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December 04, 2023 12:19 PM UTC

Get More Smarter on Monday (Dec. 4)

  • by: Colorado Pols

Don’t panic (or maybe panic): There are 20 shopping days left until Christmas. 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.



The Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this week related to a lawsuit seeking to bar Donald Trump from the 2024 Presidential ballot in Colorado on account of trying to incite an insurrection. As Colorado Newsline reports, lots of big Republican names are voicing support for Trump:

More than a dozen attorneys general from Republican-controlled states topped a long list of parties who have filed briefs in a legal challenge to former President Donald Trump’s constitutional eligibility to appear on Colorado’s 2024 ballot…

…A group of 19 Republican-leaning states, led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, urged the court to follow the example of other states, including Minnesota and Michigan, and reject the plaintiffs’ arguments.

“The 14th Amendment entrusts Insurrection Clause questions to Congress — not state officials or state courts,” the Nov. 29 brief states. “Allowing each state and its courts to determine eligibility using malleable standards would create an unworkable patchwork of eligibility requirements for President.”

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Rokita called challenges to Trump’s eligibility an “assault on our republic.” A former GOP member of Congress and close Trump ally, Rokita has repeated baseless conspiracy theories alleging widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Such claims have been repeatedly debunked by elections officials, experts, media investigations, law enforcement and the courts.

The Colorado State Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments beginning at 1:00 pm on Wednesday. Attorneys for Trump, including former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, will likely continue to argue that Trump also never really promised to “support” the United States Constitution.


The Colorado Springs Gazette dropped a bombshell of an editorial on Sunday, calling on Republican voters in CO-03 to back Republican candidate Jeff Hurd instead of incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert:

Republicans cannot afford to lose Colorado’s Congressional District 3 next year. Democratic candidate Adam Frisch — a former New York currency trader living in Aspen — should not represent the mostly rural, agricultural Western Slope wonderland of hippies, cowboys, farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs, artists and professionals.

To hold District 3, “grassroots” and “establishment” Republicans should unite behind Jeff Hurd in the Republican primary June 25. A Western Slope native and pragmatic conservative, Hurd might represent the only hope for Republicans to keep the seat.

Nominating Hurd, and keeping District 3, has national ramifications. The slim and divided 8-seat House Republican majority is the only thing resisting a left-wing juggernaut in the Washington swamp. Incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert has little chance of winning, even with her district’s 9-point Republican advantage and the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, who polls as the district’s favorite for the White House in 2024.

Boebert has a seemingly intractable image problem, which has manifested in lackluster financial support. She appears divisive at a time when voters want peace.

The Gazette apparently agrees with something we wrote in this space back in September: The “Beetlebert” scandal was the final straw for voters in CO-03.


The White House is warning Congress of an urgent need for additional funding to support Ukraine in its war with Russia. From The Washington Post:

The White House issued an urgent warning to Congress on Monday about Ukraine’s need for additional aid to help it resist Russia’s invasion, with Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young bluntly writing in a letter to congressional leaders that the United States is “out of money to support Ukraine in this fight.”

In the letter, Young wrote that “without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from U.S. military stocks.”

“There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money — and nearly out of time,” she added, emphasizing that Congress must decide whether “we continue to fight for freedom across the globe or we ignore the lessons we have learned from history and let [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and autocracy prevail.”

A Biden administration request for nearly $106 billion for Ukraine, Israel and other needs remains stalled on Capitol Hill.


We noted last week that the Colorado Republican Party can’t stop complaining about election fraud…even when things aren’t totally going against them. Former State Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Ron Hanks, who is now the Colorado Republican Party’s Chairman of the Ballot and Election Security Committee, sent a letter to county election canvassing boards in Colorado demanding that they refuse to certify the results of the 2023 election because of…election machines being made in China, or whatever.

Well, La Plata County Republican Party Chair Shelli Shaw heard this call to action and is declining to certify 2023 election results in that county. From The Durango Herald:

Shaw told [Clerk and Recorder Tiffany] Lee she didn’t have an issue with how Lee ran the local elections. However, Shaw took issue with how Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold selected election races and ballots to audit.

The process in question is called a “risk limiting audit,” in which Colorado county clerks have practiced since 2017. The Secretary of State directs the county clerk and canvassers to pull specific ballots and send them to the SOS office for validation.

Shaw participated in the audit, and while that was underway, she didn’t raise any concerns, Lee said. When the time came to actually sign off on the official election results, thus certifying them, Shaw refused.

Shaw did not respond to a request for comment from the Herald, probably in part because she has no real explanation for why she opposed certifying the election results.



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Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…



► John Ingold of The Colorado Sun reports on some good news related to health insurance coverage for Coloradans:

Colorado’s uninsured rate — the percentage of people without health care coverage — hit an all-time low this year, but federal policy changes mean it’s unclear whether that success can last.

