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June 28, 2018 01:05 AM MDT

Thursday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.”

–Elie Wiesel


34 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. There is no confusion here. Fascism has arrived in the United States. If you support the Trumplican© party and the dictator they worship…you ARE a fascist. And ….you should be ashamed.

    If you support T***p, you are a threat to our democracy….and an enemy of freedom. Period.

  2. Just a reminder: there is NOTHING like Republicans' constant lies, attacks and subterfuge of our democracy that comes from the left. Theirs are major media figures, cable channel and newspaper owners, people heard on 2,000 radio stations, and it has been going on since Rush Limbaugh first went national. 

    Those Liars, including our president, will tell you "Teh Librul Media" is the equivalent. 

    It is not.

    And politicians who decry "bothsides" in this environment do it as an excuse for their own behavior.

    And anyone who doesn't push back on their lies, as much as humanly possible, is encouraging them to continue.


  3. AG race gap is down to 5,198 out of 589,470 total votes cast for AG. In Montrose, which still isn't totally counted, there are 24,419 total voters, 4,346 of whom are Dems, and  8,1085 unaffiliated, per latest voter reg stats. If Salazar performs as well as he did in neighboring rural counties, he could still win this race.

    I'll be happy enough with Weiser should he be the nominee. I think that either one can "cream Broccoli", and Salazar will be as effective as an AG as he has been as a legislator, which is very. A Salazar AG ticket  is going to be more motivating for young, rural, Latinx and minority, and progressive voters. So snark away, but  the race still isn't over.

    1. The fat lady may not have started to sing yet, but she's cleared her throat.

      And let me add that this a race with which I struggled. I voted for Salazar at the assembly even though he's a little more to the left of me. I did so because of what is happening in DC and I like his genuinely work in the area of civil right. I had no problem helping place him on the primary ballot.

      But when it was time to fill out the primary ballot, I went with Weiser because he is more electable. If Salazar were the nominee against Broccoli, the entire debate would be able the death penalty and turning violent criminal loose. Granted, Broccoli track record on capital cases is laughable, but nevertheless he can yell and scream that he is tougher on violent crime.

      Guess how that ends? Hint: recall the question about capital punishment put to Michael Dukakis during his debate in 1988 with Daddy Bush. It didn't end well. 

      As the French do with their two-tiered voting process, in the first round, you vote your heart (or gut). In the second round, you use your brain. 


      1. I'll sing when I'm  good and ready, thank you very much. smiley

        I disagree that Weiser is more electable statewide. He's indubitably smart and competent – and I'm not disputing that he'd be a good AG.

        However, people know and trust Joe – he's been around to every county in the state- they know him also for his years of working on civil rights issues, as you mentioned. 

        And no, 250,000 some Colorado voters were not stupid or ignorant enough to confuse him with his distant cousin Ken Salazar. Believe it or not, most voters can distinguish between two people with similar names, even if both names are Hispanic.

        I've seen both men in debate, and Phil comes across as cool, academic, knowledgeable, which he is. Joe comes across as friendly, relatable, a scrapper who will have your back, and also knowledgeable and competent.

        For people affected by fracking in their communities, Joe has been clear about advocating for a 2500' setback statewide. Phil seems much more ready to "negotiate" with the oil and gas crowd, and we've seen how that goes.

        And what the hell is up with Montrose, anyway? Do they have to go out and handwrite each vote, collect them all, then record them on a big spreadsheet or what?

        1. When ballot-counting was turned over to technology, counties everywhere lost the expertise and service of volunteer counters. Those tended to be retired people, most of them women, who showed up election after election and got 'er done.

          It happened in newspapers, too. Composing rooms, populated largely by retired teachers and librarians, gave way to computers doing pagination. Those little old ladies (and a few old gentlemen) saved the asses of many an editor and reporter.

          Today when technology fails, they're helpless.




