May 24th may not be a national holiday…but it should be. 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…
► The ongoing petition fraud story surrounding Republican Senate candidate Jon Keyser just won’t go away, in large part because everyone associated with Keyser’s campaign is operating on a “Michael Brown running FEMA” level of crisis response. On Monday, Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger managed to find “Maureen,” one of the petition gatherers suspected of fraud related to Keyser’s campaign, and she wasn’t very eager to talk:
— Marshall Zelinger (@7Marshall) May 23, 2016
“Maureen” can run away from journalists such as Zelinger, but we would suspect she’ll have a more difficult time continuing to evade investigators with the Denver District Attorney’s office.
► Mail ballots will drop about two weeks from today in advance of the June 28th Primary, which doesn’t leave much time for the rest of the GOP Senate field to get their mugs in front of enough potential voters. Jon Keyser’s campaign is deader than a parrot in a Monty Python skit, and Ryan Frazier is just hoping that he won’t be required to withdraw from the race before voting commences. The race for the Republican Senate nomination is likely to be a three-way battle between Darryl Glenn, Jack Graham, and Robert Blaha, and the grassroots favorite (Glenn) just landed a huge endorsement for a campaign badly in need of funding.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Republican state Sen. Chris Holbert is in full hand-wringing form over “transgendered bathrooms” in Colorado. Perhaps we shouldn’t tell him that this has been legal in Colorado since 2008; it’s much harder to maintain the proper level of faux outrage when you realize that this has been going on for nearly a decade with no reported problems.
► Former state Sen. Gail Schwartz continues to rack up some impressive endorsements in her bid to unseat Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in CD-3. In the last few days, Schwartz has received the official backing of the Colorado AFL-CIO and EMILYs List.
► Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) did not receive the endorsement of the Colorado AFL-CIO because of his support of the Trans-Pacific Pipeline. Bennet did not receive the official backing of EMILYs List, either, but that’s less surprising since the group only supports female candidates.
► If you were looking forward to a rousing discussion focused on the most important policy issues in the United States, the 2016 election may not be your ideal setting. As the Washington Post reports:
Campaigns are supposed to be about the future. It is increasingly obvious that the 2016 election will be all about the past…
…Ronald Reagan’s shining city upon a hill, this is not.
Leaders in each party seems content to frame 2016 as a choice between the lesser of two evils and a referendum on the character of the other side’s nominee.
► Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is officially peddling his memoir today, as John Frank reports for the Denver Post:
Unbeknown to most, John Hickenlooper and his wife, Helen Thorpe, met with a therapist once a week as he served as mayor of Denver and campaigned for governor in 2010.
The couple kept the marriage counseling a secret, gathering for more than two years in the basement of a Quaker meeting house to disguise the sessions before their public split.
“The way she saw it, when my father died, half my heart cauterized; and, she said, while the half that was left was wonderful and lovely, it simply didn’t pump all of the emotion sometimes needed,” he writes.
The admission appears in the opening chapter of Hickenlooper’s new memoir, “The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics” — one of many candid moments the 64-year-old Colorado governor details in a bookthat serves as his introduction to the nation amid the 2016 election…
…The only stories cut from the final version, he said, are parts he didn’t want his son to read. “I tried to keep in mind this really is a book for Teddy,” Hickenlooper said. “He’s about 14, and he’s eager to read it. I don’t want him to think he can try some of the stuff I tried.”
Hickenlooper’s memoir is bringing up a whole new round of questions about whether or not he could end up as Democrat Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016.
► Colorado business groups continue to press Gov. Hickenlooper to call a “special legislative session” this summer in order to continue discussions about the so-called “Hospital Provider Fee.”
► Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is making it clear that he plans to pull no punches in dredging up some of the more interesting moment from the Presidency of Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Rush Limbaugh is at the top of his game as a well-known conservative windbag, but his business model? Not so much. From Politico:
And yet, there are signs that all is not well in the Limbaugh radio empire. Because even as his influence is sky high and his dominance at the top of talk radio remains unchallenged, as a business proposition, Limbaugh’s show is on shaky ground. In recent years, Limbaugh has been dropped by several of his long-time affiliates, including some very powerful ones: He’s gone from WABC in New York, WRKO in Boston and KFI in Los Angeles, for example, and has in many cases been moved onto smaller stations with much weaker signals that cover smaller areas.
Why? Because four years after Limbaugh called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” on air, spurring a major boycott movement, reams of advertisers still won’t touch him. He suffers from what talk radio consultant Holland Cooke calls a “scarlet letter among national brand advertisers.” And for someone who has said that “confiscatory ad rates” are a key pillar of his business, that spells trouble. (Limbaugh ignored multiple interview requests.)
Limbaugh is in the final months of an 8-year contract that reportedly pays him $38 million per year.
► Republicans can’t do much to stop runaway manure cart Donald Trump in 2016, but as the New York Times reports, major changes to the GOP Primary system could be in the works ahead of 2020.
► What is it with politicians and building roads/bridges to nowhere?
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