Get More Smarter on Friday (April 24)

Today is not the anniversary of anything particularly important, as far as we can tell. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).



► The U.S. Senate is coming to Colorado…some of them, anyway. Members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee will be in Aurora today for a field hearing regarding the ongoing problems with construction at the Aurora VA Hospital.

► The State Senate gave preliminary approval on Thursday to legislation intended to reduce student testing requirements in Colorado. The State House is scheduled to discuss a similar bill today.

► Republicans are going to have a tough time continuing to pretend that so-called fetal homicide Personhood legislation is anything but a purely political attempt to restrict abortions in Colorado; some of the language used in SB-268 is exactly the same as wording used in model legislation proposed by the group Americans United for Life.


Get even more smarter after the jump…



► After leaving her nomination in limbo for five months, the U.S. Senate finally voted to confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. Ten Republicans joined Democrats in voting to approve Lynch on Thursday. Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner was not one of them.

► Governor John Hickenlooper will sign off on Colorado’s $25-ish billion budget today.

► The Office of Consumer Counsel, which is intended to protect taxpayers from egregious rate increases from utility companies, will finally get a chance to be renewed when the legislature takes up the issue next week.

► YouTube celebrated its 10th anniversary yesterday. Our friends at “The Fix” took a look at the political changes brought about by online video, and reminds us that there is a strong Colorado connection here:

But it wasn’t until more than a year later that You Tube got real for politicians.  On August 15, 2006, the “macaca” video was uploaded to You Tube.

George Allen’s (still) nonsensical description of an Indian American kidwho was tracking the Virginia Republican Senator’s campaign became a seminal moment not only in that campaign (Allen lost, dashing his hopes of running for president in 2008) but also in politics more broadly.

Allen’s “macaca moment” essentially marked the end of Colorado Republican Dick Wadhams’ career as a top-level political consultant. Wadhams was Allen’s top advisor as the Virginia Senator was gearing up for a 2008 Presidential bid, but Allen’s surprise loss to Democrat Jim Webb in the 2006 Virginia Senate race derailed his hopes of becoming “the next Karl Rove.” A few months later, Wadhams ended up becoming the Chair of the Colorado Republican Party.

“Dr Chaps” is looking to move up in the world. After a 72-hour fast, Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt apparently decided to run for State Senate in SD-12. No word on whether a dancing unicorn was involved in the decision.

► Legislation to restrict the use of red-light cameras in Colorado finally broke free today after a House Appropriations Committee moved it along to the House floor. House Bill 1098 was originally introduced in mid-January.

► Senate President Bill Cadman is working on legislation that could stall construction of the ginormous Gaylord Hotel complex in Aurora. Cadman is programmed to instinctively recoil whenever he hears the word “gay.”

Lisa Pinto, the Chief Communications Officer for the Jefferson County School District, is about as thick-skinned as a bruised pear.



► Colorado Republican lawmakers continue their odd obsession with trying to seize control of federal lands. Senate Bill 232 passed out of committee yesterday and now heads to the floor for a vote. Said Conservation Colorado Executive Director Pete Maysmith in a press release:

“While there is no doubt some issues deserve special investigation by the Colorado legislature – studying whether the state should control our national public lands is not one of them. Transferring control of public lands to the states is a budget-busting idea that is contrary to Colorado values of environmental protection and equal access to all on our open spaces and natural areas. We don’t need a study to know that fencing off Coloradans from lands they have hiked, fished, hunted, and camped on for generations is a bad idea. [Pols emphasis] 

Other states have completed similar studies and arrived at similar conclusions – taking over control of America’s public lands is unconstitutional and prohibitively expensive. We urge all Colorado Senators to vote against expensive and radical proposals to transfer national public lands to the States. Time would be better spent working to improve existing management of public lands for the benefit of our wildlife, our current enjoyment and future generations of Coloradans.”

► As the Colorado Springs Independent reports, Senator Michael Bennet is not pleased that the Colorado Springs Gazette chose to allow a full-page ad that read, “Don’t Cater to the Homosexual Agenda.” We don’t disagree with Sen. Bennet here, but we’re largely confused as to why anyone would still pay for a full-page newspaper advertisement in the Gazette.

► Florida Senator and GOP Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio is having a good week. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who spent some $100 million for Republicans in 2012, is reportedly going to back Rubio for President, and recent poll numbers indicate that Rubio is trending upward among Republican voters.



► Republican Mike Huckabee is taking the “Criminalization of Christians in America” route as he prepares a run for President in 2016.

Benghazi!!! Arrrghhhhh!!!


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