-denying law breaking. Emma Brown’s story begins with a strange office requirement from Peters last spring:

In April, employees in the office that runs elections in western Colorado’s Mesa County received an unusual calendar invitation for an after-hours work event, a gathering at a hotel in Grand Junction. “Expectations are that all will be at the Doubletree by 5:30,” said the invite sent by a deputy to Tina Peters, the county’s chief elections official.

Speaking at the DoubleTree was Douglas Frank, a physics teacher and scientist who was rapidly becoming famous among election deniers for claiming to have discovered secret algorithms used to rig the 2020 contest against Donald Trump. Frank led the crowd in a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and spent the next 90 minutes alleging an elaborate conspiracy involving inflated voter rolls, fraudulent ballots and a “sixth-order polynomial,” video of the event shows. He was working for MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, he said, and their efforts could overturn President Biden’s victory.

Being told to sit through a presentation of wild, debunked claims was “a huge slap in the face,” one Mesa County elections-division employee said of the previously unreported episode. “We put so much time and effort into making sure that everything’s done accurately,” the employee told The Washington Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation. Peters, the elected county clerk, had expressed sympathy for such theories in the past, the employee said.

And ICYMI, former Secretary of State Scott Gessler is representing Peters in court…but we don’t yet know who is paying for his services. Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on the intersection of Peters and QAnon.

 

The recently-concluded Arizona election audit confirmed what all rational people already knew: Joe Biden won the 2020 election for President. But now, a handful of nutty lawmakers from around the country are calling for NEW audits of the 2020 election in every state.

Colorado’s, uh, contributions to this letter include State Reps. Ron Hanks, Dave Williams, and Stephanie Luck.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Neville Laments & Stokes Division Among Statehouse Republicans

(No peace among the losers – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Outgoing House Minority Leader Patrick Neville chose not to run for a second term leading the Colorado House Republicans, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t still willing to speak his mind publicly. Whether on social media or talk radio, Neville, who’s never been one to be shy about sharing his opinions, is letting everyone know how he feels.

In the past week he’s called out House colleague Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta) on Facebook and given an on-air interview in which he pulled the curtain back on conservative donors’ attempts to influence Republican political strategy.

Douglas County Rep. Kim Ransom’s re-election to the Joint Budget Committee was one of the caucus’ several contested elections on Monday. She narrowly defeated Soper, who challenged her incumbency on the basis that his law background would make him more effective.

Soper expressed his disappointment on social media in a since-deleted Facebook post lamenting his defeat as a loss for the Western Slope and describing Ransom as a “Denver-metro career legislator.” Soper promised to fight for rural Colorado, even if that means “[battling] the Republican caucus.” He posted his statement along with a picture of himself and Rep. Neville, a choice which angered the former House Minority Leader.

Neville called Soper’s post “outrageous,” and made it clear he supports Rep. Ransom. Addressing Soper, who is 36 years old, as “young man,” Neville, 37, disputed his characterization of Ransom as a “career legislator.” He also noted that in 2018 the caucus spent “major dollars” on legal fees defending Soper (from claims he didn’t actually live in his district) and expressed betrayal over Soper’s statement:

“So much for unity, Matt. We spent major dollars defending you legally two years ago. Now you pull this? I guess we know where you stand now.”

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How Boebert Wowed Colorado Talk Radio Hosts

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Lauren Boebert (R-ifle).

In the months before her upset victory over fellow Republican Scott Tipton, Colorado congressional candidate Lauren Boebert developed a loud-mouthed fan base among a key group of Colorado conservatives: talk radio hosts.

Boebert was a regular guest on Colorado’s largest talk radio station, KNUS 710-AM, as well as competing stations, giving updates on her campaign and the saga about her restaurant, Shooters Grill, which she refused to close despite orders to do so to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The dozen or so radio interviews confirm the portrait Boebert creates of herself on social media, as an aggressive, media-savvy politician, who delivers zingers more effectively than the zinger-delivery experts on the radio.

“Did you ever think that in your lifetime you would be labeled defiant simply because you want to run your business in a responsible manner?” Boebert was asked on KFKA’s Mornings with Gail May 19.

“No. You know, flattening the curve turned into communism very quickly,” Boebert replied, referring to government health orders, like the one resulting in the temporary shutdown of her restaurant, where the wait staff openly carry guns, even including her servers who are under 18 years old.

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Primary Fights Reveal Rift in Colorado Republican Caucus

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Patrick Neville’s seat is safe, but is his leadership title?

Patrick Neville with longtime ally Dudley Brown, shares his ultimately failed plans to recall fellow legislators last fall.

