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► As had been expected, House Republicans voted on Wednesday to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) from caucus leadership ranks for the crime of refusing to pretend that Donald Trump actually won the 2020 Presidential election. As The Washington Post reports:
The voice vote to remove her as chair of the House Republican Conference underscored that the party will not tolerate disagreements with Trump, whose active support many argue is needed for the party to win the House majority in the 2022 midterm election.
Cheney, 54, has called her decision to publicly fight Trump a matter of principle, warning that allowing him to falsely claim that the election was stolen amounts to an attack on Democracy and is destructive to the GOP and its values.
“If you want leaders who will enable and spread his destructive lies, I’m not your person, you have plenty of others to choose from. That will be their legacy,” Cheney told her Republican colleagues Wednesday morning, according to a person familiar with her remarks who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting. “But I promise you this, after today, I will be leading the fight to restore our party and our nation to conservative principles, to defeating socialism, to defending our republic, to making the GOP worthy again of being the party of Lincoln.”
We don’t yet know the results of the voice vote, though it’s safe to assume that Colorado Reps. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) voted to oust Cheney. Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) appears to have been one of the few dissenting Republican voices on removing Cheney. Said Buck, “Liz Cheney was cancelled today for speaking her mind.”
As Thomas Friedman writes for The New York Times, this is a very big deal:
It is hard to accept that this is happening in today’s America, but it is.
If House Republicans follow through on their plan to replace Cheney, it will not constitute the end of American democracy as we’ve known it, but there is a real possibility we’ll look back on May 12, 2021, as the beginning of the end — unless enough principled Republicans can be persuaded to engineer an immediate, radical course correction in their party.
► It wasn’t that long ago that Liz Cheney was hosting a fundraiser for Lauren Boebert:
I mean, October wasn’t *that far* in the past. pic.twitter.com/dRYWj0FQd9
— ian silverii (@iansilverii) May 12, 2021
► In related news, The Associated Press reports that Senate Republicans are pushing back against Democrat efforts to ensure fair elections:
Republicans in the U.S. Senate mounted an aggressive case against Democrats’ sweeping election and voter-access legislation, pushing to roll back proposals for automatic registration, 24-hour ballot drop boxes and other changes in an increasingly charged national debate.
The legislation, a top priority of Democrats in the aftermath of the divisive 2020 election, would bring about the largest overhaul of U.S. voting in a generation, touching nearly every aspect of the electoral process. It would remove hurdles to voting erected in the name of election security and curtail the influence of big money in politics…
…Though it is federal legislation, Republicans are fighting a national campaign against it rooted in state battles to restrict new ways of voting that have unfolded during the pandemic. Just Tuesday, the Arizona Legislature sent the governor a bill that would make it easier to purge infrequent voters from a list of those who automatically get mail-in ballots, the latest battleground state to push through changes likely to take months or years to finally settle in court.
► Let’s get caught up on news from the state legislature:
Colorado Newsline reports on a “tax fairness” proposal from Democrats that would limit tax breaks for high-income individuals and businesses.
The Colorado Sun examines how Colorado can and cannot spend federal stimulus funds.
El Paso County Commissioners are opposing legislative efforts to create a Front Range rain line.
Denver7 reports on legislation concerning businesses charging a fee when customers opt to pay with a credit or debit card.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
And Now, More Words…
► Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) has been appointed to serve on the House Rules Committee. According to a press release from Neguse’s office:
Today, Congressman Joe Neguse was appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on the House Rules Committee. The Committee on Rules is among the oldest standing committees in the House, having been first formally constituted on April 2, 1789. An appointment to the committee gives Members significant ability to craft virtually all major legislation as it heads to the House Floor for a vote. Congressman Neguse also serves on the House Judiciary Committee, the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, and as Chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands and Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. He is also a member of House Democratic Leadership, serving in the number 8 position as Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC).
“I’m incredibly honored to be appointed by Speaker Pelosi to serve on the U.S. House Rules Committee, and to play a role in shaping critical legislation before it goes to the House Floor,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “There is a lot of work to get done in the 117th Congress, to crush the pandemic, build back our economy, tackle the climate crisis and support working families across our country. I’m excited to continue our work for the people of Colorado and to provide a voice on important issues before the House through this appointment.”
► Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) is moving to Centennial, though the change of address won’t likely affect anything for 2022. As The Colorado Sun reports on potential redistricting:
Each of Colorado’s eight congressional districts are expected to have a population of roughly 720,000, The Sun’s analysis showed. More than 820,000 people live in the 6th District, per 2019 population estimates, meaning the district will probably contract and its boundaries shift.
