Poor June 1st — it doesn’t get a cool nickname like “April Fools Day” or “May Day.” 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…
► Can Democrats take back the House of Representatives while riding the reverse-coattails of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump? The Washington Post considers the case:
Facing a 30-seat deficit, Democrats have dramatically improved their odds of retaking the House since Biden’s remarks. Republicans are on the verge of formally nominating Donald Trump, a presidential candidate who remains deeply unpopular among minorities, women and younger voters — just the kind of voters Democrats need to win House seats in swing districts…
…Trump’s rise to presumptive GOP nominee sparked a scramble in recent months to recruit Democratic candidates, even in some Republican-leaning districts.
“Donald Trump has been our best recruiting tool,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), who helps the party woo new House candidates.
► If you’re wondering why we even bother with election laws and rules when no judge will bother enforcing the regulations…well, you’re not alone. As John Frank reports for the Denver Post, chalk up another one for the “technicality” column:
The deadline to challenge Jon Keyser’s petitions in the U.S. Senate race expired weeks ago, a Denver judge ruled Tuesday as he dismissed a lawsuit challenging his candidacy in the Republican primary…
…The lawsuit, filed by Democratic attorney Mark Grueskin, cited as many as 60 forged signatures based on an analysis of a handwriting expert, although only 10 voters signed affidavits saying their signatures were falsified.
District Judge Morris Hoffman didn’t address the issue in his ruling. He dismissed the case on procedural grounds because it wasn’t filed within the five-day window for challenging the secretary of state’s determination about Keyser’s petitions.
There are five Republican candidates on the June 28th ballot for U.S. Senate. Three of them — Keyser, Robert Blaha, and Ryan Frazier — were initially ruled ineligible by the Secretary of State’s office after questions arose about whether or not they had collected a valid number of signatures on petitions needed for ballot access. All three candidates asked a district court to let them on the ballot anyway, and a judge just waved them on through. The Aurora Sentinel laments the absurdity of this entire fiasco.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has not been shy about his dislike of Donald Trump, though his efforts to find another candidate to compete against His Hairness have been unsuccessful. As Politico reports, Romney is in desperation mode:
Mitt Romney embraced David French, the conservative lawyer and National Review staff writer who some are pushing to mount an independent presidential run — but stopped short of an endorsement.
“I know David French to be an honorable, intelligent and patriotic person. I look forward to following what he has to say,” the former Republican presidential nominee tweeted late Tuesday.
French, who has yet to comment on his potential candidacy, is being urged to run by Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, among others.
We hate to throw too much shade on this idea, but…seriously? Mail ballots for the General Election will start dropping in less than five months, and as NBC News reports, David French isn’t exactly a household name:
That’s a question a lot of people are asking! French isn’t well-known.
He’s a constitutional lawyer, conservative thinker, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a co-author of best-selling book that bills itself as the ‘definitive book on ISIS’. His recent Weekly Standard columns range from a “Game of Thrones” recap to railing against the conservative movement’s awkward embrace of Trump and college activists.
Perhaps the bigger question is can a relatively unknown private citizen mount a presidential bid in five months against one of the most well-known public servants and an internationally-known mogul and reality television star?
A potential Independent bid for President by a relatively unknown guy who is not believed to be personally wealthy? Good luck with that.
► Meanwhile, Trump continues to insist that he has plans to compete heavily in two strongly-Democratic states in California and New York. As our friends at “The Fix” explain, this is not going to work.
► The Colorado Springs Independent wonders if Republican Calandra Vargas can defeat incumbent Congressman Doug Lamborn in the June primary.
The 80237 ZIP ranks seventh nationwide for Trump donations. No other Colorado ZIP code makes the top 20 for donations to either candidate.
That said, it doesn’t take much money to be one of Trump’s top donating ZIP codes. The 80237 ZIP managed to make the list with a total of just $10,800 in individual donations to the presumed Republican nominee.
As a Colorado Pols reader points out, this story is much less interesting (and relevant) when you take a slightly closer look at the data. That $10,800 donated to Trump is courtesy of Republican politico Larry Mizel and his wife, Carol, which does not tell any sort of story about an entire zip code.
► Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign a “transparency” bill dealing with certain non profit organizations. No, he will not use invisible ink.
► Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Sentinel takes a look at campaign finance reports for several Western Slope candidates, with a particular focus on SD-8:
In a race that could help determine which party controls the Colorado Senate next year, Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, hasn’t raised much more than his Democratic challenger, Emily Tracy.
Baumgardner, who’s completing his first four-year term in the Senate, barely won the seat against Tracy, earning about 51 percent of the vote.
The Breckenridge Democrat is back again, and nearly matching Baumgardner’s fundraising, pulling in more than $10,000 so far compared to the senator’s $12,000.
► Some Congressional Republicans continue to push forward with the idea of “impeaching” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, but as Politico reports, this may not end well for the GOP:
If House conservatives press ahead with an impeachment of the embattled tax chief, they’d be voting to remove a relatively low-level executive-branch leader for one of the most minor offenses in American history, several impeachment experts told Politico. That decision could, effectively, lower the threshold for congressional punishment of an executive-branch authority from here on out — and ensure a wave of new proceedings against government officials who have tangled with Congress in the past.
Impeachment has typically been used to punish treason, bribery and other “high crimes” in the top echelons of government. But Koskinen’s impeachment — based on an argument that he failed to comply with a congressional subpoena — would effectively expand that definition to include gross incompetence.
It’s never been done before.
“Nobody has ever been impeached for what we’ll call ‘gross negligence.’ … It has never, in our entire history, despite all the partisan difference, been the basis for impeachment in the past,” said North Carolina School of Law professor Michael Gerhardt, an impeachment expert who has testified before Congress on the matter.
And that, experts say, could touch off a rash of impeachment proceedings, as Hill investigators line up to take on other agency heads who have crossed them.
House Republicans can’t even come to agreement on a budget bill, and have generally earned a reputation as perhaps the most ineffective Congress in American history. Instead of doing their job, Congress might open up a whole new quagmire by trying to fire mid-level bureaucrats? Good call.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► The U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Jon Keyser would have to improve considerably just to be classified as inept.
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