This is not turning out to be a very good month for makers of the Confederate Flag. Let’s 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…
► As expected, State Senator Lucia Guzman (D-Denver) will become the new Senate Minority Leader when Democrats meet next week to vote for a replacement for Sen. Morgan Carroll, who is giving up her leadership post because of the rigors associated with her campaign for Congress in CD-6.
► Thousands of people ignored drenching rains on Wednesday to attend the kickoff rally for the recall effort of three right-wing members of the Jefferson County Board of Education. The petition drive for the recall of Ken Witt, Julie Williams, and John Newkirk was officially launched at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Information about signing and carrying petitions is available at Jeffco United for Action.
► Former Colorado Solicitor General Dan Domenico is being courted by Republicans to run for U.S. Senate in 2016. Domenico is not the GOP’s top choice — we’ve stopped counting how far down the list we’ve gotten at this point — but he might be the best option left available to mount a serious challenge to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Congressional Republicans are proposing that future forest fires in the U.S. are treated more like federal disasters. As Kevin Freking reports for the Associated Press, this looks like a case of trying to solve a problem by creating another problem:
Some Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups have been critical of the bill because they say it would erode key environmental safeguards.
The federal disaster language was something the Obama administration first proposed early last year, but GOP lawmakers have made some key differences.
Under current policy, the agencies fighting wildfires divert money toward firefighting from other programs during particularly busy years. But that practice delays the very efforts designed to prevent fires in the first place, such as the thinning of dead trees and the removal of thick underbrush. Supporters say that letting federal agencies tap into a disaster fund will prevent such borrowing and lessen the risk of catastrophic forest fires in the coming years.
► It looks like Fort Carson near Colorado Springs will be spared from the 40,000-soldier reduction being planned by the Pentagon. Fewer than 1,000 soldiers at Fort Carson are expected to be impacted by the proposed cuts.
► Quick: How many new laws took effect in Colorado on July 1? Here’s your answer.
► And we were just about to ask if there were more polling results about legal marijuana in Denver.
► The ridiculously-named ColoWyo coal mine in Northwest Colorado has until September 6 to address environmental concerns about a proposed expansion. As Cathy Proctor writes for the Denver Business Journal:
[U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson] ruled that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement had 120 days to take a “hard look” at the environmental impact of expanding the ColoWyo coal mine near Craig and burning the coal that’s taken from the mine, and also gather public opinion on the issue, or he might shut down the mine.
► Colorado’s biggest electric cooperative is proposing a new “tariff” plan to help the company recover lost revenue from customers who dare to use solar power for some of their energy needs.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Health insurance companies want to raise rates for Obamacare coverage in 2016. Here in Colorado, local advocacy groups are pushing back on the industry’s claim that a 30% rate increase is necessary.
► If the 2016 election was about trying to find the next “President of God,” then these right-wing religious fanatics might have more of an argument.
► Famous person Donald Trump is becoming a royal pain in the ass for Republicans as he seeks the GOP Presidential nomination in 2016.
► It would be easier to find a real hair on Trump’s head than it is to uncover details on a new bailout proposal from Greece.
► South Carolina will officially remove the Confederate Flag from the state capitol grounds on Friday after both chambers of the state legislature approved its demise. Union Army forces can finally claim victory in the other Carolina.
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