On this day in 1781, the Revolutionary War came to an end; it’s fitting, perhaps, that the final Presidential debate of 2016 takes place exactly 235 years later. 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). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Your 2016 ballot may be sitting in your mailbox at this very moment; election officials began mailing out ballots on Monday. For voting information or to check your registration, go to JustVoteColorado.org. If you would prefer to vote at a polling place rather than via mail balloting, check here for your nearest polling location. Denver7 also includes a good list of election-related information.
If you have received your mail ballot, please let us know; we’re doing a little crowdsourcing to get a sense of when and where ballots are landing.
► The final debate of the 2016 Presidential campaign takes place tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada. As the Washington Post explains, the Supreme Court is likely to be a major topic of
The Supreme Court is one of six main topics that will be covered during tonight’s final debate at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. The late Antonin Scalia’s seat continues to sit empty. An evenly-divided court has begun its new term under a cloud of uncertainty. Assuming Hillary Clinton wins, it remains unclear whether Republicans will try to confirm Merrick Garland during the lame-duck session to prevent her from putting up someone who is younger and more liberal next year.
The debate took on new significance this week when John McCain boasted during a radio interview that Republicans would automatically oppose whomever Clinton nominates. “I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up,” the Arizona senator said. “I promise you!”
Donald Trump will certainly try to convince voters tonight that Hillary Clinton intends to fill the courts with rogues and ruffians, but there may be a broader message problem for Republicans as Trump lashes out at Clinton. Again, from the Post:
Republicans, who have struggled to convince voters that they are capable of governing, talked a big game in years past about the need to be more than just “the party of no.” That messaging is gone now. The prospect of four more years in the wilderness suggests that they will move back toward unapologetic obstruction.
Right now, however, they are in damage control mode. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who is up for reelection in Iowa, promised yesterday to not automatically “stonewall” any Clinton pick. “If that new president happens to be Hillary, we can’t just simply stonewall,” Grassley said on a conference call with local press.
McCain’s obstructionist comments earlier this week makes it difficult for Republicans to disassociate themselves from whatever monkey wrench rhetoric Trump will use in tonight’s debate. The more that Trump tries to scare voters about the Supreme Court under a Clinton administration, the more harm he is going to cause the entire Republican Party.
Meanwhile, if there is a poll for President in any battleground state these days, it’s a good bet that Hillary Clinton is ahead of Donald Trump.
Tonight’s debate is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm. If, for some reason, you would prefer to watch the debate in a movie theater, you now have that option.
► How’s this for “knowingly false?” Republicans continue to attack Democratic state Senate candidate Rachel Zenzinger over a fictional trip to China…but it’s getting so much worse (and, now, racist to boot). In a new mailer, “Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government” cites a Politifact Colorado story as backup for their “China Girl” attacks, which is odd, since the Politifact piece makes it clear that this entire story is complete nonsense.
Let’s say that again: The factual basis for the “China Girl” attack is a link to a Politifact Colorado examination that explicitly finds this entire story to be untrue. How on earth is this legally acceptable? This is akin to pointing in the air and declaring, See, there it is — proof that the sky is green!
► Democrat Morgan Carroll is out with a new TV ad in CD-6 that hammers Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) over his litany of false fact-checked advertisements in 2016. Carroll has been hitting Coffman hard throughout this campaign, through paid ads, earned media, and in debates with the incumbent Coffman; Carroll’s aggressive campaign, along with Republican problems at the top of the ticket, are causing increasing levels of anxiety in Coffmanland.
Elsewhere, Coffman displayed his leadership acumen in a 9News interview by declaring that he might not even cast a vote in the race for President. This wasn’t even the worst part of the interview for Coffman.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Pete Maysmith of Conservation Colorado discusses the problems with Sen. Laura
Waters Woods and her claims that she is a supporter of protecting public lands. From a guest piece in the Colorado Statesman:
Woods has one of the worst records that we’ve ever seen when it comes to protecting our lands. In her entire time in office, she has voted the wrong way on every single bill that would protect public lands that Conservation Colorado has scored in our annual scorecard. She voted for two bills that could result in our public lands sold off to the highest bidder (SB 16-160 and SB 15-039), she voted to study the costly proposition of turning our public lands over to the state (SB 15-232), and she was one of the only legislators to vote against a simple holiday recognizing the benefits that our public lands offer (SB 16-021).
And, she has also been no friend to clean air and clean water; she also voted to roll back Colorado’s thriving renewable energy industry (SB15-044) and sided with polluters to make it more difficult for the state to hold polluters accountable for contaminating our drinking water (SB 16-117).
Yet, rather than admit to her mistakes and vow to voters that she will do better, Woods seems to be trying to take a page from the Trump playbook: pretending her failures or missteps don’t exist while simultaneously doubling down on them. Take, for example, the fact that she is running paid advertisements describing her “solid” record on public lands. Or how in this very publication, she recently tried to defend her record on the issues.
Unfortunately, not once in her 595-word piece — nor anywhere on her website — does she offer a shred of evidence for her statement that her “record reflects” her support of conservation. In other words, Woods’ claims that she is a champion for our national parks and public lands are demonstrably false.
► It remains unlikely that Colorado Republicans can make a significant dent in Democratic control of the State House. As Vic Vela reports for Colorado Public Radio, most eyes are fixated on a few close State Senate battles.
► The Aurora Sentinel publishes a guest editorial from Lizeth Chacon detailing the absurd flip-floppiness of Rep. Mike Coffman on immigration reform:
Coffman has since tried to cover up for his opposition by saying he believes comprehensive reform can be done in pieces. What the media in general has failed to understand, however, is that this procedural talking point represents Coffman’s biggest and most craven reversal on the issue…
…In other words, Coffman urged his colleagues to stop stalling, and then he stalled…
…Mike Coffman can now try and paper over the damage he did in 2013 when he buckled to party leaders on immigration reform, but much like his party’s nomination of Donald Trump, he missed his chance to do something when it mattered.
► Donald Trump, Jr. continues to catch well-deserved criticism for making a joke about the 2012 Aurora Theater Shooting.
► State Sen. Laura
Waters Woods wants you to know that she forgives Donald Trump for his offensive comments toward women. She also wants you to know that criticizing her for that decision “is an attack on religious freedom.”
Um, yeah…we’re not following that logic train, either.
► The student newspaper at Palmer Ridge High School in Colorado Springs is getting some nasty feedback for publishing an endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President. This is ridiculous on several levels, not the least of which is the absurdity of calling out a student newspaper for providing a real-world example of the First Amendment.
► According to a new poll, Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is leading Republican challenger Darryl Glenn by 18 points…but that’s not the most astounding finding from Quinnipiac University. Bennet is leading Glenn among men and women of every racial background. Glenn has yet to make inroads with any subsection of human beings in Colorado.
► Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump made campaign stops in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction on Tuesday as he winds down his
Fuck You, America “Make America Great Again” campaign experiment. Trump spent a good deal of his time in Colorado criticizing the media as he attempts to pass the buck for his seemingly-inevitable defeat in November.
► Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence makes a campaign stop in Durango today.
► Roughly $44 million has now been spent in Colorado advocating for or against various ballot measures.
► Donald Trump continues to allege that there is a widespread conspiracy to prevent him from becoming President. Data and facts, meanwhile, refuse to play along.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Hey, look! A story about how Latino voters could have a major impact on the election!
► If you’re wondering what to watch out for in tonight’s Presidential debate, Politico has you covered. Well, that and Google.