Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Oct. 20)

Fill out that ballot and get it returned, people! Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 2021. 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 

 

The Washington Post has the latest on efforts by Congressional Democrats to get some sort of big infrastructure deal passed:

President Biden is set to head to Scranton, Pa., on Wednesday to pitch his retooled vision for overhauling federal health care, education, climate and tax laws, even as the future of his signature economic package remains unsettled among Democrats on Capitol Hill.

For Biden and his allies in Congress, the next few days could be critical: Democratic leaders hope they can finally broker a truce to end the public feuding between the party’s ambitious liberals and spending-weary moderates. Some now hope they can reach a deal this week, putting them on track to adopt the full tranche of spending perhaps before the end of the month.

“I think it’s very possible,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said after meeting with House Democratic lawmakers.

A day before the speech, Biden huddled again with the two warring factions and presented the rough outlines for a compromise package that could total between $1.75 and $1.9 trillion over 10 years. The still-fluid price tag is far less than the $3.5 trillion that some Democrats initially envisioned, as the White House seeks to strike a balance between preserving its priorities and cutting costs to satisfy two centrist holdouts, Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

In other words, the path forward is still as clear as mud…as is a proposal to advance some sort of carbon tax.

 

As CNN reports, Senate Republicans are expected to once again vote against new voting rights legislation:

Senate Republicans are expected to block another voting rights bill Wednesday, as some on the left call to change the chamber’s rules to allow the Democratic Party to unilaterally change federal election law.

The Democratic bill, known as the Freedom to Vote Act, would make it easier to register to vote, make Election Day a public holiday, ensure states have early voting for federal elections and allow all voters to request mail-in ballots. The measure would also bolster security on voting systems, overhaul how congressional districts are redrawn and impose new disclosures on donations to outside groups active in political campaigns.

But Republicans have blocked a number of voting rights legislation since Democrats took the House and Senate the past two election cycles.

 

What in the holy hell is going on in Western Colorado?

 

Axios Denver looks at the field of candidates seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in 2022. The story includes a quote from a well-known Republican that is, shall we say, less than inspiring:

“There is no Cory Gardner sitting out there waiting to get in,” said Greg Brophy, a former Republican state senator and lobbyist. “So you have a whole bunch of people, and we are going to see what kind of campaign they can put together.”

Good luck figuring out how to use THAT statement on a campaign mailer.

 

 

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Manchin Takes Aim At Bennet’s Prized Child Tax Credit

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-ish).

As Pat Poblete of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports–while Colorado’s junior Sen. John Hickenlooper reckons with moderate obstinate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia’s deal-killing opposition to the carbon tax Hickenlooper has championed since his 2019 presidential run, Colorado’s other U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is confronted with a threat to the size and scope of his overwhelmingly popular Child Tax Credit from the same Sen. Manchin:

The number of Colorado parents eligible to receive the federal Child Tax Credit could be cut by nearly 70% if congressional Democrats and the Biden administration cave to the demands of one of their Democratic colleagues, according to a new report.

The vast federal program – which sends monthly payments to parents of children 17 years old and younger – has been a top policy priority of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet since the middle of the last decade and was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March as part of a pandemic response package…

Researchers at the self-proclaimed “moderate” Niskanen Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, on Tuesday released estimates based off of Axios’ report showing if Manchin got his way, some 37.4 million children across the country would lose out on federal aid.

And that’s not all:

Colorado would be particularly hard hit based on the projections put together by the Niskanen Center’s Robert Orr and Samuel Hammond. Based on the duo’s projections, roughly 320,000 Colorado kids would be eligible for the credit under Manchin’s proposal, down 67.9% from the roughly 1.1 million currently eligible children.

Sen. Bennet’s goal is to see the Child Tax Credit in its current form extended for a further five years–enough time for the credit to make measurable progress toward the goal of cutting child poverty in half throughout the United States. But because of the perfectly divided 50/50 U.S. Senate, Sen. Manchin now wields a degree of influence over the process that has galled and outraged Democrats across the nation. Manchin, the only Democratic representative left representing a state whose failed economy has embittered a white working-class population, seems to be taking pleasure in his dream-crushing role as he demands a smaller final package for the politically self-serving sake of being smaller.

With the signature priorities of both of Colorado’s U.S. Senators now at Joe Manchin’s mercy, the one thing we say for certain is that both Hickenlooper and Bennet are as frustrated as everyone else over the present state of affairs. What’s happening right now is not why either of them were elected to the U.S. Senate, and it’s not their fault. We can only hope that when the dust settles on a final product, some of the good stuff Colorado’s U.S. Senators have fought for is still in there.

In the long run, the only cure is a majority with a margin that prevents any one Senator from playing God.

The GMS Podcast: Rep. Yadira Caraveo Gets More Smarter

State Representative, Pediatrician, and Congressional candidate Yadira Caraveo

This week on Episode #89 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with State Rep. Yadira Caraveo about her work as a state legislator, a pediatrician, and now, a candidate for Congress in CO-08.

Later, Jason and Ian try to figure out who is the driver of the Republican Senate candidate clown car; we wonder if Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert even knows what she is saying anymore; and we decide that Republican Heidi Ganahl is running the worst campaign for governor in the entire country.

Catch up on previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

Democratic Candidates in CO-03 are Burning Money

Drunken Sailor

There is a clear winner in the fundraising battle in Congressional District 3, where multiple candidates are hoping to win the Democratic nomination for the right to face incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert in November 2022. You probably won’t recognize any of their names, unfortunately. 

The consultants are cleaning up in CO-03.

According to the latest campaign finance reports via the FEC, a handful of consulting firms and individuals are taking home the bulk of the money that is being raised by Democratic candidates in CO-03. Eight candidates (Kerry Donovan, Sol Sandoval, Don Valdez, Debora Burnett, Colin Wilhelm, Gregg Smith, Colin Buerger, and Kellie Rhodes) have combined to raise $2.8 million in the 2022 cycle, which is more than the total amount raised by Boebert thus far ($2.73 million).  

The problem here is that these eight Democrats have already combined to SPEND more than $2 million. That’s a cumulative burn rate of 72%. You don’t need to be a math whiz to understand that these numbers are not sustainable. 

Two of these Democratic candidates are no longer running; Donovan suspended her campaign after redistricting produced an unfavorable map, and Smith disappeared almost as quickly as he materialized in the first place (check out this Washington Post story from Dave Weigel for more on Smith). But the top two remaining Democrats in the field (Sandoval and Valdez) are burning through nearly 9 out of every 10 dollars they raise. 

That’s a lot of cash that is vanishing into the pockets of consultants. 

Sandoval has about $49k in the bank after paying more than $41,000 to “Middle Seat Consulting” for “fundraising consulting” and $13,000 to “The Strategy Division” for “fundraising consulting” and “management services.”

Valdez has just $29,182 in the bank as of September 30, 2021, because he’s written checks for more than $63,000 to a digital consulting firm called “Break Something” and and more than $12,000 to “Sterling Strategies” for “communications consulting services.” 

Sandoval and Valdez are both spending thousands of dollars on merchant fees for “Act Blue,” which is a necessary expense. Neither are spending unusual amounts on staffing, though at their current fundraising rates, salaries are quickly becoming a luxury item. 

The biggest overall winner is a Colorado firm called “Ascent Digital Strategies,” which collected more than $550,000 for digital fundraising services. Only Boebert spent this kind of money with a single consulting firm, shelling out more than $350,000 to “Rock Chalk Media” for direct mail and advertising expenses. 

