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November 17, 2015 11:23 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Nov. 17)

  • by: Colorado Pols

GetMoreSmarter-SnowIf you squint your eyes really hard, you can have a snow day, too. 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).


► Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is refusing to play the politics of reactionary rhetoric in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Hickenlooper says that Colorado will not automatically reject Syrian refugees just because one of the Paris attackers came from that area of the globe. As we wrote yesterday:

For our part, we’re reminded of the example of another governor of Colorado, Gov. Ralph Carr, who in the early days of World War II urged the people of Colorado to welcome and respect Japanese-Americans being transported here by the federal government away from the West Coast. Carr paid for his foresight and equanimity with his political career, but is today remembered as one of our state’s best governors.

Today, Gov. Hickenlooper has spoken out in the finest traditions of a state that has witnessed both great compassion and great intolerance in our history. He deserves not just the gratitude of future Colorado citizens with the benefit of hindsight, but to be heeded now as a voice of reason in difficult times.

Good on you, Governor.

The Denver Business Journal has more on Hickenlooper’s announcement, which is at odds with the decisions of several Republican governors around the country. Colorado Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) is also joining the fear-mongering chorus. French investigators, meanwhile, believe a Syrian passport found near the attacks was a fake — planted intentionally because rejecting Syrian refugees may actually do more to benefit ISIS. 


► A decision on moving prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to U.S. prisons has been put on hold. As the Denver Post reports:

A report on the future homes of dozens of Guantanamo Bay detainees is stalled, leaving leaders in Colorado to continue to debate the issue.

Prisons in Colorado, Kansas and South Carolina are being considered as new destinations for those housed at the U.S. military prison in Cuba.

White House and Pentagon officials have declined to say why the report, expected last week,  has been delayed indefinitely

…The Super Max federal prison in Fremont County already is home to several convicted terrorists, including 9/11-coconspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and 2001 failed shoe-bomber Richard Reid.



Get even more smarter after the jump…


► For decades the town of Silverton has refused “Superfund” status and the subsequent funding it would provide to clean up numerous abandoned mines in the area. Silverton officials have always worried that “Superfund” status would harm the tourism economy, but after the Gold King Mine spill in August, that attitude is changing. As Jesse Paul reports for the Denver Post:

The weighing of a national hazard priority listing represents a major paradigm shift for the town, which up until the last several weeks had been working to find alternatives to Superfund. In August, Silverton officials sought an unprecedented congressional appropriation but were told it wasn’t viable.

The town has long worried a designation would bring with it negative economic impacts, bureaucratic red tape and stigma. While those fears remain, leaders now say Superfund appears their best — and perhaps only — option…

…Communities downstream of Silverton’s secluded perch above Durango have been demanding the town tackle its massive mine contamination problem.

Some have even suggested the  EPA-caused spill in August, which sent 3 million gallons of orange-yellow contaminants flowing into the Animas River and through three states and  two American Indian tribes, could have been prevented if the town had taken action sooner.


► Former Republican legislator Cheri Gerou (R-Evergreen) has a new job as manager of the State Buildings Program in the Office of the State Architect. Bonus points for you if you already knew that Colorado has a State Architect.


► Colorado is looking for a new Deputy Director of Marijuana Coordination, as Ricardo Baca reports for The Cannabist. Former Deputy Director Skyler McKinley is moving into a senior communications role with Gov. John Hickenlooper’s staff.


► Aurora Congressman Mike Coffman is taking every position on U.S. military engagement with with ISIS in Syria. Click here to follow Coffman’s bouncing policy ball — if you can.


► A new set of proposed regulations on oil and gas operations in Colorado has critics howling, as expected. As Cathy Proctor reports for the Denver Business Journal:

The COGCC’s proposals, issued in October, have drawn an avalanche of criticism that the rules went too far, didn’t go far enough or didn’t follow the recommendations of the task force. Some groups, such as those representing landowners and mineral rights owners, complained that the proposals were silent on their roles and rights in the process.

And the blizzard from critics didn’t let up on Monday, when the temporary hearing room at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel was packed with representatives from the state’s oil and gas industry, local governments, business groups, and environmental and citizens groups. The hearing will continue Tuesday, with the possibility of another round of hearings December 7-8.

Oil and gas companies say they don’t want special treatment or anything — they just want to be allowed to do whatever the hell they want.


