We’ve got a lot to catch up on after a long holiday weekend. 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…
► President Trump announced late last week that he planned to continue efforts to get a citizenship question placed on the 2020 Census form…comments that came just hours after Justice Department attorneys acknowledged that their legal arguments in this regard were essentially worthless. As the Washington Post reports, a new group of saps now must take up Trump’s cause:
The Justice Department is swapping out the lawyers who had been representing the administration in its legal battle to put a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census, possibly signaling career attorneys’ legal or ethical concerns over the maneuvering ordered by President Trump.
The department announced the move in a statement, which was issued after The Washington Post inquired about whether the career lawyers on the team planned to withdraw. A person familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said that at least some of the career attorneys harbored concerns about the administration’s handling of the case — although the nature of those concerns and how widespread they were could not immediately be learned…
…the entire team on the case — both those in political positions and career employees who have served multiple administrations — will be replaced with political and career lawyers from the department’s Civil Division and Consumer Protection Branch. Several career members of the team declined to comment to The Post.
► Colorado Republicans continue to pursue half-baked recall attempts against a number of Democratic elected officials. But as Anna Staver writes for the Denver Post, these efforts may be helping Democrats more than they are harming them:
About 75 people showed up in Lakewood on a balmy Sunday morning at the end of June to knock on doors for Democratic state Sen. Brittany Pettersen.
It was an unusual sight — even for residents of a swing district. State lawmakers rarely canvass with an army of volunteers in the years they aren’t up for election, but Pettersen walked her community that weekend because Republican Nancy Pallozzi, who previously ran against Pettersen, announced a plan to recall her from office…
…Wadhams and other Republicans have started to worry that all these recall efforts — most of which they believe to be doomed from the start — are actually playing into the hands of Democrats. Potential recall targets are raking in six-figure donations from national groups and mobilizing their bases to knock on thousands of doors.
“I think this approach is terribly misguided and will end up strengthening the vast majority of Democratic legislators, if not all of them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Republican infighting is getting out of control, with one former county party official openly condemning attacks from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) and the Neville Clan. Check out these two Op-Eds that ran over the weekend, penned by well-known Colorado Republicans who are tired of what has happened to their Party. Former El Paso County GOP Chair Joshua Hosler’s Op-Ed for the Denver Post is particularly jarring:
In May I spoke out on social media. RMGO had launched an effort to recall Rep. Tom Sullivan, the Democrat who had defeated Wist and taken his seat in the Colorado House. Members of the Republican Party’s leadership supported RMGO’s efforts and this felt like a mistake…[a]fter that post, I received three calls from anonymous men who threatened me and my family if I did not back off RMGO and Dudley Brown. No one messes with my family, especially cowards. [Pols emphasis]
Then things got worse. On May 30th at 2:50 p.m. I received a call from the chief of staff for the Colorado House Republicans. Jim Pfaff works directly for House Minority Leader Patrick Neville. He asked when I was going to stop attacking RMGO and Dudley Brown. I responded, “I am not going to stop.”
Pfaff then threatened to smear me with rumors — false rumors that I had heard before from someone close to RMGO trying to influence my decisions — that I had rigged the party chair election and had inappropriate relationships with women in the Republican Party. I told Pfaff that I had already heard those fake rumors and it was old news. Pfaff stated, “I am sure I will find more on you.”
House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s Chief of Staff, Jim Pfaff, did not dispute this story in response to an inquiry from the Post, and RMGO Executive Director Dudley Brown confirmed that he bullies and threatens candidates when he disagrees with their policy positions.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Donald Trump, Jr. is the biggest name that the Western Conservative Summit could find to show up and speak to their convention of conservative crazies.
► The battle over Obamacare heats up this week.
► California Rep. Eric Swalwell is expected to end a Presidential campaign that was going absolutely nowhere.
► President Trump says that he wants media outlets to tour migrant detention facilities that are at the heart of a humanitarian crisis along the border.
Meanwhile, Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) wants to end the practice of for-profit detention centers altogether. As Westword reports:
[Crow] is calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to end its contracts with private prison companies such as the GEO Group, which runs the immigrant detention facility in Aurora.
“DHS and ICE will never accept responsibility for what happens at these private detention centers, so the only path forward for us is to end this for-profit private detention immigration system,” Crow says. “We will not have a system that complies with our morals and our values as a nation so long as companies are incentivized by profit to run these centers.”
Crow has long been a critic of GEO’s Aurora facility and an advocate for congressional oversight, introducing a bill that would require ICE to grant congressional access to facilities, and, along with District 2 Representative Joe Neguse, pushing for a congressional hearing to investigate the GEO Group.
► New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed his name to legislation that will likely allow Congress to see President Trump’s state tax returns.
► Businessman Tom Steyer says he will seek the Democratic Presidential nomination after saying earlier this year that he would not be a candidate.
► Colorado lawmakers could be in for a special legislative session in order to make decisions on what to do with TABOR refund money.
► The Colorado Independent wonders if Colorado’s new redistricting laws could be a model for the rest of the country.
► Westword looks at how Colorado municipalities are using their new “local control” to make decisions on oil and gas drilling operations.
► It’s not you, it’s me, says former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. As the Associated Press reports:
Hickenlooper said Sunday “the vast majority of the problem with the campaign was me,” but promised to stay in the Democratic presidential race and become a better candidate. That is despite calls from his own staff for him to exit the presidential race and run for Senate instead.
“Certainly the vast majority of the problem with the campaign was me not being as good of a messenger as I need to be, but you can’t switch or trade in a new candidate,” he said in an interview with a local reporter after a town hall in Perry, Iowa.
Hickenlooper acknowledged that “there’s just a bunch of skills that don’t come naturally to me” that are essential to campaigning — “like being a really good debater, being real smooth with wealthy donors.”
But “I’m committed to growing and working and getting better,” he added.
Hickenlooper’s Presidential campaign has been struggling, though he has already qualified for the next Democratic debates later this month. Politico has more on the inevitable “big shrink” in the field of Democratic Presidential candidates.
► President Trump is running out of news outlets to hate.
► The British Ambassador to the United States did not hold back in informing his country’s leaders about the realities in the Trump administration. As the Washington Post reports, one direct quote sums up the White House pretty well:
“We don’t really believe this Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept.”
► Public schools are the devil, or something.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► President Trump says he’s a “genius” who excelled at Penn’s Wharton School of Business. A college official who reviewed Trump’s application at the time remembers things much differently.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) was responsible for a trending hashtag on Twitter last week — though not in a particularly good way.
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) July 3, 2019
► If you have donated to any of the Republican recall efforts in Colorado — or if you plan to make a donation — just don’t assume that you will ever find out what happened to your money.
► At least he’s consistent. Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) keeps churning out terrible polling numbers ahead of his 2020 re-election campaign.