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► Several states held Primary Elections on Tuesday, but perhaps the most significant outcome came in a Democratic-held congressional district in St. Louis, MO. From The Washington Post:
Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush lost by 20 points two years ago in her primary challenge against Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.). With higher turnout, despite the novel coronavirus, Bush beat Clay in a rematch on Tuesday by three points.Clay, the 64-year-old chairman of the House Financial Services housing subcommittee, has represented the St. Louis district for 20 years. His father, Bill Clay, held the seat for 32 years before him. He touted endorsements from high-profile establishment figures, especially Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)…
…Bush, 44, talked on the stump about her experiences getting evicted as a single mother of two and tear-gassed in the streets as a protester. She did not get involved in politics until 2014, after a Black teenager had been fatally shot by a White police officer in Ferguson. Bush has been a frequent presence at demonstrations that grew after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day, and she pledged to keep taking to the streets if elected. During the campaign, she contracted covid-19 and spoke of that experience, as well.
POLITICO has more on some of the more notable results from Tuesday, including two big wins for Republicans in Kansas:
Democrats haven’t won a Senate race in Kansas in more than 80 years, but Kris Kobach as the GOP nominee threatened to make the state an improbable toss-up. Instead, Rep. Roger Marshall won the primary, giving the GOP a much more electable candidate to go up against a strong Democratic recruit.
In one of Kansas’ key congressional districts, indicted Rep. Steve Watkins was looking like a juicy target for House Democrats — but they won’t get the chance to run against him after state Treasurer Jake LaTurner ousted the freshman in a primary, boosting Republican chances of keeping the seat.
Watkins went down just weeks after being charged with voter fraud during the 2019 Topeka-area municipal elections.
Also notable from Tuesday: Missouri voters approved a Medicaid expansion proposal over the objection of Republican leaders.
► You can count Democratic Senate candidate John Hickenlooper among the Coloradans frustrated at Senate Republicans and their inability to make any headway on another stimulus bill. As we wrote on Tuesday, multiple studies have shown that a $600 extended unemployment benefit that expired in July was absolutely not preventing Americans from seeking work.
As The Associated Press reports, Gov. Jared Polis is urging Congress to do think big on providing federal help to Americans:
Polis is urging Congress to go beyond simple renewal of earlier federal pandemic assistance and provide a more extensive package of aid to blunt the economic fallout of the coronavirus.
Polis, a Democrat, said he wants food stamp benefit increases, home heating and child care assistance, support to meet anticipated surges in Medicaid demand and an automatic extension of immigrant work visas for workers in health care and agriculture.
The requests, in a Tuesday letter to the state’s congressional delegation also signed by Democratic Treasurer Dave Young, also ask for more U.S. financial support for water projects, clean energy and public lands infrastructure — key initiatives of Polis’ administration.
Polis insisted Tuesday that the initiatives would be long-term job generators and said Congress should “use this opportunity to invest in resilient, climate-focused solutions as our communities recover” from the pandemic.
As CNN reports, discussions about another coronavirus stimulus bill seem to be at last moving forward in Congress. You’ll note that Senate Republicans are still nowhere near the negotiating table:
The Tuesday meeting between Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and the top White House negotiators, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, was by far the most productive of all the meetings up to this point, according to both sides.
Schumer said both sides made concessions and, most importantly, the talks had gone beyond identifying areas of disagreement or even topline points of overlap and have now moved to trading actual paper proposals between sides. It seems minor or just an obvious step in the process, but the trading of paper means things are getting real, finally.
► Citing coronavirus concerns, former Vice President Joe Biden will NOT travel to Milwaukee, WI to accept the Democratic Presidential nomination later this month. Biden will instead deliver his acceptance speech from his home state of Delaware.
Meanwhile, President Trump’s re-election campaign is considering
violating the Hatch Act a scenario whereby Trump accepts the Republican Presidential nomination with a speech from the South Lawn of the White House. As The Washington Post reports:
The South Lawn, which can be subject to intense heat and afternoon thunderstorms in late August, is one of several sites under consideration for the week of festivities, including the Trump International Hotel in D.C., which the president leases from the federal government, officials said. Any costs incurred by the government to host the events would be repaid, said the Republican, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Several hundred Republican delegates plan to gather for a pared-down session of official meetings on Aug. 24 in Charlotte to nominate Trump. That will be followed by three more days of speeches and programming from undetermined sites, culminating in Trump’s acceptance speech on Aug. 27.
In a press briefing last month, Trump dodged a question about holding the acceptance speech in the White House.