          1. Yet another reason why we should ditch Diebold and the fancy machinery which is subject to manipulation and go back to paper ballots and ink pens.

            What is more important: quick results or non-hacked elections?

        2. This will come as a surprise to you, mj, but the election is actually over.

          You can stop swinging from the chandelier and trying to flack votes for your man whose main qualification was sharing a last name with Ken and John.

          The election is over.  Weiser is the nominee.

          Whether you like it or not.

          But for God’s sake, don’t sing!

          You’re just not fat enough.

      1. Precisely.   Montrose Daily Press reported 8,639 votes turned by Tuesday, though a few more may have been hand carried late.   That's for Both parties.

        If even half of those were Democrats and every one voted for Salazar, Weiser still wins.

        Game, set, match.

        Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.


        1. Of the Montrose votes already recorded, the margin is

          Phil Weiser     43.80%     1,133
          Joe Salazar      56.20%    1,454

          total:                                  2,587

          I'm not REAL good at math … but if there are 9,000 votes for both parties, and 2,600 have already been counted for Democrats (AG race) and 4,788 have already been counted for Republicans (Governor's race), that means there are only 1600 left to count.

          Granted, there are out-of-state military votes and "cures" of votes to be recorded until the July 5 final date — but chances of enough of them swinging to Salazar to flip the decision seem remote.

          1. According to the Sentinel, there were about 10,600 votes cast.  The 8,639 originally reported was for those  in hand Tuesday morning — meaning about 2,000 were dropped off election day.

            But as you noted, about two thirds of the votes were in the Republican primary.  The formerPaper that Must Not be named said Salazar picked up a "handful" when counting finished.

            There may be as many ad 10_000 ballots yet to count according to Can't Be Named.  But these are statewide, include late arriving military a nd provisional cures.  But again, at least half of those should be Republican.

            Salazar would need EVERY ONE of those late-counting Democratic votes to erase Weiser's 5,000 vote lead.

            The opera is over.   The fat Lady finished singing.  The Orchestra has gone home.  And Phil Weiser is our candidate for Attorney General.

            There will be no automatic recount unless the margin of victory drops below 1,500. Weiser is still about 5,000 ahead.

          2. Remote, yes. Unlikely, sure. But are you telling me that if that slim margin were reversed, and Phil Weiser was the underdog, he, Pols, and the CO Dem leadership wouldn't be screaming, "COUNT EVERY VOTE!!", and then once counted, demanding, "Recount! Recount!"

            Of course they would. 

            1. Is there a standard for an automatic recount? 1%? 0.5%? Right now, it looks as if there will be someplace close to 650,000 Democratic ballots statewide. 

              Heck, count 'em all. every vote. The AG race won't draw a great deal of attention outside political junkie-land until after Labor Day, anyway.

              Inside political junkie-land, a candidate who won't concede seems unprofessional. A candidate who won't endorse looks worse.


              1. Ballotpedia, citing CO statutes:

                Colorado recount procedures

                “A recount of any election contest shall be held if the difference between the highest number of votes cast in that election contest and the next highest number of votes cast in that election contest is less than or equal to one-half of one percent of the highest vote cast in that election contest. If there is more than one person to be elected in an election contest, a recount shall be held if the difference between the votes cast for the candidate who won the election with the least votes and the candidate who lost the election with the most votes is less than or equal to one-half of one percent of the votes cast for the candidate who won the election with the least votes. {emphasis mine} A recount shall occur only after the canvass board certifies the original vote count.[3][4]

                The current 5,131 vote difference between the Weiser and Salazar votes is  5131 / 590,895 is ~.009 (rounded).

                So it's not quite down to .005, which would trigger the recount.  But it could still get that close. 

                Look, I get that Weiser almost certainly won, and that's fine, except that I know people wanting consistent law upholding the Martinez decision (public health is a greater priority than oil and gas interests) will have to battle it out more with a Weiser AG than with a Salazar AG.

