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December 20, 2022 11:17 am MST

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Dec. 20)

  • by: Colorado Pols

It’s about to get really freaking cold in Colorado. Like, dangerously cold. Bundle up, people! 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.




State Republican Party Chairperson Kristi Burton Brown announced on Monday that she will not seek another term after leading the GOP to its worst election year defeat in generations. As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, there’s a new name who could be interested in half-assing the job for the 2024 cycle:

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams, a fierce gun rights advocate and familiar face at Republican events, is strongly considering running next year to become the Colorado GOP’s next state party chair.

Reams told The Colorado Sun on Monday there’s a greater than 50% chance he makes a bid for the job when the Colorado Republican Party votes for a new leader in March, but that he still has “some work to do to convince myself fully.”

Reams was reelected Nov. 8 to a third four-year term as sheriff, meaning he would have to balance his position as sheriff with the demands of being state party chair. That’s his biggest consideration in weighing whether to make a party chair bid. U.S. Rep. Ken Buck served as party chair from 2019 to 2021 while he was also a congressman.

Colorado Republicans lost every statewide race in 2022 by at least 10 points; lost a new Congressional seat in CO-08; and fell further into minority party status in the state legislature. What Republicans definitely need now is a new leader who already has a full-time job and can’t devote 100% of his time to being GOP Party Chair. Here’s how well that approach worked when Congressman Ken Buck tried doing two jobs at once in the 2020 cycle.

Reams says he will decide by the end of the year whether to run for Party Chair, where there are a handful of perennial losers lining up for the job. Casper Stockham, who loses political campaigns like children lose baby teeth, is running once again to be State Party Chair. Two-time gubernatorial loser Greg Lopez is also apparently looking at running, as is outgoing Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters (who might well be in prison by next summer); outgoing State Rep. Dave Williams (who lost a Republican Primary in CO-05 in June); and Holly Osborne Horn (who managed Attorney General candidate John Kellner’s debacle of a campaign in 2022).

In fairness, Republicans would probably prefer a candidate for State Chair who has not recently lost a campaign of some sort, but those people don’t really exist.


The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection referred Donald Trump and several associates to the Justice Department for prosecution on Monday. Republicans who have always rushed to Trump’s defense have been noticeably silent this week, as The Associated Press reports:

The Republican Party quickly and forcefully rallied behind Donald Trump in the hours after federal agents seized classified documents from his Florida estate this summer.

Four months later, that sense of intensity and urgency was missing — at least for now — after the Jan. 6 House committee voted to recommend the Justice Department bring criminal charges against him. Leading Republicans largely avoided the historic criminal referral Monday, while others pressed to weigh in offered muted defenses — or none at all.

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell called for “an immediate and thorough explanation” after the FBI executed the August search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. On Monday, he told reporters he had only one “immediate observation” about the criminal referral: “The entire nation knows who is responsible for that day.” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who called for Attorney General Merrick Garland’s resignation in the wake of the search, was silent on the committee’s referral, focusing instead on alleged FBI missteps…

…The divergent responses are a sign of how quickly the political landscape has shifted for Trump as he faces a new legal threat and mounts a third bid for the presidency. It’s a marked change for a party that has been defined, above all, by its unconditional loyalty to Trump under any and all circumstances for the last six years.


Regents at the University of Colorado are finally calling a spade a spade, as Elizabeth Hernandez reports for The Denver Post:

The chair of the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents called John Eastman “an embarrassment” Monday and said the elected board respects the ability of the Justice Department to weigh the Jan. 6 committee’s request that the attorney be prosecuted in connection with the Capitol insurrection.

Eastman was employed by CU Boulder as the visiting scholar of conservative thought and policy at the Bruce D. Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization while he was advising President Donald Trump on how to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

On Monday, the House Jan. 6 committee recommended to the Department of Justice that Trump be charged with violating four criminal statutes, including aiding an insurrection, and that Eastman be prosecuted on two of the same statutes as Trump: conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstructing an official proceeding…

…CU Regent Chair Lesley Smith, an at-large Democrat, issued a new statement Monday on behalf of the university’s governing board:

“John Eastman has not been affiliated with CU for some 20 months. As CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano clearly noted immediately following the Jan. 6 riot, Eastman’s conduct in the weeks preceding Jan. 6 and on that day was shameful and it certainly does not reflect CU’s values. He is an embarrassment. We respect both the January 6 Committee’s right to make a referral to the Justice Department and the department’s ability to evaluate the evidence and determine whether to seek charges against him.”

We would imagine that CU Regent Hiedi Heidi Ganahl does not agree with this statement, given her repeated excuses for Eastman.



