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CORONAVIRUS AND VOTING INFO…
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*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
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*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
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► President Trump still plans to nominate a new Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Justice by the end of the week, and it’s looking like Senate Republicans are going to ignore their own hypocrisy and allow a confirmation vote to take place. As The Washington Post reports:
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that he believes President Trump should get to choose a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg regardless of whether he wins in November. The move clears the way for a vote this year by the GOP-led Senate on a nominee that Trump is expected to name Saturday.
Late Monday, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) announced that he would support a confirmation vote for a new SCOTUS nominee — despite the fact that Gardner argued vociferously in 2016 that a new SCOTUS pick should wait until a new President was elected. As Denver7 reports:
There has been immense pressure for the Republican senator to make a statement on what he would decide to do with a potential nominee since Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last Friday, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and fellow Republicans blocked hearings and a vote for President Obama’s March 2016 nominee, Merrick Garland, saying at the time that voters should decide the pick in an election year. Justice Antonin Scalia had died in February of that year…
…Denver7 asked Gardner’s office on Friday following the announcement of Justice Ginsburg’s death what the senator would do with a potential nomination but did not receive a response until his office sent out a news release Monday. He declined to comment on the nomination to some reporters in Washington D.C. and did not directly address a question about the vacancy at an appearance on the Western Slope this weekend.
As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “nothing matters but SCOTUS” political strategy appears to have worked again. The big question now: Will voters punish Republicans at the polls?
President Trump falsely claimed at a Monday night campaign rally that the coronavirus “affects virtually nobody” below the age of 18 and is mainly a risk to elderly people with heart problems and other preexisting conditions. In a March 19 interview with Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward, however, Trump acknowledged that “plenty of young people” were affected and admitted that he had downplayed the risks of the virus.
COVID-19 cases in Colorado are on the rise for the third straight week, potentially marking a third spike in our state. Classes at the University of Colorado-Boulder are moving online for at least two weeks because of an outbreak among students.
Meanwhile, the City of Denver is shifting COVID-19 testing strategies toward a focus on smaller pop-up testing sites.
► President Trump went on Fox & Friends on Monday and reminded us that Sen. Cory Gardner is “very, very loyal to the party.”
► The Denver Post editorial board endorsed Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) for re-election in CO-6.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
Now Only Partially Coronavirus-Related…
► A new poll conducted for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has bad news for Republicans in Georgia:
The poll pegged Trump and Biden at 47% apiece, with an additional 1% of voters backing Libertarian Jo Jorgensen. Only 4% were undecided in the survey of 1,150 likely voters, which was conducted Sept. 11-20 by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs.
Georgia’s twin U.S. Senate races are also competitive. U.S. Sen. David Perdue (47%) and Democrat Jon Ossoff (45%) are neck-and-neck, within the poll’s margin of error of 4 percentage points. Libertarian Shane Hazel has 4% support, and about 5% are undecided.
The special election for U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s seat is still highly unsettled. Loeffler is pegged at 24%, echoing other polls that suggest she’s built a slight lead. But U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, her fiercest Republican rival, and Democrat Raphael Warnock are within striking distance at roughly 20% each.
Georgia is traditionally not a state that Republicans have had to worry much about. Donald Trump carried Georgia by 5 points in 2016, the same year that a Republican held a Senate seat by a 14-point margin.
► Since we’re on the topic of Georgia, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler is out with a new TV ad that is really, really, really weird. Note the “joke” near the end about killing journalists:
Don’t tell Loeffler’s campaign, but her Attila the Hun references are…off:
Look, I know that this is the least of our concerns, but everything in this ad is actually a reference to Genghis Khan, who lived 1,000 years after Attila the Hun and on a different continent. But whatever, I know we have fascism to worry about, I just…dammit. https://t.co/HrIwMUiKhG
— Logan M. Davis (@LoganMDavis) September 21, 2020
► As The Aurora Sentinel reports, the Aurora City Council decided against a minimum wage increase but supports an anti-lobbying measure related to police and fire departments:
Aurora lawmakers banned police and fire departments from lobbying Monday night and nixxed a plan to raise the city’s minimum wage.
Councilmember Curtis Gardner submitted the plan last month to prevent the Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Rescue from “directly or indirectly” expending dollars or staff on lobbying governments…
…In study session, Aurora lawmakers shot down a plan to raise the city’s minimum wage.
The proposal, sponsored by Councilmember Alison Coombs, would have gradually raised the minimum wage to $20 per hour in 2027, with more annual increases tracking the federal consumer price index.
As the Sentinel notes, Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman was a fervent opponent of increasing the minimum wage:
“This is just a job killer. There’s no other way to put this,” Coffman said of the proposal.
► As The Colorado Times Recorder reports, defenders of Republican congressional candidate Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert are happy to ignore her many past transgressions.
► Two high-profile Colorado Republicans — former Sen. Hank Brown and former GOP Chair Dick Wadhams — agree that the Gallagher Amendment needs to be repealed.
► The vast majority of Colorado high schools opted NOT to play football this fall, despite getting the go-ahead from the Colorado High School Activities Association.
► Tamara Chuang of The Colorado Sun reports on unemployed Coloradans who are struggling just to keep a roof over their heads.
► The State of Colorado may need to furlough 75% of its workforce at some point in the next year.
► Colorado Public Radio looks at the convergence of flu season with COVID-19. The short version: Get a damn flu shot, people!
► The Colorado Supreme Court will look at how state personnel decisions are handled that involve the use of marijuana.
► It’s back to the drawing board for Douglas County Schools after its interim pick for Superintendent pulled out of the job.
► High school football in Colorado moves closer to a potential return this fall.
► CBS4 Denver tries to understand the justification behind “attempted kidnapping” charges levied at some protestors in Aurora.
► POLITICO reports on an important Congressional deadline that is getting less attention because THERE IS SO MUCH HAPPENING RIGHT NOW:
Congressional negotiators have restarted talks on a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown next week, delaying Democrats’ plans to vote Tuesday on their own bill but rekindling hopes of a swift bipartisan deal.
Top Republicans and Democrats said Tuesday they were back at the negotiating table over the three-month stopgap bill, just hours before the House was slated to vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi had planned to push through her party’s version of a short-term spending fix, despite fierce GOP objections over the lack of aid for farmers amid the ongoing trade war…
…Both Democrats and Republicans are eager to reach a deal to avert last-minute drama, though the two parties have squabbled for weeks over various funding and policy provisions in the continuing resolution, which would buy more time for negotiations on a broader spending deal.
► Vox.com explains how “court packing” might work if Democrats take control of the U.S. Senate.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► A former Republican Nashville City Councilman who railed publicly against wearing masks and questioned whether the coronavirus pandemic was real has died from…you guessed it, COVID-19 complications.
► The Huffington Post reports on the departure of a COVID hoax believer who worked inside the NAIAD:
An internal communications staffer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases ― the federal agency headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci ― said he will retire after a news report outed him as a right-wing blogger who alleged the coronavirus crisis is a “massive fraud.”
Bill Crews has announced “his intention to retire,” NIAID spokesperson Kathy Stover told HuffPost in an email Tuesday. News of the decision followed a Daily Beast report published Monday that unmasked him as “streiff,” the pseudonym he uses on Twitter and conservative blog RedState, which he was secretly managing.
► You know that Senator Cory Gardner is running bullshit TV ads when even CBS4 Denver political reporter Shaun Boyd can’t find something nice to say.
► Tune in to the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with State Senate President Leroy Garcia:
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