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► Over the years, political candidates in Colorado have produced television ads of varying degrees of quality and usefulness. Some of these ads are so terrible that you remember them years later. This new spot from Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has joined what we like to call the “Pantheon of Dumbassery,” alongside all-time awful commercials from the likes of Bob Beauprez and Walker Stapleton.
► The U.S. Senate voted today on a doomed half-assed coronavirus relief bill introduced by Senate Republicans earlier in the week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is spinning a losing vote as a political victory because he was able to get most of his caucus to support a pointless endeavor. As Roll Call reports, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is not impressed:
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer in his rebuttal reiterated his attack on the bill as “emaciated.” It lacks, among other things, housing assistance, nutrition assistance, aid to state and local governments and funding to build out broadband connections that Democrats insist on, he said.
“It is one of the most cynical moves I’ve seen, a fairly transparent attempt to show that the Republicans are doing something, when in fact they want to do nothing,” Schumer said.
House Democrats passed a $3.4 trillion package in May, but have since offered to meet the Senate GOP roughly halfway at $2.2 trillion.
That last part is particularly important. The House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act in May, and the Senate has been sitting on their thumbs ever since. But today Senate Republicans finally figured out that they should at least vote on something, so they did. Now they’re planning a parade for themselves. As The Huffington Post reports, don’t expect any more help from Congress anytime soon.
► It didn’t take long for Joe Biden’s campaign to produce an ad featuring President Trump’s own damning words about the coronavirus pandemic, in which Trump admits to lying to Americans about the severity of the problem:
How many more people have to suffer because of President Trump’s lies? pic.twitter.com/m2spzGCKgd
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 10, 2020
The White House is absolutely flipping out trying to figure out how to spin this away for Trump.
► As The Colorado Springs Independent reports, a much-maligned TV spot from Sen. Cory Gardner is getting more negative attention because of the embarrassingly-amateur effort that went behind creating a fake environmental group to give Gardner some credibility.
► You won’t be surprised to learn that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sees his job as less of a public service and more of a Republican Party service. As CNN reports:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was on a mission. It was late February, and two vulnerable Republican senators facing voters this fall were pushing a bill that had generated opposition from conservatives but was important to their states — and their own reelections.
So on the morning of February 27, as Washington was coming to grips with the coronavirus, McConnell took Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Steve Daines of Montana to the White House where they made the case to Trump to get behind a public lands bill. Trump quickly got in line, and quipped to his budget chief, Russell Vought:
“Sorry, Russ,” according to sources familiar with the episode.
Four months later, McConnell set aside precious floor time and scheduled votes on the bill even though it was not on the radar for much of Washington, paving the way for its passage — and for Gardner and Daines to cut campaign ads touting the achievement.
“Not only was it the right thing to do from a good government point of view, but sure — it ought to help Cory and Steve, they did a lot of work on it,” McConnell told CNN this week.
In other words, the big public lands bill that Gardner loves to tout was not because of the Yuma Republican’s persistent work…but because he is in danger of losing his re-election bid in 2020. If you like your politics to be purely transactional, this should be right up your alley.
► Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), who moonlights as the State Republican Party Chairman (or vice versa), is running a new fundraising ad that touts his support for NOT wearing a mask AND shooting a gun.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
Now Only Partially Coronavirus-Related…
► NRDC Action is out with a new $650,000 ad buy in support of Democratic Senate candidate John Hickenlooper:
► The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) decided not to attempt to play a fall football season after all.
► Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca sees herself as being on the front lines of efforts to reform law enforcement practices in Denver. Her actions are not helping, however.
► [Checks watch]. Yep, it’s about time for another yard sign fight.
► Chris Cillizza of CNN looks at the positively maddening responses from Republican elected officials regarding recordings of President Trump admitting that he intentionally lied to Americans about the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what Cillizza has to say about Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, for example:
Unable to engage on the actual facts, Kennedy reverts to a quip. And he’s far from the only GOP senator unwilling to engage with the incontrovertible facts of what Trump told Woodward on the record (and on tape). “I haven’t read it, I haven’t seen it, so give me a chance to take a look,” Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst told CNN’s Manu Raju about the Woodward book on Thursday morning. Texas Sen John Cornyn offered up a similar line to Raju on the book: “I’m not going to comment on something I have no personal knowledge of. It’s just, these stories seem to change every day.”
This head-in-the-sand strategy has been a trademark of how elected Republican officials have dealt with the many things that the President (and head of their party) has said and tweeted since 2016 victory,
But we don’t elect ostriches to office. We elect, in theory, leaders. And what Kennedy did on Wednesday is the opposite of leadership.
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has thus far refused to comment on Trump’s statements about the pandemic. Gardner also refused to comment on a report from The Atlantic — since confirmed by multiple news outlets, including Fox News — that President Trump regularly disparages the U.S. military (but Gardner will Tweet this).
► At least Jan Kullman is not your mayor. Unless you live in Thornton, in which case, sorry about that.
► As James Hohmann writes for The Washington Post, President Trump’s recently-announced shortlist for Supreme Court Justices may boost Democrats more than Republicans:
President Trump on Wednesday named Republican Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Ted Cruz (Tex.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.) to his shortlist of potential nominees for the Supreme Court should he win a second term.
Trump’s announcement, aimed at firing up conservatives eight weeks before the election, reflects the degree to which he has supercharged the politicization of the judicial branch, plunging the court system more deeply into the partisan fray than at any time since five Supreme Court justices appointed by Republican presidents delivered the White House to George W. Bush in 2000.
► As The Grand Junction Sentinel reports, “acting” BLM Director William Perry Pendley is existing on one very hot seat:
On Wednesday, nearly 200 organizations, tribes and businesses wrote to Bernhardt calling for Pendley’s removal as acting director. Their letter cited Pendley’s record “of inflammatory rhetoric and actions opposing virtually all issues of social justice and diversity, opposing Tribes’ efforts to protect sacred sites and mocking indigenous religious beliefs, virtually unprecedented conflicts of interest and ethical issues, and embrace of radical anti-conservation positions including advocating for the sale of public lands.”
Among the letter’s signers were the Western Colorado Alliance based in Grand Junction, the Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop and Conservation Colorado.
► According to POLITICO, Colorado’s Senate race is now “Leans Democratic”:
Defeat in Alabama would put Democrats four seats away from the majority, but two GOP-held seats are now leaning in their direction. Colorado has joined Arizona in the “Lean Democratic” category: Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, the Democratic nominee, is consistently ahead of first-term GOP Sen. Cory Gardner, who is being weighed down by the president’s poor poll numbers in the increasingly blue state.
► A group opposed to a ballot measure to kill off the Gallagher Amendment is going to court over a fight about language in the “blue book.”
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► The Onion gets it right, as usual:
► Mike Littwin of The Colorado Sun has some advice for Sen. Cory Gardner that the Yuma Republican will almost certainly ignore.
► AlterNet ponders why Republicans such as Sen. Cory Gardner continue to support President Trump even though it will likely lead to their political demise.
► Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring interviews with Democrats Diane Mitsch Bush (candidate in CO-3) and Alexis King (Jefferson County District Attorney):
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