Curtis Hubbard, a Democratic consultant who has worked closely on Colorado redistricting, believes it is much more likely that the new congressional district will be drawn elsewhere and that Crow’s district will still include Aurora, which is Colorado’s third-largest city.
“Anyone who thinks that the best place for a new 8th Congressional District is south metro Denver has not spent enough time north of metro Denver,” Hubbard said. “That is truly the area where there has been more significant, substantial growth and where there are significant communities of interest around policies that do and will require federal action.”
► According to a press release from AAA Colorado, Memorial Day travel is expected to rebound significantly this year:
More than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more between May 27 and May 31. That’s a 60 percent increase from last year, when only 23 million traveled – the lowest volume on record since AAA began recording in 2000.
All told, AAA Colorado projects nearly 692,000 Coloradans will contribute to the ranks of these travelers. An overwhelming majority, 642,000, will take to the roads.
► Gas shortages on the East Coast and the Southeastern United States are intensifying as a result of a recent ransomware attack on a major pipeline.
► David Migoya of The Denver Post reports on a strange legal battle in Adams County:
A lawsuit by developers to force an Adams County metro district they built to pay up millions of dollars they say they’re owed has led to a countersuit alleging organized crime and fraud.
Homebuilder Lennar Colorado and developer Stratus Amber Creek sued the Amber Creek Metro District in March 2021 claiming they’re owed nearly $4 million for costs they incurred making infrastructure improvements at the subdivision.
The district, in a counter-suit filed April 30, said it’s been victimized by the developers, who used Colorado’s metro district laws to “fleece” it out of millions of dollars and “used their control over the district as a profit center.”
The lawsuit is the first in which a resident-controlled metro district is taking on the developers who sat on its board of directors and passed the laws governing how it would operate.
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) wants the White House to review a late decision by the Trump administration to move the headquarters of Space Force from Colorado to Alabama.
► In a serious blow to its financial future, a federal judge dismissed a bankruptcy case from the National Rifle Association (NRA) by ruling that the bankruptcy request was not made in good faith. The NRA faces a lawsuit from the New York Attorney General’s office seeking to dissolve the group for misusing charitable funds.
► As The Colorado Times Recorder reports, Colorado Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown is promising to regularly evade questions about “The Big Lie.”
► The Colorado Sun has more on the investigation into a mass shooting in Colorado Springs over the weekend that killed seven people. Colorado Public Radio also reports that a history of domestic violence may have been a driving force behind the murders.
► Westminster selected a new Mayor Pro-Tem AFTER 78 ROUNDS OF VOTING.
Say What, Now?
► Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar would like you to know that he is very popular with cartoon vehicles:
GOOD MORNING! pic.twitter.com/Gqe6tjQQjn
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) May 11, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► California Republican gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner says that she didn’t vote in the 2020 election. Voter records indicate otherwise.
► As The New York Times reports, the rift in the Republican Party might spur the creation of a third political party:
More than 100 Republicans, including some former elected officials, are preparing to release a letter this week threatening to form a third party if the Republican Party does not make certain changes, according to an organizer of the effort.
The statement is expected to take aim at former President Donald J. Trump’s stranglehold on Republicans, which signatories to the document have deemed unconscionable.
“When in our democratic republic, forces of conspiracy, division, and despotism arise, it is the patriotic duty of citizens to act collectively in defense of liberty and justice,” reads the preamble to the full statement, which is expected to be released on Thursday.
► A co-founder of “Students for Trump” is going to jail for pretending to be a lawyer.
► As Dana Milbank writes for The Washington Post, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is not exactly a man of principle:
[Republican Rep. Adam] Kinzinger told me Monday afternoon that he thinks McCarthy, once a good friend, has made an ends-justify-the-means calculation to “accept the lie at the moment so we can win the majority and then address it.” He thinks that only about 10 House Republicans are dumb enough to genuinely believe that Trump won the election. The rest simply fear primary challenges and therefore accept McCarthy’s belief that “winning a majority was more important than a clear-eyed recognition of what happened on January 6.”
But Kinzinger sees this craven acceptance of lies destroying the Republican Party. “I have watched us compromise with crazy basically every two years,” he said. “All that becomes is the starting position for the next iteration towards crazy.”
► Just another reminder that hypocrisy is a feature, and not a bug, of the modern Republican Party.
► Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Jake Williams, Executive Director of Healthier Colorado, on why you should be excited about the big health care bill moving through the state legislature: