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December 15, 2015 11:40 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Dec. 15)

  • by: Colorado Pols

MoreSmarterLogo-SnowmanAccording to multiple media reports, there is a lot of snow in the Denver Metro area. 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).


► The final Republican Presidential debate of 2015 will take place tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada, and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump expects to be the center of attention as the rest of the field tries to prove its relevance. Politico previews the debate and points to combative promo spots being aired by CNN as a hint that things might get a little rough.

The big debate kicks off at 6:30 pm tonight; there will also be a “kids’ table” debate at 4:00 pm featuring the four Republican candidates with the worst chance of becoming the GOP nominee.


► The State Board of Education announced its list of finalists for Colorado’s next education commissioner. A former Republican lawmaker from Arizona, Richard Crandall, is the sole finalist for the state’s top public education official. As Eric Gorski reports for the Denver Post:

The state Board of Education, which has been bitterly divided over a number of contentious issues in the past year, voted 6-0 Monday to name Richard Crandall, 48, sole finalist for the position.

Considered to be a moderate Republican, Crandall played a key role in ushering in major changes to education policy in Arizona, including backing the state’s adoption of the Common Core state standards and crafting a teacher evaluation law.

This is the second time in the last 18 months that a “national search” for a top education post in Colorado ended up with just a single finalist; in May 2014, Dan McMinimee was inexplicably declared the sole finalist to become the next Superintendent of Jefferson County Schools. 


Get even more smarter after the jump…


► It’s always good political strategy to allow your name to be floated for higher office, if nothing else because it’s an easy way to get some quick earned media attention. You can’t float forever, however, which is a lesson that Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) and staffers don’t seem to have learned.

On Friday, Tipton told a reporter from Roll Call that he was not considering a U.S. Senate bid and is focusing on re-election in CD-3. Yesterday, Tipton spokesperson Josh Green told Mark Matthews of the Denver Post that his boss was “currently” not exploring a Senate bid but was still a definite maybe. What? This is getting a bit silly; Tipton isn’t going to run for Senate in 2016, and nobody really ever though that he might. Continuing this charade any longer is just going to be embarrassing for Tipton.

Several Members of Congress were underneath Colorado on Monday to tour a mine and listen to concerns about the need to train more mining engineers. The mining industry says that there is a need for new blood because many mining engineers are retiring (or perhaps people just don’t feel drawn to working inside a mine anymore).


► Boulder Congressman Jared Polis has been cleared by a House Ethics Commission, as expected, over two pretty minor complaints. From the Daily Camera:

The House Ethics Committee said Monday it was dismissing allegations that Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, inappropriately promoted two businesses when he appeared in promotional material for a video game company and got a makeover from a Colorado menswear store.

Polis appeared in a video released this year by Riot Games, the company that produces the video game “League of Legends.” Polis is a fan of the game and participated in a company video that showed him working in his office and playing the game at home.

In the second matter, the committee reviewed Polis’ participation in a makeover by Boulder-based menswear company Ninox.

After GQ magazine wrote that Polis had the  “worst congressional style ever,” Ninox offered to allow him to try on some of their clothing  at an event covered by the Daily Camera.

Polis later bought some of the clothing and paid for it himself.



► State Rep. Jack Tate was selected by a Republican vacancy committee to replace State Sen. David Balmer (SD-27, Centennial), who will officially resign his seat on Dec. 31 in order to take a position with the Humane Society Legislative Fund (Colorado Pols first reported that Balmer would resign his seat). As the Denver Business Journal reports, Senate President Bill Cadman has not yet announced who will replace Balmer as the Chairman of the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee.

As Joey Bunch reports for the Denver Post, a Republican vacancy committee will select someone to serve out the remainder of Rep. Tate’s term sometime between the new year and the start of the legislative session on Jan. 13.


► An effort to change the way Colorado handles redistricting/reapportionment is collapsing under its own weight.


► The town of Carbondale, a rapidly-growing area between Glenwood Springs and Aspen, is floating the idea of a carbon tax. Town Trustees are planning to promote a ballot measure of some sort for the April election.


► Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump doesn’t lie about everything. According to one analysis, Trump actually tells the truth about 7% of the time.


► Nearly 50% of Republican voters in the U.S. believe that Trump is the GOP’s best chance at re-taking the White House. As Chris Cillizza explains for “The Fix,” they are almost certainly incorrect. On the bright side for Trump supporters, “electability” doesn’t seem to be a serious concern.


►Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says he has a plan to make same-sex marriage illegal again if he is elected President.


The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund has endorsed Democratic state Sen. Morgan Carroll in the race for Congress in CD-6 (Aurora).


► Governor John Hickenlooper has until Dec 29th to choose a new District Court Judge for the 11th Judicial District (Southern Colorado). A judicial nominating commission has selected three finalists for the position, which is being vacated by the retirement of Judge David M. Thorson.



Advocates of gun rights are expected to shell out a significant amount of money in support of various candidates in 2016. State Sen. Tim Neville, the GOP frontrunner for the 2016 U.S. Senate nomination, is getting a lot of (expected) fundraising help from the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) group.


► Democrat Hillary Clinton maintains a strong lead over Bernie Sanders in Iowa.


► On this day 224 years ago, the Bill of Rights was ratified.


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2 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Dec. 15)

  1. NextGen Climate Action bought an ad during the GOP debate, calling for 50% renewable energy by 2030. Good for them. Not that any of the GOP candidates will acknowledge this; they are too busy outdoing each other on hyping up the fear factor. Must fear refugees, immigrants, dissent, "political correctness", liberals, and Democrats.

    They know that climate change is a bigger threat. Christie lived through Hurricane Sandy. But they are willfully blind to anything which might cost their donors profits.

  2. Ken Buck is angling for that sweet, sweet RMGO cash by proclaiming on his campaign website and his Facebook page that Obama wants to take your guns.

    I think he's referring to the law which would have made no-fly terrorists into "no buy" gun wannabe terrorists. Either way, it's stupid, short-sighted, and deeply cynical.

    AC,let's see you defend your boy Buck on this one.

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