President Trump will be 74 years old on Sunday. If you lived in Florida, you could celebrate on a Trumptilla (the downside, of course, would be that you lived in Florida). Now, let’s 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 an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.
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Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
► Colorado lawmakers may or may not be nearing the end of a strange, two-part legislative session. The Denver Post has more on the progress of what has become the most-watched bill of the year:
A House committee amended Colorado’s police accountability and reform bill to give law enforcement more time to implement some changes and added a ban on carotid control holds before voting to support the bill at midnight Wednesday.
The approval came on a party-line vote, with all four Republicans on the House Finance Committee voting against Senate Bill 217, despite near-unanimous support in the Senate. [Pols emphasis] It followed hours of testimony by people who’ve had family members killed by police in Colorado.
One of law enforcement officials’ biggest objections about the bill has been that agencies need more time for training on the changes, so lawmakers set a September deadline for new use-of-force regulations to take effect. The new policies include a requirement to incrementally use force if other methods don’t work.
Other parts of the bill — including a ban on the use of chokeholds and limits on when police are allowed to shoot at a person who is running away from them — would take effect immediately if the bill is signed into law.
The four Republicans who voted against the bill: Reps. Rod Bockenfeld, Richard Champion, Janice Rich, and Shane Sandridge. Republican Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg was the lone ‘NO’ vote in the State Senate.
On the topic of police accountability, Denver’s Office of the Independent Monitor is promising to take a closer look at tactics employed by the Denver Police Department (DPD). The Denver School Board voted to phase DPD out of its schools altogether.
► Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), who moonlights as the State Republican Party Chairman (or vice versa), is being investigated for ordering a Republican official in El Paso County to falsify vote totals from the caucus process.
► Governor Jared Polis is keeping a close eye on nearby spikes in reported cases of COVID-19. From Colorado Public Radio:
Colorado is closely watching some nearby states, as the number of COVID-19 cases in Utah and hospitalizations in Arizona continues to jump. Those spikes are alarming, Gov. Jared Polis said during a press briefing Thursday.
“A rising cause for concern,” he said. “We’ve seen no evidence yet of that leading to increased transmission on our side of the border, but we watch that and we worry.”
Colorado has confirmed 28,647 cases of COVID-19, according to the state’s latest numbers. Officials have also reported 1,583 deaths related to the disease to date. But the state has seen a downward trend in hospitalizations for 11 of the last 14 days.
In Arizona, a surge of hospitalizations means the state is nearing capacity on ICU beds. The state has confirmed 31,264 cases of the disease and 1,127 deaths. Arizona’s stay-at-home order ended after May 15. Colorado’s went through April 26.
Officials in San Antonio and Houston believe a second wave of COVID-19 is hitting already. In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown announced a one week “pause” in reopening the state after a surge of new cases — including two deaths on Thursday.
► You should be receiving a Primary ballot in the mail this week. For more information on the Primary Election and to track your ballot, go to GoVoteColorado.com.
If you’re looking for political news that isn’t about Coronavirus, it’s available right after the jump…
NOW ONLY PARTIALLY CORONAVIRUS-RELATED…
► This is not good, as The Washington Post reports:
Federal officials responsible for spending $660 billion in taxpayer-backed small-business assistance said Wednesday that they will not disclose amounts or recipients of subsidized loans, backtracking on an earlier commitment to release individual loan data.
The Small Business Administration has previously released detailed loan information dating to 1991 for the federal 7(a) program, a long-standing small-business loan program on which the larger Paycheck Protection Program is based.
The SBA initially intended to publish similar information for the new coronavirus-related loans. An SBA spokesman told The Washington Post in an April 16 email that the agency “intend[s] to post individual loan data in accordance with the information presently on the SBA.gov website after the loan process has been completed,” and it made a similar commitment in response to an April 17 open records request.
But don’t worry!
“The notion that the administration is hiding something is categorically false,” Brian Morgenstern, a Treasury Department spokesman, said in an email.
Sure, you’re just…refusing to disclose any information.