How does this happen? If you are running against someone as well-known and as disliked (around the country) as Boebert, you’ll get a fair amount of money just from emails and social media posts that target donors who are simply irritated with the incumbent Republican. When the early money comes easily, it’s tempting to think it will always flow that fast.

It’s also true that you have to spend money to make money with online fundraising, but some of these exorbitant expenditures are difficult to rationalize. If the majority of your contributions are being used to raise more money, you’re basically just running in circles. Most of the money raised by a given campaign SHOULD be stuffed inside a mattress in order to pay for television and digital advertising closer to the election date (Primary or General Election).  

Obviously, this can’t continue if Democrats are to have any hope of defeating Boebert in 2022. In fact, it might be time to resurrect our “Drunken Sailor Awards,” a feature we ran on Colorado Pols in 2017-18 to look at how much money the top candidates for public office were spending in a given fundraising period.

Manchin, Tester Knock Down Hick’s Carbon Tax Aspirations

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D).

Politico reporting in their Congress Minutes brief today on news that will disappoint progressive Democrats who are hoping to see aggressive action to combat human-caused climate change in the budget reconciliation bill:

Key moderate senators are resisting efforts to impose a carbon tax as part of their climate action plan, sending progressives back to the drawing board.

Sen. Joe Manchin plainly told reporters Tuesday morning that “the carbon tax is not on the board at all right now.” And Sen. Jon Tester said separately “you might have problems with me on a carbon tax.”

“I just don’t think you can implement it. I use a lot more fuel than [a trucker does], and we’re both going to get the same check and it’s going to make us whole? It’s just not going to work. So I’ve got some issues with the carbon tax myself.” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) told POLITICO.

Although a tax on carbon pollution gained new impetus in recent days after moderate obstinate Democratic Senators led by Sen. Joe Manchin shot down a previous incentive-based plan to encourage carbon reduction, it’s worth remembering as Colorado Newsline’s Chase Woodruff reported at the end of August that we’re talking about a longstanding proposal from Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, who ran for President in 2019 on a platform of (among other things) taxing carbon:

As negotiations over a high-stakes budget bill begin in Washington, D.C., Colorado Sen. John Hickenlooper told constituents in a virtual town hall on Monday that a carbon-pricing mechanism to combat climate change tops his wish list for the legislation.

“The thing I’d like more than anything is to get a price on carbon,” Hickenlooper said. “It would be so much more efficient if there was some sort of a fee, and a dividend of some sort, that would allow us to incentivize and motivate all of these entrepreneurs all over the country … to find cleaner ways of delivering energy.”

…Hickenlooper made a carbon tax central to the climate plan put forward by his ill-fated presidential campaign in 2019. As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, he could play a key role in drafting and negotiating the $198 billion clean-energy component of the Democrats’ reconciliation bill.

Although Sen. Hickenlooper took plenty of heat from his left during a gubernatorial administration in which oil and gas development increased significantly, here we have Hickenlooper clearly positioned to the left of the obstructionist Democrats representing energy-producing states on a major climate change policy proposal. It’s a reminder that Colorado’s Democrats are not the problem in these fraught blue-on-blue negotiations, and might join those disappointed on the wrong side of whatever compromise emerges.

In that event we will all need to focus on the good stuff that doesn’t get cut, and remember to not blame the wrong people.

We say these things because when we get to what they call “nut-cutting time,” no one else remembers to.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Oct. 19)

Return those ballots, people! Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 2021. 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 

 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is running the worst gubernatorial campaign in the entire country. She’s making national headlines today for another bad reason: Hosting an in-person event with a conservative speaker who was literally TRYING to get infected with COVID-19. We wrote about this story on Monday, but here’s more from The Washington Post:

Days before he announced he had tested positive, Prager was in Colorado, where he spoke at a campaign event for Heidi Ganahl, a Republican running for governor. Officials with her campaign told KUSA they were not aware of Prager’s plan to get infected with the coronavirus.

“We are reaching out to all those who attended to make sure they are informed,” Ganahl’s campaign told the station in a statement. “We encourage those who attended … to get tested and follow CDC guidelines if they experience any Covid-like symptoms.”

The problem with this response from the Ganahl campaign is this: There is video evidence of Prager flat-out telling Ganahl that he was hoping to get infected with COVID-19.

Here’s more from 9News:

 

The Denver Post updates the latest COVID-19 numbers in Colorado:

Colorado’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to rise over the weekend, but it’s difficult to predict whether that trend will continue.

On Friday, more people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Colorado than at any point since late December. The number of hospitalizations continued to increase, reaching 1,101 people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Monday afternoon.

New cases appeared to fall last week, however. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 12,885 cases in the week ending Sunday — a decrease of roughly 2,500, if it stands. The state’s data has lagged in recent months, though, with late reports sometimes erasing any signs of progress.

“We’ve been in a period of uncertainty with the trends in the data,” said Talia Quandelacy, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. “It’s hard to tell what some of these trends are showing.”

The bottom line seems to be the same as it has been: We’re still not yet getting a handle on turning back the coronavirus pandemic as too many Coloradans continue to refuse to get vaccinated. Westword has more on Colorado’s COVID numbers.

In related news, Larimer County is reinstating a mask requirement for residents in indoor public areas. As Colorado Public Radio reports, one of the safest places to be in Colorado, in terms of a high-percentage of people who are vaccinated, is on college campuses.

 

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection plans to move forward today with holding former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt for refusing to respond to a Congressional subpoena.

 

As The Associated Press reports, Texas has approved a new gerrymandered congressional map that dilutes minority representation.

 

 

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Get More Smarter on Friday (Oct. 15)

Have you voted yet? Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 2021. 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 

 

We’re just going to say it: Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is running the worst gubernatorial campaign in the entire country. Ganahl has officially been in the 2022 race for about a month…and it’s already time to start the campaign death watch.

Ganahl started the week by hosting an ill-advised forum with right-wing lunatic Dennis Prager, in which her campaign embarrassingly misspelled her first name for people interested in calling in with questions. On Wednesday, her campaign announced anemic fundraising numbers for someone who is supposed to be the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. And on Thursday, news broke that Ganahl’s campaign manager is leaving the campaign after only a month on the job, which is not something that you can even attempt to legitimately spin as being okay.

This is basically what Ganahl’s campaign looks like at the moment:

 

 

A defamation lawsuit filed by a former employee of Dominion Voting Services in Denver is basically de-pantsing “The Big Lie.” For more on this story, check out Axios Denver, The Colorado Sun, Colorado Public Radio, and 9News, among others.

 

If you’re interested in running for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Colorado, you had better hurry up. Pretty much every Republican with a heartbeat is jumping into the field. Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on the seventh Republican now running for U.S. Senate in Colorado.

 

The Department of Justice is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the case of a controversial new abortion law in Texas. From The Associated Press:

The Biden administration said Friday it will turn next to the U.S. Supreme Court in another attempt to halt a Texas law that has banned most abortions since September.

It comes as the Texas clinics are running out of avenues to stop the GOP-engineered law that bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks. It amounts to the nation’s biggest curb to abortion in nearly 50 years.

The latest defeat for clinics came Thursday night when a federal appeals panel in New Orleans, in a 2-1 decision, allowed the restrictions to remain in place for a third time in the last several weeks alone.

Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the federal government will now ask the Supreme Court to reverse that decision but did not say how quickly.

 

 Check out these 2021 voter guides from Colorado Newsline and The Denver Post.

 

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (Oct. 14)

Happy Belarussian Mother’s Day! 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 

 

Former President Trump on Wednesday made a very strange threat about Republican voters walking away if the 2020 election isn’t overturned:

Greg Sargent of The Washington Post has a fascinating column that is worth reading that has some new insight into the Trumpism phenomenon:

Republicans recognize that continuing to pander to those lies may be absolutely essential to keeping Republican voters engaged without Trump on the ballot doing it instead.

Trump’s statement has been analyzed as either the latest projectile vomiting to issue from his disordered mind or as a genuine political problem for Republicans. But few have paused to ask whether it might actually be true that energy among GOP voters turns on keeping alive the idea that the 2020 outcome was dubious or illegitimate, and what that might mean.

Sargent also links to this CNN story about how many House Republicans seem to be openly embracing the possibility of a Trump presidential campaign in 2024.

 

9News reports on a lawsuit filed by a former Dominion Voting Services employee related to “The Big Lie” that may have originated here in Colorado:

Eric Coomer, a former Dominion Voting Systems employee living in Colorado, has sued 16 people or groups for defamation. Those being sued include Donald J. Trump for President, Joe Oltmann, the leader of local conservative group FEC United, Colorado conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, attorney Rudy Giuliani, former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell, Newsmax Media and The Gateway Pundit.

Coomer went into hiding after Oltmann claimed, without proof, that he heard a conference call where Dominion was plotting with Antifa to give the election to President Biden.

That call was not recorded and no one besides Oltmann has said they heard the call.

 

What’s this? Oh, just Republican State Rep. Richard Holtorf literally THREATENING the board of directors of the Prowers Medical Center for trying to abide by COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

 

Grim milestone: COVID-19 deaths in Colorado cross the 8,000 mark as hospitalizations continue to increase.

 

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Oct. 13)

Today is International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, which doesn’t seem like something that should be limited to a once-a-year deal. 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 

 

Colorado’s 2021 redistricting process is complete. Almost.

As Alex Burness of The Denver Post reports:

It was not immediately clear what the projected split would be on the Senate map, approved Tuesday, since the version the commissioned adopted was drawn on the fly during a live Zoom meeting. That version made slight changes to a previous drafted map that projected 22 districts leaning in Democrats’ favor, to 13 for Republicans.

But both the House and Senate maps would have many potentially competitive seats, which was one of the goals of this commission. Recent election results suggest margins of 3.1% or under in nine House districts, and margins of 3.8% or under in seven Senate districts.

The Colorado Supreme Court will now have to approve both maps by November 15. We’ll likely have more analysis later. For additional reporting, check out Colorado Public Radio and The Colorado Sun. In the meantime, be wary of the misleading narrative that these two maps will allow Democrats to remain control of the State Legislature; if Democrats do maintain majorities in both chambers, it won’t be because of these maps.

CLICK HERE to see the approved map for the State Senate.

CLICK HERE to see the approved map for the State House.

Elsewhere, 9News has more on the Supreme Court hearings for the new Congressional redistricting map approved last week.

 

Colorado Public Radio reports on efforts by Trump-aligned forces to get a favorable court ruling in Colorado. CBS4 Denver has more on a two-day hearing beginning today that may include several notable figures from the “Stop the Steal” crowd. Business Insider also looks at the story from a national perspective, with credit to The Colorado Times Recorder.

 

Colorado Newsline reports on a big announcement in Colorado:

Colorado has become the first state in the nation to require comprehensive gender-affirming care as part of minimum, or “benchmark,” health care plans sold on the individual and small group markets, which accounts for about a quarter of the state’s health care customers.

The gender-affirming care element was announced during a Tuesday news conference that included speakers Gov. Jared Polis and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Brooks-LaSure, whose agency had to approve additional benchmark items, called the move “momentous” and said “gender-affirming care can be life-saving.”…

…The gender-affirming care will be included in plans sold in Colorado on the individual and small group markets starting in 2023. It does apply to insurance obtained through large employers. New benchmark items also include an expansion of behavioral health care, including an annual mental health exam, and more options for substance abuse treatment, which were required as part of this year’s House Bill 21-1276.

John Frank of Axios Denver includes some important — and largely overlooked — key points about this announcement. This is not something that is solely about transgender care; for example, “gender-affirming care” also includes procedures such as breast reconstruction following a mastectomy.

 

 As Westword notes, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Colorado are at their worst level since 2020. Please get vaccinated.

 

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Get More Smarter on Monday (Oct. 11)

Happy Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples’ Day! 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 

 

The Associated Press looks ahead to how Congress may finish out the year on the big issue regarding the debt ceiling:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blinked last week. And then he said he wouldn’t blink again.

McConnell said since summer that Republicans wouldn’t supply the votes majority Democrats needed to extend the federal debt limit. But Thursday night, 11 Republicans including McConnell joined Democrats in narrowly overcoming a procedural hurdle so the Senate could subsequently approve $480 billion in fresh borrowing.

House passage, expected Tuesday, would stave off until December a first-ever federal default that could disrupt the global economy, delay government checks to Social Security recipients and others and unleash voters’ wrath on lawmakers.

But the partisan dispute will resume in two months.

Republicans want Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own to underscore their argument that Biden’s multitrillion-dollar social and environment agenda is unaffordable. Democrats want Republicans to put their imprint on the borrowing limit increase, noting that the $28 trillion national debt is for unpaid bills already incurred, including $7 trillion under former President Donald Trump.

By enabling a two-month reprieve on the fight, McConnell angered Republicans who wanted a tougher stance against Democrats including Trump, still an intimidating force in the GOP. Even usual McConnell ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called it “complete capitulation.”

Everybody loves alliteration.

 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl held some sort of online interview thing with wacko right-wing bluster machine Dennis Prager over the weekend (if you’re not familiar with Prager, this will give you some idea of what to expect). Ganahl’s campaign is still having trouble with some of the important details of a statewide contest, such as SPELLING YOUR CANDIDATE’S NAME CORRECTLY:

 

The Colorado Democratic Party sent out a press release today with more information on Ganahl’s Prager event:

A few short weeks before the widely expected CDC approval of the COVID vaccine for 5-11 year-olds, Ganahl gave Prager the platform of her gubernatorial campaign to spread dangerous rhetoric about the COVID-19 vaccine. Heidi Ganahl personally kicked off the event by giving Prager the microphone and allowing him to claim it was “child abuse” to give children the COVID-19 vaccine, despite CDC recommendations. Prager also told people in the audience the vaccine was “not good for you” if you had already been infected with COVID-19, disregarding the advice of public health experts, again. The U.S. Surgeon General described COVID misinformation an “urgent threat” and its proliferation a major hindrance towards ending the pandemic.

Prager went on to call schools “poison factories” and praise failed California Republican gubernatorial nominee, Larry Elder. Giving right wing extremists a platform for dangerous misinformation is not new for Ganahl. Prager is yet another addition to the growing list of extremists Ganahl has surrounded herself with such as John Eastman and Lauren Boebert — and we can expect to see more as her campaign continues. [Pols emphasis]

In other Ganahl-related news, the GOP gubernatorial hopeful is trying to distance herself from Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown, whose leadership of a militia group is getting a lot of attention. Check out “The Daily” podcast from The New York Times for more on KBB and right-wing conspiracist Joe Oltmann.

 

Colorado Newsline reports on efforts by Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) to overhaul how we conduct background checks for gun purchases.

 

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Started at the Bottom, Digging Deeper

Ron Hanks

The 2022 U.S. Senate race in Colorado got a bit more interesting last week, with two new Republican candidates joining the field: Ft. Collins developer Gino Campana and State Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Penrose). There are now six Republicans running for the chance to lose to incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet next November. If this week is any indication of things to come, the Republican Senate Primary is going to be one long race to the bottom.

Let’s start with the candidates, who at this point are separated into two different tiers. Hanks, Campana, and Eli Bremer make up the first tier of “plausible” candidates because they have at least some name ID and/or ability to raise money for a real campaign. Erik Aadland, Peter Yu, and Juli Henry fall into a separate tier; we’d be surprised if any of these three candidates even managed to get their name onto the June 2022 Primary ballot, so we won’t spend any time discussing them in this space.

For now, at least, the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination looks like a three candidate affair.

The most interesting name in the primary tier is Hanks, the copy machine killer who immediately lays claim to the far-right wing in a Republican Primary. Hanks is a full-on election fraud truther, QAnon believer, and proud member of the Donald Trump fan club who has been outspoken in his defense of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and has made pilgrimages to 2020 recount sites such as Arizona’s Maricopa County. As you can see from his campaign launch video, Hanks is going to largely focus on two issues: “Election security” and the Second Amendment. Head on over to the ‘Issues’ page on his campaign website for more policy proposals, which are entertaining to the extent that you can make sense of the rambling rhetoric.

Whether or not Hanks can mount a truly competitive campaign will depend on his ability to raise money, which is unclear at the moment. But his very existence as a Senate candidate changes the dynamic of this race. This is a guy who has no qualms about making a lynching joke on the floor of the House of Representatives. He’ll be traveling the state in the next 9 months to hoover up support from the right-wing base, which is going to scare other candidates into taking positions that are more extreme than they might have preferred…

ELT Bremer

…which brings us to Eli Bremer. We haven’t heard much from Bremer since he first entered the Senate race in July with a clunky video that lacked any real semblance of a message beyond telling people that he is a former Olympian who competed in an event that most people probably didn’t even know existed. The inclusion of Hanks and Campana in the GOP field seems to have prompted Bremer to take things up a notch.

As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as The Colorado Statesman, Bremer’s campaign announced this week a slate of “county coordinators” that is mostly designed to affirm that Bremer already has a share of the nutty right-wing base:

One of Bremer’s county ambassadors drew national attention in 2014 when he questioned whether the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., “really happened.” [Pols emphasis]

Tom Ready, a dentist and former chairman of the Pueblo County GOP, defended floating a theory that the shooting had in fact been a hoax designed to promote gun control during a debate when he was running for county commissioner.

“Whether it’s true or not, it’s called an open discussion,” Ready said, though he later apologized for the comments.

This is how far things have fallen for Republicans: One of their most plausible Senate candidates literally sought out the endorsement of Tom Ready, who thinks it’s totally cool to have a “discussion” about the idea that a mass shooting of schoolchildren was just a mirage. Bremer may not be familiar with his recent Colorado political history, because having Ready’s support has not generally been a good thing (ask Bob Beauprez). Ready has a long background in Colorado Republican politics, including plenty of allegations of racism and domestic violence. If you seek out this endorsement, it means you want the support of the kind of people who would take Tom Ready seriously. How does this help Bremer if he eventually has to appeal to a wider range of voters in a General Election? (SPOILER ALERT: It doesn’t).

Ready isn’t the only questionable name on Bremer’s “county coordinator” list. Also included is Joe Webb, the former chair of the Jefferson County Republican Party who regularly referred to Democrats like Jared Polis as “brown shirts,” (a reference to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi militia); and Don Suppes, the Delta County Commissioner who is known to be a fan of white supremacist websites and a believer in the silly conspiracy idea that the United Nations is coming to take your guns. Again, these are the type of supporters that Bremer is TOUTING in a press release. If you’re standing with Bremer, you’re standing on the same side as these folks.

Hello fellow regular people!

The third plausible Republican Senate candidate is Gino Campana, a Ft. Collins developer and former city council member whose braggadocio about almost being selected as Walker Stapleton’s Lieutenant Governor nominee in 2018 caused significant media problems for the GOP gubernatorial hopeful. Campana is rumored to have the ability to self-fund a Senate race to some degree, which is the primary “qualification” that separates him from the rest of the GOP field.

Campana launched his Senate intentions this week with the release of a meandering three-minute video (titled “I am running for US Senate”) that looks more like a commercial for Ancestry.com than a campaign announcement. Campana’s launch video is mostly about his immigrant father — you don’t even see the name ‘Gino Campana’ until the :33 second mark — interspersed with images of Gino fiddling around with odd pieces of masonry as part of a tortured effort to come across as a regular guy in a plaid shirt.

The winner of the Republican Senate Primary will likely be the candidate who is best able to garner support from the right-wing base. This fact alone will put the eventual GOP nominee in an impossible position for a General Election; there is no realistic Venn diagram in which fire-breathing adherents of “The Big Lie” join with Unaffiliated voters in backing the same candidate in November 2022.

Former Sen. Cory Gardner set the bar pretty low for future Republican Senate candidates with his 9-point loss to Democrat John Hickenlooper in 2020. Don’t be surprised if the 2022 GOP candidates still manage to limbo underneath.

The GMS Podcast: Map Madness! (Feat. Evan Wyloge)

Evan Wyloge of The Colorado Springs Gazette/Colorado Politics

This week on Episode #88 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk redistricting maps with Evan Wyloge of The Colorado Springs Gazette and ColoradoPolitics.com. Wyloge covered the redistricting process in Arizona in 2001 and has been closely following Colorado’s map-making extravaganza; there are few, if any, people in Colorado who understand redistricting better than he does.

But the discussion this week isn’t all about maps. We also dig into the big Ron Hanks problem now facing Colorado Republicans; the State GOP’s misunderstanding of the first rule of “Fight Club”; and more ridiculous commentary from Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert.

Catch up on previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Oct. 6)

Today is National Noodle Day and National Coaches Day. If you can figure out how to celebrate those together, we’re all ears. 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 

 

As The Washington Post reports, Senate Republicans are hell-bent on driving the United States right off the fiscal cliff:

Senate Republicans on Wednesday plan to block Democrats from raising the country’s debt ceiling, daring President Biden and his party’s top lawmakers to devise another path forward just 12 days before the U.S. government could run out of flexibility to pay its bills.

For the third time in as many weeks, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) is set to hold a vote on a measure that would suspend the borrowing limit into next year, aiming to act before Congress blows past an Oct. 18 deadline that could catapult the country into an economic recession.

But the proposal is likely to be as doomed as the two that preceded it. Democrats for the moment cannot advance in the debate over the debt ceiling unless 10 GOP lawmakers join them — and Republicans once again are refusing to supply the votes as part of their broader campaign to oppose Biden’s economic agenda.

“They basically want us to be aiders and abettors to their reckless spending and tax policies, and we just aren’t going to do it,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.). [Pols emphasis]

Now, remember that raising the debt limit is necessary in part to help pay for expensive policies ENACTED UNDER THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION.

Earlier this week, Chris Cillizza of CNN broke down the dangerous game that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is playing:

McConnell knows — he’s a very smart dude — that his party’s current stance on the debt limit is utterly hypocritical.

But what he’s betting on is this: Democrats control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Knowing that, voters will put blame on Democrats if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.

That’s the calculation McConnell is making — that complete opposition to anything and everything that happens in Washington between now and November 2022 will best position Republicans to retake the House and Senate majorities.

As for what’s best for the country? That’s not relevant to McConnell or Senate Republicans.

