Get More Smarter on Monday (April 30)

The 2018 Primary election is eight weeks away. 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.



► The 2018 Colorado legislative session only seems like it has been going on forever. John Frank previews the final 10 days of the session for the Denver Post:

The General Assembly’s to-do list includes: a measure to stabilize the crippled state pension systemthat covers 1 in 10 Coloradans; an effort to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into improving the state’s roads and highways; the renewal of a commission tasked with defending civil rights; two ballot measures that revamp how political districts are drawn; and more.

At the same time, Democrats in the state Senate are again pushing to expela Republican lawmaker for harassment after new credible allegations surface. The Democrats’ action amplifies the partisan tension in the Capitol.

More than 700 bills have been filed during this legislative session.


► Get ready for a trade war, as the New York Times reports:

A few weeks ago, it felt as if a trade war pitting the United States against allies like Australia, Canada and the European Union was over before it even began. The Trump administration dispensed so many temporary exemptions to steel and aluminum tariffs that many countries figured the threats were just political theater.

But with only days left before the exemptions expire and punitive tariffs take effect, it’s dawning on foreign leaders that decades of warm relations with the United States carry little weight with a president dismissive of diplomatic norms and hostile toward the ground rules of international trade.

What began as a way to protect American steel and aluminum jobs has since become a cudgel that the Trump administration is using to extract concessions in other areas, including car exports to Europe or negotiations to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.

As a May 1 deadline looms, the decision on whether to grant permanent exemptions to the steel and aluminum tariffs, and to whom, appears likely to come down to the whims of President Trump, who has seesawed between scrapping and rejoining global trade deals.

Chinese officials are signaling that they will oppose two of President Trump’s top trade priorities.


► Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) is making a final effort to make the June Primary ballot via a federal courtroom today. Ernest Luning has more for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman. Lamborn is appealing a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that invalidated enough of his petition signatures to keep him off of the Republican Primary ballot.


► Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Robinson (Mitt Romney’s Nephew) was a guest on The Get More Smarter Show last week. Check out the full interview here.


Get even more smarter after the jump…



► The Washington Post profiles a major GOP political donor whose name you might want to be familiar with: Richard Uihlein.


► Senator Cory Gardner remains skeptical about news that North Korea may be willing to shutter its nuclear weapons program.


► Colorado’s marijuana industry is pushing officials in Texas to back off on restricting the sale of CBD. From Hemp Industry Daily:

The confusion started in March, when the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced a draft plan to yank CBD products from shelves — even if they contain no THC and aren’t marijuana derivatives.

Public comment on the issue has closed. The final decision will be made by the agency’s commissioner, Dr. John Hellerstedt.

A spokeswoman for the agency told Hemp Industry Daily that CBD is an adulterant that can’t be added to foods and is not a legal nutritional supplement.

The word of the day is ‘adulterant.’


NBC News reports on a divisive Republican Primary in Indiana for the right to take on incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly in November:

Drunken driving, self-dealing and false advertising.

Those are just some of the charges voters here are sifting through in a brutal three-way Republican primary that will determine who gets to take on Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., in November. That contest on May 8 is one of a handful across the country that will determine which party controls the Senate next year, and Republicans believe they have a good shot at winning the seat.

The primary in Vice President Mike Pence’s home state has turned personal largely because there’s hardly a whit of policy difference among the three GOP candidates — Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer, and former state Rep. Mike Braun. They’re all against abortion, taxes and the growth of entitlement spending, and they’re all doing their best to portray themselves as the second coming of President Donald Trump.


 Politico reports on a similar Republican battle underway in Ohio:

Republicans’ latest special election headache is unfolding in central Ohio, where a chaotic primary has divided the party and stoked fears of losing another seat in Donald Trump territory to Democrats.

The race pits the two wings of the House Republican Conference against each other, going all out to nominate rival candidates. On one side is the scrappy co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Jim Jordan, who is lining up behind Melanie Leneghan, a self-described Trump Republican. Jordan is going up against former Rep. Pat Tiberi, a close ally of GOP leadership who resigned from his seat in January and has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars from his old campaign account to boost state Sen. Troy Balderson as his successor.

A week before the primary, the super PAC arm of the Club for Growth, a longtime conservative antagonist of business-backed Republicans like Tiberi, is jumping into the 10-candidate race with TV ads attackingBalderson, Club strategists told POLITICO.


 9News fact-checks a television ad promoting Democrat Michael Johnston for Governor.


► Colorado Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne probably won’t be the Democratic nominee for Governor, but she has a new tattoo that is a permanent reminder of her 2018 campaign.


Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is backing state Rep. Joe Salazar in Colorado’s Democratic Primary for Attorney General.


► Legislation dealing with changes to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission has become quite the conundrum.




Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


► The Washington Post explains why it is such a nightmare to hire employees in the Trump administration:

Credentialed candidates have had to prove loyalty to the president, with many still being blocked for previous anti-Trump statements. Hundreds of national security officials, for example, were nixed from consideration because they spoke out against Trump during the campaign. But for longtime Trump loyalists, their fidelity to the president is often sufficient, obscuring what in a more traditional administration would be red flags.

The failed nomination of Ronny L. Jackson, the president’s physician, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs was the latest example of the sometimes haphazard way Trump unilaterally elevates people with whom he has a personal rapport.

