Get More Smarter on Tuesday (March 20)

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TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The suspect in a school shooting in Maryland is believed to be dead, but not before he was able to seriously wound two students at a rural high school in the southern part of the state. CNN has more on the 17th school shooting of 2018.

Here in Colorado, Senate Republicans continue to fight against any effort at reducing gun violence. On Monday a Senate committee defeated legislation to ban “bump stocks.”

 

► New revenue forecasts for the State of Colorado have lawmakers on both sides of the aisle writing checks in their minds. As Brian Eason reports for the Denver Post:

The two quarterly revenue forecasts released Monday by the governor’s office and the Colorado Legislative Council both project a significant boost to tax collections this fiscal year and next, leaving the state with more than $500 million more to spend than economists expected during the most recent forecasts three months ago.

The March forecasts take on special significance, because they are the numbers that state lawmakers will use in crafting the 2018-19 state budget, which the Joint Budget Committee is expected to finish drafting as soon as this week.

The political fight that lies ahead is unlike any that lawmakers have encountered since before the Great Recession. After years of difficult decisions on what public services to cut, budget writers this year instead have to decide which item on their wish list gets the biggest boost. And lawmakers and interest groups wasted no time Monday offering their two cents on how the money should be spent.

 

► House Speaker Paul Ryan says that he has received “assurances” that President Trump won’t try to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

 

► Colorado Senate Republicans have taken a ridiculous new step in their ongoing efforts to ignore sexual harassment problems in their own caucus. Republican State Senator Beth Martinez Humenik filed an official complaint against Democratic Senator Daniel Kagan alleging that Kagan used an unmarked women’s restroom in the State Capitol.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

► Democrat Jared Polis is already buying up television ad space in advance of the June Primary:

 

► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) has been on the list of potentially-endangered incumbents since 2012. The Los Angeles Times considers whether Coffman can weather perhaps his toughest challenge yet in a story titled, “If you can’t beat ’em join ’em? Lawmaker reinvents himself to survive anti-Trump wave”:

In Coffman’s district, which wraps around east Denver, Trump lost to Clinton by 9 percentage points. Coffman — who once called for printing ballots only in English, but now has a Twitter feed in Spanish — beat his Democratic challenger in part by openly denouncing Trump.

“People ask me, ‘What do you think about Trump?’ Honestly, I don’t care for him much, and I certainly don’t trust Hillary,” Coffman told viewers in a 2016 television ad, vowing to stand up to Trump if he won.

Since Trump’s inauguration, however, Coffman has sided with the president in more than 95% of his House votes, according to the FiveThirtyEight website. [Pols emphasis]

Morgan Carroll, his former rival, described Coffman as a crafty politician who rarely breaks with Trump and his allies in the House.

“I think he has proven himself very skilled at marketing,” she said. “He has been able to reinvent himself in a way that’s utterly divorced from his voting record.”

 

► On the topic of CD-6, Democratic frontrunner Jason Crow picked up the endorsement of one of his Democratic opponents. From the Aurora Sentinel:

David Aarestad, an Aurora attorney, says he’s dropping out of the CD6 Democratic primary race and throwing his support behind Crow, an Army veteran who has backing from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Democrats hope to unseat a so-far unbeatable GOP U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, who has handily fended off three Democratic opponents in six years since he won the redrawn congressional seat that mostly covers Aurora.

In a statement Aarestad said over the last year Crow “has remained unflapped in the face of personal attacks. Adding, “he has a willingness to listen, amend his views and serve this community that we have been lacking for so many years.”

 

President Trump wants to execute drug traffickers.

 

► Republicans are worried about a potential appointee to fill the rest of Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran’s seat. From the New York Times:

Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi has told associates he intends to appoint the state’s agricultural commissioner to fill the seat Senator Thad Cochran is vacating next month, alarming senior Republicans who believe it could create a messy special election and an opening for Democrats.

Mr. Bryant is expected to name Cindy Hyde-Smith, a former Democratic state senator who became a Republican in 2010, as Mr. Cochran’s replacement on Wednesday, according to two Mississippi Republicans. The 80-year-old Mr. Cochran, who has been in ill health, is resigning on April 1.

Ms. Hyde-Smith would be the first woman to represent Mississippi in Washington, and the first female Republican to represent the Deep South in the Senate. Ms. Hyde-Smith would enter the special election this November with the blessing of a popular governor, but she could be vulnerable against state senator Chris McDaniel, the firebrand conservative who nearly unseated Mr. Cochran in 2014 and recently indicated he would run for the soon-to-be vacated seat.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), is going to need a lot more than just President Trump to stave off trouble in 2018. Gardner has another problem with a coal baron candidate in West Virginia.

 

► Denver city leaders announced a new legal defense fund for immigrants concerned about deportation. Also, immigrants are not causing people to flee Colorado.

 

President Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his “re-election” over the weekend. 

 

► Republican State Rep. Dave Williams is taking blistering fire from a GOP Primary challenger.

 

Brandon Rittiman of 9News examines the potentially-difficult path to getting on the Democratic Primary ballot for Governor. Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne submitted her signatures for ballot access on Monday. 

 

► Today is the deadline for submitting petition signatures for ballot access. The Denver Post has more on how the Secretary of State’s office is working to avoid a repeat of the various scandals from the 2016 GOP Senate petition process. 

 

► Democrat Noel Ginsburg is officially ending his campaign for Governor.

 

► Republican Nic Morse, a former candidate for Congress in CD-2, is ending his bid for the GOP nomination for State Senate. Following the 2016 election, Morse tried unsuccessfully to gin up support for a run for State Treasurer.

 

► An affordable housing bill is moving forward in the state legislature.

 

► Facebook has a serious Cambridge Analytica problem.

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

President Trump has hired another attorney to defend him against allegations of collusion with Russian officials during the 2016 election. Former U.S. Attorney Joseph E. diGenova has been making the rounds on television in recent months claiming that the FBI and the Justice Department are trying to “frame” President Trump. Perhaps diGenova would have been a better choice to help defend Trump against allegations of an affair made by porn star Stormy Daniels because he looks an awful lot like a famous male adult film actor:

One of these men is Trump’s newest legal attack dog. The other is Ron Jeremy.

 

Cynthia Coffman’s campaign team in her bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination includes both a Roger Hutson and a Roger Hudson. That’s not going to be confusing at all. 

ICYMI

 

NBC News reports on how “abstinence only” true believers ended a successful teen pregnancy prevention program:

The Trump administration’s abrupt cancellation of a federal program to prevent teen pregnancy last year was directed by political appointees over the objections of career experts in the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers the program, according to internal notes and emails obtained by NBC News.

The trove shows three appointees with strict pro-abstinence beliefs — including Valerie Huber, the then-chief of staff for the department’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health — guided the process to end a program many medical professionals credit with helping to bring the nation’s teen pregnancy rate to an all-time low.

 

 

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4 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    Republican State Senator Beth Martinez Humenik filed an official complaint against Democratic Senator Daniel Kagan  …

    Are they trying THAT hard to get to Jon Oliver's show? Will Rachael Maddow dedicate 60 seconds of her show to respond to such a move by the Colorado Senate Republicans?

  2. mamajama55 says:

    People in my area liked Noel Ginsburg because he showed up, twice. Also, his heart is really in the right place on protecting DACA kids, and his apprenticeship program has great potential for giving kids a start out of high school.

    So Ginsburg ended up with a delegate from our assembly.

     

  3. MADCO says:

    Which is a fun fact for the candidate.
    And perhaps for your precinct.

    And utter meaningless to the race.
    I just don't get the love of caucus and process that hasn't consistently produced winners.

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