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December 15, 2022 09:47 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Thursday (Dec. 15)

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  • by: Colorado Pols

Where’d everybody go? Did we move Christmas up 10 days? 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.

 

FIRST UP…

 

Survivors of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs last month were in Washington D.C. to talk to Congress about their experience. As Seth Klamann reports for The Denver Post:

The hearing — focused on the rise of anti-LGBT violence and extremism in the United States — came a day after President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act, which protects same-sex and interracial unions. Haynes attended the signing ceremony and told the committee it was the first joy he’s experienced since the shooting…

…The testimony came as national lawmakers race to finish their work for the year. To the frustration of many Democrats, the year-end agenda doesn’t include legislation to ban semiautomatic firearms due to firm Republican opposition.

The House passed legislation in July that would ban assault weapons for the first time since 2004, but it failed to pass in the Senate. Republicans dismiss the bill as an attack on Second Amendment rights.

Wednesday’s hearing also came on the 10-year anniversary of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, that took the lives of 20 students and six teachers. Mass shootings haven’t abated since then, with another deadly attack at a school occurring just this summer in Uvalde, Texas.

Colorado Newsline notes that witnesses at the House hearing also brought up violent anti-LGBTQ rhetoric from Republican politicians:

Survivors of a deadly attack at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs and other advocates told a U.S. House panel Wednesday that political rhetoric and policy fights dehumanize LGBTQ people and contribute to such violence.

Democrats and Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee largely sympathized with the survivors, but drew different conclusions about the root issues and what should be done next. Republicans said Congress should focus on rising crimes against all victims, pledging to make the issue a priority when they take control of the House next month.

Ah, yes, the “All Lives Matter” response from Republicans has returned.

 

As Jennifer Rubin writes for The Washington Post, Congressional Republicans may need a new argument in the next Congress:

Has the worst of the pandemic-induced inflation already passed? The latest economic data released this week suggest so. That leaves Republicans in a quandary: After dedicating practically all of their midterm messaging of substance to President Biden’s supposed mishandling of the economy, they might have little left to stand on…

…Should the economy continue to improve, the GOP would have few ideas left for its agenda. It could go back to advocating tax cuts for rich people, but that would be inflationary. It could attack Biden’s legislative achievements, such as limits on prescription drug prices, but those are popular. It could advocate for more drilling permits, but oil companies are not making use of the public leases already available to them.

There’s always Hunter Biden’s laptop, amirite?

 

Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun takes his turn at considering whether the U.S. Supreme Court might end up undermining Colorado’s redistricting process.

 

As The Associated Press reports, plotters who intended to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 will be spending a long time in prison:

A judge on Thursday handed down the longest prison terms so far in the plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor, sentencing three men who forged an early alliance with a leader of the scheme before the FBI broke it up in 2020.

Joe Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar were not charged with having a direct role in the conspiracy but were members of a paramilitary group that trained with Adam Fox, who separately faces a possible life sentence on Dec. 27 for his federal conviction.

The trio was convicted in October of providing material support for a terrorist act, which carries a maximum term of 20 years, and two other crimes.

Musico was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years in prison, followed by his son-in-law Morrison at 10 years and Bellar at seven. They will be eligible for parole after serving those terms.

Speaking in a recorded video, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urged the judge to “impose a sentence that meets the gravity of the damage they have done to our democracy.”

Hooray for laws!

 

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

 

Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…

 

► Donald Trump’s 2024 Presidential campaign is looking less and less like an actual political operation and more like a complicated merchandising operation:

 

Would you be surprised to learn that Trump hoarded most of the small-donor money he collected in recent months rather than use it to help other Republicans? No, you would not.

 

Meanwhile, POLITICO reports that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seems to be picking up more momentum over Trump among Republican voters looking at the 2024 Presidential contest.

 

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) doesn’t really do anything with his position other than find new ways to break rules or violate ethics guidelines. As Business Insider/Yahoo! reports:

A Republican congressman from Colorado is the latest to violate a federal conflict-of-interest and transparency law, an Insider review of congressional records shows.

Rep. Doug Lamborn, a congressman since 2007, violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, which in part requires members of Congress to disclose within 45 days any individual stock trades they’ve made for themselves, spouses, or dependent children.In August, Lamborn and his wife traded stock worth between $68,000 and $120,000 in NetApp, a data management company. (Lawmakers are only required to report the value of their trades in broad ranges.)

Lamborn waited, however, until well after the 45-day deadline for congressional members to report the trades — the Office of the Clerk of the US House processed the financial disclosure on December 6.

NetApp has a modest lobbying presence in Washington, DC, typically spending in the five- or low six-figure range on influence efforts, according to nonpartisan research organization OpenSecrets.

 

The Colorado Sun examines the biggest 2022 election spenders for STATE political races. 

 

 Could 2022 Republican Senate loser Joe O’Dea consider a bid for the House of Representatives in 2024? We can’t imagine why he would, but apparently some Republicans think the key to fixing their bad candidate problem could lie with folks like O’Dea. From POLITICO:

While top party officials and groups are still dissecting the midterms internally and hiring new staff for 2024, some House members and operatives are already debating and trading ideas about how to multiply the number of top-tier candidates and avoid unelectable ones. One effective midterm strategy they hope to replicate: securing well-known nominees in crucial districts who can spook serious intra-party challengers, like Rep.-elect John James.

