It’s been a few months since we posted one of these news roundups. Now that the election season is over, 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.
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► Former President Donald Trump is expected to announce a new bid for the White House today at an event at Mar-a-Lago. Many Republicans don’t seem particularly thrilled about the idea, as NBC News reports:
“Personalities come and go,” said Dave Ball, the GOP chair in Pennsylvania’s Washington County, who has supported and defended Trump. “Sometimes you have overstayed your welcome. You’ve got new people, new faces come, and you have to change with the times sometimes.”
In interviews, more than two dozen state GOP leaders, elected officials and operatives said Trump’s heavy involvement in midterm contests up and down the ballot doomed them in swing states, leaving intact the Democrats’ blue wall in Pennsylvania and the industrial Midwest and costing them a winnable Senate seat in Nevada. Trump loomed large in the minds of voters, exit polls showed, and in many key races, voters rejected his hand-picked candidates.
Those Republicans, including those who supported him in the past and others who tolerated him but rarely spoke out publicly, said they increasingly see Trump and Trumpism as losing propositions and would prefer he not run for president again in 2024. Trump is preparing to do just that, with a Tuesday announcement expected at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Trump had wanted to announce his 2024 Presidential run before the midterm elections, but advisers apparently talked him out of that decision.
► Trump has invited a bunch of MAGA Republicans in Congress to join him at Mar-a-Lago this evening for his big announcement. But before that can happen, Republicans need to gather to vote in leadership elections. California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy is expected to be elected House Speaker, though his power has been significantly diminished already after struggling to net more than a mere five seats that were required for Republicans to gain control of the House of Representatives.
As The Washington Post explains, the right-wing of the right-wing is promising to make McCarthy’s ascension quite the headache:
If McCarthy doesn’t get 218 today, it will show he is working from a position of weakness as he tries to secure more support in the coming weeks. (Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) announced Monday evening on Newsmax that he will be nominated by his colleagues to challenge McCarthy.)
Members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus are asking for concessions on conference rules and seats on key committees in exchange for their votes. [Pols emphasis]
The biggest rule change far-right members want is to reinstate a rule called the motion to vacate, which allows any member, at any time, the ability to submit a motion to remove the speaker. McCarthy doesn’t want to make this concession since the rule could be held over his head by recalcitrant members whenever they don’t get their way.
The House Freedom Caucus includes Colorado Rep. Ken Buck and Congresswoman-in-limbo Lauren Boebert.
► Speaking of Boebert, the next big update on a potential outcome in her close battle with Democrat Adam Frisch will come tomorrow (though CO-03 seems headed for a recount anyway). Both campaigns are rushing to “cure” ballots, as Colorado Newsline explains. A bunch of military and overseas ballots are also expected to arrive in Colorado by Wednesday.
► Colorado Republicans are still struggling to understand how they got wiped out in last week’s Bluenami. The latest local story, via Fox 31, is mostly about blaming Trump for their losses. Republicans have also reached that grieving stage wherein everybody pretends that there were moral victories that were won.
As we wrote on Monday, the Colorado GOP seems to be struggling to comprehend some fairly obvious shortcomings.
► Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast for a deep dive into last week’s election results with Seth Masket of the University of Denver’s Center on American Politics.
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Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) talks with Ryan Warner of Colorado Public Radio about his third General Election victory in as many tries.
► For all the media hand-wringing about what Latino voters might do in 2022, this particular voting bloc ended up turning out in force for Democrats. From Axios Denver:
Latino voters in Colorado supported Democratic candidates by a 2 to 1 margin, with the voting bloc swaying the results in the hotly contested 8th District and securing Democratic control of the state’s executive offices, a new poll shows.
► The Colorado Sun looks at what happens next now that Colorado has approved a ballot measure to fund affordable housing initiatives.
► The outcome of Proposition 125, which sought to allow grocery stories to sell wine in Colorado, remains too close to call. Backers of the initiative are declaring victory anyway.
Two other alcohol-related measures (Prop. 124 and Prop. 126) were handily defeated by voters.
► Outgoing House Speaker Alec Garnett will start a new job in January as Chief of Staff for Gov. Jared Polis. From The Denver Post:
Garnett will replace Polis’ outgoing chief of staff, Lisa Kaufmann, on Jan. 1. Kaufmann has worked for Polis since he first ran for Congress in 2007 and chaired his 2018 campaign for governor.
In a news release, Polis credited her as “the architect and chief strategist” for enacting free kindergarten and preschool, efforts to rein in health care costs and more. He also credited her leadership during historic wildfires and the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Together, we delivered real results for Coloradans, and I am honored to have worked shoulder to shoulder with her on behalf of our beloved state,” Polis said in a statement.
Kaufmann will continue to serve in Polis’ administration. Her new job will be as the strategic advisor for public-private partnerships in the Department of Personnel and Administration. There, she will focus on Polis’ second-term priority of expanding transit and developing transit-oriented housing, according to the news release.
► Final ballot returns for the 2022 election appear to be just short of turnout numbers from 2018.
► State Sen. Chris Hansen officially entered the race for Denver Mayor. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, don’t worry; there will undoubtedly be several other candidates whose name you’ll recognize before this is over. Hansen becomes the (checks notes) 15th registered candidate thus far for the April election.
► Loveland City Manager Steve Adams is in trouble after harassing a local journalist because he was sad that someone was reporting a negative thing.
► Democrat Katie Hobbs appears likely to defeat Republican crazy person Kari Lake in the race for Governor of Arizona.
► Here’s a pretty fantastic “no shit” headline for Republicans from The New York Times:
► Some Denver parents are speaking out in hopes of convincing Denver Public Schools to NOT shutter five schools throughout the city.
► Folks in Douglas County are trying to regroup after voters rejected two ballot measures that were attempting to increase funding for public schools.
► Regina Marinelli is the first woman to be elected Sheriff in Jefferson County and the first Democrat in 98 years.
Say What, Now?
We’ll just leave this here for posterity, via Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley):
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Um, yeah. Whatever.
► The sadness continues:
The Charlie Kirk livestream right now is incredible, they’re going through the stages of grief pic.twitter.com/yqj2syJewf
— Joe (@JoePostingg) November 15, 2022
► Colorado lawmakers selected leadership positions for the legislative session that begins in January. The new House Speaker is Rep. Julie McCluskie, while Steve Fenberg continues to serve as Senate President.
► Roughly 98% of all political donations from the oil and gas industry in Colorado went to Republican candidates. Whoops!