It’s not officially Springtime just yet, but it sure feels that way. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Democrats turned out for their Party caucus in huge numbers on Tuesday. In the race for Governor, Cary Kennedy appears to have the early lead among caucus-goers with 50 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for Jared Polis. According to the Colorado Democratic Party, more than 23,000 Democrats turned out for Tuesday’s caucus, which amounts to a nearly 400% increase from the last mid-term election year (2014).
Elsewhere, Democratic turnout for Tuesday’s primary election in Texas has Republicans worried. As NBC News reports:
Democrats hoping for a blue wave in November were buoyed, if not jubilant, Tuesday as Texas voters cast the first ballots in this year’s midterms in closely watched primaries for Senate, House and governor.
While final turnout numbers were not as strong for Democrats as heavy early voting had suggested, more than 1 million party members in Texas cast ballots — the first time Democrats topped that figure in a primary since the 2002 midterms…
…Democratic turnout was up 84 percent from the last midterm primary, in 2014, while Republican turnout increased about 14 percent, according to data from the secretary of state’s office. GOP turnout was the highest since the 2010 midterm.
► Colorado Senate Democrats renewed their call for a hearing on an expulsion resolution for Republican Sen. Randy Baumgardner, who faces multiple charges of sexual harassment. Senate President Kevin Grantham, meanwhile, continues to respond to allegations of harassment by three Republican Senators in the absolute worst manner possible.
► President Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, is resigning over disagreements about Trump’s proposals for expansive new tariffs on steel and aluminum. Wall Street did not react well; the Dow took a sharp dive in early trading on Wednesday.
As the New York Times reports, Cohn’s resignation is a major indicator of a growing rift on trade in the Republican Party
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent reports on legislation proposed by Colorado’s U.S. Senators regarding the ski industry and public lands:
Colorado’s two U.S. senators teamed with a colleague from Oregon Tuesday to introduce a bill that would allow national forests to retain a portion of the fees they collect from ski resorts that use federal lands for operations.
The Ski Area Fee Retention Act was introduced by Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, Democrat Michael Bennet, and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden.
The legislation would create a ski area fee retention account under the National Forest System. A portion of the $37 million in annual ski area fees would be retained in that account.
“This would ensure that the Forest Service has adequate resources to administer permits and review capital improvement project proposals in more heavily trafficked forests, such as the White River National Forest — the most visited National Forest in the country,” said a statement from the senators.
► Porn star Stormy Daniels is suing Donald Trump, because of course she is.
► A HUD employee says a whistleblower in the department is facing retaliation after calling out obscene expenditures in the department overseen by Ben Carson. From Politico:
A HUD employee has accused Secretary Ben Carson of conducting a “witch hunt” against a whistleblower and painted a picture of chaos and mismanagement that could hinder a congressional investigation into the agency.
In a Tuesday email to Carson and other HUD officials, Marcus Smallwood defended Helen Foster, another HUD official who has raised concerns over spending at the department.
“I have participated in the silencing of employees trying to protect them from the malicious activities of senior leadership at HUD,” wrote Smallwood, director of records and information management at HUD. He accused Carson of launching a “smear campaign” against Foster.
“It was her job to be the conscience of HUD and ask the tough questions,” he said. Foster was demoted after raising questions about the agency’s handling of Freedom of Information Act requests and Carson’s spending on office furniture.
► A longtime Republican operative from Colorado is under scrutiny for moonlighting while working full-time as an EPA appointee. Patrick Davis, the EPA Region 8 Regional Administrator (for regional administrating) was given approval last year to work as the sales director for a telemarketing firm.
► James Reilly of Colorado Springs was introduced on Tuesday as the nominee to lead the U.S. Geological Survey.
► Democrat Jason Crow picked up the endorsement of the Sierra Club on Tuesday in his bid for Congress in CD-6.
► A new report from the Independent Petroleum Association of America says that oil and gas drilling is totally safe. As the Greeley Tribune reports, the timing of this report is no coincidence:
The report comes out just a day before the Colorado State Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hear testimony on House Bill 1077, a bill authored by Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, which Energy In Depth says would make oil and gas operations more difficult in the state because it would require oil and gas operators to prove development does not adversely affect human health and does not contribute to climate change, according to the release.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is a lonely politician.
► Colorado Republicans are tuning out business interests at the State Capitol and refusing to budge on requests to advance a ballot measure to address funding for transportation infrastructure.
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is among the Democrats supporting a bill that would weaken regulations on banks. From The Huffington Post:
Seventeen members of the Democratic caucus joined nearly all Republican senators on Tuesday in voting to advance the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, a bill that was co-sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and committee member Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.). The legislation garnered support from a mix of centrist and red-state Democrats, who argued it would help small community banks and make it easier for Americans to buy a home by increasing access to capital…
…That the legislation would also increase the risk of a financial crisis isn’t a criticism from some far-left interest group, however ― it’s the conclusion of the Congressional Budget Office, which produces independent, nonpartisan analysis of budgetary issues.
In looking at the legislation’s costs, the CBO considered the odds of a systemically important financial institution failing or a broader financial collapse. “CBO estimates that the probability is small under current law and would be slightly greater under the legislation,” the budget scorekeeper said in a cost estimate published this week.
► Las Vegas will follow Denver’s lead when it comes to figuring out how to implement legal pot-smoking clubs.
► Republican state Rep. Dave Williams is heading to the White House to talk immigration policy. No, seriously.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) apparently has more than 80 million households in his district:
Median tax savings in #CO06 = $2902
400+ companies expanding employee benefits.
4,000,000+ receiving special bonuses.
80,000,000+ seeing lower utility bills.
90% of workers seeing bigger paychecks.
Plain & simple → these results are not “crumbs.” #TaxCutsandJobsAct
— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) March 6, 2018
► The water shortage crisis in Cape Town, South Africa, is drawing new attention to the very real dangers of Climate Change.
► If you have concerns about the economy, President Trump would like you to know that it is not his fault. From Politico:
President Donald Trump attacked the economic track record of his predecessors Wednesday morning, blaming presidents dating back nearly 30 years for accumulating the trade deficits that he has railed against and pledged to reverse.
“From Bush 1 to present, our Country has lost more than 55,000 factories, 6,000,000 manufacturing jobs and accumulated Trade Deficits of more than 12 Trillion Dollars,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Last year we had a Trade Deficit of almost 800 Billion Dollars. Bad Policies & Leadership. Must WIN again! #MAGA”
► Don’t just shoot raccoons — obliterate them!