Trump Boosts Jared Polis (No, Really)

Rep. Jared Polis.

As the Fort Collins Coloradoan’s Nick Coltrain reports, Rep. Jared Polis appears to have gainfully poked the bear:

A bill introduced by Fort Collins’ Congressman Jared Polis apparently earned the ire of President Donald Trump on Memorial Day.

Trump tweeted that a bill to repeal his administration’s signature Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would be “too good to be true for Republicans,” after adding that it would have “no chance.” Polis, a Boulder Democrat whose district includes Fort Collins, introduced that bill in Washington, D.C., last week. The bill, titled the “Students Over Special Interests Act,” would use the money from the tax cut bill to cancel outstanding federal student loan debt…

Polis, who is running for governor, responded that he “proudly” wrote the bill.

“Simple choice this election: President and GOP lose by cozying up to corporate special interests. We win by standing up for students, public schools, and families,” Polis tweeted.

It would have been a bit better for Rep. Polis to get a name-check from President Donald Trump in this Tweet, but there’s little question that Trump’s attack is a big positive for Polis in the Colorado Democratic gubernatorial primary. Given Trump’s status as the pre-eminent bête noire of the Democratic base, rising to the level of being singled out for attack via Twitter by the President is a badge of honor that any Democrat running in 2018 should be angling for. As a member of Congress, Polis has the ability to get under Trump’s skin via legislative trolling, and that’s exactly what this is.

Next up: legislation about Stormy Daniels and/or the size of the President’s hands.

33 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Voyageur says:

    Well, in case you didn't notice, this is a good year for uppity women. Cary Kennedy, take a bow!

  2. mamajama55 says:

    Polis is better on post K12 education than Kennedy. Full stop.  Kennedy really hasn't taken a stand on student loan debt, at all.

    K12 ed includes some post-sec classes aimed at introducing students to a college environment and rigor – the "concurrent enrollment" which allows high school Jrs and Srs to take college classes at their local community college, for dual high school and college credit. If they fail, they have to pay the tuition. If they pass, it's free.

    But past those introductory classes, Kennedy doesn't offer much to those of us struggling with crushing student loan debt. I've paid off the principal of mine several times over, but the interest is killing me. And I don't qualify for any of the relief programs, in spite of teaching in high-poverty schools for over 15 years.

    • Pseudonymous says:

      What are Jared's plans for postsecondary education?  I didn't see any on his website.

      As far as repayment, do you have a lot in private loans?  I only ask because there are options for folks who have FFEL (pre-2010) loans to convert to direct loans, which are eligible for PSLF  (after another 10 years, of course); for cancellation of Perkins loans; under a temporary program TEPSLF that just came on board this year, which allows forgiveness of direct loans that were paid on an otherwise ineligible repayment plan.  Also, all of the income-based repayment plans forgive remaining amounts after 20-25 years of repayment.  Of course, none of these may be helpful.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        I'm not so certain the two candidates are far apart on the issue.

        Jared Polis' website has 'plans' (I guess that's what we should call them).

          • As Governor, I will work with local governments and the business community to help relieve student loan debt for teachers, especially for those that work in a rural, or high-need, area for a number of years determined by local school districts who want to participate.
          • Student loan forgiveness for teachers who serve in our highest-need areas will be a key recruitment tool in our mission to end teacher shortages. This will increase take-home pay for teachers, and lower the bar for entry into the profession.
          • Just as I have used my profile as a Member of Congress to strongly support the passage of local school funding initiatives by writing letters to the editor and opinion pieces, I will leverage the profile of the Governorship to support local district measures that provide for more resources to recruit high-quality teachers across the state.

        I don't see that Kennedy has said anything about loan forgiveness. Her campaign is endorsed by the two main education unions. And her campaign site does say:

        The lack of investment in our teachers is compromising public education in Colorado.  Every day we lose great teachers and lose the potential to give our kids the great education that we want for them.  We need to pay teachers a competitive, professional salary that allows them to live in the communities where they teach. Higher pay will promote a larger supply of potential teachers making jobs more competitive and increasing the quality of teachers.

        My goal as governor is to raise teacher pay in Colorado at least to the national average and close the teacher pay penalty, which is the difference between what a teacher earns and other professionals with the same education.


        • mamajama55 says:

          It's less what Polis has said on student loan debt than what he has done as a lawmaker:

          Bills he sponsored and/or introduced:

          Polis introduced ExCEL act, 2015 , which

          "consolidates loan programs and simplifies the repayment process so that a student’s monthly loan payments reflect their earned income. It also enacts commonsense reforms that limit interest from accruing beyond a certain point and give students and families greater flexibility.” 

