There are just two weeks left until the 2020 election cycle begins. 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…
► Voter Service and Polling Centers are now open. Head on over to GoVoteColorado.com for more information on voting centers, ballot drop-off locations, or for resources to check on the status of your mail ballot.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s office released its first batch of ballot return numbers for 2018. According to the report, 57,695 Republicans have returned a ballot in Colorado, compared to 55,450 Democrats and 44,300 Unaffiliated voters. We wouldn’t try to read anything into these numbers just yet; for example, ballot returns in El Paso County outnumber those in Denver by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, which is a quirk in the early numbers that won’t remain consistent.
► President Trump is struggling to sell the idea that last December’s big Republican tax plan was anything more than a giveaway for the rich. From the Washington Post:
Fresh polling published Monday shows that voters who backed Barack Obama in 2012 and then Donald Trump in 2016 — about 1 in 10 of the president’s supporters — overwhelmingly believe the Trump tax cuts benefit the rich and large corporations, not them.
It’s the latest illustration of the GOP’s inability to capitalize on the most consequential piece of legislation that’s been enacted by this Congress, which party strategists believed last Decemberwould be the centerpiece of their midterm messaging.
And it helps explain why Trump has begun claiming repeatedly, and dubiously, since a Saturday stop in Nevada that he’s moving rapidly to pass a “10 percent tax cut for middle-income families.” During a rally last night in Houston for Ted Cruz, the president declared: “It’s going to be put in next week.” (Never mind that Congress is out of session until after the elections, so nothing could pass.) He added that this round of cuts is “not for business — at all.”
Also next week, Trump will direct Congress to give every American a new pony.
It’s not just you — nobody in Washington D.C. has any idea what Trump is talking about, either.
► The candidates for Congress in CO-6 will debate for the final time in an event hosted by 9News tonight. This may be the last time you see Republican Rep. Mike Coffman on a debate stage as an incumbent politician.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► The Supreme Court decided to protect Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from questions about a controversial change to the U.S. Census form. From the Washington Post:
The government had asked the Supreme Court to block questioning of Ross as part of a lawsuit filed by several states, including New York, and civil rights groups. The groups are seeking to stop the administration from adding a citizenship question to the decennial count.
It is one of six legal challenges to the question, which Ross announced March 26 would be added to the survey to help enforce the Voting Rights Act. The states and groups say it will intimidate some from participating and result in an inaccurate census.
The court’s action makes it unlikely that Ross will have to give a deposition in the case but allows the suit to go forward, at least temporarily. The court said it would entertain other objections from the government before the trial, which is scheduled to start in New York on Nov. 5.
The unsigned order seemed like an attempt by the court to avoid a 5-to-4 split in its first politically significant action since the addition of new Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.
► Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) is running an attack ad against Democratic challenger Diane Mitsch Bush that attacks the former legislator over a magazine subscription.
► As CNN reports, there’s no end in sight for one of the worst oil spills in American history that you’ve probably never heard about:
In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil tragedy commanded the nation’s attention for months. Eleven lives were lost and communities around the Gulf of Mexico ground to a halt under hundreds of millions of gallons of oil. Yet, lurking underneath the fresh disaster, an older spill was spewing ever faithfully forth: A leak that began when another oil platform was damaged six years earlier.
The Taylor oil spill is still surging after all this time; dumping what’s believed to be tens of thousands of gallons into the Gulf per day since 2004. By some estimates, the chronic leak could soon be larger, cumulatively, than the Deepwater disaster, which dumped up to 176.4 million gallons (or 4.2 million barrels) of oil into the Gulf. That would also make the Taylor spill one of the largest offshore environmental disasters in US history. [Pols emphasis]
In September, the Department of Justice submitted an independent study into the nature and volume of the spill that claims previous evaluations of the damage, submitted by the platform’s owner Taylor Energy Co. and compiled by the Coast Guard, significantly underestimated the amount of oil being let loose. According to the filing, the Taylor spill is spewing anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 gallons of oil a day.
► “Unite Colorado” is struggling in its efforts to divide Colorado.
► New polling in Colorado shows strong support for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis and some surprising numbers on several ballot measures.
► The Denver Post has a story about background checks on State House candidates, though not all candidates were included; the Post was somehow stymied in its research efforts by some candidates who refused to give reporters their full birth date.
The biggest loser in the Post story is Republican Grady Nouis, who is running for HD-29 in the Arvada/Westminster area:
Nouis pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug house and possession of marijuana in 2005, when he was 21 years old. His arrest record alleges that he was in possession of materials to grow psilocybin mushrooms, popularly known as magic mushrooms…
…Nouis also has been in the orbit of groups and events associated with far-right views. In a Facebook live video he recorded while at an anti-Shariah law protest earlier this year, Nouis repeatedly used a racial slur during a confrontation with African-American counter-protesters.
While the audio can’t be understood at the beginning of the argument, Nouis, who is white, then complains about an African-American woman: “She called me a n***** and said I can’t say it back.”
He repeated the word several more times, the video shows.
Nouis did not respond to questions from the Post about his far-right views, though he did issue this nonsensical statement: “Socialist Democrats are once again feeding mob rule.”
► Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb says that the Mueller investigation into potential Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign is NOT a witch hunt.
► As Politico reports, a former staffer to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz appears to be heading to Congress, and Republicans worry that he’s going to be their new far-right problem child.
► What happens if both transportation funding measures on Colorado’s ballot (Propositions 109 and 110) end up passing? As Marshall Zelinger reports for 9News, the earth will likely not implode.
► CBS4 Denver looks into the details of a lawsuit Colorado has joined that goes after the pharmaceutical industry for its role in the opioid epidemic.
► Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has been diagnosed with dementia and will step aside from public life altogether.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► When Sean Hannity fights Geraldo Rivera, we all lose.
► President Trump says that Californians are “rioting” over so-called sanctuary cities. They’re not.
► Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz is none too happy about expected Republican losses in the mid-term election.