► Louisiana Senator David Vitter may finally meet his political end because of his decades-long connection to the infamous “D.C. Madam” prostitution scandal. The National Journal reports on Vitter’s limp to the finish line in the Louisiana Governor’s race, which will be decided in a runoff election on Nov. 21:

Polls show Vit­ter badly trail­ing Demo­crat John Bel Ed­wards—a West Point grad and former Army Ranger who has po­si­tioned him­self as a pro-gun, pro-life cent­rist. Re­cog­ni­tion that the end could be near seems to have sparked a change in Vit­ter at the race’s close. Vit­ter has fam­ously dodged re­port­ers since 2007 when news of his con­nec­tion to the D.C. Madam pros­ti­tu­tion ring broke. But at events across the state, and after a rauc­ous fi­nal tele­vised de­bate Monday night, Vit­ter stood be­fore re­port­ers and fi­nally, after years of si­lence—faced per­son­al ques­tions about the sor­did scan­dal.

The Monday de­bate fea­tured a series of heated ex­changes between Ed­wards and Vit­ter over his scan­dal. A de­fens­ive Vit­ter at one point yelled in ex­as­per­a­tion, “It was 15 years ago!” The live audi­ence ad­ded to the high-stakes drama. Both cam­paigns packed the high school aud­it­or­i­um with sup­port­ers. Vit­ter fans yelled, “Move on,” and “We’re over it,” every time the scan­dal came up—which was early and of­ten.

Louisiana voters, however, are not “over it,” and supporters of Vitter sound oddly confused by this:

Vit­ter’s friends and sup­port­ers said they were sur­prised that Ed­wards and al­lied out­side groups have at­tacked him so dir­ectly and ag­gress­ively over his past per­son­al scan­dal. “When the dark ad came out last week, it took every­body by sur­prise,” said As­cen­sion Par­ish Sher­iff Jeff Wiley, a Vit­ter sup­port­er, re­fer­ring to an Ed­wards ad ac­cus­ing Vit­ter of pri­or­it­iz­ing pros­ti­tutes over na­tion­al se­cur­ity.

Who could have guessed that Vitter’s political opponents might bring up his infamous involvement in a well-known prostitution scandal? Shocker!


► Former Vice President Al Gore has not endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, and he may not make a decision of support until the Democratic nominee for President has already been decided. Meanwhile, one of the nation’s most influential labor unions (SEIU) is backing Clinton for President in 2016.



► Brad Miller, the attorney hired two years ago by right-wing school board majorities in Jefferson County and Thompson Valley, can read the writing on the wall just fine, apparently. Miller resigned as legal counsel for the Jeffco School Board on Monday, just a few days after tendering his resignation in Thompson Valley.


State Senators in New Jersey are pushing to legalize marijuana in their state, which is certain to draw the ire Gov. Chris Christie, an outspoken critic of legal weed.



► We don’t know who Governor John Hickenlooper will select to replace departing Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, but there are a few names that you can cross off the list.

Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!


13 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Nov. 17)

  1. More evidence that modster and AC may well be taking the bait just as ISIS hopes everybody in the west will. Now Germany joins French and Belgian intelligence in casting strong doubt on the Syrian passport. Once again, not ruling anything out but very reluctant to accept the conveniently found passport at face value. In any case, no intel agency is jumping to the conclusions our righties ae jumping to.

    In Germany, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters in Berlin that a Syrian passport found with one of the Paris attackers with the name Ahmad al Mohammad may have been a false flag intended to make Europeans fearful of refugees. The passport showed registrations in Greece, Serbia and Croatia, which he described as "unusual."

    He said the multiple registrations by a person using the passport were "evidence that this was a trail that was intentionally laid, but it can't be ruled out at the moment that this was an IS terrorist who came to France … via Germany as a refugee.”




    1. It probably finally sunk in for him that if Obama is more popular in Louisiana than he is, plus a Democrat is leading the race to take over his job, then, man, they really don't like you

    1. Between all the follow-up stories about the Paris attacks, the Republican governors and the Syrian refugees, and Charlie Sheen, Piyush Jindal is getting short changed on his 15 minutes of Warhollian fame as he exits the clown car.

    1. "… reeling .,."

      god damn how I love that word, it's so — so — mewly …

      Deductibles.  Obviously not any insurance company's doing, huh?  Sheesh … 

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