Meanwhile, polling data continues to show that McConnell’s gambit could be the wrong play. New info from Quinnipiac University indicates widespread support for President Biden’s spending proposals in Congress:

Americans say 62 – 34 percent that they support a roughly $1 trillion spending bill to improve the nation’s roads, bridges, broadband, and other infrastructure projects. This compares to 65 – 28 percent support in August. In today’s poll, Democrats support the bill 85 – 11 percent, independents support it 62 – 35 percent, and Republicans oppose it 58 – 38 percent.

Americans say 57 – 40 percent that they support a $3.5 trillion spending bill on social programs such as child care, education, family tax breaks, and expanding Medicare for seniors, compared to 62 – 32 percent support in August. In today’s poll, Democrats support the bill 92 – 5 percent, independents are split with 50 percent supporting it and 48 percent opposing it, and Republicans oppose it 68 – 28 percent.

The Associated Press has more on a pared-down spending bill that is now being discussed. As The New York Times reports, Republican refusal to budge on the debt limit might be moving more Democrats toward supporting changes to the filibuster,

 

We haz more maps!

As Chase Woodruff reports for Colorado Newsline:

One week ahead of a deadline to submit its plan for new statehouse districts to the Colorado Supreme Court for review, the state’s Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission on Tuesday received details of a third and final plan proposed by nonpartisan state staff.

The maps released ahead of the commission’s Tuesday night meeting draw new boundaries for 65 Colorado House of Representatives districts and 35 state Senate seats, as proposed by state staff based on previous feedback from the commission’s 12 appointed members. Any further changes to the two maps must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the panel, which consists of four registered Democrats, four Republicans and four unaffiliated voters.

The deadline for the commission to submit its maps to the Supreme Court is Oct. 15. If commissioners can’t approve a final plan with at least eight votes by then, the third staff plan will be submitted.

 

Colorado Republicans remain committed to the political strategy of complaining about mask and vaccine requirements, even when that message makes no sense whatsoever. State Rep. Tim Geitner (R-Colorado Springs) is all worked up about the idea that kidney transplant patients might first be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19, which to most rational people would seem to be a very logical and obvious request.

 

Colorado Republican Party Chairperson Kristi Burton Brown has some serious explaining to do after court documents revealed that KBB was the leader of FEC United, a far-right conspiracy group, right up until the point in which she started running for the job of GOP Chair. 9News has more on this story:

Burton Brown and the Colorado Republican Party did not respond to 9NEWS’ questions about FEC United, an election rigging conspiracy theory group, and its affiliated militia, the United American Defense Force.

The extent of Burton Brown’s involvement with FEC United was revealed by the group’s founder Joe Oltmann and current president, Stuart Butler, in sworn depositions in September and August, respectively…

…Oltmann testified that Burton Brown was president of FEC United in November 2020 while serving as vice-chair of the Colorado Republican Party and left FEC United to run for state party chair. She was elected to lead the state party in March 2021.

FEC United and the United American Defense Force are extreme right-wing groups with violent histories.

 

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Get More Smarter on Monday (Oct. 4)

Happy Mother Cabrini Day, the first state holiday named for a woman in American history. 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 

 

Is COVID-19 in retreat? We’ve learned not to get overly excited about a drop in COVID cases, but as The New York Times reports:

The reasons remain somewhat unclear, and there is no guarantee that the decline in caseloads will continue. But the turnaround is now large enough — and been going on long enough — to deserve attention.

The number of new daily cases in the U.S. has fallen 35 percent since Sept. 1.

Worldwide, cases have also dropped more than 30 percent since late August. “This is as good as the world has looked in many months,” Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Research wrote last week.

As the Times notes, COVID-19 has a curious habit of showing rapid increases for two months followed by significant decreases in case numbers…for two months.

 

The 2022 U.S. Senate race in Colorado got a bit more interesting last week, with two new Republican candidates joining the field: Ft. Collins developer Gino Campana and State Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Penrose). Hanks immediately lays claim to the far-right wing in a Republican Primary — he is a full-on election fraud truther who has been outspoken in his defense of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters — who will force Republican candidates up and down the ballot to respond to whatever absurd position he decides to take in a given week.

For more on Hanks’ surprise U.S. Senate candidacy, check out Colorado Newsline, The Colorado Sun, and Denver7.

 

Via The New York Times (10/2/21)

The editorial board of The New York Times voices new concerns about the “Eastman Memo” and its author, former University of Colorado visiting professor John Eastman:

However horrifying the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol appeared in the moment, we know now that it was far worse.

The country was hours away from a full-blown constitutional crisis — not primarily because of the violence and mayhem inflicted by hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters but because of the actions of Mr. Trump himself.

In the days before the mob descended on the Capitol, a corollary attack — this one bloodless and legalistic — was playing out down the street in the White House, where Mr. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and a lawyer named John Eastman huddled in the Oval Office, scheming to subvert the will of the American people by using legal sleight-of-hand.

Mr. Eastman’s unusual visit was reported at the time, but a new book by the Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa provides the details of his proposed six-point plan. It involved Mr. Pence rejecting dozens of already certified electoral votes representing tens of millions of legally cast ballots, thus allowing Congress to install Mr. Trump in a second term.

If you’re not familiar with the “Eastman Memo,” click here to get started on learning more.

 

Colorado Public Radio reports on big local rallies on Saturday in protest of a new anti-abortion law in Texas. The Associated Press has more on the Women’s March that drew hundreds of people to the State Capitol in Denver. The Ft. Collins Coloradoan reports on rallies in Larimer County, while The Pueblo Chieftain does the same for Southern Colorado.

 

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Get More Smarter on Friday (Oct. 1)

Happy “World Vegetarian Day.” Try the grilled cheese. 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 

 

As Colorado Newsline reports, a debt limit disaster has been averted for the time being:

Congress made a last-minute dash to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, with the U.S. Senate and House approving a short-term spending bill just hours ahead of a midnight deadline.

Every Democratic and independent senator and 15 Republicans supported the bill in the 65-35 vote. The GOP senators in the “aye” tally included Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy of Louisiana; Susan Collins of Maine; Roy Blunt of Missouri; and Richard Burr and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Both of Colorado’s senators — Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper — are Democrats.

The House later passed the federal spending bill — which will keep government agencies funded at current levels through Dec. 3, and provide $28.6 billion in aid for regions struck by extreme weather — on a vote of 254-175.

All three Republican members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation — Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck, and Doug Lamborn — voted ‘NO.’

 

…But the slog continues. The Associated Press updates on efforts by Congressional Democrats to work out an infrastructure deal while avoiding a debt ceiling disaster that Republicans refuse to even discuss:

Democrats were back at it Friday, doggedly determined to rescue a scaled-back version of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion government overhaul and salvage a related public works bill after a long night of frantic negotiations that resulted in no deal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was gathering the party’s lawmakers for a private morning session to assess the path forward. She vowed there would be a “vote today” on the companion $1 trillion infrastructure bill that is popular but has become snared in the broader debate. But the situation was highly uncertain, and no schedule was set.

Holdout Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia sank hopes for a compromise late Thursday, despite hours of shuttle diplomacy with White House aides on Capitol Hill, when he refused to budge on his demands for a smaller overall package, around $1.5 trillion. That’s too meager for progressive lawmakers who are refusing to vote on the public works measure without a commitment to Biden’s broader framework on the bigger bill.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson again said the quiet part out loud regarding discussions on an infrastructure deal in Congress: The only Republican policy idea is performative obstruction:

 

If you could use a primer on all the drama in Congress, this rundown from The New York Times might be helpful:

 

 

State Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown has been advising Colorado Republican candidates to avoid talking about Mesa C0unty Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters. This seems like perfectly reasonable advice, but KBB is doing it quietly because Republicans are still terrified of upsetting a base that believes deeply in “The Big Lie.”

