Happy Hepatitis Testing Day…and good luck. Let’s Get More Smarter; if you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.
*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website
*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
*How you can help in Colorado:
*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment.
► The Associated Press reports on landmark legislation approved by Congress to address the issue of hate crimes against Asian Americans:
Congress approved legislation Tuesday intended to curtail a striking rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, sending President Joe Biden a bipartisan denunciation of the spate of brutal attacks that have proliferated during coronavirus pandemic.
“In the midst of a deadly pandemic, our nation has witnessed a horrific rise in violent, racist attacks against Asian Americans,” said U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Aurora in a statement. “Across Colorado and the country, our AAPI neighbors, loved ones, and friends are living in fear of being targeted with racial slurs, physical intimidation, and deadly violence. Today’s bipartisan vote sends a strong message of solidarity with the AAPI community that hate will not be tolerated.”
The measure was approved by every member of the Colorado congressional delegation except Colorado GOP Congressperson Lauren Boebert, of Rifle. [Pols emphasis]
The bill, which the House passed on a 364-62 vote, will expedite the review of hate crimes at the Justice Department and make grants available to help local law enforcement agencies improve their investigation, identification and reporting of incidents driven by bias, which often go underreported. It previously passed the Senate 94-1 in April after lawmakers reached a compromise. Biden has said he will sign it.
The highlighted point above bears repeating: Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert WAS THE ONLY MEMBER OF COLORADO’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION to oppose the anti-hate crime legislation.
BTW, Tuesday was National AAPI Day Against Bullying + Hate Day.
► University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy will get a $1.3 million compensation package for resigning from his job leading the state’s flagship university system. As The Denver Post explains:
The agreement outlining the details of Kennedy’s departure from the university presidency after two years on the job passed on an 8-1 vote, with Regent Heidi Ganahl, an at-large Republican, voting against the deal.
At the end of the virtual meeting, Kennedy wished the university system well and said he will continue to support CU.Wednesday’s special board meeting began with an hour-long private executive session followed by a motion presented by Regent Chance Hill, R-Colorado Springs, which asked the board to vote to allow Kennedy to carry out his original employment contract, which, if not renewed, would have ended in the summer of 2022.
Hill’s motion failed on a 3-6 vote with Hill, Ganahl and Sue Sharkey, R-Castle Rock, voting in favor.
Discussion around Kennedy’s departure included Republican regents arguing that CU was hostile toward conservatives. Kennedy, a former GOP congressman, was hired in 2019 on a split, party-line vote by the board, which was controlled by Republicans at the time.
No doubt $1.3 million will make a guy feel a lot better about people being mean to him. But the real treasure of this story is this unbelievably ridiculous statement from CU Regent Heidi Ganahl, who really hopes you don’t blame her for Kennedy when she runs for Governor:
Ganahl said: “I don’t think we should trouble ourselves with the illusion that Mark Kennedy’s firing was a great failing or fundamental error in leadership. Mark Kennedy is being fired for the high crime of not being a Democrat or left-wing academic to a new board majority who many days forget they serve the students of CU and not the (Democratic National Committee). In this case, their need to grind partisan axes will cost taxpayers and students millions of dollars.”
► Let’s get caught up on more news from the state legislature, which has just a few weeks left in the 2021 session…
State Rep. Dylan Roberts writes an Op-Ed for Vail Daily about some notable legislation making its way through the legislature.
Colorado Public Radio looks at whether Colorado can expand highways while also meeting Climate goals.
Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Sentinel reports on the progress of a major transportation funding bill.
The Associated Press reports on legislation intended to protect women’s rights while incarcerated.
Senate Democrats approved a bill that will allow local municipalities to make their own gun safety laws.
Governor Jared Polis signed legislation on Tuesday that makes it illegal to doxx health care workers.
Search and rescue teams in Colorado are asking the legislature for more resources to do their thing.
Denver7 reports on a bill we’ll call “marijuana potency 2.0.”
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
And Now, More Words…
► Perhaps we are living in a multiverse where there are multiple copies of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. As The Washington Post explains:
It’s six years later, and the California lawmaker is in trouble again, after declaring his opposition to bipartisan legislation, negotiated by a trusted deputy, to create a commission to look into the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
As of last night, rather than basking in universal GOP acclaim, McCarthy was working to prevent significant defections, Politico reporters Melanie Zanona, Nicholas Wu, and Olivia Beavers reported.
“Dozens of Republicans are privately considering voting for the Jan. 6 commission — which McCarthy himself said he opposed earlier Tuesday, even after he deputized one of his allies, Rep. John Katko of New York, to strike a bipartisan agreement on the proposal,” they wrote. “In a sign of momentum, the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus, of which Katko is a member, formally voted to endorse the legislation Tuesday evening..”
As Jennifer Rubin writes separately for The Washington Post, McCarthy’s recent actions have served only to prove the point put forward by Rep. Liz Cheney about the GOP’s leadership struggles.
►As The Washington Post reports, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has come out in opposition to creating a task force charged with investigating the January 6 insurrection. But according to CNN, there could be significant defections from other Republicans on creating the commission.
► As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, Democratic CO-03 challenger Sol Sandoval picked up a nice endorsement from the progressive Working Families Party.
► Fox News filed a motion to dismiss a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought against it by Denver-based Dominion Voting Services.
► As Colorado Newsline reports, Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commission has a better understanding of the initial data that they can use for drawing new maps.
► As readers of Colorado Pols well know, Republican State Rep. Richard Holtorf has a gift for making horrible and ill-considered comments. The Colorado Times Recorder reports on the latest batch of word vomit from Holtorf at a recent meeting of the Jefferson County Republican Men’s Club.
► Here’s another reason to get vaccinated against COVID-19: The European Union will now allow travelers who have received their shots.
► Can’t argue with this, via Common Dreams:
► President Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he expects a “significant de-escalation” today in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
► The Denver Post reports on growing concern about a half-assed plan to address homelessness being put forth by Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman.
► Round and round and round we go. Everytime Congressional Republicans demand “bipartisan negotiations” on big legislation, they show up at the table with a few useless scraps of paper.
Say What, Now?
► Remember, friends: Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is an actual attorney who practiced law for a long time. In other words, Ken Buck SHOULD understand that this is not how the First Amendment works:
My Analysis: Big tech ignored the 1st Amendment and openly censored any story anti-Biden during the 2020 election.https://t.co/MLqT6zXcWw
— Ken Buck (@BuckForColorado) May 19, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► The FBI is investigating hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of illegal campaign contributions that may have found a way into the campaign coffers of Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
► This happened literally hours after John Lee announced his 2022 campaign.
► It would be difficult to be a more incompetent boss than House Minority Leader Hugh McKean.
► “Is our children learning?” Dana Milbank of The Washington Post worries that Republicans are intentionally trying to sabotage bipartisan efforts at strengthening school civics classwork; it’s easier to get away with breaking Democracy if fewer people understand how it is supposed to work.
► 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: