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► If you are a registered voter in Denver but have not yet cast your ballot ahead of the April 4th election — headlined by the first open race for Denver Mayor in 12 years — then welcome to the club! Less than 5% of Denver voters have cast a ballot as of today.
Recent shootings at East High School in Denver may help voters make a decision among the 16 candidates running for Mayor.
► Former President Donald Trump won’t likely be indicted for hush money payments to a porn star until at least next week. In the meantime, Trump is handling the wait with his typical subtlety and grace:
In the last 48 hours, Trump has called Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg “human scum” and “a degenerate psychopath who truely [sic] hates the USA.” He also warned of “death & destruction” if he’s charged with a crime. Trump is clearly terrified of his upcoming indictment and he’s… pic.twitter.com/vpEd2rw2ib
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) March 24, 2023
► As The Denver Post reports, students from several local high schools visited the State Capitol on Thursday to plead with lawmakers to take more action on gun safety:
Hundreds of students from at least five Denver high schools, reeling from another school shooting, filled lawmakers’ offices and surrounded them in the hallways of the Capitol on Thursday to demand safer schools.
The rally was in response to the second shooting at East High School in as many weeks, but violence at any school affects every school, students said. They chanted slogans like “protect schools, not guns” from the Capitol steps.
“This should have stopped with Luis,” Jasmine Brown, a junior at West High School, said. “This should have stopped with Columbine.”
Luis Garcia, a junior and varsity soccer player at East High School, was shot last month while sitting in his car outside of school. He died of his injuries.
The response from Republican lawmakers was…not good:
In a series of Tweets today, Colorado House Republicans cast the blame for shootings at East High School squarely on the Denver School Board.
As Westword reports, the Denver School Board completed quite the flip on its policy of armed police officers in public schools. Following the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, the school board pulled armed police out of schools over concerns about officers potentially targeting minority students for extra scrutiny.
► Governor Jared Polis unveiled a sweeping new affordable housing proposal that supporters say will also have huge benefits for the environment.
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► Legislation will be introduced in the State Senate next week to ban so-called “ghost guns” in Colorado.
► The State Senate passed a trio of abortion-related bills this week despite silly messaging from Senate Republicans such as Barbara Kirkmeyer.
► As The Colorado Sun explains in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, former Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl’s new political podcast is one long, sad airing of grievances:
“Money, the media, big tech, our own party, a feckless group of power players, consultants and pundits.”
That’s who Republican Heidi Ganahl blames for her loss in Colorado’s 2022 gubernatorial race. Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, beat her by nearly 20 percentage points.
Ganahl laid out the blame during her new, weekly “Unleashed” podcast in which she promises to “expose the truth — and lies — about how Colorado politics works.” Her first episode was recorded and released this week, and in it she takes a lot of people to task.
Ganahl has a lot to say about why everyone else failed her in her bid to become Governor, but she also gives away her own shallow understanding of Colorado politics in general. For example:
“A lot of folks just stayed on the sidelines. We have 4.4 million voters registered in Colorado. Only 2.5 million —a little over 50% — voted in the governor’s race. That’s about 2 million people in Colorado that are registered voters that didn’t fill out the bubbles on the ballot.” Ganahl was apparently also counting inactive and preregistered voters in Colorado. There were 3.76 million active, registered voters in the state as of Dec. 1.
Ganahl seems to be genuinely surprised that not all Coloradans vote in elections. This is not exactly new information, especially in a non-Presidential election. You would think that a candidate for the top job in Colorado would have had more of a grasp on how elections actually work.
Then there’s this:
“I thought organizations that are on our side, like the GOP, the RNC, LPR, AFP would have the ground game ready to go after the primary. It was not there,” she said, apparently referencing the Republican National Committee, Leadership Program of the Rockies and Americans for Prosperity.
Ganahl and her running mate, Danny Moore, have both served on the board of Leadership Program of the Rockies, so you would think that someone would have explained at some point that a 501c3 organization is not legally allowed to run a “ground game” for a candidate for public office.
Heidi Beedle of the Colorado Times Recorder has more on Ganahl’s first podcast episode, which included a strange amount of references to the reporter herself.
► Colorado Public Radio reports on the first piece of legislation from freshman Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo (D-Adams County).
► This is Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) in a nutshell:
Lauren Boebert brought photos of human fetuses to a hearing on endangered species. pic.twitter.com/IpXCI14cWT
— David Edwards (@DavidEdwards) March 23, 2023
We wrote more about Boebert’s weird committee appearance on Thursday.
► Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Colorado this week and lavished praise on the Greeley Evans School District 6 for its healthy lunch options.
► The Associated Press reports on how a rise in the number of eating disorders among young people is prompting new legislative efforts in Colorado and across the country.
► The Colorado Sun takes a big picture look at the halfway point of the 2023 state legislative session.
► Another Coloradan has been arrested for his participation in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. Kenneth Schulz, come on down!
► Health insurance companies are whining about being asked to cut prices via The Colorado Option healthcare plan that Gov. Jared Polis championed.
► Dana Milbank of The Washington Post wonders why House Republicans continue to let Donald Trump make fools of them:
Elected Republican officials also collectively decided this week that it was in their interest to bring Trump back from the political dead. Once again, Trump used a fabrication to revive his flagging standing. And once again, congressional Republicans fell for it.
Just a week ago, leading Republicans were daring to hope that Trump’s sway was ebbing, as Ron DeSantis and Mike Pence took him on directly. Then Trump changed all that with just one post on his social media site Saturday morning. He announced his expectation that he “WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY.” He wrote: “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”
In reality, he wasn’t arrested Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or the rest of the week. Maybe he’ll yet be indicted in New York, Georgia or Washington. Maybe he won’t. Regardless, he already notched a significant victory. House Republicans didn’t wait to see whether Trump was speaking the truth about his imminent arrest. They did as he commanded, leaping to his defense — and, in the process, returning him to his previous place of dominance atop the Republican Party. It’s all about Donald Trump — again.
As POLITICO reports, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — who really wants to run for the Republican Presidential nomination — is equally perplexed about how to deal with Trump.
► As The New York Times reports, Donald Trump will hold a political rally in Waco, Texas on Saturday timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the FBI raid on the Branch Davidian sect led by David Koresh.
Charles Pace, the current “pastor” of the Waco Branch Davidian sect, had some things to say about Trump:
“Donald Trump is the anointed of God,” Mr. Pace said in an interview. “He is the battering ram that God is using to bring down the Deep State of Babylon.”
He seems nice.
► Utah lawmakers have a plan to keep kids away from social media that makes no sense whatsoever.
Say What, Now?
Sorry, Montenegro, but we can only make some time with…Rep. Doug Lamborn?
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
►As The Colorado Sun notes briefly in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter:
Eight campaign finance complaints have been filed against candidates running for office in the April 4 Denver elections in the past two weeks, bringing the total filed since January to 22. It’s unlikely they’ll be resolved before the April 4 election. Not all of them are legitimate. For instance, one was filed by a person who listed their name as “Penis Vagina.”
Hey, we know that guy!
► The City of Centennial is pumping the breaks on construction of new pickleball courts because [checks notes] lots of people are complaining about the noise.
► The no-compromise gun rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners has all but taken over control of the Colorado Republican Party.
► There are a LOT of investigations underway into misdeeds involving former President Donald Trump. The Bulwark runs through the list.
► Don’t miss the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish). Highlights from another recent episode, featuring an interview with Colorado House Speaker Julie McCluskie, were picked up by The Colorado Sun.
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