 

If you’re not familiar with the “Eastman Memo,” then you should really get acquainted with the specifics.

 

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Don’t Do It, Lang!

Lang Sias (right) with GOP gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton in July 2018.

Colorado Republicans are having a difficult time finding candidates willing to run for statewide office in 2022. Since the GOP can’t manage to find anyone new who is willing to embrace the base and turn off everyone else, they are now looking at ways to recycle.

We’re just 14 months away from the 2022 election, and Republicans still need candidates for Attorney General, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State. As we’ve said many times in this space, the Republican bench in Colorado is a phone booth after two massive Democratic wave years that saw topline candidates pummeled by an average of 10 points. The candidates that Republicans DO have are a disaster, which certainly doesn’t help recruitment efforts; we wouldn’t want to share a ticket with Heidi Ganahl and Eli Bremer, either.

There haven’t been many rumors of potential candidates for Attorney General, where incumbent Democrat Phil Weiser has already raised more than $1.7 million for his re-election campaign. Republicans thought they had a candidate for Secretary of State (SOS) in former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, but she decided against a run in part because of the Tina Peters disaster. Term-limited Larimer County Clerk and Recorder Angela Meyers is now rumored to be looking at challenging incumbent Democrat Jena Griswold, assuming Peters doesn’t run herself.

That leaves us with the office of State Treasurer, where the GOP is apparently going back to a well that has already turned up dry multiple times. That’s right, friends: Lang Sias still isn’t done getting kicked in the face by Colorado voters.

If you’re not familiar with Sias, that’s probably because he hasn’t had much success in Colorado politics. The 2020 election marked the first time in a decade that Sias was not a candidate for public office.

Sias has sought elected office in Colorado five times for four different seats. His only November victory came in 2016, when he was an “incumbent” State Representative by virtue of having been selected by a Republican vacancy committee a year earlier. Since 2010, Sias has lost races for State Senate (twice), Congress, and Lieutenant Governor; he didn’t even make it past the Primary Election in half of those contests.

The beatings will continue until Lang Sias improves.

 

So why would Sias return to the political stage in 2022? Because he…can? Honestly, we have no idea.

There are certainly some Republican political consultants who are telling Sias that he can totally beat Democratic incumbent Dave Young, which might be music to Lang’s ambitious ears. Of course, some of those consultants are probably the same people who told Sias that he could be a State Senator or a Congressman (they are also the same people who will read this and tell Sias that “Democrats are afraid of you,” as though anyone would be scared of a candidate with his track record of failure).

By most accounts, Sias seems to be a likable guy with big dreams but limited charisma who is more interesting to Republican power brokers than he is to Colorado voters. If Sias runs for Treasurer and can avoid a Republican Primary, maybe he can change his political fortunes. History would suggest otherwise.

We’re all guilty, from time to time, of listening to what we WANT to hear at the expense of what we NEED to hear. In Sias’ case, what he needs to hear is this: Maybe you should try something else.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Sept. 29)

Today is “National Coffee Day,” which means you might be able to score some free coffee from your favorite retailers. 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 

 

We haz a map!

After months and months of meetings and discussions, Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Committee approved a new Congressional map late Tuesday night. Now we just need the State Supreme Court to approve the new boundaries…

As Colorado Public Radio reports:

Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commission agreed on a congressional map at its final meeting Tuesday, just minutes before a midnight deadline. It will now go to the Colorado Supreme Court for approval.

The new map is largely modeled after Colorado’s current congressional boundaries, while making room for the state’s new 8th congressional district which will sit along the I-25 corridor north of Denver.

Politically, the map creates four Democratic seats, three Republican ones and a swing district — the new eighth — that leans slightly to the left. The boundaries give all of Colorado’s current members of Congress a strong chance of holding on to their seats.
This final map was a Democratic amendment to a plan drawn by nonpartisan staff based on public feedback. In the end, it was supported by eleven of the panel’s twelve commissioners, with just Democrat Simon Tafoya voting against it.

You can view the approved map below. Visit the Colorado Redistricting website for more details, or check out reporting from Alex Burness in The Denver Post.

The map!

 

 

Business groups and Republican leaders are working to secure GOP votes in the House of Representatives for an infrastructure vote scheduled to take place on Thursday. From The New York Times:

Although the measure is the product of a compromise among moderates in both parties, House Republican leaders are leaning on their members to reject the $1 trillion infrastructure bill by disparaging its contents and arguing that it will only pave the way for Democrats to push through their far larger climate change and social policy bill.

Their opposition has ratcheted up pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has the more progressive members of her Democratic caucus threatening to withhold their support for the infrastructure package until Congress acts on that broader bill. If Republicans unite in opposition, Ms. Pelosi can afford to lose as few as three Democrats on the bill.

But some Republican senators who helped write the bill, along with influential business groups who support it — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable — have started a countereffort to try to persuade House Republicans to back the legislation.

Across the aisle, Democrats are still working to secure support for President Biden’s economic agenda. From a separate New York Times story:

President Biden and his aides mounted an all-out effort on Wednesday to salvage Mr. Biden’s economic agenda in Congress, attempting to forge even the beginnings of a compromise between moderates and progressives on a pair of bills that would spend trillions to rebuild infrastructure, expand access to education, fight climate change and more.

Mr. Biden canceled a scheduled trip to Chicago, where he was planning to promote Covid-19 vaccinations, in order to continue talking with lawmakers during a critical week of deadlines in the House. One crucial holdout vote in the Senate, Kyrsten Sinema, a centrist from Arizona, was set to visit the White House on Wednesday morning, a person familiar with the meeting said.

Ms. Sinema was one of the Democratic champions of a bipartisan bill, brokered by Mr. Biden, to spend more than $1 trillion over the next several years on physical infrastructure like water pipes, roads, bridges, electric vehicle charging stations and broadband internet. That bill passed the Senate this summer. It is set for a vote this week in the House. But progressive Democrats have threatened to block it unless it is coupled with a more expansive bill that contains much of the rest of Mr. Biden’s domestic agenda, like universal prekindergarten and free community college, a host of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tax breaks for workers and families that are meant to fight poverty and boost labor force participation.

New polling from Colorado shows that voters in our state remain overwhelmingly supportive of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan. Biden’s plan has the support of 80% of Democrats and 60% of Unaffiliated voters; 27% of Republican voters agree with the proposal.

 

Colorado will use $500 million in federal COVID relief funding to boost child care resources throughout the state. Money from the American Rescue Plan amounts to more than double what Colorado’s Office of Early Childhood is normally able to spend in a given year.

 

 Republicans such as Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert aren’t even pretending to couch their beliefs about “replacement theory” in a less-overtly racist tone.

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Sept. 28)

Happy “World Rabies Day.” Please don’t celebrate by getting rabies. 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 

 

Senate Republicans, as promised, blocked efforts to avoid a government shutdown on Monday. Today, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued a dire warning:

Yellen on Tuesday told Congress that the U.S. will run out of flexibility to avoid breaching the debt limit on Oct. 18, setting a new deadline for lawmakers to avoid a catastrophic default on its payment obligations…

…Yellen’s letter came less than 24 hours after Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would suspend the debt ceiling and prevent a government shutdown on Friday. Senate Republicans have said they would support a stand-alone measure to prevent the shutdown but they largely have opposed efforts by Democrats to suspend the debt ceiling.