The uninsured rate dropped in 2023 to 4.6%, down from 6.6% when it was last measured in 2021. The figures come from the every-other-year Colorado Health Access Survey, administered by the Colorado Health Institute, a nonpartisan health policy think tank. The survey polled 10,000 households and is widely seen as the gold standard for tracking changes in insurance coverage in Colorado.

“This was a statistically significant decrease that we found,” CHI director of research and evaluation Jeff Bontrager said Friday when announcing the findings at the institute’s annual Hot Issues in Health conference…

…The increase in coverage statewide was driven by a surge in the number of people covered by Medicaid, the joint state-federal program that most commonly serves people from low-income families. In 2019, just before the COVID pandemic hit, Medicaid covered about 18.7% of people in Colorado. By 2021, that percentage had risen to 24.8%. For 2023, CHI found the percentage is now an even 30% — three out of every 10 people in the state.

The bad news is that Medicaid coverage rates will likely decline now that the federal government is taking a closer look at eligibility following a loosening of rules during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Burgumentum has ceased to exist.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has ended his no-hope campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination. Burgum had failed to qualify for the last Republican Presidential debate, so you’d be forgiven if you didn’t realize he was still even running. As The Washington Post reports:

In a statement, Burgum said: “While this primary process has shaken my trust in many media organizations and political party institutions, it has only strengthened my trust in America.” He also criticized the Republican National Committee’s debate requirements, calling them “arbitrary criteria.”

Burgum’s campaign ends after months of stagnant polling, revealing a lack of interest in the wealthy tech entrepreneur largely unknown outside of the Midwestern state. Burgum, 67, pitched himself as a job creator uniquely qualified to build the economy and bridge connections between small towns and big cities, but that platform never found traction with a Republican base that has favored former president Donald Trump as Burgum mostly avoided attacking the front-runner, who he had supported in 2020.

Yes, it is everybody else’s fault that everybody else was saying, “What is a Doug Burgum”? Burgum’s campaign was largely self-funded, so the only real buyer’s remorse is his own.


Weld County Commissioner Scott James, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress in CO-08, revealed a list of support from 21 other county commissioners in Colorado — many of whom do not serve in areas that are actually within the boundaries of the eighth congressional district.


► Klete Keller, the former Olympic swimmer who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, was sentenced to six months of home detention for his actions at the U.S. Capitol.


Former district attorney and current right-wing radio host George Brauchler announced on Facebook over the weekend that he will NOT be running for Congress in CO-04 in 2024. Brauchler would likely have had trouble even making it onto the June Primary ballot.


Democratic State Rep. Ruby Dickson, who was just elected to the legislature in 2022, announced on Friday that she is resigning her position. As Nick Coltrain reports for The Denver Post:

“While I’m proud of our legislative accomplishments, it has recently become clear that the sensationalistic and vitriolic nature of the current political environment is not healthy for me or my family,” Dickson wrote in a letter to the House’s chief clerk.

She also thanked her constituents and called her time in office “the honor of my life.”

Dickson did not immediately return a request for an interview.

House Speaker Julie McCluskie, a Dillon Democrat, praised Dickson in a statement soon after her announcement, calling her “a brilliant champion for working families.” McCluskie did not return a request for comment about Dickson’s cited reason for resigning.

Dickson’s resignation takes effect on Dec. 11. A Democratic vacancy committee in HD-37 (Centennial, Greenwood Village) will choose a successor to fill the remainder of Dickson’s term; whoever wins the vacancy will have to campaign for a full term in 2024.


Rebecca Powell of the Fort Collins Coloradoan looks at local candidates for the state legislature in 2024.


Colorado Republicans keep barking up the wrong tree. As Colorado Newsline reports, a group of elected officials gathered last week to denounce the fictional “woke agenda of the left”:

State Rep. Don Wilson, a Monument Republican, was joined by Monument Academy school board president Ryan Graham and Brad Miller, an attorney for several conservative-leaning school districts and charter schools across the state, at a Nov. 30 luncheon in Englewood organized by the Colorado Republican Party.

Darcy Schoening, former president of El Paso chapter of activist group Moms for Liberty and current media and fundraising chair for the state GOP, invited Miller and Graham to speak about a policy they passed this summer at Monument Academy Charter School.

“Monument Academy was the first school in this state that started really aggressively pushing back on gender ideology,” said Schoening. “We need this policy passed by school boards across the state to protect our children and families from the state legislature.”

The policy mandates that children under 18 must have their parent’s explicit approval to express or identify as a gender that doesn’t correlate to their biological sex at school. Should a student wish to transition gender, assuming their parents approve, and use a gender-specific bathroom or locker room of their new identity, other students can request a staff bathroom or ask a staff member to monitor those areas to ensure the transgender student doesn’t violate their privacy.