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Have you ever wondered what would happen if Colorado serial liar Eric Nelson ended up somehow getting elected to Congress? As The New York Times explains, now we have some idea:

George Santos, whose election to Congress on Long Island last month helped Republicans clinch a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, built his candidacy on the notion that he was the “full embodiment of the American dream” and was running to safeguard it for others.

His campaign biography amplified his storybook journey: He is the son of Brazilian immigrants, and the first openly gay Republican to win a House seat as a non-incumbent. By his account, he catapulted himself from a New York City public college to become a “seasoned Wall Street financier and investor” with a family-owned real estate portfolio of 13 properties and an animal rescue charity that saved more than 2,500 dogs and cats.

But a New York Times review of public documents and court filings from the United States and Brazil, as well as various attempts to verify claims that Mr. Santos, 34, made on the campaign trail, calls into question key parts of the résumé that he sold to voters.

Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, the marquee Wall Street firms on Mr. Santos’s campaign biography, told The Times they had no record of his ever working there. Officials at Baruch College, which Mr. Santos has said he graduated from in 2010, could find no record of anyone matching his name and date of birth graduating that year.

And so on, and so on. Basically, George Santos made up a guy named George Santos and somehow got George Santos elected to Congress.


POLITICO continues to COMPLETELY misunderstand Colorado’s 2022 U.S. Senate race and Republican candidate Joe O’Dea, who lost to incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet by 15 points. In a story about the impacts of the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, Elena Schneider and Holly Otterbein absolutely whiff on the story about O’Dea’s abortion policy troubles:

Some Republicans who did address abortion head-on still had trouble persuading voters. Colorado’s Joe O’Dea, who challenged Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, put his daughter on camera to explain to voters that her dad is “a different kind of Republican” who “supports a woman’s right to choose.” But his message was drowned out, Republican operatives said, by the lopsided spending advantage for Bennet. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough to pull O’Dea even within striking distance to Bennet, despite strong Republican turnout in the state.

“In these true swing states, if abortion rights are dramatically threatened, it’s going to be really hard to win as a Republican in this new normal,” said Zack Roday, a Republican consultant who advised O’Dea.

O’Dea’s message wasn’t drowned out by Bennet — it was drowned out by reality. O’Dea signed the petition for Prop 115 (an abortion ban measure in Colorado that failed miserably in 2020 that he admitted to voting for); said on the radio, “Personally, I’m very pro-life“; and told 9News that he wanted to “bring balance to women’s rights.”

But O’Dea ran a commercial in which his daughter said he supported a woman’s right to choose, so that erased everything else he ever said? That’s silly.


According to a press release from AAA, Coloradans are back to pre-pandemic travel habits this year:

Coloradans are spending more on travel than at any other time in the past two years – but they’re not letting rising costs hold them back. AAA’s latest travel forecast finds that 1.93 million Coloradans will journey 50 miles or more away from home from December 23 through January 2, a number second only to the record set in 2019.

“Spin the wheel and you could land on any number of reasons not to travel right now, from economic uncertainty to inflation to fears of a ‘tripledemic.’ Coloradans are nothing if not resilient, though, and they’ve decided to travel for the holidays in nearly record numbers,” said Skyler McKinley, regional director of public affairs for AAA.

Nationwide, 112.7 million Americans will travel during the year-end holidays. That’s an increase of 3.6 million people over last year, and the third busiest on record – though it’s below pre-pandemic levels, suggesting Coloradans are more prone than the national average to get up and go right now.


Jefferson County Treasurer Jerry DiTullio has filed paperwork to run as a Democrat for State Treasurer…in 2026. DiTullio has switched back and forth between the Democratic and Republican parties in his political past. He was elected (and re-elected) as Jeffco Treasurer largely because he was the only person who stepped forward. There’s little chance he will go unchallenged in a Democratic Primary four years from now.


Henry Olsen, who writes a right-wing perspective column for The Washington Post, says that it is not the fault of Republican National Committee Chairperson Ronna McDaniel that Republicans underperformed in 2022. Of course not. 🙄 


Caitlyn Kim of Colorado Public Radio profiles Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) as he finishes up a long career in elected office:

“I’ve loved this job,” Perlmutter said, sitting in a temporary office in the Capitol Visitor’s Center recently with the last few remaining staffers on his team. “If you like people, it’s a great job.”

That’s not to say it hasn’t also been frustrating at times.

“Everybody says, ‘How can you stand working there?’ But you find common ground with people, as much as you can, and you work with them,” he explained. “So, I’ll miss that. I’ll miss that part. There’s a lot of action. I’ll miss that part. And the collegiality, I’ll miss that part.”…

…While Perlmutter maintains he doesn’t have any second thoughts about leaving, he is sad to go. He has viewed being a member of Congress as a way to serve his community and his neighbors — “a noble calling.”

