Can we just trade Mississippi to another country? 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…
► Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) is stepping up his efforts to increase accountability for immigrant detention facilities. As Colorado Public Radio reports, Crow says he will make weekly visits to a privately-run detention facility in Aurora:
The move is part of Crow’s effort to provide proper supervision of the facility, which he believes Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security are not currently providing.
“They’re refusing to conduct the oversight and make some of the changes that need to be made,” Crow explained. “So, we’re going to conduct that oversight.”
Crow has been denied entry to the facility in the past. He expects the weekly visits to begin Monday at 12 p.m. MT. Crow’s staff plan to follow the guidelines provided in ICE’s 2011 Performance-Based National Detention Standards and will make their findings available online.
► As Westword reports, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is taking more heat for his silence as a court battle proceeds over the fate of Obamacare:
As yet another Republican legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act makes its way through the courts, Colorado Democrats are sounding the alarm over its potentially devastating impact on the state’s health care system — and blasting Senator Cory Gardner for his continued silence on the lawsuit.
“This would do irrevocable harm to consumers,” said Adam Fox, director of strategic engagement for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, on Tuesday, July 9. “It would leave millions without insurance options, it would throw our health care system into chaos, and it would threaten our state’s fiscal stability.”
Fox and other health policy experts spoke to reporters as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans heard oral arguments in Texas v. Azar, the latest in a long line of Republican attempts to overturn the ACA, also known as Obamacare, through Congress and the courts…
…Democrats have pressed Gardner, widely viewed as the most vulnerable Republican senator in the 2020 election, to take a position on Texas v. Azar, but he has repeatedly declined to comment, most recently claiming in May that he hadn’t seen a brief filed by the Trump administration in support of the lawsuit. Gardner’s office did not respond on Tuesday to multiple inquiries regarding his views on the lawsuit. [Pols emphasis]
Don’t stop us if you’ve heard that before.
► Poll results released Tuesday on the Democratic race for U.S. Senate in Colorado indicate that likely Primary voters are still very much undecided on whom to support against incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. The numbers show Secretary of State Jena Griswold just behind former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, though it turns out that the polling was commissioned through a PAC that is supportive of a potential Griswold Senate bid.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Denver Democrat Crisanta Duran’s bid to unseat Rep. Diana DeGette took another serious blow this week. From the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:
BOLD PAC, the political arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, has endorsed U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette in the Denver Democrat’s bid for a 13th term representing the 1st Congressional District.
Calling DeGette a “tireless representative,” the PAC’s chairman, U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas of California, said in a statement: “From healthcare to immigration reform, she has worked for families of all backgrounds and creeds. Diana wants everyone to succeed in this country. With allies like Diana in Congress, I am convinced that we will overcome the challenges our country faces with ingenuity, compassion and determination.”
DeGette is facing a primary challenge from former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran, who was the first Latina speaker in state history.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) played the role of wet blanket in response to a question about whether he supports various efforts to recall Gov. Jared Polis.
► Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that interest rates may be cut later this month. Powell says that Trump’s trade war is having a negative impact on the economy that may necessitate the interest rate cut.
► At least we don’t have to deal with Virginia’s Republican-controlled state legislature.
► House Minority Leader Patrick Neville and his Chief of Staff, Jim Pfaff, run the GOP caucus with a heavy dose of intimidation. If you’re wondering how it is that Neville remains in charge of House Republicans, you’re not alone.
► A federal judge wants the Justice Department to explain why it is swapping out its team of lawyers for a new group of attorneys trying to get a citizenship question added to the 2020 U.S. Census.
► The U.S. Senate will finally address election security concerns today. Maybe. As Vox.com reports:
With a little over a year until the 2020 elections — and growing concerns about foreign interference — the Senate will finally hold a briefing on election security on Wednesday.
This private briefing, something that Democrats have pushed for, for months, is expected to include Trump administration officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to The Hill. It takes place place amidst Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s ongoing opposition to the consideration of election security legislation.
While both Republicans and Democrats have expressed concerns about potential interference in 2020 by Russia and other foreign powers — and some Senate committees have even passed a bipartisan election security bill or two — GOP lawmakers have generally been more reluctant to take up any concrete measures. That’s partly because of how staunchly McConnell has pushed back.
McConnell is doing everything he can to pour cold water on the idea of election interference.
► Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was in Denver on Tuesday to announce $48 million in grants to improve Colorado airports.
► The Pueblo Chieftain runs a letter-to-the-editor from someone claiming to be Rep. Bri Buentello without bothering to check if it was really submitted by the Pueblo Democrat (it wasn’t).
► Conservation Colorado released its 2019 legislative scorecard.
► The RTD board of directors is trying to figure out how to complete a train route from Denver to Longmont before our grandchildren have children.
► Colorado regulators don’t really know how much methane is released into the atmosphere via oil and gas drilling operations, so efforts are underway to fix the problem.
► The British Ambassador to the United States has resigned his post after hurting President Trump’s feelings.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► The mayor of Washington D.C. says that President Trump’s July 4th extravaganza has completely depleted a special security fund. Via the Washington Post:
President Trump’s overhauled July Fourth celebration cost the D.C. government $1.7 million, an amount that — combined with police expenses for demonstrations through the weekend — has bankrupted a special fund used to protect the nation’s capital from terrorist threats and provide security at events such as rallies and state funerals.
In a letter to the president Tuesday, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) warned that the fund has now been depleted and is estimated to be running a $6 million deficit by Sept. 30. The mayor also noted that the account was never reimbursed for $7.3 million in expenses from Trump’s 2017 inauguration.
► The various recall efforts against Gov. Jared Polis in Colorado can be summed up with one word. Hint: It starts with “cluster” and rhymes with “duck.” The rationale for trying to recall Polis is equally confusing.
► First there was Roy Moore, and now there’s Kris Kobach. Republicans are growing concerned that their chances of preserving majority control in the U.S. Senate could be derailed by a couple of high-profile Primary challengers.
► President Trump feels badly for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta because people are mad at him for letting Jeffrey Epstein off the hook in 2008 for a long list of sexual abuse allegations. That’s probably not the appropriate response.