The U.S. government runs a large budget deficit, spending far more than it brings in through tax revenue. To address this imbalance, the government borrows money by issuing debt. But it can only issue debt up to a limit set by Congress. That limit is repeatedly raised or suspended, and lawmakers are now up against another cap.

House Democrats huddle over simmering tensions about budget and agenda.

If Congress doesn’t raise the limit, the Treasury Department will not have the capability to pay all of its bills. Yellen’s new letter lays out that this crunch will really tighten after Oct. 18. She called on Congress to act as swiftly as possible, an overture she has tried for weeks without much success.

Greg Sargent of The Washington Post recommends that Democrats respond to Republican obstruction in a manner that could stop some of this nonsense:

Democrats appear likely to opt for Plan B, which is to raise the debt limit in the reconciliation process. But if so, they have another option: They can try to use reconciliation to effectively nullify the debt limit, which if it works would end this nonsense for good.

Can President Biden get a deal done to avoid a government shutdown. As Chris Cillizza of CNN writes, Biden has spent his entire life preparing for this moment.

Colorado Newsline has more on this story with a local perspective.

 

Maps, maps, maps!

Sandra Fish and Thy Vo of The Colorado Sun explain — as much as anyone can — how Colorado’s redistricting process is nearing its conclusion:

Eight of the 12 members of Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission must agree on a map by the end of Tuesday to prevent a staff-drawn proposal from being sent to the state Supreme Court for final approval.

There are about 30 different maps commissioners can consider at a 2 p.m. meeting Monday or another meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

By this time tomorrow, we might know what Congressional map we are going to be arguing about. The final step could still involve a decision by the State Supreme Court.

The process for approving new legislative maps, meanwhile, seems likely to go smoother:

The latest draft state House and Senate maps released last week appear to each have the support of at least eight members of the Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission.

While commissioners have discussed changes they’d like to see to the maps, an informal straw poll last week indicated a supermajority of commissioners would, if the latest drafts were the final maps for consideration, vote for the proposals.

In related news, Evan Wyloge of the publication formerly known as The Colorado Statesman reports on new interactions related to a redistricting lobbying complaint against several Republican operatives, including Alan Philp, Frank McNulty, and Greg Brophy.

 

Colorado Republicans are not shy about offering their opinion that GOP gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl is going to get positively pummeled by incumbent Democrat Jared Polis in 2022. 

 

► David Leonhardt of The New York Times suggests a new moniker for the pandemic in the United States:

Via The New York Times (9/27/21)

 

New data from Gallup backs up this assertion. Roughly 92% of Democrats say that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 56% of Republicans.

 

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Im(p)eachment Inanity

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) made national headlines over the weekend thanks to the absence of one little ‘p’ from a press release announcing that she had filed im(p)eachment paperwork against both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Boebert wants Biden and Harris to be im(p)eached on account of “colluding with the Taliban” and related complaints connected to the U.S. withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan.

Lost in the unintentional hilarity of Boebert’s Friday announcement was the sheer ridiculousness of calling for the im(p)eachment of Biden and Harris. Boebert officially introduced her im(p)eachment resolution on September 24, 2021, making her the fourth Republican House Member to take this action in the 9+ months since Biden moved into the White House (and the third in the month of September). By our count, Republicans in the House of Representatives have formally called for the im(p)eachment of Biden and/or Harris at least 7 times in 2021…though Boebert appears to be the first and only Congressperson to have called for Biden’s “imeachment.”

On January 21, 2021, just days after Biden and Harris took office, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia filed a resolution to im(p)each Biden for “abuse of power by enabling bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors.” MTG has since filed three additional resolutions seeking to im(p)each Biden, all of them coming on August 23, 2021 (1, 2, and 3).

Republican Rep. Randy Weber of Texas filed his Biden im(p)eachment resolution — for “high crimes and misdemeanors” on September 10, 2021. Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio filed a resolution on September 21, 2021 calling for the im(p)eachment of Biden for the nebulous “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Not to be outdone, Republican Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina formally called for the im(p)eachment of Secretary of State Antony Blinken on August 27 for (again) “high crimes and misdemeanors.” On August 10, 2021, Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona filed a resolution to im(p)each Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on account of…well, you know the drill by now.

Anyway, these are all very serious people doing very critical and important things in Congress.

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.

 

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The GMS Podcast: Operation Naptime/ Tina Peters Returns

This week on Episode #87 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii break down the worst Colorado campaign kickoff this century (take a bow, Heidi Ganahl!) Elsewhere, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters returns to Colorado and immediately starts begging for money in order to help pay off what are sure to be MASSIVE legal bills related to breaking into her own office computers in order to prove voter fraud that doesn’t exist.

Further down the metaphorical road, we explain how the Colorado Republican Party found itself in a place in which everybody thinks everybody else is always out to get them. As if things weren’t bad enough for the GOP, new polling shows that they are absolutely on the wrong side of the bus when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines and mask mandates.

Catch up on previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

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Get More Smarter on Friday (Sept. 24)

The Denver Broncos could be [squints] 3-0 after this weekend. 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 

 

The Big Lie is getting increasingly difficult to sustain. The shady Arizona election audit that was supposed to show that Donald Trump actually received more votes than Joe Biden in the 2020 election turned out to be a complete bust.

Trump, of course, is blaming the media somehow:

“Huge findings in Arizona! However, the Fake News Media is already trying to ‘call it’ again for Biden before actually looking at the facts—just like they did in November!” Trump said, invoking once again his baseless claim that the 2020 election had been stolen from him.

As a reminder, the Arizona audit was initiated by  the Republican-controlled State Senate and overseen by a Florida company called “Cyber Ninjas” with longstanding ties to proponents of The Big Lie. This audit couldn’t have been more friendly toward Trump if it had allowed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to count the votes personally.

 

Maps, maps, maps!

Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commissions released new drafts of legislative and congressional maps on Thursday. As Alex Burness reports for The Denver Post:

The independent panel tasked with redrawing Colorado’s new congressional lines has until Tuesday to make up its mind. And the panel doing the same for state House and Senate districts isn’t far behind, with an Oct. 11 deadline looming.

Both commissions released new proposals Thursday. The congressional map, which includes the new 8th District in the suburbs north of Denver, would give Democrats an edge of at least seven points in four districts, according to aggregated results from recent elections. Republicans would control three districts, and the 8th District would essentially be a tossup — though elections since 2016 suggest a 1.3% advantage for Democrats.

Visit the Colorado Redistricting website to get a look at all the map proposals.

 

Frontline workers, people over the age of 65, and anyone with underlying health conditions who have already received the Pfizer vaccines are being encouraged to get a third booster shot.

 

A third, and perhaps final, version of a Congressional redistricting map is expected to be introduced today by nonpartisan staff of the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission. A new draft version of a legislative redistricting map is also supposed to arrive today. As The Associated Press reports:

Colorado’s independent congressional redistricting commission has entered the final stretch in fashioning a map for the next decade that incorporates a new eighth district and tries to keep intact communities of interest, such as Hispanic and Latino voters and urban and rural economic interests. That and avoiding splitting cities and counties into separate districts headlined commission discussions Wednesday…

…Commissioners have a Sept. 28 deadline to approve a map and must submit it to the state Supreme Court by Oct. 1.