                Maybe his teeny little margin of victory will give Weiser some pause to consider that half of Colorado democrats want consistent statewide law, not "let the locals negotiate with O&G to decide". 

                1. Mj is wrong.  The wording is confusing but it means the recount is automatic if the margin is .5 percent of the vote cast for the winner, Weiser.  That is about 1,500 votes.  MJ said it is .5 percent of the total vote for both candidates.   That is wrong.  It's based on the vote of the winning candidate, not the total vote.

                  Yes, Salazar can get a recount, but he will have to pay for it if Weisers's margin is above 1,500, which it is almost certain to be.


  4. Radical Socialist Anarchist Atrios:

    It’s my least favorite common campaign line from democrats, especially when they are incumbents or people who otherwise are/were in positions of power. There is no try, just do. Stop promising it and just do it.

    There’s always some tension by diagnosing image problems as a problem of media portrayal or a problem of how Dems portray themselves, but there’s something to the point that they’re too unwilling to take their own side in an argument, and some do not understand that no one cares about fairness and hypocrisy. You aren’t going to stop Mitch from doing what Mitch wants to do by trying to get a ruling from Referee Zombie Tim Russert.

    There are limits to how much the minority party can gum up the Senate – and I’m no expert in all the tools available to them – but they certainly can cause problems.

    Gum up the fucking works, Democrats. And do not doubt Republicans would/will/have done the same…..they obstructed Obama 6 solid fucking years while you played nice and followed Senate Decorum.

    1. It is time to sound "el Deguello"…this is our last chance. If we don't swing the Senate, I think we are finished.

      Might as well pack your bags for one of the worlds' remaining democracies.

      1. Trump's "malevolence mitigated by incompetence" is screwing so many people that I'm hopeful we have a shot at a bigger wave. We could make a few more inroads into the Senate with Ohio, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, and maybe Texas if the Hispanic voting rates go way up based on the Immigration issues. Winning some of these longer term positions will have importance for redistricting after 2020: Governors (4 years) and Senators (6 years). 

        – The tariffs on intermediate goods are seriously hurting industries that use steel & aluminum, not just Harley Davidson, but a lot of small and medium sized businesses. 

        – The tit-for-tat tariffs are killing businesses acrosss the farm belt and the industrial midwest.

        – ICE wars are outraging hispanics, parents and other human beings.

        – The Supreme Court is important for women's rights, and will activate College educated women. I think it is hard to convince low-information voters about the danger as the SCOTU is a little remote or indirect to their political awareness. 

        In terms of demographics and turnout, maybe it is time to revisit the 538 Swing-o-matic.

        1. Puerto Rican refugees can vote in this election – if someone bothers to find them and register them in their new domiciles. Puerto Ricans are citizens, after all, even though this fact seemed to be lost on Trump when he allowed the island to deteriorate after hurricane Maria left over 4,500 dead and half the island still without power 9 months later, and unprepared as a new hurricane season opens.

           There has been a diaspora of Puerto Rican refugees to the US, since 2006, mostly due to the punitive trade policies which limited economic development on the island. These are citizens. They are angry, justifiably, with the US government, but finally, they have representation in Congress. Will Democrats go out and register them, or keep looking over their heads for the ever-elusive "moderate white working voter"?


  5. WOTD from Brad Delong "Henry the VII Tudor"

    This is not governance in any form recognizable since the days of Henry VIII Tudor, when a strange combination of technocrats, plutocrats, time-servers, flatterers, and careerists surrounding the mentally-unbalanced monarch with impulse control problems tried to advance their careers and keep things from going off the rails.

  6. A coherent and scalable Democratic Strategy:

    Democrats should run on a national laws legalizing abortion and marijuana as well as health care in all 50 states. It is easy to understand, easy to campaign on, and easy to unify around.

    Fuck getting the Trump voters.