Listeners of The Get More Smarter Podcast may recognize that we literally predicted this would happen in the latest episode:
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
Now Only Partially Coronavirus-Related…
► President Trump continues his nonsensical attacks on mail voting, as The Washington Post reports, but he’s apparently listening to Republican concerns that his fearmongering is actually going to depress GOP turnout:
But on Tuesday, he suddenly tweeted that it was safe to vote by mail in Florida. The political motivation for him to say such a thing, three months out before the election, is obvious: Florida is a swing state that he almost certainly needs to win. Republicans are worried that Trump’s rhetoric about voting by mail will turn off his supporters from voting at all.
But when Trump was asked by a reporter in Tuesday’s White House coronavirus briefing why Florida and no other state can vote by mail, according to his standards, he justified those political motivations with a nonsensical answer that’s worth breaking down to help sort out the facts from falsehoods in mail-in voting.
Trump: So Florida has got a great Republican governor, and it had a great Republican governor. Ron DeSantis, Rick Scott, two great governors. And over a long period of time, they’ve been able to get the absentee ballots done extremely professionally. Florida is different from other states.
Meanwhile, new poll results show that the majority of Americans disagree with Trump on the efficacy of mail balloting. Via POLITICO:
Most voters approve of voting by mail ahead of a presidential election plagued by coronavirus concerns, and an overwhelming majority agree the contest should proceed as scheduled on Nov. 3, according to the latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
The survey, released Wednesday, shows 58 percent of respondents saying the U.S. “should allow all voters to vote by mail in elections this year” to help slow the spread of the highly contagious disease, which public health experts warn could endanger physical polling places.
► Recent data shows that coronavirus cases in Colorado have plateaued, but Gov. Jared Polis is urging Coloradans not to let down their collective guard.
► The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) announced on Tuesday that high school sports such as football, boys soccer, and girls volleyball are being moved to the Spring season because of coronavirus concerns. CHSAA is making significant changes to the overall high school sports schedule — including delaying the start of winter sports until 2021.
► As Colorado Public Radio reports, Colorado school districts are revving up for a return to instruction in different ways — and with much apprehension.
► As The Colorado Sun reports, college in Colorado will be much different to begin the school year, but it won’t be any less expensive:
In a Colorado Sun survey of five major public and private institutions — University of Colorado, Colorado State, University of Denver, Colorado College and University of Northern Colorado — none are lowering tuition or other costs, and there’s been only a mixed effort to boost financial aid to reflect the dire financial straits of many paying families.
Only Colorado College — perhaps not coincidentally the only one willing to answer questions live — mentioned any kind of deal at all: In the distinctive CC “block system,” where students take one intensive class at a time and a total of eight a year, they can now take 10 credits for the price of eight.
► Colorado State University’s football program is being investigated over alleged efforts to avoid coronavirus safety procedures.
► A big renovation to the terminal at Denver International Airport could be in danger because of financial problems.
► Proponents of a potential Colorado ballot measure seem to have drastically miscalculated the level of support for their idea.
► The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is increasing permit fees for oil and gas drilling operations.
► Aurora Sentinel Editor Dave Perry wrote earlier this week that the Aurora Police Department is arguably among the worst in the country. It’s hard to disagree with Perry, given the flood of bad news coming out of that police department. Quincy Snowdon has the latest for the Aurora Sentinel:
Newly appointed Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson on Tuesday fired an Aurora officer found to be intoxicated on the job last year.
Wilson fired Officer Javen Harper, an 18-year veteran of the department, for being intoxicated while on duty last October, according to a news release.
Police Traffic Sgt. Greg Garcia noticed the scent of an alcoholic beverage on Harper’s breath when he came to work Oct. 17, 2019, according to internal affairs documents released by Aurora Police. Garcia mandated a sobriety test, which determined Harper’s blood alcohol content was .059 at 6:29 a.m., according to police documents. A blood test taken about two hours later confirmed his blood alcohol content was .035 grams per 100 milliliters.
And here’s the kicker:
Harper is at least the fifth Aurora officer to be suspected of driving drunk on or off-duty in the past 18 months. [Pols emphasis]
Meanwhile, Aurora’s new police chief is still sorting through last weekend’s debacle, in which APD detained a handful of black girls over a mixup about a stolen car investigation.
The Denver Post has more on new APD Chief Vanessa Wilson’s long road ahead.
► Folks in Pueblo are still battling it out over a statue of Christopher Columbus.
► As The Colorado Times-Recorder reports, an El Paso County legislative candidate who is also a “Three Percenter” armed militia member is making violent threats aimed at a Democratic opponent.
► CBS4 Denver reports on how Colorado delegates to national party conventions are already starting to conduct their official duties this month.
► The City of Aurora seems to have cornered the market on terrible ideas.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► As Vox.com reports:
► Um, lay off the sauce, Greenwood Village.
► President Trump is now a mask champion, because of course he is.
► Can we stop pretending that anybody actually likes TABOR restrictions?
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