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July 12, 2023 12:23 PM UTC

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 12)

  • by: Colorado Pols

Stay cool out there, friends. 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 Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer will not run for Congress in CO-08 in 2024, eliminating the possibility of a rematch between her and Democratic incumbent Yadira Caraveo (Kirkmeyer lost to Caraveo in 2022 by about 2,000 votes). Kirkmeyer was no doubt at least partially swayed by the efforts of State Republican Party Chairman Dave Williams to publicly attack her again and again

We linked on Tuesday to a detailed Twitter thread from Kyle Clark of 9News about the escalating infighting among Colorado Republicans. Take a look at the “replies” section of the official Colorado Republican Party Twitter account for a look at how toxic things have become. Reporters such as Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun are noticing:


Via POLITICO (7/12/23)

As POLITICO reports, Congressional Republicans appear intent on attacking a once-sacred cow — defense spending — if it allows them to throw punches on abortion rights and the LGBTQ community:

The House will begin debating its Pentagon policy bill on Wednesday, but Republican infighting that could still kill the must-pass legislation is far from over.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his conservative detractors are working to hammer out a deal to hold votes on several controversial amendments that will allow the National Defense Authorization Act to proceed toward a final vote in the House. The impasse over OK’ing amendments that would strike down a host of Pentagon policies aimed at diversity in the ranks has some Republicans questioning whether the defense bill can even pass this week as planned.

To make matters more complicated, Democratic votes are likely needed to pass the final bill because many conservatives often oppose the measure no matter which party is in power. In cutting a deal with hardliners to advance the bill on the floor, McCarthy runs the risk of alienating Democrats and putting passage of the legislation in peril…[Pols emphasis]

…McCarthy and conservative dissidents are in a tug-of-war over how many tough votes to take on amendments. The GOP’s right flank wants to include contentious issues such as Pentagon abortion policies, medical care for transgender troops and diversity programs.

The House Republican caucus is now just Lord of the Flies. As we see in a separate POLITICO story, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is worried about another pointless takeover by rival factions such as the House Freedom Caucus. Congressman Chip Roy (R-Texas) is even threatening to vote against debate on the defense policy bill, which would prevent the legislation from even making it to the House Floor.


All of those Republicans braying about “Bidenflation” are going to need a new talking point. As The Washington Post reports:

Government data released Wednesday showed a notable drop in inflation: Prices rose 3 percent in June compared with the year before, and 0.2 percent compared with May, the smallest 12-month increase since March 2021. That marked progress from the last inflation report, when prices rose 4 percent compared with the previous year.

There is a ways to go, especially on major categories such as rent. But encouraging signs were scattered throughout the Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Goods prices, from used cars to meats, saw declines compared to the month before. Categories that bulged over the past year, such as airfares and hotels, are also cooling off as demand settles back to normal.Meanwhile, wages have grown faster than inflation for four straight months. Average hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent from May to June, outpacing inflation by 0.2 percent, according to a separate BLS report released Wednesday…

Meanwhile, wages have grown faster than inflation for four straight months. Average hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent from May to June, outpacing inflation by 0.2 percent, according to a separate BLS report released Wednesday. [Pols emphasis]

Via The Washington Post (7/12/23)


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Democratic Congresspersons Joe Neguse and Brittany Pettersen have introduced legislation aimed at helping farmers and agriculture workers deal with mental health issues. From a press release:

Representatives Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Brittany Pettersen (D-CO) introduced legislation to study and improve access to mental health care services for America’s farmers and ranchers. This legislation also requires a feasibility study on including six reimbursable therapy sessions by providers that are trained and dedicated to serving the needs of farmers, ranchers, and their family members, through the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) Program – modeled after the Colorado Agricultural Addiction and Mental Health Program (CAAMHP).

Farmers and ranchers face unique challenges across the Rocky Mountain West, as they fight to preserve their livelihoods through wildfires, severe drought, and other extreme weather events. At the same time, many agriculture and rural communities lack reliable access to mental health care and addiction services. CAAMPH is a successful model of Colorado ingenuity – Coloradans coming together to improve the mental health of people new to the field and those with multigenerational farms and ranches.


Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is always on the lookout for silly shit to croak about. His latest tirade is about some obscure rule related to his sadness about Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Via the [gag] Washington Times:

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) says that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas would meet his standard for invoking the Holman rule — an obscure provision that allows Congress to reduce the salary of or effectively fire a government employee.

Buck said Tuesday that his bar for invoking the Holman rule is lower than for impeachment and that Mayorkas would be a Biden administration official that meets his standard.

The kicker is pretty standard fare for Buck:

The process for the Holman rule would need to be done in an appropriations bill, which would need to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate and be signed by President Joe Biden, meaning it would be unlikely to end up as law, but Buck says the Holman rule can be used to send a message to the public about officials such as Mayorkas.

There is NO WAY this would ever work, but Buck would like to waste everyone’s time in order to send some sort of “message to the public” that they would never understand anyway because WTF is the Holman rule?


While we’re on the subject of worthless Members of Congress, here’s a press release from Rocky Mountain Values regarding Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-ifle):

Rep. Lauren Boebert has wiped her website clean of her support for a plan to cut Medicare and Social Security proposed in the Republican Study Committee (RSC) FY2023 budget. Guess she didn’t realize those things are archived.

Boebert took this step after Rocky Mountain Values (“RMV”) launched an advocacy campaign holding the Representative accountable for her support of the RSC FY2023 budget. Boebert additionally had her lawyers threaten baseless legal action against RMV in an attempt to silence Coloradans across the district who are calling on Boebert to stop supporting plans to cut Medicare and Social Security.

CLICK HERE for a timeline of Boebert’s actions, her cease and desist letter and RMV’s response.

In short, Boebert was called out for supporting a plan that would cut Medicare and Social Security benefits for her constituents. In response, she deleted mention of it from her website…which does not make it go away.


We noted on Tuesday that Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman is salty with the City of Denver for what he says is a failure to live up to its end of a bargain related to the sharing of police resources. Coffman is now escalating those concerns as he tries to get more attention for himself while he runs for re-election in November. As Saja Hindi reports for The Denver Post:

If the city of Denver doesn’t agree to accept full legal liability for Aurora police officers’ actions and pay for all lawsuits that stemmed from the 2020 racial justice protests in Denver, Aurora could end its partnership agreement with its neighboring city.

That’s what a resolution would do, if approved, that Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman plans to introduce at the July 17 City Council meeting. The agreement would not apply to regular police operations or task force participation, Coffman noted. But it would apply to future protests or civil unrest in which Denver asks for assistance and Aurora officers could act under Denver police’s direction…

…Aurora and other municipalities sent officers to assist with responding to the massive demonstrations in May and June 2020 when thousands of people protested in Denver, demanding changes in policing after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. Police repeatedly used excessive force against demonstrators, according to a report from Denver’s police watchdog, but a lack of accurate record-keeping made it difficult to determine which officers or agencies were responsible for the undue violence.

Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against Denver and its officers related to the use of excessive force during the protests, and Aurora and its officers have also been named in several lawsuits.

Or perhaps — and we’re just spitballing here — Coffman could get around to reforming the Aurora Police Department so that officers are not using excessive force.


FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee today so that Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) could yell at him about Hunter Biden and Benghazi and whatever.


Colorado Public Radio looks at how the Supreme Court decision in the sham “303 Creative” case could open the door for more discrimination in Colorado.


Colorado Newsline looks at possible next steps for a reboot of land use reform discussions at the state legislature.


As the Colorado Times Recorder reports, the no-compromise gun group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) is being forced to “compromise” because they don’t have any money:

In an interview on KNUS’ Dan Caplis Show, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) Executive Director Taylor Rhodes expressed his organization’s inability to sue and support cases that fall under the ghost gun bill…

…Rhodes commented, “We don’t have standing on red flag or on the manufacture liability yet; we would like to sue over those at some point if we do get standing. On the ghost gun bill, I simply can’t afford to do it.”

Rhodes and RMGO filed suit against the town of Superior in the summer of 2022. Superior had strengthened its gun policies against assault weapons and magazines that could more than 10 rounds after a shooting in 2021 at a King Soopers in Boulder killed 10.

But now Rhodes has said, “We’re projecting that these lawsuits are anywhere from $750,000, to upwards of $1 million apiece. So right now I am in over my head. I’ve got four to five million in lawsuits.”

Rhodes then elaborated that the RMGO must undergo a fundraising process before continuing to pursue any lawsuit against the state.

At least part of that process is ongoing. RMGO, which claims to have over 200,000 members, sends an email to its list approximately every other day, about half of which ask for donations to its legal fund. [Pols emphasis]

If RMGO has 200,000 members, Colorado Pols has 800 million readers.

Healthier Colorado released its 2023 legislative scorecard.


New polling from AP-NORC shows that few Americans support abortion bans — even in states with significant restrictions in place.


The State of Colorado is providing $14 million in funding grants to local food pantries.


Xcel Energy customers spoke up about another proposed rate change from the utility. You can probably guess what people had to say.


The City of Aurora wants to make it illegal for petition gatherers to deceive potential signers.


 The Denver School Board wants more time before it releases the audio recording that probably violated Open Meetings laws.



Say What, Now?

We’ll just leave this here:




Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


As Westword reports:

Via Westword (7/12/23)


As it turns out, Donald Trump is definitely running for President in 2024 at least in part as an effort to shield him from legal harm






► Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) is speaking out more forcefully about tactics employed by Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who has been blocking military promotions because he thinks America should be nicer to white supremacists. Hickenlooper is making the rounds of local media outlets to elaborate on his concerns.

Philip Bump of The Washington Post has more on Tuberville’s abject refusal to condemn white supremacists in any form or fashion:

Were Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) to announce his resignation tomorrow, his legacy in the U.S. Senate would be primarily defined by the fight in which he’s currently engaged. For months, he has blocked the ability of the Senate to quickly confirm military promotions, a response to the Defense Department policy affirming access to abortion for service members and their families in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

That would be what primarily defines his legacy. It would be intertwined, though, with his espousing one of the most baffling positions in modern American politics: White nationalists are being unfairly disparaged. [Pols emphasis]

Tuberville’s defenses of white nationalists are inextricable from his efforts to hold the military to account. In addition to taking a stand on abortion, Tuberville has repeatedly complained about the military’s use of training on diversity and inclusion.

That is a weird political hill on which to die.


One of the recent “projects” for State Republican Party Chair Dave Williams has been an attempt to broker some sort of deal with the Colorado Libertarian Party in order to avoid potential “spoiler” candidates for the GOP (though Williams is also using this theoretical alliance to threaten other Republicans). The Colorado Libertarian Party has its own problems, however, including a recent ban from Twitter:


Don’t miss the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with KRDO-TV (Colorado Springs) political reporter Spencer Soicher:



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




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