TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is pushing for a major overhaul of campaign finance reform. We all know that campaign finance laws are pretty useless at the moment — hell, GOP Presidential contender Jeb Bush has been openly breaking the law for months.
► The Veterans Administration is promoting a new plan to help pay for completion of the Aurora VA Hospital. A three-week extension on funding construction is set to expire this week.
► The deadline for Gov. John Hickenlooper to veto legislation from the 2015 Colorado Assembly came and went on Friday with no new vetoes. Hickenlooper vetoed three bills from the prior session: two red-light camera restriction bills, and nonsense legislation that would have allowed predatory lenders to drastically increase interest rates. Good on ya, Gov.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) paid $15,000 for retired surgeon and GOP Presidential candidate Ben Carson to speak at a fundraiser. Yes, this is the same Ben Carson who recently said “prison makes you gay.“
► State Treasurer Walker Stapleton is a political hoarder — he can’t let anything drop. Stapleton is now blaming the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity for making him look stupid on PERA legislation discussed a few months ago…even though it was Stapleton doing all the stupid. From the Colorado Springs Gazette:
Dustin Zvonek, a close ally and political adviser to Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, heads AFP Colorado. Brauchler is widely considered a candidate for governor in 2018. So is Stapleton.
“It is not a stretch to conclude that the factually flawed email, Facebook ads, using AFP funds and resources, was an obvious attempt not to further AFP policy causes but to prop up a political consultant’s client,” Stapleton argues.
We can’t judge Zvonek’s motives, but AFP’s zealous and immediate anti- Stapleton crusade seems uncharacteristic and suspect. If Zvonek plans to work with Brauchler, he should avoid targeting other conservatives with AFP’s resources and clout.
Sure, Walker. It’s not your fault that you supported a bill that you later claimed to have opposed.
► The DC-based publication The Hill takes a look at Mike Coffman’s refusal to run for U.S. Senate and what that means for Republicans. The newspaper goes on to list just about every living Republican as a potential Senate candidate in 2016.
► The Denver Post is looking to cut 20 positions from its newsroom staff, which should concern everybody in Colorado. Aurora Sentinel editor Dave Perry has a great breakdown of the newspaper industry in his latest editorial:
So sneer all you want about the misfortunes of the Post and our industry. But I promise you that without it, Denver, and Aurora, and all of Colorado, will be a far lesser place than it is. I very often don’t agree with many news and non-news decisions the Post makes, but I have no hesitation in insisting that the mission and product of the Denver Post — and the Colorado Springs Gazette, and the Durango Herald and the Aurora Sentinel — is critical to the region’s well-being and success. In any way you can, you should support the Post and other media, and tell them what you like and hate. But if you dismiss them, and all of us, you dismiss the only real defense society has against everything you spend so much time complaining about — that matters.
► Colorado Progressive Coalition is trying to launch a recall campaign to remove Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey from office before he is term-limited out in 2016. This is stupid on a whole number of levels; they’d be much better off focusing on the candidates for District Attorney who are running to succeed Morrissey in 2016.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► At last! Coloradans can finally sell homemade pickles.
► Former Sen. Mark Udall talks about his 2014 campaign and what he’s doing now that he’s not in the Senate.
► The Jefferson County School District has been widely criticized for acting in the interest of conservative politics — and not those of students and teachers. This came up in the hiring of Communications Director Lisa Pinto, who has since resigned, and it looks as though Superintendent Dan McMinimee will replace her with…another political operative from the right wing.
► Don’t sleep on Sesame Street.
► President Obama wants to raise wages for millions of Americans.
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