Happy Valentine’s Day! (unless you are in Pakistan) 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…
► The word of the
day week month year is “Russia.” Washington D.C. and the rest of the country are in a tizzy after last night’s resignation from Michael Flynn, who had served as Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor for about three whole weeks. Flynn resigned amid growing concern over his conversation(s) with Russia back in December — which would appear to be a violation of the “Logan Act” that prohibits Americans from working to undermine foreign policy goals.
President Trump’s sort-of-official response is that Trump himself asked for Flynn’s resignation (though this has been contradicted by White House sources, including Kellyanne Conway). This story is now so far out of the bag that calls for a full investigation into the Trump administration’s ties with Russia will grow louder with each passing hour. From the Washington Post:
A top Senate Republican said Tuesday that Congress should probe the circumstances leading up to the resignation of President Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“I think in all likelihood it should be part of the intel committee’s review of what’s happened with Russia, yes,” said Senate GOP Conference Vice Chair Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Here in Colorado, Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is also calling for a full Congressional investigation (as House Republicans dawdle). Meanwhile, all eyes and ears are on Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), who has thus far remained silent on Flynn and the Russian controversy. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Gardner should have direct access to information about this growing scandal.
► Check out the latest episode of the “Get More Smarter Show” to learn more about the nomination of Colorado judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
► Former one-term Republican lawmaker Victor “Dracula” Mitchell has officially entered his name in the 2018 governor’s race. Mitchell tells the Colorado Springs Gazette that he plans to roll out his campaign with a $3 million contribution from his own wallet. The registered agent on Mitchell’s campaign finance report is former Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Nope. Sorry. Michael Flynn’s resignation still isn’t putting this story to rest.
► Coloradans from across the state continue to push for more information from Sen. Cory Gardner. In Greeley, local residents are using the Valentine’s Day holiday to ask their Senator for more attention.
► Law enforcement officials in Colorado are trying to reassure immigrant communities in the wake of growing concerns over the Trump administration’s tough talk on deportation.
► Remember when Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) promised that his staff would book a big venue for a town hall meeting to discuss potential Obamacare repeals? Yeah, not so much.
► Brandon Rittiman and a box of tampons.
► State Sen. Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) is rapidly digging himself deeper and deeper in a spat with the owner and publisher of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. It’s hard to see how this ends well for Scott.
► Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder faces new problems in his effort to win Senate confirmation thanks to Oprah. From Politico:
Senators in both parties have viewed an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in which President Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder’s former wife leveled allegations of physical abuse against him, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The decades-old video, which is not easily found, has been provided by the Oprah Winfrey Network, those sources said. The video has been provided to senators in a Capitol Hill office building, according to people who have seen it.
► As CNN Money reports, even supporters of Donald Trump believe that the minimum wage needs an increase.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Oh, good: Republican legislators “believe” that there is enough money in Colorado’s budget to pay for both roads and schools. Perhaps they can squeeze their eyes real tight and imagine a real pile of money for the state. The Denver Post editorial board, meanwhile, isn’t buying this particular line of BS:
But we are appalled that, five weeks into the 2017 legislative session, the debate is still about the big-picture question of whether additional revenue is needed.
Senate President Kevin Grantham and Rep. Cole Wist, both Republicans, have called for a revenue-neutral solution to the $9 billion funding needs for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
That’s complete folly. And both men should be ashamed to utter it again without coming up with a specific budget solution (i.e., significant budget cuts) that would enable that to happen. Republicans, who hold the Senate, need to be constructive, not obstructive.
► The PERA Board is voicing its opposition to a proposed bill in the Colorado legislature that would cap employer contributions to the benefit fund.
► Dr. Chaps says a political rival hired his “rapist” to “defame him.” Uh….