Colorado’s Primary Election is almost over! Remember, friends: Ballots must be RECEIVED by your county clerk before 7:00 pm on Tuesday, so if you still haven’t voted, do NOT drop it in the mail. Check GoVoteColorado.com for more information on ballot drop-off locations. 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…
The 2018 race for Governor is well on track to be the most expensive in state history. For more background information on the eight candidates for Governor, check out these profiles from the Colorado Independent. If you’re interested in other statewide races, Charles Ashby takes a look at the campaigns for Attorney General and State Treasurer for the Grand Junction Sentinel.
► A litany of Colorado elected officials traveled to the US-Mexico border to view the situation with immigrant families with their own eyeballs. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) visited McAllen, Texas, while Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) took his talents to El Paso. Coffman’s visit served mostly as a photo-op, which is par for the course for the Aurora Republican. Colorado’s House Speaker Crisanta Duran also travelled to the border to show off some new duds.
► The Supreme Court tossed a curveball on Monday in a high-profile battle over gerrymandering. From the Washington Post:
The Supreme Court on Monday sent back to a lower court a decision that Republicans in North Carolina had gerrymandered the state’s congressional districts to give their party an unfair advantage.
The lower court will need to decide whether the plaintiffs had the proper legal standing to bring the case.
The Supreme Court recently considered the question of partisan gerrymandering in cases from Wisconsin and Maryland. The court has never found a map so infected by politics that it violated the constitutional rights of voters.
But the justices did not rule on the merits of the issue. The court said plaintiffs in Wisconsin did not have the proper legal standing and that the Maryland case was in too preliminary a stage.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Only you can prevent forest fires. It also appears that only you can make sure that campaign finance regulations are being followed. Here’s how to do that.
► The U.S. Supreme Court punts on gay flower arrangements after a similar recent punt on gay wedding cakes. From CNN:
Just back after ruling in favor of a cake baker who refused to make a cake for a wedding celebration of a same-sex couple, the Supreme Court on Monday wiped away an opinion that went against a florist who declined to make an arrangement for a same-sex couple’s marriage…
…Supporters of LGBT rights will be dismayed the court wiped away a lower court opinion on Monday that went against the florist who denied services. They would have preferred to see that opinion remain on the books to influence other lower court judges considering similar cases. A more preferable result for their side would have been a straight denial from the Supreme Court.
At the same time, if the court had agreed to take up the case, it might have set off alarm bells in the LGBT community, which would wonder if the justices — who kept the Masterpiece case so closely tailored to the specific facts in the case — might have an appetite for a broader ruling in support of business owners with religious objections to same-sex marriage in the next case.
► Marianne Goodland reports on outside spending in state legislative Primary races for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman.
► The Ft. Collins Coloradoan takes a look at what to do about those political text messages you might be receiving.
► Brian Eason of the Associated Press does a deep dive on recent attempts to shore up PERA reform.
► Colorado schools are getting a modest grant to address suicide prevention, but experts say much, much more is needed.
► Governor John Hickenlooper continues to tease out his apparent intent to run for President in 2020.
► President Trump is increasing his rhetoric on immigration after a disastrous last week on the issue. From CNN:
President Donald Trump has hit on a new exit strategy as he struggles to mitigate the most disorientating political crisis of his presidency: the splitting up of undocumented migrant families.
His obvious conclusion is that even though his hardline populism got him into the mess, only a more unfiltered dose of Trumpism will finally sweep it away.
Trump fired off some of his most raw and authoritarian tweets about immigration yet Sunday and is also cranking up his trade war rhetoric to solidify the safe space where he always returns when he’s in trouble: the embrace of his political base.
“We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country,” Trump wrote in a tweet that hammered undocumented migrants on Sunday.
“When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order,” he wrote.
Trump is also raising his voice against critics of his trade policies.
► New oil and gas drilling operations are preparing to get underway just outside the border of Lafayette, Colorado, where local control over fracking has become a dominant issue.
► If President Trump’s plans to create a new “Space Force” continue to advance, Colorado Springs will likely play an important role.
► As Politico reports, the new State Department might be a lot like the old State Department, and that ain’t good news:
When Mike Pompeo took over as secretary of state in April, U.S. diplomats viewed him as a liberator rescuing them from the irrelevance they felt under his predecessor, Rex Tillerson.
Nearly two months later, some are having second thoughts.
Many employees at the department hoodwinked by Pompeo’s claim that he lifted a hiring freeze. Staffers are alarmed about reports that a political appointee is vetting career staffers for loyalty to President Donald Trump. And many fear that Pompeo won’t be able to fill vacant leadership slots quickly enough, or with the right people.
Pompeo’s foot soldiers haven’t given up on him — not yet. Current and former State Department officials say he’s an improvement over Tillerson. They admit, however, that that’s a low bar.
► Drought conditions continue to look grim for much of Colorado.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Actor/comedian Seth Rogen told House Speaker Paul Ryan to go jump in a lake when the Wisconsin Republican recently tried to get a picture taken with Rogen. From Vulture.com:
He goes, Can I have a picture with you? I look over and his kids are standing right there, expectedly, clearly fans of mine, and I go, No way, man! I could’ve stopped, and I said furthermore, I hate what you’re doing to the country at this moment and I count the days until you no longer have one iota of the power you currently have.”
► The U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell, is doing a bang-up job of pissing people off all over the country.
► President Trump is attacking late night TV host Jimmy Fallon, because that’s important.
► The Colorado Springs Gazette lashes out in defense of hate groups. No, really.
► Conservative columnist George Will urges Americans to vote out Republicans.