We hope your abbreviated holiday week is…well, abbreviated! 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).
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Presidential candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky is holding a big-ticket fundraiser today in Denver with Colorado’s budding (pun intended) marijuana industry:
Paul becomes the first major-party presidential candidate to publicly court donations from the pot industry. Though legal weed businesses owners have been active political donors for years, presidential candidates have shied away from holding fundraisers made up entirely of marijuana-related business owners.
Paul has joined Democrats in the Senate to sponsor a bill to end the federal prohibition of marijuana for medical reasons. The senator also backs a federal drug-sentencing overhaul.
And at $2,700 a throw, they’ll be paying top dollar for Sen. Paul’s time.
► Speaking of the weed, Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is kicking off his own presidential campaign. Christie drew jeers from Colorado politicos on both sides of the aisle after he vowed to shut down our state’s retail marijuana industry–and before that, Christie helped sow dissent within the Colorado Republican Party by backing eventual loser Bob Beauprez in last year’s gubernatorial primary. All told, we don’t see Christie carrying our state in next year’s caucuses.
► Also, Ted Cruz says you can ignore the U.S. Supreme Court when you don’t like what they say! That seems certain to end well.
► We’re not sure exactly how you celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday weakening the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate mercury emissions from power plants, but the energy industry’s always-enthusiastic surrogates are ready to try:
“It’s great the Supreme Court would be looking realistically at this. . . . Maybe somewhere along the line it will bring some common sense in terms of energy,” former Pueblo state Senator George Rivera said.
As a state senator, Rivera regularly voiced concerns about the higher costs of electricity resulting from the closure of coal-fired power plants and other government environmental mandates.
Translation: hooray mercury emissions? Fortunately, Colorado is already ahead of the feds in reducing mercury emissions, so yesterday’s ruling won’t leave our state choking. Sorry, other states.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Colorado’s Attorney General Cynthia “Shakedown” Coffman has joined with other conservative AGs to sue the Obama administration over the Clean Water Act. Again, clean water…sucks! There’s a winning message.
► Rep. Diana DeGette is hopeful her bipartisan bill to expand medical research and expedite new treatments and medicine can make it through the Republican-controlled Congress.
► The Colorado Supreme Court’s rejection of Douglas County’s religious schools voucher program continues to resonate on both sides of the debate. Is the next stop the U.S. Supreme Court, or is the ruling based on Colorado’s constitutional ban on state funding for religion the final word?
► Legal wrangling continues in the lawsuit by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association against the city and county of Broomfield or their moratorium on “fracking.”
► Environmental organizations are protesting greater sage-grouse management plans, calling them inadequate to the job of preserving the species’ habitat and too deferential to oil and gas drilling.
► Opponents of the controversial Wolf Creek ski area residential development are in court trying to stop a land swap agreement reached with the Forest Service. Will Texas tourists finally get their Southern Colorado trap, or will ecologically sensitive Wolf Creek Pass be preserved?
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt had a lot to say at this year’s Western Conservative Summit. Unfortunately for his fellow Republicans, people listened.
► Greece is going to hell and dragging us all with them. Naturally, we blame Obama.
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