With Colorado’s primary election just two weeks away, statehouse campaigns to be the major party nominees are heating up. The competition is particularly fierce among the Republican races, where so-called dark money groups are spending unprecedented amounts of money.

The disputed primaries are once again revealing an ideological split within the Republican party, one that is well-known to Colorado politicos: the rift between the establishment GOP and its far-right wing, led by House Minority leader Patrick Neville. Despite historic losses in 2018, Neville still controls the caucus, and at least one Neville supporter appears to be nearly as concerned with protecting his leadership role as with retaking the chamber.

Emily Williams, wife of state Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs), posted a Facebook video warning of a leadership coup within the caucus, specifically that “outside money is trying to take out Patrick Neville as Minority Leader.”

She’s not talking about Democrats trying to flip conservative seats, but rather a group seeking to elect moderate Republicans to red districts. She went on to attack incumbent state Rep. Colin Larson (R-Littleton), who she claims is attempting to challenge Neville, by accusing him of sleeping on the job, literally.

“And so he [Justin Everett] is trying to get back in there and be a fighter and be amazing, which we desperately need, because I’m gonna be honest with you, alright? The current guy–I kid you not–taking naps while Republicans are up late fighting on the floor for your freedoms. This guy was going in the back and catching some Z’s while everybody else did the dirty work and the heavy lifting. And, oh, by the way, he’s trying to make a run on leadership against the likes of Patrick Neville.”

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What you can do to stay healthy and fight back this week (May 18)

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We’ve got the latest numbers. They’re bad for Cory Gardner and Donald Trump.

In ProgressNow Colorado’s second collaborative effort with Global Strategy Group, today we’re releasing a new Rocky Mountaineer poll of 800 Colorado voters–and the poll says Colorado voters understand Cory Gardner has put political games and his loyalty to Donald Trump ahead of Colorado during the pandemic. And they’re not happy.

Meanwhile, Trump’s approval rating has slid while Governor Jared Polis’ approval has surged as voters reward his steady response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check out the latest Rocky Mountaineer polling and analysis right here. And then take a moment to forward this up-to-date look at Colorado politics to your friends and family.

While the COVID-19 crisis is far from over, we’re all encouraged by the data that shows staying at home for the last two months has saved lives. Until there’s a vaccine or at least an effective treatment, it’s crucial that we continue to observe the best practices that have kept us healthy since March: six feet of social distancing, masks in public, and washing our hands remain the best way to stay safe and healthy.

Thanks for doing your part! Here are some more ways to make a difference for the week of May 18:


Colorado Sierra Club: Outdoor Leadership Workshop Series

You now have an opportunity to help engage people in your community to connect outdoors by joining the Colorado Sierra Club this November through December through our web-based Outdoor Leadership 101 Workshop. You will begin the adventure to be certified to lead your own Sierra Club trips to help engage more people to explore and enjoy the special places Colorado has to offer.

When: Monday, May 18 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Get the Facts: Fair Tax Colorado & Initiative #271

Colorado needs a fair tax code. Initiative #271 is how we make it possible. Join the Fair Tax Colorado team for an informative webinar about Initiative #271, a proposal that cuts taxes for 95% of Coloradans, guarantees funding for schools and teachers, and ensures every Coloradan pays their fair share. Register now and learn more about Fair Tax Colorado!

When: May 19-29

Click here to RSVP.


Support for DACA Recipients/ Apoyo Para Beneficiarios DACA

In anticipation of the upcoming SCOTUS decision on DACA, CIRC and community partners, Servicios De La Raza are coming together to provide DACA recipients with weekly support groups led by mental health professionals. We plan to continue to stand with DACA recipients as we make it through this difficult time together! We are committed to connecting and bringing you to the resources needed to get through this.

When: Tuesday, May 19 at 10:00am

Click here to RSVP.


Virtual BlueFlower Endorsement Party

Join the BlueFlower Board for a virtual happy hour to celebrate our spring slate of endorsed candidates! Feel free to drop by any time during the hour.

When: Tuesday, May 19 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Conservation Colorado: Air Toxics Town Hall

Join us for a Zoom town hall highlighting air quality and health including the first look at a report released by the Colorado Fiscal Institute on the cost of the health impacts of air pollution. Hear from health experts with the American Lung Association, Rayna Hetlage of CFI, state leaders and community members to discuss air quality in Colorado and a new report demonstrating the devastating fiscal impacts of air pollution. This program will also include legislators championing these issues, and the people directly impacted by this pollution. This is an opportunity to learn more about air pollution impacts and how to act on the problem.

When: Wednesday, May 20 at 12:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Planning That Works: Using Modern Planning Tools and Techniques to Achieve 100% Carbon-Free Electricity

Join Northern Colorado Partners for Clean Energy for a live webinar with leading renewable energy expert, Karl Rábago. Karl will discuss how advanced planning techniques can be applied to Platte River Power Authority’s (PRPA) current and ongoing Integrated Resource Planning process to provide a more optimal and accelerated path towards 100% carbon free electricity. PRPA recently adopted a goal of 100% non-carbon electricity by 2030. PRPA is the wholesale electricity supplier for the cities of Fort Collins, Longmont, Estes Park, and Loveland in Northern Colorado.

When: Wednesday, May 20 at 7:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Women’s Lobby of Colorado: Third Virtual Social Hour with Colorado Fiscal Institute

Join us for one or more of our virtual social hours series! We will have an expert from our organizational members join us to talk about the issues in the community, including the impacts of COVID-19. On May 21 we will be joined by the budget guru and head of the of the Colorado Fiscal Institute, Carol Hedges! Grab a tea, a coffee, glass of wine, whatever you’d like, and join us! Note, registration required!

When: Thursday, May 21 at 5:30pm

Click here to RSVP.


Thanks again. Stay safe and healthy, and we’ll see you next week.

GOP Lawmakers Push for Sanctuary Virus County

THURSDAY UPDATE: As 9News reports, Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon is not the dumb one of the bunch:

While the Douglas County Commissioners are politically aligned with the Republican lawmakers, not all of them agree. Republican Commissioner Abe Laydon supported Tri-County’s mandate.

“Now is not the time to politicize a pandemic,” he told 9NEWS.

Laydon said his focus will be on working within the parameters of an order to keep people and businesses safe.

“Where I stand is — do everything we can do to make sure that hospitals, doctors, nurses, first responders, senior citizens are not decimated by what we’re hearing,” he said.

—–

UPDATE: House Minority Leader Patrick Neville is some kind of jackass:

—–

Letter from Douglas County Republicans

As Denver7 first reported today, Republican lawmakers from Douglas County are hopping mad about a new “stay at home” order implemented by the Tri-County Health Department, which covers Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties. A similar order has also been issued in Boulder and Jefferson counties.

Six Republican legislators who apparently support becoming a Coronavirus Sanctuary County signed the letter addressed to the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners: Sen. Chris Holbert, Sen. Jim Smallwood, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, Rep. Kevin Van Winkle, Rep. Kim Ransom, and Rep. Mark Baisley. You can read the full text of the letter here, but this is the important part:

It has come to our attention that Tri-County Health has issued a “shelter in place” order, which includes Douglas County. As a result of that order, we urge you to terminate whatever contract exists between Douglas County and that organization.

It is our understanding that at least two of you opposed this heavy-handed application of governmental power. To those who did oppose the action, thank you for standing with the constitution and with the majority of your constituents here in Douglas County. We consider it unacceptable that a contracted health agency could somehow ignore the will of a majority of our elected and accountable Douglas County Commissioners.

Sigh. Where to begin?

First off, this is more than just Douglas County Republican lawmakers screeching at one another; Chris Holbert is the Senate Minority Leader, and Patrick Neville is the House Minority Leader, so they are effectively speaking for the entire GOP caucus here. Their message is simple: If health experts don’t do what non-expert elected officials tell them to do, then we should fire them. 

We’re also perplexed that Sen. Jim Smallwood would sign his name here. Smallwood recently tested positive for coronavirus and is currently living at his second home in California. He’s not even IN Colorado at the moment, so how can he make this judgment?

Douglas County Commissioners Roger Partridge, Lora Thomas, and Abe Laydon.

More importantly, the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) is represented by three Republicans, none of whom are qualified to make public health decisions of this magnitude. Here’s the official biography for Abe Laydon, who was elected to the BCC in 2018:

Prior to being elected as County Commissioner, Laydon served as a Douglas County Planning Commissioner for two terms, and as the Douglas County Republican Party’s first vice-chairman and treasurer. A graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies, Laydon has been involved in philanthropy and civic service his entire life. He sits on the board of many local nonprofits, was an officer and member of Denver Active 20-30 and the Metro Denver Board of Christian Legal Society.

Yeah, let’s put that guy in charge during a global pandemic. Roger Partridge previously owned a physical therapy business, and Lora Thomas is a former trooper with the State Patrol who served as the elected Coroner of Douglas County from 2011-15.

Screenshot from Patrick Neville’s Facebook page

Laydon, Patridge, and Thomas may be very nice people, but none of them are public health experts. In fact, we’re guessing that Douglas County contracts with the Tri-County Health Department in part because they don’t already have a bunch of public health experts roaming the building.

Oh, and to make matters worse, Rep. Neville also appears to be doxxing members of the Tri-County Health Department (see image at right), including the wife of State Rep. Kyle Mullica; you should know that Kyle Mullica is a trauma nurse working on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak, and Julie Mullica is the Systems Director for Infection Prevention at SCL Health.

Finally, it’s important to note that this letter from Republican lawmakers doesn’t provide any sort of alternative suggestion for how to handle the coronavirus outbreak in Douglas County. Holbert, Neville and friends aren’t for anything — they’re just against this for reasons they don’t even bother to explain.

We could go on and on about how irresponsible and shameful it is for a group of elected leaders to be publicly questioning a literal life-or-death health decision in the middle of a global pandemic, but the insidiousness of this letter speaks for itself.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (October 15)

Happy “Global Handwashing Day.” Please celebrate responsibly. Now, let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us Facebook and Twitter.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

Oh, this is rich. As the Washington Post reports:

President Trump complained Tuesday about a lack of “transparency” in the accelerating Democrats-led impeachment inquiry as House investigators heard from another key State Department official behind closed doors at the Capitol. [Pols emphasis]

George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for Ukraine, has been summoned to testify about a campaign by Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, to pressure Ukraine into investigating the president’s political rival, former vice president and 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden, and his son Hunter…

…House Democrats are scheduled to huddle behind closed doors later Tuesday about the status of the inquiry.

The New York Times has more on the latest updates regarding impeachment depositions. The fact that regular updates about impeachment depositions even exist would seem to refute Trump’s “lack of transparency” complaints.

As Politico reports, Trump’s attempts to bar the doors to impeachment testimony is failing bigly:

Donald Trump’s impeachment blockade has collapsed.

The president’s former top Russia adviser, Fiona Hill — the first White House official to cooperate in Democrats’ investigation of the Ukraine scandal — has sketched for lawmakers a trail of alleged corruption that extends from Kiev to the West Wing. In dramatic testimony on Monday, she roped in some of Trump’s top advisers as witnesses to the unfolding controversy.

And on Tuesday, a senior State Department official, George Kent, appeared on Capitol Hill to testify about his knowledge of the episode despite an attempt by administration lawyers to block him, according to a source working on the impeachment inquiry. The House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena for his testimony Tuesday morning, and Kent complied.

It’s the latest evidence that the White House’s stonewalling against congressional requests for documents and testimony is crumbling — and Democrats are feeling a new sense of momentum.

 

► Democratic Presidential candidates hit the stage in Columbus, Ohio tonight for the next big debate. Readers of Colorado Pols seem to think that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is in the driver’s seat at the moment. Over at CNN, you can read their list of seven things to watch for in tonight’s debate, including the performance of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had heart surgery just a few weeks ago.

 

► As the New York Times reports, Russia is plenty pleased with President Trump’s decision last week to remove American troops from Syria:

As the Middle East reels from President Trump’s erratic foreign policy, Russia is savoring a fresh chance to build its status as a resurgent world power and cast itself as a force for stability. The withdrawal of United States troops from northeastern Syria, coupled with Turkey’s incursion, is allowing Russia to play the part of responsible peacemaker and to present a contrast to what many in the region see as unstable leadership from Washington.

It’s too soon to tell whether Russia will be able to manage the new volatility in Syria, just as it’s not clear if the impeachment furor over Ukraine will help the Kremlin’s interests in Eastern Europe. But as Russian President Vladimir V. Putin landed in Saudi Arabia Monday for a state visit to one of America’s most important allies, it appeared clear that Mr. Trump’s moves in recent months were helping him make the case that Moscow, not Washington, was the more dependable actor on the world stage. [Pols emphasis]

Here in Colorado, residents with Kurdish ties are asking Americans to speak out against Turkey’s aggression in Northern Syria.

 

► Colorado Republicans are going to have to cast a ballot for President Trump in a GOP Primary, as 9News reports:

Trump will face a Republican primary in Colorado, unlike five other states where party leaders canceled contests in favor of automatically assigning delegate votes.

The Colorado Republican Party cannot cancel a primary if a second person is on the ballot. In Colorado, Trump will compete with Robert Ardini, of New York, for the 2020 nomination.

Ardini 2020, or something!

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)