Attacking children as a political strategy is not a great idea in general. Polling has also shown that a majority of voters nationwide are not at all interested in politicians complaining about “wokeness.”

Meanwhile, Heidi Beedle of the Colorado Times Recorder has a much different perspective on the Nov. 30 meeting.



Here’s a solid headline from POLITICO:

As Jennifer Haberkorn writes for POLITICO:

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said in an interview that in exchange for signing off on Ukraine aid, Republicans are insisting on policies that would “essentially close the border” and eliminate asylum for people with meritorious claims. Both of those provisions, he said, are nonstarters for Democrats.

“Right now, it seems pretty clear that we’re making pretty big compromises and concessions and Republicans aren’t willing to meet us anywhere close to the middle,” said Murphy, who noted that talks stalled out on Friday. The senator said the door is open to reengaging. But, “there’s no path based upon the place where things were at the end of last week.”

Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, the lead Republican negotiator, was more bullish about the state of the talks. He said Republicans have merely not yet replied to a Democratic proposal sent to them on Friday and indicated GOP senators will stay at the table.


As Erik Maulbetsch writes for the Colorado Times Recorder, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston and Denver State Sen. James Coleman were featured speakers recently at a unabashedly right-wing conference hosted by the American Enterprise Institute.


As Marshall Zelinger reports for 9News, a committee is working on finding a place to display the original version of Colorado’s Constitution. But where is it NOW?

There are three versions of the Colorado Constitution.

The large English version is on loan from the State Archives at History Colorado. There are two others on display at El Pueblo History Museum in Pueblo. They are smaller and transcribed in Spanish and German.

The original English version is under glass in a temperature and humidity controlled dim room at History Colorado.

Betcha didn’t know that there was a German-language version of the original State Constitution.


 Aldo Svaldi of The Denver Post looks at Colorado’s economic landscape leading into 2024:

Colorado’s economy next year won’t be a bed of roses, with job gains running at their slowest pace since 2011 and commercial real estate under extreme stress. But neither will it be a bed of thorns, as inflation eases and a recession doesn’t set in, according to the 2024 Colorado Business Economic Outlook.

“It is a slower-growth story. There are positive nuggets in there. We aren’t forecasting a recession and we expect a continued abundance of job opportunities for people,” said Brian Lewandowski, executive director of the Business Research Division at the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business, which puts the Outlook together each year.

The Outlook, based on input from 130 individuals across a variety of industries, as well as a sophisticated computer model, forecasts employers in the state will add 42,000 nonfarm jobs. The state’s unemployment rate will average 3.4%, not far off the 3.3% rate reached in October.

Adding 42,000 jobs translates into a job growth rate of 1.4%, below the 2.2% growth rate estimated for this year. Initial employment reports through October put Colorado at a 1.1% annual pace, so reaching the expected rate will depend on some big revisions.

Nationally, the economy continues to outperform expectations. Inflation was zero last month, and GDP growth in the last quarter was a robust 5.2.


Say What, Now?

We’re not sure we would have leaned into this, but you do you, Rep. Lauren Boebert:




Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


Cable news outlets are apparently not that interested in hiring former Rep. George Santos to blabber about stuff to a national audience.


The Onion does a good job lampooning third-party Presidential candidates:

Vowing to provide what could technically be considered an alternative, third-party candidate Patrick Laine promised Monday to fill whatever void was still left between centrist Democrats and centrist Republicans. “Americans deserve choice, which is why I’m running on a platform of whatever extremely narrow ideology sits between moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats,” said Laine, explaining that as president he would find compromise between the extreme centrists on both sides of the aisle. “Whether it’s on issues of immigration, gun rights, or abortion, I promise to find even more milquetoast opinions than anyone else.” [Pols emphasis] 





► The man known as “George Santos” is no longer a member of Congress after being expelled from the House on Friday. As 9News reports, Colorado Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert and Doug Lamborn both voted “NO” on the question of expelling Santos.


President Biden is doing better in national polls than you might think. Via “Hopium Chronicles,” four new national polls show Biden leading presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump.



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4 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Monday (Dec. 4)

    1. Indeed they are seriously meaningless at this point…in 10 months they might tell you something…or not.
      People, in general, do not tell pollsters the truth and many of their questions are misleading from the beginning….particularly the favorability and popularity numbers.
      Christie recited past relevant polls in 3 previous elections. None of the leaders at this stage of the race in their election won.

    2. So true.

      We only need to see polls from Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia because those are the only competitive states.

  1. Of course, national polls are meaningless this far out, but if they give Biden a boost, and encourage The Yam to say or do more stupid things to try to get his numbers up with the teetering maybe-MAGAts, I’m not proud. I’ll take it

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