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February 22, 2023 12:18 PM UTC

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Feb. 22)

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  • by: Colorado Pols

It’s cold and snowy in much of Colorado, but a massive winter storm sweeping across the United States will focus most of its wrath on the northernmost states. 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…

 

School districts across the state are dealing today with multiple “swatting” incidents. As The Denver Post explains:

Four more unconfirmed incidents are being reported at Colorado high schools after an unconfirmed report of an active shooter was made at Boulder High School and an “unknown incident” happened near Aspen Schools.

So far, police have not found any victims at any of the schools, and almost all the schools have been cleared of any threat.

Schools in Brighton, Canon City, and Alamosa were among those dealing with “swatting” calls today. “Swatting” is the act of making a “prank” call to emergency services in an attempt to force the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.

 

A handful of local elections across the country are making political pundits wonder if a strong performance by Democrats in 2022 is a trend that could continue into 2024:

 

The Washington Post reports on perhaps the most important of these races: The battle for a Supreme Court seat in Wisconsin:

In a race that will determine whether liberals or conservatives control the Wisconsin Supreme Court when it considers the future of the state’s abortion ban, voters narrowed the field to two candidates in a Tuesday primary.

The winners now begin a 42-day sprint to an April 4 general election that is sure to see record spending. If liberals take over the court for the first time in 14 years, they are expected to reverse some GOP policies and could revisit election maps that have given Republicans huge margins in the state legislature.

Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz will represent the Democrats in the runoff election, while a bitter fight on the Republican side saw Daniel Kelly emerge as the Republican choice. The election is technically “nonpartisan,” but that doesn’t make it any less of a partisan fight. Democrats are optimistic about winning the runoff election given that the Democrats in the race combined to collect more than 50% of the total votes cast.

For more on all of  these races, check out 270toWin.com.

 

The reason that Democrats appear to be continuing their 2022 success is twofold: Democratic candidates and campaigns are pretty good, and Republican candidates and campaigns are really awful. 

 

Colorado Democrats have unveiled a couple of gun safety proposals. First, as Nick Coltrain reports for The Denver Post:

A proposal to limit all firearm purchases and possession to people 21 and older — including rifles and shotguns — will be the first in a slate of bills Democrats hope will curb gun violence in the state…

…According to the Giffords Law Center, there was a 61% increase in gun suicides among minors between 2011 and 2020 and 18- to 20-year-olds being 17% of known homicide offenders despite being 4% of the general population chief among them. The Giffords Law Center advocates for more stringent gun laws and is named for former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot in the head at an event.

The Colorado Sun, meanwhile, reports on legislation to enact a three-day waiting period for gun purchases.

This week Democrats will introduce a bill that would enact a three-day waiting period between when someone purchases a gun and when they can access the weapon, mirroring policies that have been adopted in other states.

“It’s giving people the opportunity to take a breath,” said Sen. Tom Sullivan, a Centennial Democrat whose son, Alex, was murdered in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting and who will be a lead sponsor of the legislation. “We know that when people decide to kill themselves with a firearm, sometimes they spend less than 20 minutes making that decision.

 

Check out the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with former Fox 31 reporters and current POLITICO White House Correspondent Eli Stokols:

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

 

Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…

 

The field of candidates seeking to become the next State Republican Party Chairperson got a lot more crowded in the last week. Now joining Erik Aadland, Casper Stockham, and Aaron Wood are Tina Peters, and former lawmakers Kevin Lundberg and Dave Williams.

Peters recently earned the endorsement of [checks notes] failed ARIZONA gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

As Kyle Clark reports for 9News, Party switching enthusiast Stephen Varela has pulled out of the running for State GOP Chair. Make sure to click below to read the rest of Clark’s thread for a good chuckle:

 

In early January we first coined a nickname for freshman Republican Rep. Scott “There is No” Bottoms. It is truly remarkable how quickly Bottoms has worked to live up to that nickname, most recently by comparing abortion to the Holocaust.

 

Eli Stokols and Lauren Egan write for POLITICO about President Biden’s push to eliminate “junk fees”:

Even in a divided country, it’s not all that surprising there is broad, bipartisan support for a new push to get rid of those extra charges and fees Americans pay for hotel stays, concert tickets and switching cell phone providers.

Perhaps the only surprising thing is how quickly something JOE BIDEN never mentioned during his 2020 campaign went — in less than a year’s time — from an idea tossed out by economic aides to a major point of emphasis in the president’s State of the Union address.

The push around junk fees officially began late last summer, when BRIAN DEESE, Biden’s national economic adviser, asked other aides to work on a household finance agenda – something for Biden to focus on in the run-up to the midterms as inflation remained high.

But the real origin point took place months earlier, according to five administration officials who provided new details of what is fast becoming one of the president’s most popular policy initiatives. [Pols emphasis] As the White House Competition Council was batting around ideas for the panel to focus on, TIM WU, a former special assistant to the president for competition and tech policy who left the administration at the end of last year, suggested the idea of “junk fees.” ROHIT CHOPRA, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, had coined the term back in January.

 

Democratic governors from 20 states have formed a “reproductive alliance,” according to Colorado Newsline

 

9News reports on legislation aimed at creating “equal pay for equal work”:

Colorado job seekers now have more transparency from potential employers after a law that took effect in 2021.

A new bill up for consideration in the state legislature intends to expand upon the original “Equal Pay for Equal Work Act,” which was passed in May 2019, before the pandemic.

On Tuesday, legislators gathered to hear testimony for and against Senate Bill 105. Supporters said it’ll help ensure pay equality, especially for women of color. Opponents said there are some unintended consequences of laws like this.

When “unintended consequences” is your main argument, it’s often a clear signal that the opposition is having trouble coming up with a good narrative.

 

Legislation advanced in the State House that would reduce prison sentences for inmates who pursue higher education degrees

 

Lawmakers are looking at making changes to regulations on delivery fees in order to help out small businesses, as Denver7 reports.

 

Marianne Goodland of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman has the latest on the progress of legislation seeking to ban the sale of horse meat for human consumption.

 

CBS4 Denver reports on a legislative proposal to expand the number of county commissioners in counties with large populations. Several Colorado counties have larger populations than the entire state of Wyoming, yet still only have three county commissioner positions.

 

9News has more on pollution problems from the Suncor refinery in Commerce City:

In its latest monthly report, Suncor said it violated environmental permit conditions 38 times

That’s more than one violation per day, according to our abacus.

 

 Students from Denver’s East High School are asking the Denver City Council to do more to help combat gun violence.

 

Westword reports on what might have been the coldest Denver Mayoral candidate debate in modern history.

 

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on some generous pay increases for top executives in the Mesa County government.

 

Democrat Adam Frisch raised more than $500,000 in three days after formally launching his campaign rematch against Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert.

 

 

Say What, Now?

This is pretty much all that Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) does anymore:

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

F*** you, too!

Efforts continue in Idaho to create a giant middle-finger of a state that incorporates easter Oregon into its border. This is never going to come to fruition, but KATU in Idaho has the latest:

House members in the Idaho Legislature voted in favor of the ‘Greater Idaho’ movement this past week.

The approval means Idaho representatives want to begin talks about relocating the Oregon/Idaho border, which is something many people in eastern Oregon have been waiting for.

The ‘Greater Idaho’ movement proposes that nearly everything east of the Cascades – except Bend – becomes part of Idaho. Currently, there are eleven Oregon counties supporting the move.

Joe Perticone of Bulwark calls this part of the right-wing’s new “Secession Fan Fiction” phase.

 

 

Alaska Republican Rep. David Eastman has already earned one of the worst headlines of the year:

Via the Anchorage Daily News (2/22/23)

 

 

 

ICYMI

 

Fox News is in crisis after revelations that it knowingly peddled false election fraud conspiracy theories in order to appease right-wing viewers.

 

Vox.com examines what would REALLY happen if a bear consumed cocaine. Now you know.

 

 

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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