James lost twice statewide before winning his House seat, leading some Republicans to toss around the names of well-regarded — but losing — 2022 Senate candidates Tiffany Smiley in Washington and Joe O’Dea in Colorado.

Recruitment has taken on increasing importance after the midterms: Republicans limped just past the 218 seats needed to secure the House majority, picking up a scant 5-seat edge that will make governing nearly impossible — and make the next battle for the House in 2024 a pure toss-up…

Some party strategists are interested pitching battleground House runs to Smiley and O’Dea, who come armed with high name ID and large donor pools. [Pols emphasis] There’s also talk of making another attempt to get Bill G. Schuette, the son of the former Michigan Attorney General, to make a bid against Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.). Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) is considering a comeback campaign for her seat, according to people familiar with her thinking, after it fell into Democratic hands months after far-right, Trump-aligned Republican Joe Kent beat the incumbent in an all-party primary.

If by “donor pool,” House GOP strategists mean “Joe O’Dea’s wallet,” then this is certainly accurate.

 

Colorado is getting a bunch of money for wildfire mitigation from the federal government.

 

The on-again, off-again saga of President Biden’s efforts to finalize student loan forgiveness continues thanks to a legal challenge filed by six Republican-led states

 

Congressperson Lauren Boebert is demanding that the next Speaker of the House — presumably California Rep. Kevin McCarthy — allow Members of Congress to throw out the bum on a whim. As Erik Maulbetsch reports for the Colorado Times Recorder:

According to the congresswoman, she wants the same thing several of her fellow Freedom Caucus members are demanding: the ability to ask colleagues to oust McCarthy at any time.

Last week she told far-right podcaster Tomi Lahren that while she hadn’t committed her support to McCarthy or any other aspiring speaker, her one “very hard-line” issue is the reinstatement of an obscure House rule that would empower any member to call for a vote to remove the speaker.

During the short Dec. 9 interview, Boebert made it clear her support for McCarthy is contingent upon a promise to reinstate the “motion to vacate” rule.

What could possibly go wrong? If there’s one thing that Americans really want from Congress, it’s a never-ending leadership battle!

 

If Kevin McCarthy does end up becoming House Speaker, he’s going to have to sell his soul several times over. His latest rhetoric is that Congress shouldn’t do its job on an important budget and government funding bill because the next Congress should get to do it instead. From Huffington Post:

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the top House Republican, is taking a hard line against the bill and urging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) not to make a deal with Democrats.

McCarthy said Wednesday that Congress should continue current funding levels into the new year so that a Republican-led House of Representatives gets a chance to weigh in on the big omnibus bill.

“We’re 20 days before the new members are being sworn in. We’ve got two members leading appropriations in the Senate who will no longer be here or be able to be held accountable to the constituents,” McCarthy said at a press conference. “They should not jam us now.”

McCarthy is likely trying to look tough so his colleagues elect him speaker next month, but he would probably rather avoid a spending fight in January since a sizable number of far-right House Republicans would oppose any government funding bill. And unless McCarthy actually wants the government to shut down, he would have to pass the measure with Democratic votes ― which would enrage the right-wingers and imperil his speakership.

 

 Colorado Newsline breaks down new committee assignments in the state legislature.

 

 As the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports, a Republican vacancy committee will meet in Montrose in early January to select a replacement for State Sen. Bob Rankin, who announced earlier this month that he was no longer interested in participating in the Republican circus in Colorado. 

 

► Michael Allen, the Republican District Attorney who oversees El Paso County, told a group of election denier lunatics that there is no reason to suspect that there was anything wrong with a recount of the June 28th Primary Election for Republican Secretary of State, which was initiated by Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters.

 

The City of Denver is opening a second emergency shelter to deal with an influx of migrants from the southern U.S. border.

 

Former CO-03 congressional candidate Sol Sandoval was selected to fill a vacancy on a Pueblo school board.

 

Denver Public Schools have installed sensors to begin monitoring air quality in real time. At last teachers can definitively answer the question, “who farted?”

 

 

 

Say What, Now?

Sure, let’s make THIS guy our next President. We should definitely NOT prosecute doctors and scientists trying to save people from a pandemic:

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

A weirdo Republican who lost a Congressional Primary in Texas has been arrested for threatening to kill his former opponent. Via Raw Story:

Keith Douglas Casey, of Beaumont, has been charged with making a threat against a U.S. official, according to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the report said. Casey received 7.9% of the vote in the 2022 Republican primary. He also lost to Weber in 2016 and 2018 by wide margins.

The federal complaint against Casey alleges that in March “he began telling people he’d defeated Weber in the race for the spot — and that he was going to kill him,” the Chronicle reported. Staff members in Weber’s office first reported the matter to federal law enforcement as early as March 29, the report said.

Here’s the kicker:

Weber is no stranger to controversy of his own. He recently was among the leading election deniers in the 2022 midterms. And, as Raw Story reported last year, he has a history of comparing former President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Nazis.

Maybe stop with the election denial conspiracy theories, eh?

 

► Huh. We definitely did NOT see this one coming:

 

ICYMI

 

This is a sure sign that the race for Denver Mayor is getting heated.

 

First, fund a conservative think tank. Second, collect award from said conservative think tank. Rinse, repeat. 

 

Don’t forget to give Colorado Pols a thumbs up on Facebook and Twitter. Check out The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com

 

 

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