Final approval by the 12-member commission requires at least eight “yes” votes, including two unaffiliated commissioners. If the commission fails to submit a final map next week, a staff map must be submitted, without amendments, for judicial review. The court must approve a congressional redistricting map by Dec. 15, 2021.

 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert continues to make national news for all the wrong reasons. We wrote earlier this week about ongoing questions about her campaign finance practices. The Washington Post finally figured out a cryptic part of her most recent filing correction:

A report her campaign submitted to the FEC on Tuesday specified that Boebert had made those four payments — two each of $2,000 and two each of $1,325 — to John Pacheco, and described them as rent and utilities “billed to [the] campaign via Venmo in error.” The report also noted that Boebert had reimbursed her campaign for those expenses, and that those reimbursements would be reported in the next FEC filing period.

In the report, Boebert’s campaign listed Pacheco’s address as 120 E. 3rd St. in Rifle, Colo. — the same address as Shooters Grill, a restaurant Boebert and her husband own, as well as a former marijuana dispensary next door that was converted into Boebert’s campaign office. However, no public records show Pacheco affiliated with that address. A deed shows Pacheco as the owner of a two-bedroom townhouse on Capitol Hill, and interior pictures from a Zillow listing for that townhouse show elements that match the background from recent interviews Boebert has given from home.

Reached by phone Thursday, Pacheco confirmed Boebert was his tenant in Washington but said he had “no idea” whether her rent money had been paid through her campaign or about anything regarding the amended FEC reports.

Who hasn’t at one time or another accidentally listed their Washington D.C. landlord as living at their Rifle, Colorado restaurant? Amirite?

There’s more on the story from 9News, CBS4 Denver, and The Pueblo Chieftain.

 

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (Sept. 23)

Happy “Kyrgyz Language Day.” Please celebrate responsibly…and without vowels. 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 

 

As The Washington Post reports, Congressional Republicans’ insistence on refusing to extend the debt ceiling means a government shutdown could be right around the corner:

The White House budget office will tell federal agencies on Thursday to begin preparations for the first shutdown of the U.S. government since the pandemic began, as lawmakers on Capitol Hill struggle to reach a funding agreement.

Administration officials stress the request is in line with traditional procedures seven days ahead of a shutdown and not a commentary on the likelihood of a congressional deal. Both Democrats and Republicans have made clear they intend to fund the government before its funding expires on Sept. 30, but time is running out and lawmakers are aiming to resolve an enormous set of tasks to in a matter of weeks.

House Democrats earlier this week approved a measure to fund the government, suspend the debt ceiling, and approve emergency aid such as disaster relief. But that plan is expected to die in the Senate amid GOP refusal to support Democratic attempts to lift the debt ceiling.

 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert has been using her campaign account as a personal slush fund since she was elected in November 2020. As The Denver Post reports, she’s doing it AGAIN:

Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert paid rent and utility bills with campaign funds in violation of federal campaign finance laws, new filings with the Federal Election Commision show.

The filings, submitted to the FEC on Tuesday, also indicate that Boebert reimbursed her campaign for the $6,650 worth of payments. Representatives for the congresswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Each of the four payments in question (two for $2,000 each and another two for $1,325 each) were amended to show payments for the same amount, description and on the same days to John Pacheco, whose address is the same as Shooters Grill in Rifle, which Boebert owns. Pacheco’s relationship to Boebert was not immediately clear.

The latest discrepancy appeared in a July campaign finance report for the committee Lauren Boebert for Congress. Payments to Venmo were described as “Personal expense of Lauren Boebert billed to campaign account in error. Expense has been reimbursed.”

This is NOT LEGAL, as we’ve been explaining for months in this space.

 

 Since we’re on the subject of Boebert, here’s more about her potential involvement in efforts by former President Trump to overturn the 2020 election and, well, initiate a coup attempt.

 

A third, and perhaps final, version of a Congressional redistricting map is expected to be introduced today by nonpartisan staff of the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission. A new draft version of a legislative redistricting map is also supposed to arrive today. As The Associated Press reports:

Colorado’s independent congressional redistricting commission has entered the final stretch in fashioning a map for the next decade that incorporates a new eighth district and tries to keep intact communities of interest, such as Hispanic and Latino voters and urban and rural economic interests. That and avoiding splitting cities and counties into separate districts headlined commission discussions Wednesday…

…Commissioners have a Sept. 28 deadline to approve a map and must submit it to the state Supreme Court by Oct. 1.

Final approval by the 12-member commission requires at least eight “yes” votes, including two unaffiliated commissioners. If the commission fails to submit a final map next week, a staff map must be submitted, without amendments, for judicial review. The court must approve a congressional redistricting map by Dec. 15, 2021.

 

The FDA has authorized COVID-19 booster shots for older Americans who have already received the Pfizer vaccines. Here in Colorado, you can get free at-home COVID-19 tests with a quick signup online.

 

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (September 22)

Welcome to Fall. 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 

 

 As multiple media outlets are reporting, the Trump campaign knew full well that their attacks on Denver-based Dominion Voting Services were complete nonsense. From The New York Times:

Two weeks after the 2020 election, a team of lawyers closely allied with Donald J. Trump held a widely watched news conference at the Republican Party’s headquarters in Washington. At the event, they laid out a bizarre conspiracy theory claiming that a voting machine company had worked with an election software firm, the financier George Soros and Venezuela to steal the presidential contest from Mr. Trump.

But there was a problem for the Trump team, according to court documents released on Monday evening.

By the time the news conference occurred on Nov. 19, Mr. Trump’s campaign had already prepared an internal memo on many of the outlandish claims about the company, Dominion Voting Systems, and the separate software company, Smartmatic. The memo had determined that those allegations were untrue.

The court papers, which were initially filed late last week as a motion in a defamation lawsuit brought against the campaign and others by a former Dominion employee, Eric Coomer, contain evidence that officials in the Trump campaign were aware early on that many of the claims against the companies were baseless. [Pols emphasis]

In related news, newly released emails indicate that right-wing provocateur Joe Oltmann was corresponding with Trump attorney Sidney Powell and telling her that several Colorado Clerks were helping to unveil nonexistent voter fraud.

 

Colorado Republicans managed to avoid voting to opt-out of the 2022 primary election in a vote last Saturday, but the finger-pointing that emerged before the vote shows that the State GOP is now just one giant conspiracy in which everyone thinks everyone else is out to get them.

Jason Salzman makes a similar point for The Colorado Times Recorder.

 

The Denver Post reports on the ongoing battle between Jeffco Public Health and a handful of Christian schools in Jefferson County that continue to resist efforts to prevent more COVID-19 infections.

 

As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, lots of new polling shows that Americans absolutely despise the new Texas abortion law:

Texas Republicans’ decision to pass the nation’s most restrictive abortion law earlier this month has landed like a lead balloon with voters nationally.

At the core of the law is the empowerment of private citizens to bring lawsuits against people who assist someone in getting an abortion after the state’s six-week window. It also provides monetary rewards of up to $10,000 for those who bring the suits.

People really don’t like either of those provisions, according to new national polling from Monmouth University.

Fully 70% of Americans disagree with the idea of allowing private citizens to bring lawsuits against abortion providers. That numbers includes 9 in 10 Democrats, yes, but also more than 4 in 10 Republicans.

Opposition to paying off these complainants is even higher in the poll, with 81% disapproving of the idea — including 2 in 3 (67%) of self-identified Republicans.

We’ve said it before in this space, but it bears repeating: Republicans may have created a big 2022 campaign problem by forcing through such a ridiculous law.

 

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