Speaking of Ronny Jackson, the President’s former physician will not return to his previous job after his short-lived nomination to head up the Veteran’s Administration.


► The “mystery” of the disappearing White House tree has been solved.



Steve Lebsock is/was living it up in Las Vegas


 Click here to watch The Get More Smarter Show and an interview with Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Robinson (Mitt Romney’s Nephew).



Click here for The Get More Smarter Show. You can also Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!


11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    Those who opine that outsiders shouldn't subvert local Democratic voters choosing in an open primary may need to be cautious about their complaints. Consider:

    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is backing state Rep. Joe Salazar in Colorado’s Democratic Primary for Attorney General.

    So, it has to be "urging to get out of the race," "official Democratic organizations" and "money" being that are objectionable, not just "outsiders."

    • Pseudonymous says:

      People should endorse whomever they please, I think.  If Steny Hoyer, or Perlmitter, DeGette, or Polis want to go to CD-6 and say they back Crow, I can live with that.  If they, instead, want to have an ostensibly neutral party organization beard for them and try to shove other candidates out behind the scenes, I think that's a problem.  Just say you're not here to elect Democrats but to elect certain Democrats.

      As long as the establishment is transparent with voters that they want to limit or direct their choices, I think that allows Democrats who feel silenced to make a choice about whether the party values them or not.  If, however, the party is working behind the scenes, dropping oppo on candidates it doesn't like, threatening others to get out, letting a few reps from other districts decide who stays and who goes before the race is even run, it's that backroom dealing that's a problem.

      If you think what you're doing is best for party and voter, then do it in the open and let them tell you if they agree.

      • Who ever said the DCCC was "neutral"? Their job is to try to win Democratic House seats and protect incumbents; they have never been "neutral", and the solution to their non-neutrality is to do what is now exceedingly simple: donate to candidates directly and let the national orgs spend from member dues.

        • Pseudonymous says:

          My understanding is that the D-trip itself has suggested it was neutral.  Every story I've read about it pushing a candidate in a primary against a progressive alternative has bits like the following (in bold).

          Hoyer’s support for Crow, one of four Democrats running in a primary in the district, has been public since his leadership PAC made campaign contributions to Crow last year. But his explanation that party bosses consider Tillemann a spoiler and are leaning on him to stand down, in part because the party’s state delegation recruited Crow — and recommended that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee support him — directly contradicts the DCCC’s repeated insistence it’s staying neutral in the battleground race.


          The DCCC, the campaign arm of the House Democrats, in mid-November listed Crow among 11 congressional candidates named to its Red to Blue program to provide fundraising and organizational support. The announcement drew protests on social media from Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll, Coffman’s 2016 challenger and a DCCC Red to Blue candidate in that year’s election, who said the move amounted to an endorsement. It was, she said, contrary to both what DCCC officials had told her to expect and the organization’s stated policy of neutrality.

          The DCCC verbally said they would be neutral and in practice just endorsed one of the candidates in CD6,” Carroll wrote in a Nov. 16 Facebook comment reacting to news Crow had receivd the DCCC’s designation. “The neutrality policy is ours at the Colorado Democratic Party but it SHOULD be their policy too at the national level. My 2 cents.”

          Of course, all these politicians may misunderstand what the D-trip is telling them, or they may be lying about what the DCCC told them.  I think the more likely scenario is that the D-trip is telling folks it will remain neutral, then failing to when it suits them.

          • JohnInDenver says:

            And according to DeGette's comment at the HD-9 Democrat meeting, Hoyer's taped remarks saying the "delegation" recruited Crow and opposed Tillemann's "spoiler" role is news to her. She said she didn't recruit and wasn't backing either candidate.

            So, can anyone speak to the other Democrats in the House and Senate, as to whether they did anything to "recruit" or "support" one candidate?


  2. Voyageur says:

    I tend to agree with you , Sudy.  But I seem to recall you saying you' re not a member of the party. That would seem to undercut your argument a bit.

    But I do think your distinction is important.  Individual Democrats can support whomever they like.  (And kudos for not saying "whoever." )

    But I am a little uncomfortable with the party apparatus tipping the playing field.  Usually, they tip it to moderates like me.  But victory in November will often require backing of progressive independents like you.

  3. notaskinnycook says:

    I don't give a rat's whisker who the D-Trip likes or doesn't in a state race. As a matter of fact, a candidate for anything below a CD race who invites the D-Trip into their campaign will have to win back my vote.

  4. Voyageur says:

    I'm not aware of any DCCC involvement below the CD level, cookie.  The acronym, after all, stands for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  I do approve of them getting into a few special situations, like a district or two in California with a strong demo majority where so many ds were running it might have resulted in two Republicans and no democrat on the final ballot.  That can happen in California, with its open primary.  It can't happen in Colorado.

    • notaskinnycook says:

      I said that wrong, V. What I meant was I think the DCCC is out of line endorsing or backing candidates in intra-party elections. Once a single candidate emerges from the primary scrum, by all means, the national party organizations should be doing all they can to support the victor against the Republican. But I don't like them picking winners and losers in the primary.

      • Voyageur says:

        Well said, Cookie.  In general, I agree, though special circumstances like California 's warrant dccc action to ensure Democrats have a chance in November.

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