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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Senate Republicans are playing hardball in their efforts to quickly confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. As the Washington Post reports:
Senate Republicans say they plan to forge ahead with a hearing next Monday whether Christine Blasey Ford is there or not, a take-it-or-leave-it gambit to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court before the end of the month that risks backfiring politically.
Lawyers for Ford, the California professor who accuses Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, said Tuesday night that their client wants an FBI investigation before she testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The committee’s GOP chairman, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), scheduled Ford’s testimony before confirming that this day worked for her. He did, however, make sure it worked for President Trump’s nominee, who categorically denies any wrongdoing and has been holed up at the White House preparing for his second round in front of the Senate.
“The invitation for Monday still stands,” Grassley said in a statement. “Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events. Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay.”
This is a politically-dangerous approach for Senate Republicans to take with just weeks to go until the midterm elections. Republicans had been pushing for a Kavanaugh vote on Thursday before deciding to push the decision until next week. Grassley’s “Monday or never” approach with Kavanaugh’s accuser is a curious roll of the dice, as Chris Cillizza writes for CNN:
Lost amid the “will she or won’t she” questions is the fact that what Grassley — almost certainly in coordination with the White House — is doing represents an absolutely massive political gamble: Amid the cultural upheaval of the #MeToo moment and with an election looming in less than seven weeks’ time, Republicans are daring a woman alleging sexual assault against a nominee for the country’s highest court to either put up or shut up.
President Trump, meanwhile, says that “it is hard for me to imagine” that sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh are true. We would assume that Trump does not mean that literally. It’s also worth noting that even Trump isn’t responding to these allegations as poorly as Colorado Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert.
► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) was never behind in any public poll while defending his seat…until 2018. Now it’s starting to look more and more like Coffman may not make it to another term. Prognosticators at 538.com have moved CO-6 to a “Likely Democratic” classification.
► Republican Attorney General candidate George Brauchler wants voters to believe that he should be elected in November because he is the more experienced prosecutor compared to Democrat Phil Weiser. Brauchler doesn’t normally mention the fact that he has an absolutely BRUTAL record as the District Attorney in the 18th Judicial District. Brauchler suffered two more high-profile losses this week alone.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is trying to present himself as a moderate voice on healthcare reform as he fights for his political life this fall. Nevermind that Coffman has said publicly that he favors a “straight repeal” of Obamacare.
► As the Aurora Sentinel reports, Colorado’s candidates for Governor have remarkably different approaches when it comes to the handling of “blind trusts” for their financial assets:
How Stapleton set up the trust on Dec. 20, 2010, and how it’s managed defies the typical description and function of a blind trust.
Blind trusts are typically established so that the beneficiary has no knowledge of how the assets in the trust are being managed. A blind trust set up for Polis has multiple devices to prevent Polis from having knowledge of — or control over — the trust assets and holdings.
State and SEC records show that Stapleton had, as a consultant, access and control of the trust and its assets. In addition, his father, Craig Stapleton, is now CEO of SonomaWest Holdings Inc., which controls substantial holdings in the trust.
► “Largely absent” sums up just about everything you need to know regarding Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton — even when it comes to his signature issue of PERA reform.
► Colorado Republicans were apparently recruiting volunteers at a rally for white supremacists over the weekend.
► Democrat Rebecca Cranston (SD-15) says that someone shot at her vehicle — while she was inside — and wonders if the incident is related to Republican opponent Rob Woodward.
► As Bente Birkeland reports for Colorado Public Radio, Colorado Republicans aren’t exactly demonstrating contrition as lawmakers look at creating new policies to deal with sexual harassment under the Gold Dome.
► The Trump administration loves itself some dirty air. From the Associated Press:
The Trump administration rolled back an Obama-era rule meant to curb climate-changing pollution on Tuesday, easing restrictions on energy companies that allow huge volumes of natural gas to escape after drilling it from U.S. lands.
The move replaces a 2016 rule adopted under President Barack Obama that forced energy companies to capture methane, a key contributor to climate change. The replacement rule does not have the same mandates for companies to reduce gas pollution.
It comes a week after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed weakening a similar rule for emissions from public and private lands.
► President Trump sounds like a broken-hearted teenager when he is talking about Attorney General Jeff Sessions. From Politico:
President Donald Trump renewed his criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday, complaining in an interview with The Hill that “I don’t have an Attorney General. It’s very sad.”
— Denver Post Opinion (@denveropinion) September 19, 2018
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► President Trump thinks that “exposing” more information about the FBI’s investigation into potential collusion with Russia will be one of his greatest achievements.
► Slate.com sits down for an interview with a psychiatrist who claims to have received calls from the White House expressing concern over President Trump’s mental health.
► Republicans may be losing the support of senior citizens, a voting bloc that had traditionally been very reliable for the GOP.