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► Dear Leader Trump is worried enough about his odds of winning another term in office that he is refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power in the increasingly-likely scenario in which he loses to Democrat Joe Biden. As The New York Times reports:
Asked whether he would “commit here today for a peaceful transferral of power after the November election,” Mr. Trump demurred, passing on a chance to call for a calm and orderly election process.
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” he told a reporter during a news conference at the White House. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”…
…“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” the president said. That was an apparent reference to mail-in ballots, which for months he has railed against, without evidence, as rife with fraud and likely to produce a delayed, tainted or outright illegitimate election result.
Mr. Trump’s refusal — or inability — to endorse perhaps the most fundamental tenet of American democracy, as any president in memory surely would have, was the latest instance in which he has cast grave uncertainty around the November election and its aftermath. Democrats are growing increasingly alarmed as Mr. Trump repeatedly questions the integrity of the vote and suggests that he might not accept the results if he loses.
Democrats may be growing increasingly alarmed, but what about Republicans? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised that there would be an “orderly transition” in January but wouldn’t comment on Trump’s earlier statement. Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) blasted the suggestion that a peaceful transfer of power would even be questioned by a sitting President. But for the most part, Republicans stayed quiet. Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner? He said some…words:
Sen Cory Gardner asked about Trump not guaranteeing a peaceful transfer of power. Gardner says he’s talked about this “in speeches from his very first days when Nancy Pelosi peacefully handed the gavel to John Boehner. It’s a hallmark of our democracy.” (per pool)
— Caitlyn Kim (@caitlynkim) September 24, 2020
As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, Trump’s recent comments about the upcoming election are quite troubling:
Add it all up and we have a President who is now on record saying: a) he won’t commit to a peaceful transition of power unless b) all mail-in ballots are eliminated because c) that would mean he would win again and d) has repeatedly raised the possibility of staying on beyond even the eight-year term limit on the presidency…
…So, what Trump is doing is creating the perfect excuse to never concede: He is saying that the vote will be fair and he will agree to a peaceful transition of power if there are no mail-in votes. Which he knows literally cannot happen. And so, if he loses, he already has his fallback plan in place: The acceptance of mail-in ballots means the entire election was a hoax and a fraud. And why should he admit he lost an election that was rigged against him?…
…If you don’t think that’s a uniquely dangerous position to hold for the continued strength of our democracy, well, you’re just not paying attention.
► With coronavirus cases increasing in the area, Boulder County Public Health issued a new order for residents between the age of 18-22. As Denver7 reports:
In an effort to slow the sharp rise of positive COVID-19 cases in Boulder, and transmission of those 18 to 22 years old, Boulder County Public Health issued a new public health order that prohibits all people in that age group from gatherings of any size.
This applies to all indoor, outdoor, on-campus and off-campus locations, according to the order.
In addition, the order identified 36 addresses where people have repeatedly violated the public health orders, and requires those individuals to stay at their residence at all times. The only exceptions to this part of the order are to seek medical care, exercise outside alone, and obtain necessary supplies such as food, pet food, medical supplies and products needed for safety and sanitation via curbside pickup or contact-less delivery.
► Sandra Fish of The Colorado Sun takes a look at Senate District 27, which appears to be the top State Senate battleground of 2020. This story is not good for Republican candidate Suzanne Staiert:
Staiert is representing a dark money nonprofit whose affiliated super PAC spent $175,000 on advertising supporting her campaign.
It’s the newest twist in a nasty campaign filled with mailers and digital and TV advertising that question her past job as deputy secretary of state. She even filed a criminal complaint regarding one of the mailers that she says is false.
Staiert faces Democrat Chris Kolker, a financial planner, in a seat being vacated by current Republican state Sen. Jack Tate. Kolker is an afterthought in the campaign, barely mentioned in the messages from outside political groups who are aiming at Staiert, the attorney who pressed ethics complaints against former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
More than $508,000 in outside spending is targeting Senate District 27, most of it opposing Staiert. It’s one of the Democratic Party’s top legislative contests in the November election, and a Sun analysis shows the district is seeing the most outside money of any statehouse race so far.
Staiert has a strange record of shady affiliations with dark money groups. She is also very sensitive to any sort of criticism. “It’s been really just stressful and unpleasant,” says Staiert of the common practice of examining candidate records and backgrounds.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
Now Only Partially Coronavirus-Related…
► Democratic Senate candidate John Hickenlooper is out with a new ad that hits Sen. Cory Gardner HARD on health care:
► The Colorado Education Association and the Colorado Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers endorsed Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush for Congress in CO-3. DMB is also out with a new TV spot:
► Colorado Pols readers have traditionally been pretty accurate in predicting election results. Click here to make your guess on the outcome of the U.S. Senate race.
► As The Denver Post reports, Colorado is looking at innovative new ways of tracking oil and gas emissions:
A state commission has approved a rule that will require companies to monitor emissions from oil and gas sites earlier and more frequently than is currently done as Colorado officials implement a law overhauling how the industry is regulated.
The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night for a rule to track emissions from the start of construction of a well and over the first six months of production. The monitoring of so-called preproduction, a phase that can produce high emissions of chemicals and health complaints from the public, is a new requirement.
The proposal is part of the implementation of Senate Bill 181. The 2019 law changed the state’s mission from fostering oil and gas development to regulating it in a way that protects public health, safety and the environment.
The monitoring rule, thought to be the first of its kind in the country, builds on changes the Air Quality Control Commission made in December to require more frequent inspections of oil and gas equipment statewide. Companies will have to start monitoring programs for new wells starting May 1.
► Former State lawmaker Mike Foote makes the case for a national popular vote.
► Donald Trump is a racist. How many more examples like this do you need to see?
As Aaron Blake writes for The Washington Post, Trump’s rhetoric is getting darker and darker.
► A politically-connected Republican with a gun gets out on bail despite charges of murder.
► Some 500 former military and civilian leaders are backing Joe Biden for President.
► New polling out of Pennsylvania shows Democrat Joe Biden maintaining a lead over President Trump.
► Protestors took to the streets of Denver on Wednesday night following an earlier announcement that officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville are not being charged with murder.
► Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Sen. Cory Gardner is a “key vote” in rushing a new SCOTUS nominee to the bench.
► Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser attended a memorial service for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Weiser was a former law clerk for RBG.
► Fox 31 Denver looks at Prop. 115, the latest effort to ban abortion in Colorado.
► Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler announced that no charges will be filed against the driver of a vehicle who raced through a crowd of Aurora protestors earlier in the summer.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Republicans love talking about how nobody should get a free ride…unless it’s them, and then it’s cool.
► President Trump on Wednesday was asked for comment about a decision by the Kentucky Attorney General to not charge any police officers with murder in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor. As The Huffington Post reports, Trump used the opportunity to talk about himself:
“My message is that I love the Black community, and I’ve done more for the Black community than any other president, and I say, with a possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, and I mean that, with opportunity zones and with criminal justice reform, with prison reform, with what we’ve done for historically Black universities, colleges, schools, what we’ve done, nobody’s done more. Abraham Lincoln, let’s give him the nod, but beyond that nobody’s done more.”
► ICYMI, here’s President Trump saying he won’t commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses his bid for re-election:
The context makes it worse. pic.twitter.com/8QXda35jwN
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) September 23, 2020
► 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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