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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► The story of the involvement of Colorado Republicans with much-maligned Cambridge Analytica is only getting worse. Multiple news outlets reported on the latest news about the use of data mined by Cambridge Analytica. Here’s 9News:
Data collected from millions of Facebook users by a British firm could still be available, even after Facebook said steps were taken to ensure that data was deleted.
That includes campaign data from more than 100,000 Coloradans, according to an investigation by ITN Channel 4 News in the United Kingdom, a partner of NBC News.
Channel 4 News did not name the source from Cambridge Analytica that provided that campaign data, but reported that data included personality and psychological information about 136,000 Coloradans.
“There was information about my political views, there was a personality profile, personality characteristic,” said Debra Kooser, who lives in Arvada and was interviewed for the Channel 4 News investigation. “Whether you were introverted or extroverted, whether you were open or closed, whether you were neurotic or not neurotic—I remember that one.”
► Lawmakers in Vermont are nearing the finish line on legislation designed to make a real impact on reducing gun violence:
The Vermont House has passed a bill to make background checks mandatory for all gun sales, ban high-capacity magazines, ban bump stocks, and raise the purchase age for rifles to 21; GOP Gov. Phil Scott, a gun owner, says he’ll sign it: https://t.co/F8t4Px5V28
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 29, 2018
► It’s budget debate time in the Colorado legislature. Brian Eason has more for the Denver Post.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► President Trump fired VA Secretary David Shulkin on Wednesday (via Twitter, because of course), much to the delight of Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora), a man who spends a good portion of his time fighting VA Secretaries of all shapes and sizes. Trump selected the White House doctor, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, to succeed Shulkin, which has many VA observers concerned:
“We have a lot of questions about the nominee,” said Joseph Chenelly, national executive director of American Veterans, or AmVets, the fourth-largest veterans service organization. “We think the White House has a tall order ahead of it in showing that this doctor is qualified to lead a $200 billion agency.”
Chenelly said he also has concerns that Jackson is active duty and therefore answerable to the president as commander in chief. “There’s a possibility that the doctor couldn’t even say no to the president,” he said. “We’re not a government that’s run by our military.”
Trump likes Jackson mostly because he told reporters that the Big Orange Man does, in fact, have a functional brain.
► Now that he is officially without a job, Shulkin is free to speak about his concerns over efforts to privatize the VA.
► State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, the (perhaps) frontrunner for the Republican nomination for Governor, is taking heat for appearing on television in advertisements for the “Great Colorado Payback” that critics allege is nothing more than a free political spot.
► Rumors continue to swirl surrounding the potential departure of House Speaker Paul Ryan. From the Washington Post:
“The idea that he’s going to walk out of there in the middle of the fight is ludicrous,” said John A. Boehner, Ryan’s predecessor.
“Absolutely not,” said Eric Cantor, the former majority leader. “The notion that Paul Ryan is just going to abdicate and leave is preposterous.”
Boehner and Cantor, speaking in separate telephone interviews Wednesday, were reacting to the latest speculation about Ryan’s future, after a rank-and-file Republican told local Nevada media that the Wisconsin Republican would resign within 60 days.
These rumors are not new. In December, talk that Ryan would not seek re-election was a hot topic on Capitol Hill. Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise is rumored to be next in line for House Speaker if Ryan departs before a potential Democratic takeover of the House in November.
► The race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination appears to be a two-person affair between Rep. Jared Polis and Cary Kennedy.
► Would you be surprised if we told you that Colorado Republicans were neck-deep in another scandal surrounding petition signatures for ballot access? No. No, you would not.
Trump’s latest critique comes after Amazon’s stock took a hit Wednesday following the publication of a report in Axios that Trump was “obsessed” with the retail giant, according to a person interviewed by the publication. Shares fell more than 4 percent on Wednesday and continued their tumble Thursday, falling more than 3.8 percent in morning trading.
Trump has attacked Amazon.com before, but this latest attempt feels more like an effort by the President to divert media attention to something that doesn’t involve Russia or porn stars.
► We’ll just leave this here:
People Republicans think deserve reparations:
❌ Black people
❌ Native Americans
✅ Oil & Gas companies facing local safety rules
— Colorado Senate Dems (@COSenDem) March 29, 2018
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is among a group of Democrats opposing a new proposal to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
► Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is being investigated for misconduct.
► “Rolling coal” is stupid AND illegal.
► One of President Trump’s attorneys has apparently brought up the idea of pardoning some of the key players being investigated over potential collusion with Russia. As the New York Times reports:
A lawyer for President Trump broached the idea of Mr. Trump’s pardoning two of his former top advisers, Michael T. Flynn and Paul Manafort, with their lawyers last year, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.
The discussions came as the special counsel was building cases against both men, and they raise questions about whether the lawyer, John Dowd, who resigned last week, was offering pardons to influence their decisions about whether to plead guilty and cooperate in the investigation.
The talks suggest that Mr. Trump’s lawyers were concerned about what Mr. Flynn and Mr. Manafort might reveal were they to cut a deal with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, in exchange for leniency. Mr. Mueller’s team could investigate the prospect that Mr. Dowd made pardon offers to thwart the inquiry, although legal experts are divided about whether such offers might constitute obstruction of justice.
► China is warning the United States about the dangers of promoting a trade war.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Thomas Krannawitter probably wasn’t the best choice to keynote the Colorado Republican Party’s big annual fundraising dinner.
► Dubya has some decent dance moves.
► Efforts to revive the fanny pack must be stopped.
► Drain the swamp? Not so much.