          He introduced the Affordable Textbooks Act – if you remember the hundreds or thousands of $$ you spent on textbooks that now sit on your shelves gathering dust, Polis pioneered the idea to sell e-books and downloadable textbooks.

          And the "Making Education Affordable & Accessible Act", which funded concurrent high school and community college enrollment. I talked about it in my earlier comment.

          Wrote the Student Nondiscrimination Act, which would have made it illegal to bully or discriminate against LBGTQ students.

          Polis voted to amend HR4508, the PROSPER act,  a Republican bill which attempted to codify education reform to take funding away from post sec and graduate students. HR4508 was bounced back to the House as a whole 12/18.

          He helped to rewrite No Child Left Behind, into the less punitive and more targeted Every Student Succeeds Act.

          Other education cred JP has:

          He's been a school superintendent. He was on the Colorado school board for 6 years. He started and funded the New America public charter school network for homeless and immigrant kids. I subbed at one of those schools a few times – It was kind of chaotic when I was there, but they did serve kids who absolutely would have dropped out or fallen between the cracks in regular public school. Polis does have a heart for kids  and education – that's evident.

          As far as what he says, his "Comprehensive Education Plan for Colorado" lays it out. You quoted from it above.

          Ch 4's Shaun Boyd did a "reality check" comparing Polis, Kennedy, & Johnston on education.

          Propublica has a comprehensive run down of all Polis' votes (and those of any other Federal lawmaker) , if you want to get further into the weeds than  I have.

          Full disclosure – I voted for Kennedy at the Assembly – she seemed a better candidate, in the sense of getting the crowd on her side, getting folks excited about her candidacy. Polis came across as more cajoling your vote; he has a quieter style except when he gets riled up.

          But I am seriously reconsidering Polis now, because the student debt issue is such a ruinous one for so many Americans, including myself.


          • JohnInDenver says:

            Polis has been in a position to push legislation. Kennedy wasn't. Polis has done a wide variety of things, yet somehow, Kennedy is the one to win the endorsements of teacher unions.

            From my perspective, each is sympathetic to improving the lot of teachers — and thus the ability of Colorado education, generally. Either will be worlds ahead of any of the Republicans.

          • Voyageur says:

            You know my feelings on student loans, mj.  But I don't think the gov. Of Colorado can do much about them.

            • mamajama55 says:

              A lot of Colorado's education budget is for aid for higher education, such as the "concurrent enrollment" for high school and community colleges.

              The Governor can't do much about Federal student loan debt. But she or he can work to make state aid available for higher education, ensuring that college students incur less total debt.

              The textbook bill would also be a big help. As would Polis' proposal for full day free kindergarten and preschool. Those would also come under the purview of the CDE. Funding would of course be an issue, and the governor can help push funding. 

              How many young parents never attend college because they can't afford the childcare costs? I know it was a challenge for me. I know it's a dealbreaker for many of my students who are young parents. If there's no obliging grandma to watch Junior, then college is out of reach.

              Since I'm addressing you directly, V, I'll ask: Please stop attacking Diogenesdemar. Or anyone, including me. His thinking is  no better or worse than anyone's on this site, including you or me.

              That last is at the risk of "starting shit" all over again. Oh well.

              • Voyageur says:

                Dio's thinking is an oxymoron.  He attacks me constantly, admittedly with the same incoherence he addresses most things.  And I do not believe in unilateral disarmament.  You usually throw a random attack on me into your periodic ukases and then fly into a rage if I respond. I'm not your punching bag, nor am I an erring 7th grader who dares to challenge your lecture.  I'm not even RandR, who seems to share the role of chief target of your bile of late.

                As to Polis' child care plan.  Like other "free stuff" it has to be paid for in a state that can't run a deficit and is hobbled by TABOR.  I haven't seen how he plans to do that.

                You have a tendency to pick candidates by reading web sites and checking off ideas you like.  That has very little to do with the practical act of leadership in state politics.

                I'll vote for Jared if he wins the primary, but Cary is a far more exciting candidate .


                • mamajama55 says:

                  SSDD. The direct approach, sans snark, was worth a try. Enjoy your hobby on your birthday.

                  I’ll go back to (mostly) ignoring your jabs and jibes now.

                  Next time I’m in Denver, I’ll invite you out for coffee or a beer and perhaps you can tell me exactly why you seem to have a problem with me.

                  • Voyageur says:

                    If you call that sans snark, I 'd hate to see it when you get personal.

                    cue "Ride of the Valkryies" as mj once again post s a random attack on me while repeating her intention to ignore me.

                    i should be so lucky.

          • Pseudonymous says:

            I understand Polis' votes in the House.  But I still don't see anything, including in his education plan that says anything about higher ed changes he'd make as governor.  Of course, that's not different for Cary's positions.