► As Chris Cillizza explains for CNN, Georgia voters appear to have elected the first openly pro-QAnon member of Congress.
What, you ask, is QAnon? It’s a broad-scale internet-based conspiracy theory begun in early 2017 that is based on a belief that there is a high-level government official — “Q” — who sprinkles clues on internet message boards like 4chan and 8chan about a massive “deep state” conspiracy (or series of conspiracies) at work in the country.
QAnon backers believe that Donald Trump was recruited by the military to run for president in 2016 because he alone wasn’t beholden to the secret power brokers of the world, and could break the hold that they have on American society. (Not kidding. Read the Daily Beast’s Will Sommer for more on what they believe.)
Okay, we’ll ask: Doesn’t it kinda screw up your conspiracy theories if you get someone elected to Congress?
► President Trump will hold his first campaign rally in months on June 19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you sign up to attend, you have to acknowledge that you might get COVID-19 as a result.
NASCAR is demanding that its fans no longer fly Confederate flags at races. The Pentagon and some Republican senators are open to renaming military bases that bear the names of Confederate soldiers. Corporate America is taking stances against racial injustice. A majority of Americans say the police show racial bias in their use of force, and a majority of self-described conservatives acknowledge protesters’ frustrations are at least somewhat justified.
Yet with public opinion shifting quickly on racism in America, and even some of the most cautious leaders and institutions talking openly about discrimination and reconciliation, there is still one glaring outlier: President Trump.
Whether it is suggesting shooting protesters or siccing dogs on them, pre-emptively defending the Confederate names of military installations or arguing that his supporters “love the black people,” Mr. Trump increasingly sounds like a cultural relic, detached from not just the left-leaning protesters in the streets but also the country’s political middle and even some Republican allies and his own military leaders.
“Love the black people.” Unreal.
► Senator Cory Gardner has enlisted the help of Tom “Send in the Troops” Cotton to boost his campaign fundraising numbers.
► Republicans will hold their National Convention in two different cities, in two different states, after deciding to hold President Trump’s nomination acceptance speech in Jacksonville, Florida (the RNC was supposed to be held in Charlotte, NC, but Trump was mad that North Carolina’s Governor was more worried about the health of local residents).
► Did you know that there is a Republican Congressman in Virginia named “Denver”? Well, not for much longer, as POLITICO reports:
A small universe of Republican Party activists will drive through the parking lot of a central Virginia church on Saturday to decide the fate of Rep. Denver Riggleman.
A one-term congressman with a libertarian streak, Riggleman has found himself locked in a fierce intraparty battle after he enraged local officials in his district by officiating a same-sex marriage last year. His reelection prospects are further hampered by Virginia’s insular election system, which allows a paltry number of GOP delegates to choose the nominee at a convention.
By Sunday morning, he may become the third House incumbent to fall in the 2020 cycle.
A few weeks ago, Congressman Steve King was ousted in an Iowa Republican Primary in part because he is a racist buffoon. Virginia Republicans are apparently going in a different direction.
► State Rep. Mark Baisley (R-Roxborough Park) is officially full of shit.
► State lawmakers were unable to come to agreement on legislation intended to extend a moratorium on evictions in Colorado.
► The Colorado legislature may approve a proposal to put a cigarette and vaping tax on the ballot in November.
► The Colorado Sun previews some of the more notable legislative primaries ahead of the June 30 election.
► An anti-fracking group has decided to halt efforts to collect petition signatures for November ballot measures because of the impact of COVID-19.
► As Colorado Public Radio reports, unemployment filings in Colorado are creeping upward.
► The Front Range is under an air-quality advisory today. In other words, try not to breathe until Saturday.
► Two Colorado school districts announced plans to bring back students for in-person learning on a full-time basis in August.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Be thankful that State Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone) is not one of your kid’s teachers.
► The White House is scaling back coronavirus response efforts and President Trump is going golfing. Par for this course.
► If President Trump loses his re-election bid in November, it is entirely possible that he could try to run again in 2024.
► In the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, polling guru and poker shark Andrew Baumann explains everything you ever wanted to know about political polling.
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