According to our desk calendar, the Revolutionary War ended on this day in 1781. 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…
► Thousands of voters in Colorado have already returned their mail ballots, so be on the lookout for yours. CLICK HERE to visit the Colorado Secretary of State website, where you can check on the status of your mail ballot and double-check your voter registration information. Colorado Public Radio explains what to do with your mail ballot after it arrives.
► President Trump spoke at a rally in Montana on Thursday and elevated his attacks on the media. From CNN:
During a Thursday night campaign rally in Montana, Donald Trump, the President of the United States, praised a Republican Congressman for assaulting a reporter…
…What all of that spin and, frankly, garbage, misses is that what Trump is doing — along with those who laugh when he does it — is dehumanizing reporters. These aren’t people like you and I, Trump is saying. They deserve to get beat up, to get assaulted, to get roughed up a little bit. They’re so bad and so dishonest, they don’t deserve the common courtesy that you would grant to someone you meet on the street. They aren’t like us. They’re other. And, therefore, we can do whatever we want to them.
All of which, on its own, is troubling. Very troubling. But, Trump’s celebration of an ASSAULT on a reporter — I just can’t emphasize this enough — is made even worse by the fact that the world is currently watching Istanbul where Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared inside the Saudi Arabian consulate more than two weeks ago. The expectation — including from Trump himself — is that Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, was killed inside the consulate.
► President Trump says that “all Republicans” want to protect health care coverage for pre-existing conditions. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing a similar message. But as the Washington Post reports, this message is hard to back up:
Here’s the problem, however, with what McConnell and Trump are saying: Making sure people with preexisting protections are able to afford health care is part of the reason the ACA was passed to begin with. Before Obamacare, people with costly conditions had trouble accessing health care. Now, insurers are no longer allowed to deny them coverage or charge them higher premiums because of their illnesses. And while the president — and Republicans on the campaign trail — are touting support for these protections, health-care experts said they seem to be disregarding their own actions to overturn Obamacare.
Matthew Fiedler, a health-policy expert at the Brookings Institution, said there is a “conflict between what the president is saying here and the legislation that Republicans and the president himself supported during last year’s repeal debate.”
► As Ben Botkin reports for the Denver Post,
political spending oil and gas industry spending in Colorado is breaking records:
Statewide, candidates, political action committees and groups pushing ballot measures have pulled in $186 million since December, according to a Denver Post analysis of campaign finance reports. The previous record was the nearly $154 million collected in the 2014 election cycle.
At the federal level, the 6th Congressional District race is one of the most expensive races in the nation, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
A key reason behind the new state-level record is the oil and gas money that’s pouring into efforts to defeat a ballot measure that would impose much bigger setbacks for new wells. The industry’s political action committee, Protect Colorado, has spent $29.5 million so far this cycle.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► President Trump thinks the 2018 midterm election is a “base election” for Republicans that will be decided by immigration issues. The Washington Post isn’t so sure about this:
Trump is like an old rock band that struggles to introduce new material because the crowds at concerts want to hear the classics they love. In this case, that song is “Build the wall.” That’s not to be confused with “Tear down this wall,” a popular hit by a previous Republican president who sang to a very different tune.
His unexpected victory two years ago only added to his preternatural confidence to follow his own instincts, regardless of what establishmentarians and pundits tell him he should do. In June 2015, Trump launched his campaign by ignoring a speech that advisers had written for him. He riffed instead about how Mexico was sending “rapists” and drug dealers to the United States. It prompted howls of outrage from many, but it also catapulted him to the top of the crowded GOP field.
In 2018, the so-called pros have advised him to focus on the booming economy, his tax cuts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But Trump believes strongly in his gut that espousing hardline positions related to undocumented immigrants will galvanize his core supporters to turn out for GOP candidates when his name won’t be on the ballot. At a rally in Montana last night, Trump referred to immigration as “our issue.”
► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) tries out his comedic chops in an interview with Roll Call. It goes about as well as you might expect.
► Would you be surprised if we told you that another Trump administration official is in trouble for misusing their office for personal benefit? You wouldn’t? Of course not. From CBS News:
Taxpayers spent $25,000 on security for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s vacation to Turkey and Greece with his wife, the Department of the Interior watchdog is expected to say in an upcoming report obtained by the Washington Post…
…The report also found that, despite a DOI policy prohibiting non-government employees from riding in government vehicles, the DOI Office of the Solicitor’s Division of General Law approved Zinke’s wife, Lolita Zinke, and others to ride in government vehicles with him. Zinke later altered the policy to allow family to ride along. The inspector general found the Zinkes reimbursed costs for Lolita Zinke’s trips in DOI vehicles “when required,” according to the watchdog report obtained by the Post.
According to the report, Zinke also confirmed to investigators he directed his staff to research whether his wife could have a volunteer job at the department, interpreted by one ethics official as a way to make it so he didn’t have to foot the bill for his wife’s travel.
“We’re spending taxpayer dollars trying to figure out if she can be a volunteer so that he (Zinke) doesn’t have to pay (reimbursement for her riding in government vehicles),” said Ed McDonnell, a designated agency ethics official.
► Vice President Mike Pence came to Colorado on Thursday, and nobody cared.
► Secretary of State Wayne Williams isn’t doing much to push back against some very questionable campaign spending by Noble Energy.
► The Pueblo Chieftain wonders if the race for Congress in CO3 is now a toss-up between incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Tipton and Democratic challenger Diane Mitsch Bush.
► Brian Watson is the Republican candidate for State Treasurer. He’s shadier than a hundred-year-old elm tree.
► Republican George Brauchler failed miserably when he tried to run for Governor in 2017. Now the GOP nominee for Attorney General, Brauchler is pointing out that Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton is also failing miserably.
► More Crowmentum!
Elsewhere, the candidates for CO-6 will meet for a final debate sponsored by 9News on Tuesday.
► Larry Ryckman, editor of the Colorado Sun, provides an update on the new media outlet after being officially active for five weeks.
► Politico looks at New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s national ambitions and how he may have overplayed his hand.
► As the Washington Post reports, Republican Climate Change skeptics in North Carolina are changing their tune after getting walloped by Mother Nature.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► We can’t even pretend that we aren’t terrified of this giant troll.
► Yup, this is awful:
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) October 19, 2018