It’s something he said his father instilled in him.

“My dad was always [saying] … ‘if you have the opportunity to give back to your community, that’s your responsibility.’ And, you know, Colorado’s been a good place for the Perlmutter family, it really has,” Perlmutter said, choking up. “And I’ve had the responsibility to give back, and I’ve loved every second of it.”

Thanks for everything, Congressman Perlmutter.


Republican Kari Lake, who lost her bid to be Governor of Arizona, is still complaining about some sort of vague election fraud. On Monday, a judge ruled against her in a lawsuit claiming fraud, but the judge will allow her to attempt to make some sort of logical/legal argument about alleged election misconduct. 


Congressperson Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is throwing haymakers at Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert over Q*Bert’s lack of support for Kevin McCarthy, the would-be House Speaker who has yet to lock up enough votes for the job. As Business Insider explains in more detail:

Greene attacked fellow MAGA Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert on Monday, accusing her of engaging in petty feuding, while also taking a swipe at her narrow margin of re-election.

Greene’s ire was stoked by a video showing Boebert with Turning Point founder Charlie Kirk at its “AmericaFest” event.

Kirk asked Boebert and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, also listed as a speaker at the event, what they thought of Greene’s endorsement of Rep. Kevin McCarthy to be the next House speaker.

Neither Gaetz nor Boebert were fans of the idea. While Gaetz politely disagreed, Boebert was more personal.”Well you know, I’ve been aligned with Marjorie and accused of believing a lot of the things that she believes in,” said Boebert. “I don’t believe in this, just like I don’t believe in Russian space lasers, Jewish space lasers and all of this.”

The remark was a reference to a since-deleted 2018 Facebook post in which Greene speculated that that year’s wildfires in California were caused by lasers controlled by politicians and Jewish bankers.

Greene took exception, and responded to Boebert by tweeting the clip while noting that the congresswoman “just barely came through by 500 votes” in the 2022 midterms despite support from Greene, former President Donald Trump, and McCarthy.

Yeah, this next Congress is going to be SUPER productive.


Failed 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl just can’t stop complaining about all the ways in which she was wronged en route to her 20-point defeat to incumbent Democrat Jared Polis in November. Ganahl is already the biggest loser in modern Colorado history; she seems intent on also claiming the title of “sorest loser” as well.


A House committee vote today could end up making Donald Trump’s taxes public after all these years of waiting. From The New York Times:

A House committee is expected to vote Tuesday afternoon on whether to make public tax returns belonging to former President Donald J. Trump, who broke with modern precedent by keeping his finances confidential during his campaign and while in office.

The mostly closed-door meeting of the Ways and Means Committee is likely to bring an end to a longstanding battle that Democrats in the House have been waging since 2019, when they took over the chamber and began trying to perform oversight of Mr. Trump. Republicans, who are expected to oppose any bid to make Mr. Trump’s returns public, will regain control of the chamber next month.

A rarely used federal law allows the committee to obtain any U.S. taxpayer’s returns. While the statute generally requires lawmakers to keep such information confidential, it also empowers them to make it public by voting to report the material to the full House.

Trump is having himself one hell of a bad month.


Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on the latest legal #FAIL for Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters




Say What, Now?





Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


We’ll simplify the answer to this Colorado Public Radio story: Just don’t.

Via Colorado Public Radio


► It’s pretty much ALWAYS a Republican. As the Athens Banner-Herald reports from Georgia:

Via the Athens Banner-Herald





► David French of The Atlantic wonders how much longer Donald Trump’s moneymaking con can possibly last. 


Tired of reading? Then listen to the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast!


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5 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Dec. 20)

  1. Anyone got the scoop on the Kurt Widland / Nazi KNUS producer blowback?  He was interviewed on Tubby's KNUS show yesterday (the one he got fired from back in 2019).  He's saying he figured out who and how he was "doxed", and blames it on a CO Springs "antifa" trans person (didn't he and Tubby have a field day with that one) who's been kicked off Twitter.  Kind of a snoozefest of an interview but I wondered if the Nazi thing was made up out of whole cloth, as Widland asserts.  I doubt it but am wondering if anyone knows.  

    1. To answer your  question, Salzman and other Pols authors reported on this at the time. Salzman reported that a Russian  paper had anti- semitic  posts written by a “Kirk Widland” . Pretty close to “definitive proof”, in my mind….Pols and Salzman were being circumspect – but seem to agree that KNUS Widland was the same slimeball Nazi that posted in the Russian paper. 

       Trans folk are frequently demonized and targeted by the right wing nutballs.I hope that  journalist has good personal security. 

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