Get More Smarter on Thursday (Sept. 3)

Get More Smarter

On this day seven years ago, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin formally accepted the Republican nomination for Vice President at the GOP convention in Minnesota; things went downhill from there. 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).


It’s time to warm up the Ultrasound Bus; state Sen. Tim Neville is beginning a “listening tour” around Colorado in preparation for a U.S. Senate run. Neville says his plans for Senate won’t be influenced by whether or not Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler decides to run, and we’d guess that Brauchler is now more likely to skip the race to focus on his own re-election instead. 

► Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis will appear before a federal judge today to try to explain why she should be allowed to ignore the law and continue her refusal to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Several Republican Presidential candidates are weighing in on the story, with some predictable results:

“I salute her today, and I stand with her,” Mike Huckabee said, explaining that he called her up to thank her for standing up to “judicial tyranny.” Huckabee added: “I thank God for Kim Davis, and I hope more Americans will stand with her.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was less effusive in his praise but also supports Davis, as does Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. In other words, Republicans who are least likely to get elected to the Presidency are the most vocal about supporting someone who is openly breaking the law (Carly Florina, to her credit, has said that Davis should resign).

► Denver voters will not have to decide on allowing some public use of marijuana after activists decided to pull the proposed ballot measure. Legal marijuana activists instead will focus their efforts on trying to secure an ordinance from the Denver City Council.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


► Congressman Mike Coffman is one of two dozen Republicans who have signed a pledge to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) in order to secure support for their 2016 re-election efforts.


► Former U.S. Senator Gary Hart says that he believes Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) will ultimately support President Obama’s foreign policy deal with Iran. Senator Bennet, meanwhile, still doesn’t say much about his position on the deal.


► Sloan Gibson, the deputy secretary for the Veterans Administration, is in the Denver area today to meet with local VA officials and construction managers regarding the progress (or lack thereof) at the Aurora VA Hospital project.


► The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says that trout from the Animas River are safe to eat. Governor John Hickenlooper is also still not dead after drinking water from the river in the aftermath of the Gold King Mine spill. Hickenlooper says he would consider asking the EPA for a Superfund designation in Silverton if local residents and officials get behind the idea.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in June that Douglas County’s school voucher program was unconstitutional, and now the Douglas County School Board is taking its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. As the Denver Post reports, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman may drag the State of Colorado into the argument on behalf of Douglas County:

The state of Colorado will file its own petition with the Supreme Court in support of Douglas County, the Douglas County news release said. Roger Hudson, spokesman for Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, said she would not comment about the appeal or what her office’s role might be.

She hasn’t even been in office for a full year, yet Coffman is already making her case for Colorado’s worst Attorney General. Ever.


► Organizers of the Oct. 28 Republican Presidential debate at the University of Colorado-Boulder still haven’t decided on how many CU students will be allowed to attend.


► Congressman Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) says he will continue to push for federal funding to expand Interstate 25 when Congress gets back to work following the August recess. Polis says he hopes Congress will pass a long-term transportation funding agreement, rather than another series of 60-day extensions. Unfortunately for Polis and other rational-minded folks, Congressional Republicans are just as likely to force a government shutdown instead.


► The Thompson Valley School Board cannot just unilaterally change its union negotiating policy. From the Ft. Collins Coloradoan:

A Larimer County judge on Wednesday blocked Thompson School District’s Board of Education from changing policies that could strip the Thompson Education Association of its status as the sole negotiating representative of the district’s teachers.

A breach of contract lawsuit filed by the teachers’ union against the school board alleges that the “reform” board majority negotiated in bad faith while twice failing to ratify a contract for district teachers this year. The agenda for a special board meeting scheduled for Wednesday night included discussion of eliminating district recognition of the union’s exclusive representation of its teachers.


► Former State Sen. George Rivera has been chosen to become the next chair of the Pueblo County Republicans. Former Chair Becky Mizel resigned earlier this summer in the midst of all sorts of trouble.


► An El Paso County District Court tossed a lawsuit against El Paso County brought by a few angry citizens over a proposed wind farm.