            Jared also carried a bill in the House that you didn't mention, introducing an SB-191 lookalike (a bill which he praised) to require using value added measures as at least 50% of teacher evaluations.  Also, I'm not all that keen to support someone who has been part of DFER's "funky bunch" whatever TF that is.

            I certainly understand folks picking Jared, but I don't see a reason to do it because of any particular position he's staked out in this race on higher ed (mostly because I still don't see any he has).  And, I don't see him as particularly different from Johnston on education, which I've noted is a problem for me.

    • He may or may not be better at post-K12. He is abysmal, IMO, on K12. His tenure on the State Board of Education was marked by him siding with a variety of right-wing charter school True Believers in a rush to move charter schools from local control to central state control.

      He has never indicated that he regrets his actions, so I am not inclined to forgive.

    • Voyageur says:

      Jared just aired the dumbest ad of this political season..   Hasn't anyone told him that fat men shouldn't swing baseball bats?

  3. Moderatus says:

    More idiotic navel gazing from Colorado Pols.

  4. ElliotFladen says:

    I don’t get the Dems being torn on this race as it seems to be a no brainer to me.  Jared is easily the right person for this moment and the strongest candidate in a general.  

    Maybe it is because I am biased and am missing something complicated.  I doubt it though.

    • Voyageur says:

      Other than being richer than God, Jared is actually a pretty weak candidate, Elliott.  But why would a diehard Republican like you care?

      • ElliotFladen says:

        I’m an unaffiliated libertarian, not a Republican.  As for why I care:

        (a) I think recent years have shown the danger of looking for candidates that agree with you all the time instead of looking for candidates that meet a minimum character threshold.  From knowing Jared personally and also his background, I think his character is second to none

        (b) I believe Colorado needs a governor who will know how to protect it from Washington.  I think the other candidates either don’t care (Stapleton/other GOPers) or are too wet behind ears (Kennedy/Johnston) to do this.  Jared has both the right motivation (I believe this is a main reason he gave up a secure seat) and competence/experience to execute on this responsibility 

        (c) Although there are areas of MAJOR disagreement I have with him (religious liberties/Pre-K/health care/energy/guns) for most part I have faith in his ability to analyze complex issues even if he comes to different results than me in his decision as to what should be done.

  5. Voyageur says:

    Cary is far better informed on state issues than Jared and is a very intelligent, charismatic woman.  But I am delighted to see you supporting a candidate who at least believes that government must provide some basic services.

    As to libertarians, I like to quote Bill Buckley: "Libertarianism is poetry and poetry is very beautiful, but it should not be confused with the real world."

    • ElliotFladen says:

      We are not going to agree on a lot of that stuff.  If this were a different time or the GOP was acting more like it did in years past, there is a good chance I would not be supporting Jared. 

      But this isn’t that moment.  We have an out of control president who is making repeated threats at our constitutional order.   In these times, country has to come before ideological goals. 

      And in that analysis, I don’t see Kennedy as competent to head off a challenge from Washington.  What federal experience does she have?  What experience does she have standing up effectively against Trump? Hell, what experience does she even have standing up against her own party leaders to do what she regards as right?  I just don’t see it.  I think her supporters are being very short sighted. 

  6. Voyageur says:

    You are the first person I've heard to require federal experience to run a state.  Colorado's biggest problems are budgetary.  That's because the TABOR amendment makes it almost impossible to fund the education and transportation networks we need to maintain economic growth.   Cary is a former state treasurer and a master of such issues.

    I've talked to both, in depth, many times.  Cary just has, by far, more intellectual firepower.   But I won't put Jared down.   

    We aren't looking for the lesser of two evils here.  Cary is just the class of a four-way field, any one of which outshines the Stinky Boy party candidate.

    • ElliotFladen says:

      When there is substantial risk of massive federal interference from a president who does not obey Constitutional norms, federal experience is a massive plus. 

      • JohnInDenver says:

        If there is a risk of federal interference by someone like *resident Trump, there will need to be a will to oppose him, an ability to rally citizens and officials in Colorado, ways to build coalitions with Senators and Representatives, and effective legal representation from the AG or other sources. Federal experience of sitting in Congress may be useful to build coalitions with Senators and Representatives, but there is no assurance the Federal experience will be better than State experience at any of the others.


    • JohnInDenver says:

      V –

      Thanks for the first hand impressions of Kennedy and Polis. Anything to say about Johnston?

      • Voyageur says:

        I really don't know much about Johnston, John.  He's mostly linked to the educational reform movement and his money is mostly out of state.  I've been retired nine years now and most of his activity in the public arena came after I left.  I do think he's in a tight race with the tattooed lady for third place but this fight is Cary vs. Jared.   Let the best woman win.

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