    Get the non-voters who are swarming to us. (See above)

    1. A lot of Trump voters are getting screwed by the Republicans. I agree that you won't change the minds of the racists and misogynists, but to the extent that economically stressed voters figure it out, we'll see turnout down or voters moving to the Democratic Party's message. 

      That assumes that the Democrats get their message together!

  7. DNC Votes to Roll Back Power of Superdelegates in 'Major Step' Toward Making Democratic Party More Democratic

    In an important and long-overdue step toward making the Democratic Party more accountable to voters and less captive to the interests of establishment insiders, the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) Rules and Bylaws arm voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to drastically curtail the influence of superdelegates by barring them from voting on the first ballot of the presidential nomination.

  8. Congressional Democrats are nothing, if not consistent.

    Dems wrestle with hardball tactics in Supreme Court battle

    The liberal base wants Democrats to grind the Senate to a halt, but moderates aren’t on board.

    A handful of red-state Democratic senators began talking privately on Thursday about carving their own path on the confirmation. Other top Democrats are already shifting away from their initial demand to delay a confirmation vote until after the midterm elections and toward a push highlighting the record of Trump’s still-unnamed pick on abortion, health care and more.

    Senate Democrats want the Supreme Court battle waged on the policy stakes, not the procedural tactics at play.

    Perhaps we could #Resist tomorrow afternoon.  I have a squash game late morning.  Really?  #Resistance sounds so harsh.  Perhaps we could disagree politely and send a strongly-worded memo?

    In fairness, at least one Democrat has it right:

    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), one of three moderates who voted to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch last year, told reporters Thursday that “I thought how [Supreme Court confirmations have] been handled previously, with no decorum and no civility, was wrong.”

    1. The strategy on confirmation hearings and a vote for this pick is challenging. McConnell is all in on wanting the pick, hearings and confirmation vote before the November election. Before the October start of the new Court term, if possible.

      So, do you want Democrats to go along, put up the fight they can, and have the decision done in time to then campaign with "see, here's what the Republicans are really about — voting for Dems is the only way to stop it." Presumably, that can help drive more to vote for Dems in key Senate races.

      Or, do you want Democrats to work hard to delay? That fuels a GOP claim to Republican voters: "if you vote, you can insure a conservative Court."

      Or do you want Democrats to focus on the merits of the nominee and not worry about impacts on the November election?

      1. I want congressional Democrats to state what they, as a group, believe should be their course of action and then follow it.  Dissenters are free to do as they please outside of that, but should be condemned by the caucus generally for failing to toe the line.  What happens instead is they hem and haw, never make a statement of their goals as the party in opposition, and end up doing nothing or close enough to it.

        I can’t decide which of the options above they choose, but they should choose one, be clear about it, and let their voters offer feedback on their choice.  Congressional Democrats fear making a choice more than they fear anything Trump will do, because making a choice commits them to a course of action, and that terrifies them.

        Make a stand and live with it.  If civility and decorum are the sine qua non of congressional politics, as Manchin seems to feel, then civilly and decorously usher in the new Lochner court to the bench.  If delay and hoping that playing politics at election time is a winner, then say that you won't fight tooth and nail, but will do what you can and endure the rage of the base.  Or, say you'll do everything possible to fight and get the base's support for that.

        Commit. Act.  That's all I want. They use the rhetoric of resistance when convenient, but fail utterly to do so. I mock them for it. Would I prefer that they fight what I see as the good fight and bring the house down around the ears of Republicans? Sure. But I’m fine with them not, and the base realizing that the folks they have in office probably aren’t the ones they want.

      2. I hate to sound so cynical (actually, that's not true – I love sounding cynical), Manchin is sitting on top of an 11% lead. He can probably survive voting against the next appointee, especially given his vote for Gorsuch. He can claim he calls them as he see them.

        I'm more concerned about Heitekamp and Donnelly who are in more precarious positions. And IIRC, Donnelly is personally pro-life so that is an added reason to be concerned.

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