The Colorado Avalanche are out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after a controversial loss in Game 7 on Wednesday, but the Denver Nuggets can advance to the Western Conference Finals with a win tonight in Portland. It’s time “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…
► If there’s one thing you can count on from President Trump (other than lots of Tweeting), it’s inconsistency. As CNN reports:
Trump reversed course again Thursday that he will leave it up to Attorney General William Barr as to whether special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before Congress.
“I’m going to leave that up to our very great attorney general. He’ll make a decision on that,” Trump said, adding that Mueller’s report has come out and it is done.
Over the weekend, Trump tweeted, “Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!” But an administration official told CNN’s Jim Acosta that Trump was merely “expressing his opinion,” and was not necessarily expressing intent to block Mueller’s testimony.
► Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora), whose district includes the Highlands Ranch STEM school that was the scene of a shooting earlier this week, is introducing new gun safety legislation. From the Aurora Sentinel:
A proposed federal law from Aurora Democratic Congressman Jason Crow would ban immediate, over-the-counter sales of rifles and shotguns to buyers in states where they do not live.
Crow said the law closes a loophole “that allows purchasers to immediately obtain rifles and shotguns, but not handguns, when traveling out-of state.”…
…The proposed same-day gun legislation comes nearly a month after Sol Pais, a Florida woman traveled to Colorado, bought a shotgun and killed herself, as police across the Front Range sought her for unspecified threats to local schools the FBI deemed as credible. Law enforcement said she was “infatuated” with the Columbine High School shooting. She traveled to Colorado just days before the 20th anniversary of the shooting.
The threats caused most Front Range schools to cancel school as law enforcement searched for Pais.
Crow says this legislation would have prevented Pais from immediately purchasing a shotgun upon her arrival in Colorado.
► The Colorado Independent reports on Wednesday’s vote in the House Judiciary Committee to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt:
The committee voted 24-16 along party lines to approve a resolution recommending that the full U.S. House find Barr in contempt for his refusal to comply with a committee subpoena seeking an unredacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report detailing Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election…
…Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) said that, given the threats to U.S. democracy from a foreign adversary that were revealed in the Mueller report, he was “at a loss for understanding” why his GOP colleagues wouldn’t join Democrats’ efforts to secure the full Mueller report and underlying evidence. “We have no choice but to move forward with a contempt citation,” he said.
Neguse and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) both sit on the House Judiciary Committee. Buck was a ‘NO’ vote, urging his colleagues to “move on and not attack the attorney general in this way.”
On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that there may be more contempt charges in the near future for Trump associates who persist in efforts to stonewall Congress.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► It turns out that Denver voters actually did show up to cast a ballot in Tuesday’s Municipal Election. From Andrew Kenney at the Denver Post:
Voters turned out in record numbers: The total of 185,081 ballots cast was higher than for any municipal election in recent city history. About 39 percent of the city’s registered voters weighed in, the highest for a general municipal election since 1991.
Together, they opened the door for potential changes to the city’s leadership. Four of the city’s leaders will have to defend their seats in a runoff election June 4 — including Mayor Michael Hancock and three council members.
Follow this link for more information about whether you’ll need to be paying closer attention to the June 4 runoff election.
► Former Colorado House Majority Leader Alice Madden finally jumped into the 2020 U.S. Senate race after floating a potential run for months.
► According to a report, Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) may not seek re-election in 2020 in CO-4.
► Individuals associated with efforts to recall Gov. Jared Polis wasted little time in calling the Highlands Ranch STEM school shootings a “false flag” operation designed by “gun grabbers” to…ah, nevermind.
► Dudley Brown of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) thinks that Douglas County Commissioners should slash the budget of the DougCo Sheriff’s office as punishment for Sheriff Tony Spurlock’s support of a “red flag” bill that passed through the Colorado legislature this session.
► The Department of Interior wants Congress to approve $10.5 million so that it can study moving the HQ of the Bureau of Land Management to a Western state such as Colorado.
► Westword reports on an increased push from some top law enforcement officials to loosen rules prohibiting banking access for legal marijuana businesses:
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser has joined a coalition of fellow AGs in urging Congress to legalize banking for the marijuana industry. Weiser’s is the first signature on a May 8 letter sent to leaders in both the U.S. House and Senate from the AGs of 38 states and territories, all pleading their case that financial services should be provided to the legal marijuana businesses in their respective jurisdictions.
Although the majority of this country’s states have legalized some form of medical marijuana, most banks and financial institutions won’t serve marijuana companies (as well as many of the businesses that work with them), out of fear of being saddled with federal trafficking charges because cannabis is still a Schedule 1 substance. As a result, the marijuana industry is largely cash-only, despite legal pot collecting over $8 billion nationwide in 2017 and predicted to reach $25 billion in sales by 2025.
Colorado Representative Ed Perlmutter’s SAFE Banking Act may be the industry’s best chance at financial protection so far, as it proposes explicit federal protections for financial institutions that work with marijuana businesses, as well as ancillary enterprises such as real estate and accounting firms and other service vendors.
Whether or not you agree with the legalization of marijuana doesn’t change the fact that forcing businesses into a cash-only operation is unsafe for everyone.
► Colorado Public Radio runs down a list of every bill that was passed in the 2019 Colorado legislative session. At least, that’s what the headline on this link implies; we didn’t actually listen to the whole thing ourselves.
► White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is very sad that the Senate Intelligence Committee asked again to speak with Donald Trump, Jr. without first calling the White House. As Paul Waldman writes for the Washington Post, Junior could have a serious perjury problem on his hands.
► Former CIA officer Valerie Plame officially announced her campaign for Congress in Northern New Mexico.
► Republicans are playing tug-of-war with Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who seems like the obvious candidate to run for Senate in the way of Sen. Mike Enzi’s retirement announcement.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► There’s “bedlam” in Alabama as lawmakers fight it out over what could potentially become the most restrictive abortion law in the country.
► Shooting migrants? Hilarious!
► We KNOW that there are Colorado politicians who aren’t going to do a damn thing to prevent gun violence; if we want change on this issue, we need to elect different people.
► Denver’s municipal elections are moving to the runoff stage after several candidates failed to reach the 50% threshold needed to win outright on Tuesday.
Check out the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Show, featuring an in-depth interview with Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. You can also Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!