► Famous rich person Donald Trump will sign a “loyalty pledge,” promising to support the Republican nominee for President even if their last name isn’t Trump. Of course, this pledge means absolutely nothing.


► Retired surgeon Ben Carson continues his rise up the polls in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination.





► The National Journal crunched the numbers and came to a conclusion you probably already guessed: states with the most gun control laws also have the fewest gun-related deaths.


► Tom Brady sucks.


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5 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    The Politics and Economics of Coal

    The California Assembly passed a bill Wednesday that prompts the state’s public employee pension funds to divest from coal.

    The bill passed the Assemby with a vote of 43 to 27, and will require the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) — which combined are responsible for $476 billion in assets — to remove all holdings in companies that get at least half of their revenue from coal mining. The divestment would have to be completed by July 2017. If signed into law, the measure would be the first of its kind in the United States.

    Coal is the fuel of the past and it’s no longer a wise investment for our pensioners,” California assemblyman Rob Bonta, who presented the bill, said in a statement. “I’m pleased that my colleagues agree: it’s time to move on from this dirty energy source.”

    California’s Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, who introduced the bill, also praised its passage.

    “Coal is losing value quickly and investing in coal is a losing proposition for our retirees; it’s a nuisance to public health; and it’s inconsistent with our values as a state on the forefront of efforts to address global climate change,” de León said. “California’s utilities are phasing out coal, and it’s time our pension funds did the same.”

    Do Colorado's lawmakers have the same vision? Are they willing to take some heat from our big energy extractors and stop financing this dirty fuel? Which is the greater risk to Colorado and its citizens: coal and the real environmental damage it causes or the exaggerated threat from Iran concocted by Warmonger Military-Industrial Republicans?

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Not that any Republican governor has noticed.  Big coal is like a rabid dog in its last 48-hours.  Their days are numbered, but it won't be pretty between now and coal's actual economic death.  

      As for Colorado, which unfortunately still gets over 50% of its electricity from coal (thanks to the awful settlement agreement, post-Amendment 64, that allowed for the expansion/construction of Commanche ||| in Pueblo) we need to figure out a formula for stranded assets.  I don't think Xcel gives a rip whether they're generating an electron from coal, wind, solar, etc.; they just want assurance they will have guaranteed returns on their assets for their shareholders.  If the CoLeg could figure that out, we'd solve our own problem in short order – and over a 20-yr horizon it would be in the best interests of everyone, provider and consumer. 


  2. Zappatero says:

    Gazette lays out one more opportunity for Bennet to triangulate against Obama

    As Bennet keeps constituents waiting for a commitment, potential contenders for his 2016 re-election bid are anxious to pounce. Bennet's vote in favor of this deal would give them an angle they dream of. It may give unaffiliated voters reason to make Bennet the sequel to Mark Udall 2014. As the Democratic incumbent, Bennet has nothing to gain by appeasing his party's Obama-loyal base.

    In a report that sounded celebratory, the Associated Press explained the ramifications of Mikulski throwing her support to the deal: "It spells failure for opponents of the international agreement who sought to foil it by turning Congress against it. Leading that effort were Israel and its allies in the U.S. …"

    Get that? Israel "and its allies in the U.S." The United States government — not a faction of allies in the U.S. — is an ally of Israel. Obama's former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, spoke of "America's unshakable commitment to Israel's security."

    If we have such an unshakable commitment, Congress should not allow a nuclear agreement Israelis desperately fear.

    Chances of stopping this deal are slim, given Wednesday's news. Bennet's decision could determine if Democrats have enough support to filibuster the bill from getting a vote.

    On background Wednesday, Bennet's staff said Mikulski's announcement — and decisions by other members of the Senate — will not influence his decision. That's good to know, and we hope loyalty to his party and the president will play no role.

    Our Senior Senator is still confounded by the choice between being a steadfast Democrat or a half-assed Republican. Why he took this job in the first place, and if he'll ever show signs of being a true leader, are still beyond me. The fact that the Gazette says he should oppose this deal is reason enough to support it, yet we still have the eternal waffling of the senatorial mind.

  3. doremi says:

    Judge sends Kentucky clerk straight to jail for refusing marriage license to gay couple.

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